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Welcome to

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, School & ECC

23000 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, Michigan
586-777-6300 / email:



School and Early Childhood Center Open House

Sunday, February 5th

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  

Meet the teachers, tour the building, and hear all the wonderful things St. Peter's has to offer!  

Click here to download a flyer to share with your family and friends!  


Scrapbooking/Crafting Day

12 Hour Scrapbooking & Craft Day Fundraiser

Saturday, February 25, 2017
9:00 am to 9:00 pm  

Early Bird Registration by January 31 
$30 per person (plus 2 door prize tickets) 

General Registration (Deadline February 19th)
$35 per person (plus 1 door prize ticket)

Half-day attendance available @ $20: time choice of 9 – 3 or 3 – 9.


Come craft, share your expertise and enjoy fellowship with other crafters.

Time to scrapbook, rubber stamp, knit, or work on next year’s Christmas gifts!

Lots of cropping and crafting space available!


Includes continental breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

(Lunch will be “your choice” sandwich from Jimmy John’s, Dinner = Pasta bar)

Click here for the registration form.   

Questions: email

Proceeds will help fund St. Peter’s Advent by Candlelight in December 2017.


Go Now In Peace

God’s faithful servant, John Riesenberger, was called home to be with his Lord earlier this morning. Our prayers are with Rose and the rest of the family as they mourn his loss. John’s visitation will be held at Peter’s Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe on Friday from 2-9pm. There will be one hour of viewing at the church on Saturday beginning at 10am with the funeral beginning at 11am.


Ways to Help Haiti 

Disaster responders plan more aid for victims of Hurricane Matthew


Homes lay in ruins after the passing of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 6. Two days after the storm rampaged across the country’s remote southwestern peninsula, authorities and aid workers still lack a clear picture of what they fear is the country’s biggest disaster in years. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

By Roger Drinnon

LCMS disaster responders continue to assess the capacity to provide additional aid for hurricane-battered Haiti while also determining the overall impact of Hurricane Matthew, as it makes its way up the U.S. southeastern coastline.

Thanks to compassionate people in the LCMS who respond generously in the wake of disasters, and using funds already on hand for disaster response work, two aircraft were chartered to airdrop some 60,000 packaged meals and supplies to the people in the hardest-hit areas of Haiti.

On Oct. 6, LCMS leaders approved a $10,000 grant to Mission in Ministry, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization (RSO) coordinating this vital airdrop. Another 60,000 meals were provided for by other partner organizations.

“We are looking to work through area RSOs most capable of facilitating additional aid to Haiti victims in the form of providing food and clean water, Lutheran spiritual care and also tin roofs for some 280,000 victims whose homes were ravaged by fierce winds,” said LCMS Disaster Response Director Rev. Ross Johnson.

“These RSOs have years of experience working in Haiti and have an understanding of its culture,” Johnson continued. “We do all of this in the name of Christ. Compassionate spiritual care provided in His name — a hallmark of all LCMS World Relief and Human Care efforts at their finest — distinguishes what the Church does from what government agencies do in responding to disasters like this.”

After strengthening to Category 5, Hurricane Matthew later became a Category-4 storm with reported destructive winds in excess of 140 miles per hour as it moved through the Caribbean.

Johnson estimates three tin roofs could be provided for roughly $1,000. To achieve a goal of only a few hundred roofs, the cost quickly goes up to six figures. He also estimates that a half-million meals could cost about $300,000 to purchase, ship and distribute, noting that the extent of the Synod’s response is contingent upon what God provides through the Church.

Hurricane Matthew comes as LCMS Disaster Response resources have been strained this year amid the ongoing response to the recent flooding in Baton Rouge, La., and after the Synod’s response to this year’s California wildfires.

“In the midst of such terrible destruction, the Church has the opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet, responding to the needs of the suffering,” said LCMS Disaster Response Manager Rev. Michael Meyer. “At the same time, the Church is making the bold confession that Christ is here in the midst of suffering, walking with those who are suffering, weeping with those who are weeping, through the various vocations of the Church and her members.”

Here at home, Synod responders estimate it could take several days to assess the full impact of the hurricane, once the storm completes its projected course along the southeastern coastline. LCMS Disaster Response will assist the Synod’s Florida-Georgia District responders, wherever needed, to determine the needs of any impacted churches, schools and families.

“We have been monitoring the situation for the past two days, maintaining contact with the circuit visitors in affected areas in the path of Hurricane Matthew,” said LCMS Florida-Georgia District President Rev. Gregory Walton. “To this point, we are not aware of severe damage at any of our ministry locations, although several churches report roof damage and leaks.”

If you would like to assist the LCMS in responding to this developing story through a donation, please call 888-930-4438 or click below.

Give Now

To donate by check, please make checks payable to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod” (or “LCMS”). On the memo line, write “Disaster Response/Relief.” Mail your donation to The LCMS, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861. Gifts are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Roger Drinnon ( is director of Editorial Services and Media Relations for LCMS Communications.



Thrivent Financial logo


Hurricane Matthew, the strongest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, has left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean and United States. Haiti, the poorest country in Latin America, suffered significant damage: Hurricane Matthew destroyed tens of thousands of homes, and left more than 60,000 people staying in temporary shelters.

When tragic events like this occur, Thrivent Financial members and others want to know how they can help. As a membership organization of Christians committed to guiding members to be wise with money and live generously, Thrivent is supporting your generosity in the following ways:

$250,000 match on personal donations
Thrivent will match up to $250,000 in personal donations made on to certain disaster relief organizations responding in Haiti and other areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. The dollar-for-dollar match is open to members and others who want to give, and will lead to a total combined impact of up to $500,000. For details about the match, visit the Disaster Response page on

Get involved in grassroots disaster relief efforts
Consider getting involved in your community to help raise funds for disaster relief by forming a Thrivent Action Team. Thrivent provides promotional materials, t-shirts, and a $250 Community Impact Card that can be used as seed money to purchase project supplies and create promotional materials. To apply or to learn more about Thrivent Action Teams, go to


Well done, good and faithful servant!

The Lord saw fit to call home Vicki Wood on Tuesday, September 20th.  Vicki was a dearly loved teacher and active member of St. Peter's.  Please pray for her family as they mourn her loss and celebrate her victory over death in Jesus.  Arrangements are as follows:

Visitation is at Ross Funeral Home on Gratiot on Friday the 30th from 2-4 and then again from 6-8.

Vicki will lie in state in the narthex of St. Peter's from 10-11 on Saturday the 1st and then the funeral will begin at 11am.  



Come to Kinderfest on Sunday, October 2nd!

Kinderfest is a German word meaning “Children’s Celebration” and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church has been hosting an annual  Kinderfest event since 1893.


This year’s Kinderfest will be on Sunday, October 2nd from 12 noon – 4:00 pm and has something for everyone. Delicious food and beverages, fun rides like the Giant Slide, Rock Wall, Bounce House, and Dunk Tank, plus games, a Cake Walk, and a Silent Auction. And back by popular demand: a petting zoo and pony rides! New this year will be the option to buy a bracelet for $15.00 per person that allows unlimited rides on the Giant Slide, Rock Wall, Bounce House and Obstacle Course. The games and food and beverage items will still require tickets. Tickets are 5 for $2.00 when purchased in advance and 4 for $2.00 the day of Kinderfest. 

The St. Peter's Human Care and Outreach Committees will be giving away winter coats and gear at this year's Kinderfest.  Members of the community are welcome to come and get what they need to stay warm for our Michigan winter.

All St. Peter’s students who donate a baked good to the Cake Walk will receive a Free Jeans Day coupon.  Items may be dropped off before school to Mrs. Chaplin at the LFA Hall on Friday, September 30th between 8:00 and 8:15 am

Donations to the silent auction are greatly appreciated. Some ideas include gift cards, theme baskets, homemade crafts, and sports tickets.  All donors receive a letter with St. Peter’s tax ID for tax purposes. If you or your company would like to make a donation, please email


Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of St. Peter's "Walk Under" Christmas Tree with a commemorative Bronner's ornament

At Christmas time, the St. Peter's family looks forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord by worshiping under our spectacular Christmas tree that towers over our main aisle.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of our  'Walk Under" Christmas Tree. To celebrate this anniversary, you can purchase a commemorative Bronner's ornament that features a picture of the tree. Ornaments are $15.00 each and will be available beginning this Sunday between services or in the church and ECC offices during business hours.  Ornaments may also be ordered and shipped for an additional $8.00 shipping fee. Click here for a form.

Proceeds from the ornament sale benefit the St. Peter's Building Fund which is used to maintain and improve our facilities.

The History of the St. Peter's "Walk Under" Christmas Tree

In 1958, there was a disastrous school fire in Chicago which lead to fire safety rules being tightened throughout the country. The State of Michigan Fire Marshall sent St. Peter’s a letter forbidding the use of live trees in the classrooms. The church had always featured two huge live trees, one on each side of the altar. The Fire Marshall advised that they had to go because people couldn't get around them to exit. This gave birth to the idea to raise the tree above the pews. Ed Neumann and his company designed and fabricated the stand which is still being used today. The first “walk under” tree was lit on December 24, 1966. 

St. Peter’s had been purchasing trees from a local company and the cost had escalated to $200.00 per tree. That seemed frivolous, especially when the budgets were tight. A request was made asking for people to donate a tree from their yard and we have never purchased a tree since. 

The tree is between 18-20 feet tall and is plenty heavy. It used to be hauled up by rope by the older boys and some men. Today it is pulled up with the help of a truck. The tree is then decorated with nearly 100 strings of lights and 60 dozen ornaments. The first trees were also covered with tinsel but when lead tinsel was no longer available, the plastic tinsel was so light that it blew all over - so no more tinsel. One dove ornament is always placed on the tree and children (and adults) enjoy spotting it.

The tree is taken down after Epiphany and the branches are cut off.  The trunk is then fashioned into a cross that is displayed on the altar during Lent.  The bare wooden cross is covered in white silk lilies for our Easter celebration. Every year our beautiful Christmas tree helps us celebrate Christ’s birth, remember His death, and give thanks for His glorious resurrection.


Attention Scrappers and Crafters!

The Advent Committee is hosting an eight-hour Scrapbooking & Craft  Day on October 8 th . From 9:00 to 5:00 come scrap, knit, stamp or work on whatever craft you want.  Continental breakfast, snacks and drinks will be provided, but to keep the cost down, lunch will be potluck. Please bring a dish to pass, such as a soup or salad. Registration is $25. Deadline is October 1 st .  Forms are available in the hallway outside church or in the church office.  Scrappers and Crafters Wanted! The Advent Committee is hosting an eight-hour Scrapbooking & Craft Day on October 8 th . From 9:00 to 5:00 come scrap, knit, stamp or work on whatever craft you want.  Continental breakfast, snacks and drinks will be provided, but to keep the cost down, lunch will be potluck. Please bring a dish to pass, such as a soup or salad. Registration is $25. Deadline is October 1 st .  Forms are available in the hallway outside church or in the church office or click here to print your own.  




The Outreach and Human Care Committees St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 23000 Gratiot Avenue, Eastpointe, would like to invite all needy families in their area to stop by the Church on Saturday, October 2, staring at noon where we will be giving away free winter and cold weather items to include boots, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, and coats in sizes infant through adult.  The give-away will occur during our annual Kinderfest celebration in the Church parking lot behind the building.  Please invite those families identified to be in need our community.  Items will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis and we cannot guarantee any particular size, style, or item will be available.  If you have questions, please call Barbara Rusin at 586-215-0698 (mobile), or contact her via email



The Outreach and Human Care Committees of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 23000 Gratiot Avenue, Eastpointe, are currently taking donations of winter clothing to be given away to area residents free of charge.  We are collecting sizes infant through adult for items including boots, snow pants, coats, hats, mittens, gloves, boots, socks, scarves, and infant wear for the cold weather months.  Donations can be of new or gently used gear and can be delivered to the Church or Early Childhood Center's main office any time between now and September 30.  Financial gifts are also welcome and will be used to purchase items to fill in gaps in donations.  All collected and purchased items will be given away to the community during the annual Kinderfest at St. Peter's on October 2.  If you have questions, please call Barbara Rusin at 586-215-0698 (mobile), or contact her via email at


A Pastoral Meditation

Marriage: A Necessary Evil, or, a Gift from God

 "Thus even if this image has been almost completely lost, there is still a great difference between the human being and the rest of the animals. Before the coming of sin the difference was far greater and more evident, when Adam and Eve knew God and all the creatures and, as it were, were completely engulfed by the goodness and justice of God. As a result, there was between them a singular union of hearts and wills. No other beautiful sight in the whole world appeared lovelier and more attractive to Adam than his own Eve. But now, as the heathen say, “a wife is a necessary evil.” Why they call her an evil can be perceived readily enough; but they do not know the cause of evil, namely, Satan, who has so vitiated and corrupted this creation." M. Luther

  I was reading in Luther yesterday and came across this quote as he was discussing the image of God that He gave to us at Creation and what it is that we have lost because of the Fall into sin. As today I celebrate 16 years of being blissfully wedded to my bride Emily, the section where he says that the heathen say: “a wife is a necessary evil,” stuck out to me like a sore thumb. In typical Luther style he comments: “Why they call her an evil can be perceived readily enough.” (Now we know why Luther has never been accused of being a romantic!) Luther’s brutal honesty I think can be forgiven because we know him and know how much he cared for his wife Katrina von Bora; he is not disparaging her here, but rather confessing the Biblical understanding of the utter corruption of humankind because of the Fall.

  Now, why am I taking the time on my anniversary to write about this passage? From the beginning, God’s intention for man included that he would be one flesh with the woman that God made; that the two would share the image of God and be each other’s life-long helpmate. In the passage above, Luther also says: “No other beautiful sight in the whole world appeared lovelier and more attractive to Adam than his own Eve.” In an age were marriage is despised and ridiculed every day, where it is more-often-than-not looked upon as an evil, what a delightful reminder it is to know that it was not always so. Marital fidelity was not something to be scoffed at, nor was there any desire for anyone other than the perfect spouse that God had given. Marriage is a gift from God for our good. Christians must not hesitate to be counter-cultural in this area, and openly celebrate marriage as the true gift that it is.

By God’s grace, I can honestly say that I have never thought of my wife as a necessary evil. I have failed my wife in many ways over the last 16 years, but she has always been my best friend and the only person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I delight in her. I consider her to be one of God’s greatest gifts to me personally, and this makes me marvel at God’s unending goodness. Although we have lost the original righteousness that Adam and Eve shared, God, through his baptismal grace, has blessed us with the joy that Adam originally expressed when he saw Eve for the first time: “At last! This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!”

Instead of wringing our hands about the state of marriage in the world, or worse, joining the world and Satan in further corrupting this part of God’s beautiful creation by what we say and do, let’s resolve as Christians to speak well of marriage and our spouses, just like Adam did. Because Christ has made the Church his Bride, you are part of the new creation – which means your marriage is too! Paul tells us that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. By our Christian witness, let us shine the light of Christ’s love into our decaying society by affirming the gift of marriage, and by publicly honoring our spouses as the gifts they are from God. Pastor Cook




A Pastoral Meditation


     Galatians 5:1 says: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." 
     Satan's desire is to lead each of us back into slavery to sin and the evil desires of our flesh. Even as we acknowledge that our American freedom is not free, but that it was purchased by brave men and women who fought for our country, so too our spiritual freedom has been bought with the blood of Christ. Apathy about either freedom will lead to a loss of that freedom. Christ Jesus has set us free so that we might use that freedom to grow in our faith, and that we might serve our neighbors in love. Lord Jesus, please continue to bless us with your freedom - an everlasting freedom from sin, death, and the Devil. Empower us to use that freedom to lead others to you so that they too may be free indeed. Amen.




Vacation Bible School, June 20th-24th, 2016

VBS is coming!!! June 20th-24th!! 9am-12pm!! For Preschool-5th Grade!! Please stop by or call the church office if you are interested in registering your child. (586)777-6300. You can also contact Heidi Chaplin at Please also contact her if you are interested in helping out! 


Spring Cleaning??

St. Peter's wants your books and coats!

The Outreach Committee is looking for book donations to share with our community during the Gratiot Cruise. All books will be given away to the public for free with St. Peter's bookmarks and information. Children through Adult Reading Levels (Please, no textbooks.) Drop off in the church office or see Barbara Rusin. Donations taken through June 11th.

The Outreach and Human Care Committees are also seeking donations of clean, gently used or new winter gear to share with those in need in our community this coming fall. Please leave donations in the bins at the front and rear entrances of the church or in the office. All sizes, infant to adult. Including: hats, coats, gloves, mittens, scarves, socks, boots, and snow pants.


Men's Ministry Breakfast

Men's Ministry The men of St. Peter's are invited to attend the Men's Ministry Breakfast this Saturday (May 14th) from 8:00-10:00 a.m. in the Middle Basement. Come learn about the Men's Ministry and enjoy some delicious pancakes and sausage. Free will donation. Contact Jim Peckham or call the church office (586-777-6300) for more information.


Say Cheese!

It's time for a new St. Peter's pictorial directory!  All participating families will receive a FREE 8x10 photo and the new directory.  No purchase necessary.  Photo sessions will be held on Wednesday, June 15th - Saturday, June 18th.  You may book your photo session on Sundays between services or online at On the right side, look for the "click here to schedule your photography session." The St. Peter's Church Code is MI853. The password is splc1. If you will have 6 or more people in your photo, please book 2 consecutive times slots. Please note online scheduling is not available on Sundays to avoid double bookings.


Two Upcoming Concert Opportunities!

Please join us as we welcome two choirs to our church!  

This Friday, March 11th,  we are pleased to welcome the Golden Voice and Symphonic Band from Valley Lutheran High School under the direction of Lindsey Mueller and St. Peter's alumnus, Paul Eschmann.  The concert begins at 7:00pm.  Please come and enjoy hearing the voices of these young people praising our Lord!

On Sunday, April 17th at 3:30pm plan to join us again to hear praise lifted to God by the Michigan Ohio Chorale.  The concert entitled, "Let Hallelujahs Ring!", will also include our school Choristers.  St. Peter's members Patty O'Hara, Mary Rich, and Karla Leidecker are part of the Michigan Ohio Chorale.  


Good Friday Fish Fry

The Good Friday Fish Fry is on March 25th from 3:30 pm to 6:45 pm. Tickets available Sundays between services in the hallway and at the door - $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for Seniors,  $5.00 ages 12 to 2,  Under 2 free. Enjoy all you can eat fried or baked fish, french fries or potatoes, coleslaw, cottage cheese, rolls, beverage, and dessert.  Sponsored by the Fellowship Committee.



Palm Sunday Breakfast

Please join us on Palm Sunday, March 20th from 9:00 am to Noon for our Pancake Breakfast.  Enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage, tater tots, coffee, juice and milk. Tickets are $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for Seniors and $3.00 for children 5 and under.  Tickets will be available in the hallway between services prior to Palm Sunday and at the door on Palm Sunday.  Proceeds to help support the youth and adults attending the LCMS National Youth Gathering in New Orleans in July.


Holy Week Schedule


Please take note of the events that are scheduled for Holy Week...

  • March 20th - Palm Sunday - 8:00 am (Communion) and 10:30 am
  • March 24th - Maundy Thursday - 7:00pm (Communion)
  • March 25th - Good Friday Tre Ore - 12:00-3:00 pm 
    (Words of Jesus from the cross - mini-service starts every 25 minutes:
  • Good Friday Tenabrae    7:00 pm
  • March 27th - Easter Sunrise - 6:45 am (Communion)
    Easter Morning  8:00 am (Communion)
    Easter  - 10:30 am (Communion)



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