June 1, 2020
On Monday, June 1, 2020 the elders conducted the monthly meeting, at which we reviewed the updated policies concerning church services in the state of Illinois. Beginning next Sunday, June 7, 2020, we will be conducting worship service at 10:00 a.m. Every attempt will be made to follow guidelines as published by the Illinois Department of Public Health. If you are part of a high-risk category, having health issues that preclude your attendance, please contact Pastor Kern, and he will plan to come to you for a visit. Your health and well-being should not be superseded by the sense of mandatory attendance. Our Bible Class and Sunday School will not begin again until a later date. The following steps will be taken, in order to meet guidelines:
Please understand this process is new to all of us. Some of what we do may appear to be totally "off-the-cuff." If there is something we can do to improve upon our service, please let us know. We pray that one day, these practices that impinge upon our fellowship as a congregation may be a memory of the past.
May 4, 2020
In a meeting this evening the Elders and the Pastor met, with the consultation of Diane Bertels (a nursing professional), and Rich Bertels (our congregational chairman) to discuss our ability to worship under the Illinois guidelines, and the possibility of receiving the gift of the Lord’s Supper once again. The governor in a recent statement found cause to exempt places of worship from a list of activities prohibited under the “stay at home” policies, while still leaving in place the ceiling of ten persons in any place at any one time. Face masks are mandated when the six-foot distancing is not kept.
While we appreciate the new ruling, that allows us to gather in small groups, we also recognize the restrictions are intended to keep our members, as citizens of the state of Illinois safe. That is after-all the purpose and cause of civil government, even as Martin Luther provides us in Catechetical instruction, regarding the Fourth Commandment.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper remains important to us, in the message of salvation it brings into our personal lives, both in this world and for life eternal. Nevertheless, it is not our action of attending the meal…the frequency of attendance over period, but rather the faith that our Lord assures us by way of His meal. Some may find a hunger for the Meal more frequently than another. We look forward to the time when we may be able to partake of His Meal in communion with each other, but for now we will do so in group sizes that will protect us from the virus.
Because of the limitation of the numbers to assemble at any given time, we will continue to distribute worship services by way of the internet, for those having the ability to do so. We have provided copies by mail for those who are unable to do so. The church will continue to be open for prayer on Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. through 11:00 a.m. Beginning immediately, opportunities to receive the Lord’s Supper will be made by appointment with Pastor Kern. Please contact him, by way of the parsonage/church phone at (618) 377-6221 or his cell phone at (618) 610-0669.
January 6, 2014
Views from church on December 22 with ice reflecting in the trees.
December 7, 2013
In the event that this website is temporarily unavailable, consider bookmarking this link, where the service transcripts are also available.
Excerpt from Latest Newsletter
And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. Revelation 2:12-17
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
A few years ago, I read the advice of Steven Covey, in His book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Simply put, he equates that “compromise is a quick road to failure.”
God's people have often in times of temptation sought to compromise what they believe. The children of Israel faced this situation, as did Simon Peter, when addressed by others in the courtyard, as Jesus is being tried.
In the temptations of the Church at Pergamum, citizens of that community were well-known for their loyalty to the Roman emperors, as they lived in the center of Asia Minor, where the practice of cult activity and worship of the emperor was common. Idol worship, as at the altar of Zeus was prevalent at the city's citadel. St. John says, "‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells" (Revelation 2:14). Some in the congregation, were led astray. "Caesar worship" was encouraged, and Roman soldiers were even known to lead citizens to the a nearby statue of the emperor, asking them to bow down and to say, "Caesar is Lord." Of course, this would be a severe test for Christians. If they would counter that claim saying, "Jesus is Lord," they could be accused of treason.
St. Paul may have avoided certain death, but resolutely demanded, as a Roman citizen, that he be tried in the audience of Caesar. His mission was to witness the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ before Caesar’s court. How might that message otherwise have reached Rome? Some Christians in our world today have faced certain death, not compromising their faith in places such as Iran, Somalia, Libya, Nigeria, and North Korea. The stakes are high; still, those Christians remain resolute in defense of their faith in Jesus Christ.
At the time of our Confirmation, each of us were asked the questions, "Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even in death; Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession of the Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?" (Right of Confirmation, page 273 LSB). How many of us intended to carry out lives, worthy of such confession, in the presence of God?
The ultimate temptation to compromise came when our Lord Jesus was on the cross, when the scribes and the Pharisees mocked Him. "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross" (Matthew 27:42). Jesus could have come down from the cross, but chose not to compromise. In carrying out the Father's will, He maintained the means of grace, in our salvation.
We pray that we may never be tempted to compromise our faith, when faced with a life/death situation. Such faith is generated, when we consistently hear the Word of God and receive the benefits of our Lord’s grace in His means of grace. May we continue to receive that means of grace, that we would never be tempted to compromise the gift given us by the works of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In His grace,