Dear Friends through Christ:
Last month I was all excited about vacation in Ocean Isle NC, claiming that it’s about as close to heaven as one can get on earth. It was! I was with the people I love the most, didn’t watch TV or pick-up the phone, walked close to 50 miles along the shoreline, brought back enough baptismal shells to last for the year, fished for about 30 hours, and finally feasted on good food and fine wine for nine full days. Heaven on earth! But now vacation is over, I’m rested and ready to return to my passion, fishing for people, always using Word and Sacrament as my bait.
Speaking of bait, the next line I throw in the water will be a study of the gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The class will begin at our wonderful Sunday morning Bible Study, June 11th @ 8:45AM. Here we will examine how these precious books ended up in our hands. Yes, they all tell the story of the life/death and resurrection of a man named Jesus, yet they tell their stories in different ways. We will look at those similarities and differences. We will examine how the authors frame their stories in order to convey how they see understands Jesus. But more importantly, hopefully this study will increase our own understanding of Jesus, so that each of us may grow a little in our faith. However, we are baiting the hook with something a little extra—a lite breakfast and some great fellowship. Lesley and Sandy have graciously volunteered their time/talent and treasure to feed our hungry body with donuts, yogurt, cereals, fruits, coffee and juice, as we feed our hungry souls with God’s knowledge. So please, come and join us as we seek to grow in faith and have a little fun at the same time. What a great way to start a week!
Yet, Peace Lutheran is not done fishing for people. Just this past week, a lease agreement was drawn up for our back building, allowing Lifeline Academy to use the facility as a Christian based college prep school for up to seventy-five, 8th – 12th graders. This lease will begin August 15th. We had an arrangement with Lifeline back in 2022 but it fell apart because the City of Palm Bay had too many requirements that made the lease null and void. But with the willingness not to give up and some good investigative work by our own Ed Neuman, we are able to sign a lease. Ed dug up an old Peace document from the past that would “grandfather” us in, so we do not have to install a sprinkling system. Thank you, Ed!
Before I forget, you also may want to thank our former law enforcement officer, Ed Neuman, for digging up other old document and convincing the right people to “exempt” Peace Lutheran from the storm water taxes levied against the church early this year, saving us close to $3000 each year. Again, thank you Ed, and while you have abandoned us, we all hope you enjoy Michigan.
Back to Lifeline Academy. I am excited that our campus will be filled with young people who are preparing for their future. Dr. Cooks and I have been working together to bring chapel to all of his students every Wednesday in our sanctuary. There is also the possibility that I may teach some religion classes to these young minds. So, keep this possible ministry of teaching in your prayers.
The only downside to a school moving in is that the food pantry must be moved out. State and school board regulations govern this decision. However, we are seeking a solution. While I’m thinking about it, you might want to thank Lori Search for all the time, talent and treasure she donates to keep this ministry going. If it weren’t for Lori, we would not have a food pantry. The idea at the time is that we move our food pantry to our building right next to our sanctuary, where AA meeting daily. The two will share the space. There’s still work to be done, but what a fitting combinations of ministries, we are feeding the hungry in both body and soul, once again. So, also keep this ministry of the food in your prayers.
Some may wonder why all the changes. Well, the answers are simple. First, it is our responsibility to be a light shining in our community and ministry is what we are all about. Two, the changes are a financial necessity. Since the pandemic, most all churches have struggled financially, and we are no different. The past few years Peace has operated with a $35,000 deficit. Lifeline Academy will bring in approximately $40,000 per year, hopefully eliminating our deficit and enabling us to move forward.
Speaking of moving forward, another line that Peace just tossed out was to the great-grandmother of Jeremiah Brown who was shot and killed this past Christmas Day. He was only fourteen. Sister Della Scott, the great-grandmother, called trying to raise funds to rent a place large enough to hold a “Celebration of Life/Community Outreach Event.” I said, “Why don’t you simply hold it here at Peace?” She asked, “How Much?” I said, “Nothing. It is the least we can do.” So, on Saturday June 10th, Peace will be hosting this celebration. Sister Stella, a real sweetheart is organizing the event, inviting all the youth in the area to pay their respects to young Jeremiah and hear various community leaders share their wisdom and possible solutions to end this vicious cycle of gun violence in our neighborhoods. Please mark your calendars for this date because I have no clue as to how many may show up at our doorstep. So, also keep this ministry of hospitality in your prayers.
Speaking of showing up at our doorstep, on July 17th through July 21st, Peace will once again host a community VBS. We can use all the time and talent available to make this event meaningful for the very young who do not yet know the stories of the Bible and the Love of God. Please contact either Faye Schill or myself and we will put you to work for the Lord. So, as always, please keep all these ministries in your prayers.
Finally, there is one last thing I would like to mention. Hopefully, you get this newsletter on time, our office manager Jacqui has pneumonia. So, pray for her also. On Sunday June 4th, immediately following the worship, Peace will hold a “PPP meeting,” (Peace Pow-Wow and Pot-luck) to update everyone on what is happening and try to answer questions people may have regarding all that is in this letter. Another topic that will be addressed is a decision regarding our property insurance. It has gotten to the point of insanity, $33,000 per year, giving us little choice but to remove the coverage for hurricane damage, keeping our basic property coverage and bringing the insane number down to approximately $10,000 per year. I’ve been told by a few of our long-time members that Peace has never filed an insurance claim. Wow, that’s a lot of wasted money. But what if? So, join us this Sunday for this discussion and then put on the old feed bag and walk next door and pig out on a good ole fashion pot-luck. Good food and great fellowship. Like I said earlier, what better way to start a week.
As Porky Pig says, “That’s all Folks!” Long letter but some good fishing going on at Peace Lutheran.
In Christian Love,
Pastor David Trexler