Bulletin Announcements

November 26, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 25:44 – “Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’”  With this parable Jesus once again emphasizes that our good works come from who we are, not the other way around.  Sheep do sheep works, and goats do goat works.  So first things first: if we want to live more faithfully, let us come to Jesus, receive His gifts, and ask him to increase our faith!

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 following the 10:30 worship the Board of Evangelism/Stewardship will be hosting a Christmas Decorating Gathering.  Come and help decorate the church and enjoy pizza, snacks, drink, and dessert.

OUR ADVENT SERVICES this year will be on Wednesdays, December 6th, December 13th and December 20th beginning at 7:00 p.m.  There are meals served at 5:30 p.m.  The food sign-up and where the Freewill Offering is going each night is on the table in the narthex.

CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING:  The Elders at their November meeting made a worship change for Christmas Eve morning.  We will have one Worship Service at 9:00 a.m. with Sunday School and Adult Bible Class from 10:15 – 11:00 a.m.  The Christmas Eve Candlelight Evening Worship will be at 6:00 p.m.

FROM THE OFFICE:  It’s time again to order your copy of The Lutheran Annual”.  The cost is $25.00.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Janet or Sandy by phone (309) 662-8905 or by email: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com, or even by person.

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.

CAN YOU HELP: John and Paula Hardy are planning their annual trip to Ft Wayne, IN.  It will be sometime after the holidays, hopefully mid-January. The Seminary needs clean usable clothes for men, women, and children. They also accept shoes, coats, and kitchen supplies.  Please bring them to church.  There is a closet located in the hall upstairs where items are collected, and packed for our trip.  If you need help finding it just contact John (309) 310-7917.  Thank you!

SHARING TREE:  We know that it is early in the process, but wanted to let you know we will have a Sharing Tree this year.  We are getting a name from the Baby Fold and will have tags on the tree with specific requests.  We also will be collecting money to purchase items not received, any additional money collected will be used to purchase gift cards.  These gift cards will be given to the Baby Fold to supplement other needs in the system.  Last year we were able to give a handful of cards because of the generosity of our church family.  The look on the faces of the staff said it all….  It was priceless.  Thank you very much for helping to share the love this coming holiday season.  Please contact Toni Lueck (309) 530-8666 or Paula Hardy (309) 829-8432 with questions.  Thank you!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Please mark your calendar for 2018 – Saturday, February 10th.  Wittenberg Lutheran is hosting a Speaker’s Forum with the theme, “Cultural and Governmental Influence On God’s Design For the Family”.  The speakers are Tim Goeglein an LCMS Laymen who worked in the Bush White House and now is employed by “Focus On The Family”; and John Rosemond a family psychologist whose syndicated newspaper column appears in The Pantagraph on Saturdays.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Advent Adventure” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Mark 13:24-37.  Sometimes our faith gets weaker, sometimes it grows stronger.  Let’s tae this Advent to heart, and live by faith, and not by sight Dr. Dale Meyer 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.

†  †  †  †  †  †

Bulletin Announcements

November 19, 2017

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.

OUR THANKSGIVING WORSHIP SERVICE is this coming Wednesday, November 22nd, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Holy Communion will be celebrated.  We will have a special Order of Worship and the message “Taken For Granted?”

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.

TODAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the DECEMBER NEWSLETTER.  Janet Evans is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at goodshepherdblm@frontier.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

NEXT SUNDAY, November 26th, following the 10:30 worship the Board of Evangelism/Stewardship will be hosting a Christmas Decorating Gathering.  Come and help decorate the church and enjoy pizza, snacks, drink, and dessert.

OUR ADVENT SERVICES this year will be on Wednesdays, December 6th, December 13th and December 20th beginning at 7:00 p.m.  There are meals served at 5:30 p.m.  The food sign-up and where the Freewill Offering is going each night is on the table in the narthex.

CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING  The Elders at their November meeting made a worship change for Christmas Eve morning.  We will have one Worship Service at 9:00 a.m. with Sunday School and Adult Bible Class from 10:15 – 11:00 a.m.

FROM THE OFFICE  Sandy will be out of the office on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday November 24th.  Any Bulletin Announcements you would like published in the bulletin for Sunday, November 26th need to be to her by tomorrow morning, November 20th as she will be running the bulletin for November 26th.  Thank you!

FROM THE OFFICE   It’s time again to order your copy of The Lutheran Annual”.  The cost is $25.00.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Janet or Sandy by phone (309) 662-8905 or by email: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com, or even by person.

CAN YOU HELP  John and Paula Hardy are planning their annual trip to Ft Wayne, IN.  It will be sometime after the holidays, hopefully mid-January. The Seminary needs clean usable clothes for men, women, and children. They also accept shoes, coats, and kitchen supplies.  Please bring them to church.  There is a closet located in the hall upstairs where items are collected, and packed for our trip.  If you need help finding it just contact John (309) 310-7917.  Thank you!

SHARING TREE   We know that it is early in the process, but wanted to let you know we will have a Sharing Tree this year.  We are getting a name from the Baby Fold and will have tags on the tree with specific requests.  We also will be collecting money to purchase items not received, any additional money collected will be used to purchase gift cards.  These gift cards will be given to the Baby Fold to supplement other needs in the system.  Last year we were able to give a handful of cards because of the generosity of our church family.  The look on the faces of the staff said it all….  It was priceless.  Thank you very much for helping to share the love this coming holiday season.  Please contact Toni Lueck (309) 530-8666 or Paula Hardy (309) 829-8432 with questions.  Thank you!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR   Please mark your calendar for 2018 – Saturday, February 10th.  Wittenberg Lutheran is hosting a Speaker’s Forum with the theme, “Cultural and Governmental Influence On God’s Design For the Family”.  The speakers are Tim Goeglein an LCMS Laymen who worked in the Bush White House and now is employed by “Focus On The Family”; and John Rosemond a family psychologist whose syndicated newspaper column appears in The Pantagraph on Saturdays.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR   “Show ME” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Matthew 25:31-46.  In Lerner and Loewe’s musical, “My Fair Lady”, Elza is being wooed with words by weak and winpy suitor.  She comments: “Don’t talk of stars, burning above.  If you’re in love, show me, Tell me not dreams, filled with desire.  If you’re on fire, show me.” In Jesus’ description of Judgment Day, the Savior goes on record: true love needs to show itself in action.  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 cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

†  †  †  †  †  †

 

Sermon for Sunday, November 12, 2017: “Serve Your Neighbor.” (Text)

Video to follow.

November 12, 2017 – Stewardship Sunday                       Text:  Exodus 20:17

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

Coveting is desiring something to which you have no right, something that belongs to someone else.  Covetousness is rooted in our basic human selfishness.  We want what we want, and we don’t care who gets hurt or left out in the process.  Happiness is our right, and we will get it.  In the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that each person had inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of possessions.  In subsequent reviews, the wording was changed to the pursuit of happiness.  Yet our society has indeed come to identify the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of possessions.  We think we will be happy if we have one more thing.

Some religions try to shut off all human desires.  It’s the solution offered by ancient Stoicism and Buddhism.  But God built desires into our very being.  Ambition is not evil.  Scripture urges us to “eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Cor. 12:31).  St. Paul urges the Romans to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor” (Rom. 12:11).

You should have ambition, no matter how young or old you are – it gives you energy and purpose.  It is not sinful to be rich, but work for it.  Don’t desire to get what you have not earned or worked for or what you have gotten in a dishonest way.

It is Stewardship Sunday and with the 9th and 10th commandments before us, we ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to . . .

“SERVE OUR NEIGHBOR”

Our Gospel lesson is the parable of the rich fool.  The farmer was not wrong to produce a huge harvest or build big barns to store it in.  He was wrong to call them “my crops,” “my barns,” “my grain,” “my goods.”  God had blessed him with the crops and the goods.  God trusted he would use these blessings properly.  They weren’t given for selfish enjoyment but they came with responsibility and accountability.

The rich man thought only of himself.  He didn’t think of the needs of others or God’s kingdom.  He wanted to eat, drink, and be merry.  The Lord wants us to be happy and He offers heaven to us, but we don’t get there through things or taking life easy.  Jesus said, “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.” (Jn. 6:40)

Paul reminds us in Romans that we have “all things” right now through Christ.  We have no right to them because we have rebelled and disobeyed.  We have coveted and not served our neighbor as we should.  Yet the guilt we feel over that has been nailed to Jesus’s cross.  He rose in victory, and he takes you to be His own now and for all eternity.

The man was wrong to covet and to think he had a right to these things.  He was focused on the wrong goal.  As Luther explains in the Ninth Commandment, “We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right.”  And the Tenth Commandment, “We should fear and love God so that we dot entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him.”  As in the other commandments, the accent is on the positive attitude of serving one’s neighbor, “help and be of service to him,” and again, “urge them to stay and do their duty.”

What do you eagerly desire in life?  Where is your focus?  Where are you looking for happiness?  Do you live for others?  What is your ambition in life?  Are you directing your energy toward helping and serving others?

A student at a Bible School in the Philippines was unhappy because the men’s rest rooms were always in bad shape and seemed to get skipped over in the cleaning routine.  Seeing no improvement he went straight to the principal with his complaint.  A short time later the student saw the problem being corrected, to his amazement the man with the mop and pail in his hand was the principal himself!

Later the student commented, “I thought he would call a janitor, but he cleaned the toilets himself.  It was a wonderful lesson to me on being a servant and, of course, it raised a question in my own mind as to why I hadn’t taken care of the problem.”

Where can you serve your neighbor?  Where are your skills and help needed?  Today we vote on our boards for 2018 and looking at the list we are lacking the Lord’s servants that our needed.  Young, old, new member or veteran, we desire your service.  It is great for the soul.

Lord, in the grace and hope that you shower upon us through Christ our Savior . . . help us… serve our neighbor.

Amen.

 

 

 

Bulletin Announcements

November 12, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:   Matthew 25:4 “… but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.”  Why did they take flasks of oil with them?  Because they listened to the Bridegroom’s words and believed them.  Our actions always start with and flow from our beliefs.  What do your actions in the realm of stewardship say about what you believe?

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.

ANNUAL VOTER’S MEETING:  Our Annual Voter’s Meeting is TODAY following the 10:30 worship service.  We will precede the meeting with a church potluck.  The 2018 Budget and Slate of Candidates are on the table in the narthex.

TODAY we will have our monthly door Offering for our Seminarian.  We were finally sent some information about our Seminary Student and he also wrote the congregation a letter, which is posted outside the church office on the bulletin board.  Mr. Brent Keller is from Sanger, TX and a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in (get this), Keller, TX.  He is married to Hanne and they have a one-year old daughter, Annalise.  He is in his fourth year of study at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN.

NEXT SUNDAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the DECEMBER NEWSLETTER.  Janet Evans is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at goodshepherdblm@frontier.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

OUR THANKSGIVING WORSHIP SERVICE will be on Wednesday, November 22nd, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Holy Communion will be celebrated.  We will have a special Order of Worship and the message “Taken For Granted?”

THANKS BE TO GOD!  The final total for our Church Sign is $8001.16.  Start formulating those pithy Outreach messages as we involve the membership in the next few months with ideas for the sign.

FOOD COLLECTION:  The food box collection for Home Sweet Home is in the narthex.  We will collect until Saturday, November 18th when we will be serving a meal at the Mission.

FROM THE OFFICE:  It’s time again to order your copy of The Lutheran Annual”.  The cost is $25.00.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Janet or Sandy by phone (309) 662-8905 or by email: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com, or even by person.

CAN YOU HELP: John and Paula Hardy are planning their annual trip to Ft Wayne, IN.  It will be sometime after the holidays, hopefully mid-January. The Seminary needs clean usable clothes for men, women, and children. They also accept shoes, coats, and kitchen supplies.  Please bring them to church.  There is a closet located in the hall upstairs where items are collected, and packed for our trip.  If you need help finding it just contact John (309) 310-7917.  Thank you!

SHARING TREE:  We know that it is early in the process, but wanted to let you know we will have a Sharing Tree this year.  We are getting a name from the Baby Fold and will have tags on the tree with specific requests.  We also will be collecting money to purchase items not received, any additional money collected will be used to purchase gift cards.  These gift cards will be given to the Baby Fold to supplement other needs in the system.  Last year we were able to give a handful of cards because of the generosity of our church family.  The look on the faces of the staff said it all….  It was priceless.  Thank you very much for helping to share the love this coming holiday season.  Please contact Toni Lueck (309) 530-8666 or Paula Hardy (309) 829-8432 with questions.  Thank you!

MARK YOU CALENDAR:  Please mark your calendar for 2018 – Saturday, February 10th.  Wittenberg Lutheran is hosting a Speaker’s Forum with the theme, “Cultural and Governmental Influence On God’s Design For the Family”.  The speakers are Tim Goeglein an LCMS Laymen who worked in the Bush White House and now is employed by “Focus On The Family”; and John Rosemond a family psychologist whose syndicated newspaper column appears in The Pantagraph on Saturdays.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “The Reckoning” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Matthew 25:14-30.  You hear little talk about the “Fear of God” anymore, but it you don’t in some way fear your Creator who judges you down to your most being, why would you love your only Savior whom He sends You?  A message about fearing and loving God. Dr. Dale Meyer 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.

†  †  †  †  †  †

Sermon Text for Sunday, November 5, 2017: “Feebly Strugglers Or Blessed Shiners”

November 5, 2017 – All Saints Day                                     Text:  Matthew 5:10-12

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

“We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.” (LSB 677:4)  Don’t you envy the saints who are now with the angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven?  These saints feebly struggle no more.  They have no more pain, no more tears, no more sin.  They will never again experience death.  They have no more problems with their kids or with their marriage.  They don’t have expenses to pay and figuring out what to get everyone for Christmas.  No more bad language to hear on television or the local restaurant.  No one to be angry with them anymore or social media drama.  They are blessed because their struggles are over.

But for you, as a baptized child of God in Christ Jesus, right now, as you feebly struggle on this earth, dear Christian, Blessed are you, Blessed are you!

It is early in the ministry of Jesus.  He climbs a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee and He gets to teaching these new students, the disciples.  He is introducing them to Christianity and yes they are feebly struggling in this life.

And you, students of the Word, who also feebly struggle, Jesus is teaching you.  And so, we ask, are you . . .

“FEEBLY STRUGGLERS OR BLESSED SHINERS?”

Jesus spoke the first eight Beatitudes using the third person – they.  In this final beatitude He addresses His disciples directly using the second person – you.  He is speaking to you and me here with more emphasis.

Blessed are you who are persecuted and reviled and spoken against, for yours is the joy and the kingdom of heaven.  As Jesus brings these new disciples to himself and initiates them into His kingdom, He tells them that there will be a price; they will be persecuted on account of Him.

This sinful and fallen world will not treat you well, dear saints.  A recent question in Barna Trends asked “Who do people say that the Son of Man Is?”  First, people believe that Jesus was a real person, ok so far.  Second, “Younger generations are increasingly less likely to believe Jesus was God.”  We see this played out in the anger of people today.  Everyone wants to yell his or her opinion in your face.  There is no moral compass or shut-off valve if people deny the deity of Christ.  Third, “Americans are divided on whether Jesus was sinless.”  “He wasn’t sinless why do I have to be?”  Many of these same folks may not believe in sin or may not believe that sinning with no repentance leads to hell.  This mindset is played out in everyday actions in the east and west, north and south, and here in the Midwest.  No one is immune.  Barna’s president, David Kinnaman, sums it up:  “Americans’ dedication to Jesus is, in most cases, a mile wide and an inch deep.”

We feebly struggle.  We may or may not suffer the anger and hatred of this fallen world directly, but we all face it indirectly.  Pro-abortion and gay marriage advocates.  People shouting down others for their God-given opinions.  Less freedom in the workplace to share your faith.  The constant damning of God’s name by people in the public eye.  Satan’s leash is lengthened, sins run rampant, the Last Day is growing closer.

And the problem is worse in other parts of the world.  Christians are beaten and imprisoned for having a Bible or studying in their homes.  Christians are taxed and ridiculed for their beliefs.  Some are murdered because Christ is their Savior.

Could this persecution be at our back door?  It is very likely.

Still, Blessed are you, as St. Peter reminds you:  “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you…But rejoice insofar as you share Christ sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1 Pet. 4:12-13)

“We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.”  The glory of the saints in heaven will one day be your glory.  We feebly struggle because of our own sins and the sins of others.  But Christ assures us with the reality that we will live with Him forever because of what He has done.  The source of joy for a disciple who suffers persecution is the promise of heaven.  So we sing, “But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day:  The saints triumphant rise in bright array.” (LSB 677:7)

Blessed are you because, dear saints in Christ through the blood, suffering,

death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this glory is yours even now, yet more fully to be realized on the Last Day, which will be for you a day that has no end.

Dear saints, I know you feebly struggle in this broken and fallen world of sin and death.  I see it in the weariness of your faces and the physical breakdown of your bodies.  In the last five years of my ministry I have seen these struggles among God’s people and His church explode.  You are weary and you are hurt, but you are the Lord’s.  God gives you his comfort and his mercy and he claims you as his own.  Think where we would be without His love and support.  His promise of a better and eternal future.  Blessed are you!  Yes, you are blessed!

Amen.