Current Mission Emphasis

Operation Overwatch rescues dogs and trains them as service dogs for veterans and first-responders who suffer from PTSD or Tramatic Brain Injury.  A way to honor our heroes, provide a calm presence and companion 24-7.  Donations toward Operation Overwatch are received in all Sunday morning classes or in the church office.  Thanks for being a blessing!

Group Cares Change-A-Home

Sunday Classroom offerings at Peace [April-June 2016] go to Group Cares Change-A-Home Workcamps, repairing homes of elderly or struggling families.  Leaky roofs, wheelchair ramps, unsafe porches, etc. are all addressed by volunteers with materials provided through our classroom offerings (children’s classes, youth class, and adult Bible classes).  Group Cares is the mission project of this year’s Vacation Bible School as well, so let’s get the students off to a good start toward their goal to Change-A-Home with our gifts in the Name of Jesus.  Gifts can be placed in the Sunday classroom offerings or left in the church office marked Group Cares.  Thanks!

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

In today’s world, are we too sensitive to being “politically correct” at the expense of another’s eternal life? Or are we literally indifferent to their eternal life?

We see around us so much that dishonors God, so many misguided souls (lost?), and the heartbreak of those we personally know who have moved away from the faith. It is overwhelming, and society discourages us from asking someone about their spiritual health, lest we be perceived as judging another. The whole idea of “outreach” or “reaching our community with Christ” is intimidating. Do we care that someone may not be in heaven? We can start with just one. Look around you. Maybe it is a family member or a member of our church family. Pick one person close to you who seems to have lost his or her faith. Care about that one.

“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?'” (Genesis 4:9) That phrase has become a slogan to rationalize indifference to someone else’s physical or spiritual struggles. Cain thought the answer was an obvious one, “no”. God thinks the opposite. God answers “yes”. In fact, it’s one of His chief reasons for inventing families and congregations – so that nobody slips between the cracks, unnoticed, uncared for, unlamented.

That’s what compassion means – that we are willing to feel someone else’s pain, help carry someone else’s burden, care about someone else’s eternal destiny. Yes, it is our business to care about our
brother/sister in Christ and to act on their behalf. The Small Groups I am part of help me do this. Together we help to meet the needs of an individual or family through hands-on assistance or support them through prayer and encouragement. What helps you to be your brother’s keeper, to care for others, to maybe affect someone’s eternal destiny?

Polly Wegner, DCE
Director of Discipleship
pwegner@peacelutheran.net

The Promise of Heaven

Author Sandra Aldrich writes about her children’s first experience with a visitation at a funeral home. Her youngest stared at the casket and asked “is she breathing?” The older child quickly answered, “No, she’s not breathing. Remember? The breathin’ part’s in heaven.”

This little story gives me comfort today as we learn of yet another death among our membership at Peace. A believer now has his “breathin’ part” in heaven. Left behind are those who loved him dearly, hurting and stunned, but also clinging to the assurance of Easter, the assurance that He is now breathin’ with
Jesus.

Your soul, your “breathin’ part” isn’t in heaven yet. It’s here for now. Discouragements, set backs, broken relationships, and struggles of all kinds bring us down. It is so easy to forget the hope that is ours in Easter. Life is hard, but God is good and He promises us the crown of eternal life. The promise of heaven can strengthen our difficult days and help us smile, knowing that we aren’t Home yet, but that wonderful day is coming for each of us. Jesus said to Martha: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Polly Wegner, DCE
Director of Discipleship
pwegner@peacelutheran.net

A mini lesson from the Psalms:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart… May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19: 7, 8, 14

When we think of law we often think of something that keeps us from having fun. But here we see the opposite – law revives us, makes us wise, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, warns us,
and rewards us. That’s because God’s laws are guidelines and lights for our path, rather than chains dragging us down. Together, let’s be in God’s Word to know Him better and be guided by Him.

Would you change the way you live if you knew that every word and thought would be examined by God first? In this psalm David asks that God approve his words and thoughts as though they were offerings brought to the altar. As we begin each day, let’s determine that God’s love will guide what we say and how we think.

Be Blessed,
Polly Wegner, DCE
Director of Discipleship

Happy Easter!

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the central fact of Christian history, the key to Christian faith. On it, the Church is built; without it, there would be no Christian church today. Jesus’ resurrection is unique. Other religions have strong ethical systems, concepts about afterlife, and various holy writings. Only Christianity has a God who became human, literally died for His people, and was raised again in power and glory to rule forever.

Christians can look very different from one another, and they can hold widely varying beliefs about politics, life-style, and even theology. But one central belief unites and inspires all true Christians – Jesus Christ rose from the dead! We can be certain of our resurrection because He was resurrected. Death is not the end.

The resurrection is also the basis for the church’s witness to the world. Jesus is more than a human, He is the Son of God and Savior of all sinners. As the angel told the Marys, he also tells us:
“Come and see. Go quickly and tell.”

He is Risen, Alleluia!
Polly Wegner
Dir. of Discipleship

Be bold and courageous!

Wow…What a command! In reading through the first chapter of the book of Joshua, God gives this command not once, but four times! He is commanding Joshua to do something Joshua’s never done before: take possession of the land promised way back when, to Abraham and his descendents. Joshua is to take a bunch of farmers, priests and herdsmen and just do it, and he is supposed to do it with boldness, confidence and strength. Sounds pretty daunting to me.

But reading on a bit more, God gives Joshua the command surrounded by the promises that will really make the Israelites’ dreams come true: “I (God) will never leave you nor forsake you… Don’t turn from the words I gave you through Moses… No one will be able to stand against you… You will be prosperous and
successful.”

It’s all about God – what He has proven time and time again in the life of Israel and what He has proven time and time again in our lives. He never breaks His promises, He is always with us, and He wants to use us to accomplish His work.

Has God given you a task which is way beyond your comfort zone? Be bold and courageous, for God is with
you! Has God asked you to step out in faith to accomplish His will? Be bold and courageous, for God is in charge! Has God asked you to speak to someone about your faith? Be bold and courageous, for God is with you and will provide the words. Has God challenged and called Peace with building missional communities in the Denver area? Be bold and courageous, fear not!

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-33)

Be bold and courageous, go forward, fear not, God is with us!

Polly Wegner
Dir. of Discipleship
pwegner@peacelutheran.net

Have your started your Christmas protests yet?

You know what I mean …

“It’s too commercial!”
“All this is going to put us in the poorhouse!”
“I will never get it all done!”
“I hate the expectations of gift giving, etc. etc.”
“Extra worship services to attend?”
“We can’t get to every concert, show or party.”
“And I am supposed to help others at Christmas, too?”
“Not another Christmas letter to write!”
“These relatives are driving me nuts!”
“The mall traffic is crazy!”
“Deadlines!!”
“Travel headaches!”
“Baaah Humbug!”

This year, why not stage a protest. Stage it in your own heart. Make the decision that you will put Jesus first and allow Him to guide your choices of time, money and priorities this season. Don’t let any
part of the season take away the joy, the celebration and the meaning of Christmas. You know the true meaning… don’t let it get lost. “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Occupy Advent in your heart and the rest of the holiday busyness will fall into place with less stress and better balance. God comes to us in the still small voice of a Child in a manger. Invite others to worship the holy Child with you this season. It matters for eternity. See you in church –

Polly Wegner, DCE

Thanksgiving

I love the idea of Thanksgiving being a verb in addition to a noun. Even in this time of economic uncertainty, I see people sharing the human experiences, loving their families, working hard for their employer, and doing their best to look out for their neighbors. (Example: the massive response we have seen to flood relief efforts in our state.) Through pain and tough times, there is laughter and kindness and camaraderie. There is the desire to do better, to be more appreciative of what we’ve got, to share love and to spread joy. I thank God for this attitude of thanks giving/thanks living.

Why do we observe this Fall holiday each year? Certainly not because we need an excuse for gluttony (“gobble ‘till you waddle”) or because it signals the beginning of the Christmas season. The Thanksgiving holiday can easily degenerate into a hollow-day if we do not know Who or why to thank. In returning to God our thanksgiving, we acknowledge that life, food, and indeed all our blessings come from the hands of a gracious God.

God doesn’t need our thanksgiving, but we need to thank! “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?” (Psalm 116:12) We need the annual reminder that we have been entrusted with much. We need the annual reminder that God expects from us wisdom in allocating the bounty of this earth and compassion in caring for others. Gratitude naturally leads to such stewardship of life, to a thanks giving life.

Happy Thanks Giving Everyone!

Polly Wegner, DCE

Lost It All?

As I write these thoughts just one week has passed following the massive flooding in Colorado. The force and amount of water has caused terrible destruction throughout our state, sweeping homes away, flooding others, breaking our infrastructure, and has even swept lives away. We are in shock and awe at the sudden and force of destruction. Many (including myself) are still cleaning up. On the news and in some conversations referring to what is now gone, I hear the term “lost it all”. Our dear neighbors lost their home as a mudslide broke in one side of their house and went out the other. You could say they lost it all. As people check with insurance agencies and are told there is no coverage for flood, they might exclaim we have lost it all. As families mourn a death that has come as a result of this flood, in their pain they feel they have lost it all. The loss is truly great and not to be minimized, but to say “lost it all” is a mistake. Romans 11:29 tells us that God’s promises to us, God’s love for us, and God’s gifts to us are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded. His greatest gift to us is Jesus and in Jesus we have everything. No one has lost it all. No matter how terrible our circumstances, we can say “I am still God’s child. My life is more than this life. This suffering will eventually pass. God will make something good out of this. Jesus is my all. I will stay faithful and trust God no matter what.” Our life is more than this life, more than this broken heart, more than this difficult time. God won’t break a promise. He will get us through this. If you’d like to talk to someone, or need a helping hand at this time, please contact us at Peace.

Polly Wegner, Director of Discipleship
pwegner@peacelutheran.net
303-424-4454