Office and Mail: 9 Mercer Avenue
North Plainfield, NJ 07060
An ELCA Congregation
A Reconciling in Christ Congregation
The Rev. Sara Kay Olson-Smith, Pastor
St. Peters Lutheran Church Congregation ClosedOn November 1st, 2009, All Saints Sunday, we, the congregation of St. Peters Lutheran Church, North Plainfield, NJ, held our final regularly scheduled 10:30 a.m. Service of Holy Communion. As was our tradition, on the first Sunday of each month, the service followed Setting 5, Bread of Life, from With One Voice, A Lutheran Resource for Worship. Attending the service were 45 members of the congregation, with The Rev. Sara Olson-Smith leading worship (to read her sermon - see below). St. Peters Choir sang the beautiful O Sing of Peace, by Jean Anne Shafferman. Memories were shared by a number of members, as also had been done during the past two Sunday morning services. The church bell was rung to remember all the faithfully departed, and especially those who have died in the past year. Assisting in the service were Mary Ann Schwarz, Director of Music; Dominique Pasquarello, Acolyte; Pat Shebey, Reader; Communion Assistant, Pat Johnston; and Altar Guild, Linda Nietman.
At 3:00 p.m., with Bishop E. Roy Riley, Bishop of the New Jersey Synod, ELCA, presiding, a Service of Thanksgiving and Completion of Ministry, was held in St. Peters sanctuary. The congregation was surrounded by the presence and prayers of friends, neighbors, other congregations, and pastors.
Assisting Ministers were The Rev. Scott Schantzenbach and The Rev. Judith Spindt, Assistants to the Bishop. The Rev. Sara Olson-Smith, Pastor of St. Peters Lutheran Church presented the sermon for this special service (to read her sermon - see below). Other participants included Mary Ann Schwarz, Director of Music; Cecil Covin, Acolyte; Evelyn Troy, Reader of the History; Linda Nietman, Lesson Reader and Altar Guild; The Rev. Jeff Laustsen, Cantor; and The Rev. Gunnar L. Anderson, Pastor Emeritus, Prayers.
Hymns included For All the Saints, O God Our Help in Ages Past, Children of the Heavenly Father, Blest Be the Tie That Binds, Bread of Life From Heaven, and Now Thank We All Our God. St. Peters Choir anthem was the beautiful The Prayer (with Lead Us Lord, by Samuel S. Wesley) by Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster and Thomas Fettke, arranged by Thomas Fettke.
St. Peters Parish Register and Legacy Directives were received by Bishop E. Roy Riley. Membership records were received by The Rev. Clark Olson-Smith, Pastor of St. Stephens Lutheran Church, South Plainfield. Pastor Olson-Smith also received St. Peters funeral pall and communion ware. Prayers of thanksgiving and sending were offered at the Pascal Candle, Baptismal Font, Altar, and Pulpit. Following a blessing from the Bishop, the combined choirs of St. Peters and St. Stephens Lutheran Churches sang the choral Benediction by Peter C. Lutkin. St. Peters Bell was then rung 117 times, once for each year of ministry in this place. Following the service, a reception was held in Fellowship Hall.
Important InformationAs the pastor of our designated receiving congregation, Pastor Clark Olson-Smith, St. Stephens Lutheran Church, South Plainfield, will be available for pastoral care and emergencies. He is available for those who decide to join St. Stephen as well as for those who need anything before they are able to find a new congregation in which to set down roots. His contact information is:
The Rev. Clark Olson-Smith
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
3145 Park Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
Office Phone: 908-757-4474
Cell Phone: 908-912-4707
For those accessing this web page, and seeking information regarding ELCA Lutheran Churches within the vicinity of St. Peters Lutheran Church, you may find that information by going to the web site of the New Jersey Synod ELCA:
Look for the link Find a Congregation, and type the Zip Code 07060 in the appropriate box. Links to other local congregations within a 10 mile radius will be provided, along with phone numbers, maps, and current ELCA information.
The remainder of St. Peters web site has remained unchanged as a memorial tribute to the good work in Christs name which was accomplished in this place in response to Gods free gift of Grace. Please feel free to browse our web pages. You can read Pastor Saras sermons for the past several months, highlights from our Friendly Messenger for the past 12 months, and, especially, the Special Final Issue.
Thank you for visiting us today. May God bless you and keep you, always, in Gods good and strong hands.
St. Peters Purpose Statement,
adopted January 27, 2008:
Loved by God, growing in faith, we are a place of welcome,
St. Peter's Lutheran Church has a number of beautiful stained glass windows which are available for viewing here.
Our Church remains an important part of our lives, because the GOOD NEWS that God, through Christ, loves us, forgives us, and is always with us means so much. Church is also a wonderful way to meet people, to strengthen family relationships, and to become involved in the community.
The LORDS SUPPER is celebrated on the first, third, and fifth Sunday of each month, as well as festival days.
Summer Schedule (late June - early September)...
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We take our name from Martin Luther, a priest who lived in Germany from 1483-1546. He became the key figure in the period of history known as the Reformation. As a young man, Luther was frightened of God, for the church taught that each person had to do things or pay money to earn Gods favor. Luther, realizing that he was not a perfect person (as none of us are), knew that he could never do enough or pay enough to deserve Gods love. And if not, then what? Eternal condemnation and punishment! A pretty scary thought.
Bible verses such as For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God made all the difference in the world to Luther. This verse is really a good summary of what it is to be a Lutheran. Since Gods love and forgiveness come to us as free gifts, we can live serving God not fearfully because we have to, but gratefully because we want to.
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Prepared by Walter G. and Lynn K. Blenderman;
since April 2, 1996.
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