Elder, Usher, and Acolyte Schedules September 2017

Elder and Usher Schedule

Date
8:00
Elder
10:30
Sept 3Daryle Schempp, Gene Fuller, Richard Ross, Nathan KluenderMike FieldGreg McNeely, Mike Huth
Sept 10Gerald Semelka, Craig CulpPaul GerikeBrian Dirks, Bud Kessler, Curt Kessler
Sept 17Joshua Parry, Mike Field, Nathan Kluender, Steve ParryBarry HamlinGreg McNeely, Theron Noth
Sept 24Daryle Schempp, Paul GerikeCurt KesslerBrian Dirks, Bud Kessler, Mike Huth

Acolyte Schedule

Date
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
Sept 3Garett SheleyPastor/Elder
Sept 10Pastor/ElderMatt Williamson
Sept 17Lucas PiperPastor/Elder
Sept 24Pastor/ElderJustin McNeely

Stewardship Corner September 2017

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”  (Eccl. 9:10).

God bids us to be faithful in the tasks He calls us to do.  He calls us to be members of a family (husbands and wives; fathers and mothers; sons and daughters).  He calls us to be members of society (those who govern and those who are governed).  And He calls us to be members of His family, the Church (those who preach and teach and those who hear and learn).  Each of these callings from God places a duty on us.

As members of a family, husbands are given the duty to die for their wives as Christ gave His life for His bride, the Church; while wives are given the duty to respect their husbands and submit themselves to them as the Church does to Christ.  Fathers and mothers are to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, teaching them the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Scriptures concerning Baptism, Confession, the Office of the Keys, and the Lord’s Supper.  Children are to honor their parents throughout their lives, and even when their parents are no longer alive, serving and obeying them, loving and cherishing them, and speaking well of them.

As members of society, God calls those who govern to bear the sword, that is, to punish those who do evil—those who live contrary to God’s will—and to reward those who do good—those whose lives are lived in conformity with God’s will.  Those who are governed are to obey their leaders as to the Lord Himself, for their leaders bear the sword of God’s temporal justice for a purpose.

As members of God’s own family, the Church, He calls those who preach and teach to do so in faithfulness to His holy Word.  To preach and teach the Law of God to convict the hearts of hearers of their sin and to encourage, admonish, and exhort them to do good works in accordance with God’s will.  They are to preach and teach the Gospel, the full forgiveness of their sins accomplished by Christ and received through faith, not by works.  They are to administer the means of grace in accordance with the Gospel and the Word of God.  They do all this for the young and old alike, for those who are near and far off. Those who hear and learn are to submit themselves to their preachers and teachers. They are to support them by their prayers and their gifts.

Each of these callings from God places a duty on us.  They make a claim on our presence, our prayers, and on our time, talents, and treasures.  So, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Eccl 9:10).  Pray for your family, for your government, and your church.  Give of yourself by means of your time, your talents, and your treasures to your family, your government, and your Church.  That is what it means to be faithful in the tasks that God has given us.  That is what it means to do it with all your might.

Celebrating September 2017

September Birthdays

9/4 Joan Renken
9/5 Nathan Kluender
9/6 Randy Reinhardt
9/9 Pastor Lueck
9/10 David Marlow
9/16 Andrea (Reichert) Brown
9/20 Janet Evans
9/22 Jeff Piper
9/26 William Huber
9/26 Cleo Korte
9/27 Ronald Kwasny
9/28 Karah Kemp-Golden

Baptismal Birthdays

9/2 Kathleen Parry
9/3 Joann Nottingham
9/6 Jeannette Ross
9/8 Oliver Mosier
9/10 Joann Hart
9/10 Becky Love
9/12 Jessica Isaac
9/14 Emilia Schempp
9/17 Karah Kemp-Golden
9/18 Bryan Benjamin
9/18 Mary Ward
9/20 Clayton Piper
9/25 Michael Huth
9/30 Randy Reinhardt

Pastor’s Notes September 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In reviewing history, we find some amazing statements made by respected and knowledgeable people.  Charles Duvelle, Director of the US Patent Office in 1899, said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”  In the days of silent movies, H.M. Warner, Chairman of Warner Brothers Pictures, said, “Who wants to hear actors talk?”  Gary Cooper said, “Gone With The Wind” is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history.  I’m just glad that it will be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his face and not me.”

Jesus made many amazing statements, too, such as these:

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39)

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles.  And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and flog Him and kill Him.  And after three days He will rise.” (Mark 10:33-34)

“Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.” (Luke 4:24)

“I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:43)

“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

            “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold from any, it is withheld.” (John 20:22b-23)

All these statements made by Jesus proved to be true and are still true today.  We can trust the words spoken by our Savior.

In Christ,

Pastor

Sermon for August 27, 2017: “What Are We Doing With Him?”

 

August 27, 2017                                                                    Text:  Matthew 16:13-20

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

Dorothy Leigh Sayers has been described as “a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and Christian humanist.”  She died in 1957.  Concerning our Lord Jesus Christ she wrote the following which I have always found interesting:

“The people who hanged Christ never accused Him of being a bore; on the contrary, they thought Him too dynamic to be safe.  It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with the atmosphere of tedium.  We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.  To those who knew Him, however, He in no way suggested a milk and water person; they objected to Him as a dangerous firebrand…But He had a ‘daily beauty in his life that made us ugly,’ and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without Him.  So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness.”

But have things remained quiet and peaceful when it comes to Jesus?  Hollywood, part of the scientific community, the humanists and liberal “theologians” can’t do enough to do away with Jesus!  And us?

“WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH HIM?”

Jesus is traveling again this morning and He comes to Caesarea Philippi.  He gets into a discussion with the disciples about who He is.  You know the answers they gave of what people thought – John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah.  Maybe the soul of one of these entered Jesus.  Ridiculous, you think?  No more so than the ridiculous thoughts of our day.  Jesus the example.  Jesus the “son” of God in the sense that we are all sons and daughters of God, goes the liberal drivel.  Maybe a womanizer.  Maybe a lowlife.  A liar.  A scam artist.

There now.  The genius of human wisdom can reduce Jesus to a zero – with little or no scholarship – and thus safely, or so it thinks, ignore His Words:  “You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)

The world is evil and sin has made it so.  Why doesn’t someone step up and say those words when we have all these killings and disasters and people hating one another?  Because that is too simple, and anyway, everyone has their own thoughts and are not afraid to express them.  God help us!

The world is going to be in the world in their unbelief.  What is before us is:  What are we going to do with Him?  Who is this Jesus?  On this day, Peter seems to know.  “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

God the Son Who is God in the flesh.  He comes to pay for every sin and secure eternal life for those who believe.  Human wisdom will never, ever make this reasonable to sinful thinking.  Listen carefully:  It’s a matter of faith.  Hebrews reminds us:  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1)  That is what brings us here:  faith.  Saved by grace through faith, say Paul.  The greatest miracle you could ever receive in this world and you possess it.

Jesus accepts Peter’s confession of faith at face value.  Not a word is disputed.  God put these words into Peter’s mouth.  The Lord then says, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Please hear this:  Jesus is not building the church on this smart theologian Peter.  If he was, he would have said, “Upon you I will build my church.”  The church of Jesus Christ is not to be built either on a man or on the confession of a man, but on the saving revelation of God’s grace in the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  This is not Peter’s church; it is the Lord’s church.  Christ is the builder.  He builds His church so solidly on the Gospel revelation of his grace that all the forces of hell, huffing and puffing combined, will never destroy it!

What are we doing with Him?  This prayer request came across the desk of one of the Pastors at my home church in Decatur.  It stated:  “She thought she had allergies and sinus problems and whamo!  She has cancer in her sinus, colon, gall bladder, numerous other places.  She had gone to Barnes, St. Louis, but they are sending her home tomorrow and she will be on hospice.”

Life can do a U-turn just that quick.  No plans for next year’s vacation or birthdays or…whatever.  Just the reality of what this world is and our need of God’s love through Christ.  The Holy Spirit guides and lifts us through the sacred Word and Sacraments.  Allows our faith in Him to grow and prosper in spite of the mud and crud that people want to throw in our face.  Peter had his challenges after this wonderful confession.  We too will have ours.  We will prevail through “Christ, the Son of the living God.”               Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

August 27, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 16:27: “For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done.”  St Paul talks about rewards on the Last Day in I Cor. 3, and Jesus says more about this “repaying” in Matt 19:27-30.  Bottom line: your good works can’t buy you heaven, but in Christ your good works do matter, they’re pleasing your Heavenly Father, and they will be rewarded.  In other words: your sacrifices for the Lord’s Kingdom are not in vain, they are not unnoticed by your Father.  This should encourage you in your faithfulness.

NEED A RIDE? If you are unable to drive to church, we have an option that is available.  Please speak with Pastor who has the details.  Thank you.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m. As we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we continue studies on that time period.  We are studying “A Man Named Martin”, a video-based study on the reformer Martin Luther.

TODAY we will have another collection for our New Church Sign which will be placed on the south entrance by the trail.

TODAY is Good Shepherd’s Annual Church Picnic at Tipton Trails Park in Bloomington.  The eating and festivities will commence around noon.  If you need directions, please speak with Pastor.  Lord Bless our day together.

OUR RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE is now scheduled for Friday, September 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  We are going to have a football tailgate theme – “Make The Right Play. Give Blood”.  The easiest way to sign-up is to go to redcrossblood.org, put in our zip code (61704) and follow the prompts.  We also have a sign-up at church and will have materials to share with your workplace and friends.

THE MOVIE, “Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed the World” which many of us enjoyed in the theater is now coming to television.  It will be shown on PBS on Tuesday, Sept. 12th at 7:00 p.m.

FROM THE OFFICE:  We received a letter from former Seminarian and now Pastor Jeremy Hercamp and family.  It updates his first call into the ministry and the birth of their second child.  It is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS:  It’s that time again for the LWML’s Project Lutheran World Relief School Kits.  We need your help filling the School Kits with the following items for each School Bag:  4 Notebooks; 1 Ruler; 1 Pencil Sharpener; 1 Scissor; 5 Pencils; 5 Pens; 1 Box of Crayons; 1 Eraser; 1 Book Bag.  If you have any questions, please see or contact Joann Hart (309) 310-9205.  Thank you for your help!

100th ANNIVERSARY OF LLL/LUTHERAN HOUR MINISTRIES CHURCH SERVICE: Yes, the Lutheran Layman’s League and Lutheran Hour Ministries is 100 years old.  We will celebrate this Anniversary with a Church Service NEXT SUNDAY, September 3, 2017 at Camp CILCA, Cantrall, IL in the indoor Chapel at 10:30 a.m.  Reverend Ken Schurb will be the speaker and the Offering will go to Camp CILCA Outdoor Ministries.  Please stay after the service for Camp CILCA’s Annual Chicken Dinner and Auction.

REFORMATION REVERATIONS: THE LASTING IMPACT OF MARTIN LUTHER’S REFORMS is the topic of the CID LLL Annual Retreat.  The speaker is Dr. Erik Herrmann who is Director of the Center for Reformation Research, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, and Chairman of the Department of Historical Theology.  He was also one of the Commentators for the movie “Luther: The Idea That Changed the World”.  It will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Camp CILCA, Cantrall, IL in the Christian Growth Center starting at 9:00 a.m.  Registration cost is $20.00 which includes lunch.  You will need to register by Monday, September 4th by sending your information to Deloris Blessman, 24204 CR 1850N, Topeka, IL 61567 or email her at: delorisblessman@yahoo.com or call her at (309) 361-1461.  Dr. Erik Herrmann will examine the long term effects of Luther’s influence in three areas: religion, politics and society.  Don’t miss this institute!

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Finding Life In Jesus’ Steps” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Matthew 16:24-25.  Tape joy in the gift of being a follower of Christ who is willing to take His lead and be ordered by His steps.  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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Sermon for August 20, 2017: “When Life Doesn’t Work the Way You Think It Should.”

 

 

August 20, 2017 Text: Matthew 15:21-28

Dear Friends in Christ,

One subject that we all have an opinion about is parenting. And the reason for that is because we are parents or we have had parents. We’ve experienced the good and bad and form our thoughts. You know how I feel about being a parent but my experience might be different than yours.
One thing we probably do agree on is the care of our child. When they were sick when they were younger, especially in the middle of the night, you agonized over whether to take them to the emergency room or medicate them at home. Not an easy question but certainly easier than what the Canaanite woman faces in our text
Her daughter is possessed by a demon. Emergency rooms don’t quite have the answers for that. If you have a child that is physically or mentally challenged you know how you agonize over their care. What should I be doing? Lord, please give me some answers. Where should we be turning . . .
“WHEN LIFE DOESN’T WORK THE WAY YOU THINK IT SHOULD”
It’s a wall we run into quite frequently, isn’t it? When life doesn’t work the way you think it should. The facts are these: Change and disappointment and heartache are familiar scenarios. They make up those moments we find ourselves “up against a wall.”
The Canaanite woman is “up against a wall” with her daughter. She is desperate for help. She has probably sought help and not received it but she does not give up hope.
She turns to Jesus for help and hope. She seems to be a God-fearing person by the way she addresses the Savior. “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David.” But she doesn’t expect help because she is a Canaanite, ancient enemies of the Israelites. Jesus has come to the region for rest. The disciples want to turn her away.
Jesus responds by testing her faith. He seems a little cool to her request when he says he was only sent for the “lost sheep of Israel” and he should not take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. “Dogs” is a reference to the non-Jew, which this lady certainly is. Why is Jesus treating her this way?
Do you ever feel like the Lord is treating you like a dog? Run here and there and everywhere chasing your tail until you spin out of control. Like Norm said on Cheers, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world and I’m wearing Milk-Bone underwear!” We laugh because it’s true. We pursue the things of this world that end up biting us in the backside. Why isn’t life working out the way I think it should?
The mother could have had that pity party right there in Tyre and Sidon but she didn’t. She stayed persistent in her humble and confident faith. She seems to understand the point Jesus is making but she is more than willing to settle for a few crumbs from the master’s table. She believes it would take just a few crumbs of His power and kindness to make her daughter whole again.
Of this situation it has been said, “…as Jesus looked on the woman, He did not see her as an interloper as did the disciples – an unwelcome intruder on His time and energy. Rather, he saw her as a woman of great personal faith, and His conversation with her was designed to test that faith . . .”
She passed. “’O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.” (v. 28)
The Lord tests our faith when life isn’t going the way we think it should. He may be silent for a time. He may be waiting for the right time to respond. He may be strengthening our faith. He wants us to be persistent in faith and prayer and to know His mercy and help. He often speaks in the midst of silence.
The silence of His miracles. The silence before His accusers. His silence on the way to the cross. His silence that was finally broken with, “It is finished.” His silence when He came out of the grave. His silence when He forgives and loves and heals. “Have mercy on Me, O Lord.”
Several years ago the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association sponsored a hymn-writing contest. One entry that never won a prize and probably never made it into any hymnal was entitled “God’s Grip Don’t Slip.” That is not good grammar, but the message is clear. No one can snatch us from the grip of our loving and powerful Savior. Jesus has rescued us from the grip of Satan through His perfect life, victorious death, and triumphant resurrection. We are safe and secure in His almighty grip, now and forever.
We live in confidence with the assurance that “God’s grip won’t slip.” He will never let go of us even when life doesn’t work the way we think it should.
Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

August 20, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 15:27:  “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” These are the words of faith, for faith means receiving what God gives.  And God has given us so much more than just the crumbs that fall from the table – He has given us life, salvation, body and soul, eyes and ears, possessions and income.  That’s where our stewardship starts: with faith in the God who is the greatest Giver.

NEED A RIDE? If you are unable to drive to church, we have an option that is available.  Please speak with Pastor who has the details.  Thank you.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m. As we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we continue studies on that time period.  We are studying “A Man Named Martin”, a video-based study on the reformer Martin Luther.

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

BOARD OF TRUSTEES:  There is a special Board of Trustees Meeting this coming Wednesday, August 23rd, at 6:30 p.m. to prepare a preliminary Budget for 2018.

NEXT SUNDAY, August 27th, we will have another collection for our New Church Sign which will be placed on the south entrance by the trail.

GOOD SHEPHERD’S ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC is NEXT SUNDAY, August 27th at Tipton Trails Park in Bloomington.  Start time at approximately 12:00 p.m.  Please sign-up on the sheet in the narthex and on another sheet to let the Board know what you are bringing.  Thank you.

OUR RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE is now scheduled for Friday, September 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  We are going to have a football tailgate theme – “Make The Right Play. Give Blood”.  The easiest way to sign-up is to go to redcrossblood.org, put in our zip code (61704) and follow the prompts.  We also have a sign-up at church and will have materials to share with your workplace and friends.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS:  It’s that time again for the LWML’s Project Lutheran World Relief School Kits.  We need your help filling the School Kits with the following items for each School Bag:  4 Notebooks; 1 Ruler; 1 Pencil Sharpener; 1 Scissor; 5 Pencils; 5 Pens; 1 Box of Crayons; 1 Eraser; 1 Book Bag.  If you have any questions, please see or contact Joann Hart (309) 310-9205.  Thank you for your help!

FROM THE OFFICE:  If your son or daughter is going away to college or they no longer live at home, please fill out an Information Sheet located on the table in the narthex.  As their church home, we like to stay in contact during these important years by sending them Pastor’s Sermon and the monthly Church Newsletter.  Please return the form to Sandy in the church office when completed.  We lift our young people up in prayer as their spiritual journey continues.

100th ANNIVERSARY OF LLL/LUTHERAN HOUR MINISTRIES CHURCH SERVICE: Yes, the Lutheran Layman’s League and Lutheran Hour Ministries is 100 years old.  We will celebrate this anniversary with a Church Service on Sunday, September 3, 2017 at Camp CILCA, Cantrall, IL in the indoor Chapel at 10:30 a.m.  Reverend Ken Schurb will be the speaker and the Offering will go to Camp CILCA Outdoor Ministries.  Please stay after the service for Camp CILCA’s Annual Chicken Dinner and Auction.

REFORMATION REVERATIONS: THE LASTING IMPACT OF MARTIN LUTHER’S REFORMS is the topic of the CID LLL Annual Retreat.  The speaker is Dr. Erik Herrmann who is Director of the Center for Reformation Research, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, and Chairman of the Department of Historical Theology.  He was also one of the Commentators for the movie “Luther: The Idea That Changed the World”.  It will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Camp CILCA, Cantrall, IL in the Christian Growth Center starting at 9:00 a.m.  Registration cost is $20.00 which includes lunch.  You will need to register by Monday, September 4th by sending your information to Deloris Blessman, 24204 CR 1850N, Topeka, IL 61567 or email her at: delorisblessman@yahoo.com or call her at (309) 361-1461.  Dr. Erik Herrmann will examine the long term effects of Luther’s influence in three areas: religion, politics and society.  Don’t miss this institute!

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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