Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2015

St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm, Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Volume 27                                   May 2015                                           No. 5


Toward the end of the Easter season we find Rogate Sunday (this year, on May 10th), in which we are encouraged to pray (rogate means “O pray!)

The Gospel for this Sunday includes Jesus words, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (St. John 16:23-24)

But this is not simply a discourse on prayer: “Up to now,” he says, “you have asked nothing in my name.” But have the disciples not prayed Psalms?  Said daily prayers?  Thus to ask “in his name” is referring here to something other than simply praying.  What is “in my name”?

We not that he also says in that day ye shall ask in my name.  In what day?  Here he is talking about the day inaugurated by the resurrection, the eternal Day of Easter: from Easter forward, and particularly from Pentecost, it becomes the mission of the Apostles to ask in Jesus’ stead, as his ministers. On Ascension Day he commissioned his disciples to go forth into all the world and preach in his name.  In that day means therefore on the day they became apostles.  In the day he sent them.
And therefore in my name is in my stead, that is, in my place.  Here is the office of the apostolic ministry.  Men stand in for Jesus, and they preach for him, and they do his praying for him.

Consider the architecture of the church: at one end is the altar, and at the other are the people. The pastors stand in between, taking the place of Christ, and they communicate both ways: to the people for Christ, and also to the Father for Christ.

Rogate Sunday is followed by what used to be called the Rogation Days, the three days prior to, and preparing for, Ascension Day. So the connection is already made between these matters and the ascension.

What else happened on Ascension Day?  That was also the day Jesus instituted Holy Baptism.  Thus the people of God are washed by Christ. Because we are baptized in the Christ, we are the church.  The church prays.  The people pray, together and separately, but never alone.  Always as the church.  Always through Christ.

And always anticipating the reception of every good thing.  Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

+ Pastor Eckardt

 Peter Eckardt Receives Call to Immanual Ev. Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia; Plans to be Ordained Here Soon

At the Call Service at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 32 candidates for  the Holy Ministry received their first calls to parishes around the country. Among them was our own Peter Eckardt, son of Pastor and Carol. His call was to serve as Associate Pastor at Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria is a suburb of Washington, D.C. The church, a member of the Southeastern District, also has a Christian dayschool; Peter will be serving with Senior Pastor Christopher Esget. Pastor Esget is well known to Pastor Eckardt as a solid confessional and liturgical ally. He and Peter are expected to be kindred spirits, and friends at the seminary tend to agree that this is a very exciting call. Immanuel has a website ( that declares it to be a congregation having confessional doctrine and traditional liturgy.
“We rejoice with all the students who received their assignments this week. These men and women have been uplifted and strengthened by worship life in Kramer Chapel, enriched by rigorous academic training in the classroom and benefited from the support of their families, friends and the entire Seminary community,” said Seminary President Lawrence R. Rast Jr. “We also celebrate with the many congregations across the United States that will welcome these new workers. I am confident they will be faithful servants of Jesus Christ as they serve His people with grace, mercy and humility.”
            Peter Eckardt follows his own father in taking his first assignment in Virginia. Pastor Eckardt’s first parish was in Winchester, Virginia, some 70 miles from Washington, D.C., also in the Southeastern District.
            Peter and Allison Everett are to be married at the Fort Wayne seminary chapel on June 20th, with his father preaching and officiating at the rite of marriage while Pastor David Petersen serves as celebrant for the nuptial mass.
Peter plans to be ordained here at St. Paul’s , tentatively late in May. He would then be installed and begin his service in July.

Supreme Court Considering Same-Sex Marriage Arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court has been hearing arguments beginning April 28th about whether states have the power to ban same-sex marriage. A dozen couples are challenging the bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The four states are the only ones whose bans on gay and lesbian marriages were upheld by federal appeals courts. A judge who voted in the majority in that case said the issue should be resolved by a vote, not a court. The case is expected to have a broad impact.
Gay marriage is now legal in 36 states, including many whose bans were overturned by federal courts. The unions are in limbo in Alabama, where probate courts were ordered to await the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling. The hearings are the first time the high court has taken up the issue since 2013, when it voted 5-4 to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
            Meanwhile a number of high-profile religious leaders across the country have vowed civil disobedience if the Court redefines marriage. “We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve. . . . While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states.
The signees include former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The pledge was co-drafted by Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic deacon, and Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel. Also involved in the document were Rick Scarborough, the president of Vision America Action and James Dobson, the founder of Family Talk Radio. “You are essentially saying that boys and girls don’t need moms and dads–that moms and dads are irrelevant,” Staver said. “Gender becomes pointless when government adopts same-sex marriage. It creates a genderless relationship out of a very gender-specific relationship. It says that it doesn’t matter and that two moms or two dads are absolutely equivalent to a mom and a dad.”

An Open Letter from Religious Leaders to All in Positions of Public Service
Released April 23, 2015
Dear Friends:
At this significant time in our nation’s history with the institution of marriage before the United States
Supreme Court, we reaffirm our commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and
one woman. As religious leaders from various faith communities, we acknowledge that marriage is the
foundation of the family where children are raised by a mother and a father together. Our commitment to
marriage has been expressed on previous occasions, including the Letter of Shared Commitment and Letter
on Marriage and Religious Liberty. This commitment is inseparable from affirming the equal dignity of all
people and the necessity of protecting their basic rights.

The state has a compelling interest in maintaining marriage as it has been understood across faiths and
cultures for millennia because it has a compelling interest in the well-being of children. Every child has a
mother and a father, and every child deserves the opportunity, whenever possible, to be raised by his or her
own married mother and father in a stable, loving home. Marriage as the union of a man and a woman is the
only institution that encourages and safeguards the connection between children and their mother and
father. Although this connection cannot always be realized and sustained—and many single parents, for
example, are heroic in their efforts to raise their children—it is in the best interests of the state to
encourage and uphold the family founded on marriage and to afford the union of husband and wife unique
legal protection and reinforcement. The redefinition of legal marriage to include any other type of relationship has serious consequences, especially for religious freedom. It changes every law involving marital status, requiring that other such relationships be treated as if they were the same as the marital relationship of a man and a woman. No person or community, including religious organizations and individuals of faith, should be forced to accept this redefinition. For many people, accepting a redefinition of marriage would be to act against their conscience and to deny their religious beliefs and moral convictions. Government should protect the rights of those with differing views of marriage to express their beliefs and convictions without fear of intimidation, marginalization or unwarranted charges that their values imply hostility, animosity, or hatred of others. In this and in all that we do, we are motivated by our duty to love God and neighbor. This love extends to all those who disagree with us on this issue. The well-being of men, women, and the children they conceive compels us to stand for marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We call for the preservation of the unique meaning of marriage in the law, and for renewed respect for religious freedom and for the conscience rights of all in accord with the common good.

This letter was signed by the leaders of 35 national church bodies, including our LCMS President Matthew Harrison.

May Anniversaries
5/17/1959        Allan and Barbra Kraklow
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  
5/26     Preston Powers

May Ushers
Otis Anderson, John Ricknell, David Ricknell, Bill Thompson

Altar Guild Notes

•        No mass on Wednesday, May 13th; instead, mass is on Thursday, May 14th, which is Ascension Day.  The color remains WHITE
•        Saturday, May 23rth color changes to RED for Pentecost and its vigil, and for the following Wednesday (Whitsun week).
•        The color changes back to WHITE for Trinity Sunday and the Saturday evening prior, May 30th. The color remains white through the following Sunday, June 7th, and is changed to Green after that Sunday mass.

Peter Eckardt Ordination To Be Set Soon: Late May or Early June

Plans for Peter Eckardt’s ordination are still in the works, but as of now it is to  be late this month or early in June, possibly on a Saturday. Following the ordination service, we expect to have a reception at the Eckardts’s house, perhaps a cookout. Details to follow.

May Meetings: Council remains on the Third Week

First Tuesday meetings are May 5th, as usual: Altar Guild at 6 pm, Vespers 6:45; Elders 7:15.  Although a discussion was held about possibly moving Church Council, that has not happened, and meetings remain on third Wednesdays until further notice. This month, that is May 20st, at 5:30 pm.

In Our Prayers
In addition to our shut-ins, our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the following.  To update the list, please inform pastor. 
in our parish:
Sandra Verplaetse, Sarah Corzine, Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, John Sovanski, Ann Baker, Dale Baker, Sharon Hartz, Carol Kegebein
And also:
Anna Rutowicz [granddaghter of  Harrises]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter, cancer]
Jill Matchett [requested by Diana Shreck]
Lorene Foglesong [requested by Kraklows]
Corbin Gonzales [requested by Chuck Russell]
Cathy Van Wassenhove [requested by Verplaetses]
Shelly DeBord [requested by Jim Watson]
Liam Hampton [requested by Murphys]
Anthony Strand [requested by Murphys]
Maria Thorndike [requested by Murphys]
Ben Brown [requested by Eckardts]
Annie Eastman [requested by Meakers]
Keith Ruggles [Barb Kraklow’s brother, cancer]
David Fowler [heart condition, requested by Murphys]
Robin Hampton [requested by Watson: cancer]
Melissa Hayword[requested by Kemerlings]]
Will Johnson [requested by Kemerlings]
Emily Corzine  [Sarah’s sister]
Barb Corzine [Sarah’s sister]
Dennis Hoag [requested by Diana Shreck]
Pastors Don Chambers[Manito]and Glenn Niemann [Pekin]

In the military:
John Eckardt
Donny Appleman [requested by Ricknells]
Thomas Kim [requested by Diana Shreck]
Michael and Katherine Creech [requested by Murphys]
Richard Heiden [requested by Eckardts]
Carter Wills [requested by Thompsons]
Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin]
Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]

In catastrophe:
The people of Nepal who suffered a great earthquake

In trouble:
any unborn children in danger of abortion, and those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Kenya, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Uganda, North Korea, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

And for our own church

Trinity Sunday May 31st

Trinity Sunday comes on the Octave Day of Pentecost.  Our Festive Trinity Mass will be preceded by a recitation of the Athanasian Creed.

Commemorative St. Paul’s Plate Received as Gift

We received a commemorative plate having a picture and the name of St. Paul’s on it as a gift from a Lou Ann Foster (nee Noard) now living in Waynesville, North Carolina. She was a member here during Pastor Oberndorfer’s tenure. The plate is a 50th anniversary commemorative plate. It is available for viewing in the narthex.

Mourning the loss

We sorrow over the loss of faithful member Carol Kegebein, who died on Monday, April 13th, was laid to rest on Thursday the 16th, and we pray for the comfort of the resurrection to be with her widowed husband, faithful member Don Kegebein.
Ascension Day is May 15th

Our Ascension Day Mass will be Thursday, May 15th, at 7 p.m. Regular Wednesday evening Mass is cancelled this week, and people who like to come midweek are encouraged to the celebration of Ascension Day instead.

Pentecost May 24th; Vigil 23rd
 Pentecost is May 24th this year, and will be preceded by the Pentecost Vigil at 5:30 on Saturday the 23rd.
            The Vigil is a special service of anticipation is a helpful way to observe the Great Feast of Pentecost. It is a simpler and shorter version of the Great Vigil of Easter; members are encouraged to attend!
On Pentecost Day, our tradition of portraying the “other tongues” of Pentecost (see Acts 2) will be kept, as the opening verse of Pentecost  Sunday’s Gospel will be read in six languages before the entire Gospel is read in English.  The six languages, in order, are Greek, Latin, Swedish, Spanish, French, Russian, and German.

New adult instruction class scheduled for August: plan ahead to invite someone

Between now and August, members are encouraged to consider who might be interested in considering church membership here, or even an opportunity to learn about the Christian faith without any pressure to join at all.  Family members, friends, neighbors, workplace associates, or anyone you can think of would be welcome; even people who might be curious but have no intention of joining, if, for example, they are already members somewhere else. We are not seeking to steal people away from other churches. We are seeking to make ourselves and our confession known in  the Kewanee area. The best way we can do this is by word of mouth. Our members are our greatest resource in this regard. So see if you can find someone, and plan to attend with that person. Even if you cannot find anyone, you may come on your own, to refresh your own faith by this study. (I promise to keep it from being old-hat!) It will begin in mid-August, on a weeknight yet to be determined, in all likelihood either Tuesday or Thursday. Further details will emerge soon.

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

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