St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm, Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Volume 31 April 2019 No. 4
Lent and the Crucifix
This article was also submitted for publication in the Kewanee Star Courier for Friday, March 29th, 2019.
The most widely used and recognized symbol in all of Christian history is the crucifix. During Lententide the crucifix takes on added significance, as we meditate more directly on what Christ accomplished there and what it means. It says to the Christian that the atonement that reconciles the world to God has been accomplished; it shows us the payment of infinite value that Christ made for the sin of the world. This was the payment necessary to cover our debt of sin to God. When we look upon the crucifix we see how great that debt was, and how dreadful a thing our sin is, as the hymnist says, “Ye who think of sin but lightly, nor suppose the evil great, here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.” But the holy crucifix declares that Christ, and Christ alone, is the reason his Father, notwithstanding the enormity of our sin, looks upon us with favor and delight. Atonement has been accomplished hereby! The crucifix also shows us the depths of the love of God, that this love surpasses all understanding, for here we see that Christ gave everything for us and has not held anything back from us that he has not given. And Christ is the Image of the Father; he is the Father’s other Self; therefore his self-offering is God’s offering, because he is God. Behold what love the Holy Triune God has for his creation in this tremendous Sacrifice. So then, the crucifix also teaches us Christians to show love to our neighbors, and to be kind to one another; and it teaches us to be willing to endure hardship for Christ’s sake. The crucifix encourages and says, Take up your cross and follow him who took up his cross for you.
There are many helpful Lenten exercises of devotion: reading and hearing the Passion histories of Christ; listening to and singing sacred Lenten music; taking extra time for worship (at St. Paul’s we see increased attendance at our midweek masses; and when Holy Week comes we also offer Divine Services every night from Monday through Saturday at 7 pm). And here’s another most helpful Lenten exercise: simply gaze in silent meditation on the holy crucifix and ponder in your heart all the things that it means.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Race against Time to Get Back into the Church for Easter
Our renovation project had targeted Easter as our deadline to get back into the church for worship. We had moved into the gym in November of 2018 to complete the chancel and flooring, and now the deadline is near. It’s going to be close, but we remain hopeful. Here’s a portion of our updated website page:
“What remained [after the painting of the nave was completed] was for the chancel and the flooring to be completed. Since much of what we do is through volunteer labor, and since some of our volunteers are in the fields as farmers, we got back to the project soon after Oktoberfest, October 7-9, 2018.
“Meanwhile twelve shields were purchased, on which Sharon Hartz painted the symbols of the twelve apostles. These shields were mounted in the Great Arch, which is the archway that is suspended over the chancel steps. This was to approximate what once graced the walls of this church many years ago.
“By February of 2019 the chancel painting was completed and the shields mounted. The entire project was finished down to the floor. Our artistic committee agreed upon tiling for our chancel floor, and by mid-March, the tiling was begun. While Bob Harrison got assistance from Tom Wells and Steve Kraklow, Pastor was busily mounting the new speaker system. It's a rush to the finish line, as we are madly working to get back into the church in time for Easter. Some parts of the project will still remain to be finished, but they can be done after we have returned to our beautiful building.”
If we can finish the flooring and the sound system, we can put the furniture back and clean up our mess in time to move back to the church. The project won’t quite be finished, but as the details are being worked on, it will surely be a great relief and joy to be back in our house of God. Soon, very soon!
UPDATE; VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The flooring is moving well toward its completion, and may be finished by the middle of the first week in April. Then we will need a few days to move the furniture back in place. The likelihood of being back in the church is high, sometime between Judica Sunday, April 7th, and the middle of Holy Week, April 18th. The project will not be complete, as there will be details that need to be taken care of, but enough will have been accomplished for us to be back.
What this means is that we need volunteers now for cleanup. The church needs a workover: vacuuming, dusting, picking up. We had a good crew to do this after the nave was finished in the fall of 2016 when we had removed the pews; we need the same kind of work again now. People do not need to come in at the same time, although perhaps Saturdays work best for the most people. Volunteers should start in the choir loft and work their way forward. The cleaning of the pews has already begun with dusting. (Note: to help with the pews, contact Carol Eckardt.) Look to the need for dusting, vacuuming, removal of trash, picking up of tools and miscellaneous, and details that will prepare the nave for our return.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Africa Trip Cancelled
A sudden shakeup in the leadership of the International Lutheran Council has resulted in the loss of their promised funding for my trip to teach for two weeks in Nigeria this May. Although there are other avenues available to me to raise the funds, and the Nigerians’ need is great, I have elected to cancel my trip. There are too many factors weighing against it at this time. I assured the Nigerians that I would plan to make myself available in the future, but not this spring. It turns out that much is required of me here as our church project winds down, and my schedule would have been tasked heavily in preparation for the two courses I was to teach. Adding the need to come up with funding was too great.
Fr. Charles Wokoma, the Academic Dean of the seminary for the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, had requested that I teach two intensive courses. The congregation gave its hearty approval for this mission, for which I am grateful, and I hope to fulfill the pledge in the not-too-distant future.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Holy Week and Easter Masses
Holy Monday through Good Friday, at 7 p.m.
Great Vigil: Saturday, April 20th, at 7 p.m.
Easter Sunrise Mass: April 21st, at 7 a.m. (Easter breakfast following)
Easter Midweek Mass: Wednesday, April 24th, at 7 p.m.
Grant Andresen, Jim Hornback Larry Campbell (or Steve Harris if Larry Campbell is subdeacon). If Grant is also unavailable, others might be called on to fill in.
Congratulations Elizabeth Dooley
Elizabeth Dooley is scheduled to receive her first communion at the Vigil of Easter, April 20th. Congratulations, Elizabeth!
There’s a sign-up sheet in the back of the gym. Cost. $15.00 apiece
Ladies, remember our hats tradition! Easter is the time to wear your best, and if you are able, set it off with a handsome hat! And by all means, leave them on for the Easter breakfast.
4/3 Adam Shreck
4.14 Emmy Wear
4/19 Luke Wells
4/22 Grant Andreson
4/25 Mason Dooley
A Thank-you Note from the Cleavers
St. Paul Members – I cannot thank you all enough for your very generous gift, and of course all of the prayers. It means so very much to us to have all of you thinking and praying for us during this time Thanks again so very much. Love and prayers – Josh Connie, Caleb, Evan & Cameron
Mary Hamilton at home
Joyce Long at home
Emilie Ricknell at home
Dick Melchin at Hammond-Henry extended care in Geneseo.
Emmy Wear at Williamsfield retirement home
Dale Baker, during the winter, at home
Bea Harris, often unable to get out, at home
In Our Prayers
in our parish:
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Katie Rutovicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Jodi Rutowicz [daughter of Harrises]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Pastor Kenneth Wegener
Elizabeth Godke, Sharon Field’s mother
Brandt and Oneda Hendrickson [Ricknells’ relatives]
Helen Woods [Sue Murphy’s sister]
Janice Hart [Judy Thompson’s sister]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknells’ grandson]
Dennis Hoag [Adam Shreck’s father-in-law]
Shawn Golden [Jim Watson’s son-in-law]
Sue Harris [Steve Harris’s sister-in-law]
Nancy Callahan [Don Murphy’s sister]
Pastor Peter Eckardt
LeRoy Tuthill [Kevin Thompson’s father-in-law]
Helen Eckardt Berkman, cancer [Fr. Eckardt’s sister]
in the military:
Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells]
Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts]
Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin]
Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]
Traven Wetzel [at request of Kris Harden]
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
in trouble: especially
any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and elsewhere
First Tuesday meetings
Since Pastor is not going to Nigeria, our First Tuesday meetings are returning to the normal schedule. In April: Tuesday the 2nd.
Altar Guild Notes
Our April meeting is scheduled for April 2nd
When we move back to the church, the white frontal will no longer be needed, as the altar itself has been painted white.
Always check supplies. When wine supply gets low (when the second to the last bottle is opened), please inform Pastor. When the supply of hosts gets low (when the last sleeve is opened), please inform Judy.
Easter Breakfast Preparations
First, we need volunteers to help with preparations on Holy Saturday, April 20th, beginning at 9 am.
Second, we need people to fill out the sign-up sheet that’s posted in the kitchen. This is going to be a potluck of sorts. Everybody brings something. But sign up for something in particular, so we don’t have everyone bringing the same thing.
Third, please let us know if you are coming! Fill out the form in a bulletin.
In preparation for special music during Holy Week and Easter, choir is scheduled for April 3, 10, and possibly 17.
The Lighter Side
Seen in an Easter church bulletin: “During the offering, the ladies of the congregation may come forward and lay their eggs on the altar.”
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
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