Christmas is coming, but not yet!
This Advent and Christmas we will be gathering around the theme of Close to Home. Our series will connect us to our experiences of home while reminding us that our everlasting home is with God, a home we find in Christ’s arrival at Christmas. Check out these words that say a bit more about our theme:
“When something hits close to home, it affects us deeply. During the Advent and Christmas season, we journey through scriptures and rituals that are tender, heavy with emotion, and vulnerable. We carry the memories and truths of this season close to our hearts. Close to Home acknowledges the “already but not yet” tension of our faith: Emmanuel is with us, and yet, God’s promised day—our everlasting home—is not fully realized. It names our deep longing for God to come close to us.”
I hope you will join us this Advent and Christmas as we explore what it means to find our home in Christ. I am excited to share this series with you and I pray that it will touch your life as much as it has already touched mine.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel!
What a blessing it is to serve as your pastor! I am grateful for the many ways you are partners in ministry as we seek to Welcome, Worship and Walk with Christ. I pray that this day is a blessing to you however you celebrate.
A Thanksgiving Prayer:
God of Abundance, on this Thanksgiving Day, help us to be grateful for the many blessings you pour out on us. Open our eyes to those who go without. Increase our desire to be generous in love and compassion. Help us to find peace in circumstances beyond our control. As we share in a meal this day, we give you thanks O Lord, for your Son, Jesus Christ, who is the bread of life, our hope and our joy. With grateful hearts we pray, Amen.
Please look for our November Newsletter next Tuesday, November 30.
Come and Meet our New Bishop & Let’s Decorate!
This Sunday, Bishop Felix Malpica will be joining us for worship. I am excited for you to meet him, so please come and welcome him to Peace Lutheran. He will share a message and music with us during worship. After worship, we will have a time of fellowship so that you can meet him in person.
This Sunday, we will also be getting ready for Advent and Christmas. After our fellowship time, stick around and help us decorate for Advent and Christmas. We’ll be putting up the trees, banners, nativity and more.
It’s going to be a fun and full morning, so we hope you join us this Sunday!
See you then,
Join us for Intent Sunday!
Over the past month we have been talking about what it means to build a culture of generosity. We have shared stories of what Peace means to us and encouraged you to consider the ways you are generous.
This Sunday, I would invite you to share your commitment to Peace Lutheran Church using the Intent Card that was mailed to you earlier this week. Pray and consider how you might be generous with Peace in the coming year. We will receive these cards in worship this coming Sunday. If you forget it, don’t worry! We’ll have extras on hand.
If you’re unable to join us in person for worship this Sunday, no worries! We will be sharing a link in the comments during worship for you to complete the card online. Otherwise, feel free to mail or drop off your card in the coming week. Or wait for next Sunday and place it in the offering plate at that time. Bishop Felix Malpica will be worshiping with us on November 21 to help us celebrate our commitment to support the ministry of Peace. Come and meet him!
If you can’t wait one more minute, consider filling out your card right now. Here is the link: https://forms.gle/qvuiZJpTxRusYtgs5
We have a generous donor who will gift the congregation with $5000 if we reach our goal of receiving 45 intent cards. We need all of your help to make this possible! Let’s reach our goal so we can continue to Welcome, Worship & Walk with Christ!
See you Sunday,
This week we added to our effort to help with refugee resettlement in Wisconsin through LSS (Lutheran Social Services). Through donations of money and household items, we were able to add 20 kits to the 65 kits we assembled in September. 85 total kits! Wow!
We estimated a value of over $2000 for our last delivery, and I would guess close to the same with this delivery, as we packed even more into our kitchen and linen kits including homemade quilts and blankets, dish sets and pans, and even fans and alarm clocks.
Thank you to everyone who donated items or money. And thank you to those who helped organize and pack up these donations, including Linda Weaver, Beth Stuart, Kate Schanhofer and several of the Confirmation Moms. Thank you, Nathan Johnson, for driving our first load to Milwaukee and Dan Crego for helping to load up. And a big thanks to my East Conference colleagues who loaded up and transported this final load. We couldn’t have done this without all of you!
Feeling grateful today for the work we can do together!
We are in the middle of our Building a Culture of Generosity series with our Intent Sunday just around the corner on November 14. I hope the bulletin inserts, e-letters and Sunday talks have helped you reflect on why Peace is an important part of your faith and life. It has been a great reminder of why we do this work together for the sake of Christ and our neighbors.
In the coming weeks, I hope you will pray and consider your intent to give to the ministry at Peace Lutheran Church in the coming year. As we grow in our generosity, Peace is able to Welcome, Worship and Walk in greater ways. This excites me as I think about the year to come, and all God has in store for us.
Thank you for your continued generosity!
Our family has been forced to make some hard decisions lately. Our kids love sports and often want to play more than one sport at a time. This Fall, Andrew was running cross country and playing soccer. And Delia played soccer, too. This Winter, the kids really want to do both swim and basketball. As we lined up schedules and distances to practice, as well as meets and games, it’s just not in the cards. We need a lot more hours in a day to make that work. So, we started talking about what’s most important. We asked each kid, “what takes priority?” It’s looking like swim (my kids’ true love) is going to beat out basketball (my true love).
It feels like this Fall everything is back in full swing. The many obligations that were cancelled and put on hold when COVID first hit are ramping back up again. This includes church activities. Along with this, I think many of us have reflected on what’s most important in our lives this past year-plus.
And so, I wonder, what are your priorities? What are you ready to pour yourself into? What are you ready to give up? As you reflect on this, I would ask you to consider what your priorities are at Peace? What is most important to you? What are you willing to pour yourself into at Peace?
Then let me know, because I truly believe God uses us best when we work out of our strengths. I’d love to hear where you’re hearing God call you next. Drop me a note!
Have a blessed week,
Over the next month or so, we will be having some special worship services. While they will have different focuses, we hope they will bring meaning to our worship. It all starts this Sunday as four students will stand before the congregation and affirm their baptisms. This will be the culmination of 2 years of study when these students will take on the promises God has for them. I hope you will join these students in celebrating this milestone in their faith.
On October 31, we will remember the Reformation when Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517. Although it’s been 504 years, we continue to remember our need to be a reforming church.
And then on November 7, we will remember those we have lost in our lives on All Saints’ Day. This is a day to remember our loved ones and all who have been part of our faith life and community. We hope you’ll come and remember on that day. And all throughout this time, we will be talking about Building a Culture of Generosity and our need to be generous.
It’s going to be a full month. We hope that you will join us for worship as we celebrate and remember. It’s important for us to come together in these times to be reminded of how we are church together.
See you in worship,
Many of you probably saw on Facebook that my internship supervisor died this week. Although we had not remained as connected as I would have liked, his influence on my ministry is remarkable. He taught me so much about the joy and creativity that goes into ministry, and I am grateful for all he taught me.
While I grieve this loss, I was also reminded of how many people have been a part of forming who I am. From teachers and coaches, to pastors and parents, there are so many people who have touched my life in significant ways. Although I might connect many of these people to my career, accomplishments, or personality, they have also been an important part of my faith.
As you reflect on your own life, who are the people who have helped form your faith? How have you stayed connected with them? What might you share about what they have meant to you?
Pastor Fred seemed far too young to die and yet, I know that he held fast to the promises of Christ. His witness has been an encouragement to my faith. I hope that you have people who have encouraged you along the way. Perhaps you might share with me the stories of those people. I would love to hear about them.
I have to admit, there’s something exciting about being generous. I just love watching my kids open gifts at Christmas. I enjoy being able to give money to causes in which I believe. I like to support the ministry that happens at Peace. I love being able to give something away, not because I have to, but because I can. This is generosity. I would guess many of you can relate to this feeling.
In the weeks ahead, you will be hearing more about generosity. Newsletter articles, bulletin inserts, mission moments, letters and more will be used to share the Peace story and our hopes for even more robust ministry next year.
So, in the coming weeks, look for the heading “Building a Culture of Generosity” and please engage the materials. Pray about how you can become more generous. Then, on Intent Sunday, November 14, please bring your intent card with you to declare the generosity that you intend to share with this congregation.
We are blessed to be a generous congregation and I cannot wait to see the ways we continue to be generous in the year to come!