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Peace Talk - February 2010

Apostolic Mission Congregation of the LCMS Pastor Kristian Bjornstad 2506 N. Main Ave. 343-9828

Psalm 91:1-2 (ESV) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART: What constitutes the beautiful family in Jesus? It is the the family that “dwells in the shelter of the Most High.” There are a lot of scary thing that we just don’t think about as families.... I remember so many times when I was a child when there could have been real trouble for my family - like the time I fell down the side of a mountain with an open jack knife in my hand, or when my sister had her stomach pumped after eating poison berries, or my brother after he drank gasoline. And how many times did I fall out of a tree, one time being almost impaled? And then to learn a bit later in life that when I was a child my mother almost died - TWICE! How would my life be different today if she had? And how many times have I gotten into a vehicle now and escaped death? (My wife will say many more times than she! She thinks I trust God WAY too much when I drive.) And of course those trials are almost negligible put up against the terror of broken relationships, abuse, and divorce. In daily life of the family (and in the midst of every joy and happiness) the reality of the prayer “if I should die before I wake...” and the promise of God’s shelter, strength, forgiveness and salvation is that singular balm for our fearful hearts. Jesus loves to give courage, peace, hope and love in every situation. Praise God! Be family!

In Jesus, Pastor Bjornstad

PEACE CHURCH FAMILY IS GROWING! Early January saw the birth of Laura Kate to Bill and Lisa Hoffman (picture at right)! Her baptism is scheduled for Easter Vigil Service! Sunday, February 14th will see the baptism of Isabella Faith Paolucci as well as the two church neighbor boys Michael and Shamar, sons of Norada, a family who are excited to be a part of our FAMILY church! Also pray for the Durkin family who are expecting the birth of Emma very soon! PRAISE GOD!!! Keep Praying! Keep Inviting! God wants EVERY child to be baptized and every family cared for!

MISCELANEOUS NOTES: +++++++++++++ PRAISING GOD! + Our FIRST MEN’S MEETING was really wonderful! We decided to form a chapter of the Lutheran Hour Ministries “Men’s Network”! We will meet next on Saturday, February 27th at 9 am at Panera Bread on Commerce Blvd. Our families and our society depends on the strong faith of our men! Bring a friend!!! + the “Aligning with God’s Will”, a day long workshop in January was led by Mike Mirarchi and we had 6 participants who were greatly blessed! Thank you so much Mike! + Kevin Winters, our organist attended this year’s March for Life in Washington DC on Friday, January 22nd! He gave a great report to the congregation on Sunday morning! THERE IS A NEW INITIATIVE TO START A LUTHERANS FOR LIFE CHAPTER here in NEPA. Look for details soon! +++++++++++++++++++++

YOUTH PASTA DINNER FEBRUARY 28! Get your tickets today! +++++++++++++ Christian History Notes:

the West. Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, he left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly-shaped piece of paper. This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine's Day in many nations.

++++++++++++++++++++ NEWLY REVISED CHURCH WEBSITE! Check it out at! As well we have a church Facebook Fan Page! Look for us at “God’s Peace at Parker and Main” +++++++++++++++++++ OUR NEW CHURCH COUNCIL WAS INSTALLED JANUARY 17! Praise God! Please note that our new President is George Price! He is always very happy to hear your praises and concerns! +++++++++++++++++++++

Valentine, Martyr


Commemorated Sunday, Feb 14, 2010

Please remember to pray for our shut in members of our congregation! Please pray especially for Edith and Elwood Korban, Lilly Smith, Trudy Makowski, Betty McKeen, Marilyn Wright. Pray also for Mark Morris who is serving in the Haiti Relief efforts!

A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of the Emperor Claudius, Valentine become one of the noted martyrs of the third century. The commemoration of his death, which occurred in the year 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the early church of


THIS YEAR’S FAMILY THEME: Pastor Bjornstad is looking for every idea he can get to strengthen and encourage our families. Can you suggest some ways our church can bless our families (and all those families we can reach out to) next year!

FAMILY EVENT IDEAS: February: Nursing Home March: Lenten Fair and Parade April: Neighborhood Easter Party May: Yankee Game June: Knoebles July: VBS August: Camping September: Christian Parenting Seminar October: Youth Encounter Concert November: Marriage Enrichment December: Christmas Pageant (with parents!) ++++++++++++++++++++


+ Please note that your offering records for 2009 have been prepared and are ready for you to pick them up at the back of the church. Thank you Michael Tugend for all your faithful work to keep track and report them! + The church has received a gift of STOCKS for the first time. If you would like to give in the same way, the church now has a brokerage account. Please ask for the number! + An increase in our budget (mostly on account of new mission efforts) means that we need an average of $1700 a week in the offering plate! PLEASE know that your offering, however small or large, is a beautiful testament to the miracle of faith God has given you! From international missions to The Lutheran Academy, to the ministry of Pastor Bjornstad, to keeping up our beautiful church grounds, every offering is important and well appreciated! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

MISSION NEWS/PRAYERS! NEW ORLEANS: George Price, Sr., John Price and Pastor Bjornstad and seven other mission team members from area churches arrived back safely from New Orleans on January 10th after a week of beautiful work helping rebuild the home of the Dabne house! It was a fabulous experience for all! You can see the mission video by looking for “New Orleans 2010 Mission” on We are hoping to have a recruitment dinner soon here at Peace with all the participants of the New Orleans and the Alaska mission so we can invite YOU to come along next year! Look for more info coming soon!

SUSAN CROSBIE: January 16 Susan Crosbie, our faithful Parish Nurse, came back from the Dominican Republic and a week long medical mission that just happened coincide with the Haiti earthquake. You can listen to her testimony that she gave Sunday morning during worship by going to the “Media” page of our Peace website and finding it listed in the box of sermons about half way down the page.

CARSTEN BJORNSTAD: After sharing his Macau, China experiences here at Peace Dec. 27th during worship, Carsten flew out of Newark airport to return for another two month mission doing the same thing he did previously. In his latest email he shares the following experience. Please continue to pray for him! “Conversations provide another way for me to come into contact with the Chinese world. Today, over our lunch table, I discussed theology with one of the students. He was upset because he had learned in his reading of Jeremiah that God punishes sin. Since he was experiencing his own desires as sin, he was afraid that he was somehow "next in line." (my words, not his) I shared with him the Good News that God has offered his Son to take the punishment for us (John 3:16-17) and that belief in Jesus could provide freedom from his guilt. I also assured him that we Christians knew the power of sin as well as he, and that we, too, needed to confess it continually to experience freedom from guilt. (1 John 1:5-10) I pray that my discussions with my friend may continue and that God will use them to help him "walk in the Light.". I've had several wonderful discussions with students in the past three weeks, especially as in the Bible studies I've been privileged to lead and participate in. It is a joy to share my love of Christ and tell the story of his work in my life.

HAITI AND LOCAL FIRE RELIEF Since the January earthquake in Haiti and the neighborhood fire that destroyed all the belongings of one family, the members of Peace Lutheran have come through in amazing ways. We would assume that many of our members donated to the Haiti relief efforts in all the various multitude of ways possible. But the church itself has received over $500 in donations which will be channeled to LCMS World Relief. If you have not made a donation yet, be pleased to do so at (or the Red Cross or other NonProfit). IF YOU ARE A THRIVENT member, please note that Thrivent can match your gift! As well, we have had quite a response to the fire victims needs. Beds, Entertainment Center, Target Gift Certificates, etc., came in and now Lisa and her family are comfortable in their new apartment in West Side. They are VERY appreciative of all your help and were quite amazed at being helped by a church like that! (But why should they be surprised, right? We are the children of God!)

PASTOR BJORNSTAD has been appointed by the Eastern District Board of Directors as the District’s Disaster Response Coordinator.

+ NEPA MISSION PARTNERSHIP HAS ANNOUNCED THE DATE OF THE 2010 MISSION FESTIVAL! MARK THE WEEKEND OF APRIL 25th AND LOOK FOR MORE DETAILS! + Adult membership meetings and fellowships will be starting up again with our first meeting on Sunday, February 14th at 6 pm - for a fellowship dinner! Please make an invitation to someone you know needs a relationship with Jesus Christ and BRING them with you to the dinner! + ALASKA VBS MISSION opportunity is being planned for the summer! Dates have yet to be picked, but they usually are in early July. Make plans to join the team this year!

THE LUTHERAN ACADEMY Our very own school!

We are grateful to return to school in the new year recharged after the holiday break! We are back to the regular and comfortable routine of classes. Please pray for the TLA board of directors as they work a new PR campaign that will be begun in March. OTHER NOTES: + A NEW STUDENT! The Academy was thrilled to welcome a beautiful 11 year old 5th grader named Cassy! She fit right in on the first day and promises to be a wonderful student with many talents to share. Please pray for her continued blessing!

Pastor Mandile (pastor at Immanuel Lutheran) teaches religion and math at the Academy!

+ St. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE is scheduled for March 13th!!! Once again the Academy is preparing a beautiful float! PLEASE COME AND MARCH WITH US! Everyone had such an excellent time last year and we would welcome all the congregation and the friends and family of the Academy! + WE THANK ALL OUR SUPPORTERS! This past month we have received @$350 in gifts from members of Peace, Immanuel and other friends of the Academy! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Yes! Sunday School and Youth Group COUNT! ! ! ! It was Palm Sunday but because of a sore throat, 5-year-old Johnny stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm fronds. Johnny asked them what they were for. ! ! ! "People held them over Jesus' head as he walked by," his father told him. ! ! ! "Wouldn't you know it," Johnny fumed, "the one Sunday I don't go and he shows up."

Concepts of Christian Parenting: The Bjornstad Basics [This is the introduction to a larger essay by Pastor Bjornstad which will be posted, bit by bit, in different places over this coming year. You CAN see the whole essay at Pastor’s web log at As a pastor I struggle mightily trying to help parents in the congregation raise up their children. I struggle and struggle, and struggle! And because of my struggles, what ends up happening - is absolutely nothing! I feel the only thing I have ever done well is get parents down, give them guilt trips, and generally make a fool of myself. None of my efforts has ever amounted to anything more than a hill of beans. I suppose that one of the main problems I have had is that my own family was young and it always seemed more than a little presumptuous for me to be preaching to anyone on how to be a parent in these evil days when I was just trying to figure it out myself. But time does march on and it is getting to the point where now I actually DO have some real live experience - even with real live teenagers! And, although I am not so silly as to say that my wife and I are expert parents, or are even to be given the majority of credit for the way our four children are growing up, I DO believe that some of the things that Monica and I have done as parents HAVE really contributed to the (so far relatively successful) Christian upbringing of our daughters. And so it is that I am prayerfully hopeful that it might be appropriate for me to put down in writing a few principles for the parents of the congregation during this “Year of the Family”. Perhaps it might be received with happy and eager hearts by parents who truly desire to be the best Christian parents that God has called them to be.

YOUTH GAME DAY AT ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH IN WILKES BARRE ON SATURDAY MARCH 6TH! All kinds of awesome games will be played with youth from different churches! 1 PM! LET’S BE THERE IN FORCE!


Please call the office at 343-9828 or pastor’s cell phone at 871-0448!

Check out our Peace web page for any updates to the Calendar at

PRAY FOR ALL THE FAMILIES IN OUR COMMUNITY! Pray that if they have no spiritual home, or if they do not live by the bread of Life in Jesus, that they might find our church to be a beacon of hope for their lives!

PRAY FOR ALL OUR FAMILIES! That they would be strong in the Lord, seek after his righteousness and love!


WORSHIP LIFE AT PEACE LUTHERAN FOCUS ON THE FAMILY! EDUCATION HOUR: 9:15 AM WORSHIP: 10:30 AM This year we will be focusing in on strengthening and nurturing our beautiful families. Invite a churchless family to worship with us! God truly has a PLAN for us as families. It is a plan for PEACE and wholeness!

BEGINNING ASH WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17th: MIDWEEK LENTEN SERVICES The theme for these services will be “Life Together”, a sermon and worship series developed by the homiletics students at the St. Louis Seminary based on themes from the Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic book, “Life Together” and is aiming to address important questions the young people of today are asking!

PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH Apostolic Mission Congregation of the LCMS 2506 N. Main Ave. Scranton, PA 18508

To a special person whom God Loves:

Peace Talk, February 2010  
Peace Talk, February 2010  

The February 2010 Newsletter of Peace Lutheran Church