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March 2018 Newsletter

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St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church

800 South Division Street

Chenoa, Il  61726


March 1, 2018

 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” –Psalm 118:24

What’s your first response when you hear that verse? It probably depends on the day, doesn’t it? Or the time of day.

On February 14, you might have found that verse encouraging and uplifting when you first woke up. It was Valentine’s Day. It was a pleasant enough morning. Rejoice in the day the Lord has made? Don’t mind if I do!

But then you heard about what happened at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. 17 people senselessly, needlessly murdered. Most of them kids. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it? Are you serious?


What about Paul? Do you think Paul was serious? A man who regularly heard reports of friends being arrested and killed. A man who himself was repeatedly imprisoned, threatened, and beaten. A man who sat in chains, waiting to find out if he was next to be executed for preaching the gospel. And what did he write? “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4) And were that enough, he wrote another time, “Rejoice always.” (1 Thess. 5:16)


How? How are we supposed to do that in a world, in lives, filled with so much tragedy and heartbreak? We do it the same way the Psalmist did. The same way Paul did. The same way believers have done throughout the ages. We remember who our God is. We look to the cross.

When we look to Christ we see his promise to be with us always. To never forsake us or abandon us. We find comfort that by his grace we have been joined to his crucified and risen body. Even in our darkest moments, he remains the God who is the resurrection and the life, the one in whom we live, even though we die.


I really liked how I saw another pastor put it: “Jesus gave his cheek to those who struck him, his hands to those who pierced him, his body and blood to those who crucified him. And in so doing, he secured absolution for us for the most evil acts imaginable. He reconciled us to the Father by building a bridge from him to us that’s constructed out of the wood and nails of his cross. He gave us something better than answers to our questions; he gave us life for our death, heaven for our hell, forgiveness for our sin.


These gifts are not only all that matters, they are also all that satisfies. Here is hope for the hurting. Here is adoption for the rejected. Here is the God you can see and taste and touch and smell—the God whose name is Jesus Christ.

When you find it hard, even impossible to rejoice, know that there is a God who loves you, who has always loved you and always will. Jesus Christ will not answer all your questions, but he will give you all of himself. And in the end, that’s all any of us need.”



In Christ,


Pastor Jeremy


We welcome into our family of God-- Vialee [Reum] Field and Connie Rork who were members of Trinity Lutheran, Pontiac.  Vialee is Stacey Shrewsbury’s grandmother and Connie is Stacey Shrewsbury’s mother.  They both live in Pontiac.  We ask God’s blessings upon them. 

St. Paul’s Discipleship

Date Attendance Offering Missions
02-04 82 2073.00 48.00
02-11 93 1928.00 25.00
02-14 60 409.00  
02-18 74 2272.00 50.00
02-21 44 267.00  
02-25 88 1776.00 28.00
Memorial Plaque   100.00  
Vacation Bible School   55.00  
Ladies Restroom   75.00  





Lenten Services continue on Wednesdays. Lenten suppers begin at 5:00; Confirmation is at 6:00 and Lenten Services are at 7:00 PM.



St. Joseph’s Catholic Church will be having their Lenten Fish Fry on Friday, March 9th, from 5-7 at the Parish Hall.  The menu is as always fried and baked fish, baked potato, baked beans, cole slaw, drink and dessert.  There will be a raffle of donated items at the end of the evening.  

You are invited to the Agriculture and Business Appreciation Breakfast on Tuesday, March 13th, at McDonald’s Family Restaurant, 512 East Oak Street, Fairubry, 6:30 – 8:30 AM.  Please RSVP if attending by calling 815 692-4000 by Monday, March 5th.  This event is sponsored by Fairbury-Cropsey Community Bank.


WANT SOMETHING AWESOME FOR YOUR SPOUSE?   Surprise your spouse with a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next Weekend is scheduled in Peoria, IL on April 13-15, 2018.  Apply now at or contact Norm and Deb Lopez at for more information. Preregistration is required – don’t miss out! Registration deadline is March 26th.  Registrations after that date will be on a space available basis.  


From Our Parish Nurse                                      Pam Norris


Blood pressure checks will be done after worship on Sunday, March 4th.


Thank you to all who gave for the Potter twins.  We were able to give them a basket of:  blankets, books, bibs, wipes, diapers and gift cards of over $250. 




There are approximately 54 million people living in the US with various kinds of disabilities that impact the way they lead their daily lives.  Conditions causing disability include mental illness, blindness, military injuries, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and problems with hearing.  A large portion of this population has physical disabilities or mobility problems because of a link to diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) cerebral palsy, polio, or various spinal injuries. 




Historically we have handled this population poorly and rather than encourage them, have keep them isolated in their homes.  How welcoming were the sweeping staircases in churches of the 1900’s?  are we doing better today or are we still keeping people “trapped” at home with caregivers that are just as isolate?  Churches need to include the disabled into the active life of membership was well as support the families who care for them.  Check in with the family of those with disabilities to see how you can be of help.  Offer to sit with the husband disabled from a stroke so the wife can get her hair done.  Take the mother/spouse of one dealing with mental illness out for lunch to offer her respite from her daily challenges.  Sometimes it’s the small things that help the most.




Those with disabilities want to be productive at home and at church so look for ways to be inclusive is your building handicap accessible?  Can a person get into the sanctuary as easily as they can the bathroom?  Are there classes, small groups, or ministries in which the disabled can participate?  Evaluate the tools that are currently available in your church.  Are there devices and magnifiers to help the hearing and visually impaired?  Have classes been adapted to welcome those with Down’s syndrome or other mental disorders?  Are there groups to support the families of those with disabilities?  Christ welcomed everyone to His table; what about you? 





Sunday School Update

In Prayer



Please keep the Preschool – Fifth Grade teachers and students in your prayers during the month of March.  For our teachers: Mrs. Danielle Gooding, Mrs. Cherlyn McBride and Mrs. Krista Verdun, 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: Brock, Cade & Ty Freed, Jacsen, Jarret Gooding & Alexis Gooding, Isaac Latzke, Brooklyn McBride, Carolyn, Elaine &Henry Schmidgall, Peter Schuler, Dylan Verdun and Cole Weber that they may understand the depth of God’s love for them as they grow to become strong men and women who live for God’s Glory.


Growing in Christ for Preschool – Seventh Grade

February begins with new curriculum for Sunday School as the Preschool – Seventh grade students study how the Holy Spirit Leads the Apostles.



2/4: This Sunday School lesson taught the children that at Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit to His Church (Acts 2:1–21). Now, through Word and Sacrament, God gives us His Holy Spirit to create and sustain saving faith in Jesus. Something to consider: What gifts did you receive at your baptism?




2/11: The children learned how each of us is like the lame beggar as we stand before God (Acts 3). Yet through the Means of Grace, God’s Word and Sacraments, God bestows on us what Christ accomplished on the cross: forgiveness of sins. Something to consider: What does it means to have the “forgiveness of sins.”


2/18: In learning the story of Stephen (Acts 6–7), the first martyr, the children in Sunday School learned how we are crushed by and enraged at the accusations of God’s Law, but the Gospel comes to bring peace and quietness with the forgiveness of our sins. Something to consider:  How are Stephen’s words like Jesus’ final words?

2/25: The children learned that as Jesus came to the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26–40), He comes to us in our weakness, for we cannot by our own reason or strength come to Him. Something to consider: How does the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies us, keeping us with Jesus Christ in the one true faith?


This year, Preschool – High School will send our Sunday School offerings to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, Disaster Response. The LCMS Disaster Response responds to immediate and long-term needs following natural and man-made disasters. Working through LCMS districts and congregations as well as with international Lutheran churches and other partners, LCMS Disaster Response builds capacity of the church’s partners to respond to needs with Christian care. The ministry reaches out to LCMS congregations and their communities with services that include on-site assessment, emergency relief and development grants, pastoral care for LCMS church workers and members, and other resources. The goal is to raise $500 for the year.  For the month of January, we reached 55% of our goal.

Anna Schmidgall is getting ready for Vacation Bible SchoolThis year the theme is “Splash Canyon’ and it will be held June 4-8.  If you can assist in any way, please contact Anna.




For the food pantry--Please prayerfully consider donating: cans of fruit (any fruit), boxes of spaghetti noodles, and jars of spaghetti sauce.  Of course any donations are welcomed.  I would like to challenge each family to bring in one can of food a week. This would cost  ~ $1/week-which shouldn’t impact your families budget too much.



Lenten Offerings designated-- 

1/3 – Parish Nurse

1/3 – VBS

1/3 St. Louis Seminary

Maundy Thursday – Salem Children’s Home

Good Friday – Wittenberg

Easter – Debt Retirement