Thursday, January 12, 2012

February 2012



The tenure of Pastor Alfred E. Reinke spanned the last decade of the nineteenth century (1890-1900).   He was the first pastor  to live in the parsonage at 212 E. Central Blvd., a house that stood just west of the church.  
 In 1900, Pastor Reinke took a call to Chicago, but thankfully the vacancy was a short one.  In the same year, Rev. H. E. Jacobs, who had been the pastor of St. John’s in the village Pleasant Plains (near Springfield, Illinois), accepted the call to St. Paul’s, and in August he was installed.

A New Church Is Built

About the same time the members began to speak of building a new church.  The little church had been erected in 1867, and the need for a larger building began to become evident.  Meanwhile there remained a $600.00 debt on the parsonage, roughly $18,000 in today’s terms.[1]  At the same time a Young Ladies’ Society, evidently eager to encourage thoughts of a new building, disbanded and gave the congregational treasurer the sum of $600 from its account to cancel that debt, with the stipulation that a building fund be established.  Enthusiasm ripened swiftly.  
A booming economy was a fertile environment for this eagerness to build a new church.  The Industrial Age was now in full swing: employment opportunities abounded; radio broadcasts gained popularity, and transportation – especially automobiles, ships, and trains – changed the way people viewed their world.
By 1903 the new church had been built.  But with the sense of zeal, excitement, and urgency that must have accompanied the project, there is clear evidence as well of a desire to dedicate careful craftsmanship to its construction, and no hint of a temptation to cut corners in the name of speed or savings.  For although the building seems to have been completed very swiftly, yet the church itself (in which we still worship today) is manifestly a masterpiece of construction.  The chronicler[2] puts it this way: “Already in the spring of the year 1903 the erection of a new church edifice was under way.  The present beautiful place of worship was the result.  The Fathers had a mind to work and a mind to give. Consequently, before the rigors of winter set in, the new House of Worship had been completed.”
           Much could be said about the fine example set by these dedicated members, especially when considered against the haste with which churches are built in our day.  Although the record indicates a strong desire to complete the project as quickly as possible, there does not seem to have been any controversy about the importance of erecting a structure fit for the preaching of the Holy Gospel and the administration of the Blessed
Sacraments for the people of God.  The neo-Gothic structure was virtually universal for Lutheran builders in the early 20th century, with its majestic parallel arches directing the attention of all toward the altar in the chancel.  Modern church architects have all but abandoned the style and its intrinsic connections to centuries of churches and cathedrals.
The importance of sacred music and its use for worship has always been a hallmark of the Lutheran church, not only as manifested in the musical aptitude and writings of Martin Luther himself, but also especially since the days of Leipzig’s most prominent Lutheran, J. S. Bach. (1685-1750), whose influence on the world of sacred music has been second to none.  Consequently the Lutheran church has come to be known as  the “Singing Church,” and Lutheran congregations regularly had ambitions to possess pipe organs in their churches.  St. Paul’s was no different, especially due to the musical aptitude of Pastor Jacobs, “a lover of music and a polished musician himself.”  Pastor Jacobs saw to it that a good pipe organ was installed in the new church, a Carl Beckhoff instrument fitted with two manuals, pedal, and eight sounding stops.  The chronicler writes, “That organ wept with the sorrowing, rejoiced with the happy, and beautified the services until the year 1935, when it had to give way to a more majestic queen of instruments.”
The new church was dedicated to the services of the Triune God on November 15th, 1903.
Pastor Jacobs also became involved in the maintenance of the parochial school that the congregation had maintained since her beginnings, but which, due to the fluctuation and sometimes stormy years of her late nineteenth century history, had proved difficult to operate with constancy.  Several teachers had resigned during that period, and the congregation had issued calls to replacements several times, all to no avail.  When teacher W. Wendt left for a school in Chicago, Pastor Jacobs was left to teach the children himself, “with the aid of a lady assistant.”  Apparently this soon became too much of a burden, however, since the school was soon closed altogether, and would not open again until 1959.
But during the early years of the twentieth century, St. Paul’s became known in  the community as “a church that taught from the Bible,” and the building’s majestic steeple has graced the skyline of Kewanee ever since, a silent testimony to the unwavering faith of the people who have congregated within it from week to week  throughout the century.

-to be continued.

150th Anniversary Committee
is meeting again on Wednesday, February 1, after Midweek Mass.  There is no choir scheduled for that evening.

Septuagesima February 5

Since Easter falls on April 8th, Septuagesima Sunday is not until February 5th, following the Epiphany season.  On Septuagesima we bid the Alleluia farewell, and begin to turn our gaze toward Lent, Passiontide, Holy Week, and Easter.

This pre-lent or Septuagesima season includes the three Sundays prior to Lent.  February 5th is Septuagesima Sunday, February 12th is Sexagesima Sunday, and February 19th is Quinquagesima Sunday.  These names mean seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth, respectively, and indicate the anticipation of Easter by as many days, approximated on the Sunday that falls nearest to the seventieth, sixtieth, or fiftieth day before Easter.

Candlemas to be observed February 1

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and the Purification of Mary will be observed with mass at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 1.  Also called Candlemas, because of the sublime custom of distributing, blessing, and lighting of candles  during the service, this service is one of the more beautiful at St. Paul’s. 

             This declaration by Simeon (in the Nun Dimittis) of the Christ Child as a Light is the reason for the ceremonial use of candles at this Mass.  The use of these lights in connection with the Blessed Sacrament emphasizes the analogy of Simeon’s exultation on receiving the Child with our own reception of Christ at the altar.  The name of this Feast, Candlemas, also subtly provides a link to the Feast from which it springs, that great feast of forty days earlier, namely Christmas

February Birthdays

2/2      Mindie Fisher

2/4      Joshua Kraklow

2/5      Tom Wells

2/17    Monroe Kemerling

2/18    Ashton Powers

2/23    Carol McReynolds

2/24    Ruth Snider

February Ushers

Otis Anderson, John Ricknell, Bill Thompson           

February Anniversaries

Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home; Mark Baker and Anna Baker at home; Ruth Snider at Hillcrest Home; Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care. Elva Garrison at Abingdon Nursing Home.

The New Testament in His Blood
Some copies of my new book The  New  Testament in  His Blood: a Study of the Holy Liturgy of the Christian Church are available for purchase at the reduced rate of $15.00.
 -- Pastor

Private Confession is always available to anyone between 6 and 6:30 pm on these Wednesdays (and also, as always, by appointment). Pastor is usually available as well on Saturdays, from about 4 pm until Mass.

In Our Prayers

In addition to our shut-ins, our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following.  Anyone wishing to update the lest by ddition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.

in our parish:
Mark Baker
Ann Baker
Elva Garrison
Ruth Snider
And all of our shut-ins
and also:
David Dakin [req by Harris]
Anna Rutowicz [req by Harris]
Sara Bidni, mother of Svetlana Meeker
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Caleb Cleaver [req by Ricknell]
Pam Mansnarus [req by Ricknell]
Gary Skinner [req by Allensworth]
Pastor Glenn Niemann
Christian Johnson [req by Kemerling]
Madison Lindsay [req by Andersons]
Nina Hartz [Sharon’s mother]
Richard Day [Kris Harden’s father]
Linda Anderson [Andersons’ daughter-in-law]
Tom Fornoff [Jean Russell’s brother-in-law]
Edna Day [Chris Harden’s stepmother]
Robbie Niernyck [req by Harlow]
Susan Wahlmann [req by Harris]
Mike Holbrook [req by Thompson]
One of our HeadStart children, who has leukemia

     in the military:
John Eckardt
Brent Matthews [req by Fisher]
Michael and Melinda Fisa [req by Kemerling]
Michelle Steuber [req by Fisher]
Kevin Thompson
Donny Appleman [req by Ricknell]
Thomas Kim [req by Shreck]
Jaclyn Harden Alvarez

Those who are in trouble:
Unborn children in danger of abortion, the people of Haiti in the midst of a  cholera outbreak, Those suffering from persecution, genocide, and imprisonment in Burma, Nigeria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, and elsewhere.

Chaplain Frese Home For Good

Chaplain Michael Frese  has returned home from Afghanistan and is returning to civilian life, as a pastor.  His wife Janet has sent us a not thanking all friends for their continued prayers and support for our military personnel.

Altar Guild Notes

·        Altar Guild members, please note that it is usually not necessary to apply water to the paten when cleaning it.  If water must be used, take extra care to ensure the paten is completely dry before placing the celebrant’s host on it, as moisture can make the host stick!
·        Parament color is VIOLET throughout February, except for Friday, February 24th (St. Matthias’ Day) for which the color is RED.
·        We return to oil candles for February 4th and 5th (Septuagesima, when the parament color changes to VIOLET.

Next meeting is Tuesday, March 6th.

First Tuesday Vespers, etc.

February 6th, Altar Guild is at 6 pm, Vespers is at 6:45, and Elders is at 7:15, as usual.

Robin Sighting Contest

Every year we begin to look for robins in spring.  Who can find the first?

The Lighter Side
From the Groaners department

A Buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.”

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.


(2012:2) Why does the pastor wear a black “stole” for Matins and Vespers?

The black “stole” that a pastor may wear for Matins and Vespers is actually not a stole at all, but is called a tippet. The tippet designates the authority of the pastor to preach, but is not a Eucharistic vestment. That means it is not worn for Holy Communion. The stole, on the contrary, is a Eucharistic vestment, and actually is normally supposed to be worn beneath the chasuble, the long flowing poncho-like vestment worn by the celebrant at Holy Communion. This is why stoles come in the colors of the church year, while the tippet does not. Since the stole and chasuble go with the Sacrament, it is best to have them match the color of the altar from which the Sacrament is given. The tippet, on the other hand, is always black, simply designating the preaching office. Hence a tippet is not worn if Matins or Vespers are said or sung without a Sermon. In such cases, only cassock and surplice are to be worn (the black gown with the three-quarter-length white robe over the top).

Thus, when at Matins or Vespers you see the pastor wearing the tippet, you know that you will soon be hearing him preach.

Installation of officers

Newly elected and installed officers (all incumbent): Chairman, Monroe Kemerling; Vice-chairman, Bob Bock; Recording secretary, Charlene Sovanski; SS chairman, Sheri Kraklow; Treasurer, Berniece Harris; Missions Chairman: Judy Thompson; Stewardship Chairman, Jan Schoen; Finance Committee, Lucille Kemerling, Barb Kraklow; Finance Chairman, DeAnne Anderson; Elder, Steve  Harris.
Remaining in office: Trustees, Bill Thompson, Tony Fisher, John Sovanski, Otis Anderson; Elders, Steve Kraklow, Dick Melchin, Allan Kraklow, Grant Andreson, Dale Baker, Tom Wells

Bad News, Good News: Furnace Out, Furnace In, and an 

Encouraging Boost!

As the trustees explained to the congregation at our Voters’ Assembly in January, we suddenly needed four new furnaces in our school, which cost us $9,500.00. 

Then, just the other day, we received a check in the amount of $5,000.00 from a visitor who, upon receiving our thank you note, said this: “Actually, Pastor, the thanks goes to you and what you do through our Lord . . .  you and many other Confessional Lutheran Pastors are what sustains us . . .  you and your congregation at St. Paul’s have it all.”

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

[1] The average income for an American supporting a family in 1900 was around $1,200 a year, and today it is around $36,000 a year
[2] In all likelihood the chronicler of these early years was the Rev. M.F. Oberndorfer, whose pastorate at St. Paul’s was from 1928 – 1957.

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