5th Sunday in Lent

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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.

The Gospel reading for Sunday tells of Lazarus. It’s an emotional story of grief and loss, and a story of hope that transports us through dark days.

It is important for us to hear together the biblical promises of re-creation and redemption, and of the gifts of grace that are our inheritance as the children of God.

The scriptures that we used to hear as if they didn’t matter, because our lives were smooth, and we had everything we needed, suddenly sound more relevant to our inner lives.

Zoom worship at 9:30 am.

Check-in and announcements following the service.

Faith formation follows the visiting time. Parents, have your children ready for a 10-15 minute faith formation lesson.

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Psalm 91

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Psalm 91

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his inions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling-place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

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Zoom Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 pm

I will send out a Zoom invitation tomorrow, in the hope that many of you will join. The format of our prayers will be a different than last week’s evening prayer. We will hear a scripture passage appointed for the day, and follow the order of Responsive Prayer from our book of worship: the creed, the Lord’s Prayer, prayer of the day, silent prayer, blessing.

As we keep periods of silence together, in our Zoom meetings, we support one another and give spiritual value to the isolation forced on us by the virus. And we ask God to bless our social distancing and be present to us in it. The Spirit moves deeply in us when our minds are turns to God’s word, and our bodies and voices are quiet.

Before the Zoom gathering, you might arrange a sacred place in your home, with a Bible, a candle, a bowl of water, an icon, a flower, a picture of a loved one, or something else that focuses your mind on prayer and meditation.

The call will include time to check-in with one another.

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Fourth Sunday in Lent

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Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

This is the Psalm appointed for Sunday. As we read it and meditate on it over the next days, open your hearts in thanks for the caregivers in the world, and for the caregivers in your life. Many of you are caregivers, keeping watch over your family, employees, neighbors and others. God bless your attention and your concern for those who need you.

Sunday, March 22 we assemble as a community of faith at 9:30 am on Zoom!
Click the link below to join other members and friends of Peace online.

Children’s message Kim Canning
Reader Lucas Pralle
Assistant Martin Pralle

Confirmation Class Sunday at 4:00 pm
A Zoom link will be sent to you Sunday afternoon. Sermon response forms will be sent in a separate email.

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Return to Faith

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Last night a few Peace members joined a Zoom meeting for a brief service of evening prayer. It was good to see your faces on the screen, and to hear your voices. It was good to recite the prayers and familiar liturgical responses with you, and to hear the appointed Bible readings.

Today we are still at home in America, but it feels like we are in a foreign land. Much of what we considered normal life and activity has vanished. We are in exile in our own homes, separated from our regular routines.

As we pass through the weeks and months of uncertainty together, I hope that you will return to the testimonies of your faith. You might rediscover, and be surprised, at how experiences of living in exile, in prison, or of being lost, appear throughout the Bible. It would not be an overstatement to say that these human conditions are the main themes of scripture.

When people are worried, and some are suffering, Christ is with them. There is not a more Lutheran faith statement than that.
The peace of Christ be with each of you.

Worship this Sunday 3/21

I like the Zoom experience for the reasons mentioned above. So my plan at the moment is to send another Zoom link for Sunday worship. In addition to Zoom you will be able to call the conference call number to hear the words of the service.

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Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27

Every one of us has a different collection of concerns and worries as we enter a period of uncertainty. The quietness is disconcerting. The warnings are strict.

The commandment of our teacher Jesus is: love God and love your neighbor. In these days, think of ways to do both.

Love God
If you have been given quiet moments during these days of isolation, time away from work or school, open up a moment or two for prayer and meditation. Read a passage from the Bible or the catechism, and sit quietly in the thought of what you read.
Instead of singing Happy Birthday as you wash your hands, recite the Creed or the Lord’s Prayer.

Love Your Neighbor
Obey the recommendations of the civil authorities and the health officials. For the sake of your friends and neighbors, abide by the restrictions on gathering.

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Our Church Community in Days of Anxiety and Uncertainty

Be careful and take precautions recommended by health professionals. Respect directives from government officials. Be a good member of the community. Look out for the most vulnerable. Be a part of the solution to this big, public health problem.

The decision to cancel the service Sunday was made largely in respect of the decisions made by other community groups and organizations, and in deference to advice from those charged with the well-being of our communities.

Do not let your spiritual hearts be weighed down with worry. Still find ways to be joyful. Identify goodness in your life. Praise the caregivers and the helpers. Love your family.

Reach out to members of your church community. Call or email. Check in with someone you might not know very well.

As stewards and caretakers of a household of faith, remember to make your offerings, through the mail or online at our website.

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Merciful God, in the stillness of our souls we listen for your voice to know again that you are God. Quiet our restless hearts with the knowledge that you stand within the shadows, keeping watch over your own. Rekindle our faith and light the lamp of hope within our hearts. Then lead us to love you and our neighbors, through Christ our Lord. Amen. -LBW adapt.

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Evening Prayer in Lent and COVID-19

Evening Prayer in Lent
Wednesdays at 7:30 pm

The tone of these midweek services are quite different from our Sunday morning services.

Evening prayer is carried along by an order of singing, silence and prayer. There is no communion. Over the weeks of Lent we will sing some of the evening hymns that are seldom heard in the course of the year.


Coronavirus

Thank you to those of you who have sent health information, and shared insight into the unfolding Coronavirus story, with me. As the story develops, through uncertain days, I hope (as always) that the church will be a place of of comfort and strength for you and your family.

Words of peace and joy will be spoken at the services. When you attend, you will be supported in prayer and meditation. You will take part in rituals and listen to testimonies and histories in which courage, hope and faith are rooted deeply against the surface struggles and fears.

When you attend services and activities at Peace, make any accommodations that seem right to you and that make you feel comfortable.

For example, at the passing of the peace, refrain from shaking hands, if you wish. Give an elbow tap or make some other gesture of peace. Look your neighbor in the eye and speak a word of peace.

At communion, take the bread only, or come to the altar, kneel and pray, without receiving bread or wine. Cross your arms in front of you so that the server knows that you do not wish to receive the bread and/or the wine. Do not be anxious. Let the word and the presence of the sacrament nearby comfort your heart and bring peace into your life.
Christ is present to us in the bread alone or in the wine alone. Christ is present to us in the words of the scripture and in the gospel promises of forgiveness and eternal life. Christ is present for us whenever we gather as his people, in his name.

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Ash Wednesday

The imposition of ashes on the forehead is an odd, earthy ritual. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” As we keep this traditional Ash Wednesday practice, at the beginning of Lent, we walk with Christians, through the ages, who have done the same thing.

The color of Lent is purple. In a sadistic masquerade, the Gospel writers tell that Roman soldiers put a robe of royal purple on Jesus before putting him to death. The joining of suffering and salvation makes purple an appropriate color to accompany our Lenten services and meditations. Death is the doorway to life. Repentance is the key to overcoming of death, in all its forms, by Christ’s kingly power and grace.

Throughout the Ash Wednesday service, think about turns and changes in your life that will be part of your Lenten discipline. What can you do that renews or increases peace and joy in your life? How can you go deeper into the kingdom of God, that is your inheritance through baptism. The kingdom of God is around you and deep within you.

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Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday  7:30 pm

Evening Prayer in Lent
March 11, March 18, March 25, April 1
7:30 pm

 

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Christmas 2019

Sunday, December 8 Christmas program rehearsal  9:30 am

Sunday, December 15 Christmas program rehearsals  9:30 am

Saturday, December 21  Christmas program rehearsal and caroling  10 am

Tuesday, December 24  Christmas Eve candlelight service 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 29  Worship with Christmas Hymns 9:30 am

Sunday, January 5  Worship and Epiphany Procession 9:30  Epiphany Potluck following the service.

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