Are you affiliated with a particular denomination?
Yes; for accountability purposes Peace is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We realize that practices vary significantly between LCMS congregations, and we would be happy to meet with you and discuss how the Bible is lived out in our church. Feel free to contact one of our pastors with your questions.
Do you have a dress code? What should I wear to Peace?
We believe that God is more concerned with your heart than what you wear - so wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Dress on Sunday varies greatly. Worshippers at our 8:15 a.m. service often dress up, while those at our contemporary services wear jeans and khakis.
Do I have to be a Lutheran to attend Peace?
No, you don't. No matter your spiritual background - whether you grew up in a non-religious family, in another Christian church body, or even in another religion entirely - we invite you to worship at Peace and decide whether this faith community will best serve you. We do ask all attenders considering membership to go through a new member class, which includes those Christian teachings that are distinctively Lutheran in perspective. We want you to have a clear understanding about what we teach before becoming a member.
Am I required to give money to Peace?
We have no giving requirements in order to attend or become a member at Peace. However, we do on a regular basis encourage Peace participants to give generously to Peace and to other ministries. We stress the importance of giving for three reasons:
- Growing as a generous giver is important to the process of you becoming more like Jesus;
- We want you to have the joy of being a part of God's work beyond your individual service here in the Chippewa Valley and around the world;
- We rely on contributions to fund our mission here at Peace.
Do I have to be a member to take communion at Peace?
No, you don't. There are Lutheran churches that require church membership to commune as a way of ensuring a higher degree of unity among those communing. However, at Peace, we don't want to have a human rule (church membership) stand in the way of a gift of God's grace (His undeserved love and desire). We do, however, desire that you come to communion as one trusting in Jesus as your Savior and believing that He gives you Himself in the Lord's Supper. Here is our communion statement: Lutheran Christians view the Lord's Supper as more than a way of remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that through His Supper Jesus offers Himself, providing His body and blood in a supernatural way and offering us complete forgiveness and the power to lead a more godly life. If you trust in Jesus as your Savior and share this understanding of Christ's presence and power in his Supper, we invite you to participate with us. If you have not received any instruction on the Lord's Supper from a Lutheran perspective, we encourage you to go through a new member or a first-communion class before participating.
What is the Trinity?
"The Trinity" is our limited human way of describing the nature of God as He has revealed himself in the Bible. (Note that the Bible writers and Jesus Himself use male designations - "Father" and "Son" as well as male pronouns - to refer to God, but God Himself is beyond gender; Jesus said, "God is Spirit." [John 4:4]) God has revealed Himself as "one," of one essence and nature, plan and purpose. Yet God also has revealed himself as "three," three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three divine persons are so connected, so much of one mind, bonded in perfect love, that they are not three separate beings, but one. Thus the Christian Church has through the centuries referred to God as a "tri-unity," or Trinity. This means that God is in His very essence a relational being: in eternal relationship with Himself and desiring a relationship with the people He has created in His image. The ancient leaders of the church referred to the Trinity as perichoresis, literally a "dance" to which God invites us. Perichoresis means being-in-one-another, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit drawing life from one another and giving us opportunity to share in His divine life.
Does God really care what happens in my life?
One of the most important breakthroughs in a personal spiritual journey is to affirm that God is more than merely a distant observer (for example, in the pop song "From a Distance") but is a Savior and Friend. One of the more common views of God in American society is that of "deism." Deists believe that God exists and that He started everything, but now He is sitting back watching and judging. This is not the God of the Bible! The recurring theme in the Bible is that God desires to be "with us." He came to this earth in the person of Jesus so that the sin which separated us from God could be forgiven and an eternal relationship established. Jesus Himself said: "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20, NIV) This God who is "with us" cares deeply about our life's circumstances but even more about our faith and faithfulness, our character and contribution. He allows us to go through troubles and trials so that we will recognize our need for him and grow to be more like Jesus. Ours is a God who knows the details of our lives. The ancient Hebrew poet wrote, "You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord." (Psalm 139:3-4, NIV) And this same God loves us and wants what is best for us. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28, NIV)