St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm, Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Volume 31 June 2019 No. 6
New Font Coming, and a Traditional Custom Introduced
As reported in a May bulletin, the trustees of Zion Lutheran Church in Peoria, which closed in January of this year, chose to donate their Baptismal font, some linens, and their eternal flame stand to us. The linens and the eternal flame stand are already in use.
We expect the font to be delivered soon, as we are currently making arrangements to get it here. Pictured nearby, it’s solid marble and weighs at least 250 lbs. We certainly wouldn’t want to damage it in transport. The timing is appropriate, since we are entering the month of June and our annual observance of Pentecost. The birth of the Holy Christian Church is bound to the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, which is why the vigil of Pentecost contains prayers pertaining to the font and the waters of Baptism. We will be observing the vigil of Pentecost on Saturday, June 8th, at 7:00 pm.
It is also fitting that a laudable and traditional Christian custom be introduced here at this time, as an option for our members to use as a fitting baptismal remembrance. The practice of dipping one’s fingertips into the waters of the font and making the sign of the cross with the wetted fingers is a very helpful bodily gesture by which we recall that, as St. Paul reminds us, we are washed, we are sanctified, we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:11).
Sometimes the font is placed at the entrance to a church, as is the case at the Fort Wayne seminary, and people entering for worship or exiting can take advantage of this custom as they pass the font. In our case, the font is placed near the altar rail. This will enable communicants to dip their fingers and make the sign on their foreheads as they approach for Holy Communion. This is in fact the way in which the people of Zion in Peoria would approach the altar.
Ushers or altar guild members will be needing to ensure that the font is supplied with fresh water prior to mass, and the water should be drained afterwards.
We recall that the practice of making the sign of the cross is in the catechism, as we are there instructed to do it in the morning, in the evening, and before eating.
The right hand is used. The index and tall fingers are customarily raised to the forehead, then to the right shoulder, and then to the left, as the invocation is said: “In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit,” although of course, the sign of the cross is made silently as one approaches the altar.
Do not be afraid of somehow doing it wrong, however; do not be afraid of doing it at all. Be pleased to remember hereby that you have been redeemed and washed by Christ the Crucified.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Pentecost Sunday June 9th
On Pentecost Sunday, which this year falls on June 9th, we will again hear the opening verse of the Gospel read, in accordance with the tradition of portraying the “other tongues” of Pentecost, in eight languages. The eight languages, in order, are Latin, Greek, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, German, French, and English, in which the entire Gospel will continue.
This annual Pentecost custom, whose origins can be found in Acts 2 (where the Gospel was proclaimed in all the languages of the people who had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feast), does two things. First, it reminds us that this is meant for all the world to hear. “All nations” are to be baptized, according to Jesus’ command (St. Matthew 28), and therefore Christian missionary activity has sought to bring the Gospel to all peoples ever since. Secondly, this multilingual reading gives us a sense of what it would have been like to be present on that Pentecost day in the room where the Apostles were assembled. You would have heard preaching in many different languages, most of them unknown to you, until your own language was spoken. This in turn provides a reminder that we ourselves have been brought to this Christian faith by the Holy Spirit’s activity of preaching the Gospel around the world.
The Gospel is words, God’s words to us about His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Its proclamation is by the grace of God, our hearing is by the grace of God, and our confessing of it is also by the grace of God.
The Church of Jesus Christ exists by the grace of God alone. Her activity consists—by grace—in the preaching, hearing, and confessing of this grace. So the Apostle St. Paul declares, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). The “us” in that sentence is the bearers of the apostolic ministry, for he goes on to say, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). The “you” in that sentence is the hearers of the apostolic preaching. How else, then, are the hearers to be reconciled, except by believing the word of preaching which they hear? And in believing, they learn to confess this faith: “For He says, ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you’” (2 Corinthians 6:2). That is, God heard them pray, sing, and speak the faith: he heard them confess what they believe.
Therefore in the spirit of Pentecost, let us make bold to assert our faith together, that we too may gain confidence and strength needed for the evil day. This happens when we in our day steadfastly attend to the preaching, hearing, and confessing of the Gospel, in worship. Here at St. Paul’s, by grace the Gospel is preached, heard, and confessed. Here the Holy Spirit is actively building His Church. Here Pentecost continues. Here is where we all need to be.
The Resurrection of Christ
Evidently there is still plenty of nonsense being preached in unsuspecting churches these days, mimicking the horrendous lies and propaganda from the “History” Channel of late. I refer to the notion that Jesus’ bones may have been found somewhere, and that even if it were true it would not affect our faith. This is utterly demonic. The shout from Christian people during Eastertide that Christ “is risen indeed! Alleluia!” cannot be dismissed as idle chatter. Nor do we mean to say that the resurrection of Jesus is somehow only a glow of warmth or love in our hearts. No, dear Christians, it is a proclamation and confession that Jesus bodily rose from the dead, and was seen standing on earth by more than 500 brethren, as St. Paul declared to the church in Corinth. Let no one deceive you on this. When we say he is risen, we mean it, and our faith depends on it, and therefore it is not possible that someone might find his bones somewhere.
Trinity Sunday June 16th
During the early fourth century the Arian heresy was in its heyday, which denied that Jesus was the incarnate God and declared Him to be a mere creature. As Arius himself put it, “there was a time before he (Jesus) existed.” The bishops of the Church catholic saw the urgent need to confess the faith with clarity against this error, and so the Nicene Creed was crafted and modified through the course that century. This is why the Nicene Creed says so much about the divinity of Jesus. Liturgically, there also arose a special Mass in honor of the Holy Trinity. This Mass was not originally assigned to a definite day, but was, rather a “votive Mass” the time of whose observance was open to the choice of whatever priest was celebrating it. It was not until the ninth century on that various Western bishops began to promote a special feast of the Holy Trinity, usually on the Sunday after Pentecost. They used propers said to have been composed by Abbot Alcuin in 804. The popularity of this custom became especially evident in northern Europe. In 1334 if was finally received by Pope John XXII into the official calendar of the Western Church as the Feast to be held everywhere on the Sunday after Pentecost.
The Preface of the Trinity which we still use today is the same one which was used by Saint Gregory the Great in the year 600: “who with Thine only begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God, one Lord, and in the confession of the only true God we worship the Trinity in Person and the Unity in substance, of majesty coequal. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Thy glorious name, evermore praising Thee and saying: Holy, Holy, Holy,” etc.
The Feast of the Holy Trinity now belongs among the great annual festivals of Christianity. Although it is not observed with additional liturgical services outside the Mass, its celebration quickly took root in the hearts and minds of the faithful, and in all countries of Europe popular traditions are closely associated with this feast.
Chief among the Trinitarian traditions is the sign of the cross, whose origin dates practically to apostolic times. In the third century, Tertullian speaks of it as an early Christian practice: In all our undertakings — when we enter a place or leave it; before we dress; before we bathe; when we take our meals; when we light the lamps in the evening; before we retire at night; when we sit down to read; before each new task — we trace the sign of the cross on our foreheads.
Our observance of this Feast today is no less important than it was in the fourth century, as we find attacks on the divinity of Christ every bit as prevalent now as they did then.
Resources for this article were taken from www.catholicculture.org
Bible Class Tuesdays
Our Tuesday Bible Class at 5:00 p.m. in Pastor’s Study, looking at I Samuel. Always a lively discussion. Join us!
Booklet Nearly Ready
A booklet explaining the chancel and the symbols of the apostles is almost complete, to be available to those who come to worship. Each of the twelve apostles has his own shield and symbol in the Arch. They are ordered according to their ranking given in St. Matthew’s Gospel (10:2-4). The symbols are each each explained in the booklet.
6/5 Linda Rowe
6/15 Jill Powers
6/16 Berniece Harris
6/29 Jim Watson
Council SECOND Wednesday
Due to Pastor’s schedule, the council will be meeting on Wednesday, June 12th this month, instead of the usual third Wednesday. Please make a note of it.
June Ushers: Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells, Jim Hornback as needed
Holy Ground and Reverence
Remember the holiness of our worship space and these guidelines:
Altar Guild Notes
In Our Prayers
Our list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists below. To update the lists please inform pastor.
in our parish:
Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Mary Hamilton, Emmy Wear, Sue Murphy, Don Murphy, Dick Melchin, DeAnne Anderson, Bea Harris, Allan Kraklow, Father Eckardt, Jim Watson
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Katy 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]
Sue Harris [Steve Harris’s sister-in-law]
Nancy Callahan [Don Murphy’s sister]
LeRoy Tuthill [Kevin Thompson’s father-in-law]
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]
any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and elsewhere
Additional areas considered places of persecution may be found at www.vomcanada.com (Voice of the Martyrs).
Church Picnic June 30th
We are planning to hold this year’s church picnic at Northeast Park in Kewanee this year, as we have done in years past. Sunday afternoon, as soon as you can after church, head over to the park where we will be planning a cookout, a time for fun and conversation, and a good summer day in the sun. Join your church family.
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 Bill and Judy Thompson
Concordia Catechetical Academy June 19-21
Pastor and Carol plan to be in Wisconsin as usual for the CCA in the Milwaukee area from June 19-21. No Wednesday activities that week.
Listen at Home
Our website, www.stpaulskewanee.org, has easy-to-find podcasts (recordings of studies) that you can access and listen to on demand. There are podcasts of St. Paul’s on the Air, recordings of sermons, and occasional Bible classes as well. These are also sent to Facebook to make it easy to access the website from there. Have a listen, and spread the word.