A Word From Pastor Califano

Greetings Fellow Christians, 

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! 
(This greeting is appropriate throughout the Easter season – until Pentecost) 

Reflect with me: 

What happened after that first Easter day? 
How did Jesus spend His time? Following are a few ideas which I have concluded. 

1) Jesus “showed up” – after the day of resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days (Christians identify and observe it as Ascension Thursday, this year, on May 26th) easing His followers doubts, giving them direction for their future. Jesus didn’t announce His love from heaven. He showed it on earth. God, in Jesus, does the same today, hearing our prayers; and healing our hearts.

2) Jesus “modeled” Community – He spent time with people to show He cared. As followers, you and I are called to intentionally serve others.

3) Jesus “comforted” those in sorrow -speaking words of life and peace. As our Savior, He hears our questions; and resolves our confusion.

4) Jesus “redeemed” mistakes – we can trust God’s power, through grace, is made perfect in our weakness.

5) Jesus” instructed” and “empowered” – He directed the remaining Apostles to “go and make disciples of every nation”. It is our “job” to show people what it means to know God; and to make God known by our words and actions. 

Easter day may have passed, but the message for us matters everyday throughout the year. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you and I are able to receive God’s grace, feel His presence; and be reassured like never before. 

May the assurance, joy; and peace of the resurrection give us hope every day. 

 Pastor Califano 

The Rev. Dr. John A. Califano 

Holy Week Schedule

Saturday April 9th
Easter Egg Hunt – Council of Churches Easter Egg Hunt at Sir William Johnson downtown park, light refreshments served – Bring your Easter Baskets!

Palm Sunday – April 10th
Blessing of the palms and the reading of the passion according to the Gospel of St Luke

Maundy Thursday – April 14th
6:00 pm – Soup and Sandwich Supper (sign up in narthex)
7:00 pm – Worship with Holy Communion, stripping of the altar and chanting the 22nd Psalm

Good Friday – April 15th
7:00 pm – Tenebrae Service

Easter Sunday – April 17th
10:30 am – Brunch (sign up in narthex)
11:30 am – Festive Worship Service with Holy Communion and lighting of the pascal candle

Ready or Not… It’s Lent

The Lenten season begins on Wednesday, March 2. 

The schedule for the Service of Imposition of Ashes, and Holy Communion is:  
-Noon at Grace, Johnstown 
-5 PM at St. Luke’s, Amsterdam 

You are cordially invited to whichever time is convenient for you. 

Have you yet thought and / or prayed about how you might observe the 40 days leading to Easter? Lent is a time of preparation, of self-examination, of growth, renewal; and anticipation. 

This season of the Liturgical year gives us insight into the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. Our acts of fasting, self-denial, increased prayer, meditation, and charitable acts draw us closer to our Savior who died for each of us. 

As you are able, embrace Lent as a time of open heartedness – ready to receive all that God wants to give us as we focus our thoughts on the Creator, Redeemer; Sanctifier. 

I encourage you to intentionally use this time productively to Repent and Believe the Good News for we are assured that Our Redeemer Lives! 

Preparing and Praying with you. 

Pastor Califano 
The Rev. Dr. John A. Califano

Ringers Needed

Our music director, Darlene Pollak announced that a new bell choir session will be starting up in March to prepare pieces for Palm Sunday and Easter. She puts a lot of work into preparing the pieces the bell choir plays highlighting the notes you would be playing, making it so anyone who is interested in joining the bell choir would be able to ring the bells!

We are in need of ringers
If you might be interested in joining the Grace Bell Choir you are encouraged to contact Darlene at 518-321-1948

Grace Lutheran Church Council Highlights – January 23, 2022

Minutes from our December 19, 2021 meeting, Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Pastor’s reports were read and approved. 

Council Actions and Announcements 

Officers for 2022 were elected:
  • President – Barb Frederick
  • Vice President – Nancy Demarest
  • Secretary – Peggy Niforos
  • Treasurer – Darleen Gaugler 
  • The amended proposed 2022 budget was approved to be presented at the Congregational Meeting 

The monthly benevolences were approved:

  • January – Meals on Wheels 
  • February – Code Blue Shelter 
  • March – Johnstown Food Pantry 
  • April – Gloversville Food Pantry 
  • May – Relay for Life 
  • June – Friday’s Table
  • September – Fulton County Sheriff
  • October – Mohawk Valley Hospice
  • November – NOAH
  • December – Salvation Army 
  • Decided to present two worship schedule options to be voted on at the Congregational Meeting
  • Decided to present the Property Committee’s parking lot proposal at the Congregational Meeting 
  • Decided to present a financial assistance proposal in support of Missy Bedell’s candidacy in the ELCA at the Congregational Meeting 
  • Decided that if anyone who does work for the church in the absence of a sexton and wants to be compensated, they need to request this and will be considered an “Independent Contractor” 

Correspondence – Request from American Cancer Society for a donation – declined since we donate to the local “Relay for Life” 

COMMITTEE REPORTS: 

Property: Parking lot proposal presented
InReach: Will be serving a light lunch before Congregational Meeting
Finance: Amended budget presented
Worship and Music: Pastor Califano will preside on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022 


A Word from Pastor Califano

Fellow Christians, 

The second reading for this past Sunday’s worship service is recorded in St. Paul’s 1st letter to the young Christians living in Corinth (Chapter 13:1-13). 

Most of us may be familiar with the text – either remembering heard it read in church, in a Bible study, a daily devotional; certainly at a wedding ceremony. 

Students of the Bible are in agreement that Paul composed one of the most cherished chapters in the New Testament, sometimes referred to as “the hymn to love”. 

Since the decorations surrounding our Holyday / holiday, Christmas, have been packed away, the commercial world has bombarded us with Valentine “stuff” – not the same “love” to which Paul referred! 

Recalling my seminary training in preparation for ordained ministry, specifically studying Greek, and the New Testament Scripture, I learned that the Ancient Greeks used 3 different and distinct words to describe the various facets of love”. A nuance or variation of this Greek word (as used by Jesus, and Paul) translated as “love”, also was “charity, caring; performing a kind act (to another person)”. 

This aspect of love comes from God poured into our hearts by the Spirit, we bring it into the world by sharing. Recall the admonition of Jesus, “love one another as I have loved you”. 

With the expanded translation of the word (love), hear Jesus inviting “care for one another, as I care for you”. Paul concludes his lesson, “faith, hope; and love abide…the greatest of these is love (charity, caring; performing a kind act for another person). 

Something to think about…..better yet, act upon! 

In Christian love,
Pr. Califano
The Rev. Dr. John A. Califano

Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church

The mission of Grace Lutheran Church is to spread the good news of God’s love, forgiveness and salvation by providing opportunities to worship and grow in faith and discipleship.”

We invite you to spend a few moments acquainting yourself with our congregation’s programs and we look forward to having your worship with us on Sunday mornings.

We are adhering to Covid-19 protocols, facemask usage is required for those between vaccine doses or not yet vaccinated. Full details can be found here