Love in Action
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
1300 Belt Line Road Collinsville Illinois 62234
618-344-3151 (Church) 618-344-3153
(School) 618-344-3378 (Fax)
Pastors M. Walther & P. Hemenway Vol. 32 No. 2 February 2009
What is Lent?
Early in the Church's history, the major events in Christ's life were observed with special observances, such as His birth, baptism, death, resurrection and ascension. As these observances developed, a period of time was set aside prior to the major events of Jesus' birth and resurrection as a time of preparation.
During Lent, the Church's worship assumes a more penitential character. The color for the season is purple, a color often associated with penitence. The "Hymn of Praise" is omitted from the liturgy. The word "Alleluia" is usually omitted as well. By not using the alleluia--a joyful expression meaning "Praise the Lord"--until Easter, the Lenten season is clearly set apart as a distinct time from the rest of the year. Additionally, it forms a powerful contrast with the festive celebration of Jesus' resurrection when our alleluias ring loud and clear.
Finally, the penitential character of Lent is not its sole purpose. In the ancient Church, the weeks leading up to Easter were a time of intensive preparation of the candidates who were to be baptized at the Easter vigil on Holy Saturday. This time in the Church's calendar was seen as an especially appropriate time for Baptism because of the relationship between Christ's death and resurrection and our own in Holy Baptism (see Romans 6:1-11). This focus would suggest that the season of Lent serves not only as a time to meditate on the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf but also as an opportunity to reflect upon our own Baptism and what it means to live as a child of God. (Reprinted from www.lcms.org)
New Bible Study:
The Dark Knight, the Lutheran Confessions and the Holy Bible
Come join us beginning the second Sunday of February as we examine how the 2nd highest grossing movie of all time contains some of the best Lutheran theology ever to hit the silver screen. We will look at how the movie illustrates some of the most important points found in the Lutheran Confessions and therefore, of course, the Bible. A word of warning, the material we will be looking at is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish (and the movie has a couple of shocking scenes as well).
Blood DriveThe American Red Cross will be at Good Shepherd for a blood drive on Friday, January 30, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please consider donating for this worthy cause.
Lutheran Women in Mission
All ladies, young and old are invited!!
Thursday, February 5th — Our monthly meeting, beginning with refreshments, starts at 6:45 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Join us as we sing some of our favorite hymns. Vicar Rogers will share the origins and history of them, so that we might better appreciate our rich musical heritage.
Service project—Bring a valentine that we will be sending to inmates through SID’s prison ministry, so no stamp is necessary.
Lunch Bunch will meet February 17 at 11:45 a. m. on the church parking lot. We will go to Los Tres Amigos in Edwardsville to eat. Bring a friend and enjoy some fellowship. Please call Wilma Mitchell (345-7123) or Mary Preuss (288-9525) before Feb. 15 so we can give the restaurant a count.
Christian Fiction Book Club
In February we will discuss "Wednesday Letters" by Jason Wright. In march we will read "The Note" by Angela Hunt. In April we will return to another novel by Francine Rivers, Leota’s Garden."
Anyone is welcome to join us. We meet the 3rd Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at St. Louis Bread company.
Women’s Day of Renewal IXIt’s not too late to register for the Women’s Day of Renewal IX planned for Saturday, March 7, 2009 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.. The theme will be Faith in the Midst of the Jungle. The registration fee is $25 until February 22, the registration deadline. After that date the registration fee is $30. For registration forms, or more information see the poster in the narthex or on the LWML bulletin board, or contact GSLC at 618/344-3151 or visit the website at www.goodshepherdcollinsville.org.
Calling All Men!!!
Good Shepherd Men’s Ministry is in need of men of all ages to assist with the WDR, March 7th service project. Please contact Lonnie Koeltzow at 667-7424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey preschool moms - what would you give for an extra hour of sleep? Come to the 2/27 MOPS meeting for great advice about how you can (and should) get more rest. Childcare and breakfast will be provided. Join us for wonderful fellowship with other preschool moms (and bring your pillow, if you want). Newcomers are always welcome. See you there!
Boy Scout Troop 86 will hold their 9th Annual Chili Dinner & Silent Auction on Sunday, February 1st. The dinner will be all you can eat, & carryout will be available. The event will be held at the Holy Cross Lutheran School Cafeteria, 412 South Seminary St., Collinsville. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Cost: Adults: $5.00; Children 5-12: $3.00; 4 & under: free. For information call 691-9741. Matching funds provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
The Music Department at Lutheran High School is sponsoring a trivia contest on Friday, February 13th. Proceeds will help defray the cost for music student’s annual Spring Music Ministry Tour to share god’s music gifts with others throughout the country. The cost is $80 per table of 8 or $10 per person with popcorn, soda, & babysitting for free. Attendance prizes & monetary 1st & 2nd place will be given. Call Jean Kostencki at 217-999-6010 or 618-978-9697 now to reserve your table. Thank you for your continued support of the LHS Music Department!
Souper Bowl of Caring Anniversary
February 1, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Souper Bowl of Caring, a hunger project initiated by a youth group in South Carolina with this prayer: "Lord, as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us to be mindful of those without even a bowl of soup to eat." From a simple prayer and a single youth group, this project has become a powerful nationwide movement that has raised over $50 million to fight hunger and touches more lives each year.
"Making Abortion Unthinkable" Workshop at Concordia Seminary
The Concordia Seminary Pro-Life Group is sponsoring "Making Abortion Unthinkable." The workshop on Saturday, January 31, 2009, in Sieck Hall 202 on the Seminary campus will begin with registration from 8:30 to 9:00 am, and will conclude promptly at 2:30 pm. The workshop will include video-based presentations as well as discussions segments; Dr. Jeff Gibbs, professor of New Testament at Concordia, will serve as the moderator for the workshop. Each participant will also receive a helpful manual of materials. The $10 per person fee includes lunch and the manual. The workshop will strengthen and clarify understanding for those who attend, as well as equip them to speak more effectively and winsomely on behalf of the unborn. For more information or to pre-register, please contact Concordia Seminary Continuing Education at 314/505-7486 or email email@example.com
Return to South Africa
Returning to SA has been much easier than coming for the first time in 2007. Our German friends Gunther (Greek professor at the Seminary) and his wife Hanna met us at the airport and had supper waiting. Only a few minutes after walking onto the Seminary grounds we could see many projects needing to be done. All of the tools we had spent time and money buying last year were in their place in our "office" ready to be used. The notes we had made and rolodex with pertinent names and numbers were there on the desk. We are less befuddled by the bundles of keys needed to get into our house and the seminary buildings. The helpful shop keepers we knew by name remember us. Praise God, we can be confident we can do this again with fewer unknowns and a better understanding of the culture and people.
We’re living in a house next to the seminary recently purchased for seminary use. It will be the guest house for visiting professors and volunteers like us. It is old, but homey with lots of character. We are working toward making it more attractive by covering some of the holes in the walls (plaster may be patched but how is the color matched?) with African-made wall hangings. It has great potential. With advice from the locals, Lee’s installed a stove in the kitchen and has plans to add some counters below wall-hung cupboards.
Every project Lee tackles seems to take several trips to the hardware store and hours more time than expected. But he has accomplished a few tasks so far: the flood light illuminating the front of the seminary is working again, one vacuum cleaner has a new belt, the sprinkler and hoses for watering are functional, shower heads spray, sink faucets don’t drip, a door lock has been replaced, on and on it goes. There are many more items to check off on the to-do list.
To Pat’s dismay the gardens and lawns were weedy and unkempt, so that‘s the project she attacked. It was fun to discover that between all of the weeds and debris, the plants started last year and those from years before are still healthy and growing. When it’s raining she’s been cleaning, organizing, and re-shelving books in the library getting ready to catalog the new books collected since we left. We hope to clean the classrooms and the general living areas of the dormitories before the students return from their holiday in February.
There are even more refugees and jobless on the streets than last year, so we’ve been making sandwiches for the people at our gate who ask for food. Two jobless men helped us pull weeds. One of them Patrick, worked most of a day, and we hoped he would come back to work some more. But, when he came back he had such a sad story. He and his family live in a shanty town. As one of his two children and two neighbor children were playing (in the street?) they were hit by a drunk driver and all three were killed. We hope he will contact us with information about the memorial service. This is such a terrible loss for a family that has so little.
To end on a brighter note: Money that the LWML and others gave us to use in SA is going further this year because we are getting about 1/3 more rand for the dollar. One of the men who walked by when I was working outside and asked me about the seminary actually came to church today! Our latest "that’s just South Africa" chuckle came when we heard that most ordinary building will be very difficult in 2009-2010 because there is a shortage of cement as the country prepares for the 2010 World Soccer Cup by building new soccer stadiums, roads and railroads. Thank you for your continued prayers. Pat & Lee Hoffmeier
Chuck & Mary Ann Eckert
Chuck & Mary Ann arrived safely to their new home. Notes of encouragement or phone calls from Good Shepherd members would be blessed reminders of the things they love & enjoy – you! Their address is: 1455 Hospital Road, Room 131, Silvis, IL 61282; Chuck’s phone: 309-792-6700, Mary Ann’s: 309-792-6699.
Official ActsBaptisms (Children): Aidan Chase Wells
Received Through Transfer: Thomas & Jaime Brinkmann from St. Peter, Schaumburg, IL; Donald, Lisa, Brandon & Allison Johnston from St. John, Mattoon, IL;Ted Ketcham from Trinity, Edwardsville, IL
Funeral: Mary A. Tamms
Souls: 1,688 Comn.: 1,375
High School Youth
This month on Sunday's we will dive into the topic of relationships. We'll be talking about how we relate to family members, friends and how we should act in romantic relationships. Purity is not a word heard often in the world around us and we'll look closer at what that means for us. Also join us on Tuesday the 10th at 7pm at "The DEEPEND". We'll take more time to study and discuss the topics that we just glance at on Sundays. We will meet in the school library.
We will be serving the first soup supper for Lent on February 25, Ash Wednesday. We need volunteers to make soup, donate food and set-up, serve and clean-up. Please sign up or contact Jaime to volunteer. Funds will be collected for the 2010 Youth Gathering.
Keep an eye out for Youth Newsletters coming out each month. They are especially for you to keep informed with youth ministry. You'll find more information on the schedule below coming in the Youth Newsletter for February.
Blood Pressure Screening -2/7 & 2/8
Braille Workers -2/5 The Braille work is now being held at Zion Bethalto. We will carpool from GS at 8:30 a.m. We could use more volunteers. You would not need to go every month. For information, call Kathy at 345-5086.
Blood Drive- 1/30 It will be held in the Church Fellowship Hall from 2-6 p.m.
Church Library -If you are attending the Sunday Morning Bible Class on marriage, check out the Church Library in the Conference room for reading materials on the topic.
-A complete set of the People’s Bible Commentary has been added to the library. The Christ-centered commentaries are designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment with easy-to-read text for the lay person.
-Check out the Christian Fiction selections (many are prior books from the Christian book Club), Bible DVD’s devotionals, biographies, and more.
Soup Suppers -2/25 Ash Wednesday will be the first Soup Supper for Lent given by the Youth group. This is an excellent way to socialize, meet new and old friends, check out the Church Library, and help our organizations fund special projects with your freewill offering.
Journey to the Cross
An old spiritual song asks this question: "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" In all honesty, we have to say no, but soon our church could have a different answer to that question.
Our church will be hosting Journey to the Cross, an Easter learning experience on Saturday, April 11.
As a traveler, you have the opportunity to walk in Jesus’ footsteps during Holy Week. Smell the aroma of anointing perfume, taste Passover food, feel a crown of thorns, and so much more. You will hear about Jesus from Bible witnesses and be a part of the Passion experience.
We need some great volunteers to make our Journey to the Cross as meaningful as possible, and we’re hoping that you will help. Please prayerfully consider serving our church as Actors, Station Helpers, Meet-and-Greet Volunteers, and Tour Guides. For more information about ways in which you might contribute to the Journey, please see the sign-up sheet located in the Narthex or contact Jaime Brinkmann through email Jaime.firstname.lastname@example.org or the church phone 344-3151, x307.
Please save April 11 on your calendar. Come join us as a volunteer or a traveler. And please pray for all those involved—volunteers and journeyers—so that the Holy Spirit may truly bless our experience together.
A Christian Dress Code?
This is the first of a series of articles is taken with permission from The Christian Working Woman, Wheaton, Illinois www.christianworkingwoman.org
Did you know there is a Christian dress code?
You’re probably wondering what I mean by a Christian dress code. Are we supposed to wear some uniform and all look alike? No, but there is a standard in God’s Word for how Christian women should dress, and if we are serious about being a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, we need to understand what that standard is.
We all have dress codes, whether we realize it or not–a basis upon which we choose what we will and will not wear. For example, there are certain styles and colors that I don’t even look at when I go shopping because I know they won’t look good on me or I just don’t like them. I’m sure you do the same. Our dress codes go through changes as we go through stages of our lives. But I believe it’s fair to say that we all have dress codes. And your dress code falls into one of these two categories. It is a Dress Code by Design or a Dress Code by Default.
Dress Code by Design:
This is a dress code that you have thought through and made some decisions about what you will and will not wear. It is based upon your own values and morals, as well as your understanding of the effect and impression your clothes make.
Dress Code by Default:
This means that you have assimilated a dress code without really thinking of the implications. You’ve let others do the thinking for you and have accepted their conclusions and choices about what looks good and therefore what you want to wear. Where does your dress code come from?
I hope you’ll think about whether your dress code is one by design or default.
Ask the Pastor?
Could Satan Use Aliens to Subvert Salvation?
In Genesis 6.4 we read this unusual verse…
There were giants (Nephilim) on the earth in those days, and also afterward,
when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to
them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
There have been several different theories about this verse. One view is that the giants or Nephilim were the offspring of fallen angels and human women. Some think they might be the offspring of fallen aliens and human women. First, I’ll consider the angel/human connection and then the fallen alien/human connection.
We believe in angels because the Bible tells us about them. But the
Bible also says that angels themselves do not mate and produce offspring as
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
I think this weighs in heavily against the idea that the "sons of God" were fallen angels.
But what are the "sons of God" in this verse? I think the best approach is to see the "sons of God" as mighty human beings who were evil and may well have been demon possessed. The term "sons of God" is used twice in the Bible to refer to angels (Job 1.6; 2.1). But it is also used in other cultures to refer to their quasi-divine great men. The mythologies of the ancient Ugarit culture show this view. This interpretation would fit with the overall context of Genesis chapter six which tells us that the world had become very wicked. The height of this wickedness may well have been driven by demon possessed men and their offspring.
What about aliens? We are still discovering new forms of life on earth.
I suppose it would be possible to discover forms of life that exist beyond our
globe. But the Bible is silent about that. If they do exist there is
nothing we can really do until we discover them or they reveal themselves.
Only then can we know whether they are part of the image of God or not, whether
they are sinful or not, etc.
Could Satan use aliens to subvert salvation? I wouldn't put anything past Satan. He is the Deceiver. Jesus said that his agents will be so powerful in the last days that they will almost be able to lead the elect astray...
Matthew 24:24 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
But that's finally where everything comes down... "the elect." Our salvation is not a possible casualty in this spiritual warfare. It is as sure and certain as God's word. Jesus tells us this so that we will be aware of the hardships we face. I think it is important to survey the state of the universe and consider all possibilities - even the possibilities of aliens or demon possessed "sons of God." But the most important thing is to remain rooted and grounded in the words of the prophets and apostles - to be ready for anything. The more we know God and His plan, the more we will be able to stand up against anything. Pastor Walther