Volume 33 March 2021 No. 3
THE BEAST OF GOVERNMENT IN ILLINOIS
The encroachment of the government into the lives of people is being felt in Illinois, as perhaps you are already aware.
Most recently a grim example of this is a proposed law that is being debated in our state’s legislature.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has proposed a rule called the “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” for public school educators that would, in effect, require teachers to affirm, embrace, and encourage inclusive (or progressive) student viewpoints to receive and maintain their teaching licenses.
What “progressive” or “inclusive” viewpoints really are, in every case, are pro-abortion viewpoints.
Should this rule go into effect, pro-life teachers will be forced to embrace and encourage students’ pro-abortion viewpoints against the teachers’ religious beliefs and conscience or be in peril of lose their teaching positions.
Remember this: the Fifth Commandment is not optional. You shall not murder. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need. And the prenatal child in the womb is also your neighbor, under God.
Our recently born grandchild was about one month premature. They took extra precautions to ensure his safety, since he weighed only five pounds at his birth. And I couldn’t help but think the horrifying thought that today it is legal for a mother to choose to kill and discard such a child. The government even supports such an atrocity, calling it a matter of a woman’s health. Never, but never, can we acquiesce to such brutality. The government’s first duty under God is to protect and defend its citizens, yet it has miserably failed its most vulnerable and humble citizens, namely these children. It has no right under God to legalize abortion. It is the business of government to say No, this must not be allowed, for we must protect these innocent little ones. And if the government fails here (and it has!), we Christians must make it clear that we regard this horror as the worst kind of tyranny.
The lobbyists for Illinois Right to Life are Ralph Rivera and Molly Rumley, have taken the lead from the beginning in fighting this proposed rule that was due to come before a special legislative committee called the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) at its meeting on February 16th. This committee, made up of 12 state senators and state representatives, has the authority to suspend this proposed rule if they have at least 8 votes to suspend it. As of the preparation of this newsletter, we have not heard. But in any case the fight continues. There is ample reason to reach to your state representative with your view.
+ Pastor Eckardt
The season of Lent emphasizes penitence, in preparation for Easter. Its span is forty days, like the forty days in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness, in fulfillment of the fast of Moses and Elijah on Mount Horeb.
The Apostles themselves left the specific manner of observance to Christian liberty, saying, Let each be convinced in his own mind. Leaving aside the question of what things one should fast from (whether sweets, or meats, or milk products, etc.), what is clear is that the custom of fasting itself is quite biblical. If Moses, Elijah, and Jesus himself fasted, certainly it must be a good practice. Indeed, on Ash Wednesday we hear Jesus saying, “When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites,” etc. Luther’s Small Catechism also declares, “Fasting and other bodily preparation is indeed a fine outward training.” Therefore we conclude two things: first, that fasting is a good thing, and second, that it is a matter left to Christian liberty.
Liturgically the Church fasts during Lent (as Israel fasted forty years in the wilderness). The color is penitential violet. Alleluias are not sung, and there is less music; flowers are absent, and weddings are not to be scheduled.
But in the midst of this penitential mood there is joy, especially at Laetare, the fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare means ‘rejoice’). This year Laetare falls on March 14th, and roses adorn the chancel, a notable exception to the rule of no flowers for Lent. The entire penitential season is not to be sad, but joyful. For true joy of heart, born of the suffering and resurrection of Christ, transcends all parts of Christian life, even the deepest of sorrows, as we confess with David that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Then, the last two weeks of Lent are designated as “passiontide,” when statutes, images, and crosses in the churches are veiled, and no Glorias are sung at all, except in the Gloria in Excelsis on Maundy Thursday.
Thus the forty days of Lent is followed by a contrastingly festive forty-day season from Easter until Ascension Day.
Still No Robins?
In a rare contest yar, the robin sighting contest continues into March, although the early preparation of this March newsletter may have something to do with that. Who can find the first robin of spring? Call Pastor if you see and can verify one. This is the eighth year of the contest.
2020 Michele Keehner
2019: Steve Kraklow
2018: Steve Kraklow
2017: Barb Kraklow
2016: Judy Thompson
2015: Carol Eckardt
2014: Michele Keehner
A sign of spring, the robin may also help us think of the approach of Easter!
3/1 Barbra Kraklow
3/25 Carol Eckardt
3/19/1977 Jeff and Diana Shreck
Council meets Wednesday, March 17th, at 5:30. This is the fourth Wednesday of the month.
Jim Hornback, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells
In Our Prayers
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:
Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Emmy Wear, Don Murphy, Dick Melchin, Bea Harris, Allan Kraklow, Sandra VerPlaetse, John Sovanski, Tara Wagenknecht, and Jim Watson
and beyond our parish:
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Katy Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Jody Rutowicz [Harrises’ daughter]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Elizabeth Godke [Sharon Field’s mother]
Brandt and Oneida Hendrickson [Ricknell relatives]
Janice Hart [Judy Thompson’s sister]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknells’ grandson]
Dennis Hoag [Adam Shreck’s father-in-law]
Rachel Smith [Emmy Wear’s cousin]
Matthew and Yvette Baker [Dale’s son and wife]
Theresa Moore [Ricknells’ niece]
Carol Grigsby [friend of Jewneel Walker]
Tim Newman [Kemerling relation]
Kathy Boeger [re Harrises]
Allison Leezer [relative of the Kraklows]
Floretta Reynolds [Jim Watson’s aunt]
Dana Conley [relative of the Kraklows]
Roger Wear [Emmy’s father]
Bud Harfst [Sue Murphy’s brother]
Everly Stoner, great grandchild of the Murphys
Jeff Lewis [Eckardt relation]
Sue Lewis [Eckardt relation]
Natalie Lewis [Eckardt relation]
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]
Eli Wetzel, Traven Wetzel, Shawn Wetzel
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
Jake Mahaffey, Trevor Shimmin, Shad Draminski
James and Ann Lee Armstrong
any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Nigeria, Algeria, Sudan, Madagascar, Iran, Iraq, Syria, India, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and elsewhere.
An Explanation of the First Class Feast Days and Their Schedule
At St. Paul’s we follow the traditional practice of ordering, recognizing, and celebrating Feast days according to their rank in the sanctoral calendar. That is, some Feasts are more important than others. Some are First Class, others Second Class, and others Third Class. This ranking helps us determine what to do when in any particular year there’s a need for clarification, as when a Feast falls on a Sunday, because every Sunday is important, being the day of our Lord’s resurrection. There’s also need for clarification when the last week of Lent comes.
The greatest of all Feasts, as we all know, is the greatest of all Sundays, namely Easter Sunday, the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Thus it is officially regarded as a First Class Feast of Our Lord, with Octave. It’s so important liturgically that the entire week following is a First Class week.
Then there are other First Class Feasts in the year, and most of them are also Feasts of Our Lord, because they commemorate events in the life of our Lord. For example, we all know the importance of Christmas as well. Liturgically it is also called a First Class Feast of Our Lord. Pentecost too is also First Class, but not “of Our Lord,” since it observes the coming of the Holy Spirit. And there are others. And sometimes these Feasts fall on Sundays. Whether they are observed depends on how high they rank.
To put this in simple terms, some very important days interfere with other important days, so there are governing guidelines.
Judica and Passiontide
March 21st is Judica Sunday, also called Passion Sunday, because it is the beginning of Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent. The images are all veiled until Easter.
\We could use some extra help on Saturday the 20th, as we veil the images and prepare for this.
Catechism Schedule and Confirmation
The remaining catechism hours left on the schedule for this season are as follows:
Tuesday, March 2nd, 5 pm.
Tuesday, March 9th, 5 pm.
Tuesday, March 16th, 5 pm.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 5 pm.
On Palm Sunday, during Bible Class hour we will hold the public examination of our one confirmand, Sarah Kraklow. Sarah has been an excellent catechumen, and this examination should be exciting to watch, even though she might be a little nervous.
At this year’s Easter Vigil (Saturday, April 3rd at 7 pm) she will be confirmed.
Congratulations to Sarah Kraklow!
A New Study in Sunday Bible Class
Beginning on February 21st, the First Sunday in Lent, our Sunday morning Bible Class began a new study. We finally finished looking at the Gospel of St. Mark, and began to examine the passages in Genesis dealing with
Joseph, son of Jacob:
one of the most Christological figures in the Bible.
If you haven’t been coming, it’s a good time to start. Besides, breakfast and the camaraderie of visiting with fellow members is always worth having.
Recordings and Videos Available
There are many opportunities to tune in to our Sunday masses on demand. Any time you want, if you have access to the internet, you may watch an entire service, or listen to one of Pastor’s sermons. Here are the options:
1) Go to Facebook and search for the public group “St. Paul’s and Friends.” There you will find any number of our recent or past services recorded live. You can navigate to any part of the service, or watch the entire thing; or even listen without watching.
2) Go to our website, www.stpaulskewanee.org, and find the section “Sermons.” There you can scroll to a great number of past sermons, complete with a paragraph giving an overview, a link to an audio file of the Gospel and the sermon, and usually another link to the Facebook link described above.
3) Sometimes pastor makes CDs available, but this is only occasional.
You might suggest this to friends, or better yet, invite them to join you.
Looking Ahead to Easter
There are so many things about 2020 which were difficult and stressful, as we all know. One of the greatest disappointments was the cancellation of Easter festivities. For several weeks, all we had were private communions offered according to a schedule we kept, and online matins services. This year should be, by contrast, an opportunity for a delightful Easter celebration on April 4th. Let’s make the most of it.
Ladies, do you have your hats? And what about the return of the Easter breakfast? Let’s start planning. A chart will be made available in the gym for signing up.
Volunteers will be needed! For Spring cleaning, for decorating, for all manner of preparations. Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. Easter will be here before we know it, and we have a lot of catching up to do!
Altar Guild Notes
• The paraments color for the entire month of March is VIOLET, excepting:
• The Feast of the Annunciation which is March 25th; here it will be observed on its eve, Wednesday, March 24th. Color is WHITE.
Next meeting is Tuesday, March 2nd.
Midweek Lenten Services
Following an old Lutheran custom, we suggest people to make a little more effort to come out for midweek masses during Lent, as another laudable way of observing the season. It’s a good part of the Lenten season.
Choir rehearsals again!
In preparation for special music during Holy Week and Easter, choir rehearsals are starting up again, beginning Wednesday, March 3rd. We have some extra preparation to do for the coming of Easter. Check the calendar and make a special note of it: March 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th: four weeks. We will not rehearse on the 31st unless we decide we need it.
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
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