From the Pastor

Dear friends,

Isn’t it important to have the destination in mind when travelling?

In the Spring of 2019, a British Airways flight landed in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was supposed to land in

Dusseldorf, Germany. It wasn’t until the plane landed in the wrong country and the flight crew

welcomed them to Edinburgh, that the passengers realized they were not in Dusseldorf. British Airways explained the mistake by stating, “this was due to incorrect filing of flight paperwork.” I’d expect a story like this to be in the 1950’s—not 2019!

But apparently things like this happen all the time. The Associated Press reports that over the last two decades U.S. pilots had flown to or nearly landed at a wrong airport 150 times! It’s not just pilots that need to know the destination, sometimes it’s the passengers. I can personally attest to this truth. While living in Jacksonville, Florida, we had visitors from the west coast fly to see us. They attempted to get on a plane for Jacksonville, North Carolina. Thankfully one of the flight attendants directed them to the right gate and plane.

Don’t forget the destination!

Easter is here! There is undoubtedly excitement in the air at Peace Lutheran. We have journeyed a

spiritually impactful Lent season together. The pastor round robin for the midweek services deepened our connection with sister congregations. Peace’s campus grounds look amazing. Special thanks are due to the Boy Scouts of Troop 161 for their efforts in spreading bark on the property. More and more visitors are attending in-person weekly services. We have more and more people attending our online services too. Holy Week services are planned and ready to go. The Easter egg hunt is a go.

Certainly, come and identify a friend to invite to one of our services. See the announcements in this

newsletter for all the dates and times of our Holy Week services.

One word of caution, however. Know the destination! The destination or outcome of Easter is changed vision. We are able to see things differently. C.S. Lewis once famously remarked that he believed Christianity just like he believed in the sun: “Not only because I see it,” he said, “but because I see everything else.”

I believe the first people to see the resurrected Jesus would agree with C.S. Lewis. Who were they? Mary Magdalene (Jn. 20:10-18), other women (Matthew 28:8-10), Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24), the eleven disciples and others (Lk. 23), and 500 others (I Corinthians 15). They most certainly saw the world differently after the resurrected Jesus appeared.

And so will we this Easter! Will there be less setbacks after Easter? Who knows? Will there be less tragedies after Easter? I can’t tell you. Will there be less relational brokenness? I wish I could say yes. It very well could be that there are just as many setbacks, tragedies and brokenness after Easter as before. The point of the resurrected Christ is that we can see these challenges differently. Abundant life is ours now. Abundant life is ours in the future. Death is not a sunset. Death is a sunrise with Jesus.

I hope you land on the intended destination of Easter this year! The resurrected Jesus gives us sight to truly “see everything else.”

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Lucke

Peace by the Numbers

Plan for Worship

April 2 – 10:00am – Worship Service with Communion.  

April 6 – 7:00pm – Maundy Thursday Service with Communion.

April 7 – 7:00pm – Good Friday Service.

April 9 – 10:00am – Easter Worship Service with Communion.

   11:15am – Easter Egg Hunt right after service for children in the 6th grade and below.

April 16 – 10:00am – Worship Service with Communion.

April 23 – 10:00am – Worship Service.

April 30 – 10:00am – Worship Service.

Adult Bible Study This Month

David Leding will continue leading Bible Study through this month. 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

Men’s Breakfast: April 1st, Fools Day, is time for the Peace Men’s monthly breakfast. Do plan to attend, we will be discussing the movie “Jesus Revolution”. You will be receiving movie trailers about the true story which the movie is based on. We always being with coffee on at 8:00, breakfast served at 8:30, topic discussion 9 – 10. We will be serving up pancakes and sausages. Please let Oscar Gutbrod know if you plan to attend. 541-231-3954 – [email protected]

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. 

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.

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!” 

American Red Cross Blood Drive

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 21. As always, homemade goodies are welcome as well as your prayers for a successful blood drive.

An Important Message from the Ladies Guild…

Mark your Calendars!  

The 2023 Ladies Guild Holiday Bazaar will take place on Saturday, November 4th from 9-3.  Check upcoming newsletters for more information.   In the meantime, crafters and creators…it’s the perfect time to get those crafted items started!  Your generosity and creativity are what drives the bazaar!  We definitely appreciate all that you do to help make our bazaar so successful!  

Where’s the Beef?

After cleaning out the freezers at church, it was discovered that we have many packages of ground beef and ground pork from 2020 and 2021. It’s been in the deep freeze, so the meat is just fine. If you would like to have some to take home, please contact Janette so she can direct you on which packages you can take home. Perfect for making chili.

The Sound System at Peace

The current sound system was installed in the summer of 2009.   Three bids were sent out.  We selected a company from Eugene who had installed the acoustic panels in the Fellowship Hall previously. Steve Diamond was the leader of the Audio/Visual of that company that worked with us. After fourteen years with the current audio/video system the Council felt it was time to upgrade our current sound system. We choose to work again with Steve Diamond, who started his own company ( Steve and his wife attended our worship service on March 19th to review our process and equipment. A report is expected in the next 2-3 weeks with recommendation for the Council to consider updating our sound system. Active members of the A/V team met with Steve and his wife after the March 19th service to hear verbally his thoughts as to where important changes could and should be made. In the coming weeks we can expect to have some improvements to our sound system – both in the Sanctuary and online.

Where Do We Store Everything at Peace?

Peace is once again in full swing with activities, programs, and various church and community meetings, which is just fantastic!  But, with all that is going on, we are literally busting at the seams regarding existing storage organization and options.

As the newest trustee here at Peace, Janette has been tasked with the organization of several areas of the church.  Her focus is to “reorganize” the sheds, attic spaces, Fellowship closet and cupboards, the 3 classrooms, and the Sacristy.

So, quite simply, she has drawn up a plan which will entail reorganization along with new additional storage options and availability.  

This will consist of new shelving in the two back patio sheds, extra storage in the 3 classrooms, redesigned storage in the fellowship closet and cabinets to enhance storage for fellowship décor, tablecloths, and to provide storage for extra kitchen and custodial supplies.  The attics will be purged of outdated items, the new shed will house bazaar and Ladies Guild needs, and the other shed will be reorganized to make it more functional.  The Sacristy and closet will undergo a change to permit extra storage and ultimately house the choir robes as well.  

Whew! That is no small task that Janette has taken on and we are grateful for her help in this endeavor.  Janette or Daniel will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

A University President’s Honest Advice on Choosing a College

By: Bernard Bull, President of Concordia University Nebraska.

After spending almost two decades working in higher education and observing the ways that people think about post high school decision-making, here are my candid top ten suggestions for choosing a college or supporting your son, daughter, grandchildren, friends, or relatives in making the decision.

1. Do not choose a college unless you can identify at least two distinct groups or sub-groups where you can confidently say, “Those are my people!” Find groups with shared interests, values, or goals. It will make a significant difference in your experience. Find a place where you are known, valued, and called by name, especially by those with whom you are likely to spend much of your time.

2. Make sure that you are ready for college. This means taking ownership for your learning; developing good time-management skills; learning to manage stress and other emotions in positive and healthy ways; cultivating the discipline of postponing gratification; establishing good study skills and a growth mindset; learning how to independently take care of your basic needs; building conflict management skills; learning to communicate clearly and effectively in writing, orally, and in different situations; developing positive sleeping and eating habits; etc. Not that you have to be perfect in all of these areas, but the stronger you are in these and related skills, the more enjoyable college will be for you, the more you will get out of it, and the more you will be able to contribute to the community—because going to college is about both giving and receiving. The stronger you are in these areas, the better any college choice will be for you and those around you.

3. If your faith is important to you, choose a school with a strong community that will support you spiritually. A study from the Barna Group showed that close to 70% of professing Christians abandon their faith during their college years. Yet, the results are drastically different if you choose a school where your professors and others in the community are committed to helping you prepare for faith and life in a changing world.

4. Do not attend a school where the majority of your coursework is in large lecture halls with a talking head at the front of the room. You can learn as much or more from a good series of YouTube videos or a library card. This is NOT quality education. Instead, find a place where the vast majority of your courses involve real, intelligent, passionate, invested professors (not graduate assistants) who teach you, get to know you by name, and are genuinely interested in you and your learning.

5. Choose a place where you are confident that the people in the school can help you achieve one or more important goals for your future—or that can help you discover or establish good and noble goals for your future.

6. Do not go to a college unless you are confident that the value is worth far more than the cost of attendance. Even then, seek options that allow you to avoid debt. If you have a family that is willing and able to help out, great. If not, you still have lots of options. Regardless, choose a school where you can graduate with no more debt than what you would have with the purchase of a new car (and not a Ferrari). Explain that this is your goal, and if the college cannot help you create a financial aid package or plan to achieve this (note, it may involve some part-time work), keep looking for a school that will help.

7. Do not be fooled by what I sometimes think of as “flattery scholarships.” One school may have a base tuition of $50,000 but then entice you with a $30,000 scholarship, while another school may have a base tuition of $40,000 and offer you a scholarship of $25,000. Obviously, the second is a far better deal and they may want you as much or more than the first, but you would be amazed how many students and families choose the first because they are flattered by the “larger” scholarship. Compare the total cost of attendance between schools after all scholarships and financial aid is applied. While the best school for your may cost a bit more than another option, it is still important to be aware of the psychology of scholarships, and not let it distract you from making your best choice.

8. Do not be fooled by prestige. What most people do not tell you is that five years after college, hardly anyone cares about the prestige of the school you attended. They want to know if you have the knowledge, skills, and character needed to do the job and do it well. Yes, some elite schools have an added networking benefit, but beyond that, you can often get just as good of an education from a quality school with less prestige, and it may well be a better fit for you and your goals. Find a school that will help you grow and learn, and that will serve you well in the long run.

9. If you plan to play a sport or participate in a specific extracurricular on the college level, never attend a school unless you can picture yourself staying, learning, growing, and flourishing at that college even if something unexpected happens where you can no longer participate in that activity. The only exception I can imagine is if you really think that participation in that extracurricular or sport will lead to some amazing post-college opportunities.

10. Find a place that will help cultivate a love of learning, a college that is not just about academic hoop-jumping. Great colleges and universities are places where you can find groups of faculty and students who are truly interested in learning, thinking deeply, exploring ideas from different perspectives, cultivating new knowledge and skills, and genuinely searching for and celebrating truth, beauty, and goodness.

If more high school students followed these ten simple guidelines, I am confident that they would be far more satisfied with their decisions.