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Announcements for Sunday, 26 March 2023

Relationships Matter: Anam Cara

I took a quick trip to the mountains of North Carolina last week to celebrate my dear friend Oscar's 40th birthday. When I went to the Holy Land for Christmas and New Years in 2017, I met Oscar and two other guys from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSSS). We became known as the Protestant Five among the larger group of travel companions, along with another dear friend from United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) I was traveling with. Traveling across the Holy Land and seeing first hand sites closely associated with what we hear in Scripture was transformative, but the spiritual and personal bonding of this friend group over the trip was even more powerful. In fact, we consider ourselves to be more than just friends; we consider ourselves to be chosen family. We're a chosen family who shared the Holy Land experience and are now all ordained pastors, but we're also a chosen family who embraces everything that makes each other unique, flaws and all.

I believe we all have a "familial" connection with certain people in our friend groups. A connection that gives you the freedom to be yourself, where there is no judgment and only love and support fills your bond. A Celtic term for this type of relationship is "anam cara," which means "soul friend." This type of relationship, according to author John O'Donohue, is an important component of spiritual growth, particularly within Celtic spirituality, and I see it revealed in the relationships between Jesus and the disciples, particularly between Jesus and the disciple he loved, which we read about six times in John's gospel.

My anam cara have been a blessing in my life, through its ups and downs and spiritual growth. They are the first people I turn to, the people I know I can trust, and the people I know will love me unconditionally. “We are sent into the world to live to the full everything that awakens within us and everything that comes toward us,” writes John O'Donohue, and this is certainly possible when we enter unfamiliar parts of the world with our soul friends, especially Jesus Christ, the chief soul friend we all share. (Anam Cara: A book of Celtic wisdom, 1997).

O'Donohue continues, “The deepest things that you need are not elsewhere. They are here and now in that circle of your own soul. Real friendship and holiness enable a person to frequently visit the hearth of [their] solitude [...]” (Ibid.). As we continue our Lenten journey with the "ASK" series, I invite you to ponder these questions this week:

  • Who makes up your chosen family?

  • Why are they your chosen family?

  • For all the ways they have been there for you, how has their presence impacted your spirituality? Have you ever considered their impact on your spirituality?

After you've considered these questions, as well as any others that arose as you contemplated your chosen family, I invite you to reach out to your anam cara and express your gratitude to them and God for being a part of your life:

A Friendship blessing: "May you be blessed with good friends. May you learn to be a good friend to yourself. May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness. May this change you. May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you. May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging. May you treasure your friends. May you be good to them and may you be there for them; may they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth, and light that you need for your journey. May you never be isolated. May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara” (Ibid.).

Grace and peace,

Pastor Eric+

Adult Bible Study | Revelation: A Letter to the Seven Churches begins Tuesday, March 21

The Book of Revelation is one of the most complex and misinterpreted texts in the Christian canon, influencing films, books, and conspiracy theories alike.

Join Pastor Eric on a multi-week journey through the book as he examines the themes, context, and, most importantly, the message of hope contained in the Book of Revelation.

Study Schedule:

March 21 - Introduction to the Book of Revelation

March 28 - Chapters 1 - 7

April 4 - Chapters 8 - 14

April 11 - Chapters 15 - 22

What do I need to bring?

We’ll have copies of the NRSV available for those attending in-person, or you can bring your preferred translation. Pastor will be using different translations to showcase the nuances of interpretation.

Do I need to read in advance?

There will be no pre-reading for our first meeting on Tuesday, March 21. Pastor Eric urges everyone to read the chapters we'll be studying ahead of time and take notes on anything that jumps out to you or that you have questions/thoughts about.

What time does the study begin?

We’ll begin to gather around 6:30 p.m. both in-person and online. Feel free to have dinner while we gather. The study will begin at 7:00 p.m. and run between 45-60 minutes.

Can I invite others?

Absolutely! Feel free to share the study details with others who might be interested.

Where are we meeting?

The study is being offered both in-person and online via Zoom. For those attending in -person, we’ll meet in the conference room. To join on Zoom, use this link:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 4168 9495

Do I need to attend every session?

No. You are free to attend as many sessions as you choose. Pastor will send out a brief explanation of his reflection of the Book of Revelation, as well as other resources, at the completion of the study.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Eric at

Easter Sunday Worship

This year, you will not want to miss Easter Sunday service! This year's worship service will feature brass accompaniment as a part of a generous gift from the estate of Carl Wennberg. Our service will also feature a combination of traditional and contemporary hymns praising the resurrection of our Lord. Easter Sunday will also include an egg hunt for children and a time of fellowship with sweet and savory foods.

Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join Peace LUtheran Peace Lutheran Church Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023. Worship will begin at 10:00 a.m. in-person and online.

Order Easter Flowers Now

The Altar Care Team is accepting memorial/honoree contributions for Easter flowers. If you would like to participate in this Peace Lutheran Church tradition, please complete the online order form or complete a paper form at church on Sunday. Orders will be accepted through April 3, 2023.

If you have any questions, please see Marcie Robinson or Jill Fronck.

Assorted Easter Lilies, Floral Mums, Hyacinths, Tulips, and Hydrangea plants

(6-inch pots with 3-4+ blooms) $25.00 each.

Easter flowers can be ordered by completing the online form or the forms available at the church. Payments can be made online using Breeze ("Flame & Flower") or placed in the offering plates. Please note "Flame & Flower (Easter 2023)" on your checks or envelopes.

Red Cross Blood Drive Friday, March 31

Peace Lutheran Church will be hosting a Red Cross Blood drive on Friday, March 31, 2023, from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Give the Gift of Life by setting up an appointment at or call 800-RED-CROSS. Appointments are needed to participate.

True Earth Fundraiser Continues - Special Discount Offer!

Shop True Earth products at and Peace Lutheran Church receives a 20% commission.

Charles County Children's Aid Society

Once again during Lent we are teaming with Charles County Children’s Aid Society. Youare invited to join us in donating the following personal hygiene items for ourneighborsin need:

  • soap

  • shampoo

  • deodorant

  • toothpaste

  • and more

You can drop off your donations at Peace Lutheran Church:

  • Monday to Thursday mornings between 9 a.m. - 12 noon

  • during Food Pantry on the first and third Saturday of each month from 9-11 a.m., or

  • Sunday mornings before or after worship at 10 a.m.

All donations will be taken to the Charles County Children’s Aid Society to be shared withthose in need of these items. If you have questions you can call the church office: 301-843-1832. Or contact Children’s Aid Society directly to donate to them or request assistance: 301-645-1561.

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