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 Your health and well-being should not be superseded by the sense of mandatory attendance.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
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Sometimes admittedly, when reaching a point of writer's block, my mind allows me to drift to a game of solitaire on the computer. I try to tell myself that I am thinking through the point at which I have "stumbled." But according to various articles, a game such as solitaire affords exercising of the mind bringing about better focus, improved awareness, and better learning.
In a 2010 study at Harvard University, 11,430 men and women between the ages of 18 and 60 who were randomly assigned to one of three online brain exercise programs. One focused on reasoning, planning, and problem solving. Another focused on broader tasks of memory, attention, mathematics, and other skills. The third (the control) involved searching online for answers to obscure questions. After six weeks, people in the first and second groups boosted their scores on their assigned brain-training exercises. They showed no improvement (compared with the control group) when they repeated several general memory and thinking skills, testing that had been done at the start (www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-computer-games-keep-your-brain-fit-201204264640 of October 28, 2020). But there does appear to be some validity in reasoning such interaction may improve cognitive skills.
I doubt seriously anyone would believe that would have been the goal of Microsoft, in putting those games on the computer, in the first place. In fact, there are an equal number of articles that speak to the game's addictive qualities as well.
Perhaps you are asking, "Pastor, where are you going with this?" St. Luke, when writing Acts of the Apostles (Acts 17:10-17), says that when Paul and Silas went to Berea teaching at the synagogue, "Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men." This did not go over well with the Jewish leaders of that time and place, but of course the numbers of believers grew in numbers. These would not have been luke-warm Christians, but ones who "received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."
In today's world, there is growing concern for the number of "luke-warm" Christians, those not energetic for hearing God's Word. Most every family, and many individuals have copies of the Bible in their possession, are not in the practice of daily reading. In some cases, they sit on a shelf or coffee-table, collecting dust. Likewise, then the minds of those who possess them, "collect dust," having little to stimulate their faith.
I challenge each of you to dust-off your Bible, taking time to read it daily. Like solitaire, I expect that not only will your cognitive skills become sharper, but your own faith will be strengthened as you "examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so."
In His grace,