Celebrate

While I’m away…
I’m off on vacation this week, but I’ll be back at it after July 5. As I take next Sunday off, you are encouraged to check out some of the other online worships around our Synod.

For a full list of worships in our Synod check out: Click here for Synod worship list

Or perhaps better yet, in celebration of our 10th anniversary as a worshiping congregation, you’re invited to worship with one of our own, Pastor Alyssa Weaver, at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Iola. We will be posting information about her worship service on Facebook, or feel free to check out their Facebook page where they post worship each Sunday at 9 am. Click here for Our Savior’s Lutheran in Iola Facebook page

It’s important to be reminded that we are church together. This isn’t about a building or even a particular pastor; it’s about being the body of Christ at all times and in all places. Thank you for this gift of time away and blessings as you worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ across this church.

God’s peace & blessings,
Pastor Dawn  

The Body and Blood of Christ

Holy Communion. Eucharist. The Sacrament of the Altar. Whatever you prefer to call it, it is a meal like no other meal. A meal that brings forgiveness when we need it most. A meal that connects us across distance and time to our most beloved. A meal that comes with a promise of salvation and eternal life. Although we at times get in the habit of receiving the bread and wine, it is not a gift to be taken lightly.

This is why over the past few months pastors and bishops across our church have been looking closely at how we share this meal in these times. What does it look like when we are sheltering in place? How do we safely distribute when we are making all attempts to physically distance?

Over the last few weeks, our Safely Gathering Task Force has met to discuss recommendations made by our Bishop Jim Arends. After discussion with our Safely Gathering Task Force and with the blessing of our bishop, we will be making recommendations to the council to provide opportunities for sharing Holy Communion online. We are hoping to begin these opportunities in July with a communion service following our regular worship time.

We are learning and growing in this time and so we ask for your patience as we discover the best ways to live out our faith in ways that are true to our beliefs. As much as I miss being a gathered community, I value your lives far beyond our need to gather. Thank you for your support and understanding as we have been church in new ways these past few months. I truly believe God is opening up new ways of being church…ways that we may have never imagined.

God’s peace & blessings,
Pastor Dawn  

Blessing Our Fathers

I must admit that I thought I had forgotten Father’s Day this year. On Sunday, after worship, it hit me like a load of bricks that I had forgotten Father’s Day. How did I miss it? How could we not bless our fathers? After checking my calendar, I realized my corona-brain was just playing tricks on me. Thank goodness!  

Here is a blessing you might pray over the fathers in your life this Sunday. We remember those who are fathers or have been like fathers to us. We pray for those who have not been able to be fathers but so deeply desire to be. We pray for those who have not been the fathers they have wanted to be.  For all fathers we pray! 

God of all creation, pour out your blessing on all fathers and those who provide fatherly care. You have made them in your image and given them children to love and care for in your name. Bless them with a heart like your heart: discerning and thoughtful, bold and decisive, compassionate and loving. As they model for their children the life that is lived by faith and not by sight, grant them courage under pressure and confidence in your power. When troubles threaten to overwhelm them, grant them your coping calm. When doubts give rise to anxiety, shore up their trust in your promises. When joy fills their days, grant them a keen gratitude for your abundant supply of grace. Season them with a lively sense of humor, Lord, for it will make life richer for us all. In all circumstances preserve them as your own. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God’s love and peace,
Pastor Dawn  

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2017 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Walking With Christ

During COVID-19, it would have been very easy to hunker down and take a break from the ways we serve our community. And yet, Peace has adapted to these new times and served in ways that meet the needs of our community. I want to thank you for all you have done to walk with our neighbors over the past few months and I encourage you to keep on walking!   

Thanks to your donations, we have kept our Little Free Pantry stocked with food over the last few months. We’ll be doing another collection after worship on June 14 from 10-11:30 am. I hope you’ll consider dropping off non-perishable food items and personal care items to help our community. We have also been able to continue our work with the Mobile Tomah Community Table. This coming Monday will be the third time Peace has stepped up to help sponsor the food and volunteer for the food distribution. And just this week, in response to the protesting in Minneapolis and St Paul, we collected $800 and 5 full boxes of diapers, wipes and food for A Mother’s Love Initiative in Minneapolis to help those challenged by this time.

As we live in this time of unrest, the ways we respond with love matter. I hope we can continue to do this work of walking with Christ as we walk with our neighbors. Thanks for joining in this work!

God’s love and peace,
Pastor Dawn  

Walking With Christ


During COVID-19, it would have been very easy to hunker down and take a break from the ways we serve our community. And yet, Peace has adapted to these new times and served in ways that meet the needs of our community. I want to thank you for all you have done to walk with our neighbors over the past few months and I encourage you to keep on walking!  

Thanks to your donations, we have kept our Little Free Pantry stocked with food over the last few months. We’ll be doing another collection after worship on June 14 from 10-11:30 am. I hope you’ll consider dropping off non-perishable food items and personal care items to help our community. We have also been able to continue our work with the Mobile Tomah Community Table. This coming Monday will be the third time Peace has stepped up to help sponsor the food and volunteer for the food distribution. And just this week, in response to the protesting in Minneapolis and St Paul, we collected $800 and 5 full boxes of diapers, wipes and food for A Mother’s Love Initiative in Minneapolis to help those challenged by this time.

As we live in this time of unrest, the ways we respond with love matter. I hope we can continue to do this work of walking with Christ as we walk with our neighbors. Thanks for joining in this work!

God’s love and peace,
Pastor Dawn  

A Call to Action

It’s been challenging to watch the news these past few weeks as we have been faced with acts of blatant racism. As white people, it is easy for us to sit back and shake our heads as the riots continue and cities burn. We wonder why anyone would do such a thing and often we are quick to judge those actions. We might say things like, “I understand why they are angry, but I don’t understand why they would do something like that.” I want to warn us against saying we understand. Until we have walked down the street in fear because of the color of our skin, we don’t understand. Until we have been judged by the blackness of our skin rather than the character of our being, we don’t understand. Until we, as moms, fear for the day our baby boy turns into a man because of the color of his skin, we don’t understand.  

I would never condone more death or destruction, but I also don’t understand the depth of anger that has been fueled within our black and brown brothers and sisters who deal with systematic racism every day. We cannot even imagine. And so what do we do?   

First, I would invite you to join me for a prayer service tonight during our Connect & Pray time at 6:30 pm today. Join me as we pray together for change and peace for all people. Here is the link: Click here to join Monday 6:30pm Connect & Pray

Second, I would encourage you to listen. There is so much being written and reported right now. I pray that you will listen to those who are so deeply hurt by the systems of oppression that have been in place since our country’s founding. Try to listen with an open heart to hear their pain. Listen for what we might do to bring change in this world that is broken.      

Third, I want to extend this invitation from Pastor Bryan of Tomah UCC who will be collecting items to take to the Twin Cities this Wednesday. Please read Pastor Bryan’s note and I invite you to join in this effort.   

Friends, brothers and sisters, my kinfolk in Christ. You all know the Twin Cities are where I grew up and the place I still call home when I say I’m going there. There is need in that community right now, so I’m making a plea to all of you to help. I’ll be bringing any collected donations to the cities on Wednesday. And will continue to organize more trips to donate supplies.

Among those who may be overlooked in this time are those already traumatized by violence, so in the interest of making this as easy as possible, I’ll ask you to consider making a donation to amothersloveinitiative.org

They are in need of any and all food items, baby formula, diapers, baby wipes, and depends for Seniors.

If you wish to donate through the church, put “mother’s love” in the memo line and send it to the church or call me and I’ll coordinate getting any monetary or supply donations from you. I am asking we help others in a time of need as we would pray for help in our own times of need. Peace and blessings, In Christ, Pastor Bryan

I, Pastor Dawn, will be at Peace tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2 from 2-5 pm to collect anything you would like to drop off. Otherwise, contact me. I’m happy to pick up anything you would like to donate.  

The days ahead will be difficult days. Mostly because they will call us to change. Changes in our assumptions, changes in our actions, changes in our white privilege we have taken for granted for so long. This will be hard work, but it is necessary work as we honor all of God’s creation, by seeing our black and brown brothers and sisters as equal. So, let us start with prayer; let us start by listening; let us we start with love. I hope you will join me in this work.      

Praying for justice and peace,
Pastor Dawn

Book Study: If you would like to look deeper at our white privilege and the work we have ahead of us, consider joining me in a book study using the book Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. Buy a copy of the book and let me know if you would like to join the conversation.

Gratitude

Grateful“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”   –Ephesians 5:20

We’re heading into the season of thankfulness. Unfortunately, our thankfulness is sometimes limited to a season.  Not that we are not thankful at all times, but sometimes we just need to slow down enough to take notice of all God has blessed us with.

Soon on Facebook we will see people post as part of a November Thankfulness Challenge.  It’s been a common challenge over the past few Novembers.  Each day people will post something in their life for which they are thankful.  Family and friends.  A warm home and a car that works.  It might be something small or simple, like peanut butter, and yet it enriches their life.

I think this is a good practice for us as we head toward Thanksgiving.  Throughout the Bible, God encourages us to be thankful.

  • “Give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
  • “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor. 1:4)
  • “Give thanks always…” (Ephesians 5:20)

And yet, our struggles and gripes often get placed before our thankfulness.  So I want to challenge you this November to take time to consider the ways God has been at work throughout your life and give thanks!  Thank those people who have blessed you and listened to you and cared for you.  And thank God for all that has been provided for you…your family, your talents, your life.

As I challenge you, I want to give thanks for some of the ways I have been especially blessed.

  • I thank God for Peace Lutheran Church and the energy and passion this congregation has to welcome, worship and walk with Christ.
  • I thank God for the blessing of my family and how they enrich my life and challenge me each and every day.
  • I thank God for leaders at Peace who have a vision for what God is doing in this place and are excited about following that vision.
  • I thank God for the many members who exemplify what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ by loving God and loving our neighbors.
  • I thank God for the love and support that has been shown to me and my family.
  • I especially thank you for the ways you have appreciated me as your pastor. THANK YOU!

For all of this and so much more, I give THANKS!

Pastor Dawn