Stewardship Corner May 2015

We pray in the Lord’s Prayer for daily bread. The Small Catechism teaches that “Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.” This is a pretty comprehensive list of what God provides for our daily bread. But all of this, eventually, and finally, will be taken away from us—not because God is punishing us, but because this is not the goal of life. There is more to life than these things. In fact, we will truly live when all these things are taken away, and we no longer need to pray for daily bread.

For God our Father in heaven is calling us home to Himself. We are just sojourners here. We are on a journey in the wilderness of this world toward our true home, the land of promise, in heaven. Everything that we have in this world and this life will be left behind.

But as much as we long for heaven, as much as we eagerly await that time when our Lord will take us from this vale of tears to Himself in heaven, we still struggle with letting go of what we have in this world. We still suffer the temptation to hold on to this life and this world and the things of this life and this world. But this is not our true home. And as good as this life is, and it is often by God’s grace very good, the life to come in His kingdom far exceeds it.

And giving, stewardship, is a practice that teaches us to look to, long for, and trust in the eternal realities rather than the earthly. It teaches us to loosen our hold and let go of those things that keep us earthly minded, so that we may look what our Father in heaven has in store for us for all eternity. It teaches us to concentrate on what God has done, is doing, and will do for us instead of the constant work-a-day world and noise that we have here. It teaches us to long for that better country, the heavenly one. For God is not ashamed to be called our God. And He has prepared for us a city, His city, not made with hands.

Thus we give generously to the church, to our family, to those in society. We release our grasp on what would keep our focus on the here and now, so that we would be free to receive and rejoice in what our future shall be in heaven. We invest where moth and rust will not destroy. We put our treasures so that our hearts will follow them (Matt 6:21; Luke 12:34). For we are only of any earthly good, when we are truly heavenly minded. Make this your practice for your own good eternally and your neighbors’ good temporally.

Elder, Usher, and Acolyte schedules for May 2015

Elder and Usher Schedule

Date
8:00
Elder
10:30
May 3Daryle Schempp, Jeff Piper, John Hardy, Matthew HollandMike FieldHolden Lueck,
Theron Noth
May 10Gerald Semelka, Mike FieldNathan KluenderBrian Dirks, Bud Kessler, Curt Kessler
May 14Ascension 7PMJohn HardyGene Fuller, Karson Lueck, Richard Ross
May 17Joshua Parry, Matthew Holland, Paul Gerike, Steve ParryBarry HamlinMike Huth,
Ryan Kleibboeker
May 24Charles Nottingham,
Nathan Kluender
Craig CulpGreg McNeely, Marvin Huth, Nick Henson
May 31Daryle Schempp, Gerald Semelka, Jeff Piper, John HardyCurt KesslerBud Kessler, Holden Lueck, Theron Noth

Acolyte Schedule

Date
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
May 3Katey ParryPastor/Elder
May 10Pastor/ElderWill Dowell
May 17J.T. PiperPastor/Elder
May 24Anna HollandJustin McNeely
May 31J.T. PiperWilliam McNeely

Celebrating May 2015

Birthdays

3-May Anna Holland
5-May Lorene Backsmeier
5-May Cory Fortney
6-May Mike Brewer
8-May Christian Dowell
8-May Lucas Piper
10-May William Dowell
11-May Jessie Brown
11-May Lindsay Orr
12-May Kerry Warren
16-May Benjamin Holland
19-May Nicki Cloyd
19-May Terry Trost
21-May Pat McQuown
26-May Joyce Schneider
26-May Mandy Kluender

Baptismal Birthdays

1-May Catherine Cloyd
1-May Carly Benjamin
1-May Marvin Lester
3-May Jamie Nord
5-May Marlene Hitch
11-May Isaac Scott
15-May Daryle Schempp
18-May Drew Kemp
22-May Lorene Backsmeier
22-May Marvin Huth
26-May Stephen Parry
29-May Lucas Piper
31-May Sandra Williams

Pastor’s Notes – May 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Something that I have always noticed in life is how you can be in an empty space and within an hour or less that space can be completely changed because it is filled with people.  On Easter Sunday, this was the case.  The Sanctuary was beautifully prepared for worship, but when I first arrived, no one was in there.  Within the hour, young and old, were belting out, “Christ has triumphed!  He is living!”  It was a blessing to once again worship together.

I have seen this in other areas of my life, especially as it involves sports.  Stadiums and gyms and ball fields are devoid of people during warm-ups, and before you know it, the place can be rocking with noise and excitement.  Then it’s over, and the space returns to its serene self.

The events of Jesus’ life took on a similar tone.  A courtyard and court that normally might be quiet was filled with people.  You had the followers of Jesus, but the ones wanting to crucify Him outnumbered them.  Then that area became silent again as they took the Savior to Golgotha.  This was now the place of activity.  Jeers and hissing as He hung on the cross.  Soldiers cursing and betting.  Family members wailing and crying.  Then the death of Jesus, the powerful noise of the earthquake and silence again.  The peace surrounding the tomb was interrupted by the appearance of the women and the exchange with the angels.  “He is not here.  He has risen.”  This is a noise that reverberated throughout the world.  Jesus coming back to life can be heard by every tribe and nation.

That is why we return to worship again and again.  To sing His praises.  To hear His Word.  To partake of His Sacraments.  The still, small voice of Christ our Savior speaks to us.  He speaks in the silence of our sin.  He counsels in the quietness of quest for worldly success.  He admonishes when the audio of our actions pushes us away from the Lord.  He pronounces loud and clear, “I love you, I forgive you, and I will never leave you.”

Hold on to this thought whether in a quiet place by yourself or surrounded by thousands.  Christ is there and that, my friend, makes an audible difference!

In Christ,

Pastor

“A Resurrection Nickname” Acts 4:32-35 (4-12-2015)

April 12, 2015 Text: Acts 4:32-35

Dear Friends in Christ,

People get nicknames for a variety of reasons. Some come by a physical trait like freckles or Red for hair color. Some get it for what they do like Mr. Clutch or Chief. Others get it as a shorter version of their name, Max for Maxwell or Beth for Elizabeth. The nicknames I have had revolve around my last name, Sweet Lou and Wick. What nickname do you have that maybe I don’t know about? I’d love to hear it after church.
Biblical people had nicknames. Peter was the Rock. James and John were Sons of Thunder. And we all know the nickname of the man in our Gospel – Doubting Thomas.
In our text today we come across another nickname. It is actually found in verse 36 but it relates to what is found in our reading. It is Joseph, called Barnabas. His nickname? “Son of encouragement.” He built people up. He gave of himself to others. He supported those who were alone. What a nickname. That is a nickname we could all have. We all can be encouragers.
The name Barnabas is a resurrection nickname. He becomes the encourager because of the power of Jesus’ resurrection. He encourages people because Jesus’ resurrection has brought grace to his life. But Jesus’ resurrection is not just a name changer; it’s also a life changer.
“A RESURRECTION NICKNAME”
When Jesus rose from the dead, people’s lives were changed. Peter the Rock had denied Jesus three times during his trial. No rock-solid confession that night. He is disgraced by denial. But later, Jesus alive, body glorified, meets Peter on a beach and restores him. Remember Jesus asking three times if Peter loved him? This post-resurrection meeting changed Peter. He rises to become a great apostle in the early Church. Same for Thomas. He doesn’t believe until he sees. Once that happens, everything is changed, he believes. He, too, becomes a great apostle in the Early Church. He, too, is changed by the resurrection.
We don’t know if Barnabas ever personally saw Jesus risen from the dead. But it doesn’t matter. The message of Jesus’ resurrection the apostles proclaimed was powerful and life changing too. It changed Barnabas. Jesus, the risen Lord, came to him in that message and he became Barnabas, the encourager.
The same is true for us. The message of Jesus’ resurrection changes us. Are you struggling with a sin? Jesus is risen from the dead. Your life is changed because as you repent that sin is forgiven.
Are you doubting God’s love? Jesus is risen from the dead. Doubt becomes faith strong once again, because His death was because He loves you, and the resurrection proves that was His plan.
Are you too easily angered? Jesus is risen from the dead. Relax and be calm in his peace, because He lives to take care of whatever upsets you.
Are you afraid of getting sick, losing your job, losing someone you love? Jesus is risen from the dead. He is with you always, no matter what.
Are you a complainer and jealous of what others have? Jesus is risen from the dead. Contentment comes from the Lord, who lives to grant you rich supply.
Are you trying not to think of your own death? Jesus is risen from the dead. You, too, will rise, as will everyone who confesses him as did Peter, as did Thomas.
Are you crabby and negative? Jesus is risen from the dead. He can change you to be a Barnabas.
Yes, you can become a Barnabas. Look at what he did. He had some land, some property. He sold it and gave it to the apostles so it could be distributed as people had need.
You can guess the result: the people in need were encouraged. Someone cared for them. Who else was encouraged? Those in the church who watched Barnabas do this. They saw that what they had wasn’t their own either but was the Lord’s gift to them. They gave too. Barnabas, the encourager, changed by the resurrected Jesus, helped make that happen. Do you see what the resurrection looks like? It’s the grace and power of Jesus working in people’s lives.
Here we are. We’ve heard the powerful message of God’s grace. Jesus is risen from the dead. He is at work in our lives. He is changing us. We can each be a modern-day Barnabas.
What does that look like? You have encouraged me with personal notes or e-mails. I save these and read them over in my struggling times. I know my presence or a prayer in the emergency room or hospital room or nursing home or your home has encouraged you after surgery. But in those instances, many times, you and how you are handling things have encouraged me. You know the presence of the Lord in your life and that makes all the difference. The resurrection of Jesus makes all of this possible. We encourage one another.
Through the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives we encourage each other with words that build up and by the generosity that we show. But let us remember one more nickname today – for Jesus. Jesus is given many names: Savior, Good Shepherd, Redeemer, Lord, Prince of Peace. But today we’ve heard another name for Jesus: Life Changer. Jesus’ resurrection gives grace and power to change lives into those who encourage others with words and generosity.
Jesus is risen from the dead. Jesus is the Life Changer.
Amen.

“THE WOLF, THE SHEEP, AND THE GOOD SHEPHERD” John 10:11-17

(No Video Available)

April 26, 2015 Text: John 10:11-17

Dear Friends in Christ,

In his book, The Story File, Steve May writes, “Students in a psychology class at San Diego State were asked to name their most valuable asset. Two wrote down intelligence, and both misspelled it.” And then he tells of this incident: “The manager of a novelty shop located in a tourist area attracts customers from all over the world. One day, a man came in and started browsing. He spotted a ventriloquist’s dummy and asked, ‘Do you have one that speaks Spanish?’
And then he makes this priceless observation: “Ignorance has something to be said for it. It contributes to about nine-tenths of the world’s conversational output.”
What does all of this have to do with the sermon? Very little, other than reminding us of the human condition and our need for help. This morning . . .
“THE WOLF, THE SHEEP, AND THE GOOD SHEPHERD”
So we start with the wolf. Jesus says, “He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd…sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.” (v. 12)
The alpha wolf is the devil, the father of lies. But the alpha wolf has other wolves. Jesus warns, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15) And Paul warns the leaders of the church at Ephesus, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)
There is the alpha wolf the lesser wolves and then another group that Jesus identifies in the text, “He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” (v. 13)
Lutheran commentator, Gary P. Baumler writes: “The hired hand is like those church leaders who think more of their own well-being than of serving God’s flock. They are not true shepherds. They do not feel any personal responsibility for the sheep. They do the job to make a living. When wolves, come, they show their real colors. They abandon the flock and let the wolves ravage and scatter it.”
I would suggest that many “hired hands” simply do whatever they have to in order to avoid conflict, to avoid taking a stand for God’s Word, to keep themselves in a worldly comfort zone. See the hired hands, the wolves and the leader of the pack himself, the devil – they’re everywhere seeking the destruction of God’s people.
And that brings us to…the sheep. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (v. 11) And then He notes, “…I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” The “other’ sheep is a reference to the Gentiles. Us. And it all fits with Christ’s revelation of, “For God so loved the world…” The world: Jew and Gentile.
And the sheep have two qualities about them. They know the voice of the Good Shepherd. Jesus says, “and they will listen to my voice.” (v. 16) The sheep hear the Word. They know the Word. They learn the Word. And they cling to the Word unto death!
The other quality? The gentle nature of the sheep that makes them vulnerable to all sorts of attacks. We are no more of this world than the Shepherd. Do we understand that? We may have this world and do of this world, but it is all very momentary and not the goals of our lives – having and doing. Jesus said about you and me and our brothers and sisters everywhere, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of this world, just as I am not of this world.” (Jn. 17:14) It’s always the same old inner confrontation, isn’t it? What, of this world, is really that important?
Sheep. That’s us. The people Christ sought and loves and claims as His own. And that brings us to . . . the Good Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep…For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.” (v. 14, 15, 17)
The part we know and love the most is: I lay down my life for the sheep. It takes us to Calvary – to the payment for every sin – to the fact that God, for the sake of Jesus, sees us as His holy, righteous, forgiven people.
Then this: I lay down my life that I may take it up again. That brings us to His resurrection. We love this because it reminds us of Jesus’ promise to everyone who believes in Him: “Because I live, you also will live.” (Jn. 14:19)
But we don’t want to exclude this: I know my own and my own know me. His “own” are those He has purchased with His blood. Those who are righteous – not by virtue of there own goodness, but because we are reckoned righteous through faith in Christ. Paul calls it “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” (Rom. 3:22)
The Good Shepherd is always there. Watching, protecting, and giving life. As we deal with the wolves of this space and time give a listen to something I’ve quoted before. It bears repeating. It’s 250 A.D. and Cyprian a noted Christian writer and Bishop of Carthage wrote this to his friend Donatus.
“This is a cheerful world as I see it from my garden, under the shadow of my vines. But if I could ascend some high mountain and look very far, what would I see? Bandits on the highways, pirates on the seas, armies fighting, cities burning, in the amphitheaters people murdered to please applauding crowds, selfishness and cruelty, misery and despair under all roofs. It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found joy that is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians – and I am one of them.”
You and I are too. Thanks be to the Good Shepherd!
Amen…

“The Savior’s Touch” Luke 24:36-49 (4-19-2015)

April 19, 2015 Text: Luke 24:36-49

Dear Friends in Christ,

Rene Spitz has compiled some amazing evidence pertaining to the absence of touch. In a South American orphanage, Spitz observed and recorded what happened to 97 children who were deprived of emotional and physical contact with others. Because of a lack of funds, there was not enough staff to adequately care for these children, ages three months to three years old. Nurses changed diapers and fed and bathed the children. But there was little time to hold, touch, and talk to them as a parent would. After three months many of them showed signs of abnormality. Besides a loss of appetite and being unable to sleep well, many of the children lay with a vacant expression in their eyes. After five months, serious deterioration set in. They lay whimpering, with troubled and twisted faces. Often, when a doctor or nurse would pick up an infant, it would scream in terror. Twenty-seven, almost one-third, of the children died the first year, but not from lack of food or health care. They died of a lack of touch and emotional nurture. Because of this, seven more died the second year. Only 21 of the 97 survived, most suffering from serious psychological damage.
As hard as that scenario is for us to imagine, what if we had to live without the touch and love of Jesus Christ in our lives? What if we had to live without His presence because He remained in the tomb? Today, He gives us something that we all need . . .
“THE SAVIOR’S TOUCH”
Jesus wanted to make certain that his disciples knew He was alive. “Touch me, and see,” he said. “Have you anything here to eat?” He was alive! The touching news of Jesus’ resurrection changes all of our tomorrows. It changes the way we live and the way we die, the way we worship and the way we work.
The Savior’s touch helps with our doubts and fears. The disciples had doubts and fears, just like many of the disciples in this sanctuary today. Satan must enjoy filling our lives with fear. I recently learned my fear of dogs has a name: synaphobia. What are some other names for fears? Peladophobia is the fear of baldness and bald people. Levophobia, the fear of objects on the left side of the body. Dextrophobia, the fear of objects on the right side of the body. Thalassophobia, fear of being seated. And my favorite, phobophobia, the fear of being afraid.
Oh whatever our fear, we pretend to be bold, but Jesus sees right through us. He knows our doubts and fears. Even after we hear it in church, Bible Class, Sunday School, and devotions, we still don’t fully believe and trust for a variety of reasons. Jesus says, “Touch me and see. I’ll show you. My resurrection, my living body is for real.”
We are touched by God’s Word and empowered by the living Christ. One year in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The ironic thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. Imagine its vast oil resources and its truck was out of gas. Often, as Christians we neglect our spiritual maintenance and though we are “clothed with power from on high” we find ourselves out of gas.
This happened to the disciples after Jesus resurrection. After all that had happened they were out of gas. But through the Savior’s touch He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He did it so they could fully understand His death and resurrection, repentance, and forgiveness of sins.
We too find ourselves at times running on empty. Life has a way of doing that. Our prayer is that the Lord would open our minds to understand the Scripture. God calls us to dig into His Word so that it can take root in us. God calls us to repent of our sins and joyfully receive and share His gracious forgiveness.
Jesus touched His disciples’ lives with the gifts of His peace, His presence, His power, and a commissioning to share what they had seen and heard with the world. He touches our lives with those same gifts, and we are changed. He touches us through His Word, Holy Communion, our baptismal gifts, and through the body of believers as we go into the world together.
Today we have been personally touched by the grace and knowledge of our living Savior, Jesus Christ. The reality of Jesus’ resurrection changes lives…forever!
Amen.

Bulletin Announcements – April 26, 2015

 

 Bulletin Announcements

April 26, 2015

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  John 10:14:  “I am the good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me.”  What does it mean to know the Lord?  It starts with being known by the Lord: He claims us as His own and calls us by name.  Then, once we are His, we learn to know Him…and in knowing Him we learn to imitate Him.  And that is how the Christian life of good works and generosity grows from the Lord’s grace

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, led by Pastor Lueck, is studying “Luther’s Small Catechism”.  The class meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL students learn the story of “Paul’s First Missionary Journey.”  Just as God sent Paul and Barnabas to spread the Gospel, so today He sends pastors to preach the Gospel, baptize, and feed Jesus’ body and blood to His children, against whom the gates of hell cannot prevail.  Consider discussing, “Who gave Paul directions on where to travel?  What was Paul’s message?”

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The April – June 2015 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack located in the narthex.  Pick up your free copy today.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

GOOD SHEPHERD’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY:  Have you noticed the banner in the narthex for Good Shepherd’s 20th Anniversary: (Great Is Thy Faithfulness)?  A great big Thank you goes out to Joyce Schneider and Paula Hardy for making the banner.  We also want to report we have collected a little over $3,800.00 since we had our first collection in March.  Our next dates for collection for the Organ Repair are: Sunday, May 24th and Sunday, May 31st.  Thank you to all for your participation.  The 20th Church Anniversary Committee

THE LUTHERANS FOR LIFE OF ILLINOIS 2015 STATE CONFERENCE will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln, IL this coming Saturday, May 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  The Conference theme is “Because Life Matters” taken from Job 33:4.  Our keynote speaker will be Reverend Dr. Jim Lamb, Executive Director of Lutherans For Life.  Other speakers include Sara Hintz and Lori Trinche.  No pre-registration or fee required.  Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and rolls.  Please bring donations of diapers, diaper wipes, and newborn baby items which will be given to the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center of Lincoln, IL.  A continental breakfast, mid-morning snack, and lunch will be prepared and served by the Zion Lutheran Ladies Aid (a free-will Offering would be appreciated).  The Conference Offering will be going to “Owen’s Mission” (a Special Project providing a set of “Touch of Life” fetal models to Lutheran schools).  Please e-mail: lakamps@gmail.com with questions.  Everyone is welcome to come and be educated on life issues and enjoy fellowship with other life-affirming folks.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “You Can Live a Meaningful Life” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from John 15:1-8.  A life that is meaningful is one that is connected to Jesus.  The speaker will be Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her home # is (309) 661-6522; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Bulletin Announcements – April 19, 2015

 Bulletin Announcements

April 19, 2015

 THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  1 John 3:2:  “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”  There is the essence of our sanctification: becoming like our Lord.  As St. John notes, this will only be completed in the Resurrection

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, led by Pastor Lueck, is studying “Luther’s Small Catechism”.  The class meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL the children will study “The Conversion of Paul” and learn that as God did with Paul, so God does with us.  Through the Law we are crushed by the weight of our sin and are helpless.  As God revived Paul through Ananias (Acts 9:1–31), He revives us through our pastors with the proclamation of His Word and the administration of His Sacraments granting forgiveness, life, and salvation to all who believe.  Talk to your children about how the Sacraments and God’s Word revive you so that you may live as God’s child.

TODAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the MAY NEWSLETTER.  Mandy Kluender is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at mgkluender@hotmail.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

CHURCH DIRECTORY:  The April 2015 edition of the Church Member Directory is available on the table in the narthex.  Please pick up your copy today.

“WALK FOR LIFE”:  Pastor and family will be walking again in the Pregnancy Resource Center’s “Walk For Life” this coming Saturday, April 25th at Christ Church in Normal.  If you would like to sponsor them with a pledge or walk yourself please speak with Pastor.  Thank you.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The April – June 2015 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack located in the narthex.  Pick up your free copy today.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

GOOD SHEPHERD’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY:  Have you noticed the banner in the narthex for Good Shepherd’s 20th Anniversary: (Great Is Thy Faithfulness)?  A great big Thank you goes out to Joyce Schneider and Paula Hardy for making the banner.  We also want to report we have collected a little over $3,800.00 since we had our first collection in March.  Our next dates for collection for the Organ Repair are:  Sunday, May 24th and Sunday, May 31st.  Thank you to all for your participation.  The 20th Church Anniversary Committee

THE LUTHERANS FOR LIFE OF ILLINOIS 2015 STATE CONFERENCE will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln, IL on Saturday, May 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  The Conference theme is “Because Life Matters” taken from Job 33:4.  Our keynote speaker will be Reverend Dr. Jim Lamb, Executive Director of Lutherans For Life.  Other speakers include Sara Hintz and Lori Trinche.  No pre-registration or fee required.  Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and rolls.  Please bring donations of diapers, diaper wipes, and newborn baby items which will be given to the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center of Lincoln, IL.  A continental breakfast, mid-morning snack, and lunch will be prepared and served by the Zion Lutheran Ladies Aid (a free-will Offering would be appreciated).  The Conference Offering will be going to “Owen’s Mission” (a Special Project providing a set of “Touch of Life” fetal models to Lutheran schools).  Please e-mail: lakamps@gmail.com with questions.  Everyone is welcome to come and be educated on life issues and enjoy fellowship with other life-affirming folks.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Open-minded and Accepting” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Acts 4:12.  Tolerance and open-mindedness are values much touted, but truth is even better.  The speaker will be Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her home # is (309) 661-6522; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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