Monday, October 29, 2012

November 2012


Our Oktoberfest has come and gone, and this year’s 150th anniversary celebration made it extra special.  Volunteers who put in so many hours should be heartened to know that the result of their efforts is a memorable and successful tribute to the 150 years of St. Paul’s.
In addition, the presence of former pastor Kenneth Wegener to preach at Sunday night’s vespers, of Central Illinois District President Mark Miller to preach at Monday’s mass, and of Dr. Lawrence Rast, President of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, all helped to highlight the importance of the event, which saw estimated attendance figures of some ninety guests on Sunday night, sixty on Monday, and twenty on Tuesday.  These numbers make this year’s event one of the most successful we have ever put on, in spite of the fact that we didn’t even manage to get the advertisement into area newspapers this year.
Dr. Rast’s presentation, “Can Anything Good Come Out of the Nineteenth Century?” was given high marks and favorable comments by a number of attendees. 

Here following is an example, a nice summary provided by attendee Rev. Jason Braaten (pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tuscola, Illinois), from Gottesdienst Online (

“I’ve just returned from Oktoberfest, where Dr. Lawrence Rast, president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, presented on the topic ‘Can anything good come from the nineteenth century?’

“The answer: No! No, but . . . , Yes, but . . . , and Yes! He took us through them all. And the last answer was absolutely vacant.

“There were real nuggets throughout, but the most salient came in Rast’s discussion of Charles Porterfield Krauth’s transformation from an American Lutheran to a Lutheran in America. Having learned from Samuel Simon Schmucker that the Lutheran Reformation was simply the overthrow of Roman error that didn’t go far enough, Krauth, after drinking deeply from the wells of the Lutheran divines of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, responded with this:

“The overthrow of error does not in itself establish truth. The Lutheran Reformation can not, therefore, simply be about overthrowing error. It is insufficient for discerning what the Lutheran Reformation was about to concentrate on what it (continued, page 2)
(continued from page 1)
overthrew. It must also, and more importantly, consider what it retained (paraphrase of Rast, paraphrasing Krauth).

 “What did the Lutherans retain? To answer that, according to Krauth, is to answer what the Reformation was about. And to know this is to know the Confessions. So study your Confessions (not that I have to tell any of you this).

“A nugget closely related to this is how the American Lutherans (S. S. Schmucker, et al.) sought to establish their uniquely American version of Lutheranism: Get rid of the Confessions. And why? Because they were dogmatic, they taught baptismal regeneration and the bodily presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar, and they established and required a liturgical form in worship.

“I find it interesting that all the opponents of Confessional Lutheranism in nineteenth-century America agreed that the Confessions established and required a liturgical form in worship. And because of this little factoid, S. S. Schmucker and gang had to dispense with the Confessions. For you can’t be fully Lutheran in America [they said] and hold to a liturgical form in worship. No. If you were to be an American Lutheran, worship must be a revival, focusing on the free will to decide to believe.

“How is it that the heirs of the American Lutheran movement among the Lutherans in America today, that is, the contemporary worship crowd, aren’t able to see the same thing? What happened? What changed? Why do they claim that the Confessions establish no such thing? How can this be?”

November Anniversaries
11/5 Steve and Berniece Harris
11/10 Gayle and Phil Beauprez

The Lighter Side

Heard on the street: “I shot my first turkey yesterday.  Scared everyone in the frozen food section.  It was awesome! Getting old is so much fun . . .”

Available now! 

A Sesquicentennial Commemorative History (1862-2012)

Get your copy in the cafeteria.  Only $10.00, cash or a check made out to St. Paul’s.  This is the history presented in the series of newsletters through the first half of this year, with a special appendix: “Memos to Pastors and Parishes in Trouble,” containing some personal reflections published in 2006 in Gottesdienst. 

Get your copy today: a great memento of our sesquicentennial celebration and year!

November Birthdays
11/13 Shannon Peart
11/14 Carol Robinson
11/15 Kami Boswell
11/19 Steve Kraklow
11/20 Jewneel Walker
11/30 Charlene Sovanski

Altar Guild News
Notes for November:

All Saints Day will be observed Wednesday, October 31st, at 7 pm.  Color is red. 
            Thanksgiving is observed Wednesday night, November 21st.  Color is White. 
All the Sundays in November are green.  Last Sunday of the church year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Tuesday the 28th we will observe St. Andrew’s Day. Color is red.

Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home; Mark Baker at home; Anna Baker at home; Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care; Ruth Snider at Hillcrest Home in Geneseo; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield.
November Ushers Otis Anderson, John Ricknell, Bill Thompson, David Ricknell

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 addition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.

Mark Baker
Ann Baker
Barb Kraklow
Emmy Wear

And all of our shut-ins

And also:
David Dakin [re Harrises]
Anna Rutowicz [re Harrises]
Sara Bidni, [mother of Svetlana Meeker]
Julie Ross [daughter of Svetlana Meaker]
Caleb Cleaver [re Ricknells]
Pam Mansnarus [re Ricknells]
Christian Johnson [re Kemerlings]
Madison Lindsay [re Andersons]
Tom Fornoff [Jean Russell’s brother-in-law]
Susan Wahlmann [re Harrises]
Nina [nine-a] Hartz [Sharon’s mother]
Ginny Humble [re Harrises]
Wren Hampton [re Murphys]
Christopher Lewis [nephew of Carol Eckardt]
Rev. Don Chambers [of Manito]
Rev.  Glenn Niemann [of Pekin]
Rev. Brian Feicho [of Granite City, Ill.]
Owen Slock, [re Donna Harlow]
Lisa Gustafson [re Donna Harlow]
Crystal Stoll

in the military:
John Eckardt
Brent Matthews [re Fishers]
Michael and Melinda Fisa [re Kemerlings]
Michelle Steuber [re Fishers]
Donny Appleman [re Ricknells]
Thomas Kim [re Shrecks]
Jaclyn Harden Alvarez
Michael Creech [re Murphys]

in trouble:
any unborn children in danger of abortion
Nigeria: Militants have killed at least 14 Christians in raids on villages.
Iran: an upsurge in the harassment of Christians in Iran, with reports indicating an increase in arrests during recent weeks. Three hundred Christians have reportedly been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned there since 2010.
Indonesia: A Christian's home and a church building were targeted with bomb blasts this month in Indonesia. Explosives were detonated outside a Christian's home; a bomb exploded outside the Imanuel Church building in nearby Taripa, Pamona Timur. No one was injured in the blasts, but the attacks have created fear among Christians who have long endured violence in a region considered a hotbed for Islamist militancy.
India: About 20 Christians celebrating a baptism were attacked and beaten by Hindu militants before being arrested by local police. The Christians, including 10 who were being baptized, were accosted by members of Hindu nationalist groups. Police then forced them a truck to detain them for interrogation.
Also in Egypt, Syria, Somalia, China, and elsewhere.
First Tuesday
First Tuesday Altar Guild and Elders meetings will be held on November 6th. Altar Guild at 6 p.m. Vespers is at 6:45, and Elders meet at 7:15.
Daily Prayer
For daily prayer in the homes of members, the following helps are offered:
As a minimum, when you rise in the morning and go to bed at night, follow the catechism.  That is, repeat the invocation (In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen), say the Apostles’ Creed, and Say the Our Father.  If you wish, you may add Luther’s morning or evening prayer.
You are encouraged to use your hymnal for a richer daily prayer.  The oder of matins (morning) or vespers (evening) is easily adoptable for personal use.
The hymnal is also a good resource for a schedule of daily readings.  See page 161.  These readings correspond with the material in Every Day Will I Bless Thee: Meditations for the Daily Office, my book of meditations for daily use.

Epiphany Vespers on Sunday night, January 6th

Tentatively, our annual winter Choral Vespers is scheduled for Sunday night, January 6th, 2013, at 7 pm. This is the night of Epiphany Day. 

It will be followed by our traditional wine-and-cheese reception, another annual tradition.  Then on Monday January 7th, we’ll have a Day of Theological Reflection, from 8:30 – 3:30.

The next day’s fifteenth retreat in the Theological Reflection series is entitled,

“THE nativity canticles of st. luke”

This retreat (January 7th) will focus on the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke, and in particular the canticles of Simeon and the Blessed Virgin Mary, both of whom exulted in the coming of the Blessed Nativity of our Lord.
            If there is inclement weather, a snow date for Choral Vespers is scheduled for Monday night (January 7th) at 7 pm.

The New Testament in His Blood
This series contains brief liturgical explanations which appear in Pastor Eckardt’s book The New Testament in His Blood (Gottesdienst, 2010).

One of the very oldest ingredients in the Christian liturgy is the sermon. From ancient Christian times, the sermon was understood as the point at the liturgy at which the proclamation of the Gospel reached its
fullest form. The Gospel was not merely to be sung, prayed, and read. It was to be preached, as St. Paul also says, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (I Corinthians 9:16) Preaching was not prominent, however, in Old Testament times. A
comparison of the Old Testament worship practices to those in the New Testament can quickly yield this major difference. Whereas the Old Testament contains prophets who from time to time warned
people and called them to repentance, the New Testament contains evidence of preachers whose perpetual task was to make known the revelation of God in Christ. This is not by accident, for according to St. Paul, the Gospel “in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed
unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:5). The open preaching of Jesus as the Christ is in sharp contrast to the divine mystery of the coming Messiah in times prior to His coming. This preaching was inaugurated by Jesus Himself,  particularly in His sermon on the Mount, in which, as we are told by the Evangelist, “he opened his mouth and taught them” (St. Matthew 5:2). The opening of Jesus’ mouth here was coincident with the opening of the Scriptures—the revelation of their full meaning—at His long-awaited coming. The Church’s first preacher was therefore Jesus Himself. No mere rabbi was He, though He was that. Jesus by preaching
inaugurated the Preaching Office.
Significant questions arise when we consider the origins of the sermon, with an aim to a better understanding of its significance and necessity.
How did the sermon, as we know it today, emerge from the common synagogue practice seen in the Scriptures? What changed from synagogue to church? Why did it change? The data concerning the worship of the synagogue when Jesus was walking the earth are sketchy, but we can gain some insight into it
from the Gospels themselves. In particular, the fourth chapter of St. Luke gives us a special case in which Jesus was not only present, but a central participant. There we are told that immediately after His
temptation He “returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all” (St. Luke 4:14-15). Jesus is here said to have “taught” in the synagogues, rather than that He “preached” there. The term used here for teaching (didasko,didache) is of a distinctly different nature than the term normally (continued, back page)
(continued from page 4)
used for preaching (kerysso, kerygma). The practice of rabbinic teaching was likely of the same nature as
rabbinic commentary on the Bible, also called midrash. The rabbis would comment on the Bible verse by verse, in much the same way as a modern Bible commentary. These comments were sometimes found in the margins of the Bible scrolls themselves. Jesus, who was recognized as a rabbi, and widely known, was expected to teach in the synagogues to which He went. Next we are told of “his custom” to go into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stand up to read. “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . .” and continued the reading. Then, “he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (16-21). According to these words, what was customary was the reading of a section of Scripture, followed by teaching on that section, i.e., midrash. But in this case, “all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (22). In telling us that Jesus “began” to say this to them, the Evangelist is implying that what amazed them was an entire sermon. The gracious words indicate that something different and out of the ordinary was occurring here. Fulfillment was the new theme, inaugurated by Jesus’ appearance to
teach in the synagogue. Here the midrash was replaced by the sermon.
What is striking is that the passage Jesus read, from Isaiah, contains this: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives” (18). Here, not only is the word for preaching introduced, but “gospel” (evangel). So Jesus takes up the mantle of teacher, but begins to preach, and as He
does so He announces that the day of fulfillment has come. His announcement that He is now going to begin preaching the Gospel is meant to indicate that the day of fulfillment has arrived. It is Jesus Himself who inaugurates the practice of preaching, and this practice is a mark of the New Testament in Him.
Simply put, here He began to “preach” in the New Testament sense. Moreover, these words “proceeded” out of His mouth: this is the same term used for the procession of the Holy Ghost, which, according to the Isaiah passage, was “upon him,” and whom He would soon send in and with the apostles in sending them to preach. Theologians make a distinction between the eternal procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son (the filioque) and the temporal sending of the Holy Ghost by Jesus. But it is helpful to see the eternal and the temporal as bearing an integral relation to each other. As the Holy Ghost eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, so also He may be said to proceed in a temporal sense, when Jesus sends Him.

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

No comments: