Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Let us rejoice in the ongoing moderate weather, and let us be glad for a little more time to get ourselves ready for the inevitable switch to a more normal autumn!  And let us further rejoice and be glad that tomorrow, October 14th, is National Dessert Day!  We can only imagine the scrumptious treats that will emerge from bakeries, confectioners, and home kitchens tomorrow; maybe for one day, we can set aside our dietary disciplines and indulge.  Hey, it’s only once a year, right??

One discipline we’d encourage you to not set aside is your daily conversation(s) with God; in other words, the discipline of prayer.  Prayer is an incredibly powerful thing; something that any of us who have experienced the amazing feeling of blessed assurance that washes over us after (and during) a heartfelt time of prayer cherish.  We need only think back to our prayer time during worship, when our fellow worshippers share stories of answered prayer, to be reminded that God listens, God hears, and God answers.  Sometimes God’s answer is “no,” sometimes his answer is “not now,” and sometimes his answer is “not what you want, but what I want;” and of course, sometimes his answer is “yes, absolutely!”  But regardless the answer, it is the right one, whether we like it or not; our task, as people of faith, is to accept God’s answer and trust that all will be well.  Many of us have an expectation that God will give us whatever it is we ask for, and are disappointed (if not downright angry) if we don’t get exactly what we say we want; forgetting that God is also known as “God the Father Almighty.”  Just as our earthly parents sometimes rejected our pleas, our Heavenly Father will as well; and just as was the case with our earthly parents, Father always knows best!  Because God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:8

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the first Wednesday in October that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in a lovely autumn day, and let us be (very) glad that we don’t have to shovel anything yet!  It seems as if the weather isn’t quite sure what it wants to do from day-to-day, but the days are definitely getting shorter and the general trend is definitely pointing to cooler temperatures; in other words, it’s autumn in Michigan!

How we wish we could say that the change in seasons has brought a positive change in the world around us, but sadly, that isn’t the case; COVID-19 is still impacting our lives in ways big and small, unrest in major cities of the country continues unabated, politicians still seem intent on advancing pet projects and ideologies instead of doing the people’s work, and the economy is showing signs of weakening.  It would be nice if there was at least some good news, wouldn’t it?  Well, there is, and it’s the same good news that we celebrate every day as Christian brothers and sisters!  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!  Through the power and presence of the living God, all our needs will be met!  Through the limitless grace and love of God, we’re going to come through this rough patch in our lives in fine shape, even if we may arrive at the end of this time a bit different than we started it.  It’s easy to forget that God is good, all the time; and that all the time, God is good, when we’re inundated with negative news stories.  But the truth is that God’s got this, God’s got us, and there’s nothing that the world can throw at us that will ever change that.  Whenever you feel worn down by all that’s happening, remember that as a beloved child of God, everything is going to be OK.  You can take that to the bank!

Blessings,

Karen and Greg

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. Psalm 31:19

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in crystal-clear skies and brisk temperatures, and let us be glad in the ever-intensifying colors of the trees around us!  It’s amazing to see the daily changes in our world, and exciting to anticipate the coming peak of color season; while it’s hard to put away our summer toys, and sad to hear the furnace come on early in the morning on some days, the delights of autumn are ours to embrace.  So let’s embrace them!

As we embrace the new season, let us also allow ourselves to be embraced by God in new ways.  For much of the summer months, we spent times outdoors enjoying the warmth of the sun, maybe spending some time on the water or the golf course; we’ll most likely all be spending a little more time indoors now, settled into a favorite chair, cuddled up in a comfy sweater with a good book.  During the summer, we meet God out in nature, on the beach or in the woods; in the fall, we have the opportunity to meet God next to a fire or out on a color tour.  God is present in all seasons, in all settings, but we are blessed to know him differently.  God embraces us in the gentle breezes and sunshine of summer, and in the crisp air and glorious colors of autumn, if we’ll allow him to do so.  We gently suggest that you choose to return that embrace, and share that embrace with all whom you meet.  Because God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good.  

With our love in Christ,

Karen and Greg

Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:10

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021 

This is the day of the autumnal equinox that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in a calm (if a bit cool) first day of fall, and let us be glad that the colors are beginning to peek out from a few trees by the side of the road!  As we prepare to bid “farewell” to the warmth of summer, and greet the new season, let us rejoice and be glad for the ongoing cycles of life and the unique joys and blessings of each season!

One of the devotionals that we read every day touched on a subject that we don’t pay enough attention to, in these challenging days of pandemics and strife around the world; cheerfulness.  So many of us are feeling pretty beat-up these days, with good reason; the news is almost universally negative, COVID-19 is surging, politics are beyond ugly, and the Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a brutally cold and long winter.  But we read in Proverbs 15:13 that “A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance.”  Are our hearts not glad?  Is that why we go about with furrowed brows and downcast eyes?  Have we forgotten the great and eternal good news, that in Jesus Christ we are forgiven?  Have we lost sight of the fact that God loves us, and wants only good things for us?  Did we not notice that, as dark as the days seem to be sometimes, the sun always comes up the next day?  All of these things, and many, many more, should make our hearts glad – and make for a cheerful countenance on each one of us.  We are loved, cared for, and protected by Almighty God; we each have a full measure of the grace of Jesus Christ, and we are filled by the Holy Spirit.  If that doesn’t put a smile on our faces, we don’t know what will!

With our love in Christ,

Karen and Greg

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Ephesians 2:8

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 CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

-Joint GLCC and WPC Adopt-A-Highway—Tuesday, September 28th at 9 a.m., with a rain date of Thursday, September 30th at 9 a.m. We will meet at the corner of 23 and 638 to begin.  Join the fun!

-Women’s Conference— Thursday, October 7th  God Does His Best Work with Empty is the theme of the Women’s Conference this year.  This one-day Bible study will be held in the “living Room” of the Birch Hill Store, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Lunch and snacks will be served.  Registration forms and $30 fee are due by September 27th.  The green forms are available in the GLCC Narthex, or from the pastor at WPC.

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in calmer breezes and drier air, and let us be glad that the forecast is calling for a warmer weekend before the official start of autumn on September 22nd!  You may have noticed small hints of color beginning to show in the trees as you’ve been out-and-about, a preview of the magnificent hues that are just around the corner.  Fall in Northern Michigan is incomparable, and we urge you to get out and enjoy every possible minute of it!

While you’re reveling in the delights of early autumn resplendent with vivid colors, apples, and cozy sweaters, don’t lose sight of how these things came to be in our lives; remember who created all things in perfect balance and abundance.  And remember what we’ve been talking about for the last couple of weeks, both in writing and in worship; keeping our tongues in check, being careful with words, and redoubling our efforts to be kind, generous, compassionate, and loving.  The remembrances of 9/11 cannot be allowed to fade into the shadows; the unity and resolve that encompassed our nation and much of the world in the days following that tragic event can be ours again, if we’ll stop yelling at one another, stop finger-pointing, and stop retreating into our closely-guarded enclaves of like-minded souls so that we can engage with the world.  We can build the peaceable kingdom on Earth that God wishes for us, and it can begin right here in Presque Isle County.  And it can begin right now with us.

With our love in Christ,

Karen and Greg

Therefore be careful how you walk,not as unwise men but as wise Ephesians 5:15

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the calmer weather today, following a few days of storms, and let us be glad that, for the most part, our corner of Michigan was relatively unscathed.  Our prayers go out to those who are without power and those whose homes were damaged in the storms; and our prayers continue for those in the South and Northeast who are struggling in the aftermath of hurricane strikes, and also for those in the Northwest dealing with wildfires.

We cannot avoid the subject of 9/11 this week, as much as we may want to; twenty years ago, our nation and our world were rocked by the terror attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.  Twenty years ago, our lives were forever changed.  Twenty years ago, for a brief moment in history, citizens of the United States rallied together in support of kin and country; churches were filled, as if we instinctively knew that God was our only true refuge and strength.  Partisanship waned, patriotism flourished, and some thought that a new, brighter day had dawned, born out of unspeakable tragedy.  Sadly, it didn’t last very long, and now, as we continue to face the worldwide tragedy of the COVID-19 virus; we find ourselves at odds over vaccines, masks, social distancing, and shutdowns, and we once again have turned to God Almighty for refuge and strength. While it is true that there is no better place to seek support, it is also true that we have learned very little in the twenty years between tragedies; we are more divided than ever before, less willing to listen, to compromise, and to forgive.  Our actions, or lack thereof, grieve the heart of God, who wants only the best for us and all of Creation.  Let us set aside our desire to be “right,” and seek to become right with God, who is all goodness, mercy and love.  In unity we will find strength, in unity we will find love, and in love we will find God.

With our love in Christ,

Karen and Greg

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  1 Peter 3:8

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel


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Wednesday, September 1, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the first day of September that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in a new month, and let us be glad for all the opportunities it will bring.  While many of us aren’t overly excited about this particular turn of the calendar page as it signals the approaching end of summer, we are blessed to live in a place where cooler weather brings spectacular beauty as the leaves change colors from lush green to vibrant hues of red and gold.  But not yet!

As the seasons change, we are reminded that the one consistent aspect of our lives is the One who created all things; God is unchangeable.  God’s goodness and mercy are limitless, as are his generosity and love.  Sadly, we human beings are not so consistent.  We are malleable beings, influenced by world events, social media, and popular culture; and we aren’t always kind, merciful, generous, or loving.  On this first day of a new month, on the cusp of a new season, let’s take some time to reflect on these things, and if we find ourselves coming up a bit short in emulating our Lord and Savior in our daily behaviors, let us then turn to God in prayer and ask for the courage, strength, and constancy to change.

And let us also pray for those in Afghanistan, the Gulf Coast as they recover from the impact of Hurricane Ida, and in our own state who suffered from the severe weather of the last several days, for God’s protection and healing.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

-Rededication of the Kauffman House – 1 p.m., Sunday, September 5th in the front lawn of the Grand Lake Community Chapel.
-God Loves You Food Pantry
– Monday, September 13th in the GLCC Parking Lot.
-Chapel Guild
will meet Tuesday, September 7
-GLCC Council Meeting
– Thursday, September 16th at 9 a.m. 

A Prayer for Recovery

 God of mercy, be a present and steadfast help to those left reeling from Hurricane Ida.

 Be with those recovering from property damage and loss. Be with those traumatized by the storm’s    wind and rising waters. Be with those left without power, kids left without school, communities left without essential services.

 We also pray for those leading the rescue and recovery efforts. Grant them the strength and endurance they’ll need for the weeks and months ahead. Cool them in the brutal heat. Assure them that you are pleased with their efforts to seek and save.

 Holy God, may all those devastated by Ida know the shelter and security of your safe refuge.

 In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the last Wednesday in August that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the continuation of summer, and let us be glad that we are blessed to have much to celebrate in our little corner of God’s good Creation, even as there are challenging events taking place around the world.  At the Grand Lake Community Chapel, the Diamond Jubilee of the congregation’s founding will be observed this Sunday, with a special litany during worship and an old-fashioned hymn sing (along with cake and coffee) following the service.  

And we also celebrate that your pastor’s daughter is bound for Alma College today, to embark on the grand adventure of college life; Justice has blessed our lives, and those of our congregation, with her buoyant spirit and helpful nature.  And, she has been blessed to receive your love, care and friendship over these last four years.  She will be missed, and she (and we!) welcome your prayers as she adjusts to life away from home.

One cannot turn on a television, radio, or computer without being inundated with scary reports about the Delta variant of COVID-19, natural disasters around the world, and turmoil in Afghanistan; the world seems to be coming apart at the seams, but our faith informs us that nothing happening around us can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).  As hard as it can be to believe at times, God’s got this, even if things don’t make any sense to us, and we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It is enough for us to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that Light is the Light of the World, which we know as Jesus Christ.  Let us pray fervently for peace, unity, and purity in all things, and let us trust in the saving grace of God, the love of Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to see us through the tough days.  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.  Psalm 18:35

Grand Lake Community Chapel Celebrates 75 Years of Ministry!


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On September 21st, 1946, Articles of Association were signed and notarized at the Presque Isle Post Office that established the Grand Lake Community Chapel as an ecclesiastical corporation.  A few days later, on October 3rd, 1946, the Commissioner of the Michigan Corporations and Securities Commission certified these articles, and the Grand Lake Community Chapel was born!

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The groundwork that led to the incorporation of the Grand Lake Community Chapel had begun a year before, in 1945, with the prayers and financial support of 196 families and individuals, along with seven businesses.  These people of faith, trusting in the love of God, the grace of their Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, stepped out on a journey to establish a place of worship in the heart of Presque Isle, near the shores of Grand Lake, where residents and visitors could gather for worship, learning, and fellowship.  From these humble beginnings, this intentionally-interdenominational church has served the Presque Isle community through good times and challenges; the original worship space that was built in 1946 was renovated and expanded in 2000.  Beginning in 2010, the Chapel was blessed to have 13 beautiful stained glass windows, made by Hubbard Lake artist Art Guren, installed in the sanctuary.

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Today, the Grand Lake Community Chapel holds regular worship services on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.; services are open to all, as is the Lord’s Table.  The worship services are enriched by the talents of gifted musicians, including a hand bell choir.  The Chapel offers an adult Sunday school, a weekly children’s gathering on Wednesdays after school, and hosts the God Loves You Food Pantry which is dedicated to addressing food insecurity in our region.  The chapel family joyfully looks forward to the next 75 years of service to their community.

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day! Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in another magnificent summer’s day to get out and enjoy, and let us be glad that we have several more weeks of summer ahead of us!  While each season of the year brings its unique delights (and sorrows), summer Up North is truly special; let’s relish these days that we have been blessed with!

There is so much happening in the world right now, it’s hard to keep up; the tragic situations in Haiti and Afghanistan, the remnants of tropical storm Fred soaking the Southeast of our country, continuing wildfires in California, and the seemingly endless squabbling by our elected leaders can leave us spiritually exhausted and feeling broken.  We don’t know what to do or where to turn for respite; we want it all to stop, to go away and leave us alone!  While this would be nice, it isn’t reality, and pulling the covers up over our heads (at least figuratively) isn’t what we are called to do as people of faith.  All that is happening around the world is a call to action to the faithful; it starts with prayer, and builds from there.  Let us pray for the people of Haiti and Afghanistan, let us pray for our fellow citizens facing natural disasters of all kinds, and let us pray for our leaders that they might act with honor and integrity, setting aside partisanship to work for the good of all.  If we are able, let us donate to relief agencies, and if we are able, let us lend our hands to the work of preparing packages of food and medicine so that those who are in harm’s way might know some comfort.  And let us pray, without ceasing, for God’s blessings to flow to those in need everywhere around the world, so that someday this Earth will become God’s peaceable Kingdom, where there is no want or need that goes unmet.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean
on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in bright sunshine as the day begins, and let us be glad for shelter later in the day as severe weather is in the forecast for the evening.  Many of us would be very happy if the rules of Camelot applied to the weather in Northern Michigan; the rain can never fall ’til after sundown, July and August cannot be too hot, but alas, we don’t get to set those rules.  Yet without the rain, the sunshine wouldn’t be so delightful; without the rain, the flowers wouldn’t bloom and the crops wouldn’t grow, so let’s accept the fact that into every life a bit of rain must fall, and make the most of it!

And while we’re coming to grips with the inevitable rainy days that might interrupt our plans, let’s not lose sight of the truth that the rainy days always come to an end, whether those rainy days are because of precipitation or because of hard things that befall us.  Our loving God wishes only good things for us, so we can trust that no matter what we’re facing, we’ll get through it because we turn our faces to Heaven for guidance and support.  It’s been said that “if God brought you to it, he’ll see you through it,” and also that God won’t give us anything we can’t handle – but God is far more confident in our abilities than we sometimes are; regardless of what we believe our limitations to be, the reality is that God is always present to us, his power is always available to us, and his love is never taken from us.  The Letter to the Philippians says it well; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so do not fear or fret, you’ll get through whatever it is that lies before you.

Blessings,

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.