Tag Archives: Easter

A Month of Easter: The Stage for What’s to Come

With Pentecost not coming until June 4, May brings us a month of Easter.  Tracing the movement of our Lord and his followers through Holy Week always opens us to the Spirit’s inspiration.

And we come away with so many memories as well – an archway of palms for procession; everything solemnly being removed from the chancel; the large cross laid across the steps and the slowly dimming light; entering that darkened place with handheld candles and then celebrating the baptism of our newest little sister; brass, timpani and joyful anthems for Easter Sunday. What a week!

Many folk have asked me about the busiest season being over, as in, “now what do you do?” Frankly, now we enter a different “busy.”  There are graduations for some of our youth and the end of school for all.

Here at the church our summer intern arrives, and there’s the golf tournament for youth scholarships and fun. We will observe Prayer around the Cross once again and hold another Inquirers’ Class.

But May serves as a staging month for what’s coming. Vacation Bible School, with all of the singing, learning, crafts, games and fun arrives in June.  We need to get ready! We are already looking to August and our Health and Safety Fair.

The staff has already begun planning for 2017-18. We also will be firing up some task groups for planning adult learning opportunities and our stewardship emphasis. And, finally, we will be looking toward the fall as we observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October.

Before we pat ourselves on the back for being so busy, remember May is a month of Easter. Undergirding all that we do, inspiring all that we are and hope to be is the reality that God has raised our Lord, Jesus the Christ, from death to life for all the world. Sure, we are busy. But this is May…Easter – a time to ponder God’s blessed gift for us. A time for shouting an age-old greeting:

“Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Easter: From Creation to Re-creation

It slips up on us each year. “You mean Christmas is only 2 weeks away?” we ask, incredulous that time has passed so quickly. We say the same about the new year, a graduation, a birthday – especially the ones where a child now looks us in the eye or down at us.

Holy Week and Easter come unexpectedly, too. And when they are packed into the windy month of March, they are particularly surprising. We are pondering forgiveness during Lent, as we recall that the God who is “gracious and merciful” has made our forgiveness indelible through the cross of Christ Jesus. That divine and precious work opens the floodgates for us to have life anew. By the cross God inspires in us a willingness to bend our knees in service to others, all so our loving Lord is glorified and honored.

Holy Week & Easter Worship
View the full worship schedule here…

Sunday of the Passion, March 20th @ 8:45am & 11am | From a joyous procession with palms, our worship moves to the passion story of our Lord. Breakfast is served at 10am.
Holy Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday (March 21-23) follows with Quiet Holy Communion at noon each day: a spoken service of Holy Communion with prayer, scripture reading, and brief meditation.
Maundy Thursday, March 24th @ 7:30pm | Maundy Thursday begins what is known in the Church Year as the Triduum – The Three Days. Holy Communion with the stripping of the altar.
Good Friday, March 25th at Noon & 7:30pm | Noon | Reading of the Passion Noon: is the hour of our Lord’s crucifixion. We gather for brief prayer, song and meditation upon the passion account according to John. 7:30PM | Solemn Service of Tenebrae: After prayer, song and a sobering word from the prophet Isaiah, we hear the very traditional account from John recalling our Lord’s suffering and death for our sin and the sin of all the world. With each passage, we sing a refrain and pray while candles are extinguished, until the sanctuary is dark. Only votive candles cast light upon a large cross laid in the chancel.
The Great Vigil of Easter, March 26th @ 7:30pm | We gather by a fire outdoors, waiting to hear the stories of God’s creative, saving work. After lighting the new Paschal Candle, we move into a darkened sanctuary to ponder the story of our salvation: God’s mighty work in our Lord’s incarnation, passion, death and resurrection.
The Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day, March 27th | 8:45am & 11:00am | A blessed festival day! Festival choirs with brass, timpani, violin & bells. A glorious procession with cross, banner & torches. Jesus has been raised from the grave that we might fear death no more. Our Lord gives new life now!

Holy Week – from Palm/Passion Sunday through each blessed day – we hear the story through which we all are saved. It is a busy season and a full week.  Schools are even on spring break. But let us all carve out, set aside these special days and evenings to experience the goodness of God at work, from creation to re-creation. Bring friends to share in the mystery, power and joy of these holy days!

– Pr. Joe

Preschool Egg Hunt

PreschoolLogo960PoP Preschool Egg Hunt at Highland Recreation Center | March 19th, 4pm-8pm

Eggs_PreschoolThe City of Largo is holding their annual Easter Egg Hunt! We are asking church members and school families to donate plastic eggs or candy to fill the eggs for this event. The City is asking that we provide 500 filled eggs.

Prince of Peace Preschool is hoping to spread some Easter cheer and to encourage new families to attend our church and school. Please contact our preschool director, Kelly Mende: 727.585.9790 or kmende@poplargo.org.

Lent for Our Lord, Lent for Us All

2015LentWednesdays in Lent
Lent mirrors the journey we face each day wherever we are, as we struggle to live as God’s people. So, as “Church,” God’s called-out people in Christ, we set aside these 40 days to help us live as God’s own throughout the other 325 days with all they bring!

As we consider our theme, Forgiveness, join us for Responsive and Evening prayer on Wednesdays during Lent.

Also! Join us for Wednesday Supper during Lent!


There is a tradition of the Church that really bugs me. Well, it’s a tradition of all congregations that follow the lectionary, the assigned readings for each week. Each year on the first Sunday of Lent, we have the story of our Lord being tempted in the wilderness. It comes just after the Sunday of the Transfiguration, again the same story each year (see article in this newsletter). Why? We know these stories. Must we hear them every year in this order each year?

Lent is a reflective season – a season that reflects our whole life as one of the baptized, God’s child, our Lord’s follower, a Spirit-filled believer. That’s right! Lent traditionally served as a time to prepare for baptism, and it still is. But, we followers of Christ, already baptized, may view Lent as a whole season of pondering the life we now live. And THAT leads me back to the passage about our Lord’s temptation.

Here’s a word not so profound: just as our Lord was baptized and then thrust out into the wilderness where he confronted temptation, so…are…we. Such is the journey of faith we all experience as Jesus’ people. If our Lord could not avoid temptations from every quarter, it makes sense that we cannot avoid them either.

The challenges to our faith and our faithfulness are legion. Illness, the sudden death of a loved one, a friend deserts us, and we wonder whether we can even believe in a God who would “let” such things happen. The habit of a Sunday morning routine WITHOUT worship with church family, the ease of turning our heads from those in need, the convenient patterns of considering first what is good for me, and now the idea of faithfulness to the Lord never even enters our minds.

Lent mirrors the journey we face each day wherever we are, as we struggle to live as God’s people. So, as “Church,” God’s called out people in Christ, we set aside these 40 days each year to help us live as God’s own throughout the other 325 days with all that they bring.

This year, our Lenten theme will be forgiveness. We begin on Ash Wednesday, February 10th. We will have Responsive Prayer and Evening Prayer each Wednesday of the season, special classes and more. We will be publishing details soon. Like a party with friends or Thanksgiving celebration with loved ones, or even a vacation, observing Lent with one another, walking this journey, can be what we make of it. And it all begins with showing up!

-Pastor Joe

February 10th is Ash Wednesday

AW1.5For centuries, Ash Wednesday has served as the overture for the 40-day season of Lent. Ash Wednesday calls us to speak a first utterance of what will be a season-long prayer of confession.

What begins on this day ends at long last with a communal word of absolution on Maundy Thursday in March.


At Prince of Peace,

we observe Ash Wednesday worship twice: 11AM & 7PM. After petitions of confession, we will hear God’s word for us and share a meal of our Lord’s mercy. We will also receive the cleansing ashen mark of the cross on our foreheads, calling to mind the brevity of our lives and the immensity of God’s grace. Come on this day, and let us begin this blessed season of Lent together as we experience the solemn gift of Ash Wednesday. Learn More about Lent in 2016…

Shrove Tuesday – February 9th

20140304_17565670-XL-1Shrove Tuesday – February 9th
The Feast Before the Fast

This day before the disciplines of Lent begin is a traditional day of feasting. On Mardi Gras at PoP, we’ll continue our traditional way of marking this feast time by serving pancakes and everything you might imagine would accompany such a meal.

The feast begins at 6pm – don’t forget the children will also be burying their Alleluia banner as a part of the celebration and will wait to “resurrect” it on Easter Sunday. All proceeds over the cost of this event go to the Discretionary Fund to help friends in need inside and outside the congregation.


Sign up for dinner below (you may also RSVP via Sunday’s attendance cards or call 727.585.9969).