From the Pastor
This is the month we practice thanksgiving and celebrate Thanksgiving. Why don’t we practice thanksgiving as often as we should?
The story is told of a child who returned from a birthday party. The child’s mother asked, “Did you thank Mrs. Smith for the party? The child answered, “I was standing in the line at the front door when the boy in front of me thanked her. She said, ‘Don’t mention it,’ so I didn’t.”
Life is busy. The days pass by. The weeks pass by and turn into months. We tend to forget our blessings and expect them to come just like they did the day, the week, and the month before. Living in abundance, when it comes to giving thanks, we join the boy in the story and “not mention it.”
I suppose part of the problem is that we come to expect good things to come our way because it is our “right.” A few years back it was reported that there were fewer and fewer people volunteering to dress as Santa Clause. Why was this happening? The news source stated that there were more children kicking Santa in the shins for not gifting them what they had asked for the prior year. The gifts each year were becoming a sacred right for the children. Yikes!
Now that I’ve mentioned why we don’t practice thanksgiving all that often, I’d like to share why we should practice thanksgiving often. It’s fairly straightforward. God enjoys hearing our expressions of gratitude. David once wrote these words in Psalm 51, “Then will You delight in right sacrifices” (v. 19). We hear all the time how much it means for a teacher, a volunteer, or a health care worker to be thanked—and rightfully so. How much God delights to be recognized as the ultimate gift giver!
The encouragement for Christians is to practice thanksgiving weekly in worship. In our prayers we give thanks for the earthly blessings we receive in this life. We then recount what Jesus did for us. His life…his death…his resurrection makes an eternal difference. The worship service is our attempt to make sure that days, weeks, and months do not pass by without recognizing God’s gifts to us.
Peace Lutheran Church practices thanksgiving in an additional way. Each year the church gives away 10 percent of what is collected in offering. This last year we upped the percentage to 15. This is our way of giving thanks for all the blessings that come our way. As the budget is being formed for 2023, the budget committee (Bob Glathar, Todd Muhly and Rick Durling) would be open to hearing your thoughts about where our mission giving could be going. This last year (2022) more than $23,000 was given to these ministry partners: PYAC, Love INC, Camp Lutherwood, Philomath Community Services, We Care of Benton County, Zion Lutheran School, the Northwest District of the LCMS, a missionary in Cambodia, the Backpack Ministry and Philomath Public Arts. Is there a new partner that our church should be considering? We are open to suggestions!
A big reason for my thanksgiving to God this year is you. Thank you for the ways that you support and encourage me as I do my best (and with the Holy Spirit’s help) to minister God’s flock at Peace Lutheran Church.
In Jesus’ Joy,
Peace by the Numbers
Plan for Worship
November 6 – 10:00 am Worship Service in the sanctuary with communion – All Saints Sunday.
November 13 – 10:00 am Worship Service in the sanctuary followed by fellowship – Veterans Sunday
November 20 – 10:00 am Worship Service in the sanctuary with communion.
November 27 – 10:00 am Worship Service in the sanctuary followed by fellowship.
Bible Study Options
Pastor Lucke is closing out our discussion on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in November. What makes these discussions so timely? The time of Ezra and Nehemiah was a moment in time in which all nearly had been lost for God’s people. They were living in a time in which they would need to rely on faith and God’s promises. They were rebuilding. We too need encouragement to rebuild when it comes to our life, our relationships, and our faith. All are welcome for these Sunday opportunities. Here is the plan for each Sunday:
- November 6 “Walking in Faith” Ezra 3:1-11
- November 13 “Help for the Hurting” Nehemiah 1:5-13
- November 20 “Love and Faithfulness” Nehemiah 9:5-21
Bible Study on 1 Timothy
Have you ever seen a small boy follow his dad through the snow? He stretches himself to step exactly where his dad has stepped. It’s hard work. The dad might even adjust his steps so that his son can keep pace.
As we read I Timothy, we are observing a similar moment. The dad is Paul; the small boy is Timothy. Paul wrote this letter knowing that Timothy was following behind him. At times you get the idea that Paul is slowing down so that Timothy can keep up with him.
All are invited to join Pastor Lucke for a time to observe Paul and Timothy walk together. Our study will also lead to some other questions for self-reflection and sharing: Who are you following? What kind of trail are you leaving?
We’ll be meeting in the fellowship hall on the second and fourth Wednesdays in November from 2 to 3:15 pm. Let Pastor know if you plan on attending. Here is the plan for each session for your preparations:
- Wednesday, November 9 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm I Timothy 3:1-16
A Question to ponder: Why is it necessary for churches to have high expectations and standards for their leaders?
- Wednesday, November 23 2 pm to 3:15 pm I Timothy 4:1-16
A Question to ponder: “How can you help someone who you know is questioning his or her beliefs?
A Fascinating Lecture on Oregon History
Cookies, Cookies, Cookies
I am always so impressed with the variety of cookies that we get. Please see Maggie to sign up to bring four dozen cookies. We need cookies for our cookie table at the Bazaar on November 5th. Last year we sold over 120 dozen cookies.
An extension of the November 5th Bazaar is Granny’s Attic. This is located outside the fellowship hall under the patio. Granny’s Attic is made up of gently used items donated by the congregation. Please no clothes or large items. If you need help getting your items to the church call or text Jani Burton (541-740-4650). Please have items at the church no later than the 30th of October. Thank you so very much for helping with this once-a-year event.
Men’s Breakfast – NOTE CHANGE:The date for the November men’s breakfast will be the second Saturday, November 12! Ray Hewitt will share some of his experience while in Germany walking where Martin Luther walked? There will be time other discussion on what going on in your life? Coffee on at 8:00, breakfast at 8:30, topic discussion 9-10. Please let Oscar Gutbrod firstname.lastname@example.org know whether you plan to attend or not – Thanks. 541-231-3954 DO PLAN TO ATTEND
Philomath Food Bank & June’s Kids Closet
With the holidays coming it is time to think about helping those that have problems getting things that the family needs. One thing that we can do is to make donations of food items to the Food Bank and/or kids close to June’s Kids Closet. As of October 13th, our donations have been 258 pounds of food and 22 pounds of clothes. There are baskets in the narthex for each of these charities and any help we can give is appreciated.
Tables of Peace
Tables of Peace will be starting again in early November. Tables of Peace is an opportunity for members
to join 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 three 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 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
- 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.
Calling All Shepherds!
This December 11, the youth at Peace will be sharing the message of The Christmas Story. If you know of other children, ages 5-18, in your family or our community who would like to participate in our Youth Christmas Program, please let Karyn Stanley or Diane Crocker know. We would like to invite all children to take part and learn about the birth of our Savior.
Rehearsals will be held on Sundays during Sunday School (9am – 9:50am), November 6, 13, 20, 27, and December 4. Two additional rehearsals will be held November 27 from 4:30-6pm, and a final dress rehearsal on December 10 from 8am – 10am.
In addition to the Christmas Program itself, we would love to have any youth that play an instrument or sing, perform a Christmas song for the preservice music. Secular holiday songs, in addition to traditional Christian carols work, as well. If you know of a youth that can play/sing for preservice, even if they are not in the Christmas Program itself, please let Karyn or Diane know.
The Youth Christmas Program will be held during our worship service at 10am on Sunday, December 11.
Update From Our Mission in Cambodia
Greetings, friends at Peace in Philomath!
Our family is so grateful for your support as we serve God’s mission in Cambodia. Every time we receive an email letting us know we are prayed for, or a donor report, we are humbled by the passion and generosity of God’s people for the sake of His mission. We love what we do, but wouldn’t be able to do it without you.
By God’s grace, our family is all doing well. J.P. continues teaching, with a new catechism study group just starting in Kampong Chhnang at Pastor Kim Hai’s home/church. With a recent trip to Tbong Khmum, he also is nearing completion of the program of intentional visitation. Finally, J.P. also recently received the good news that his prospectus (the first step in the dissertation process) was approved by the seminary’s department of practical theology. Now the real work starts!
As for Aimee, she recently traveled with Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation to check up on those who received biosand water filters. She even got to learn a bit about areca nut farming! The rainy season provided some flooding along the way, but praise God they went and returned safely. Speaking of flooding, members of our youth group recently had their baby daughter baptized. Praise God for the waters of baptism that drown the old person and raise the new!
THANK YOU for being a part of what God is doing half a world away! We appreciate your prayers in the coming weeks as Aimee travels to Singapore for regional strategic planning, and then to Sierra Leone, partnering with our Africa missionaries to implement community health training. Pray for safe travels and fruitful ministry, and for J.P. as he holds down the fort in Phnom Penh.
We pray God’s richest blessings on you! Please reach out with an email anytime–we’d love to hear how you are!
//JP, Aimee, Celeste, Bella, and Isaac
Be Cyber Smart – Things to Be Aware of Online
From the Oregon State Credit Union Website:
There’s no crime scene, no yellow tape or flashing lights from a police cruiser; there may be nothing to indicate that a crime has been committed. Nevertheless, victims of cybercrime suffer many of the same consequences as victims of old-fashioned crime: stolen money, damaged reputation, credit card theft.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a cybercrime, the first step is to understand what type of crime you’ve been targeted with and the type of information potentially exposed.
There are many kinds of cybercrime, but they tend to fall into several categories:
Phishing attack – Phishing is a social engineering attack often used to steal personal information, including login credentials and credit card numbers. In a phishing attack, the cybercriminal masquerades as a trusted source and tricks the victim into opening an email, instant message, text message or social media post. The goal is to get you to click on a malicious link or download an attachment. Successful phishing attacks can install malware on your computer that steal your personal information or login credentials, conscript your PC into an army of malware-spreading bots, or even shut down your computer until you pay a ransom to the criminals. The consequences can include unauthorized purchases on your credit card, stolen funds, identity theft and more.
Your best defense against phishing is to learn to recognize and avoid them. Never click on links or download attachments until you verify the sender. Don’t click on online quizzes and contests. Don’t fall for solicitations to verify your email or other personal details. Instead, call the person or company using a valid phone number and validate the request.
Malware – Malware is malicious software designed to harm or exploit a programmable device, like your PC, mobile phone or tablet. But malware can also infect some unexpected devices, including your internet router, smart TV, online security camera and even your smart doorbell. In fact, the smart devices in your home are just as vulnerable to malware as your computer.
Malware is often spread through phishing attacks and malicious advertising on popular sites, but it can also spread through sharing infected USB drives, infected apps and fake software installations. The goal is similar to phishing: to steal your personal information or login credentials, scare you into paying to repair your computer, spread spam, add your PC or device to a growing network of malicious bots, or take your device (and data) hostage and demand a ransom.
Common signs that your device has been infected by malware include slow performance, infection warnings accompanied by offers to sell you a “fix,” annoying pop-up ads, unexpected browser redirects and problems shutting down or starting your computer.
The industry closely tracks malware and pushes out frequent software updates to defend against the latest versions. Your first line of defense is to keep your operating systems, programs and apps up to date on all your PCs, mobile devices and smart devices. Whenever possible, enable automatic updates. You should also install anti-virus software, limit what files you share with others, don’t click on links or download attachments, and don’t trust pop-up windows. Don’t click on any part of the pop-up window, not even to close it. Instead, use the task manager or close the window in the taskbar.
Credential stuffing – Credential stuffing is a cybercrime in which credentials (usernames, passwords, etc.) stolen through a data breach on one service are used to try to log in to another service. The attacker may obtain a list of logins and passwords stolen in the data breach of a department store and use them to try to log in to a financial institution, like a credit union. The attacker is hoping that at least some of those department store users also have an account at the financial institution and use the same login and password for both services.
You can limit the damage credential stuffing can do by using unique passwords on all your banking, social media, email, and retail accounts. At the very least, use a strong login and password for your online banking and don’t use them for any other service. Never share your passwords with anyone or enter them on a public computer.
Debit or credit card fraud – Debit or credit card fraud is the unauthorized use of a card to fraudulently obtain money or make unauthorized purchases. The introduction of new technology, like EMV chips, has made it difficult for criminals to steal your card information using skimmers at the cash register or ATM, but the rising popularity of online shopping has provided new opportunity for cybercriminals intent on this kind of crime.
You can protect yourself by shopping only with trusted vendors.
- Look for URLS that begin with “https,” and a padlock in the site’s address bar.
- Click on the padlock and it will provide you with security information for that site.
- If you’re uncertain about a website, run the URL through an online verification site. For instance, URLVoid.com can provide details about the site, and transparencyreport.google.com can tell you if a website is safe.
- Don’t get to the site by clicking on a link in an email. Instead, type in the URL yourself, or use a web browser to search for the business.
Identity theft – The increasing use of computer networks and electronic data sharing has made stealing personally identifiable information (PII) easier than ever. Cybercriminals can obtain your personal information through a phishing attack, malware, or by purchasing it on the dark web. Being the victim of identity theft is more than an inconvenience. Armed with just your Social Security Number, name and address, a criminal can wreak long-term damage to your financial stability, including the ability to purchase things, open accounts or receive benefits to which you’re entitled.
To protect yourself from identity theft, monitor your accounts and credit reports diligently, change your account passwords regularly, and enroll in alerts and notifications with your financial institution to confirm transactions on your accounts are legitimate.