Hymns for Peace played by Andrea Vogt and Preston Barbare

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Heiter Villa-Lobos Aria from ‘Bachianas Brazilieras, No. 5’ performed by Bruce Goody & Jonathan Moretz

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Julia Florida by A. Barrios performed by Jonathan Moretz

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Third Sunday of Easter 2020

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And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” Luke 24:17

The Gospels for these Sundays after Easter reflect our lives with the coronavirus: isolation at home, and walks, keeping safe social distance.

Last Sunday, in a reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus arrived through a locked door to meet his disciples, in their isolation, and to encourage them. Sunday he walks with his disciples. In an inquiry of love-without judgment or agenda-Jesus asks the disciples what thoughts and ideas occupy their minds.

That’s a good question for us as well. What are you thinking about? How are you feeding your Christian heart?

We will walk with Jesus on Sunday at 9:30 am.

Faith formation following the service.

Confirmation Sunday at 4 pm
Confirmation students meet on Zoom at 4 pm. A link will be sent to you Sunday afternoon. Have your Bible, catechism, folder and drawing paper.

Midweek Prayers
Wednesday at 7:30 pm we meet on Zoom for a brief service of scripture reading, silent meditation, and prayers from the order for healing. These prayers seem to me like our work, as Christians, during these days of suffering. A link will be sent out in a separate email.

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Second Sunday of Easter

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Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” John 20:21

Peace. I say it all the time. I write the word every day, more than once most days. The word is a blessing, a wish, a hope, a prayer. When Jesus said it to his cowering disciples, he meant it as motivation. My peace sends you. It gives you security and courage and power to make a difference in the world.

The coronavirus makes many people uneasy. If your heart is trained to think about others-as the Christian faith trains us to do-you know that some of your neighbors and friends are worried and suffering.

Peace be with you.

The first disciples heard these words from Jesus in their isolation, behind closed doors. Their leader and friend was gone, and they feared that what happened to him could soon happen to them.

Peace be with You. We will hear these words Sunday morning, behind the closed doors of our houses. Jesus spoke the words to the first disciples, and the message has been relayed to us, to calm our fears and remind us that love breaks through closed doors and puts our hearts and minds at ease.

Assisting: Andrea McDonald
Readers: Moretz family
Musicians: Bob Holmgren, Moretz family

Faith Formation and Discussions

Faith formation meetings for children of all ages will follow our worship. Parents, during the service, have your children listen for a preview of their lesson from one our teachers, Mrs. Canning, Mrs. Borkowski or Mrs. Fryhle.

Adult forums on topics of importance, and of interest to us as a group, will take place during the Sunday morning faith formation time, and at our midweek Zoom gatherings.

On Congregational Singing

“Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! Let us enter his presence with thanksgiving; let us shout triumphantly to him in song,” (Ps. 95:1-2).

In our temporary sojourn of Zoom worship meetings, we are still able to participate in congregational worship and singing. The singing church reflects the body of Christ knit together. Pastor Johnson will include hymn lyrics in our worship bulletins, and I encourage everyone to sing where they are when we meet via Zoom, while staying muted on the call. Although we can’t necessarily hear the whole congregation singing together, we can see our members moving their lips. It is an opportunity for us to express devotion to God as one body, one family. Our songs are directed, together, heavenward.

-Kathryn Welter, Director of Music

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Easter

“He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” -Matthew 28: 7

Matthew writes that the angel rolled away the stone from the tomb and then sat on it. From a lounging angel, exuding quiet confidence, we have a message: Go home. Jesus is there.

This year we are shut-in with our families on the church’s great day of assembly. Jesus is with each of you. Tomorrow will be unlike any other Easter morning, but all the essential elements will be there. The Easter Gospel will be heard. The message of life and love everlasting will be directed to you and to your families.

All will be well. The angels told the women that their Lord Jesus had gone ahead of them and was calling them out of their confusion and sadness into the light of his life.

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Peace Musicians

According to Matthew’s Gospel, the women at the tomb had an angel to talk them out of their sad search for normalcy. Tomorrow some of our Peace musicians will appear, live on Zoom or in recordings made just for us, to lift our spirits.

I really think of them as our private angels, bringing us messages of hope, and drawing our community together with music.

Tomorrow you will hear Jonathan Moretz and Bruce Goody, Andie Vogt and Preston Barbare, Leah Jonczyk and even Juliana McDonald!

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Good Friday

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Special services of the church year open up some part of our Sunday morning liturgy. Maundy Thursday focuses on communion. Good Friday is our night of prayer, at the foot of the cross.

We hear the Passion according to John, then we turn our hearts to prayer.

The shadows and darkness of Holy Week are washed in hope and joy, and infused with God’s love. As we walk through them together we are reminded that there is no darkness, in time or eternity, that is dead and lifeless. God’s light and life breathe through everything that is, seen and unseen. Even when we cannot see our way out of some trouble, we remain hopeful children of God. The kingdom of God, our native land, is a kingdom of light.

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Holy Week

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How priceless is your love, O God! All people take refuge under the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7

As we walk together out of Lent into the concentrated and spiritually intense days of Holy Week, keep faith in your heart. Walk with Jesus.

These are days to lean on our faith. Read a line a scripture, whisper a prayer or recite the Our Father.

This could be a profound season of spiritual growth for all of us.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday 7:30 pm

We will gather on Zoom for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. 7:30 pm both evenings. I will send a Zoom invitation with a link the afternoon of the service.

Readers and Musicians for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Bob Holmgren’s trumpet music on Palm Sunday brought us home to Peace. Leah and Abigail Jonczyk will play for us on Maundy Thursday. If you would like to play or sing on Zoom during Holy Week, send an email to me, text or call.

peacelc@aol.com

978-460-1118

If you would like to read or help with the service on Thursday or Friday, from your home, let me know.

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Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches form the trees and spread them on the road. Matthew 21:8

This year we cannot gather in the fellowship hall, and we cannot process into sanctuary, singing “All glory laud and honor”, holding palm branches.

But you can hold a branch from a tree in your yard, or hold a plant from your living room, and let God’s blessing come on it, and thereby on your house, and on your family, and let that familiar branch or plant accompany you into holy week.

Marking Palm Sunday with a native branch is better than our normal practice of waving an imported palm branch anyway.

(Our friends who join us from Florida might wave palm branches. Palm trees grow there!)
Jesus comes into your life, into your home, to bless your living room and your yard. He brings back life. Let your trees and plants take part in the liturgy this year. Maybe we’ll make this a permanent change. Making Palm Sunday a local celebration would be a liturgical, theological and spiritual improvement.

Assisting Minister: Kim Ho
Readers: Dave and Carrie Melvin, Jack and Haley
Musician: Bob Holmgren, trumpet

We gather just before 9:30 am. Parents, have your children ready. The service will begin with a Palm Sunday story read by Kim Ho.

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Taizé and Evening Prayer

Taizé

The Taizé monastic community in France was founded during World War II as a center of ecumenical Christian community, prayer and worship. A distinctive style of liturgical music from Taizé is now known and treasured across the spectrum of Christian communities. At Peace we use Taizé songs during Holy Week. This evening I will play two of them during our evening prayer service.

I invite you to sit together as a community of faith-in the virtual meeting-listen quietly in a spirit of prayer, or sing softly.

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