Peace Lutheran Church and Community Arts508/358-7110Sunday worship at 9:30 a.m.
Coffee 10:30 a.m.
Education 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, December 24 Christmas Eve
Outdoor Candlelight Holy Communion 4 pm.
-Kathryn is looking for volunteers to ring handbells at this service. Let Kathryn or Pastor Johnson know that you would like to play. No experience necessary. Rehearsal at Peace on Sunday, December 20 at 11 am.
-You may take the bread and wine home. Volunteer communion assistants will bring communion to those who cannot come to church. If you are willing to bring communion to one of our members let Pastor Johnson know.
Christmas Eve Zoom service 5 pm
-Music by Kathryn Welter, the Peace Brass, Bruce Goody and Jonathan Moretz, Keira Moretz, Kirsten Johnson and the St. Mary’s singers, Andie Vogt and Preston Barbare.
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 20, at the 9:30 am service, the young people of our congregation present a Christmas program. You will hear words of scripture as you look at illustrations by our confirmation students. The children and youth will sing and play Christmas hymns on their musical instruments. Send the Zoom link to friends and family!
Third Sunday of Advent
..hold fast to what is good… 1 Thessalonians 5:21b
This phrase from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is part of a check-list of reminders about how to live, as Christians. It ends a letter he wrote to a congregation of the first Christians.
The Christian faith is not about believing things. It is about living in certain ways.
Do good things. The church is the steward of messages, stories, songs, activities (like praying and serving) that help you keep good things in your head and before your eyes.
Second Sunday of Advent
See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way. the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord. Mark 1:2
Think of the people who prepared the way for you: parents, grandparents, friends, coworkers. John the Baptist appears in the role of a prophet, preparing the way for a new expression of God’s word. He gets our attention with his unpolished appearance and his foraged diet. He is not only the advance guard of God’s word, he is the wild man from the wilderness (a point that has been ignored in our nature-denying Christian tradition), and he directs us to Jesus.
First Sunday of Advent
For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12
The church year begins this Sunday with the first Sunday of Advent. We will introduce the themes of the season-darkness and light, waiting and watching, waking from sleep to a new day and a new way of life.
Advent is the season of the Christian life. It is the season of quiet preparation, of faithful meditation on the promises we have heard, and the promises we have made.
The worship room is set up for 15-20 people to attend in person, wearing masks. If you come on Sunday, sign your name on the pad where you find the Celebrate and prayers. Phones and laptops must be turned off during the service.
Offerings received in the mail through the week are placed on the altar as the offering prayer is read. Those of you who are here in person may bring your offerings to the altar and place it in the offering bowl.
Thank you for making weekly or monthly offerings to your church, by mail, direct withdrawal from your account, or direct deposit through our website.
Our stewardship program will begin at the end of October. The New England Synod has prepared stewardship materials this year.
Blessing of the Animals Sunday, October 4
Peace members care for an interesting array of animals. Bring your creatures, great and small, to church at 4 pm on October 4, for a blessing.
If you would rather present your pet for a virtual blessing, have them looking their best at the end of morning worship. Put them in front of your camera for a blessing.
Fellowship groups are forming around games and conversation are forming now. If you would like be a part of one of these groups, contact Kim Canning or Bob Holmgren.
Wednesdays at 7:30 pm
Scripture readings for the day
Luther’s evening prayer
Lord, I love the house in which you dwell
and the place where your glory abides. Psalm 26: 8
and the place where your glory abides. Psalm 26: 8
The Psalmist was singing about the Temple in Jerusalem, where God’s presence was experienced on the grounds, in the assemblies of pilgrims, and in the rituals of the officials.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul relocates the glory of God from a building on a hill in Jerusalem to the behavior of people all over the world: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good…” Romans 12:9
Sunday morning we will think about Paul’s letter to the Romans together
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise. Psalm 138:1
There are gods all around us, and we bow to them. They are clever gods and they deny that they are gods, but they are, and we serve them. You know their names.
The Psalmist makes a clear and principled testimony to orient his/her life to the the presence of the Lord. Then the other gods are demoted and put into their proper places.
Sunday we resume our Zoom services. 9:30 am. I look forward to seeing all of you again!
Special music by Bruce Goody and Pam Goody. We all know Bruce from his visits to Peace with Jonathan. Pam is music director at Christ Church Episcopal in Needham. Thank you to Bruce and Pam.
Piano music by Kirsten Johnson, director of music at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Newton Lower Falls. Thank you to Kirsten and to St. Mary’s for sharing service music with us.
10th Sunday after Pentecost 2020
In the gospel for Sunday, Jesus pauses to reflect on his journey to Jerusalem, and what it means in the big picture. His destiny is connected to truths of human life and human society that run deep and wide. He is not just traveling around doing good deeds. The kingdom of God that he is proclaiming in word and deed is personal and universal, micro and macro, earthy and universal.
A little bit of work was done on our organ this week. More installation work will take place next week.
Bob Holmgren will be our worship leader, on the piano, and our summer soloist! Here are two pictures Bob shared from his vacation in Minnesota. The first picture is of Bob’s sister at a family reunion and party. The second is of Bob and his mother. She is 100 years old.
Next Sunday our summer soloist will be Blythe Brown.
Thank you to Emilie and Mary Ann for their work on the garden this week. The volunteers at A Place to Turn in Natick expressed their thanks for the produce they received from us. Bring in cake mixes and cereal for A Place to Turn.
Gifts to the Peace Forever Fund in celebration of our Smth & Gilbert pipe organ and in grateful recognition of Ron Riggert who fully funded the construction and installation of the organ.
Christine and Grant Brown Shoreline, WA
Kim and Kevin Canning
Kathy Ewens Bryn Mawr, PA
Fran and Gordon Fisher Hockessin, DE
Ruth Fryhle, Bergenfield, NJ
Althea and Loren Korte
Carol and Warren Green
Kim and Michael Ho
Jo Johnson Harpswell, ME
Kirsten and Jeff Johnson
Matthew Johnson St. Paul, MN
Libby and Ralf Jonczyk
Marisa and Kris Lutz
Sandi Lutz West Palm Beach, FL
Janet Moscarelli Medford, MA
Barbara and Dan Olsen
Margaret Raymond Baltimore, MD
Sue and Lynn Schlessman Avon, OH
Mazie and Dick Stitt Cincinnati, OH
7th Sunday after Pentecost
Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses! -Isaiah 44:8
Do not be afraid is a command that threads through the scriptures. But how can we help but be afraid? There is COVID. There are people on the streets who don’t look like us. There are threats to our health, to our economy, to our communities, to our nation’s security. The news we read and hear tell of danger and disruption of peaceful lives.
If we say we have no fear and anxiety, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 (changed slightly)
The gospel of God-presented through the life and words of Jesus-is directed to fearful and anxious people, especially to those who deny that they are afraid and anxious (their fear and anxiety are deep).
The gospel declares: “I promise”. Faith answers: “I trust your words.” In that simple call and response lies the spiritual center of the biblical faith.
Christian ministry tries to drill through layers of fear’s defenses-anger, vitriol, sarcasm, hostility, etc.-deep into the chamber of the heart where a flame of trust still burns. This is the key to Jesus’ ministry recorded in the Gospels: He shows us a faithful, trusting life. Paul said that the heart of faith is the heart of a child. We will hear how he puts it-in his letter to the Romans-in Sunday’s second reading.
6th Sunday after Pentecost
The mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the trees shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
Through most of human experience, pre-historic and historic, the presence of God and the works of God have been recognized in the natural world. Even when religious attention turned to the formation of ethical actions and healthy societies, people still interpreted outcomes of judgment and grace in nature.
The scripture readings for Sunday offer spiritual lessons from rain and snow, the growth of plants, the blossoming of flowers.
5th Sunday after Pentecost
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29
The Christian life is not a matter of learning concepts-even though there are ideas to learn, because we are thinking beings-it is a matter of behavior, more specifically of habits of behavior.
In the Gospel for Sunday we continue our reading in Matthew and we hear Jesus invite us to learn from him. Learning from him means turning to him and to the assembly (on Zoom!) that bears his name.
4th Sunday after Pentecost
…whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple–truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward. Matthew 10:42
Recently we have talked about signs that say “welcome” and we have talked about attitudes and behaviors that signal open and loving hearts.
Sunday we will think about Jesus’ words in Matthew and ponder what it means to say “Welcome”. Who is welcome? Who is not?
I guess it depends on who minds the door. If Jesus is at the door, all are
3rd Sunday after Pentecost
Hide not your face from your servant; be swift and answer me, for I am in distress. Draw near to me and redeem me; because of my enemies deliver me. Psalm 69: 17
Faces. Humans have evolved as face-recognition experts. Our emotional and psychological well-being depend on identifying faces. Who are you? In some extreme moments personal and community survival depended on face recognition. Who you are is written on your face.
When our faces are hidden behind masks our highly developed face-recognition and face-reading skills are compromised. It is a psychologically and emotionally challenging time.
How can our Christian faith help us through the masked days of COVID-19?
We will think together about faces, and about the face of God in scripture, in church tradition, and in everyday life.
2nd Sunday after Pentecost
…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5: 5.
We have passed through the two festivals of the Holy Spirit-Pentecost and Trinity-and have arrived at the beginning of our Pentecost journey. The season of Pentecost stretches through the summer and into the fall.
The Christian teaching for the coming Sunday is that the Holy Spirit empowers us, energizes us.
We need to find our way to the places where the Word of God can reach us and refill us with Holy Spirit, the breath of life and peace for us.
Sunday, July 26 at 5 pm.
Introductory remarks and prayers of dedication will be followed by a program of organ music by Timothy Smith, the builder of our organ.
|▪||Limited social distance seating in the worship room.|
|▪||Seating in the narthex, under the portico and outdoors, near an open window!|
|▪||Bring your own lawn chair. More details to follow.|
Mark your calendars for a celebration of music and of our faith community!
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. -2 Corinthians 13:11-13
This blessing ends Paul’s second letter to the Christians in Corinth. The words he wrote have blessed countless others through the years. We will hear them again on Sunday, at the end of the second lesson.
Blessings are not wishes. They are invocations of power and authority. Blessings, in our tradition, trace the Trinity, because God is known in scripture and experience in these three aspects: creator, redeemer and sanctifier.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has sent a video sermon to all congregations of the ELCA for use on Trinity Sunday. We will hear Bishop Eaton’s sermon and enjoy the thought that our brothers and sisters around the country are listening to the same sermon.
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Reader Carly Scheidemantel
Cantor Heather Moretz
Assisting Minister Kim Canning
Trinity hymns-“God whose Almighty Word” and “Voices Raised to You”-played on the saxophone by Steve Meshon.
Video montage by Association of Lutheran Church Musicians for the season of Pentecost. “O Day Full of Grace”, a Scandinavian folk hymn.
Coffee Hour Break-Out Rooms
Following the service, you will be divided into break-out rooms for brief-6 minute-introductions and sharing and experience of hope, faith or love in these weeks of pandemic isolation.
Confirmation and Faith Formation 4 PM
Faith formation for all ages meet on Zoom at 4 pm.
Kathryn Welter, organist, and Peace Brass: John Bestavros, Mark Bestavros, Ron Riggert, director, Bob Holmgren, Jonathan Moretz, Dan Olsen.
Guide Me Ever Great Redeemer
Text: William Williams, 1717-1719
Music: John Hughes, 1873-1952
O Holy Spirit Enter In
Text: Michael Schirmer 1606-1673
Music: Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. John 17: 11
The coronavirus has driven us into exile from some of our usual social, familial, occupational and spiritual meetings and gatherings.
Many people are suffering. The most vulnerable suffer the most, of course: children, the elderly, those who live in poor communities, the homeless.
As a church community we face challenges and disruptions.
“How can we sing the songs of the Lord in this strange land” (Psalm 137) of the virus?
These times seem to invite us to lean heavily on the promises that have sustained Christians through perils of human history. We will keep our focus on the scripture, and let the words of our tradition move us forward. Words of faith sound a little different in these weeks, but we will not lose heart.
Circumstances resulting from COVID-19 have created conditions for new relationships and activities. Christ is with us in our isolation and exile from our regular routines.
“I will not leave you orphaned” is the word of Jesus in the gospel for Sunday. That is an encouraging promise.
We are hopeful people. The gift of life is good and full of wonder.
We are faithful people, gathered and shaped by God’s word. We will find ways to hear it. Maybe we will hear God’s word more clearly in these days. We will find new ways to be God’s people.
We are loving people. The love of God is a gift to us in every time and place. No exceptions.
The readings on Sunday usher us from the Easter season to the season of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost.
Breathe in the Holy Spirit, let it fill you with God’s life.