Thursday, May 26, 2016

June 2016

New Project Manager

As our renovation project continues, we are settling into some procedural grooves that we hope will make the progress easier.

First, we are thankful that Steve Peart has agreed to be the Project Manager. Up to this point, Otis Anderson was trying to direct things and lining up people’s schedules, etc., and finding it increasingly difficult to do, since he is already juggling many things as a trustee, and he lives farther outside of Kewanee. So Steve has graciously agreed to step up and help. He is now in regular communication with our painter Bob Harrison, and arranges dates for when it is time to move the scaffolding again. On Wednesday May 25, we moved it again, toward the east wall.

You may have noticed that the scaffolding moves a little from one side toward the other, incrementally, until we expect to have an entire side-to-side section complete. Then we will move on to the next front-to-back area.

It has become a project that we plan as we go. One great benefit of doing it this way is that it saves the congregation a great deal of money.

Web site upgrade in the works

I’ve been working on upgrading our web site and making it linkable to facebook, so that our project and its progress can be more widely made known, and so that should people desire to donate, they will have an easy capability to do so. Right now the web site, is up and running, and we also have a blog where our newsletter is routinely posted online at another site, Our Facebook page is St Paul's Lutheran Church-Lcms and is also being upgraded. Check it out.

+ Pastor

Memorial Gift Received

Recently we received a very special donation from the estate of Dick Melchin’s sister-in-law, who passed away last autumn. A check in the amount of $13,000 was added to the offerings on May 17th

The funds are undesignated, meaning that we are free to use them where most needed. The church council is in the midst deliberating on the best way to use these funds, weighing the substantial needs of our regular budget against our restoration project. On the one hand we must depend on special offerings to meet our budget these days; on the other hand we have our renovation project’s needs to consider.

We are thankful to Almighty God for his lavish providence.

Picnic to be at Kraklows’

The annual church picnic is to be held, God willing, at the home of Allan and Barb Kraklow south of Toulon this year. The date is our traditional last Sunday in June, which this year will be June 26th, as soon after church and Bible Class as you can arrive. As usual, it’s a potluck, and bring your own table service. The nearby map has arrows penciled in, showing the way to the farm. Turn south off the main street in Toulon (where the bank is) and follow the road as it leads out of Toulon, angling slightly to the east and then turning south again. Within two miles there is a dirt road that turns east to the farm.  If you get lost, call 309-238-7270 and Barb can guide you in. Everyone come enjoy some summer fun you’re your beloved church family! Bring outdoor toys, Frisbees, etc. if you want, or just bring a smile on your face.

First Tuesday Events Moved to Second Tuesday this Month

Our First Tuesday meetings for June are moved to the second  Tuesday in June, to accommodate Pastor’s schedule On Tuesday June 14th we plan to have Altar Guild, Vespers, and Elders, beginning as usual at with Altar Guild at 6 pm, Vespers at 6:45, and Elders at 7:15.

Off to Florida

Pastor and Carol have planned a trip to Florida to spend some time with her father who lives at a retirement village in Kissimmee. Plans are to fly down on Thursday, June 2nd and return on Wednesday night June 8th. Pastor Jeff Anderson from Bethel Lutheran Church in Morton, Illinois is planning to fill in on Sunday, June 5th while Pastor Eckardt is away. No Mass Saturday night. Come out on Sunday morning to hear Pastor Anderson preach and to receive the Sacrament from him.

Concordia Catechetical Academy

The Concordia Catechetical Academy is holding its annual conference at Waukesha, Wisconsin, June 15-17.  Pastor is a scheduled speaker this year, and Pastor and Carol will be in attendance at this two-day event, so there will be no mass here on Wednesday the 15th. The theme for this year’s conference is “Keeping Our Children in the Faith,” and Pastor’s topic is “The Liturgy is for Children.” Anyone interested in details for this fine conference (which many lay people usually attend) log on at or consult Pastor

Donations and Expenses for our Project

Our renovation project is an ongoing step in faith, and one thing we have done to  try to keep the membership apprised of our status is to post in the weekly bulletins a running tally of our total donations, our expenses, and our balance. Right now we are staying about $3000 ahead of our expenses.

Donations of time and energy are also not to be forgotten. Members have taken time out of their busy schedules to help plan, move scaffolding, repair lights, clean up messes, and take care of detail work. Our work moves forward with the prayer that God will establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90); and in Christ, we are confident that this prayer has in the most important ways already been answered.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Gottesdienst St. Louis a Big Success

About 100 guests were in attendance at the one-day conference held on Tuesday, May 17th 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. Many delegates for the upcoming LCMS convention were present, as the conference focused on a key 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 current task force is recommending steps the LCMS can take to bring our Synod back into conformity with its own confession while being sensitive toward those who find themselves in positions needing adjustment. In particular, where laymen are serving as pastors, we need to see them treated fairly, examined, called, and ordained.

Gottesdienst Video Project Underway

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. The raw footage was filmed at the Gottesdienst St. Louis conference, and we now will move to the editing and voice-over stage. We expect the project will take several months to complete. It appears the first stage went well.

June Birthdays:
6/5 Linda Rowe         
6/15 Jill Powers
6/16 Berniece Harris
6/29 Jim Watson

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

June Anniversaries:
6/17/1967 Robert and Mary Beth Jones
6/18/1960 Sandra and John Verplaetse
6/18/1977 Fr. Burnell and Carol Eckardt
6/18/1966  Don and Sue Murphy
6/19/1977 Dana and Carol McReynolds
6/19/1966 William and Judy Thompson
6/24/1989 Tony and Mindie Fisher
6/27/1954 Monroe and Lucille Kemerling
6/27/1981 Steve and Gail Peart

Pastor in Delegate Preparation

The Missouri Synod’s triannual convention will be held in Milwaukee, beginning Saturday, July 9th, and running until Thursday the 14th. Pastor Eckardt is the Peoria Circuit Pastoral Delegate, and must travel to Springfield for a Central Illinois Delegate preparation meeting on Saturday June 18th. There is no Mass that Saturday evening.

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.

The Lighter Side

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, Don Murphy, Kris Harden, 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 [at request of Sandra Verplaetse]
Shelly DeBord [at request of the Watsons]
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]
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 [at request of Pastor]
Jim Bitting [Judy Thompson’s brother, hosp]
Noah Muske [relative of Kraklows]
Stacie Kendall [at request of Pastor]
Sabrina Armstrong and her friends injured in an accident
        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 Congo, Tanzania, North Korea, and elsewhere. See persecution details at the bottom of this blog post.

Altar Guild Notes

•        We meet the second Tuesday in June (June 14th)
•        Color is GREEN for all weekends in June.
•        No mass on Wednesday, June 8th of Wednesday June 15th.
•        The color is WHITE for Wednesday, June 22nd as we will observe the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (moved from June 24th)
•        The color is RED for Wednesday, June 29TH for St. Peter and Paul the Apostles’ Day.
•        No Mass on Satuday June 4th or Saturday June 18th.

Tuesday and Wednesday Afternoon at St. Paul’s

Usually on a Tuesday at 5 p.m. a small group of us meet in Pastor’s office to study Scripture at “Q and A on Jesus and the Bible.” It’s always a lively conversation.

No class, however, on June 7th.

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.

Preparing for Worship

When you come to church on Sunday morning, here are some things to bear in mind, that would be helpful for you to prepare your heart and mind to receive God’s gifts.
·         Arrive early if you can. Get yourself settled in your pew with plenty of time for preparation
·         Avoid chattering with people before worship. The moments before the service are important moments of preparation, both for them and for you.
·         Pray. Take the extra time you have allotted yourself to open your hymnal to the short prayers on page 4; you can also find the collect for the day printed in the bulletin.
·         Listen to the prelude. Our organist pays special attention to his preludes he selects, in hopes of integrating their sound with the hymns chosen for the day. Allow the music to penetrate your thoughts, to calm you, and to prepare you for your most important activity of the entire week: worship. The prelude is—and has historically been—an excellent opportunity for the music of the organ to prepare mind and heart for worship. With careful listening, the melody line can be heard running among the organ’s embellishments, in a typical Baroque styling technique.

Persecution Details

CONGO: Thousands Flee Militant Islamist Violence
19 MAY 2016

Islamist militants are suspected to have killed between 20 and 40 villagers in the eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Late in the evening on May 3rd, attackers carried machetes and axes into a village located within the North Kivu province. "Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes," reports local administrator Bernard Amisi Kalonda.

TANZANIA: Third Church in Recent Burning Spree
19 MAY 2016

Another church in Tanzania's extreme northwest corner was burned to the ground on May 2nd in a suspected arson attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the fire that destroyed the church in Nyarwele, located within the Kagera region which borders Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. According to Kagera Regional Police Commander Augustine Ollomi, it is the third church in four months to be burned down

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