Sharing only a smidgen of what God is doing at Peace!

We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.    - Psalm 78:4 

Below are the latest Peace publications:


100th Anniversary Celebrations

What a beautiful day it was, March 26, 2017, when over 230 people packed our church in two amazing worship services.  Then in the evening we had 130 Peace Boosters joined us for a fabulous banquet at Fiorelli’s in Peckville.  May the Lord bless us for another 100+ years!  Here are a few pictures, but please go to our Anniversary Page for more remembrances!

Church


Disaster Relief Mission to Baton Rouge

August 17-23 Pastor Bjornstad, Susan Crosbie, and Carsten Bjornstad joined a group from Buffalo to share in a disaster relief mission to Baton Rouge, LA after the devastating floods there.  The following is something of a report:


EASTERN DISTRICT DISASTER RELIEF TO BATON ROUGE, LA.

Jesus teaches us in the parable of the Good Samaritan that loving God by loving our neighbor as ourselves is the privilege of each child of His. That love is shown in so many ways by Christians in their every day lives (in our families and to next door neighbors, etc.) But there are times when the body of Christ is hurting in extraordinary ways in distant places, giving the church at large ample opportunity to work together to bring the mercy of God to so many in need. Even in the New Testament church, God’s people sent money and representatives to far off destinations when people needed relief from their difficult circumstances. (1 Corinthians 16)

It is a great privilege for Christians even today to extend acts of love across great distances to those who are in desperate need of the grace and comfort of the Lord. The recent floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which damaged over 40% of the region’s homes (over 140,000 of them), gave Christians in the Eastern District, LCMS, opportunity once again to bless those in need. Eastern District Disaster Relief swung into action with the call of Rev. Benjamin Bahr (Grace Lutheran, Niagara Falls, NY). Rev. Bahr was formerly a pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Baton Rouge, a congregation now in the epicenter of the disaster.

Rev. Bahr was in contact with his former congregation leaders and members - and they pleaded “Come Now!” to help. An email blast was put out for volunteers and within 30 hours a wonderful team of six individuals from Grace (Niagara Falls, NY), and Peace Lutheran (Scranton, PA) was put together. Rev. Kristian Bjornstad, Eastern District Disaster Relief Coordinator, left early in the morning from Scranton, PA, August 17, 2016 with two of his congregation members: Susan Crosbie, a registered nurse, and (his father) Carsten Bjornstad. At the same time Rev. Bahr started out from Niagara Falls with Karen Kumm and her son Derrik Mahoney. They met in Akron, Ohio, all piling into the bigger van with the Eastern District disaster relief trailer in tow. They pushed on through the night to get to Baton Rouge by about noon the next day. They arrived to get their first work assignment that they tackled that same afternoon.

Over the next several days they were able to touch the lives of at least six families. They heard the accounts of their flooding experiences, sharing hugs and bolstered the difficult tasks of throwing much of each family’s material belongings out on the curb and gutting their houses bare. Beautiful Christian fellowship was had with many other volunteers from Texas and New Orleans - and even from as far away as Germany! At each place they worked they prayed with the survivor families and shared the Love of Christ with them. It was meaningful beyond words - both for the survivors of the flood, and for the team.

Derrik, being the youngest of the team (20 years old) was very glad to be part of the team. He learned that even if you are just one person or part of a small team, you can still make a very big difference in the lives of others. He also learned first hand that the material belongings that we have one day might be taken away tomorrow.

Pastor Bahr was so blessed to see how God’s hand and presence is evidenced most powerfully not so much in the wrath of the flood itself, but in the the mercy and grace that comes in the days after.

Karen (a Hurricane Katrina disaster relief veteran) says that she will be back again and wants so much to encourage others to take part in future disaster relief opportunities.

Susan valued how even though the team came down to a community that they didn’t know - they were immediately accepted and known as brothers and sisters in Christ, members of the same family of Christ.

Carsten (first time on a relief team at 78 years of age) was so appreciative of the amazing teamwork that was demonstrated among everyone involved with the relief effort - but especially within the Eastern District Relief team. He was also struck by the endurance of love (1 Cor. 13) that was demonstrated not only in the team’s work, but in the lives of the flood survivors.

In many ways the team left just as work was actually being ramped up. The Eastern District Relief team was one of the first on the scene, but when the team left Monday night, more and more volunteers were streaming in and being put to work. But the reality is that the easy, non-skilled relief work is finishing up for more and more of the survivors. In the near future the harder part will begin: the survivors will have to start rebuilding their homes and lives. The real need for the support of the church at large will continue on into the months and years ahead as the shock and horror of the fast moving waters of the last couple weeks fades in the face of so many more grinding hurdles of life post-flood. May God bless and keep us all close to His heart as we pray and support all those in need - those in Baton Rouge and beyond!

Submitted on behalf of the team,

Rev. Kristian Bjornstad


Team arrives and unloads at Trinity Lutheran Church in Baton Rouge, LA


Team members with Lain Ardoin, homeowner of the first house we were assigned work.


Horrific sight outside the second house we worked on.


Inside scene of the kitchen after gutting.


Lutheran Church Charities Comfort dogs in full force by Sunday.


Pastor Bahr talking with a child he baptized years ago. It was a blessing that he knew so many people.

Pastor Bahr was invited to preach to the congregation on Sunday morning.


The team with the Donald family after a day of work at their house.


Lots of hugs all around.


Most of the nights the team stayed at Trinity Lutheran Church in one of the school classrooms. But on the last night, because school was starting up again, we were blessed to be hosted in the home of Allen. Most other volunteers were hosted by members of Trinity.


It is important to know that the relief operations were contributed to by so MANY people and Lutheran institutions…. Here disaster cleanup pails filled with cleaning supplies were being unloaded (all 288 of them) along with dozens of hand made quilts and bags of towels - all donated from a small church in Texas. The drivers were so thrilled to tell us how this delivery put them over 1400 pails given out THIS YEAR alone - and it is only August!

The Lutheran Academy opens for its 9th Academic year!

Praise be to God for all our students and staff of The Lutheran Academy, Scranton!  Opening day was August 26th with 18 students.  We are SO thankful and excited for the new space that we have to grow in.  God is good!


Lutheran Ministry Center Dedication


Everything is going well in the renovation project at the Lutheran Ministry Center due to the amazing work of Jerry Cornog and all the volunteers coming in to help!  Work on the roof has begun and the electric contractors will be in soon.  The committee organizing the dedication banquet and service have met and everything is being organized for a gathering, we hope, to be 200 strong.  We are inviting any and all to this great event!  Here is the poster with the details!  Spread the word and make your reservations today!


BUY YOUR BANQUET TICKETS HERE!

April 1st Purchase of Lutheran Ministry Center completed!


It was a beautiful day on Wednesday, April 1st… in the midst of Holy Week!

After overcoming all kinds of hurdles, God had brought us to this very moving moment.  Representatives from the former Trinity Baptist Church and Peace Lutheran gathered, along with lawyers and folks who knew what papers needed to be signed, at Peace Lutheran.  Special recognition was given to Rev. Ginger Daubenhauser, the former pastor of Trinity, who had made all this possible.  It was her desire to have this beautiful facility that was built by the hands of faithful Christians continue to function as a house of God and for His glory.  She made it possible for us to afford this for a new home for The Lutheran Academy - and many other Gospel ministries as well!

Chad Tyk and Jerry Cornog signed for Peace Lutheran Church and we handed over a check for $73,001.50.  This check, along with the $3000 earnest money given previously, brings the total price of the purchase and all fees to $76.001.50.  This was paid for with $60,000 in cash raised over the past few weeks, and the $25,000 taken from the Peace church building fund.  Amazing!  Now we will proceed with obtaining an equity loan for what we need to finish repairs and gain an occupancy license.

We praise the Lord for ALL that he has done for us - and we look forward to the growth in ministry we know God has in store for us as an Academy and as a congregation!

April 1, 2015 those gathered for the closing of the purchase of 1546 Monsey Ave. property



Purchase of a new Ministry Center and Academy!

God is getting us READY for the next 100 years!  He is leading us in amazing ways to do amazing things for the glory of His name!


Pastor Bjornstad writes for the Feb. Newsletter:

Nothing like having our church highjacked by the Lord!  The Christmas rush was over and this pastor wanted to get his office cleaned.  He was looking for some time off - as well as getting settled as the vacancy pastor at Immanuel.  Everything was well in order and calm.  We were supposed to have a congregational meeting in January to establish some plans and goals for our 100th Anniversary, so he was going to be doing a lot of thinking and praying on that… 

But then a discussion with a Pastor Daubenhauser took place… She shared her strong leading from the Lord that Peace needed to purchase a building she was charged with selling.  It was an amazing property of a church and education building - perfect for our Academy.  Suddenly life for this pastor and the congregation took an amazing turn!  Literally in a matter of 3 1/2 weeks (there was a deadline of Feb. 1!) everything fell into place to have the congregation vote to purchase this building on January 25th.  It was definitely a miracle of the Lord as the vote was almost unanimous.  The property we are purchasing is the former Trinity Baptist Church in the Greenridge section of town, about 1 mile away from Peace.  I was most definitely an answer to prayer for the board of The Lutheran Academy who had just defined plans in November to expand our Academy to two teachers and increase our student body - but had no where to expand TO.  

Incredibly, Pastor Daubenhauser convinced her church body to let us purchase it for $75,000 - a price without which we could not afford.  Her fervent desire was that the house that God’s people built would continue as a house of God and a center of wonderful ministry and outreach (instead of apartments or a Hindu Temple).  She had sent her daughter to The Lutheran Academy several years ago and knew about Peace Lutheran Church and how The Lord was working through us.  She was convinced that our church and Academy - with God’s grace and mercy - would accomplish God’s will there.

The vote on January 25th was quite emotional.  Not everyone had been in favor the week before in our meeting together.  It was plain that this was a very large endeavor and that we are inadequate in and of ourselves to take this project on.  In the end congregational members were finally convinced that enough measures were taken to keep Peace church safe from any troubles with the project.  Amazingly it was reported before the vote that $21,000 had been pledged by individuals and that Grace Lutheran Church in Hop Bottom, PA (30 minutes north of Scranton) had just voted to pledge another $5000!   Ballots were filled out and we all gathered together holding hands as the results of the vote were announced by Chad Tyk our church president.  We all sang the Doxology with true thanksgiving in our hearts.  On the ballots voters could make additional pledges as well, and it was also announced that ANOTHER $9000 in pledges had been made (for a total of $35,000!)  To God be all the glory!  Nothing more to say!

Please keep praying for everything to fall into place.  There are a few hurdles that have to be overcome to reach our April 1st closing date, but our bid and earnest money have been submitted!  Remember also in thanksgiving all those who were instrumental in getting this all put together, including the Academy Board, Chad Tyk, Roger Borchin, Amy Betts, and many others!  

If you want to know more details about the project, CLICK HERE to view a document that will give you a good grasp of the scope of the project and all the financing details.

Last month I introduced the themes I had put together for the next three years.  “Ready”, “Set”, “Go!”  I suppose what has happened here in the last month is a very high demonstration of how God is getting us “Ready” for the next 100 years.  Only heaven knows all the glorious things the Lord has in store for us!  He sends His Holy Spirit and all things necessary for us to proclaim His name and glory to all peoples!  Praise His Holy Name! 


We welcome Amy Betts to the ministry team!

Starting January 1st we are excited to have Amy Betts as a member of our ministry team on a part time basis!  Her title will be Parish Administrator and she will be on the front lines of our church working with Pastor to organize and mobilize our church for our next 100 years!  Amy and her family have been members at Peace for several years.  Her husband, Ky, is a church elder and resident artist.  Her daughter Nora is a student at The Lutheran Academy, and her son Alfred is a student at the Immanuel Preschool.  Amy has a university degree in Communications!  Praise the Lord!

Amy Betts pic


ESL classes at Peace!

This was our first ESL class here at Peace (minus three students who didn’t want to be in the picture)!  Every week since this first class the group has grown so that now more than a month later we have about 20 students coming faithfully every week!  They are amazing people - each one of them!  They are mostly Nepali people but we have some Muslims also from Kenya.  We want not only to help them make their home here in America, but to make a beautiful impression upon them what it is to be a Christian and to open up the chance to share the Gospel!  Praise the Lord for His great mercy!

Remembering Ann Crosbie

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Called to glory on Dec. 29, 2013.  The funeral was on the 31st at Snowdon's Funeral Home in Moscow and she will be buried with her husband in New Jersey.  We give thanks to God that we were blessed with her presence among us for these past years since she moved from New Jersey with her daughter Susan.  Her other daughter, Jane Borchin, is the wife of Roger Borchin (our first Academy Principal) and they are members at Immanuel Lutheran Church.  We pray for God's comfort upon all of us who knew her.  We praise the Lord that we have a most beautiful hope in Jesus Christ!

Here are various pictures of her through her life, including her in her church choir gown and with her husband George!


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Purchasing the house across the street!

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On Sunday, November 17th the congregation met for a voter’s meeting and in addition to electing a new church council and a $100,000 budget for 2014, the congregation DID vote to enter a bid to purchase the property and house directly across the street from the Parsonage.  Papers were drawn up on Monday and the bid was both submitted and accepted for $49,900.  God is definitely up to some fabulous things for the future here at Peace.  We hope that all the proceedings will go smoothly and the purchase can be closed within three weeks!  The purpose of the house (which is actually two one bedroom apartments) is to be able to supply needy individuals in the congregation with affordable housing.  Other uses are very much a possibility and only the Lord knows what blessings it will bring to us.  For now we will have to work to prepare the house for occupancy!  It will be great to work together on this project and involve many folks who have skills to put to use for the Lord!

We must pray diligently for this endeavor!  Thanks be to God!


© Peace Lutheran Church 2016