In Worship this Week
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Liturgical Color: Purple
The season of Lent is a time of reflection and repentance. It is a time to recognize our need for God, and to return to God’s plan for our promised and preferred future. This is a future that begins with reconciliation, with God’s loving offer of relationship, and with God’s promise to walk with us always, even if that path leads to the cross. Everything else, including our repentance and our belief, are a response to God’s love. For that reason, we will begin our worship in Lent with God’s promise, God’s body and blood, broken and poured out. It may take some getting used to, beginning the service with the Lord’s Supper. You are invited to reflect on how you experience this change, and what it means to you to know that God’s love is yours as a free and undeserved gift.
Discernment Event: You are invited to join us after worship tomorrow, March 18, for a special time of corporate spiritual discernment. Back in August, we had a similar event, led by the Missional Steering Committee, in which we asked the question: how has God equipped the people of Peace Lutheran to do the work of ministry? People who participated in that event said it was “surprisingly fun!” Key themes that emerged from the August event were that this is a congregation that is deeply rooted in God’s Word, through Scripture and the life of worship; and that because of this, the congregation of Peace Lutheran is equipped to take risks and build bridges into the community for the sake of the gospel. The Missional Steering Committee sat with these themes for some time, hoping to develop a missional vocation statement. What developed from this process is this: “Bound by Christ to break boundaries.”
Tomorrow, you are invited to participate in further discernment around this statement. After worship, there will be a short break to get refreshments. At 11:30 we will call you back into the sanctuary. We will begin with prayer, and then turn to some guided conversation around this statement, based in Scripture, personal experience, and our life together. We will end no later than 1:00 p.m.
I encourage you to participate in this event if you possibly can. It is important that we have as many people as possible, whether you have been attending here for many years, or only a few weeks. Our goal is to listen to the Spirit through as many and as diverse a group as we can. The more individuals who participate, the more productive and innovative our conversation will be, and the better we will be able to put our results into action. The process of corporate spiritual discernment is one we learned through our participation in the Partnership for Missional Church. Though that 3-year process is over, the skills and habits that we learned through it continue. It is our goal as a congregation that we are always working together to discern how God is calling us to use our particular gifts and abilities, and where God is calling us to act. You may have participated in these kinds of discernment events in the past. This may be your first. Either way, you are an important piece to this on-going conversation.
During the season of Lent, the adult Sunday school time will be a series on Work & Faith. We will hear from several members of our congregation, as they share reflections on how their life of worship intersects with their work and home lives. This week, Judy Huntley will share her thoughts. Next week’s speaker will be Chuck Dachroeden. Please plan to join us for rich discussion, and the opportunity to better know our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In Worship next Week
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Liturgical Color: Purple
Special Worship Opportunities in Lent – Out of the Ashes
The theme for our worship and congregational life during the season of Lent will be “Out of the Ashes,” acknowledging that all that we are comes in the renewal of life out of the ashes of Christ’s death.
Lenten Devotions – There are daily Lenten devotions available online at davidlose.net. David Lose is a professor at Luther Seminary, and author of several books that we have used in Adult Education at Peace. I commend these devotions to each of you as part of your Lenten practice.
Lenten Midweek Worship – Wednesdays (March 21, 28)
Soup Suppers at 6:00 p.m.
Soup, salad and bread will be available for anyone who would like to join in a communal meal and fellowship. A free-will offering will be collected, with proceeds going to support the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, a comprehensive effort that works through relief, education, development, and advocacy to address the root causes of hunger and poverty, both around the corner and around the world.
Worship at 7:00 p.m.
We will be using a setting of the traditional Compline prayer, the ancient order for daily prayer that has been sung for centuries. The Compline prayer is the last prayer of the day, usually sung before turning in for the night. It is especially appropriate for Lent, as it is a time for us to acknowledge both the gifts and failings of each day, and to commend ourselves and the whole world into God’s hands. Compline consists of a sung hymn, and order for confession and forgiveness, a changing of the psalm, a sung setting of the song of Simeon from Luke (Lord, now let your servant go in peace), and prayers.
Holy Week Worship
Maundy Thursday – foot washing from 5:30-6:00, worship with meal 6:00 p.m.
Good Friday – 7:00 p.m.
Easter Vigil – 7:30 p.m, followed by breaking the fast with pie and drinks
Easter Sunday – 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. breakfast, 10:00 a.m. worship
Upcoming Education Opportunities
During the Easter season, the Adult Forum group will meet during the Education Hour to discuss the book Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during the Nazi era, and participated in the resistance against the regime. He was particularly known as a founder of the Confessing Church, an illegal Protestant body that broke away from the state church when it was taken over by Nazism. He was executed by the Nazis in 1945, just two weeks before American troops liberated the concentration camp in which he was held. Bonhoeffer wrote the book Life Together for the communities of that church, and particularly for their seminaries. Copies of the book can be purchased for less than $10 at Amazon.com and most other bookstores. Links to a couple of sites where it is available:
Also during the Easter season, Pastor Aimee will be leading a class on Lutheranism 101. This class is designed for those who are new to Lutheranism, and for those whose parents read to them from the Book of Concord at bedtime. (If you don’t know what the Book of Concord is, you should definitely consider coming to this class!) Together, we will have fun learning some of the history and theology that makes Lutheranism a unique branch of the Christian family. If anyone has ever asked you why you go to a Lutheran church, and the best answer you could come up with was, “Because it’s not Catholic,” or “Because my parents were,” then this class is definitely for you! This 6 week class will meet on Sunday evenings, beginning April 22. Watch for a sign-up sheet on the table in the narthex.
Trivia Night – Mark your calendars for April 14, for an evening of fun and trivia! We are looking for groups, families, or individuals, to sponsor raffle baskets. Put on your thinking caps, come up with creative themes, and check the sales for items we can fill our baskets with. Please see Barb Johnson if you have questions.
New Website! We have a new website, which is now up and running, and will be updated with fresh content on a regular basis. Soon you will be able to go there to find all kinds of things, including upcoming events, ministry activities, sermons, and blog postings. Once this website is fully operational, you will be able to sign up to have an email sent to you with all of the updates, automatically! Eventually, this will replace the Friday Update emails, and you will be able to find the latest information on what’s happening at Peace, all in one easy-to-use place. The address hasn’t changed, it is still at peacebewithyou.org.
We will be holding a congregational meeting on April 29, immediately following worship. The purpose of this meeting is to present a budget update. All members are encouraged to attend!