Beloveds of God:
What cherished memories of Thanksgiving do you hold?
Growing up, Thanksgiving was a small family affair for just our immediate family. My parents would occasionally invite a friend and his son to join us for dinner and the traditional football game huddle in front of the TV afterwards. I'm not a football fan, so it was and still is lost on me, but these are cherished memories of us simply stopping for the day to feast, relax, and be together.
For many in my circle, this will be the first year that families will gather in larger numbers to celebrate while also taking precautions to ensure the day's safety. I'll spend the day at my brother-in-law's house where my nephew and I will spend quality time playing with his hot wheels and monster trucks while the rest of the family watches football.
Seasonal holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are viewed as joyous occasions for gathering with friends and family. However, because of the loss of loved ones, family dynamics, or trauma, these seasons can and will be difficult for many people. Many people will choose to spend the holiday with their chosen family or in other ways. I'm becoming more aware of how holidays affect people's mental health, and I believe we, as Christians, need to talk about it more and not avoid it. We're all going through something, as I mentioned in Sunday's sermon. And as siblings in Christ, we are called to be there for one another.
As your pastor, I want you to know that I am always available to you! In the midst of the rush of this season and at any time, I will always make time to listen and pray with you. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it is the value of community, particularly the faith community.
Wherever you are on Thursday, I invite you to remember and pray for your Peace Lutheran Church family. Lift up their names to God, and if you don't know their names, lift up an image of their face to God, giving thanks and praying for them. Let us encircle each other with prayer and the divine love that it brings, to help and encourage each other this season, and to walk in mutuality together.
Happy Thanksgiving and I thank God for each of you!
In Christ and with Christ’s love,
(202) 998-2360 email@example.com
Ps. Yellow prayer request cards can be found throughout the church and on the prayer table in the sanctuary. Please fill out the card if you have a prayer concern you'd like to share with me. You can drop the completed card(s) in my mailbox or the hanging plastic wall file to the left of my office door, or you can fold it and place it in the collection plate.
Church Office Hours
The church office will be closed Thursday, Friday, and Monday.
Please take a few moments to complete the most recent congregational survey to assist the council and other ministry leaders in developing the mission strategy for the coming year. Your input is valuable, and we want to hear from you!
Our fiscal year is quickly approaching, and we'd like to provide you with an update on the church's finances:
We're Carrying a Deficit:
Peace Lutheran Church is currently running a $36,629.00 deficit for fiscal year 2022. The church was out of the red for the first time this year in October, with a net gain of $4,223. The increase in October was largely due to the success of the annual community yard sale, as well as some increased giving.
Last week, the finance committee met to begin discussing next year's budget, which will be presented to the congregation near the end of the year. Gail and the finance committee have remained faithful stewards of Peace Lutheran Church's resources, making difficult but necessary spending cuts to keep our deficit as low as possible.
The increase in the number of people renting our facility for social events, as well as the agreement we've reached with the day care center, help, but not significantly. The reality is we need your help and support to close the gap for the year. If your financial situation allows, we hope you will consider increasing your giving or designating Peace Lutheran Church as the recipient of your qualified charitable distribution (QCD).
If you have any immediate questions about Peace Lutheran's financial situation, please contact Gail or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to learn more about ways to give to Peace Lutheran Church, please connect with Glen and Bonnie Simpers at email@example.com.
Thank you for continuing to support the mission and ministry of Peace Lutheran Church through regular giving and gifts of your time and talent.
Advent Worship Begins Sunday
You're invited to join Peace for Sunday morning worship during the Advent season at 10:00 a.m., no matter where your travels have taken you or how hectic your schedule has been. Come home for Advent and the Christmas season! See you in church!
Worship will continue to be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
The building will be buzzing with activity during the month of December, as we have a number of private events planned for the fellowship hall. The council and other leaders are actively looking into ways that our building can generate additional revenue for Peace Lutheran Church's mission and ministry. We have a space rental agreement with My Sweet Baby for the day care, which is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Word of mouth is helping! If you know of anyone who is planning an event and requires a large space and/or a kitchen, please put them in touch with Mike Leggett, Jill Fronck, or Pastor Eric.
Memorial Service for Judy Rudolf and Parking
Judy Rudolf's memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 3, at 10:30 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, with Pastor Eric preaching and presiding. Everyone is welcome to join us as we commemorate the life of our beloved sister in Christ. Donations to the food pantry in her honor can be made in the form of canned/shelf stable food or financial contributions. A repast will be held in the fellowship hall following the memorial service.
Judy's memorial service is expected to draw a large gathering. Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, located next to the gas station at 305 E. Smallwood Drive, Waldorf and a short walk from Peace Lutheran, has offered the use of their parking lot for overflow. Members of Peace Lutheran Church who are able to do so are encouraged to park at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church.
The memorial service will be live-streamed on our Facebook page and YouTube.
Food Pantry Hours Adjusted for Memorial Service
Elsie's Food Pantry will be open on Saturday, December 3, and will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The food pantry will return to regular hours on the next distribution day.
Christmas Cantata at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church December 11
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 305 E. Smallwood Drive, Waldorf, will be holding their annual Christmas Cantata on December 11th beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Good Shepherd choir will be accompanied by a professional orchestra.
Drive Through Living Nativity at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church December 17
Good Shepherd UMC will be hosting its annual Drive Through Living Nativity on December 17th. If you're interested in participating, please let Pastor Eric know and he will connect you with the coordinator at Good Shepherd.
We will meet on 12/1, 12/5, 12/15, 12/19 & 12/29 from 9 - 11 AM in rooms 4-5. We make 60” X 80” quilts that are given to people in need throughout the world.
There are a variety of tasks involved in making these quilts and Peace quilters are very welcoming teachers! No experience needed. Join us when you can!
If you are interested, contact Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to making many fleece Chemo hats in January 2023!!!
Confirmation Bootcamp has begun, and our second session ended last Sunday. We have a fantastic group of teens, including one from Hope Lutheran Church in Clinton, MD.
Bootcamp begins at 12:00 p.m in the conference room and we'll have pizza available for lunch. We've had parents and grandparents sit in the last two sessions and it has been amazing! Please keep our confirmands in your prayers.
November 13 • What is the Bible?
November 20 • Genesis
November 27 • Exodus
December 04 • Luther's Small Catechism: The Ten Commandments
December 11 • Psalms
December 18 • Samuel 1 & 2
December 19 - January 28 • Self Study and Service Project
Our memorial wall now includes a few plaques with the names of beloved Peace Lutheran Church members. Please see Pastor Eric for more information if you would like to remember a loved one by placing a plaque on the memorial wall.
Adult Inquiry Session ("New Member Class")
Saturday, 26 November, at 10:00 a.m. will be the last of this series of adult inquiry sessions. The last session will be held in-person in the conference room and on Zoom. We have a great turn out each week and are preparing for a group to make an affirmation of baptism on Sunday, January 8, 2023 on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
If you are discerning becoming a member of Peace Lutheran Church, please contact Pastor Eric to discuss the steps.
Migrating to New Email Marketing Service
Over the past few years, Peace has relied on the ConstantContact platform to send out newsletters and other mass emails to our members and friends. We are making a switch to a free plan on the MailChimp platform in the upcoming weeks. The newsletter will still be posted on the website and an email notification sent when it is ready for viewing. There is no need for you to make any changes; however, if you are concerned that you are not receiving emails from the church, please double-check your spam folder before contacting Pastor Eric.
Advent and Christmas Worship Schedule
Sundays of Advent
Worship in-person and online at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with Special Children's Message
Worship in-person and online at 6:00 p.m.
Nativity of Our Lord
Sunday, December 25, 2022
Christmas Morning Worship with Holy Communion
Children are invited to bring one of their gifts for a blessing.
Worship in-person and online at 9:00 a.m.*
*Worship returns to normal time on Sunday, January 1, 2023
Pastor Eric Part of Panel Discussion
On Tuesday, 22 November, Pastor Eric was among the guest speakers for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Leading with Power series. The topic for the evening was Health Disparities, Culture and Race: Conversations at the Heart of the Matter.
The series is part of HVTN's faith project, which involves Faith Ambassadors from throughout the United States who connect with diverse faith communities. The online series is hosted by Reverend Dr. Jeffery A. Howard and Bambi Gaddist, DrPH, an HTVN Faith Ambassador, educator and founder of the South Carolina African-American HIV/AIDS Council.
This conversation was streamed live to over 140 people on Tuesday evening. In the next weeks, a recording will be made accessible. The panel discussion was so engaging that a followup is being planned.