Volume 31 September 2019 No. 9
Who Knows the Future?
Predicting the future is a tricky business in many respects. For starters, our predictions are often proven wrong. Even weather predictions are notorious. And if what we predict comes to pass, we often don’t know if it was a matter of having known or just having made the right guess.
Secondly, predicting the future is sometimes scary. People get all worked up over what might be, or what current trends suggest, or simply because of a pessimistic nature. And then what they were worried about doesn’t happen after all, and all that energy was wasted.
Thirdly, Jesus himself has advised us not to worry about the future: “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (St. Matthew 6:34). Although planning ahead is certainly prudent, fretting ahead is not. Fretting is actually fearing, and fearing runs contrary to Scripture’s repeated admonition: Fear not! The Bethlehem angels said it, and Jesus himself said it many times.
What’s the worst case scenario? You die, or your loved ones die. What then? In Christ we live, and through faith in him in whose name we have been baptized, we have already gained everlasting life.
St. Paul admonished, right after nearly having been stoned to death, that through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of heaven (Acts 14:22). The bad news there is the promise of much tribulation; but the good news outweighs it a hundredfold: we enter the kingdom of heaven.
So be of good cheer, whatever your outlook, however dark the storm clouds on the horizon appear. You don’t really know what’s ahead, but you do know this much: for Christ’s sake, and by his blood and sacrifice, and because that is what you receive at the altar every week, the kingdom of heaven is there. As the Psalmist says: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
An old sainted friend of mine, the senior pastor with whom I served for ten years, often put it like this: we don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.
Let us live with confidence and joy, then, holding fast our confession and faith, come what may. The kingdom ours remaineth.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Dick Melchin Selected for Honor Flight This Month
In my recent conversation with Dick Melchin, I was informed that he is expecting to be honored as a Korean Conflict Veteran with an honor flight to Washington, D.C. this month. He advised me as I ws making my routine shut-in visit with him at the Hammond-Henry Hospital’s Long Term Care wing. His son Wesley is going with him. According to the current plan it all happens on one day: September 12th. They’ll come for him early in the morning and return him home the same evening. That looks like an exciting day. Congratulations, Dick!
Regular choir rehearsals resume this month: Wednesday evenings after mass. Calling all singers, to prepare for Oktoberfest. We’ll have lots of fun.
Our Web Site
Have you checked out our web site recently? We updated it: surf around. Audio recordings of Pastor’s sermons and of St. Paul’s on the Air can be found there.
9/1 John Ricknell
9/10 Jan Schoen
9/15 Chuck Russell
9/17 Mary Beth Jones
9/18 DeAnne Anderson
9/19 Jaclyn Kraklow
9/19 Jamie Kraklow
9/20 Derrick Baker
9/28 Allan Kraklow
9/18/1976 Tom and Sue Ann Wells
September Ushers: Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells, Jim Hornback in reserve.
October 13-15, 2019 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
The Twenty-fourth Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central will be hosting the Rev. Dr. James Bushur, who is the Carl and Erna Weinrich Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Church Studies. at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He specializes in Patristics and is a member of the North American Patristics Society.
His topic will be
“The Sermon in the Early Church”
The event begins Sunday the 13th with Vespers at 5 p.m. at which the newly renovated chancel at St. Paul’s will be dedicated. Following the service is our annual bratwurst banquet. When everyone has had their fill of brats and beer, Dr. Bushur will give a synopsis of his Monday seminar.
On Monday, October 14th, the day begins with Mass at 9 a.m. Following Mass and a continental breakfast, Dr. Bushur will hold forth for the rest of the day, in two sessions running until about 2:45, followed by Vespers.
On Tuesday, October 15th, the conference will continue until noon, with a continued focus on preaching, under the theme:
“Preaching: the Voice of the Holy Spirit”
Father Eckardt, pastor at St. Paul’s, will hold forth. The Tuesday session will be shorter, framed by morning low Mass (spoken Divine Service) and
St. Paul’s members go free! (NOTE: Kewanee residents are also invited to come for free).
All others: $50 per person, $70 per couple, students $25 — includes Sunday banquet and Monday continental and lunch; no charge for children with parents.
Tuesday Catechesis to Emphasize Genesis this Year:
Join Us If You Wish!
Our junior catechumens are few, and our custom is to keep teaching them from their first communion until their confirmation. First communion has always been offered, regardless of age, whenever a child is ready. Readiness consists, first, in regular church attendance, second, in being able to say the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Lord’s word on Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar. This usually happens after the first term in catechism class (September through Lent). If then the child also satisfies the pastor that he knows that the Sacrament is Christ’s true Body and Blood and has his parents’ permission, first communion is offered at the Vigil of Easter. Sometimes this happens at a very early age. A child may begin catechetical instruction whenever the parents bring him to class, regardless of age (a parent or designated adult must accompany the child).
But confirmation is always delayed for these young people until they have completed 8th grade. So in the meantime, any young catechumens who have already begun to receive communion will keep coming to learn the faith better, and each year’s class has a little different emphasis, all the while with the catechism itself as an overarching theme.
This year, in that spirit, we’re going to be looking carefully at the Book of Genesis.
And anyone may join us. This is not an exclusive club; adults of all ages are encouraged to sit in; in fact this generally has the effect of making the class more lively, and is good for the children too.
Class meets on Tuesdays, and its first class is Tuesday, August 27th, at 5:00 p.m. (Summer Bible Study was at 4:00; the time now shifts back to 5:00).
Sunday Blble Class Continues to Study Ephesians
Most of the people who attend mass on Sunday morning tend to stick around for breakfast and Bible Class. It has been this way for over 20 years. It’s always a good time to spend together, to enjoy one another’s company, and to study the Word of God. Every class begins with a brief recitation of the catechism, a discussion of a hymn, and sometimes an occasional question about this or that. Then we launch into Bible class. Lately we’ve been looking at St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, which continues into September. Roughly, class begins about 10:15, when people are finishing up their breakfast, and ends around 11.
Pastor Speaks in Detroit
Every year Zion Church in Detroit holds its St. Michael conference on the last Monday of September, and Pastor Eckardt is always one of the speakers at the conference. This year, Fr. Roy Coats is the Keynote Speaker. He is the Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, Maryland. His topic will be “Adiaphora and Modernity”. The question of adiaphora (indifferent things) has troubled the Church throughout her history. Fr. Coats will focus on one place and time, Leipzig around 1700, and explore the debate regarding adiaphora between the orthodox Valentin Alberti, the pietist Philipp Spener, and the modernist Christian Thomasius. He will show how this debate has shaped the modern world and the Liturgy of the Church up to our present day. For more information consult Pastor.
Mary Hamilton at home; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield; Emilie Ricknell at home, Dick Melchin at Hammond-Henry Extended Care in Geneseo, Bea Harris, from time to time, at home.
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:
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, Jim Watson, Dana McReynolds, Mary Beth Jones , Jim Hornback
and beyond our parish:
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]
Rachel Smith [Emmy Wear’s cousin]
Yvette Baker [Dale’s daughter-in-law]
Warren Williams [relative of the Kemerlings]
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 Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Eritrea, Algeria, Nigeria, China, North Korea, and elsewhere
Details on Persecution:
ALGERIA: Another Officially Mandated Church Closure. Source(s): VOMC Sources, Liberté, Votre News
On August 6th, a church in Bouidjima was officially closed by the National Gendarmerie for failing to have a permit. A government mandate, requiring permits for all churches, was issued in 2006. Yet, even though applications have been properly submitted, the requested permits were not issued. One Algerian church leader refers to the officials' implementation of such authorization as only a pretext, further surmising that "their goal is to end the church in Algeria."
ERITREA: Patriarch Excommunicated
Source(S): World Watch Monitor, Bbc
Date: 08 August 2019
While the eritrean government officially recognizes four religious groups, even members of those groups remain under heavy oppression. in 2005, the government forcibly removed the head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Patriarch Abuna Antonios, replacing him with a government-appointed lay administrator (read more). The patriarch has remained under house arrest ever since, stripped of all administrative duties.
Altar Guild News
Sundays during September, the color is green, except for the last Sunday (September 29th) which is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, for which the color is white. Wednesdays are all green. Although Holy Cross Day (14th) and St. Matthew’s Day (21st) are in September, they fall on Fridays, and therefore we will not observe them.
As you know, St. Paul’s is the host congregation for Gottesdienst: the Journal of Lutheran Liturgy, of which I have been editor-in-chief for some 25 years, The finances of the journal are not mingled at all with those of the congregation, but the members here should be aware that this journal and its corresponding website and blog and podcast all operate as enterprises arising from this humble congregation, though of course there are over a dozen faithful Lutheran pastors who actively participate in the work. So the activities of Gottesdienst ought to be of interest to you. It is right to think of it, in part, as some of the missionary activity of our congregation.
This summer there have been some tremendously successful and beneficial things going on, in which Gottesdienst has been of great benefit to the entire Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The national LCMS convention in Tampa, Florida was held in July, and Gottesdiesnt was well-represented, and appreciated by many. I was there with several of our editors and bloggers, most of whom were delegates. But my purpose there, with that of Fr. Jason Braaten, an associate editor from Tuscola, Illinois, was to man the booth at the exhibit hall. The traffic was phenomenal. We sent five boxes of books to sell, with some copies of the journal to give away, and everything sold out within a few days. The Gottesdienst booth was a roaring success, as an unbelievable number of people signed up for more information. We also had an overflowing crowd at our Gottesdienst Get-Together held at a nearby Irish pub. The entire room was wall-to-wall Gottesdiensters. It truly was a Gottesdienst Crowd, and great fellowship continued for hours!
In mid-August I spent a day in Fort Wayne at a planning meeting, at which further organizational details for the blog, the podcast, and the journal were discussed. We are very optimistic about the future of the journal, aware of the tremendous positive feedback we have received. The next issue of the quarterly journal is due to go to the printer any day, and it should be distributed within a few weeks. Copies are always available in the narthex.
The August Council meeting was postponed to Wednesday, August 28th at 5:30. The September meeting is scheduled to go back to the usual time of 5:30 on the third Wednesday, that is, September 18th.
Jazz on the Side at Hog Days
Jazz on the Side is scheduled to play on Saturday afternoon August 31st, somewhere on Tremont Street outside Union Federal. The street is blocked off for Hog Days.
St. Paul’s on the Air Going off the Air
We have decided to discontinue the Sunday morning broadcast of St. Paul’s on the Air on WKEI radio. September will be our last months. Members may listen to a great number of recordings of the program, which are always available.
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443