Souper Studies begin Wednesdays @ 5 pm

We will be studying the life of St. Peter using the book Simeon Peter – Flawed but Faithful Disciple by Adam Hamilton as our basis along with a video produced by him.

In this week’s Gospel (Mark 8:31-38) Peter and Jesus in a heated discussion.

The point of the discussion is Jesus saying that he will “suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.”  Do note that Jesus does have Good News in this prediction. After three days he will be raised. Sadly, that seems to get little attention from Peter. He is focused on the first part about suffering and rejection and death. Peter’s first step is a good one. He takes Jesus aside from the rest. When we have something against another person, Jesus suggests in Matthew 18 to take them aside. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.” Kudos to Peter for a good start to the discussion. Peter thought he was at the top of his game when he just had confessed Jesus to be “the Christ” (Mark 8:29).  Sadly, the conversation turns south because Peter cannot reconcile the Christ being a person who would suffer. Should not the Messiah be above it all as he conquers every form of evil? Throughout history people have looked for leaders who would take on evil and dictate the better future. Just this month in El Salvador President Nayib Bukele was reelected to office and his New Ideas party won a supermajority in Congress. He took on the gangs that were terrorizing the population and reduced the number of murders in by half. But in the process, he has jailed 1% of the population, some of whom were innocents caught up in the net of arrests. After the attacks of October 7 by Hamas on Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared war on Hamas. In attempting to wipe out Hamas, nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, many are woman and children. We saw this week that dictators like Vladimir Putin, who offered stability to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, also offer death to those who oppose them. Yevgeny Prigozhin who challenged Putin was killed. Now, Aleksei Navalny is dead as well. People mourning his death are rounded up and arrested. I am sure that as Mark was writing his gospel, part of him yearned with Peter for a Messiah that would clean up the messes of the world. In his day the Romans were starving the residents of Jerusalem with a nearly five-month siege of the capital. Is not it time for the Christ to come and end the terror? Many of the authors of the New Testament hoped now would be the time.

What to do? Jesus rebukes Peter in our text saying: “Get behind me, Satan. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” We read from the story of Noah last Sunday. It teaches us that obliterating evil from the world is not really a possibility. Just months after the landing of the ark evil begins to run through Noah’s family. God promises in a rainbow not to do that again, it did not work. In Matthew 13, Jesus offers a parable explaining the problem. He makes clear that separating the wheat from the weeds is not easy. If we in anger, go tearing away at unwanted plants much of the crop is lost.

What to do? Believe in the last part of the prediction that Jesus will rise again. Our acts of Love will rise again. We will rise again.

What to do? Jesus offers this advice: Be willing to suffer for the good. Those who give themselves for the sake of the Good News will save their lives. Will the legacy of Aleksei Navalny survive? His wife has taken up his mantle.

We will discover in our Wednesday night classes Peter’s legacy lives on. Through many twists, turns and failures, Peter came to believe the truth Jesus spoke to him that day. Today billions of people look to him as an example of a faithful disciple.


Jesus you do not offer us a world at peace. You offer us the chance to be a part of bringing peace to your planet. May we like Peter heed the call and find fulfillment in it.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor John Bunge

Souper Studies on the Life of Peter in the Fireside room @ 5 pm. We will be using Adam Hamilton’s book Simon Peter. 

Time of Meditation –Nelson Hall is leading a time of prayer and meditation on Thursdays @ 1 pm. All are invited to join this group in a time of unity in prayer. We will also be praying through the prayer list for that Sunday.

LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th.

Pastor will in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays through March.

Confirmation Classes meet each week at 11:15 am.

Next Pantry – February 24. Thanks for your response with grocery bags.

Pick up – Thanks to Joe Koenig, our current saintly man of Faith, who picks up the food from Feeding America on Thursday mornings at 6 am. We could use a backup just in case. Let Carol know if you are interested.


Choir – We practice at 9:00 am before services.

Adult Class – Nelson Hall is leading a class on Meditation and Prayer on Wednesdays @ 1 pm.

WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study will be March 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room.

QUILTING – Emily Smith’s Group (909.255.2452) has completed 16 for Central City Lutheran Mission and 6 for Lutheran World Relief. They also gave 23 lap quilts to Smiles Seniors of Yucaipa.

Praise for your Prayers

Jeanne passed her gall stones without the need for surgery.

We pray that Kim Guevarra’s brother Jim stem calls continue to be healthy and multiply. Kim’s mother Carol is in Canada waiting tests.

Brenda Batt’s grandson Bronson has not had a headache for a few weeks. Thanks for the prayers.


  • Eloise was hospitalized over Christmas but is home recovering. Her blood pressure is coming down.
  • The Koenig Family –Jeanne’s stint is draining the accumulating spinal fluid which is affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills, but needs our continued prayers. We are also praying for daughter, Jessica, her leukemia leaves her tired. Lucas is in our prayers.
  • Erwin appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda.
  • Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, suffering from cancer.
  • Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle.
  • The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for themselves and the twins.
  • Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.


We will be expanding the bulletin board in the Fireside Room so we can display lots of pictures of Faith in action. If you have any that you have taken, please forward via email to Debi Hitter, She will print them for the bulletin board and pass them on to Lauren for the website.


4th SUNDAY FEBRUARY 25          11:00 – meatballs and muffins

GAME TIME             11:20- 12:00 – PLAN TO PLAY BINGO!!!!!!


If you have any items– male, female, younger teens, kids — that could be used for prizes, please mark Bingo and leave on the pew in office.

We will be playing several times in the year, so please help us with small – medium prizes. –before you give away items, please consider us your Good Will Mission – We have a place to store them. Thanks!

March 3 – WELCA            

March 10 – 75 Anniversary Thank Recognition for Fellowship and Quilters – Paula and Aiden will provide their fabulous Ramon Soup. Karen will provide the Chocolate Cake. We want to thank our quilters and fellowship team.