March – April Newsletter – Building the “We”

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There are differences between “WE” and “YOU” and “ME.”  So let’s take a look at when “WE” happens and when “YOU” and “ME” happens.   “WE” happens when two or more people: ally think “WE” stop thinking “YOU” and “ME”   “YOU” and “ME” happens when: feelings are hurt things are not fair there is a misunderstanding defenses go up   So when we put the “WE” in control, it controls the mood among us. However, when it breaks down into “YOU” and “ME,” then the mood controls the individuals.   And so what is our “WE” space? Is it small, little or no communication between individuals. Or is it big, lots of communication between individuals. We can make our “WE” space bigger by communicating with each other.  And as we do this our “WE” as a congregation will grow.   So we need to build the “WE” on a daily basis. See the “WE” as a separate entity, like a child that needs attention and nurturing. Set aside time for the relationship of the church (the “WE”). Put up good boundaries for the “WE.” Make it safe to talk things over without accusation or blame. Learn to listen to each other. Create a time to get together to keep the “WE” from being broken, or to reconnect when the “WE” has been broken.   And we need to avoid the usual “ME” strategies. Don’t hold back something that is important to you for the sake of not hurting someone’s feelings. You are only cheating the “WE.” You are not giving the “WE” the space it deserves. Try and grow towards sharing everything that is important to you. Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Do this in love, for the sake of helping the “WE,” never in order to get even. And check your heart motivation to see whether you are doing it for “WE” or “ME.” Now, if you share your thoughts with the genuine purpose of helping the “WE” grow and someone gets upset, that is not you problem! It’s a “WE” problem and you now have something to talk over.   The more we practice these “WE” strategies the more we will connect with each other and possibly more people from outside our church. The “WE” will grow and we will be able to serve others with the Gospel of forgiveness, which is God’s mission for...

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January Newsletter

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As we begin 2014 we will be in a new building connected to the church at 507 S Rose. This new building will have many new things in that will be for the benefit of the “we.” There will be handicap accessible bathrooms, a ramp for the handicap indoors as well as a cry room which will have the capability to have the service piped into it for those who have to leave the church for a moment for their children. The new building has a canopy which will come in handy for the “we” in that no one will have to worry about getting out into the rain or snow for they can drive up to the new building and get out under the comfort and protection of the canopy. Psalm 33:20-22 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. As “we” grow we need to look at the different types of people we are. A pointer likes to get to the point and then solve the problem, a painter likes to paint the picture and then move to solve the problem. And this may be frustrating to each other. But here is a list of things to help us listen to the opposite of ourselves. Pointer listening instructions Sit back and watch a picture being painted. Do not focus on the first statement as the point. Enjoy the colorful detail. After listening for a while, summarize what you are hearing to see if you are getting the point. Remember that a painter must express things, otherwise these things circle endlessly in his/her head. Remember, the painter is not bringing things up to make you feel bad! It is his/her nature to paint a picture for you. Painter listening instructions Listen closely to the first words spoken ─ this will be the point, even though it does not sound important. Carefully note the exact words. Take one of these words and ask, “Tell me more about ____________.” Make it safe for the pointer to talk. Don’t make any fast reactions until you have asked enough questions to develop the point. Remember it will take 4-5 related questions to get to the interesting details. Remember, the pointer cannot think when too much emotion gets stirred up. Remember, the pointer is not withdrawing because he/she does not care! It is his/her nature to simply make his point as succinctly as possible. Are you a pointer or a painter.  Look over the lists above. Which one seems to fit you better? Are you straight to the point, pointer or are you talk about everything, painter? And then as we practice these listening techniques we will become a better “we.“ “We” are blessed by God together, Pastor...

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December Newsletter 2013 – God Is With Us

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Does time seem to be flying by for you? You have probably heard those words several times in the past couple of months or at least these words, “It seems like we were just in October. Where did the month go?” As of the writing of this newsletter we are looking at 36 days until Christmas. Why does it seem like time is flying by? We really don’t have an answer for that question. Sometimes when we get busy time seems to go faster and other times when we are waiting for something we want time seems to drag on. So then it would seem to be that time goes fast or slow depending on how much we are paying attention to it Paul writes to us in Galatians these words, Galatians 4:4-5 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. When the time fully came God sent Jesus to us. We celebrate that moment every December 24 or 25 here at Saint Paul. Luke 2:10-12 the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah ,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” What an awesome time for the people of God for all time. Salvation was beginning. It was starting in a manger with the birth of Jesus. It was starting with a baby wrapped in cloths. It was the fullness of time. It was time for God to act. And he did! We thank God for that. He has saved us from death and given us life. And ever since that action God has been able to dwell with us. Jesus is called the Word of God and he is dwelling with us. Therefore the Word of God is dwelling with us. That will be our Advent/Christmas theme this year. The Word dwells among us. The following three days will be Wednesday at 11:00a or 7:00p The Word Dwells Among Us as Our Light                       December 4 The Word Dwells Among us to Save a Remnant              December 11 The Word Dwells Among Us to Lead Us Back to Eden  December 18   The Christmas Eve service will be at 7:00p The Word Dwells Among Us to Save Us From our Sins  December 24   The Christmas Day Service will be at 9:00a The Word Dwells Among Us to Bring Us His Grace        December 25   Come and join your brothers and sisters of Saint Paul and “dwell with your God.” We have the time. Dwelling with you and...

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On the Mend

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I have been resting for the last week and half. I had an artery for my heart over 99% clogged. During this rest period I have progressed through a new book I bought the other day. It is a mystery thriller written by Steven James titled The Queen. I have enjoyed it very much. The main character in the book is FBI Agent Patrick Bowers. He is in Wisconsin to try and catch a serial killer and stumbles upon a plot by the Queen to launch a nuclear bomb from a submarine. If you would like to read it after I am finished please feel free to ask me to loan you my...

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Rules of the Past

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I got this from Rev Gerald Kieschnick. I found it interesting on the changes in the world since 1872. Before leaving the topic of rules for teachers from the past, it seemed appropriate to mention one more set. Here we go, with permission again from Zion Lutheran Church in Wayside, Wis. Rules for Teachers—1872 1. Teachers each day will fill lamps and clean chimneys. 2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and scuttle of coal for the day’s session. 3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils. 4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly. 5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books. 6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed. 7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden to society. 8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will have given reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and  honesty. 9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education...

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September Message – Our Calling

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Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? What is important to us right now? What is our calling? These are all questions that can help us to know who we are. Some of them can be answered quite easily and others may need to be defined more. Take for instance the first question, Why do we exist? We exist because God provided for this church in Kouts, Indiana 140 years ago. It was in August of 1873 that the first Lutherans in Kouts, Indiana got together in their homes to worship God and receive the sacraments. And to hear his word of forgiveness, mercy and love.  Isaiah 43:1b This is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have [called] you by name; you are mine. Why are we called? We are called because God has redeemed us. We then must take that further. In Matthew chapter 28 we hear what we are to do. We are to go into the world and make disciples of all nations and baptize and teach them.  It was in 1873 that we started making disciples in the northwest corner of Indiana. And we continue to do that to this day. We bring the grace, peace, mercy, love and forgiveness of God through his Son Jesus Christ because that is what we are called to do. And that is what is important to us because it is important to our God. Our calling by God is an awesome honor and responsibility. And we are to do this calling together. It will be a hard task at times. We will be challenged to give more to the effort of helping each other. We will sometimes want to throw in the towel and give up and yet, somehow God will get us through all of this. We will come out on the other end, working together, growing together, and making disciples together. We are called to be Saint Paul Lutheran Church. May the Gospel light shine forth from all of...

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Framing Winding Down

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This is awesome!!! This is the canopy on the north end of the building. We will soon be finished with the framing. We have been told it is either Friday this week or Monday next...

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Addition to the Church

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Check out the construction. The rooms are now defined. Today framing tomorrow trusses.  

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PCUSA rejects popular hymn “In Christ Alone”

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I heard about this on the radio the other day. Let me say that “In Christ Alone” is a good song to put into any hymnal. When I heard about the PCUSA rejecting this hymn I had to listen. Here is the reason behind the rejection. “Recently, the wrath of God became a point of controversy in the decision of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song to exclude from its new hymnal the much-loved song “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. The Committee wanted to include this song because it is being sung in many churches, Presbyterian and otherwise, but they could not abide this line from the third stanza: “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.” For this they wanted to substitute: “…as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified.” The authors of the hymn insisted on the original wording, and the Committee voted nine to six that “In Christ Alone” would not be among the eight hundred or so items in their new hymnal.” Let me give kudos to Keith Getty and Stuart Townend for standing firm in the faith. Most of us know that the wroth against sin had to be satisfied. Most of us know that the penalty for sin is death. Saint Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Sin had to be paid for with death. We can’t die and thus still live. Jesus can die and raise himself up because he is God. He does this for us. God satisfies his wrath and we get the victory. Is there anything wrong with singing “. . . as Jesus died/the love of God magnified.” No and yes.  It is no when we say that God’s love for us is now magnified. God is love. And if he is love, then his love cannot be any greater than it already is. Yes in that when I look to the cross and know that his wrath is satisfied, I myself by the help of God can see the magnificent love of God for me. Let me put it another way, I know see with greater magnification God’s love for me. Yet, I can see that in his cross in that Jesus took my place and took the wrath of God for me. And if anyone takes the wrath for you, that is a form of love. And that is definitely what all Christians know when they see the cross. They see the love of God for his...

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