Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May 2011

Easter Season

For most of America, the celebration of Easter is but one day, and the heart of that day is at most something nebulous about Jesus’ “resurrection,” meaning anything from a resurrection of his soul directly into heaven, or worse, of the faith in the hearts of the believers.

But for us, not only is the resurrection we proclaim a bodily resurrection of Jesus as the Gospels all affirm, but our celebration goes on for seven weeks. There are seven Sundays in Eastertide, and a theme running through them all is this bodily resurrection of Jesus. The Sunday after Easter, sometimes called “Thomas Sunday,” deals with his appearance to doubting Thomas. The second Sunday after Easter, sometimes called “Good Shepherd Sunday,” calls to mind not only his own self designation as the Good Shepherd, but his post-resurrection mandate to Peter: feed my lambs. The remaining three Sundays’ Gospels are all from his discourses in St. John which highlight his resurrection victory.

So during this festive season we continue to sing Easter hymns, and we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord in a continual feast.

It’s a time to highlight also the very importance of Sunday, the first day of the week. The fact that Jesus rose on a Sunday is no mere accidental thing: as the world was created out of nothing on a Sunday, so his resurrection gave new birth to the world on a Sunday (and so, for that matter, did he send the Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, which comes immediately after Eastertide). The highlighting of Sunday as the chief day of worship then spills out into the rest of the year: this is why we gather every week on Sunday to worship. It is a weekly reminder and celebration of the fact that Jesus rose bodily from the dead on the first day of the week, and so sealed our eternal victory over the grave.

Ascension Day

During Eastertide, on the fortieth day after Easter is Ascension Day, because Jesus ascended into heaven on the fortieth day after his resurrection. (See? He did not “go to heaven” until then. They are wrong who say that the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus are the same thing; they are not). As is our custom at St. Paul’s, our regular midweek mass that week will be moved from its usual spot on Wednesday to Thursday, June 2nd, Ascension Day, at 7 pm. Make a note of it.


Next up after that is Pentecost, which will fall this year on Sunday, June 12th.

May Anniversaries
5/17/1959 Allan and Barbra Kraklow
5/19/1979 Chuck and Jean Russell
5/22/1976 Ed and Lynn Woller
5/28/1982 Christine and Garry Erickson
5/28/1977 John and Charlene Sovanski

May Birthdays
5/2 Sheri Kraklow
5/6 Emilie Ricknell
5/10 William Thompson
5/16 John Eckardt
5/17 Jeffery Boswell
5/26 Preston Powers

May Ushers
Otis Anderson, John Ricknell, Bill Thompson

NO First Monday activity

As Pastor will be on the road during the first week in May (see the article elsewhere in this newsletter), there will be no first Monday activities for May: no Altar Guild, Vespers, or Elders.

Shut ins
Mary Hamilton at home; Ruth Snider at home; Mark Baker at home, and Anna Baker at home. Mirilda Greiert and Lillian Freeburg at Kewanee Care; Ila Scaife at Courtyard Estates; Elva Garrison at Abingdon Care Center.

Last Month’s Lighter Side
Last month we posed a riddle:

I’m in the Bible but have no name,
To the grave my body never came,
I died a death none died before,
And my shroud’s in any grocery store.
Who am I?
The answer: Lot’s wife.

The Lighter Side

The Rules of Chocolate
If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

The problem: How to get two pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car.
The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.

A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?

If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?

If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
Money talks. Chocolate sings.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

Question: Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous? Answer: Because no one wants to quit.

Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

Chocolate is a health food. Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived either from sugar beets or cane, both vegetables. And, of course, the milk/cream is dairy. So eat more chocolate to meet the dietary requirements for daily vegetable and dairy intake.

Easter Breakfast kudos
Another successful Easter breakfast came and went, thanks to many volunteers and Carol Eckardt the coordinator.

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.

Why do we confess the Creed after hearing the Gospel?
During the Sunday Mass, the Nicene Creed is confessed after the Gospel has been heard. Thus we express our belief that the Christian faith which we confess is given by the Gospel we have heard.

In some settings of the Mass, the Creed is confessed before the Sermon, and in others, it comes after the Sermon. In the former case, where the Creed comes before the Sermon, we express the conviction that the Sermon should be rooted in the Gospel as we have confessed it, and that it should not deviate from this faith. In the latter case, however, where the Creed comes after the Sermon, this former conviction is simply assumed to be the case, which, by some reckoning, actually makes the conviction a stronger one. At the same time another conviction is implied, namely, that the Gospel when it is preached is as much the Gospel as when it is heard in the Readings. In either case, to confess the Creed immediately upon hearing the Word is to imply that faith comes by hearing, that is, to acknowledge the power of the Word to create the faith we confess.

According to traditional rubrics, the Creed is said during all Feasts of the First Class, Feasts of Our Lord, and Sunday Feasts, but is omitted during any other weekday Masses. This serves to elevate the status of the feasts.

Why is the Sermon preached from the pulpit?

The pulpit and lectern may be seen as embellishments of two of the horns, or corners, of the altar, the traditional places from which the Word of God sounds forth. In Old Testament temple worship the four horns of a freestanding altar were actually projections, to which the sacrificial lamb was bound. As the sacrifice was bound to the horns of the altar (Ps. 118:27), so today, in the age of fulfillment, the Word of God is the message of Christ crucified, our sacrificial Lamb.

Traditions are divided regarding the placement of the pulpit, some placing it at the Gospel side (the left horn, from which the Gospel is read), and others at the Epistle side (the right horn, from which the Epistle is read). The former placement highlights the importance of the Sermon’s content, that being primarily exposition of the Gospel Reading, and by extension also proclamation of the Gospel in all its fullness, and to all the world. The latter placement, on the Epistle side, highlights rather the importance of the Sermon’s addressees, namely, the congregation. As the Epistles were directed specifically to the Church, so the Sermon is directed to the Church.

Sesquicentennial in 2012
The congregation’s 150th anniversary is already next year (how time flies!). Among the items in the works is a new pictorial directory, which chairman Sue Murphy is rumored to be working on. Stay tuned.

Pastor on the Road
A number of obligations will have me away during various times in May. Although I will be here every weekend, my absence will cause the cancellation of some weekday activities. I will be

• At Gottesdienst – Chicago leading a conference on Monday and Tuesday, May 2-3. (no Tuesday morning Mass on the 3rd)

• At the Association of Confessional Lutherans meeting in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, May 3-5. (no Mass or other midweek activities May 4th)

• Speaking at a Pittsburgh pastors’ conference on Monday and Tuesday, May 16-17. (no Tuesday morning mass on the 17th)
These items are also reflected in the calendar for the month.

- Pastor Eckardt

Thanks to our assistants who helped with the veils
The veils used for Paassiontide this year came as the result of the work of some tireless volunteers. Many thanks to Sue Murphy for sewing, to Judy Thompson for ironing and preparing (she also did a lot of sewing last year), to Otis Anderson and Tony Fisher for preparing the poles used for hoisting the veil over the large Christus Rex on the chancel wall, and to Steve Kraklow for helping these men successfully hoist and remove the veil during the services.

Kudos to our fine choir
Once again our choir was up to the admirable task of providing music for the marathon of singing on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. They practiced long and hard, and it paid off. Special thanks to our hard-working singers!

Altar Guild notes
Thanks to our hard working altar guild ladies as well! Extra work at Eastertide all paid off for the congregation, and is much appreciated.

The lack of an altar guild meeting in May requires special attention to these notes by our Altar Guild members. Please read carefully!

• No mass on Tuesday or Wednesday, May 3rd or 4th. Pastor is away.
• Week of May 8th is normal, all activities scheduled.
• No mass on Tuesday, May 17th. Pastor is away, returning Tuesday night. Prepare for mass on Wednesday the 18th.
• Week of May 22nd is normal, all activities scheduled.
• No mass on Wednesday, June 1; instead, mass is on Thursday, June 2nd, which is Ascension Day. The color is white.
• Saturday evening June 4th and Sunday June 5th, Sunday after the Ascension. The color is white for this weekend and during the week.

Hats off to the Ladies’ Hats!
A happy Easter day was augmented by the presence of so many of our ladies wearing Easter hats. Pictures are available at our Facebook page, and will become available in the hallway soon.

Looking ahead

A scheduling conflict has caused us to move the date for the annual church picnic. Normally held the last Sunday in June, we have moved it to the first Sunday in July, which is July 3rd. Mark your calendar!

Two Newborns Named in Honor of Sainted Member Eleanor McCracken

On March 26, 2011, Klara Faye Kiesey was born to Joshua and Amber Faye (McReynolds) Kiesey of Denver, Colorado, named in honor of two late great grandmothers, Eleanor Clara McCracken and Faye McReynolds.

Two days later, on March 28th, Brian and Hillary (Nix) Gustin of Roswell, Georgia became parents to Eleanor Elizabeth “Ellie” Gustin, named in honor of two late great grandmothers, Eleanor McCracken and Emily Nix. Hillary Gustin is the granddaughter of Eleanor McCracken.

-submitted by Dana and Carol McReynolds

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