Stewardship Corner August 2016

“Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift” (2 Cor. 9:15)!  This is St. Paul’s exclamation upon hearing the Corinthian church’s response to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His request for support for the Church in Jerusalem.  The Christians in Corinth heard and received God’s mercy in Christ, and they responded to St. Paul’s call to support Christians in Jerusalem with a collection.  The Corinthian’s joy filled Jerusalem’s need.

This is the reality of stewardship.  Because of God’s generosity in the giving of His Son to die on the cross for us, we are to be generous with all that we receive from Him.  What do we receive? Everything.  All that we are and all that we have is the Lord’s.  He is the creator and the giver. We are His creatures and those who receive what He gives.

It sounds easy.  And it is.  But then again it isn’t.  Stewardship is easy because it God’s work. Through what God gives, we give to others.  Through what God gives, we support the work of the church for the life of the world.  He gives; we receive.  And like our generous Father in Heaven, we, as His children, use what He gives to us to love and serve others.

But stewardship is also difficult.  That is because it goes against our natural inclination to think that what I have is mine to do what I want with.  This is our sinful nature.  It is our selfishness and our greed.  How can we who have been given everything—life, food, clothing, house, home, forgiveness, divine sonship, an eternal inheritance—be so stingy with what we give to the church, the place where we hear about and receive all that God gives us and does for us?  We are all guilty of this kind of thinking.  And the only godly response is to repent and trust in the Gospel.

For if God has given you His own Son, will He not give you all things?  Yes.  He will.  This is His sure and certain promise.  God provides for His people.  He provides everything we need for this body and life and for the life that is to come.

The church is a mercy place. It’s a place where God’s mercy in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, is given and received.  For we who believe in Christ, it means forgiveness, life, and salvation in the face of sin, death, and the power of the devil.  Here in the church we inhale God’s mercy in Word and Sacrament, and exhale this same mercy in love and service to our neighbor. And that is an enduring, joyful thing to do.  Our joy fills our neighbor’s need because His joy filled ours (Heb. 12:2). Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!

Celebrating August 2016

Birthdays

8/1 Georgia Boriack
8/2 Ryne Brewer
8/3 Vicki Miller
8/5 Paul Gerike
8/5 Eric Schneider
8/9 Jeanette Ross
8/10 Bryan Benjamin
8/11 Clayton Piper
8/11 Emilia Schempp
8/12 Brian Dirks
8/15 Jacqueline Kwasny
8/16 Kristina Warren
8/18 Becky Love
8/22 Kitti Miller
8/24 John Campbell
8/24 Michael Huth

Baptismal Birthdays

8/7 Deborah Huber
8/11 Andrew Benjamin
8/15 Phoenix Kleiboeker
8/23 Stephanie Schempp
8/24 Paul Gerike
8/25 Eric Schneider

Pastor’s Notes August 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

After seizing power is Russia, one of the things the Communists discovered is that the only way to destroy Christian churches is to infiltrate them so that they will be destroyed gradually, by church people themselves.  Reinterpret Scriptures to remove the deity of Christ and convert Him into a socialist.  Distort biblical sermons on charity to prove that government should confiscate property and enforce economic equality.  Strain spiritual content out of Scriptures, and religion faith in people can be broken.  God then becomes some kind of vague universal force and Jesus becomes merely a great man, teacher, philosopher, social reformer.  Such churches pose no obstacle in the path of the socialist revolution, but indeed can become useful instruments for promoting it.

As I read history from Nazism to Russian Communism after World War II one of the things that stands out is the capitulation of the church at large to the workings of a government that wants to destroy Christianity.  The state churches of Europe are prime examples of this.  They stand for nothing so who wants to be part of that?  The Christian church cannot blame the world for people leaving.  The church must examine itself.  Is it still teaching the historic faith of sin and salvation, heaven and hell, trespasses and grace?  Is Christ a Savior from man’s depravity?

The world has such a hard time these days explaining the tragedies that are happening because they miss the bigger picture of good and bad, the just and the unjust.  We have so many who pontificate about the wrong things when the answer is right in front of us.

There is hope.  What was once a church in Russia became a swimming pool.  Once Communism fell it became a church again.  A pulpit in place of a diving board!  I recently watched a “Perry Como Christmas Special” from 1974 on one of our cable channels.  The witness to Christ was incredible.  It made me think of the 1960’s and the student protests and the shootings and the riots and all manner of anarchy.  Watch the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago!  While I was too young, I am sure people were thinking – this is it – even without the 24-hour media coverage.  But it wasn’t it.  Study history and especially your Bible and you will see what the Lord can do.

The Holy Spirit can change lives and cultures.  And if that is not the Lord’s will He will comfort and sustain us in the struggles.  Christ’s death and resurrection assures our victory.  Keep up the good fight – in Jesus.

 

In Christ,

Pastor

Elder, Usher, and Acolyte Schedules August 2016

Elder and Usher Schedule

Date
8:00
Elder
10:30
Aug 7Joshua Parry, Mike Field, Paul Gerike
Nathan KluenderHolden Lueck,
Will Dowell
Aug 14Daryle Schempp,
Nathan Kluender
Mike FieldBrian Dirks, Mike Huth, Ryan Kleiboeker
Aug 21Craig Culp, Gerald Semelka, Jeff Piper, Steve ParryPaul GerikeBryan Reichert, Greg McNeely
Aug 28Gene Fuller, Richard RossBarry HamlinHolden Lueck, Theron Noth, Will Dowell

Acolyte Schedule

Date
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
Aug 7Lucas PiperPastor/Elder
Aug 14Pastor/ElderJustin McNeely
Aug 21Summer SheleyPastor/Elder
Aug 28Pastor/ElderChristian Dowell

Bulletin Announcements

July 24, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 11:11: “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?”  A generous, giving spirit comes from knowing that you have a generous, giving Father.  He will care for our needs – we are therefore free to reflect His generosity in our lives.  We can be generous in raising our children, supporting the Church, and serving our neighbor in the community.  In these three areas (home, Church, and society) the Lord has called us to show His grace and generosity to those around us.

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 “Mary and Martha”.  Please join us in the church basement in the Youth Area at 9:15 a.m.

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”.

NEXT SUNDAY, July 31st, is a 5th Sunday so Holy Communion will be celebrated in both worship services

NEXT SUNDAY:  Learn more about your Church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, next Sunday, July 31st, during the Adult Bible Class Hour.  Mr. Steve Parry, of our congregation, recently returned as a lay delegate to our Synod’s Convention in Milwaukee.  He will give a full report and answer your questions.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  The Church Picnic is coming up on Sunday, August 28th.  Watch your bulletin for more details and to sign-up in August.

RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE:  Good Shepherd’s next Red Cross Blood Drive is Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  To be eligible please give your next donation by tomorrow, Monday, July 25th.  Thank you.

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.

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.

WELCOMING NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:  You can make a big impact on the lives of International Students and they will make a big impact on your life.  We are looking for Christian individuals and families to welcome newly-arriving International Students.  The need will be even greater as we have the opportunity this year of hosting up to 30 Indian students.  Normally they do not respond for home stays.  The students will begin arriving sometime the week of August 7th, with most arriving the weekend starting August 12th.  New Student Orientation will begin at 8:30 on August 16th.  You could help in any of the following ways:  1) Hosting a student in your home for a few days; 2) Providing transportation from the bus, plane or train; 3) Providing baked goods for the Orientation on August 16th; 4) Hosting a student for a meal or taking them to the store; 5) Preparing a meal with your small group for International Talk Time (ITT) on a Friday night of the Fall semester.  If you are interested and would like more information, please contact John and Linda Berger, serving with International Students, Inc., at (309)664-0377 or jwberger@ilstu.edu.  If you have any questions please see Pastor Lueck.  Training is required for 1st time participants.  Training and resource information will be provided on several different dates (you only need to attend one).  Thank you!

CAMP CILCA’S ANNUAL CHICKEN FRY & AUCTION will take place on Sunday, September 4, 2016.  A Worship Service will be held for those camping at 10:30 a.m. in the Indoor Chapel.  A Fried Chicken lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the live auction will begin at 1:00 p.m.  For items that will be listed for auction you can visit the website at www.cilca.org.  If you would like to donate an item for auction, please contact the Camp office at (217) 487-7497.

POSITION AVAILABLE:  Camp CILCA is seeking a part-time assistant housekeeper to aid in the upkeep of the Retreat Facilities year round.  Anyone interested in the position can call Pastor Joshua Theil at (217) 487-7497.  Thank you.

SPECIAL SEMINAR:  Dr. Paul L. Maier will present a special seminar on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at Christ Lutheran Church, Normal, IL.  The seminar will cover two topics, “Defending the Faith” and “Christianity and the Competition”.  Save the date.  More information to follow.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Bullies” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Acts 5:27-34.  When bullies pressure Christians to keep quiet, we can retreat, push back, or choose to endure.  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.

†  †  †  †  †  †

Bulletin Announcements

July 17, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:   Luke 10:40: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?”  Martha is doing the right thing, but in the wrong order. Her service to the Lord is good – but she has let it get ahead of hearing His Word.  Mary has placed the Word first, which is good: is there any doubt that she will rise once she has heard the Word and get to serving as well?  Isn’t that what hearing the Word always leads us to do? We listen, then respond; we believe and thus we act.

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 “Rich Man”.  Please join us in the church basement in the Youth Area at 9:15 a.m.

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”.

PASTOR’S SCHEDULE:  Pastor and family will be attending the funeral of Pastor’s maternal grandmother this Wednesday, July 20th, in Wisconsin.  Pastor will be out of the office part of the day on Tuesday and all day Wednesday.

FRIDAY MOVIE NIGHT will begin again this Friday, July 22nd.  We will be showing one of Disney’s classics, “Follow Me Boys!”   It stars Fred MacMurray and Kurt Russell.  After one year too many on the road with a ramshackle jazz band, Lem Siddons (Fred MacMurray) decides to put down roots. He marries sweetheart Vida Downey (Vera Miles) and embarks on a lifelong rollercoaster ride as a scoutmaster to a steady stream of high-spirited youngsters.  Set against lovingly recreated scenes of 1930s America, this family classic shines with all the warmth and humor of Disney Entertainment at its nostalgic best!  The movie will start at 6:30 p.m. in the church basement.  There will be plenty of food and comfortable seating.  Take a break from the heat and enjoy a movie and a meal in air conditioning comfort!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  The Church Picnic is coming up on Sunday, August 28th.  Watch your bulletin for more details and to sign-up in August.

RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE:  Good Shepherd’s next Red Cross Blood Drive is Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  To be eligible please give your next donation by Monday, July 25th.  Thank you.

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.

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.

POSITION OPEN:  Shining Lights Preschool at Christ Lutheran in Normal is seeking a 3’s teacher for the 2016-2017 school year.  Please submit an electronic resume and cover letter to Shannon at ashiningstart@frontier.com.  Thank you.

CAMP CILCA’S ANNUAL CHICKEN FRY & AUCTION will take place on Sunday, September 4, 2016.  A Worship Service will be held for those camping at 10:30 a.m. in the Indoor Chapel.  A Fried Chicken lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the live auction will begin at 1:00 p.m.  For items that will be listed for auction you can visit the website at www.cilca.org.  If you would like to donate an item for auction, please contact the Camp office at (217) 487-7497.

POSITION AVAILABLE:  Camp CILCA is seeking a part-time assistant housekeeper to aid in the upkeep of the Retreat Facilities year round.  Anyone interested in the position can call Pastor Joshua Theil at (217) 487-7497.  Thank you.

SPECIAL SEMINAR:  Dr. Paul L. Maier will present a special seminar on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at Christ Lutheran Church, Normal, IL.  The seminar will cover two topics, “Defending the Faith” and “Christianity and the Competition”.  Save the date.  More information to follow.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Never To See Them Again” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Luke 9:51-62.  Opportunity knocks; Christ invites us to receive the gift of faith.  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.

†  †  †  †  †  †

Bulletin Announcements

July 10, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 10:25: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  There is nothing right about this question.  What shall I do to inherit?  What can you do to inherit the throne of England?  You can’t do anything to gain those things: an inheritance comes by family ties, not deeds.  Our deeds follow and result from our family ties: the Father calls us His own children.  So we inherit eternal life by grace, and seek to live out our new calling as the Father’s children with our good works.

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 “Jesus Teaching the Disciples to Pray”.  Please join us in the church basement in the Youth Area at 9:15 a.m.

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”.

OUR LUTHERAN CHURCH-MISSOURI SYNOD is meeting in Convention this weekend and later into the week in Milwaukee.  Good Shepherd’s Steve Parry is the Circuit Lay Delegate.  If you would like to keep up with the business of your church body you may follow the Convention at: lcms.org.

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

RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE:  Good Shepherd’s next Red Cross Blood Drive is Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  To be eligible please give your next donation by Monday, July 25th.  Thank you.

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.

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.

YOU ARE INVITED to Luther Oaks Healthcare Pavilion Grand Opening this coming 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.

POSITION OPEN:  Shining Lights Preschool at Christ Lutheran in Normal is seeking a 3’s teacher for the 2016-2017 school year.  Please submit an electronic resume and cover letter to Shannon at ashiningstart@frontier.com.  Thank you.

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!

SPECIAL SEMINAR:  Dr. Paul L. Maier will present a special seminar on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at Christ Lutheran Church, Normal, IL.  The seminar will cover two topics, “Defending the Faith” and “Christianity and the Competition”.  Save the date.  More information to follow.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “The One Thing You Really Need” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Luke 10:38-42.  The story of Mary and Martha is not so much about Mary or Martha or us.  It’s really about Jesus.  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.

†  †  †  †  †  †

Elder, Usher, and Acolyte Schedules for July 2016

Elder and Usher Schedule

Date
8:00
Elder
10:30
July 3Jeff Piper, John Hardy, Mike Field, Paul GerikeBarry HamlinRyan Kleiboeker, Theron Noth
July 10Joshua Parry, Nathan KluenderCurt KesslerBud Kessler, Greg McNeely, Karson Lueck
July 17Ben Holland, Daryle Schempp, Gerald Semelka, Steve ParryCraig CulpBryan Reichert, Holden Lueck
July 24Charles Nottingham, Craig CulpJohn HardyBrian Dirks, Marvin Huth, Mike Huth
July 31Gene Fuller, Jeff Piper, John Hardy, Richard RossRandy ReinhardtGreg McNeely, Ryan Kleiboeker, Theron Noth

Acolyte Schedule

Date
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
July 3J.T. PiperPastor/Elder
July 10Pastor/ElderChristian Dowell
July 17Chloe HitchPastor/Elder
July 24Pastor/ElderWilliam McNeely
July 31Garett SheleyJessica Isaac