Author Archives: kaye

All Saints’ Day

It was this festival day of the church—All Saints’ Day, November 1—which prompted Luther to post his words of protest on October 31.  He knew that people would be streaming through the church door the next day and would read his words.

We will observe All Saints’ Day on Sunday, November 5. It is a day in our life together when we recognize all of the saints who have gone before us—all who now rest in our Lord.  Washed into our Lord’s Church, we may live confident of the grace, mercy and power given us to live in faith through all the world throws at us.  It is also a day to praise God for the new saints among us, baptized just this past year. Let us worship together in the joy of celebrating our “sainthood” in Christ!

Learn more about Prince of Peace’s schedule of worship here

Pastor Pedro Suarez Elected Bishop of Florida-Bahamas Synod

October 16, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ in the Florida-Bahamas Synod,

It is with joy and thanksgiving that I share with you that the Rev. Pedro Manuel Suarez was elected Oct. 13 to a six-year term as bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly Oct. 12-14 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Kissimmee.

Pr. Suarez was elected on the 6th ballot with 334 votes. A total of 230 votes was needed for election. I give thanks to God for all the pastors who were open and available to the call of the Spirit, and for the prayerful discernment of the Assembly. What a gift it was to hear the candidates witness to their faith and vision for the Gospel in their addresses to the assembly, in their answers to questions, and in their overall presence in the Assembly. Additionally, I give thanks for ELCA Secretary Rev. Chris Boerger for his careful oversight of the election, for those serving on the elections committee, and for all involved in the election in any way.

Pr. Suarez currently serves as lead pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Pompano Beach, FL since 2015, as well as recently agreeing to serve as the Interim Director for Evangelical Mission for the south region of this synod. Pr. Suarez earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology of Chicago in 1992. His previous experience includes serving on the synod staff of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, the South Central Synod of Wisconsin, and several congregations in both Illinois and Wisconsin. Pr. Suarez serves on the Latino Strategy Team for the ELCA and is the leader of the Latino Lay Academy of the ELCA.

Pastor Suarez will be installed as bishop at noon on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in New Tampa, FL.

These next weeks will be full of holy conversation and a broad range of emotions for Pr. Suarez, his family, his congregation, and others. Thank you for keeping Pr. Suarez and his family in your prayers. I will be walking with Pr. Suarez, along with the rest of the synod staff and the synod council, through these weeks of transition.

A prayer for Bishop-elect Suarez:

Ever-living God, strengthen and sustain pastors and bishops, especially Bishop-elect Suarez, that with patience and understanding they may love and care for your people. Guide Pr. Suarez and all involved in transition at this time. Grace Pr. Suarez and his family with strength, courage and clarity in the days ahead. Equip him and all whom you have called for the work of ministry and for the building up of the body of Christ. With your Holy Spirit, empower him in this new calling, and grant that together we may follow in the way of Jesus Christ, our Savoir and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Together with you in Christ,

Marcus Lohrmann
Interim Bishop

Consecration Day is October 22nd

 

Read more from “How Did You Learn to Give?”

For several weeks we have heard and read some stories – some wonderfully inspiring stories of how we learned to give. It just doesn’t come naturally. Somewhere, someone in our lives gave us some instructions – either intentionally or without even realizing the marvelous teacher she or he was being. So, it is indeed a good question to ask ourselves. How did you learn to give?

Next Sunday, October 22 is our Consecration Sunday. At both services we will present our intentions for giving to the Lord from all that the Lord has given us. Our gifts of energy and talent, skills and creativity, finances and time we prayerfully plan to give in our ministries in Christ here at PoP. We serve the Lord here and out from here into the community all around us each day and, even further, to the places in the world where our finances and quilts and gifts of food and prayer go to support the work of Christ. Through our partners in ministry in the Florida Bahamas Synod, the ELCA and even others, we are blessed to touch many lives.

In the coming week you will receive by mail a Time/Talent inventory as a way of helping you assess how you may serve our Lord here at PoP. There will also be an Estimate of Giving card to record your financial giving goals for the new year in our work in Christ. Pray about them when you receive them.  Pray about how the Spirit is inspiring your own part in our Lord’s work. Then bring them to worship next week. We will present them at worship by laying them in a basket at the foot of the altar. We will then pray God’s multiplying and blessing of these gifts God has already given to us and that we now have the blessing of returning a portion.

Thank you for your stories. They are so inspiring! Keep sharing them.

“…they gave themselves first to the Lord and, then by the will of God, to us…”

II Corinthians 8:3

Prayers for Healing Around the Cross

Wednesday, October 18 is the commemoration day St. Luke Evangelist. Following our meal and learning times on that night, we will gather in the sanctuary for prayer for healing. Scripture teaches that Luke was a physician, so on this special day the healing work of our Lord is what we seek together. Readings, prayers, song and silence all comprise this weekday time of worship.

Join us on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:07PM for Prayer of Healing Around the Cross.

“How Did You Learn to Give?” – Your Stories

For several weeks, we have been asking for stories. It all stems from the day that a group was meeting to discuss our stewardship emphasis. As we were sharing our own experiences, this question popped out.

It is a good one for all of us to consider!  Maybe a family member set the example. Maybe a friend invited you to come along and give yourself to a project or to a friend or family in need. Surely, lots of this kind of giving took place in the wake of the recent storm.

Yes, when we say “giving” we mean our time, our energy, our abilities, and yes, our finances, too. After all, hasn’t God given us everything?

The source of all we have and are is our Lord.  Scripture brims over with examples of how God gives so faithfully. Each of us daily and all of us as a community of Christ followers are blessed to turn aside regularly to ponder our Lord’s giving.

So why not ponder how WE learned to give! Who taught you? Whose example did you follow and are you following to this day? It may be from childhood or from not so long ago.

For the next few weeks we will be hearing and reading stories during worship from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ about how they learned to give.  Our youth will be helping us to think about it in a very special way on one of those Sundays, too!

Sunday, October 22 will be our Consecration Day when we will bring forward our time, abilities and financial promises for the new year. It is a blessed day of prayer and thanksgiving for the way our Lord provides and how in response we may give. You will receive more information in the mail.

And if you have a story you would like to share, inspire us! Send it to the Kari Sheppard at ksheppard@me.com or drop it by the Church Office.

“…they gave themselves first to the Lord and, then by the will of God, to us…” – II Corinthians 8:5

How Did You Learn to Give?

It’s a question that arose naturally in a meeting of church folk discussing what God has given us. Have you ever thought about it?

Are we talking about money? Yes, but really, anything we have that we consider “ours,” whether money, our time, abilities or elbow grease.

Scripture brims over with examples of how God gives so generously. But, for all of us who give, it’s good to turn aside and consider how we learned to do so. It is also good to hear one another’s stories, because God’s work in each of our lives can be inspiring for all of us.

Did a relative teach you – overtly or by example?  Was it a friend?  How did that happen?  Could have been a Sunday school teacher, youth leader, a teacher from school or your neighbor. How old were you? Was it an epiphany? Are you still learning? Why is it memorable for you?

Oh, and as you are pondering, here’s one more question…

What do you know about giving that you wish you had known when you were younger?

Inspire us all. Jot down your story and send it to Kari Sheppard at ksheppard@me.com. Or, drop it by the Church Office.

Your Stewardship Task Group, Kim Adams, Frankie Rogers, Kari Shepherd and Pr. Joe, will be sharing these stories with everyone during October.

How Did You Learn to Give?

“…they gave themselves first to the Lord and, then by the will of God, to us…”

II Corinthians 8:5

Submit Your Story Below…

ELCA Youth Gathering – first service event

Our high school youth will be heading to Houston in June of 2018 to be a part of the ELCA Youth Gathering. This is an opportunity which occurs once every three years for youth from all across the ELCA to gather for five days of worship, service, learning, and community. In preparation for the Gathering our youth will be learning and serving together here in Florida.

This trip to the Gathering will be a great experience, but it will also be expensive. In the past the youth have hosted a number of events to raise funds for the trip within the congregation. This year we are trying something a little different. We are asking the congregation to sponsor our youth as they go out and serve in our community. Donations to the youth ministry fund will help the youth to meet their goal of $10,000 to go to Houston. Our youth will be planning and participating in service opportunities here in our community throughout the year as they prepare for the event. The congregation is invited to support our youth financially while our youth support our community with their time and energy. The youth are hoping to plan five or six of these events throughout the year in addition to the service they normally do as a group. They will be inviting you at those times to make a gift to the youth ministry fund.

For the first event, our youth will be going to the Homeless Empowerment Program(HEP) where they will be serving in HEP’s Learning Center’s afterschool program on September 22. They will be working with children who are a part of HEP’s residential program. Check out HEP’s website to see more about the great work that this organization does for our community: www.HEPEmpowers.org. Keep an eye out in the narthex for more information about the youth’s effort to head to Houston next summer!

No Time Like the Present

The afterglow of a strong time of serving our Lord together can be especially warming. Each year I hear stories from folk about our Health and Safety Fair and other large serving events that stir my heart. This year I have heard from several youth about their experiences over the summer with Matthew, Monday, Mission, Meal [not sure if that’s the exact name, but you know what I mean].

The excitement and exhaustion that comes from serving together, worshiping together, being together in Christ our Lord inspires us all.

What about asking someone to be a part of it all with you…us? 

So many opportunities in the months ahead! Just check the newsletter. Special worship times together as we Pray Around the Cross September 13. Women, join other women in retreat September 30. Be a part of the fun when we ‘Guess’ Who’s Coming to Dinner October 7.

October 31 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing 95 Theses to the church door—what we observe as the beginning of the Reformation. In adult learning times on Wednesdays and Sundays, we are witnessing how this reformation took more than Luther. Courageous individuals from many different countries called for change. Come see!

Our middle school youth will be learning more about reformation in retreat with youth from all over the Synod later in October.

All of these opportunities and many more [from choirs to quilt tying to…] are not just for those who call themselves members of PoP. They are for everyone, just like worship on Sunday morning – for everyone. Bring a friend. Tell others about how we are trying to live as God’s people in Christ. As our Lord’s friends said to their friends about Jesus, “Come and see!”

Prayer Around the Cross September 13th

Last year we began periodically coming together on Wednesday nights for a time of prayer. We call it Prayer Around the Cross. We gather near the steps of the chancel. You can sit in pews or in chairs on the side. Laid on the steps is a large cross with candles all around. The lights are a little lower.

As we pray, sing softly, listen to scripture and just sit in silence, you may choose to light a candle and set it beside the cross. The pastors will lead us in prayer for our world, nation and leaders. We pray for what is happening with our families, dear friends, workmates and strangers. We pray for ourselves – decisions, challenges and joys.

Join us on Wednesday September 13 at 7:07PM for Prayer Around the Cross.

Summer 2017 Event Snapshot

t566_main_logoThreshers Baseball & Fireworks
$15 | July 3rd, 5pm-7:30pm
It’s time for our annual trip to the baseball game followed by a wonderful fireworks show! Enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks. There’s also a great playground to keep the little ones busy. Join the fun – we sure hope you’ll come along! Sign up on Sunday’s attendance card or call the Church Office: 727.585.9969.


Mobile Blood Drive – Sunday, June 11th
OneBlood will be here at Prince of Peace on Sunday, June 11th from 8:30am to 1:00pm. It’s a new season – and another opportunity to become a blood donor! If you are able, please consider becoming a donor.

One donation can save three lives – we’ll see you there!


17th Annual Health & Safety Fair August 5th
It’s getting closer! Free school physicals, after school programs, healthy good-for-you snacks, and more! No charge, and lots of giveaways! It will be the perfect time to get revved up and prepped for the new school year! Contact Faye or Jane for more information: 727.585.9969. More…