7800 West County Road 42
Apple Valley, Minnesota

Pastor’s Article, September 2017

Wow! So much happening, so many opportunities, so much ministry taking place. In a few days we will enter September, and with that a new school year and all that implies.

First, our congregational prayers and discussions often center on the public conversations we are having in our nation about racism, privilege and hateful rhetoric. Why do we bring those conversations into church? Because we witness in our words and deeds to the presence and reconciling ministry of Christ; that is what we are called to do in this time and place. It is so important and hence, we are bold to reflect upon and challenge one another toward greater love of our neighbors.

Second, we are entering three months (September-October-November) of concentrated effort on our Mortgage Reduction/Organ Appeal. We have again contracted The James Company to help us reach our goal of $1 million over the next three years. Such an appeal will allow us to continue making our monthly payments on our mortgage and purchase a new organ, which is badly needed. You will be hearing more in September and October about this wonderful appeal.

Third, we will be having some staff changes at Grace in the coming months. Pat Johnson, one of our office staff of over three decades, will be retiring at the end of this year. We remain so grateful for her long and faithful service to Grace; more details on her send-off later. Beginning part-time in September, transitioning to full-time in January, is Jared Rendell. Jared will join our staff as the Director of Communications, Marketing and Information Technology. Jared also will continue leading our Wednesday contemporary worship band, GraceAbounds. He will assume some of Pat’s responsibilities, and add others regarding social media and marketing.

Yes! So much is happening, not to mention the ongoing ministry we share in worship, education, service and fellowship. On Rally Sunday, September 10, worship and Grace Bible School return at 8:45 and 10:15 a.m. On Wednesday, September 13, worship and Grace Bible School return at 5:45-6:45 p.m., and Confirmation meets 6:45-8:00 p.m. See you in worship!

John W. Matthews
P.S. Did I mention that our 10th grandchild is coming in December?


  1. Richard Russell

    In past Cider Press I have been able to download and print my PDF copy at home for Ginger to read as she has some difficulty reading on line. I am now unable to find a link to download a newsletter and will need to pick up a paper copy at the church office. Is it possible to also print from my home computer?

    • Dick, please ask Laurel or Pr. Andrea about this; they know the procedure better than me???? Thanks for asking.

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