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Newsletter | Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Summer Musings

Dear Beloveds of God:

The lecturer in one of my contextual education courses at seminary assured us that ministry would be light during the summer. My first year of ministry has taught me that the summers are not slow (I really should write the instructor an email). I'm happy to be able to use my time productively.

As I've said in prior newsletters, the nine months I spent networking have paid off with some incredible contacts. We are expanding our network through our collaborations with PFLAG Southern Maryland and the Charles County Government, as well as my participation in the Governor's Council on Interfaith Outreach.

I would be negligent if I didn't note the ecumenical ties being forged or rekindled between St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Waldorf), Christ Church (La Plata), and Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (Waldorf). Gods Work Our Hands activities and more are only the beginning of the ways in which Peace Lutheran and the congregations of Saint Nicholas Lutheran Church (Huntingtown) and Good Samaritan Lutheran Church (Leonardtown) might work together in the coming months.

By working together, we have been able to share the radical and liberating message of Jesus Christ with a number of new people, welcoming them into the life and ministry of Peace Lutheran Church. We are living into our commitment to be a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation that embraces all people, including those who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. On Sunday, July 30, we will host a Pride Picnic in collaboration with Christ Church (La Plata) and St. Paul's (Waldorf). The Picnic is open to the community, especially LGBTQIA+ families, friends, and allies. Please save the date and be on the lookout for a sign-up sheet in next week's newsletter.

The response to the Pride Bible Study series we launched a few weeks ago could not have been more positive. The discussion, which focuses on the 'clobber' passages from scripture most often used against LGBTQIA+ individuals, had just over 170 people enrolled to participate. Between 70 and 80 individuals have attended the previous two live sessions, while the recordings have been seen more than 150 times. We will be examining 1 Timothy 1.9-10, Jude 6-7, and Deuteronomy 22.5 during our last session on Wednesday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. Our thanks go out to the Reverends Carla Christopher (Lower Susquehanna Synod ELCA), Christopher Girardeau (South Carolina Synod ELCA), Matthew Oscar Shepherd (North Carolina Synod ELCA), Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Howard, and Vicar Mycah McNett (Virginia Synod).

We have mentioned the seasonal adjustment to the worship services in previous newsletters. Summer is a great time for exploration, but it's also a great time to kick back, unwind, and get things done. As part of a summer sermon series, I have streamlined worship to include simply one reading. One benefit of sermon series over the lectionary is the opportunity to go more deeply into a passage of Scripture or a central subject. The first sermon series, titled "Summer Mixtape," is based on Paul's letters and uses material from them to address contemporary issues (such as freedom, inclusion, love, identity, and so on). I also hope you won't mind if I don't wear my robes over the summer, but they'll be back on Reign of Christ and Reformation Sundays. Provide me feedback (both positive and negative) and we can continue this sermon series if there is interest.

I appreciate and love each of you, and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Eric+


Adult Study on Lutheranism

To learn more about Lutheranism, join Pastor Eric for a new adult study beginning this Sunday, August 27 at 12 p.m., titled "Together by Grace."

This six-week study on Lutheran history and theology is open to anybody, whether they were born and raised Lutherans or are newcomers to Peace Lutheran Church from another religious tradition.

Throughout the study, Pastor Eric will talk more about the mission and ministry of Peace Lutheran Church and expound upon the Lutheran Confessions (the formal statements of faith of the Lutheran Church).

Please register in advance so that we can provide sufficient resources and allocate sufficient space. The church will have copies of the book "Together by Grace" on hand. The suggested contribution to cover the price of the book is $13.

The study will meet for six-weeks on Sundays beginning August 27 from 12:00-1:15pm.

God’s passion—to bring all things together by grace, to make us alive together with Christ—makes possible a life of living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Together.


Changes to the Church Offices

Beginning in July, Arlee Buchanan, a certified counselor and therapist whose practice is devoted to serving the mental health needs of the LGBQIA+ community, will be officed at Peace Lutheran Church. In the next week or two, Arlee will be moving his furniture and equipment into the former youth office. The teller workstation has been relocated to the main office to better serve Arlee. The former youth office will also be utilized by the Interfaith Community Connection when they resume operations in the near future.

Sharon Altman and Jill Fronck spent several hours last week organizing some of our closet space. We got rid of a ton of old materials that hadn't been used for a long time. The local art instructors have received some of our surplus supplies as a donation.


Upcoming Events & Activities

July 30 | Pride Picnic at Peace Lutheran Church (5:00pm)

August 3-19 | Pastor Eric on Vacation

August 20 | Pride Picnic at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (5:00pm)

August 27 | Adult Study "Together by Grace" (12:00pm)

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