Peace's journey with COVID-19, Mar 26

Click here for a video of Pastor Kjell’s message.

Jesus calls us to deeply engage in the joy and messiness of our world Yes and we are doing that. I am so proud to be part of this faith community.  People worshiping together online and praying together and talking about things that matter and supporting each other over the phone, via text, and on Zoom. A team stepped up calling every member to check-in and see what people need. The last two weeks have been messy and we have leaned in with joy. 

This COVID-19 pandemic is still hard and scary but we are in this together and God is in the midst of us—both in the midst of our community and in each of us; God is as close to us as our very breath. 

COVID-19 changes our lives daily and tomorrow will mark yet another turn with the new stay-at-home order. We love being together as a church, but we are called to love the world more.  This stay-at-home order is a way of loving the world the very best we can, by not putting more people at risk.  At Peace we already have a plan in place and will be able to continue streaming worship and using Zoom for our small group ministries.  Our church website, peaceofplymouth.org is the place to go to access all resources.

If you need help, food or job search. Interfaith Outreach is our community’s best resource, find them at iocp.org and you can donate to IOCP via the “online giving” button on our website. 

Peace, we are being church together. Our pace of adaption over that past two weeks has been remarkable. As individuals and as a community it makes sense that we should be tired, we should feel it in our bones. So, be gentle to yourself. Remember you are a child of God, Jesus loves you, cares for you and is always with you. 

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

St. Patrick's Day COVID-19 Update

Greetings Peace Lutheran,

To watch a video of this message click here.

Jesus calls us to deeply engage in the joy and messiness of our world and as COVID-19 seems to change shape daily, the uncertainty can feel long and lonely. Peace will continue to be church in creative ways. 

Right now Peace is canceling all activities through Saturday, April 4.  Our decision is based on CDC and the MN Heath Dep. recommendations and updates are via our website, Facebook and email. You can signup for the emails at Peaceofplymouth.org/news-events under the weekly “Weekly eNews” tab.  All activities are canceled through Sat, Apr 4 but it is very likely that the cancelations will continue longer.  We will keep you up to date on ways to stay connected to people, prayer, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Virtual Worship – A small group will make worship happen and you will be able to Stream Worship at 9am on Sundays and watch previous services by going to Peaceofplymouth.org and clicking on the Worship, Live Stream & Videos button.

Small groups via Zoom – Until we resume normal activities all small groups and forums will be available via Zoom. Visit Peaceofplymouth.org for details. 

Peace cares deeply about our staff and contractors and plans to continue to pay them and be creative about how they can work safely.  I invite you to continue to support Peace via your offerings and we are working to get direct giving setup on the website. 

Many of you have also asked about supporting our community. Interfaith Outreach or IOCP is working overtime to set up systems to help people in need.  In my conversations with them they have said right now the best way to help our most vulnerable neighbors is making a financial contribution and you can do that via their website.  $250 fills 60 emergency bags, $100 feeds a family of 4 for a month. 

Another way you can help is by making phone calls. Connect with your family and friends and people you know from church or your neighborhood that might need to hear a friendly voice. We are church and will continue to be God’s hand and feet. 

Let’s pray together: O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

COVID-19 Community

“Now is a time for prayer.” This is always true, but in the midst of this new time where COVID-19 has us all living differently, prayer can ground us. Ground us in the love and joy that is our’s in Jesus and in the communities of faith and friendship to which we belong. Even when dispersed the love of Jesus and our community is with us.

In times when we are more likely to be eating breakfast alone or with a few family members, it is our prayer that joins us together with Peace members, other family and the community of Christians around the world. 

Let us pray… 

Race defined-

As Peace continues work with race and racial equality it is important to know that race is a human created idea. Race does not have a biological meaning. Race is–an identity created, often by socially dominant groups, to subjugate groups defined as racially inferior. The story of race is a story of money.  Growing up I learned that most Europeans came to America seeking religious freedom, but most, including the Pilgrims, were seeking economic opportunity and land was part of that. Back then there was no concept of race, people identified by their country of origin—English, Scottish, or French.  By the early 1600’s plantation economy in the colonies was booming and this created a massive need for cheep labor. A need mostly filled by poor European immigrants.  Some plantations did use enslaved people from African nations but at the time a slave persons status was not life long. Then in 1676 the indentured servants from Africa and Europe joined together in a rebellion against the colonial government in Virginia. Alarmed by the natural alliance between the Africans and Europeans the colonial government passed a series of laws that segregated and permanently enslaved those of African decent. While also giving their European counterparts some new rights and status. This strategy paved the way for what would become an organized system of racial divide that provided cheep labor for wealthy landowners of European decent. Humans ascribe meaning to skin colors and then use those meanings to create hierarchy–to create more money for the people that were already in power. 

Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.”  This is the kind of stuff Jesus was saying all the time and that we hear God saying throughout the Hebrew Bible. Peace is talking about race and racial equality because God calls us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. God is love and God wants love for us… God desires love for all people, for all creation. As Christians love is our most basic vocation/calling. It is a love seen throughout the world, throughout the Bible, but seen most clearly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are loved so powerfully that Jesus’ love flows through us.

What does Jesus’ love look like in your life? Where in your life might Jesus’ love flow through you in ways that will do the work bringing racial equality? 

What is Race?

As Peace continues our study And Who is My Neighbor? Talking about race and racial equity, this Sunday we asked, “What is Race?” Stephanie Glaros (at the center of the picture), from Humans of Minneapolis, shared her pictures and stories about how she has encountered race and how she is owning her part in the systemic racism that exists in the United States and in particular Minnesota.

The book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo has empowered Stephanie as she works to be anti-racist. DiAngelo’s work helped her to see her own denial and how she can be a better neighbor and human with the people she encounters everyday. Stephanie is living out her vocation and says, “the joys of my work come in deeply listening to other people’s stories.” 

Who might God be putting in your path today? How might you listen deeply to their story? 

Join a small group at Peace. Sunday at 10am or Wednesday at 7pm now through April 1.