Peace Talk - November 2011
Apostolic Mission Congregation of the LCMS Pastor Kristian Bjornstad 2506 N. Main Ave. 343-9828 www.yourpeace.org
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. 6:33
One of my favorite teaching tools for the Confirmands is to randomly give them each $20. They first say that they don’t need it or don’t want it. But when I say that I want them to have it they look in wonder and say “But I didn’t earn it.” or “Why are you giving it to me?” And then quite naturally they usually say “What do you want me to do with it?” And then I say “Well, you know who I am and what I have been teaching you. I want you to spend that $20 to the best of your ability to make a difference for good in the world and for Jesus.” And then they come back the next week with a little report as to how they made the most of their $20. The times are seemingly tougher and tougher financially for many of us. There are times, of course, when it just seems that way - and times also when it really is that way! The bottom line is that a lot of folks in our congregation really are hurting these days. I suppose the common line of thinking is that “Since I don’t have very much right now, I really don’t have much responsibility to give to the church.” And so we kind of leave it at that and don’t think about it much more. I do invite all of us this last month of the church year to be renewed in the true understanding of “Christian Stewardship”: That being a Christian doesn’t mean that God is only concerned about what “we” “give” to the church and God’s Kingdom work, but that He is more concerned about how we learn to trust Him to bless us in our tithe - and use everything that He gives us (small or big) to accomplish his will and glorify Him - to be His MERCY people in the world. Your servant in Jesus, Pastor Bjornstad
Thank you, Kevin Winters! Sunday, October 30th, during worship, Kevin Winters, our organist for 10 years was presented with a plaque which expressed our thanksgiving to God for his services to our congregation. It read: The members of Peace Lutheran Church, Scranton, give thanks to God for Kevin Winters and his ten years of dedicated service leading our congregation's song with the organ. "Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre." - Ps. 33:2 Presented October 30, 2011 After worship we all gathered down in the fellowship hall for cake and coffee prepared by the Worship Committee and were able to share our personal wishes to Kevin, Ed and the boys. Kevin accepted an organist position that was offered to him at the Catholic Church only four blocks from his home in Plains. We wish him VERY well indeed!
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES in PRAISE OF THE LORD:
a deeper understanding of who he is and work on his own person and how he reacts (and doesn’t) in the relationships he has with congregational members. He will be sharing some of these insights at the next COUPLE’S INVITATIONAL DINNER which will be held Saturday, Nov. 12th. All married couples are invited to attend!
+ Joseph Schulze graduates from Basic Training! - now on to more specific job training in GA for 6 months! We will see him at Christmas. Congratulations Joey!
- Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. - Rev. 7:13-14
+ Pastor Bjornstad is continuing his “Clinical Pastoral Education” class that takes him to Binghamton four days a month. He is be studying family systems and his prayer is that this would help in any pastoral counseling situations, BUT ALSO so that he grows in
+ Dereck Francis Decker was baptized into the family of God here at Peace Lutheran Church October 9th! Here he is with his proud parents Frank and Adella! SO blessed! + POT ROAST DINNER was a great success and $707 was raised toward our new organ! Thanks esp. to the Ladies Guild for all their work! It is GOOD to work together as God’s people! + Those desiring membership at Peace Lutheran are welcome to begin their preparations by attending either the Sunday morning studies on the Catechism, or attending the Saturday 5pm Catechumenate devotions!
Bjornstad’s installation here at Peace. He prays you all know how MUCH he LOVES each of you! And he is very thankful that (it seems) you (still) can love him! + The beautiful Sunday bulletin cover illustrations that Ky Betts is creating for us each week can be seen not only on the church bulletins, but ALSO on a special page of our church’s website! You can check out all their beauty and meaning at www.yourpeace.org! + NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH! Nov. 11-13! Join in this annual, interfaith celebration of the gifts of hope provided through organ and tissue donation. Each November, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network joins clergy and healthcare professionals across the country in celebrating National Donor Sabbath—an annual observance to raise awareness of the urgent need for organ and tissue donation among religious communities. BE A DONOR!! + The church’s fellowship hall got it’s ceiling made over! Check out the good work by the trustees to organize the replacement of the ceiling tiles. It looks MUCH better!
+ The Luther Day Dinner will be November 13th at 2pm at the Melting Pot! Please purchase tickets from Audrey Russell!
+ a beautiful lawn tractor was donated to the church by Betty Titus, long time neighbor of the church. She is moving to Florida and we are sad to see her go. Praise God for her generosity!
+ October 15th was the 11th anniversary of Pastor
+ Laura & Chris Jones say Hello from VA! They miss us all!
WORSHIP LIFE AT PEACE LUTHERAN FOCUS ON GOD’S MERCY! Worship Schedule: 5 pm Saturday: Catechumenate Devotions (open to all!) 8:15 Early Liturgy w/Holy Communion 9:15 Education Hour (Adult class will focus on Luther’s Small Catechism) 10:30 am Worship (1 & 3 Sundays w/Holy Comm.) Please note that THANKSGIVING DAY WORSHIP WILL BE AT 10AM! The Breadbasket Food Bank is pleading for our congregation to bring in our non-perishable food offerings leading up to Thanksgiving! We will collect them at the Altar!
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE ? AWESOME! BANANA CRAM LOCK IN! FRI 7PM - SAT 9AM, NOV. 11-12 PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 2506 N. MAIN AVE. CONFIRMATION AGE YOUTH AND UP: BRING YOUR BIBLE, $5, AND A SMILE!
Sharing Mercy and Love with the residents of Manor at St. Luke's Village. There are 324 residents of St. Luke’s (Hazelton) and they would love to receive one or two gifts at Christmas. The following are suggested: body lotion (not cream), deodorant for men or women, aftershave lotion, jewelry, and women's white ankle socks (one size fits all, not knee-high stockings). The following are NOT needed this year because they were donated in large quantities: tissue, body wash, body powder, mouthwash, denture cleaners, and men's socks. Do not wrap your gift. Deadline for giving is November 20. Pick up date for gifts is November 21. Distribution to patients will be on December 1. Volunteers at St. Luke's will sort, wrap and distribute gifts to each resident. The box to deposit gifts that you bring in will be in the church labeled “Gifts for St. Luke Village”. Thank you, your gift will be greatly appreciated. God's blessings, Elsie Schweitzer, coordinator for St. Luke's Village
Lutheran Academy and Immanuel Preschool News + TO THE RIGHT is the proof that we like to have lots of fun at the Academy - with the Immanuel Preschool too!
P FO LEA A R S C E A TH P D EM E RA Y Y !
+ PLEASE SHARE THE WORD ABOUT OUR ACADEMY AND THE PRESCHOOL (with before and after school care!!!!) The best advertising is by word of mouth! We still have room for a few more students!
+ NEW: PLEASE SAVE YOUR GROCERY BOX TOPS! Amy Betts will be collecting them for the Academy! Please bring them to church! Our goal: collect more than Immanuel Lutheran!!!!! :)
Thanks to Amy Betts (ALSO) for organizing the sale of Mary Kay hand cremes for the Academy!
+ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!! + A Congregational Voter’s Meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8th (yes, election day) at 6 pm over a Ham and Soup Supper!!!! Please join us for a great time! + Elections for our church council will be held November 13th after the worship service. A nominating committee has been struck, headed up by Chuck Mercer. Please pray for faithful workers in God’s church, that we might know His grace to accomplish his mission here on earth!
November 6th is our observance of All Saints Day! We do remember those who were buried from our church this past year and ALL those who have taught and shared their faith with us and are now with God until the resurrection of all the dead and Judgment Day. This past year we remember (not without a SURE hope): John Rogan, Betty McKeen, Donna Viccica Let us please remember the Rogan Family especially as they have passed the one year anniversary of the death of their son John, Nov. 2nd. We need to continually recommit our lives to the care of all our youth, that they might not despair of their lives and be able to live confidently in God’s grace and forgiveness given us in Jesus Christ. We commend all God’s children into His care as we each do our part to love each other!
WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT ON MARRIAGE! by Meredith Woolverton I wanted to share a story of a friend of mine, we have been friends for over 25 years. Just out of high school. We have always stayed in touch although now it is through Facebook, phone and text messaging because the miles prevent us from being together face to face. We never lost the connection that true friends have. We tell each other everything and we are each others sounding board. If we are going to make any life changing decisions we tell each other first. My friend always tells me that she loves my faith and wishes she had the same faith. I told her we all have the same measure of faith it is just how strong we make it. It is like a muscle and if you use it, it gets stronger. She loves how I always make analogies. So last year when I was going through some pretty serious personal issues, my friend was right there giving me support and encouragement. A few weeks ago I got a message on my phone it read "I don't think I love my husband anymore and I can not be in a marriage with no love". My heart broke for her. She is going to be celebrating her 21st wedding anniversary the end of this month. I can not let this opportunity go by without sharing with her. So I asked her are you sure nothing is left. She said she is sure and she just can't go on in this marriage any longer. So I said, so you don't feel love any more. She said yes, exactly. I said that is your problem. She texted back to me
WHAT!. I said love is not a feeling it is a choice and until you find out what true love really is you will never experience the kind of love you can truly have with your husband. I began to tell her that there is still hope for her marriage and if she would make me a promise to give it 40 days, I promised her that her life, and her view on love and marriage would never be the same. BUT she had to be 100% committed to doing this. So much to my surprise she agreed. I told her to go and get the BOOK "The Love Dare" and she had to make several promises. 1. She would do the book no matter how elementary it seemed. 2. She could not read ahead. 3. She had to do this book with the idea in mind that this was not a means to the end of her marriage. She made me a promise and went to the store and bought the book.
work the "The Love Dare" book and try to build a relationship based on choice rather than feelings and when you do that it brings you to a whole different dimension in your relationship. I haven't heard back from him, but my friend messages me every day to tell me how excited she is and even asks me questions on her dare for that day if she does not understand it.
It has been six days and she gives me daily reports on how she is doing and how dedicated she is to doing her love dare. Then I got an email from her husband. I wanted to cry, for he is one that never really expresses emotion a lot. We don't frequently talk even though I have known him just as long as I have known my best friend. We all met before they started dating. He had written me a message on facebook it read something like this. "I just wanted to say THANK YOU!. You’re probably the only true friend that my wife has. Seems like all her other friends like to lead her down paths that aren't the best situation for her or our family. Thank you for being her only true friend. You don't have to reply, just know that I appreciate you." Well, anyone who knows me knows that I can't just let that go, So I told him that he too should
NOTE: Meredith has been leading our Couple’s Invitational discussions (based on the Love Dare book) for our monthly gatherings. They have been instrumental in encouraging about eight couples who have come to our dinners over the last year. It has been an amazing experience of how important the Christian life really is (and can be) for those who seek God out. Those who have been coming have been so very committed to it because they see how much better their lives can be with their marriage strong. Let us keep praying for our marriages and our families! Our next dinner is Nov. 12th! You are invited! Bring a friend!
Every day we are faced with situations. We need to take a stand on what the right advice is for our friends when faced with these situations. Sometimes it is not what our friend wants to hear that is important - it is what they need to hear that makes all the difference. I pray everyday for their marriage and I hope you will too. Thank you for allowing me to share.
Support the Ministry of Peace Lutheran
and designating your donation with a short note. You can send it to: Peace Lutheran Church, 60 E. Parker St. Scranton, PA 18509. It will be received with thanksgiving and acknowledged with a receipt for tax purposes.
Peace Lutheran is an amazing congregation! We do so very much with so little. But that little is actually quite a lot! Our small sized congregation has been blessed with financial supporters who love their Lord and Savior and respond with great joy to how He has blessed them. They know that there is nothing more beautiful than bringing people to Christ and that by Grace we together can do so much more than we could individually.
PEACE LUTHERAN ENDOWMENT FUND: The newly established Endowment Fund is a beautiful way that you can help establish and strengthen the ministry of the church for the coming generations! Donations to the Endowment Fund are invested and there are bylaws and restrictions on how those monies are used, usually always protecting the principle and reinvesting some of the interest. Although anyone can contribute any amount to it at any time, endowment funds are generally most appropriate when you consider a donation to the church in your estate or will.
Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 ESV) Although participating in the worshipping body of Christ and sharing God given talents and time is so very, very important, certainly we all know that the regular offering and tithe is also essential to the work of the church. And then even beyond that, as we are blessed by God, we are very free to make further investments into the Kingdom work. Below are some of the special ways that you can share the blessings of God: You can make a donation to any of these funds simply by writing a check
THE LUTHERAN ACADEMY: If you would like your support to have more immediate effect for the Kingdom work, please consider The Lutheran Academy! You can give just a general donation, but you may also participate in our "ADOPT A STUDENT" program where you can sponsor the tuition of a student whose family cannot afford the tuition. You can sponsor the tuition at various levels if you cannot contribute a whole year of tuition. You can support the Academy by simply going to the website with your credit card number! THE ORGAN FUND: On Sunday, July 24th, 2011, the congregation voted to purchase a new Allen Organ. The purchase price of this Allen Organ is $60,000. The congregation has $30,000 in the Organ
Fund and other various unused funds, however we need to raise $30,000 more to repay the Building Fund which we are borrowing from to pay the bill. If you love music and want to strengthen the music ministry of Peace, please consider making a major donation to the Organ Fund! THE MISSION FUND: The church really IS all about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a dying world. We have MANY ways that we do this here at Peace and we are constantly pulling money from the "Mission Fund" to help pay for our mission trips and support our missionaries. Unfortunately not many folks think about putting money INTO the Mission Fund. If you care about missions, please consider making a donation to the Mission Fund! THE BUILDING FUND: New roofs, furnaces, windows, etc. Our Church building maintenance never ends. As soon as we think everything is perfect - something else goes wrong or wears out or gets broken. We have a beautiful house of worship which gives glory to God when people see and experience it. If you appreciate how God has blessed us with it, please support it with a contribution to the Building Fund! As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV)