From the Pastor
Dear Peace family,
Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day!
I’m sure you’ve noticed the difference between a gift that is handmade and a gift that is mass produced.
You probably know well that there are obvious advantages to giving a gift that is manufactured by someone else. It is fast! It is expedient! It doesn’t take much effort! It doesn’t require our blood, sweat and tears! For this reason, mass produced gifts are the norm for birthday and Christmas gifts. And for this reason, Amazon is here to stay!
I know of a family, however, that has resisted the trend toward mass produced gift giving. They have chosen to only give and receive handmade gifts with each other. Each member of the family chooses the name of another family member. They then quickly go to work. Sometimes the gifts made take months to finish. Sometimes the gifts made require a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes the gifts made are remade to ensure that they are just right for the other person. Why does this family do this? The family believes that slow, personal, creative and effort-filled gifts are the most appreciated and meaningful. Their approach is growing on me.
Why am I bringing up the difference between handmade and mass produced gifts? I think we all too often forget that the gift God is giving us in Easter is 100 percent handmade. Jesus died, was buried and then rose from the grave! What did it take for Jesus to do this?
- Effort. Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary. See John 19:16-18.
- Pain. Jesus experienced emotional pain in the abandonment of friends. He also experienced the physical pain of being nailed to a cross which brought great physical discomfort.
- Time. Jesus didn’t simply sign paper work to ensure his mission was accomplished. He gave of himself fully in time to ensure that God’s plan of salvation for all people would move forward.
What brings home the idea that God’s gift on Easter was handmade is what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Jesus was outside of time. The earliest Christians stated this when they said, “He (Jesus) was “begotten” of the Father before all worlds.” But Jesus lived under the restrictions of time when he came to earth. He showed up on time to the temple. He attended Passover celebrations. He listened to his parents showing up on time according to their desires.
Jesus was outside of bodily limitation. But Jesus lived in a body when he came to earth. He was restricted in how far his feet could walk. He was restricted in how far he could see with his eyes.
Jesus did nothing for personal comfort. His life….his death…..his resurrection is God’s handmade gift for you. Don’t you feel special? You should! God loves you very much. There is nothing that will hold our God back from showing his love for you!
We have some excited services planned to highlight God’s handmade gift in Easter for you. I
am so thankful and appreciative to share this special
time with you!
Peace by the Numbers
Plan for Worship
Adult Bible Study
Adult Bible Study will be led by Merv Munster and Pastor this month. They will be covering the weekly Epistle lesson. This will be a great opportunity to study God’s Word.
Bible Study is every Sunday morning at 9:45. You can attend in person in the Fellowship Hall.
Please note: There will be no Bible Study on Easter Sunday.
Holy Week and Easter Information
The Lent season is upon us and there are many things to plan for to make this time a meaningful and beautiful experience for everyone. Please consider helping to make this a wonder season.
Church Cleanup Day: This important day comes the Saturday before Palm Sunday, April 10. We will be cleaning the church inside and out, and you can choose where you would like to work and what you would like to do. Many hands make light work.
Palm Sunday is April 10 which is the first day of Holy Week. Everyone will receive a palm so they can place it in a vase at the front of the church during the first hymn. This tradition commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his suffering and death on the cross.
Maundy Thursday will be celebrated on April 14 at 7 p.m.
Good Friday service is another opportunity to observe and be involved in Christ’s suffering. We will celebrate on April 15 at our 7 p.m. service. This is a somber occasion but one not to miss.
HE IS RISEN Easter Service is April 17 beginning at 10 a.m. followed by Easter fellowship (No Sunday School). Please consider bringing finger foods only so that we can have an easy cleanup. The Easter egg hunt for children through 6th grade will immediately follow the church service, around 12:15.
Every year a wooden cross is placed at the entrance to the church, and it is decorated with cut flowers. Please bring cut flowers to help decorate the cross anytime on Good Friday up until Saturday afternoon when the cross will be decorated. Flowers can be placed in the buckets of water in front of the church. Be looking in your yard and think about contributing flowers.
Plastic egg will be available for people to take home and fill with goodies for the Easter egg hunt—candy, stickers, money, anything fun that can fit in an egg.
The Significance of Holy Week
Palm Sunday—April 10 at 11 am. Palm Sunday begins Holy Week. On this day we process forward with palm branches in order to reenact Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see Luke 19:37-40). A word you will hear often in this service is “hosanna.” “Hosanna” is a transliteration of the Hebrew phrase that expresses the plea “Lord, save us”—a cry of joyful hope. Come, wave your palm branch and celebrate Jesus—the Victorious King!
Maundy Thursday—April 14 at 7 pm with Holy Communion. This service captures the happenings of Jesus with his disciples in the Upper Room before his arrest and betrayal. This service gives us much to think about. If we were there as one of Jesus’ disciples, what would we have been thinking? Undoubtedly, we’d marvel at Jesus’ call for humble service as he washed his disciples’ feet. Come this night to hear about Jesus’ desire to serve you! The stripping of the altar ends the Maundy Thursday service—this is a moving way to represent Jesus’ humiliation at the hands of those who crucified him. The stripping of the altar happens in silence as we prepare our hearts and minds for Good Friday and Jesus’ death.
Good Friday—April 15 at 7 pm. What is so good about Good Friday? Come and find out! This is an austere and simple service that focusses on the fulfillment of God’s promises in Christ Jesus’ death—the full payment for our sins—that’s why Good Friday is “good.” At Peace we recognize this in a personal way. Each participant receives a nail at the beginning of worship that can then be placed into the cross on the narthex at the conclusion of the service. This reminds us that our debt has been paid by Jesus’ death.
Easter—April 17 at 10 am with Holy Communion. Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus did not remain in the tomb, but rose from the tomb and lives. This is a day of celebration! We will welcome back our church choir to sing some powerful Easter songs. When the pastor says, “Alleluia. Christ is risen”, be ready to reply, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia.” This is our way of saying, “Jesus wins and so do we!”
All Services are live-streamed. The links can be found on Peace’s Facebook page, YouTube Channel, or on the Peace Website: www.peaceinphilomath.com
Wednesday Morning Bible Study
All men and women are welcome for a Wednesday morning Bible Study. This month we will be having Bible Study on April 13 and April 27 at 10:00 am in the fellowship hall. Our focus will be on Mark 16:1-8 (Apr 13) and John 21:1-14 (Apr 27). We hope you can join us.
Communion at the Rail
Peace is offering communion at the rail this month. During the “Commune Together” moment in the service, you are welcome to come forward (bringing your communion package with you) to the rail to receive Holy Communion. You can also choose to stay in place in your pew. Once everyone is settled in place, we will commune at the same time together. Just as in the past, you will need to pick up a communion package before service to be prepared for the “Commune Together” moment. Communion will be offered on April 3, April 14 (Maundy Thursday) and April 17 (Easter) this month.
Tables of Peace
Tables of Peace will be starting again in early April. Tables of Peace is an opportunity for members to join together in small groups for a meal and a short discussion topic. Each group will be formed with about 6-8 members per group. There will one member or couple that will be hosting the group. The groups will meet twice a month for about 3 months before reorganizing and making new groups. This is a great opportunity for Peace members and friends to gather to meet new people and/or to reconnect with people they have missed for the past two years.
Host/hostess responsibilities are:
- Gather together the assigned group and organize the dates to meet.
- Either host the meal in their home or choose another location (someone else’s home or the church).
- Arrange food assignments. All meals are potluck.
- Either lead the discussion or choose someone in the group to lead it. (Pastor will prepare discussion topics prior to the meeting).
- Because of Covid concerns, groups are being organized according to vaccination status. Please indicate your status when you sign up.
Tables of Peace have been very successful in helping people have a planned opportunity to meet and know each other on a more personal level. Please consider joining a group. For more information contact Kay Glathar (541) 609-0620.
Men’s Breakfast: Plan to attend the Peace Men’s breakfast on April 2nd. Coffee on at 8:00, breakfast served at 8:30 and discussion topic at 9:00. This month we will be discussing “Being in Service”. I am always looking for chefs, let me know if you would like to help cook. This will be another hardy breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs and potatoes. This will be a good start in case you might be planning to help with the planned work part for that morning. Give Oscar Gutbrod a call 541-231-3954, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org , if you plan to attend – THANKS
Ladies Guild News
The Guild has approved a Mission Statement to help identify Our mission:
The mission of the Ladies Guild is to build community and fellowship through spiritual, social, and charitable activities in Corvallis and Philomath and the missions of LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League).
The purpose of Ladies Guild is to promote and exemplify God’s Love and Serve a Community Care Guilders.
At the next meeting on April 7th, we will be identifying some other projects that the Ladies Guild can do like a church picnic, a patio movie night, working with the youth on a puppet theater project, a campfire singing night around the fire feature near the patio, a Women’s one day retreat and bible study. Nothing has been decided so this meeting will be about identifying some projects and picking a few we can do this year. Please send any suggestions to Ellen in an email before April 7th.
The Red Cross continues to experience a shortage of blood supplies. Please consider helping by donating blood within the month of April. There are many available locations to donate in our area and the next blood drive at Peace will be Friday, April 22. As always, homemade goodies are welcome as well as your prayers for a successful blood drive.
The Choir is Returning
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the choir is starting up again.
We would like to welcome all vaccinated previous choir members and new voices, too. Practice will be 8:30am. on Sunday, April 3rd and April 10th.
On Easter Sunday we will rehearse before the service. We will be singing “Darkness Into Light.” We’ll also rehearse the processional number, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today.”
Helping Peace Thrive
Have you noticed in the volunteer list near the end of the newsletter that the same names appear month after month? Please consider being added to the list to help with ushering, hosting fellowship, and reading scripture during services. This small act not only provides a great service to our congregation and is a wonderful way to serve the Lord.
Ladies Luncheon on May 14
Serving Your Community
“Then He said to his disciples “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few – Matthew 9:37.
There is an interesting dynamic right now with service organizations as we make our way out of the pandemic – Money is good supply; however, volunteers are few. One of our faith partners serving our community is We Care. Here is a note from their chairman, Mr. Bob Loewen:
I’ll get right to the point . . .
We care is experiencing an increasing number of requests for assistance, so much more than during the pandemic (or before) that our intake volunteers are overwhelmed with applications for assistance. Processing applications takes time, involving interviewing the applicants, contacting the people or companies where the money is owed (landlords, electric companies, medical/dental providers, etc.), and then compiling the information for the board to review and make decisions.
Thus, We Care is looking for additional intake volunteers to help process requests.
What I am asking from each of you is to reach out to your communities, passing along this request. Below is a written request for assistance that you may use for websites, newsletters . . . whatever forms of communication being used to stay in touch with your communities.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
We Care is looking for volunteers to assist in the intake process of requests for assistance. This involves one three hour shift each week, answering the phone, reviewing applications with the applicant, following up with landlords, power companies, etc. It is understood that people have busy lives, so the more volunteers we have (there are currently four people doing the work), the more the work can be spread out. All volunteers take time off for vacations, etc., with the others covering the shifts. Please consider this request. For additional information on the work, please contact the intake volunteer coordinator, Rex Cole, at email@example.com, or by phone at We Care’s office: 541-243-8029.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Bob Loewen, We Care chair.
If you would like to volunteer with We Care or any of our faith partners, please contact Pastor or Daniel for more information.
Be Careful with Your Personal Information (part 1)
Unfortunately, we live in a world where a few nefarious people may attempt to get information and money from you. Even the church has received requests for information or has been asked to pay fraudulent bills. In order to protect yourselves, we will run a two-part series in this months and next month’s newsletter. Please be alert to people who e-mail or call you asking for your personal information, bank account information, credit card information, or your social security number. This month we will cover phone scams.
From the AARP website:
We may have entered the digital age, but the telephone remains a key weapon in scammers’ arsenals. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received about 1.8 million fraud complaints in 2021 in which a contact method was identified, and in 36 percent of cases a call was the swindler’s way in.
Once they get you on the line, phone scammers use false promises, aggressive sales pitches and phony threats to pry loose information they can use to steal your money or identity (or both).
It’s easy to understand why crooks love to dial you up. Based on the results of a March 2021 survey, some 59 million Americans lost money to a phone scam in the previous 12 months. According to FTC data, the median loss in scams that start with a call is $1,200, higher than for any other method of contact.
Technology has made this illicit work easy. With auto dialers, shady operators can blast out robocalls by the millions for just a few dollars a day. Readily available spoofing tools can trick your caller ID into displaying a genuine government or corporate number, or one that appears to be local, to increase the chances that you’ll answer.
Whether live or automated, scam callers often pose as representatives of government agencies or familiar tech, travel, retail or financial companies, supposedly calling with valuable information. It might be good news. (You’re eligible for a big cash prize! You’ve been preselected for this great vacation deal!) It might be bad. (You owe back taxes. There’s a problem with your credit card account.) Whatever the issue, it can be resolved if you’ll just, say, provide your Social Security number. Phone scammers might also impersonate charity fundraisers or even your grandchildren, playing on your generosity or family bonds to get you to fork over money. And, like the rest of us, they’re thinking a lot about COVID-19. Nearly 3 in 5 respondents to the survey reported receiving a pandemic-related scam call or text message in the previous 12 months as crooks sought to exploit people’s fears for their health and financial well-being.
Watch for the Warning Signs
- Unsolicited calls from people claiming to work for a government agency, public utility or major tech firm, like Microsoft or Apple. These companies and institutions will rarely call you unless they have first communicated by other means or you have contacted them.
- Unsolicited calls from charity fundraisers, especially during the holidays and after disasters.
- Calls pitching products or services with terms that sound too good to be true. Common scam offers include free product trials, cash prizes, cheap travel packages, medical devices, preapproved loans, debt reduction, and low-risk, high-return investments.
- An automated sales call from a company you have not authorized to contact you. That’s an illegal robocall and almost certainly a scam. (Automated calls are permitted for some informational or non-commercial purposes — for example, from political campaigns or nonprofit groups like AARP.)