Reformation Celebration & Fall Festival

We are so EXCITED for all the fun and celebration coming up this weekend!
On Saturday at 3 p.m. we will gather at Mt. Hope Lutheran with other ELCA congregations from this region, as well as leaders from different Christian denominations, for an Ecumenical Reformation Worship and Hymn Sing followed by a Global Potluck.  There is still room in the bell choir if you want to show up at 2 p.m. to practice before worship!!
On Sunday we will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation here at Peace in worship, including special trumpet accompaniment during of the singing of Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God.  Towards the end of the service we will move to the courtyard for prayers of thanksgiving and a symbolic burning of the mortgage in celebration of the repayment of our mortgage debt.
Following worship, we will be having a potluck, including bratwurst and hot dogs, in the Fellowship Hall.  Then, beginning at 11 a.m. we will welcome neighbors and preschool families to a Fall Festival in our parking lot, including Trunk or Treat, a bounce house, games, crafts, face painting, goodies and more.  Please be sure to invite friends, neighbors and family to any or all of the festivities!
Thanks be to God!
+Pastor Diana

Weekly Message from Pastor Diana

Dear People of Peace,

Events this coming Sunday remind me that,

For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven.  (Eccl. 3:1)

With great joy, we have the opportunity to welcome Josephine Ann Robles Johnson as our sister in Christ through the sacrament of baptism!  We are looking forward to celebrating Josie’s baptism during worship along with her parents, Lesley and Esaul, and her baptismal sponsors!

We will also be saying “farewell” to John and Susan Long, who have been members of Peace since 2008 and long-time members of the El Paso community.  They will be moving to their retirement home outside of San Antonio this coming week.  There will be a special portion during worship to wish them farewell and godspeed, as well a simple reception during our time of fellowship.

I hope and pray that you are staying cool in this heat of summer!  We’ll have the coolers on on Sunday morning and hope to see you here.  It won’t be the same without you!

Grace and Peace,

+Pastor Diana

 

Weekly Message from Pastor Diana

Dear People of Peace,

Thank you so much for the beautiful, surprise 1st anniversary celebration last Sunday!  It has been and honor and joy to be in ministry together with you this past year and I look forward to continuing to discover where God’s Spirit will lead us through worship, education and service in the community and world!

This Sunday in worship we will be reminded through the Gospel that we, like the disciples, are sent to do God’s work in the world.  We will be honoring the men in the congregation, many of whom will be celebrating Father’s Day.  And we will be offering a special blessing and prayer for Mike Villanueva, who is scheduled to deploy to Iraq this coming week.

If you’re in town, we hope to see you!  It won’t be the same without you.

Grace and Peace,
+Pastor Diana

 

Weekly Message From Pastor Diana

Dear People of Peace,

We had a wonderful turn-out and celebration for Stewardship Sunday this past weekend!  Thank you to all who helped lead and participate in worship, those who turned in pledges, those who set up for the potluck, and all who brought food and joined in the celebration afterwards.  So far, we have received $64,890 in pledges for our next fiscal year, which begins in June!  If you have not yet turned in your pledge form, or if you would like more information, please feel free to speak with Pastor Diana or a member of the Stewardship Team.  The team includes Tracy Braddy, Ferdinand Lugo-Salas, Frankie Sweetnam, Jenn Graham and Anne Nicolaou.

This Sunday we hear the story of Jesus healing a man who has been blind since birth.  After Jesus heals him, he and his parents are interrogated by neighbors and religious leaders about whose fault it is that he was blind, how it is that his sight was been restored, and who this Jesus character is, anyway.  Those questioning him do not want to listen to what he says and they do not want to see the evidence that is in front of them.  Perhaps understandably, it is the man who was previously blind that both sees and believes in Jesus.

I look forward to coming together with you again this Sunday!  It is right and good that we should at all times and in all place give thanks and praise to God!

Grace and Peace,

+Pastor Diana

Weekly Message from Pastor Diana

Dear People of Peace,

 

This Sunday is the second Sunday in Lent and we will hear the story of Nicodemus, a Pharisee, seeking out Jesus for a mid-night conversation.  Together they (and we) will explore what it means to be “born again” and hear the promise that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son (John 3:16)”.  This is a phrase and a verse that are very popular in our culture and at football games, but what do they mean?

 

This Sunday will also be the last of our Stewardship Small Groups, led by Frankie Sweetnam from 10:30-11:30 in the church library.  If you haven’t had a chance to attend one of the small groups yet, this is a great opportunity!  I am looking forward to next Sunday, March 19th, when we celebrate Stewardship Pledge Sunday in worship and following with a Potluck of Generosity!  What fun!

 

Grace and Peace to you, good people.  I hope to see you soon!
+Pastor Diana

Weekly Message from Pastor Diana

Dear People of Peace,

Last Sunday was a beautiful celebration of ELCA Global Missions around the world!  The music was lively, the prayers for peace were much needed, and the preaching was beautiful and articulate.  We were blessed to have Michael Dickson, a current Border Servant Corps volunteer, share about his previous experience as a Young Adult in Global Mission in Israel/Palestine.  If you were not able to be here in person, please read his beautiful, articulate and inspiring reflection on what it means to be part of God’s mission in the world.  What amazing, young leaders we have in the church today!

This Sunday Jesus challenges us to do what sometimes seems impossible – to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Mt. 5:44).  What have been your experiences of doing this?  How does loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us change our own hearts and minds?  Let’s explore these question together.

I look forward to being with you again soon!

Grace and Peace,

+Pastor Diana

Weekly Message from Pastor Diana

You are the light of the world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16

 

Dear People of Peace,

This Sunday’s gospel tells us that we are called to be light for the world!  I love this reminder – this promise – that, not only are we called to be light for others, but that we already are that light!  So, remember as you go about your day to day activities – whether it be spending time at work, at home, running errands, at school, volunteering or with friends – you are a reflection of God’s light and love in whatever company, space or place you find yourself.  And this is truly a gift in our world, our community and our neighborhood because we all need to be reminded of the hope and love that is already present in the world through Christ.

Let your light shine!

+Pastor Diana