Thursday, April 21, 2016

May 2016

Project Continues
As anyone who has been in church over the past several weeks can tell, our project is now underway. The interior of the church is now being repaired and painted. When the project is complete, we expect the complete interior to have new paint. Some areas have needed, and will be needing, extensive plaster repair.

Our painter has reached to the center of the ceiling in the first section we chose. We have had volunteers putting up scaffolding, cleaning, doing some painting, and doing trim work.

Roughly, we have collected $7500 to date, and have spent about $4500 (on the painter and supplied), leaving us about $3000. More funds are expected, but it is in many ways—not least in the financial sense—a work in progress.

It is by all accounts an exciting venture, and members tend to agree that it has been an encouraging thing to see happening. It is certainly long overdue; we have quipped in the past that either we do this soon, or we start handing out hard hats to people at worship!

Since we did not contract the services of a construction company for this, we are venturing into it not entirely aware of how it will move along. This, we determined, would be a big way of saving us money, even if it might be frustrating at times not knowing how to proceed. So far, things seem to have been moving along well.

The fact that we now have scaffolding blocking the center aisle will obviously mean that processions will be a little different, and people will have to find creative ways to get to their seats. The exits will all remain accessible for safety reasons. As we move along, we are looking into ‘storing’ pews by loosening them and pushing them together in the places the scaffolding will be moving. We will be needing to get by with less seating, but that should not be a problem. In short, we will be asking members to excuse our mess.

Yet to repeat myself, these are exciting times. Let us hope and continue to pray the Lord to bless and establish the work of our hands, and make us a light and beacon of the Gospel in this place in the time to come.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Our Organist Ryan Van Wassenhove Honored

When the President of the Blackhawk Chapter of the American Guild of Organists told our young organist Ryan Van Wassenhove about a young organist competition being held, Ryan sent the guild recordings of his playing, and he has recently been accepted as one of the top 20 young organists in the Midwest. As a result, he will be featured as part of a recital in Cincinnati to be held this summer. Congratulations to Ryan, and thanks be to God for providing us with such a talented organist to play our fine Casavant pipe organ.

Members of St. Paul’s  would do well to make an extra effort to be in time to hear the prelude on Sunday mornings, as this is—and has historically been—an excellent opportunity for the music of the organ to prepare mind and heart for worship. Ryan often selects preludes carefully to match the music that might be heard later in the service. With careful listening, the melody line can be heard running among the organ’s embellishments, in a typical Baroque styling technique.

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

Ascension Day is May 4th

Our Ascension Day Mass will be Thursday, May 4th, 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.

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

Pastor to be Delegate at LCMS Convention this Summer; July a Busy Month

The Missouri Synod’s triannual convention will be held in Milwaukee, beginning Saturday, July 9th, and running until Thursday the 14th. I am to be the Peoria Circuit Pastoral Delegate, which means I will be away on the 10th. Pastor Mark Nelson from Trinity in Peoria has agreed to fill the pulpit for me that day.

July is shaping up to be a busy month for me. We plan to visit two of my sisters in Denver, prior to the convention. Plans are to leave Sunday afternoon and fly from Chicago Sunday evening; then returning on Friday, in time for me to drive up to Milwaukee for the convention beginning the next day.

Upon returning from Milwaukee, we have plans to take our summer vacation in Northern Wisconsin the following week. The cabin rental for that week runs from Sunday to Sunday, which necessitates my being away two Sundays.

This means that I will be away for three Sundays in a row: July 10, 17, and 24. Saturday mass will be cancelled for two of those weekends, on the 9th and the 23rd, but there will be mass on the 16th, as I will be here.

Central Illinois District President Mark Miller has agreed to fill in here for me on the 24th. I am still searching for a fill-in for the 17th.
+ Pastor

Pentecost May 15th; Vigil 14th 

Pentecost is May 15th this year, and will be preceded by the Pentecost Vigil at 5:30 on Saturday the 14th.
            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.

Trinity Sunday May 22nd

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

Gottesdienst St. Louis

A one-day conference on Tuesday, May 17th
will be held in at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, Illinois (about a half-hour outside of St. Louis on I-55), featuring the editors of Gottesdienst (including your pastor), and Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, the President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Its intention is to prepare for the upcoming LCMS convention this summer by focusing on a matter that will be brought up there, namely the restoration in our churches of the Lutheran practice that only called and ordained pastors preach and administer the Sacraments. The Augsburg Confession declares that “no one should teach or administer the Sacraments without a regular call” (Article 14), but in 1989 the LCMS approved a practice of allowing unordained men to do this in certain places. The theme of this conference is

“Removing the Asterisk:
Restoring an Unconditional Subscription to AC XIV in the LCMS”

For details, go online at or see pastor.

Gottesdienst Collaborating with LCMS on Training Video

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is working together with Gottesdienst, which is technically owned by this congregation, to produce a training video for seminarians and parish pastors on how to conduct the ceremonies of the Divine Service. We have wanted to do this for a few years now, and it appears we’re finally ready. The funding for the project is being put up by the Synod, and Gottesdienst is providing the content. We plan to film the raw footage of a Divine Service at the conference in Hamel (see the nearby article), and later to use a voice-over instruction to teach the details of proper form and ritual.

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 the pastor.
in our parish:
Denny Schoen
Sandra Verplaetse
Emilie Ricknell
Linda Rowe
Steve Harris (tests)
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 [friend of Sandra Verplaetse]
Shelly DeBord [at request of the Watsons]
Robin Hampton [at request of the Watsons]
Maria Thorndike [at request of the Murphys]
Dottie Olander [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]
Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter]
Ray Zarvell
  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 the Middle East, North Korea, and elsewhere.

Church Picnic? Maybe the Last  Sunday in June, as in Former Years

At this point nothing is planned for certain, but if we return to the former tradition, we would be having our church picnic the last Sunday in June. Last year we had Rev. Peter Eckardt’s ordination instead, and a picnic was held at the Kraklows later in the summer, and the year before. But nothing has been discussed thus far. Members can talk it over. At this point people could look their calendars over and pencil in the last Sunday in June; any definite plans or details will follow.

Reading Material in the Narthex

Our reading rack in the narthex contains copies of Gottesdienst, The Lutheran Witness, and other reading materials which are available for the taking. Feel free to browse and take.

Altar Guild Notes

•        No mass on Wednesday, May 4th; instead, mass is on Thursday, May 5th, which is Ascension Day.  The color remains WHITE
•        Saturday, May 14th 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 21st. The color remains white through the following Sunday, May 28th, and is changed to Green after that Sunday mass.

Pastor and Carol to Visit her Father in Florida in June

Joining some of our children and grandchildren for a week in June, we will be heading to Florida where Carol’s father lives from June 2nd to the 8th. A supply preacher, Rev. Jeff Anderson from Bethel Lutheran Church in Morton, Illinois, will be here on Sunday the 5th. Pastor Anderson has been here before.  There will be no mass on Saturday evening the 4th; all members are encouraged to come out on Sunday morning to hear Pastor Anderson preach and to receive the Sacrament from him.
+ Pastor Eckardt

Tuesday and Wednesday Afternoon at St. Paul’s

Usually on a Tuesday at 5 p.m. a group of us meet in Pastor’s office to study Scripture at “Q and A on Jesus and the Bible.” Last week there were five of us; sometimes there are a few more. It’s always a lively conversation.

Generally there’s no assigned topic (although we h ave an outline from which we can always choose one), but it’s an opportunity for people to bring discussion questions for us to discuss informally. Bring your friends and neighbors, or just come! One hour, 5 – 6 p.m.

On Wednesdays at 2:30 the radio program is recorded, and this, too, is an opportunity to gather and discuss the word of God. Right now we’re looking at I Peter. Anyone is welcome to join us for this half-hour session.

Always Remember Saturdays

Every Saturday the church needs a crew of volunteers to help with cleaning, yard work, mowing, etc. If we get a nice group, we even like to enjoy a coffee break and lunch together sometimes. Join us if you can; the help is always welcome, and the more, the merrier.

We are always thankful for the volunteer spirit of our members, who put in so much of their time and treasure to help maintain the vibrancy of this little congregation.

Concordia Catechetical Academy Symposium in June

The 23rd annual symposium on catechesis will be held at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha, Wisconsin from June 15-17. The topic this year is “Keeping Our Children in the Faith.” Pastor Eckardt is among the presenters. For registration information, see Pastor.

District President to Visit July 24th

Central Illinois District President Mark Miller is planning to preach and celebrate here on July 24th while Pastor Eckardt is on vacation. Members of St. Paul’s are encouraged to mark this special day and come see and spend time with the District President.

Pastor Presenting at CILCA

I will be presenting at a pastors’ retreat at Camp CILCA on Monday and Tuesday, May 2nd and 3rd, but the event ends around noon on Tuesday, so I expect to be back in plenty of time for the regular Q and A schedule, and the First Tuesday events.
+ Pastor

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