Bulletin Announcements

June 26, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  1 Kings 19:18:  “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”  Elijah was so sure that he was right: that he was the only one left who had not gone after Baal.  But he was too pessimistic; his faith in God was off-center.  We can’t go by our own wisdom.  We must trust the Lord and what He has revealed to us in His Word.  Think about how this applies to our support of God’s work in the Church with our Offering (take at look in the Small Catechism’s Table of Duties to see what the Bible has to say about our giving….).

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”.

SUMMER SUNDAY SCHOOL PROGRAM: MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD:  This summer we will be learning about new countries, cultures and foods from around the world, as we learn about Baptism, the Lord’s Prayer, Confession and Communion.  Today’s lesson will focus on “Coming Out of Egypt”.  Please join us in the church basement in the Youth Area at 9:15 a.m.

CAN YOU HELP?  We need a Sunday School Teacher for Sunday, July 10th.  Please contact Paula Hardy if you can help out.  Her cell phone# is (309) 829-8432; work phone# is (309) 821-2671.  Thank you.

IN OUR PRAYERS:  Chris Crider and Erin Dirks who will be united in Holy Matrimony next Saturday afternoon here at Good Shepherd.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The July—September 2016 Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack located in the narthex.  Pick up your free copy today.

TUITION ASSISTANCE:  Anyone that would like to apply for Tuition Assistance may do so by filling out the Application Form which are located on the bookcase in the church office.  When completed, please return to the church office.  Applications are due by Sunday, August 7, 2016.  Thank you.  The Board of Christian Education

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 to Luther Oaks Healthcare Pavilion Grand Opening on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.  Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 4:00 pm.  Reception to follow from 5-7:00 p.m.  Luther Oaks is located at 601 Lutz Road in Bloomington.  Space is limited.  To reserve your place, please call (309) 557-8000 by Tuesday, July 5th.

FRESH PEACHES:  The Youth of Trinity Lutheran Church in Roanoke are selling Southern Illinois Peaches.  The cost is: $30.00 for a half bushel; $60.00 for a bushel.  Orders need to be in by Sunday, July 24, 2016.  Please call (309) 923-7647 of (309) 923-5251 for more information.

CAMP CILCA is looking for donations to auction off at the 2016 Chicken Fry and Auction on Sunday, September 4, 2016.  If you would like to donate an item for auction, please contact the Camp office at (217)487-7497.  Thank you in advance for your continued support!

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Freedom In Action” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Galatians 6:1-18.  In Christ, you are free from being ruled by your burdens, free to serve others for the glory of God.  The speaker is 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

June 19, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 8:37: “Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.”  The Gerasenes are upset with Jesus because His ministry led to the loss of their pig herd, their wealth.  They want Jesus to go away before He does any more damage to their bottom line.  Their priorities are clear.  What about our priorities?  Is the work and ministry of Jesus worthy of our support and the sacrifice of some of our wealth?

SUMMER SUNDAY SCHOOL PROGRAM: MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD:  This summer we will be learning about new countries, cultures and foods from around the world, as we learn about Baptism, the Lord’s Prayer, Confession and Communion.  Today’s lesson will focus on “Disciples Preaching and Healing”.  Please join us in the church basement in the Youth Area at 9:15 a.m.

CAN YOU HELP?  We need a Sunday School Teacher for Sunday, July 10th.  Please contact Paula Hardy if you can help out.  Her cell phone# is (309) 829-8432; work phone# is (309) 821-2671.  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:  Our Prayer Shawl Ministry, “Threads of Grace,” has received a service grant from Thrivent!  This morning Ann Hammond and Kyryth Kessler will be holding a “Prayer Shawl Ministry Sunday.”  Following both worship services, Ann will speak to the congregation about the mission of the Ministry.  A table will be set up in the narthex where Kyryth will be seated with the totes they were able to purchase from the grant.   Knitting and crochet lessons will be offered!  Ann will teach basic knitting and Kyryth will teach basic crochet.  A sign-up sheet will be available to sign-up for lessons. If you have any questions please see or call Ann at (309)846-0742 or Kyryth at (309)310-5607.

FROM THE OFFICE:  The church has received a postcard from the Hilbert Family.  It is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The July—September 2016 Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack located in the narthex.  Pick up your free copy today.

TUITION ASSISTANCE:  Anyone that would like to apply for Tuition Assistance may do so by filling out the Application Form which are located on the bookcase in the church office.  When completed, please return to the church office.  Applications are due by Sunday, August 7, 2016.  Thank you.    The Board of Christian Education

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.

FRESH PEACHES:  The Youth of Trinity Lutheran Church in Roanoke are selling Southern Illinois Peaches.  The cost is: $30.00 for a half bushel; $60.00 for a bushel.  Orders need to be in by Sunday, July 24, 2016.  Please call (309) 923-7647 of (309) 923-5251 for more information.

CAMP CILCA is looking for donations to auction off at the 2016 Chicken Fry and Auction on Sunday, September 4, 2016.  If you would like to donate an item for auction, please contact the Camp office at (217)487-7497.  Thank you in advance for your continued support!

POSITION AVAILABLE: Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington is seeing a Marketing and Communications Coordinator—29 hours/week.  Ideal candidate is comfortable leading others, possessing skills in graphic design, web design and management, social media, print production, and office support.  Contact becky@trinluth.org or 309-834-3208.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Don’t Touch That Dial!” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Galatians 5:1.  In Christ, e find freedom from sin, but not freedom to sin.  The speaker is 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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Bulletin Announcements

June 12, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 7:41: “A certain moneylender had two debtors.  One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. . .”  Our debt of sin and death has been paid by the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been forgiven much, so we love the Lord much!  How could we not therefore gladly and generously support the work of the Church in bringing this saving Gospel message to all nations, starting right at home in our own congregations?  

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’S SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON IS “Jesus Preaching and Healing”.

CAN YOU HELP?  We need a Sunday School Teacher for Sunday, July 10th.  Please contact Paula Hardy if you can help out.  Her cell phone# is (309) 829-8432; work phone# is (309) 821-2671.  Thank you.

TODAY we will have door Offering for the Hilbert Family.  The Hilbert’s are missionaries with Lutheran Bible Translators in Botswana.  When they arrived there recently the house they are staying in was not furnished and even the kitchen cabinets had been taken.  The gifts will go toward helping them acquire the things that they need for their home as they do their mission work in Africa.  The church received a postcard from the Hilbert Family.  It is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

ELECTION OF SYNOD PRESIDENT:  Yesterday, June 11th, through Tuesday, June 14th, the election of the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) is taking place electronically.  Representing Good Shepherd in the vote are Pastor Lueck and Mr. Steve Parry; delegates to last summer’s District Convention.  Pastor Lueck will give a brief outline of the candidates at the beginning of today’s Bible Class.  We include this in our prayers this morning and humbly ask for the congregation’s prayers as we elect the Synod’s spiritual leader.

OUR PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY, “Threads of Grace,” has received a service grant from Thrivent!  Next Sunday, June 19TH, Ann Hammond and Kyryth Kessler will be holding a “Prayer Shawl Ministry Sunday.”  Following both worship services, Ann will speak to the congregation about the mission of the Ministry.  A table will be set up in the narthex where Kyryth will be seated with the totes they were able to purchase from the grant.   Knitting and crochet lessons will be offered!  Ann will teach basic knitting and Kyryth will teach basic crochet.  A sign-up sheet will be available to sign-up for lessons. Questions?  Give Ann a call at (309)846-0742 or Kyryth at (309)310-5607.  See you on Sunday June 19th.

TUITION ASSISTANCE:  Anyone that would like to apply for Tuition Assistance may do so by filling out the Application Form which are located on the bookcase in the church office.  When completed, please return to the church office.  Applications are due by Sunday, August 7, 2016.  Thank you.    The Board of Christian Education

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.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “No Longer Slaves, But Free” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Galatians 3:23—4:7.  The Bible doesn’t speak of Utopian dreams or dystopian fears; it delivers the reality of freedom from sin and death.  The speaker is 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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May 1, 2016 – Confirmation, Texts: Hab. 2:2-4; Acts 14:19-23; Luke 18:1-8

May 1, 2016 – Confirmation Texts: Hab. 2:2-4; Acts 14:19-23; Luke 18:1-8

Dear Friends in Christ,

The good folks at Oxford Dictionaries are always updating our words because as they say, “language matters.” Here are just some of the new words that they have added in the last year: empty-netting, optogenetics, cyberwarrior, selfie stick, wine o-clock, nuff said, mic drop, and awesomesauce. These are just some of the 1,000 or so words that were new this past year.
As commentators have noted our updated language is being borne of juvenile culture and communication shorthand and is being adopted as culturally normative. Another trend in language is that language was once concrete has become culturally threadbare and empty. This includes much of the language of the Christian faith.
Take, for instance, faith itself. It was once clearly known that faith has an object. Such knowledge shaped how we thought, talked, and even wrote about faith. Yet in recent years it is more and more common to hear faith talk employed in language in ways that suggest that it need not have an object. It is its own commodity. For example, there is a Faith Hospice in which they pitch their services for “people of faith.” Okay, but faith in what?
Today is Confirmation Sunday. Many of us have been confirmed, have watched our kids and grandkids get confirmed, and we are blessed with another group giving a public confession today. They are being confirmed in the faith. Okay, but . . .
“FAITH IN WHAT?”
We would agree with the folks at Oxford Dictionaries that “language matters.” We also know that words matter. We have an epidemic in society of stupidity with words. The hashtag should be “I never should have said that.” We have reduced our language to abbreviations and banality, now there is a good word to look up in your dictionary. On top of that we have the word police who decide which words are the worst. A Chicago Blackhawk was recently suspended for a word he used against homosexuals. I’m waiting for a suspension of an athlete who damns God’s name, which happens quite frequently, because that offends me. Oh right, I must be out of my mind!
So the word of the day is faith. Habakkuk in our Old Testament says, “the righteous shall live by his faith.” Confirmation is a confirming of the Christian faith. But even that has obstacles. I read this week about the new Religious freedom laws in Alabama, the ones meant to protect churches and Christian businesses. Who was out protesting? 30 Methodist ministers! Last time I checked, Methodists are Christians. Even Christians get mixed up what being a Christian is.
A Christian is “a follower of Christ.” We then believe his words as recorded in Scripture. Christ is love. He loves sinners. He loves all people. But He also knows the hearts of people. Look what he did in the temple when people were not following his commands. Tables and lives were turned upside down. He loved those in sin, but he always told them to go “and sin no more.” Some how certain groups of Christians seem to forget that part.
As a Christians “the righteous shall live by his faith.” Is Habakkuk talking about the fact that through faith and faith alone we are reckoned as righteous (that is, for the sake of Jesus, God sees us as His sinless people though we still have sin in us), or is He talking about the fact that the righteous live out their lives in faith; that is trusting in God for all things? I would say it is both.
Here we are. Still sinful. Still struggling. Making our share of mistakes. Bearing our burdens of guilt. Yet, for the sake of Jesus, God forgives us. Through the faith He has given us in Christ He sees us as His forgiven, righteous people. We are going to heaven. Not because we’ve earned it, but because Jesus earned it for us. “The righteous shall live by his faith.”
Words matter. This confirmation is taking place in a Lutheran Christian Church. Many of us have said things over the years like, “I was confirmed a Lutheran, I was confirmed a Catholic etc.” Luke writes in our Gospel, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Will Rogers once quipped, “God made man a little lower than the angels, and he’s been getting lower and lower ever since.” Just to say we are Lutheran does not mean what it meant for hundreds of years. The feminists, and pro-abortionists and gay sympathizers have hijacked some Lutheran church bodies. They have desecrated the Scripture and the Confessions. Like I like to say, “they are so far off the reservation you cannot see them anymore.”
Many of us are proud to be Lutheran but that doesn’t save us. The living God has a deep and abiding love for His people. Time and again, the Gospel impresses upon us that Christ died for sinners – that God so loved the world. Listen to these words of Jesus, “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.” (John in 10:14-15) Faith in what? Faith in the Good Shepherd who has given us life. Life that will never end.
Words matter. From our Epistle, “When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
This confirmation in taking place in a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). You should feel good about that. We have a church leadership speaking out on the issues of the day. We have a church body that knows the challenges before us. We walk together in life being created by God, marriage between a man and a woman, all blessings coming from God, and saving faith through grace and Christ alone.
Those of us who have been confirmed were encouraged at our confirmation but we were also told of the scoffers who dismiss our faith. I am not going to be melodramatic and say that you have it worse than my generation had it, or your grandparent’s generation. I know history and ever since the Garden of Eden living in a sinful world has been a challenge. But shortly you are going to make the good confession that you will suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from the Lutheran Christian faith.
The strength to do this is not your own. God called you in the waters of Holy Baptism. You sang, “Jesus Loves Me” and heard and believed the story of Daniel in the Lions Den because the Holy Spirit was upon you. You all are blessed to be in families that know the importance of being here in worship so that your faith may grow. Today begins a new power in your life as you partake of Holy Communion. This body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine continues to make your faith stronger and stronger. The gates of hell cannot overcome when we have faith in what?
Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. He loves you. He lives for you. He died for you. He rose for you. He sits at the right hand of God for you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He cares for you. Faith has an object. “Christ has triumphed, HE is living, Alleluia!
Amen.

 

May 8, 2016, Text: John 17:20-26

May 8, 2016 Text: John 17:20-26

Dear Friends in Christ,

When I was a junior in high school I was in a one-act play that was performed before the whole school. The play was Neil Simon’s The Seduction. The interesting thing was that there were two other people in this play. One of my best friends played the husband, my old girlfriend played the wife, and as I was the friend trying to seduce the wife away from the husband. Anyway, in this play I had a lengthy speaking part where I was addressing the audience and telling them what I was about to do. When I first saw it written out, I didn’t think I would ever get it memorized. Thankfully God gave me a good memory and through my nervousness I was able to deliver this soliloquy to the audience. A soliloquy happens when the other characters are on stage and one character steps forward and delivers a message directly to the audience. The audience is invited in to hear the main plot point of the play.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God stepped up to the front stage of our lives and spoke like that? People often seek after a direct word from God. What would you want God to tell you? Career advice? Parenting wisdom? How to get along better with others? Who to vote for? Is this the year for the Cubs? We should be asking the heavenly Father for things we need, including wisdom to make good decisions. But God has already spoken to us through His holy, inspired Scriptures. Will we take time to listen?
Some of the most memorable scenes in a play or a movie are right before a character dies. Think Brian’s Song, Terms of Endearment, or Charlotte’s Web. They sometimes tell key information for the plot of the rest of the show. In the Gospel of John, there is an extended speech, a sermon if you will, that Jesus speaks right before he is betrayed and eventually crucified. On Maundy Thursday night, after His institution of the Lord’s Supper and before He is arrested, Jesus encourages the disciples to love one another, warns them of persecution to come, and promises them the Holy Spirit and a place he will go to prepare for them.
The climax to the sermon comes right at the end and is the Gospel lesson for today. In John 17:20 Jesus “steps to the front of the stage” and lets us listen in on a prayer directly for us. Lean in and listen to . . .
“JESUS’ SOLILOQUY”
Jesus begins by asking the Father that we might believe in the apostolic Word. (v. 20) He’s speaking to the Father but is looking right at us. What He is about to do is to save you and me. He enables the disciples to hear and witness his words, ministry, and death and resurrection so they can preach and write them down for us. We are saved by faith in His Holy Word.
Jesus asks the Father that we might be one, united in time and place. (v. 21) This prayer is for the historical unity of the one Church. What we confess in the creed is we believe in the one catholic or universal Church. Our confession is a bold confirmation of faith that we belong to the One Church through the centuries and eternity. Jesus is also praying for those who do not believe that they would come to the Christian faith and believe in Him as Savior and Lord.
Jesus asks the Father that we might be united with Him and therefore with the Father. (v. 23) Our unity with one another can happen only when we are first united with Him, for his love and truth are the love and truth we give to others. Being united with God only happens after the sin that separates us has been removed. Our sin was removed at the cross by the death of Jesus.
Jesus asks the Father that we might look upon His crucifixion as His most glorious moment. (v. 24) It’s not the glory the disciples or we picture. We all have false dreams of glory. Some of the disciples wanted to be first in the kingdom of God. We want the glory of winning a contract at work or being first in some endeavor at school or having our “15 minutes of fame” in the public eye. But none of those things matches the glory of God, who has made us His. He owns all things and He gives his all for sinful human beings like you and me.
In the one act play I was able to get the wife away from the husband. I was able to get her alone and I went in for the kiss and . . . There is one thing I can tell you this morning. To know the Father and make him known (vs. 25-26) – that is Jesus’ mission, and in His prayer He makes it our mission as well. That was Jesus’ grand soliloquy, the prayer He let us overhear the night of his betrayal, and He still prays the same prayer for you today.
Amen.