Bulletin Announcements

January 1, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 2:21:  “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”  There it is: the shortest Gospel lesson of the whole Church Year.  It is for the festival of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus.  What more do you need to know than the Name of Jesus?  The Lord Saves.  That’s who Jesus is: the Lord who saves us sinners.  That simple Gospel message is the foundation of our faith and the strength to live out our faith in action.

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meeting at 9:15 a.m. this morning will watch the DVD “The First Rosa – Teacher, Confessor, Church Planter”.  It tells the story of LCMS member Rosa Young and her work to bring the Gospel to different parts of the church in the southern part of the United States.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL:  “Jesus Is Rejected at Nazareth” is the Sunday School lesson for today.  In Nazareth, throughout His ministry, and even today, Jesus is rejected by people who do not have faith in Him.  God’s Word clearly shows that Jesus is God’s Son, and in faith, we believe.  With your family, discuss, “How does sin blind our eyes to the Savior and cause us to suffer from sin’s effects with sickness, trouble, and even physical death?”

NEXT SUNDAY, January 8th, will be our monthly door Offering for our Seminary Student Jeremy Hercamp.  Sunday, January 22nd, will be Life Sunday with a special Order of Worship.  We will also have a door Offering that day for “Lutherans For Life”.

2017 OFFERING ENVELOPES:  Your 2017 Offering Envelopes are available on the cart that is located in the narthex.  We encourage everyone to pick up your envelopes!

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The January—March 2017 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack 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.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “God’s Real Promise of Righteousness and Justice” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Isaiah 42:1-9.  Jesus brings us righteousness and justice to restore bruised reeds and reignite faintly burning wicks.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker. 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 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 Announcement

December 25, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  John 1:5:  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  Through all of our hardships, all of our sorrows, all of our pains and loneliness: Jesus’ light shines in the darkness, and we are not overcome.  In the face of our sin, in the midst of our pettiness, against all our pride: Jesus’ light shines and illuminates our hearts, and changes us, day by day, into a greater reflection of His likeness.

PASTOR’S SCHEDULE:  Pastor will be on vacation this week in various pursuits – Christmas in Wisconsin; helping at the State Farm Holiday Basketball Classic and sleeping!  In an emergency he can be reached on his cell at (309) 838-0306.

WORSHIP SCHEDULE:  New Year’s Eve Worship with Holy Communion will take place at 7:00 p.m.  Next Sunday, New Year’s Day, we will hold our regular worship services at 8:00 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. along with Sunday School and Adult Bible Class.  Holy Communion will be celebrated in the 8:00 a.m. service.

2017 OFFERING ENVELOPES:  Your 2017 Offering Envelopes are available on the cart that is located in the narthex.  We encourage everyone to pick up your envelopes!

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The January—March 2017 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack 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.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Right On Time, Just When We Need His Grace” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Galatians 4:4-7.  It’s the right time to repent, turn to God, ask for His help, and trust in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  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 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

December 18, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 1:21:  “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.””  What our good works could never do, Jesus has done: He has saved us from our sins, paid our debt, set us free.  How can we not give thanks to Him with lives of generosity and godliness? And so what God’s Law could not do – truly motivate us to truly good works – Jesus’ love has done!

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS:  All adults and youth are invited to attend the Bible Class in the basement this morning at at 9:15 a.m.  Karson Lueck will present the second part of his topic: “Church and Millenials”.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL, we learn about Jesus teaching the Pharisee Nicodemus under the cover of night.  Since the fall into sin, all are born spiritually blind, sinful, and unclean.  We are like Nicodemus and cannot see our sin or understand who Jesus truly is for us.  As children of God, born of water and the Spirit, we can see our sinfulness and the salvation that is ours in Jesus Christ. Discuss with your children, “How did Baptism change you?  What does Baptism do?”

TODAY:  Thank you to our Choir for leading us in “The Lessons and Carols Service” this morning.  We appreciate the time they have given and their God-given talents.

IT’S TIME TO ORDER POINSETTIAS:  We have a sign-up sheet on the table in the narthex for poinsettias on the altar for Christmas. The cost is $8.00 each and you may sign up until Sunday, December 18th. The poinsettias will be available to be taken home after Epiphany which is on Sunday, January 8th.  An envelope is also available with the sign-up sheet for your check or cash.  Please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and list “Poinsettia” on memo line.  If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Kwasny at (309) 662-4995 or Luanne Huth at (309) 829-6897.

WORSHIP SCHEDULE:  Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship with Holy Communion will be Saturday, December 24th,  at 6:00 p.m.  Christmas Day, (December 25th; next Sunday) we will have only one worship service at 9:00 a.m.  We will celebrate Holy Communion.  There is no Adult Bible Class or Sunday School that day.

2017 OFFERING ENVELOPES:  Your 2017 Offering Envelopes are available on the cart that is located in the narthex.  We encourage everyone to pick up your envelopes!

THE LUTHERAN ANNUAL:  It’s time again to order your copy of “The Lutheran Annual”, this being the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The cost is $25.00.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Janet in the church office or by phone (309) 662-8905 or email at: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com. Or even in person.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The January—March 2017 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack 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.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “What We Really Want” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Galatians 4:4-5.  What do you want this Christmas?  Jesus is God’s greatest gift to a sinful world.  Reverend Dr. Ken Klaus is the speaker.  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

December 11, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Isaiah 35:4:  “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.””  The return of our Lord at the Last Day is a cause of joy and anticipation for us believers.  We know our Lord and His love, and we look forward to His Second Advent.  Indeed, how we live our lives here and now flows from our certain hope of resurrection and eternal life.

TODAY:  Two new adult confirmands are joining our Good Shepherd family this morning.  Bill Nelson, the brother of Emily Field.  Bill enjoys sports and baking.  Ashley Nero, engaged to Bryan Reichert.  Ashley’s interests include scrapbooking, zumba, playing with her pets, social work and the Cubs!  Please welcome them to our congregation.

MIDWEEK ADVENT WORSHIP:  The third of our three Advent Worship Services is this Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00 p.m.  The theme for our Advent/Christmas messages is “Family Life”.  This week’s sermon is “A List!”.  A meal is served at 5:30 p.m. and you may sign-up in the narthex to bring food.  The free-will Offering will go to Bethesda Lutheran Communities.

SPECIAL WORSHIP AND BIBLE CLASS:  Please join us for worship and Bible Class next Sunday, December 18th, as we have two special things planned for that day.  Both the 8:00 and 10:30 worship will be “A Service of Lessons and Carols” led by our Choir.  There will be no Holy Communion in either service.  Because of this, we will have Holy Communion in both worship services on Sunday, December 11th.  Also that morning Karson Lueck will lead the Bible Class.  Karson will present part two of his topic, “The Church and Millenials”.  We encourage all adults and young people to be part of this timely and interesting study.

2017 OFFERING ENVELOPES:  Your 2017 Offering Envelopes are available on the cart that is located in the narthex.  We encourage everyone to pick up your envelopes!

IT’S TIME TO ORDER POINSETTIAS:  We have a sign-up sheet on the table in the narthex for poinsettias on the altar for Christmas. The cost is $8.00 each and you may sign up until Sunday, December 18th. The poinsettias will be available to be taken home after Epiphany which is on Sunday, January 8th.  An envelope is also available with the sign-up sheet for your check or cash.  Please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and list “Poinsettia” on memo line.  If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Kwasny at (309) 662-4995 or Luanne Huth at (309) 829-6897.

THE LUTHERAN ANNUAL:  It’s time again to order your copy of “The Lutheran Annual”, this being the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The cost is $25.00.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Janet in the church office or by phone (309) 662-8905 or email at: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com. Or even in person.

MARK YOU CALENDARS:  Please be sure to mark your calendars that Good Shepherd will just have one Worship Service at 9:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.  The Sunday School and Adult Bible Class will not meet that morning.

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:  Christ Lutheran Church in Normal invites you to take a free guided 20 minute walking tour and experience “The Journey” that Mary and Joseph took so many years ago.  This tour features indoor and outdoor scenes with live drama, animals and singing.  “Journeys begin inside every 10 minutes between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. TODAY.  Free cookies and hot chocolate will be available.  Meals are also available for purchase between 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.  For more information please call the church at (309) 452-5609.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Peace On Earth, Peace That Lasts” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Matthew 1:18-25.  What is the key to real and lasting peace on earth?  Jesus, God with us.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  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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Sermon 11-27-2016

November 27, 2016 Text: Romans 13:11-14

Dear Friends in Christ,

As you know I am a person that doesn’t care much for the morning. In fact, I believe my heaviest sleep is in the morning, something to do with circadian rhythms or some pseudo science. Last week was one such morning. Toni came into the bedroom and I was startled awake. What did she have for my morning ears? There was water coming from the floorboard of the sink in the hall bathroom. Good morning, Mr. Lueck!
I have found in my years on earth that being woken up usually means bad news. Someone has died, a parishioner is in the hospital, and a few years ago my in-laws came with this little bulletin. “There’s water on the basement floor, we think your water heater is leaking.” Another good morning, Mr. Lueck!
How about you? Do you find the same thing in your life? Are your pleasant dreams interrupted by news you would rather not hear? Sleep is a gift of God, a great restorer of energy. But there comes a time when we have to wake up. Today, this First Sunday of Advent we are roused from our spiritual sleep.
“WAKE UP!…HE’S ALMOST HERE”
Paul begins, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” (v. 11)
Joseph Bayly’s words have a real echo, don’t they? “God’s people should plan for a voyage of a thousand years, but be prepared to abandon ship tonight.” Not only do we live in anticipation of the Lord’s sudden return, but who among us can predict when the doctor’s report has “months to live” attached to it or the sudden chest pain won’t allow enough time to say goodbye?
We are to live in the anticipation. We are to wake from sleep and prepare for the Lord’s entrance – be that the celebration of his birth, or His second Coming, or our entrance into eternity in the blink of an eye.
The preparation is to be constant because, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” (v. 12-13)
The night of this world with its black pall of sin had certainly lasted a long time when Paul lived, thousands of years. As his next event Christ had promised His return. Now over 2,000 additional years have passed. The night has now certainly cut forward still closer to the sudden break of the final day.
“The works of darkness” go on continually, and we Christians live in this world age and are constantly beset to join in these works. Those who have visited the excavated ruins of Pompeii will know what is to be seen there in the way of brothels. The pagan world stank with vice, and does the modern world stink less?
The modern world wants us to accommodate their vice. And if you won’t then you get labeled as unloving or out of touch or dare I say even dangerous. We have lived to see that what is Godly and Biblical can be besmirched in this way. And all of this is a monster within the church as well. I recently read of a brother Pastor forced out of his congregation by the laity because of his Biblical position regarding people living together out of wedlock. Wake up! The battle is before us.
We are to fight the good fight of faith here, during the night; our weapons of the light are to drive us from the darkness. We are not merely to stand in shining armor but to do battle, to stand victorious until the Lord arrives or until He calls us away before He arrives.
How can we do this? The beginning of verse 14, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Do you see the baptismal imagery? Christ put his mark on us through water and the Word. You and I have been watermarked. Made His child. What are the Christian’s clothing? Colossians says, “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience…forgive as the Lord forgave you.” All of these terms are what Jesus brought to sinful, rebellious us through His birth. All of these terms were sealed for us at Calvary. All of these terms are assured us through His resurrection. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.” (Gal. 3:27)
When I was a kid, I did not have an alarm clock. My mom would yell up the stairs, “Chad, time to get up.” I usually got up, had a nice shower, if my sister left me some hot water, then enjoyed my pop-tart and morning paper. If I didn’t get up with the first command, the 2nd was a little more shrill, “Chad, you have to wake up!” I knew instantly by the tone that my morning better be getting started.
It’s that 2nd command that we need. We can’t go around sleepy-eyed in this world that is coming to an end. But as we crawl out of bed, the Lord is there. He lifts our head from the pillow. He provides the strength for the day. His Word and Sacrament are the breakfast of champions. The day is at hand – wake up!
Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

December 4, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 3:1-2:  “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, {2} “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”” John prepared the way for Jesus by preaching repentance. Then, when Jesus’ ministry was complete and He was raised from the dead, He sent out his disciples to preach “repentance and the forgiveness of sins.”  We never outgrow the need for repentance – for examining our lives, turning away from our pet sins, and turning toward Jesus in faith to receive his forgiveness and strength for a renewed life of godliness.

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, meeting in the basement at 9:15 a.m. continues a DVD based study: “Jesus – Legend or Lord?”  The class features LC-MS Author and Scholar Dr. Paul Maier discussing History and Archaeology and how it all fits with the Holy Scriptures.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL, the children learn the story of “Jesus Changes Water into Wine” at the wedding in Cana.  Through His first miracle, Jesus revealed Himself to be true God.  God uses His Word and physical means—water, bread, and wine—to reveal to us that Jesus is our Savior. Discuss the story with your children: “How we are like the disciples, not sure just who Jesus is? How do we sometimes doubt Him and His Word?”

TODAY:  Advent Devotion Booklets are available on the table in the narthex.  Pick up your copy today.  Reflect on your own Christmas memories while you take an Advent journey with the Gospel writer Luke as he shares the story of the Savior’s birth.

TODAY:  Your 2017 Offering Envelopes are available on the cart that is located in the narthex.  We encourage everyone to pick up your envelopes!

MIDWEEK ADVENT WORSHIP:  The second of our three Advent Worship Services is this Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00 p.m.  The theme for our Advent/Christmas messages is “Family Life”.  This week’s sermon is “Our Way”.  A meal is served at 5:30 p.m. and you may sign-up in the narthex to bring food.  The free-will Offering will go to the Hilbert’s and their work for Lutheran Bible Translators.

SPECIAL WORSHIP AND BIBLE CLASS:  Please join us for worship and Bible Class on Sunday, December 18th, as we have two special things planned for that day.  Both the 8:00 and 10:30 worship will be “A Service of Lessons and Carols” led by our Choir.  There will be no Holy Communion in either service.  Because of this, we will have Holy Communion in both worship services on Sunday, December 11th.  Also that morning Karson Lueck will lead the Bible Class.  Karson will present part two of his topic, “The Church and Millenials”.  We encourage all adults and young people to be part of this timely and interesting study.

THE LADIES MORNING BIBLE STUDY will be meeting at the home of Diane Benjamin on Tuesday, December 13th at 9:30 a.m.

IT’S TIME TO ORDER POINSETTIAS:  We have a sign-up sheet on the table in the narthex for poinsettias on the altar for Christmas. The cost is $8.00 each and you may sign up until Sunday, December 18th. The poinsettias will be available to be taken home after Epiphany which is on Sunday, January 8th.  An envelope is also available with the sign-up sheet for your check or cash.  Please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and list “Poinsettia” on memo line.  If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Kwasny at (309) 662-4995 or Luanne Huth at (309) 829-6897.

THE LUTHERAN ANNUAL:  It’s time again to order your copy of “The Lutheran Annual”, this being the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The cost is $25.00.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Janet in the church office or by phone (309) 662-8905 or email at: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com. Or even in person.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  Please be sure to mark your calendars that Good Shepherd will just have one Worship Service at 9:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.  The Sunday School and Adult Bible Class will not meet that morning.

CHRISTMAS LETTER:  The congregation received a Christmas letter from Reverend Tim Lorenz and family.  Pastor Lorenz is one of the many seminarians we have supported over the years.  The letter is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

YOU ARE INVITED:  Christ Lutheran Church in Normal invites you to take a free guided 20 minute walking tour and experience “The Journey” that Mary and Joseph took so many years ago.  This tour features indoor and outdoor scenes with live drama, animals and singing.  “Journeys begin inside every 10 minutes between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. next Sunday, December 11th.  Free cookies and hot chocolate will be available.  Meals are also available for purchase between 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.  For more information please call the church at (309) 452-5609.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Let the Adventure Begin” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Isaiah 35:1-10.  In Christ, all of life is an adventure, one that is full of His promise and hope.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  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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