From the Pastor

Dear friends,

As we welcome the month of March, we welcome the season of Lent. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 2nd and continues on until Easter Sunday on April 17th. Peace will be offering mid-week Lent services on each Wednesday in March at 6:30 pm. Join us for these in-person, brief services that will follow Marty Haugen’s Holden Evening Prayer. All are welcome!

The Sundays of Lent are going to be a special journey as well. I’m looking forward to it as Peace will be reading through the story of Joseph in Genesis. That story is going to give us a clear picture of faith. Faith is trusting God.

(1) Faith is trusting God…. even when we don’t feel Him.

Poor Joseph!! At a young age he discovered that life wasn’t going to be easy. He experienced rejection by his brothers. Then false attacks and accusations from the highest in the land. Then a time of enslavement in prison for those false accusations. We can assume that there were long periods of loneliness mixed in all those experiences. God probably felt absent too for Joseph. Joseph, however, trusted God.

Sometimes we don’t “feel” God is around. That doesn’t mean He isn’t there and He isn’t up to something! God’s silence is often just a sign that He is shaping our character, drawing us closer to Him, working behind the scenes for redemption.

(2) Faith is trusting God……. holding onto Jesus for dear life like a drowning person to a life raft.

There is this little term some people like to say: quid pro quo. It basically means “this for that.” Many people live by it. And if you apply this little saying to spirituality it amounts to trusting God only in the good times or when He seems to be good to us. Joseph had a deeper faith in God than quid pro quo. Joseph hung onto God especially when times were hard, like the time he spoke to Pharaoh in such a direct and oppositional way.

Sometimes life puts us out to sea with very little to hold onto! Faith is holding onto what we do have, what we do know about God. We know that God has given us His Son, Jesus. We hold onto Jesus with all that we have because He sometimes is all that we have!

(3) Faith is trusting God…. trusting He is good even when He does not seem to be.

Through all the ups and down in life, Joseph knew that God was good. When speaking to his brothers in Genesis 50, Joseph says “As for you (the brothers), you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.” No one would have blamed Joseph for concluding that everything in life was evil. But Joseph’s faith didn’t allow him to come to that conclusion. God was good…. good all the time….even when He didn’t seem to be.

Faith is a powerful thing. It takes us to a point in which we can welcome the hard things that come our way in life. Father Keating, a Trappist Monk, wrote a prayer called The Welcome Prayer. Here is how that prayer begins: 

Father, I welcome everything that comes to me today, because I know that it is for my healing. I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions………

What a powerful position you have with God’s gift of faith! God is so good. And God holds all of life’s events…the good and bad….in His hand.

My prayer this Lent is that we are all strengthened in something I know that we all already have: faith. It’s ours already in the waters of baptism.

In Christ’s peace,

Pastor J

Peace by the Numbers

Adult Bible Study

Adult Bible Study will be led by Merv Munster this month. He will be covering the weekly Epistle lesson. This will be a great opportunity to study God’s Word.

Bible Study is every Sunday morning at 9:45. You can attend in person in the Fellowship Hall or online via Zoom. Watch for the email from Daniel for the Zoom link.

Plan for Worship

Healing and Renewal Service

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up (James 5:14).” Peace is offering a Prayer, Healing and Renewal Service on the first Sundays of the month at 9 am. This month’s service will be on Sunday, March 6 at 9:00 am. Pastor Lucke and the elders want to address your concerns, pains and challenges with prayer and the Lord’s promises. We’ll be wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing. The service itself is brief lasting 20 minutes.

Song Selection Box

It’s back!! The Song Selection Box is once again out in the narthex ready to receive your requests for worship songs. Place your selection on a piece of paper into the box. Pastor will be selecting one song from the box each week. We will do our best to fulfill your request.

Men’s Breakfast

Men’s Breakfast:  March 5th is once again time for the Peace Men’s First Saturday breakfast. These past two years sure have been trying times for all of us. Hopefully you are looking forward to a good hardy breakfast as in the past. Back to the sausage, bacon and scramble eggs. Pastor Mike Rinkin will be joining us for our discussion time. He will be discussing mental issue that may been caused by the CoVid pandemic and would also like to hear from us as to how the pandemic has affected us. So let’s plan to come together for coffee at 8:00 – Breakfast at 8:30 and topic discussion 9:00 – 10:00.  I am always looking for volunteer cooks. Give me a call. Pastor has agreed to handle the sausage. Thank you Pastor.  Hope to see many of you there.  Oscar Gutbrod – 541-231-3954,  [email protected]

Ladies Guild: What Are Mite Boxes?

By: Ellen Holroyd

Shortly after I joined Peace Lutheran Church I heard Pastor Flachsbart ask that Mite boxes be brought up and a long line of our members formed a line and took their little boxes full of coins up to the front and emptied them into a donation box.  I wondered what that was all about.  Here is what I found out:

Mite boxes were based on the biblical account of the widow’s mite (Luke 21:1-4)

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) under the original 1928 organizational plan Mite boxes were distributed to the women in the Ladies Aid society of each congregation.  Receipts from 92 Ladies Aid Societies totaled $6,651.31 in 1930.  By the 1953 LWML convention delegates reaffirmed the policy of raising funds through voluntary offerings.  Some societies called them “blessing boxes”, or “Mission boxes” or “Thank Offering boxes”.  Leaguers were reminded to:

            Put pennies in the box at the end of each day

            Say “thank you” with an appropriate amount wherever calamity or misfortune had been averted

            Empty all your loose change from you kitchen coin bowl into the box on meeting day

The current fiscal period is 2021-2023. The goal for this biennium is $2,150,000.  The amount received to date is $979,002.99

The money collected is used for grants to help support local and synod missions.

Here at Peace we collect mites on the odd numbered months usually on the 2nd Sunday of the month.  This March the collection will be on March 13th.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

All men and women are welcome for a Wednesday morning Bible Study. This month we will be having Bible Study on March 23 only at 10:00 am in the fellowship hall. Our focus will be Genesis 42:6-24. We hope you can join us.

Ladies Guild: Save the date

On Saturday, May 14, the Ladies Guild will be hosting a Spring Luncheon for the women members of Peace. The guest speaker will be Jane Kirkpatrick, speaking on “HOPE”.    Tickets will be sold starting April 3.  More information will be coming in March.  Be sure and check your church mailbox.

Jane Kirkpatrick is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of over 40 books and numerous essays. Her many historical novels, most based on the lives of actual people, speak of timeless themes of hardiness, faith, commitment, hope, and love.

Her works have sold over 1.5 million copies and have won literary awards such as the Wrangler (National Cowboy Museum), WILLA Literary (Women Writing the West), Will Rogers Medallion (Will Rogers Foundation), and the Carol (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Altar Flowers

ALTAR FLOWERS give glory to God, beautify the sanctuary, and may commemorate an important person or event in your life.  You are invited to join this tradition of Peace Lutheran and churches through the ages.  Fresh cut flowers represent the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

Fresh flowers or flowering plants are used for their symbolism of life, joy, and human frailty — thus eliminating the use of artificial flowers in the worship space.

You can give flowers for many reasons:  in memory of loved ones who have died, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other important event in your life or theirs — or in thanks to God for a blessing…. or simply to give glory to God.  When you give the flowers, your commemoration is shared with the congregation in the worship bulletin.

After the service, the flowers are yours to take home.  They will continue to glorify God and will beautify your home, or you may share them with family and friends.

Sign up for a Sunday on the Flower Chart in the narthex, giving your name and your commemoration.  

Thank you for giving glory to God, beautifying the sanctuary, and sharing your commemoration with us!

Red Cross Blood Drive

Thank you to the volunteers, donors, and organizers of the Red Cross Blood Drive at Peace on Feb 16. We had 27 whole blood donations. There were three donors that had never donated blood before–including one of our own church family members.  Great job. Our next blood drive will be Friday, April 22.

Backpack Ministry Update

The Peace Lutheran Backpack Ministry continues to plug along!  This past month, thanks to donations, we have donated 5 boxes of books, 12 new winter jackets, hydro-flasks and several hats, gloves and socks to one of our partners, The Corvallis Daytime Drop-In Center, which serves the homeless population. Along with that, we have been collecting needed supplies for our Backpack Ministry’s backpacks.   We would like to schedule a second work party to put together another set of at least 25 backpacks. If you worked the last party on New Year’s Day, your experience would be very helpful.  If you were not able to be there, we would love to train you to help us help others. The work party will be held on Friday afternoon, March 18 from 4-6pm. We would ask you to please email Diane Crocker at [email protected] if you can come.  Those able to come, are encouraged (but not required) to bring supplies to help the cause.  Supplies such as individually wrapped snacks (granola bars, chips, crackers etc), a protein source ( tuna, jerky, peanut butter, nuts )  and/or socks ( men’s warm winter socks) and/or hats or gloves. 

Another Backpack Ministry update is that now that the church is sponsoring our project, people are able to donate to the church directly for the Backpack Ministry.  Some of you have already been donating, but now, if you send your check to the church, you will be able to deduct it from your taxes.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to put “Backpack Ministry” on the memo line of the check.  Any donations to the Backpack Ministry would be above and beyond your regular giving to the church. Thank you to those of you who help our program run on donations. 

Please contact Diane Crocker [email protected] or 541-609-0018 if you have questions or ideas to make our program a better one.  Thank you all!