Elder, Usher, and Acolyte Schedules for October 2015

Elders and Ushers

Date
8:30
Elder
10:30
Oct 4Charles Nottingham, Craig Culp, Jeff Piper, Joshua ParryBarry HamlinGreg McNeely,
Nick Henson
Oct 11Ben Holland, Mike FieldJohn HardyBud Kessler, Curt Kessler, Theron Noth
Oct 18Daryle Schempp, Gene Fuller, Richard Ross, Steve ParryCraig CulpMike Huth,
Holden Lueck
Oct 25Gerald Semelka, John Hardy, Nathan Kluender, Paul GerikeCurt KesslerBrian Dirks, Marvin Huth, Ryan Kleiboeker

Acolytes

Date
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
Oct 4Lucas PiperPastor/Elder
Oct 11Pastor/ElderWill Dowell
Oct 18Anna HollandPastor/Elder
Oct 25Garett SheleyJustin McNeely

Stewardship Corner October 2015

The reason we come to Church on Sunday morning, as opposed to Sunday afternoon or Monday evening, is because it is the first day of the week.  The first thing you do this week, before you do anything else, is come to Church.  You begin your week with the Word of God, Prayer, and the Holy Communion.  You give the first seventh, off the top, of your time to the Lord.  He blesses that time.  In that time, He forgives your sins, cleanses, and purifies you.  He then sends you out into the world, into the week, as His in all your days and hours and life.

This is also the reason we pray before we eat.  We want to establish that food is a gift from God and that He provides for us through it.  Before we eat, we pray. This also blesses the food and makes it holy food because you are holy people.

Nonetheless, we have a tendency to compartmentalize our lives, to separate the spiritual and the secular, to put on different masks at work, with our friends, or at home.  This is a fantasy.  We are who we are wherever we are.  We are the baptized and we never go anywhere alone. Everything we do is spiritual — including our use of time and food and money.

Now, you have a Christian duty to support the Church, to give of your time, money, and abilities so that the Ministry would be conducted among us and that the Gospel would be preached beyond us.  How much you are to give is not dictated in the New Testament, unless it is everything.  But how you are to give is clear.  It is sacrificial, generous, first fruits, and proportional.  You are to give a percentage offering—not an amount, but a percentage.

In the Old Testament ten percent was the norm.  It’s hard to imagine that St. Paul was thinking that “being generous” would be anything less than this.  But whatever it is, the point is to set your offerings in comparison to your total income. That is what makes it a sacrifice, a spiritual gift.  How much of what the Lord provides do you return?

Next, it is to be first-fruits giving. It comes off the top.  You write the check, or pay your offering, before you pay any of your bills.  It is your first obligation and sets your priorities.  You don’t pay your other bills and then give the leftovers to the Church.  You make your offering first, in accordance with whatever promised percentage you made.  This is not only first fruits, it is also sacrificial.

And you can always give more.  Start with your commitment, with your percentage-based, first-fruits weekly offering, then as you have leftovers, give them out as it pleases you.  But start with the Biblical model or percentage, first fruits.

That is how money is to be used and given by Christians.  It is to be pressed into the service of the Gospel.  It is not actually that hard.  Start where you are and work toward greater faithfulness.  Start now.  Just take what you give now and figure out the percentage of your income and commit to keep that pledge for the year.  Over time you can increase that commitment, that percentage.  As your income fluctuates, going up or down, so will your offering amount.  Set the percentage, then take that out of your check first each week.  Make it a priority.  It is the most important thing you do with your money. It is a spiritual exercise.

It will feel a little scary at first.  Just do it.  Take the risk.  Set the money aside for the Lord and trust that He will provide.  And over time you will find that you really can give more than 1% or even 10%, and even do so without regret.  This kind of Biblical, disciplined, first fruit giving takes the unease out of it.  It creates cheerful givers because when they drop the offering in the plate, they are already committed.  They decided beforehand what to give.  They don’t think about it. They are glad to fulfill their promise and to be in God’s house where He receives them according to grace.

Celebrating October 2015

Birthdays

10/1 Thomas Anderson
10/2 E.F. Bud Barnett
10/10 Stacia Dowell
10/10 Fern Noth
10/11 Barry Hamlin
10/11 Jessica Isaac
10/12 Payton Biddle
10/12 John Hardy
10/15 Travis Henson
10/15 Maria Kirchner
10/17 Jacquelyn Semelka
10/21 Shane Miller
10/22 Sierra Parker
10/23 Audrey Gronert
10/23 Chloe Hitch
10/24 Teresa Casselman
10/25 Abby Biddle
10/28 Cheryl Reichert

Baptismal Birthdays

10/2 Eli McNeely
10/2 William McNeely
10/3 Pastor Lueck
10/4 Brian Dirks
10/9 Cortney Brewer
10/9 William Huber
10/9 Andrea Reichert
10/13 Ryne Brewer
10/20 Cleo Korte
10/27 Steve Davis

Pastor’s Notes – October 2015

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Have you heard about this idea within a portion of the scientific community that in 30 years we will become computers?  Lev Grossman calls this our “cyborganic destiny.”  Do we really want to become computers?  What if someone sticks a pop-tart in our hard drive?  Or spills sticky soda on our keyboard?

Another scientist says, “You can transfer your mind into a machine.”  As a machine you can wake up every day in a cold, uncaring world.  Life goes on indefinitely and we become “intergalactic godlings.”  Do you want to live forever as a tin can wired with the same components as your Toyota?

As Christians we know the promise of eternal life is our future.  The Apostle Paul writes, “We are buried with Christ by baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”  “Newness of life” is not the same old thing day after day like a machine.

In the science world the geography is limited.  They are bound to an earthly kingdom and the prospect of your computer turning you on as a washing machine.  Followers of Christ know from the Lord’s Prayer “Thy Kingdom Come.”  We live in God’s kingdom of power and grace and we await the kingdom of glory.

It was the flesh and blood Jesus who won this salvation for us.  He was not a robotic figure leading a scientific revolution.  His love and grace that came through His care for you and me is prevalent.  He came for all with the gift of salvation so we could live forever, not continue to exist as a toaster!

In Christ,

Pastor

“BEYOND THE MANNER TO WHICH WE HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED” — Numbers 11: (ALL) 9-27-2015

September 27, 2015 Text: 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

Dear Friends in Christ,

What in life have you become accustomed to? Just this morning many of us have been blessed with a hot shower, a fluffy towel to dry off with, a refrigerator that kept our milk cold for the morning cereal, the local newspaper delivered to our address and a vehicle that transported us to God’s House. On top of that we enjoy vacations, dinners out, credit cards at Macy’s or Bergner’s, paying for our kids extracurricular activities, gasoline to get to those activities, cable TV and Wi-Fi, phones that can hook us up with people halfway around the world.
We have become quite used to our little luxuries. What is one thing you would hate to give up? For me it would be soft toilet paper. I took it with me to college, I made sure Karson had it at college and it was my first gift to the congregation when we moved into this building. I have become accustomed to a certain comfort. You each have your own little things that you enjoy as well. Giving them up would be hard. Israel is facing this question as they come out of Egypt and they are not too happy. The complaining. This is not what they are accustomed too. But the Lord shows Israel and us in our text that by giving the Spirit, God gives life well . . .
“BEYOND THE MANNER TO WHICH WE’VE BECOME ACCUSTOMED”
You and I are quite accustomed to our manner and standard of living. Israel remembers they way they had lived and eaten in Egypt. They remembered the fantasy but forgot the reality of their slavery. Selfishness and boredom with God’s providence led Israel to grumble.
Oh, we are happy as long as things go our way, but at the first sign of trouble or conflict, we sing a different tune. I learned of a family this week where one of the parents took a $30,000 pay cut. What if that happened to us? What little luxury would be the first to go? Would it be grumbling or contentment?
Meanwhile, Moses is having his own little meltdown. He is fed-up with his God-given duties, which have become heavier than he was accustomed to. He’d spent forty years off by himself tending a few sheep, when suddenly God puts him in charge of millions. Now they are grumbling and he is complaining of carrying the burden of these men and women. It’s lonely at the top.
We also complain and become fatigued by the burdens that we carry. The bills that have to be paid, the sickness that won’t go away, the laundry that keeps piling up, then something breaks on our car or in our house and we want to know why the Lord is giving us this load.
Now God acts to help Moses, and another player in our text, Joshua, has his accustomed manner of living upset. He is used to the God-ordained order. Moses as leader. Joshua as assistant. But he challenges Moses by trying to stop Eldad and Medad from prophesying. Well intentioned, but misguided.
We work hard to protect our turf, whether at home or work or school or church or family. We look around at others sometimes and become jealous of what they have in terms of power or leadership or skills. We miss our own talents and gifts because we start comparing ourselves with others. Our manner of life can get so messed up.
God gives a different manner of life by giving the Spirit. God shows his people that life can be quite different from the accustomed. He doesn’t give better food, a sabbatical from duties, or confirmation of leadership. God’s answer is to give greater life in the Spirit. He did this by putting his spirit on seventy elders. The food didn’t get better but it was already quite tasty. No time-off was taken but these Spirit-filled men helped Moses. No turf protection needed because the Spirit had all of them working together.
God shows us an unaccustomed lifestyle too. Life is more than food, ease at work, affirmations that “you’re the man!” More than the luxuries that we enjoy. Life is given by the Spirit who as we confess is “the Lord and giver of life.” That life is the life earned for all people when the One who gives the Spirit, the eternal Son of God, laid down His life on the cross. No one is accustomed to gaining life by losing it, but that’s exactly what Jesus did – for Israel, for Moses, for Joshua, for us who through the Spirit believe in Him.
This new life in the Spirit is well beyond that to which we’ve become accustomed. Ever since Pentecost the word of Christ’s saving death has been going to all the world. The Spirit is not given just once to seventy elders or one leader, but as Moses envisioned: “Would that the Lord would put His Spirit on all his people.”
It’s given in Baptism as we are born of water and the Spirit. It’s the life so much richer than that to which we were accustomed. A greater life than found in the world – greater than our things or successes. You have the life of Christ in you, providing everything He knows best. Better than the credit cards, or the phone or the hot shower, even better than the soft toilet paper. This life in Christ has no end.
As Moses came to see, God is, by giving the Spirit in Christ, providing for us very well beyond the little manner to which we’ve become accustomed.
Amen.

“WHAT TO DO WITH I’, ‘MYSELF’, AND ‘ME’?” Text: Mark 9:30-37

September 20, 2015 Text: Mark 9:30-37

Dear Friends in Christ,

I hope you enjoy this little poem. “I gave a little party this afternoon at three, Twas very small, three guests in all: I, myself and me: Myself ate up all the sandwiches, while I drank the tea; And it was I who ate the pie and passed the cake to me.”
Simple. Silly. Yet very descriptive of human nature in every generation and especially the present age. And here’s what we want to explore this morning . . .
“WHAT TO DO WITH I’, ‘MYSELF’, AND ‘ME’?”
It’s big business; you know…this obsession with self. Watch any reality show and you will see what I mean. I enjoy watching the show “House Hunters” but I am always amazed when couples are looking for a house how the language of “I” predominates. “I need a man cave.” “I want granite countertops and a tub.” “I will not live in a home unless ‘Fluffy” has room to run around.” Aren’t these spouses supposed to be in this together? I’d like to think the producers are encouraging this but I’m not sure that is the case.
We are trapped in the debacle of individualism. Ask anyone who has given his or her baser inclinations free reign, and you will see for yourself. It’s like the drug addict looking for another hit locked in a private hell of remorse and self-loathing – expressive individualism initially promises freedom, but ultimately delivers bondage.
It’s exciting to declare independence from the expression of others and cultural norms, but the result isn’t pretty. When your companions are comprised of me, myself, and I, you live in a very small world.
“And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.’” (vs. 33-35)
The question Jesus poses is purely rhetorical. He knew what they were arguing about. He knew their sad condition and so did they because they remained silent. Oh, we know that scene. Confronted with our sin, we stand there silent because we have no answer. We knew it as a kid; we live it as an adult.
What a low moment for these men. Jesus had just told them he was going to be killed and in three days rise again. The Savior is going to bleed, suffer hell, and die for them and their concern is who is the best. It’s the battle of the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man in the arena of life. It’s always with us.
Disraeli once quipped, “Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.” We are full of ourselves. Full of our plans and ideas. These words of an unknown author ring true: “’Be yourself!’ is about the worst advice you can give to some people.”
Jesus also lies some hard terms before us: last and servant. If we are going to amount to something in God’s scheme of things then we have to put ourselves last and be willing to serve in whatever capacity God places before us. The Lord drives home the point with this living illustration from our text:
“And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.’” (vs. 36-37)
The seemingly insignificant things and tasks are truly great in the eyes of our Lord. Embracing a child and his or her needs – sacrificing for the care of that child even if it means never living in a $500,000 home or getting what the flesh wants – embracing a child and everything that encompasses is truly great.
Look, brothers and sisters, God embraced and embraces us in Christ. Christ left the security and glory of Heaven to enter the world of I, myself, and me. He suffered hell and pain for our sins, earned our forgiveness and pardons those times we only live for the I, myself, and me. He embraces us in his Holy Word. Not too many moments ago we received the assurance of that forgiveness in the absolution spoken by the Pastor. Soon we will kneel together once again to be embraced in His love and forgiveness through the Holy Supper.
I’ve always loved Frank Sinatra’s song “I Did It My Way.” I’ve always touted my independence. You have the same problem, do you? What to do with “I, myself, and me”? The answer to that can only come to light in the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus for us. May the Holy Spirit lead us to deny self and be a servant to all.
Amen.

Bulletin Announcements – September 27, 2015

 Bulletin Announcements 

September 27, 2015

 

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, led by Pastor Lueck and meeting in the church basement at 9:15 a.m. is studying “Lutheran Doctrine and Practice Today”. 

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL, the children will complete their study of how God worked in Joseph’s life. “Joseph Forgives” and reveals himself to his brothers, telling them that though they meant evil, God used their acts for good. Our Lord Jesus Christ reveals Himself to us and forgives us in His Holy Word and Sacraments. Families could discuss, “How was God with Joseph, blessing him through all that happened, the good and the bad? How has God turned bad or evil things in your life or world into blessings for your good?”

LWML UPDATE: The LWML is pinning and sewing quilts for Lutheran World Relief TODAY from 1-4:00 p.m. We will meet upstairs in the Quilting Room. If you have a portable sewing machine and would like to hem quilts or help pin the hems of quilts, we would appreciate your help.

THE BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION is planning a Work Day on Saturday, October 10th at 8:30 a.m. We will be cleaning out and re-organizing the Day Care/Youth area located in the basement of the church. Many years of VBS and Sunday School supplies to organize and put into proper storage. Please plan to come and help us with our tasks. Thank you! If you have any questions please feel free to call Paula Hardy at (309) 310-7917.

PORTALS OF PRAYER: The October-December 2015 Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack in the narthex. Pick up your free copy today.

THANK YOU: The Good Shepherd Blood Drive was a success as we exceeded our goal. Thank you to the donors, volunteers, cookie bakers and everyone else who played a part in this life-giving mission. What a blessed day as the Lord allowed us to share this gift of life!

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.

YOU ARE INVITED: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Eureka, IL will hold its 26th Annual Hog Roast at the Fellowship Hall, 698 Reagan Drive in Eureka on Saturday, October 3rd from 4-7:00 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Eureka Food Pantry. Tickets are $10.00 in advance, and $11.00 at the door for adults and $5.00 for children, 12 & under. Carryout is also available. The menu is roast pork, barbeque sauce (optional), potato salad, applesauce, baked beans, rolls and butter, cake or pie, and a drink. Pastor Lueck has two complimentary tickets or you may call the church office at (309) 467-5477.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR: “Fight For the One Next to You” is the topic for next Sunday. The sermon text will be from Hebrews 2:14-18. Who’s fighting for you? Who are you fighting for? 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 – September 20, 2015

†  Bulletin Announcements  †

September 20, 2015

GOOD SHEPHERD’S BLOOD DRIVE is this coming Tuesday, September 22nd, from 2-6:00 p.m. Sign-up sheets are available in the narthex but if you would prefer signing up online please go to: redcrossblood.org. Enter in our zip code, 61704, find our Blood Drive and let the blood flow. Pastor Lueck will once again kick off our Drive by reaching out his right arm and turning his head. Please join us in fun and church fellowship as we help those in need with this gift of life.

COOKIES NEEDED: We need three dozen cookies for the Blood Drive this coming Tuesday. Please let Pastor know if you can bring a dozen cookies. Thank you.

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, led by Pastor Lueck and meeting in the church basement at 9:15 a.m. is studying “Lutheran Doctrine and Practice Today”.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL the children will learn how “Joseph Feeds Egypt” during a great famine. Ask your children, “How do our sins cause suffering for both ourselves and others?” God sent His Son, Jesus, to save all humanity from sin, death, and the devil. Discuss the reality that in spite of how awful life seems, Jesus is with us through His Word and Sacraments, caring for us always.

TODAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the OCTOBER 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.

THANK YOU: We would like to thank all who helped make our School Kit Project for the LWML a success.

PORTALS OF PRAYER: The October-December 2015 Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack 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.

YOU ARE INVITED: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Eureka, IL will hold its 26th Annual Hog Roast at the Fellowship Hall, 698 Reagan Drive in Eureka on Saturday, October 3rd from 4-7:00 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Eureka Food Pantry. Tickets are $10.00 in advance, and $11.00 at the door for adults and $5.00 for children, 12 & under. Carryout is also available. The menu is roast pork, barbeque sauce (optional), potato salad, applesauce, baked beans, rolls and butter, cake or pie, and a drink. Pastor Lueck has two complimentary tickets or you may call the church office at (309) 467-5477.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR: “Free, Indeed” is the topic for next Sunday. The sermon text will be from John 8:34-36. When our sins and guilt stick to us like glue, Jesus Makes us unstuck. The speaker will be Reverend Ken Klaus. 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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