Grace News March 5, 2020


Save the Date!

Lancaster Chapter of The American Guild of Organists Presents

The Blind Organist of Notre Dame: Louis Vierne – 1870-1937

A concert tracing the tumultuous story of Louis Vierne through a multimedia presentation including pictures, narration, and live organ music played by local organists.
Steve & Doris Nolt, narrators
Sunday March 22, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. at
Covenant United Methodist Church 110 N Mulberry St – Lancaster, PA
$10.00 Suggested Donation

Easter Flowers

Order forms are available in the Narthex and outside of St. Peter Chapel. 

The cost is $10.00.  Flower orders are due in the office Friday April 3, 2020

Plants may be picked up following the Easter Sunday (10:30 a.m.) service. 
Plants that are not picked up will be taken to our homebound members.
Opportunities to share plants and flowers for the fountain will be available beginning Sunday, April 19th and continuing through May 31st.
Families may buy plants and flowers to decorate the Fountain on the Sunday they choose, delivering them to church on Saturday and following Sunday services, take their plants home.  Please call the church office @ 397-2748 with questions or to sign up.

Lenten Retreat & Outreach Project

Join us on Saturday, March 21st from 10 am-3 pm for our third annual Lenten Retreat. This year we will be exploring the role that Lutherans have had in immigration in the United States since WWII.

We will have a guest speaker from Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services and have partnered with Carry the Future to make bears for children in refugee camps. Space is limited to 40 participants, please sign up asap. The cost will be approximately $20 per person—lunch included. 
Questions – Call or email Angie Smith at 717-397-2748 /

March 8, 2020 (Second Sunday in Lent)
Psalm 121:1,2 – I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
How does one steward the soul? Psalm 121 reminds us where our help comes from— the LORD. Today’s story of Abraham teaches us how to respond in faith, and the story of Nicodemus about asking questions and growing in faith.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Lenten Thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer

How many prayers have you memorized?  Maybe more than you think!  “Lord, have mercy” is a prayer.  Many use one or more prayers at meals, like: “God is great, God is good…” Hymn texts are prayers of a sort, some more so than others.  But certainly anyone who has been worshipping regularly has also memorized some version of the “Lord’s Prayer,” also called the “Our Father” – the prayer’s opening address.  

Found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4, and adapted for the Sunday liturgy by Lutherans as a conclusion to the Great Thanksgiving for Holy Communion, this brief prayer is probably the most widely offered prayer by Christians around the world, usually by memory.  It shows up in the orders for daily morning and evening prayers; at weddings and funerals, and again at the graveside.  It is recommended from ancient times as a prayer to be repeated over and over again as a basic spiritual exercise.
As one of the most basic texts of worship and of our personal prayer lives, the Lord’s Prayer has often been the subject of reflection by pastors and theologians across the ages.  Martin Luther’s teaching in his Small Catechism has been studied for nearly 500 years by Lutheran confirmation students around the world, and this commentary sets the standard for a brief commentary on this prayer, offered by Jesus to his disciples and by the Spirit, through the scriptures to the Church. 
I mentioned earlier that this prayer of Jesus appears twice in the gospels.  The difference between these two appearances may not appear too significant, at least at first…but let’s look a little more closely.  At the end of Luke 10 there is a familiar story about Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha, which ends with Jesus seeming to take sides with Mary, who was listening to his teaching, over against Martha, who complained that Mary wasn’t helping in the kitchen, leaving her to serve dinner alone.  But Luke 11 takes us to a whole new setting: Jesus is now somewhere else, “praying in a certain place.”  When he is finished, his disciples ask him for help and direction: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”  The answer Jesus gives is a very specific one, which we could summarize as, “When you pray, say this,” followed by what we now call Lord’s Prayer.
Here, let us notice, the Lord’s Prayer appears as a general instruction, seemingly offered out of the blue as an answer to the disciples’ request for a basic, all-purpose prayer.  This context is overwhelmingly the way the Lord’s Prayer has been understood.  “What does this mean?” asks Luther, petition after petition, and his answers expand the specific petitions: for God’s will to be done, for daily bread, for forgiveness, for relief from temptation and trial, into much wider lists of things.  For instance, “daily bread” becomes, “everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”  Wow!  Everything from soup to nuts, as they say.  Even world peace!  And, it seems, anything else you might think necessary – “and the like.”  There is much precedent for reading and praying the Lord’s prayer in this expanded way. And yet…
The context in Matthew 6 is quite different.  Here the prayer appears, not as an answer to a question at all, but in the middle of that major dissertation, usually called, “The Sermon on the Mount” spanning three chapters (111 verses total).  Perhaps you could read it this week (Matthew 5-7).  And then you’ll be better prepared to read my second installment, in the next Grace News!

Prayer List


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