Peace vegetables given to A Place to Turn in Natick

A volunteer at A Place to Turn in Natick receives vegetables from our garden. Stephanie dug the potatoes and the onions, and planted beets. Mary Ann and Ron have worked in the garden recently.

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Jonathan’s CD and Emilie’s lilies

Congratulations to Jonathan and Bruce on the release of their latest CD!

These lilies, planted and tended by Emilie, are in bloom in the Peace garden.

Stephanie Smoot weeded the vegetable garden Sunday after church. Weeders are needed through the rest of the summer. Contact Stephanie for instructions and support.

Tim Smith removed the remaining parts and pieces of our organ this week. Our new organ is being assembled in Portageville, New York. Tim and his crew will return in early August to begin on-site assembly of our new organ.

The organ committee met Monday to talk about learning opportunities, recitals and dedicatory events to mark the installation of our new organ. It will be a fall of celebration of and for our community of faith.

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Karen Viola is a member of Peace!

Karen was born in Glen Cove, New York and was baptized at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Glen Head, New York.  She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College. She works in the advancement office at the Fenn School in Concord.

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Day of Pentecost 2019

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Confirmation 2019

Affirmation of Baptism 2019
Alison, Lukas, Maddie, Madeline, Veronica

Confirmands’ statement of faith 

Through our years of confirmation classes, and involvement at church, in preparation for becoming adult members of the church, we have tried to do some of the things that adult church members do.

Here are some of those things:

-Worship regularly, and offer our time and talents to the church.

Most of the time we worshiped with our families, but we also served as worship assistants, musicians, nursery attendants, acolytes and ushers. We have learned about prayer, and practiced praying, within this community of faith.

We took part in many Christmas programs and holiday worship services.

We spent many happy days with our family and friends at Camp Calumet in New Hampshire.

-Learn about our faith to better understand scripture and tradition.

We wish to thank our faith formation teachers, Mrs. Canning and Ms. Borkowski, and our classmates who learned with us. Mrs. Canning and Ms. Borkowski, would you please stand?

Through Sunday morning faith formation classes, we learned about the Bible.
We remember many lessons and projects from those classes. Here are a few:

-offering boxes we made, which reminded us to give to others.

-prayer crosses, which gave us a visual reminder of the importance of prayer

-locusts made of Twix Bars

-the chair

-and many other projects and activities

In our confirmation classes we talked about our lives outside of church. We told how school was going and talked about our after-school activities. We shared some of our personal hopes and dreams for the future.

We learned to pronounce the names of the books of the Bible and we practiced finding passages in the Bible.

We explored Bible history and discussed the meaning of the Bible passages we read.

We planted and weeded the congregation’s gardens and helped harvest vegetables for A Place to Turn in Natick.

With the help of our parents, we built an arbor out of branches from the woods around the church. Later this morning we will walk out to the garden, and dedicate it as a sign of our commitment to working together, and to stewardship of the world around us. Thank you to Mrs. Smoot for directing our work on the garden.

-Serve other people.

We have worked with members of Peace, and with people from the community, to welcome homeless families into our church, through Family Promise. At the end of each Family Promise host week, we washed the blankets and sheets. This is not something that we would normally think of doing, but it was fun, especially eating lunch together while the clothes were in the wash.

We collected food for A Place to Turn in Natick, and helped deliver it.

-Care for other church members

We try to be aware of health needs of other members and provide assistance as we are able. When members of the church face a loss, we try to support them in some way.


When we were baptized, our parents and sponsors promised to bring us to church and provide for our instruction in the Christian faith, to teach us the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Creed.

They fulfilled their promises, and we thank them.

Throughout our years of learning, we studied Luther’s Small Catechism, and talked about the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer.

We understand that these are the essential elements of the Christian faith. If we do not have all of them in our memories, at least we have studied them and talked about them many times, so that we might return to them, and meditate on them throughout our lives.

Parents, will you please stand?

We thank you, our parents and our brothers and sisters…

…for taking us to church, and for worshiping with us.

…for taking us to faith-formation classes and confirmation classes.

…for helping us with sermon report forms.

…for encouraging us, and helping us through our confirmation program.

…for working on the garden and the arbor with us.

…for showing us what it means to love God and love our neighbors

We thank the other members and friends of this congregation…

…for maintaining the ministry through your involvement and financial support

…for providing a place where young people can learn and grow in faith

…for caring about the spiritual and ethical training of young people in our communities

Thank you all, for your prayers, for your support, and for your presence here this morning, as the five of us affirm our baptisms and become adult members of the church.

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Camp Calumet report 2019

Here is Annika O’Steen’s summary of the annual Peace camping weekend at Camp Calumet in New Hampshire.

I am here to give those of you who might have not gone to Calumet this year a little recap of what happened so that you can catch up, or be more encouraged to go next year.
Calumet has always been such a fun experience for everyone, no matter your age. This year we had about nine families come that are connected to Peace. People stayed in cabins by the water, tents, trailers, and in rooms at the conference center. This year, the campers weren’t able to be in their usual spots because it had been such a wet spring that the campsites were too soggy. My family relocated to near the volleyball and badminton net, which I really enjoyed. When Pastor Jeff and Ms. Johnson arrived on Friday night, they found Mr. Ho desperately trying to keep a tiny little flame alive since the firewood was so wet. But, later when they visited the Vogt’s campsite, they found Teddy making a fire with a blowtorch. There sure are lots of interesting ways to solve problems at Calumet!
Most people had all their meals at the conference center, hot and ready three times a day, while some kept it old school and cooked on the fires at their campsite; whatever floats your boat. At breakfast, Ms. Vogt discovered the peeled grapefruit that my dad and I consider a personal favorite. But, the waffles at brunch are really good too. After some meals, kids and parents would go and hang out in the game room which is in the basement of the conference center, and have a blast. There is ping pong, air hockey, foosball, and my new personal favorite option, pool. The game room is a great place for family bonding, and for the kids to have fun competing against each other, while the dads face off in an ultimate battle of pool. Church was in the Lakeside Dining Hall again this year, which some of us were disappointed about because we prefer being down by the water in the old building known as Luther Hall.

Some other fun things that Calumet hosted this year were the annual bonfire on the beach with the ice cream social and trivia night. Although, most of us decided against going to the bonfire because this year it would be indoors, and who likes an indoor bonfire? So, we had our own group fire after trivia and ice cream. Trivia is one activity that we all seem to look forward to and last year we were all on one team known as the Pink Fluffy Unicorns, and we won! But this time, half of us split away so that we became two teams and we had to battle against each other. The Cuddly Porcupines just beat the Purple Chubby Monkeys by a few points, which were both teams of Peace members if you weren’t there. We got pretty competitive.
Some people also did things outside of the campgrounds and went other places. For example, some people went to a ropes course, some went horseback riding in the hills, and some went on a hike up and over Jackman’s Ridge. Lots of people also enjoyed spending time at the beach in the warm sun during the day. But no matter what we did, it was all so much fun. Every night ended with my brother, Erik, making an amazing fire in spite of the wet wood. We would all sit around, chat about random stuff, and make delicious s’mores. It was always a great way to end each fun filled day.

This year the weather was very nice, it wasn’t overly buggy, and there was only a little sprinkle of rain on the first day, but otherwise it was always sunny. The average temperature was about 70 degrees, and cool at night. There was a lot less pollen in the air, unlike previous years when some spots along the shoreline resembled green swamp water! It was about the best weather that we’ve had in years.

Many of us came home with an armful of new Calumet apparel that should last us until next year when we can do it all over again, hopefully with more of you. Like my new sweatshirt?

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Game Night and Parents’ Night Out 5/18/19

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Season of Easter

The Lord loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! Psalm 97: 10-12

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The season of Easter ends Sunday. We will extinguish the paschal candle, and light it again throughout the year, at funerals and memorial services, baptisms and affirmations of baptisms. The paschal candle is lit when we are focusing our attention on the sacramental presence of Christ, the promises made and the promises returned when Christ’s people accept him as Lord of their lives.

Next we move to the season of the Holy Spirit breathing through creation and, in a special way, through people of faith. On Pentecost Sunday (a week from Sunday), we will lay our hands on the heads of some of our young people, and pray that they will among those who will live as disciples of Jesus Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit.

No choir. Kathryn is away. Ron and Bob will lead the music of our liturgy and accompany our hymns.

Faith formation at 11 am.

Confirmation and high school students meet with Pastor Johnson during the faith formation hour.

Florence House Open House Wednesday, June 5. Sign up to bring a dessert to church on that day. If you would like to attend the house blessing and open house, and you would like a ride, be at church at 2:30 pm.

Bring in jelly and chili for A Place to Turn in Natick. If we fill up the basket, the food will be delivered to A Place to Turn on Monday.

Sunday we will take time to mark a half-century of service from our Austin organ. Pentecost will be the last day we will hear the Austin, but that day will be filled up with special words and rituals for confirmation. During the summer months, as our new organ is assembled in New York, and installed here, our liturgy and hymns will be accompanied by the piano and other instruments.

Praise the Lord, sun and moon;
sing praise, all you shining stars. -Psalm 148:3

Psalm 148, the Psalm for Sunday, lets us imagine all people, joining all of creation, singing praise to God. In the Gospel for Sunday, Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment: love one another. The disciples praise God in their love for one another.

Flowers Kim Canning, in celebration of her children’s’ baptisms

The choir rehearses at 8:45 am.

Faith formation at 11 am. Confirmation students will meet with Pastor Johnson. This will be the confirmation meeting for the day. June 9 is Pentecost and Confirmation Sunday.

The nominating committee has been asking members of the church to serve on the council. I believe that all who have been asked have said yes. That’s terrific.

Parents’ Night Out and Game Night tomorrow! Saturday, May 18, 6-9 pm.

Our new organ is being constructed at Tim Smith’s shop in Portageville, NY. Sunday, June 9 will be the last day for our present organ. We will say a prayer of thanks for its half-century of service to our worshiping community.

Race Amity Day film and discussion at Peace, Sunday June 9. Time tba.

Memorial Day Camping at Calumet. Speak to Deb Vogt or one of our other Peace campers for more information.

If you know someone who would like to rent a small office in our community arts wing, invite them to contact Pastor Johnson.

Bring in chili, stew and jelly for A Place to Turn in Natick.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23: 6


Thank you to Carol for bringing Mother’s Day flowers!

The fourth Sunday of Easter has for centuries been kept as the Sunday of the Good Shepherd. The people of ancient Israel knew God as their shepherd, ruling over them with a law of righteousness, protecting them from their enemies, and providing for them. John’s Gospel takes up this image and applies it to Jesus. He is the good shepherd, caring for his people.

The image of the good shepherd has quieted troubled hearts and calmed jangled nerves throughout history. As you worship tomorrow, quietly ponder a few of the words of Psalm 23 (in your Celebrate).

The choir rehearses at 8:45 am.

Bruce Goody and Jonathan Moretz will be with us Sunday. They bring their flute and guitar music, free of charge, to audiences all over the Boston area: churches, homeless shelters, hospice houses, nursing homes, and other places. Their generosity is inspiring.

Faith formation at 11 am.

Florence House Open House Wednesday, June 5. We have been asked to bring desserts. Sign up on the table in the narthex.

No confirmation class Sunday. Spend time with your mother, or your grandmother!

The council meets Monday, May 13 at 7:30 pm.

Organ builder Tim Smith will be here Tuesday, May 14. Our organ is being constructed at Tim’s workshop in New York.

Bring in jelly and chili for A Place to Turn in Natick.

Conversion of St. Paul, Laurent de Le Hyre, 1637

Now as Saul was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:3-4

Is there a moment in your life that you think of as your conversion experience? I hope that at least some of you can point to a moment in time when your outlook on life changed, and you became a Christian. As Lutherans we speak of the steady presence of Christ to the baptized children of God, but there are moments when the church language becomes a warm, living, personal, faith in your heart. We’ll think about conversion experiences on Sunday. This is not our strong suit, but we’ll give it a try. 🙂

The choir rehearses at 8:45 am.

During the service, Deb Vogt will make a short report about the nominating committee’s work. On Sunday, or in the next few weeks, if you are asked to serve on the council, I hope you will say yes. The present council and the nominating committee have given careful thought to their work.

Joanne, director of A Place to Turn in Natick, has told me several times that jelly, stew and chili and other similar soups are always in low supply. Others who give to the food pantry don’t like to buy these things because they believe they are not healthy. I told Joanne that we will continue to collect jelly and chili.

When our garden produce appears, we will bring herbs and fresh vegetables to A Place to Turn.

Confirmation students and parents (one last time) meet at 4 pm Sunday to finish the arbor for the vegetable garden.

Next Sunday, May 12, A Mother’s Day treat: Jonathan and Bruce will be at our service with their elegant and inspiring guitar and flute music. Invite a friend to church!

Parents’ Night Out and Game Night: Sunday, May 18. Sign up in the narthex.

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, 1603 by Caravaggio

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe. John 20:27

The Doubting of Thomas, Michelangelo Carravagio, 1603

The story of the resurrection is just getting started as we move into the second week of Easter. Christ is present to his disciples in ordinary ways, especially in John’s Gospel, that blow their minds.

In John, Jesus speaks a blessing of Peace to them, and sends them out with a special vocation in the world.

Easter is the season of Baptism. We will think about the gifts of Baptism that are the same as the gifts Jesus gives to his disciples when he appears to them on the day of the resurrection: a blessing, a vocation, and support to carry out the vocation.

The choir rehearses at 8:45 am.

Faith formation at 11 am.

Nominating committee meets at 11 am.

Confirmation at 4 pm. Wear gardening clothes. Parents, your help will be appreciated. 🙂 Stephanie will continue her supervision of the arbor and the planting of the garden.

Yesterday I brought food we collected to A Place to Turn in Natick. Joanne, executive director, thanked me for the food and said that she is looking forward to vegetables and herbs from the Peace gardens. This month bring in jelly (I know we collected jelly two months ago, but Joanne said that they often run out.)

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Palm Sunday and Easter 2019

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Holy Week 2019

Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!        Luke 19:38

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Sunday we begin our walk together into the central events of the Christian faith. Our Palm Sunday procession begins in the narthex with Luke’s account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Some of our middle school students will accompany our processional song on their musical instruments. Instrumentalists should arrive early. The gospel tells the story of Jesus’ last hours with his disciples, his arrest and crucifixion. This is the story that will occupy us throughout the days of holy week.

Maundy Thursday 7:30 pm

Good Friday 7:30 pm

These services have reference in the story of Jesus’ life, as told by the Gospel writers. But their spiritual importance for us as Christians is profound. The services of Holy Week remind us of the grace that supports our lives-in the word and sacraments-and of the need for us to center our lives in prayer. Thursday and Friday services will include time for meditation and silent prayer for the healing of our minds, our hearts, and our bodies.

The organ task committee has been at work, meeting with organ builders and driving around to hear about organs and listen to them play. After careful deliberation and thoughtful discussion, a decision has been reached. The council approved the signing of a contract with an organ builder. You will hear about the plan for a new organ on Sunday. This is big news for our music-loving congregation!

The choir rehearses at 8:45. Thank you to Kathryn and to the members of the choir for leading us through Holy Week with music.

Sunday is the last day to sign up for Easter flowers. The cost is $10. Mark yourself paid. Sign up for the Easter brunch and egg hunt.

During the faith formation hour-11:00 am – 12 noon- Steve and Nancy Meshon will present a Passover Seder. Thank you in advance to Steve and Nancy for sharing this Jewish tradition with us.

Confirmation students have been working on the vegetable garden. They are building an arbor out of branches from the grounds. The confirmation class and their parents meet Sunday afternoon from 4 – 5 to continue their work.

Bring in stew and chili for A Place to Turn in Natick.

Jonathan and Bruce scheduled to play at Old South Meeting House Monday, April 15

Old South Meeting House welcomes visitors for respite and reflection on the 6th anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon, now recognized as OneBoston Day. From 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, enjoy the peaceful music of the locally renowned flute-guitar duo, Bruce Goody and Jonathan Moretz. Explore the museum and 1729 National Historic Site at your leisure. Free admission for Massachusetts residents.

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