September 7, 2014 Bulletin Announcements

Adult Instruction Class will begin tomorrow, Monday, September 8th.  The class, which runs for ten weeks, begins at 7pm and lasts about an hour.  The class is designed for non-members who would like to learn more about the Lutheran Church and its teachings.  It is also a good refresher course for members.  If you know of someone you would like Pastor to invite please call or email him at: revbci@yahoo.com

Church Work Day  The Trustees are organizing a Church Work Day this coming Saturday, September 13th from 8am to noon.  The focus will be on outside work but there are several inside tasks that need to be completed.  Please notify Ron Kwasny at 309-530-6257 or ron.kwasny@comcast.net if you will be able to help. Thank you.

Next Sunday, September 14th, is our monthly door offering for Reverend Michael Kearney and Seminarian Chris Suggitt.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Family Movie Night is Friday, September 19th starting at 6pm.  The movie is “The Great Escape“.  Come join us in the fun and fellowship.

Blood Drive  Our 2nd annual blood drive will be on Monday, September 29th from 2-6pm.  You may sign-up on the sheet in the narthex or at www.redcross.org and follow the “donate blood” box.  Sign-ups are also available for baked goods, helping at the reception desk or in the canteen (where food and drink are served after giving the gift of life).  If you have never given and need a reassuring word, please speak with Pastor Lueck, a long-time blood donor.

Dave Orr Website  Our family has created a page about Dave’s health issues and what is still needed for him on a website entitled caringbridge.com.  Once the website is accessed just enter Dave Orr to access his page.  We truly are blessed with the outpouring of prayers and concern the members of Good Shepherd have shown us.  Many thanks and God Bless!  Dave and Pat Orr

From the Trustees  The fence from the playground area is going to be taken down.  If you are interested in the fence, please speak with or call Andy Benjamin (309)724-8520 or Ron Kwasny (309)662-4995.

The Pregnancy Resource Center’s Annual Life Banquet is Thursday, September 18th from 7-9pm at the Double Tree Hotel.  Advance reservations can be made until Monday, September 15th at Bloomington@hopeforafuture.com or by calling (309)454-5433.  There is no cost to attend.  This year’s speaker is former Presidential candidate and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

LWML Lutheran World Relief  The LWML ladies will be working on Health Kits again this year.  We would like to solicit your help in purchasing items for the Health Kits which will be sent to Lutheran World Relief.  The stores will soon have these items marked down for the college students that will be returning.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get great specials.  A list of items needed is on the table in the narthex.  If  you have questions, please feel free to call Joann Hart.  Thank you.

Marriage Seminar  Christ Lutheran Church is Normal is hosting a Marriage Seminar on Saturday, September 20, 2014.  Details on the Seminar and information on how to register is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

The Lutheran Hour  That’s Just Who God Is is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Acts 2:1-39.  The journeys of St. Paul teach us how God’s message of grace has been translated so that all might believe.  (Footsteps of St. Paul; Part1.)   The speaker will be Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720 AM) at 6am; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3pm.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7am and 7pm.  Tune in!  You can listen to the Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org

September 2014 Usher/Elder Schedule

Date
8:30
Elder
10:30
Sep 7Daryle Schempp, Gerald Semelka, Lucas Schempp, Paul GerikeMike FieldMike Huth, Theron Noth
Sep 14Mike Field, Steve DavisNathan KluenderBud Kessler, Curt Kessler, Marvin Huth, Ryan Kleiboeker
Sep 21Charles Nottingham, Craig Culp, Gene Fuller, Richard RossJohn HardyBryan Reichert, Karson Lueck
Sep 28Joshua Parry, Nathan KluenderSteve ParryBrian Dirks, Greg McNeely, Holden Lueck, Travis Henson

Stewardship Corner

Stewardship Corner 

The Gospels are filled with irony. Death itself is defeated by the death of Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God the Father, is given to Pilate in exchange for Barabbas, which means “son of the father.” But one particularly puzzling bit of irony is that Judas was given charge of the moneybag.

In response to Mary Magdelene’s lavish gift, when she poured out almost a year’s wages to anoint Jesus’ feet, Judas replied, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor” (John 12:5)? And then John tells us, “He said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6).

So, why is Judas put in charge of the money? Jesus could have put any of his disciples in charge of it. He could have put Nathaniel in charge, of whom Jesus said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47), or John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20), or Levi, the tax collector, who was financially savvy (Luke 5:27). But he didn’t. He chose Judas, whom He called “a devil” (John 6:70). Why?

Jesus put His money where his mouth was. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19–20). Our Lord put not His trust in earthly treasures, but in the word and will of His Father. The Lord will provide.

In Judas, we see the heart and gut-wrenching end of one who treasured the wrong thing. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34). “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). It’s an alarming example, a visceral image, of what loving money and hating God can look like.

But no one, save Jesus, was the wiser. During Jesus’ three-year ministry, Judas looked, talked, and acted like the other eleven. He seemed to be about the right things. But “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10). And this craving led Judas to sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, which the chief priests used to buy his own grave — an ironic transaction indeed.

All of this is to say that money is a good thing but it is not God. Use it for the purpose which God gives it. Spend it on providing for your family. Spend it on support of your community. Give it to support and provide for the work of God among you in church, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, through which you receive forgiveness, life, and salvation. Invest in all these things. Put your treasure where God calls you to put it, and your heart will follow. Your hearts will be set on things above, for these things — family, society, and church — are of God. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all this will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

So, do not be anxious, but trust in the mercies of God. All you need will be given by your Father in heaven. “For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). The Father can easily out-give what any thief can steal. And the beauty is: He not only can, but does. There is nothing ironic about that.

A LETTER FROM THE CONGREGATION PRESIDENT

Open Letter Greetings.  I wanted to provide an update since my last message:

First, of all, the Church Council is busy reviewing the expenses of the church.  We will be asking the various Boards to keep expenses in mind as we prepare for the 2015 Budget.  We are still running behind in our General Fund, and we want to make sure this doesn’t continue into next year.

Let me remind again that we are a very blessed congregation.  We have had some attendance decline in worship, but our Offerings have not decreased.  We have spent more this year on some items than we anticipated – heating in winter, snow removal, etc.  We will be praying that next winter is not as harsh as this one.  In the meantime, we will be asking for a Special Offering in the Fall to help offset utility costs.  Please be watching for this Special Offering and pray about helping the church pay for the utilities.

Last time I wrote a message, I wasn’t able to provide the balances for the various Church Funds because I was sitting in Washington, DC.  I have the fund balances available this time, so here they are (please note: I am only including the ones with balances):

  • Kitchen Fund – $120
  • LLL Fund – $50
  • LWML Fund – $1082
  • Operating Fund – ($2715)
  • Parking Lot Resurfacing – $8248
  • Portico Fund – $16,553
  • Stained Glass Fund – $542
  • Sunday School Fund – $78
  • Youth Fund/Higher Things – $75
As I stated in my previous message, even with the Operating Fund in the negative, we are still blessed.  That is important and something we must remember.

Finally, we will soon be looking to elect some new Officers and members of Boards at our Annual Voter’s Meeting in November.  Curt Kessler, the Vice President of the Congregation and his committee will be reaching out to ask for volunteers to become members of Boards.  I would urge you to prayerfully consider serving on a Board if you are not already doing so.  We are always in need of people to serve the Church.

If you have any questions about what is happening in the Council or the church, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Blessings,  Steve Parry

It’s time for Choir to start again!

Announcement 

We will practice from 6-7pm on Wednesday evenings starting Wednesday, September 10th.  We will be preparing music for the Lessons and Carols service as well as other Sunday Services.

Join the Choir

We are always in need of singers.  Please join us for this opportunity to enhance our worship and praise our Lord. 

Celebrating September 2014

9/04    Joan Renken
9/05    Nathan Kluender
9/09    Pastor Lueck
9/10    David Marlow
9/11    Ed Vize
9/16    Andrea Reichert
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

9/02    Katie Nord
9/02    Kathleen Parry
9/03    Joann Nottingham
9/04    Lawrence Nord
9/06    Jeannette Ross
9/10    Joann Hart
9/12    Jessica Isaac
9/14    Emilia Schempp
9/17    Karah Kemp-Golden
9/18    Bryan Benjamin
9/20    Clayton Piper
9/25    Michael Huth

Pastor’s Notes September 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Who can ever forget the story of the 33 miners trapped in the Chilean mine back in 2010?  After the collapse they were buried under 700 feet of dirt and rock.  The entombment of these men lasted for 69 days.

The first thing a mining company will do after a collapse is to try to locate the miners.  Mining companies have learned that trapped miners can survive up to 5 times longer when they realize someone knows where they are.  It took 17 days but the miners were finally located and a message was sent to the miners.

Nothing much had changed.  They were still trapped and there was no certainty of rescue, but they knew that they had not been abandoned to their fate.  Someone was working on their behalf.

We can find ourselves trapped in our sin and guilt.  We get buried in a collapse of bad decisions and choices.  Are we relegated to our fate?  Does anyone hear our faint cry for help?  Can we be found?

Yes, someone hears us.  Yes, we can be found.  The Lord knows where we are at all of the time.  When we are entombed because of our sinful nature we are not left alone.  The Lord Jesus is working and has worked on our behalf.  His death and resurrection from an empty tomb has freed us.  Someday we will breath in the clean air of heaven.

Remember the weary smiles of those miners as they were brought to the surface one by one?  We have that unending joy each and every day because we have a Savior who knows us and rescued us.

                                                           In Christ,
Pastor