ALMOST HERE: SESQUICENTENNIAL BASH
Sunday- Tuesday, October 7-9
Everything’s falling into place for the great celebration of our 150th anniversary. We expect a good turnout, and maybe even good weather. Volunteers have stepped forward (and if you can volunteer too but haven’t yet, please do! the more we have, the easier it gets on everyone)
Our special guest speaker is Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast, President of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, a church historian specializing in American Lutheranism. That will work well with our sesquicentennial celebration, as his theme will be
Can Anything Good Come Out of the Nineteenth Century?
Other special guests include CID President Mark Miller, Monday’s preacher and former St. Paul’s Pastor Kenneth Wegener, who will preach at the Sunday Vespers.
Members of St. Paul’s special rate: $15.00, $25 per couple (children free), includes all meals. Register ahead, so we have a better idea who’s coming. Bring a friend too: the fee for friends coming with members is only $10.00!
Support your congregation! Set aside Sunday and Monday, October 7th and 8th for Oktoberfest! And Tuesday too, if you can do it!
A Sesquicentennial Commemorative History (1862-2012)
They’re here! 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!
Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell
10/1 Richard Melchin
10/1 Sue Murphy
10/2 Diana Shreck
10/3 Matthew Fisher
10/9 Mary Hamilton
10/9 Kevin Thompson
10/20 Ed Woller
10/24 Robert Jones
10/24 Corey Peart
10/28 Carmen Sovanski
10/30 Sharon Hartz
10/4 Linda and Larry Rowe
10/23 Otis and Deanne Anderson
Altar Guild News
Notes for October:
All Sunday mornings are green except for the last Sunday in October, the 28th, which is Reformation Sunday (with Saturday the 27th). Color for that is red.
For Oktoberfest: Sunday evening (but not morning!), October 7th, and Monday morning, October 8th: congregational anniversary, color is red. Monday vespers and following, color is green.
Wednesday the 3rd and 10th are green, but the rest of the Wednesdays in October are red: Wednesday the 17th (St. Luke), Wednesday the 24th (St. James of Jerusalem), and Wednesday the 31st (All Saints).
Tuesday the 30th is red, also for Reformation.
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.
First Tuesday Altar Guild and Elders meetings will be held on October 2nd. Altar Guild at 6 p.m. will include a review of basic duties and training. Vespers is at 6:45, and Elders meet at 7:15.
The Lighter Side
The NFL is using replacement officials while the regulars are on strike. As you may have figured, your Packers fan-pastor is keenly aware of this.
Here’s how, I think, things might work out if we had replacement pastors of the same caliber:
“After further review, the original ruling of the law stands. Your sins are not forgiven. You lose the game . . .”
The New Testament in His Blood
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).
The Creed, for at least the reason that it did not even exist until the fourth century, was a late-comer to the Divine Liturgy. The recitation of the Creed at the Eucharist may not have begun until the late fifth
century. It was employed at Constantinople in 511, but not until the eleventh century in Rome.1 The Western Church has never regarded it as a necessary ingredient, and it is not included in daily Masses.
But since the fourth century the Church has confessed the Nicene Creed as her declaration of what she believes, teaches and confesses, and its routine use at solemn Mass did finally become a venerable and salutary practice. The Creed did not arise in a vacuum. The ecumenical councils which gave rise to the Creed were stormy events, in which truth and error struggled against each other with sometimes sharp invective and vitriol.
Many sects and heterodox groups were reframing the Gospel in terms contrary to the revealed truths of the faith. In ad 325 the primary
bishops from all of Christendom, approximately 300, met together in Nicaea, a city in what is now Turkey, to deal with the growing threat of error. At that council the first version of the Creed was drawn up and agreed upon by all the catholic bishops. In doing so they rejected in particular the false views of the heretic Arius, who denied the full divinity of Jesus. Of all the bishops present, all but two rejected Arius.
The Arian heresy did not die away, however. In many ways it gained headway and even the support of the government. The Emperor granted amnesty to the Arian leaders and even sent St. Athanasius, champion of the faith confessed at Nicaea, into exile. The catholic bishops suffered great losses through the course of the fourth century. But by the year 381 the political climate had changed sufficiently to permit their meeting in Constantinople for the second
ecumenical council, which reaffirmed the faith of the Nicene fathers and to expand the Creed into the form in which we now have it.
The Creed in its original form is in the first person plural: “We believe in God . . .” This is because it was an expression of unanimity among
the bishops present at the Council. When the Creed began to be confessed in the churches while at Mass, the form was altered into the singular, as we have it now: “I believe in God.” When people at worship make this confession, they are declaring their personal
agreement with the ecumenical Christian faith as it was insisted upon by these assembled bishops who made their stand against the Arian errors. The use of the singular also suggests a baptismal reference, as
it is found in the Apostles’ Creed (which is confessed at Baptism). That is to say, it is because of Baptism in Christ that we declare our allegiance with those who rejected the Arian errors. The errors of Arius and his followers were regarded as a most serious breach in the faith because they amounted to a denial of Jesus. Arius had said that there was a time before Jesus existed; Arius’ followers had tried to blend their false views with those of the Christians, saying that Jesus is “God” in a manner of speaking, or that He was of like
substance with the Father. The Nicene fathers rejected all refusals to see Jesus for who He truly is, and this is why the Creed is so emphatic about His divinity: “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,” and then the following clause, “begotten, not made,” a declared rejection of Arius, and then this, “being of one substance with the Father,” a declared rejection of any who attempted the compromising
view, and finally this, “by whom all things were made,” a confession which no Arian could stomach. Thus the Creed is the mark of an unyielding Church Militant, making its stand against all error.
At Mass, the placement of the Creed immediately after the hearing of the Gospel is itself a sort of confession as well. It is an implicit declaration as to the source of our faith, namely the Gospel. As soon as the Gospel is heard, the Gospel is confessed.
In addition, it is traditionally appropriate to genuflect at the words “and was made man,” to mark our acknowledgment of His deep humility. The term man here implies more than simply His union with our humanity, but His state of humiliation under the curse of the Law.
In the Creed’s third article, it is also appropriate to make a profound bow (from the waist) in honor of the Holy Ghost, at the words “who with the Father is worshipped and glorified.”
An open letter
Reprinted below is an open letter from a good number of religious leaders across the spectrum of faith in the US, including our own Synodical President Matthew Harrison, pertaining to the free exercise of religion, in response to the Federal Government’s Health and Human Services mandate requiring religious hospitals to provide contraceptive services and abortifacients to their employees. I encourage you to read it. - Pastor
FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION:
Putting Beliefs into Practice
An Open Letter from Religious Leaders in the United States to All Americans
Religious institutions are established because of religious beliefs and convictions. Such institutions include not only churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship, but also schools and colleges, shelters and community kitchens, adoption agencies and hospitals, organizations that provide care and services during natural disasters, and countless other organizations that exist to put specific religious beliefs into practice. Many such organizations have provided services and care to both members and non-members of their religious communities since before the Revolutionary War, saving and improving the lives of countless American citizens.
As religious leaders from a variety of perspectives and communities, we are compelled to make known our protest against the incursion of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) into the realm of religious liberty. HHS has mandated that religious institutions, with only a narrow religious exception, must provide access to certain contraceptive benefits, even if the covered medications or procedures are contradictory to their beliefs. We who oppose the application of this mandate to religious institutions include not only the leaders of religious groups morally opposed to contraception, but also leaders of other religious groups that do not share that particular moral conviction.
That we share an opposition to the mandate to religious institutions while disagreeing about specific moral teachings is a crucial fact. Religious freedom is the principle on which we stand. Because of differing understandings of moral and religious authority, people of good will can and often do come to different conclusions about moral questions. Yet, even we who hold differing convictions on specific moral issues are united in the conviction that no religious institution should be penalized for refusing to go against its beliefs. The issue is the First Amendment, not specific moral teachings or specific products or services.
The HHS mandate implicitly acknowledged that an incursion into religion is involved in the mandate. However, the narrowness of the proposed exemption is revealing for it applies only to religious organizations that serve or support their own members. In so doing, the government is establishing favored and disfavored religious organizations: a privatized religious organization that serves only itself is exempted from regulation, while one that believes it should also serve the public beyond its membership is denied a religious exemption. The so-called accommodation and the subsequent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) do little or nothing to alleviate the problem.
No government should tell religious organizations either what to believe or how to put their beliefs into practice. We indeed hold this to be an unalienable, constitutional right. If freedom of religion is a constitutional value to be protected, then institutions developed by religious groups to implement their core beliefs in education, in care for the sick or suffering, and in other tasks must also be protected. Only by doing so can the free exercise of religion have any meaning. The HHS mandate prevents this free exercise. For the well-being of our country, we oppose the application of the contraceptive mandate to religious institutions and plead for its retraction.
Sincerely yours, [signatories are listed on the back page of the newsletter]
The signatories of the open letter on the Free Exercise of Religion
Leith Anderson President National Association of Evangelicals; The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison President The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, l.s.p. Provincial Superior, Baltimore Province Little Sisters of the Poor; Gary M. Benedict President The Christian and Missionary Alliance U.S. Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church ,Bishop, Fellowship of International Churches; The Rev. John A. Moldstad President Evangelical Lutheran Synod.Bishop John F. Bradosky North American Lutheran Church; The Very Rev. Dr. John A. Jillions Chancellor Orthodox Church in America; Deaconess Cheryl D. Naumann President Concordia Deaconess Conference, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; The Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson Archbishop of St. Louis; The Most Blessed Jonah Archbishop of Washington Metropolitan of All American and Canada Orthodox Church in America; The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez President NHCLC Hispanic Evangelical Association; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan Archbishop of New York, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Imam Faizul R. Khan Founder and Leader, Islamic Society of Washington Area; Sister Joseph Marie Ruessmann, R.S.M., J.D., J.C.D., M.B.A. Generalate Secretary, Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan; Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V. Superior General of the Sisters of Life; The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations Orthodox Church in America; The Rev. Mark Schroeder President, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod; Sister Barbara Anne Gooding,R.S.M. Director, Department of Religion; Saint Francis Health System; The Most Rev. William E. Lori Archbishop of Baltimore, Chairman; USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; L. Roy Taylor Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America; Sister Margaret Regina Halloran,l.s.p. Provincial Superior, Brooklyn Province Little Sisters of the Poor; Sister Maria Christine Lynch, l.s.p; Provincial Superior, Chicago Province Little Sisters of the Poor; Sister Constance Carolyn Veit, l.s.p. Communications Director, Little Sisters of the Poor; Dr. George O. Wood General Superintendent The General Council of the Assemblies of God
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443