Welcome to the new Peace Offering!
Over four and half decades, the look and frequency of this vital Prince of Peace publication have changed, and the look and size of our congregation have changed. We are still the beautiful, Jesus-loving church that was first a glimmer in Pastor Kleidon and the charter members’ eyes as they knocked on the doors of this rapidly growing suburb in the 70s and 80s. We eventually settled into an expanding congregation known as Prince of Peace, Palatine. We are still the inspiring, creative, and inclusive congregation that grew exponentially under the Three Amigos (Newman, Christenson, and Hoehne) in the 90s and early 2000s. We are still the well-organized and generous church on a small parcel of land in Palatine. In the late 2000s, under the leadership of Pastor Christenson, we dreamed God-sized dreams of sharing some of what God gave us with the rapidly growing northwestern suburb of Lake in the Hills / Lakewood and the growing Hispanic and low-income population of Palatine.
We now have a daughter: She’s beautiful and her name is Crosspoint. She’s turning 5 on Mother’s Day this year! Can you believe it? She’s not ready to set out on her own yet, but she’ll get there. Give her time – lots of love, encouragement, prayer, shelter, food, and all the stuff we know kids need. She’s got a phenomenal head on her shoulders, a heart of gold, and a visionary, connective, spiritual leader in Pastor John Scott.
I hesitate to bring this up, but we must acknowledge it. We have a child that we’re still grieving: Hispanic ministry. Some of us are still sad and mad, but we haven’t lost the dream of reaching out locally. We’re also still grieving a whole bunch of people we love so much, who are gone from our midst for one reason or another -- a tragedy or death, a relocation, a call, a new job, retirement, drifting away, or just needing to move on. We’re still figuring out who we are as a congregation and how leadership works ever since we got bigger and changed to policy-based governance from the previous church council model. Who’s running this household, anyway? Can we be okay and trust “them,” who are really “us?” We’re still figuring out a lot of things about our common household; how we operate, what music is playing, how the furniture is arranged, and what pictures get to be displayed.
In the midst of all these things, I see peace. Christ’s peace being shared. In the midst of differing opinions, competing dreams, and important decisions, we are doing amazing ministry together. We’re laughing, crying, and sharing life together. I think it’s the soul of this community, the red-hot center: Reach, Grow, Serve -- Sharing Christ’s Peace. We’re that large Lutheran congregation on the corner of Hicks and Cunningham that has something unique about it. We’re a peaceful place with a homey sanctuary, no plastic wrap on the furniture, and gorgeous garden out front. Great people and programs, tons of work in the community, united in worshiping Jesus, and taking our lead from Him. It’s all His. We’re all His.
Kendra, the kids, and I are blessed to be here ever since the Lord saw fit to blow us over from Iowa. Blessed to be a part of a short and incredibly rich history. To stand with such giants of the faith. Blessed to be with ALL of you! I can only begin to express how much I love you. I hope to show it continuously in the coming years, however many God gives us together. I’ve been here a little over 3 years; let’s pray for 30 and see how God directs it! I’m honored and unworthy, and “Senior Pastor” is a completely unexpected title for me. I’m 33 years old, still a kid at heart, can act childish, and make mistakes. I may unknowingly step on people’s toes as I dance through life, preaching inspiring, connective messages, leading a faithful community, and holding a household together. Thank God for Kendra!
This first issue of our “new” Peace Offering is dedicated to YOU, the members and friends of Prince of Peace. I hope that as we continue, it can be a place to share our stories; stories of lives changed in Jesus’ name.
Let’s dream big, God-sized dreams together! I’ve got plenty of ideas on vision, but I don’t want to dominate the conversation. Let’s stay small enough to care for one another. I’ve got ideas on care and relationships, but some of you are radically more caring and gentle than I. Let’s stay fixed relentlessly on Jesus and pray in His name without ceasing. I’m a prayer warrior too, but there are legions of them here who hang out in the quiet places of this congregation and lift everybody up.
Let’s share Christ’s peace with all we’ve got, with anyone we meet. Like we’re on an Easter high, singing a “He is Risen” hymn or song, and doing an awkward dance when we think nobody’s looking and we’re not worried about what they think of us. When they know Jesus is risen, they’ll get it. Give it time.
ME: Christ is risen!
YOU: He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
ME: Rock & Roll!
Peace in Christ,