COVID-19
August 8, 2020

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. For the specifics of in-person worship at Grace during Phase 3 of Virginia's Reopening, please click here.

Holy Communion will be celebrated at the 7:30 p.m. Monday service.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. The Bible study is taking a look at the New Testament Book of First Corinthians. Andy Miller is leading the study. You can reach him here for Zoom login information, or to ask any questions that you may have about the study.

TOMORROW, after the 11:15 a.m. service (so about 12:00 noon), Grace will hold a Farewell Reception for Vicar Tim & Ruth Walsh, and their children--Eliana and Henry. You are invited! Later next week the Walshes will depart for Vicar Tim's last year at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

On account of the ramifications of COVID-19, this farewell reception will be different than previous vicar farewell receptions. Instead of meeting in the Fellowship Room, we'll gather outside on the parking lot (for social distancing reasons). And unfortunately we won't be able to share in any reception cake or beverages. However, we will be able to say our "good byes" and "God's blessings" to the Walshes. Additionally, Grace is giving you the opportunity to share any thank-you cards, notes, monetary gifts (or otherwise) with the Walshes. You may bring these items to the farewell, or if you will not be attending in person, you can mail any cards, notes, gifts, etc. to Grace. Please address them in the following way:

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
3233 Annandale Road
Falls Church, Virginia 22042

Any cards, notes, gifts, etc. will be passed on to the Walshes.

Grace is collecting non-perishable household goods (cleaning supplies, paper goods, canned and boxed foods, etc.) as a means of welcoming Grace's new vicar--David Young. If you wish to give a gift card to a local retailer or grocery store instead of actual "goods," you are welcome to do that. If you wish to contribute, items will be collected at Grace from today through August 24. Place them on the table in the Fellowship Room marked "Welcome Vicar Young!"

A Memorial Service for Jim Beckmann, whose soul the Lord called to heaven on Friday, June 19, will be held at Grace this Thursday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m.

New editions of Meditations and Forward in Christ are available at Grace. If you'd like one or both of them mailed to you, please reach out to Grace's Administrative Assistant, Tricia Visscher, at churchadmin@gracefallschurch.org or 703-534-1719.

Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


August 5, 2020

This Sunday, August 9, after the 11:15 a.m. service (so about 12:00 noon), Grace will hold a Farewell Reception for Vicar Tim & Ruth Walsh, and their children--Eliana and Henry. You are invited! Later next week the Walshes will depart for Vicar Tim's last year at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

On account of the ramifications of COVID-19, this farewell reception will be different than previous vicar farewell receptions. Instead of meeting in the Fellowship Room, we'll gather outside on the parking lot (for social distancing reasons). And unfortunately we won't be able to share in any reception cake or beverages. However, we will be able to say our "good byes" and "God's blessings" to the Walshes. Additionally, Grace is giving you the opportunity to share any thank-you cards, notes, monetary gifts (or otherwise) with the Walshes. You may bring these items to the farewell, or if you will not be attending in person, you can mail any cards, notes, gifts, etc. to Grace. Please address them in the following way:

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
3233 Annandale Road
Falls Church, Virginia 22042

At the reception, any cards, notes, gifts, etc. will be passed on to the Walshes.

New editions of Meditations and Forward in Christ are available at Grace. If you'd like one or both of them mailed to you, please reach out to Grace's Administrative Assistant, Tricia Visscher, at churchadmin@gracefallschurch.org or 703-534-1719.

Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Both Pastor Satorius and I will be out of town tomorrow - Saturday. If you need immediate pastoral assistance, please contact us on our cell phones (Pastor Satorius - 703-677-7269; Pastor Wattles - 703-839-2489).
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---


August 1, 2020

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. For the specifics of in-person worship at Grace during Phase 3 of Virginia's Reopening, please click here.

Holy Communion will be celebrated tomorrow at the 9:30 a.m. service.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. The Bible study is taking a look at the New Testament Book of First Corinthians. Andy Miller is leading the study. You can reach him here for Zoom login information, or to ask any questions that you may have about the study.

New editions of Meditations and Forward in Christ are available at Grace. If you'd like one or both of them mailed to you, please reach out to Grace's Administrative Assistant, Tricia Visscher, at churchadmin@gracefallschurch.org or 703-534-1719.

Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


July 29, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tonight the last session of the virtual Bible study, "The Very First Christian Sermons," meets via Zoom, 7:00-8:15 p.m. Login and study guide information can be here. You're invited to join tonight's study!

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


July 26, 2020

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. For the specifics of in-person worship at Grace during Phase 3 of Virginia's Reopening, please click here.

Holy Communion will be celebrated tomorrow at the 11:15 a.m. service.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. This will be the first session of a brand new study on the New Testament Book of First Corinthians! Andy Miller will lead the study. You can reach him here for more information.

"The First Christian Sermons" online Bible study will take place Wednesday, 7:00-8:15 p.m. You can find out more information about this Bible study and how to participate in it, by clicking here.

Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles

 
July 22, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tonight the online Bible study, "The Very First Christian Sermons," meets via Zoom, 7:00-8:15 p.m. Login and study guide information can be here. You're invited to join tonight's study!

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


July 18, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I think this afternoon's weather is an example of "the dog days of summer"--those hot, humid days that come in July and August. Wherever this message finds you on this "dog day," I hope it finds you well!

Today's UPDATE is a short one. These things:

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. For the specifics of in-person worship at Grace during Phase 3 of Virginia's Reopening, please click here.

Holy Communion will be celebrated tomorrow at the 8:00 a.m. service.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.

"The First Christian Sermons" online Bible study will take place Wednesday, 7:00-8:15 p.m. You can find out more information about this Bible study and how to participate in it, by clicking here.

Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


July 15, 2020


Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Why is there a picture of a storage container at the top of this UPDATE? And the next time you are at Grace, why will you see this storage container on Grace's parking lot? Grace Christian Academy is beginning classes on August 26! Although August 26th is more than a month away, Grace Christian Academy is preparing to welcome students back to campus on that date. Part of those preparations include removing as many non-essential items as possible from GCA's classrooms so that as many students as possible can be seated in the classrooms in a healthy and safe way. Now you know why the storage container is on Grace's parking lot (so that the extra classroom items can be stored in the container). Please pray for God's blessings of good health and safety for all as GCA prepares for classes to resume!

"The Very First Christian Sermons" Bible study takes place tonight, 7:00-8:15 p.m. via Zoom. You're invited to participate! Zoom login information and tonight's study guide can be found here.

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles

July 11, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. For the specifics of in-person worship at Grace during Phase 3 of Virginia's Reopening, please click here.

Holy Communion will be celebrated at Monday Evening Worship on July 13. The start time for that service is 7:30 p.m.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.
 
Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. is Grace's 4th Annual Ministry Celebration Event! On account of COVID-19, this event will be conducted differently than in previous years. This year all attendees are invited to bring their own food, beverages, eating utensils, chairs, blankets, etc. for a picnic-style event on the parking lot and green space at Grace. We'll appropriately socially distance ourselves, but still enjoy each other's company and the great outdoors on a beautiful summer afternoon.

Grace will also hold a Voters Meeting TOMORROW, 7:30-9:00 p.m. You're invited to participate! There will be two ways that you can participate--in person in the sanctuary, or online via Zoom. Watch your email tomorrow for Zoom login information, as well as an electronic "meeting information packet."

"The First Christian Sermons" online Bible study will take place Wednesday, 7:00-8:15 p.m. You can find out more information about this Bible study and how to participate in it, by clicking here.

Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


July 8, 2020

Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

This week's edition of the online Bible study, "The Very First Christian Sermons," takes on a different look (Vicar Tim is out of town). Information for this week's edition of "The Very First Christian Sermons" can be found here. You're invited to be involved!

You are invited to the 4th Annual Ministry Celebration Event this Sunday, July 12, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Grace. On account of COVID-19, this event will be conducted differently than in previous years. This year all attendees are invited to bring their own food, beverages, eating utensils, chairs, blankets, etc. for a picnic-style event on the parking lot and green space at Grace. We'll appropriately socially distance ourselves, but still enjoy each other's company and the great outdoors on a beautiful summer afternoon.

Following the Ministry Celebration Event, Grace will have its mid-year Voters Meeting, 7:30-9:00 p.m. There will be two ways you can participate in this event. If you are still on Grace's campus and want to participate in the sanctuary (the location from which the meeting will be Zoomed), you are welcome to do that. If you prefer to participate from home, that option will be available as well since the meeting will take place via Zoom.

A Memorial Service for Jim Beckmann, whose soul the Lord called to heaven on Friday, June 19, will be held on Thursday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Grace.

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


 
July 4, 2020 

Grace Family,
 
Happy 4th of July! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Holy Communion will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. For the specifics of in-person worship at Grace during Phase 3 of Virginia's Reopening, please click here.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here. Regarding the live streams, I want to let you know that we are aware of the trouble with last Sunday's 9:30 a.m. live stream. We have been working with Grace's technology service provider and Grace's internet provider to resolve the issue. While I believe we are making headway, we may not have yet reached the point of complete resolution. Without going into all the details, I'll just say, "It's a tricky issue." And with that, I'm also asking for your patience as we continue to work to resolve the issue. This certainly isn't our desire that this trouble would be occurring. In terms of when might be this trouble be fixed once and for all, my hope is that by Sunday, July 12 this issue is behind us. In the meantime, if there is trouble viewing the 9:30 a.m. live stream tomorrow, here are some options:
--View the 9:30 a.m. service at a later time. One of the interesting things about the problem with the 9:30 a.m. live stream is that it only affects the 9:30 a.m. live stream while it is actually live streaming. The recording of the service, which can be viewed at any time later, does not have the issue. Additionally, the 9:30 a.m. live stream is the only live streamed event affected. The 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. live streams are fine, as are the Monday-Saturday Psalms devotionals.
--View the 11:15 a.m. live stream instead of the 9:30 a.m. live stream.

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. Andy Miller will lead the study. You can reach him here for more information.

"The First Christian Sermons" online Bible study will take place again this week. However, this week the format for the Bible study will be different. Please watch your email for more details.

Please keep in mind that you are invited to Grace's 4th Annual Ministry Celebration Event next Sunday, July 12, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Grace. On account of COVID-19, this event will be conducted differently than in previous years. This year all attendees are invited to bring their own food, beverages, eating utensils, chairs, blankets, etc. for a picnic-style event on the parking lot and green space at Grace. We'll appropriately socially distance ourselves, but still enjoy each other's company and the great outdoors on a beautiful summer afternoon.

Grace will also hold a Voters Meeting next Sunday, 7:30-9:00 p.m. You're invited to participate! There will be two ways that you can participate--in person in the sanctuary, or online via Zoom. Watch your email for more details as next Sunday's Voters Meeting draws closer.
 
Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Finally, given that today is a national holiday to recognize our nation's independence and the freedoms and blessings associated with that, I close this UPDATE with a prayer.

Gracious and Almighty God, as our country celebrates the anniversary of its Independence Day, the words of a hymn come to mind: “O God, our help in ages past, our Hope for years to come.” We give you thanks for the many freedoms that we enjoy in this nation. Stir within us the understanding that along with freedom comes responsibility. To that end, make each of us willing to serve one another in love and to obey the laws of the United States. Bless and guide all who hold positions of leadership in our government at the local, state, and national levels. May their governance be in line with your will. Restore to good health those who are suffering from COVID-19 and other ailments. Grant that an effective vaccine for "the virus" be brought to the citizenry of this country and others--quickly! May our financial institutions remain secure. Strengthen our economy. Bless our fields that they may produce abundant harvests. Guard us from the calamities of nature. Grant the blessing of peace to our country so that your gospel may continue to be proclaimed without hindrance in order that hearts can be turned from the captivity of sin to the joy of the freedom that Jesus has earned and freely gives. We ask for all these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


July 1, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

TONIGHT, from 7:00 - 8:15 p.m., the Zoom Bible study, "The Very First Christian Sermons" meets. You are invited to participate! Zoom login information for this study, as well as the guide for the study, can be found here.

You are invited to the 4th Annual Ministry Celebration Event on Sunday, July 12, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Grace. On account of COVID-19, this event will be conducted differently than in previous years. This year all attendees are invited to bring their own food, beverages, eating utensils, chairs, blankets, etc. for a picnic-style event on the parking lot and green space at Grace. We'll appropriately socially distance ourselves, but still enjoy each other's company and the great outdoors on a beautiful summer afternoon.

Following the Ministry Celebration Event, Grace will have its mid-year Voters Meeting, 7:30-9:00 p.m. There will be two ways you can participate in this event. If you are still on Grace's campus and want to participate in the sanctuary (the location from which the meeting will be Zoomed), you are welcome to do that. If you prefer to participate from home, that option will be available as well since the meeting will take place via Zoom.

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


June27, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tomorrow, Grace will offer in-person worship. For the current particulars on in-person worship at Grace, please click here.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams here gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. Andy Miller will lead the study. You can reach him here for more information.

Wednesday, July 1, 7:00-8:15 p.m., offers another meeting of the multi-session Bible study, "The First Christian Sermons." You're invited to participate! More information can be found here.
 
Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


June 18, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good morning! I hope this message finds all of you well!

I thank God for the many of you--and many others--who continue to worship at Grace via the live streams. I also thank God for the 132 souls who worshiped in-person this past Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. You'll have the opportunity to join your hearts together in faith once again this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday--as well as via the live streams at 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.

This coming Sunday will also offer a farewell for Grace's outgoing principal/development director--Patrick Hurley, and Grace's outgoing K4-K5 teacher, Kari Hurley. About noon we'll gather on the parking lot near the flag pole for some farewell words for the Hurleys and a few other things. You are invited to participate in this farewell event. Social distancing will be observed.

Wednesday, June 24, from 7:00 - 8:15 p.m., will be the first gathering of a multi-week Zoom Bible study titled, "The Very First Christian Sermons." Vicar Tim will guide participants through an exploration of the earliest sermons in Christianity, as God had them recorded in the Book of Acts. Zoom login information for this study will be provided closer to June 24. You are invited to participate in this Zoom Bible study! And to whet your appetite for this, please read the following synopsis of this study:
 

We've all heard plenty of sermons. Sermons on the New Testament, the Gospels, the Old Testament… all pointing us to Jesus and what he has done for us.

But what if the New Testament hadn't been written yet? What if the Gospels weren't yet written down, but were still only the oral testimony of the eyewitnesses? And what if nearly no one you spoke to had ever heard the name "Jesus"? What would preaching look like?

This is exactly the situation of the early church as we find it in the book of Acts. These first Christians have been called by God's grace and given the privilege of sharing that grace found in Jesus with others. As we study their words and their proclamation of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit's powerful work we'll see Jesus in the Old Testament as clearly as they saw him; we'll learn how to introduce Jesus to someone who has never met him; and we'll see how the good news of what he has done continually strengthens and empowers us for our work.

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


June 13, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tomorrow, Grace will continue to offer in-person worship. For the current particulars on in-person worship at Grace, please click here.
 
Grace will also continue to live stream worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams here gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here. Last Sunday's live streams experienced some audio troubles. We believe that the issue causing that has been remedied.

Tomorrow you'll see some live flowers on Grace's altar for the first time since March 16 (the last in-person service with flowers on the altar before COVID-19 restrictions began). Tomorrow's altar flowers are given by James & Rachel Dankert with thanks to God at the celebration of their 5th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, James & Rachel!

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)! If you haven't watched an episode yet, please check it out! Kody (a puppet) and Mr. Matt will put a smile on your face and proclaim Jesus into your ears!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. Andy Miller will lead the study. You can reach him here for more information.

Next Sunday, June 21, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Grace will hold a farewell for Patrick & Kari Hurley (Grace's outgoing Principal/Development Director and K4-K5 teacher, respectively). For social distancing reasons, the farewell will take place outside on the parking lot. You are invited to come and say, "Good bye!" and "God's blessings!" to the Hurleys as they depart for teaching ministry in Texas.
 
Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


June 6, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

Tonight, tomorrow, and Monday, Grace returns to in-person worship. For the particulars on Grace's return to in-person worship, please click here.
 
Grace will continue live streamed services tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (English Traditional), 11:15 a.m. (English Contemporary), and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish). You can find the English live streams here gracefallschurch.org/stream. The Spanish live stream can be accessed here.

A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE (online Summer Sunday School--with puppets!) will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live)! If you haven't watched an episode yet, please check it out! Kody (a puppet) and Mr. Matt will put a smile on your face and proclaim Jesus into your ears!
 
You're invited to participate in a virtual Bible study tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. Andy Miller will lead the study. You can reach him here for more information.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Grace tomorrow, between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.--and are feeling hungry--we have a couple take-out food options for you. Two food trucks will be just around the corner from Grace at Beech Tree Elementary School (3401 Beechtree Lane).  Miso Honey (Asian gourmet) and Captain Cookie and the Milk Man (delicious cookies and ice cream treats) will be available to meet your hunger-satisfying needs. For contact free order/payment: Miso Honey - https://gourmettrucks.square.site/s/order#4 (Just the Miso Honey menu, NOT Burgorilla). List pickup location as Beechtree, and indicate the time you'll be picking up under. (Pre-orders are recommended for this truck.) For Captain Cookie, please email your order before 2:00 p.m. on June 7th to: events@captaincookiedc.com Or order at the truck.
 
Please feel free to make use of Grace's pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.). Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to help you however we may be able to. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


June 3, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this UPDATE finds you well.
 
In recent UPDATES it has been mentioned that Grace will resume in-person worship on June 6, 7, and 8. The worship schedule will be:
 
            Saturday, June 6 @ 6:00 p.m. Spanish Service
 
            Sunday, June 7 @ 8:00 a.m. English Traditional Service
                                          9:30 a.m. English Traditional Service
                                          11:15 a.m. English Contemporary Service
                                          12:30 p.m. Spanish Service
 
            Monday, June 8 @ 7:30 p.m. English Monday Evening Service
 
Holy Communion will be offered at all the services. Communion will be provided via prepackaged, individual wafer (regular or gluten-free) / wine (or grape juice) units that worshipers will pick up as they enter the sanctuary. There will be no “walking” movement of the worshipers to receive the sacrament. Worshipers will commune in the pews.
 
The 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. services will continue to be live streamed.
 
As Grace resumes in-person worship, we do so following Governor Northam’s mandates and reasonable recommended best practices for houses of worship during Phase 1 of the Governor’s Reopening Plan. In doing so, Grace echoes the Governor’s phrase, “Safer at Home.” While Grace invites all healthy, able-bodied worshipers to ultimately return to in-person worship, at the present time and until the health threats associated with COVID-19 subside, Grace:
  • Directs those who know they are ill or are not feeling well to remain home.
  • Discourages those who are senior citizens or are at high risk from attending worship.
 Please! Please! Please! Do not feel any guilt about not attending church at this time! God understands the present situation! Please continue to enjoy worship at Grace through the live streams.
 
If you will be attending worship at Grace on June 6, 7, 8, some things to know about your return to Grace:
 
  • All worshipers will be required to enter Grace’s facility through the parking lot glass doors. Those doors will be open for worshipers to enter at 5 minutes prior to each service.
  • All worshipers age 10 and above are required to wear masks in Grace’s facility. This is in accordance with Governor Northam’s requirement for mask-wearing in public buildings, such as houses of worship.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available at the entrance to the building and the sanctuary, as well as at other locations throughout the facility.
  • Upon entering Grace, worshipers should go directly to the sanctuary and be seated.
  • Those entering the sanctuary first will be directed to sit at the front of the sanctuary. The sanctuary will be filled from the front to the back. Worshipers will also be directed to sit in the pews according to social distance guidelines (singles: 6 feet apart from each other; families may sit together in the same pew). Only every-other-pew will be available for seating (for social distancing reasons).
  • If the sanctuary reaches Phase 1 seating capacity, the Fellowship Room will be used for overflow seating (with appropriate social distancing). Audio/video of the live service will be available on the large screen in the Fellowship Room.
  • There will be no worship folders, pens, or Connect Cards available for use during the services. All necessary worship information will be displayed on the screens. Hymnals, songbooks, and Bibles have been removed from the pews.
  • Collection plates will not be passed. Those wishing to offer a financial gift at worship will be able to do so by using the collection plates positioned at the entrance to the sanctuary.
  • The services will be shorter than the “usual” in-person services at Grace. This is to allow enough time for the sanctuary to be disinfected between each service.
  • The sanctuary will be disinfected by Grace’s contracted cleaning company between each service. While the services are being conducted, this company will clean all high touch areas and restrooms throughout the rest of the building. The entire GCA hallway will be blocked off on Sundays. The water fountains will also be blocked from use.
  • There will be no snacks or refreshments served. Sunday School and Bible studies will not meet in-person. There will be no Choir rehearsal. There will be no fellowshipping allowed in the Fellowship Room. For those who wish to talk with others after worship, the parking lot is available for this—with appropriate social distancing being practiced.
  • At the conclusion of each service, worshipers will be directed to exit the facility through the glass doors at the sanctuary entrance. Those who need to use the elevator to exit will be allowed to do so. Worshipers will leave the sanctuary from back-to-front, in order to observe appropriate social distancing.
 
We recognize that what you just read through may seem like a lot of “rules” to go to church. May all of us recognize that “church in this way” will be just for a short time considering the length of our lives—and certainly from the perspective of eternity. Additionally, we do these things out of an abundance of caution and for the good of the health of all of us. Jesus said, “Above all, love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8). Worshiping in this way, at this time, is giving practical application to those words. God had Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:3-4, “In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastors Wattles & Satorius


May 23, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well on this Saturday of Memorial Day weekend!
 
We'll continue rejoicing in our Risen and Living Savior with live streamed worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You can join in at gracefallschurch.org/stream.

Children of Grace! A brand new edition of Sunday Morning LIVE will be available tomorrow at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org/live), on YouTube (Grace Falls Church), and at Facebook (GraceFallsChurchVA).
 
Grace currently has a couple virtual Bible studies in which you are invited to participate. One is the God's Word for God's People Bible Study.  That group meets Sundays at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. If you're interested in participating, you can reach out to the leader (Andy Miller) here. The group is currently examining the excellent confession of the Christian faith called "The Apostles' Creed."
 
There's also the Wednesday Night Virtual Bible Study & Discussion. That will take place this Wednesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Login information for the study & discussion, as well as the guide for the study, will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.
A recent annual tradition at Grace on Memorial Day weekend has been the Lutheran Military Support Group Ammo Can that has served as a collection point for financial gifts for the important work that Lutheran Military Support Group (LMSG) does. To find out about that work, please click on lutheranmilitary.org. Because we're not gathering in person at Grace at this time for worship, the "ammo can tradition" isn't going to work this year. However, there are a couple other ways that one can financially support the work of LMSG. One can make a gift to support LMSG via PayPal or by writing a check directly to LMSG. Information for both these giving avenues is found here.

This past Thursday was Assignment Day at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (the seminary from which Grace receives all of its vicars). Grace was assigned another vicar--David Young. David will begin his vicarship at Grace about mid-August, just after Vicar Walsh and his family return to seminary for Vicar Tim's final year of pastoral training. Former Grace vicar Paul Bourman was assigned to pastor Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Tigard, OR (a suburb of Portland). Chris Royce was assigned to pastor Messiah Lutheran Church, Olympia, WA. We are thankful to God for blessing Grace with another vicar. We also ask for God's blessings upon the Bourman family and the Royce family as they begin their respective ministries.

You might be wondering, "Who is Chris Royce and why are you telling us about him?" Well, if you asked Chris what is something that inspired him to be a pastor, he would place his multi-year participation as a volunteer at Grace's Summer Bible Camp high on the list! BTW, Chris also met his wife while volunteering at SBC!

Next Sunday, May 31, through a virtual Confirmation Service at 4:00 p.m., Grace will celebrate Youth Confirmation! You'll be able to watch! Login information for the Zoom event will be emailed prior to the virtual service.
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles



May 20, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good morning! I hope this message finds all of you well!

This past Sunday night, Grace called Emily Menges to serve as K4/K5 teacher at Grace Christian Academy for the 2020-2021 school year. Emily is a member of Grace with several years of elementary school teaching experience. Emily has accepted Grace's Call to serve. Welcome to the Grace Christian Academy teaching team, Emily! We pray God's blessings upon your teaching ministry!

TONIGHT (Wednesday, May 20) you are invited to participate in a virtual Bible study and discussion, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDT). The study and discussion will be based on this past Sunday's message (the Bible lesson for which was 1 Corinthians 15:7). If you are going to participate in this study and discussion, it will be helpful for you to have viewed Sunday's message, which you can find here. This afternoon the guide for tonight’s study and discussion will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.
 
Tonight’s study and discussion will be hosted by Zoom. You can participate via videoconferencing or by telephone. You’ll join the Bible study and discussion at: https://zoom.us/j/94162066859. The meeting i.d. is 941 6206 6859. Or one-tap mobile: +16465588656,,94162066859#

And speaking of Zoom...Zoom is currently pushing out a software update. If you are a Zoom user, you'll want to update Zoom by the end of May. If you don't, your Zoom software won't work appropriately. Regarding Grace, that means you won't be able to participate in any meetings, Bible studies, etc. that use Zoom. To update Zoom is easy. Usually the way it works is when you leave a Zoom meeting, Zoom asks you if you want to run the update. Click "Yes," and in a minute or two the update will be installed. Easy stuff.

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care (private Communion, counseling, etc.) to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Finally, in previous UPDATEs I mentioned that Grace is assessing what a return to in-person worship would look like for our congregation. The earliest that Grace will return to in-person worship would be Sunday, June 7. However, that could be pushed back. Much of Grace's return to in-person worship is dependent upon Virginia Governor Northam's order that Northern Virginia must have progressed to Phase 1 re-opening before houses of worship can return to in-person worship (with certain mandates and restrictions). As Grace's potential return to in-person worship becomes clearer and draws closer, more information will be provided to you.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles



May 16, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good morning! I hope this message finds all of you well on this Saturday!
 
We'll continue rejoicing in our Risen and Living Savior with live streamed worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You can join in at gracefallschurch.org/stream.

Some of you have mentioned to us that you've had difficulty with Grace's live streams at Facebook Live. Here's a couple things on that: The issues you are experiencing are on Facebook's end of things, not Grace's. The shorter explanation for that is the amount of traffic that Facebook Live is trying to deal with at that time, as well as the higher bandwidth used by Grace's live streams (Grace using higher bandwidth gives you, the viewer/listener, a better experience. Using less bandwidth will give you a lesser experience in picture and sound). And so with these things said, here's our recommendation: If the difficulties you are experiencing with Facebook Live are too troublesome, switch to YouTube. When it comes to live streaming and videos on the internet, this is why YouTube exists. Because of that, YouTube is able to offer a better experience for live streaming. You can find Grace on YouTube by searching, "Grace Falls Church."

Children of Grace! Tomorrow Grace is launching Sunday Morning LIVE onlineYou may recall Sunday Morning LIVE from last summer (with puppets, singing, fun, and teaching about Jesus). Since, on account of COVID-19, you can't come together in person for Sunday Morning LIVE, Sunday Morning LIVE is coming to you! New editions of Sunday Morning LIVE will be able to be found each Sunday by 8:00 a.m. at Grace's website (gracefallschurch.org), on YouTube (Grace Falls Church), and at Facebook (GraceFallsChurchVA). Tomorrow is the first one! Check it out!

If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Grace tomorrow, Sunday, May 17, between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.--and are feeling hungry--we have a couple take-out food options for you. Two food trucks will be just around the corner from Grace on Beechtree Lane. Sate Food Truck (tasty Indonesian cuisine) and Captain Cookie (delicious cookies and ice cream treats) both offer contact-free ordering and payment. To find out more about Sate Food Truck, click here. And to find out more about Captain Cookie, click here.

TOMORROW NIGHT there's a Call Meeting in order to call a K4/K5 teacher for Grace Christian Academy. The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. and be held via Zoom. Zoom login information as well as documents for the Call Meeting will be emailed to the congregation tomorrow afternoon. Please plan to participate in tomorrow's Call Meeting!

Grace currently has a couple virtual Bible studies in which you are invited to participate. One is the God's Word for God's People Bible Study. If you're interested in participating in that, you can reach out to the leader (Andy Miller) here for more information. The group is currently examining the excellent confession of the Christian faith called "The Apostles' Creed."
 
There's also the Wednesday Night Virtual Bible Study & Discussion. That will take place this Wednesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Login information for the study & discussion, as well as the guide for the study, will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.

Truck 'n Toss, originally scheduled for Saturday, September 12, is postponed to a later date (yet-to-be-determined). The reasons for this are--you guessed it--related to COVID-19 and the re-scheduling of the Grace Christian Academy Gala to Saturday, September 20. Please stay tuned for the new date for Truck 'n Toss.
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


May 13, 2020


Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!

I'm beginning this UPDATE with an encouragement from Scripture. The above photo may be familiar to many of you. It is a picture of the words painted above the steps that lead from the hallway of Grace Christian Academy to the main entrance hallway of Grace. These words remind us that no matter the situation in which we find ourselves, Christ is present to strengthen us.

Some expressions that I haven't heard anyone use the last couple months are:

"Virus? What virus? I haven't heard of any virus?"

And, "Coronavirus--It hasn't affected my life at all. For me, everything is pretty much the same as it has always been."

If you asked 50 people how, specifically, coronavirus has impacted them, you might receive 50 different answers. But you would receive answers. "The virus" has affected all of us in one way or another.

As we continue our daily journey as Christians through this pandemic, may the words of Philippians 4:13 strengthen us for all--and whatever--lies before us. "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."
 
TONIGHT (Wednesday, May 13) you are invited to participate in a virtual Bible study and discussion, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDT). The study and discussion will be based on this past Sunday's message (the Bible lesson for which was John 21:1-12). If you are going to participate in this study and discussion, it will be helpful for you to have viewed Sunday's message, which you can find here. This afternoon the guide for tonight’s study and discussion will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.
 
Tonight’s study and discussion will be hosted by Zoom. You can participate via videoconferencing or by telephone. You’ll join the Bible study and discussion at: https://zoom.us/j/94162066859. The meeting i.d. is 941 6206 6859. Or one-tap mobile: +16465588656,,94162066859#

And speaking of Zoom...Zoom is currently pushing out a software update. If you are a Zoom user, you'll want to update Zoom by the end of May. If you don't, your Zoom software won't work appropriately. Regarding Grace, that means you won't be able to participate in any meetings, Bible studies, etc. that use Zoom. To update Zoom is easy. Usually the way it works is when you leave a Zoom meeting, Zoom asks you if you want to run the update. Click "Yes," and in a minute or two the update will be installed. Easy stuff.

Here's a reminder about the Call Meeting scheduled for this Sunday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this Call Meeting is to call a K4/K5 teacher for Grace Christian Academy. The meeting will be hosted via Zoom. Please mark this meeting on your calendars and plan to participate.

Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Finally, in last Saturday's UPDATE I mentioned that Grace is assessing what a return to in-person worship would like for our congregation. Grace's leadership has been giving significant attention to this matter and will continue to do so. At this point, I'll simply state that the earliest that Grace will return to in-person worship would be Sunday, June 7. However, that could be pushed back. Much of Grace's return to in-person worship is dependent upon Virginia Governor Northam's order that Northern Virginia must have progressed to Phase 1 re-opening before houses of worship can return to in-person worship (with certain mandates and restrictions). Please stay tuned. As Grace's potential return to in-person worship becomes clearer and draws closer, much more information will be provided to you.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles

May 9, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well on this Saturday!
 
This UPDATE comes to you with a variety of announcements:
 
We'll continue rejoicing in our Risen and Living Savior with live streamed worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You can join in at gracefallschurch.org/streamAdditionally, you can also find Grace's live streams on Instagram (gracelutheranchurchva) and YouTube (Grace Falls Church).  Some of you have mentioned to me that you've had some difficulty with the Facebook Live live streams. If that's the case, you might consider giving the YouTube live stream a try.

Regarding YouTube...THANK YOU! Last week I encouraged you to subscribe to Grace's YouTube channel because that helps to "legitimize" Grace's presence on YouTube. I'm happy to report that Grace has reached 100 subscribers on YouTube! Thank you for your efforts to help achieve that! Now let's continue to share Grace's YouTube channel with others...as ultimately what we're doing is sharing the gospel!
 
Grace currently has a couple virtual Bible studies in which you are invited to participate. One is the God's Word for God's People Bible Study...you know...from back in the days when we met in-person at Grace ??. If you're interested in participating in that, you can reach out to the leader (Andy Miller) here for more information. The group is currently examining the excellent confession of the Christian faith called "The Apostles' Creed."
 
There's also the Wednesday Night Virtual Bible Study & Discussion. That will take place this Wednesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Login information for the study & discussion, as well as the guide for the study, will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.

Remember the Sandwiches for the Homeless event on June 6 that I wrote about in the last UPDATE? Literally minutes after I hit "send" on that email, Martha's Table (the distributor of the sandwiches) called to cancel the event. COVID-19 has presented Martha's Table with staffing challenges, and so they were forced to cancel the event.
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.
 
Thank you for your continuing financial contributions to support Grace's ministries! If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

Finally, Virginia Governor Northam has announced a phased re-opening of Virginia, tentatively scheduled to begin Friday, May 15. A limited re-opening of houses of worship is a part of Phase 1 of the Governor's re-opening plan. Grace's leadership has begun to assess what "re-opening" at Grace would look like. Please stay tuned to future UPDATES for more information.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles


MAY 6, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well!
 
TONIGHT (Wednesday, May 6) you are invited to participate in a virtual Bible study and discussion, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDST). The study and discussion will be based on this past Sunday's message (the Bible lesson for which was John 20:19-29). If you are going to participate in this study and discussion, it will be helpful for you to have viewed Sunday's message, which you can find here. This afternoon the guide for tonight’s study and discussion will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.
 
Tonight’s study and discussion will be hosted by Zoom. You can participate via videoconferencing or by telephone. You’ll join the Bible study and discussion at: https://zoom.us/j/94162066859. The meeting i.d. is 941 6206 6859. Or one-tap mobile: +16465588656,,94162066859#

In this past Saturday's UPDATE I wrote to you about how Grace is now live streaming the Sunday services and the Psalms devotions on YouTube (in addition to Facebook Live). Grace's channel name is Grace Falls Church. However, Grace's channel isn't "official" yet (according to YouTube's requirements) because the channel doesn't yet have 100 subscribers. However, thanks to you, we're close! As of the writing of this UPDATE, Grace's YouTube channel has 86 subscribers. Thank you to those who've went to YouTube and subscribed to Grace's channel! If you haven't yet done so, but have been meaning to, please go to YouTube and subscribe. It helps to "legitimize" Grace's presence on YouTube, and ultimately, helps to advance the cause of the gospel.

As was announced during this past Sunday's Congregational Meeting, on Sunday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. Grace will have a Call Meeting in order to call a K4/K5 teacher for Grace Christian Academy. The meeting will be hosted via Zoom. Please mark this meeting on your calendars and plan to participate.

Grace will again make Sandwiches for the Homeless on Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. Please mark your calendars for the event. As June 6 draws closer, more information will be provided regarding how the event will proceed (given COVID-19, the stay-at-home order, other restrictions, etc.)

New Forward in Christ magazines and Meditations devotionals are at Grace. If you would like one or both mailed to you, please contact Tricia Visscher / 703-534-1719 ext. 10).
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---

Pastor Wattles

 

May 2, 2020
 
Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well on this beautiful Saturday!
 
This UPDATE comes to you with a variety of announcements:
 
We'll continue rejoicing in our Risen and Living Savior with live streamed worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You can join in at gracefallschurch.org/streamAdditionally, you can also find Grace's live streams on Instagram and YouTube.

Regarding YouTube, you can help Grace do some evangelism by doing this one simple thing: In your browser, search for YouTube. Then, in YouTube, search for Grace Falls Church. That's Grace's soon-to-be YouTube channel. However, YouTube has some requirements before they give an entity an "official" channel (official = the channel gets its own URL). One of the requirements is that the channel needs to have at least 100 subscribers. So you can help Grace get 100 subscribers by following the aforementioned procedures and "subscribing" to Grace's channel! Thanks for considering doing this!

Tomorrow (May 3) Grace will have a Congregational Meeting, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (via Zoom). I encourage you to participate in this meeting because of all of the important information that will be shared, including:  the staffing plan for Grace Christian Academy for the 2020-2021 school year, Youth Confirmation Sunday (considering COVID-19), an update on the Grow Grace Program, and a financial update. Login information for the Congregational Meeting will be made available tomorrow afternoon.
 
A Virtual Bible Study & Discussion will take place this Wednesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Login information for the study & discussion, as well as the guide for the study, will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study on Tuesday.

New Forward in Christ magazines and Meditations devotionals have arrived at Grace! If you would like one or both mailed to you, please contact Tricia Visscher / 703-534-1719 ext. 10).
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.
 
Finally, I offer you continuing thanks for your financial contributions that continue to support Grace's ministries. If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles

 
 


April 29, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good morning! I hope this message find all of you well.
 
TONIGHT (Wednesday, April 29) you are invited to participate in a virtual Bible study and discussion, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDST). The study and discussion will be based on this past Sunday's message (the Bible lesson for which was John 20:11-18). If you are going to participate in this study and discussion, it will be helpful for you to have viewed Sunday's message, which you can find at gracefallschurch.org/streamThis afternoon the guide for tonight’s study and discussion will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.
 
Tonight’s study and discussion will be hosted by Zoom. You can participate via videoconferencing or by telephone. You’ll join the Bible study and discussion at: https://zoom.us/j/94162066859. The meeting i.d. is 941 6206 6859. Or one-tap mobile: +16465588656,,94162066859#
 
If you have questions about tonight's study & discussion, please contact me / 703-839-2489).  
 
This Sunday, May 3, Grace will have a Congregational Meeting, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (via Zoom). I encourage you to participate in this meeting because of all of the important information that will be shared, including:  the staffing plan for Grace Christian Academy for the 2020-2021 school year, Youth Confirmation Sunday (considering COVID-19), an update on the Grow Grace Program, and a financial update.
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

Finally, new Forward in Christ magazines and Meditations devotionals have arrived at Grace! If you would like one or both mailed to you, please contact Tricia Visscher/ 703-534-1719 ext. 10).

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles


April 25, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you well.
 
This UPDATE comes to you with a variety of announcements:
 
We'll continue rejoicing in our Risen and Living Savior with live streamed worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You can join in at gracefallschurch.org/stream. Please share the information with others so they can join in too!
 
The Wednesday Evening Virtual Bible Study & Discussion will take place this Wednesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Login information for the study & discussion, as well as the guide for the study, will be posted at gracefallschurch.org/study on Tuesday.
 
Next Sunday, May 3, Grace will have a Congregational Meeting, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (via Zoom). I encourage you to participate in this meeting because of all of the important information that will be shared, including:  the staffing plan for Grace Christian Academy for the 2020-2021 school year, Youth Confirmation Sunday (considering COVID-19), an update on the Grow Grace Program, and a financial update.
 
Please keep in mind, and feel free to make use of, the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.
 
I offer you continuing thanks for your financial contributions that continue to support Grace's ministries. If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.
 
Finally, if you or anyone whom you know is in need of a facemask (considering the encouragement to wear them when in public)….Grace has a resource to provide washable fabric masks for personal use. Please reach out to Tricia Visscher (churchadmin@gracefallschurch.org) for more information.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this UPDATE!
 
May God continue to bless you with good health and hope in Jesus---
 
Pastor Wattles

April 21, 2020

Grace Family,
 
Good afternoon! Happy Tuesday! I hope this message find all of you well.
 
You are invited to participate in a virtual Bible study and discussion tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 22), 7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDST). The study and discussion will be based on this past Sunday's message (the Bible lesson for which was Matthew 28:8-10). If you are going to participate in this study and discussion, it will be helpful for you to have viewed Sunday's message, which you can find by clicking here. The guide for tomorrow’s study and discussion is posted at gracefallschurch.org/study.
 
Tomorrow’s study and discussion will be hosted by Zoom. You can participate via videoconferencing or by telephone. You’ll join the Bible study and discussion at: https://zoom.us/j/94162066859. The meeting i.d. is 941 6206 6859. Or one-tap mobile: +16465588656,,94162066859#
 
If you have questions about tomorrow night's study & discussion, please contact us.  
 
I offer continuing thanks to you for your ongoing financial support of Grace's ministries. Thank you so much for your Christian generosity during this challenging time!

One final thing before I close this UPDATE; that is the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need these things. Pastor Satorius and I are more than willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles



April 18, 2020
 
Dear Grace Family,

Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you in good health!

A variety of items in this UPDATE:

First, please return your eyes to the top of this message. These images take us to Grace's long-standing custom of the "Easter Cross." Even though our celebration of Jesus' resurrection last Sunday was in many ways different, in some ways it very much the same. Through live streaming our hearts were together in faith as we heard the wonderful news that, "He is risen!" We also had the opportunity to hear, and sing along with, some outstanding Easter music! (Thanks so much to the musicians and singers who provided that! Super-well done!) Additionally, you did a fantastic job of maintaining Grace's "Easter Cross" tradition! The top photo (photo credit: Mathis Family) shows how the cross had taken on beautiful color by the end of the day. The lower left photo shows a Grace neighbor joining in the Easter cross tradition. And the lower right photo (photo credit: Walter Crain) shows a younger Grace member continuing the custom of a picture by the Easter cross.

I hope all of you enjoyed a meaningful celebration of Jesus' resurrection last Sunday!

We'll continue rejoicing in our Risen and Living Savior with live streamed worship tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You can join in at gracefallschurch.org/stream.

The Congregational Meeting that was originally scheduled for tomorrow at 9:30 a.m....and then rescheduled to tomorrow at 7:00 p.m....has now been re-rescheduled to Sunday, May 3, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Thank you, COVID-19, for all of this rescheduling! More seriously, the reason that this meeting has been pushed back to May 3 is because Grace's leadership is hoping to have more information about a variety of things to share with the congregation by May 3, as compared with the information that would be available tomorrow.

While I'm on the topic of rescheduling, the Grow Grace Informational Meeting that was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 26 has been pushed to later May. Please watch future UPDATES for when that meeting will take place.

In last Saturday's UPDATE I shared with you that a young female flight attendant new to our area is looking for a place to live (room to rent, an apartment or house to share) That need is still present, so if you happen to know of such an available living space, please reach out to me and I'll get her direct contact information to you. I'm easiest to reach at 703-839-2489 (text/call) or wattles@gracefallschurch.org.

Lastly, I want to invite you an online Bible study this Wednesday, starting at 7:00 p.m. The format for the study and discussion will be similar to that followed in Grace Groups--a study and discussion of the portion of Scripture that served as the basis for the previous Sunday's sermon. The Guide for Wednesday's Bible study and discussion, as well as the Zoom login information will be sent to you via email on Monday.

Thanks for reading this UPDATE.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles

April 11, 2020

Dear Grace Family,

Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you in good health!

The new Easter hymn (and I mean really new...like written just a few days ago!) titled, "This Easter Celebration," begins:

This Easter celebration is not like ones we've known.
We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone.
We're distant from our neighbors — from worship leaders, too.

....No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way.

Yep, the hymn speaks truth. On account of COVID-19, our Easter celebrations will look different this year. But that truth isn't the only truth "This Easter Celebration" shares. The hymn continues:

Our joy won't come from worship that's in a crowded room
but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb.
Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see —
who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.


Yep, again the hymn speaks truth. Our customary ways for celebrating Jesus' resurrection are just that--our modern traditions. While meaningful, those traditions do change over time and with varying situations (like right now!). What doesn't change, however, and what COVID-19 nor any of the "new ways of living" associated with it can't touch, is what's the foundation for our modern Easter observances; that is, Jesus rising from the dead on the first Easter!

It is Jesus' resurrection that we shall celebrate tomorrow--and celebrate with gusto in our hearts, although we will be physically apart from one another. And so this UPDATE contains your personal invitation to join your sisters and brothers in the faith online tomorrow for Grace's live streamed Easter celebrations. Grace will offer a more traditional Easter service starting at 9:30 a.m., and a more contemporary Easter service starting at 11:00 a.m. As is always the case with Grace's live streamed services, you can find them at gracefallschurch.org/stream.

And since I mentioned your personal invitation to an online Easter celebration...how about all of us extend this same kind of a personal invitation to folks whom we know to celebrate Easter with us at Grace via our live streamed services? Thanks, in advance, for sharing those invitations ??.

Grace will also maintain its "Easter flowers' tradition" tomorrow. The wire Easter cross will be curbside in front of Grace tomorrow starting at sunrise (and there until dark). If you happen to be out and about tomorrow for some reason, or taking a stroll for some exercise in the "Grace hood," you're welcome to place a live flower (or flowers) on the cross. We've also invited our Grace neighbors to join us in this celebration of Jesus' resurrection. My guess is that as the day progress the cross will transform into the spectacular symbol of Jesus' victory over death that it always does!

One final item: Grace has been contacted by a young female flight attendant who is looking for a place to live--a room to rent, or an apartment or house to share. So...if you happen to know of such an available living space, please reach out to me and I'll get her direct contact information to you. I'm easiest to reach at 703-839-2489 (text/call) or email.

Thanks for reading this UPDATE.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles
 

April 9, 2020

Today is Maundy Thursday...the day that commemorates the Thursday of That Most Important Week (Holy Week) when Jesus washed his disciples' feet, commanded his followers of all time to "love one another," (John 13:34), celebrated the Passover for the last time with his disciples, instituted the Lord's Supper, was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and was arrested. We'll remember these events tonight with a special live streamed Maundy Thursday service starting at 7:00 p.m.

Tomorrow is Good Friday. Good Friday commemorates the Friday of That Most Important Week when Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Grace will offer a special live streamed Good Friday service starting at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow. You can connect to both of these live streamed services at gracefallschurch.org/stream.

I also want to share with you that Andy Baxter, whom Grace called to serve as principal of Grace Christian Academy, has returned the call Grace extended to him. Therefore he will continue serving in his current principal position and Grace will continue to search for a new principal. Please stay tuned for updates about that.

I want to thank you for two things, in particular:

First, a number of folks have reached out to me with willingness to provide help for others--whether that may be financial assistance during this difficult economic time for some; or assistance with picking up medicine, household needs, etc. To see Christians putting Jesus' command to "love one another" into practice is a very cool thing! Praise God!

The second thing I want to say "thank you" for is your continuing financial support of Grace's ministries. Almost every day the mail brings financial gifts. Likewise, Grace's treasurer tells me that the congregation continues to support Grace's ministries through online giving. Thank you so much for your Christian generosity during this challenging time!

One final thing before I close this UPDATE, that is the offer to provide help or pastoral care to anyone who may need assistance. Pastor Satorius and I are certainly willing to do that. Additionally, we have other volunteers who have stepped forward to offer a variety of kinds of assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastor Satorius or myself if you or someone you know needs help. We'll certainly try to help, if possible.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles
 

April 4, 2020

Dear Grace Family,

Good afternoon! I hope this message finds all of you in good health!

Tomorrow begins Holy Week, or what we've been calling in our current English Sunday message series, "That Most Important Week." Given everything associated with COVID-19, perhaps the name "A Very Different Holy Week" would be fitting title for this year's Holy Week observance. However, although we won't be able to gather for Holy Week services this year on account of Governor's Northam's "stay at home" order, we certainly can join our hearts and minds together in faith remembering the events of That Most Important Week and their meaning for us. In order to help us do that, below you will find Grace's plans for Holy Week. Some of these plans include decades-long cherished traditions at Grace. Others of these plans include some new things on account of COVID-19. It is the prayer of the lay leadership of Grace and Grace's ministry team that what happens under the name "Grace" during "A Very Different Holy Week" is God-honoring and serves to encourage all of us in faith in Jesus. 

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week. Grace's Palm Sunday observance in English this year will center around the two live streamed services--the Traditional Service starting at 9:30 a.m., and the Contemporary Service beginning at 11:00 a.m. You can access the live streamed services at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The worship guides for both services will be uploaded later today.

As the message series, That Most Important Week, has highlighted several activities of Jesus during Holy Week, we recall that several weeks ago the Sunday/Monday message focused on Jesus clearing the temple of the corrupt money-changers and animal-sellers. On Monday of this Holy Week you will receive an email from me reminding you of that Scriptural account and inviting you, by God's grace and power, to "clear from your temple (heart/life)" something (or some things) that are getting in the way of your worship of God. Perhaps all of us can begin considering now what that thing (or those things) might be for us.

Tuesday of That Most Important Week was a busy day of teaching for Jesus. Thus, that Tuesday is sometimes referred to in Christianity as "Busy Tuesday." On Tuesday of this Holy Week you will receive an email from me inviting you to read what Matthew's Gospel shares with us regarding that busy day of teaching for Jesus--and ponder how those teachings apply to us today.

Wednesday of That Most Important Week is sometimes called "Silent Wednesday" because the Bible is "silent" about what happened on that day. On Wednesday of this Holy Week you will receive an email from me inviting you to consider observing a "Silent Wednesday" in some way. Perhaps this could be setting aside some special quiet time for reading the Bible or prayer. Maybe it could be going on a walk by yourself or with a family member(s) and pondering and discussing some things about That Most Important Week while you walk. Maybe it could be spending some quiet time by yourself at the kitchen table, or in your favorite chair, or on the deck, or on the porch simply reflecting on God and what God has done for you. These are just some ideas of how you could spend some quiet time this coming Wednesday as you remember the "Silent Wednesday" that Jesus lived for you.

Thursday of Holy Week is known as Maundy Thursday. Why "Maundy" Thursday? What does "Maundy" mean? Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, and means "command." "Command Thursday" is called that because on that day Jesus gave us the command to, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another," (John 13:34). Maundy Thursday is also the day that Jesus celebrated the Passover for the last time with his disciples, instituted the Lord's Supper, was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and was arrested. Unfortunately, on account of COVID-19, we won't be able to keep the tradition of communing together at Grace on Maundy Thursday evening, but we will join together in faith for a lived streamed service at 7:00 p.m. I'll share more in a separate email about the decision to not offer Communion congregation-wide on Maundy Thursday.

Friday of That Most Important Week is Good Friday. On Good Friday of this Holy Week, Grace will offer a live streamed service beginning at 7:00 p.m. The focus of that special service will be Jesus' death on the first Good Friday and what that means for us.

Saturday of Holy Week is sometimes known as "Holy Saturday." Customarily at Grace, this day has been a day of preparation to celebrate Jesus' resurrection on Easter. That is what we will do on Saturday of this Holy Week as well.

And then comes Easter Sunday! Easter Sunday is the day that remembers and celebrates Jesus victory over death and the grave! Grace will live stream special Easter services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Additionally on Easter, Grace is offering you the opportunity to participate in a long-standing Easter tradition at Grace--but this year with a twist on account of COVID-19. For decades Grace has invited Easter worshipers to bring a real flower (or flowers) and place them on a cross that is positioned in the entry to the sanctuary. Then, at the conclusion of the Spanish Easter Service, the worshipers have processed the beautifully decorated Easter cross to the curb where it resides for the rest of the day as a witness to all who pass by that, "He is risen!" On account of COVID-19, this year's "twist" is that the cross will be positioned curbside early in the morning on Easter. You are invited to come by at some point during the day and place a real flower (or flowers) on the cross. As the day progresses the cross will begin to be filled with beautiful flowers--again testifying to the beautiful spiritual and eternal life we have on account of faith in the Risen Savior! Please let me be clear about this: If you are not feeling well on Easter, please don't participate in this! Stay home! Recover! Feel better! Likewise, if you simply don't feel comfortable leaving your home on account of COVID-19 or Governor Northam's "stay at home" order, please stay home! Your feelings and thoughts regarding those things are totally understood and respected! Grace is offering this opportunity because the suggestion was made with this thought attached to it, "There are a number of members of Grace who live relatively close to the church, or might pass by it on the way to the grocery store, or who might pass by while getting exercise. Perhaps this is an Easter tradition we could offer...." Agreed!

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy email. As mentioned previously, it is the prayer of Grace's lay leadership and ministry team that all that happens under the name "Grace" during "A Very Different Holy Week" is God-honoring and encouraging in faith in Jesus to all of us.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles

April 1, 2020

Dear Grace Family,


Good evening! I hope this message finds all of you in good health!

Under "normal" circumstances I would be sending this email to remind you that tonight is the last Lenten Service and invite you to the Lenten Supper. However, as you are well aware, we are not living in "normal" times. Yet, I'm still writing to remind you of the Lenten Service tonight--you can find the live stream of the service at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The service will start at 7:00 p.m. The worship guide for the service has already been uploaded to the site. And thanks for sharing tonight's live stream service with your friends! It's super cool to see so many people from so many different places coming together online to worship Jesus! Praise God!

The Church Council met last night via Zoom. In addition to the Council's regular business, the Council also spent time discussing the distance learning that Grace Christian Academy is doing given COVID-19, the Grow Grace program, planning for Holy Week and Easter (particulars on that will be coming the end of this week), discussing the live streaming ministry, and a variety of financially-related matters given the situation in which we find ourselves on account of "the virus."

Grace still plans to hold the Congregational Meeting scheduled for April 19, however the time has been moved to 7:00-8:00 p.m. The meeting will take place via Zoom. As the date of the Congregational Meeting draws closer, watch for more information about how to participate in the meeting via Zoom.

Regarding financial matters...again I thank you for your contributions that continue to support Grace's ministries. If you would like to make a financial gift to Grace, you can do so by going to Grace's website gracefallschurch.org/giving. Or you can mail your gift to Grace at 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

I encourage you to continue viewing Vicar Tim's excellent daily devotions on the Psalms! A new devotion is usually posted by 11:00 a.m., Monday-Saturday. These can be found at gracefallschurch.org/psalms.

Finally, I close with the following: In our lives we will encounter actions and happenings that will confuse us, however, let us rest assured that the One who rules all those things is not confused....Our Heavenly Father reaches out to us and says: "I know you don't understand all that you face, but remember, I love you. Trust me and you will have peace that can be found no other way."

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles
 


March 28, 2020

Happy Saturday! I hope this message finds all of you in good health!

I'm starting out today's "UPDATE" with an expression of thanks. "Thank you!" for your support of Sandwiches for the Homeless earlier today. Thank you for your persistence to still carry out this outreach ministry despite the COVID-19 situation. Thank you for your prayers asking God to provide provisions and volunteers to enable this community service to still take place. Thank you for your financial support of Sandwiches for the Homeless to make it possible for supplies to be purchased. Thank you to the full slate of volunteers who were on site at Grace to make the sandwiches. The organization to which the sandwiches were delivered, Martha's Table, seeks to provide over 4,000 meals per day to the hungry in DC. Today Grace Lutheran was one of only two organizations that stepped up to support that cause. Thank you!!!

The live stream of tomorrow's services (Traditional @ 9:30 a.m. & Contemporary @ 11:00 a.m.) can be found at gracefallschurch.org/stream. The worship guides for these services will be uploaded later today. And thanks for sharing the live stream services with your friends! It's a relatively easy kind of outreach and evangelism!

Planning for Holy Week and Easter is currently underway. The hope is to have plans to communicate to you in Tuesday's UPDATE.

Please continue to pray for Andy Baxter and his family. As I noted in Tuesday's UPDATE, last Sunday Grace called Andy to serve as principal of Grace Christian Academy. If you'll please allow me a personal opinion here, along with some frankness..... I can't imagine what it must be like to try to consider a call to another ministry given everything brought about by COVID-19. We (Grace) placed an extra item on the Baxter family's agenda during an already challenging time. Let's pray that God bless the Baxters with sufficient time and energy to consider Grace's call--and peace throughout the process.

I encourage you to continue viewing Vicar Tim's excellent daily devotions on the Psalms! A new devotion is usually posted by 11:00 a.m., Monday-Saturday. These can be found at gracefallschurch.org/stream. Please share these with your friends! That's a relatively easy way to do some outreach and evangelism!

"Thank you" to those who have continued to support Grace financially via online giving (available at the website: gracefallschurch.org, click on Resources and scroll down to Electronic Giving) and by mailing in financial gifts (Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042). Your Christian generosity is very important for sustaining and furthering Grace's ministries.

Finally, I invite you to click on the link below. It's said that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Perhaps this picture expresses "a thousand words" of what many are feeling at this time.

https://mcusercontent.com/d221c5c9c3a96d2f8b34f905d/images/2a4ff662-a610-45d2-9455-03a953ec9e05.jpg

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles

March 25, 2020

The live stream of tonight's Lenten service starts at 7:00 p.m.
 You can find the live stream and tonight's worship guide (available later today) at gracefallschurch.org/stream. And thanks for sharing the live stream services with your friends!

At the Principal Call Meeting on Sunday night, Grace called Andrew Baxter to serve as Grace's new principal. Mr. Baxter currently serves as principal of St. Lucas Lutheran School, Milwaukee. As the Baxter family (wife, child + a baby due in May!) considers Grace's call, let's pray for them...asking God to bless the family with good health, discernment and peace through the deliberation process--and lead them to accept Grace's call!

Grace is still planning on doing Sandwiches for the Homeless this Saturday. The organization through which the sandwiches get distributed to the hungry in D.C., Martha's Table, has invited Grace to still do this, if possible (The hungry still need to be fed!). On account of the COVID-19 situation, a challenge has been to find adequate supplies (bread, bologna, cheese) to prepare the hundreds of sandwiches that need to be made. Kudos to Tricia Visscher who is "gettin' it done," though! So far Tricia has acquired provisions to prepare 800 sandwiches. We'll still aim for the 1,000+ sandwiches, if enough supplies can be found. AND WE NEED YOU TO HELP MAKE THE SANDWICHES! Well, we need 16 of you! In order to abide by COVID-19 guidelines, we'll be preparing the sandwiches in two separate locations at Grace with no more than 10 participants in each location: the Fellowship Room and Classroom 6. Those who work in Classroom 6 will enter through the GCA doors; those who work in the Fellowship Room will enter through the glass entrance doors. Both locations offer enough space for sandwich-makers to maintain social distancing. Sandwich-makers will be required to wear food-preparation gloves. Please note, participants must be at least 10 years-old to participate in this sandwich-making event.

To register to be one of the 16 folks privileged to make sandwiches this Saturday, please go to the link below to sign up:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C44A4A829A1F49-sandwiches

I encourage you to continue viewing Vicar Tim's excellent daily devotions on the Psalm! A new devotion is usually posted by 11:00 a.m., Monday-Saturday. These can be found at gracefallschurch.org/stream. Please share these with your friends!

Holy Week and Easter are just a few weeks away. While I know that all of us would much rather be together in person for the special events of those days, the reality is that this year we may not be able to on account of COVID-19. Grace's leadership is aware of that and has begun to develop alternate plans for Grace's Holy Week and Easter observances. Stay tuned....

Lastly, I again share a word of thanks with you. THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING, PATIENCE, AND WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT AS WE AS A CHURCH FAMILY NAVIGATE THE COVID-19 SITUATION PHYSICALLY APART FROM ONE ANOTHER, BUT YET TOGETHER IN THE FAITH.

I also want to say "thank you" to those who have continued to support Grace financially via online giving (available at the website: gracefallschurch.org, click on Resources and scroll down to Electronic Giving) and by mailing in financial gifts (Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042). Your Christian generosity is very important for sustaining and furthering Grace's ministries.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus!

Pastor Wattles


March 22, 2020

Our next live-streamed worship service will take place Wednesday, March 24th at 7:00 pm.

March 21, 2020

Sunday's live streamed services can be accessed at gracefallschurch.org/stream. Both the 9:30 traditional service and the 11:00 contemporary service will be live streamed. The services will also be available at Grace's Facebook page to watch anytime you'd like. At gracefallschurch.org/stream you will also find worship folders for tomorrow's services.

Sunday's Call Meeting to fill the Grace Christian Academy principal position will take place virtually. All the information you need to know about how to participate in that meeting will be available by the meeting's start time--7:00 p.m. You can find the meeting information and meeting access at gracefallschurch.org/call. Some information has been uploaded to the site already. The rest of the information will be uploaded tonight and tomorrow.

Until the COVID-19 situation passes, Grace will be sending email communications on Tuesdays and Fridays. These communications will contain live streaming information for the Wednesday Lenten services and the Sunday services. They will also serve as Grace's "Announcement Pages" while we are in pause from gathering together for public worship.

At the time of the writing of this email, Grace is still planning to hold Sandwiches for the Homeless next Saturday, March 27. Please watch for information in Tuesday's email regarding how to participate in that community aid effort.

Thank you to those who have continued to support Grace financially via online giving and by mailing in financial gifts (Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042). Your Christian generosity is very important for sustaining and furthering Grace's ministries.



March 19, 2020

Vicar Walsh is offering daily devotions via Facebook Live.  You do not need to be a Facebook user to watch the videos. These devotions are based on the Psalms, and will air between 10-11 am, Monday through Saturday.


March 18, 2020

Please tune in to our Facebook live stream of this evening's Lenten worship at 7:00 pm.  You do not need to be a Facebook user to see the video. Videos will be saved to the page if you need to watch at a later time. 


March 17, 2020

Dear Grace Family,
 
I am writing to update you on COVID-19's impact upon Grace's ministries. Earlier today Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recommended limiting all gatherings to 10 people or less, in accordance with President Donald Trump's most recent coronavirus guidelines. On account of this directive, Grace's Church Council has decided that Grace will take a pause on gathering at Grace for public worship, Bible studies, Sunday School, refreshments, snacks, Grace Choir rehearsal, meetings, etc. This pause will last through the duration of the government's directive, which is currently 14 days (counting today). However, during this time Grace will live steam worship services, starting tomorrow night with the 7:00 p.m. Lenten service. Tomorrow, via a separate email, you will be provided information on how to view tomorrow night's live stream Lenten service.

Also to note:
  • The audio from Sunday's sermon has been posted at gracefallschurch.org.
  • Grace Christian Academy has cancelled the fundraiser at Anthony's Restaurant, scheduled for this Thursday, March 19.
  • Grace Christian Academy has postponed the Grace Christian Academy Annual Gala from May 3 to September 20.
  • Grace is still considering holding Sandwiches for the Homeless on Saturday, March 27. Martha's Table--the organization that distributes the sandwiches to the hungry in Washington--has asked us to consider still providing this community service. Their reasoning? "The hungry still need to eat." We believe that we have come up with a plan that will allow us to efficiently make the 1,200 sandwiches for Martha's Table, while still complying with Governor Northam's directive. Watch for more information on this in another email.
  • Grace has cancelled the Grace Grace Open Forum scheduled for this Sunday, March 22. However, Grace is still planning to hold the GCA Principal & K4-K5 Teacher Call Meeting that evening at 7:00 p.m. The Call Meeting will be held virtually. Please watch for more information on how to participate in that meeting.
  • Please continue to wash your hands often.
  • Please continue to stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Pastoral visits and personal assistance are available. If you or someone you know would like a pastoral visit or needs help with something (e.g., someone has chosen to self-quarantine and needs groceries or medicine, etc.), please reach out to the church. We'll visit and help.
  • Please continue to remember Grace with your financial gifts. You can give electronically at gracefallschurch.org, or by mailing your contribution to Grace (3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042).
As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us with many rapidly changing situations. What I've shared with you is what Grace is doing at the present time. This approach may change--and may change quickly as the Church Council monitors the COVID-19 situation in our area and makes appropriate modifications. Please watch your email for further updates.

Thank you for giving this important email your time and attention. I close this email with the Prayer of the Church that was offered at Grace this past Sunday and Monday.

Lord Jesus, you tell us that you are with us “at all times and in every situation” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). Before you left this earth to reign on your heavenly throne, you said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (John 14:17).

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, we have a fresh opportunity to trust the presence of your peace in our hearts.

We also have a grand grace-opportunity to see how you will use this situation to heighten a sense of our mortality, and bring many to a saving knowledge of yourself.

Through Paul’s words, you promise your presence “at all times and in every situation.” Thank you, Jesus. To know you are with us and for us—to know you love us and are in control of all things (including the coronavirus), that is what we need more than anything else in life.

Be with those who are infected—their families, circles of friends, and those who realize they’ve had exposure to them. May faith, not fear, win the day; wisdom exceed worry; safeguards be exercised, and over-reactions be minimized.

There’s nothing like a health crisis to fill our hearts with gratitude for all with which you’ve blessed us, and fuel our prayers for those you’ve called into medical vocations. Grant research scientists success as they labor 24/7 to create an effective vaccine.

Grant health departments, hospitals, urgent care clinics—physicians and nurses alike, protection, wisdom, and grace to serve as an expression of your heart and hands in this crisis.

We pray for the most vulnerable and the weakest, as this virus runs its course—the elderly and those with compromised health conditions. We pray for our President, Congress, governors, local officials, school superintendents, as important decisions are made. Jesus, thank you for peace before, in, and after this health challenge.

May God bless you with good health and hope in Jesus,

Pastor Wattles