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Pastor's Blog

Lent Begins
Lent Begins

Typically in Lent, people either give something up or take on something. In an effort to pay attention to the right things, I intend to give up…

Let Your Light So Shine
Let Your Light So Shine

“Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.”

What is God Calling You Toward?
What is God Calling You Toward?

When Jesus called the fishermen who would become his disciples to “follow,” there must have been something so compelling that they left everything and went. What was it? Certainly, the man was unlike anyone else – so full of love, joy and spirit – that they were drawn to him. But Jesus didn’t just draw people to himself for his own glory, like…

Peace celebrates ongoing partnership with LIRS, welcomes new partnership with REACT DC
Peace celebrates ongoing partnership with LIRS, welcomes new partnership with REACT DC

In October of 2021, Peace responded to the call from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to create a temporary field office to help resettle Afghans who were evacuated under great duress and brought almost nothing with them. In the past year, LIRS resettled over 1400 people through their offices at Peace. Watch this moving video to see what God was…

What are you looking for?
What are you looking for?

“What are you looking for?” As we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, I imagine his response to that question.

Allow the Light
Allow the Light

Tomorrow, we enter the season of Epiphany, which means revelation. Just as sunlight helps us see more clearly, as God is revealed to us, we more clearly sense God’s presence and trust God’s love. Then, we let it shine through us. As we have done in the past (pre-Covid!), each Sunday in Epiphany will feature a “Ministry Moment” where we hear about a…

Peace Hosts Arlington Chorale for Afghan Holiday Party
Peace Hosts Arlington Chorale for Afghan Holiday Party

The Arlington Chorale recently invited Afghan families to holiday party featuring holiday music and crafts. Believing that music can be a vehicle for creating community engagement and understanding, the Chorale strives to build community through music.

Peace is Possible
Peace is Possible

Advent is the season where we wait and watch for God’s presence to be made known. Anticipation grows as we count down to Christmas. It’s an exciting time of year. For the church, it is also meant to be a time of repentance and introspection – a little Lent – as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus. This year,…

The Blessing of Life Together
The Blessing of Life Together

On the cross, Jesus was asked a question that he was also asked at the beginning of his ministry: “why don’t you save yourself?”

Who will I be, after I die?
Who will I be, after I die?

As a pastor, I am occasionally asked questions about what happens to us after we die….I wish I had Jesus right here to ask.

“How is God Asking Me to Change?”
“How is God Asking Me to Change?”

This Sunday we celebrate Reformation Day. The change that Martin Luther catalyzed in the church five hundred years ago is not just a historical celebration; it is an ongoing ethos in the church.

A Note on “Indigenous People’s Celebration” Liturgy
A Note on “Indigenous People’s Celebration” Liturgy

When we used the “Indigenous People’s Celebration” liturgy last year for the first time, many people said how much they loved it. One person even commented that she’d never had her worldview so altered

The First of 400
The First of 400

Excerpts from Pastor Sarah’s Sermon on September 18, 2022, the ten-year anniversary of her call to Peace.

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…