Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the first Wednesday in August that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the continuation of summer fun, and let us be glad that shorts and sandals remain the “uniform of the day” instead of flannel shirts and insulated boots!

There is much to celebrate this week!  First, it’s Nautical Festival time in Rogers City, with special events to enjoy and carnival rides to experience (if you’re willing…).  We invite all members of our church families to stop by the various venues and shops to celebrate our maritime heritage and support our local merchants –  and make sure to stop by Westminster Presbyterian Church for a homemade strawberry shortcake (remember, you couldn’t get one last year, so buy 2!!).  Second, the Grand Lake Community Chapel is preparing to celebrate 75 years of faithful service to God in the Presque Isle community; this is quite an accomplishment for a church that started out as an informal gathering of year-round and seasonal residents to worship our Lord and Savior, and is now a vibrant faith community that touches hundreds of people.

And as we celebrate festivals and anniversaries, let us also celebrate the loving and generous God that has made these, and all things, possible.  Amidst the excitement of the Nautical Festival and the joy of the diamond jubilee of the Grand Lake Community Chapel, please join us in stepping away for a moment, stilling our hearts and minds, and offering prayers of joyous thanksgiving for all the blessings we enjoy; join us in praising God for his love, in thanking Jesus Christ for his limitless grace, and in thanking the Holy Spirit for constant companionship.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,

And tell of His works with joyful singing. Psalm 107:22

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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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Tuesday, July 27, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the last Tuesday of July that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that the warm summer weeks are only halfway behind us, and let us be glad that we have several more weeks to enjoy the beauties of God’s marvelous Creation!  The weather has been pretty wild for the last few days of July, but we’re still able to be out and about without slipping and sliding around.  As Laura Ingalls Wilder once wrote: “Some old fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat,” and we couldn’t agree more!  Let’s get out there and enjoy fresh air, sunshine, warm(er) waters, and all the delights that summer has yet to offer us!

While we’re spending as much time as possible reveling in the Northeast Michigan summer, let us not lose sight of the One who has gifted us with all things, especially this place we call home (for at least part of the year).  We’ve touched on this a few times before, but it’s sometimes easy to overlook what a grand place we live in, and also to forget the source of it.  We invite you to be very intentional about giving thanks to God every time you see a sunrise, experience a moving sunset, or smile at the antics of an animal or bird; these events, and countless more, are priceless gifts from a loving God who wants only good things for us.  The least we can do is appreciate them.

We’ve all heard about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, and while it doesn’t seem to have yet become a major factor “up North,” we must be vigilant; hand washing, social distancing, and vaccinations (if medically possible) will help keep the Delta variant at bay, and prevent another round of lockdowns.  We’ve come so far, but we’re not in the clear just yet.  As always, God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11

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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 


Wednesday, July 7, 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 gentle, steady  rainfall that is freshening our gardens and lawns, and let us be glad that summer rains are inevitably followed by  sunshine and warm temperatures! As we all continue to enjoy summer in Northern Michigan, we’d like to let everyone  know that your pastors will be away for the next two weeks as we try to capture some last-minute family time before Justice heads off to college in August; there won’t be a weekly e-mail on July 14th or the 21st, but rest assured that the  offices at both Westminster and the Chapel will be staffed and able to respond to your calls and e-mails.  

As odd as it may seem to some of us, leisure is an often under-appreciated aspect of life; for the past several  years, if not decades, there has been a culture-wide emphasis on being busy. We’ve come to believe that if our children  aren’t in multiple after-school activities and summer enrichment programs, and that if we ourselves don’t have  calendars crammed full of meetings and events, that somehow we aren’t really living the “good life.” To that we say  “nuts!” Leisure, or play, if you prefer that word, is an absolutely essential part of life; we all need some down time, the  opportunity to be unproductive and inefficient every once in a while, and in our humble opinions, reading a good book  in a comfy chair is one of the best ways to spend those down time hours. And let us suggest that one of the good books  to spend some time with is the Holy Bible; every day, why not try reading a chapter or two and see what jumps out at  you? One of the truly fascinating aspects of reading our Bibles is that something new always presents itself, even if  we’re intimately familiar with the chapter we’re reading; almost as if God is speaking to us every time we open the  pages… As television news anchor, Anderson Cooper, once wrote “The mark of a good book is that it changes every time  you read it,” and the Bible is certainly a Good Book – right?? So consider adding the Bible to your summer reading list;  we promise that you won’t regret it! 

God bless you! 

Karen and Greg 

“Yet faith comes from listening to this Good News— the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17 

Grand Lake Community Chapel will be holding our VBS Sunday Service at 9 a.m. on July 11th in the BIG tent! All are invited. Please bring your favorite lawn chair and maybe a warm blanket as it will be sunny with a bit of a chill in the air! The Holy Spirit has been with us all week dodging rain drops, laughing and dancing, and listening to the heartfelt prayers of all our kids. Come and be with us!

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! On this last Wednesday of June, let us rejoice in  the upcoming holiday weekend, with celebrations, special gatherings, and cherished traditions being renewed. Let us be  glad that we are citizens of a free nation, so that our gatherings and celebrations are of our own design, and not those  prescribed by a faceless bureaucrat. And let us also rejoice and be glad that the pandemic has eased enough so that we  can be together for this special time of the year! 

While religious freedom isn’t explicitly stated as a reason for the quest to break away from Great Britain 245 years ago  (there were 27 specific reasons given in the Declaration of Independence), there can be no doubt that the founders  believed that the unalienable rights granted to men by their Creator were being set aside by King George and the  Parliament in England, and that God’s plan was for equal status for the colonists and their British brothers and sisters,  not the second-class status that was being imposed upon the colonies. It is good to stop and consider the bold acts  taken by our forbearers, which led to the freedoms we enjoy today, and to understand the tremendous risks they were  taking; we are the benefactors of their boldness, and we must not allow ourselves to take for granted the legacy they  left us. It has become fashionable in some circles to be dismissive of our national heritage, in part because it is not a  heritage of absolute perfection in all things, yet doing so dishonors the sacrifices made by countless men and women in  order that we might be free to worship as we wish, to travel freely across this great land, and to associate with  whomever we please. These are among the unalienable rights granted to us by Almighty God; let us never lose sight of  them. And let us always remember that God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! Have a wonderful  Fourth of July holiday! 

God bless you, 

Karen and Greg 

“God bless America, Land that I love, Stand beside her, And guide her, through the night with a light from above” from God Bless America

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the first Wednesday of summer, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us rejoice in bright sunshine this morning, and let us be glad for life-giving rain overnight! While it may be a bit on the cool side for some of us, this will most certainly  change in the coming days; and let’s be honest, how many people really like the combination of high temperatures and  humidity? 

It’s fascinating to watch the progression of the seasons, especially when it comes to the flora and fauna around us; in the  gardens at our house, we’ve watched the rose bushes go from spindly, almost-lifeless plants with brown branches and  no buds, to green branches with just the hint of buds and leaves, to fully-leaved bushes without flowers, to this  morning’s revelation of abundant foliage and magnificent flowers in bright red, yellow, and gleaming white. Glorious!!  In a way, our society’s emergence from the grip of COVID-19 parallels the development of our gardens; step-by-step,  day-by-day, until things became more lenient yesterday when the State of Michigan lifted all restrictions on gatherings  and dropped mask mandates. While we must remember that the virus (and its many variants) is still out there, and still  dangerous, but the fact remains that we can begin to reclaim much of life as we remember it from before the pandemic. 

The growth of our gardens, and our recovery from the pandemic, are fitting analogies for our faith walks through life; we  start out as kind of spindly believers, barren of the means to absorb spiritual energy from the Son because our leaves  aren’t developed. Then we grow stronger and more vibrant as we come to know more about God and his Son; the buds  of our leaves and flowers become apparent as we learn, and finally we burst out as robust, fully-flowered followers of  Christ Jesus in all our glory, showing the world how beautiful it is to walk with Christ; and hopefully encouraging others  to join us on the journey to forgiveness of sin and eternal life.  

God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! 

Karen and Greg

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 

Colossians 2:6-7

Church and Community Updates

 -GLUFP Food Pantry—Monday, June 28th at 1 p.m. in the Chapel parking lot. 

-GLCC Prayer Chain Ministry– We are updating the names of those who wish to be a part of this important ministry of  The Chapel. If you wish to be a part of the prayer team who prays for others as special concerns arise, please choose  whether you would like to participate by phone tree or email notification and then leave your name and contact  information with the office. (595-6073) Thank you! 

-GLCC Spotify Summer Playlist- To find the Chapel’s playlist for June, July, and August, download and install the Spotify  app from your Apple or Android Play Store. There is a FREE option available. Search for Pam Clarke Barkel and follow  her. Then search for Grand Lake Chapel Songs. ♫♪♫ 

Grand Lake Community Chapel COVID Protocol Change 

The Council of GLCC, in compliance with the decisions of the State of MI, has  opened our building and leaves mask wearing as a personal decision.

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the magnificent day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us rejoice in the clear blue skies  and gentle breeze, and let us be glad in the delightful temperature! On this, the last Wednesday in spring, we have been  blessed with an absolutely glorious day to be out and about in God’s wonderful Creation, so let’s get out there and  enjoy! 

The upcoming change of seasons, coinciding with Father’s Day this year, is a good time to take a moment or two to  reflect on our relationship with the God of our fathers. We have enjoyed God’s protection and guidance over the past  15 months or so, in the same way that our earthly fathers (and father figures) protect and guide us in our youth and  beyond. God wrapped his arms around us, as did our Dads, to keep us safe and secure when we were frightened. Much  like a butterfly in its chrysalis, the pandemic wound itself around our lives, tightly confining us in the protective cocoons  of our homes, and now we are ready to emerge and spread our wings to the world. There can be no doubt that the  world’s ongoing recovery from COVID is the work of God’s hands, guiding the activities of researchers and caregivers to  bring forth vaccines and treatments; and there can be no doubt that all of us are beyond ready to take flight, and  reengage with family and friends. Make no mistake, the virus is still out there, so we must still be cautious and  respectful of others in maintaining a bit of social distance and wearing face coverings if asked to do so, but we are able  to do so many more things than were available to us even a few weeks ago – that’s something to celebrate! 

God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! 

Karen and Greg 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel

Wednesday, June 9, 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 summer-like  weather we’ve been enjoying, and let us be glad that the humidity levels have dropped a bit! As we write this  morning, the sky is a brilliant shade of blue, and there’s a fresh breeze blowing, making for a comfortable  morning. Yes, we need some rain, and the forecast seems to promise a bit of liquid relief in the coming days,  but for now, if you’re able, get outside and enjoy! 

As we draw ever-closer to those “lazy, hazy days of summer,” we invite you to try to set aside time  every day to be quiet and listen for the still, small voice of God. We are blessed with so many beautiful places  to step away from the busyness of life, and to settle ourselves for a few moments; beaches, trails, harbors,  lighthouses, and more beckon us to come and “set a spell.” We’ve been through so much due to the  pandemic, and many of us feel some pressure to try to make up for lost time, to try to cram as much activity  into each day as is humanly possible, but we urge you to resist the temptation to overload your days with  events and gatherings, and take advantage of the incomparable gift of peace. We’re certain that you’ll find  yourself better-equipped to face whatever comes your way, and most importantly, you’ll be so much closer to  your God for having spent quiet time with him. As always, God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is  good! 

In Christ! 

Karen and Greg 

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;  my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

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, June 2, 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 clear, blue skies, bright sunshine, and comfortably warm temperatures.  Let us be glad that summer is upon us, and the magnificence of Northern Michigan awaits our presence.  Sometimes it’s worth stopping whatever we’re doing to consider that we live where people come for vacation; it’s so very easy to take that little factoid for granted, as the everyday events and concerns of life squeeze out some of the joy of living in God’s Country, so let us encourage you to seek out the surprises and delights that are part and parcel of living where we do!

Let us rejoice and be glad in loosening restrictions, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to release us from its grip; case numbers in Michigan are falling rapidly, and nearly 60% of the eligible population have received at least one dose of a vaccine.  If all goes according to plan, by July 1 all restrictions will be removed, and life as we remember it can return; although life will never be quite the same.  The pandemic has changed us, in ways large and small, and in those changes we can see the hand of God at work.  We’re less inwardly-focused now, our sense of community has been rekindled, and we are more aware of our vulnerabilities.  For many of us, life has become more precious, and we’re a bit more patient with others (and ourselves).  The pandemic has taught us that no matter how hard life may seem, because we are being inconvenienced by constraints or the seeming lack of necessities, those things that we truly need are always available.  We’ve learned to trust in God in a way that many of us had forgotten, and we’ve learned to trust in the kindness and generosity of others in ways that some of us never have before.  Make no mistake, the past 14 months have been unpleasant at best, but that does not mean that God has not been present; all the evidence points to the fact that he’s been on this journey with us every step of the way.  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6

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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, May 26, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  In spite of the up-and-down temperatures, let us rejoice in springtime weather and the spectacular colors and smells of the season, as flowers bloom, barbeque grills work their magic, and the aroma of freshly-mown lawns fills the air!  Let us be glad in the upcoming holiday weekend, and the 100 days of summer that will follow!

This coming Monday marks the Memorial Day holiday, a day on which we will pause to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.  From its very humble beginnings as a day of remembrance for Union soldiers who died in the Civil War, to its current status as one of the biggest holiday celebrations on the calendar (and also the unofficial beginning of summer), Memorial Day presents us with the opportunity to stop, remember, and give thanks; not only to those who wore the uniform of the nation, but to all those who have touched our lives and are no longer with us.  Please, in between the parades and picnics, make the time to be still and remember.

Sunday is Trinity Sunday, celebrating God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; three manifestations of the Almighty from one substance.  It’s also the last major feast day of the church year until Christ the King Sunday, which marks the beginning of Advent.  We joyfully look forward to seeing as many of you as are comfortable being out-and-about on Sunday morning; and we give thanks that the pandemic is slowly but surely releasing its grip on our lives!  As always, God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! God bless you!

Karen and Greg

I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did,  with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3

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-GLCC Women’s Guild—All women are invited to attend on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.  Bring a sack lunch. If the weather permits, we hope to meet outdoors, so be sure to bring a lawn chair and we’ll have a picnic.

-GLUFP Food Pantry—Monday, June 14th at 1 p.m. in the Chapel parking lot.

– WPC Stephen Ministry Announcement – Westminster Presbyterian Church has agreed to join this world-wide, interdenominational ministry. What is it exactly? “A Stephen Minister is a member of the congregation who is trained to listen, care, encourage, pray, and walk alongside you during difficult times.  It is confidential, free, and very helpful.”  Stephen Ministry leaders will be trained in July to begin the program in the fall.  If you are interested and/or want more information, please contact Carrie Wilson (734-355-0780) or Sharon Rocker ( 989-766-2131). Training will begin in September.
— “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”—John 13:34b

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL Hey kids, VBS is back this year!  So, mark your calendars for July 5-9, call your friends and plan on boarding the Rocky Railroad and having a wonderful week learning about Jesus! There will be songs, games, crafts, and snacks. Make sure to get a registration form from the Chapel office. 

VBS Helpers are Needed It takes a lot of extra helping hands to conduct a week of VBS.  Abbey-jo needs assistance with student registration, extra people to work with the younger children, and also help in the kitchen.  If you could offer some of your time, please call Abbey-jo at 464-4445.

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, May 19, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the Wednesday before Pentecost that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that the Holy Spirit filled the disciples and the crowds in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, and brought the church of Jesus Christ to life!  And let us be glad that we are a part of the ongoing story of the church in our time; let us be glad that the same Holy Spirit empowers us to share the Good News, to live into the hope and promise of the Resurrection of Our Lord, and to live fully and joyfully every day because we are privileged to walk with Christ on life’s’ incredible journey!

Let us also rejoice and be glad that spring has finally taken a firm hold of the weather, that flowers are in bloom and trees are budding out, and that those of us who put away our snow-fighting gear a few weeks ago no longer fear the retribution of our friends!  And let us rejoice in the steadily-improving COVID-19 situation, with infection rates and deaths falling rapidly in state; so much so that mask mandates are being canceled for those fully vaccinated, and restrictions on the size of gatherings are being eased.  These are things to truly celebrate, as they indicate we are getting closer to a return to life more-or-less the way it used to be.  The leadership at both of the churches are in the process of revising the COVID protocols that have been in place, and we ask for your patience as we discern the best next steps.

In the meantime, we invite you to join us this Sunday on the Day of Pentecost, resplendent in your red finery, as the Holy Spirit ushers in a new season of the church year!  And we’ll thank you in advance for not thinking of your pastors when the Scripture is read that describes the Holy Spirit as a “mighty wind.” Emoji

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Acts 2:1-2

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