Dear Peace family,
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
Christ is RISEN!! He is RISEN, indeed! Alleluia!
“Now what?” you might be wondering. The day of Easter has passed. Jesus lives. Jesus gives us his victory over death and has opened up the way to eternal life.
Peace is answering the “Now what?” question with a new initiative titled “Strengthening Peace.” You should have a “Strengthening Peace” devotional guiding you through 32 days of daily devotions. If not, please contact Callie in the office at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make sure to send you a copy.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are striving to be a family of God that seeks greater unity with each other and other Christians. What difference will that make? A ton. Jesus says that when we display Christian unity, we are shining a light on him (John 17). The not so good news is that when we fail to display unity by gossiping, being greedy and living selfishly—we make Jesus look really bad.
Displaying disunity not only makes Jesus look bad, but it is also not helpful for relationships. When we fail to honor and show unity with our parents, life usually doesn’t go so well. When we steal something from someone, suspicion and distrust grows in the neighborhood.
Don’t consider unity to simply be something that we have to do. Consider the practice of unity as a way of living that will bless you!
The story was once told of a farmer who grew excellent wheat. Every season he won the award for the best grown wheat in his county. One year a reporter from the local newspaper interviewed the farmer and learned that each spring the man shared his seed with his neighbors so that they too could plant it in their fields. “How can you afford to share your best wheat seed with your neighbors when you are in competition with them?” the reporter asked. The farmer quickly explained:
“It’s simple. The wind picks up pollen from the developing wheat and carries it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior wheat, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of wheat, including mine. If I am to grow good wheat, I must help my neighbors grow good wheat.”
This wheat story can apply to Jesus’ desire for us to practice unity. Those who desire to flourish and do well, help enrich the lives of others. Those who want to be happy, help others to find happiness.
Perhaps the coronavirus is highlighting the Christian teaching about unity? One person disregarding the current laws and recommendations can truly bring harm to many others. But the opposite is true. A community that works together by following the laws and recommendations can truly save lives.
I look forward to the days in which we can see each other face to face and resume regular routines. I’m frustrated by the limitations. In the meantime, I’m going to read the daily devotions in “Strengthening Peace” so that when we do come back together, our relationship as a church family is truly strengthened.
Please join me and the rest of the Peace family in this pursuit.
In Jesus’ Joy,
Managing Today’s Stress
There are some incredible opportunities to connect with others and learn how to live and deal in today’s world. Please let Pastor know if you are interested.
1. Friends of the Family is offering a Zoom workshop titled, “Managing Stress & Preserving Relationships amidst the COVID Crisis.” The presentation will be by Dr. Renee del Rio, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. The meeting is tomorrow night–Wednesday, April 29 from 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm. Please email if you would like to attend.
2. Next week is another great opportunity to check in with someone who can assist you in this time of crisis. Shawna
Corden, a member of Peace, has offered to host a Zoom workshop for our Peace members and community about managing the stress that is coming from today’s changes. Here is the focus:
“Are you struggling with the coronavirus and its consequences for daily life? Have you found moments of joy and clarity with some of the shutdown elements? You are not alone. Join us for this one-hour workshop, using Zoom conferencing, to learn more about how to ground yourself in these times and common factors that boost resiliency–a proven element for coping gracefully.” We’ll conduct a change management exercise and use an assessment to identify actions you can take to strengthen your foundation.”
This workshop will take place on Thursday, May 7 at 2 pm.
Please email Pastor Lucke, email@example.com, if you would like to attend and I’ll make sure that you can connect.
Thoughts from the Vicar
Whether it’s a regular outing that’s been canceled or a change in work schedule, many of us these days are finding our routines changed or disrupted. I know my schedule certainly looks different than it did earlier this year. The Church building is closed, so that means no more office hours. Meeting are all done online; so (instead of rushing around town) I can simply pull out my phone or computer. I’ve even figured out there’s only so many times we can walk our dog in one day. With all the closures and cancelations, a common refrain I have heard both in our church family and online is that people are discovering they have much more time on their hands than they once did. Perhaps you feel the same way.
What’s to be done? On one hand we can take advantage of this down time by recharging and relaxing (I certainly have), but this is also an opportunity for us to intentionally use our time for things we may not have had time for earlier. Here are a few suggestions for things we can intentionally pursue with our new found free time.
Prayer: If you’re like me you might pray before a meal or before bed. Maybe it’s once a week at Church. Either way now is a wonderful opportunity to spend in Prayer to your Heavenly Father. Everyone’s prayer life is different: one person likes the old, familiar prayer they can recite from memory while another person resonates with a spur-of-the-moment prayer. We know our Heavenly Father hears them all, so now is a great time to expand your prayer horizons. Try praying in a different way. If you’re used to praying on-the-spot, try praying a pre-written prayer. There are great options in the Bible to choose from (1 Samuel 2:1-10; Palm 3; Jonah 2:2-9). If you’re used to praying the traditional prayers, spend some quite time speaking with God in your own words. Remember, prayer is a wonderful gift and God wants to hear from you.
Reaching Out: If you are feeling like you have a lot of time on your hands, odds are that the people around you are feeling the same way. We are incredibly blessed to be living in a time where we have the technology to stay connected, even while we are spending time apart. Reach out to someone. It could be as simple as a text message saying “hello,” or maybe a call to a family member you haven’t talked to for a while. Facebook is an amazing tool for finding people you have lost contact with, so take advantage of its search feature. If you’re feeling especially brave, reach out to someone you don’t know! You might just make a friend.
Seminary answers the Vicar question for 2020-2021 year
Concordia Seminary St. Louis shared with me a few weeks ago that they will not be supplying Peace with a Vicar for the 2020-2021 school year. There are two main reasons for this. First, the student enrollment at the seminary is continuing to decline–there just aren’t many Vicars available for training. Second, the 2020-2021 year is the dedicated year for a Vicar from St. Louis Seminary to be placed in a congregation in Western Washington. I was told by the seminary that if Peace decides to host a Vicar for the 2021-2022 school year, our chances would be good for another student/Vicar.
Vicar Dollar and Svenja have been a blessing to the Peace family! Our time with them is rapidly passing as they will be finishing their vicarage at Peace in July and will return to St. Louis to finish off schooling for the 2020-2021 school year. We’ll keep you posted on plans for a sending off celebration for them.
Blood Drive Continues
We hosted a blood drive in April and now have two more: May 22, and June 19. Two or three Volunteers will be needed for each drive. We cannot serve homemade goodies. Please feel free to hop online at redcrossblood.org then search for an appointment. Or you can simply call to make an appointment.
The Red Cross will be taking temperatures of staff, volunteers, and donors. Masks will be required for the staff and volunteers and available for the donors who want them. The donor tables and chairs will be spread out to allow for safe distancing.
In this time of social isolation it is good to know we can still help others with the gift of life saving blood. Please pray for a safe and successful blood drives.
If there are any questions please email Ellen Holroyd at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 753-4021.
The Incident Response Team hopes that you are all doing well – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Change is hard and our changing times can be stressful with this new environment we find ourselves in. However, I’m starting to hear more and more of a common theme – people are slowing down and taking time to do things that really matter such as spending time at home with family, communicating more with family and friends, reading some books they have put aside for some time, or taking the time to do some work around their houses or gardens. They are also doing things as a service to others such as making masks or hand sanitizer. Additionally, there are some amazing things happening with the earth as the air gets cleaner and some animals are venturing out more.
We are all looking forward to returning to “normal”, but perhaps that new “normal” will not be like the old. Maybe that new normal will include a slower and more enjoyable pace for all of us, giving us time to focus on what is most important in life. I recommend we do not look upon this time with fear and dread but look at the wonderful things that God will bring out of this situation. God has the big picture and He has your best interests at heart.
Finally, the Incident Response Team stands ready to help. If you do not feel comfortable venturing to the grocery store or pharmacy, we have a group of folks that can help you. Please e-mail ‘email@example.com’ and we will find out what you need and work to get it to you. If your needs go beyond groceries or medications, please contact us and we can try to help. We can also deliver the freezer meals that are being made at the church. Please do not come to the church to pick them up – just send an e-mail and we will deliver.
In the meantime, stay healthy, wash your hands frequently, and continue following local and state guidance regarding the pandemic. Together we will all get through this and emerge with renewed strength and faith.
Camp Lutherwood Update
THANK YOU! We have noticed the amazing work that you have been doing and the ministry you have been providing to your congregations during this challenging time. We appreciate your creativity, especially during Holy Week and Easter, to meet the needs of many.
A brief update on Camp Lutherwood Oregon in the midst of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation: Camp Lutherwood Oregon is closed to all guests until May 31st. We are following the guidelines of the local health authorities and government mandates and will continue to reevaluate this date in the coming weeks.
Prayers for you and your community in the days ahead.
Join us for Zoom Campfire!
All are invited to join us for campfire on Friday, May 1st at 7pm PST on Zoom. This is the third campfire that we are hosting with songs, stories, skits and a message. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom link & password to join the fun.
May 2 Work Day- CANCELLED
Due to the coronavirus, we have made the decision to cancel our May 2nd Work Day.
Camp Lutherwood is Hiring!
We are still accepting applications for 2020-2021 Interns as well as the Guest Services Coordinator/Registrar. Complete job descriptions can be found on our website at lutherwoodoregon.org/employment. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
Please contact the office (541) 998-6444 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Be sure to update us with any new contact information and check out our website and social media so you can stay up to date on all that is happening at camp.
Clara Stanley – Statement of Faith
Be strong and of good courage do not be afraid nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
This is the verse I chose because I think it applies to all aspects of life. What I mean is, I think this verse is something that everybody, no matter how old or how young, should listen to. This verse means that God is always going to be with you, no matter what happens in your life, and no matter what the challenges you face are. I think it means that even when you’re faced with challenges, you shouldn’t be afraid because God will always be there to help you.
My faith is important to me because I think with God, I am a better person than I am without Him. As my life continues, I know he will always be someone I can talk to about my problems and look to for forgiveness of my sins. He is always willing to listen, especially when I feel alone or like I have no one to talk to. I know that God is never going to leave my side no matter what happens, and I know that he wants the best for me. I also know that he has a plan for my life. Having this knowledge is very comforting for me.
My faith affects my daily life in lots of ways. For example, if I am dealing with some stress from school or an activity that I do, I know I can turn to God to help me figure out how to handle it and how I can use Him as someone I can go to when problems come up. Sometimes, small issues can seem like bigger problems than they actually are, and sometimes people don’t see that. I know I’m guilty of this, but when I overreact or overthink situations, God knows how to help me see that I need to calm down, and helps me calm down, too.
Looking forward into my life, if I didn’t have my faith, the future would definitely be a challenge for me. Knowing that God is always going to be there for me is very comforting because He ensures that I will always have someone I can turn to, even in times of struggle. He is always willing to listen and forgive what I have done, and helps me get through some tough times, too. When I think about my future, I realize that it’s going to be hard to find my place in society. There are so many standards for people to achieve, but I think with God’s help, I can do it, even if it’s hard. I know life isn’t going to be easy, but with God, I know I will be able to get through anything.
Caleb Santora – Statement of Faith
The reason why I value my relationship with our Heavenly Father is because without Him I don’t know what I would do, there would really be nothing to look forward to in life because without Him, if you really think of it there is nothing. But thanks to God I have a wonderful time to look forward to, even if I am a sinner. That is why I chose this verse about God’s forgiveness of my sins: Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This verse shows me that even though I am a sinner God still loves me so much that He gave His son so that I may live eternal life with Him even though I am a sinner. I am so excited to have this chance to get closer to our Heavenly Father and learn more and more about Him and His great works.
This little collection of facts was sent to Callie from an old family friends, Ernie & Doris, in California.
The Latin root of the word “quarantine” is “forty”.
So what does the Bible say about 40?
The flood lasted 40 days.
40 years Moses fled Egypt.
40 days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to receive the Commandments.
Exodus lasted 40 years.
Jesus fasted for 40 days.
40 days for a woman to rest after giving birth.
Optimum number of weeks for human gestation is 40.
A group of theologians thinks the number 40 represents “change”. It is the time of preparing a person, or people, to make a fundamental change.
Something will happen after these 40 days. Just believe and pray. Remember, whenever the number 40 appears in the Bible, there is a “change”.
Please know that during this “quarantine” rivers are cleaning up, vegetation is growing, the air is becoming cleaner because of less pollution, there is less theft and murder, healing is happening, and most importantly, people are turning to Christ. The Earth is at rest for the first time in many years and hearts are truly transforming.
Remember we are in the year 2020, and 20 + 20 = 40.
Also, 2020 is the year of the United States Census. Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, was born during a census.
Lastly, 2020 is perfect vision. May our sight focus on the Lord and living according to His perfect vision for us knowing He holds us in the palm of His hand.
May these days of “quarantine” bring spiritual liberation to our souls, our nation, and our world.
Staying Home & Staying Healthy
Beverly Hellesto, Gayle Taylor and Joan McDonald watch the service together and afterwards we break bread together (so to speak),sometimes in the parlor in front of the fireplace if the lunch is not too soupy. We worship and pray together.
Lindy Young along with others has been volunteering down at Lupe’s Community Garden, especially on sunny days. “We breathe fresh air and there’s plenty of space for us to be distanced from each other. We’ve been having to clear away a lot of weeds, but we have had veggies growing through the winter and are starting to plant spring seeds and starts. All the fruit trees and the grape vine have been pruned. We can always use more willing hands to volunteer! Here’s an early photo. Call here to find out when the garden is open for volunteers: Philomath Community Services: 541-929-2499, or call Lindy: 541-929-5868.”
He is risen, He is Risen indeed! John & Genny Filbert have been cultivating this plant for awhile and this year it bloomed out beautiful and bright. What a sign of hope!
The Santora family has been enjoying the online services! Each Sunday they gather in front of the TV…not too close…we don’t want to sit in the front row…and we worship, sing, and respond as we would in church. The only difference? Some of us are in pajamas and actually lay down with a cat on our chest while enjoying God’s Word.
Jan Skaar says: “Two months ago I would have been arrested for looking like this.” Jan you look like you are staying healthy! Love this picture! Color coordinated mask shirt and jacket.
Kay Glathar pieced together the quilt and now Peggy Krueger is using her quarantine time to get it quilted! What a labor of love and work of art! Great job! So many talents within our Peace Family!
Bill Krueger has not been idle during this corona shutdown. Peggy says that Bill has the lawn and orchard looking better than it ever has! Great job staying busy!
The Lucke Family is sticking together, watching Miles grow and learn new things, helping Kaia & Claire with their homework. Getting outside for a bike ride (which is how this selfie happened) helps to use up some of that energy.
Peggy Malcom sent: “Since we cannot even leave our apartment to walk in the halls or outside I get my exercise by playing John Philip Sousa marches and Broadway musical overtures and keep time to the music with as much motion as the space will allow, either seated in a chair or holding on to the back of a chair or lying on my back in bed. Glad no one can see me.
For mental exercise, two Crosswords and a Sudoku a day. When I can’t sleep I go through the alphabet and do a gratitude list for each letter and ask God to bring joy and peace everyone I can think of by name, including me.
And I sing silently or out loud. My new favorite verse for Be Thou My Vision is : Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight.
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul’s shelter and Thou my high tower,
Lead Thou me heavenward, O Power of my Power.
Love the connection through Facebook with you all.