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I’m Pastor Joe Hughes. My wife, Pastor Patricia Hughes, and I have been married since February 2013. God has blessed us with a wonderful opportunity for a new beginning together. We have five adult children living in various places all over the country, and four awesome grandchildren, with one on the way. I’m a graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve been serving as Pastor at Peace since January 2018. Patricia is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran School of Theology in California, and has been serving as Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in East Salem since February 2014.

These are exciting times at Peace Lutheran Church, ripe with potential and new beginnings. I am grateful to be part of the ministry here. To borrow a phrase from The Christian Century magazine, I see Peace as a community of God’s baptized people devoted to “thinking critically and living faithfully” in a complex world, their ministry energized by the preaching of God’s Gospel and the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ongoing mission outreach projects include the dental van through which Peace helps provide dental care for people in need. This is important since good dental health is essential to good over-all health, and yet Oregon’s version of Medicaid provides no dental care. You can call 503-689-4401 to inquire about an appointment.

We gather food for Marion/Polk Food Share. In one recent month Peace donated just over 3,000 lbs. of food to help families in need.

This year we connected with the Edgewater Boys and Girls Club to provide a session teaching and encouraging youth to engage in the arts. We share a conviction that the church should be a community where everyone is supported and encouraged.  That’s why we are so excited about the Balcony Art Gallery where we have exhibitions of various kinds of visual art during the year, often featuring local artists like Joel Nickel, and the Iconography Institute. The Balcony Gallery is open on Sundays and at other times. It’s a place where Peace is giving a well-deserved place of prominence to the visual arts.

Later this year we will be collaborating with Mrs. Johanna Dakopolis on being the West Salem home of “Music Together” – a wonderful music program for preschoolers and parents to come together making music.

We are collaborating for youth confirmation and youth ministry. This summer we are inviting youth and their friends on a mission trip based at Camp Lutherwood.

Watch for our table and the Lutheran Comfort Dogs Ministry in June at Super Saturday in Edgewater.   

About worship at Peace:

  • We celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday at 9:15 AM, and all the baptized are welcome to receive communion.

  • Our service lasts a little more than an hour.

  • We follow the seasons of the church year. We use various forms of the church’s historic liturgy, which goes all the way back to the early church.

  • I usually wear vestments rather than conduct the service in street clothes.

  • My messages are usually based on the readings appointed for that particular Sunday.  

  • Most Sundays I offer a time for young worshippers to join me in front of the church for a short lesson and prayer designed to help them feel an important part of our church family.

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Sunday worship services are usually followed by a time of fellowship and refreshments. This is an important time to connect with one another and with visitors and friends. There is a weekly conversational Adult Bible Study after the fellowship time. The worship space is accessible, and parking is convenient.

Thank you for taking a moment to learn more about Peace Lutheran Church in West Salem. We’re located at 1525 Glen Creek Road NW just up the hill from Wallace Road and across from the Salem Fire Station #5. Please consider visiting for worship soon.  If you would like to visit with me about baptism, or a wedding, please feel free to call.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or if I can be of help to you as a pastor. God’s blessings and peace to you and yours in Christ Jesus our Lord. I hope to meet you soon.

Pastor Joe Hughes