Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 2014

You are coming, right?

October 12-14, 2014 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)

Registrations are hovering close to 100 as of September 24, so this looks to be a well-attended event.

Our Nineteenth Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central will be hosting the Rev. John Stephenson, PhD, Professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. 
A renowned confessional Lutheran scholar, Dr. Stephenson has received degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham. He is the author of volumes 12 (Lord's Supper) and 13 (Eschatology) of the series Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics, of which he is the editor in succession to Rev. Dr Robert Preus.  His areas of scholarly interest include the works of Pastor Wilhelm Loehe, who, though he never came to America, trained many of the first pastors in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Dr. Stephenson will bring us his insights on 

“The Blessed Sacrament in the Theology of Wilhelm Loehe”

The event begins Sunday the 12th with choral vespers at 5 pm.  Following the service is our annual bratwurst banquet.  When everyone has had their fill of brats and beer, Dr. Stephenson will give a synopsis of his Monday seminar.  Following the banquet is the after-the-party party, at Pastor Eckardt’s home, where, as always, a gaggle of the editors of Gottesdienst will be milling about.
On Monday October 13th, the day begins with mass at 9:00 a.m. Following mass and a continental breakfast, Dr. Stephenson will hold forth for the rest of the day, in two sessions running until about 2:45, followed by vespers.
On Tuesday October 14th, the conference will continue without Dr. Stephenson, as those who remain will discuss the rubrics and significance of the Mass from the Preface to the Nunc Dimittis.  The Tuesday sessions, will be framed by morning low mass (spoken Divine Service) and Vespers.
REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS OF ST. PAUL IS FREE. Sunday vespers is (of course) free for all; non-members attending only the Sunday banquet: $10.00.

For non-members attending the banquet and Monday conference, registration is $40 per person, students $20, $60 per couple. Registration includes Sunday banquet and Monday continental; there is no charge for children with parents.  Register by using the space provided in the church’s weekly bulletin, or by email ( Let us know which days you plan to attend.  Lodging for out-of-towners: AmericInn. 309-856-7200.  Special rate $97.66, ($17 off the listed price—mention Oktoberfest when you register, by September 21st). Aunt Daisy’s B & B, 888-422-4148; Quality Inn, 309-853-8800; Days Inn (Sheffield), 815-454-2361; Best Western (Annawan), 309-935-6565; Kewanee Motor Lodge, 309-853-4000.

Support your congregation! Set aside Sunday and Monday, October 12th and 13h for Oktoberfest! And Tuesday too, if you can do it!

Volunteers sought! If you are able, we could really use your help.  We are a small congregation, and with Dr. Stephenson coming, we expect this year’s Oktoberfest will bring extra guests.  So please step forward and offer your help: everyone pulling together makes the preparations a lot easier.  We need volunteers!

Special Choir Rehearsals
Regular choir rehearsals for Oktoberfest are held on Wednesday evenings at 7:45 (after midweek mass)
The following additional rehearsals are announced especially for the convenience of anyone who cannot attend at that time.
Thursday, October 2, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 9, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 11, 6:30 p.m.

Windows Work Done; Damaged Window at Shop
Our stained-glass windows that were damaged in the high winds last month are being repaired at no cost to the congregation. The windows above the organ were damaged during our windy month of April. Our insurer, Grinnell-Mutual Insurance, has agreed to pay for the repairs, at roughly the cost of $16,000. The work was completed on September 24, except for one window that is being worked on at a shop off-site, which will be returned two-three months. The window-space is boarded up in the meantime.

Back to First Things:
Moses and Jesus

Beginning in the midst of September, a new plan was inaugurated for catechesis, a comprehensive plan designed to benefit the entire congregation. 

The Small Catechism is being reviewed in conjunction with the Creation account in the beginning of Genesis.

This emphasis is being employed in several ways:

·        During Saturday morning junior catechesis
·        During Sunday morning Bible class
·        On our weekly radio program, which is recorded every Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
·        On the internet, where access to the radio program is available through links at facebook.

Members of St. Paul’s may recall that basic review of the catechism has been offered on occasion over the years, as it is beneficial for all to have a working knowledge, awareness, and understanding of the Small Catechism.

The heart of the catechism is Jesus, and the heart of the Scriptures is Jesus, so it is not difficult to use both together, as these sessions will show.

October Ushers:

Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell

October Anniversaries

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

October Birthdays

10/1 Richard Melchin
10/1 Sue Murphy
10/2 Diana Shreck
10/3 Matthew Fisher
10/9 Mary Hamilton
10/16 Richard Madsen
10/20 Ed Woller
10/24 Robert Jones
10/24 Corey Peart
10/28 Carmen Sovanski
10/30 Sharon Hartz

First Tuesday
First Tuesday Altar Guild and Elders meetings are cancelled for this month.
Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home; Anna Baker at home; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield.

Altar Guild News
Notes for October:
            There is no meeting this month, as Pastor will be away at a conference in Detroit.

There are four Sundays this month.  The first three are green, and the fourth (Oct. 26) is Reformation Sunday, so the color is red.

There are five Wednesdays:
Wednesday October 1 is white, observing the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (Michaelmas).
Wednesday October 8 is green.
Wednesday October 15 is red, observing St. Luke’s Day (which actually falls on October 18th)
      This changes after the noonday prayers for Oktoberfest, and before vespers at 3:15
Wednesday October 22 is green.
Wednesday October 29 is red, observing All Saints’ Day (which actually falls on November 1).

Pastor Speaking at Conferences

As usual, I will be a speaker at the St. Michael Conference in Detroit on September 29th. My topic will be “The Incarnational Relationship Between the Holy Sacraments and Physical Touch”, an investigation of the Scriptural relationship between the physical touch of Christ and healing and salvation, as it is expressed in pastoral acts.

Also, at our Fall Pastors’ Conference this month, I have been asked to present on “The Law and Christian Piety: How the Liturgy Restores and Reflects Christ’s Image in Us.”
Inasmuch as we will be dealing with the topic of Creation in our Sunday class, I should have ample opportunity to speak on these things also here in the coming weeks.
- Pastor

Regional Youth Conference

On Saturday October 4th from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln, IL will be hosting a Regional Youth Conference. The theme is “The 2nd Book of Moses: Exodus.” At the conference, presentations and sectionals on these and other topics will be led by local pastors and lay leaders. During the day we will have a healthy balance of worship, learning, and fun; the first half of the day at Zion Lutheran Church and the second at Zion Lutheran School.

Jr. High Youth (6th-8th) and Sr. High Youth (9th-12th): Cost will be $10.00 a person, which will include donuts and juice in the morning, lunch, a Grill-out in the evening, and all activities. Several churches from the Central Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Iowa East District are already planning to attend. Please encourage your Jr. and Sr. High parents to send their children to this conference, and I would especially encourage parents and pastors to attend as well.

Feel free to call or email me with any questions.
In Christ, Pastor David Ramirez

Zion Lutheran Church-Lincoln, IL
(217) 732-3946
In Our Prayers
Our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following.  To update the list, please inform pastor. 
in our parish:
Ann Baker, Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, John Sovanski, Jean Russell and all of our shut-ins.

outside our parish:
Anna Rutowicz [re Harris]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter, cancer]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknell]
Madison Lindsay [re Andersons]
Jill Matchett [re Shreck]
Edna Day [Chris Harden’s mother-in-law, cancer]
Barb Fornoff [re Russells]
Lorene Foglesong [re Kraklows]
Corbin Gonzales [re Russell]
Nancy Eckardt, pastor’s mother
David Wexell [reVerplaetse]
Cathy Van Wassenhove [re Verplaetse]
Carl Hepner [re Kraklow]
Duane Kraklow [brother of Allan]
Emily Corzine
Shelly DeBord [re Watson]
Lois Hopkins [re Kemerling]
Don Bitting [Judy Thompson’s brother]
Liam Hampton, young relative of the Murphys
Pastors Don Chambers, [Manito]
Glenn Niemann [Pekin]
Arthur Baisch [cancer]
and Adam Jacobsen  [Mattoon]

in the military:
John Eckardt
Donny Appleman [re Ricknell]
Thomas Kim [re Shreck]
Jaclyn Harden Alvarez
Michael and Katherine Creech [re Murphy]
Richard Heiden [re Eckardt]
Carter Wills [grandson of the Thompsons]

in distress:
especially any unborn children in danger of abortion, and those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, , India, North Korea, and elsewhere.

Persecution details on back page.

Persecution details (from page 4).

CAMEROON: Churches Struggle to Cope as Refugees Flee Neighbouring Nigeria
Source: World Watch Monitor

Thousands of Nigerians, many of them Christians, have fled their home country for northern Cameroon in the wake of ongoing violence by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. Yet, even beyond the borders of their homeland, these Nigerian believers are far from safe. In the village of Cherif Moussary, an assault from militants left a church ransacked and the residence of the pastor burned down. Many of the Christian families were also stripped of virtually all their possessions. A similar act of destruction was reported at Mouldougoua village. At Assighassia, which was occupied for days by militants before the army arrived, two church elders were beheaded. Meanwhile, in Djibrilli village, a pastor was kidnapped, threatened and asked about his faith by militants before being released the following day.

In the midst of these gruesome attacks, churches in Cameroon are working to assist both Nigerian refugees and internally displaced people (IDP). "The action of our churches has initially consisted of providing the refugees and IDPs with food, shelter and medicines. But now, the capacity of our churches is overwhelmed, as their number has increased up to threefold," a church leader explained of the situation. "Every week we welcome new waves of refugees coming from all sides. More than 9,600 displaced people were recorded in two weeks. Some are welcomed within church compounds and others in the UN...refugee camp."

INDIA: Christian Couple Forced to Perform Hindu Ritual
Sources: VOM USA, World Watch Monitor

Kollol and his family
In the month of June, 15 radical Hindus attacked a Christian couple during a prayer meeting in their home. "Kollol" and his wife were beaten and then dragged to a Hindu temple where they were forced to undergo a ritual "cleansing." During the ritual, the Hindus poured water on them to symbolize outward cleansing and dabbed red powder on their foreheads to mark them as devout Hindus. When the assailants force-fed the couple with food sacrificed to idols, Kollol's two teenage daughters began to protest. The young women were then beaten as well, to the point that they and their parents all required treatment at a hospital. Community members later evicted the family from the village, threatening to kill them if they returned.

The attack against this family is just one incident in an ongoing trend of violence against Christians. Since late May, when the country's new prime minister was sworn in, there have been more than 600 attacks on minority Christians and Muslims. The new governing party, Bharatiya Janata Party (or BJP), is well known for espousing Hindu nationalism.

IRAN: Followers of Christ Face Possibility of Death Penalty
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Three Christian men -- Matthias Haghnejad, Silas Rabbani and Behnam Irani -- were recently charged with "spreading corruption on earth," a serious offense that may be punishable by death. The new charges appear to be part of a surge in repression targeting religious and ethnic minorities under the country's leader, President Rouhani.

Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, who was arrested along with two other believers in July, was previously charged with the lesser crime of "enmity against God." There are particular concerns surrounding the pastor's safety, as authorities appear to be targeting him actively. Meanwhile, Pastor Behnam Irani has been handed this serious charge as part of 18 new charges recently placed against him. Sources claim that all three men, who are being held separately at Ghezal Hesar Prison in Karaj, have been pressured into confessing that they are "spies."

 St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
   109 S. Elm Street

   Kewanee, IL 61443

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