Saturday, February 27, 2016

March 2016

St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm, Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Volume 28                                   March 2016                                        No. 3
Renovation Begins with a Bang

At long last we have begun to address our church’s ceiling. We have of course known for years that this was needed, but we were also acutely aware that we didn’t have the funds.

What has changed? We are still, as ever, a fragile congregation, whose funds, in spite of all our best efforts, are never quite able to keep up; a congregation that sometimes receives unexpected gifts just in the nick of time, it would seem.
But as far as finances are concerned, two things have changed. First is the news that trustees and some members of the congregation met with a man, Mr. Bob Harrison, a drywall and plaster refinisher, who stated that the plaster in the nave is reparable, and that this work could be done in short, affordable steps, provided that we can set up our own scaffolding and planking, and do as much of the unspecialized work as we can, including especially cleanup; but possibly also even some painting. This is a breakthrough: the breaking of the project into steps prevents us from thinking it to be overwhelming and undoable. We can take as long as we need.
So, since the voters’ approval on February 7, 2016 we have begun. We have already the scaffolding up, as the nearby picture shows: volunteers came in on Saturday, February 20th.  That small section will be worked on until complete—plaster patching, priming, and painting—before we move on to the next. Each area will be about 20 feet by 20 feet. Bob will repair the plaster and wait for it to dry in that area and when it is cured he (or some able volunteer) will paint it while the scaffolding is set up in that area. His rate will be approximately $20-25 per hour, to which we must add the cost of materials.  Church members will primarily be asked to volunteer as the clean up crew. The voters also determined that the easiest way forward is to stay with the colors we already have. Since the altar area is the newest and cleanest painted area, we will try to match that color. The cost of paint & plaster per area is estimated at $200 to $300 per section.
The second thing that has changed is a more fervent desire to get the job done. As a result, in just one month we have already collected $3,615 in special designated donations. The dedication of this parish to her task of being a beacon of the Gospel in this place is worthy of note. It is that dedication that has brought us to the point where we have determined our place of worship needs this remodeling. Let us pray for our Lord’s continued blessing on us as we proceed.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Lenten Suppers

We are again having Lenten soup suppers on Wednesdays in March at 5:30 pm (note the new time). Join your family of the faithful for this time together.  Convenient time too: midweek Lenten masses are at 7:00.

Every Wednesday in Lent except for Holy Week.

James Armstrong to be Welcomed
We expect to receive Mr. James Armstrong into communicant membership at the Vigil of Easter this year. James is nearing completion of private instruction. He is the husband of Michelle (nee Thompson) Armstrong. Congratulations!
(For more on the Vigil of Easter, see below)
Q and A Continues
Every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. our class entitled “Q and A on Jesus and the Bible” continues.
Although people who come are not required to bring their own questions, we have noticed that when people do, it becomes an especially lively and edifying hour.
Give it a whirl, if you have the time.

In Our Prayers

Our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following.  Anyone wishing to update the list by addition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.

in our parish:
Sandra Verplaetse
Emilie Ricknell
Linda Rowe
Berniece Harris
Denny Schoen
Mary Hamilton
Emmy Wear
and also:
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Jill Matchett [at request of Diana Shreck]
Lorene Foglesong [at request of the Kraklows]
Cathy Van Wassenhove [re Sandra Verplaetse]
Shelly DeBord [at request of the Watsons]
Jackie Hampton [at request of the Murphys]
Robin Hampton [at request of the Watsons]
Maria Thorndike [at request of the Murphys]
Annie Eastman [at request of Svetlana Meaker]
Emily Corzine [Sarah’s sister]
Dennis Hoag [at request of Diana Shreck]
Nancy Popejoy [relative of Sharon Hartz]
Jeff Autery [friend of Chris Erickson, with cancer]
John Molburg [friend of Sandra Verplaetse]
Dave Colgron [friend of Tom Wells]
Michelle Campbell [Larry’s wife]
Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter]
in the military:
John Eckardt
Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells]
Thomas Kim [at request of the Shrecks]
Michael Creech [at request of the Murphys]
Katherine Creech [at request of the Murphys]
Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts]
Carter Wills [grandson of the Thompsons]
Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin]
Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]
in trouble:
any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Iran, Kenya, Pakistan, North Korea, and elsewhere. (Details on the back page)

And our own church

Easter Breakfast

The Easter breakfast will be held after 7:00 a.m. Sunrise mass on March 27th.  Calling all volunteers!  If you want to help, provide an egg dish, set tables, or otherwise donate, please speak to or contact Carol Eckardt at 853-7708. 

           On Holy Saturday, March 26th, volunteers will be needed to set up the tables.

March Anniversary

3/19/1977 Jeff and Diana Shreck

March Ushers

Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells

Altar Guild Notes

·         The paraments color for the month of March is VIOLET, until:
·         Maundy Thursday, March 24th, color is WHITE. The stripping of the altar follows mass.
·         Holy Saturday (Vigil of Easter), March 26th, color is WHITE
·         Easter (March 27th) and its week are WHITE.
·         During Holy week, mass is held every night Monday through Saturday, at 7 p.m.
Next meeting is Tuesday, March 1st.

First Tuesday Vespers, etc.

March 1st, Altar Guild is at 6 pm, Vespers is
at 6:45, and Elders is at 7:15, as usual.

March Birthdays:
3/1      Barbra Kraklow
3/2      Joseph Eckardt
3/25    Carol Eckardt

Shut ins

Mary Hamilton (currently in Fort Wayne, Indiana); Emmy Wear at Williamsfield.

Private Confession is always available to anyone between 6 and 6:30 pm on these Wednesdays (and also, as always, by appointment). Pastor is usually available as well on Saturdays, from about 4:30 pm until Mass.

The Lighter Side

What do you get if you pour hot water down a rabbit hole? Hot cross bunnies.
What's the difference between a counterfeit bank note and a crazy rabbit? One is bad money, the other is a mad bunny.
How many Easter eggs can you put in an empty basket? Only one – after that it’s not empty any more.
How do you catch the Easter Bunny?
Hide in a bush and make a noise like a carrot.
Why does the Easter Bunny have a shiny nose?
Because the powder puff is on the other end.
How does the Easter Bunny keep his fur neat?
With a hare brush.
What did the rabbit say to the carrot?
It’s been nice gnawing you.
How do you know carrots are good for your eyes? Have you ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?
How did the soggy Easter Bunny dry himself?
With a hare-dryer.
Why can’t a rabbit’s nose be 12 inches long?
Because then it would be a foot.
Why did the Easter Bunny cross the road?
To prove he wasn’t chicken.
What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rabbit? An elephant who never forgets to eat his carrots.

Training for the Great Vigil
Training of the mind is helpful in preparation for our Easter celebrations, especially when it comes to the Great Vigil, which is the solemn service of Saturday night before Easter morning, in which we welcome the end of Lent and the coming of Easter. 
One of the elements of the liturgical reform which has taken hold in many segments of Christendom is the recovery of the Great Vigil.  For a very long time there was little or no concept of what the Great Vigil was, or what it was for.  Indeed The Lutheran Hymnal itself has no propers listed for the Great Vigil.  There’s only a little reference to “Holy Saturday, Easter Eve,” having only a collect and two readings, the Gospel being a reference to the burial of Jesus (St. Matthew 27).  So even there, although the collect for Easter Eve contains the traditional reference to “the glory of the Lord’s resurrection” on “this most holy night,” nothing else does.  There was virtually no Great Vigil among Lutherans in the early 20th century.
The recovery of this ancient and venerable tradition has been a key ingredient in the rediscovery of liturgical beauty and importance for Lutherans.
But still there is resistance, particularly among people who hadn’t grown up with the tradition, and for whom therefore it represented something new.  Actually it’s something very old, which, like many venerable traditions, fell into disuse between the 17th and 19th centuries when Rationalism was on the rise.  The recovery of Confessional Lutheranism has brought with it an awakening of liturgical piety, and a renewed appreciation for the Great Vigil.
The Vigil is a bit lengthier than a regular Sunday mass, but for those who are aware and appreciative of what’s going on, time does not seem to be a factor.  It requires a little disciplining, a little training of the mind to grasp and appreciate the majesty of this holy night, but when that discipline is achieved, the Great Vigil begins to stand apart as an awe-inspiring ceremony. 
It’s actually an accumulation of four services set end-to-end, each building on the former, until finally Easter formally arrives.
Beginning at dusk, the congregation gathers around an open fire for the Service of Light.  The paschal candle is lit and a procession forms to enter the church.  When the long procession finally wends its way into the church, and hand-candles are lit, the solemn Exsultet is chanted, a beautiful and melodious proclamation of Easter’s arrival.  There is high ceremony here, done with purpose: we are witnessing and partaking in the celebration of the renewal of all creation in the resurrection of our Lord. 
            The Service of Readings follows, in which several Old Testament readings foretelling this grand event are read.  The service concludes with the great canticle called the Benedicite Omnia Opera in which now the rejoicing of all creation is openly expressed.  Also known as the Song of the Three Children (the three men in the fiery furnace), it speaks of the rejoicing of all creation: angels, heavens, waters, sun, moon, stars, showers, dew, winds, fire, winter, summer, dews, frost, cold, ice, snow, nights, days, light, darkness, lightning, clouds, mountains, hills, green things,  wells, seas. floods, whales, all that move in the waters, fowls, beasts. cattle, and children of men. Here, as before, we observe that all creation bends toward its Creator who has renewed all things by rising from the dead.
            Then follows the Service of Baptism, in which any confirmations are also held, as well as a calling to mind of Baptism for all in attendance.  This follows fittingly, since it is through Baptism that we have become participants in the renewal of creation.
            Finally, the Service of the Sacrament marks the point of entry into Easter.  The lights come up, the celebrant is vested, the lilies seem to trumpet, and we sing the Gloria in Excelsis with gusto; the organ keeps its silence no more, and even the bells are rung.  This is the Church’s finest hour: Christ is risen!  And so we feast, coming to the altar to receive His Body and Blood in the Sacrament.
            This crescendo of rejoicing continues at sunrise, when in the bright array of the morning sun we recall the moment in which the women at the tomb, and Jesus’ disciples, first learned of His resurrection.  Easter Sunrise is more festive still than the last part of the Great Vigil.  Now we are in full-throated song and music, our choir is at its very best, and our hearts sing in glad harmony with our voices. 
            The best way to gain the full effect of this great liturgical Feast is to witness it from Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, when the Church is at its darkest and most somber.  From the deepest depths to the highest heights we go in just three days, as the liturgy of the Church mimics Christ Himself, who went through death to resurrection.  So we sing a mournful tune during the Holy Three Days, but it gives way to a heady rejoicing when we celebrate that Easter has come, and with it, our victory over the grave.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
                                                                                    - Pastor Eckardt

 Persecution details

KENYA: Al Shabaab Rebels Raid Coastal Village
18 FEBRUARY 2016

In a four-hour pre-dawn raid on January 31st, Islamic extremist al Shabaab rebels killed at least four Christians in a coastal Kenyan village. Two were shot, one was beheaded, and another died because his house had been set on fire. There were also surviving victims wounded in the attack. Eyewitnesses say it's clear that the attackers were hunting down Christians.

PAKISTAN: Attack of Young Women Results in Tragedy 18 FEBRUARY 2016
Christian women are particularly vulnerable to rape and public shaming by the extremists of this Muslim-majority country. In a recent incident, three young Christian women were purposely hit by a car for refusing the sexual advances posed to them by a group of Muslim men.

SOURCES: Morning Star News, International Christian Concern, VOM USA, various others

No comments: