Wednesday, September 23, 2009

July and August 2009


THE Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, is the only saint’s day which is classified as a first-class feast, because of the prominence of these two apostles. The day of the feast is June 29th, which is a Monday this year. To make it possible for more members to attend, we are transferring it to our regular Wednesday evening mass, at 7:00, on July 1st.

It has been said that these two saints are preeminent-ly the apostles to the Jews and Gentiles respectively, so it is appropriate that their feasts be held concurrently, though one might not expect these pillars of the church to have to share a feast. Actually, there are other feasts which commemorate these apostles as well. The Conversion of St. Paul and the Confession of St. Peter are also separate days observed in January.

For us in this parish there is an added significance to the day, since our congregation is named for St. Paul. This is the reason his image always appears on this page of the newsletter.

I am pleased that our parish is named for a particular saint, as was once rather universally the custom. Modern churches have been less keen on the traditional idea, naming their churches after a quality or condition (e.g., “Peace Lutheran Church,” “Faith Lutheran Church,” or “Grace Lutheran Church”) or, more recently, in an entirely new manner of speaking (e.g., “Joy of Jesus Lutheran Church”). While of course congregations are more or less free to choose their own names, I think something important has been lost. It is far less common than it once was to name a church for a particular saint. The unintentional result of that has been another lost link to the storied—and even biblical—history of the Christian Church.

In short, there really was a person named St. Paul, and we are pleased to honor his memory by naming our church after him. This venerable tradition has served the Church well for most of its history. Too bad it seems to be in remission.

In keeping with the benefit of having our church named after an Apostle, we do well to make it a special point to attend Mass for his feast day. Join your fellow parishioners on Wednesday night for the Feast of SS Peter and Paul.

- Pastor Eckardt

Sesquicentennial News: Roof Repairs Begin!

Krause Construction Company is scheduled to begin repairs on our roof on Monday, June 29th. Their equipment will probably be on our property for about two weeks. At last we are tending to some badly needed repairs. The funding for this was made available out of the Mildred Eckhardt estate. (Memo to all members: remember your parish in your will! We’re sure glad she did!) Meanwhile, we now have a hydrolic lift inside the church, courtesy of a friend of Tom Wells, and hope to do some touching up of spots still left unpainted from plaster repair over ten years ago.

Color schemes are being considered, and we’re exploring ways of remodeling our interior on a very limited budget. It may take years, but at least we have begun thinking about these things.

There is no news yet about various committees being formed.

July, August Anniversaries

7/1/1951 John and Emilie Ricknell
7/23/1955 Donald and Carol Kegebein
7/30/1965 Jewneel and Don Walker

8/1/2009 Chris and Trista Dooley
8/2/1975 Raymond and Carol Robinson
8/21/1998 Daniel and Jill Powers

July Ushers: Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell
August Ushers: Otis Anderson, Scott Clapper, John Ricknell, Bill Thompson

July and August Birthdays

7/2 Jean Russell
7/2 Dana McReynolds
7/4 Sarah Kraklow
7/4 Jacki Boswell
7/5 Sandra Verplaetse
7/7 Joyce Baetens
7/7 Andrew Clapper
7/7 Stephen Harris
7/10 Otis Anderson
7/10 Dale Baker
7/13 Gayle Beauprez
7/14 Pastor Eckardt
7/16 Robert Schoen
7/20 Julie Janik
7/23 Donna Harlow
7/20 Anna Baker
7/30 Peggy Janik

8/1 Robert Bock
8/2 Shania Kraklow
8/2 Joyce Long
8/8 Lorraine Mohr
8/9 Donald Kegebein
8/11 Samuel Fisher
8/11 Judy Thompson
8/13 Donald Murphy
8/15 Elva Garrison
8/16 Trista Schoen
8/17 Steven Peart
8/19 Amy McReynolds
8/21 John Sovanski
8/24 Rebecca Russell
8/24 Ruth VerShaw
8/27 Steve Peart
8/30 Alyssa Van Stechelman

Church Picnic Sunday, June 28th

Mark your calendars! Our annual church picnic is scheduled for Sunday, June 29th, at the shelterhouse at Northeast Park. We’ll head out there right after church for brats etc. as usual, and a day of frolick in the sun and some good times together. Bring your Frisbees, your swimsuits, your tennis rackets, your bats and balls, or whatever else you’d like to bring, to have some fun.

Shut ins

Carole Sanders and Mary Hamilton at home; Mirilda Greiert and Lorraine Mohr, at Courtyard Estates; Elva Garrison at Avon Nursing Home; Ruth Melchin at Hillcrest Home; Jane Melchin at Lutheran Home, Peoria., Mark Baker and Anna Baker at home.

Special Saints’ Days in July and August

Wednesday, July 1: SS Peter and Paul (observed), 7 pm (color: red)

Saturday, July 25: S James the Elder, 5:30 pm (color: red)

Wednesday, July 29: S Mary Magdalene (observed), 7 pm

Wednesday, August 12: S Laurence (observed), 7 pm (color: red)

Wednesday, August 26: S Bartholomew (observed), 7 pm (color: red)

Saturday, August 29: Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, 5:30 pm (color: red)

Some of these special days are scheduled for our regular Saturday mass time. Members are invited, as you are able, to attend these and come again on Sunday morning.

Copies of the journal are still available in the narthex. Feel free to take one.

Check out Gottesdienst Online too. Find the link at

Better yet, why not subscribe to the journal sponsored by your own parish. Four times a year, Gottesdienst aims to kindle a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the Divine Service and the Holy Gospel in which our Holy and Triune God enlightens us with His gifts, sanctifies, and keeps us in the true faith.

A one year’s subscription is only $15 (four issues); $25 gets you two years. To get yours, see pastor or log on at

First Monday

There will be no First Monday meetings (Altar Guild or Elders) or First Monday Vespers in July, due to the District Convention. In August, our regular first Monday meetings will be held on the 3rd: Altar Guild at 6 pm; Vespers at 6:45; Elders following.

Altar Guild News
Members of the Altar Guild, please pay special attention to the nearby list of special saints’ days, for your preparations. Note that occasional Saturday feasts (July 25 and August 29) require the changing of parament colors Saturday night after mass.

Keeping the Feast: A Study of the Holy Liturgy (continued)
Post-Communion (continued)

The versicle, “Oh give thanks unto the LORD for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever,” though found in several Psalms, is taken contextually from I Chronicles 16, where it is seen to be part of a festive response to the placing of the ark of the covenant in the tent. Since likewise now Christ has sacramentally established His dwelling among His people, the singing of this versicle is most appropriate. Its use at this point in the Service comes from a Coburg order of 1626 (Reed, 383).
The use of a standard and invariable collect here, the most common being that composed by Martin Luther, is a kind of Lutheran revision to the custom of the early Eastern liturgies as distinct from Rome, which has at this point a variable collect, proper to the day. Luther’s “We give thanks to Thee, Almighty God, that Thou hast refreshed us . . .” is from his German Mass of 1526, employing similar expressions from earlier texts.

The Benedicamus (“V: Bless we the Lord. R: Thanks be to God.”) recaps the same idea, and the use of the passive “thanks be” rather than the active “we give thanks” serves to emphasize the entirely gracious nature of God’s gift, as the first person is removed altogether from the utterance, and consequently more glory implicitly expressed to God who is being thanked.

The Benediction, which in Lutheran usage is the Aaronic Blessing (“The LORD bless thee and keep thee . . . ,” Numbers 6:24-26), is reserved for Mass alone; it is not used at any of the prayer offices. It is the final sacramental feature of the Mass. This Old Testament passage has a distinctly Trinitarian flavor, being a threefold blessing from “the LORD” who is, nevertheless, one Lord, one God. Moreover it has the effect of imparting this unity to the hearers, and making them one in the one God, by referring to them (who are plural, the people of God) in the collective singular person (“Thee”). This provides a subtle reminder to the people that they are also one, the body of Christ, thought this finer point of the liturgy is only heard where the King James English is used, with its distinction between the singular and the plural second person is maintained.

Although there is a strong tradition which holds that the arms of the celebrant are not extended for the benediction, but rather that only the right hand is extended to make the sign of the cross, it is also helpful to remember the more venerable tradition, dating to Moses himself, of extending both arms in the blessing of the people. The manner in which they are extended ought to cruciform, therefore, and not directly out toward the people. This is in imitation of Moses himself, as we know from the fact that when his arms became heavy, Aaron and Hur supported them on either side (Exodus 17:12). That is, Moses’ arms were cruciform, in anticipation of the extension of Christ’s (“heavy”) arms on the cross, and the celebrant’s arms are likewise cruciform, in remembrance of the same.

When the benediction is nearly complete, the celebrant lowers his left arm, and with the right makes the sign of the cross, at the very conclusion holding his pose for just a moment, a subtle reminder to the people of what he is in this function, namely a living icon of Christ Himself.

St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443

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