Last week in her sermon, Pastor Betsy lifted up a number of the challenges we are facing – at Prince of Peace, our community, and the world.  POP is celebrating its 65th anniversary year. 

I recall back when we were celebrating our 50th, it was also a time of turmoil.  In order to keep my spirits up during that time, I began a series of ’50 praises’ where I intentionally looked for at least 5 things each week to Praise God for around POP, until I reached 50.  I shared each week with the council and staff.

I decided to try the same exercise, working towards at least 65 over the next weeks.

So without further ado, here are some things this past week (June 12-19) that I praise God for:

  1. Cutting a check to the Hostel in Chicago for the balance of the lodging for the youth trip later this summer.  16 youth and adults going on a mission trip, quickly arranged to replace the Youth Gathering is definitely something to Praise God for!
  2. Staff and congregation members with the talent and willingness to step in and provide worship music leadership while we are without an organist.  And especially to Milt for his amazing recruiting skills!
  3. An email from Pastor Tewele at Bomalang’ome Lutheran Church – letting us know that they continue to pray for us during our time apart, and sharing news of a regional Widow’s Conference attended by 11 widows from Bomalang’ombe and 5 from Vikongwa.  Evangelist Zaina Luhwago led them, and Pastor Tewele said that it was a blessing!
  4. A congregation that donates to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund that allows our pastors and staff to provide emergency assistance to those in need
  5. A congregation that cares enough about a nesting duck to block off a portion of our garden to protect it!
  6. The donor who provided us with a push mower to help keep our grounds looking great
  7. Volunteers who put up a tent in the parking lot to provide a nice shady spot to worship and have VBS
  8. Excitement for all that’s happening this week with VBS, Serve & Learn and the Electric Car Fair (I expect some of those will make it to next week’s email as well!)
  9. A dedicated ‘behind the scenes’ finance committee who provide thoughtful recommendations on financial matters
  10. A Council and staff willing to wrestle with the sometimes challenging work of helping shape the mission and ministry of POP in the community and world – thank you!
  11. Ellie Thornton!  I can’t forget Ellie playing the Anthem this morning!  I love the fact that people of all ages can share gifts.

    Week 2
  12. Lots of fun pictures from the week’s VBS – it looks like the kids and volunteers were all having a great time!
  13. The project for Bridging – it was fun constructing 30 Cleaning and 30 Kitchen kits on Monday, and then delivering them along with other donated supplies to Bridging on Wednesday.  The tour of their warehouse was really interesting!
  14. Electric Car Fair at POP Tuesday night – standing room only crowd for the presentation, and great opportunity to talk with electric car owners about their experiences
  15. 17 people of all ages from POP at Feed my Starving Children on Friday.  Along with several other groups we packed enough meals to feed 59 children for a year.  Especially exciting is that these meals will rice sourced locally.
  16. Email from Pastor Mdegela at Vikongwa, sharing the news that he and his wife now have twin daughters, and that they are beginning construction on a temporary building for Mlandege Preaching Point.  The congregation members are collecting wood, and several members offered to buy nails for the construction.  We also got several pictures of the construction.
  17. The opportunity to speak this morning at the Adult Forum at Arlington Hills about travel to Tanzania.  I was able to share tips and experiences gained on my 8 trips representing Prince of Peace at Bomalang’ombe and Vikongwa.
  18. Shobi’s Table food truck this morning – yum!

Week 3

19:  Shobi’s table – not only was it delicious, but POP members donated more than enough to pay for the event and give almost $270 extra to Shobi’s table!

20: Intergenerational group representing POP at the Roseville parade

21: Faithful Meals on Wheels drivers from POP delivering meals to seniors! (And after a few years of doing the organizing, Jim’s retirement means that he can take a route)

22: I spent quite a bit of time catching up on entering June online donations into our Donation and Accounting software – this makes me grateful for all those who use this method to make regular consistent donations to help further the mission and ministry at POP. 

23: I’m equally grateful for all those who give through envelope giving, checks sent via mail, donor advised funds, required minimum distributions from retirement accounts, stock gifts, Thrivent Choice and more!

24: The flowers on the south side of the building by the offices and main entry are gorgeous!  I’m thankful for all who keep our grounds looking beautiful!

25: The resilience of our staff and volunteers – Pastor Betsy’s sermon this morning highlighted so aptly how God provides when nothing goes as expected!

Week 4

26:  Grateful for the daily devotional emails – it’s fun to hear from so many different voices, and I appreciate the links to let us know what is happening at POP

27: Technology – We’re isolating due to Jim having COVID.  I’m grateful for the technology that lets us still be present at worship and other important events such as the funeral service for Pastor Betsy’s Mom.  Special thanks to everyone who has helped to make that happen

28: 9 kids going to Bible Camp!

29: Julene and Andrew got married!

30: Baptisms!  When I go into the office to pay the bills, I’ve seen the baptism gift bags staged for giving.  If I’m counting correctly, 4 this summer!

31: I love the “Summersong” theme!  Based on the honorarium checks that I’ve written out, we are definitely in for some great music this summer!  I very much appreciate Milt’s amazing musician recruiting skills!

32: It was great hearing Ryan, Emily and Milt this morning doing Folk, and I especially enjoyed Debbie’s Children’s Message interview with Ryan and Emily – such inspiring words!  (I just wish I could have been there in person!)

33: Air conditioning in the office space!  Yay!

Week 5

34:  Not exactly POP related, but the pictures from the Webb telescope – WOW.  What beautiful view of God’s universe!

35: Beautiful string music this morning

36: Grant Anderson’s healing after his ATV accident

37: The devotions from WAPO this week were especially inspiring and it was great to know that our campers are getting the benefit of such inspired leaders

38: End of Year donations have made up a good portion of the deficit due to the loss of Monarch daycare

Week 6

39:  The roof work has started!

40: Another great Sunday of music – fun to hear a bit of Alex’s story during the Children’s sermon

41: Fun pictures from the beginning of the youth trip to Chicago

42: Organist interview process was invigorating and <fingers crossed for final formalities>) successful!

43: I appreciate the work of the Personnel committee – one of those ‘behind the scenes’ committees that does quick and thoughtful work when the need arises

44: The Monday Morning crew who handles small and medium projects to maintain the facility. 

Week 7

45:  Amazing Organ/Piano concert Thursday night!  Great music, it was fun seeing some old friends, getting a chance for members of the congregation to get a ‘sneak preview’ of our new organist, and we raised over $2100 for Every Meal!

46: Safe return of our Youth Trip to Chicago.  From the Facebook posts it looks like it was a fantastic trip, and the Blog posts were so enjoyable

47: I was up at church quite a few times over the past couple of weeks and saw gardening happening in our community gardens.  I’m thankful that we can provide that space for the community, and for the volunteers who keep the water buckets filled!

48: Bomalang’ombe and Vikongwa sending 50 youth to their district youth gathering over the weekend.

49: Fun singing on Sunday with the Now and Then Quartet, and especially with 5 percussionists! 

50:  It was nice having one of our sponsored Missionaries, Naomi Sveholm, with us to give more information on her ministry in Slovakia

Praises from the Community!

  • Caryn Josephson for always wearing a smile…even through a note on a website about the good things happening. 
  • For Bill and Chris Thornton and others who helped wire the sanctuary for streaming the Sunday services. Also, for the volunteers who keep it going each Sunday sometimes at a moments notice.

Do you have praises that you want to share?! Email Kristin at