From the Pastor
We are both to persevere and count on God to carry us.
Have you heard the true story about Jim and Derek Redmond? Derek, a twenty-six-year old British athlete at the time, was favored to win the four-hundred-meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Halfway into his semifinal heat, a searing pain developed in his right leg. He couldn’t continue as it became clear to him that he had torn his hamstring.
Derek got up from the ground. He began to hop and limp to the finish line. It was at that moment that a large man pushed through the crowd and reached Derek. The man was wearing a shirt that said, “Have you hugged your child today?” The large man was Derek’s father, Jim. Father Jim wrapped Derek’s arm around his shoulder and helped him hobble to the finish line. Once they passed the finish line, Derek fell to the ground and buried himself in his father’s embrace.
The crowd was so overwhelmed with the moment between Jim and Derek that they forgot for a moment who won the race.
I like this story because it reminds me of the truth that God carries us. Deuteronomy is a book in the Bible that is meant to clarify the happenings in the four books in front of it—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers. The happenings in the books preceding Deuteronomy were bewildering, stressful and confusing as God’s people wandered in the wilderness with Moses. Deuteronomy 1:31 sets the record straight, “In the desert, there you saw how the Lord God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” We can count on God to carry us in our desert moments. God will find a way to get us to the finish line.
We also need to do our part. We persevere. Persevere doesn’t sound like a Bible word, but it actually is. I think it is ironic that the word persevere notably occurs in the famous love passage from I Corinthians. It says, “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” We tend to think of love as merely an emotion. Paul is stating here that love is action…. action that perseveres when times are their hardest.
To live our very best, Christians will need to both persevere and count on God to carry us. Today’s challenges feel like a torn hamstring. The pandemic zapped our strength, purpose and hope for many of us. Systems that we have relied on time and time again are not running as smoothly. One person shared with me, “I’ve experienced so many losses, I can’t even remember them all!” Persevering isn’t easy.
A helpful way to begin to persevere is to hear stories from others who have persevered in difficult times. Stories like Derek Redmond and the Israelites in Deuteronomy come to mind. I’d like to invite you to hear another story of personal perseverance this month.
Tom Haig will be sharing his story at Peak Sports Outdoor Shop in Corvallis on Saturday, March 18 at 6:30 pm. Tom recently wrote a book titled Global Nomad that recounts his life before and after paralysis. From what I understand, Tom has accomplished more after his disability than before. How did he do it? Perseverance played a part. I’m looking forward to picking up a pointer or two for my own journey from Tom. Let me know if you’d like to go with me!
In Peace, Pastor J
Peace by the Numbers
Plan for Worship
March 1 – 5:00pm Soup Supper followed by Mid-week service using the Holden Evening Prayer.
March 5 – 10:00am Worship Service with Communion
March 8 – 5:00pm Soup Supper followed by Mid-week service using the Holden Evening Prayer.
March 12 – 10:00am Worship Service
March 15 – 5:00pm Soup Supper followed by Mid-week service using the Holden Evening Prayer.
March 19 – 10:00am Worship Service with Communion
March 22 – 5:00pm Soup Supper followed by Mid-week service using the Holden Evening Prayer.
March 26 – 10:00am Worship Service
March 29 – 5:00pm Soup Supper followed by Mid-week service using the Holden Evening Prayer.
Lent at Peace: The Visions of Zechariah
Join us for Soup Suppers at Peace for Lent! We will be gathering each Wednesday in Lent at 5:00 pm for Soup Supper with Lent Worship in the sanctuary at 6:00 pm. See Sally Stouder if you’d like to participate in providing soup for one of the gatherings. Here is the theme for each of the Wednesdays:
March 1……..Zechariah 1:7-17
March 8…….. Zechariah 1:18-21
March 15…….Zechariah 3:1-10
March 22……Zechariah 2:1-13
March 29……. Zechariah 4:1-14
New Bible Study
David Leding will be leading a new Bible Study starting on March 19th. His study is based on the book, “On Being a Theologian of the Cross” by Gerhard Forde. This study helps us to better understand suffering and what exactly Jesus’ death on the cross means for living today.
What kind of theologian are you?
Is it shocking to find out that all of us are theologians! Often, we think that we must have some kind of degree or have formal training to be one. Yet each of us as Christians that look to the risen Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins and the life everlasting, are in fact theologians. We are members of the Priesthood of all Believers and thus theologians! But what kind of theologians are we? Are we theologians of glory or theologians of the cross?
Over the next several weeks we are going to look at how Dr, Martin Luther explored this question. We are all very familiar when Luther posted his 95 theses on October 31, 1517, and we often think this was the start of the Reformation. This was just the beginning of the beginning, and another event took place a few months later where Luther was asked to speak, or present, a disputation to the gathered monks of his Augustinian Order during their gathering in Heidelberg Germany, April 1518. Some expected Luther to recant, others expected him to expand on his concerns. Instead, Luther kicked wide open his thinking on such things as works, sin, the bondage of the will, and grace. Luther presented his thinking in 28 theological theses and 12 philosophical. We are going to explore the 28 theological ones to dig at the question. What kind of theologian are we?
Men’s Breakfast: March 4th is time for the Peace Men’s First Saturday Breakfast. Come early, we have coffee ready at 8:00 AM, server breakfast at 8:30 and have a discussion from 9 – 10. The topic for discussion will be a planning session for the Easter Sunday Pancake Breakfast. It is always helpful to let me know whether you plan to attend, so enough food is available. Should you like be part of the cooking team, please let me know. Hope to see many there. Oscar Gutbrod: [email protected]
Lenten Soup Suppers
Lenten Soup Suppers are back – Hooray! We need people to sign up to bring your favorite soups as well as breads and cookies. Look for the sign-up list in the hallway between the Narthex and the Fellowship Hall. Every Wednesday we will need four people to bring soup, two people to bring bread and butter and someone to bring about 48 cookies. The upcoming dates are March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22, and March 29.
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 on Saturday March 25. 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 2 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 6 at 7:00pm. This service will have communion.
Good Friday service is another opportunity to observe and be involved in Christ’s suffering. We will celebrate on April 7 at our 7:00pm service. This is a somber occasion but one not to miss.
Pancake Breakfast will start at 8:00am on Easter, April 9 hosted by the men at Peace. This will be a wonderful way to fellowship with each other and start our morning celebrating our Risen Lord.
HE IS RISEN Easter Service is April 9 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 11:15.
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 2 at 10 am with Holy Communion. 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 6 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 7 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 9 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!”
Popular Christian Concert in Eugene
Interested in seeing a concert with a popular Christian artist? Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Martin Smith will be at the First Baptist Church in Eugene on Sunday, March 19th at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online starting at $45.
If you miss church or can’t make it for some reason, you can still attend online. The service can be accessed on our YouTube channel. Once you go to YouTube, search by typing, “Peace Lutheran Church – Philomath.” Once the search is complete, select Peace Lutheran Church – Philomath and it will take you to all our most current services. Also–be sure to thank our audio/visual team that puts in so much time and effort to make this ministry a possibility.
Boy Scouts Troop 161 Helping at Peace on February 26
Thank You from our Mission Partners and some Salmon & Jazz Photos thrown in!
Images From the Past: Groundbreaking at Peace 1977