Sunday, August 27, 2017

September 2017

Project Moves On As Phase II Nears Completion

During the last part of August, the organ pipes were returned to their places, and the painting of the balcony was completed.

Our organist Ryan Van Wassenhove played a magnificent prelude on August 20th to herald the return of the pipes.

We are awaiting a few pipes that are being repaired, and we need to schedule a tuning, but we are very close.

Meanwhile the painting of the stairway to the basement is complete as well.

We are hoping to be able to paint the Alpha and the Omega on the wall panels at the front, in time for Oktoberfest.

This project was begun in February of last year, and how far we have come by the grace of God! The entire nave and balcony are complete, and we are not looking forward with anticipation to another big challenge: Phase III.

The third phase of our project is the chancel, and we still have no date in place for its commencement, as we are making plans and considering a host of options. Our funds are limited, of course, but who could have guessed we would have come so far on such a small budget? Surely the Lord has blessed us, and it is a sight to behold.

Hopefully Phase III can begin sometime this autumn. It will likely require some temporary adjustments to our worship space. Perhaps a temporary altar, pulpit, and lectern furniture can be set up in front of the current chancel while the work is being done.

Tentatively, Phase IV will be the flooring, the last part of our undertaking. 

Meanwhile the roofers have begun putting up a new roof, paid for by our faithful insurance company, due to the hail that damaged the existing roof early this year.

A drone was sent up to inspect the bell tower, and it was determined that no repairs were needed there.

We are, as ever, persuaded that God is with us for Christ’s sake, and we are thankful that he has blessed us thus far in our project and encouraged to continue by his grace.

1. The Lord hath helped us hitherto
By His surpassing favor;
His mercies every morn were new,
His kindness did not waver.
God hitherto hath been our Guide,
Hath pleasures hitherto supplied,
And hitherto hath helped us.
  - The Lutheran Hymnal, #33, altered.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Burr Street Property Might Be Available
At the August council meeting the Burr Street property was discussed. This is across the alley, next to our garage, where the house was demolished last spring. It is now owned by Henry County, but various stories are circulating about its availability. According to a secretary at the trustees’ office for the property, it goes up for silent auction this month. The council is considering placing a bid, but at this point we are unsure whether it would be a worthwhile investment. It is prime real estate, and the opening bid is about $650, but we are looking into whether or not back taxes would be required, and it’s hard to say whether or not we could benefit from having the land. We expect to be informally discussing this at Bible class between now and the next council meeting September 20th, when we expect to make a decision.

October 8-10, 2017 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)

The Twenty-second Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central will be observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and hosting Rev. William Weedon, LCMS Director of Worship, and Chaplain at the International Center in St. Louis.

His topic will be “Reformation and Liturgy: The Eruption of Evangelical Joy in the Heart of the Divine Service”

The event begins Sunday the 8th with Choral Vespers at 5 p.m. Following the service is our annual bratwurst banquet. When everyone has had their fill of brats and beer, Chaplain Weedon will give a synopsis of his Monday seminar. Following the banquet is the after-the-party party, at Father Eckardt’s home, where a gaggle of the editors of Gottesdienst is usually milling about. On Monday, October 9th, the day begins with a Votive Reformation Mass at 9 a.m. Following Mass and a continental breakfast, Chaplain Weedon will hold forth for the rest of the day, in two sessions running until about 2:45, followed by Vespers. On Tuesday, October 10th, the conference will continue in the same format, with a special presentation and discussion of the new Gottesdienst film:

The Form of the Divine Service: An instructional video for Lutheran pastors and seminarians
with Father Eckardt, pastor at St. Paul’s, holding forth. The Tuesday sessions will be framed by morning low Mass (spoken Divine Service) and Vespers.

REGISTRATION: MEMBERS OF ST. PAUL’S GO FREE. For others, $50 per person, $70 per couple, students $25 — includes Sunday banquet and Monday brunch; no charge for children with parents.

Pastor to Speak in Detroit
Every year Zion Church in Detroit holds its St. Michael conference on the last Monday of September, and Pastor Eckardt is always one of the speakers at the conference. This year’s conference will feature Wyoming District President John Hill whose keynote lecture will be “Lessons from Luther’s Invocavit Sermons” – he will examine Luther’s 1522 Invocavit Sermons as an example of churchmanship and pastoral care in Wittenberg’s early liturgical reforms. For information consult Pastor.

September Birthdays
9/1 John Ricknell

9/10 Jan Schoen

9/15 Chuck Russell

9/17 Mary Beth Jones

9/18 DeAnne Anderson

9/19 Jaclyn Kraklow

9/19 Jamie Kraklow

9/28 Allan Kraklow

September Anniversaries
9/18/1976 Tom and Sue Ann Wells

September Ushers: Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells.

Shut ins
Mary Hamilton at home; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield; Emilie Ricknell at home.

Creation News: Two Items From
1) University settles lawsuit with scientist fired after he found soft tissue in dinosaur bones

August 11, 2017

By Chad Dou —

CSUN scientist Mark Armitage found soft tissue in a dinosaur bone, a discovery that throws significant doubt on evolution. Then, two weeks after publishing his findings, he was fired.

Now California State University at Northridge has paid Armitage a six-figure sum to settle his wrongful termination suit based on religious discrimination. While the university admits no wrongdoing, Armitage’s attorney said they feared losing a protracted lawsuit because of a “smoking gun” email that backed the plaintiff’s case.

The case of Armitage is the latest to show the mounting hostility Christians face in academics and other public arenas.

“Soft tissue in dinosaur bones destroys ‘deep time.’ Dinosaur bones cannot be old if they’re full of soft tissue,” Armitage said in a YouTube video. “Deep time is the linchpin of evolution. If you don’t have deep time, you don’t have evolution. The whole discussion of evolution ends if you show that the earth is young. You can just erase evolution off the whiteboard because of soft tissue in dinosaur bones.”

Armitage was hired as a microscopist to manage CSUN’s electron and confocal microscope suite in 2010. He had published some 30 articles in scientific journals about his specialty.

A graduate of Liberty University, Armitage adheres to the “young earth” view, against the majority of scientists who say our planet is 5 billion years old. He engaged students in his lab with Socratic dialogue over the issue of the earth’s age based on his and others’ research, he said.

In May 2012, Armitage went on a dinosaur dig at the famous fossil site of Hell Creek in Montana, where he unearthed the largest triceratops horn ever found there. Back at CSUN, he put the fossil under his microscope and made the startling discovery: unfossilized, undecayed tissue was present.

If the dinosaur were 65 million years old, the soft tissue could not have possibly remained, he says. His findings seconded groundbreaking discoveries by noted molecular paleontologist Mary Schweitzer, who triggered an earthquake in the world of paleontology when she published about soft tissue in dinosaur bones in 2005. (Schweitzer subsequently postulated that iron is responsible for preserving the soft tissue.)

Armitage’s February 2013 study was published in the peer-reviewed Acta Histochemica, a journal of cell and tissue research. Two week later, he found himself without a job.

A biology professor had come into his office and said, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department.”

Armitage fought back. Professors and students alike had praised his work managing the microscope lab. His suit alleged he was excluded from a secret meetings of the microscopy committee. In a “smoking gun” email, university officials suggested they could ease Armitage out of his part-time position by making it full-time, Reinach said.

A colleague described the process as a “witch hunt,” according to Inside Higher Ed.

For two years, CSUN fought Armitage’s lawsuit. The university alleged his firing was simply a restructuring of their biology department and not a case of religious discrimination. But CSUN lost its bid to have the judge summarily throw the case out of court as groundless in July of last year.

So CSUN settled with Armitage for $399,500 in 2016, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Alan Reinach, Armitage’s attorney, hailed the settlement as precedent-setting. “We are not aware of any other cases where a creationist received a favorable outcome,” said Reinach, executive director of the Church State Council, a nonprofit California public interest legal organization. “This was truly a historic case. . .

“The state doesn’t put large, six-figure settlement money out unless they are really concerned they are going to lose.”

. . .

Chad Dou studied at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in West Los Angeles.

2) For Culturally Illiterate Science Reporters, Canaanite DNA Yields Occasion to Slap Bible Around
From Evolution News (

By David Klinghoffer | @d_klinghoffer

July 29, 2017, 1:00 AM

Obviously, your friends at Evolution News are not here to do Biblical exegesis. However, when science headlines tendentiously try to manipulate readers in order to slam the Bible, well, that’s fair game.

The science story itself is fascinating and to all appearances solid. Human remains dating to some 3,700 year ago from ancient Canaanites yielded DNA revealing a startling overlap with modern-day Lebanese. The latter thus appear to harbor descendants of the long-ago population (“Continuity and Admixture in the Last Five Millennia of Levantine History from Ancient Canaanite and Present-Day Lebanese Genome Sequences,” American Journal of Human Genetics).

Wow, that is interesting. How will they spin it? The headlines tell the tale: “Study disproves the Bible’s suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (The Telegraph). “Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon” (The Independent). “Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: Study says their genes live on in modern-day Lebanese people” (Daily Mail). “Scientists Find Evidence That Ancient Canaanites Survive Today: Was The Bible Wrong?” (Tech Times). “New DNA study casts doubt on Bible claim” (Mother Nature Network). “The Bible was WRONG: Civilisation God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking” (Express).

“Genetic evidence suggests the Canaanites weren’t destroyed after all” (Ars Technica). “Canaanites Weren’t Annihilated by Ancient Israelites After All” (Newser). “Study disproves the Bible’s claim that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (Click Lancashire).

“Canaanites survived Biblical ‘slaughter’, ancient DNA shows”(ABC Online). “DNA vs the Bible: Israelites did not wipe out the Canaanites” (Cosmos). “The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese” (Pulse Headlines).

The only problem with this reporting? The Bible is detailed and unambiguous in relating that the Canaanites survived Joshua’s invasion. So it’s no wonder they have living descendants. I’m not here to pass judgment on ancient Canaanites or ancient Israelites, on the Bible, Joshua, or anyone else. But come on, reporters, where’s your elementary cultural literacy, of which knowing a thing or two about the Bible is a key element?

The first chapter in Judges lists all the places in Israel where the Canaanites persisted, “to this day,” “for they did not drive them out,” “he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land,” etc. God is not happy with this, for “they shall be as snares to you, and their gods shall be a trap to you” (2:3). From the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1 (“Canaan”), “The persistence of Canaanites within Israelite territory was a theological problem variously addressed by biblical writers.”

. . .

Even the reputable journal Science, in a reporting article, had to backtrack with an editor’s correction, blandly styled as an “update”:

This story and its headline have been updated to reflect that in the Bible, God ordered the destruction of the Canaanites, but that some cities and people may have survived.

Not “may have survived.” In the Bible’s account, they definitely survived, in large numbers. The original headline? “Ancient DNA counters biblical account of the mysterious Canaanites.” It should be, “Ancient DNA confirms biblical account…”

No doubt about it, the war against the Canaanites is among the most politically incorrect narrative elements in the whole of Scripture. That it was incompletely carried out is attested to by the Bible, and now demonstrated by modern genetic analysis. That’s news, whether your interest is religion or science. Who will tell the reporters?

Altar Guild News
Sundays during September, the color is green.

Wednesdays are varied: September 13th is red (for Holy Cross Day); September 20th is red (for St. Matthew); September 27th is white (for Michaelmas).

Choir Rehearsals
Regular choir rehearsals have resumed Wednesdays after mass. Calling all singers, to prepare for Oktoberfest. We’ll have some new music, and, as always, have lots of fun.

In Our PrayersOur current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following. To update the list please inform the pastor.

in our parish:

Tony Fisher, Sandra Verplaetse, Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Mary Hamilton, Emmy Wear, Bea Harris, Michelle Armstrong, DeAnne Anderson, Joyce Long, Dale Baker, Sue Murphy, Don Murphy, Carol Watson,

and also:

Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises], Jodi Rutowicz [daughter of Harrises], Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter], Jill Matchett [at request of Diana Shreck], Annie Eastman [at request of Svetlana Meaker], Dave Colgron [friend of Tom Wells], Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter], Steve Draminski [friend of Jim Watson], Kathy Nussear [Joyce Long’s daughter, cancer], Bud Harfst [Sue Murphy’s brother], Pastor Kenneth Wegener

in the military

John Eckardt, Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells], Thomas Kim [at request of the Shrecks], Michael Creech [at request of the Murphys], Katherine Creech [at request of the Murphys], Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts], Carter Wills [grandson of the Thompsons], Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin], Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]

in trouble

The people of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago, where there have been many break-ins recently.

any unborn children in danger of abortion

those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Burma, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, and elsewhere
Details on Persecution:
BURMA (MYANMAR): Newly Converted Christians Attacked in Village
Morning Star News 17 August 2017

On July 6th, about 150 angry Buddhists (including some monks) attacked seven newly converted Christians in Burma (Myanmar), destroying their homes and properties, as well as causing the victims bodily harm. A couple days after two families had committed their lives to Christ, members of the mob broke into their homes in Thi Taw village of northwest Burma's Sagaing Region. Altogether four women and three men were hit with stones and sticks, suffering injuries to their heads, faces and backs. During the attack, three motorbikes were also destroyed.
SUDAN: Government's Attempts to Eradicate Christianity

World Watch Monitor, Middle East Concern
17 August 2017
On August 2nd, the Sudanese government demolished another church in the city of Omdurman. This incident occurred the day after members of the Khartoum state parliament rejected an order by the Minister of Education, Farah Mustafa, that all Christian schools in the capital must operate on Sundays.

The Baptist Church in Omdurman, just west from the capital city of Khartoum (across the Nile River), was on the list of 27 churches designated for destruction last year by the Sudanese government. Officials claim that the churches were in violation of the designated purposes of the land on which the structures were built. Additionally, they refuse to grant permission for the building of any new churches, stating that the existing church premises are sufficient for the needs of the country's Christian minority.