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Pastor's Piece:

Pastor's Piece - From John C. Holliday

I recently had my first taste of jury duty! While I didn't get picked to sit on an actual case, I found the process to be quite interesting. It reinforced my gratitude to be a citizen of this country. I also had the good fortune of meeting a very kind man while walking from the courthouse. He is an attorney, and he appeared to be in his late twenties. We talked about the long hours that attorneys must serve, but then our conversation turned to religion. His background is Christian, and he currently has a church home. He was, however, interested in the Lutheran tradition and our congregation here at Prince of Peace. I mentioned the great people we have here, our unusual church architecture and our progressive approach to worship with the Band of Peace. "Do you have a band in your congregation?" I asked. "What church doesn't have a band?" was the response he gave. Perhaps as a congregation we may not be as progressive as I thought!

I found it noteworthy that a talented, young professional like this man took it almost as a "given" that a congregation would have a band. Having a band has been a wonderful, relatively recent development in our faith home. It was, however, new to many of us who have worshiped without a band for much of our life. While a band may be something new to those of us who have known the Lutheran tradition for many decades, our "traditional music and instrumental forms" may be methods that are mostly foreign to those we are trying to reach with the good news of Jesus Christ. I remember how Deaconess Hertha Fischer would occasionally suggest that too often the church functions as the "taillights" rather than the "headlights" regarding important issues. It is truly a delicate balance in the life of faith that we try to obtain. How can we be anchored by our faith in Jesus Christ, the rock of our salvation, yet remain flexible and nimble enough to proclaim His gospel in ways that a wider audience can truly hear and understand?

One of the many blessing for which I am grateful is the varied ways that we have found to worship the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, in spirit and in truth here at Prince of Peace. Our gifted Director of Music, Barbara Fitzgerald, has found a way to lead our local worship that is truly "eclectic." Eclectic speaks to a rich diversity in form which gives witness to what the church can be at its best. We are blessed to have a talented group of musicians comprising our band. We have wonderful singers in that group as well as in our choir. We have the flexibility to use piano or organ to support the congregation's worship. We have a rich traditional hymnody that teaches the lessons of scripture and helps to unite us with the countless saints who have lived before us. All these efforts are aimed at creating the right environment for hearing God's Word and receiving the blessed sacraments. I thank you as well for your part in Prince of Peace's worship. I thank you for your faithfulness, flexibility and willingness to explore for the sake of Jesus' mission in this congregation. Whatever the genre of music may be, it is always the crucified and resurrected Christ experienced

- Pastor John Holliday

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