Elder, Usher, and Acolyte Schedules for April 2016

Elder and Usher Schedules

Date
8:00
Elder
10:30
Apr 3Gene Fuller, Gerald Semelka, Nathan Kluender, Richard RossJohn HardyMike Huth
Apr 10John Hardy, Mike FieldRandy ReinhardtBud Kessler, Curt Kessler, Holden Lueck
Apr 17Charles Nottingham, Craig Culp, Daryle Schempp, Paul GerikeNathan KluenderBrian Dirks, Bryan Reichert
Apr 24Ben Holland, Jeff PiperMike FieldGreg McNeely, Theron Noth, Ryan Kleiboeker

Acolyte Schedule

Date
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
Apr 3Garett SheleyPastor/Elder
Apr 10Pastor/ElderJustin McNeely
Apr 17Chloe HitchPastor/Elder
Apr 24Pastor/ElderChristian Dowell

Stewardship Corner April 2016

The greatest surprise about Easter is not that Jesus is alive, risen from the dead, out of the grave, that He conquered death and hell, and comes to meet you as He promised.  The greatest surprise  is that He did all that and is not angry.  There is no fear for us in His return because He is not angry. He bears no grudge. He seeks no vengeance.  He comes to give peace, with mercy and forgiveness and salvation.

Jesus lives and is not angry.  Imagine that.  He is not angry.  He doesn’t blame those who killed Him.  He doesn’t blame you.  For no one takes His life from Him.  He lays it down of His own accord.  He gives Himself into death to win us back from sin, death, and hell.  He does it willingly without coercion.  He does it sacrificially, Him for us. He gave what was His to give. Thus His petition to the Father from the cross, “Forgive them” is granted to you in His resurrection.  He comes alive out of death to forgive and to give His life to you.

There is nothing to be afraid of because Jesus is raised from the dead and is not angry.  Thus we are free—free from worrying about how to make it up to Him, and free to give as He has given to us.  He gave Himself as a gift,  His life in exchange for our death, willingly and sacrificially. And so it is that we are now free to give in like manner: willingly, sacrificially, with what we have been given.

We give to the church because it is in the church where our eyes have seen and our ears have heard that Jesus lives and is not angry.  It is here where we learn of God’s mercy and forgiveness in Christ.  It is here where we continually receive that message of life, where He visits us to give peace, with mercy and forgiveness and salvation.

So do not be afraid.  Jesus lives, and He is not angry.  The sacrifice has been made.  The debt is canceled and forgotten.  Righteousness is declared.  Jesus lives.  He lives, and He is not angry. You are restored.  You are reconciled to the Father in the Son.  Your future is assured: Jesus lives.  It is not just death and Hell, the devil and his demons, that are undone.  Your sins, your fear are undone.  They are gone, forgotten, destroyed.  Jesus lives.  Hallelujah!  Jesus lives.  And because He lives, you are just.  You are right with God, pleasing and delightful to Him. You are forgiven, clean, pure, holy, and filled with His good works and with His Name.  He is not angry.  He is glad to have you.  He wants you.  He loves you.  He gave everything that is His to and for you, willingly and sacrificially. In faith and trust in Him, let us do likewise.

Celebrating April 2016

Birthdays

4/2 Nancy Fuller
4/3 Finley Mosier
4/4 Dorothy Herberts
4/6 Craig Culp
4/9 Carol Schroeder
4/12 Carly Benjamin
4/12 Drew Kemp
4/13 Gerald Semelka
4/20 Harriet Campbell
4/21 Angelina Isaac
4/22 Marvin Huth
4/27 Daryle Schempp

Baptismal Birthdays

4/1 Fern Noth
4/3 Herbert Renken
4/6 Justin McNeely
4/9 Mary Anne Kirchner
4/11 Toni Lueck
4/13 Michael Anderson
4/16 Nancy Thomas
4/22 Taylor Dirks
4/25 Audrie King
4/29 Laura Kessler
4/30 Bob Bier

Pastor’s Notes April 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom. 6:4)

Following Sunday School and worship on Easter a family was on its way home in the car.  The son was looking at his Sunday School lesson, My Easter Faith.  As boys are apt to do sometimes, he folded the lesson into a paper airplane and rolled down the back window to test his creation.  There was a sudden gust of wind that snatched the paper from his hands.  He shouted, “Dad, My Easter Faith just went out the window.”

Where is your Easter faith as you read this?  The church was beautifully decorated, the hymns lifted our spirits and the sermon let us know that Our Redeemer lives.  But what about the days and weeks after Easter?  There are strong impulses to draw our Easter faith out the window.  We don’t want it just blowing away in the wind.

Through our Baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection we have died to the old life of our sin and we are made alive in Christ Jesus.  The Holy Spirit teaches us that resurrection power can be used in daily faithful living.  The Lord wants us to know Him and the power of His resurrection for all the days of our lives.

Ever faithful God and Father, let not Satan snatch our Easter faith from us.  Help us overcome the evil one with resurrection power.

In Christ,

Pastor

Bulletin Announcements

†   March 27, 2016   †

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 24:6-7:  “He is not here, but has risen.  Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”   So Jesus is risen….but is that Good News?  What if He is mad at us for betraying Him, for running away at Gethsemane, for not believing He would rise?  The Good News is not just that Jesus is risen, but that He is risen to bless us: there is no need to be alarmed.  He still calls us His friends and brothers and means to bring us through death to resurrection as well.  The Lord is risen, He is risen indeed!

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 classes learn about “Jesus Feeds Five Thousand”  They learned that in His love, God promises to care for all our physical and spiritual needs and gives us the greatest treasure—His Son and the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation.  As a family discuss, “In what ways has God provided for both your physical and spiritual needs?”

NEXT SUNDAY:  We pray you will here next Sunday, April 3rd, to support our seminary student Brad Ferch, who will be preaching and conducting Adult Bible Class.  Brad will be here with his wife and two daughters.  Brad is in his fourth year of study at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne IN.  We have moved our monthly door Offering up a week because of Brad’s visit.

FROM THE OFFICE:  It is once again time to update the Church Directory.  Please check the sheets on the table in the narthex.  Provide any new information by noting directly on these sheets.  There are two listings: 1) Church Directory; 2) Phone Book Listing of Individual Members.  The Phone Book Listing contains your cell phone, home phone, work phone, household e-mail and personal e-mail.  If any of these are missing and you want them to be included in the Directory, please provide that information.  If any are listed and you would prefer not, please note that also.  Contact Janet in the church office with any questions.

LUTHERAN WITNESS:  It’s time again to renew our subscriptions to the Lutheran Witness.  This year’s cost is $15.96.  If you are not receiving this and would like to do so, please contact Janet in the church office at (309) 662-8905; email at: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com or even in person.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The April-June 2016 Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack 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.

TO ALL THRIVENT MEMBERS:  Your Choice Dollars for 2015 will expire March 31, 2016. If you haven’t already done so, please contact Thrivent either by e-mail or by phone and direct your choice dollars before the end of March.

COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS for the American Passion Play are available for this coming Saturday April 2nd.  Please contact Fern and Theron Noth at (309)473-3222; email: tfnoth@gmail.com or Carol Schroeder at (309)452-2872; email: Gordoncarol304@gmail.com. Performances are at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts and begin at 1:00 pm.

OUTREACH:  Good Shepherd is blessed once again this year to be providing a meal for International Students at Illinois State University.  The date of the meal is Friday, April 15th and it begins at 6:15 p.m.  Two sign-ups are available in the narthex.  One is your participation at the meal and the other is for food items that you can bring.  Thank you for your help in this outreach.

THE WALK FOR LIFE for the Pregnancy Resource Center is Saturday, April 23rd, at 9:00 a.m. at Christ Church in Normal.  If you would like to walk, Pastor has the material in his office.  Also, Pastor and family will once again participate in the Walk.  If you would like to sponsor them with a cash donation, please speak with Pastor.  Thank you.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Good Shepherd will host a Blood Drive on Monday, May 2nd from 2-6:00 p.m.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Blessed Are Believers” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from John 20:19-31.  By faith in Jesus, you are blessed-even as your struggles continue.  The speaker is Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear what they said.  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

†   March 20, 2016  †

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 22: 11: “Tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’”  Did Jesus really need this man’s Upper Room?  If the man had refused to let Jesus use it would the work of salvation have been derailed?  Of course not.  But what an honor for the man who owned this room! Likewise with us – the Lord needs none of us, but what an honor for God to choose to use our generosity in the work of His Church.

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”.

IN TODAY’S SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON, “Jesus Is Anointed,” the children learn how in faith, a sinful woman lovingly anointed Jesus.  They also learned how in faith we grasp God’s free mercy, receive the forgiveness of sins, and respond with acts of love and praise.  As a family, consider ways that you might respond to God’s mercy.  Ask your children, “What sins will God forgive?”

HOLY WEEK IS UPON US:  Maundy Thursday Worship with Holy Communion begins at 7:00 p.m.  The message from Job: “On Earth Is Not His Equal”.  Good Friday we have a brief “Tre Ore” worship at noon.  That evening is the thought-provoking and spirit inspiring Tenebrae (Service of Darkness) Worship.  As the Lord goes to the cross for you and me.  Our Lenten Messages from Job continue with “Tearing Down The Spite House”.  Holy Communion will be celebrated.  Next Sunday, March 27th, is Easter Sunday.  Worship begins at 7:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  An Easter Breakfast follows the early service and then Adult Bible Study and Sunday School at their regular time of 9:15 a.m.  The Easter Communion Service culminates in the Blessed Easter Message from the Book of Job: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”.

EASTER LILIES may be purchased for $9.00. They will be placed on the altar on Easter Sunday and may be picked up following the late service on Easter.  The sign-up sheet is on the table in the narthex.  Please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and also indicate on the memo line on your check: Easter Lily.  Any questions contact Jackie Kwasny (309) 662-4995.

LUTHERAN WITNESS:  It’s time again to renew our subscriptions to the Lutheran Witness.  This year’s cost is $15.96.  If you are not receiving this and would like to do so, please contact Janet in the church office at (309) 662-8905; email at: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com or even in person.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The April-June 2016 Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack 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.

TO ALL THRIVENT MEMBERS:  Your Choice Dollars for 2015 will expire March 31, 2016. If you haven’t already done so, please contact Thrivent either by e-mail or by phone and direct your choice dollars before the end of March.

COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS for the American Passion Play are available for the following times: Today, March 20th and Saturday April 2nd.  Please contact Fern and Theron Noth at (309)473-3222; email: tfnoth@gmail.com or Carol Schroeder at (309)452-2872; email: Gordoncarol304@gmail.com. Performances are at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts and begin at 1:00 pm.

YOU ARE INVITED:  Wittenberg Lutheran Center, 201 S. Main St. in Normal will host a traditional Seder (Hebrew for “order”) Meal at the chapel this coming Tuesday, March 22nd beginning at 7:00 p.m.  A representative from Apple of His Eye Ministry will lead this instructional meal.  Tickets are $5.00 to reserve a seat.  All proceeds going to Apple of His Eye Ministry.  A free-will donation will also be taken on the night of the meal.  Contact Pastor Bill on his cell phone: (217) 836-9305, or at Wittenberg (309) 452-597 to reserve a seat for this event, and/or if you would like to help with the groceries and preparations for the meal.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “An Unbeliever’s Sermon” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Luke 24:5-6.  Reverend Ken Klaus asked several non-believing friends to help him write his Easter Sermon.  Hear what they said.  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. 

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

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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