This week you’re going to be seeing a change with our weekly emails. We are moving to a once-a-week email on Thursdays which will continue to be called Weekly Update. This will give you all the same information, but less clutter, for your inbox. We hope this will be a good change for you and continue to keep you connected to all we’re doing at Peace.
Also, right now I could use your help with a few things at Peace. First, we could use a few new volunteers to help with Sunday worships. Our ushers and set up crew have been a same few people for 3-4 months and probably longer. Please consider if you could come a few minutes early on Sundays and help set up for worship (especially when we’re outdoors) or act as an usher. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Second, I’m looking for someone to help organize our LSS refugee kits. We have completed our first round and sent 65 kits to Milwaukee last week. Peace will continue to collect items donated by the La Crosse Area Synod and I’m looking for someone willing to help organize these donations. If you’re interested in helping take inventory and organizing items into kits, please let me know. This will be a short-term commitment as we’re looking to have all items collected by October 24.
Please let me know if you can help or if you have any questions! We do this ministry together for the sake of the world. Thank you for all of the ways you help make a difference.
Depends and Sippy Cups. I need to find a home for these items…a lot of them! They are the two unique items we’ve been blessed with this week. They are not part of the LSS kit list, and it seems that other organizations are restricting more and more what they will accept. So, what do we do with all the Depends and sippy cups?
Someone, I don’t even know who (no one from Peace), thought Depends and sippy cups were a good idea. I’m finding more and more; we think we know what people need. We try to put ourselves in others’ shoes and assume they would need exactly what we would want if we were in their situation. And so, we drop off items we think they need. As someone trying to organize an outpouring of generosity this week, this is when helping is hard. I love the generosity. I love the enthusiasm, but I don’t know what to do with Depends and sippy cups.
So, what have I learned? Let’s stop and ask what is needed before we take action. This goes for so many situations in life. When someone is struggling, ask what they need. When someone is hungry, homeless, or lonely, ask what they need. Sometimes we need sippy cups and Depends, but sometimes we just need someone to say, “How can I help?” A listening ear, a hug or a helping hand might be so much more valuable than any one thing that we could give someone.
Thanks for your generosity and your helping hands for our Afghan neighbors. We will make a difference in someone’s life.
This Sunday we get to live out our mission to Welcome, Worship and Walk with Christ as we participate in God’s work. Our hands. Sunday. This is a great opportunity to come together as a congregation to serve our community. We will begin with worship outdoors, but we hope you will stick around to work on some of the service projects for our community and beyond. You can get a full list of projects in the article below and then click on the link and sign up! This year we will be partnering with Neighbor for Neighbor Food Pantry, the Mobile Tomah Community Table, Lutheran Social Services, the La Crosse Area Synod and community members. After our service projects are completed, we will be gathering back at Peace for lunch! It’s going to be a great day and we hope you join us!
See you Sunday,
As I was looking over our Weekly Update, I noticed that we have a lot going on right now that has to do with generosity. We’re supporting Lutheran Disaster Response with a focus on Haiti relief. We’re collecting items for LSS to put together kits for our Afghan neighbors as they settle into new homes. We’ve coordinated God’s work. Our hands. Sunday to happen on September 12. These are all incredible ways of being generous with our time, talents, and resources. Over the years as your pastor, I have learned the people of Peace are generous people. And so, I can’t wait to see the outcome of these efforts. Thank you!
At this time, several of us at Peace are also working through a helpful stewardship program called “Building a Culture of Generosity”. We are hoping to share stories of generosity throughout the Fall with an encouragement for you to fill out an Intention of Giving Card at the end. A lot of people shy away from what are often called pledge drives, but I have to say that I am excited about this work. It gives us an opportunity to dream about growing our ministry and the new ways we can be generous in the coming year. This is the amazing work God blesses us to do.
As information about Building a Culture of Generosity is shared, I hope you will engage in this with us. And then pray and consider how you might join us in being generous. God’s work. Our hands! This is God’s good work we do together!
The last few weeks have been rough.
If you’ve been following the news:
- Over 2000 people have died in the Haiti earthquake
- Countless Afghans are fleeing for their lives in hopes of finding refuge
- And the coronavirus is on the rise across our nation
It can feel like hopeless times. And yet, we are people of hope. We have a God that gives us hands and feet to bring help and hope in the midst of suffering
And so, I would encourage you to first and foremost pray for those who are suffering in this time. The world needs our prayers right now. And then consider how you might help. Check out the links below for Lutheran Disaster Response (Haiti relief) or the Lutheran Immigrant & Refugee Service (Afghan crisis). Consider donating to these causes that have boots on the ground and are doing important work for those who need it most. Or drop off a check at Peace and we will be sure to get your donations to where they are needed.
As many of you may know, Afghan allies are coming to Fort McCoy. We are actively seeking ways that we will be able to help out locally as well. So please, stay tuned for more information and share any information you might receive.
As the we hear in the story of Esther, perhaps we were born “for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Let us be bold and step out in faith to share our resources and care for our neighbors.
These last few weeks, I’ve been busy gearing up for another year of ministry. This will all begin with God’s work. Our hands. Sunday on September 12 where we will worship, serve, and eat together. From there, Confirmation, Sunday School, & Adult Education will begin. We will enter a new year of Bible readings and worship routines. Just as a new school year begins, we start anew in the church as well.
This Sunday, I will be talking about communion during my sermon. One of the questions I will ask is, “why does it matter to you?” I think this is a question we can ask about all that we do as a worshiping community. Why do we do what we do? And why does it matter to you? The “why” is so important in our faith. I believe it is what keeps us engaged. It’s what pushes us to grow. It’s what matters most.
And so, for this Sunday as you worship with us or tune in at home, consider: why does church matter to you? Perhaps you will share this with a neighbor or friend. You never know, you might remind them of something they have been missing in their life.
God’s peace be with you,
For my August Newsletter article, I talked about getting re-engaged at Peace. Well, we have got some great opportunities for you over the next week that I hope you’ll consider.
- Women’s Retreat
- Sunday Worship
- All Ministry Night
- Women’s Bible Study
- Women, Wine & the Word
Check out all the information about these activities below.
In the meanwhile, consider a few ways you can meaningfully re-engage in what is happening at Peace. Now this is not to add more to your calendar, but to bring more meaning to your faith. Whether it’s service, worship, fellowship, or education, we all engage our faith in different ways. What will be your avenue for engagement in the coming year? How might you be involved in making that happen?
I hope to see you this next week!
I have to be honest. I’m nervous about the new school year. Delia is still not able to be vaccinated and with no mask mandate, I can’t imagine many children will be wearing masks at school. And yet the variants of COVID-19 seem to be rising throughout our country. I’m fearful we might be back to where we were a year ago if we’re not careful.
When I watch the news, I hear how doctors and hospital staff are exhausted and so very frustrated. Many of them are pleading with the public saying this could have been avoided. Get vaccinated!
And so here is my plea: please consider getting vaccinated if you have not already done so. Our country is not moving in the right direction right now with the coronavirus, and I don’t believe anyone wants to spend the next year like we have spent the last year. The science shows the vaccines to be both safe and effective. And this is the best way to combat COVID-19.
Over and over, Jesus invites us to love our neighbors. If not for your own sake, I hope you will get vaccinated for your neighbor’s sake. This is a way we can all be a part of making a difference.
Just 2 years ago we could not even imagine what the future would hold. I think we all can agree it has been a long year and a half! In many ways, things feel like they are getting back to normal. Schools are making plans to head into Fall with a somewhat more normal year. Community gatherings have been in full swing all summer. And even church activities are starting to look closer and closer to what we desire.
But after a year and a half, apathy can start to set in. I get it! It’s so much easier to curl up in my pajamas and watch worship rather than get ready and head out the door. It’s easier to let someone else bring the bars, read the lesson, or mow the lawn. And yet, we all know how important this community is and this community doesn’t work without you.
And so, it’s time to re-engage! Check out what’s coming up and consider how you might be a part of it. Come to All Ministry Night on August 16 at 6:30 pm and help us make plans for the Fall. Come to worship in person or online (however you feel safest). Comment and “like” our Facebook posts so they reach a wider audience. Remember to give your offering (we’re over $10,000 behind where we were last year at this time). Whatever it is, find ways to engage in what’s happening at Peace because we need you to continue the ministry we do together!
These are challenging words, but I hope you’ll take me up on them!
God’s peace and blessings,
Worship in the Park – This Sunday!
Join us Sunday for worship in the Wilton Park (299 East Street, Wilton). This will be a combined service with St. Paul’s in Wilton, as well as a kickoff for our VBS week. We’ll worship at 9:30 am, have activities at 10:15 am and join in a potluck lunch at 11 am. We’ll have plates and utensils but would ask you bring along chairs and a dish to pass. We were asked to bring desserts, but feel free to bring anything to enjoy with our meal. BBQs or sloppy joes (whatever you call them!) will be provided as well.
Then Monday through Wednesday evenings we will have an intergeneration VBS where we encourage all ages to join us. At 5:30 pm we will kick things off at St. Paul’s (401 Mill St, Wilton) with a light meal, followed by VBS activities for the kids and an adult Bible Study. We hope you will consider joining us for all or any of these nights.
If you have questions, please feel free to let me know. It is going to be a fun and busy week and we hope you’ll be part of it.
See you Sunday in the Park!