An Invitation to Holy Week

We are entering a week of celebrating the holy mysteries at the heart of the Christian faith.  This is what our faith is all about!

The service that everyone attends is Easter morning, and that is right and good- Easter joy is for all the world!  But to know that joy more truly, I invite you to delve deeper into this week.  The more worship services you are able to attend, the more you get to experience. 

Palm Sunday: April 13th, 10:30am.
This Sunday, we’ll wave palms and read the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is a celebration of Jesus as a folk hero, with subversive political undertones. The Gospel starts here, but goes much deeper.

Maundy Thursday: April 17th, 7pm.
We worship with our friends at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.  1805 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098
Thursday, we read of Jesus’ last supper with his friends.  We remember how he promised to be present in our meals together, to be revealed as we break bread.  We see how the love at the center of the universe is about kneeling to serve each other. 

Good Friday: April 18th, 7pm
On Friday we see how real death is, that it hurts.  We remember that humans die, and that grieving for loved ones is a part of our life.  But most of all, we see that God would rather die for us than ever kill, and that even in the midst of torture and ridicule and pain, God’s nature is to forgive.  On Good Friday, we watch God die.  And we hear that, somehow, this is for us.

Easter Vigil: April 19th, 9pm
Saturday night, we gather for one of the church’s most ancient rituals.  Like the earliest Christians in Roman catacombs, around a fire, we spend the night re-telling all the stories of our faith.  We remind each other of all the times that God has acting in the world to bring life, and wholeness, and resurrection.  And we proclaim Easter- the ultimate triumph of life over death, goodness over evil, love over hate.   In this one night, the grand story of our faith is told.   This used to be the night when, after this telling, new Christians were baptized.  At Grace this year, several people will be baptized, and the rest of us will be reminded of our baptisms.   We move to the altar, stand around it together, and eat the Lord’s supper.   I know that not everyone will attend this service.  But if you want to see the heart of our faith, to hear what Christianity is all about, this is the night to experience it.

Easter Sunrise: April 20th, 7am.
On Sunday, Easter morning, remembering the women going to the tomb of Jesus at dawn, we gather to hear the early news, to remember the confusion, to be amazed, to feel the wonderment. 

Easter Breakfast: April 20th, 9am.
(We take a break to eat and party.  This isn’t a liturgical tradition, but a part of our church life anyway!)

Easter Mass: April 20th: 10:30am.
The great celebration- Christ is Risen!  Death is defeated! This is life for all the world!  And we’ll have our biggest service of the year, full of people from all walks of life, celebrating the hope of more than we can see, feeling Easter Joy.

This deep meaning of our faith, of this week, is more than you or I can know or understand.  But I invite you to come this week and begin feeling it.  And to spend your lifetime living it, little by little, deeper and deeper. 
Death and suffering are real, and they hurt.  But life and love are greater.  Even more real.  Come and worship!

New Sermon Video!

The "Grace Goes Progressive" video from this past Sunday has been posted! Make sure to check it out!

Holy Week

Our Holy Week schedule has been announced. It is as follows:

Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday: April 13 at 10:30 a.m.
*There will be no Wednesday Evening Prayer held during Holy Week*
Maundy Thursday: April 17 at 7 p.m. (at St. Stephens)
Good Friday: April 18 at 7 p.m.
Easter Vigil: April 19 at 9 p.m.
Easter Sunrise: April 20 at 7 a.m.
Easter Mass: April 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Now showing: Pr. Lura's sermons!

Great news! We have started filming Pr. Lura's  sermons. They will be posted here and on our Facebook page (if you haven't done so already, go "like" us!). Make sure to look out for them every week. Here is her sermon from Transfiguration Sunday.

Pray for those who curse you

While Texans around the state celebrated Wednesday’s ruling by a San Antonio court that Texas’ prohibition against the freedom to marry was unconstitutional, Jared Woodfill, the chairman of the Harris County Republican Party saw it as an opportunity for political advancement.

On Monday, March 3, at 10 am, Woodfill and Dave Welch of the “Houston Area Pastor’s Council” will hold a press conference at the party’s headquarters to decry what Dr. Hotze describes as “allowing sodomites to marry.”

Please join people of faith, including co-sponsoring organization Grace Lutheran Church, in this non-partisan prayer vigil for the leaders of the Harris County Republican party, that they find in their hearts the love God has for all Texans seeking the security and tools of marriage in order to grow their families and build a life together.

Please do not bring protest signs. The vigil will be a quiet time for prayer and song.

More information HERE

Ash Wednesday

Please join us on Wednesday, March 5th, at 7pm as we begin Lent with an Ash Wednesday service.  Come and remember that you are dust, come and hear the words of God's faithfulness. We hope to see you there!

G.R.A.C.E., Our Movie Nights

Every Friday at 5pm, Grace Lutheran hosts a movie night. Below is the "annual report" written by Kris Hyde. Please join us for movie night. We'd love to have you!

We have laughed, we have cried, we have bonded and we say good bye to 2013. Another year has come and gone. I am asked for my annual report......I could easily take last years' and copy and paste it. My vision of a good time with great people is still the same with a few minor adjustments. I know what Movie Nights means to me....however, I decided to ask the attendees & volunteers what it means to them.......and this is what I got:

Thomas Piper, Attendee
Thomas Piper on what Grace, Our Movie Nights means to him..... (via video & audio memo) "Hi, my name is Thomas Piper. I'm at the Grace Lutheran Church and I just wanted to basically talk about what the Saturday night movies means to me. Being visually impaired, completely blind, it's nice to have movie night, where there's a safe place for individuals to go....especially if you're disabled. The movies are nice, there's snacks in between the movies ......and there is usually plenty of food for a person, and it's really a great place to go for those of us who are disabled and find ourselves disenfranchised and shut in, so it's really a good thing that we have a movie night here at Grace Lutheran Church and I would really be devastated if it were to end. Because, hey, it gives me a chance to get out of the house, to interact with people, to catch up on movies and events, and also to have dinner with other people.... cause I'm usually alone when I eat. So it's a good thing, and I do appreciate having Movie Night here at Grace Lutheran Church. Thank you."~ Thomas Piper (Attendee)

"Movie Night is an opportunity to enjoy the company of Grace friends and to connect with people from the local community who are not church members. It is especially rewarding to offer some food and a place to relax for a few hours to our homeless visitors."~R N Griffin (Grace Member, Volunteer)

Terry Thomas on what Grace, Our Movie Nights means to him...... (via video & audio memo) "Movie night? I love Movie Night. It's really fun. They play good movies and we also get to watch Wonder Woman in the beginning....and this is a nice change of pace that gets you to do other things..... other than the same old thing. I hope we have it for a while. Thank you."~ Terry Thomas (Attendee, assists with break down and setting up of Sunday Morning Coffee for service)

" I started working and attending movie night last winter & found it a great event & vital function for our church. A mixture of church members and our friends from the street, it gives us a tremendous opportunity both for fellowship and serving. Kris does an excellent job of preparing the food, picking movies and catering to the needs of the attendees with his fellow servers and popcorn man at the ready, although we are not catching "first run movies" there has been a little bit of something for everybody. We tried "serving the masses" at first, but due to several disruptive forces we had to restructure it and charge a small fee in which they still get much more than they pay for. From our "special projector" to our magic wall screen, It is my opinion a neat event that I have had to miss for the last few months, sparing one off night do to work obligation. The major disappointment to me is that more of our members don't attend and I think that it points to a major problem we have, here that is, if it doesn't fit our needs or isn't what we feel is done our way we don't attend. If we are indeed so tolerant and diverse, it seems that it would show on a more consistent basis....... Those who miss out are missing out on being a part of a very special movie night crew and an excellent experience. I am looking forward to being a part of it for many more movie nights to come!!!!"~ David Chuber (Grace Member, Volunteer)

"Movie nights at Grace Lutheran probably means as much to me and the other volunteers, as it does to the attendees. True, it's a safe place for anyone to come enjoy a free movie, everything from classics to contemporary films, but more importantly, Kris has provided a friendly and personable environment that gives everyone an opportunity of having a hot meal and a smile...two things that 
many of the movie night regulars don't necessarily get on a daily basis. So if you want to come see what all the hoopla is about, see a good flick, and have dinner with friends...come by Grace Lutheran Fridays at 5. Hope to see you there."~ Shawna Nutley (attends regularly, Volunteer)
Kris in Jurassic Park!

These are just a few of the amazing people that have attended this event. They came in for a movie.....and they seem to have left with a lot more. I think the message is clear and the mission has been defined: In this world that reports hate and anger first.......(through media)...... a small paradise is offered through our little church. A place where they can feel safe and break bread together.... G.R.A.C.E., Our Movie Nights. We have added a suggested donation price of $1.00 and it seems to be paying for it's self, for the most part. Continuing making a calendar listing for Facebook, the congregation and updating the group page, sticking to the new formula for fun: 

G - Is for General fun for the whole family.
R – Is for Romance.
A – Is for Action & Adventure.
C - Is for Comedy.
E – Is for Everything from : Television, Stand-up, Foreign Films, Documentaries, Concerts*****

Kris Hyde

The upcoming schedule for movie night is:
Feb. 7: Pretty Woman (1990); The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (episode 17 of 22)
Feb. 14: Valentine's Day (2010); The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (episode 18 of 22)
Feb. 21: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953); The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (episode 19 of 22)
Feb. 28: Mulan (1998); The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (episode 20 of 22)