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January 2019 Newsletter

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St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church

800 South Division Street

Chenoa, Il  61726


January 10, 2018

Friends in Christ,


We live in challenging times. Some are even calling this point in history a post-Christian world. As Christians this should be no surprise. After all, Jesus taught us that Christians would have days of suffering saying, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” (Matt. 5:11-12).


When times are good, it’s easy to rejoice. When times are tough, rejoicing is a difficult task. Currently our circuit congregations are facing difficult times. Washburn and LaRose, Wenona and Varna, Secor, Eureka, and Roanoke are growing smaller. Even here in Chenoa, we aren’t exactly overflowing with new members. Yet, we all remain the Lord’s people, for whom He has a plan. Thanks be to God that he has given us the ability to use our First Article gifts to look ahead and discuss ways we can continue to receive strength in these gray and latter days.


As we are all well aware our strength is given to us through Word and Sacrament ministry. Thus, we strive to ensure that we can always have the Lord’s gifts readily available to us.


As the culture around us changes, in turn, those changes impact the church-at-large and local congregations, it behooves us as member congregations of the LCMS and the Bloomington North circuit to take notice and respond.



Here at St. Paul we have been blessed by God with the ability to meet our present needs. However, we ought not take for granted that this will always be the case. The reality is that our congregation is changing. It’s an undeniable fact that, on the whole, we are aging. Our numbers are declining. While a few new businesses have opened, our town’s population isn’t booming.


It seems as though it’s time for us to collectively look at how our congregation together with our circuit parishes can be good stewards of the gifts God gives us, individually and collectively. Together, we must look ahead to determine our future course to have the Word and Sacrament available to us. Right now we are blessed to be able to maintain our church and facilities by ourselves. But will that always be the case? And if the answer is “No,” even if that day might not be within the next 10 or 15 years, it’s still good to ask, “What do we do then?”

Churches, across all denominations are being faced with questions of self-reflection. Thankfully, our denomination, The LCMS, has put time and effort into future planning. Significant research has been undertaken to assist local parishes and circuits to begin a goal setting process together. The pastors in our circuit have requested a joint meeting of our congregations to address this issue together. Rev. Heath Curtis, who has directed our Church body’s research, will address our circuit on Monday 18 February 2019 at Trinity El Paso beginning at 6:30 p.m. He will lead us by exploring current trends in our Synod’s congregations and assist us in the goal setting process as we look forward to the next several years. The presentation will last approximately 2 hours. We are encouraging all of our members to take the time to listen to this presentation.

I am extremely confident that our Lord will guide and preserve His flock who seek to be nurtured, strengthened and fed at His pulpit and altar. I am also excited to see how He actually will do that.

Please join me and our area pastors to listen to Rev. Curtis and begin to formulate a plan for the future.

In Christ,

Pastor Jeremy

From Our Adopted Seminary Student—

To Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ at St. Paul’s in Chenoa,

Greetings and Peace from Fort Wayne!


Your outpouring of support has been more than generous to my family and I.  We count ourselves as blessed by the LORD in many and various wways.  Our Christmas includes a trip home to NY where all the kids will be with us.  I emailed the Pastor, according to your website, recently to perhaps come on a visit some weekend.  I may have not emailed it correcting so I will include my email below for you.  Four months from now we will find out our vicarage call and prepare to move again.  We are open to anywhere and “anywhere” will likely happen!

                        Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Julia Golden and family


December Perfect Attendance


Jarret Gooding
Sixth-Seventh Grade

Cole Weber

First-Third Grade

Jacsen Gooding

Carolyn Schmidgall

Henry Schmidgall

Fourth-Fifth Grade

Alexis Gooding

Isaac Latzke

Dylan Verdun


Eighth Grade-Highschool

Hannah Norris
Nathan Reed
Aaron Shrewsbury
Nolan Verdun


Preschool – High School has collected $150 of our $300 goal this year.   Offering is designated for LCMS World Relief and Human Care, Disaster Response.  LCMS Early Response Teams were on hand in Taylorville, IL on December 8 to help with cleanup caused by a tornado.  One of the local residence responded to the help with the following: “I can’t express how grateful I am — everybody coming together like this,” Wells said. “It just blows my mind how everybody is being so great. I can’t thank everybody enough, and I can’t say it enough. … I hope they all know how grateful we are.” After an extended pause, she added, “God is good.” To learn more about LCMS Disaster Response go to:

Baptismal Birthdays


The following students celebrated baptismal birthdays in January: Adeline Potter (1/10), Chase Beitz (1/19), and Ethan Latzke (1/24).

In Prayer

Please keep the Eighth Grade – High School teachers and students in your prayers during the month of December.  For our teachers: Mr. Norman Beitz and Mr. Tom Norris, 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, Chase, Elijah Beitz, Natalie and Amber Graf, Madison McBride, Hannah Norris, Jacob and Addison Raber, Nathan Reed, Ben, Daniel, Megan, and Nic Rhoda, Sophia Schuler, Aaron Shrewsbury, Nolan Verdun, Danielle Vogel, and Paige 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.

St. Paul’s Discipleship

Date Attendance Offering Missions
12-02 84 2404.47 25.00
12-05 42 249.00  
12-09 110 2302.00 25.00
12-12 43 362.00  
12-16 82 2042.00 25.00
12-19 48 751.00  
12-23 120 2235.00 150.00
12-24 117 5035.00  
12-25 29 373.00  
12-30 100 4960.44 98.00
Ladies Restroom   130.00  
Food Pantry   50.00  
Youth Convention   30.00  
Ladies   100.00  
Debt Retirement   1390.00  


From our Parish Nurse                                                                                                        Pam Norris


January is cervical cancer prevention month.

While no women enjoys having this testing done, it has proven to reduce the #1 cause of cancer in women as this screening is picking up pre-cancer cells & treatment started much sooner so no progression to cancer

The American Cancer Society has the following guidelines for cervical cancer screening:

With the New Year starting, many of us are looking at eating healthier.  We need to include our children as well.  Childhood obesity is rapidly becoming epidemic in our nation.

Some suggestions:




ould someone be willing to play the piano [or organ or guitar] for the hymns during our worship service sometime?  Contact Diane.





The Chenoa Food Pantry 2018 Annual Report


Month # of Families # of People
January 51 220
February 41 135
March 35 117
April 39 130
May 47 151
June 56 235
July 60 251
August 73 300
September 52 231
October 48 160
November 49 225
December 52 230

Thank you to ALL who make contributions to help those in need!  God Bless You!


Prairie Central is again offering Preschool Screening which is a free developmental screening and open to children from birth to 5 years of age.  They are sponsored by Livingston County Special Services Unit, the Livingstone County Member Districts, OSF Medical Center and Livingston County Health Department.  Areas screened include vision, hearing, speech, language, learning, motor and social skills.  Children who have been screened in the past and have no developmental concerns do not need to attend. 


Screenings will take place at Prairie Central West @ Chenoa on January 16 and 17, 815 945-2971; at Prairie Central East @ Chatsworth February 7 and 8, 815 635-3555; Prairie Central West @ Fairbury on March 19 and 20, 815 945-2971.  You are asked to call the school the week prior to the screening date to make an appointment.