Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 2015

Volume 27                                  September 2015                                      No. 9
The Death of Death

hen a loved one dies, we suddenly look at things from a new perspective, as anyone who has been through the experience knows. Even when it is someone who has lived a long and blessed life, such as my mother had lived, who died and was given Christian burial this summer, even when, on hearing that the person who died was over ninety years old, and we instinctively think, “well, it isn’t so bad, because, after all, . . .” still, there is an absence that presents itself. Something is not right. Something is missing, because someone is missing. Someone is gone who was there before. There is a hole, a dark hole, a black hole. There is death.
And no matter what anyone might say to lighten the reality, death is not a good thing. It is not, as some New-age thinkers might try to tell us, a beautiful sunset stage of a beautiful life. Death is ugly, and it is unwanted. It is the enemy.
To face this reality squarely is to be in a better position to understand just what the gift of Christ’s victory is. His is a victory over insurmountable evils. It is not simply an opiate, a way to make us feel better about ourselves or our lives. If, as the Apostle Paul puts it, in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
The victory that Christ has wrought for us is a much more tangible kind than what the preachers of Christian prosperity would have us believe, who promise a life of undefined victory, and is a much more enduring kind than the abundance they preach.
The victory is over sin, Satan, and death.
And this is not just sweet-talking. Certainly not for people who have had to deal with death, and who are aware that there is something wrong with life that we cannot reverse.
Christ Jesus rose from the dead, quite visibly and tangibly: “Handle me,” he said to his disciples, “and see.” This is our hope and confidence in life, that he who gave himself into death did so for us, and for our salvation; so that we who are undeserving of good things might receive eternally good things, life, and salvation.
This is the reality that causes St. Paul to mock the grave: Where is thy sting? he jabs. He knows the sting of death, but for him the greater reality is that Christ is risen from the dead, and has demonstrated in no uncertain terms that even death shall be undone: the last enemy to be destroyed is death, as he said to the Corinthians.
            This is our hope and confidence, and the basis upon which we live.

+ Pastor Eckardt

 Q & A on the Bible and Jesus off to a Great Start

At the first session of our new class on Tuesdays there were fourteen of us, a great start to a new idea for St. Paul’s.

At the previous session the time of the class was moved to 5:00 pm, running for about an hour: take note, class is at 5:00 pm from now on.

Our class will be divided by topic, with each topic taking anywhere from one week to three or four.

Our first unit has to do with the question, “How do we know the Bible is God’s Word?”

The outline for Chapter one looks like this:

 The Bible’s self-testimony. 
a.       Old Testament examples
b.      Jesus’ testimony
c.       Eyewitnesses
d.      Exhortation to believe

II.                External testimony Comparison to other religions, on the question of epistemology:
a.       How do you know that what you believe is correct?
b.      How do we know Christianity is the only way?
c.       How does Christianity compare with other religions, like Islam?

II.                Apologetics:
a.       Can we reconcile science with Scripture?
b.      What stands in the way of believing?

III.             What is truth?

These sessions are recorded and are available on the internet. See the Facebook page: Q & A on the Bible and Jesus.

Join in!

September Council: Wednesday, September 16th, at 5:30 pm

 September Ushers: Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells.

Choir Rehearsals
Regular choir rehearsals resumed Wednesday evening, August 19th, as we prepare for Oktoberfest.  This gives us a mere month and a half to get ready. We’ll have some new music, and, as always, have lots of fun.

September Birthdays
9/1 John Ricknell
9/10 Jan Schoen         
9/15 Chuck Russell
9/17 Mary Beth Jones
9/18 DeAnne Anderson
9/19 Jaclyn Kraklow
9/19 Jamie Kraklow   
9/28 Allan Kraklow

September Anniversaries
9/18/1976 Tom and Sue Ann Wells
9/24/1977 Dennis and Janice Schoen

Shut ins

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

Thrivent Choice Dollars
Any congregational member who has Thrivent Insurance can check to see if he is eligible to direct Thrivent donations to St. Paul’s. According to the Thrivent web site, to be eligible to participate in Choice Dollars, you must be a benefit member; individual eligibility is also based on: • Holding a qualifying Thrivent Financial volunteer leadership position; or • Having $750 or more in annual premiums of qualifying insurance products; or • Having $20,000 or more in contract value of qualifying products. If you think you might qualify, contact Thrivent at, or call your local representative at 309-852-0708.


St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
109 South Elm Street

October 4-6, 2015 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) Notice: this is one week earlier than usual!

The Twentieth—Twentieth!Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central will be hosting the Rev. Richard Stuckwisch, PhD, Pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana 

The question of the eucharistic sacrifice is a critical ingredient in the Lutheran understanding of worship. Pastor Stuckwisch happens to be an expert among us on the matter. He became interested in the Lutheran confession of eucharistic sacrifice in the course of his STM studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.  He explored this futher in his doctoral work at the University of Notre Dame, where he investigated the Inter Lutheran Commission on Worship, focusing especially on the development and discussion of the eucharistic rites of the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and Lutheran Worship (1982)." His PhD research was published in 2011 under the title, Philip Melanchthon and the Lutheran Confession of Eucharistic Sacrifice.  His topic for this conference is

“Eucharistic Sacrifice and Eucharistic Prayer in Theology and Practice”

The event begins Sunday the 4th 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. Stuckwisch 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 5th, the day begins with mass at 9:00 a.m., with Rev. Fr. Michael Frese from Redeemer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as our special guest preacher.  Following mass and a continental breakfast, Fr. Stuckwisch will hold forth for the rest of the day, in two sessions running until about 2:45, followed by vespers.
On Tuesday October 6th, the conference will continue in the same format, with Fr. Eckardt, pastor at St. Paul’s, holding forth.  The Tuesday sessions, will be framed by morning low mass (spoken Divine Service) and Vespers.

Please let us know! Are you coming?

REGISTRATION: $40 per person (students $20) $60 per couple — includes Sunday banquet and Monday continental; no charge for children with parents.  Register by email ( or call 309-852-2461 and leave your name, address, and which days you plan to attend.  You may pay the registration fee when you arrive.   Lodging: AmericInn. 309-856-7200.  Special rate $97.66 (mention Oktoberfest when you register, by September 14th); 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.

TAKE NOTE: Members of St. Paul’s go free!  FREE!  You can make a donation if you want, but don’t let finances keep you from attending.  Register ahead, so we have a better idea who’s coming.

LCMS National Mission leaders call for action on abortion

on August 20, 2015 in LCMS Reporter Online
By Adriane Heins

Seventeen LCMS officials — the entire leadership of the Office of National Mission as well as the Synod’s chief mission officer — issued a statement Aug. 20 denouncing Planned Parenthood’s actions, recently showcased in another Center for Medical Progress video.

The video, which features an ex-procurement technician who worked in a Planned Parenthood clinic, tells the story of a Planned Parenthood doctor who dissects a baby boy born alive. “She has one of her instruments and she just taps the heart and it starts beating. I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating,” the technician recounts.
In response, the 14 men and three women from the LCMS issued a statement that reads in part, “The infanticide that is occurring at Planned Parenthood must end. It is not simply time to defund that organization; it is time to end abortion in the United States altogether.”
“As for us, we can no longer claim that we didn’t know Planned Parenthood doctors killed children so ruthlessly or that we weren’t aware human bodies were cannibalized for their organs. We can’t just say it’s a woman’s choice or shrug our shoulders and mumble, ‘Who are we to judge?’ ” the statement notes. “We can’t hide behind the half-truths that women have no other place to find health care or that Planned Parenthood provides millions of mammograms per year. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters.”
The signers of the statement also urged LCMS members to action in a variety of forms — participating in a nationwide Aug. 22 Planned Parenthood protest, contacting elected officials, supporting LCMS Life Ministries and taking to social media to defend life, amid other options — noting, “The only option is for each one of us to act.”
Although the series of videos, and the most recent in particular, “lay evil bare,” the statement offered hope and forgiveness as well, noting, “Our heavenly Father, it turns out, knows a thing or two about hearts. We are the reason He allowed His own Son’s heart to stop beating for a time, so that ours may thrive for all eternity. In so doing, He shows us His own heart, full of grace, mercy and compassion.”
Signers of the statement include the following: LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin Robson; Rev. Bart Day, executive director, Office of National Mission; Rev. Heath Curtis, coordinator, Stewardship Ministry; Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray, director, Black Ministry; Rev. Joel Hempel, interim director, Specialized Pastoral Ministry; Rev. Dr. Carlos Hernandez, director, Church and Community Engagement; Rev. Ross Johnson, director, Disaster Response; Rev. Mark Kiessling, interim director, Youth Ministry; Rev. Todd Kollbaum, director, Rural & Small Town Mission; Deaconess Dorothy Krans, director, Recognized Service Organizations; Tracy Quaethem, project coordinator, Life and Health Ministries; Deaconess Grace Rao, director, Deaconess Ministry; Rev. Steve Schave, director, Urban & Inner-City Mission; Terry Schmidt, director, School Ministry; Rev. William Weedon, director, Worship; Rev. Mark Wood, director, Witness & Outreach Ministry; Rev. Marcus Zill, director, Campus Ministry and LCMS U

Adriane Heins ( is managing editor of The Lutheran Witness and editor of Catechetical Information for LCMS Communications.

Thanks to the Kraklows
Member of St. Paul’s experienced a happy, sunny summer day at the church picnic held at the home of Allan and Barb Kraklow during August. Special thanks to the Kraklows for hosting the picnic this year.

Altar Guild News
Sundays during September, the color is green.

Wednesdays are varied:
September 2nd is green.
September 9th is green.
September 16th is red (observance of Holy Cross Day)
September 23rd is red (observance of St. Matthew)
September 30th is white (observance of Michaelmas) Color reverts to Green for the first Sunday in October

Pastor to Speak at St. Michael Conference in Detroit

Every year Zion Church in Detroit holds its St. Michael conference on the last Monday of September, and virtually every year Pastor Eckardt is asked to be one of the speakers at the conference. This year, the Rev. Dr. Charles Evanson will give the keynote address, entitled, "Liturgical Renewal in Missouri." Fr. Evanson, a renowned scholar who currently teaches at the University of Klaipeda in Lithuania, was also keynote presenter at the first St. Michael Liturgical Conference in 1997.  For information on this conference consult Pastor.
Jazz on the Side

As you probably know by now, your pastor and subdeacon are members of the local jazz band that plays here and there. Our next gig is to be on Sunday, September:  The first Musical Hospitality coffeehouse will feature the music of Jazz on the Side.
This jazz band has been performing for several years, and they've agreed to help kick off the coffeehouse series. The first Musical Hospitality coffeehouse will be on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 20, at the Boss Community Center in downtown Kewanee. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the music will start at 7

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

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