Newsletter - Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church

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Microsoft Word - 2013 01.docxThe  Joyful  Life  of  Faith   I’m sure you’ve made a few New Year’s resolutions. Most people do. After all, who of us wouldn’t benefit from more self-discipline in the areas of diet, exercise, finances, relationships, etc.? But what about your spiritual life? Modern day Christians are increasingly becoming more self-centered, self-righteous, and self-sustaining. What will you do to protect yourself from these dangers? To grow in your baptismal grace? To strengthen your faith in Christ on a daily basis?
First and foremost, receive Christ’s gracious gifts in Word and Sacrament regularly. Christ did not establish His Church, His ministry, the preaching of His Word, and the administration of His sacraments so that we would absent ourselves and occupy ourselves with worldly things. To forsake these good gifts is to forsake Christ Himself. Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. Hold God’s Word sacred and gladly hear and learn it. Make the Divine Service your highest priority.
Second, attend Bible Class. I believe there is no greater opportunity outside of the Divine Service to deepen your faith than in Bible Class. Wherever you are on your walk of faith, God’s Word is for you. Bible Class gives you the opportunity to dive into God’s Word, listen and learn, join the discussion, and ask questions. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are built up in our common faith by the very Word that proclaims to us the Word made flesh—Jesus!
Third, devote yourself daily to prayer and devotion. There is a wealth of faithful devotionals available, including Treasury of Daily Prayer, Portals of Prayer, daily devotions on our website, and devotionals in our church library. There is also a wealth of faithful prayer books available, including Lutheran Service Book, Luther’s Small Catechism, and Lutheran Book of Prayer. Let me know if you need specific suggestions to get started.
Finally, dedicate your time and attention to the life of faith and godliness. Daily die to sin and rise to newness of life in Christ. Consider private confession both for the absolution and the Scriptural guidance your pastor has to offer. Live in accordance with sound doctrine. Fulfill the responsibilities of your vocations. Admit your mistakes. Be quick to forgive. Love unconditionally. Show mercy. And be the voice and hands of Christ to those around you.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. … In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. … Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” [Colossians 3:5-17]
“Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:5-8]
This is not merely a New Year’s resolution, but the joyful life of faith you have been given in Holy Baptism. By God’s grace, may the Christ who is for you and with you be epiphanied in everything you think, say, and do this new year!
Pastor  Mumme  
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [Saint John 10:27]
Week of The Epiphany of Our Lord Sun, Jan 6, 9:00 am Festive Divine Service Sun, Jan 6, 10:30 am Bible Class & Sunday School Tues, Jan 8, 1:00 pm Women’s Bible Study Tues, Jan 8, 4:30 pm Youth Ensemble Practice Wed, Jan 9, 4:30 pm Youth Catechesis Wed, Jan 9, 7:00 pm Senior Choir Practice Sat, Jan 12, 9:00 am Church Un-decorating
Week of The Baptism of Our Lord Sun, Jan 13, 9:00 am Divine Service Sun, Jan 13, 10:00 am Thrivent Meeting Sun, Jan 13, 10:30 am Bible Class & Sunday School Sun, Jan 13, 12:30 pm Council Meeting Tues, Jan 15, 4:30 pm Youth Ensemble Practice Tues, Jan 15, 7:00 pm Book of Concord Study Wed, Jan 16, 4:30 pm Youth Catechesis Wed, Jan 16, 7:00 pm Senior Choir Practice Thur, Jan 17, 9:00 am Pastor @ Circuit Meeting Sat, Jan 19, 8:30 am Men’s Bible Breakfast Sat, Jan 19, 10:00 am Altar Guild Meeting Sat, Jan 19, 11:00 am Ladies Aid Meeting
Week of Epiphany 2 Sun, Jan 20, 9:00 am Divine Service Sun, Jan 20, 10:30 am Bible Class & Sunday School Sun, Jan 20, 11:30 am 3:fifteen Youth Study Tues, Jan 22, 4:30 pm Youth Ensemble Practice Wed, Jan 23 11:00 am Pastor @ NICL Study Wed, Jan 23, 4:30 pm Youth Catechesis Wed, Jan 23, 7:00 pm Senior Choir Practice
Week of Epiphany 3 Sun, Jan 27, 9:00 am Divine Service Sun, Jan 27, 10:30 am Congregational Meeting Sun, Jan 27, 10:30 am Sunday School Tues, Jan 29, 4:30 pm Youth Ensemble Practice Wed, Jan 30, 4:30 pm Youth Catechesis Wed, Jan 30, 7:00 pm Senior Choir Practice
January Birthdays 05 Cheryl Kranich 06 Joan Fox 06 Jacob Page 07 Ceili Delaney 10 Ryan Stache 13 Karen Moritz 14 Larry Kreier 14 Rebecca Parmenter 15 Paul Edgar 15 Melanie Witzke 17 Ashley Cruz 18 Dawn Rousar 20 Christa McClain 24 Vincenzo Data 27 Mary Papp 29 Livia Demetrio 31 Isaak Johnson 31 Shirley Norling
Baptismal Anniversaries 04 Nicole Richerson 04 Sierra Birdsell 06 Anthony Simonetti 19 Dolores Bauman 26 Aaron Wathall 29 Joan Fox
Wedding Anniversaries 08 Aaron & Heather Wathall 18 Bob & Marge McClain
Epiphany Join us on Sunday, January 6, as we celebrate The Epiphany of Our Lord with a festive Divine Service at 9:00 a.m. This is one of the five chief festivals of the church year. Come, hear anew the story of the Wise Men, and be reminded how Jesus is the true gift of God for all mankind.
Christmas Un-Decorating Come and help us take down and pack away the Christmas decorations on Saturday, January 12, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Many hands make light work!
Bible & Lutheranism Studies Sunday Bible Class Topic: The Gospel of John When: Sunday mornings @ 10:30 a.m. Where: Luther Hall Men’s Bible Breakfast Topic: King David When: Saturday, January 19 @ 8:30 a.m. Where: Family Square Restaurant Women’s Bible Study Topic: Lutheranism 101, chapter 11 When: Tuesday, January 8 @ 1:00 p.m. Where: Luther Hall Book of Concord Study Topic: Large Catechism, 2nd Commandment When: Tuesday, January 15 @ 7:00 p.m. Where: Luther Hall 3:fifteen Youth Study Topic: TBA When: Sunday, January 20 @ 11:45 a.m. Where: Luther Hall
Congregational Meeting Join us on Sunday, January 27 for our annual congregational meeting to elect officers and approve a church budget. We will meet in church at 10:30 a.m. following a brief time of coffee and treats in Luther Hall.
Directory Update Please make the following update to your church pictorial directory and/or home address book: Brian Rambeaux email: [email protected]
Former Member Update Jerry Lustig, a former member now living in the Philippines, was united in Holy Matrimony to Rose delos Reyes on November 24. They will be visiting us here in the United States sometime in 2014. Congratulations Jerry and Rose!
Baptized into Christ
Luke Russell Mueller, son of members John and Kristy, became a child of God through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on December 16. Rachel Bormet, Kirsten Bishir, Brian Tallman, and Melissa Tallman are serving as Luke’s sponsors. We pray Luke will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ all the days of his life.
Asleep in Christ
Raymond Brieschke fell asleep in Christ at the age of 89 and was taken to his heavenly home on December 7. He was given a Christian funeral here at Divine Shepherd on December 10. We thank God for Ray’s faith in Christ. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13).
Updated Website Divine Shepherd has a new website and a shorter URL ( This new site is still being tweaked, but is near completion. Check it out. If you find any bad links, grammatical errors, or spelling mistakes, or have feedback or suggestions to improve the website, please talk to Mike Dobbs. Pastor’s new email address is [email protected] (the old one still works for now as well). A full listing of new email addresses will be printed in next month’s newsletter.
Sunday School Christmas Program
Fifteen of our youth—Adam & David Dobbs; Livia Demetrio; Victoria Fox; Nicholas & Connor Henricks; Zachary, Caleb, Michael, & Adam Mumme; Casey, Elizabeth, & Kyle Pallek; Elizabeth & Olivia Parmenter—participated in the “Baby Jesus, We Love You” Christmas program on December 16. They spoke and sang about Christ’s birth as our Savior. Thanks also to Terri Kreier (director), JoAnn Wrezinski (costumes), and George Rousar (piano) for all their hard work.
New Banners In December we dedicated and began using the new Christmas and Epiphany banners, purchased with donations to the Altar Guild fund. We also have a new Christmas tree, donated nearly a year ago by members who wish to remain anonymous. Thanks to these items, many other existing decorations, and the poinsettias donated by members, our sanctuary was very beautifully decorated for the Christmas season!
Altar Guild
Several items were purchased with memorial donations for use in God’s house in 2012. If you are planning a future memorial donation, please consider giving it to the Altar Guild Dedicated Fund to purchase additional frontals, banners, candles, altar cloths, etc. to beautify the sanctuary. Thank you to everyone who purchased poinsettias to beautify the sanctuary for the Christmas season. Check the February newsletter and bulletins for information on ordering flowers for the Easter season.
Ladies Aid A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who donated gifts and/or gift cards to the annual “Giving Tree” project. Due to the generosity of our church family, we were able to help the May family, 5 seniors, 16 children, 25 adults, 8 families, and 10 military personnel. Lisa would like to thank everyone for their help in making this program a success. A special thank you to the Cruz family for their organizational skills and for delivering the gifts. Thank you to Diane Weaver for organizing and mailing out ten military “goodie” boxes. Thanks also to those who donated goodies and/or money, to Thrivent for paying part of the postage, and to all the children who made cards that were included in the boxes. Please continue to support the Manna Card Program. Not only are these cards good for gift giving, but also for everyday purchases (food, gas, etc.). Profits from this fundraiser are used to supplement various church projects. Upcoming turn-in dates are January 6 and 20, with pick up the successive Sundays. All women are encouraged to attend the January 19 meeting at 11:00 a.m. Future projects will be discussed.
Sunday Treats Do you enjoy treats and fellowship after Sunday services? If so, please consider signing up on any given Sunday(s). Consider bringing fruit and/or crackers and cheese for our diabetic members. The signup sheet is posted on the Luther Hall bulletin board. Ladies Aid only provides drinks, not “goodies” when no one has signed up for a given Sunday. Empty slots means no treats. Monetary donations are accepted to defray the cost of drinks and supplies.
Prayer Chain
Several of our members are part of a church prayer chain. If you would like to join them in praying for our congregation’s special needs, please contact Nadine Parmenter at 815-436-4908 or Pastor Mumme.
As we look back over the past year, thanks to the Thrivent members who so willingly donated their time for set up and serving to make the annual events a success: the Bake-a-thon in February, the Easter continental breakfast, the Confirmation reception, and the Oktoberfest luncheon. Thanks also to the members that donated their Choice Dollars to our church. With these funds we are able to help our congregation where the need exists. The funds generated from the bake sale were given to the Little Lambs program, plus we matched these dollars to forward $832.00 to the program. The cost of gift cards we sent to James Hopkins (our seminarian student), our members that need a helping hand, and to the college students to keep them in our thoughts while away at school. We covered half of the cost to send the military boxes to the military service personnel. We matched funds gathered by the Vacation Bible School kids to forward funds to Lutheran Malaria Initiative. The cost of gardening was used to beautify our church ground, for which we thank Carol and Jim Kuroski. Funds were used to cover extra costs for the Scholarship Luncheon and the 35th Anniversary. In the New Year we will allocate funds to some of the ongoing needs within the church such as: the gift cards, gardening, the seminary student, and other additional requests we receive. The West Will County Chapter also invited the members to their events. The Polar Bear Express was an enjoyable trip for the kids with Santa bringing gifts. The Christmas Concert at Zion was the best ever and drew around 280 people. We hope they will continue to keep us informed of the events.
Shirley Norling, Congregational Advocate
Bulletin Covers & Altar Flowers The 2013 flower chart and January-March bulletin chart are posted in the narthex. Sign up for any open Sunday(s) to celebrate a special occasion or to honor/remember someone. Cost of two bouquets is $40, $45, or $50. Cost of bulletins is $10. See Karen Moritz for details.
Church Envelopes Members, please check your mailslot if you are getting 2013 envelopes. If you have any questions, please contact Barb Potempa, our Financial Secretary.
Our Cleaning Crew A special thank you to Talma Krause, Tim & Nadine Parmenter (family), Dan & Nicole Richerson, Gerry Koempel, Marge Jahnsen, Julie Melcher, Anne Drevlow, and Judy Yuenger for all their hard work in helping to clean our church facilities on a regular basis. This volunteer cleaning crew works diligently to vacuum, dust, scrub, mop, tidy, empty trash, and prepare our facilities each weekend. An additional thank you to all those volunteers who help to take down, clean, serve, and set up on Sunday mornings and for special events. Your help and service is greatly appreciated! We are looking for 1-3 additional volunteers to come in and do some light cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, etc.) one Friday or Saturday per month. You will be paired up with another volunteer. Contact Talma Krause at 630-410-2944 if you are willing to help.
Planning Worksheet You may not think about it very often, but there are certain things for which you should do some planning. Your funeral is one of them. What the important dates in your life? Who are your loved ones? What is your confirmation verse? What are some of your favorite Scripture verses and hymns? Whether you are young or old, please pick up a “Funeral Planning Worksheet” from Luther Hall, complete it, and return it to Karen or Pastor. You are always free to make updates to this worksheet as often as you want. These cold winter months are a great time to complete this worksheet. Thanks in advance for beginning the planning process.
Portals of Prayer Now that 2013 is here, we are asking those who make use of the Portals of Prayer devotionals to pay this year’s annual subscription rate. Simply submit this via the offering plate, earmarked “Portals of Prayer” ($12/year for regular print; $14/year for large print). Blessings on your continued study of God’s Word.
(items are due January 23)
Treasurer’s Report As of Nov. 30 Actual Budget Income $169,084 $146,130 Expenses $168,724 $170,994
Holy Baptism This month—on the Sunday following The Epiphany of Our Lord—we celebrate The Baptism of Our Lord. Though He had no sin of His own, Jesus undergoes baptism for us. To fulfill all righteousness. To fill the water of Holy Baptism with Himself, His forgiveness, His righteousness. So rejoice in your baptism. For through that water combined with God’s Word, you are a child of God, clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness, and a temple of the Holy Spirit!
God’s own child, I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it, Gave my full redemption price.
Do I need earth’s treasures many? I have one worth more than any That brought me salvation free
Lasting to eternity!