January 2023

Voice of Peace

Peace Lutheran Church's

Monthly Newsletter

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Please call (354-2774) or email (connect@peacenewlondon.com )

Merry Christmas to all!

For yes, indeed, it is Christmas, until January 6th. The first day of Christmas starts counting on December 25th, and continues for twelve days until Epiphany, when the wise men arrive on January 6th.

Which is why my trees are still up! And yes, you did read that right – trees are plural, usually five trees, but one never knows from year to year! I’m sure you are all thinking – does she really know and understand the true meaning of Christmas. And believe me, I do. But grant me this one indulgence, please.


Christmas has become, for many of us, a time for family, to gather together around old family traditions, to create new memories, and to honor the Christ who was born into humanity to be one of us. The One who lived as a man, enjoying food and fellowship, traditions and memories.


My trees are nostalgic: one is homemade ornaments we’ve made and collected over the years; another was started by my mother-on-law, as she started collecting Danbury Mint gold ornaments for each of her children. I have continued adding an ornament each year, and the collection will be given to our children. Another tree celebrates our Swedish heritage – all yellow and blue, while the gingerbread tree is adorned with collected cookie cutters. The upside-down tree in the entry is just for giggles as the grandchildren enter our home.


Along with the trees, are creches of a variety of makes and models. We have one from Jerusalem made of olivewood, another painted with quilt patterns on the characters. Add a couple of more wood sets, a Fisher Price one just for the kids, and a soft stuffed one that is made to be played with and the story of our family surrounds us, along with the THE STORY of why we do all this!


And as most of you know, whether intentional or not, an ornament or a figurine is left out every year after all is packed and put away. It is a reminder to me, that Christmas is to be celebrated every day of the year, to be reminded daily that Jesus was born to live among us, to teach us, and to die for us, rising again so that we might have the promise of eternal life.


So, Merry Christmas, dear ones! Live each day remembering and celebrating the Christ born to us.


Pastor Linda

Todd in Tanzania

Pastor Todd will be co-leading a group of Gustavus Adolphus College students to Tanzania for the month of January. Todd and his sister, Barb (Gustavus Nursing Faculty) co-lead the J-Term course called, “WITH ONE VOICE” to various parts of Tanzania, studying Tanzanian culture and, particularly, the role music plays in health, healing and well-being. This will be his 7th year leading a group of students to Tanzania. If you would like to see the course itinerary, click here!

Todd will be offering a TABLE TALK in February highlighting his trip and experience.



9:00 a.m. Worship at Peace

This Service will be available live-streamed

10:00 a.m. Faith Formation Hour


3:00 p.m. Kids Club

Programming in blue resumes January 11:

5:15 p.m. Pizza by the Slice

6:00 p.m. Camp-Style Worship


6:00 p.m. Grades 4 - 9 Wednesday Education

7:39 p.m. LYF (Grades 9 - 12)


We will continue to have the nursery staffed Sunday mornings from 8:45 - 11:15 a.m. This is best suited for children up to 4 years old. Children must be signed-in by a parent/grandparent each Sunday.

Please mark your calendars for our Annual Meeting, Sunday January 29th following morning worship (so approximately 10:00am) in the Sanctuary. ALL COMMITTEE REPORTS ARE DUE JANUARY 8th!

Peacing Together Update:

A CAPITAL CAMPAIGN for Peace Lutheran Church


We have wonderful news to share about our congregation’s progress on the Peacing Together What God Has given Us campaign! Thankfully, 120 households have already pledged or given more than $708,000 to support the campaign and to support our 3 priorities: 

  • maintenance of our building and grounds, totaling an estimated $400,000 - $425,000
  • reducing the $490,000 mortgage balance remaining on the new sanctuary built in 2006
  • mission support of 10% for ministry partners in the community, the region, and the world

Just imagine the impact and fun that we can have in the next three years as we work on these projects! Just think of savings in the future by paying down our mortgage. Can you visualize us together giving a large check to a local charity to reduce food insecurity in our community? Thank you to those that have already pledged! 

We now seek to secure the remaining gifts and 3-year pledges that will bring this campaign to completion. Remember that our goal was $750,000 with a stretch goal of $950,000. To accomplish this, everyone’s gift is needed…including yours.

We invite you to:

  1. Visit the campaign website at peacenewlondon.org/campaign to learn all about the many projectsand ministries this campaign will provide for.
  2. Consider what you can give, over and above your regular offerings, over the next 3 years.
  3. Decide how to make your best gift. For some, automated monthly gifts from your income will be most practical. For others, gifts from assets like stock or retirement funds will provide a good tax benefit.
  4. Set up an automated recurring gift or make your best one-time gift online. Or share your giving intention in writing using the pledge form and mail it or bring it to worship.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly via the church at (320) 354-2774.

Have you visited our website? This is a great place to learn more about this campaign:


We Are Peace

We are so thankful for our volunteers!!

Currently seeking volunteers






Volunteering is a great way to be more connected to our church community. Signing up online, in the pew books, or calling really helps office staff save valuable time recruiting volunteers! Click the link below to see where the needs are, and sign up online (You do not need to set up an account) or call the office and we'll be sure to plug you in! 

See the Needs & Sign Up for open slots here!

Peace is in need of your old, ready-to-toss-or-donate blue jeans! This Spring, the 4th-9th   graders will be having a SHOE PARTY, at which they will be cutting sole patterns out of jeans. These soles will then be shipped for shoe construction in Uganda. Working through the NPO, SOLE HOPE shoes are constructed in order to battle the devastating effects of parasitic    chiggers that burrow in the feet of Ugandans, causing infections which lead to amputations. A jean donation tub will be available in the Peace Gathering Space.



Our Kids did a Great Job with the Christmas Program!!


(3 y/o - 3rd Grade)

All students and teachers meet in the Theater after Worship.

10:10 - 11:00 am

Pick up in the Classrooms

See Sunday School Schedule by clicking Here


(Grades 4 & up)

Sundays 10:10 - 11am  

Meet upstairs in the Youth Room!


(Kindergarten - 3rd Grade) 

Afterschool - 5 p.m.  

See Kids Club Schedule by clicking Here



(Grades 4 - 9) 

Returning to the regular schedule:

Pizza by the slice served at 5:20p

6:00 - 7:15 p.m Wednesday Night Education

Resumes January 11th!

See Wednesday Night Youth Schedule by clicking here

**Note there is NO Wednesday Night Youth Jan. 4th


(9th - 12th Grade) 

Our LYF High School Group meets most Wednesday evenings at 7:39 p.m., alternating between Faith & Peace. If you are interested in more information about our meetings, Contact Quentin!



LYF Christmas Party- All students in grades 9-12 are invited to the LYF Christmas Party at Peace Lutheran on January 4 (rescheduled due to weather) at 7:39pm at Faith. We'll have festive food, a Christmas devotion, and a white Elephant gift exchange. For the White Elephant Gift Exchange, students are invited to find something not needed around home or spend no more than $5-$10, and bring it wrapped to the Christmas Party.

LYF MOA Retreat & Service Trip

JANUARY 28 6:30am - JANUARY 29 1:00pm

For Grades 9 - 12

Cost: approx $100-150

Back again is another fun overnight in the Twin Cities. Stops will include a service opportunity with Feed My Starving Children, Shopping and laser tag at the Mall of America, fun & games at our host church, and worshipping with them on Sunday. We will leave in the morning on Saturday and return Sunday after worship. Students will be responsible for the cost of their own lunch on Saturday, and should bring money for shopping or other activities they chose to do at the Mall of America.



Table Talks are held at 10:15am Sundays

You are welcome to grab your cup of coffee and cookie from the Fellowship Hall and join us in the Chapel.

Peace Book Club:

Book Club Selection for


Convergence at Two Harbors

by Dennis Herschbach



Jan 26th 10:00 a.m.

Fireside Room

All are welcome!

Please call Elaine at (320) 905-6960 to get a book!


Tuesday's Table is a community meal shared by area churches. This meal is meant for all - a time of sharing a meal together and fellowship. ALL ARE WELCOME!

This wonderful ministry is powered by many hands. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up online by clicking here or contact our office!


It’s baaaaaaaack!

Peace is planning another fun-filled evening to celebrate FAT TUESDAY. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday—traditionally set aside to burn the fat before the long, lean season of Lent begins. Last year, the Peace staff put on a fun-filled HOOTENANY for Fat Tuesday. This year’s theme is still, very much under wraps, but promises some good fun, good food and a very good time for all ages. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Fat Tuesday at Peace on February 21st at 6:00pm.


Interested in giving the staff a hand? Let Lindsay know in the office.



It’s time again to channel that inner thespian within and get in on all the fun and action of this year’s Peace musical production. Last year’s KINGDOM TALES was a fun success, thanks to more than 60 people involved on stage and behind the scenes. Once again, we will be looking for people in acting roles, a chorus to support the musical numbers (no standing on stage the whole while like last year!) stage crew members and a kitchen team.


Interested? Attend the information meeting on February 12 at 11am, or contact Pastor Todd.


All are Welcome!


Rehearsal at 6:30pm


Rehearsal at 8:00am

Singing at the 9am Worship

Holy Land Trip | October 24 - November 3, 2023

Registration has begun!

Learn more by viewing the online brochure here or pick up a hard copy in the office. Questions? Call Pastor Art at 320-212-1487


Christian Service Day of Quilting

Meets the first Thursday of each month at 9am in the Fellowship Hall.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18th at 1:00 p.m.

(Meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month)

In the Fireside Room

NO COUNCIL REPORT: I will not be writing a council report for the January VOP due to a scheduled hip replacement surgery.

Cliff Gesellchen, Council President

2022 Church Council                                                                                     
Cliff Gesellchen, President - gesellchenc@gmail.com
Kevin Acquard - kacquard@chartermi.net
Jon Austvold - jona@rambow.com
David Feist - dave.feist@tpihospitality.com
Margaret Knisley - jmlknisley@yahoo.com
Melanie Netland - mcnetland@hotmail.com
Gail Olson - gmolson@tds.net
Carol Roverud - carolroverud@gmail.com
Mary Semmler - msemmler@gmail.com
Jennifer Stone - jjstones365@gmail.com
Melissa Straus - cmsstraus@gmail.com
Raelin Van Meter - rae.vm98@gmail.com


Red Poinsettias can now be picked up anytime. The doubles are the larger, waist-high plants. Please leave the white poinsettias. Extra Christmas Eve bulletins are available in the office.

Thank You for the Advent Calendar!

A big, heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all the people who offered a digital Advent Calendar entry during the four weeks of Advent, preceding Christmas. What fun to have heard about the various traditions and memories shared by Peace individuals and families. The Advent Calendar entries are still available for viewing on Peace’s YOUTUBE channel under playlists and Peace's Facebook page.



to the Christmas Decorators!!

Cheryl Danielson, Brent & Reid Holmquist, Yo & Chuck Johnson, Wendy Kriese, Connie Mattke,Trudie Lieser, Cindy & Charlie Lundberg, & Pat Oss.

THANK YOU to Charlie & Cindy Lundberg for donating the Christmas tree and branches!

Click on the links below for the Birthdays and Anniversaries for this month!


Tuesday - Thursday 9am - 2:30pm

Friday 9am - 12pm

Please note: the Peace Staff Meetings will be on

Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Staff Email addresses:

Pastor Todd:


Pastor Linda:


Quentin Markfort


Lindsay Freeland


Gail Olson


Mike Lagergren


Contact Us:
100 Fourth Avenue SW, P.O. Box 286
New London, MN 56273
Phone: (320) 354-2774
Email: connect@peacenewlondon.com