Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November 2016


That question is actually not for me to answer, and, for that matter, is not even something that is in our control. After all, one vote, or even several votes, will not make a difference. Even the hanging chad controversy in Florida that settled the closest election in U. S. history, back in 2000, was settled by 537 votes, amazingly close, but still, more than a handful. The American way is to have the freedom to vote your conscience, and so you should, mindful of your civic duty. And whether you vote Republican or Democrat, or for this candidate or that candidate, is a political decision every American is free to make.
            And as a general rule, your faith may not even come into play. You may be thinking of which policies would be best suited to our nation’s well-being.
            That said, there are some Biblical issues that relate to political questions. Chief among these is the duty of a government to protect its people, as St. Paul says: “[The government] is God’s minister to you for good . . . a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4).
            This is why a government that permits abortion is not doing its first duty. Without question, abortion brutally kills helpless infants. Sometimes with saline solutions. Sometimes with forceps and scissors. While politicians debate about women’s rights, these prenatal infants are being slaughtered. That is indisputable. Abortion is something that should never have been legalized, any more than it should be legal for a man to murder his neighbor. As it is the government’s duty is to protect its people from murderous neighbors, so also is the government in duty bound to protect its children from doctors and mothers who would abort. No mother should be permitted to choose whether or not to kill her children, and that is the simple reason abortion should be illegal, as it once was. Because all fetuses are babies.
            The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is known for its strong pro-life stance, and this is commendable, especially in view of the government’s abdication of its responsibility when it comes to infants.
            So I won’t tell you how to vote, and you may have all sorts of reasons for or against this or that candidate; but one thing I will say with tears, on behalf of all the helpless victims, the bleeding, brutalized, dying infants: any politician who favors abortion will never have my vote.  And one thing is clear: though “civilized” nations may choose to rationalize a way of consenting to the “legality” of this unspeakable horror, the millions of dead infants and their murderers will surely not be forgotten or ignored at the coming of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Maintenance Day with Hot Dog Roast Planned

A special volunteers Saturday is scheduled for November 5th beginning at 9 a.m. Items requiring special annual or semi-annual maintenance attention will be addressed, so your trustees are looking for a good group of volunteers to help.

As an added incentive (and because it will be a good opportunity for members to spend time together), Pastor and Carol are hosting a hot dog roast at their home for lunch, following the morning of work. All are welcome and encouraged to come.

It would be very helpful to let Otis Anderson or Pastor know if you can commit to helping, so the determination can be made in advance which items we will have the capability of addressing.

Oktoberfest Totals

Oktoberfest totals:

Receipts         $2719.70

Expenses        $ 809.69

Net gain         $1901.01

Last year’s net gain was $2202.  

A hearty thanks to all who have been working tirelessly to help our congregation, volunteering time, donations, and effort.

Renovation news

At our October Council meeting, we determined that a temporary (and hopefully brief) suspension of the work would be prudent. We have joyfully completed Phase I and have managed to stay out of debt in doing so, holding down our costs to slightly under $20,000 (which is remarkable!).  But our contributions have been mostly tapped out; we have about $600 left in the renovation fund. 

Meanwhile our Oktoberfest gain, at $1900 (see nearby tally), brings us to $2500. This exact amount coincidentally happens to be the amount we estimate we need for Phase II: the balcony area.

However, to get to the end of Phase I it was necessary to take some of what was needed for our operating expenses, so the Council concluded that we might do harm to our current operating needs if were to rush too hastily into Phase II. We need to raise a bit more money first. As we have been blessed thus far, we pray that God continues to provide us with our needs.

Copies of books available 

(Christmas gift ideas?):

The New Testament in His Blood              $15.00

Every Day Will I Bless Thee                     $15.00

The Lutheran Propers (complete)                $22.00

November Ushers Otis Anderson,  John Ricknell, Bill Thompson

November Anniversaries
11/5 Steve and Berniece Harris
11/10 Gayle and Phil Beauprez

November Birthdays
11/13 Shannon Peart
11/19 Steve Kraklow
11/20 Jewneel Walker
11/30 Charlene Sovanski

Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home;
Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield.
Emilie Ricknell at home

Radio Station WKEI (FM) Kewanee changes to 100.1 and gets a significant power increase

(Kewanee, IL) WKEI has expended its coverage on the FM Dial. Regional Media Virden Broadcasting, owners of WKEI announced the changes to the WKEI listening experience.

WKEI FM formally at 104.3 on the dial moved to 100.1FM by the end of the day on October 19, 2016. The move also comes with a significant power increase equal to 16 times its current level. The move is to enhance the WKEI listening experience over its multiple county coverage 24 hours a day.

This is good news for St. Paul’s, since our radio program “St. Paul’s on the Air” is heard every Sunday morning at 7:30. A boost in signal will provides more exposure to a wider listening audience.
Regional Media President and CEO Fletcher Ford said, “WKEI has been a longtime staple in the community, and we are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to improve the station.” Mr. Ford also thanks the engineering staff, and attorneys for working to make the changes possible.
WKEI was the first AM station in Illinois to simulcast on the FM dial, paving the way for many stations.

Daily Prayer
For daily prayer in the homes of members, the following helps are offered:

As a minimum, when you rise in the morning and go to bed at night, follow the catechism.  That is, repeat the invocation (In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen), say the Apostles’ Creed, and Say the Our Father.  If you wish, you may add Luther’s morning or evening prayer.
It’s a good practice to set aside some time to read your Bible every day as well, at least a chapter.
You are encouraged to use your hymnal for a richer daily prayer.  The order of matins (morning) or vespers (evening) is easily adoptable for personal use.

The hymnal is also a good resource for a schedule of daily readings.  See page 161.  These readings correspond with the material in Every Day Will I Bless Thee: Meditations for the Daily Office, my book of meditations for daily use, available at the church office (price of available books is listed on the previous page).

Altar Guild News
Notes for November:

The first Wednesday in November is red, for All Saints. Then it turns to green for the rest of the month up to Thanksgiving, which we observe on Wednesday night, November 23rd. Color for Thanksgiving is white.  Following this service, the color is changed to violet for Advent: the First Sunday of Advent is November 27th. Then the color turns to red for St. Andrew’s Day, is the following Wednesday, November 30th. Following that service the color reverts to violet.
            Our November meeting will be November 1st. at 6 pm.

In Our Prayers

In addition to our shut-ins, 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: 

Denny Schoen , Sandra Verplaetse,  Emilie Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Don Murphy, Sue Murphy, Steve Harris, Kris Harden, Joyce Long, Mary Hamilton, Emmy Wear 

and also: 

Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises] 

Jodi Rutowicz [daughter of Harrises] 

Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter] 

Jill Matchett [at request of Diana Shreck] 

Annie Eastman [at request of Svetlana Meaker] 

Nancy Popejoy [relative of Sharon Hartz] 

Dave Colgron [friend of Tom Wells] 

Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter] 

Noah Muske [relative of Kraklows] 

Jonna Dougherty [friend of Chris Erickson, stroke] 

Steve Draminski [friend of Jim Watson] 

Kathy Nussear [Joyce Long’s daughter, cancer] 

Ray Zarvell [friend of Steve Harris and Fr Eckardt] 

Theresa Lewis [niece of Carol Eckardt] 

Brock Tumbleson 

Karla Kemerling 

in the milistary 

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 Pakistan, Algeria, Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere


A Layman’s Guide to the Liturgy
Excerpts from Pastor’s book published in 2005, originally printed in this newsletter

Why is Christian worship liturgical?
            Liturgical worship is worship according to a set and traditional format drawn from the Sacred Scriptures. The words of the Holy Liturgy are words which have been handed down to us through generations of Christianity. While there are variations in those forms and in which words of liturgy are used where, the basis of Christian liturgy is consistently the use of a standard structure drawn from the wells of Sacred Scripture.
            This is, first of all, a safeguard against false worship. For where the Word of God is wanting, there the devil rushes in with his lies. If the structure of Christian worship were left to the whim of the preacher or anyone else, then it would only be a matter of time before those whims would turn away from the sound words of Scripture, since there is nothing good in our flesh. Everything depends on the Word of God. Therefore it is right that our worship be continuously staid upon a sound structure which upholds the Word.
            Secondly, liturgical worship is, simply put, using God’s own words to speak to God. God gives us His Word, and we speak it back to Him. This is liturgical worship. The Psalms, which have always had a prominent place in the worship of Christians, are both words of God and words of prayer. He gives us the very words with which to pray to Him. Liturgical worship is the employment of these words. We pray using the words He has given us to pray, and in this way we rejoice in them.
            Third, liturgical worship is giving honor where honor is due. The Church of all times has worshiped in this manner. When we do the same we show our respect for the Christian tradition of all times, and we worship indeed with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven. X

Why do we worship on Sunday?

            Actually, in apostolic times, the Church was at prayer together daily, according to Acts 2: They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship: the breaking of the bread and the prayers. Even so, they reserved Sunday for the high feast, inasmuch as they recognized Sunday, the first day of the week, as the day when Christ arose from the dead. The Sabbath had been Saturday, of course, but this was fulfilled when Christ rested in the tomb on Holy Saturday. This is why the Apostle declares that Sabbaths are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. So therefore Sunday became the Church’s “high” day of worship, since Christ Himself not only arose on Sunday, but made His subsequent resurrected appearances also on Sundays throughout the forty days leading to His ascension. Then came Pentecost, the fiftieth day from Easter, also a Sunday. So it was Christ Himself who shifted the thinking of His people toward Sunday as the chief of days. Moreover, since, according to St. Luke’s Gospel, He was recognized by the Emmaus disciples (on Sunday) in the breaking of the bread, and that phrase is repeated in Acts (see above), so it was fitting that Sunday be also the chief day on which the Holy Sacrament was offered to the people.
            So it was, throughout the ages, that Holy Christendom, whether or not they assembled also on other days of the week, would always assemble every Sunday (which, biblically, begins on Saturday night), in order especially to receive the Holy Sacrament in the Mass. Therefore the orders of Matins and Vespers, as well as other non-Communion services, were really never intended as replacements for the Mass on Sunday morning. Rather, they were used either on weekdays or as pre-sacramental services. But Sunday was reserved especially for high worship, that is, for the reception of the Holy Supper. X

First Tuesday
November’s First Tuesday events will be held on November 1st. Altar Guild at 6 p.m. Vespers is at 6:45, and Elders meet at 7:15.

Pastor Scheduled for Surgery
I am scheduled for out-patient surgery on my left hand on Monday, November 7th, to correct the deformity caused by Dupuytren’s Contracture. The bend in my ring-finger has made typing, piano playing, and simple functions increasingly more difficult, but the anticipate result will be that I will be able to regain full use of my hand when it is healed.

The surgery will probably render my use of my left hand quite limited for the next few days, so tentatively I am planning to keep Q & A on the schedule for Tuesday, but for Wednesday, November 9th we may have to cancel services. Hopefully I will be fully able to serve as celebrant by Saturday.
-          Pastor
Thanksgiving Worship

As usual, our Thanksgiving Mass will be held on Wednesday evening prior, at 7:00.  All members are encouraged to come.

All Saints

November 1st, All Saints Day, falls on a Tuesday this year. The next day, November 2nd, is All Souls Day, or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. Since at St. Paul’s we are accustomed to having midweek mass only on Wednesdays, the Feast of All Saints will be observed on the 2nd in place of All Souls. Both are First Class, but All Souls is technically not a First Class feast  and so has lower rank.

No comments: