The Holy Trinity
It might be easy for Christians to think of the Holy Trinity as something only hardly related to their faith and salvation, in spite of the fact that in our Athanasian Creed we confess that “this is the Christian faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” But why must I know that God is three Persons in one undivided Unity? What makes that teaching integral to my faith? The uninformed might well say, It all sounds rather philosophical and unrelated to me.
Nothing could be further from the truth. First, when we confess that God is three Persons in one undivided Godhead, we are at the same time saying a number of things.
First, in agreement with the faith of Israel, we are confessing that God is one. Not three Gods, or many Gods, but one God.
Second, we are saying that Jesus the Son is one with the Father, not merely His ambassador or messenger, and certainly not a creature: one with the Creator. Jesus is God, just as the Father is God. But He prays to God and is not the Father. He does not pray to Himself, but to Another. Yet this does not mean that He, who is God Incarnate, prays to another God, but to another Person in the Godhead. God is one, although there is more than one Person.
Third, when we speak of the coming of the Holy Spirit, who is the author of our faith, we are also speaking of God, the third Person who is one with the Father and the Son.
Fourth, to understand God as a trinity of Persons is to understand that He is active and dymanic, rather than monolithic and static. He relates to Himself actively within the Godhead; and this movement may even be said to be the reason He creates, and has created the world. Since He is active, He moves also outward from Himself, and that is the reason there is a creation.
Fifth, since God is active, He also loves: the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father; and this love is also God, the Holy Spirit. God is love. This is the ultimate truth to which understanding the trinity of Persons in the unity of God brings us: God is not unmoving or uncaring; God is love. So the Father in love sends the Son into the world to redeem it; and the Father and the Son send the Spirit into the world in order that this Gospel might be proclaimed to the ends of the world.
The Holy Triune God has thus revealed Himself to us, that we may joy in His salvation.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Church Picnic June 27th
Mark your calendars! Our annual church picnic is scheduled for Sunday, June 27th, at the open Kiwanis pagoda at Windmont 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.
As is also our custom, we have no Saturday evening mass that weekend, to encourage everyone to come on Sunday morning and then head out to the park.
Bring your Frisbees, your tennis rackets, your bats and balls, or whatever else you’d like to bring, to have some fun.
June Ushers: Alan Kraklow (chairman), Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells, Bob Bock
6/5 Mirilda Greiert
6/5 Linda Rowe
6/15 Jill Powers
6/16 Berniece Harris
6/29 Sara Timberlake
6/17/1967 Robert and Mary Beth Jones
6/18/1960 Sandra and John Verplaetse
6/18/1977 Fr. Burnell and Carol Eckardt
6/18/1966 Don and Sue Murphy
6/19/1977 Dana and Carol McReynolds
6/19/1966 William and Judy Thompson
6/24/1989 Tony and Mindie Fisher
6/27/1954 Monroe and Lucille Kemerling
6/27/1981 Steve and Gail Peart
6/28/1958 Dale and Anna Baker
Altar Guild Notes
Only six individual cups are needed for Sunday mornings.
Please see that the sacristy door is closed for mass, unless fans are being used in hot weather.
Oil candles are to be used again in the candelabra, beginning after Mass on Saturday, June 6th), as we enter Ordinary Time (The Sundays after the Trinity Octave).
White for May 30 through June 6th (Trinity and its Octave)
Change to Green after Mass on the 6th.
Green throughout June excepting Wednesday, June 23rd, which is White (for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist) and Wednesday, June 30th, which is Red (for the Feast of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles).
Saturday, July 3rd, which is White (for the Feast of the Visitation)
No mass on Wednesday, June 16th (Pastor in Wisconsin).
No mass on Saturday, June 26th (Next day unity service and picnic)
Next meeting: Monday, June 7st, 6 p.m.
Carole Sanders and Mary Hamilton at home; Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care; Ila Scaife at Courtyard Estates; Elva Garrison at Avon Nursing Home; Mark Baker and Anna Baker at home; Ruth Snider at home.
A Wedding Invitation to all the members of St. Paul’s:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Imig
request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
the son of
Rev. and Mrs. Burnell F Eckardt
Saturday, the 31st of July
Two Thousand ten
two o’clock in the afternoon
St John Lutheran Church
1450 30th Ave
East Moline, Illinois
Reception at 5:30
Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island, Illinois
Please respond on or before July 7th
Concordia Catechetical Academy
The Concordia Catechetical Academy is holding its annual conference at Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 17 and 18. Pastor will be in attendance, and Mass will not be held the Wednesday evening prior. Anyone interested in details for this fine conference (which many lay people attend) log on at www.peacesussex.org or consult pastor.
CID Scholarship Endowment Fund
A worthy cause for donations is the Central Illinois District Scholarship Endowment Fund. This fund routinely gives scholarships to students in churches in Central Illinois who are attending our colleges or seminaries. Anyone desiring to make a donation may do so by making out a check to “CID Scholarship Endowment Fund” and put it in the offering plate. You may designate your donation for a specific individual, or make a general donation.
Oktoberfest on the Horizon
This year’s Oktoberfest will be held on October 10-12 (Sunday through Tuesday), and will be featuring (on Monday) Dr. David Scaer of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. Dr. Scaer was Pastor Eckardt’s mentor, and is now one of Peter Eckardt’s professors at the seminary. Mark your calendars. That Monday is also Columbus Day, which may make attendance at Oktoberfest easier for some.
Copies of the journal are still available in the narthex. Feel free to take one.
Better yet, why not subscribe to the journal sponsored by your own parish. Four times a year, Gottesdienst aims to 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 www.gottesdienst.org.
First Monday Vespers
The schedule for June 7th:
6 pm Altar Guild meets in Conference Room
6:45 Vespers (open to all)
Following Vespers: Elders meet
The Nativity of St John the Baptist (June 24th) will be observed on Wednesday evening, June 23rd.
The Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, Apostles (June 29th) will be observed on Wednesday evening, June 30th.
The Feast of the Visitation (July 2nd) will be observed on Saturday evening, July 3rd
The Lighter Side
Groaners for the Educated Mind
1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi. 2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian. 3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still. 4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption. 5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery. 6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. 7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart. 8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie. 9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it. 10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. 11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization. 12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.' 13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me. 14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.' 15. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large. 16. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran. 17. A backward poet writes inverse. 18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes. 19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion. 20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in-Seine.
This series, containing brief liturgical questions and Pastor Eckardt’s answers, began to appear in 1995, as a regular feature in this newsletter. It was then published, about ten years ago, as a
Why do we dress well for church?
Sometimes it is said that people dress up for church only to show off. This is both improper to think (for we are required by the Eighth Commandment to think well and not evil of our neighbors) and likely to be wrong. The Christian’s desire to dress appropriately for worship comes from a knowledge of the fact that we come to stand in the presence of God when in church. That is, Christ is present in the Gospel and in the Sacrament. The preaching of the Gospel and the Holy Liturgy contain Christ Himself, and this can be even more profoundly seen in the Holy Sacrament, which is the Body and Blood of Christ. One way to express our faith in this truth is to dress ourselves well, as people who know and live according to this truth. We dress up our building, we dress up our pastor, we dress up our altar and other church furniture. Is it not fitting, then, that we also dress up ourselves, according to our ability?
There is a custom in many churches to dress up a bit more for Sunday than when one attends on another day of the week. This custom has the effect of dressing up the Sunday itself a little more in recognition of our Lord’s resurrection on a Sunday.
It is fitting to talk in general terms about the appropriateness of certain clothing at the altar, since we regard it as sacred space.
But is this a law? Certainly not! It is, rather, by a recognition of the Gospel that we learn to dress ourselves well for church. Christians are freed from the demands of the law in Christ. We live by faith in Him, and our faith has opportunity to express itself according to the freedom of the Gospel.
The law of love does have bearing on this matter, however, in two ways.
First, in that we ought not to become our neighbors’ judges, ready to condemn someone for dressing a certain way; we Christians ought to bear with one another’s weaknesses, and so fulfill the law of Christ, as the Apostle says. Further, what a poor man might call dressing well ought never be looked upon with scorn by someone who has more than he. For to dishonor the poor is to dishonor Christ.
Second, we ought seek not to give offense by the clothing we wear to the altar, for love of the family of faith ought to be evident especially as we commune together. The liberty of a Christian must always be weighed against the Christian’s mindfulness of his neighbor.
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443