A Word from the Pastors

The unsettledness and loss of COVID-19 continue. We pray for good health for each and for all… for good coping skills and calm patience… and for a timely end to this worldwide crisis. We are grateful for the ways that St. Peter’s folk are staying in contact with each other, participating in online Christian opportunities here and elsewhere, encouraging and praying for and reaching out in other loving ways to one another and to others. And we are thinking about and holding in prayer those in our country and in our world who do not have the same resources at hand, those who have lost loved ones, and those who are very much “on the battlefield” in the midst of this crisis. 

    We are guessing that we will continue our Zoom online worship at least throughout the Easter Season (that’s seven Sundays, ending May 24). We will follow city orders, state orders, national medical guidelines, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America guidelines… but not President Donald Trump’s “I’ve got the metrics in my mind… I have total, absolute authority” expected economic decrees about quickly “Opening Our Country” for business and personal political reasons.

Last Sunday we had 75 households “gathering together” online and on the phone to celebrate the mystery and the joy of Christ’s resurrection. Pastors Neil and Gwen are grateful for this alternative mode of worship and for the response! They also enjoyed the “Easter hat” show… more probably would have made themselves visible if they weren’t still in their nightclothes with their hair askew.

This coming Sunday, and every year on the Second Sunday of Easter, a risen and living Jesus walks through locked doors and startles his hiding, fearful, and probably ashamed disciples. The first thing he offers them is peace – the kind of peace that is forgiveness, the kind of peace that is reconciliation, the kind of peace that draws people closer to God and closer to him. It is an amazing experience to seek God’s grace and mercy, to hear and trust God’s forgiveness. It must be very empty and lonely not to ever say, “I’m sorry” to God, not to ever have any remorse at all. I once read that your President, before he was your President, said in an interview that he didn’t believe that he had ever asked God for forgiveness, then boasted that he had “a great relationship with God.” Who knows, he might think he is at least God’s equal. But for many “Easter people”, to that mystery of his undeserved suffering Jesus brings the deeper mystery of undeserved love. He stands in that room, wounded hands outstretched to his disciples, speaking and bestowing peace. That’s humbling.

And then Jesus commissions equips and gives his disciples marching orders to go forth and to offer peace to others. It is a peace that brings people closer to God’s love. It is a peace that takes away the boundaries, disputes, differences, fears, and suspicions that separate us.

Trusting God’s peace in Jesus Christ, God’s grace and forgiveness for our self takes faith. And it becomes a personal experience of resurrection. Learning to offer that same peace to others takes time and also practice. But – when we stop holding onto our grudges and our judgments, our hurt and our hate in order to risk forgiveness – we bring life and receive life. And there is peace.

During these COVID-19 days, many of us have extra time to reflect on our lives. How are you continuing the work of peace started by Jesus of Nazareth long ago? Is there someone in your life that you want or need to especially reach out to? By the grace of God, the forgiven person is transformed into a forgiving person.

Pastor Neil & Pastor Gwen

EASTER PLANT DEDICATIONS

    Easter is potted plants in the sanctuary – bursting forth in blossoming bloom, shouting with bright colors and whispering with the unmistakable fragrance of new life and renewal… offering creation’s praise to the resurrection victory of Jesus Christ. Because of a few bad weather Sundays followed by the  COVID-19 Sunday closures, sponsorships this year were small in number. Because we have not been together in the sanctuary for worship for several weeks, including Easter Day, this year’s sponsored plants sit in the Pastors’ kitchen on the window sill and on two flowers stands and on top of the microwave (replacing a few bottles of wine and an unopened gift bottle of Jamaican rum cream), and they served as the “backdrop” for our Easter Zoom worship. Let spring, let life, bloom.

Lily…
Given in memory of Mrs. Williemae Brown by Mr. & Mrs. William H. Carter.
Given in honor of Ms. Janice G. Brown by Mr. & Mrs. William H. Carter.
Given in memory of my mother, Janie Wilson, by Brenda Draper.
Given in memory of Travist and Emma Johnson, parents, by Pastors Gwen and Neil.

Hyacinth…
Given in memory of Mr. Walter A. Brown by Mr. & Mrs. William H. Carter.
Given in memory of loved ones by Judy Echols.
Given in honor of family and friends by Judy Echols.
Given in memory of Kenneth Johnson, father and brother, by Matthew Johnson & Pastors Gwen and Neil.

Daffodil…
Given in honor of Mrs. Kim M. Mornesi by Mr. & Mrs. William H. Carter.
Given in honor of Miss Kelley M. Carter by Mr. & Mrs. William H. Carter.

Tulip…
Given in memory of Donald and Edith Bond, parents, by Pastors Neil and Gwen.

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.