Help Needed

First off, a big shout out to everyone who has been making our outdoor worships at Peace possible! 

There have been several of you who have been showing up early on Sundays to make sure everything is ready. I could not do it without you. You know who you are! THANK YOU!!! 

There is no doubt it takes a lot more work to move everything out and back into the church for these services, but it also provides us with a safe opportunity to worship together. In my opinion, I think it’s worth it! But instead of relying on the same 5 people, I’m hoping a few of you might sign up to help out for some of our upcoming outdoor worships. We continue to need readers, flower providers and musicians. But we’re also looking for set up and tear down crew, ushers, and on occasion, someone to live stream the service. Please consider helping out and sign up below if you (or your family) are able to help with any of the upcoming worship services. 

With thanks,

Pastor Dawn

Click here to Volunteer for May/June Worship Services

Heading Into Summer

As I make plans for May, it’s hard to believe how quickly (and at times, how slowly) this past year has gone. Our teachers, staff and students have made it through a full school year of COVID-19 restrictions. And they’re counting down the days to summer break…believe me! Our high school Seniors are making plans to say goodbye to a chapter in their life. And parents are left wondering, where has the time gone? 

For many, May becomes a month of finishing up and planning for the future. Whether it is dealing with end of year schedules or making plans for summer getaways, getting out the lawnmower or weeding the flower beds, I think we all feel a sense of busyness that comes with the change in weather.  

There will be a fullness to our month at Peace, as well. We hope you will join in the ways we serve, worship and celebrate this month. Check out the worship notes below and join us for God’s work. Our hands. Sunday. Come and bless our seniors and celebrate Pentecost with us. Even in the busyness of life, we hope that our time together in worship can be a time to take a deep breath and be reminded of the One who brings order to the chaos, the One who finds blessing in busyness, the One who shares love, hope and grace in the messiness of life.  

We hope you will come and be blessed at Peace this month!

Pastor Dawn

Focus on Creation

Over the past year, nature has become a safe haven for me. Going for a hike at Black River State Forest or Wildcat State Park. Jumping on our bikes and taking a ride on the trails. Taking our camper for an overnight in a state park. In nature I have felt comfortable taking off my mask, letting down my guard and enjoying some time that feels normal with my family.

At the same time, with all that is going on in the world, I don’t know that I’ve really considered how I cared for nature this past year. I have been much more focused on what it gives me rather than what I can give back. And so, I’m grateful for the opportunity to worship this Sunday with a focus on creation. Perhaps it will give all of us a moment to refocus on God’s creation and consider the ways we might bring restoration to all God has created.

In a time when there seems to be so much out of our control, perhaps we can focus on the small ways we can bring healing to our earth. So I hope you’ll consider this next week one small thing you might do to care for creation. Consider how you might reduce your environmental footprint. Check out an online footprint calculator to see your impact. Type in “footprint calculator” and you’ll find 19,100,000 results on google. Try out one of the calculators. Perhaps it will inspire an idea for how you might care for creation in the coming year.

I hope you join me for worship this Sunday & Happy Earth Day!

Pastor Dawn

God’s Work. Our Hands. Sunday

Can you believe it? This will be our 12th GWOH (God’s Work. Our Hands.) Sunday at Peace in 7 years! Although this past year has brought some changes to GWOH Sunday, on May 2 we will be bringing back our fellowship (a.k.a. FOOD!)

So, what do you need to do? Check out the GWOH Sunday information on the Events tab. Also check out the other opportunities we’ll have on that day including our Noisy Offering for World Hunger, food collection for our Little Pantry and Families First collection of laundry and feminine products. Feel free to drop those items off at church anytime.   

And then come for a day of worship, service, and a sack lunch back at Peace. It’s going to be a great day to gather as we serve our community! 

In service and love,

Pastor Dawn

Change is Afoot

With the change in weather, we’ve been blessed to gather in person once again! Although I will admit, Palm Sunday was less than ideal weather. However, Easter was glorious! We are making plans to continue with outdoor worship on the first and third Sundays of the month, so please mark your calendars. And stay tuned as more information will be available after our council meeting tonight. 

And yet with these changes, there are quite a few unknowns. Now that COVID-19 variants are moving closer and closer to us, we cannot know how this will affect the COVID rates in our area. At the same time, more and more people are getting vaccinated. Hooray! (Please consider getting scheduled for your vaccination if you have not done so. Anyone 16 and up is now eligible.) And yet, the weather is always going to be a wild card.  

Just as you have been flexible over the past year, I ask for your grace as changes need to be made over the next few months to adjust to these unknown factors. Due to weather or significant increases in the COVID rate, worship might need to go online again for a week or longer. So please stay connected to our website and Facebook page for the latest information. 

It is everyone’s desire to gather again. However, our council is doing everything we can to make sure that when we gather it is as safely as possible. Thank you for your patience this past year and we look forward to seeing you in worship…outdoor or online…and hopefully before we know it, in our sanctuary!  

Blessings,

Pastor Dawn

Holy Week

It’s Holy Week. A week to reflect and wonder. A week to listen and be still. A week to worship and pray.

This all sounds lovely and yet, in my household, life is just starting to ramp-up again. I’m starting to feel a sense of busyness that I haven’t felt in over a year. Just this week, soccer practice and track practice began. Between picking up and dropping off kids, we managed to record our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. Plans are being made for a summer mission trip and Bible camp. And I’ve been busy scouting out campsites for a few weekend trips. Is it possible that life could be moving back to “normal?” Whatever that really means?!?

And then as we looked at our schedule for this week, we were reminded that we still need to stop and worship and reflect. Perhaps soccer practice just isn’t going to happen today.

In the midst of whatever busyness you might be feeling, I hope that you will take some time to be still and worship. To listen and reflect. Share a special meal with your family and then join us for our online Maundy Thursday communion service and Good Friday online service at 6:30 pm. Come and walk the Path of Jesus outside Peace anytime through Easter. Or, crack open your Bible and read the passion story found in the last few chapters of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Carve out some time this week to dwell in this story.

And then, join us on Easter morning as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Let us roll the stone away and proclaim the promise of life.

Blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter to you,

Pastor Dawn

Holy Week

The Hope of Jesus

Within the last few days, we have been reminded of the fragility of life as we hear about shootings in Atlanta, Boulder, and even as close as Wilton. Life was lost in Atlanta and Boulder and the brokenness of our world continues. Hate crimes, domestic terrorism, domestic violence, and abuse. They are taking a toll on our communities. And we are left not knowing how to recover from the violence of this world.

Jesus was living in a world not so different from our reality today. Violence and death seemed to be the norm while people often stood by and watched it happen. And yet, Jesus was unrelenting in his stance. There is another way. A way of love and compassion and peace. A way of hope and mercy and grace.

During Holy Week, we experience the extremes of our world. We watch as an innocent man is put to death and then we see that same man resurrected to new life. Violence and love. Again and again this story reminds us that in Christ there is a new way of being. It is the way of love. And so as people die in our streets, may we be voices of love. May we stand up and not stand by. May we be like Jesus…beacons of new life in a world too often filled with hatred and violence.  This is the hope of Easter. This is the hope of Jesus.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Dawn

Half a Fortnite

For the past 7 months, Andrew has been my co-worker on Mondays and Wednesdays during this pandemic. When I asked my co-worker what I should write about this week, he suggested the recent Fortnite update. For those unfamiliar, Fortnite is a popular video game. Now, I wouldn’t normally write about such things, but challenge accepted!  

As he plays and talks incessantly about this game, I find that I don’t understand half of what he’s talking about. Push, rotate, Jonesy…gibberish to me. He enters another world when he’s playing and often, I’m left in the dust. 

It makes me wonder how much of our faith story becomes gibberish to those outside the church, especially as we come upon Holy Week. As people hear the passion story, I’m sure it sounds like pure foolishness. A teacher who is betrayed by his beloved students and friends. A father who doesn’t save his son. An innocent man crucified on a cross. And this is the God we worship and follow. Pure foolishness! And yet, that’s exactly what makes Easter morning all the more powerful. Because the Father resurrects his son. The friends are forgiven and the dead man comes to life. It might be hard to understand, but it is a story worth telling. It is a story of God’s hope, love and grace for you. 

I hope you’ll make plans to hear and share this story in the coming weeks. And let me challenge you. I want you to invite someone to hear this story that might need God’s hope, love and grace right now. You never know… they might be drawn into this life-giving foolishness as well.  

May God’s story be with you,

Pastor Dawn

Seven Times

In communicating information there is the 7×7 Rule.  Basically, this means you need to share a message seven times in seven different ways. This ensures people have heard, understood, and implemented the message.

Different people notice different things every time they see or hear a message, which makes this rule necessary. You’ll notice that some of what I am going to talk about now is in other places in this newsletter. Just remember, I’m using the 7×7 rule!

Holy Week Worship is drawing ever so near, and I truly hope you will be a part of what is going on. Each service will be unique, and I hope meaningful. We will keep telling you about these services…remember 7×7! For now, plan to join us for:

·      Palm Sunday, March 28 (outdoors or online)

·      Maundy Thursday, April 1 (online)

·      Good Friday, April 2 (online)

·      Easter Sunday, April 4 (outdoors or online).

So, go and put it on your calendar right now! 😊

There will be many other opportunities as well. Starting on Palm Sunday, we will have an outdoor experience to walk The Path of Jesus. This will be Scripture readings, poetry and songs that lead you through the Passion Story. You will be able to walk this path anytime from Palm Sunday up to Easter. We hope you come and experience the Passion Story.

We will also be doing Palm Sunday deliveries with everything you need for Holy Week, including bulletins and worship information. One special item you can sign-up for is Communion Bread in a Jar (sign up below!). You will receive dry ingredients along with a recipe to make communion bread for Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. You can pick up your package at worship on Palm Sunday or receive a delivery from a member at Peace! Oh, and we need delivery people (Again, sign up below!).

7×7…I’m going to keep on telling you what’s going on because I can’t wait to see you and worship with you this Holy Week! I hope you’ll make plans to join me at Peace!

Blessings,

Pastor Dawn

Where You Go

Last night in worship we heard the story of Ruth and Naomi. With Ruth’s words, we were reminded that we do not need to go it alone. I think we all have Ruths in our lives who walk with us when we need it most. Who have been the Ruths in your life? How have they walked with you when you’ve needed it most?

I would invite you to share on Facebook some of the people who have walked with you.

As you consider the Ruths in your life, remember that you, too, might have walked with someone when they needed it most.

 Blessings,

Pastor Dawn