Stewardship is the giving of time and talent, as well as treasure. Read about ways to give your talents and time in bringing in, building up and sending out disciples for Jesus Christ at Grace.
The Adult Education Committee
Proverbs 9:9 provides: “Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still; teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.”
Grace Church is blessed to have a committee whose mission is to provide instruction for the adult members of our congregation on a weekly basis. The Adult Education Committee, whose current chair is Christa Krout, arranges two or three adult education classes each week during the academic year, and one class each week during the summer, as well as year-round Bible study. Classes are conducted between the Sunday services, and a number of them continue over two or three Sundays.
Topics addressed during the adult education hour cover a broad range of subjects, from Bible study offering detailed discussion of rotating books of the Bible to discussions of current issues facing our local and national community. In addition to religious scholars, prior speakers have included health care professionals, attorneys, art experts, and elected officials from local governments. The committee brainstorms ideas for prospective topics and speakers at its monthly meetings. Parishioners volunteer ideas for presentations as well.
A relatively new initiative, jointly sponsored by the Adult Education Committee and the Children’s Religious Education Committee, is CAFÉ (“Coffee, Adult Fellowship and Education“), which is offered during the weeks when Sunday School classes are in session. CAFÉ is a Bible study for adults, and its topics parallel the Sunday School lessons the students are covering that week. According to Christa, CAFÉ has proven to be “immensely popular with parents of our Sunday School students.” The success of the “fellowship and educational opportunity” provided by CAFÉ has been “hugely rewarding” for committee members. More broadly, members surveyed for the recent Congregational Discovery project identified adult education as one of the offerings of the church that attract people to Grace.
Potential members of the Adult Education Committee do not need to have the phone numbers of Concordia University theology professors on speed dial to contribute to the committee. Christa notes that “a majority of our potential speakers have some connection to Grace” and that committee members take advantage of these connections in reaching out to speakers. In addition to arranging for the presentations, committee members rotate “hosting” responsibilities for each speaker, scheduling any audio-visual equipment, introducing the speaker, and following up with the presenter.
Information about adult education offerings can be found in the Weekly Announcements and in Grace Notes. Interested in discovering more about the Adult Education Committee? Contact Grace for more information.
The Social Ministry Committee: Caring for Our Brothers and Sisters
Serving on the Social Ministry Committee enables Grace member Galen Gockel to answer the biblical call to take care of those in need. Currently the committee chair, Galen talks about how this stewardship opportunity helps him use his time and talents.
In Matthew 25, Jesus was asked, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?" He responded, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Those words undergird the work of Grace's Social Ministry Committee in all its programs. You may have noticed some of our efforts: a food drive in June, a school supplies drive in August, a Christmas tree laden with gift tags for children, young moms and the elderly—all of these represent opportunities for you to share your blessings.
Our committee also provides opportunities for you to serve on-site.
▪ Sandwich-making at Fraternité de Notre Dame in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on the third Monday of the month
▪ Volunteering at the food pantry of Harmony Community Church in the Lawndale neighborhood, where our former youth director James Brooks is now pastor
▪ Helping out on specially designated Saturday mornings at the Greater Chicago Food Depository
As Galen observes, “Leaving our suburban ‘bubble’ makes real the many problems encountered daily by those living not many miles from our doorstep.”
Galen says it was “particularly gratifying” to deliver school supplies to Grace Lutheran School in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. He reports: “An inspiring band of teachers serves an all-Hispanic student body in a community where quality education is sorely needed.”