Pastor’s Blog

Our Weekly News

Pastor's Blog

Peace “Meets the Moment” by Offering Space for LIRS Refugee Resettle Efforts
Peace “Meets the Moment” by Offering Space for LIRS Refugee Resettle Efforts

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services’ 2021 Annual Report highlighted its partnership with Peace in resettling newly arrived Afghans. It also features Peace member Bill Penoyer, who is an LIRS ambassador.  Read the 2021 LIRS Annual Report to learn more about national refugee resettlement efforts and Peace’s involvement.  Supporting the resettlement of newly arrived Afghans, LIRS established a temporary office at…

Pastor Sarah Writes Op-Ed in Washington Post Urging Youngkin to stay in the RGGI
Pastor Sarah Writes Op-Ed in Washington Post Urging Youngkin to stay in the RGGI

The Rev. Sarah Scherschligt, a senior pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria, and Rachel Rhodes, cantor at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, write Governor Youngkin to stress the importance of climate change as a matter of faith and ask him to continue Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Read the Op-Ed at the Washington Post. 

Eating with the Wrong People?
Eating with the Wrong People?

In the gospel, Jesus listens to some folks grumbling that he is eating with the wrong people.  He tells them stories about a shepherd who goes after one lost sheep, and a woman who searches for one lost coin.

Making Hard Choices As A Disciple
Making Hard Choices As A Disciple

Jesus tell his followers that to be a disciple requires hard choices. Hate your father and mother.  Give up your possessions.

What’s Your Vocation?
What’s Your Vocation?

In Luther’s time, only monks, nuns and priests were considered to have a vocation. Luther expanded the idea of vocation to all people, even people who did menial work that was disrespected in society.

Listening for the Gospel
Listening for the Gospel

This week, the Lutheran theme is “Law and Gospel.”  People often misunderstand this concept, thinking that the law is bad and the gospel is good. Others misunderstand it by thinking that some parts of scripture are “law” and others are “gospel.” 

What Does the Cross Mean to You?
What Does the Cross Mean to You?

If you’re so inclined, I suggest this activity. Take 5-10 mins. First, pray to understand more about the cross of Jesus. Then journal what the cross means to you. (I’d love to hear what you come up with.)

The Freedom of a Christian
The Freedom of a Christian

Freedom. This word is often understood as being unconstrained, as in: “I can do what I want.” For Christians, freedom means something different. 

Gift of Grace
Gift of Grace

Grace.  If I could summarize the Christian faith in one word it would be Grace. Grace means getting what you don’t deserve, in a good way. It means being loved even when you feel unlovable; being forgiven when you are still steeped in guilt; being healed when you are incapable of healing yourself. This week, I start a summer series on Lutheran…

Claim the Spirit
Claim the Spirit

If you have been disturbed to the point of tears these past days, you are not alone. Words are inadequate to express my outpouring of grief and anger at the consistent horror of preventable gun deaths. The question so many people – including myself – are asking is “how can this get better?”  No one wants to live in a world where going to…

Community Saves Lives
Community Saves Lives

I haven’t known exactly what to say in light of the multiple mass shootings last weekend. The one in Buffalo is a special brand of horror, with its combination of white supremacy, internet-fueled isolation and easy access to assault rifles. Again I find myself asking, what does our faith have to say about this?  A few things come to mind.…

Why doesn’t God heal us all?
Why doesn’t God heal us all?

A question we have all asked at some point and especially over the course of the past two years during the worldwide pandemic: Why doesn’t God heal us all? This may be the most daunting question in Christian theology. For the sixth week of Easter, Pastor Sarah reflects on the universal and personal application of God’s love. Read the full…

The Command of Love
The Command of Love

As of this week, 1 million people have died in the United States from COVID-19. After the 10:30 service on Sunday, we will ring the church bell twelve times.  Once for each hundred thousand people and two extra times for the two members of Peace who died from COVID-19. All week I’ve been going through news articles from the early…

Love and Grace Win the Day
Love and Grace Win the Day

Peter is hardly the first person to challenge the status quo because of something God told him in a dream. In this reflection for the 5th week of Easter published in the Christian Century, Pastor Sarah asks the hard questions: What do you need to do to be part of Jesus’ community? What rituals do you need to participate in?…

Living in the After
Living in the After

Christians are sometimes called “an Easter people.”  That means we are always in the after.  Even when we don’t live like it, and even when the world still seems to “groan in pain,” the resurrected Jesus has changed everything.  

Community is Key
Community is Key

Indeed, for Christians, community is key to almost everything we do.  Easter is a time when we not only rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus, we also rejoice that through his resurrection, Jesus rebuilt the community that would become the earliest church.  

The Smallest Bit of Hope
The Smallest Bit of Hope

Hope is a word that gets thrown around a lot, especially at Easter.  It’s an encouraging and powerful thing, hope. But, let’s be real. Sometimes it is hard to muster even the smallest bit of hope. Every year at Easter I am reminded of the same, simple, powerful truth: The resurrection of Jesus was all God’s doing. People had lost all hope…

Neighbor2Neighbor Celebration of Nowruz (Afghan New Year)
Neighbor2Neighbor Celebration of Nowruz (Afghan New Year)

On a cold, rainy March 26,2022, around 70 participants in the Neighbor2Neighbor (formerly called Homework Club)  program gathered at Peace Lutheran Church to celebrate Nowruz, the Afghan New Year. The group included approximately 12 Afghan families and many of the volunteers who have worked with them as tutors or mentors or have provided household furnishings, books, toys, children’s clothing, rides or donations.

One Shot, One Opportunity
One Shot, One Opportunity

Thank you to everyone who helped Peace host Memorial services for Susan DeHaven, Erin Messner, as well as the Memorial prayer for Sophia Katamba’s father.  Peace offered Christ-like hospitality and comfort to many grieving people. Last Sunday, my sermon was about the worldview of the Eminem Song “Lose Yourself,” which says you have to seize your one shot.  On the surface this…

Death is Never the End
Death is Never the End

This weekend Peace will host Memorial Services for Peace members Susan DeHaven and Erin Messner on Saturday.  We will also have a special Memorial Prayer and fellowship for Sophia Katamba’s father, who passed away in Tanzania on January 18th.  It’s a time of grief as well as a time to thank God for the amazing people that have been “companions in…

Our Need for Healing
Our Need for Healing

Author: Pastor Sarah Four years ago, I tore my ACL.  After the surgery, I felt like I would never walk again, much less recover full use of my leg.  It took a year of physical therapy, but eventually I healed.  From time-to-time, however, my knee starts to act up. This means I need to get back to the basics: stretching,…

Reading of the Word
Reading of the Word

Every time we gather for worship, we hear Scripture read out loud. This is an unusual practice.  After all, I’m almost certain that every adult in our congregation is literate and has access to Scripture on the phone in their pockets. Why waste time having someone read to us, out loud, like we are preschoolers? The Bible passages we’ll hear…

What Has ‘Run Out’ In Your Life?
What Has ‘Run Out’ In Your Life?

Last week I preached about worship. I asked you to focus attention on what it means to you to worship God. I pointed out how amazing it was that the wise men recognized the toddler Jesus as someone who was worthy of worship.  They were changed when they worshiped him.  We are too. This week we will hear Jesus’ first…

Pastor Sarah Scherschligt’s Remarks at the ribbon cutting for the new LIRS office at Peace
Pastor Sarah Scherschligt’s Remarks at the ribbon cutting for the new LIRS office at Peace

The following were Pastor Sarah S Scherschligt’s Remarks at the ribbon cutting for the new LIRS field office at Peace Lutheran. December 16, 2021 Greetings honored guests, In the evening of Friday, October 8 – just over two months ago – I was in my car with my family driving to our church retreat when a colleague of mine sent…

The Season of Hospitality
The Season of Hospitality

This is a season of hospitality. You will welcome others and you will be welcomed.  The Christian tradition has a long history of hospitality, with commands to “welcome the stranger (i.e.. foreigner)” repeated throughout Scripture and practiced throughout faith communities. 

The Same Words, A Different Story
The Same Words, A Different Story

Kids often ask for the same book to be read over and over (and over!) again.  They are comforted by familiar words and pictures.  Because they are developing so rapidly, they experience the story differently from reading to reading; understanding a new word, connecting the plot, enjoying a character they hadn’t noticed before.  They hear the same words, but they don’t hear the same story.  

“Roll Out The Red Carpet”
“Roll Out The Red Carpet”

Have you ever been welcomed as if you are the most important person in the world? Can you think of someone who eased your way through a difficult time? I encourage you to pray about who might need you to give them the red carpet treatment.

Veteran’s Day
Veteran’s Day

Today is Veteran’s Day. We honor those who have served in our military, including many of you and your families.  Please join me in this Veteran’s Day prayer:
Almighty and ever-living God, we give you thanks for the people who have served and defended our country and the values of freedom and justice we hold so dear…

All Saints Day
All Saints Day

Sunday is All Saints Day.  We will light candles as we read the litany of saints who have died.  It is always a holy and beautiful commemoration.