Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

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About Us





Mission Statement

The Mission of
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
is to know Christ and inspire people
to be caring instruments of God
in spreading Christ’s love,
with joyous enthusiasm,
by word and deed.  

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What We Believe


AN EVANGELICAL CHURCH. Our preaching centers in the Gospel (the “evangel”), the good news that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them. People lost in sin receive forgiveness and salvation freely by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who fulfilled God’s Law and suffered sin’s punishment as our Substitute and Savior.

A BIBLICAL CHURCH. We believe that the entire Bible is God’s Word, given by inspiration by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is our only rule for faith and life.

A TEACHING CHURCH. We believe in thorough instruction of both children and adults in the teachings of the Bible. Lutherans maintain a large number of parish schools, high schools, and colleges, in addition to Sunday School and Bible classes, because we believe that our faith affects every part of daily living.

A SACRAMENTAL CHURCH. We administer the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion according to Christ’s institution, regarding them as the means of grace by which God offers and assures of the forgiveness of our sins.

A LITURGICAL CHURCH. In our worship we use definite orders of service (liturgies). Many are from the early Church, while others are contemporary. All are designed to involve the worshiper in the service. The liturgy, music, and symbols add beauty and dignity to our worship.

A DEMOCRATIC CHURCH. Authority is retained by the local congregation; the voting members and Board of Directors are subject only to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

A MISSIONARY CHURCH. Through our national church body, the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, we support missionaries worldwide, who spread the Gospel, the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes!

HOLY COMMUNION... We believe that somehow in, with, and under the bread and wine we receive Christ’s body and blood, given and shed for the remission of sins, to strengthen our faith. If you share this faith, we invite you to commune with us.

It is our custom to place the wafer in the communicant’s palm. He or she may eat it immediately or wait to dip it into the wine in the chalice. Each communicant is offered the choice of receiving the wine in an individual glass or from the chalice. Non-alcoholic red wine is available in some glasses. Empty glasses may be left in the rack attached to the communion rail.

On occasion we may vary the method of distribution (by using a loaf of bread, for example) in order to provide variety and better understanding of the Sacrament.

CONFIRMATION INSTRUCTION... Youth in 7th and 8th grades attend weekly hour-long sessions during the school years. 6th Grade Sunday School is also part of the confirmation program. Two years cover basic teachings; the other is a survey of the Bible. Students serve as acolytes, ushers and lectors. They are expected to be at worship regularly. Parents assist, working with their students to help their introduction into the adult congregation. The Youth Group (7th Grade and up) meets one week each month in place of confirmation class--as part of the program.

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History & Affiliation

Prince of Peace is a member of the

New Jersey District of 

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Our national church body celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1997. It has the second-largest parochial school network in the United States.

Thanks to the efforts of a few Lutherans in the area in the 1950’s, the Rev. Norman Brinkmann was sent here as mission developer. The congregation was organized Nov. 27, l960, and met in the Cossack hall in Freewood Acres. After the present site was bought, members helped build the Parish Hall themselves. Intended as a temporary house of worship, it was in service over 20 years. The Rev. Frank Jorcke was pastor for 17 of those years, during which the congregation became a vital part of the community. Pastor James Pierce was installed the first Sunday of l983; the church building was dedicated Oct. 26, l986. Pastor James Pierce retired on Friday, August, 25, 2006, after 23 years. Pastor Phillip R. Matarazzo was installed on Sunday, August 26, 2007 as Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

The congregation has grown with the town population during our 40 years of ministry here; the support of family life is a priority in this area of commuters and two-income families. With a cooperative effort with other area churches in Joshua House (for the relief of disadvantages neighbors), facilities for use by community groups, and a willingness to serve, we try to live out our motto, “The Church with a Heart in the Heart of Howell.” We hope you find your place in our loving, joyful ministry.

We are members of Howell Area Churches, which is coordinating social ministry, Christian community gatherings, and witness efforts.

For a more detailed history, click here.

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Future Plans

After 95 members filled out surveys in December 2004, about 35 gathered for part or all of the “Your Congregation’s Future” planning event on Jan. 9 and 15, 2005. They reviewed the survey results, heard how Tony Bracco and Pastor Paul Huneke grouped them into themes, found the areas where there was the most interest, and recalled our congregation’s history.

Then in small groups they wrote about what they’d like to see, hear and feel happening at Prince of Peace in about three years. They shared their ideas and voted to find those with the broadest appeal:

1. A new building with a variety of educational programs for the community and congregation (nursery school, day care, family life, perhaps partnering with Lutheran Social Ministries), and staffing to provide the needed leadership there and in a growing music program. A committee has been looking into this for some time. Look for news from the Annual Meeting (after newsletter deadline).

2. A new Shepherding Program, similar to one we had around ten years ago, but with trained teams heading each list, providing caring contact with current and new members. (At the Jan. 16 meeting, the Board of Directors gave the Elders the responsibility to form a task force to bring this to reality. Several members immediately volunteered to be part of the effort. Others plan to visit with people who are in the process of joining the congregation.)

3. A leadership training program, in which a larger part of the congregation would gain the skills to lead programs and meetings. It would be partnered with a spiritual gifts program, which helps people understand their God-given abilities and interests, helping them find where they will enjoy being part of our congregation’s ministry.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV): “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” What an exciting time, discovering God’s plans!  

To view all the goals considered, click here.

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