From the Pastor

Dear friends,

Happy New Year! January is a goal setting time. I am thinking of goals for my personal life. In addition to continuing my exercise routine from last year, I’d like to be reading more books and connecting with more friends in the year ahead. What goals have you set? I’d enjoy hearing from you what you are thinking about for this next year.

A goal that I am thinking about at Peace has to do with prayer. Wouldn’t it be fantastic that in a year from now, we all said together that “Peace is a praying church family?!” Peace is a praying family now. But I think we all could give more intentional focus to this fundamental Christian discipline.

I recently read a simple prayer by an Episcopal priest that went like this, “God—I am here. You are here. Amen.” The prayer surprised me for a couple of reasons. It didn’t include any thanksgiving—the priest explained that she couldn’t share thanks because she wouldn’t have meant it. It didn’t include any requests for help—the priest explained that she was tired of asking for help. It didn’t include many words at all—the priest shared that she just didn’t have words to express the confusing feelings that she was experiencing. All the priest could muster was a prayer of presence.

Isn’t a prayer of presence what the Psalmist was praying when they wrote these words in Psalm 16:8, “I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”

And isn’t a prayer of presence what St. Patrick prayed when he wrote these famous words:

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me

Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.

There are times that I don’t know what to pray. It happened recently when I was going to the hospital to visit one of our Peace members. You would have thought that I could have come up with something after having 20 minutes to think about what to pray before arriving to the hospital. You would have thought that I would have had the right words as I have had many hours of seminary training. But admittedly, I was out of words as the person’s situation was difficult and my own thoughts were clouded. Not knowing what to pray happens to all of us.

I encourage you to say a prayer of presence this year when you don’t know what to say. Consider saying the Episcopal priest’s prayer…..the psalmist’s prayer……….or St. Patrick’s. What an uplift and encouragement it is to simply know that God’s presence is with us! This is where our stability in life comes.

Speaking of prayer, I’d like to share some tangible resources for prayer at Peace that can assist you. One is Elder Elaine. Elaine leads Eat, Chat and Pray on Wednesday mornings. This is open to the women of the congregation, but all people can share a request to Elaine for their time of prayer. A second resource is Peggy Krueger. Peggy is the point of contact for Peace’s email prayer chain.

You can also, of course, contact me for prayer. I am available and willing to pray with you. It is a privilege and joy to uplift your concerns to the Lord. 

Christ be with us,

Pastor Lucke

Peace by the Numbers

Adult Bible Study Plan: “Forgiveness”

Join Pastor Lucke beginning January 9 for our journey to experience God’s grace so that you can share it with others. The forgiveness that Jesus has already won for you assures you of eternal life with Him. It also offers you an opportunity to live with purpose today. Come. Be forgive. Be free. And watch how God can work through you to change the world. Our discussion/study begins at 9:45 am in the sanctuary. Here are each week’s focus:

Plan for Worship

Men’s Breakfast

Please mark your calendar for January 8th, for our Men’s Breakfast.  Our December breakfast was canceled due to COVID issues. We will dedicate this time to Craig Starr, who recently passed. Craig always enjoyed the men’s breakfasts and was going to provide Biscuits and Gravy for our next breakfast in April 2020, which never happened do to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns. Craig’s wife Sharon has brought the gravy which Craig had already purchased for that next breakfast. She has also provided the biscuit and sausage. Topic for this month’s breakfast will an open discussion. Coffee on at 8:00, breakfast served at 8:30 and topic time at 9:00 – 10:00. Please Pray that the COVID pandemic will not once again postpone our Breakfast. Please let me know whether you can attend so we can prepare enough food. Questions call Oscar Gutbrod 541-231-3954. Looking forward to a good attendance.

Prayer Warriors Wanted

From Peggy Krueger:

Dear Friends, Before COVID hit we had an active Prayer chain going at Peace.  Pastor and I want to get the prayer chain up and functioning again.  If you want to be a PRAYER WARRIOR, just let me know, preferably by email.  A prayer warrior receives the prayer needs and requests by email and prays for those asking for support.  You pray in your own way in your own environment.  You do not have to account to anyone for your participation.  All requests are to be kept confidential.  Peggy Krueger:  [email protected]

Ladies Guild Update

The Ladies Guild has lots of things in the plans for 2022.  The day the doors closed on this year’s bazaar we started planning for next year.  Jani did an outstanding job as the bazaar chairperson – she was the driving force behind the great success we all enjoyed. Having said that, she has decided to take a break, so we are seeking a motivated woman to lead the charge for the bazaar next year. Please let Ellen know if you are interested in this rewarding position. 

In addition to the bazaar, we are working on a Women’s luncheon in May and providing financial support to help our youth who are attending the Youth Rally this summer.  We will continue to support a minister in training, provide food for memorial services and financial support for the freezer meal program, we help local and worldwide ministries.  All Women who are members at Peace are automatically members of the guild.  We welcome you to join us at our monthly meetings, the first Thursday of the month in the fellowship hall at 1:00. 

Annual Church Congregational Meeting

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Annual Church Congregational Meeting will be held during Fellowship on January 23rd. This meeting will give you the opportunity to hear from your church council recapping what occurred in 2021 as well as a look forward to 2022. Please plan on attending! The 2021 Annual Report will be available in the narthex on January 6th. If you would like a copy of the Annual Report emailed to you, please let us know. 

Supporting Philomath Community Services

This past year, the Peace Family donated 244 pounds of food to the Philomath Food Bank and 23 pounds of cloths to June’s Kids closet.

Just as a reminder that the baskets are by the sanctuary door for donations that can be dropped off at any time.

Red Cross Blood Drive

From Carolyn Leeper – American Red Cross Booking Manager:

Before we close out 2021, I wanted to be sure and send a note to extend my appreciation to everyone at Peace Lutheran for your continual support. You have been there every month opening your doors to the Red Cross and accepting more than your share of blood drives and I wanted you to know how much we appreciate your ongoing dedication and hard work.

Overall, this year you have collected a total of 222 units of blood which is outstanding results. Every unit of blood has the capacity to save three lives so because of your support we have impact 666 lives and for this I thank you.

Please extend our appreciation to all your awesome volunteers who have given up their time and energy to work on the blood drives.

We look forward to 2022 and the impact we’ll make together by saving lives one blood drive at a time.

Happy New Year!


Our next Red Cross Blood Drive coming up on February 16. There are still several appointments available on that day so don’t delay signing up for a spot. We will also need volunteers to provide yummy treats and, of course, for prayers for a successful blood drive. 

Amazon Smile Update

A couple of months ago we had an article in the newsletter about signing up for the Amazon Smile program if you shop on Amazon. Our latest report from Amazon is that we have received over $422.66 from Amazon since we started the program. It’s simple to sign up, comes at no additional cost to you, and there are no additional steps after your initial sign-up. If you would like to add this to your Amazon account, just go to Amazon and type in “Amazon Smile” in the search box. Then follow the links and enter Peace Lutheran Church Philomath when choosing a charity to donate to. This is a great way to help support Peace.

How Do We Find Help at HOME?

From Rick Durling:

Kathy and I are often asked for information regarding obtaining care for loved ones in their homes.  Kathy and I have owned and managed both a skilled home health agency (Mid-Valley Home Health, Inc.) and a non-skilled home care agency (Home Care and Elder Services, Inc.).  In addition, we owned and managed Corvallis Internal Medicine, a primary care clinic, where we often arranged such care for our patients.  

The first thing we must do is to define the level of care requested or needed for the patient or loved one.  The first (or highest) level of care at home is called “skilled home health”.  It is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial or employer sponsored group and individual health insurance policies.  It is a physician ordered service and requires a registered nurse to assess the patient in their home upon admission.  It may include such services as a certified home health aide, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, post-natal services, etc.; and is focused on the skilled health needs of the patient.  Typically, this is ordered for patients upon discharge from a healthcare facility following surgery, having a baby, serious illness or injury.  Outpatient hospice services are a very specific type of home health care, provided by a licensed hospice service using licensed and certified health care workers for patients with a prognosis of less than six months to live.  Hospice services are also physician ordered.  In our area there is really only one provider of Home Health Services which is Signature Home Health Services (Albany) (formerly Samaritan Home Health) and they can be reached at (541) 812-5254.

The other level of care at home which we are most commonly asked about is called “non-skilled home care”; although often it is referred to as “custodial care”.  It is typically NOT covered by Medicare or other health insurance policies (with the exception of Medicaid); although it might be covered under some long-term care plans.  This level of care is typically recommended for patients who have chronic debilitating disease or injury which limits their ability to conduct their own activities of daily living.  Such activities may include bathing and personal hygiene, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders and scheduling, as well as shopping for groceries and transportation to and from appointments. These services range from $20 – $35 per hour and are usually billed to the patient on a monthly basis.  Families can arrange with the company providing care to have billing directly to themselves or someone other than the patient.   

These services are not provided by Peace Lutheran Church as a part of their ministry and mission.  However, if you have questions about these types of services for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to call your parish nurse, Kathy Durling, RN at (541) 250-9494.  She may be able to answer questions for you or point you in the right direction to obtain care.

Making Christmas a Little Brighter for a Local Family

This year Peace helped make a Christmas very special for a family that is struggling financially. With the help of Love, Inc, Peace was able to “Adopt A Family”. The support from our Peace congregation was overwhelming collecting both presents and food. When the gifts were delivered, Elsa and her family was overwhelmed with joy and blessed our church and the congregation for being so generous.  She said that they hadn’t had a Christmas celebration for many years. A big thanks to all who so generously donated to our adopted Family.

Peace Lutheran Backpack Ministry

The Peace Lutheran Backpack Ministry is busy planning a work party to fill more backpacks and reusable grocery bags on Saturday, January 1st (yes, New Year’s Day) from 1pm-4pm at the church in the fellowship hall. 

We are collecting non-perishable snacks, toiletries, recycled clean Ziplock bags 2 quarts- 2 gallon, and men’s socks to help this effort. We are hoping to put together at least 50 bags! 

If you would like to join in this effort, either through donation or coming to the work party, please email Diane Crocker at [email protected]  In the event of snow, please use your judgement on safety on whether to come or not ( ex: do you live close ?)  Please email Diane if you have planned on coming to help out, but cannot due to road conditions. 

Inspirational Happy New Year Quotes 2022

May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.
~ Irish Blessing

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one!
Brad Paisley

In the New Year, never forget to thank to your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
Mehmet Murat Ildan

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every New Year find you a better person.
Benjamin Franklin

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.
Ellen Goodman

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
Nido Qubein

I have the opportunity once more to right some wrongs, to pray for peace, to plant some trees, and sing more joyful songs.
William Arthur Ward

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
Robert Breault

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw

You are never too old to reinvent yourself.
Steve Harvey

One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.
Paolo Coelho

You have the pencil and paper in your hand, you write the story of the upcoming year. May your story be a year filled with positive happenings and successes, with few erase marks and full of exclamation marks.
Theodore W. Higginsworth

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.
James R. Sherman

We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.
Oprah Winfrey

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.
Dolly Parton

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.
John Burroughs, American naturalist and nature essayist

Tomorrow is a new day. Begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.
Vern McLellan

Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.
Ralph Blum

If you can’t fly, then run.
If you can’t run, then walk.
If you can’t walk, then crawl.
But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
H Jackson Brown Jr