Broken & Beautiful
2023 ANNUAL REPORT
But the work isn't done! Prince of Peace has long stood for inclusion and acceptance, but this year the church took steps to formalize its commitment. The church is now a Reconciling in Christ church and has a new statement of welcome to go along with it. The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) program started in 1983 as a way for Lutheran organizations to publicly express their support for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. There are now 1055 RIC...
Check back to read more featured stories to be published in the days ahead.
A Letter from the Congregation’s President
We began 2023 with a new vision of “a vibrant community that seeks a transformational relationship with God, our neighbors, and one another. In this report, you will find many stories of our vibrant community that tell of those transformational relationships.
I have my own stories – about how sheer faith got me through a difficult presentation to the Roseville city council approval for our Sacred Settlement, about the fun of drawing caricatures at our PoP-Up Carnival, my delight in the involvement of our children and youth in the life of our congregation, and more – but my stories are only a small part of our larger story.
“We’ve a story to tell to the nations” is one of my favorite old hymns. It has a great uplifting message and a tune to match. Prince of Peace has a story to tell, to our neighbors and broader community. As the song says, it’s “a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light”. It is a story of how we seek to “respond authentically, creatively, and justly to the most compelling needs of our community.”
In the past year, our congregation council has finished work on updating our constitution and bylaws. These changes will streamline our organization to help us meet the challenges ahead. This work on “liberating structures”, as we have called it, doesn’t make for good stories. But it will help us steward our time and talents to create more stories of God at work among us.
And for my closing hymn… “You will know we are Christian by our love.”
-Michael Stetzler, Congregation President
We are claimed, gathered, and sent to build the Church and love the World.
Our vision is for a vibrant community that seeks a transformational relationship with God, our neighbors, and one another, while responding authentically, creatively, and justly to the most compelling needs of our community.
More Ministry Stories
Reports from our staff and ministry leaders.
Things don’t always go according to plan. Guests arrived at the appointed time, spreading Christmas cheer while sipping holiday punch. Santa warmly welcomed everyone and provided a fun lesson on the history of St. Nicholas before leading us in a devotion and table grace. English carolers strolled around, providing lovely background music as guests enjoyed their Scandinavian meatball dinner. So far, so good! But then, suddenly, we were
We had two benefit keyboard concerts at PoP in 2023. The 2 concerts benefited Every Meal and Planting Hope. Not only were the two organizations generously benefited, but those in attendance heard some wonderful piano and organ music. I’m so grateful to the keyboardists that gave their time and talent for these two…
Last summer while Pastor Peter was on sabbatical, Pastor Walter Still led us on a 7-week journey through the book of Revelation. Because this last book of the New Testament is so little known to most of us, often misunderstood and misused, we wanted to offer opportunities to study and appreciate it. The worship services centered around the texts and gave us an appreciation of well-known hymns and liturgy inspired by this strange book. Two book discussion groups met…
When Caryn and I travelled to Tanzania in September, we once again were honored and so grateful to represent Prince of Peace. It was a unique experience this time since we were the lone ambassadors to our partners of Bomalang’ombe and Vikongwa.. We missed the benefits of being part of a larger group but were still so energized by Prince of Peace’s amazing support and generosity as we were sent on our way.
The Campus Planning Task Force involved between 10-20 participants every other week from April 2023 to January 2024. For some, decisions were too slow and for others, appropriate caution prevailed. From Solar energy considerations to various forms of housing meant to address the needs of people, a deep commitment to the ministry of PoP was evident. Participants were thoughtful, faithful and committed to the task.
One of the purposes of the Prince of Peace Befrienders is to show concern for those in the congregation who are grieving a death or loss, sick, homebound, or are experiencing a joyous event such as having a baby.
One way this has happened is through the Prayer Shawl Ministry which Donna Gramstad and others started many years ago.
Do you know that Cub Scout Troop 150 uses our church for their headquarters? I didn’t and I’m not sure how many of our members do. A few years ago I was nominated for the church grounds position. I wasn’t aware of how much effort is involved with keeping the church property looking good. As I started the first spring I noticed an awful lot of sticks and branches on the ground…
There is so much wonderful Christmas music. Even with our special Christmas services in December, including Lessons and Carols and Christmas Eve, I can’t seem to get in all the Christmas music I’d like to play. So I thought of reviving an idea from a past church of mine-Noel at Noon.
I’ve enjoyed playing pickleball for about ten years. It’s a sport that almost anyone can play as we age. When I joined PoP one year ago, I asked Pastor Peter if I could start a beginner pickleball group in our gym. He gave his enthusiastic approval. Soon a net was donated by the Warkentien family and the Monday morning work crew taped the court (thank you to all). I was able to find used paddles and purchased pickle balls. We were ready.
What more could we hope for, for those of us who make music with bells or voices at Prince of Peace—that we sing or ring from the heart, and what is produced is like fresh air and food for our souls and the souls of those who listen. This is why we do what we do; why we put in many hours of rehearsal and work at making the notes right and unifying our sound. It’s so the music itself can speak through us—without us getting in the way.
On our large campus we’ve been fortunate to have congregation members who are willing to step forward to help initiate and maintain several gardens.
Much excites me about Prince of Peace. I admit, when we first returned during the final throws of Covid, my first impression was one of mostly old people circling the columbarium waiting to move in. Sure the reaching was solid, pretty much a given in an ELCA congregation, but still, like the kids in Lake Woebegone, above average. Then we attended a couple of…
THIS IS WHAT WE VALUE…
We welcome all of God’s children through open doors to be in RELATIONSHIP with one another and with God in ever deepening ways.
We respond with GENEROSITY to the world, reflecting the abundance of God’s love present in our lives and made available to all.
CARING for each other, our neighbors and all of God’s creation as we are inspired to offer genuine compassion and love.
We nurture the FAITH given to each of us, listening for how God’s story informs our own and practicing our response.
We are always LEARNING, remaining curious about God’s ever-changing world and our place within it.
Addendum to the Annual Report
Reports from our partners in ministry & detailed financial reports of the congregation.