March 26, 2020

Luke 3 
And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he [John the Baptist] said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.” 

Reflection: As Lutherans we are fortunate to have Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to advocate for people living in poverty all over the world. One of LWR’s missions is: Work for Peace and Justice. God’s will is justice, reconciliation and peace for all people. We advocate with those in need, speaking truth to those in power. We work with poor and powerless communities to challenge not only the consequences of poverty and oppression but also the causes.
     When I became involved with LWR’s fair trade coffee project several years ago it increased my awareness of consumerism and my Christian faith. How are our daily habits, lifestyle and shopping choices impacted by our faith? I was overwhelmed by the issues to consider. Fair wages, workplace safety, environmental responsibility; there is much to think about.
     One thing I take pleasure in is my “morning cup of justice.” The fair trade coffee movement provides a market for small farmers in remote areas. They receive a fair price for their products by avoiding opportunistic middle men. This helps lift families out of poverty and keeps their children in school. 

Prayer: Lord, we are grateful for our plentiful and comfortable lives. Please guide us to make choices that have a positive impact on others.

-Jane Topel

In response to the recent Health Advisory issued by Peoria City/County Health Department describing rising levels of COVID cases and concerns, the planned outdoor worship service has been cancelled. Worship will still take place live at 6pm, but with worship leadership only. It will be recorded and available for viewing by 8am on Sunday, July 26.
This decision is not taken lightly but very seriously as we strive to follow health officials recommendations and cautions. We do this because we love one another and want what’s best for one another. In this time of pandemic, that means refraining from indoor as well as outdoor gatherings of larger sized groups.

The drive by farewell for Kristen will still take place on Sunday beginning at 10:30am as we will remain in our cars. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Pastor Craig
Craig Swenson, Senior Pastor