It is a great feeling when you are heading into a new year with the sense of momentum.
In a lot of ways, positive momentum is what is describing the situation at Peace Lutheran Church heading into the 2020 year. This past year Peace boldly decided to participate in the vicarage program of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. What a blessing Vicar Dollar and Svenja are to us—they have certainly contributed in moving the momentum forward. This past year a significant expansion to Peace’s parking took place. What a blessing that has been! On the Sunday of the Christmas program, the entire parking lot was full. This past year has brought many new visitors and members to our church family. What a blessing they are and will be for our church family. Although growing, our church family maintained good spiritual care for its existing members. Just writing these items, brings a smile to my face—momentum feels good.
I did want to share a couple of thoughts regarding momentum, however, that will help us keep it going in 2020:
- Recognize where the momentum comes.
The science community will say that momentum comes from one of two places: the weight of an object and the speed of the object.
If you asked the person on the street, they might say that momentum comes from hard work and determination.
For Christians, momentum comes from the Holy Spirit—God’s work inside of us. Consider Philippians 2: 13, “…. For it is God who works (some translations say “energizes”) you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” The take away from this passage is that we cannot work harder, be more determined and/or manufacture momentum. Christians recognize that it is God’s gift, His efforts inside of us. Behind every great success of 2019 at Peace was God and His work!
- Share the momentum.
There may be some in our church family who might be reading this newsletter article and thinking, “I’m not feeling the momentum.” This past year might have brought on grief, physical pain, brokenness in relationships and/or depression. If this describes you, I want to share with you that it is completely fine to feel this way—God loves you just as much as someone whose life included joy, peace, harmony and success in 2019.
If you are feeling positive momentum, be open to sharing it with someone who is not feeling it in a thoughtful, compassionate, other-person centered way.
- Keep the momentum going.
Once momentum is gained, a tendency can be to say, “Let’s slow down a bit and just enjoy where we are.” It is always good to celebrate and reflect where we are. God, however, desires us to be on the move. Jesus’ Great Commission relates this when said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them……. (Matthew 28:19).” The “Go” of Jesus’ Great Commission is a strong statement by our Lord that His followers be continuously in action and on the move.
We’ll need to continue to make bold decisions. We’ll need to move in ways to both support existing and new members as we turn the calendar into 2020.
It is a joy to share this journey with you. God’s strength and peace be with you in 2020!
In His Joy,
Thoughts from the Vicar
Lord have mercy!
If you’re reading this newsletter, you probably go to church; and, if you go to church, you probably think there’s something to all that prayer stuff. If you are anything like most people here at Peace Lutheran, sometimes your mind wonders off during prayer.
L: Almighty God, all in heaven and earth will bow before Your Son and confess that He is Lord. With His assurance, grant to those who……
and the rest blurs out as you think about what’s for lunch, how the man’s shirt in front of you is wrinkled, or what you did on Saturday night. It can seem like these prayers go on for hours. Good thing you know when your part is!
L: Lord, in Your mercy,
C: Hear our prayer.
L: Let us pray to the Lord,
C: Lord, have mercy.
What’s the point? It doesn’t seem like a “real” prayer. It’s just reading off the page instead of praying from the heart! It seems more like a job. And that exactly right! It’s your job!
As Christians we have been called by God to be a Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), and part of the job of a Priest is to pray for people. God commands us to pray for others throughout scripture: (Matthew 5:44; Colossians 4:3; James 5:16; 1 Timothy 2:1); just like Jesus Himself did (John 17:20; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). The Prayers of the Church is an opportunity for us to fulfill that role not simply as an individual – Vicar Dollar, Joe Smith, Betty Sue – but as the Bride of Christ: The Church.
When we pray individually, we often pray for the things close to our lives – Friends, Family, Work – and there is nothing wrong with that! After all, those are the kind of things that fill our lives, but the life of the Church is bigger than any single one of us. When we come together as a Church, the scope of our prayers necessarily gets wider.
When was the last time in your personal prayer life you prayed to God to give wisdom to all the rulers of the world? What about for God’s blessing on a successful harvest? Thanks for all those in the Church who are now in Heaven? None of us would say those are bad prayers. They are just not prayers we would typically pray in our personal lives, but they are very important prayers for the Whole Church that spans national borders, economic classes, and even death!
That’s not to say that bigger is more important; but things that we usually don’t see in our own life still needs to be prayed about. That’s what we do in the Prayers of the Church. When we come together to pray, we are not just praying as ourselves alone. We are the Bride of Christ – A Royal Priesthood – The Church!
Peace by the Number
Happy 2020 from the Incident Preparedness Team. We hope that this year brings many blessings to you and your family. We also hope that in this year you will have the opportunity to take a few more steps in preparation for an incident that we pray never happens.
We have a few changes this year with the first being we are going to change from monthly meetings to quarterly meetings, with the first meeting taking place on January 7th at 10:00am and all are welcome to attend. Because we will only be meeting quarterly, we expect a more robust agenda. We are also looking to work more closely with other agencies to bring more training opportunities to Peace, such as the First Aid training that was provided last year. Finally, we will be challenging you to build you Incident Preparedness Kit this year with recommendations for small monthly purchases throughout the year so that by Christmas 2020, your kit will be complete.
Thank you for all the support and interest for the Incident Preparedness team in 2019 and look forward to providing more assistance to you in 2020.
Preparedness tip for January 2020. Are you ready for winter travel? Ensure all fluid levels are topped off and you have enough anti-freeze in your radiator and freeze preventive washing fluid in your windshield washer reservoir. Ensure your tires are filled to the recommended pressure – go by what is printed on the door jamb of the driver’s door – not by what is printed on the tire itself. Also be sure to check the air pressure in your spare tire. Ensure all belts and hoses are in good condition. Several automobile shops will perform these checks for free such as Les Schwab. Things to carry in your car include tire chains (watch a video on the internet about installing them), a blanket, food, and water for every person in the car, a first aid kit for you or another motorist involved in an accident. Cell phone and charging cable (keep your phone plugged into the USB port and charged while driving). Also have a good working flashlight and extra batteries and check your vehicles emergency kit including flares/flashers. A couple other things to consider carrying (especially if you have a pickup or SUV) include a bag of ice melt, sand, and/or chicken grit and a snow shovel. Stop frequently for gas on long trips and don’t let your car get below half a tank. Finally, keep in mind when driving on slick or snowy roads that acceleration and braking take longer and your maximum safe speed is likely not the posted speed limit. Avoid making aggressive maneuvers and increase your following distance to the vehicle in front of you. Slow down and drive safely.
Recommended items to acquire in January 2020 to build your Preparedness Kit:
- A container to put all your preparedness items in. Preferable water, insect, and rodent proof. One recommendation is a 5-gallon bucket with a screw-top lid. A Rubbermaid tub works well also. Estimated cost: $15
- Containers for fresh water for you and your family – including pets. You will need about 1 gallon per day per person and animal. Ideally you will have enough water for a two-week supply, but a few days is better than having nothing. You can find five- or six-gallon water jugs at your local hardware or sporting goods store. Be exceptionally careful using any containers that are not designed for water storage and never put anything other than clean water into your jugs. Remember to dump out and replenish your water every six months. Estimated Cost: $10 per jug.
Landscaping the Parking Lot
We will be planting the trees for the parking lot on January 18. There are 5 Red Oaks to complete the line on the south side. Two maples, October Glory, to take the place of the 2 pitiful Honey Locust on the east side. Three different Dogwoods will be planted around the new lot along with 2 dwarf Alberta Spruce and a couple of trees to be named later. Other landscaping plants and features, such as boulders, will be added at a later date. We hope to have the larger holes dug before the 18th with the help of a backhoe. We will need 5-6 other bodies to assist in this endeavor. If anybody has any questions call Bill Narver at 541-990-8205.
Peace Donations to Philomath Community Services
Peace is known through out our community as one of the friendliest and generous churches. We, as members, give freely and don’t ask for anything in return. But sometimes knowing what has been given through the year can be a motivator for increased generosity in the coming year. We did an amazing amount of giving this year!
- 312 Pounds of food
- 15 pounds of produce
- 9 pounds of close to June’s Kid’s Kloset.
178 pounds of supplies to make 9 Hygiene Baskets when they were only expecting three baskets.
BIG Thank You!
Sue Rapetti would like to say a BIG Thank you to several people in our church. Sue had major surgery on Monday, November 18 and it was the most painful surgery she had ever experienced. The pain was so great there were many times I wondered if I could handle it. This is where her first thank you comes in, she says, “Pastor Lucke was wonderful. He called me, prayed for me and gave me a lot of freezer meals.”
Sue’s next big thank you goes to the Freezer Meal Ministry with these words, “I found out that we have excellent cooks at Peace , their meals are fantastic and they’re helping me get through this. I’d like to thank them all so much. We have such a wonderful church.”
News from the Council
At December’s Council meeting the application for vicarage 2020-2021 has been approved. Which means our church will be considered for another Vicar next year. Vicar Dollar and Svenja will conclude their time with us July 31, 2020 at which time they will return to Seminary in St. Louis. We have prayed and felt the blessing that Vicar Dollar has been and are excited that we might be considered for another opportunity like this for next year. Thank you Vicar and Svenja for the courage it took to move across the country for a year.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Annual Congregational Church Meeting will be held during Fellowship on January 19, 2020. This meeting will give you the opportunity to hear the latest and greatest. Please plan on attending!
Men’s Saturday Breakfast
Mark your calendar for January 4th, time for the Peace Men’s First Saturday Breakfast. At this time, it looks like the topic will be on homelessness. Remember coffee on at 8:00 and breakfast served at 8:30, with a discussion from 9 -10. There is always need for willing chefs. If you are willing to help cook, please contact Oscar Gutbrod 514-231-3954. Thanks.