Coronavirus Message, 12-10-2020

A Word from the Pastors

These are such difficult days. Life is hard. There are many challenges, anxieties, and uncertainties – for each of us. It’s hard not to be distracted and maybe even discouraged by what’s happening in and around us – the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the face of this earth… wars and violence rage, murders continue… hunger and poverty pervade… global warming and disaster after disaster threaten… systemic racism and divisive politics make us sick to our hearts… addictions and anxiety bring low… suffering and sorrow abound… sin infects us and evil surrounds us. Many of us are tired, we’re lonely, we’re anxious. It’s hard to find our way through it all – through the shadows, through the sorrow – it’s hard for us to find and to keep perspective, it’s hard to keep and to express our Christian faith when so much seems to be against us… so much is wrong… so much evil… so much suffering and injustice.

The national day of thanksgiving that shows up every November on the fourth Thursday – often a holiday from work and school, a time to travel to places near and far, a shared feast for extended family and friends, parades and football games, laughter and too much to eat, maybe getting thrilled about the Friday’s shopping spree – just kind of trudged on by in 2020. It was so different this year! Of course, the truth is that each Thanksgiving can be a lonely time, a time of struggle, and a time of need for at least some folks. The truth is that not everyone in our nation or world is as well off as we might be… not everyone is warm, comfortable, fed or embraced by others.

Christians this particular year or in any Thanksgiving season – even when they momentarily find it difficult to “count their blessings” in a present situation of here and now – nevertheless discover a sustaining and grateful trust in God’s neverfailing love over the long journey of a lifetime.

A prayer you might join:

 O God, we thank you for all the blessings you have given us throughout our lives… 

      please forgive our forgetting.

 O God, we trust in your faithfulness to carry us over the rough places of our journey, to walk with us

      through the difficulties of our days.

 O God, we thank you for Jesus, that he died so that we might have life abundant and everlasting.

 O God, we ask you to forgive the things you told us to do that we failed to do, as well as the things

      that you told us not to do but we did anyway.

 O God, we lift up the life and work of the Church… help us to think right, say right, do right, and be

      right… teach and guide us to live by grace, to overflow with gratitude and generosity… 

      to be the Body of Christ alive and real –  joyfully, willingly, lovingly, sacrificially.

 O God, many are suffering near and far – physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally, economically –

      and we ask you to reach out and to raise up, to provide help and to preserve hope, to 

      shine light and to share life with those we name with our lips or our thoughts… [names].

Receive these our prayers, O God, and give us all we need for this day and the days to come,

       through Jesus Christ our Lord…   Amen.

If you pause to think, you’ll have cause to thank.

Let God’s grace develop your attitude of gratitude…

and allow God’s Spirit to turn your thanks-giving into thanks-living!

Guest Preachers

Pastor Robert Holum, a member of our congregation who last preached among us during the Easter Season (Yes, those were COVID-19 “Zoom worship days back in May!), will be our preacher on December 20, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 10:00AM on Zoom.

Pastor David Maddox II, “son” and friend of our St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church family,

will be our 10:00AM Zoom preacher on December 27, the First Sunday of Christmas.

 

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP

On a long winter evening, in a world filled with many nighttimes, we will gather to proclaim the coming of GOD’S TRUE LIGHT. In an age caught between the continued clash of empty noise and deafening silence, we will celebrate the announcement of GOD’S WORD MADE FLESH. For, long ago, among the everyday affairs of ordinary people, in the tedious boredom of normal human history, GOD BECAME HUMAN. Eternity invaded time. Heaven and earth meshed together. Divinity intersected humanity. It is perhaps the single greatest moment in all of human existence. This is God’s brightest shining. This is God’s most definitive word

Worship will be shared on Zoom at 7:30PM. We want to offer the celebration of Holy Communion as part of our St. Peter’s worship. As always, we invite all who believe in Jesus Christ to share in this sacrament:

  • You are not required to participate.
  • You might use wine or grape juice… plus bread, a roll, or crackers.
  • You might think about what cup or plate you might use, if that is meaningful.
  • If you are “more than one”, you might plan to offer each other the bread and the wine.
  • Be humble, prayerful, and respectful about this shared celebration.
  • Give thanks for Jesus Christ, born among us to love us, dying to save us.

We also want to repeat a treasured tradition from so many Christmas Eve worships in the Sanctuary. At the end of worship, during the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night”, we’ll invite you to light and hold a candle as we celebrate both the wonder of a birth that occurred in the first century and the mystery of the incarnation – God sharing our humanity from that day forward.

 

Sunday School

On most Sundays, immediately following Zoom worship and beginning a bit after 11:00AM, there will be Zoom Sunday School for children and teens. Tune in. Invite.

 

Church Council

Your elected servant-leaders will be meeting on Monday, December 14 at 7:00PM on Zoom. A return to physical worship in the Sanctuary and to other shared programs and activities in our buildings – other than our food distributions – does not seem likely in the first few months of calendar year 2021.

We need to continue to wear our masks, keep our distance, wash our hands, listen to the science rather than the politics, protect ourself and others, and pray.

 

Pastor Neil & Pastor 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.