Volume 31 October 2019 No. 10
The Twenty-fourth Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central is set for October 13th – 15th, and this year’s special choral vespers will be celebrating the rededication of our completed chancel. Vespers will be held Sunday evening the 13th, to kick off the annual Oktoberfest event.
Oktoberfest will also 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 Choral Vespers at 5 p.m. Following the service is our annual bratwurst banquet. At which Dr. Bushur will give a synopsis of his Monday seminar. Following the banquet is the after-the-party party, at Father Eckardt’s home, where a gaggle of the editors of Gottesdienst is milling about.
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 in the same format, with Father Eckardt holding forth on the theme, ““Preaching: the Voice of the Holy Spirit.” The Tuesday session will be shorter, framed by morning low Mass (spoken Divine Service) and Mid-day prayers.
REGISTRATION: MEMBERS OF ST. PAUL’S AND PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN KEWANEE GO FREE. For others, $50 per person, $70 per couple, students $25 — includes Sunday banquet and Monday brunch; no charge for children with parents. Register here.
Most members are aware that we have virtually completed our three year project of renovating our church, and that we are rededicating the chancel on Sunday evening October 13th at 5:00 pm with choral vespers, as Oktoberfest begins.
The tally of our planning phases now look like this:
Phase One: the Nave. COMPLETED
Phase Two: the Balcony. COMPLETED
Phase Three: air conditioning. COMPLETED
Phase Four: the Chancel. COMPLETED
Phase Five: the floor. COMPLETED
The only outstanding item here is the completion of the trim between the chancel floor and the carpeting, and we may have it also completed in time for the rededication.
Phase Six: extras
We have a new baptismal font
We are still hoping to get a statue of St. Paul.
Thanks be to God for his mercy to this small parish, enabling us to complete this three-year project!
Oktoberfest Desserts Needed
Can you provide a dessert for Oktoberfest? Please bring your dessert on Sunday afternoon, October 13th, in the morning or between 3 pm and 4:30.
Oktoberfest help wanted
We need volunteers. Please help! Oktoberfest is October 13th – 15th. Especially on Saturday morning October 13th, but also for cleanup crews on Sunday after the banquet, Monday the 14th after the afternoon session (about 3:30), and Tuesday the 15th when it is over (about 12:30).
Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell (Steve Harris if Larry is subdeacon), Jim Hornback
10/1 Richard Melchin
10/1 Sue Murphy
10/2 Diana Shreck
10/3 Matthew Fisher
10/9 Mary Hamilton
10/24 Eric Meaker
10/28 Carmen Sovanski
10/29 Svetlana Meaker
10/30 Sharon Hartz
10/4 Linda and Larry Rowe
10/23 Otis and Deanne Anderson
Invite a friend!
NOTICE, for the elders and anyone interested: in the narthex are some general “Dear friend of St. Paul’s” letters to take, if you know of anyone who might be interested in visiting, whether a former member, a visitor, a family member, etc. Instructions: 1) take one of the plastic bags; 2) include in it one of the letters, a newsletter, and a bulletin. You’ll have a ready-made packet to give to a friend.
Altar Guild News
Notes for October:
The first three Sundays of October are green, and the fourth (Oct. 27th) is Reformation Sunday, so the color is red.
Oktoberfest has mass on Monday the 14th and Tuesday the 15th. Color remains green. Vespers Sunday the 13th and Monday the 14th. Midday prayers Monday and Tuesday the 14th and 15th.
Wednesdays are green except the the 30th, (observing All Saints), which is red.
Mary Hamilton at home; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield; Emilie Ricknell at home; Bea Harris, often homebound.
This letter also went out separately to the membership in late September.
Dear members of St. Paul’s,
The matter of giving and stewardship is easily mishandled. People sometimes say they no longer attend their churches because “all they ever talk about is money,” and their churches seem more interested in fleecing than in feeding Jesus’ sheep. That’s probably unfair, since delinquent members can hardly know what’s going on if they’re not attending; but there may be some truth there as well. Leaders get frustrated when the offerings don’t match the needs.
We, too, get frustrated sometimes; your council members routinely struggle with shrinking bank balances and deficit spending; but we remain thankful and humbled by the fact that you, our members, tend to be exemplary in your dedication to volunteering yourselves and your offerings.
Our renovation is mostly complete, and the chancel rededication is set for Sunday, October 13th, at Oktoberfest choral vespers. Meanwhile you continue to give sacrificially; and that, I am convinced, is both because you understand that this is something you should do, and that you love your parish and want to see it prosper. Both reasons are legitimate:
First, yes, of course sacrificial giving is something you should do. For as Christ sacrificed himself for us and held nothing back from us that he has not given us, it is right that we should follow him in heart and mind, and so appreciate the importance of sacrifice. Dedication to Christ is really the first commandment: you shall have no other Gods. And I am glad that you already know that.
Second, you do love your parish and want to see it prosper. This is a fruit of faith, which knows that it is only the grace of God that keeps this congregation in the first place. But sometimes you worry about it, too. But your worry ought not become despair; indeed you may aside with a confidence that in all things your Lord will never forsake you, as the hymnist reminds us: O little flock, fear not the Foe Who madly seeks your overthrow; Dread not his rage and power. What tho’ your courage sometimes faiths, His seeming triumph o’er God’s saints Lasts but a little hour.
Sincerely in Christ,
+ Pastor Eckardt
“We thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God . . . you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe” (I Thess. 2:13).
St. Paul’s on the Air Going Off WKEI This Month
Our radio program which has been running well over ten years will be airing its final radio broadcast on Sunday, September 29th. We still have many podcasts available at our website. You are encouraged to check them out: on-demand listening to a great number of programs at www.stpaulskewanee.org
THE BREAKING OF THE NETS
This article appeared in this newsletter 24 years ago, in September of 1995
When Simon Peter at Jesus' command launched out into the deep, and let down the nets for a draught, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake (Luke 5.6). This account has been used by St. Augustine and other early church fathers to illustrate the condition of the Church on earth. She struggles amid turmoil as she continues Christ's mission command to his disciples to be fishers of men. The breaking of the nets illustrates the strife and turmoil she experiences in this life, as the hymnist puts it:
Tho’ with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed;
By schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed;
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, "how long?"
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.
So the Church experiences and endures strife and conflict in the course of her earthly life, until the Lord shall return in glory for His beloved Bride.
Among the struggles in our day there is an alarming trend seen in our midst, which shows up in various places and ways throughout the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. The trend, simply put, is to disregard the Word of God and its power and grace. At every turn one sees evidence of a desire on the part of some to dismiss the power of the Word and the Holy Sacraments and instead to turn to earthly marketing techniques, sales strategies, and advertising gimmicks and ploys, in hopes of increasing the numbers and revenues of the churches. At the Great Commission Convocation in Minneapolis last fall, for instance, participants were urged to adopt new and contemporary worship forms, forms clearly designed to entertain rather than to edify; while the traditional, liturgical ingredients in Lutheran worship were practically ignored. It is easy to find worship services whose design and intent is aimed at appealing to the unbeliever who might be visiting. This may sound laudable on the surface, until one considers the logic at work here: in order to be appealing to the unbeliever, one must in fact offer the ingredients of unbelief! On the contrary, only the Word of God can convert the unbeliever to the faith. We must, therefore, simply believe the power of the Word to do that, and get our own earthly machinations out of the way.
As the Church struggles with all her controversies and trials, one can always see the wringing of hands. Especially in these times one can see this, with all the turmoil at the Fort Wayne seminary, the alarming intensification Synod-wide of attempts to eradicate traditional, liturgical, sacramental worship, and grievous efforts everywhere to remove all the elements of traditional, liturgical Lutheranism and replace them with the trappings of an entertainment mentality.
So now we, who struggle to maintain an insistence upon the power of the Word, now begin ourselves to wonder at the power of the Word, or to think that the health of the Church depends on our plans and strategy. Thus in a bitter twist of irony, we ourselves begin to forget that the Church lives only by the Holy Gospel and the precious Sacraments.
Not surprisingly, though, for if even the holy Sarah laughed at the promise of Isaac, should we expect ourselves to be above such folly? What we need above all in these perilous and dark times is, simply, to remember the promise. Indeed Sarah, for her advanced age, deemed performance of God's promise impossible, but God in his mercy performed it all the same. For her, the promise was ultimately a Christological one of course, as the line came through Isaac the son of promise; and for us as well it is Christological, since it is Christ's own Church against whom He has promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail.
So let us not grow weary over the breaking of the nets, though at all levels the nets are indeed breaking, and we can easily find disruption and strife. Recall that the draught of fish was taken to shore, to the astonishment of all (Luke 5.9); so likewise the Church through all her struggles shall, according to the promise, finally reach the shores of eternal beatitude and blessing in the heavenly mansions. As Luther said it, "You may trust the Scriptures; they will not lie to you."
Pastor Eckardt +
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:
Mary Beth Jones
and beyond our parish:
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter 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]
Kenneth Baker [Derrick’s brother]
Bud Harfst [Sue Murphy’s brother]
Tony Stoner [friend of the Murphys]
Dylan Harden, Chris’s grandson, bad migraines
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 [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 Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and elsewhere
Pastor to Preach at Reformation Festival in Racine
The Racine, Wisconsin circuit has asked pastor to be their guest preacher for their annual Reformation Festival this year, at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 27th. He will be returning the next day.
Council to Meet One Week Later than Usual: October 23rd
Due to Oktoberfest and the cleanup schedule afterwards, we are moving the monthly council meeting to the fourth Wednesday in October, which is October 23rd, at 5:30 the usual time.
Special volunteers sought for Saturday mornings September 28th and October 6th
We’re looking to make the church extra clean and prepared for our Oktoberfest and chancel dedication. Anyone who has extra time please help!
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443