Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday, November 11, is “Bread for the World” Sunday – a day to engage in God’s work to end hunger. Who can comprehend that one-fourth of the developing world lives in extreme poverty – on less than $1.25 per day? Or, that one fifth of the children in the United States lives in a family that struggles to feed itself? The numbers seem staggering, almost overwhelming!
A story I like… Along the coast of the vast Atlantic ocean there lived an old man. Each day when the tide went out he would walk along the shore for miles. His neighbor noticed that this was a daily habit – that he disappeared from view and returned hours later. But, curiously, the observer also noticed that he often stopped down to lift something from the sand and then tossed it away into the water.
One day when the old man went down to the beach, the neighbor followed to satisfy his curiosity and, sure enough, as he watched, the man bent down and gently lifted something from the sand and threw it into the ocean. It was a starfish – one that had been stranded by the retreating tide and would, of course, die of dehydration before the tide returned. The neighbor called out with a degree of mockery in his voice, “Hey, fellow! What are you doing? This beach goes on for hundreds of miles, and thousands of starfish get washed up every day! Surely you don’t think that throwing a few back is going to matter?” The man listened…. and paused for a moment.. Then held the starfish in his hand and said, “It matters to this one.”
That’s just it! If we look at all the needs of our community, the church or the world, we feel overwhelmed. There are simply too many starfish on the shore! – – too many issues or people needing help! We know of people who have lost jobs; families going hungry; friends on the brink of foreclosure; and others suffering terrible illness. We read of the famine and AIDS around the world. And then, we hear of hurricane Sandy’s incredible devastation with more than 40,000 looking for winter shelter! The needs seem so vast! …staggering!
Yet Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it for one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40 NRSV) Jesus is telling us to look at the ones we can help. If we are addressing world hunger, we can send money; we can write our senators and congressmen to sustain support for needy people; and, we can collect food items for the local food bank. Every time we help or serve, we contribute to the health of the family. As Everett Hale wrote….
I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, I should do and,
With the help of God, I will do!
Checks to help with either the Bread for the World campaign to alleviate hunger or to help with hurricane disaster relief should be made out to “Peace Lutheran Church” and noted on the memo line either “Bread for the World” or “Hurricane Disaster Relief.”
And what a gift the people of Peace have been to each other…. to our community…. and to our world! So much loving energy is poured out in service. I know I give thanks for all the generous hearts and willing hands! Praise God!
Joy in Christ, Pastor Mary Ann
From Worship Deacon, Jeanie Locklear–
The Music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.
Has that ever happened to you? You hear a particular hymn or song at church and then you find that you are humming it off and on for the rest of the day. Or, maybe you wake up Monday morning hearing the lilting refrain of Sunday’s Communion piece. We are very fortunate at Peace to have a rich variety of music. Gary always provides us with beautiful and meaningful worship melodies. In addition, on October 7th, John and Mary Ellen joined Gary and Wind ‘n Keys for our St. Francis service. Then, the next week we had our Small and Tall Service with wonderful and appropriate selections. Stay tuned for our November 11th service as one of our very own makes their musical debut! I’m not saying anymore. You just have to be there.
If you play an instrument or sing, please join us! All are welcome to be part of making a Joyful Noise here at Peace Lutheran Church!
Everyone is invited to the Interfaith Thanksgiving service on Wednesday Nov. 21 at 7 pm at Beth Chaim where we will give thanks for Partnership and lead everyone in a South African song. There will be a non-perishable food collection at the Interfaith Thanksgiving service. Please bring food items to Peace on Sunday Nov. 18 if you will not be attending the Interfaith service later that week. The food collected will go to the Contra Costa Food Bank.
- Weekly (Tues) Yoga Level One in the Gathering Hall at 9:15 am
- Weekly (Thurs) Chair Yoga in the Gathering Hall at 4:45 pm
- Nov 11–Bread for the World Sunday Service; Baptized We Live discussion continues; Jazz Church West presents Glenn Pearson with Clifford Brown III at 5 pm.
- Nov 18–Consecration/Stewardship Sunday Service
- Nov 21–Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Beth Chaim
- Nov 22–Thanksgiving Day (no service)
- Nov 25–Christ the King Sunday Service
Hold all those who are suffering in prayer!