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May 2017 Newsletter

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St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church

800 South Division Street

Chenoa, Il  61726


May 4, 2017   


The value and importance of spending time every day in personal devotions is one that gets mentioned often. I’ll reference them in sermons, suggest them in Bible class, and encourage them to parents and kids in confirmation class. The issue is that for many of us the issue isn’t just one of desire, but of practicality. Not in the sense of “Why should I take time out of my day for devotions?” but in the sense of “How do I do that?” Because the reality is, it’s not something that a lot of us were ever really taught how to do. Going to church on Sunday? That we know how to do.   But daily devotions? How would I even begin?

This week I saw an article from a brother pastor who gives a word of spiritual advice by way of Nike: Just do it. That may seem overly simplistic or not at all the kind of guidance you were hoping for, but I kind of like it. Just do it.

Despite what we might think, there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is no one secret method that’s guaranteed to keep you motivated to do it. Really, all you can do…is do it. It doesn’t matter what pattern you use. It doesn’t matter if you have the world’s perfect, most inspiring devotional book. Some people incorporate reading or singing a hymn into their daily devotions. Others don’t. Some people include reading from the Catechism, but you don’t have to. Do you enjoy reading the thoughts of historic Church fathers or other notable theologians? That’s great! If you don’t, that’s fine, too! Whatever you do, just do devotions. Read through God’s Word according to a plan, or choose chapters at random. Spend time in prayer by yourself, with your spouse, or with your whole family. Just do something.



After all, something is better than nothing. Just reading a few verses at a time is better than no verses read ever. Just praying the Lord’s Prayer is better than praying nothing at all. Just doing devotions, no matter how brief, is better than not doing devotions.

There are so many resources available for devotions that we’ve complicated the matter beyond all human reasoning. We’ve taken what should be simple and turned it into deciphering nuclear codes.

The simplest advice that I can give to if you’re not doing devotions isn’t to point you to a list of possible books to use, though I could do that if you ask. No, the simplest advice I can give you is: Just do it. Just pick something up and start using it daily. If you miss a day, don’t worry; just go on to the next one.

Whether you’re young or old, just do it. Whether you’ve done devotions every day of your life, or if you’ve never looked past the cover of Portals of Prayer: just do it. The benefits of doing devotions are immense, but the only way you get the benefit, is to just do it.


Pastor Jeremy






St. Paul’s Discipleship

Date Attendance Offering Missions Communed*
04-03 99 3824.00 60.00 86
04-05 53 276.00    
04-09 87 3064.00 31.00  
04-13 50 363.00    
04-14 85 479.00    
04-16 195 514.00 25.00  
04-23 82 2471.00 25.00  
04-30 88 1497.00 25.00  

Debt Retirement      13,135.00

VBS                        50.00

*the NEW Church Windows program no longer allows me to count just those who communed.






Mark your calendars--VBS will be held June 5-9 this year.  Monday-Thursday in the morning with a Friday evening session and closing ceremony.


 Anna Schmidgall, once again, will be heading up the


Please consider volunteering to help with VBS this year!  We will need station and group leaders as well as help decorating and setting up for the week.  


April Perfect Attendance

First-Second Grade

Jacsen Gooding


Third-Fifth Grade

Alexis Gooding

Aaron Verdun

Dylan Verdun

Cole Weber


Sixth-Seventh Grade

Clayton Beitz

Nolan Verdun

Paige Weber


Eighth Grade-High School

Chase Beitz

Elijah Beitz

Hannah Norris

Nathan Reed

Seth Reed

Nic Rhoda


In Prayer

Please keep the Sixth-Seventh Grade teacher and students in your prayers during the month of April.  For our teacher: Mr. Leon Beitz, pray that God may grant them wisdom, strength and knowledge to share His Word with the children and to help them grow spiritually.  For our students: Clayton Beitz, Ben Rhoda, Aaron Shrewsbury, Megan Rhoda, Nolan Verdun and Paige Weber that they understand the depth of God’s love for them as they grow to become strong men and women who live for God’s Glory.



This year, Preschool – High School will send our Sunday School offerings to Tin Roofs for Lutheran Churches in Africa. This organization shows the love and mercy of Christ by providing roofing materials for Lutheran churches in Africa.  The goal is to raise $500 for the year.  For the months of September-April, we have reached 100% of our goal.



HIS KIDS—Thank you to everyone who contributed to the HIS KIDS Scholarship Fund this year!  We have enough to pay for tuition for our student through the end of the year.  She will be in Kindergarten next year.  The Family is very appreciative of your generosity! 


The 3 year old class for next year [’17-‘18] is currently full and we have a waiting list!  We still have openings in our 4 year old class however. 


Beginning in June, a volunteer will be needed to deliver meals to Ron Erdman.  He sometimes does not eat a meal so the schedule will have to be checked.  If no volunteer cannot deliver the meals he will have to be removed from the list. 









From Our Parish Nurse                                                            Pam Norris

Chenoa Food Pantry update.

I spoke with one of the overseers of the food pantry and I thought I’d share some of the information we spoke about.


The Chenoa Food Pantry has joined the Midwest food bank.  One thing they had to do was to develop a mission statement.  The Chenoa Food pantry’s mission statement is “Jesus said feed the hungry”. 

Based on this, our local food pantry does assist people who are not from Chenoa, but most of those served are from Chenoa. 


Our food pantry has served some people from another town. Some came to our food pantry because they were not able to face friends because of their financial situation. They have served some people who were transient in our town.  Our food pantry does assist those from other towns in finding resources closer to their own town.


People are allowed to “shop” for 1 week of food.  Food for about 150 people per week is provided.   Also –to clear up a matter: They are not allowed to take a case of ketchup (or any other food item) at a time. 


Usual length of time a family uses the food pantry is ~ 6 months. Some use more, some use less.  Almost all of the people who have received from the Chenoa food pantry have given back, either with time, labor, or food donations (once they were back on their feet). 


Please consider making a donation of one canned food item/week.  This may be $2 or less per week.   Remember, we have been given the privilege by God of managing his resources (this includes money, food, and time) for him.  Reflect on the parable of the talents.  God gave us talents (money, time) to use to help others. 


Items that are always in need: canned fruit (not pineapple), or fruit cups, canned veggies (not corn or green beans), canned tomatoes or tomato sauce and any sources of protein. Would you please give 1 item this month?


If you have questions or if you have concerns about how the food pantry is run, talk with Pam. 


ew Newsletter Series ….

          I have started visiting and interviewing members of our congregation and those interviews appear again in this newsletter.  If you would rather not be interviewed, please tell me when I call you. 

                                                                                Joy Poppe



Carolyn Shane was born July 31, 1936 at Brokaw Hospital in Normal.  She and Kenny were married sixty-one years in February and they have three children.  Carolyn went to Confirmation on Saturday mornings for about four years.  She likes that our church is a ‘Bible Church’ and always has been.  She has been a member since baptized as an infant.  In her spare time she likes to work outside and loves to bake. [Carolyn shared some of her rhubarb bread with us.]  If she could talk to anyone it would be her parents.  She would like to be remembered as being a good Christian.  When she was younger she wanted to be a Home Ec teacher, but at that time home visits were required before school started and after school ended and she did not want to participate in the visits.  Her first job was at Hull’s Drive Inn in Normal while going to ISU.  She thinks that her husband, Kenny, has had the greatest influence on her life.


Kenny Shane was born January 3, 1935 in Pontiac.  He and Carolyn were married sixty-one years in February and they have three children.  Kenny likes the people at our church and the fact that we have an outstanding pastor from the pulpit.  He was confirmed in the service at Great Lakes Naval Base and been a member of our church since 1956.  He enjoys high school substitute teaching in his free time.  His favorite childhood memory is digging his first boat out of the Vermillion River and people would be surprised that he would love to go boating all the time.  If he could talk to anyone it would be Carolyn’s mom and dad, Myrtle and Dave Schuler.  He would like to be remembered as a caring person.  He wishes he were better at not losing things and remembering names.  His first job was driving a tractor with a baler and he worked hard to get where he got in the Navy – forty-one years with over thirty in the reserve.  He has always depended on God to take care of him.  His favorite saying comes from his father who after Kenny had made a mistake would say, “Did you learn anything?”


Carol Sue Koehl was born at Fairbury Hospital on March 9, 1936.  Carol and Maurice were married August 2, 1964.  She has two children and one granddaughter.  Carol was baptized June 1, 1941 at the same time her mother was baptized and has been a member since then.  Fred and Elva Jacobs were instrumental in their family joining the church because they felt her brother, Frederick should be in Sunday School.  Carol went to Confirmation on Saturdays for several years and was confirmed in June 1950 along with Carolyn Schuler Shane, Alma Rhoda Brucker, Eleanor Dameron and Pat Asper.  She feels our church was the social and faith outing and while growing up our church was always like family since they didn’t have any aunts or uncles.  She enjoys flea markets and garage sales in her free time.  Her favorite childhood memories include being outside with her dad, talking to Freddy and Lilly Schneider and New Year’s Eve at the old church when after games in the basement the kids could ring the church bell at midnight in the balcony.  If she could talk to anyone it would be her parents.  She would like to be remembered as a caring person and she recalls the saying in her high school yearbook – “Where there is life, there is Schenck.”  She wishes she were better at reading her Bible and spending more time praying.  When she was younger she knew she wanted to be a nurse just like Barbara Jane Schneider Petersen was.  Her first job was sanding eggs at the Dameron house on the dirt floor in the basement and then she moved up to helping Melba Dameron with selling Caramel Corn at the fairs.  People would really surprised that Carol would like to try driving a Greyhound Bus.  Several people have had the greatest influence on Carol’s life – Barbara Schneider Petersen, her parents and Freddy and Lilly Schneider.  She has two favorite quotes or sayings – “100 years from now, you’ll never know the difference” and one that sustained her the last several years – from Isaiah 41: 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.