“Do Not Be Afraid”

In a year in which so much fear has been pumped into our society from pandemics, civil unrest, a tumultuous election cycle, natural disasters, etc. we heed the Scriptural refrain, “Do not be afraid.” In a year in which people have been divided and isolated from each other, several members of Grace united to participate in sharing this message through a united art project. Illustrated Ministries released this coloring project that was divided up into forty tiles that people could work on from their homes. These forty tiles represent forty individuals from the congregation and some 25 to 30 households. Participants were able to work on their tiles from home and turned them in to the office where Pastor Madsen then put them together to make a single banner with this single message, “Do not be afraid.” This message is the theme of our devotions for the lighting of the Advent wreath at the beginning of our worship services.The way in which this banner came together is a small yet visible representation of what the Church is: St. Paul says of the Church that we are many members of one (united) body, and an early catechism of the Church states, “As grains of wheat once scattered on the hill is brought together to become one (bread); so may Your Church be gathered from the ends of the earth unto Your kingdom.” The Church is a single body scattered abroad, but united in one message and one confession, “Jesus is Lord.”

1517 Project https://www.1517.org/
The 1517 Project offers a plethora of resources in a variety of forms (articles, podcasts, and videos) on a wide range of topics at a variety of levels. The Thinking Fellows podcast is currently doing a series addressing faith issues that have arisen with the COVID-19 situation.
Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) https://www.ilt.edu/videos
ILT offers several free video lecture series. For those interested in something more academic, ILT offers topics such as the Lutheran Legacy, Western Philosophy & Theology; and the Ethics of Bonhoeffer. If you’re looking for something more discipleship oriented and not “lecture-esk,” there’s a great video series called Learning to Follow with Rev. Moe Redding.
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) https://www.lhm.org/
LHM offers daily devotional broadcasts on demand as well as a couple podcasts. They also offer free courses on a variety of topics from foundations in the Christian faith to dealing with stress in the midst of conflict; these free and practical courses are available at https://www.lhm.org/learn/
Scripture Jigsaw Puzzles https://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/scripture-jigsaw-puzzles/a1510.html
New puzzles are added weekly. The puzzles are made with graphics from Sola’s Online Worship eResoure.

Resources for Parents with Children

+ Lutheran Hour Ministries takes your kids to meet Christians in other parts of the world to see how they live. A full curriculum has been prepared along with geography lessons and games so you can make this as big or as little as you want. Not sure anymore how to fill your kids day so that don’t simply waste away in front of mindless T.V. and video games? This is a GREAT resource for you: https://www.gospeladventures.org/
+ 1517 Project presents Family Style Theology. “Family Style Theology explores theological topics through family conversation. Host Cindy Koch, joined by her children, explore essential questions in a way that is not only theologically satisfying but accessible to the whole family.” https://www.1517.org/podcasts/family-style-theology
+ Holy Families is an at-home discipleship resource. You’ll find daily devotions and prayers and video snippets on the foundations of Christian faith.  Holy Families also has resources for talking with your kids about different issues that come up in life from grief and fear to issues around social media, dating, and self-image. https://www.holyfamilytime.com/
Celebrate the wondrous resurrection of the Savior with these beautiful Easter themed coloring pages and a bookmark.  Easter Coloring Page
Snuggle up with the kids and enjoy bedtime devotions from Little Visits at Bedtime by Dr. Mary Manz Simon. Bedtime Devotion Videos

Grace Around The World | Lutheran World Relief

Lutheran World Relief is a nonprofit organization that helps families in the world’s poorest communities build the resilience they need to thrive. Founded by Lutherans in the United States, grounded in Lutheran theology and building on decades of experience, LWR exists so that U.S. Lutherans may serve their neighbors overseas who face poverty, injustice and human suffering.

Find out more about Lutheran World Relief at https://lwr.org.

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