Thursday, May 25, 2017

June 2017

The Fire of Tongues

Every year at Pentecost we hear of the tongues of fire resting on the heads of the apostles as they sat in the upper room. They began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. The Apostle St. James also refers to the tongue in his epistle, saying, that the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. “See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6).

So there are two kinds of tongues, and two kinds of fire here. There is, first, the tongue of the Word of God, whose fire is the Spirit of God: see, in the visions which rested on the heads of the apostles, tongue and fire are one, even as the Word of God and the Spirit of God are one. Second, there is the tongue set within our members, which is is a world of iniquity, set on fire by hell. Tongue and fire are one here too, even as iniquity and hell are one. But as the Spirit of God is opposed to iniquity, so these two tongues are opposed to one another, in spite of their similarity in appearance.

What does this mean? We ought not be deceived by the sweet sounds of so many lies. It is written that the devil disguises himself as an angel of light. Jesus’ greatest enemies were the Pharisees, who by appearance were the holiest of men, filled with words seeming to be godly. The Psalmist said it long before: they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly. So do not be deceived by the outward appearance of things, for both the tongue of God and the tongue of the devil are tongues of fire.

What is needful is an ear for the truth. First, this means that those who think they can get along without regular worship in word and truth are sadly deluded. The devil is too crafty for our feeble minds. Every time you will to stay away from church, you are saying you are strong enough to get by without it; and you forgot the deceiving nature of the devil’s tongue.

Second, it means that simply to be in church is not enough. One must pay attention well to the words of Sacred Scripture, as they are read, preached, sung, and prayed. For the place of worship is not that which will defend us against the wiles of the devil, but only the Word of God which is preached there.

Third, it means even daily vigilance in prayer and supplication. When we daily pray the Our Father, we repeat the words, “lead us not into temptation.” Here we are praying that God, who tempts no one, would guard and keep us, so that the world, the devil, and our flesh would not seduce nor deceive us into misbelieve, despair, or other great shame and vice, and though we be assailed by them, we may finally overcome and win the victory.

For by the Word of the Lord we shall overcome them well. The tongue of God is an eternal flame, which none can extinguish. The tongue of the devil is deadly, but the tongue of God is immeasurably deadlier against it. Pay heed, Christian! For the Word of the Living God is your defense against all evil. + Pastor Eckardt

St. Paul’s and More on 34

The 150 mile long yard sale known as “More on 34” will be held June 16 and 17 (Friday and Saturday) from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Why is this information important? Well . . . we are going to be holding a sale along with the “More on 34” to raise money for the renovation of our church We need help sorting, cleaning, and displaying our goods. We also will need volunteers to help work the salve for those two days. If you have anything you would like to donate to the sale, we will happily accept it. ALL proceeds will go to the renovation project. All goods need to be at the church before the 13th of June. Please, no dishes. We have our own, thank you! Any questions, please feel free to talk to Jim Watson. Phone number 309-525-2671.

Gottesdienst video about ready
We hope to have the Gottesdienst Divine Service video completed very soon, and there are plans to show it in Bible class, possibly on a Sunday in June. Stay tuned.

Picnic to be Last Sunday in June, Place TBA

The annual church picnic is to be held, God willing, on Sunday, June 25th, our traditional last Sunday in June, but the place has yet to be determined. It may be at the home of Allan and Barb Kraklow south of Toulon again this year, but the people are going to be polled to see if it would be more convenient to choose a park in town such as Northeast or Chatauqua. Time will be 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 shows the way to the Kraklows’, in case the picnic is there. The 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. Wherever we decide to go, the decision will be posted in the bulletin and announced, and everyone should come enjoy some summer fun with your beloved church family! Bring outdoor toys, Frisbees, etc. if you want, or just bring a smile on your face.

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 (Jim Hornback if needed)

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
6/27/1981 Steve and Gail Peart

Pastor’s Travel Plans in June
Pastor and Carol have planned a number of short trips in June.

First, Pastor and Carol will be leaving town on Thursday for the wedding of Carol’s niece in Boston over the first weekend in June. Therefore, per our usual custom there will be no mass on Saturday night. Sunday morning we will be pleased to welcome Rev. Mark Anderson from Bethel Lutheran Church in Morton. Pastor Anderson has been here before. He will be leading us in worship for Pentecost Sunday, June 4th. No Mass Saturday night. Come out on Sunday morning to hear Pastor Anderson preach and to receive the Sacrament from him.

Second is the annual Concordia Catechetical Academy symposium in the Milwaukee area from June 14 to 16. This is always a worthwhile event for pastors and laity. If you are interested, see the nearby memo on it.

Third, there is another wedding, of the daughter of a close friend of Pastor and Carol, in Milwaukee, so a short trip is planned for June 22 to 23.

On Wednesday the 14th there will be no midweek activities.

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
The Concordia Catechetical Academy is holding its annual conference at Waukesha, Wisconsin, June 14-16. The theme for this year’s conference is

Confessing Christ in a Hostile World: Catechesis under the Second Article of the Creed
The symposium will be held jointly at Peace, W240 N6145 Maple Avenue, Sussex, and Country Springs Hotel, Waukesha, on June 14–16. Further information is available at the links below, or contact Rev. Gary Gehlbach at (262) 246-3200. The Concordia Catechetical Academy (CCA) is an auxiliary organization of Peace, Sussex, dedicated to the promotion of Luther’s Small Catechism and faithful Lutheran catechesis.

Special Occasion: Commemorating the release of Christ for Us, a festschrift of catechism sermons by Rev. Rolf D. Preus.

Rev. Rolf D. Preus and his sons
Rev. David R. Preus
Rev. Paul O. S. Preus
Rev. John C. Preus
Rev. Mark A. Preus
Rev. Stephen K. Preus
Rev. Christian A. Preus
Rev. Andrew J. Preus
Rev. James A. O. Preus

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: Monroe Kemerling
Tony Fisher
Sandra Verplaetse
Emilie Ricknell
Linda Rowe
Joyce Long
Mary Hamilton
Emmy Wear
Bea Harris
Michelle Armstrong
Jewneel Walker

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]
Steve Draminski [friend of Jim Watson]
Kathy Nussear [Joyce Long’s daughter, cancer]
Bud Harfst [Sue Murphy’s brother]
Pastor Kenneth Wegener
Kirk Sims [Chris Erickson’s brother-in-law]
Gary Erickson [Chris’s husband]
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]
Traven Wetzel [at request of Kris Harden]

in trouble: any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in England, Egypt, Syria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, North Korea, the Philippines, and elsewhere.

Altar Guild Notes
• We meet the Tuesday, June 6th
• Color is RED for Pentecost, June 4nd and the following Wednesday.
• Color is WHITE beginning Saturday night, June 10th, and through Sunday the 18th for Trinity and its octave.
• Following mass on the 18th the color changes to GREEN.
• The color is RED for Wednesday, June 28th as we observe St. Peter and Paul the Apostles’ Day.
• midweek mass cancelled June 14th

Opportunities for Study at St. Paul’s
Our Tuesday class at 5 p.m. continues with a new twist, in keeping with the theme of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year. Beginning this Tuesday we will be hosting “Reformation Tales,” that is, opening the class with a story about the Reformation, and leading from that to a related Bible Study. Join us for a lively conversation.

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 Chronicles. 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.

The Lighter Side
Be sure to proofread your church’s advertisement sign: the story is told of a church that always put in large bold letters on their marquee the theme of the coming Sunday’s sermon, a summary that changed from week to week. Following the statement was always a helpful reminder at the bottom: Come hear our choir! Helpful, that is, until one Sunday the preacher determined he needed to issue a real fire-and-brimstone sermon.

Hence the unfortunate sign:


                                          Come hear our choir.

St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443

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