St. Peter Lutheran Church Blackberry
17877 W. St. Rt. 579
Martin, Ohio 43445

Phone 419-836-8903                               Worship Service 8:45am
Email spblackberry@juno.com                Sunday School 10:00am

Pastor Rita Bair

“For in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

Bishop Daniel has declared 2018 as the Year of Prayer. What could be a better antidote to
the doldrums of winter, and the uncertainties of life, but prayer? I hope to make this a priority
in my life for the upcoming year, and I encourage you to make it a priority in your life, too.
More on this topic later!

Nonetheless, we do not want to lose sight of the Bible verse which sustained us through 2017,
the Year of Grace:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Where and how often did you get to see GRACE abound in 2017? In your family, at church, in a
public place? If you didn’t see anything you would describe as grace – perhaps you might want
to consider how we define grace. Because I think we are surrounded by grace, most of the
time. We simply don’t recognize it, due to our lack of attention or awareness. So what is
grace? It is sometimes described as ‘undeserved goodness’.

Where did I see GRACE this past year? In your willingness to continue giving to Salem Lutheran
Church, to people you do not know or judge, but understand to be in great need. In your
willingness to work together with your partner congregation (St. Peter or St. Luke) – making
space for schedules to be changed as needed, to worship together, to help with each other’s
fund raising dinners, and to be in relationship with them. You have shown God’s loving grace –
God’s ‘undeserved goodness’ for us – toward those who suffer sorrow or suffering.

We worry sometimes about what the future holds. But in reality, God is most interested in how we allow grace to flow through us toward others. If we make that our goal for 2018, we have no reason to worry about the future; we will simply continue to look for opportunities to offer grace to our neighbors, and rejoice in the grace that we have been given in Christ our Lord!

May God’s ‘undeserved goodness’ give us joy and courage for the future! Pr. Rita

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St. Peter Lutheran Church Sanctuary Windows