Thursday, September 30, 2010

October 2010

Oktoberfest Registrations at Record Levels

Oktoberfest is right around the corner, scheduled to begin Sunday night, October 10th, with choral vespers at 5, followed by our bratwurst banquet and party.
As of September 23rd, the registrations for Oktoberfest stood at 122 guests expected. This is a record. Our total attendance at Oktoberfest, which is now in its 15th year, has never exceeded 100.

Reasons for this heavy turnout expectation are likely twofold. First is the fact that we will be having Dr. David P. Scaer as our featured speaker. Dr. Scaer is among the foremost confessional Lutheran scholars in the world today. Your pastor’s mentor (and now also instructing my son Peter), he has been at Concordia Theological Seminary since the 1970s, and has made his mark in Biblical and Confessional Scholarship not only through teaching and lecturing, but through prolific writing. His greatest legacy is the large number of confessional Lutheran pastors now serving in the church who owe their own pastoral skills and scholarship to him.

Secondly, this event has been advertised on the Internet, specifically through Facebook. This new information network has proved an invaluable resource.
Whatever the reason, members of St. Paul’s will not want to miss this year’s gala event. Already 48 members of St. Paul’s are among the registrations, , which is also a record.

Among the guests we expect almost all of the editors of Gottesdienst, Miss Adriane Dorr, managing editor of the Lutheran Witness, and Bp. Brian Saunders, District President of the Iowa East District.

Dr. Scaer is expected to speak briefly at the banquet, and then to hold forth at our Monday seminar, which opens with Holy Mass at 9:30 am., and runs until 3:15 in the afternoon. He is also slated to preach at Mass.

The choir has been working toward augmenting the celebrations with specially prepared music. Seminarian Peter Eckardt will be our special guest organist.
I will lead our Tuesday events, which will involve a workshop and seminar discussing my newly published book The New Testament in His Blood which has been available over the past month and will also be available for sale at the conference ($18.00).
Members’ registrations are at the reduced cost of $15.00 or $25 per couple (children free), which includes meals. If you wish to treat a guest, the additional cost would also be only $10.00.

Members are also reminded that Saturday, October 9th will be a big day of preparation, beginning at 8:30 in the morning. We’ll be preparing food, decorating the cafeteria, and getting all things ready. Mighty are the preparations!

+ Pastor Eckardt

October Ushers
Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell

October Birthdays
10/1 Richard Melchin
10/1 Clara Murphy
10/2 Diana Shreck
10/3 Matthew Fisher
10/5 Michael McReynolds
10/9 Mary Ann Hamilton
10/9 Kevin Thompson
10/10 Stanley Janik
10/10 Paul Rowe
10/15 Dennis Schoen
10/20 Ed Woller
10/24 Robert Jones
10/24 Corey Peart
10/28 Carmen Sovanski
10/28 Collin Van Stechelman
10/30 Sharon Hartz
10/31 Marjorie Lamb

October Anniversaries
10/4 Linda and Larry Rowe
10/23 Otis and Deanne Anderson

Pastor to present at St. Michael Conference in Detroit

Following mass on Sunday, September 26th, pastor travels to Detroit for the St. Michael Conference at which he is leading a workshop, held on Monday, September 27th. For details see He returns on Tuesday afternoon.

Working with Incense

Some of you will have noticed the odors of incense on a Wednesday night or two at mass. We’ve been working to get the scent and amount right. If it has seemed overpowering, we apologize. Please be patient; we’re working on it!

Altar Guild Notes
October notes:

(Wednesday, September 29th is Michaelmas, for which the color is white.)

There are five Sundays in October. Paraments for the first four are green. The fifth, October 31st, is Reformation Day. Paraments are red.

For Octoberfest, Sunday evening October 10th (commemoration of Holy Women) and Monday morning October 11th (Motherhood B.V.M.) are white. Paraments remain white until after noonday prayers. Monday vespers, at 3 pm, should have green paraments.

Wednesdays are green except for October 27th, when we will be observing St. Simon and St. Jude the Apostles’ Day, for which the color is red.

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 Gottesdienst book.

(#1998.2; 2010:10) Why does the church have stained-glass windows?

Much of what passes for “stained glass” these days is actually painted glass, but it generally provides a similar effect, which is threefold. First, it provides an image to look at in a window, something on which to feast the eyes while in church. This is a good thing, because there ought to be plenty of things to look at while at worship. A church which has little or nothing to look at is not taking advantage of one of the two most prominent senses God has given us. St. Paul encourages attention to things of beauty: “Whatsoever things are lovely . . . think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). To fill the eyes with beautiful things at worship is to remind the faithful of the temple whose gate was called “Beautiful” (Acts 3:2),
and that in turn reminds them that God Himself is the author of beauty. Moreover, this sense of beauty serves to remind the faithful of the beauty of the incarnation of God. Christ has become flesh, and so has adorned the earth with His own eternal beauty. Should we not therefore attend to what is beautiful?

Secondly, the images portrayed in stained-glass windows are generally images from the Gospel, and thus the maxim comes to mind: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” To see an image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, or of Jesus healing someone, or of the resurrected Christ hailing Mary is to bring immediately to mind the most precious truths which give rise to these images; and so the Word of God, as pondered in the heart, has good effect.

Third, the use of light filtered through colored glass provides an effect which is very uncommon anywhere else in the world. Churches still have pretty much of a corner on the market for stained-glass windows, and so the message stands out—a message unspoken yet unmistakable—that this place is unlike any other place in the world. This is where heaven and earth meet (through Christ who is preached and administered here), where He who is the light of the world is shed abroad in our hearts. How fitting, then, that as sunlight is filtered through those windows, so the almighty God is “filtered” to us through His gracious word of life.

(#1999.9, 2010:10)Why do churches have arches and pointed ceilings?

Churches with arches which ascend to a point at the top are generally called Gothic or neo-gothic. In some Gothic churches, if you stand at the entrance and look down the aisle toward the altar, you can see the ribs in the wall that accentuate these arches, architectural lines that move vertically from the bottom of the ceiling vault to the very top. These ribs seem to fit inside one another as one looks down the aisle, as each successive rib is a little farther away from the one before it, and hence, smaller in appearance. The view is, as it were, of a picture frame within a picture frame within a picture frame, from the first to the last rib. What this suggests to the viewer is a sense of looking into another realm altogether.

At the heart of these successive ribs stands the altar, from which Christ’s Body and Blood are distributed to His people. Therefore the altar is truly a meeting place between one realm and another, that is, between heaven and earth. When Christ’s people receive Christ’s Body and Blood, they receive the holy mystery of Christ, divinity contained within humanity, under the holy elements. At the altar we meet heaven; we meet Christ Himself. Truly then, the meeting place of heaven and earth is here; it is fitting, then, that the Gothic structure be employed to help accentuate this mystery and reality.

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

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