Tuesday, November 22, 2016

December 2016

Christ the Image of the Father

In the beginning, God spoke, creating the world; and the Word of God which He spoke was eternal, was God from God; and so it was that at various times and in various ways God spoke also by the prophets; which is to say, when they spoke, He continued to speak; yea, their word was the Word, Christ, who was to come.  So has the Word sounded forth from God from the beginning until finally these last days.  Now what?  Now is the time of fulfillment, when the Eternal Word which sounded forth from God’s mouth, by which God made the worlds, has become flesh.  For in the beginning God said, let Us make man in our image, that man might reflect the image of God; but now, in the end, God’s image becomes manifest in Himself.  For who is Christ?  The brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.  So then, in the beginning God’s Word created man in the flesh; but now, in the end, God’s Word of creation becomes one with His creation, in order to restore it to glory.  And this restoration is indicated by the Apostle, who says that Christ purged our sins, and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  See what glory!  Man sits on the throne of God.  The Word became flesh, in order that flesh might be wedded to the eternal God.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Taken from Every Day Will I Bless Thee: Meditations for the Daily Office, Meditation for Thursday of Advent I

The Gospel: A New Gospel Book and New Place for Its Reading

Elizabeth Peterson, friend of the congregation from Cedar Falls, Iowa (she and her husband Gerald have been here for Oktoberfest many times), has sent us a lovely gift, which we are using for the first time at our Thanksgiving Mass November 23rd. It is a richly embroidered cover for our Gospel Book, maroon with gold crosses.

Since the elders and I have been discussing a possible change to be made in the location of the Gospel reading, I have chosen to do so as soon as we received this gift; hence, the change will be noticed beginning November 23rd.

I plan from now to carry the Gospel book ceremoniously from the altar to a place outside the chancel rail directly beside the processional cross. On Sundays the subdeacon will hold the book.

There is a catechetical and liturgical significance to the time-honored custom that connects the Gospel with the Sacrament by having its reading from the Gospel horn (the left side as you face the alter). This custom was even more pronounced in the days when the Gospel used to be chanted, since the Gospel chant tones followed identical rules as the rules for the tones of the Words of Institution.

However, the small area of our chancel does not make it easy to read from the horn here. For some time I have been reading the Gospel directly from the Gospel horn, but it seems cramped there, and the pulpit is also a bit of an obstruction.

In the earlier days of my tenure here, I would read the Gospel from the pulpit, thus regarding the pulpit as an extension of this place; but the connection to the altar was not as clear.

The reason the left side of the chancel is called the Gospel side is that there is a liturgical movement, or shift, that can be seen as the service carries on, from right to left. In the early days of Christianity, when churches were customarily built with their altars at the east end, this movement would be a northward movement. Hence the Gospel side was meant to indicate the movement of the Gospel to the north, where, in those days, the barbarians and unschooled heathen dwelt. It was a way of saying that the Gospel was to be preached to all the world.

Today the significance of the northward movements is purely symbolic, but at least the movement from the “Epistle side” (the right side as you face the altar) to  the “Gospel side” still provides a subtle reminder that the Gospel is meant for all the world.

On occasions of greater significance, the movement is not merely to the Gospel side, but out from the Gospel side to the center aisle as well, a symbolic reminder of the Incarnation: God is with us in the Person of Jesus Christ; his Gospel is rightly read ‘among us’.

Look for this new feature of our worship: a new Gospel Book and a new location for the reading of the Holy Gospel.

A Letter of Thanks
November 21, 2016
Mrs. Elizabeth Peterson
Cedar Falls, IA

Dear Elizabeth,
            On behalf of the membership of St. Paul’s allow me to offer you our most hearty thanks for your gift of a beautiful Gospel Book cover, crafted by your own hands. We plan to begin using it, with a proper dedication, on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.
            Such items and matters bespeak our faith well, as they show our dedication to the Gospel we have learned to love, and to our Lord Jesus Christ. You clearly share this most holy faith with the membership here, and for this we are grateful to Almighty God. May He bless all your future endeavors.
            Again, many thanks.

            Sincerely in Christ,

             + Burnell Eckardt, Pastor

Advent for the church is a time of penitential preparation for the coming of Christ (that’s why the color is violet).  It’s helpful to remember this as we also prepare our households for Christmas.  Unlike the commercial and secular world, the Church’s celebration of Christmas begins with Christmas, and runs the twelve days of Christmas, until Epiphany.  The finest way to prepare for the coming of Christ is by contrition and confession.

Private confession is always available. Pastor is usually at church on Wednesdays at 6 pm and on Saturdays at 4:30 pm. Or you may make an appointment to see him: 852-2460.

Christ Masses

As usual, we will hold three Christ Masses this year: the first will be on Christmas Eve at 7:00; the second will follow at Midnight; and the third will be Christmas morning at 10:00. Each will have different propers, hymn schedule, readings, and sermon.  Attend as many as you wish.

Although Christmas morning is a Sunday, the usual schedule for a Sunday morning will not be observed; only the 10 a.m. mass. will be held.

New Year’s Masses

New Year’s Eve is on Saturday this year. Time of Saturday mass is moved to 7 pm which is the usual time for New Year’s eve.

On New Year’s Day, which is a Sunday, we will hold mass at our usual time of 8:30 a.m.

First Tuesday Meetings Dec. 6

On Tuesday, December 6th, Altar Guild meets as usual at 6 pm, and Elders at 7:15 pm.  Between them we will hold vespers at 6:45 pm.  All members invited.

Shut ins

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

Special Masses Wednesdays

St. Andrew’s Day is Wednesday, November 30th, and will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass. 

St. Nicholas’ Day will be observed Wednesday, December 7th  (transf., Dec. 6) at our 7 p.m. mass. 

St. Lucia’s Day is Wednesday, December 13th, and will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass. 

St. Thomas’ Day is Wednesday, December 21st, and will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass. 

Members are invited to make an extra effort to attend these services as part of your Advent preparation for the coming of Christmas.

December Birthdays
12/11 Kris Harden
12/13 Michael Eckardt
12/13 Lynn Woller
12/20 Peter Eckardt
12/20 Rachel Rowe
12/23 James Armstrong

December Anniversaries
12/13 Jim and Carol Watson

December Ushers
Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells.
The Bell Tolls

On the last Sunday of the year (which this year happens to be Christmas, so we will also toll on Christmas Eve), we customarily toll the bell at prayers for each member of our parish who has died during the year. We remember this year one member who fell asleep in Christ:

·         Anna Belle Baker


Decorating During Advent

As is our custom, we decorate the church little by little during Advent, until finally all is complete for Christmas.  The day on which volunteers are needed help put up the tree is Saturday, December 4th, beginning at 9 am.  Please help!

Donate your metal for the Reformation Anniversary

Over the years, Linda Rowe has been collecting metal and taking it to the junkyard where she receives cash per pound and brings it back to church.

For the year 2017 she has hopes of raising $500.00 in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (1517 – 2017).

So collect your scrap metal and get it to her if you can. If you have large items, talk to her and perhaps she can arrange to have Larry come and pick it up.

Let’s see if we can meet the $500 goal!

Renovation News

If you have not noticed, recently the west side of the narthex has been painted, including the staircase to the balcony. Steve Peart did this in his available time. He has been faithfully carrying out his dedication to be our Project Manager since last summer. We rejoiced at the conclusion of Phase I in October, and now are looking hopefully toward the inception of Phase II, the balcony. We anticipate this part of the project will cost us around $2500. Currently we are in a hiatus as we wait on more contributions. We must also pay our regular bills, always a challenge. At our Council meeting in November the matter was discussed, with an awareness that when springtime comes, some of our members will be less available since they will be in the field at planting time. So we are hoping, but by no means certain, that we can start in on the balcony some time during the winter months of 2017. As ever, we must continue to pray that the Lord of the Church will bless our efforts.

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
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]
Bud Harfst [Sue Murphy’s brother]
Matt Martain, [Ricknells’ grandson, cancer]
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:
especially any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Iraq, India, China, North Korea, and elsewhere. (see persecution details, below)

Epiphany Seminar and Celebration: 
Thursday, January 5th, 2016
An Epiphany day of reflection is planned for Thursday, January 5th.  At the close of the seminar we will be observing Epiphany. Here is the schedule:

1:00 p.m. Opening mid-day prayer service
1:30 p.m. Seminar (day of reflection):
            The sixteenth retreat in the Theological Reflection series is entitled,

At this retreat, we will examine St. Luke 11, particularly Jesus’ liturgical instruction to pray and the parable of the friend at midnight. Jesus’ command, “When you pray, say Our Father,” etc., is followed immediately by the parable, which has rich sacramental overtones. Curiously, “This do” is omitted in the Lucan account of the Verba (22:19-20), quite possibly because, following the parable of the friend, Jesus had already instructed his disciples to ask, seek, and knock (11:9).

4:00 p.m. break for dinner
7:00 p.m. Epiphany Mass
7:45 p.m. Wine and Cheese reception
Mark your calendar!

Altar Guild Notes

Advent begins November 27th. The four Advent Sundays’ color is violet.  If roses are obtained, they may be placed on the Third Sunday in Advent, December 13th.
For midweek masses, color varies:
November 30th: red, for St. Andrew
December 7th: white, for St. Nicholas.
December 14th: red, for St. Lucia.
December 21st: red, for St. Thomas

The three Christ Masses will be held as usual, 7 pm Christmas Eve, 12 midnight, and 10 am Christmas Day.  Color is white for all three.

Holy Innocents Day is Wednesday evening, December 28th: Color is red.

New Year’s Eve (Saturday) is at 7 pm; New Year’s Day (Sunday) is at the usual 8:30 time for a Sunday. Color is white.

Persecution details (from page 4):

INDIA: Christian Family Brutally Beaten

Source(s): International Christian Concern 
17 November 2016
A 60-year-old Christian man died from injuries experienced during an attack, allegedly by Hindu radicals, in the Bastar District of India's Chhattisgarh State. According to local believers, four members of the family, including a pregnant woman, were brutally beaten because they refused to denounce their Christian faith.

CHINA: Christian Magazine Editor Under Investigation

Source(s): icommittopray.com 
17 November 2016
The Chinese government has shut down a quarterly Christian magazine that encourages the faith of up to 100,000 believers and provides information on recent incidents of persecution. The underground magazine, Ai Yan (which translates as Love Feast), benefits thousands of urban underground churches, as well as rural house churches.

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