Christ, The Good Shepherd

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. Hoft  Vol. 29  No. 3   March 2006


The Southern Illinois District

Good Shepherd belongs to the Southern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. During the last week of February the 97 churches of the SID met in Collinsville at the Gateway Center for their triennial convention. The convention gives us the opportunity to meet together and to discuss different ways of improving the ministry that we do together. Each congregation has its own opportunities for ministry, but together we also have some very special opportunities to serve the Lord. This year Pastor Walther and Mr. Lee Hoffmeier will represent Good Shepherd at the convention. We will be considering a number of resolutions. You can read these resolutions at the SID website:

MissionsThe SID has one of the most active prison ministries of any district in the LCMS. Together our offerings help support full and part-time chaplains at the prisons in Southern Illinois. These chaplains bring hope and the possibility of renewal to men and women who have made many bad choices in their lives. They need to hear that God has made good choices for them. He wants them, as well as anyone else, to believe that He really does love them inspite of their sins and that He has the power to change their lives. Pray for these chaplains and for this ministry. Remember that a part of your Sunday morning offering goes to support this work.

The SID is in partnership with the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa. This organization of Lutheran churches in countries like Botswana and South Africa can surely use our help. Recently the seminary in South Africa had to turn away several young men from Uganda who wanted to come to study for the ministry. They had willing spirits but the seminary just couldn’t afford to take them. (It costs approximately $6,000 a year to train men for the ministry at this seminary.) Africa continues to suffer from the ravages of the AIDS epidemic. Our sister Lutheran churches offer help, hope, and salvation to the suffering people of Africa. Please continue to keep this partnership in your prayers.

No Christian is ever alone. No congregation is ever by itself. The Christian church is a body with many parts St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12. The goal is to work together for the sake of the Gospel. God’s grace to us is one of those things that just can’t be kept for our own. To have it is to live it. To live it is to share it. Pastor Michael Walther

Share the Gospel

From time to time GSLC members have unique opportunities to share the Gospel with friends and neighbors. If you’ve had a special opportunity like this, we’d like to share it with the rest of the congregation. Just write down your experience and send it to the Church Office or to Pr. Walther (

Lenten Services Begin March 1st

The forty days of Lent is a special time for Christians to look to God in His Word and Sacrament for renewal. Each Wednesday we will have special Lenten services at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. Between services you are welcome to attend a Soup Supper beginning at 5:30 p.m.

New Member Families

The Outreach & Congregational Life Ministries at Good Shepherd are helping to make new members feel more at home with special visits following confirmation. The purpose of the visits is to help new members become more acquainted with the opportunities at Good Shepherd. Family pictures will also be added to our New Member Bulletin Board in the Narthex. We hope that this will help you get to know our new members as well.

Passover Seder Planned

The Outreach Ministry is planning a Passover Seder for Wednesday, April 5th. The Passover meal will help Christians to understand the significance of the Passover and its connection to the New Covenant and to the Lord’s Supper. Watch for more information.

Good Shepherd Lutheran School Auction

The Benefit Auction for Good Shepherd Lutheran School will be held on Saturday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m. with supper at 6:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Fountains. You can show your support by making a donation and or attending the Auction. Please contact the school office at 344-3153.

National Lutheran Schools Week

Good Shepherd’s celebration of National Lutheran Schools Week will be held the week of March 5-11. The theme will be Lutheran Schools – A Great Place to Grow – Developing Disciples

The theme for each day will be based on a Bible verse relating to being disciples for Jesus.

Sunday, March 5th  -  The faculty will sing in each worship service.

Monday, March 6th  -  "Gone Fishing Day", based on Matt. 4:19 "I will make you fishers of men."

Tuesday, March 7th " -  In Training Day’, based on Hebrews 12:1 "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
                                      School Assembly by former NFL Houston Oiler, Shawn Harper.

Wednesday, March 8th "  -  Around the World Day" Matthew 28:19, "Go and make disciples of all nations", serves as the
                                             reference for this day. Preschool 4’s Grandparents Day

Thursday, March 9th "  -  Heart Day", based on Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loves at all Times." Preschool 3’s Grandparent’
                                        Day.  Good Shepherd
School Talent Show 7:00 p.m.

Friday, March 10th "  -  Grandparents Day" the Bible verse for this day is Proverbs 22:6 which says "Train up a child in the
                                      way he should go and when
he is old he will not depart from it."

Saturday, March 11th   -  Good Shepherd School Auction at Four Point Sheraton in Fairview Heights.

The children will also collect needed items for the Honduras mission trip as a special disciple project!

Please pray for God’s continued blessing on our school ministry during this special week of celebration, and always.

Bishop David Tswaedi, Ash Wednesday Preacher

On Ash Wednesday, Bishop David Tswaedi of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA) will be our preacher. Rev. Tswaedi will be here for the Southern Illinois District convention and will be visiting the Fort Wayne and St. Louis seminaries as well as several churches and schools in our area. He will also be speaking at GSLS chapel service March 2.

LCSA LogoOur Southern Illinois District has been in a mission partnership with LCSA for several years now. The LCSA is not a wealthy church so our partnership has sought to help them build themselves up in ways that will not make them dependent on our relationship. For the past three years, support in the modest amount of $35,000/yr. has been applied to four major areas:

  1. Strengthening Lay Leadership: Providing workshops and Bible studies to raise up and train local lay leaders in stewardship and managing skills.
  2. Missions/Church Planting: Meeting tents have been purchased at sites for new congregations. Once the congregation has become established and a church building built, the tent can be moved to another potential church site.
  3. Seminary Support: LCSA operates a seminary in Pretoria but has difficulty providing sufficient funds to accomplish the basic objectives.
  4. HIV/AIDS Issues: As in most of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS is very wide-spread. Committees have been set up to care for the sick, the orphans and widows and to promote abstinence and faithful monogamy.

A very disturbing report has come from LCSA that 20 applicants for the term starting in February could not be accepted at their seminary primarily due to a lack of funds. A reputation for faithful adherence to Lutheran doctrine has resulted in students from as far away as Ghana (3000 miles) and Uganda applying. It is a tragedy when willing workers in the Lord’s vineyard are not able to be trained. I have been privileged to be a member of the Southern Africa Mission Task Force but this news is very disheartening. Please pray that means will be found to correct this deficiency.

A door offering will be taken at the Ash Wednesday services to support this mission effort. For more about LCSA visit  -- Lee Hoffmeier

Honduras Mission Trip

Thanks to everyone in the congregation who has shown their support to the Honduras Mission Team through monetary gifts, donations of needed supplies and heartfelt prayers! Thanks also to THRIVENT for the $1,600 matching grant. God has truly blessed us all with this opportunity to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and you have enthusiastically answered his call!

The members of the team who will be going to Honduras from Good Shepherd are: Kim Beeman, Jacob Blasingame, Terri Blasingame, Kathy Bohnet, Ben Bridell, Karen & Vicar Paul Hemenway, Pat & Lee Hoffmeier, Bev LeMaster, Kevin Rust, Dr. Jim Strieter, Tamara Lindsey & Gerry Werth.

Others from Lutheran churches in Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa & North Carolina will also be joining the team to make the trip scheduled for April 22-29, 2006. Upon its return, the mission team will be happy to share their experiences with those interested in learning more about the work being done in Honduras. ALL GLORY BE TO GOD!

Lutheran Women in Mission

Sunday, February 26thThe Metro-Central Zone Service of prayer and praise at Hope Lutheran in Highland

Saturday and Sunday, February 26th –The LWML Mission Box will be in the narthex to give everyone an opportunity to help our mission efforts.  Look for this the last Sunday of every month. Also you may pick up a copy of the Missionette newspaper, the Quarterly magazine, and a program booklet.

Thursday, March 2nd—The monthly meeting beginning with refreshments at 6:45 p.m.  The speaker will be Beatriz Hoppe telling us about the Hispanic Ministries in the U.S.  We will also be assembling items for Unity School after the meeting. Babysitting will be available.

Something new---Can’t attend every meeting, but want to know what is happening.  Check out the Good Shepherd website where the monthly minutes are posted.

Looking ahead---

March 8--- LWML Lenten Soup Supper
March 18---Spring Retreat at Red Bud
March 23---Spring Salad Card Luncheon

Official Acts

Baptisms (Children): Alyssa Brook Venarsky, Derrick Brian Venarsky, Gretchen Joanna Hoft, Kegan James Back, Zachary Scott Daenzer

Baptisms (Adult): Harry Richard Anson, Jr., Khushvakht Sharofovoch Samiyev, Brian Steven Venarsky

Confirmation (Adult): Harry Richard Anson, Jr., Danielle Nicole Fenelon, Robert Louis Hoffman, Bryn Alexandra Printz, Rachel Jean Reinheimer, Clifford Lewis Row, Erin Nicole Row, Todd Allan Schack, Tracy Adele Short, Khushvakht Sharofovoch Samiyev, Brian Steven Venarsky, Christina Sue Venarsky, Susan Wolf

Received Through Transfer: Bradford, Stefan & Nicholas Cook from Zion, Carlinville, IL

Funeral: Mary Evelyn Kress

Souls: 1,692                                             Comm.: 1,335

Ask the Pastor Who was St. Patrick?

March 17th is the day in which we remember a man named Patrick. But aside from popular associations with leprechauns and green beer, St. Patrick was a man of God who has been known as the "Apostle of Ireland" (even though he was actually born in Great Britain). There are several legends and fables about this man that we hardly know to be true. For example, he is known for driving out snakes from the country as a missionary. It has also been told that he converted the pagans of Ireland to Christianity by explaining the doctrine of the Trinity with the use of a shamrock. We have little information about St. Patrick that supports these stories however good they sound. What we do know about Patrick is contained in two of his writings; his Confession and his Letter to Coroticus. From these writings, we know of a devout missionary Christian who taught the profound mysteries of the faith. He himself confessed that he was an uneducated man, but his impact on the world has been great. He was born around 385 to wealthy Christian parents in Great Britain but was kidnapped at an early age to be sold into slavery in Ireland. There he tended sheep and pigs until he escaped back to his homeland. But while at home with his parents, he had a dream directing him to go back to Ireland to convert the people. He claimed that a voice called to him saying, "Holy boy, we are asking you to come and walk among us again." From then on he tirelessly preached the Gospel to the people of Ireland.

Although we know little of his life, we do know that St. Patrick was a strong defender of the Holy Trinity. In the Lutheran Worship hymnal, we have a hymn that is attributed to him. Traditionally it is called St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The first verse rings out,

I bind unto myself today

The strong name of the Trinity

By invocation of the same,

The Three in One and One in Three.

It is in that Triune Name that we find our "Pot o’ Gold." Not by luck, but by faith. May the faith of St. Patrick be with us this Irish month of March.


Concordia University Wind Symphony ConcertMusic Score

The Concordia University River-Forest Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Richard Fischer, will perform at Good Shepherd on Friday, March 3, 2006 at 7 p.m. They will be performing work of J. Aryes, L. Bernstein, J. Curnow, D. Gillingham, P. Grainger, E. Whitacre, J. Williams. This Wind Symphony has performed in 41 states and Canada and enjoys an unparalleled reputation among small liberal arts institutions. In May 2001, they toured overseas for the first time performing concerts in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. In May 2005, the ensemble performed concerts in six cities in China, including Shanghai and Bejing. The Wind Symphony has commissioned and premiered numerous major wind compositions and produced nine acclaimed compact disc recordings of sacred wind repertoire.

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