Pastor’s Message

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Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!  Joyous tidings to all on this day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  It’s been a bit on the “soggy” side this week, but that brings with it the ongoing unfolding of spring flowers and all the delights of this season.  There is so much to enjoy, as the grass grows greener and the trees bud out, and soon enough the barbeque grills and patio furniture will be in place for outdoor living.  We’ve got to be a little patient, as Mother Nature takes her own sweet time in turning up the temperature, but very soon summer will be upon us, and life in Northern Michigan will take on a new rhythm.

The Season of Easter is slowly winding down, but its importance isn’t; the power of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior remains in full force, changing our lives and changing our world.  What an amazing thing it is to live knowing that our sins are forgiven, and that someday we will be in Paradise with Christ.  Make no mistake, there’s a whole lot of living to be done in the here and now, but isn’t it comforting to know where we’ll be spending eternity?  This knowledge frees us to soar, frees us to serve, frees us to love unconditionally; which coincidentally reminds us of our mothers, as we will observe Mother’s Day this coming Sunday – Moms love us unconditionally, show us what it means to serve others, and encourage us to be the best we can be.  Let us honor our mothers, or those who fill that role in our lives, every day.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.    Colossians 1:16

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Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021 


Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!  We are halfway through the Season of Easter, and the incredible gift we received on Easter Sunday continues to fill our hearts with joy.  In spite of the vagaries of the weather (don’t you just love Michigan weather??), the unrelenting flow of bad news about the state of the world, and the frustratingly slow return to normalcy, the truth remains that we are a loved and forgiven people.  The fact of the matter is that we are well-equipped to face any challenge that comes our way because we are children of the Most High God; that’s something to celebrate every day of the Easter season, and every day beyond!

While it may seem a bit impolite for us to ask, have you let go of Easter?  Have you settled back into your routines, and lost sight of the cross?  It’s easy to do, when the newspaper headlines are scary and the voice on the radio is preaching gloom and doom, but we urge you to claim Easter back from the world, and celebrate the Good News of the gospel; it’s a message of hope, joy, wholeness, and love.  Keep on living in the glorious glow of Easter for the rest of the season, and then commit yourself to living in the glorious glow for the rest of your life.  Christ went to the cross for YOU; the least we can do is honor his sacrifice by living lives worthy of our calling as Christians.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34

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CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

-Joint Church / Chapel Road Clean-up – We will meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4th at the corner of M-23 and 638. If           needed, our rain day will be on Thursday, May 6th at the same time and place. 
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-FEMA assistance with COVID-19 related Funerals—Call (844)684-6333, or toll free at (800) 462-7585 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday to begin the application process.

-Consumers Energy is offering four options to those struggling with utility bills—Call 2-1-1 or go to mi211.org for help. Contact them at 1-800-477-5050 for flexible payment options. Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) at Michigan.gov/mibridges. Or apply for a Home Heating Credit by visiting Michigan.gov/treasury to see if you qualify.

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

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Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021 


Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He Is Risen, Indeed!!  This is the third Wednesday in the season of Easter, and we continue our joyous celebration of the Son of Man’s victory over death.  Let us rejoice and be glad in the forgiveness of our sins, and the promise of eternity in Paradise in the presence of our Lord!

In spite of the unusual weather we’re experiencing (it’s snowing as we write this… ), there’s no doubt that spring is taking hold in Northeast Michigan; buds are adorning tree branches, flowers are poking their heads up through the soil, and birds greet the sunrise in song.  It is a time of new life on the earth, as it is a time of new life for we who believe; let us never forget that we were reborn on Easter Sunday, as our Savior rose up from the grave, as he promised.  Let us never forget that we have been invited into a new way of being, a way of being that focuses not on the next day’s activities, but that instead focuses on the next life.  That focus should inform everything we think and do and say, so that we honor the sacrifice made on our behalf.  That focus should lead us to lives of compassion, generosity, kindness, joy, and above all things, love.  Our Nation and our world are in dire need of these things, and as followers of the Risen Christ, it is our obligation and our joy to share them with all whom we walk each day.  And always remember that God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:1-2:


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CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

– GLCC Women’s Online Bible Study – Currently the group is studying 1 Peter in “The Bible App” through You Version.  If you would like to join this study, or future studies, please contact Pam Barkel.  The daily studies include a devotional, a Bible reading and an opportunity to share your thoughts with others in the study.

-Joint Church / Chapel Road Clean-up – This will take place during the first week of May; dates will be shared very soon.
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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021 


Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!  On this second Wednesday in the Season of Easter we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior as we allow our lives to be transformed day-by-day by the incomparable gift of forgiveness and eternal life promised in the Resurrection.  We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again and again and again (starting right now!); hold onto Easter this year – don’t let it fade away as spring transitions into summer.  Easter is the most important day in the history of the world, let alone in the history of our faith tradition as Christians; continue to celebrate, continue to rejoice, continue to be transformed by the presence of the Risen Christ in your life.

And even as we are changed and forever changing by Christ, we urge you to continue to practice COVID protocols; the surge in infections that our state is experiencing isn’t leaving Northern Michigan alone, so for a while longer we’re going to ask that you wear a face covering and maintain a safe social distance.  Many, if not most of us, have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but we can’t let our guard down just yet.  Gradually, we’ll be back to a more normal way of living; it just won’t be happening today.  Always remember that God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!  We’ve come so far, and we’ve just a short way left to go, so let us continue to trust the Almighty, walk with the Risen Christ, and be filled by the Holy Spirit.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!  Our journey through the fifty days of the Easter season has only begun, and on this glorious spring day, let us remember that this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

What a grand Easter celebration we shared on Sunday!  Wasn’t it wonderful to be together in our sanctuaries, to sing the great hymns of the season, and most importantly to worship our Risen Lord on the most important day of the church year?  Our deepest thanks to all who shared their special gifts with us!

Now that the glorious Easter Sunday services have come and gone, the real work of the season can begin.  We urge you to set your mind on making Easter a part of every day, remembering that because of Easter Sunday, you are a new being!  Forgiven and forgiving, loved and loving, empowered and empowering, each of us have been blessed beyond measure because of the sacrifice made by Christ Jesus on our behalf.  Please don’t let go of the Good News that was shared this past Sunday, instead grab hold of it with all you’ve got and let yourself be transformed into the very best you you’ve ever been; and then allow the transformation to continue, each and every day of your life, so that you become more than you ever imagined possible.  This is the amazing power of Easter, that the limitations imposed upon us by others, and by ourselves, are broken and cast aside, and our true selves are freed to take up our proper places in the Kingdom of God.  And our true selves are truly incredible!   

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

Eastertide is a period of fifty days and a week of Sundays
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If you happen to be visiting a Christian Church on any of the seven Sundays after what you thought was Easter and still find that Bible readings, hymns, anthems, prayers and perhaps even the sermons still make reference to Easter, this does not signify that worship leaders are reluctant to let their greatest holiday disappear from view.

Easter is a season rather than just a day

It is actually a seven-week season called Eastertide. It is a period of fifty days beginning at sundown on the eve of Easter Sunday and lasting for six more Sundays until Pentecost. Thus Easter includes fifty days and a week of Sundays.

Like all of the major holidays of the Christian year, the season of Easter is framed around a sequence of events in the life of Jesus. In this case, it commemorates the time that Jesus spent with his disciples following the resurrection, prior to his ascension.

Tradition holds that Jesus “ascended” to God on the 40th day after the resurrection. On the church calendar this day, always a Thursday, is referred to as Ascension Day. In practice, the Ascension is sometimes “transferred” to the sixth Sunday of Easter.

The season officially ends on Pentecost Sunday, which Christians think of as the “birthday of the church.” This holiday celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and indeed, the world.

From Easter: Not a Sunday, It’s a Season (godweb.org)

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021 

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!!  Well, almost; on this Wednesday of Holy Week, we are four days away from the greatest, most important day in history, the Day of Resurrection!  Thanks be to God for the victory of life over death, the forgiveness of sin, and the promise of everlasting life!

This most certainly is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that our Lenten journey to the tomb is almost over – almost, but not quite yet.  Tomorrow evening, we will gather as Jesus and his disciples did, to share a simple meal, a time of worship and prayer, and a time of solemn reflection on what is to come on Good Friday.  On Good Friday, our sanctuaries will be open from noon until 3:00 p.m., so that we may sit with Mary at the foot of the cross while her son, our Savior, suffered and dies for our sake.  On Saturday, we are called to be still, to think and pray, as we observe the Great Vigil of Easter; and finally, gloriously, joyfully, we will gather on Easter Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord.  The stone will have been rolled away from the tomb, and we will share in the traditional Easter greeting; Christ is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!!

We earnestly look forward to seeing as many of you, our beloved congregants, as are comfortable coming out to worship at our various services; we hope to be able to live-stream these services for those of you who aren’t quite ready to join us in person.  Regardless of how we worship together, let us embrace the greatness of the days to come; yes, there will be times of darkness to pass through, but at the end of the darkness is a great, eternal light that will illumine our paths for all time.  Easter is celebrated but once a year, but its message is eternal, it is life-changing, and it is world-changing.  After the wondrous celebrations of Easter Sunday, let us join with believers all around the world and live into the message of Easter every day of our lives.  Christ is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!!

Greetings in Christ!

Karen and Greg

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
1 Peter 1:3

Easter Bible Verses

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

Pastor’s Message

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Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, March 24, 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 beautiful weather over the past few days, and let us be glad in the ongoing outbreak of spring in our area!  There are signs of new life everywhere, as patches of green are showing up in our lawns, buds are peeking out from their long winter’s nap, and the songs of birds fill the early morning air.  God’s amazing Creation is awakening to new possibilities; the good news is that new possibilities are on the horizon for each one of us as well!

This coming Sunday, we will welcome Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, our voices raised with shouts of “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  Even though we know that the week that follows, Holy Week, will be filled with pain and despair, we also know that without Christ’s Passion there can be no salvation; no renewal of our covenant relationship with God.  As we near the end of our Lenten journeys, let’s take a few minutes and look back over the weeks that have passed, and look forward to the mere handful of days before the great celebration of Easter morning.  We hope that Lent has given you time and space to grow closer to God; we hope that you’ve prayed often, kept silent and listened frequently, and taken stock of your spiritual health regularly.  We hope that you’ve studied a bit, and been challenged by what you’ve learned.  We trust that you’ve been kind to yourself, and to others, as you’ve given yourself over to the leadings of the Holy Spirit.  And we hope that you’re fully prepared to join with believers all around the world in accepting the hope and the promise of the Resurrection of our Lord!  Our sins are forgiven, the world is made new, and we are empowered to go forth and spread the Good News of the Gospel!  We have the opportunity, in the words of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to “fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”  In other words, let’s proclaim the Gospel, live the Gospel, and share the Gospel with love and compassion – not whack others over the head with it… We’re about to receive an incredible gift, an eternal gift; let’s share it joyfully and lovingly.

Blessings as you travel your Lenten journey!

Karen and Greg 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, March 17, 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 this St. Patrick’s Day, and be glad in the “wearin’ o’ the green,” if you’re so inclined.  According to legend, in addition to driving all snakes out of Ireland, St. Patrick (also know as “the Apostle of Ireland), he used the shamrock to explain the Doctrine of the Trinity, and his walking stick grew into a tree at a place now known as Aspatria.  In fact, Patrick was a missionary and bishop in Ireland, and is revered to this day as the patron saint of Ireland.

Just over two weeks from today, we will welcome the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday with shouts of “Hosanna!” and “Christ is Risen; he is Risen, Indeed!”  The world will be filled with joy, as we learn again that our sins are forgiven, and we are made new.  Most of us are more-than-ready to be made new, as the pandemic continues to affect every aspect of our lives; we’re ready to move on, to return to the way things used to be.  That day is surely coming, but we’re not there yet, and so the watchword for the day is patience; millions of people are being vaccinated every day, new therapeutics are being approved, and gradually, limitations on our movements and activities are easing.  We’re so very close, so let us not grow weary in the struggle.  Consider the words of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who wrote “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can,” and remember how much we’ve been through as individuals and as a community in the past year, and then think about where we are today.  Just a little while longer, trusting in the wisdom and love of God, and we, too, can experience a resurrection of sorts, when masks and social distancing and contact tracing will no longer be a part of every day.  Until that day comes, let us remember that God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good.

Blessings as you travel your Lenten journey!

Karen and Greg

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Just for fun because God loves us!

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Pastor’s Message

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Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the continuation of more moderate weather, and let us be glad that the all-but-inevitable snowstorm is not yet showing up in the forecasts!

Last Monday was “International Women’s Day;” let us rejoice and be glad for the gifts of the women in our lives, and in the life of the world!  It is sometimes easy to overlook these gifts, as women tend to go about their life-enriching work quietly, and often behind the scenes.  But where would we be without our mothers, wives, sisters, aunts and daughters?  Our mothers gave us life, our wives offer love and support, our sisters give us encouragement (and sometimes a bit of grief…), our aunts offer guidance and wisdom, and our daughters give us opportunities to shower love upon another.  We think you’ll conclude that life absent the gifts of women would be colorless, drab and dull.  Join with us in celebrating the gifts of women everywhere, and ask God’s blessings upon them!

Let us be glad that the availability of vaccines continues to improve, and that so many of us have had at least the first dose!  Sooner rather than later, our church families will all have had both shots; and then in a matter of only two weeks after that great day, we’ll be able to gather more freely. In the meantime, we must be vigilant about wearing face coverings, washing our hands frequently, and staying a respectful distance from others; but, we’re oh-so-close to putting COVID-19 behind us and returning to normal.  Let’s not back off from prudent precautions too soon!  God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good!  He’s seen us this far, and he’s not about to leave us on our own!

Blessings as you travel your Lenten journey!

Karen and Greg

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

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Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that we’re enjoying a bit of a break from harsh winter weather, and let us be glad that many of our roads and sidewalks are free from ice!  That being said, let us not think that we’re free and clear of snow and ice until next November; there is still the strong likelihood of another snowstorm (or two, or three…) before we can put away the snow shovels and boots.

But there is much good news to celebrate this day; news reports this morning indicate that vaccine availability is rapidly improving, such that there will be enough doses for everyone who wants one well ahead of the original schedule.  Some of the restrictions we’ve been under here in Michigan are being lifted at the end of this week, and hopes are high for a more normal summer.  We’re not at the end of the COVID-19 road yet, but we’re getting closer day-by-day, and for that we should all be thankful.  So let us give thanks to God for seeing us through to this point, and let us give the glory to God for watching over us through the darkest days of the pandemic.  As always, we should be grateful beyond words for those on the front lines of the battle against the virus; medical professionals, first responders, researchers, the people who kept the store shelves stocked, and all who put themselves in harms’ way on our behalf.

We hope that you’re having a rich, meaningful observation of the Lenten season; we pray that the good news on the pandemic front helps ease any fears or concerns you may have, and that you can be even more narrowly focused on your relationship with Almighty God, Christ Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Blessings as you travel your Lenten journey!

Karen and Greg

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

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