Voice of Peace
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Peace Lutheran Church's

Monthly Newsletter


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Peace Lutheran Website
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 or anything else.
Please call (354-2774) or email ( )

It’s no secret. I like rocks. Always have.

Every family vacation...camping trips out to Glacier or the Badlands, various parks in    Colorado, if there was a rock shop within miles, we stopped. As I grew up and went to college, I was excited to major in Geology.     

 I like rocks.

Every rock, to me, tells a story. If you pick one up, handle it, eyeball it at various other words, give it a little one on one time, you start to notice all sorts of things. You can pick up on it’s history; how it’s been weathered; how it was formed. You can see the many      components, minerals that make up the rock...each one a unique color, texture and             appearance. Kris and I recently camped near Thunder Bay and went to a place where we could mine Amethyst. Pictured here is a sampling of our plunder. Amethyst forms as quartz crystals encounter traces of iron or hematite. It has a long and complicated story of influence behind its present beauty. Geodes are probably my favorite kind of rock. I like to find them around Keokuk, Iowa and Nauvoo, Illinois. Geodes look rather unimpressive on the outside, but crack them open, and there are beautiful crystals inside. I remember cracking one open and having petroleum squirt out. You never know. You are welcome to stop by my office sometime and check out some of my rocks.

I’m sure you can smell it coming. People are like rocks.

Complicated. Intricately created. Sometimes weathered. Sometimes influenced. Each having an intriguing, often complex, story to tell. And it would surely seem, if you give them more than a passing glance, you will find all sorts of beauty and depth and character...sometimes on the outside; sometimes on the inside.

So, here’s what I’m thinking. Maybe we should treat one another like I treat rocks. Give them all a chance to tell their story. Be surprised by the beauty they possess on the outside and within. ALL of them unique and meticulously made. Your family. Your friends. People much different from you. Those you don’t even like so much.


Shine on!




  1. Pick up your JESUS ON THE GO from the church or click here for a printable PDF.
  2. Color, Design, Artsy-Up Jesus to your liking.
  3. Cut out Jesus.
  4. Tape the wooden craft stick to the back.
  5. Take your JESUS ON THE GO on your summer adventures and take a picture of Him and you/your family at your destination(s).
  6. Send your picture to us via

Email: ( 

Text: 320-288-6653

or Message to our Facebook Page: Peace Lutheran New London

A few snapshots from July

New London Waterday's Parade:

LYF Valleyfair Trip:

Baptism's in July:


(May 29th - September 4th)

9:00 a.m. Worship at Peace

This Service will be available live-streamed

10:30 a.m. Worship

at Shores of St Andrew

19080 16th St NE, New London

(May 29th - September 4th)

**On August 7th, We will not have Worship at Shores. Instead, we will host an outdoor service behind Peace in the grassy area followed by a potluck! Please bring a lawn chair and dish to pass!

**We will still hold our 9am at Peace, BUT in place of our Shores service will be the Backyard service


We are seeking volunteer



Please help our office staff save valuable time recruiting volunteers by simply signing up online or calling our office with the slots you can fill!!

See the Needs & Sign Up for open slots here!




For Those signed up, watch your email!!

We have so many great things planned for the week!! 

Upcoming Family & Youth Happenings:

Contact Quentin if you are interested!

Family Canoe Trip- LAST CALL for the Family Canoe Trip- We are putting the final details together and have some spots to fill. Anyone interested in the Family Canoe Trip can contact Quentin at for information or with questions! 

Middle School Afternoon at Big Kahuna- Join Quentin at Big Kahuna Fun Park in Spicer for a wristband afternoon of fun. The $29 cost includes unlimited mini-golf and bumper boats, and TWO Go-Kart rides. Families should watch your email for sign up information in the coming days. 

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


Antique Car Run Pancake Breakfast


We have the opportunity to serve a pancake breakfast from 6:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 13th. We are looking for roughly 10 morning volunteers to make and serve pancakes, sausage, and fruit for this traditionally well attended event. Please contact Quentin if you can help!



11th - Rally Sunday

14th - Confirmation Orientation

18th - 1st Day of Sunday School

21st - Wednesday Programming Begins



Theology on Fire - Join us each summer Wednesday at 6:30pm for casual campfire conversations about any matters of faith, God, and life.  Of course there will be s'mores! "Peep" sandwiches while supplies last!

Bring your own folding chair!

Peace Book Club:

Book Club Selection for


The Extraordinary Life

of Sam Hell

by Robert Dugoni



August 25th

10:00 a.m.

Fireside Room

All are welcome!
These books can be signed out from the office. Please contact Jane for further information!

Mission Committee:

Peace Lutheran is a Stuff the Bus drop off location!

Please bring in donations to the marked tote in the Gathering Space. Monetary donations can be dropped off in the office.

Missionary for A Day
Peace’s ELCA missionary is the Rev. Dr. Elisabeth Johnson. She serves as a professor at the Lutheran Institute of Theology in Cameroon, West Africa. Pastor Elisabeth has visited at Peace on a home visit, and she preached one Sunday at a Sibley Park service. In February, we introduced a new opportunity to support her ministry. Forms will be available in the church office and online where you can choose a date to sponsor her in honor of, or in memory of, someone or some event. A gift of $7.00 per day you choose will help with her support. Checks may be made to “Peace – ELCA Missionary.” Please keep her in your prayers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dates Sponsored AUGUST

6th - In Memory of Mack (Todd & Kris Mattson)

8th - In Celebration of Granddaughter Quinn's Birthday (Mike & Linda Lagergren)

9th - In Celebration of Our Anniversary (Art & Brenda Wiese)

13th - In Celebration of Leonard & Linda's Anniversary (The Nelsons)

14th - In Celebration of Addison's Birthday (Jared Voge)



To pick your dates, Click Here!



Christian Service Day of Quilting

The next date will be August 4th 9am in the Fellowship Hall.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17TH at 1:00 p.m.

(Meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month)

In the Fireside Room


Here is my July Church Council report to the Peace Congregation for July2022.

FINANCES: You may remember that in June I reported a drop in our May offering and thus our expenses exceeded our income. Well some good news, we rebounded in June, so now we are close to income meeting expenses. Like always, give to Peace as your financial situation allows. Thank you!!

STORM DAMAGE: Our Church Building did receive considerable damage from the May/June severe weather. Mike Lagergren reported that the insurance company has been good to work with and as a result we will be getting a new roof. The Council hired John Stone Construction of Spicer as our contractor. The work will probably be done in the Spring of 2023 due to work schedule and supply chain issues etc. Stone Construction has done a temporary shingle fix that should carry us through the winter. Owners, John and Jenny Stone, are members of Peace Lutheran. There was other storm damage that will be fixed that I won’t list, but the roof was the big one.

PEACE BUS: It would really to helpful to restart the Peace Bus service that brings people to church who otherwise have no way of getting there. That said we need volunteers, a coordinator and volunteer drivers. Give volunteering some thought.

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN: The Stewardship Committee is planning a Capital Campaign Fund Raiser this fall advised by Brenda Moore and Associates. Everything is in the planning stage, but more information will be forthcoming in the near future.

FALL PROGRAMMING: The church staff has been busy planning our church program offerings that start anew at the end of summer. Watch the Church Bulletin and Peace Weekly Updates for more information.

KITCHEN REMODELING: The council voted to spend $500 to remove the kitchen cabinet above the open area of the kitchen looking into the Fellowship Hall. The $500 includes fixing the ceiling above the removed cabinet. The removed cabinet is just that, one long cabinet, not two shorter ones bolted together. What is still useable will be moved to a new as of yet undetermined location. As I wrote last month, the council is aware of the desire of many members of our church to do some updating to the kitchen. The Kitchen Committee has a plan for moving and storing the mostly unused items presently stored in the soon to be removed cabinet.

PRE SCHOOL/DAY CARE: A Loving Arms Pre-School program at Peace Lutheran moves closer to reality. The program parent is Vinge Lutheran in Willmar and their council has approved our church as a future site. Faith Lutheran in Spicer already has the program operating in their church.

JUST FOR KICKS: The Just for Kicks dance classes will again rent gym space from Peace. The program operates classes on Monday and Thursday evenings.

EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE: The council approved the ELCA Primary Health Plan Option for our church employees. This is something we do every year.

MEMORIAL TRUST COMMITTEE: Our Memorial Trust Committee has been inactive of late with no money distributed in the last three years. A new committee has been formed to revitalize Memorial Trust. The committee members are Sherri Bezdichek, Shari Christiansen, Mike Collins, Linda Nelson and Carol Walker.

RETREAT: The council will not hold a regular meeting in August. Rather, we will use a retreat format with no official church business on our agenda. This will be a time for thinking and planning. Because of this, I will not write a Council Report for the September VOP. My next report will appear in the October VOP.

This concludes my report. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Cliff Gesellchen, Council President

2022 Church Council                                                                                     
Cliff Gesellchen, President -
Kevin Acquard -
Jon Austvold -
David Feist -
Margaret Knisley -
Melanie Netland -
Gail Olson -
Carol Roverud -
Mary Semmler -
Jennifer Stone -
Melissa Straus -
Raelin Van Meter -


Did you see the beautiful quilt donated to Green Lake Lutheran Ministries' Quilt Auction by our very own Peace Quilter's group?!  This one featured hand embroidery!  

Are You a Thrivent Member? 

Contact Pastor Linda to confirm you are listed on our congregational member list.

Meals on Wheels Drivers Needed this summer!!

If you can help, please call Stacy Adams: 320-796-5208

Opportunity to impact young lives!

Young people from the Czech Republic, Germany, Bolivia, Spain, Mexico, Italy, and other countries are in need of host families. These young people will be enrolling in local high schools for the 2022-2023 school year, but are in need of host families willing to open their hearts and homes. It is a great opportunity for families, with or without children, to make a huge impact on a young person’s life, experience and learn about another culture, and make life-long international relationships.. All the students are 15-18 years old, speak English, are covered by medical insurance, and have their own spending money for their personal expenses. Families are asked to provide food, lodging and love!. For more information or to apply call Bryan Blomker at 320-974-3673 or email at

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 1:00 p.m.

Other Important Dates Coming Up!

  • 1st - 4th - VBS Day Camp
  • 4th - 9:00 a.m. Peace Quilter's Christian Day of Service
  • 7th - 10:30 a.m. Backyard Worship at Peace (No Worship at Shores)
  • 7th - 11:30 a.m. Potluck & Fellowship
  • 8th - 11th - Family Canoe Trip
  • 13th - 6:00--8:30 a.m. Antique Car Run Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser 
  • 16th - 5:30 p.m. Executive Committee
  • 16th - 6:30  p.m. - Church Council
  • 17th - 1:00 p.m. Prayer Shawl Ministry Meeting 
  • 17th - 2-4:00 p.m. Middle School Big Kahuna Outing
  • 25th - 10:00 a.m. Book Club Discussion
  • 25th - 6:30 p.m. MOP (Mission of Peace) Team Meeting
Staff Email addresses:

Pastor Todd:

Pastor Linda:

Jane Wardell:

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