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Pastor's Weekly Devotions

August 2020

“How long I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me.” Psalm 13:2

Dear friend and members of St. Paul’s,

This weekend the sermon will focus on Psalm 13 which is a lament Psalm. Lament Psalms ask God to take care of a variety of dilemma’s that encounter the believer. One is quickly struck in reading these Psalms how real the enemies are to the authors. For example, the enemies in Psalm 13 are those in Saul’s camp who are desiring to take the life of David. Some Psalms like Psalm 109 are Psalms that ask God to bring all sorts of judgements on enemies. These Psalms, sometimes called Imprecatory Psalms, make us uncomfortable, especially considering Jesus words to “love our enemies.” In our lives certain individuals may be working against us, and therefore could be an enemy of sorts (if that is the case we are still called to love them), yet our true enemies are the devil, the world, and our sinful nature. When you encounter “enemies” in the Psalms keep these three in mind. While, our enemy certainly is the devil who wants to take us from the faith, our enemies also include destructive viruses, cancers, our own negative behaviors, various addictions, along with death and everything that surrounds it. Here is the good news, Jesus your Savior, is greater than these enemies and because of that he will make sure they do not have the final word in your life. This same Jesus also provides you and me with the tools to battle these enemies in his word, meal, and baptismal promises. Join us this weekend for worship, whether online or in person, to receive the great help our Lord gives you to come out victorious against these all too real enemies.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

July 2020

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

One of the biggest challenges over these last four months, has been the change in our routines. Rather than go away to work, one works from home. Rather than spend our summer evenings watching/listening to baseball, we go for walks. Rather than worship on Sunday morning, we catch a service on YouTube on Monday evening. Rather than having a get together with twenty family members, we gather with just a few family and friends. These changes are not all negative, but because they are so many, they tend to challenge our wellbeing. The above verses from Isaiah remind us that the routines of weekly worship, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, Bible Study, and individual payer and devotional life are not empty rituals, even if at times they feel that way. Rather they are the ways our gracious Lord brings his message to bear on our lives. These churchy rituals are filled with God’s Word, and because of that continue (as much as you are able) partaking in them. For through this Word God brings Jesus himself into our lives, and with his forgiving and loving presence, we know that God is at work in our lives.

Yours In Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Dear members and friends of St. Paul’s,

Patience is not a virtue that usually defines us as Americans. We live in a land where information, food, goods, and even news can be brought our way quickly if not in instantaneously and so having to wait for things to get back to pre-pandemic times is especially difficult for us. We are ok at patiently waiting a few weeks or even a few months for all things pandemic to go by the way side …but a year/a year and a half? Yet, the moment we were baptized, the moment the Holy Spirit brought the faith of Christ into our hearts, we have been in a “patiently waiting game.” Our epistle reading this Sunday reminds us that we do not wait alone. Creation is “groaning”, which means it is anticipating a time when viruses, earthquakes, global warming, hurricanes, fire, floods, and droughts will be no more. After Christ comes again God will use the new creation to only deliver good things. We wait with the creation. We also have been given the Spirit who intercedes for us(Romans 8:26). He takes our cries and makes them groans of anticipation and not groans of despair. Yes, we wait, but we do not wait alone. Our gracious Lord provides a good deal of help.

In Jesus,
Pastor

“We Know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

The above passage is well known in Christian circles, and in fact I will address it in this weekend’s message. However, I think a few things are to be noted about this verse. First, what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say that all things are good. What may seem obvious still needs to be said, there are rough/bad things which happen in our world and believers are not immune to such things. In fact, the believer experiences additional sufferings that doesn’t matter as much to the unbeliever. For example, persecution and struggles with our old nature. Death, pain, sorrow, and suffering are all things that Jesus bore for us on the cross. If they were in and of themselves good, he would not have done that. Yet, our God is so powerful and loving, he takes legitimately bad things and uses them for his good purposes. Figuring out how this all flows together may not be clear to us until we enter our glory, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still true this side of heaven. Secondly, this is a message for those who by the power of the Holy Spirit are called to faith and are able to love God by trusting in Christ. While God still cares for unbelievers in this world and provides for them, we know that in the end judgment for sin and not forgiveness for sin will rest upon them. In other words the promise contained in these verses benefits confessors of Christ, and not all people. Finally, be sure to read the verses that follow this section, they are some of the most powerful/comforting words in all of Scripture.

Have a blessed weekend,
Pastor Krenz

June 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate our active God who reveals himself in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I pray that you will be able to join us online for the worship services. Recently on our Facebook page we placed the following statement from our LCMS President on the recent turmoil in our country with the death of George Floyd and the ensuing riots. If you would like to see that you can go to https://blogs.lcms.org/2020/statement-on-the-death-of-george-floyd-and-the-ensuing-riots/ Earlier this week I listened to a thoughtful approach on this topic from Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller on Issues Etcs. You can find it at https://issuesetc.org/2020/06/02/1532-the-killing-of-george-floyd-and-the-ensuing-riots-and-unrest-pr-bryan-wolfmueller-6-2-20/. Continue to prayer for this country, its leaders, and all its citizens.

Blessings,
Pastor Krenz

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Over 25 years ago when I was a seminary student we were required to spend a couple of months observing at a Lutheran School and learn from a chaplain in a jail/prison setting. For me, these two observations happened to coincide at the same time. In my 5th and 6th grade religion class we were covering the book of Romans, and the above verse was part of our memory work and/or study. I was also meeting regularly with a one of the inmates at a St. Louis jail. It only took a few visits with this inmate to recognize his desire to improve/change his life, but for a variety of reasons he was coming up short, and this troubled him. One day I asked the fifth and sixth graders to write him a note with the stipulation that somewhere in their letter they had to write out “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. The students were not to use their return address, for obvious reasons, but I think they still ended their note with their first name. As an aside, I don’t think this would be allowed today due to privacy concerns. I will never forget the day I brought him twenty five student letters all of which included the phrase “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” After reading about five of these letters, tears streamed down his face for a couple of reasons. First, even though I made the class send him these letters, it showed him that others cared. Second, the verse conveyed to him a divine love that was not dependent on him “getting his act together”. This is a kind of love that is unique to Jesus, and thankfully this is a love that has also been sent your way.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz  

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

I remember as a child going to community plays, and before the play would start the orchestra would play an overture which seemed to me like an endless introduction (It was probably only five minutes or so). At the time I thought it would make more sense to get right into the play and skip the introductory music. When it comes to public worship, I wonder if we sometimes think in a similar way about those things that come before the sermon and the Lord’s Supper. We think these are just fillers…which in the long run could be skipped to get to the main thing. The problem with this view, is that these so-called fillers are packed full of the Word of God, and opportunities to respond to that Word. While the online worship services have been a great blessing, one challenge with this medium is to stay connected to the whole service. Skipping various parts of the service are much easier online than when we attend in person worship, but the attitude can be similar in both places. Since I have gotten older, I realize that the overture prior to a play is meant to prepare you for what is to come. The pre-sermon, pre-Lord’s Supper part of the service not only prepares you for what is to come but wonderfully delivers to you God’s Word and gives you an opportunity to respond to that word. God speaks his presence to you in the invocation and benediction. He speaks forgiveness to you in the absolution. He instructs you in the Psalms and Scripture readings. In addition he gives you an opportunity to respond in the congregational responses, hymns, prayers, and the creed. So here is my encouragement…whether you worship in person or online hang in there with the whole service. In the long run your worship experience will be richer.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz



“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

This weekend after three and a half months we are going to have in person worship services here at St. Paul’s, and that means an opportunity for the faithful to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Many reading this have spent time reading His word, and hearing it proclaimed over many platforms over the past few months. Our Lord is so gracious he also provides us with his forgiving presence in this precious meal. As we gather again together here is a brief primer as to what is happening in this meal and how to prepare for it.

What is it? The body and blood of Christ given to strengthen us in our walk with him and to give and assure us of his forgiveness.

As you prepare to receive this meal ask yourself these questions. Do I believe that this body and blood for our Lord is for me? Do I believe that I am a sinner and need of Christ’s forgiveness? Do I desire with the help of the Holy Spirit to amend my sinful life?

If you are weak or struggling in your life/faith come forward and receive this meal. Jesus himself says “All that the Father give Me will come to me, and whoever come to Me I will never cast out” John 6:37.

Many Blessings,
Pastor Krenz

May 2020

19This is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2: 19, 21, 22, 24


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

I have never heard someone say “I’m really good at is being patient.” Patience is also not a trait that characterizes us as Americans. We like our food fast, our internet high speed, our television programming to be available at any hour of the day, and responses to a text message to be in minutes and not hours. When it comes to a crisis we to often assume that while it may be difficult, it will be brief. This pandemic is forcing us into a long term mode. I just read an article titled “Expert predicts two more years of pandemic misery”. God willing, this is not the case. However, if it is…then we would be well served to see what our Lord has to say about patience or long suffering. In the above selective verses from 1 Peter 2, our Epistle reading this Sunday, we are given some resources to handle a drawn out and even unjust kind of suffering. The kind off suffering he is speaking of here has to do with persecution, but I think it can apply to all sort of scenarios. Somehow it is a connecting point with our Savior. A Savior who is our example, but more importantly one does things for you in the midst of the enduring time. He suffers for you, he bore your sins in the body, he gives you ongoing resets (die to sin and live to righteousness), and he says you are healed! With all this in mind, hang in there!!


Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

P.S. Take a look at Psalm 103:1-5 to see what your Lord has done and is doing for you. It was a Psalm, at Maurice’s suggestion, that was used at his graveside funeral service.

Service and theme Sunday Worship: Our overall theme for the May worship services is “Life Together”. Our specific theme this week “The people of God are to be present together in his presence” Acts 2:42-47.


Bible Study: In this weeks Adult Bible Study that will be available on YouTube this Sunday will address the topic “God’s Judgement and the Covid-19 Crisis”, along with a look at Acts 2:42-47 and 1 Peter 2: 19-25.


Sunday School Devotional: Once again this week we will have a Sunday School Devotional.


Yard Signs: We still have five more yard signs with the phrase, 2020 What a time to fix our eyes on Jesus. Please call the church office to pick them up.


No In Person Services and Activities at Church in May: Due to the Stay at Home orders there are no in person services and congregational activities scheduled for May. The elders are meeting this month to discuss ways we can worship together in June.


Food Pantry: If you for some reason cannot find something you need at the grocery store it is likely we have it at the congregational food pantry. Do not hesitate to call the church office or Kendra (240-413-0014) if you or someone you know may have a particular need.


Tentative Summer Plans:

Worshiping Together (June) VBS (June/July). Voter’s Meeting (July) A Congregational Pictorial Directory (August). Confirmation Day (August). Rise Against Hunger (August).


A Daily 15 Minute Bible Study: Check out https://thewordendures.org/ a daily Bible Study by Pastor Wil Weeden. Right now he is going through the book of Romans. Another option for a video based Bible Study that is free can be found at https://cphfaithcourses.com/care/


Mike Maske Sympathy Cards: If you would like to send sympathy cards to the Maske family you can do so at Gary Maske 712 S. Library, Waterloo, Il 62298 or Marie Maske, 401 Covington Dr., Waterloo, IL 62298.  

6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

The health and economic crisis our country is now experiencing has jointly impacted each of us, and as a whole, the impact is “not a good thing (How is that for a blatantly obvious statement). However, this crisis also provides numerous opportunities for the church to reflect the light of Christ in word and deed. Here is the rub, the needs are so great, and our abilities are so limited. We can be patrons of local businesses, but we wonder if our few extra dollars will really make a difference. We appreciate those on the front lines in health care, and those who are in service industry jobs, but for many of us the best thing we are doing is “staying home”. While we have been told this is a good thing, it does not seem like much of a service. Our government officials are making decisions or not making decisions that trouble us, and our ability to do anything about it is quite limited. Yet, the needs are not too great for our Lord, and he uses a whole host of people doing their small part to move things along. He is still using parents to provide some sanity at home as they deal with the daily twenty plus fights among cranky siblings. He still using the teacher trying to get students to turn in their homework. He is still using the grandparent to brighten the day of a grandchild who is getting sick of brother, sister, mom and dad. He is still caring for the world in your work environment, even in when those “silly little conflicts” and the mundane consume far too much of your time. God is at work through you, especially in times like this.

Blessings,
Pastor Krenz

*Worship Services in June and beyond: While we would love to have one in person worship service each Sunday in June, however due to safety guidelines and love of our neighbor we may need to have two to three services over each weekend and/or continue the online services. The Board of Elders will be discussing a number of options this coming Tuesday concerning the “how” and when of in person worship services. Due to ever changing circumstances the congregation needs to be prepared for ongoing changing approaches to public worship. Prayers for wisdom and direction are much appreciated

*Worship theme this Weekend: Life Together- The people of God are priests called to proclaim his excellencies. 1 Peter 2:2-10

*Rummage Sale Cancelled this Year: If you are holding things for the Youth Group Rummage Sale to be rescheduled, thank you but you can donate them to benefit other causes if you do not want to hold them until next March. Given the uncertainty of the timeline to loosen Illinois' social distancing guidelines, we are hesitant to set a date for later this fall since the sale requires a lot of planning. We thank the congregation for supporting the youth's Butter Braid fundraiser earlier this year. Merz Goodwill started accepting donations Fri., May 8 but they caution they don't want to be overrun right away. Probably other donation sites are doing the same. Lillian Koenigstein.

*Church offerings: You can mail your offering to the church at 227 Goodhaven Drive, Columbia, Il 62236 or drop them off at church during the day. On most days someone is in the church office between the hours of 9am-5pm. Last week $7,962.00 was received for general offerings and $ 1,725.00 came in for the building/repair fund. God be praised that he gives us the opportunity to take part in his mission through these financial gifts.

*Online Worship Service, Sunday School Lesson, and Bible Study: Along with our weekly worship service, our You Tube channel will have a Bible Study on the three readings for Sunday Worship, and a short Sunday School lesson. You can access these by going to our web site or by going to YouTube and typing in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Columbia Il. This week’s Bible Study on the three lessons can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Je10CKT1pk

*In our May congregational newsletter we listed the congregational deaths/funerals over the last two months. We apologize for failing to mention Bill Hertz who entered his eternal rest on April 10th. Please keep his family in your prayers.

*Food Pantry: This past Wednesday seventeen households, including two new households were served through at the Food pantry distribution. The next food pantry distribution will be held on Wednesday, May 20th from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

*Parsonage Volunteers: While the parsonage is move-in ready, we will need a crew to clean up the entire parsonage yard – trimming bushes, limbs, raking leaves, power wash driveway, etc. Dates and times will be established based on volunteer availability. Please call Steve Lake – 314-398-4784.

*Individual/Family Communion: Please call me at the church office or on my cell phone if you would like an appointment for the Lord’s supper here at the church.

*Contributions were made to the Building Repair Fund in memory of Mike Maske by Doris Mathews, Luci Washburn and Mitch & Carol Essert and in memory of Maurice Schneider
by Doris Mathews and Luci Washburn.

“…but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.; yet do it with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15-16a


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

We are hearing a good deal recently about states and communities opening after being sheltered in place for almost two months. Here at St. Paul’s we are also finding ways to meet again in worship and various congregational activities (see below announcements). There is a good deal of legitimate debate as to whether the process of opening things up is going to slow or to fast (Help us Lord!). As his church, we are called to love our neighbor and this involves many things Including care for their health, economic wellbeing, and most importantly their connection to Christ. What is not open for debate, is that our Lord is all about bringing his Word to bear on the lives of all people whether they are sheltered in place or not. While there are many obvious negatives we are experiencing, there are also many opportunities for service and mission our Lord is setting before us. Opportunities to firm up our family relationships. Opportunities to spread the gospel beyond our church walls through our weekly online services, Bible Studies, and Sunday school devotions. Opportunities to be thankful, for all the things we have taken for granted, including the fellowship of believers and the Lord’s Supper. Opportunities to start a regular devotional/Bible reading life as other activities are just not possible. Opportunities to serve our community in a very tangible way through our food pantry. Opportunities to honor those doing “every day” vocations that allow us to have food on our table, be cared for in health settings, and keep our society moving along. I, like everyone else, desire to return to the way things were…but until that happens may our Lord open our eyes to the many outreach opportunities he is setting before us.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Krenz

*You Tube Bible Study: The Bible Study over this Sundays three Scripture readings can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fzA7j0sM7Q. The readings this week are Acts 17:16-31, 1 Peter 3:15-22, and John 14:15-21. The sermon “Be prepared to defend your hope” will be based on the 1 Peter 3 reading.

*Public Worship in June: The Elders met this past Tuesday and discussed many options concerning future public worship here at St. Paul’s. One change in June will involve 20-25-minute devotional/communion services on Wednesday nights starting June 3rd. Each service will involve 9 people, and individuals/families will sign up ahead of time online or by contacting the church office. These signups will be set up at the end of May (more information on how you can sign up will be given at a later time). It is hoped that three to four services can be held each Wednesday night. If more are needed, they can be added during the week. In addition, the weekly Sunday services on YouTube will continue. The Elders are meeting again on Tuesday, May 26th to further discuss this and other options for worship in June and beyond.

*Youth Bible Study: This Sunday at 1pm a Zoom youth Bible Study is being scheduled. Please contact Christine at Christina Schmitt 314-807-2200 if your high school son or daughter will be participating in this Bible Study/Discussion group.

*Zoom Bible Study: This Thursday night (May 21st) at 6:30pm we will be having a Zoom adult Bible Study on the scripture readings for Sunday, May 24th. Acts 1:12-26, 1 Peter 4:12-19, 5:6-11, and John 17:1-11. Please call the church office or contact Pastor Krenz at 618-363-0121 if you are interested in taking part in this interactive study The present plan is to record this and make this available to the congregation. I willwill contact participants early in the week with more specifics on how this grand experiment will work.

*Church Council: On Thursday, June 11th at 8pm we are planning to have a church council meeting with social distancing at church. While this group usually meets once a quarter, the present plan is to meet on a more regular basis during the pandemic (monthly/bi-monthly). There are several monthly decisions that need to be made as a congregation, and we hope assembling the church council will assist in that process. One person from the Board of Education, Christian Caring, Youth, Cemetery, Outreach, Elders, Trustees, Communication, and Board of Finance is asked to attend and give a report at this meeting. If someone from your committee is not comfortable attending the meeting, we simply ask that you will send a report.

*Offerings Last Week: General- $9,292 Building/Repair Fund: $310 To God be the Glory! You can mail your weekly offering to eh church or drop them off at the church. During most days someone is present in the church office.

*The Rummage Sale: will not be taking place this year. Many Goodwill centers in the St. Louis area are opening up next week.

*Rise Against Hunger: This food assembly event is still scheduled for August 9th, however due to social distancing this process will look differently.

*Food Pantry: On May 6th seventeen households, including two new households were served through the food pantry distribution The next food pantry distribution will be held on Wednesday, may 20th from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

“For in him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28a

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

It is a vast understatement to say that the covid-19 virus has impacted almost every aspect of our lives. This virus is unseen, not bound by borders, and can strike at any time. We know that social distancing, washing our hands, not touching our faces, and using our facemasks will help protect us and others from this unseen virus. We are also told that this virus will be rendered ineffective or halted by a vaccine, various treatments, or herd immunity. The above explanation to the first article of the creed reminds us that another unseen divine being is now at work protecting us from all things harmful (including this virus), and he will bring an end to its destructive force. God is the one working through the scientific community to provide a vaccine. God is the one working through our health care providers to protect and treat many patients. God is the one protecting the grocery clerk, and others who daily work in harm’s way. Philippians 2:13 says for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. The covid-19 virus is not running the show, rather it is our loving God who is daily working to provide and protect us. Yes, even now our loving God at work bringing the love of Jesus to countless broken lives. The virus is not in charge, our God is, and for that reason we will continue to thank praise, serve, and obey him.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” Acts 2:8

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me” John 15:26

“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” Ephesians 1:13


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, a day which recognizes the coming of the Holy Spirit. Why is the Holy Spirit so central in our Christian life? The Holy Spirit shows us Jesus and his words. The Holy Spirit assures (seals) us in the faith, and he is the power behind God’s mission. We regularly bump up into our limitations collectively as a congregation and individually as a believers. How good to know that God has provided us the ultimate of helpers, the Holy Spirit.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

April 2020

So the Pharisees said to one another “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the whole world has gone after him” John 12:19 ..so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This difficult time we are all facing is unique in many ways including that it impacts the whole world. It seems that the whole world is practicing some sort of social distancing, and the news outlets from every corner of the earth are consumed with Covid-19 news. In modern times when else has that happened? Maybe World War 2? This upcoming Holy Week, we will be encountering a Savior whose work has world wide implications. The Pharisees knew this, and were terrified. Paul understood this when he said that every knee will know that Jesus is Lord. Believers will know this reality to their never ending joy, and unbelievers will know this as they enter everlasting destruction. Our Jesus is not just our little Savior, but his work and desire has ramifications for everyone. God is at work to bring Christ and his work to the forefront of all things. May he continue to use us and the congregation to do just that.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


All in person Worship Services are cancelled through the month of April. This also means that confirmation day and questioning along with the April Voter’s meeting will be rescheduled.

Holy Week Services: Our Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter services will be available online at the web site and You Tube on each of those days. As before, I will send a link.

Forty Daily Devotions of God’s Comfort: This little devotion was put out by LCMS Disaster response four years ago. It is very applicable to our times. You can find it at https://files.lcms.org/wl/?id=ln5T3TOO64a3TRw0PIJoVkdywLD8O1Ns

Food Bank: This week over 20 families received food from the congregation and the community. Thank you to all who continue to bring in donations.

Bible Study: I would like to start some sort of video/online Bible Study the week after Easter. I am open to ideas on topics, and ways this might work best. Please send your thoughts my way.

CPH Free Items: Check out the Concordia Publishing House Free Content Library. There are a number of devotional items, and wonderful items for children/grandchildren. A good book for those navigating grief is “Hope when your heart breaks”, and for those who would like a refresher on “key” Christian teachings check out “Dying to Live, the Power of Forgiveness”. These are not free, but reasonably priced on the CPH web site.

· Congregational Offerings: (The below information was taken from Mark Hofman who works at the LCMS International Center)

· 1. Mail your regular offering to the church office or drop it off at the church office or parsonage during the week.

· 2. Your bank or credit union may offer “online bill payment” services as financial tools. While our gifts to God are not paying a “bill” (because Jesus already did that for us), such tools can electronically deliver your offering without your having to write a check or use cash. Set up your congregation as you would a utility company or doctor’s office. Some of these tools also allow you to create a recurring gift (payment) made automatically.

· 3. If you are eligible, use the available IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution option and have your IRA trustee send a portion of your required minimum distribution (if not needed) to the church for you. If you have established a donor advised fund, continue to send or consider sending an advised grant to your congregation.

· 4. More congregations are offering an online donation option on their websites, and more are providing members with things like smartphone apps that support giving by credit or debit card. One such app is Give+ (Give Plus), which lets the user find a participating congregation. If your congregation does not have such an option, your parish leadership can contact the Lutheran Church Extension Fund or the Lutheran Federal Credit Union for help.

· 5. If your congregation doesn’t have a website with online donation tools, some community foundations (including Thrivent/InFaith) provide online donation tools that allow you to direct a gift to your congregation.

Dear Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

A blessed holy week to each of you on this celebration of Maundy Thursday. We are a church that is all about word and sacraments, and for the last three weeks we here at St. Paul’s have not been able to receive one of those sacraments, the Lord’s Supper. Pastor Bruce Keseman at Christ Our Savio in Freeburg described it in this way…. “Our congregation is treating this as a forced fast, similar to what the Israelites endured the entire time they were in Babylon. God prevented them from participating in the sacramental life of the temple. Yet God sustained them with His other means of grace, while they longed to have that sacramental life restored.” Thank goodness, we still have the words of Christ….and until we can gather together again that read and proclaimed word will certainly sustain us. Having said all this if there are those who feel the need to receive the Lords Supper prior to our gathering together as a congregation please give me a call or send me a text (618-363-0121). I will meet one on one or with a couple/family in the sanctuary. . Appropriate distancing and precautions will be taken for the protection of all involved. For example, the area in the sanctuary will be cleaned before and after people arrive. In addition I will wear a mask and use gloves to place the elements on a tray that the recipient will take for themselves (no common cup). What a joyful day it will be when we can gather together…but until then receive the word of Christ with joy.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor


Elders Meeting Update: This past Tuesday night the Elders met via a conference call. In that meeting we clarified that in person worship services are not taking place at least through the month of April. This means that confirmation day is being postponed to an undetermined date. We talked about unlocking the church during the day for members to drop off their offerings and use the sanctuary for prayer. However, after much discussion it was decided that for the protection of the workers and property the doors will be locked…but as usual people can ring the door bell and during office hours (9am-5pm) someone will be there to let them in. When we return for in person services, it is the desire of the Elders that we meet together for one Sunday service rather than two (This was our original summer plan). Our congregation is in the process of applying for the Cares Act Loan from the Federal relief organization to help cover the payroll for those serving here at the congregation. We are still planning on doing a church pictorial directory in August, and the Rise Against Hunger event on August 9th.


Board of Education Books: Through a Thrivent Action Grant the Board of Education was able to obtain a number of Christian books from CPH that could be delivered to Sunday School students and others in our congregation. Thank you to the Koenigstein’s and the Ottwell’s for delivering these books.


Masks: Recently Lillian Koenigstein and Helen Nowak made masks for those working with the online worship services, and those helping out at the Food Bank. Thank you!


Banner: The board of Outreach is in the process of getting a banner to be placed on our property along highway three (admiral drive) , expressing our hope in Christ during this pandemic. In addition we are looking at getting individual yard signs that say…2020..What a time to fix our eyes on Jesus. More details on these signs will be forthcoming.


Bible Study: I don’t know exactly how this is going to work, but my goal is to have a 15-20 minute weekly Bible Study online starting the week after Easter. When that comes together, I’ll let you know.


Food Bank: Twenty seven families were served at the April 1st Food Bank Distribution. Thank you to the congregation and community who have provided items for the food bank. Rarely does a day go by, when the bins in the front of the church are not full of food. Please note…if congregational members or others simply cannot find needed items in the store there is a good chance we might have those in our food bank. Please feel free to contact me (618-363-0121), the church office, or Kendra from the Board of Christian Caring (240-413-0014). While we do keep records of who receives food and various items, we also are committed to keeping things confidential.


Offerings: Last week we received over $6,000 in offerings, which is close to our weekly need. Thank you, and to God be the glory!


Easter Egg Hunt: Dianne Bierman from the Board of Outreach has numerous eggs already filled (they were filled a month or so ago) from the planned March 28th community Easter Egg Hunt here at St. Paul’s. If you would like to have her and Mark deliver and/or place Easter eggs at you or your grandchildren’s place of residence please call or text her at 618-604-4575.


Easter Coloring Sheets: Here are some Easter Coloring Sheets from Concordia Publishing House https://communication.cph.org/the-complete-collection-of-devotional-downloads

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy he had caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading kept in heaven for you, who by Gods power are being guarded through faith for a salvation to be revealed in this last time. In this you rejoice, though now , if necessary, you have grieved by various trials.” 1 Peter 1:3-6

Do you worship Jesus Christ? That’s the question Luther, Calvin, and the reformers would want to ask you today. Jesus deserves every single utterance of praise. The Bible tells us that one day ever… Bible Verses About Love, Favorite Bible Verses, Bible Verses Quotes, Bible Scriptures, Faith Quotes, Christian Faith, Christian Quotes, Resurrection Day, Easter Quotes


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Greetings in the name of our resurrected Savior! C.S. Lewis once said “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” The Scriptures go to great lengths to convey that the resurrection of Christ really happened and therefore is of primarily importance. In 1 Corinthians Paul writes that “if Christ has not been raised your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins.” The resurrection has changed us and will continue to do so. It also changes how we see the world and our role in that world. Trials, are now just “a little while”. Forgiveness is ongoing. Rather than living a life that ultimately seeks to achieve things for God, we get to live in faith receiving things from God The resurrection changes how we look at time, at others, at world events, and the list goes on and on. Many blessings as you live your life basking in the resurrection glow.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


Thank you to those who assisted with the Easter Service: Video/Sound: Josh and Andrew Colyer Solo- Keaton Schmitt Clarinet Duet: Loren and Kaitlyn Koenigstein Flutist: Bethany Niehaus Organ: Jeanine Consolino

Food Bank Today (April 15th) : From 1:30-3:30 the Food Bank will be distributing pre-packed boxes of food and hygiene items in a drive-though format. Preferred donation items are Pasta sauce, canned fruit, canned meats, canned pasta, breakfast cereal, breakfast bars, and oatmeal. You can drop off donations at any time in the bins located at the church front porch.

Easter Egg Delivery: Thank you to Loren and Kaitlyn Koenigstein who delivered Easter Eggs and treats to children of our Sunday School this past week. The Easter Eggs were left over from the canceled Easter Egg Hunt scheduled at the end of March.

Bible Study: This week I hope to have a 20 to 25 minute Bible Study online based on the three weekly worship readings. It should be up by Sunday morning.

Confirmation Day Postponed: The confirmation scheduled for the end of the month and the questioning that proceeded that event have been postponed. A future date has not been set.

Offerings Received: Over holy week we received over $10,000 in congregational offerings. All glory to God that the members of this congregation are keeping up with their regular offerings.

Children’s Anxiety: Here is a good article from a Christian perspective that helps address Covid anxiety in children. http://faithparent.marxhausen.net/2020/04/covid-anxiety-in-children.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR1l_m3gzkurCIn7xW3reK9neM9pni8d25B-L5JxvTWifiQKK1Wg1VQfRqk

A Family Devotional Resource: https://www.whatdoesthismean.org/uploads/2/5/6/3/25633380/april_12-18_2020__easter_.pdf

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200415

Video Based Bible Studies from Lutheran Hour Ministries: I highly recommend these high quality videos on very significant topics. https://www.lhm.org/studies/

All in Person Worship Services are cancelled through the month of April.  

Dear members and friends of St. Paul’s

I have a tendency to spend more time than I should scrolling through various Facebook posts. Once in a while, there are some nuggets of wisdom that come from surprising sources. For example, the great theologian “Hulk Hogan” put this on one of his Instagram feeds. “God said, ‘you want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down Civic Centers. You want to worship actors, I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship Me, I will make it where you can’t go to church. “Maybe we don’t need a vaccine,” he wrote. “Maybe we need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where we focus on the ONLY thing in the world that really matters. Jesus.”

Ok, so not everything he says is “on the money”. Getting a vaccine and focusing on Jesus are not mutually exclusive, and its not that we can’t go to church it is simply that the church comes to us in a different way. Having said that, his remarks on what we worship still ring very true. In Acts 5:31, which is part of our first reading this Sunday, Peter states “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” It is a gift of God to be called to repentance, and that is a proper response to our misplaced worship. However, that is never God’s final message, his final message is forgiveness that flows from our resurrected Savior. As Hulk Hogan might say “That is why the only thing in the world that really matters is Jesus”.

Blessings,

Pastor Krenz

Worship Services: All in person worship services and activities are cancelled for the rest of April.


Online Worship Service, Sunday School Lesson, and Bible Study: Along with our weekly worship service, this week our YouTube channel will have a Bible Study on the three readings for Sunday Worship, and a short Sunday School lesson. You can access these by going to our web site or going to YouTube and typing in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Columbia Il.


Individual/Family Communion: Please call me at the church office or on his cell phone if you would like an appointment for the Lord’s supper here at the church.


Church offerings: You can mail your offering to the church at 227 Good Haven Drive, Columbia, Il 62236 or drop them off at church during the day. On most days someone is in the church office between the hours of 9am-5pm. Last week we received over $10,000 in church offerings. To God be the glory!


Portals of Prayer: If you would like the church to mail you a copy of the Lord’s Prayer, please call us. You can go the Concordia Publishing House web site and get the daily Portals of Prayer devotion for free.


Banners: It is hoped that by early next week we will have a banner expressing our hope in Christ during this pandemic up on our property along the highway. In addition we will be getting a number of yard signs that say 2020. What a time to fix our eyes on Jesus.


Confirmation Day Postponed: The confirmation scheduled for the end of the month and the questioning that proceeded that event have been postponed. A future date has not been set.


Congregational pictorial directory-This is still scheduled for August. 

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

It is so good to speak with you even though we are unable to meet face to face. I pray that each one of you is doing well, staying healthy and using this time of quarantine to focus on the things that are most important to us. I know that this has been a time of struggle! In the times of Covid-19, I would guess that we all at times only see the darkness and hard challenges before us. It is a time when we find ourselves asking questions like: “What did we do to deserve this?” “Why is God allowing this to happen?” Maybe we get angry with God? The fact of the matter is that we live in a sinful and broken world and the hard truth is that we do not always receive the answers we desire. Sometimes God tells us “yes,” sometimes “no,” and sometimes it feels as though His merciful presence has left us for the moment.

I imagine the story of Moses in Deut. 31. Moses is now 120 years old and has been leading the Israelites for the last 40 years through the desert. Just when he is about to cross over the Jordan River and go into the Promised Land, God says “No.” So did Moses storm off and get angry? Did raise his fist and curse God? No, he did not. Moses turned to Joshua who was given the charge of leading the people, and Moses encouraged him. He reminded Joshua to be strong and courageous. He reminded him that the Lord God himself goes over before him and will never leave or forsake him.

Maybe God has told you no recently. Maybe you have fallen upon hardship. Use this time to encourage one another. Remind your brother and sister in Christ that the Lord God himself has gone before us. That we too are to remain strong and courageous … for the ultimate battle has already been won. Remind each other of our baptisms. Remember that our crucified and risen Savior Jesus Christ has gone before us and has given us the Holy Spirit and anointed us with His promise of eternal salvation. As you hear the words of the Epistle reading during worship services this weekend … “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever,” remember that the living Savior speaks today to all of us.

May the love of Christ guard and keep each one of you, knowing that He has gone before you and he will never leave you or forsake you.

In Christ, Seminarian Aaron Beckman


*Maurice Schneider has entered his eternal rest: Early today Maurice was called home to his Savior after a brief battle with the Covid-19 virus. A small committal service is being planned for the middle of next week with a larger service here at St. Paul’s at a later time. His funeral arrangements are being made though Lawler funeral home, and his obituary will be on their web site very soon. Thank you to all who prayed and sent words of encouragement to him through various cards and email posts. We were able to deliver those to the hospital earlier this week. Maurice, who turned 100 a few months ago, was a former congregational president who served his country in World War 2. The Lord blessed many through this man’s service. He will be dearly missed.

*Michael Maske has entered his eternal rest: On Wednesday our dear friend and servant Mike Maske was also called home to his Savior following a stroke. A graveside committal will take place in Joilet, Il sometime next week with a larger service here at St. Paul’s at a later time. His funeral arrangements are being made by Tezak funeral home in Joilet https://www.tezakfuneralhome.com/. They will have his obituary information available on their web site at a later time. Mike was presently serving as an Elder and was instrumental in getting our worship screens up and running. In the past he participated in a young adult Bible study, and for many years he served as a Sunday School teacher. He was a servant who will be missed by many especially those of us part of the body of Christ here at St. Paul’s.

*Outreach Yard Signs: We have about 15 yard signs that say 2020 “ What a Time to fix our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:2. Then at the bottom it says “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Columbia, IL. If you would like one, stop by the church office or give us a call and we can deliver that to you. My phone number is 618-363-0121.

*Food Pantry Items: Preferred donation items are Pasta sauce, canned fruit, canned meats, cannedc pasta, breakfast cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal, and toilet paper. You can drop off donations at any time in the bins located at the church front porch. The next food pantry distribution will take place on Wednesday, May 6th from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

*Check out the New Banner that is now visible on our church property on Admiral Parkway (Highway 3).

*Check out our Facebook Page at : https://www.facebook.com/stpaulscolumbiail/

*St. Paul’s postponed events include- This Sunday’s confirmation (rescheduled for the end of August) and our April Voter’s meeting. Due to the stay at home order being extended through the month of May, the acivities at the church will again by very curtailed. Specific decesions on church activities will be made early in May. 

March 2020

21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 3:21

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16


“What are the blessings of being a Lutheran Christian”

Emphasis 1 “Grace is regularly proclaimed”

Emphasis 2 “ Down verses up”

Emphasis 3 “Specific grace. The sacraments”


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

This week we will continue our series on “What are the blessings of being a Lutheran Christian”. There are many who wonder why it is even necessary to put “Lutheran” in front of Christian. After all, the only thing that matters is that we confess Christ, and in heaven there will not be denominational distinctions. First, there are many unstated teachings that go into confessing Christ, and secondly this side of heaven there are many errors when it comes to what is said about God and his work in the world. Here are some examples of unstated teachings. When we confess Christ we are assuming this is a necessary thing for salvation. This assumes we have a need for salvation, and that lends itself to a discussion on sin. How bad is sin? Is it something we are born with? How do we confess Christ? Is confessing a Christ decision we make? Are we capable of making that decision?. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in getting us into the faith? What does the Holy Spirit use to bring us to the faith? Who is Christ? Is he truly God (yes he is)? Once we answer these questions we are getting into the realm of Christian doctrine (teaching), and the Word of God. Denomination and non-denominational churches often (though not always) answer these questions differently….some based on reason…some based on tradition…some based on cultural understandings. Lutherans base their teaching solely on the Word of God, and the Savior the Word of God brings into our lives. One of the great Biblical treasures that our Lord sends our way is the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. These gifts bring us forgiveness, life and salvation…and assure us of Jesus presence in our lives. There is a concern in some Christian circles that those who emphasize the work of the sacraments, minimize the importance of faith. In their view the sacraments give a false sense of security because they think to many people receive them without conviction and commitment. We believe that faith in Christ and what he gives in these sacraments is essential if we are going to receive the benefits of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The great treasure of the sacraments is they give us a specific/sure way of accessing God’s tremendous promises. My conviction and my commitment wax and wane, but our Lord and his promises do not. Thanks be to God for his precious sacraments!!!!

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz



Lent in a Bag: All ages are invited to pick up this bag in the back of the church. This bag contains 6 small items to be used as symbols to focus individual, family or group meditations and conversations during the Season of Lent.

March on the Arch — Saturday, March 7: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod invites congregations, schools and groups to join other pro-life supporters for the March on the Arch. A pre-march rally begins at 12:30 p.m. outside Planned Parenthood near downtown St. Louis (4251 Forest Park Ave.). At 1 p.m., we begin the four-mile march to the Gateway Arch in this joy-filled event for all ages. Return shuttles are available after the march. Let’s show St. Louis: We show up. We confess Christ. We are Lutherans with Eyes of Life! Visit lcms.org/marchforlife for more information. To RSVP for the free event, contact the LCMS at infocenter@lcms.org or 888-843-5267.

People of the Passion Lenten Series: Join us on Wednesday mornings (11am)/evenings (6:30pm) for a look at key figures in the passion of our Lord.

March 4th "Caiaphas, the Schemer"

March 11th "Nicodemus, the Silent Believer"

March 18th "Peter, the Born Leader"

March 25th "Pontius Pilate, the Thinker"

April 1st "One of the Mob, the Follower" (Meal from 5:15pm-6:15pm)

April 9th Maundy Thursday "The Apostles, the Servant Leaders"

(6:30pm only)

April 10th Good Friday "The Centurion, the Astonished"

(12pm & 6:30pm)

April 12th Easter "The Women, the Witnesses"

(8am & 10:30am) No Sunrise Service.


Analysis of congregational giving. The stewardship committee asked the finance board to put together the below contributor analysis. Thanks be to God he chooses to use numerous congregational members (and others) in the mission and ministry of this congregation. As you consider your personal tithes and offerings, and as you are able, prayerfully consider increasing your regular giving. The present plan is to provide the congregation a similar analysis on a yearly basis.

The stewardship committee and the finance board have looked into the possibility of automatic withdrawal as another way congregational members can give of their offerings. Due to the fees incurred by the congregation with such a program and the uncertainty as to the numbers of congregational members using this program, it is the suggestion of the finance board that individuals can use their banks “online bill pay option” to automatically and regularly send financial contributions to St. Paul’s. Usually this is a free service from your bank, and the congregation does not incur any fees

The Historic School is now available to rent! As always the Historic Church is also available. Contact Marilyn Snider at 618-974-9861.

The Case for Christ Video/Study Series: Join us on Sunday mornings for six weeks starting March 8th at 9:15am as we look at a video study of a book by former journalist Lee Strobel. Strobel was formerly a staunch atheist who through his wife’s silent witness and years of study and examination came to confess the crucified and risen Jesus as savior. The Case For Christ is essentially a record of his interviews with thirteen eminent scholars, each of whom is an expert in a different area relating to Jesus. Strobel examined, among other things, the life of Jesus, who Jesus said He was, who others said Jesus was and the accuracy of the Scriptures.

Pictorial Directory: St. Paul’s is scheduled to do a new pictorial directory from August 2nd-8th. Sign-ups to take pictures at a specific time will be given at a later date. More information will be forthcoming.

Rise Against Hunger: The plan is to do this again on Sunday, August 9th following the 9:15am service. More information will be forthcoming.

Food Pantry on Feb. 19 served 16 households comprised of 48 adults and 8 children. The Pantry can use mixed vegetables, peas, carrots. No green beans or corn, please!.

Butter Braid pickup for the congregation orders will be in the fellowship hall Sunday, March 8th after each service. Please make arrangements with Christina Schmitt to receive your order at a later date if you are unable to be there.

SAVE THE DATE! High School Lock-In has been set for Friday, March 13th – 8PM to 8AM at the church. We will need at least 10 youth attending to hold the event. If you are interested in volunteering as a parent chaperone, please reach out to Christina Schmitt. A middle school lock-in is also tentatively planned for this fall.

20/30/40 Somethings: Our next get together will be at Erin & Kurt Schmoll’s on Sat., March 7th at 6:30pm. This evening includes a meal (please bring a side dish), and a continued look at the Video Bible Study titled “Who Am I” “What Am I Doing Here”. Call the church office or contact Erin or Kurt at 314-603-8654 if you plan on being there.

FROM THE TRUSTEES. While the parsonage is move-in ready, advice from a number of realtors suggests that there are a few additional items we can fix up in order to get top dollar for the property. In the coming weeks, we will be asking for volunteers to help us work on these. First up, we are seeking volunteers to help paint the basement playroom area. If you can wield a paintbrush, contact Helen Nowak at 618.281.4875 (h) or 618.980.6549 (c). Dates and times will be established based on volunteer availability.

Spaghetti Dinner: The community is invited to the annual Spaghetti Dinner at Trinity, Millstadt on Sunday, March 8th from 10:30am – 3:00pm. See more information on the Bulletin Board.

Check us out on Facebook! A lot has changed on our page and we post updates daily. Find us by searching for @stpaulscolumbiail. 

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:1-4


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

As I searched for toilet paper at three different stores over the last two days and finally found a few rolls at Walgreens (we are not hoarding…just normal amounts), it dawned on me, for the time being, life is different. Add in the suspension of virtually all athletic events from professional to the elementary school level, decisions on whether to have various events at church, and an expanded break from college for my daughter (and others), makes me realize this is uncharted territory. Various news outlets are trying to “calm” the masses with more information on this virus but it does seem a bit much (though what do I know?). However, at the same time I appreciate the “its not about you getting sick but how having this virus could harm others” discussion. This properly focuses our thoughts on caring for those among whom God has placed us. While we pray the Lord will end this pandemic as soon as possible, until then, let me suggest three ways to live in the middle of this unique time period.

Live being reminded of your mortality- Why? It forces us to deal with spiritual matters. I am convinced many of our Christian ancestors in the 19th and early 20th centuries saw the fragile nature of life much more frequently than us. I think this was a central reason they practiced the faith with such fervency. They were keenly aware that only Jesus and his words provides hope in this life and the next.

Caring for our neighbor- Toilet paper hoarding notwithstanding, there is a good deal of talk about how best to care for the most vulnerable among us. The trivial things of this world which take us from Jesus and loving others, don’t seem as important during such times.

Our Savior has it all under control. While this is not an excuse for not talking proper precautions, it does free us from faithless panic. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:8.

Use the additional time at home (If you get it) to establish a regular devotional/prayer life.

Below are two readings I have run across the last few days which address “The Christian” life during a time of national difficulty. One is from Martin Luther as he addressed living under a plague. The second, by C.S. Lewis, speaks of living in an atomic age. Replace atomic bomb with the coronavirus and it will be very relevant.

Many Blessings,
Pastor krenz


Therefore I shall ask God to mercifully protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me, and I have done what He expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid person or place but will go freely, as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.” -Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— C.S. Lewis “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays



THE RUMMAGE SALE: That was scheduled next Saturday (March 21st) has been postponed due to concerns about such large gatherings. A future date has not yet been set.

Precautions: Due to the Coronavirus concerns we are implementing a few things here at St. Paul’s. First, temporarily we are going to stop the “official” sharing of the peace that occurs at the beginning of the service. Second, following the service Pastor Krenz will not be shaking hands…but rather give everyone a “holy hi” 😊. Third, just prior to the distribution of the Lord’s Supper those distributing the elements will sanitize their hands. If future worship services need to be cancelled, the congregation will be informed via email/web site/ Facebook, along with signs on the entry doors of the church. Pastor Krenz and the Board of Elders.

Sunday Morning Bible Study: The Case for Christ Video/Study Series: Join us on Sunday mornings at 9:15am as we look at a video study of a book by former journalist Lee Strobel. Strobel was formerly a staunch atheist who through his wife’s silent witness and years of study and examination came to confess the crucified and risen Jesus as savior. The Case For Christ is essentially a record of his interviews with thirteen eminent scholars, each of whom is an expert in a different area relating to Jesus. Strobel examined, among other things, the life of Jesus, who Jesus said He was, who others said Jesus was and the accuracy of the Scriptures.

New Deaconess Student: Alicia Benning, a first year Concordia Seminary Deaconess student was recently assigned to do her seminary field work here at St. Paul’s. She grew up at Trinity Lutheran Church in Havel, Il and last year graduated from Concordia University St. Paul with a Church Music major and two minors in Education and Lutheran Theology. The hope is that Alicia can begin to assist here at St. Paul’s starting in two to three weeks. She will also be our field worker here the 2020-21 academic year. Be sure to welcome Alicia.

People of the Passion Lenten Series: Join us on Wednesday mornings (11am)/evenings (6:30pm) for a look at key figures in the passion of our Lord.

March 18th "Peter, the Born Leader"

March 25th "Pontius Pilate, the Thinker"

April 1st "One of the Mob, the Follower" (Meal from 5:15pm-6:15pm)

April 9th Maundy Thursday "The Apostles, the Servant Leaders" (6:30pm only)

April 10th Good Friday "The Centurion, the Astonished" (12pm & 6:30pm)

April 12th Easter "The Women, the Witnesses" (8am & 10:30am)

No Sunrise Service

Pictorial Directory: St. Paul’s is scheduled to do a new pictorial directory from August 4th-8th. Sign-ups to take pictures at a specific time will be given at a later date. More information will be forthcoming.

VBS 2020 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Columbia, IL - Sunday, June 28, 2-5 pm and Monday, June 29 - Thursday, July 2, 9 am-12 pm

Contact Carleigh Ottwell - carleigh.ottwell@gmail.com or 618-719-9307.

Spring/Summer Worship Time Change: From May to August we are having one 9:00am worship service on Sunday morning. This will be followed by Sunday School and Bible Class. We will still have Monday worship at 6:30pm during these months.

Thrivent Members – Please consider directing your Thrivent Choice Dollars to our church and preschool. In March the church received $559 and the preschool received $177.

PORTALS OF PRAYER APRIL – JUNE ARE IN THE NARTHEX.


YOUTH NEWS:

Butter Braid Orders Are Ready for Pickup

Please make arrangements with Christina Schmitt to receive your order if you did not make it on March 8th.

8th-12th Grade Lock-In - Friday, March 13th - 8PM to 8AM at the church

We will need at least 10 youth attending to hold the event......so friends are encouraged to come! *A 5th-7th grade lock-in is also tentatively planned for this fall.

Next Youth Sunday - Sunday, April 5th at 8AM and 10:30AM services

Join us on Easter Sunday for a continental breakfast including Games and Crafts for Sunday School children. **Event and fundraiser hosted by the Youth Group**

The stewardship committee and the finance board have looked into the possibility of automatic withdrawal as another way congregational members can give of their offerings. Due to the fees incurred by the congregation with such a program and the uncertainty as to the numbers of congregational members using this program, it is the suggestion of the finance board that individuals can use their banks online bill pay option to automatically and regularly send financial contributions to St. Paul’s. This usually is a free service from your bank and the congregation does not incur any fees.

Rise Against Hunger is scheduled for Sunday, August 9th following the 9:00am service. More information will be forthcoming.

Lent in a Bag: All ages are invited to pick up this bag in the back of the church. This bag contains 6 small items to be used as symbols to focus individual, family or group meditations and conversations during the Season of Lent.

Food Pantry on March 4 served 18 households comprised of 36 adults and 6 children. One new patron signed up today; we were told by another that he is now back on his feet financially as he has a new job and likely he will not need our services any longer. Praise the Lord! We also receive prayer requests from our

patrons occasionally and pass them on to Pastor Krenz for inclusion on the prayer list.

FROM THE TRUSTEES. While the parsonage is move-in ready, we will need a crew to clean up the entire parsonage yard – trimming bushes, limbs, raking leaves, power wash driveway, etc. Dates and times will be established based on volunteer availability. Please call Steve Lake – 314-398-4784.

As of March 1st the Historic School is now available to rent! As always the Historic Church is also available. Contact Marilyn Snider at 618-974-9861.

Don’t forget to order Easter lilies. Forms are on the table by the Guest Book.

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known. I will guide them….These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:15 & 16b

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

My oh my…what a week it has been. School out on Monday, a “Stay at Home” order on Friday and volatility in between. There are employment, financial, family and of course health concerns. I’m also thinking that the family counseling business will be doing quite well after a few weeks of being surrounded by our closest relatives…I love my family…but that’s a whole lot of togetherness 😊. This pandemic may seem like a novel event…but in the 20th century pandemics were not as uncommon as one might think. Not to depress you, but you had the 1918 Spanish flu when 40 million people in the world lost their lives…in 1957 the Asian Flu Virus took 1-4 million people , and in 1968 The Hong Kong Flu took 1 million people worldwide. Previous centuries had the Bubonic Plague, and again in the 20th century it is estimated that 300,000 million people lost their lives to Small Pox. We have been blessed by God with great vaccines, medical breakthroughs, and in the western world a medical infrastructure never before seen. We also live in a time when small pox and for all practical purposes polio are wiped from the face of the earth. Yet, the last few weeks have reminded us that even in this modern age…there are difficulties that can bring us to our knees. Isaiah 42:14-21 is our Old Testament reading for Sunday, and this speaks of the suffering servant Jesus. In this chapter there is a good dose of judgment(42:15) and good news (42:16) are weaved in and out of this chapter. The text assumes that you will yourself out of blindness, in other words you and I are helpless before God. Yet, with Jesus doing his transformative work, the helpless are given unbelievable help…sight in darkness, hope in despair, forgiveness where sin resides, strength in weakness, and hope when death surrounds us. Have no fear, your Jesus is bigger than the stuff that makes us helpless, and he is determined not to forsake you.

In the Savior’s grip,

Pastor

Online Video Services: I will send out a link so you can access these services. We are putting this together tomorrow, and it should be ready Sunday morning.

In Person Gatherings at Church Canceled at least through April 7thth-This includes worship services and other congregational activities. If individuals or small groups would like to meet please contact the Church. The hope is to return to regularly scheduled services after this date.

The “at church” prayer opportunity- which was scheduled for Monday night and Wednesday morning at the church will not be taking place due to the “Stay at home order”. However, when you wash your hands be sure to fold your hands. Did you know that it takes twenty seconds to sing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”…the recommended time for hand washing. This is also the approximate time for reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Service Opportunity- If you are able and willing to bring groceries, medications, or other items to those who are in their homes because of vulnerability to this virus, please call the church office 618-281-. As of Friday, March 20th twelve people have signed up to participate in this service. Call church office or text me if you are interested (618-363-0121)

Congregational Offerings- You can mail (227 Goodhaven Street, Columbia, Il 62236) or drop off your church offerings. There is a box right inside the church door. This also may be the time to set up a regular offerings to the church through your bank with their online bill paying services

Pastoral Contacts: I am still available for individual conversation and communion. You can reach me by text or phone 618-363-0121.

Christian Resources During your stay at home

For Families- http://faithparent.marxhausen.net/2020/03/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

Read a Book: There are some wonderful free resources from Concordia Publishing house, and various books you can order at our Lutheran publishing house. Check it out at https://www.cph.org/

Previous Sermons: While this week we will have a video service online…here is the link to previous sermons here at St. Paul’s http://stpauls-lcms.org/sermons.html

Dr. Herb Mueller: I received a note that Pastor Mueller, our former District President, is close to entering his eternal home. Please keep him along with his wife Faith and his family in your prayers.

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:38-39.

Dear members and friends of St. Paul’s,

I don’t think I ever heard the phrase “social distancing” until a few weeks ago, but now it is part of our national vocabulary. This morning Anna (my daughter) and I practiced this very thing as we went to Wal Mart, carefully avoiding people as we went up and down the aisles. How strange to think that the best thing we can do for others, is stay away from them. I never learned that approach in Sunday School nor have I taught that approach to love in my years of ministry. I get it, and certainly it is right and proper at this time. However it is an odd way for us to live among each other. To the introverts among us… this is your time to shine. To the extroverts.. this to shall pass.

This virus works in many ways like sin, not in every way (we all have sin but we don’t all have this virus), however just as this virus has negative implications beyond ourselves, so does our sin and the sin of others. There is no such thing as a private sin…..it always impacts those around us. Jesus knew this about sin when he gave us this petition in the Lord’s Prayer… “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Thanks be to God there is more than sin at play in this world. By the mercy of God, and it is only by his mercy, kindness does take place with or without social distancing. As believers we have an even greater incentive and power source to care for those around us…our Savior’s mercy. Jesus himself said “as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” John 13:34b. During this time of social distancing we simply need to be a bit more creative on how this “loving one another” can take place.

Blessing in Christ,
Pastor Krenz



Worship: This Sunday our worship service will once again be placed on our web site and on you tube. The sermon theme this week is “Resurrection for dry bones” based on Ezekiel 37:1-14. The other readings are Romans 8:1-11 and John 11:17-27, 38-53.

Pastoral Contacts: While I am limiting my contacts, I still am available for conversation or even private communion. Please call 618-363-0121.

Offerings: God will continue to provide for us and our congregation in times of plenty and times of want. Many of you in your personal and work lives are facing the “want” times. In our congregation we are in a similar boat. As you are able, please continue to mail or bring by your regular offering. Last Weeks Offerings: $901 Needed Each Week: $6,960.

Food Bank Update for Distribution Day on Wednesday April 1st.

Because most of our usual volunteers are in a high risk category, we need your help getting ready for our net distribution day on Wednesday, April 1st. Her is how you can help:

Someone to pick up food from Hope Church on Monday or Tuesday and deliver it to church. Kendra Nowak will meet you at church and help you unload.

4 family units to help distribute food on Wednesday. Each family unit will man a separate part of the drive-through operation and will Not be interacting with each other and will be more than 20 feet apart. Most of the work will be done outside since this is drive-through so please take that into account.

Assistance packing food boxes for the April 15th date. Dates/times for that TBD based on volunteer availability if you have any concerns or questions call Kendra at 618-281-4875 or you can call or text her at 240-413-0014.

The Church office is every weekday from 9am-5pm. Mary Lou is coming in between 9-11am and Pastor Krenz from 11:30am-5pm or so.

All activities at the church are postponed until April 7th. Hopefully by the end of next week we will give you an update on our ever changing schedule.  

February 2020

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:2-5

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

So where do I look to find a gracious God acting for me in life. I think our natural inclination is to say in the good things of life, health, income, family, peace, personal fulfillment and the like. However, life this side of heaven has this “other side to it”…the opposite of these good things. Martin Luther in commenting on the above verses and others like it….talked about a theology of the cross (A gracious God still being gracious in the midst of suffering) verses a theology of glory (A gracious God shown most fully in our successes). I have found this insight incredibly helpful in seeing life “as it is” and not trying to make it something it is not. Below is a further explanation of this from a post on the internet called “The Mockingbird” https://mbird.com/glossary/theology-of-the-cross/ I hope you find it insightful, and more importantly helpful!

A ‘theology of the cross contradicts the assumptions we normally have about life. It says that God is most reliably present not in our strengths or our successes or the things we like best about ourselves. Rather, God is present and working in the world exactly in the place where a person is falling apart, where they are discovering the limits of their power instead of its possibilities. It also means that God is always involved with people and situations exactly as they currently are, instead of as they could be or might be or used to be.

The New Testament is shot through with the theme of ‘theology of the cross’. In addition to the crucifixion itself, we see it in Jesus’ preference for sinners, outcasts, and hypocrites, in his humble and unexpected origins, and in his teaching that the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Matt. 20:16; Luke 13:30). It is also present particularly in St. Paul’s reflections on wisdom, and foolishness, and the message of ‘Christ crucified’ in 1 Cor. 1, and his insight that God’s power ‘is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor. 12:9).

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


Weekend Worship Theme: “Thine that Light” Matthew 5:13-16. Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 58:3-9a. Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-12.

1 John Bible Study: Lead by Seminarian Aaron Beckman this Sunday at 9:15am in the Fellowship Hall.

9am Worship May-August: We will have one Sunday morning worship starting through out the spring/summer months. The Monday evening 6:30pm service will continue to be held during this time frame.

Parsonage Update: The trustees are in the process of selling the parsonage. If a congregational member or someone you know might consider buying the house prior to “getting a realtor” please contact Don Radentz at 402-203-9902.

Thank you for the prayers and concern: As some of you know my wife Lisa was recently gone two weeks caring for her parents in Florida. She is now home and they are doing better. Our hope is that in the near future a facility or facilities will be found in this area where they can stay on a more permanent basis.

St. Paul Singers: Please join us for our once a month choir practice on Wednesday, February 19th at 7pm. We sing the following week and could use additional singers.

Pre School Substitutes Needed; If you or someone you know might be willing to substitute for our pre-school director and assistant on occasion please contact Karen Mueller at 618-806-4369.

Youth Group Fundraiser: The youth group is selling butter braids, cookie dough, and pizza’s this month. Fill our orders at church or call contact Christina (Garfield) Schmitt at cschmitt.splcyouth@gmail.com

Youth Group Upcoming Events

2/8 (Tomorrow)The youth group will be decorating cookies for delivery to members of the congregation whom are homebound. 1PM - 3PM, Church Fellowship Hall. Bring a friend and your creativity for a fun afternoon! (High School and Middle School)

2/22 Polar Plunge at Hidden Valley 1pm-4pm (High School and Middle School)

3/13 High School Lock-In (High School)

3/21 Rummage Sale (A requirement to attend summer mission trip) (High School and Middle School)

Re-Vitality Update: This past Tuesday ten members from the core committee met to watch a video and walk through a workbook on strategic planning. In this process we will be coming up with core values, making a purpose, mission, and vision statements, and then setting SMART goals for St. Paul’s. We also dialogued on what it looks like to have consensus, and how it is important to have a variety of personality types included in this strategic planning process. Please keep this process in your prayers as we continue to move forward serving in God’s Mission here at St. Paul’s. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3rd at 6:30pm.

It's Not Just For Couples Any More: We invite any and all adults to attend our 2nd Friday of each month Bible class. We meet from 6:30-8:00pm in one of the Sunday School classrooms, then adjourn to McDonald’s for fellowship time. On Feb. 14 and March 13 we will study the book of Jonah and on April 3 (April 10 is Good Friday) we will study the Passion History in the Four Gospels. Because Pastor Sievers provides us with study guides to enhance our class discussions, please inform him (314-882-2097) or phyllissievers@yahoo.com if possible in advance of your coming so that he can put them in your mail box.

Food Pantry Update: On February 5th 15 households were served (36 adults and 7 children). The Pantry is well stocked but could use canned carrots and mixed vegetables.


The Annual Life Network Banquet: If you plan to attend March 26th contact Karl Nowak knowak@stlmsd.com *618-792-6582 or Helen Nowak (281-4875) who are both hosting a table. You can also contact Sandy Roessler (618-407-3154) for more information on this event.


Baby Bottles: The baby bottles for Life Network are to be returned to the church February 16th or 17th.


Contribution Statements: These have been mailed. If you have any questions contact Lisa Schmidt at 281-8413. 

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9


Dear friends and members of St. Paul,

Over the next month or so in this weekly message I want to address the question “What are the benefits of being a Lutheran Christian”? The mere fact that I put “Lutheran” in front of Christian will sound strange to some people. They might say “In heaven God will not inquire as to what denomination are you why do this on earth”? This is true, but it is essential for eternal life and access to God that faith in Christ is present in ones life. How does that faith happen in our lives? Through the Holy Spirit who uses the Word to bring and keep us in that faith. In Lutheran teaching God’s Word is held in high esteem, and the Christ found in the word is intentionally proclaimed to those far and near. When a new person comes to our church from another church background, one of the first things I tell them is that “When Lutherans are at our best, you are going to hear over and over again the love and grace of Christ”. This statement assumes that we need this Christ and that we cannot get to him on our own which is why clarity on sin is also to be taught. It also assumes that hearing of this grace and mercy does not end at conversion, but is the food that feeds us the rest of our lives. Obviously this is just a starting point on this topic… do tune in text week for round two of “What are the benefits of being a Lutheran Christian”.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz



Weekend Service/Sermon Theme: “Extreme Expectations/Extreme Love” Matthew 5:21-37. The other readings are Deuteronomy 30:15-20, and 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.

Butter Braids: Please place your order for youth Butter Braids by Sunday, February 23rd. The youth are planning on attending a servant even this summer, and the money raised will help defray the costs. Contact Christina Schmitt at cschmitt.splcyouth@gmail.com or sign up in the narthex at church this Sunday.

Musicians: The Music Committee is looking for members and friends of the congregation who would be open to using their musical abilities in the life of the congregation. If you play the piano, an instrument and/or sing and are open to using these abilities in the various worship services of the congregation, please contact Jeanine Consolino ( 314-583-8087) Mark Eicher (314-706-4250) or the church office (281-4600). The Music Committee

1 John Adult Bible Class: This Sunday Seminarian Aaron Beckman will be leading this class which meets at 9:15am in the church fellowship hall.

Food Pantry on Feb. 5 served 15 households comprised of 36 adults and 7 children. The Pantry can use canned carrots and mixed vegetables.

Evening Bible Class on Jonah led by Pastor Sievers: The NOT JUST FOR COUPLES' ONLY Bible class will now begin it's study of Jonah on Friday, March 13, 6:30 p.m. Call the church office and we will put a copy of the study materials in your mail slot.


Youth News

February Youth Event (High School AND Middle School):
Bring a friend and have some fun on the snowy mountains!

Sat., February 22 - Polar Plunge Tubing at Hidden Valley. 1PM-4PM

Parents and Youth are welcome to car-pool at church and/or meet at Hidden Valley. NOTE: We will need at least 15 youth attending in order to hold this event. Cost is $10 each. A tubing liability release form is required and should be completed prior to event start. This can be found on line at the Hidden Valley website as well as in the Narthex with sign-up sheet. For park information and guidelines please visit https://www.hiddenvalleyski.com/plan-buy/tubing-tickets/

Sign up or RSVP to Christina Schmitt by February 17th.

SAVE THE DATE! High School Lock-In has been set for Friday, March 13th – 8PM to 8AM at the church. We will need at least 10 youth attending to hold the event. If you are interested in volunteering as a parent chaperone, please reach out to Christina Schmitt.

***A middle school lock-in is also tentatively planned for this fall***

Next Youth Fundraiser: Church Rummage Sale! Setup will be held on March 19-20/Sale on March 21st, 8AM-12PM. This is a required event for all youth attending the Summer Mission Trip

The Comforts of Love: sewing group would like to thank anyone who has donated fabric, supplies, sheets and money for our use. Special thanks, also, goes to Thrivent Financial and the people who have organized and plan to organize more Action Teams to donate to our group. Last year we received $1,000.00 from Thrivent. We plan to continue (with your very generous help) to make "Comforts of Love" to be sent to Lutheran World Relief. We usually make over 125 quilts per year.

The Baby Bottles which were sent out a month or so ago are to be turned in today. These baby bottles go toward Life Network.

Rise Against Hunger: The Rise Against Hunger Food event is scheduled for Sunday, August 9th after the 9am Service. Watch the bulletin for further details.

Do you plan to attend the annual Life Network Banquet which will be held on March 26 & 27? Contact Karl Nowak (618-792-6582 or Knowak@stlmsd.com) or Helen Nowak (281-4875) who will both be a table host on Friday, March 27. Or call Sandy Roessler (618-407-3154) if you would like more information on the event.

The Board of Family Ministry wants to formalize our knowledge of who knows CPR. If you do, please email or call the church office with your name and date your certification expires. We also want a few folks to take a CPR/first aid course. Monroe County EMS, Mon., March 9, 5-9 pm for $45 or they have other dates. Call 939.6175 to register and please tell the church office. You could save a loved one's life - or they save yours.

Women's Ministry Bible Study- At the last Women’s Bible Study we decided to put the Joy Bible Study on hold until further notice. The Women's Ministry will still have their regular meeting at 6:30 on February 17th. If you have any questions please email Donna Lake at laked03@gmail.com

Substitutes Needed: We are looking for people willing to be on our substitute list for our preschool director and assistant. Please call Karen Mueller (618)806-4369 if interested.

St. Paul’s Singers will rehearse at 7:00pm on Wed. February 19. New singers are always welcome.

“He said to them, “but who do you say that I am? Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. “And Jesus answered him, “blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Last week I started a little series titled “What are the blessings of being a Lutheran Christian.” I wrote that when Lutherans are at their best, the grace and forgiveness of Christ is proclaimed and heard over and over again. Another Biblical blessing in Lutheran settings is the emphasis on “God coming down to us” verses “our going up to God”. Certainly we are called to “go up” to God in prayer, commitment, and in love….but that is always secondary to the Holy Spirit coming down and bringing us the blessings of Christ even in the most desperate of situations(this is called the gospel). In the above verse Jesus reminds Peter, that flesh and blood (human ability) has not shown you that Jesus is the Christ but rather the Father who is in heaven. One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 1:8 which states “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”. None of us are strong or committed as we should be, in fact we are often the very opposite…..no matter…repent and realize Jesus is running the verbs…not you… “He will keep you strong to the end”. Why does this matter? The “God coming to us emphasis” brings us freedom, peace, and relief because when it comes to our faith, someone else is in charge!!

Many Blessings,
Pastor Krenz


Weekend Sermon Theme: Transfiguration Sunday “Truth and its consequences” 2 Peter 1:16-21. The other Scripture passages are Exodus 24:8-18, and Matthew 17:1-9.


Sunday Adult Bible Class: Join us in the fellowship hall after the first service (9:15am) for the last of our four part series on 1 John.


People of the Passion Lenten Series: Join us on Wednesday mornings (11am)/evenings (6:30pm) for a look at key figures in the passion of our Lord. Join us also for the Ash Wednesday meal…a good deal of chicken was ordered so bring a friend or two or three 😊.

February 26th Ash Wednesday "Judas, the Opportunist" (Fried Chicken Meal from 5:15pm-6:15pm)

March 4th "Caiaphas, the Schemer"

March 11th "Nicodemus, the Silent Believer"

March 18th "Peter, the Born Leader"

March 25th "Pontius Pilate, the Thinker"

April 1st "One of the Mob, the Follower" (Meal from 5:15pm-6:15pm)

April 9th Maundy Thursday "The Apostles, the Servant Leaders"

(6:30pm only)

April 10th Good Friday "The Centurion, the Astonished"

(12pm & 6:30pm)

April 12th Easter "The Women, the Witnesses"

(8am & 10:30am) No Sunrise Service.


The Case for Christ Video/Study Series: Join us on Sunday mornings for six weeks starting March 8th at 9:15am as we look at a video study of a book by former journalist Lee Strobel. Strobel was formerly a staunch atheist who through his wife’s silent witness and years of study and examination came to confess the crucified and risen Jesus as savior. The Case For Christ is essentially a record of his interviews with thirteen eminent scholars, each of whom is an expert in a different area relating to Jesus. Strobel examined, among other things, the life of Jesus, who Jesus said He was, who others said Jesus was and the accuracy of the Scriptures.


Historic School: As of March 1st the Historic School is available for rent. Please call Marilyn Snider at 618-974-9861 for more information or to make a rental agreement. As always, the Historic Church is also available.


Food Pantry: On Feb. 19 served 16 households comprised of 48 adults and 8 children. The Pantry can use mixed vegetables, peas, carrots. No green beans or corn, please!


VBS 2020 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Columbia, IL - Sunday, June 28, 2-5 pm and Monday, June 29 - Thursday, July 2, 9 am-12 pm

Please join us in 2020 on a rainforest adventure as we follow our leader, Jesus, and learn about Him through exploring His Word, making fun crafts, and playing games!

Students and Volunteers - Register online! https://vbsmate.com/events/StPaulsColumbia/19159


How can you help our VBS? Pray! Pray that the week would be blessed and that we would have many children come and hear the word of God!

Volunteer - We need people from Sunday - Thursday to help as small group leaders, with games, snacks, crafts, Bible accounts, Bible Challenge, worship screens and many activities for all ages PreK-grade 8. We also need people to help prep decorations and crafts for the week. Donate - Donating your treasures helps VBS prep go smoothly and helps keep our costs

Contact Carleigh Ottwell - carleigh.ottwell@gmail.com or 618-719-9307.


Musicians: The Music Committee is looking for members and friends of the congregation who would be open to using their musical abilities in the life of the congregation. If you play the piano, an instrument and/or sing and are open to using these abilities in the various worship services of the congregation, please contact Jeanine Consolino ( 314-583-8087) Mark Eicher (314-706-4250) or the church office (281-4600). The Music Committee


Substitutes Needed: We are looking for people willing to be on our substitute list for our preschool director and assistant. Please call Karen Mueller (618)806-4369 if interested.


The "Comforts of Love" sewing group would like to thank anyone who has donated fabric, supplies, sheets and money for our use. Special thanks, also, goes to Thrivent Financial and the people who have organized and plan to organize more Action Teams to donate to our group. Last year we received $1,000.00 from Thrivent. We plan to continue (with your very generous help) to make "Comforts of Love" to be sent to Lutheran World Relief. We usually make over 125 quilts per year.


Butter Braid pickup for the congregation orders will be in the fellowship hall Sunday, March 8th after each service. Please make arrangements with Christina Schmitt to receive your order at a later date if you are unable to be there.


The Youth Bible Class will not meet on Sunday, March 1st.


The Next Youth Fundraiser will be the Church Rummage Sale. Setup will be held on March 19-20 / Sale on March 21st - 8AM - 12PM


SAVE THE DATE! High School Lock-In has been set for Friday, March 13th – 8PM to 8AM at the church. We will need at least 10 youth attending to hold the event. If you are interested in volunteering as a parent chaperone, please reach out to Christina Schmitt.

***A middle school lock-in is also tentatively planned for this fall***


20/30/40 Somethings: Our next get together will be at Erin & Kurt Schmoll’s on Sat., March 7th at 6:30pm. This evening includes a meal (please bring a side dish), and a continued look at the Video Bible Study titled “Who Am I” “What Am I Doing Here”. Call the church office or contact Erin or Kurt at 314-603-8654 if you plan on being there.  

January 2020

“….And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them.” Luke 2:51

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

In January our sermon series is titled “What is so great about Jesus”? This weekend in our services we are going to see the account of 12 year old Jesus going with his mother and Joseph to the Passover. When it was over Jesus could not be found. Three days later they found him in the temple “about his Father’s business”. Jesus listened in the temple (he listened to them and asked questions), and at the end of the text it says he was submissive to his mother and Joseph. We want things done in our way and at our time. Whether we are young or old we do not like being told what to do….and here is Jesus, God himself, who didn’t have to adhere to anyone….but who willing did so. This account shows that as Jesus took the calvary journey, he does what we cannot do… He keeps the law in every way shape and form. Thank goodness he not only died for us….but he was also perfect for us. What does this mean? Death and everything around it does not control us. In addition perfection (keeping the law) cannot be achieved on our end, rather it is given by Jesus and received by faith. Join us this weekend to hear more….

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Weekend Service/Sermon Theme: “What is so great about Jesus”-He is always about His Father’s business. Luke 2:40-52. The other readings are 1 Kings 3:4-15, and Ephesians 1:3-14.

Prayer Bible Class: Our new topic for the Sunday morning Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:45 will cover “All things Prayer”. Our weekly Bible Study/Discussion on this topic will be as follows. January 5th “Why pray?”; January 12th “How to Pray”; January 19th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, Part 1”; January 26th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, Part 2”. If you have wanted to grow in your prayer/devotional life, this is just the class for you. A great way to start the New Year!!

Youth News: High School and Middle School are invited and encouraged to participate in one or both Sunday services. Tree take down will follow the 10:30 AM service. Pizza and beverages will be provided! Contact Christina Schmitt for more information. cschmitt.splcyouth@gmail.com

Core Planning Group: The core planning group for the Re-Vitality process will be meeting on Tuesday, January 7th at 7pm. This will be the first of a possible nine month planning process. So far we have eight people who have agreed to be part of this core planning group, if you would like to be part of this long-range planning core group contact Kevin Koenigstein. One of the first tasks of this group will be to review the surveys that were taken in October/November of this year.


JANUARY SERMON SERIES: “What is so great about Jesus”?

Jan. 5 & 6 – “He is always about his Father’s business” Luke 2:40-52

Jan. 12 & 13- “He lifts up the downtrodden” Isaiah 42:3

Jan. 19 & 20 – “He is a light to the nations” Isaiah 49:6

Jan. 26 & 27 – “He brings ever increasing Joy” Isaiah 9:3


Adult Confirmation Classes: If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about what the Lutheran Church teaches and is interested in joining the church, please come to our new 10 week adult information class on Sunday, January 19th at 4:30pm. Contact Pastor Krenz (618-363-0121) or the church office if you are interested.

Installation of all 2020 officers and board members has been set for Sunday, January 12th at both Sunday Services.

Please pick up your 2020 contribution envelopes in the narthex today.

Portals of Prayer January through March are available in the narthex.

Save the date: the youth group's annual rummage sale will be Saturday, March 21, 8 am - noon. Drop-off Thursday (3/19) 4-8 pm, Friday (3/20)

10-7 pm. No computers or televisions please. Any questions please ask Lillian Koenigstein or a youth group student.


On December 18 the Food Pantry served 24 households which includes 51 adults and 18 children. Our current needs are canned peaches, pears and pineapple.

January 26th is Youth and Family bowling night at West Park Bowl, Columbia. 6PM-8PM. Bring a friend and show off your bowling skills! High School and Middle School are invited. A separate lane will be paid and reserved for the Youth. Sign up is available at the bulletin board and should be completed by January 19th. See event flyer for more details!

Please pick up your poinsettia(s) following the church service.

"Show me Dough" Butter Braid sales coming soon! The Youth will have their first fundraiser starting in February 2020. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer.

Six lanes are reserved for the Annual Family Bowling Night, Sun., Jan. 26, 5:45-8:00pm at West Park Bowl hosted by Family Ministry. Audience members welcome. Sign up soon on the sheet in the narthex. Invite non-church members and youth. $40/lane payable that night includes 1 large pizza and a pitcher of soda. Other menu items available. Arrive by 5:45 so we can possibly release lanes if needed.

Correction to all St. Paul’s Singers announcement in the most recent newsletter. The next practice will be on Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00pm. We will sing the following Sunday, Jan. 26th.

Pastor Merritt Demski, Immanuel, Waterloo, will be hosting Financial Peace University beginning Sunday, January 12, 2-4:00pm. This will run for 9 weeks. Use this link to find more information: https://immanuelwaterloo.org/2019/10/18/financial-peace-university-fpu-coming-in-january/

Lutheran South Bands presents “Big Band Swing” featuring “The Ambassadors of Swing” on Sat., Jan. 25, 7-10:00pm. $20/ticket; $25 at the door. Beer, wine and appetizers provided. Free swing dance lesson at 6:30pm.

The yellow “Explanation of Lutheran Worship” was recently placed in the pews to assist members and guests in understanding why we do what we do in worship. If you would like to take this pamphlet home “take home” copies can be found in the tract rack by the mailboxes.

PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND THE NEXT VOTERS MEETING ON JANUARY 21ST AT 7:00PM. 

“..a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench” Isaiah 42:3

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

What is it that gives you your identity, security, and meaning in life? Answering this question, will help uncover what is of utmost importance in your life (your religion). The successful business person might answer his/her career. The atheist, may respond by saying describing his/her rational approach to life. The athlete might describe his/her particular sport and the health of their bodies. The matriarch or patriarch of a family, might describe his/her many family members. Notice that even blessings of God can become our idols. John Calvin, a 16th century reformer once said that since the fall into sin “The human heart has become an idol factory”. That is, it creates many so called competitors to the one who created us, saved us, and made us holy through the Spirit. Another author put it this way… “We have become not so much a “godless nation” as a nation with “many gods”. How do these competitors/idols stack up to the true God? In chapter 41 of Isaiah, God brings low the many idols of the nations by saying “Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty.” Idols in all forms don’t last….and they certainly don’t care or provide for a bruised reed or faintly burning wick. In a society that has fallen for the idols of the age…..the message and reality of the living Christ who lasts, who cares and forgives like no one else, still has something to say when lives that follow these idols fall apart. It can be very discouraging as a Christian when the idols of the age “get all the attention”. Nonetheless, take heart and hear passages like Isaiah 42:3 which reveal a Savior who does things for us that idols will never do. Have a blessed weekend, and see you in worship.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


It wasn’t me: (If you received an email message that says something to the effect of “How are you doing. I need to hear from you” that is not from me, so don’t respond to it. Someone forged a similar but different email than mine. In this case the phrase “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” doesn’t hold true. I am taking steps to report this to google, and changing a few passwords.



Prayer Bible Class: Our new topic for the Sunday morning Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:15 will cover “All things Prayer”. Our weekly Bible Study/Discussion on this topic will be as follows. January 12th “How to Pray”; January 19th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, Part 1”; January 26th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, Part 2”. If you have wanted to grow in your prayer/devotional life, this is just the class for you. A great way to start the New Year!!



JANUARY SERMON SERIES: “What is so great about Jesus”?

Jan. 12 & 13- “He lifts up the downtrodden” Isaiah 42:3

Jan. 19 & 20 – “He is a light to the nations” Isaiah 49:6

Jan. 26 & 27 – “He brings ever increasing Joy” Isaiah 9:3



Adult Confirmation Classes: If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about what the Lutheran Church teaches and is interested in joining the church, please come to our new 10 week adult information class on Sunday, January 19th at 4:30pm. Contact Pastor Krenz (618-363-0121) or the church office if you are interested.

Every Member prayers: This year during the worship services we will be praying for up to six members from the congregation. We encourage you to keep these members in your own daily prayers.

January 26th is Youth and Family bowling night at West Park Bowl, Columbia. 6PM-8PM. Bring a friend and show off your bowling skills! High School and Middle School are invited. A separate lane will be paid and reserved for the Youth. Audience members welcome – free of charge! J Sign up is available at the bulletin board and should be completed by January 19th. See event flyer for more details!

Twenty/Thirty/Forty Somethings: We are planning another get together/Video Bible Study at Patrick and Bethany Grandt’s home, January 25th at 6 pm. Text Pastor Krenz at 618-363-0121 if you are planning to attend. Our topic will be “Who am I? What am I doing here?” The Grandt’s will provide the main course, all others are asked to bring a side dish.

Portals of Prayer January through March are available in the narthex.

It’s Not Just For Couples Any More – We invite any and all adults to attend our 2nd Friday of each month Bible class. We meet from 6:30-8:00pm in one of the Sunday School classrooms, then adjourn to McDonald’s for fellowship time. On Feb. 14 and March 13 we will study the book of Jonah and on April 3 (April 10 is Good Friday) we will study the Passion History in the Four Gospels. Because Pastor Sievers provides us with study guides to enhance our class discussions, please inform him (314-882-2097) or phyllissievers@yahoo.com if possible in advance of your coming so that he can put them in your mail box.

Save the date: the youth group's annual rummage sale will be Saturday, March 21, 8 am - noon. Drop-off Thursday (3/19) 4-8 pm, Friday (3/20)

10-7 pm. No computers or televisions please. Any questions please ask Lillian Koenigstein or a youth group student.


The Comforts of Love Ladies request that if you have tablecloths, light weight blankets or sheets that you are not using any more they could be used in making their blankets.

"Show me Dough" Butter Braid sales coming soon! The Youth will have their first fundraiser starting in February 2020. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer.

Correction to all St. Paul’s Singers announcement in the most recent newsletter. The next practice will be on Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00pm. We will sing the following Sunday, Jan. 26th.

Pastor Merritt Demski, Immanuel, Waterloo, will be hosting Financial Peace University beginning today, Sunday, January 12, 2-4:00pm. This will run for 9 weeks. Use this link to find more information: https://immanuelwaterloo.org/2019/10/18/financial-peace-university-fpu-coming-in-january/

Lutheran South Bands presents “Big Band Swing” featuring “The Ambassadors of Swing” on Sat., Jan. 25, 7-10:00pm. $20/ticket; $25 at the door. Beer, wine and appetizers provided. Free swing dance lesson at 6:30pm.

PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND THE NEXT VOTERS MEETING ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 21ST AT 7:00PM.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made .Psalm 139:13

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Our congregation supports “The Life Network of Illinois”, a pregnancy resource Center in Waterloo. A few months ago I met with the director of that this organization, Debbie Geist. She informed me of the wonderful services this pro-life organization provides at virtually every stage of the child and parents life. I was very impressed with their facility, professionalism, and wholistic approach to serving women (and men) during their pregnancy and after their child is born. What a wonderful life affirming alternative to the various abortion clinics in our region. Baby bottles will be available either this week or next in the narthex (entryway of the churchy). Fill these up with coins, and they help support the services of this organization. You can find out more about their services at https://www.mylifenet.org/ Other good resources on life Issues include Lutherans for life https://www.lutheransforlife.org/ and https://www.lcms.org/life-ministry/library

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Sermon Worship Theme: “What is so great about Jesus”? “He is a light to the nations”Isaiah 49:6.The weekly texts are Isaiah 49:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, and John 1:29-42.

Prayer Bible Class: This week the Sunday morning class will be looking at the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer.

Twenty/Thirty/Forty Somethings: We are planning another get together/Video Bible Study at Patrick and Bethany Grandt’s home,552 Micah’s Way on Saturday, January 25th at 6 pm. Text Pastor Krenz at 618-363-0121 if you are planning to attend. Our topic will be “Who am I? What am I doing here?” The Grandt’s will provide the main course, all others are asked to bring a side dish.

Re-vitality Update: Twelve people met on Tuesday of last week to for the first Re-vitality session. We went over foundational Bible Studies for this long range process, the recent survey results, as well as a book titled “Maximizing the mid size church”. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4th at 7pm. Re-Vitality is a long range planning process for congregations that was recently developed by the Church revitalization department of the LCMS.

Have you ever wondered what it means to walk in the one true faith? Join us for Bible Study as we examine the Epistle Letters of 1, 2 and 3 John. Here we learn the Apostle John’s instructions for us to walk in the light of Christ’s atoning sacrifice as His righteous children amidst a world of sin and darkness. This four week class led by Seminarian Aaron Beckman starts Sunday, February 2.

Ladies’ Monday evening Bible Study: Due to Lisa Krenz’s father’s upcoming surgery, our January 20 Bible study will be postponed one week to Monday, January 27, same time 7:15. Since we had to cancel in December, our January meeting will focus on Week 3 (Philippians 2:1-13) and Week 4 (Philippians 2:14-30) from our book. Basically we’ll cover Philippians 2. Come join us and share in the JOY!

Food Pantry on January 15 served 16 households comprised of 36 adults and 9 children. We would gladly accept canned fruit, except applesauce, and spaghetti sauce.

Voters Meeting: Tuesday, January 21st at 7pm. At the Voter’s meeting there will be a proposal to sell the church parsonage. Ask Kevin Koenigstein for details. Agendas for the Voters meeting are in the Narthex.

The 2019 contribution statements have been printed and are available to be picked up after church services in the narthex. Statements not picked up by January 27th will be mailed.

The Comforts of Love sewing group needs your help! We are needing cotton blend fabric (45" by 96" size or a bolt) and sheets (especially queen size and up) in dark colors to use for our quilt backings. Also, we could use light weight blankets, sheets (any color and size), or tablecloths to help us construct our comforts. Call Marilee Schueler at 281-5098 for more information. These quilts are sent to Lutheran World Relief once a year.

January 26th is Youth and Family bowling night at West Park Bowl, Columbia. 6PM-8PM. Bring a friend and show off your bowling skills! High School and Middle School are invited. A separate lane will be paid and reserved for the Youth. Audience members welcome – free of charge! J Sign up is available at the bulletin board and should be completed by January 19th. See event flyer for more details!

"Show me Dough" Butter Braid sales coming soon! The Youth will have their first fundraiser starting in February 2020. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer.

St. Paul’s Singers The next practice will be on Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00pm. We will sing the following Sunday, Jan. 26th.

It’s Not Just For Couples Any More – We invite any and all adults to attend our 2nd Friday of each month Bible class. We meet from 6:30-8:00pm in one of the Sunday School classrooms, then adjourn to McDonald’s for fellowship time. On Feb. 14 and March 13 we will study the book of Jonah and on April 3 (April 10 is Good Friday) we will study the Passion History in the Four Gospels. Because Pastor Sievers provides us with study guides to enhance our class discussions, please inform him (314-882-2097) or phyllissievers@yahoo.com if possible in advance of your coming so that he can put them in your mail box.

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

One of the great privileges of being a pastor is that I get to interact with God’s Word almost everyday in devotions, sermon preparation, pastoral care, and Bible class preparation. While I am tempted to take God’s Word for granted and/or go through the motions when encountering it….it is also true that the Holy Spirit is at work producing and strengthening faith as that word is encountered (Isaiah 55:11). My hope and prayer is that all the members and friends of this congregation will also encounter this Word in weekly worship and in some sort encounter/study of the Bible. If you haven’t had a chance to join us down in the fellowship hall at 9:15am for Sunday morning Bible Class…..here is your invitation. I have found that the feedback and discussion which takes place in these classes to be quite helpful in applying God’s Word to your daily Christian life. While some members are asked to read out loud from the Bible, I will not ask those who are new or uncomfortable to read in class or put them on the spot with various questions. In the attachment is a copy of this Sunday’s Bible Class, and you will note that page numbers are given to help find the various Bible references. If you have any ideas on how to make Bible class accessible to more and more people or new topics please let me know. Starting next week (February 2nd), Seminarian Aaron Beckman will be leading a four week class on the Epistles of John. As an encouragement to him, and a help to ourselves lets fill that fellowship hall 😊.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


Worship/Sermon Theme this Weekend: “What is so great about Jesus? He brings ever increasing joy.” Isaiah 9:3. The other scripture readings include 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 and Matthew 4:14-25.

Pot Luck: A fellowship potluck meal will take place following the late Sunday service. Even if you were not able to bring something, please join us.

Parsonage Update: At the Tuesday, January 21st Voter’s Meeting it was decided to sell the parsonage (The vote was 39 to sell and 3 to keep). The trustees will be working with a newly formed committee made up of representatives from four boards and an at-large member to begin the process of selling the house. If a congregational member might consider buying the house please contact Don Radentz 402-203-9902.

Prayer Bible Class: The Sunday morning 9:15am Bible Class this week will be covering the second part of the Lord’s prayer. All are invited to join us in the downstairs fellowship hall for this class.

New Bible Class: Have you ever wondered what it means to walk in the one true faith? Join us for Bible Study as we examine the Epistle Letters of 1, 2, and 3 John. Here we learn the Apostle John’s instructions for us to walk in the light of Christ’s atoning sacrifice as His righteous children amidst a world of sin and darkness. This four week class led by Seminarian Aaron Beckman starts Sunday, February 2.

Ladies Monday evening Bible Study: The rescheduled Bible Study on the book of Philippians will take place this Monday (Jan. 27) at 7:15pm. This study will focus on Week 3 (Philippians 2:1-13) and Week 4 (Philippians 2:14-30). Come join us and share the Joy! Lisa Krenz


Sermon Themes in February

February 2nd - 3rd “The foolishness/wisdom of the cross” 1 Cor. 1:18-31

February 9th - 10th “Shine that Light” Matthew 5:13-16

February 16th - 17th “Extreme Expectations/Extreme Love” Matthew 5:21-37

February 23rd - 24th “From Myth Busting to Word/Spirit Certainty” 2 Peter 1-16-21



Youth Update

(High School AND Middle School)


January 26th - St. Paul's Annual Youth and Family Bowling Night at West Park Bowl. 6PM - 8PM. Bring a friend and show off your bowling skills! A lane will be paid and reserved for the Youth. See event flyer for more details.

In the month of February we will be selling Butter Braid pastries! This will be the Youth’s first fundraiser of the year and we are hoping to kick it off with a bang! On Sunday, February 2nd we will be handing out a variety of samples - post 8AM/10:30AM services. Orders can be made the same day and each Sunday after through February 23rd. It’s a delicious treat you won't want to miss! Help us reach our goal of $1,500.00. All proceeds go towards the Youth's summer event.

February Servant Event (High School AND Middle School):

February 8th - We will be baking/decorating cookies for delivery to members of the congregation whom are homebound. 1PM - 3PM, Church Fellowship Hall. Bring a friend and your creativity for a fun afternoon!

February Youth Event (High School AND Middle School):

February 22 - Polar Plunge at Hidden Valley. 1PM-4PM

Parents and Youth are welcomed to car-pool at church and/or meet at Hidden Valley. Bring a friend and have some FUN We need at least 5 youth .

REMINDER! Offsites will require a permission form completed annually. See Christina if one has not been submitted yet for 2020. This form can also be found online at http://stpauls-lcms.org/youth.html

Re-vitality Update: Twelve people met on the first Tuesday in January for the first Re-vitality session. We went over foundational Bible Studies for this long-range process, the recent survey results, as well as a book titled “Maximizing the mid-size church”. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tues., February 4th at 6:30pm. Re-Vitality is a long-range planning process for congregations that was recently developed by the Church revitalization department of the LCMS.

It’s Not Just For Couples Any More We invite any and all adults to attend our 2nd Friday of each month Bible class. We meet from 6:30-8:00pm in one of the Sunday School classrooms, then adjourn to McDonald’s for fellowship time. On Feb. 14 and March 13 we will study the book of Jonah and on April 3 (April 10 is Good Friday) we will study the Passion History in the Four Gospels. Because Pastor Sievers provides us with study guides to enhance our class discussions, please inform him (314-882-2097) or phyllissievers@yahoo.com if possible in advance of your coming so that he can put them in your mail box.

Spring/Summer Sunday Worship time change: From May to August we are having one 9am worship service on Sunday morning. This will be followed by Sunday School and Bible Class.

Vacation Bible School: This year’s vacation Bible School is scheduled for Sunday June 28th to Thursday, July 2nd. Call Carleigh Ottwell at 618-719-9307.

Lenten Theme: This year’s Lenten theme is titled “People of the Passion”. Our Wednesday, February 26th Ash Wednesday services will cover the topic “Judas, the Opportunist” from Luke 22:1-6; John 12:4-6. This service is at 11am and 6:30pm.

Audio Sermons: Can be found at http://stpauls-lcms.org/sermons.html

28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:28-30


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

In the past two weeks of confirmation classes we have been talking about the person and work of our Savior. You may remember these discussions…He is true man and true God…He is without sin…He is the only way to the Father…He keeps the law for us (active obedience)….He dies for us (passive obedience), and so on. Comprehending who he is and what he has done for us is at the heart and soul of our faith. Long after my confirmation days I learned is something called “The Great Exchange.” To put it simply, Jesus receives our badness/ sin, and in exchange we get His holiness and righteousness. He takes our broken and darkened heart, and we get a clean well-functioning heart. He dies for our sins… and then through the miracle of faith we receive His righteousness, his perfection, and his holiness. In doing this God is doing something tremendously unfair, and we benefit greatly! Thanks the Lord for this “Great/Uneven Exchange.”

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz



Service theme for Sunday/Monday: “ The foolishness/wisdom of the cross” 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. The other readings are Micah 6:1-8 and Matthew 5:1-12.


New Bible Study on 1, 2, and 3 John. Here we learn the Apostle John’s instructions for us to walk in the light of Christ’s atoning sacrifice as His righteous children amidst a world of sin and darkness. This four week class led by Seminarian Aaron Beckman starts Sunday at 9:15am. Come and grow in your understanding of God’s Word and support our Seminarian as he learns to lead adult Bible Classes.



Sermon Themes in February

February 9th - 10th “Shine that Light” Matthew 5:13-16

February 16th - 17th “Extreme Expectations/Extreme Love” Matthew 5:21-37

February 23rd - 24th “From Myth Busting to Word/Spirit Certainty”

2 Peter 1:16-21


Good Grief: More than fifty years ago Pastor Granger Westberg wrote a book on grief that has stood the test of time. Join us on Thursday, February 6th as Pastor Krenz leads a discussion titled "The grieving Christian" at the monthly ladies league meeting. The meal starts at 11:30am…and this discussion will start around noon. Everyone who attends will receive a free copy of this this classic book. Whether mourning the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, the loss of a job, or other difficult life changes, Good Grief is a proven steady companion in times of loss.


Bowling: Thank you to all who participated in last weeks “Bowling fellowship event”. We had over 25 people participate in this enjoyable event. Who had the high score? That would be the youthful Marvin Luedeman..who bowled somewhere in the 220’s. Thank you to Lillian Koenigstein who helped organize this event.


Parsonage Update: At the Tuesday, January 21st Voter’s Meeting it was decided to sell the parsonage (The vote was 39 to sell and 3 to keep). The trustees will be working with a newly formed committee made up of representatives from four boards and an at-large member to begin the process of selling the house. If a congregational member might consider buying the house please contact Don Radentz 402-203-9902.


Re-Vitality Core Group: The workbooks for our Tuesday 6:30pm long range planning meeting are on the way (they should get here by Monday) Please contact Kevin Koenigstein or Pastor Krenz if as a core group participant you will not be able to make this meeting.


Do you know of someone interested in learning more about what the Lutheran Church teaches and/or joining the congregation? Please call/text Pastor Krenz at 618-363-0121.


The Sunday School lesson this weekend is titled “Our God Takes Care of Us”. Matthew 6:25-34


The Board of Family Ministry wants to formalize our knowledge of who knows CPR. If you do know CPR, please email or call the church office with your info. We also want a few folks to take a CPR/first aid course. Monroe County EMS, Mon., March 9, 5-9 pm for $45 or they have other dates. Call 939.6175 to register and please tell the church office. Please consider learning CPR - you could save a loved one's life - or they save yours.


2019 contribution statements have been mailed. If you have any questions, please call Lisa Schmidt at 281-8413.


It’s Not Just For Couples Any More – We invite any and all adults to attend our 2nd Friday of each month Bible class. We meet from 6:30-8:00pm in one of the Sunday School classrooms, then adjourn to McDonald’s for fellowship time. On Feb. 14 & March 13 we will study the book of Jonah and on April 3 we will study the Passion History in the Four Gospels. Because Pastor Sievers provides us with study guides to enhance our class discussions, please inform him (314-882-2097) or phyllissievers@yahoo.com if possible in advance of your coming so that he can put them in your mail box.


In the month of February our Youth will be selling Butter Braid pastries! This will be the Youth’s first fundraiser of the year and we are hoping to kick it off with a bang! Today, Sun., Feb. 2nd, we will be handing out a variety of samples - post 8AM/10:30AM services. Orders can be made the same day and each Sunday after through Feb. 23rd. Help us reach our goal of $1,500.00. All proceeds go towards the Youth's summer event.


February Servant Event (High School AND Middle School):

February 8th - We will be baking/decorating cookies for delivery to members of the congregation who are homebound. 1PM - 3PM, Church Fellowship Hall. Bring a friend and your creativity for a fun afternoon!

February Youth Event (High School AND Middle School):

February 22 - Polar Plunge at Hidden Valley. 1PM-4PM

Parents and Youth are welcomed to car-pool at church and/or meet at Hidden Valley. Bring a friend and have some FUN We need at least 5 youth .

REMINDER! Offsites will require a permission form completed annually. See Christina if one has not been submitted yet for 2020. This form can also be found online at http://stpauls-lcms.org/youth.html.


Do you plan to attend the annual Life Network Banquet which will be held on March 26 & 27? Contact Karl Nowak (618-792-6582 or Knowak@stlmsd.com) who will be a table host on Friday, March 27. Or call Sandy Roessler (618-407-3154) if you would like more information on the event.


Substitutes Needed: We are looking for people willing to be on our substitute list for our preschool director and assistant. Please call Karen Mueller (618)806-4369 if interested.


St. Paul’s Singers will rehearse at 7:00pm on Wed. February 19. 

December 2019

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” Matthew 3:1-2


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

If it is John the Baptist time, it must be the season of Advent. John the Baptist is in many ways the anti-Christmas representative. He was not caught up in materialism, he is an odd dresser, and Christmas treats were not part of his diet. His life’s calling was to point others to the one more powerful than he and whose sandals he was not worthy to untie. While I would not suggest his diet or even his wardrobe (especially during this cold time of year) his message of being unabashedly truthful about ourselves, and our need for the Savior is good for us hear. For example, we often see ourselves doing well on staying away from “blatant” sins (sins of commission), and then John the Baptist comes along and points out that our big problem is failing to assist those whom we could help (sins of omission). Yet, his message is not just one of uncovering our sins……but also one of pointing to the Savior who John the Baptist described as “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. Thank the Lord for this second message. Many blessings as you continue your celebration of Advent.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Weekend Worship Theme: “Living together in hope, harmony, and peace”. Romans 14:4-7. The other readings are Isaiah 11:1-10, and Matthew 3:1-12.

Wednesday Advent Worship: 12/11 “Christ our Joy” 11am & 6:30pm.

Sunday Morning Bible Class: The 9:45am Re-Vitality Bible class will continue to look at the Re-Vitality series titled “Serving in God’s Mission”. This week we will be looking at the blessing of having people with a variety of gifts in the body of Christ, and the Biblical basis for making collective decisions

The Sunday School Christmas Program will be held during the Sunday morning service on Dec. 22 at 9:00. This will be the only service that day. Practices will be held Sundays, Dec 8, and Dec 15 during the Sunday School hour

Re-Vitality Long Range Planning Update: The Surveys have been completed, and right now we are looking to form a core group that can meet and review the survey results and meet monthly for up to nine months to work through the long-range planning process for our congregation.

Rummage Sale Date: The youth group’s annual rummage sale will be Saturday, March 21st from 8am-noon. Drop of Thursday (3/19 4-8pm and Friday 3/20 from 10-7pm. No computers or televisions please. Any questions please ask Lillian Koenigstein or a youth group student.

The Giving Tree is ready! Please help bring the joy of Christmas to children of families in need this year. Take a tag from the tree & return a wrapped gift with the tag attached no later than Sunday, December 15th. The gifts will be distributed during normal Food Pantry hours later that week. If you have any questions, contact one of the members of the Board of Christian Caring (Barb Ries, Marilyn Snider or Kendra Nowak

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS! There is a supply of a “Chocolate Advent Calendar with Bible Text” in the narthex for those who want one.

Have fun decorating a gingerbread house with Kathy Monte. The houses are already built and ready to decorate. Lots of candy and icing provided. The date is Sunday, Dec. 21st at 1-3:00pm. The cost is $30 per house and you can have as many people work on one house as you want. Please sign up on the sheet in the narthex or call Kathy at 618-363-9981 to make a reservation or ask questions.

St. Paul’s Singers will gather one Wednesday night per month and sing in the service the following Sunday. We will meet again on Dec. 11 at 7:30pm. Please consider joining our group just for the joy of singing and praising the Lord. Be sure to mark your calendar.

COMING SOON!!! Annual Family Bowling Night, Sunday, Jan. 26, 6-8pm. $40/lane ($ collected that night). Sign up soon. Audience members welcome free of charge. Feel free to invite non-church members.

On Nov. 20th the Food Pantry served 14 households including 38 adults and 10 children. Currently our only needs are flour and sugar.

Area Events

The Gateway Ringers will present “Christmas Is Coming” on Sun., Dec. 22, at 3:00pm at the Kirkwood Baptist Church, 211 N. Woodlawn Ave.

German Christmas Service at Olive Branch, 11235 State Route 177, Okawville, IL, will be on Dec. 15th at 3:00pm. Pastor Darwin Schrader will be preaching. Pastor Arthur Eichhorn will be playing organ. All are welcome to attend to hear the Gospel proclaimed in German.

Shop Fair Trade at St. Paul United Christ, Columbia on Sat., Dec. 14, and Sun., Dec. 15, both days 8am-4pm. See www.plowsharing.org for more info on Fair Trade – Artisan Gifts From Around the World.

Cynthia Hill is renting the Historic School for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only; Thur-Fri 9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm. The Historic Church is still available to rent for special occasions.

Zion, Belleville invites all to attend “Handel’s Messiah”, Sun., Dec. 22, 3:00pm, 1810 McClintock Ave.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sugar Loaf is selling apple butter made by the church members, $7/pint; $9.50/quart. Contact Judy Kremmel to make arrangements for pick up at 618-531-6999.

Christ Memorial, St. Louis, is hosting a free event, “A Song for Christmas” with a live orchestra and talented singers from around the area, the final presentation to be Dec. 8 at 2:30pm at 5252 S. Lindbergh Blvd. For more information please see http://cmstl.org/mission/christ-memorial-productions/.

First Baptist Church of Columbia Presents “Journey To Bethlehem”, a free, live, outdoor telling of the Christmas story. Dec. 13, 7-10pm; Dec. 14, 6-10pm and Dec. 15, 5-9pm. See www.facebook.com/JTBColumbia.

All are invited to a Christmas cantata featuring “What Child Is This” presented by the musicians of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Collinsville, on Sun., Dec 29, at 3pm. For more information call 618-344-3151.

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall fell away.” Isaiah 35:10.


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Art was never my cup of tea. Not only am I not gifted in drawing, it has been difficult for me to understand the various meanings of an artistic peace. However, as I read again the Old Testament assigned for Sunday (Isaiah 35:1-10), and began to take in the “whole of it”, I see that God is painting with words a picture of the transformation he brings through Christ. It is a transformation that has occurred, is occurring, and will reach its fulfillment when he comes again. What does that look like? He says that deserts become places of lush growth, and those who are blind, deaf, and paralyzed shall see, hear, and leap like a deer. He describes a wilderness where ravaging animals prowl being changed to a lush oasis where there is no chance of any harm. He sums it all up, by relating that gladness, joy, sorrow, and sighing shall “flee away” (The Hebrew implies run hastily away). I suppose one can chalk this up to a hyperbole (an exaggerated statement not to be taken literally). The casual observer and certainly the unbeliever would see that in such a text. As believers, we are also tempted to think things are being overstated in this vision. Yet, what if this imagery is true, and our future with Christ involves such a reshaping of our world and lives? Simply put, there could not possibly be a greater reality. So go ahead read these words and let them wash over you…hear them again this weekend….and know that glorious change is a coming!

Blessings,

Pastor Krenz

Weekend Sermon Theme and Readings: “A Funny Way to Prepare for Christmas” Matthew 11:2-15. The other readings are Isaiah 35:1-10, and James 5:7-11.

Christmas Program/One Service next Sunday: Next Sunday (December 22nd) the Sunday School Christmas program will be held during the service on at 9am. Following the service all are invited to the fellowship hall for doughnuts/fruit and other refreshments.

Bible Class: On Sunday we will continue our Re-Vitality Bible Class titled “Serving in God’s Mission”. This week we will finish our study by making the Biblical case for collective decision making in the congregation, and why identifying strengths and weaknesses in a congregation can help us carry out God’s mission in this place. There will be no Bible Class next week so that all can participate in a time of fellowship and light refreshments in the fellowship hall after the children’s program.

Core Planning Group: The core planning group for the Re-Vitality process will be meeting on Tuesday, January 7th at 7pm. This will be the first meeting in a possible nine month planning process. So far we have eight people who have agreed to be part of this core planning group. If you would like to be part of this long-range planning core group contact Kevin Koenigstein. One of the first tasks of this group will be to review the surveys that were taken in October/November of this year.

Why is there no 11pm Christmas Eve Service? As you may have noticed in the Christmas Schedule we are having only one Christmas Eve Service at 5pm. The decision to not have the 11pm late service this year was made due to lower attendance at the 11pm service in recent years. In addition, if we would have had the 11pm service, our organist, Jeanine, would have played three Christmas Eve Services including the Christmas Day service. While she was willing to do this, it was felt having one less service, the member and friends would still have plenty of opportunities to receive God’s gifts in worship on Christmas Eve (5pm) and Christmas Day (9am) . Pastor Krenz and the Elders.

All children are invited to participate in the Sunday School Christmas Program which will be during the Sunday morning service on Dec. 22 at 9:00. This will be the only service that day. The last practice will be held Sunday, Dec 15 during the Sunday School hour.

Monday Service Update: There will be no Monday services on the 23rd and 30th of this month.

Have fun decorating a gingerbread house with Kathy Monte. The houses are already built and ready to decorate. Lots of candy and icing provided. The date is Saturday, Dec. 21st at 1-3:00pm. The cost is $30 per house and you can have as many people work on one house as you want. Please sign up on the sheet in the narthex or call Kathy at 618-363-9981 to make a reservation or for more information. (this was mistakenly noted as happening on Sunday in previous announcements. Please note the correction).

Portals of Prayer January through March are available in the narthex.

Save the date: the youth group's annual rummage sale will be Saturday, March 21, 8 am - noon. Drop off Thursday (3/19) 4-8 pm, Friday (3/20)

10-7 pm. No computers or televisions please. Any questions please ask Lillian Koenigstein or a youth group student.

Annual Family Bowling Night, Sun., Jan. 26, 5:45-8:00pm at West Park Bowl hosted by Family Ministry. Audience members welcome. Sign up soon on the sheet in the narthex. Invite non-church members and youth. $40/lane payable that night includes 1 large pizza and a pitcher of soda. Other menu items available. Arrive by 5:45 so we can possibly release lanes if needed.

The Gateway Ringers will present “Christmas Is Coming” on Sun., Dec. 22, at 3:00pm at the Kirkwood Baptist Church, 211 N. Woodlawn Ave.

St. Paul’s Singers will meet after the 9:00 service on Sun., Dec. 22 (approx.. 10:30am) to practice singing for the Christmas Eve service.

Handbell Rehearsal will be held on Tues., Dec. 17 at 6:30pm

Please pick up your 2020 contribution envelopes in the narthex

German Christmas Service at Olive Branch, 11235 State Route 177, Okawville, IL, will be on Dec. 15th at 3:00pm. Pastor Darwin Schrader will be preaching. Pastor Arthur Eichhorn will be playing organ. All are welcome to attend to hear the Gospel proclaimed in German.

Shop Fair Trade at St. Paul United Christ, Columbia on Sat., Dec. 14, and Sun., Dec. 15, both days 8am-4pm. See www.plowsharing.org for more info on Fair Trade – Artisan Gifts From Around the World.

Cynthia Hill is renting the Historic School for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only; Thur-Fri 9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm. The Historic Church is still available to rent for special occasions.

Zion, Belleville invites all to attend “Handel’s Messiah”, Sun., Dec. 22, 3:00pm, 1810 McClintock Ave.

All are invited to a Christmas cantata featuring “What Child Is This” presented by the musicians of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Collinsville, on Sun., Dec 29, at 3pm. For more information call 618-344-3151.

Dear friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

On behalf of the Krenz family we would like to bid you all a Merry Christmas. In lieu of sending each of you a Christmas card, Lisa and I thought we would share a bit about what is happening in our family through this email. Joel graduated from Concordia University in Chicago in May, and he is continuing his education as a sports information graduate assistant at Winona State University in Minnesota. Anna is a Junior at Concordia University in Chicago, where she is studying business marketing. In addition she runs on the cross country and track teams. Lisa continues to serve as a curriculum editor at Concordia Publishing House. Her present projects involve writing Sunday School curriculum and Lutheran Day School curriculum. We are grateful for this congregation, and have enjoyed our thirteen months being part of the Columbia community. May the Christ of Christmas continue to grant you ever increasing measures of hope, peace, and joy.

In His Service,
Pastor and Lisa Krenz

P.S. Our new home is located at 239 Elizabeth Drive. Feel free to stop on by.

One Service/Children’s Christmas Program: This Sunday at 9am the children’s Christmas program “Behold the Child” will be part of our 9am worship service (the only worship service of the day). Following the service all are invited to the fellowship hall for some light refreshments.

Mortgage Paid in Full/Building Fund : Thanks be to God that after 20 years our church building mortgage will be paid in full by the end of the month. In order to be good stewards of the congregational property, the proposed 2020 budget has $2,000 a month set aside for various upkeep and improvement projects here at the church (this amount could change when the final budget is approved at the January Voter’s Meeting). Individuals are welcome to use their building envelopes to make a donation to this fund. If $2,000 dollars (or whatever amount is decided at the January Voter’s meeting) is not received from individual donations, the general fund will make up the difference. The need for such a fund and how much to have in it will be re-evaluated on a yearly basis.

Monday Worship Service Update: There will be no Monday services on the 23rd and 30th of this month.

St. Paul’s Remaining Holiday Worship Schedule

Tues., December 24 Christmas Eve 5:00pm

Candlelight Service“Immanuel – God With Us”

Wed., December 25 Christmas Day (Communion) 9:00 am

“The Good News of Peace and Comfort”

Tues., December 31 New Year's Eve 5:00pm

“Oh God our Help in Ages Past”

Have fun decorating a gingerbread house with Kathy Monte. The houses are already built and ready to decorate. Lots of candy and icing provided. The date is Saturday, Dec. 21st at 1-3:00pm. The cost is $30 per house and you can have as many people work on one house as you want. Please call Kathy at 618-363-9981 to make a reservation or for more information. (this was mistakenly noted as happening on Sunday in previous announcements. Please note the correction).

Prayer Bible Class: Our new topic for the Sunday morning Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:45 will cover “All things Prayer”. Our weekly Bible Study/Discussion on this topic will be as follows. December 29th-What is Prayer? January 5th Why pray? January 12th “How to Pray” January 19th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, part 1”. January 26th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, Part 2”. If you have wanted to grow in your prayer/devotional life, this is just the class for you. A great way to start the new year!!

Core Planning Group: The core planning group for the Re-Vitality process will be meeting on Tuesday, January 7th at 7pm. This will be the first of a possible nine month planning process. So far we have eight people who have agreed to be part of this core planning group, if you would like to be part of this long-range planning core group contact Kevin Koenigstein. One of the first tasks of this group will be to review the surveys that were taken in October/November of this year.

St. Paul’s Singers will meet after the 9:00 service on Sun., Dec. 22 (approx.10:30am) to practice singing for the Christmas Eve service.

Installation of all 2020 officers and board members has been set for Sunday, January 12th at both Sunday Services.

Please pick up your 2020 contribution envelopes in the narthex.

Portals of Prayer January through March are available in the narthex.

Save the date: the youth group's annual rummage sale will be Saturday, March 21, 8 am - noon. Drop off Thursday (3/19) 4-8 pm, Friday (3/20)

10-7 pm. No computers or televisions please. Any questions please ask Lillian Koenigstein or a youth group student.

Six lanes are reserved for the Annual Family Bowling Night, Sun., Jan. 26, 5:45-8:00pm at West Park Bowl hosted by Family Ministry. Audience members welcome. Sign up soon on the sheet in the narthex. Invite non-church members and youth. $40/lane payable that night includes 1 large pizza and a pitcher of soda. Other menu items available. Arrive by 5:45 so we can possibly release lanes if needed.

Cynthia Hill is renting the Historic School for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only; Thur-Fri 9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm. The Historic Church is still available to rent for special occasions.

The Gateway Ringers will present “Christmas Is Coming” today, Sun., Dec. 22, at 3:00pm at the Kirkwood Baptist Church, 211 N. Woodlawn Ave.

Zion, Belleville invites all to attend “Handel’s Messiah”, today, Sun., Dec. 22, 3:00pm, 1810 McClintock Ave.

All are invited to a Christmas cantata featuring “What Child Is This” presented by the musicians of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Collinsville, on Sun., Dec 29, at 3pm. For more information call 618-344-3151.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:7-8


Dear Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

On the cusp of a new year it is a good time to “think again” of our prayer/devotional prayer life. As a way to assist you on this great privilege we are starting an adult Bible class this Sunday which covers the topic of prayer. Tied to our prayer life, is our devotional life, but more on that at a later time. In the above verse Jesus contrasts a Christian’s view off prayer….verses an unbeliever’s view of prayer. The ”Gentiles/Unbeliever” sees prayer as a way to inform their god/gods of their situation….and hopefully put things in such an impressive way that their “so called” divine beings will respond. For them, prayer is really all about what they do to impress or get the attention of their “so called” god or gods. Jesus tells his followers that as you pray, know that your Father knows your needs better than you know your own needs. Right from the get go, you have a God who loves you with a powerful and eternal love through the one mediator between God and man the Lord Jesus Christ. If this is true, then we can pray with true confidence for our relationship before and after the prayer is secure…which is not possible for the unbeliever. It is noteworthy that right after Jesus made the above statement, he gave his followers the Lord’s Prayer. In other words, knowing that your father knows what you need before you ask…does not keep you from praying but rather gives you all the more reason to pray. With this in mind let us continue in confident prayer.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


Sunday Morning Service Theme: (8am and 10:30am) “Jesus Early Travel log; First Stop- Egypt” Matthew 2:13-23. The other readings are Galatians 4:4-7, and Isaiah 63:7-14.

Baptisms: This weekend there are three individuals who will receive the blessings of baptism. Rory John DeLunas will be baptized in a private ceremony on Sunday. He is the son of Brian & Johannah DeLunas. Brynlee Ann Rule, daughter of Derrick and Katie Rule and Lenna Christine Schickedanz, daughter of Dane & Heather Schickedanz will be baptized at the 10:30 service on Sunday. Please keep them in your prayers. .

Prayer Bible Class (9:15 am) : Our new topic for the Sunday morning Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:45 will cover “All things Prayer”. Our weekly Bible Study/Discussion on this topic will be as follows. December 29th-What is Prayer? January 5th Why pray? January 12th “How to Pray” January 19th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, part 1”. January 26th “Praying the Lord’s Prayer, Part 2”. If you have wanted to grow in your prayer/devotional life, this is just the class for you. A great way to start the new year!!

Core Planning Group: The core planning group for the Re-Vitality process will be meeting on Tuesday, January 7th at 7pm. This will be the first of a possible nine month planning process. So far we have eight people who have agreed to be part of this core planning group, if you would like to be part of this long-range planning core group contact Kevin Koenigstein. One of the first tasks of this group will be to review the surveys that were taken in October/November of this year.

Adult Confirmation Classes: If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about what the Lutheran Church teaches and is interested in joining the church, please come to our new 10 week adult information class on Sunday, January 19th at 4:30pm. Contact Pastor Krenz (618-363-0121) or the church office if you are interested.

Installation of all 2020 officers and board members has been set for Sunday, January 12th at both Sunday Services.

There will be no Monday worship service on Dec. 30th.

Please pick up your 2020 contribution envelopes in the narthex

Portals of Prayer January through March are available in the narthex.

Save the date: the youth group's annual rummage sale will be Saturday, March 21, 8 am - noon. Drop off Thursday (3/19) 4-8 pm, Friday (3/20)

10-7 pm. No computers or televisions please. Any questions please ask Lillian Koenigstein or a youth group student.

On December 18 the Food Pantry served 24 households which includes 51 adults and 18 children. Our current needs are canned peaches, pears and pineapple.

Please pick up your poinsettia(s) following the church service.

Mortgage Paid in Full/Building Fund: Thanks be to God that after 20 years our church building mortgage will be paid in full by the end of the month. The proposed 2020 budget has $2,000/month set aside for various upkeep and improvement projects here at the church (this amount could change when the final budget is approved at the January Voter’s Meeting). Individuals are welcome to use their building fund envelopes to donate to this fund.

Youth News: High School and Middle School are invited and encouraged to participate in one or both Sunday services. Sign up is available at the bulletin board in narthex and should be completed no later than December 29th. Tree take down will follow the 10:30 AM service. Pizza and beverages will be provided!

January 26th is Youth and Family bowling night at West Park Bowl, Columbia. 6PM-8PM. Bring a friend and show off your bowling skills! High School and Middle School are invited. A separate lane will be paid and reserved for the Youth. Sign up is available at the bulletin board and should be completed by January 19th. See event flyer for more details!

"Show me Dough" Butter Braid sales coming soon! The Youth will have their first fundraiser starting in February 2020. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer.

Correction to all St. Paul’s Singers announcement in the most recent newsletter. The next practice will be on Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00pm. We will sing the following Sunday, Jan. 26th.

Six lanes are reserved for the Annual Family Bowling Night, Sun., Jan. 26, 5:45-8:00pm at West Park Bowl hosted by Family Ministry. Audience members welcome. Sign up soon on the sheet in the narthex. Invite non-church members and youth. $40/lane payable that night includes 1 large pizza and a pitcher of soda. Other menu items available. Arrive by 5:45 so we can possibly release lanes if needed.

Cynthia Hill is renting the Historic School for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only; Thur-Fri 9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm. The Historic Church is still available to rent for special occasions.

All are invited to a Christmas cantata featuring “What Child Is This” presented by the musicians of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Collinsville, on Sun., Dec 29, at 3pm. For more information call 618-344-3151.

Pastor Merritt Demski, Immanuel, Waterloo, will be hosting Financial Peace University beginning Sunday, January 12, 2-4:00pm. This will run for 9 weeks. Use this link to find more information: https://immanuelwaterloo.org/2019/10/18/financial-peace-university-fpu-coming-in-january/

Lutheran South Bands presents “Big Band Swing” featuring “The Ambassadors of Swing” on Sat., Jan. 25, 7-10:00pm. $20/ticket; $25 at the door. Beer, wine and appetizers provided. Free swing dance lesson at 6:30pm. 

November 2019

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” Psalm 116:15

“To all those loved by God and called to be saints” Romans 1:7


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Happy All Saints Day!! Lutheran Christians have no hesitation celebrating this day for it glorifies Christ and honors present and past believers. Believers whose practice of the faith brings us encouragement in our walk with the Savior. The word saint means simply means “holy one” or “set apart one.” This holiness is a gift given and received from God through the Holy Spirit and not worked for or achieved by the believer in Christ. With that in mind we honor those saints who have fought the good fight, and are with Christ and other saints in heaven. This weekend at all of the services we will remember with thanksgiving those believers from Saint Paul’s who have entered paradise in the past year; Janet Bense, Emery Fulford , Carlene Kempf, Richard Maske, and Mildred Zavadil. As we reflect on their lives, and the loving Savior who continues to shepherd them in paradise, please pray for their grieving family and friends.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Weekend Service Theme: “Blessedness Redefined” Matthew 5:1-12. The other readings are Revelation 7:2-17 and 1 John 3:1-3.

Weekend Sunday School Topic: “The Egypt Exit” Exodus 14.

Parables: On Sunday morning we will continue our look at the parables of Jesus in our 9:15am Bible Class. Our parables this week will cover “Solid Foundations, and getting ready for the Christ’s return”. On November 10th, our last class on the this topic will cover parables that speak of God elevating the humble and humbling the proud. Starting November 17th a new Bible class will begin titled “Serving in God’s Mission”. This class is part of the “Revitality”, long range planning process we are in as a congregation.

Community Canvas: On Sunday, November 3rd from 2-4pm members and friends of the congregation are invited to meet at church to walk the neighborhood distributing a brochure on our congregation and asking the neighborhood the following question. “When you look at the needs of our community, what do you think a church like St. Paul’s can do to help meet those needs?” Come one, come all!! Pastor Krenz and the Board of Outreach.

Re-vitality: The online survey process for Re-Vitality has been extended to Sunday, November 10th. As of Thursday of last week 37 individuals have filled out this survey, and our hope is to have over 50. The log in information is as follows… www.lcms.org/survey/revitality and enter congregation code: C193551. There is a paper copy you can turn in at the narthex for those who do not have access to the internet. These surveys are anonymous.

Stewardship Pledges: There are pledge forms in the narthex (church entryway) that you are encouraged to fill out and turn in on November 17th/18th. On that day we are asking members to place their 2020 pledges in the offering plate. A stewardship pledge box will be placed in the narthex the following two weeks (November 24th and December 1st). This is for those who will not be there on the 17th or 18th of November.

Twenty/Thirty/Forty Somethings: We are having a get together at our house on Saturday, November 9th from 5:30PM-7:30PM. The present plan is to have a sitter here at the church during that time period. This get together includes a meal, devotion, and plenty of time for fellowship. Please text 618-363-0121 if you think you will be able to attend. Our home is located at 239 Elizabeth Drive here in Columbia. Pastor and Lisa.

A SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON SUN., NOVEMBER 10TH AFTER THE 10:30 SERVICE IN FELLOWSHIP HALL.

THE SUBJECT WILL BE THE PARSONAGE. PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND.

To order Poinsettias please pick up an order blank by the Portals of Prayer in the Narthex. Orders are due by November 11.

CALLING ALL SINGERS: If you are someone who enjoys singing, you will want to join us for a “Sing-Along” on Wed., Nov. 13 @ 7PM. We plan to sing hymns and Christian songs. Unlike a choir, we will sing melody only and just for the joy of praising the Lord.

LUTHERAN WITNESS The deadline to call the office for next year’s subscription is Nov. 13. Cost is $18/year which will be billed after Jan. 1,2020

Scouting for Food event is coming up soon. Scouts will be distributing bags on 9 November and will collect food on 16 November. This event is the single largest source of food for our pantry. We always get more than enough corn and green beans, so if you are planning on donating food, please consider alternatives. We can always use the following: canned fruits, canned chicken or beef stew, beef & chicken broth, and cream of chicken & mushroom soups, and jelly. We need volunteers on the 16th to pick up the donations from the Scout Hut in Columbia around 11 a.m. If you have a truck or other large vehicle and have an hour or two to spare, please contact Marilyn Snider. We can also use your help on Sunday evening (Nov 17th) and Monday morning (Nov 18th) to sort, mark, and pack the food for storage. Come for an hour or two or until the job is done. These are great opportunities for kids and adults to help out with a local mission. We even have jobs that can be done while sitting down if you have mobility issues. More details to follow in the next few weeks in the bulletin and on Facebook. Questions?? Contact Marilyn Snider, Barb Ries, or Kendra Nowak. *note: Columbia Public School students grades 5-12 can earn community service hours at this event. 20 service hours are required for high school graduation.

TImage result for hay bales and pumpkin clip arthanks to many who contributed to the autumn display in the front of the church. The display will remain until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Any questions may be directed to Helen Nowak at 618-281-4875.

LWML Christmas Stocking Workshop will be held on 11/16/2019 at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Freeburg, IL. Breakfast and registration: 9:00- 9:30 a.m., Homily at 9:30 a.m. by Pastor Karl Gregory. Lunch will be at noon and a free-will offering will be taken. Bring children's items for stocking stuffers (less than 6" wide) and materials for the stockings. See the LWML bulletin board for more information. 

“Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of the that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey”. Exodus 3:7-9

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

I have not yet met a person that said they were good at being patient. However, I have met plenty of folks who struggled with impatience including yours truly. The above reading from Exodus 3 shows us a God who has heard the cries of his people and is responding by taking them out of Egypt and bringing them to the promised land. However, they had been crying out for 400 years! “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. Genesis 15:13. We get concerned if our gracious Lord does not deliver us from our problems by the end of the day…..let alone 400 years. We live in an “instant solution” society, and that makes waiting patiently for the Lord’s provision, rescue, and solution even more difficult. Yet, waiting is the nature of faith. Psalm 27:4 says Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! As you wait, hear His Word, take in his promises, receive the Lord’s Supper, and know that he has surely heard your cry…oh and deliverance is on the way.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


Weekend Service Theme: “Standing Firm on the spoken and written word” 2 Thessalonians 3:15. The weekend Scripture readings are Exodus 3:1-15, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, and Luke 20:27-40.

Parables Bible Study: This Sunday’s parable study theme is “Unlikely Status” Parables of God elevating the humble and humbling the proud. Join us this Sunday from 9:15-10:10 as we discuss parables and continue our “Most Common Questions” discussion.

What to do with the Parsonage? A congregational meeting on this question will take place this Sunday after the 10:30 service in the fellowship hall (11:45am). This meeting is informational, and will allow members of the congregation to give their ideas on the parsonage. You do not have to be a voting member to attend this meeting.


Stewardship Pledge Sunday/Monday: This will take place on November 17th and 18th. On that day we are inviting members to place their 2020 pledges in the offering plate. A stewardship pledge box will be placed in the narthex the following two weeks for those who will not be there the 17th and 18th of November. Pledge forms are in your newsletter, and can be found in the church narthex.


Christmas Poinsettias forms can be found in the narthex. Orders are due by November 11th.


Food Pantry/Boy Scout Fund Drive: On November 6th 20 households were served at St. Paul’s food bank. This number includes 43 adults and 17 children. Remember, the Boy Scout Food Drive is coming up next Saturday, November 16th. Volunteers are needed to pick up donations from the Scout Hut in C/Columbia around 11am (Call Marilyn Snider if you can help). Volunteers are also needed on Sunday evening, November 17th and Monday morning, November 18th to sort, mark and pack the food for food storage.


Historic School Update: Cynthia Hill is renting the school for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only Thur-Fri-9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm.


Outreach Update: A Good OUTREACH Start - 15 of the 24 members who signed up attended the two THINK AND TALK MORE ABOUT JESUS workshops held here last month. Our goal is to empower at least 50 members with this vital outreach training over the next two years. Prayerfully plan to be part of the next wave when this and a follow-up workshop entitled THE SPIRITUAL CONVERSATION CURVE are offered next spring. Pastor Sievers


Community Canvas: Last Sunday new flyers on the congregation were distriugted to twenty homes on Goodhaven Street last Sunday afternoon. Thank you to Christine Schmidt for the flyers, and to Diane and Mark Bierman who helped canvas this street.


Re-vitality: The online survey process for Re-Vitality has been extended to Sunday, November 10th. The log in information is as follows… www.lcms.org/survey/revitality and enter congregation code: C193551. There is a paper copy you can turn in at the narthex for those who do not have access to the internet. These surveys are anonymous.


Calling all Singers: If you are someone who enjoys singing, you will want to join us for a “Sing-Along” on Wed., Nov. 13 @ 7PM. We plan to sing hymns and Christian songs. Unlike a choir, we will sing melody only and just for the joy of praising the Lord.

“And then they will see the Son of coming in a cloud with power and great glory” Luke 21: 27

“And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.” Nicene Creed


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

As we enter the last few weeks of the church year, the weekly scripture readings help us focus on the second coming of Christ, and the events leading up to that coming. We not only confess this truth every week in the Nicene and Apostles creeds, but also when we pray the words “Thy Kingdom Come”. It is good to be reminded that things are not as they should be on this planet, which is why we need Christ, and for him to make things new when he comes again. It is good to be reminded of our mortality so that we appreciate what we presently have and realize this is not our home. C.S. Lewis, an early 20th century Christian defender of the faith, once wrote “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” Simply put, a life understanding Christ’s role in such eternal things will help us immensely during our brief stay this side of heaven.

Many Blessings,
Pastor Krenz


New Bible Class: This Sunday a new Bible class will begin titled “Serving in God’s Mission”. This class is part of the “Revitality” process we are in as a congregation. Due to the food being collected in the fellowship hall for the food drive, we will meet in the sanctuary for this Bible Class.

Stewardship Pledges/Intention Forms: There are 2020 pledge forms in the narthex (church entryway) that you are encouraged to fill out and place in the offering plate. A stewardship pledge box will be placed in the narthex the following two weeks (November 24th and December 1st) for those not here today.

Re:vitality Update: On Friday we received a summary report of the 57 surveys that were collected. The congregation will be informed of this finding in the next couple of weeks. A core planning team and an expanded planning team from across the conregationw ill be assembled the first part of next year to start the six to nine month planning process.

Scouting for Food event: This event is the single largest source of food for our pantry. We always get more than enough corn and green beans, so if you are planning on donating food, please consider alternatives. We can always use the following: canned fruits, canned chicken or beef stew, beef & chicken broth, and cream of chicken & mushroom soups, and jelly. We can use your help on this Sunday evening (Nov 17th) and Monday morning (Nov 18th) IN FELLOWSHIP HALL to sort, mark, and pack the food for storage. Come for an hour or two or until the job is done. These are great opportunities for kids and adults to help out with a local mission. We even have jobs that can be done while sitting down if you have mobility issues. More details to follow in the next few weeks in the bulletin and on Facebook. Questions?? Contact Marilyn Snider, Barb Ries, or Kendra Nowak. *note: Columbia Public School students grades 5-12 can earn community service hours at this event. 20 service hours are required for high school graduation.

Children’s Advent/Christmas devotional books are available on a table in the narthex.

CPH Christmas Catalog: If you are looking for Christian resources as gifts for Christmas check out the catalog found on the table in the narthex.

Outreach Workshop Update: 15 of the 24 members who signed up attended the two THINK AND TALK MORE ABOUT JESUS workshops held here last month. Our goal is to empower at least 50 members with this vital outreach training over the next two years. Prayerfully plan to be part of the next wave when this and a follow-up workshop entitled THE SPIRITUAL CONVERSATION CURVE are offered next spring.

Welcome! This weekend we welcome Margaret (Mickey) Simmons to our congregation via transfer from Holy Cross Lutheran Church in East Carondolet. We also welcome Derek and Bethany Neuhaus and their children Poloma (5), Augustine (3), and Mozelle (17 months). Derek is a chiropractor in New Athens, and Bethany is a Chiropractor in St. Louis and a part time nurse. They moved to Waterloo three years ago, and are transferring from Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. They enjoy music and singing, being active outdoors, and reading. Be sure to welcome them into our church family

Perry County Christmas Tour: You are invited to go with us to Perry County, MO for a Country Christmas Church tour on Fri., Dec. 13. We will tour some beautifully decorated historic Lutheran Churches in that area. We will leave our parking lot at approx.12pm and drive to Perryville and continue on to 8 other towns. At each stop there will be snacks and beverages. We will go in cars. The only cost is a $5 donation to your driver. For more info call Helen @ 281-4875.

Cynthia Hill is renting the Historic School for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only; Thur-Fri 9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm.

Hometown Harmony’s annual Christmas Concert will be held on Sun. Dec. 1, Hope Christian Church at 6:30pm. $5 advanced tickets are sold at First National Bank and State Bank (all locations) Kids 10 and under are free.

Boar’s Head Festival at Peace Lutheran, 737 Barracksview Road, St. Louis on Dec. 5, 6 & 7 at 7:30pm and Dec. 8 at 2:30 & 6:00pm. Free Tickets (limit six) on a first come first served basis by calling the church office at 314-892-5610 or in person at the church. Additional info www.peaceboarshead.org.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sugar Loaf is selling apple butter made by the church members, $7/pint; $9.50/quart. Contact Judy Kremmel to make arrangements for pick up at 618-531-6999.

Christ Memorial, St. Louis, is hosting a free event, “A Song for Christmas” with a live orchestra and talented singers from around the area, to be held on Dec. 1 and 2 at 7pm and Dec. 3 at 2pm at 5252 S. Lindbergh Blvd. For more information please see FamilyMusicalTheater.org.

First Baptist Church of Columbia Presents “Journey To Bethlehem”, a free, live, outdoor telling of the Christmas story. Dec. 13, 7-10pm; Dec. 14, 6-10pm and Dec. 15, 5-9pm. See www.facebook.com/JTBColumbia. 

“ There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews” Luke 23 38

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

This weekend we come to the end of another church year. We celebrate that end with a festival called “Christ the King Sunday” or “Sunday of the Fulfillment”. It is a festival whose theme remind us that the last judgment is not just a judgment on individuals; it is also a judgment on human history. In other words all authorities, all kingdoms, all thrones, and dominions will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is important to know that we have this kind of king, especially as we learn others aspects of his kingship during Advent where he is one who is “hoped for”, during Christmas where he is one who humbles himself in a manger, and in Lent as he comes as the suffering servant. To put it simply “Christ the King Sunday” celebrates the bigness and power of Christ, whereas these other festivals celebrate the glorious smallness and accessible nature of our loving Savior.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Krenz

Weekend Service Theme- “The Rule of Christ” based on Colossians 1:13-20. The other readings in the service are Luke 23:27-43, and Malachi 3:13-18.

Sunday School Christmas Program: All children are invited to the program on Dec. 22nd at 9am. Practices will be held on Sunday Dec 1st, 8th, and 15th during the Sunday School Hour (9:15am). Contact Karen Mueller if you have questions 618-806-4369.

Re-Vitality Survey Update: Re-Vitality Update: Fifty nine people took the self-assessment survey, and last week we received our “Self-Assessment Report”. These results indicate that our congregation is in the stable, tapering, preserving mode. We see ourselves as moving forward in a good direction on groups, viability (survival) as a congregation. We are hanging in there when it comes to hospitality, finance, family, unity, and conflict. However, when it comes to serving/reaching out to in actives, incorporating a vision, having good moral in the congregation, outreach to the community, and change there is room for growth. This information will help a core group 10-15 individuals from the congregation formulate a plan that we hope will assist this congregation in its God given mission. The hope is for this core group to meet sometime the first part of December. If you would like to be part of this core group contact Kevin Koenigstein at 618-334-5737.

Special Music: The St. Paul’s Singers will be singing at the late service on Sunday. This group is made up of members and friends of the congregation who meet once a month and sing on the following Sunday. This group will meet again on December 11th at 7:30pm. Please consider joining our group just for the joy of singing & praising the Lord.

2020 Intention/Stewardship Forms: If you were not able to place your2020 stewardship intention forms in the offering plate last week, you are welcome to place them in the “Intention forms” box in the narthex this week and next week.

Christmas Tree Set Up: High School and Middle School youth are invited to help set up the Christmas Tree on Saturday, November 30th at 1pm. A parent/youth meeting will be held with the new youth director Christina Schmitt at 2:30pm.

Food Pantry: On Nov. 20th the Food Pantry served 21 households including 52 adults and 17 children. Currently the only need is egg cartons.

Free Children’s Advent Books with Calendars: If you have children or grandchildren who could make use of and Advent Booklet be sure to pick them up in the narthex.

Sunday Morning Bible Class: This week we will continue our class titled “Serving in God’s Mission.” This class is being held as part of the Re-Vitality program, so if you hold an office or leadership position in the congregation you are especially encouraged to attend this five week class. However, it is open to all!!!

Thanksgiving Service: Thursday, November 28th at 9am.

Kidsway Classes: Thank you to Patrick Grandt and Mary Colyer who led the Kidesway classes on Wednesday night the past three months. Our hope is to start these classes again in the fall of 2020.

CPH Christmas Catalogue: If you are looking for Christian resources as gifts for Christmas check out the catalog found on the table in the narthex.

Local Events:

Hometown Harmony’s annual Christmas Concert: December 11st At Hope Christian Church at 6:30pm. $5 advance tickets are sold at First National Bank and State Bank. Kids under 10 are free

Christmas Cooke Walk- December 7th from 9am-noon. At Trinity, Millstadt. Cookies are sold by the pound ($10)

Apple Butter: From Holy Cross in Sugar Loaf. Cost $7 a pint, and $9.50 a Quart. Contact Judy Kremmel to make arrangements for pick up at 618-531-6999.

Journey to Bethlehem: December 13th 7-10pm, and Dec. `14th 6-10pm at First Baptist Church in Columbia.

Boars Head Festival: December 5th, 6th, and 7th at 7:30pm and Dec. 8th at 2:30pm and 6pm. At Peace Lutheran, 737 Barracksview Road. Call church office at 314-892-5610 for tickets.

A Song for Christmas: Dec. 6th and 7th at 7:30pm, and Dec. 8th at 2;30pm. A live orchestra and talented singers from around the area will convene at Christ Memorial in St. Louis.

What Child is This: Dec. 29th and 3pm. A Christmas cantata At Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Collinsville. 

“3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”. Philippians 1:3-5


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

It has been just over a year since I started my ministry here at St. Paul’s. Lisa and I are thankful to our gracious God for bringing us into this congregation. We have been welcomed into this fellowship and into the Columbia community, and for that we are grateful. I am also thankful for the work of my predecessors, Pastor Theiss, Pastor Melchior, Pastor Lehenbauer, and those that served the vacancy, Pastor Cameron, and Pastor Sievers. Their faithful service to Christ and this congregation has laid a foundation that we truly can build upon. All praise to God for the many faithful folks here at St. Paul’s who carry out their God given callings in their families, work, congregation, and community. It takes a lot of folks to keep things moving forward here at St. Paul’s, and if I read the Bible correctly God wants this “church thing” to be a joint effort. There is much to do when it comes to being about God’s mission in this place, community, and beyond…and I look forward to being part of that for the foreseeable future. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, and His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1

Many Blessings,
Pastor Krenz


Weekend Service Theme: “Anticipating Christ/Putting on Christ” Romans 13:8-14. The other Scriprture readings in the service are Isaiah 2:1-5, and Matthew 24:36-44.

Youth Christmas Tree Set Up/Parent Meeting: The youth will be setting up the Christmas tree tomorrow, Saturday, November 30th at 1pm here at the church. There will be a parent meeting immediately following the setup, around 2:30pm. This will also given everyone a chance to meet our new youth leader Christina Schmitt. Christina can be reached at chmitt.splcyouth@gmail.com. A huge thank you also goes to Melissa Upson for her faithful work in leading the youth group for the past year and a half.

Advent Services: This Wednesday at 11am and 6:30pm we will begin our weekly advent services. This year’s weekly themes will be Christ our Hope, Christ our Joy, and Christ our Peace.

Advent Devotions: This year’s Advent devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries, Call His Name Jesus, tell the cherished story of God entering our lives in the flesh. The birth of Jesus is a story worth our telling. You can receive these devotions in an e-mail or look at them on the Lutheran Hour Ministry Web Site. Go to lhm.org/advent.

Advent Devotional Books and Calendars: There are two types of calendars and advent devotional books for children that are in the narthex. Please feel free to pick these up for your children, grandchildren, or other families who might make use of these resources.

Christmas Program: This year’s Sunday School Christmas program will be held during the Sunday morning service on Dec. 22nd at 9am. Practices will be held on Sunday December 1st, 8th, and 15th during the Sunday School Hour (9:15am-10:15am). Contact Karen Mueller if you have any questions 618-806-4369.

Serving in God’s Mission Bible Class: This Sunday we will have the third of our five “Revitality Bible Classes”. This week we will be looking at the Biblical basis for “using our God given resources”, and the importance of “Building Consensus”.

Stewardship Intention Forms: If you were not able to place your 2020 stewardship/ intention forms in the offering you are welcome to place them in the “Intention forms” box in the narthex. This week you will also be able to pick up your new 2020 offering envelopes.

St. Paul’s Singers will gather one Wednesday night per month and sing in the service the following Sunday. We will meet again on Dec. 11 at 7:30pm. Please consider joining our group just for the joy of singing and praising the Lord. Be sure to mark your calendar.

Ginger Bread Houses: Kathy Monte will be helping people make their own Gingerbread houses here at St. Paul’s on Saturday, December 21st at 1pm. Watch bulletin and this weekly update for additional information.

The Food Pantry served 21 households including 52 adults and 17 children On Nov. 20th. Currently their only need is egg cartons.

Cynthia Hill is renting the Historic School for the next six months for her retail shop “A Fresh Look by Cynthia”. She sells cabinetry and resale items. The business phone is 618-719-2330. Hours are M-T-W by appointment only; Thur-Fri 9:30-5:30pm; Sat. 10am-4pm.

Hometown Harmony’s annual Christmas Concert will be held Sunday, Dec. 1, Hope Christian Church at 6:30pm. $5 advanced tickets are sold at First National Bank and State Bank (all locations) Kids 10 and under are free.

Boar’s Head Festival at Peace Lutheran, 737 Barracksview Road, St. Louis on Dec. 5, 6 & 7 at 7:30pm and Dec. 8 at 2:30 & 6:00pm. Free Tickets (limit six) on a first come first served basis by calling the church office at 314-892-5610 or in person at the church. Additional info www.peaceboarshead.org.

Gateway Ringers, Fri., Dec. 6, 7:30pm – Holy Cross Lutheran, O’Fallon MO

St. Louis Metro Singers, Sat., Dec. 7, 7pm St. Paul UCC, Columbia, IL

Trinity, Millstadt invites the community to its annual Christmas Cookie Walk on Sat., Dec. 7, 9:00am –Noon. Cookies sold by the pound ($10-11/lb.).

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sugar Loaf is selling apple butter made by the church members, $7/pint; $9.50/quart. Contact Judy Kremmel to make arrangements for pick up at 618-531-6999.

Christ Memorial, St. Louis, is hosting a free event, “A Song for Christmas” with a live orchestra and talented singers from around the area, held on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7:30pm and Dec. 8 at 2:30pm at 5252 S. Lindbergh Blvd. For more information please see http://cmstl.org/mission/christ-memorial-productions/.

First Baptist Church of Columbia Presents “Journey To Bethlehem”, a free, live, outdoor telling of the Christmas story. Dec. 13, 7-10pm; Dec. 14, 6-10pm and Dec. 15, 5-9pm. See www.facebook.com/JTBColumbia.

All are invited to a Christmas cantata featuring “What Child Is This” presented by the musicians of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Collinsville, on Sun., Dec 29, at 3pm. For more information call 618-344-3151.

Shop Fair Trade at St. Paul United Christ, Columbia on Sat., Dec. 14, and Sun., Dec. 15, both days 8am-4pm. See www.plowsharing.org for more info on Fair Trade – Artisan Gifts From Around the World.

October 2019

“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry true, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it would obey you”. Luke 17:5-6

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

That sounds very simple, in that we might say “the act of believing in God”. While this is partly true, much more needs to be said when it comes to the Christian faith. First, faith is only as good as that which it trusts in. If you or a I have faith that you can fly, and believe it with all your heart, that is not going to make any difference in our ability to do that task. Simply put, a person can have misplaced faith. Faith in Christ is real and powerful, because Christ is real and powerful. Second, while faith in Christ is something that we have, the way it is gained and maintained is not found in our own will, but found in the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” That Holy Spirit is all about bringing and keeping us in the faith, and he does this by fueling our faith life with his Word. Join us this weekend, as we hear about a seemingly weak and small mustard seed faith that does unbelievable things. How can it do such things? Read above, and/or join us this weekend, and find out 😊

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

LWML Sunday: This Sunday we will be celebrating the work of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. The wonderful thing about this local and national organization is that it helps us focus on mission hear and around the world. One of the local outreach projects this organization does is make quilts that are sent overseas. Examples of these quilts can be seen in the back pers on Sunday. In addition every member and guest will have the opportunity to pick up a mite box. This box is used to collect change that is used for missions locally and around the world.

Re-Vitality Surveys Starting October 13th and running through November 3rd the congregation will be invited and encouraged to take a 100 questions survey online that will help us assess where we are truly at as a congregation. See the attached guide to this survey. Don’t worry, it won’t be complicated. If you know of those who will not be able to fill it out online, we will have extra copies in the narthex that people can fill out by hand. This is the first step in a six to nine month planning process that “hopefully” will help our congregation move forward in our God given mission. You will specific instructions in next weeks weekly note and in next week’s bulletin on taking this survey.

Youth Info: The Middle School & High School are asked to volunteer and participate in one or both services (8:00am and &10:30am) for youth Sunday. Many volunteers are needed, be sure to sign up for your preferred selection. Sign up sheet is located by the youth bulletin board. Also On October 20th at 5pm After the late service we will have pizza for lunch and then travel to Eckerts, Millstadt, IL to see all the fun farm events. We will pick pumpkins, watch the pig races and pumpkin cannon and walk through the corn maze. Contact Melissa Upson 314-852-0161 or melissaupson@outlook.com with questions or to sign up to attend. Sign up sheet is by the youth bulletin board as well.


Church Council: The church council will be meeting on Tuesday, October 15th at 7pm. Each committee and board is asked to prepare a report for this meeting. If a member of your committee or board is not able to be at this meeting, please provide a written report. The October Voter’s Meeting will take place on October 22nd at 7pm.

Wednesday Night Bible Class: Please join us on Wednesday nights in October at 7pm as we study and discuss the book of John. The first class will start on Wednesday, October 9th. Pastor Krenz

The Sunday Morning Adult Bible Class On Christian vocation will look at the Christian calling to the church. Our new Bible class series starting October 13th will cover “The Parables of Jesus”. In addition we will spend 15 minutes each week addressing the most common questions on Biblical and religious topics I have received in my years of ministry. Join us at 9:15am in the fellowship hall for these classes.

The Women's Ministry will be starting a bible study on Oct. 21st, led by Lisa Krenz. We will meet on the 3rd Monday of each month from 7:15-8:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. The name of the bible study is Joy: A Study of Philippians and we would love for you to join us. Please sign up in the Narthex by Oct. 7th so we will know how many books to order.

Think and talk more about Jesus workshops will be held at here at St. Paul’s and presented by Dr. Jason Droge of the Lutheran Hour Ministries. You may attend on Saturday, Oct. 26, 9-11:30am or Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30-9:00pm. Attendance is free of charge. Sign up on the sheets available in the narthex. Contact Pastor Sievers at 314-882-2097 or email him at phyllissievers@yahoo.com for more information.

Kidsway: The Wednesday classes are for those in grades 1-4. Each week they learn a different Biblical account. Contact Mary Colyer at 618-334-2321 if interested. We have had up to seven children in these classes.

Food Pantry-On October 2nd the Food pantry served 22 households which included 54 adults and 17 children. Our current needs are cereal, canned fruits (except for applesauce) and pie filling (but not pumpkin). Thanks for your support.

Portals of Prayer for October-December are available in the narthex.

An invitation from the Trustees! The straw bales in front of the church are the setting for an autumn display. Everyone is invited to add pumpkins, cornstalks, fall flowers, and other appropriate seasonal items. The display will remain until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Any questions may be directed to Helen Nowak at 618.281.4875.

The Music Team has graciously volunteered to play the 8am service on October 13th after we were unable to find an organist for this service. The 10:30 service on that day will have an organist. 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

Our congregation is participating in the LCMS re:Vitality Lutheran revitalization program. Essentially it is a long term planning process for St. Paul’s. “Vital” is the key component of “revitalization.” Wherever the Word is proclaimed in its purity and God’s Sacraments are rightly administered, there is spiritual vitality. re:Vitality builds upon spiritual vitality and guides the church in positive action for sustainable, adaptable, focused, and healthy ministry for years to come. The first step in the re:Vitality process is to submit honest feedback about our congregation from everyone involved. I want to encourage every adult (18 years and older) to fill out this simple online questionnaire. Simply click this link when you are ready to begin: www.lcms.org/survey/revitality and enter our congregation code: C193551. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes to complete.

We need to hear from everyone, individually. That means husbands and wives should both fill out a questionnaire separately. We want to hear from you whether you’ve been a member here your whole life, or you’re brand new to Christianity; whether you’re a member, frequent attendee, or occasional visitor, we want to hear from you.

Your responses are completely anonymous. No one will know your name, and I will not see individual responses. It is important to be honest in your feedback so that we can have an accurate assessment about where we are as a congregation. In talking with the program coordinator, he mentioned that if possible try to use “the undecided” button sparingly….that will help them in scoring the feedback.

Also, for those who are not able to access a computer for this process, paper copies are available at church in the narthex. Once you complete the paper copy, someone will enter the data into the computer link.

Help us find the answer to, “Where are we…really?” Thank you for submitting your responses by November 3rd.

Blessings,
Pastor Krenz

P.S. In November we will start a Sunday morning Bible Class on this topic, and 12-15 leaders in the congregation as well as other congregational members will be meeting on a regular basis for 6-9 months to evaluate and help plan future activities. If you would like to be a participant please contact Kevin Koenigstein koenigsteinkevlill@gmail.com



Other Announcements

Weekend Service Theme: “Faith and the blessing of healing” Luke 17:11-19. The other readings are Ruth 1:1-19a and 2 Timothy 2:1-13.

8am Worship: Thank you to the music team who will be leading a blended service at 8am this week. We were unable to find an organist for this service, and they graciously volunteered to help us out. The 10:30am service will have an organist.

The Parables of Jesus: This new Sunday morning 9:15 am Bible class wlhich meets in the fellowship hall will start this weekend. In addition, every week for the foreseeable future we will be looking at the most questions I have received in my years of pastoral ministry. Come one, come all.

Church Council: We will be meeting on Tuesday, October 15th at 7pm. Each committee and/or board is asked to prepare a report for this meeting. If a member of your committee or board is not able to be at this meeting, please provide a written report.

Youth Sunday: On Sunday, October 20th the youth will be participating in both worship services.

October Youth Event: Sunday, October 20th the youth will be traveling to Eckert’s. They will leave at 12pm and return at 5pm. Contact Melissa Upson with questions and sign ups. 314-882-2097.

Parsonage Discussion: On Sunday, November 10th after the late service the congregation will be meeting to discuss a variety of options on what could be done with the parsonage. A final decision will not be made at this meeting. You do not need to be a voting member to participate in this meeting. It is hoped that the congregational input gained from this meeting will assist the congregation on making a future decision on the parsonage.


HANDBELL RINGERS CONCERT

We invite you to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 227 North Good Haven, Columbia, IL for a presentation of the Fall Concert “American Spirit” by the Gateway Ringers. This is scheduled for Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4:00 PM. This concert features a little Cohan, a little soft shoe, a visit to the Virginia Highlands, spirituals, Americana, and more. The music will lift your spirits! The concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be accepted. Refreshments will be served following the concert.

The Gateway Ringers is an auditioned community choir, comprised of handbell ringers from the St. Louis metropolitan area. Their mission is to inspire excellence in musicianship and heighten awareness of handbell music. The group was formed in the fall of 1995. The Gateway Ringers are members of the Handbell Musicians of America at the Area VIII and national levels. More information is available on their website http://www.gatewayringers.org/.

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” Hebrews 13:7

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

It amazing how many people the Lord puts into our life to guide us in our walk with Christ. That list may include parents, grandparents, relatives, Sunday School teachers, classmates, work colleagues, friends, fellow church members, and the list goes on and on. One of my guides/mentors entered his eternal rest this past week, Dr. Norman Nagel. He was eccentric, and often I understood only a portion of what he presented. However what\ I did understand was worth its weight in gold. Some phrases I remember include “Jesus has more forgiveness than we have sins to commit”….”If we are praying the prayer he gave us to pray, we can’t be getting that wrong can we”. “The gospel is always more, and may it also be with your marriage (He wrote that on a picture he gave Lisa and I on our wedding day). Since he died, the radio program “Issues Etc” has rerun a number a number of his “talks” on various Christian topics. You can find them at https://issuesetc.org/archive/page/3/ Over the past week during my morning runs I have listened to a number of these programs….below are some of my favorites. If nothing else, you will enjoy his “British/Australian” accent 😊

To God be the Glory,
Pastor Krenz

Why go to church?

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/podcast.issuesetc.org/2938100919encore3.mp3

The Presence of God.

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/podcast.issuesetc.org/2938100919encore2.mp3

Weekend Worship Theme: “Faith and the gift of prayer” Luke 18:1-8. The other Scripture readings are Genesis 32:22-30 and 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Re:Vitality: Please take this survey. This will help our congregation over the next 6-9 months as we go through a long-range planning process. Please fill out at www.lcms.org/survey/revitality and enter our congregation code: C193551. We encourage those who are 18 and over to fill this out, and also those who may not be members of St. Paul’s but who are connected to the congregation. The last day you can fill out this response is November 3rd.

Women's Ministry Bible Study: Workbooks for the Philippians Bible Study will be in the church office if you would like to pick your copy up today (Oct. 20th) and start reading the first section. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 7:15 on Oct. 21st. If you have any questions call/text Donna Lake at 314-707-1887. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Wednesday Night Bible Class: Please join us on Wednesday nights in October at 7pm as we study and discuss the book of John. Pastor Krenz

New Sunday Morning Topic: We are presently covering “The Parables of Jesus”. In addition we will spend 15 minutes each week addressing “Common Questions”. These are the most common questions I have received over the years on various Biblical and Religious topics. Join us in the fellowship hall for these classes.

THE NEXT VOTERS’ MEETING will be held on October 22, at 7:00pm. At this very important meeting we will vote on the 2020 officers and the budget for next year.

Thank you ahead of time to the youth who will be helping with the greeting, ushering, and music in the service.

Welcome: On Sunday in the 10:30 service we will welcome Liam Mastrantuono, son of Marc and Andrea Mastrantuono to the body of Christ through the water and word of baptism. Please keep little Liam in your prayers.

2019 Pledges: On November 17th the members of St. Paul’s will have the opportunity to make their annual yearly pledges. Last year 41 pledge forms were turned in, and it is our goal to increase that by 25%. By the first week of November you will receive your pledge forms. These forms will cover general offerings, and building renovation and repair fund. The below chart is given to help you consider your pledge in 2019. Remember the GIFT approach to giving. G-stands for “Grace” filled giving. I-stands for In proportion to your income. F-Stands for first fruit giving. That is, giving off the top of what we have and not only what is left over. Over the next two weeks we will cover the last two letters. The Stewardship Committee.

A SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON SUN., NOVEMBER 10TH AFTER THE 10:30 SERVICE IN FELLOWSHIP HALL.

THE SUBJECT WILL BE THE PARSONAGE. PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND.

Food Pantry On October 16 the Food Pantry served 18 households which includes 41 adults and 11 children.

The Boy Scouts will be distributing bags for food donations on Sat., Nov. 9. Fill your bags and set it out for 10:00am pick up on Sat. Nov. 16. The Scouts will share seven or eight truckloads with our Food Pantry!

Thrivent Members please consider directing your Thrivent Choice Dollars to our church and preschool. In October our Preschool received $98.

Please join your Thrivent Member Network – Heartland Region at Bully’s Smokehouse, 1280 Columbia Center, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 6-8:00pm to learn answers to questions regarding “Social Security: Timing is Everything”.

Dinner will be served. Please RSVP at colss.eventbrite.com.


Middle School 5th-8th grade November Youth Event

November 2nd, 6:30-10:00pm Jumpapalooza, SkyZone. We will meet at 6:30pm, to go to SkyZone for their Jumpapalooza event. This event includes 120 minutes of jump time, pizza and a drink. We should arrive back to church around 9:30pm. We will have a quick snack and devotion with our event ending at 10:00pm. Cost is $10.00 and the event requires an online SkyZone waiver. Please RSVP if you plan to attend and be sure to complete the online waiver. Sign up sheet by youth bulletin board too. Questions or to RSVP contact Melissa Upson @ 314-852-0161 or melissaupson@outlook.com.

“Think and Talk More About Jesus” workshops will be held at here at St. Paul’s and presented by Dr. Jason Droge of the Lutheran Hour Ministries. You may attend on Saturday, Oct. 26, 9-11:30am or Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30-9:00pm. Attendance is free of charge. Sign up on the sheets available in the narthex. Contact Pastor Sievers at 314-882-2097 or email him at phyllissievers@yahoo.com for more information.

Image result for hay bales and pumpkin clip artThe straw bales in front of the church are the setting for an autumn display. Everyone is invited to add pumpkins, cornstalks, other appropriate seasonal items. The display will remain until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Any questions may be directed to Helen Nowak at 281-4875.


HANDBELL RINGERS CONCERT

We invite you to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 227 North Good Haven, Columbia, IL for a presentation of the Fall Concert “American Spirit” by the Gateway Ringers. This is scheduled for Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4:00 PM. This concert features a little Cohan, a little soft shoe, a visit to the Virginia Highlands, spirituals, Americana, and more. The music will lift your spirits! The concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be accepted. Refreshments will be served following the concert.

The Gateway Ringers is an auditioned community choir, comprised of handbell ringers from the St. Louis metropolitan area. Their mission is to inspire excellence in musicianship and heighten awareness of handbell music. The group was formed in the fall of 1995. The Gateway Ringers are members of the Handbell Musicians of America at the Area VIII and national levels. More information is available on their website http://www.gatewayringers.org/.

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God , and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-24


Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

This Sunday is Reformation Sunday, a day when we celebrate the heartbeat of the Christian Faith. “That we are saved by grace, through faith, apart from works of the law”. This Biblical teaching articulated clearly in the 16th century by Martin Luther arose from a spiritual crisis where he falsely believed that God’s final word was judgement on him because he was not able to follow His expectations. He saw God as someone who was all powerful, and to whom he was accountable. For him God was big..and he was oh so small. I’m not sure that kind of accountability, and fear of God prevalent in the world in which we live. Harold Seinkbeil in his book “Dying to Live the Power of Forgiveness” says that rather than becoming a godless nation, we have become a nation of “many gods”. That is we get our “identity, security, and meaning” from things like money, pleasure, sports, work, relationships, beauty, and the list goes on and on. These are all great blessings, but lousy at replacing the true God. For one, these false gods are never satisfied with us. The money god demands more money…the pleasure god demands greater and greater pleasures…the work god always has more for us to do, the beauty god always finds something wrong with us. Read Ecclesiastes if you want to see the limitations of these false gods. My point is that a right standing before God which comes through Holy Spirit induced faith in Jesus Christ is all about The God who is satisfied with us (made us righteous) because our sin has been atoned for. As Jesus stated on the cross ”It is finished”. Our salvation has been completed!! This message changed the world some 500 years ago, and this message has much to say in a world that is falling apart trying to find satisfaction from its gods. Happy Reformation Day!!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


Weekend Worship Theme- “Faith and Justification” Romans 3:19-26. The other readings are “Revelation 14:5-7 and John 8:31-36.

Re:Vitality: St. Paul’s Lutheran is taking part in a nine month long process of long-range planning for our congregation. The first step in this process is filling out a self-assessment survey. All members and those who are connected to our congregation are encouraged to fill out the online survey. You can find a paper copy of this survey in the church narthex (entryway). Please go to www.lcms.org/survey/revitality and enter congregation code: C193551 Husbands and wives are encouraged to submit their responses separately. The last day to fill out the survey is November 3rd.

Pot Luck Dinner: There will be a potluck dinner after the late service today. Even if you did not bring food, you are welcome to join us in the fellowship hall.

Community Canvas: On Sunday, November 3rd from 2-4pm members and friends of the congregation are invited to meet at church to walk the neighborhood distributing a brochure on our congregation and asking the neighborhood the following question. “When you look at the needs of our community, what do you think a church like St. Paul’s can do to help meet those needs?” Come one, come all!! Pastor Krenz and the Board of Outreach.

Joy Bible Study Books are In 😊 These books are in the narthex. The next Joy Bible Class will be held on Monday, November 18th in the Fellowship Hall. If you would like to be part of this class and have not yet signed up for a book…you can call Lisa Krenz at 618-335-5601.

Wednesday Night Bible Class: This Wednesday Bible class has been postponed for the time being

Parables Bible Class: Our Bible class continues this week as today we cover “Parables on Counting the Cost”. In this parable we will be looking at the “Lost and Found parables of Luke 15”. In addition we will spend 15 minutes each week addressing “Common Questions”. These are the most common questions I have received over the years on various Biblical and Religious topics. Join us in the fellowship hall for these classes.

Gateway Handbell Ringers Concert: Here at St. Paul’s this Sunday at 4pm.


Middle School 5th-8th grade November Youth Event

November 2nd, 6:30-10:00pm Jumpapalooza, SkyZone. We will meet at 6:30pm, to go to SkyZone for their Jumpapalooza event. This event includes 120 minutes of jump time, pizza and a drink. We should arrive back to church around 9:30pm. We will have a quick snack and devotion with our event ending at 10:00pm. Cost is $10.00 and the event requires an online SkyZone waiver. Please RSVP if you plan to attend and be sure to complete the online waiver. Sign up sheet by youth bulletin board too. Questions or to RSVP contact Melissa Upson @ 314-852-0161 or melissaupson@outlook.com.


A SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON SUN., NOVEMBER 10TH AFTER THE 10:30 SERVICE IN FELLOWSHIP HALL. THE SUBJECT WILL BE THE PARSONAGE. PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND.

Scouting for Food event is coming up soon. Scouts will be distributing bags on 9 November and will collect food on 16 November. This event is the single largest source of food for our pantry. We always get more than enough corn and green beans, so if you are planning on donating food, please consider alternatives. We can always use the following: canned fruits, canned chicken or beef stew, beef & chicken broth, and cream of chicken & mushroom soups, and jelly. We need volunteers on the 16th to pick up the donations from the Scout Hut in Columbia around 11 a.m. If you have a truck or other large vehicle and have an hour or two to spare, please contact Marilyn Snider. We can also use your help on Sunday evening (Nov 17th) and Monday morning (Nov 18th) to sort, mark, and pack the food for storage. Come for an hour or two or until the job is done. These are great opportunities for kids and adults to help out with a local mission. We even have jobs that can be done while sitting down if you have mobility issues. More details to follow in the next few weeks in the bulletin and on Facebook. Questions?? Contact Marilyn Snider, Barb Ries, or Kendra Nowak. *note: Columbia Public School students grades 5-12 can earn community service hours at this event. 20 service hours are required for high school graduation.

Wurstmarkt, Holy Cross, Renault – Sun., Oct. 27, Noon to 5:00pm

Sausage Supper, Trinity, Worden – Sun., Oct. 27, Noon – 6:00pm

Wurstmarkt, Zion Evangelical, Millstadt – Sat., Nov. 9, 3-7:00pm


Thanks to many who contributed to the autumn display in the front of the church. The display will remain until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Any questions may be directed to Helen Nowak at 618-281-4875.

Please join your Thrivent Member Network – Heartland Region at Bully’s Smokehouse, 1280 Columbia Center, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 6-8:00pm to learn answers to questions regarding “Social Security: Timing is Everything”. Dinner will be served. Please RSVP at colss.eventbrite.com. 

September 2019

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Last week I flew to Florida to visit my in laws and bring back a vehicle they have for our daughter. I left for Florida two days early because Hurricane Dorian was predicted to make landfall last Monday. While hurricane Dorian’s landfall in Florida did not happen, the mere prediction of a category 4 or 5 hurricane caused disaster response teams to pour into the state. As I was driving north out of the state on I-75 I saw over 1000 utility/tree trimming trucks traveling south into what they thought would be the heart of hurricane damage. It looked to me like a modern cavalry, going into danger to “restore” electricity and clean up communities from the predicted hurricane. Individually these trucks could probably do very little, but combine them with others and it is a whole different story. Even together, it may not look like much headway could be made after a category 5 hurricane. The word of Christ proclaimed, heard, read, poured out in baptism, and received in the Lord’s Supper does not seem all that powerful in a world filled with brokenness and tragedy. Yet don’t be fooled, God uses it to bring Christ’s rescuing work in our lives. This is what we do at this congregation, dispense his Word….and because of that God is doing much restoring.

Blessings,
Pastor Krenz


Monday night worship: time will change to 6:30pm starting Mon. Sept. 9.

Rally Day: This celebration of Christian education will take place after the 8am service (September 8th) . Join us for cookies and refreshments in the narthex, a book swap (bring a faith inspired book you no longer want or need and bring a new one), and finally the children and youth will be attending the first 10 minutes of adult bible class for a brief Bible lesson which will lead afterwards in their activities in the classrooms upstairs.

Adult Confirmation Class: On Sun., Sept. 15 at 6:30pm membership classes will begin for those interested in learning more about what the Lutheran church teaches. These classes take around 10 weeks. Contact me if you or someone you know is interested in the class. (618-363-0121). Pastor Krenz

FALL CLEANING DAY: Next Saturday, Sept. 14th 8AM - ?? . Outdoor chores – yard work; Indoor chores – dusting, wiping tables, window sills, general tidying up. BYO tools and supplies. Refreshments will be provided.

Sunday Morning Bible Class: Please join us on Sunday mornings at 9:15am in the fellowship hall as we look at the topic of vocation. Each week we will discuss the various vocations God has granted us in our life. For example, his call to be part of a family, work, citizenship, and the church.

Confirmation Starts this week: as fifteen middle school/junior high students begin their confirmation instruction. The weekly classes are scheduled for Tuesday from 3:30pm-4:30pm, and Wednesday from 5:45pm-6:45pm (same class/two times). Please keep these students in your prayers, as they continue to learn the content and significance of Christian/Lutheran doctrine. 

“And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Luke 15:5-6

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

At the heart of many of our fears, is the fear of being alone or lost in the world. We want to live a life that has some lasting significance, and if we are lost/alone we wonder if that can happen. In Luke 15, Jesus tells us three parables, the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. They are masterful stories that convey the depth of our separation from God and others (felt or unfelt separation), and the determined love of the Savior to find and bring the lost back to himself and the Christian community. The theme for this weekend’s services is the “Surprising joy of being found” based on the lost and found sheep parable (Luke 15:1-10). I hope to see you this weekend!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Service in the Park: Next Sunday, September 22nd at 10:30am (picnic to follow). The service will be held in the City Park behind the Columbia High School at the large pavilion across from the tennis courts. You may bring lawn chairs or sit at the picnic tables. Meat, tableware and drinks are furnished. Bring a dish to share. We will also have an 8am service at the church on that day.

Monday Night Service Time Change: This service is now at 6:30pm.

Vocation: Sunday’s Adult Bible Class on Christian vocation will look at the Christian calling to family as it relates to marriage. All are welcome to join us in the fellowship hall at 9:15am.

Nominating Committee: Volunteers are requested to help with the nominating committee for the election of officers for 2020. Please call Toby Search at 618-719-6094. He is looking for three interested people to assist.

Portals of Prayer for October-December are available in the narthex.

Adult Confirmation Class: Starts Sun., Sept. 15 at 6:30pm membership classes will begin for those interested in learning more about what the Lutheran church teaches. These classes take around 10 weeks. Contact me if you or someone you know is interested in the class. (618-363-0121) Pastor Krenz

Re-Vitality- Is a program by the Synod intended to assist congregations in their long range planning. In our most recent Voter’s and Elders meeting it was decided to move forward with this planning process. The process takes about nine months, and involves a congregational survey, small and large representative groups. In October, a congregational survey will start the process…watch bulletin for more details.

Audio Sermons: You can listen on line to St. Paul’s weekly sermons by going to our website.http://stpauls-lcms.org/page25.html

Kidsway: The Wednesday classes are for those in grades 1-4. Each week they learn a different Biblical account. Contact Mary Colyer at 618-334-2321 if interested.

Sunday School: The lesson for N - 8th grade today is: The Fall and a Promise. Students will learn that although with sin comes just punishment, our heavenly Father does not leave humankind without hope, but instead, He promises One who will come to rescue His people. Helen Nowak will be filling in for Christina Schmitt in the N-K class, Karen Mueller will be teaching grades 1-3, and Kevin Koenigstein will be teaching grades 4-7. The high school class will be taught by Carleigh Ottwell.

Life Network of Southern Illinois 2019 Walk-Run-Ride Saturday, September 21st. 722 Market Street, Waterloo, Il 618-939-4224 

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” Luke 16:13

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

In preparing for the sermon this Sunday, I ran across the following quote from George Lorimer, an early editor of the Saturday Evening Post. “It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” We spend a good deal of time in our personal lives, our work lives, and even in the church talking and reflecting upon “financial things”. In most of these settings there never seems to be enough, and it is assumed that we would be better off if there was more. Jesus, and to a lesser extent George Lorimer, give us another perspective. A perspective that recognizes the limitations of money, and how money is not good at being our master. Simply put, it cannot give what only our Savior can give; such as peace, hope, forgiveness, ultimate love, and salvation. As P.T. Barnam once said “Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant”. More on this topic at the weekend services. Hope to see you there!!

‘Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz



Worship Theme and Readings: “The Surprising Need of Having One Master” Luke 16:1-15. The other readings are Amos 8:4-7, and 1 Timothy 2:-15.

Service in the Park: The 10:30am service today will be held in the City Park behind the Columbia High School at the large pavilion across from the tennis courts, followed by a congregational picnic. You may bring lawn chairs or sit at the picnic tables. Meat, tableware and drinks are furnished. Bring a dish to share.

The Sunday Adult Bible Class on Christian vocation will look at the Christian calling as it relates to our work or occupation. All are welcome to join us in the fellowship hall at 9:15am. We will finish at 10am, because of the service in the park.

SUNDAY SCHOOL: The N - 8th grade Sunday School classes and Youth Bible class will be meeting today at the City Park. Join us there at 9:15 for an exciting time outdoors worshiping Jesus.

Kidsway: The Wednesday classes are for those in grades 1-4. Each week they learn a different Biblical account. Contact Mary Colyer at 618-334-2321 if interested.

NEW BIBLE CLASS: Starting Wednesday, October 2 at 7PM. We will be looking at the book of John. Sign up tin the Narthex if you are interested.

Portals of Prayer for October-December are available in the narthex.

The Monday Night Service: It is now at 6:30pm

Re-Vitality- Is a program by the Synod intended to assist congregations in their long range planning. In our most recent Voter’s and Elders meeting it was decided to move forward with this planning process. The process takes about nine months, and involves a congregational survey, small and large representative groups. In October, a congregational survey will start the process.

Audio Sermons: You can listen on line to St. Paul’s weekly sermons by going to our website.

Please join in learning Divine Service 2. The meeting place will be the St. Paul’s Church balcony, Wednesday, September 25 @ 7-8pm.

On Sept 18, the Food Pantry served 12 households which included 24 adults and 6 children. Our current needs are tea, chicken and beef broth,

The Women's Ministry will be starting a bible study on Oct. 21st, led by Lisa Krenz. We will meet on the 3rd Monday of each month from 7:15-8:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. The name of the bible study is Joy: A Study of Philippians and we would love for you to join us. Please sign up in the Narthex by Oct. 7th so we will know how many books to order. 

“……And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Psalm 23:6

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

As you see in the above note one of our own members Carlene, has received the transfer of a lifetime…her transfer to the church triumphant. One of the greater privileges I have as a pastor is to proclaim the life of Jesus at the death of one of his saints. I have found that the good news of our living Savior, to be the only “real and lasting” thing to hold on to when confronted by mortality, and a funeral places our mortality up front and center. Many years ago, my vicarage supervisor stated to one of his grieving colleagues…this is where the “rubber hits the road” when it comes to what you confess and believe concerning the Christian faith. If it matters at all, it matters here!! This Sunday our sermon is based on the parable (though the text never says it’s a parable) of Lazarus and the Rich man (Luke 16:19-31) . It is a story that confronts us with eternal things…and that is a good thing. In a world where things like the “circus” happening in Washington and our daily worries can so easily dominate our lives, it is good to be confronted with that which is of utmost importance.

Blessings,
Pastor


Learning A New Service: This weekend at all our services we are learning a new service in the Hymnal (Divine Service Setting 2). Don’t let that scare you away, we have a choir that will assist us, and an organist who will carefully guide us.

Sunday’s Adult Bible Class will continue to look at Christian vocation. This week we will look at the Christian calling to be citizens. For example, questions on how we interact with the government will be addressed. All are welcome to join us in the fellowship hall at 9:15am.

Re-Vitality- Is a program by the Synod intended to assist congregations in their long range planning. In our most recent Voter’s and Elders meeting it was decided to move forward with this planning process. The process takes about nine months, and involves a congregational survey, small and large representative groups. In October, a congregational survey will start the process.

Portals of Prayer: The October to December addition is available in the narthex.

The Women's Ministry will be starting a bible study on Oct. 21st, led by Lisa Krenz. We will meet on the 3rd Monday of each month from 7:15-8:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. The name of the bible study is Joy: A Study of Philippians and we would love for you to join us. Please sign up in the Narthex by Oct. 7th so we will know how many books to order.

New Bible Class on John: This Wednesday at 7pm. We will meet at the Church.

October Youth Event 8th-12th Grade 10/20/19 12:00pm-5:00pm

Cost $5.00 + cost if you wish to purchase a pumpkin (pumpkins charged by the pound). After the late service we will have pizza for lunch and then travel to Eckerts, Millstadt, IL to see all the fun farm events. We will pick pumpkins, watch the pig races and pumpkin cannon and walk through the corn maze. Contact Melissa Upson 314-852-0161 or melissaupson@outlook.com with questions or to sign up to attend. Sign up sheet is by the youth bulletin board as well.

Think and talk more about Jesus workshops: will be held at here at St. Paul’s and presented by Dr. Jason Droge of the Lutheran Hour Ministries. You may attend on Saturday, Oct. 26, 9-11:30am or Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30-9:00pm. Attendance is free of charge. Contact Pastor Sievers at 314-882-2097 or email him at phyllissievers@yahoo.com for more information. This is sponsored by the outreach committee here at St. Paul’s.

An invitation from the Trustees! The straw bales in front of the church are the setting for an autumn display. Everyone is invited to add pumpkins, cornstalks, fall flowers, and other appropriate seasonal items. The display will remain until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Any questions may be directed to Helen Nowak at 618.281.4875.

The Music Team: has graciously volunteered to play the 8am service on October 13th after we were unable to find an organist for this service. The 10:30 service on that day will have an organist.

Handbell Concert: We invite you to join us at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 227 North Good Haven, Columbia, IL for a presentation of Fall Concert “American Spirit” by the Gateway Ringers on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4:00 PM. This concert features a little Cohan, a little soft shoe, a visit to the Virginia Highlands, spirituals, Americana, and more. The music will lift your spirits! The concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be accepted. Refreshments will be served following the concert.

August 2019

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity…. Ecclesiastes 1:2

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

If I remember correctly, it was between my first and second year of college that I began to read and comprehend the book of Ecclesiastes. I found it to be a very insightful and refreshingly truth filled book which explained why the pursuit of wealth, success, building projects, education, happiness outside of Christ is so empty, or as the writer of Ecclesiastes states vanity of vanities. King Solomon, the author of the book, had wealth, honor, relationships (700 wives, and 300 concubines) and “wordly” wisdom. The world was his to conquer…and yet he looks back and sees all this as an “empty or vain pursuit”. While there are not clear Messianic promises in this book, he does come to the conclusion in chapter 12 that the big things and the daily things (eat, drink, and enjoyment), have their significance when seen as “coming from God”. The apostle Paul sums up this up well when he says in Philippians 3:1 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, Yes indeed life is really life when connected to Christ.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor

ONE 9AM SERVICE THIS SUNDAY- The sermon theme this Sunday is “Identifying and enjoying the True Riches of Christ” based on Luke 12:13-21. We are asking all members to wear their nametags during the August services. These nametags will be set out in the entryway/narthex. We will still have the Monday night 9am service. Our Fellowship events are as follows.

August 4th: Missionary Speaker Tek-Lu Ke-tema from Ethiopia

August 11th: Intergenerational Sunday School

August 18th: “Rise Against Hunger” Food Assembly

August 25th: Potluck Fellowship Meal


Missionary Speaker: After this Sunday’s worship service there will be a presentation by an Ethiopian missionary, Tek-Lu Ke-tema. He was born and raised in an educated Christian family in Ethiopia. He is presently finishing his vicarage year at Salem, Affton and will return to Concordia Seminary this fall to finish his pastoral training. He hopes to receive a pastoral call next spring. His wife, Zion, is a nurse at Barnes Jewish; their two children, Jonah and Selah, attend Word of Life Lutheran School. While the cost of Teklu's seminary tuition is covered by several sponsors and sponsoring congregations, they are dependent on his wife's income and his limited employment as a full-time student, so a generous free-will offering and our ongoing prayers during the coming year or more would be greatly appreciated. Vicar Tek-Lu will be helping out with the readings and in the worship service this Sunday.

Rise Against Fellowship Event: Sunday, August 18th after the 9am worship service. The goal of this event is to package 10,000 meals in an hour and a half in the fellowship hall at the church. We need at least 75 people to assist with this event (invite your friends and neighbors). We also need to raise $3,800 to help pay for the meals which will feed 50 children overseas for a year. The Board of Christian Caring (The Food Bank) is offering a $1,000 dollar for dollar match for this event. So far $850 has been received or pledged for this endeavor. With the match that means we have $1,700 – only $2,100 to go!! Please make checks out to “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church” and place in envelope marked “Rise against Hunger”. If you want to donate cash, do so in a separate envelope marked “Rise against Hunger” and give your name. Friends of the congregation are welcome to join us for this event.

What to do with the parsonage? The Board of Trustees is going to leave the “voting/comment” forms out in the narthex (entryway) on whether to sell or keep the parsonage until August 18th. It is hoped that in September, a special meeting will be called for the congregation to discuss this one issue.

Lutheran World Relief Backpacks: The Ladies League is collecting items to fill school kits to be sent to Lutheran World Relief. We will be gathering the following items - new items only: notebooks, crayons, rulers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, #2 pencils, ballpoint pens, and erasers. If you are willing to donate, please pick up the slips for the items you want to donate (located on the bulletin board in the Narthex). You can bring the items and place in the baskets on the table in the Narthex. Thank you for helping! Any questions, call Wanda at 618-281-4691.

The Columbia Daze Parade is Aug. 17th. This year we want to participate and more importantly, increase community awareness of all the wonderful things St. Paul's has to offer. Ideally, we would like to have an interactive, small themed float to include members who are able to help pass out candy and church information. All are welcome to join in on the fun! If you are available Aug. 17th and interested in participating, please contact Christina Schmitt Email: cmgarfield4@gmail.com; Call or Text: 314-807-2200. You can also sign the “parade sign up sheet” in the narthex.

Youth Events:

Middle School-August 9th at Epic 6 Sports. Meet at church at 7:15pm., lower parking lot. Contact Melissa to RSVP: 314-852-0161 email: luv2run94@yahoo.com.

High School Bible Study: Will take a break until 9/1 from High School Bible class. Classes will resume 9/8/19.

Membership Secretary: St. Paul’s Lutheran (this congregation) is looking for a six hour a week Church Membership Secretary. Need to work in afternoon and can be divided up in two or three days. Computer skills are essential. Call the church office for job description.

Confirmation Meeting: For all parents and students in 5th through 7th grade (and above if the child has yet to be confirmed) is tentatively scheduled for Sun., August 18th at 4pm. The present plan is to start confirmation on Wed., Sept 11th at 5:45pm. This could change depending on student schedules

We need your help! Contributions to the Building Fund have been short for several months this year and we have been supplementing the mortgage payment from the General Fund. Please prayerfully consider what you can do to help!

Annual T-3 Men’s Retreat Mark Twain State Park in Hannibal, MO, sponsored by St. Charles Lutheran Men’s Ministry. Dates are Sept. 27-29. Rev. Dr. Greg Seltz will be featured speaker. Visit www.t3mensretreat.org. for more information. at You also can pick up a flyer in the narthex if you have an interest in this event.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

Friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Can you be sure of your salvation/connection to Christ? Some would say that to be absolutely certain of anything concerning God, and that includes our salvation, is the height of hubris. The devil, the world, and at times even our consciences are quick to point out our inconsistent life when compared with the ideal of Christian living. Yet, the Word of God locates certainty of salvation/connection to Christ in things God does for us, and not in our abilities, and that includes our ability to believe. For example in Jude 23-24 it states 2” Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time[a] and now and forever. Amen.” Then there are these verses from Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Your assurance is not going to come from looking at your life, or even how strongly you believe when compared to other times in your life. Your assurance, your salvation, your faith, is located in a God who joyfully promises and gives you what you cannot and could not earn…salvation/connection to Christ. So go ahead, be absolutely certain concerning Christ and his salvation that has come your way. This isn’t hubris, it is simply acknowledging that what God says is right on!!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz


The 9am Services Continue: This week we continue with our Sunday 9am services. Last week we had 133 people join us for the 9am service, and it was wonderful to receive God’s gifts and praise his name together. This Sunday’s theme is titled “Identifying and Enjoying God’s gift of Contentment” based on Luke 12:22-34. The other weekly readings are Genesis 15:1-6 & Hebrews 11:1-16.

Intergenerational Sunday School: Young, old, and everyone in between will gather together this Sunday at 10:15am in the basement for an intergenerational Sunday School. We are going to sing songs together, and learn about two Luke 15 parables “The Lost and Found Sheep”, and “The Lost and Found Coin”. In addition we will be putting cards together for those members who are not able to come to come to church because of their health status (shut ins). It will be good for the young people to join with the adults of the congregation learning what it means to be lost and more importantly found. Also, a free book will be given to every child who participates.

Columbia Daze parade: Our congregation will have a presence at this year’s parade. Contact Christian Schmitt via email cmgarfield@gmail.com or call or text at 314-807-2200 if you are interested in participating…

Rise Against Hunger Fellowship Event: This event will take place next week after the 9am service in the fellowship hall. Since we will be standing most of the time and filling bags for an hour and a half, please bring comfortable clothing attire. Also, feel free to invite friends and neighbors of all ages to this event and to the 9am worship service. We need at least 75 people to assist at this event. As of last week $2375 has been raised ($1375 from the congregation plus $1000 in matching funds from the Board of Christian Caring) which means only $1,425 is need to reach the goal of 3,800. The money raised and the work done on that day will help feed 5O children overseas for a year.

Wednesday Nigh Religion Classes for Grades 1-4: We are looking for those who would like to assist with the Wednesday school of religion classes in September. If you are interested please contact the church office a board of education member or Pastor Krenz

Worship at the Historic Church: On Monday, August 19th and 26th at 7pm we will be having the services at the Historic Church (114 Liberty Street). While there is a parking next to the school, it is requested that all those coming to these services park on the street.

The Monday night worship: will change times from 7pm to 6:30pm starting Monday, September 9th. There is no Monday night service on September 2nd.

Voter’s Meeting Summary: See the attached for a summary of the July 28th congregational voter’s meeting.

Membership Secretary: We are looking for a six hour a week Church Membership Secreatary. Need to work in afternoon and can be divided up in two or three days. Computer skills are essential. Call the church office for a job description.

Confirmation Meeting: For all parents and students in 5th through 7th grade (and above if not yet confirmed) is scheduled for Sunday August 18th at 4pm.

High School Bible Study: Will break and resume on 9/8/19.

School Kits- The Ladies League is Collecting items to fill school kids to be sent to Lutheran World Relief. The following items are being gathered (new only) notebooks, crayons, rulers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, #2 pencils, ballpoint pens, and erasers. If you are willing to donate, please pick up the slips for the items you want to donate (located on the bulletin board in the Narthex). Call Wanda at 618-281-4691 if you have questions.

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

The above verse from 2 Peter 3 calls us to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. With that in mind, for the next several weeks I will be sharing various ways we can grow in our walk with Christ. This week “Receiving God’s gifts in regular/weekly public worship.” There are many benefits to weekly worship including the opportunity to hear God’s Word which the Holy Spirit uses to show us our need for the Savior and to strengthen our faith in Christ. In public worship we are continually assured of Christ’s forgiveness and everlasting salvation. In worshiping together we receive the strength and blessings of the Lord’s Supper. As we gather around Word and Sacrament we get to bring our petitions of prayer and praise to the God who has created and redeemed us. Worshiping with fellow believers also gives us the opportunity encourage them in their walk with Christ and figure out ways we can carry God’s mission into our community and to the world. There are many reasons stated or unstated that keep us from worshiping together on a regular/weekly basis. Take those reasons and compare them to the above reasons for gathering together and see which viewpoint is most compelling. “ Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” Colossians 3:16. See you in worship!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor


Weekend Service theme: Identifying and Enjoying the Race of Faith Hebrews 12:1-3. The other Scripture readings are Jeremiah 23:16-29, and Luke 12:49-53.

St. Paul’s is walking in Columbia Daze Parade (August 17th): Please meet Christina Schmitt and Robin Phelps between 3:15 and 3:40pm in the city park (1200 North Evergreen Lane) near the bath and tennis courts. Our assigned number is 46. It is suggested that you park at Eagleview Elementary side lot or Columbia High School. Please wear your grey Thrivent t-shirt. If you do not own one, there will be a variety of sizes available. Feel free to come even if you don’t have a t-shirt. We will have a decorated pick truck with banners , candy, church flyers, and pencils to hand out. Umbrella’s or poncho’s may be necessary. Please make arrangements to get back to your vehicle as space in the truck will be limited. Come one, come all! Call Christina at 314-807-2200 if you have questions.

Rise Against Hunger: Thank you to all who donated to this “servant event” where 10,000 food packets will be assembled here at St. Paul’s this Sunday morning from 10:30am-12:15pm. These assembled food packets will be distributed to needy places around the world. Thank you to many individuals and groups within the congregation who made donations that have fully covered the $3800 dollars that were needed to pay for the food packets. Please venture down to the fellowship hall for this service project, and enjoy the refreshments while you wait for the 10:30-10:45 start of this event. To God be the Glory!

Worship at the Historic Church: On Monday, August 19th and 26th at 7pm we will be having the services at the Historic Church (114 Liberty Street). While there is parking next to the school it is requested that all those coming to these services park on the street. The Monday night worship time will change from 7pm to 6:30pm starting Monday, September 9th. There is no Monday night service on September 2nd.

Food Pantry On August 7th 17 households were served which included 43 adults and 15 children. Thank you for your support!

Fellowship Meal: Next week following the service we will have a congregational potluck meal. Please join us even if you are not able to provide any food for this event.

Confirmation Meeting: For all parents and students in 5th through 7th grade (and above if the child has yet to be confirmed) will be held today, August 18th at 4pm. The present plan is to start confirmation on Wed., Sept 11th at 5:45pm. This could change depending on student schedules.

School kits The Ladies League is collecting items to fill to be sent to Lutheran World Relief. We will be gathering the following items - new items only: notebooks, crayons, rulers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, #2 pencils, ballpoint pens, and erasers. If you are willing to donate, please pick up the slips for the items you want to donate (located on the bulletin board in the Narthex). You can bring the items and place in the baskets on the table in the Narthex. Thank you for helping! Any questions, call Wanda at 618-281-4691.

Church Membership Secretary-This position is available here at St. Paul’s. We are looking for a six hour a week Need to work in afternoon and can be divided up in two or three days. Computer skills are essential. Call the church office for job description. Let the office know by August 25 if you are interested.

What does God want me to do in my life? If this question has ever been on your mind, you will benefit from the below Sunday morning Bible classes on “Vocation”.

September 1st: Vocation- Our call to faith

September 8th: Vocation- Our call to family

September 15th- Vocation- Our call to work

September 22nd- Vocation- Our call to be citizens

September 29th- Vocation- Our call to the church.


SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, September 14th is Fall Cleaning Day around our church and parsonage. Both inside and outside projects are available. More details to follow.

High School Bible Study will break and will resume 9/8/19. And no Sunday School for younger grades during the month of August.

“….from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” Romans 15:4 .

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Last week I wrote about the great benefits of weekly/regular worship in our walk with Christ. Another way to grow in our walk with Jesus is a regular devotional/prayer life. I’ve noticed through the years, that many of our members seventy years of age and above have a daily/routine with their devotional life (Usually Portals of Prayer). I have a hunch that a regular reading of one’s Bible and even praying written prayers was emphasized more in the past than it is today. This is interesting, because never before have their been so many options in regards to one’s personal devotional life. For example, there are phone aps, podcasts, audio online sermons, online devotionals, and numerous books available today to assist us in our devotional/prayer life. I think many get frustrated, by our “starts and stops” in our devotional routine. We make ourselves a promise to read the Bible in a year, and then either get hung up in Leviticus or other things crowd out this activity. Even if you have experienced many of these “stops and starts” in your devotional routine…and you may have the same in the future…..keep on giving it a go. Why? According to the above verses they make us wise for salvation, and they give us hope. Here are some Lutheran devotional/Bible study sites that may be of assistance to you.

Lutheran Hour Ministries: https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190823

KFUO Radio: https://www.kfuo.org/category/thy-strong-word/ (A daily Bible Study)

LWML Mustard Seed Devotions: http://www.lwml.org/mustard-seed-devotions

The Meyer Minute: https://themeyerminute.typepad.com/meyerminute/ (Daily Devotional Thoughts from Dr. Dale Meyer)

Lutheran Charites http://devotions.lccharities.org/

Portals of Prayer Online: https://www.cph.org/portals/ (There is a small subscription fee to get this on a daily basis)

Blessings,
Pastor Krenz


Sunday Worship Service Time/Theme: Our last 9am August worship service will take place this Sunday. This Sunday’s theme “Identifying and Enjoying the Narrow Door” Luke 13:22-30. The other readings include Isaiah 66:18-23, and Hebrews 12:4-24.


Pot Luck Meal: All are invited to a pot luck meal which will follow the Sunday service. Even if you are not able to bring something, we encourage you to attend this fellowship event which will take place in the fellowship hall.


Monday Worship at the Historic Church: The 7pm Monday worship service will take place at the Historic Church (114 Liberty Street). Please park on the street, and not in the parking lot next to the Historic School. The Monday night worship times will change to 6:30pm starting Monday, September 9th.


Signing a Card for our Firefighters: In appreciation for the firefighters in town, the congregation is asked to sign a card in the narthex following the Sunday service. This card will be accompanied by some desserts to express our appreciation for all that they do. The Board of Outreach.


Welcome: This Sunday we welcome Andrea Mastrantuono into our fellowship here at St. Paul’s. Andrea recently transferred her membership from St. John’s Lutheran in Red Bud. Andrea works at Allsup in Belleville and she resides in Waterloo with her husband Marc. They are expecting their first child in September.


Rise Against Hunger: Thank you to the 87 people who helped assemble the 10,000 plus food packets last Sunday, and to those who donated to this cause. You can see the impact of these meals by going to https://www.riseagainsthunger.org/global-reach/ & https://www.riseagainsthunger.org/our-impact/nourishing-lives/


Choir Help Needed: Jeanine Consolino our organist is asking congregational members and choir members to help the congregation learn Divine Service 2 in our Lutheran Service Book. The rehearsals will take place at 7pm on September 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Please gather in the balcony. If you have questions call her at 314-892-6170.


Pre School Director and Assistant Installation: This Sunday Shelly Augustine and April Shrader will be installed as our pre-school director for the 2019-20 pre school year during the Sunday Service. After the service members of the congregation are invited to go down and look at the preschool, and meet our pre school staff.


What does God want me to do in my life? We will begin addressing this question in a series of five Sunday morning September Bible classes on vocation. Our first class on September first covers God’s call to faith.


Youth/Parent information meeting and Ice Cream Social: Sunday, September 8th at 6pm. This includes Middle School and High School youth.


Food Pantry: They served 19 households on August 21st. Their current needs are tea, breakfast cereal, canned fruits (except for applesauce).


Adult Information Class: The next membership class to learn what the Lutheran Church teaches will take place on Sunday, September 15th at 6:30pm.


Thank You: To Bob and Gail Thoma who provided new candles for the altar area in memory of his daughter Stacie.


Sunday School Teachers Meeting: This Tuesday, August 27th at 7pm.  

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

As you may know we are pausing for a few minutes in each worship service to explain “Why we do what we do in worship”. Every week someone reads this information, and then the following week we place it in the back of the bulletin. Here is last weeks note on “Why we have an offering”.

“The Offering isn’t a momentary pause in the Divine Service in order to collect the mandatory admission price. Neither is it a required payment of your membership dues in the congregation. The Offering is a time of worship like the hymns and prayers. There are important attitudes that make Christian giving worshipful, such as first fruits giving, cheerful giving, thoughtful giving, and giving in response to God’s blessings Behind Christian giving is also this crucial understanding–everything that we have is God’s. We merely manage what God already owns. The question often arises.. “How much do I have to give?” or “How much should I give?”. It is better to ask a different question “How much can I give?” In the end, the exact amount is between you and your Lord. What a privilege and blessing it is that God allows us to take part in this act of giving.”

Many Blessings,
Pastor Krenz

Weekend Sermon/Service theme: “The Surprising Look of Exaltation” based on Luke 14:1-14.

Sunday School: Starts this week at 9:15am.

Rally Day: Join us for this occasion when we celebrate the opportunity to participate together in Christgian Ecucation. (See above attachment)

What does God want me to do in my life? If this question has ever been on your mind you will benefit from the September Sunday morning Bible Classes on Vocation. This week we will be looking at our call to faith. Other weeks will look at our call to family, our call to work, our call to be citizens, and our call to the church. Come one, come all!

September Youth Information Meeting/Ice Cream Social: This event for middle school and High School students and their families will take place on Sunday, September 8th at 6pm here at church.

We need Singers: To assist the congregation in learning Divine Service 2. We will practice on Wednesdays in September, starting this week at 7-8pm. Please meet in the balcony.

Couples Bible Class: Pastor Sievers is leading a couples Bible class once a month starting Friday, September 13th at 6:30pm. The title for this class is “Immegrants Among Us” based on a 2012 Synodical study of this topic.

Sunday Worship Times: return back to 8am and 10:30am this Weekend!

No Monday Night Services this week. All of the following Monday night services will start at 6:30pm rather than 8pm.

Adult Information/Membership Class: This will start on Sunday, September 15th at 6:30pm. If you know of someone interested in this class, please contact the church office at 281-4600.

Junior Confirmation: This begins Tuesday, September 10th (3:30-4:30pm) and Wednesday September 11th (5:45-6:45) (same class/two times) If you know of someone who would like to participate please contact me at 618-363-0121.



July 2019


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” Proverbs 16:3

Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

Over the years I have heard many a believer wonder about God’s direction or plan in their life. The scenario’s which cause such a question involve one’s work, family, schooling, service in the church, and the like. It is noteworthy that according to the above verses God plans/paths/ good works are in the plural and not the singular. Might it be that we are can get overly hung up on a specific route in life that we think God should take us, and then fail to see the many ways our gracious Savior is presently working and will continue to work in our lives for the sake of his kingdom? I am of the belief that his plans for our lives are so numerous they cannot be counted. Rather than concern ourselves with this or that plan, trust that your living, forgiving, and powerful Savior will continue to fulfill his will in this world through you, in spite of you, and in this world in which we live.

In our Savior’s Service,
Pastor Krenz

Our Summer Discipleship Journey Sermon Series: This weeks theme is titled “A Journey Lightly packed” based on Luke 10:1-12. Next week (July 14th) “A Journey with our neighbor in mind” Luke 10:25-37. Recent sermons can be found in the audio file http://stpauls-lcms.org/page25.html

National Youth Gathering: This year we have seven high school students, two college students, and two adults who will be attending the July 11th to 15th LCMS national youth gathering in Minneapolis, MN. Please keep these participants in your prayers. A free will offering will be taken following each service to help defray expenses at the gathering.

Missionary Visit this Wednesday: This past week I heard from Kip and Ivy Hoech, whom we have helped support as missionaries in Central Asia. They will be meeting me for dinner on Wednesday night, and then here at the church at 6:30 to discuss their missionary work in Africa. Please join us on Wednesday night (July 10th), and meet our missionaries.

Rise Against Hunger Fellowship Event: Sunday, August 18th after the 9am worship service. The goal of this event is to package 10,000 meals in an hour and a half in the fellowship hall at the church. We need at least 75 people to assist with this event (invite your friends and neighbors). We also need to raise 3800 to help pay for the meals which will feed 50 children overseas for a year. The Board of Christian Caring (The Food bank) is offering a 1,000 dollar for dollar match for this event. Please make checks out to “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church” and place in the memo line “Rise against Hunger” (or place this on a separate note). If you want to donate cash, do so on a separate envelope. Friends of the congregation are welcome to join us for this event.

One Sunday Service in August: By now you have heard of the one 9am Sunday worship service in August. Our tentative plan is to have the following “congregational” activities after the Sunday Service. On August 4th a missionary speaker Tek-lu Ke-tema from Ethiopia who is currently vicaring at Salem Lutheran Church in Afton will speak on outreach in Ethiopia

The Loss of a Spouse Seminar will be held Tuesday, July 23, from 2pm to 3:30pm, at Good Shepherd Lutheran, 1300 Beltline Rd, Collinsville, downstairs in the conference room. Anyone who has lost a spouse to death can attend. You will receive a booklet with over 30 short readings on how to live with grief and eventually rebuild your life. I hope you will consider attending. Call Jeanette at the church 344-3151 or email lcookparishnurse@charter.net to register or for more information.

Survey on the parsonage. The Board of Trustees is conducting a simple survey to help facilitate discussion on what to do with the parsonage. Please mark your preference as to whether the congregation should sell or keep the parsonage, and place these in the “ballot box” in the narthex.

Food Bank Update: On July 3rd 14 households were served including 29 adults and 12 children. The current needs include plastic shopping bags, tomato sauce, Favioli, Milk Products, Tea and Popcorn. Please bring items to the church office or the storage container on the lower stairwell near the fellowship hall.

Follow us on Facebook! Type "St. Paul's Lutheran - Columbia, IL" into your search bar and then click on "like" for this public group.

Portals of Prayer: The July-September daily devotional/prayer book is available for fee in the narthex (church entryway).

Church Web Site: http://stpauls-lcms.org/ Please contact Josh Colyer for any updates to web site. colyer.joshua@gmail.com. 618-334-4525  

“I have said these things to you; that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart: I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

“There has to be a reason or a purpose for going through what I’m going through.” We are Christians, and for that reason we know that our loving God is in charge, and that nothing happens outside of his understanding. When we go through life’s challenges, inevitably we inquire concerning the “why”, and try to envision something positive God is bringing in this midst of these difficulties. I’m not saying this isn’t so, and that you cannot find Scripture passages that express this very thing. However, often this side of heaven, figuring out God’s specific purpose in the midst of our challenges is rather illusive. For that reason, I think we are better off focusing on God’s gracious presence in Christ, and his promises through the Savior. Let me suggest that the next time you go through one of those difficult times and think “there has got to be a reason”, hear and read God’s Word and soak in the promises and gracious presence of your loving Savior (See above verse) . Presence and promise living verses purpose living…….the former just might be a better way to go!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Sermon Theme: This weekend we are continuing our “Summer Discipleship Journey” under the theme “A journey with His Word at our side” based on Luke 10:38-42. The other Scripture passages are Genesis 18:1-10a, and Colossians 1:21-29.

Youth Assistance: The youth will be helping out with Greeting and Ushering this Sunday, and a trio will be playing their Clarinet during the offering at the l0:30am service.

Youth Update on the National Youth Gathering: The youth will be giving a presentation about their time during the National Youth Gathering at the 7/28 potluck (11:45am). We invite you to bring your favorite dish and join us in the fellowship hall to hear their presentation.

Romans 6: This chapter will be the focus of this Sunday’s Bible class (9:15am in the Fellowship Hall)

Food Pantry: On July 17th they served 24 households, which included 60 adults and 17 children. Their current needs are: Jelly/jam, instant mashed potatoes, canned tomatoes and beef broth.

Rise against Hunger Fellowship Event: Approximately $1200 has been pledged from groups in the congregation for this event. We will need $2600 to pay for the supplies that will make 10,000 meals, which will pay for approximately 50 children in a year. This event takes place on Sunday, August 18th. If you are donating for this event please make checks out to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and place them in an envelope marked ”Rise against Hunger.” Cash can be donated in a similar type of envelope. Friends of the congregation are invited to this event.

Flyer Handout: This Sunday/Monday everyone will receive two flyers, with at least one encouraging friends/neighbors to attend the 9am August services and the fellowship events that will follow.

Voter’s Meeting: Sunday, July 28th at 12:15pm following the congregational potluck dinner.  

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing……….24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:18-19,24-25

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

All of us have an addiction problem called sin, and that addiction is directed toward ourselves. This self-addiction can manifest itself in pride, or on the other end of the spectrum, in despair. In both situations “we” are what is central in this world. Harold Senkbeil wrote in his book Dying to Live, the Power of Forgiveness, “like every addict we believe the lie, that we need the sin to survive.” The scriptural solution to this addiction is not to reform or remold the self, but rather to get rid of it and start new again. Colossians 3:3-4 says 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Galatians 2:20 says “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” A life that trusts in Christ, and not in self, is the solution to the insidious nature of our self-addiction. This Sunday in Bible Class we will be studying Romans chapter seven. In this chapter Paul speaks about wanting to do what is right, but not being able to carry it out. The solution to Paul’s dilemma (and ours too) is found at the end of this chapter…where he thanks God for Jesus Christ our Lord. He expands on what this in Romans 8:1 where he states “there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus”. If you get a chance in the next week or two, read through chapters seven and eight of Romans. These chapters explain clearly our predicament as “self-addicted” sinners, and the wondrous freeing solution found in Jesus Christ our Lord. Have a blessed weekend!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

Weekend Service Theme: “A Journey of Confident Prayer” Luke 11:1-13. The other readings are Genesis 18:20-33, and Colossians 2:6-15.

Adult Bible Study: Sunday at 9:15am “Romans 7” in the Fellowship Hall.

The Youth will be speaking about their recent trip to the National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis at the Potluck meal in the fellowship hall (11:30am this Sunday)

Congregational Voters Meeting This Sunday, July 28th at 12:15pm following the congregational potluck dinner.

9am Sunday Service in August: Every week in August we will have one 9am Sunday Service. We are asking all members to wear their nametags at this service. Following each service all are invited to the fellowship hall for the following fellowship activities: The last two Mondays of the month will have 7pm worship services at the Historic Church (114 West Liberty Street)

August 4th: Missionary Speaker Tek-Lu Ke-tema from Ethiopia

August 11th: Intergenerational Sunday School (All ages will meet together)

August 18th: “Rise Against Hunger” Food Assembly

August 25th: Potluck Fellowship Meal

Mission Speaker Next Week: After our church service on Aug. 4th, there will be a presentation by an Ethiopian missionary, Tek-Lu Ke-tema. He was born and raised in an educated Christian family in Ethiopia. He is presently finishing his vicarage year at Salem, Affton and will return to Concordia Seminary this fall to finish his pastoral training. He hopes to receive a pastoral call next spring. His wife, Zion, is a nurse at Barnes Jewish; their two children, Jonah and Selah, attend Word of Life Lutheran School. While the cost of Teklu's seminary tuition is covered by several sponsors and sponsoring congregations, they are dependent on his wife's income and his limited employment as a full-time student, so a generous free-will offering and our ongoing prayers during the coming year or more would be greatly appreciated.

Rise against Hunger Fellowship Event: Sunday, August 18th after the 9am worship service. The goal of this event is to package 10,000 meals in an hour and a half in the fellowship hall at the church. We need at least 75 people to assist with this event (invite your friends and neighbors). We also need to raise $3,800 to help pay for the meals which will feed 50 children overseas for a year. The Board of Christian Caring (The Food Bank) is offering a $1,000 dollar for dollar match for this event. So far $550 has been received or pledged for this endeavor. With the match that means we have $1,100 – only $2,700 to go!! Please make checks out to “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church” and place in envelope marked “Rise against Hunger”. If you want to donate cash, do so in a separate envelope marked “Rise against Hunger” and give your name. Friends of the congregation are welcome to join us for this event. Below are two videos that help explain both the event and who it helps.

This video shows how our meals go from the hands of our volunteers to the bellies of our beneficiaries.

This video shows the process by which volunteers package meals for our beneficiaries.

The Columbia Daze Parade is coming soon in August! This year we are looking to actively participate and more importantly, increase community awareness of all the wonderful things St. Paul's has to offer. Ideally, we would like to have an interactive, small themed float to include members who are able to help pass out candy/giveaways and church information. All are welcomed to join in on the fun! If you are available August 17th and interested in participating, please reach out to Christina Schmitt by August 1st so that a plan can be put into place. Contact information: Email: cmgarfield4@gmail.com; Call or Text: 314-807-2200

Food Pantry on July 17 served 24 households, including 60 adults and 17 children. THANK YOU for the grocery bags! We asked and certainly received. We have an entire shopping cart full of bags now. We will let you know when we need more in the future. Current needs: jelly/jam, instant mashed potatoes, canned tomatoes and beef broth. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

The High School Bible Study will break from 7/28/19 - 9/1/19, we will resume 9/8/19.

Teaching Position available: LASE Specialized Education is seeking part-time Special Education Teachers for the 2019-20 school year. Candidates must be certified in one or more areas of special education and have at least three years of experience in teaching special education. Candidates should be individuals who love God, love children and have a passion for Christian education. Please send a cover letter and resume to info@lutheranspecialed.org

Confirmation Meeting: For all parents and students in 5th through 7th grade (and above if the child has yet to be confirmed) is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, August 18th at 4pm. The present plan is to start confirmation on Wednesday, September 11th at 5:45pm, though this could change depending on student schedules.

Contributions to the Building Fund have been short for several months this year and we have been supplementing the mortgage payment from the General Fund. Please prayerfully consider what you can do to help!

Mid-year contribution statements will not be automatically printed. Members who wish to have one should call the church office or Lisa Schmidt (281-8413).

Middle School Youth Event (5th through 8th Grade) : 8/9/19 meet 7:15pm church lower parking lot Epic 6 Sports Arena includes Trampolines, Laser Tag, Rock Climbing, Ninja Warrior, Dodgeball and an Arcade. Join us for some fun and fellowship and invite a friend! We will attend the late night special which includes 90 minutes of play, $5.00 of arcade play, a soft drink and your choice of nachos or jumbo soft pretzel. Cost is $10.00 per person. An EPIC 6 waiver form is required so be sure to RSVP to Melissa Upson if you plan to attend. She has the waiver forms to complete.

Contact Melissa with any questions or to RSVP - 314-852-0161 (text) or email luv2run94@yahoo.com

June 2019

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name; he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

The major event for many reading this update is the sixth game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A game where the Blues may take home the Cup 😊. However, there is another celebration which has a more profound and lasting impact on your life, and that is Pentecost or the sending of the Holy Spirit. In the above verse Jesus gives us the central purpose of the Holy Spirit which is to bring into our lives Christ and his word. Without the Holy Spirit, faith in Christ would not last a second. Without the Holy Spirit we could not bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatian s 5:22-23). Through the Holy Spirit God has called, gathered, and enlightened you with fellow believers in the church. When we get down on ourselves or maybe even frustrated with the church, remember the “Spirit Factor.” Where Christ’s words and promises are flowing, the Spirit is always at work. Now that is something to celebrate!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

“Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?” Proverbs 8:1

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. Colossians 2:1-3

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Recently I visited with a friend of mine who teaches religion and philosophy at a private school in the Washington D.C. area. In his particular setting, those who are in the “know” do not adhere to the Christian faith. In fact many of Christianity’s key teachings like the uniqueness of Christ, the errorless Scripture, the Resurrection of the Body, the moral law (especially as it relates to sexuality and our identity as male and female) are at times ridiculed or “highly” questioned. Sadly, the perception is that if you are going to have true wisdom and knowledge, you need to look beyond Christ and his word. There is an area of study called “apologetics”, where Christianity is defended on an intellectual level. I would encourage those with grandchildren or children entering into their college years or residing in an area where Christianity is on the wane to check out books like “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, “The defense never Rests” by Craig A. Parton, “Making the Case for Christianity” by Adam Fransisco. I have access to other books, and would happy to share what I have. The apostle Paul claims that to have true wisdom and true knowledge, is to know Christ or be known by Christ. May the Lord help us “never” forget this great truth.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations” 1 Chronicles 16:23–24a

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Last week I attended the LWML (Lutheran Women’s in Mission) Convention in Mobile, Alabama as the Southern Illinois District junior pastoral counselor. This biennial event involved over 3000 women, and a few of us men….celebrating the Lord’s work of mission here and throughout the world. Even if one is not a member of a local LWML group, one can gain much through resources like mustard seed devotions, http://www.lwml.org/mustard-seed-devotions and the Lutherans Women’s Quarterly has some very encouraging/and timely material http://www.lwml.org/lutheran-womans-quarterly. One can also participate in helping missions around the world by placing your loose change in a little box we have here at church (see picture below). This convention was an encouraging event which included a good deal of singing, Bible Study, and information about mission activity through out the world. For many who have grown up in the Lutheran church, including yours truly, we have seen the LWML as a place of service for the chronologically gifted 😊….however for those younger in years (men and women), check out some of the material…it is quite inspirational and contemporary. When it comes to “mission emphasis”, I personally don’t think there is a better group in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. May the Lord help us individually and collectively declare his glory among the nations!!!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz 

May 2019

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16)
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
“I desire then that in every place you should pray, lifting holding hands without anger or quarreling”. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Dear Friends and Members of St. Paul's,

“As the storm raged, the captain realized his ship was sinking fast. He called out, “Anyone here know how to pray?” One man stepped forward, “Aye, Captain, I know how to pray.” “Good,” said the captain, “You pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets-we’re one short”. This Sunday in the Bible Class hour we are going to be looking at Prayer. We will be going over the why of prayer, the types of prayer, the importance of the God who hears our prayer, the privelege of prayer, and how God answers prayer. In addition I will be passing out note cards, so that people can write down any questions they may have on prayer. I truly think, much will be gained in studying and discussing this topic.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Krenz

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying. “Behold the dwelling place of God is with man…he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1, 3b-4.

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

“Joy is the business of Heaven”. This quote of C.S. Lewis reflects many sections of God’s Word including our Epistle reading this weekend (see above). It reminds us to take seriously life with Christ and his triumphant church after our death. What will this life be like? It will be a life without sin and the result of sin, death and everything surrounding it. We tend to think of heaven as a place where we get to indulge in our earthly joys. Those that love golf, will always shoot a 59. Those that find joy in quilting will have the best stitches and be able to create the most beautiful patterns. If you like to fish, there will never be the one that go away. It will be a place where the St. Louis Blue’s continually win, and the referees always make the right calls 😊. I don’t know, maybe there is some of that??? Yet, real joy comes from being loved by Christ, loving him back, and focusing on others. That is what we are created for and as the redeemed in heaven we will, by the grace of God, do that quite well. Oh, this text from Revelation is such a treasure….to hear more on it join us this weekend at St. Paul’s as yours truly will preach on “The Look of Heaven”.

Blessings,

Pastor Krenz 

“ If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

Through out the summer and into fall we are going to be learning the what’s and why’s of the worship service during each divine service. For example, last week before the Invocation, I read a paragraph on the significance of the Invocation. This week a paragraph will be read on confession and absolution. Divine forgiveness (absolution) is a great gift to Christ’s church. In it you have this call to honesty. Real, unabashed honesty before God and one another that we have failed God and neighbor in thought, word and deed. Followed by real unabashed honesty that the living Christ completely and joyfully cleanses us of our failures toward God and others. I pray that each of you will have a joyous Memorial Day Weekend, and I hope this weekend you will get a chance to take part in confession and absolution, God’s call to living an honest life!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Krenz

 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:1-11

Dear friends and members of Trinity,

Yesterday was the celebration of Christ’s ascension into heaven. A day that occurs forty days after the celebration of Easter. Why did Christ Ascend? While it may look like he ascended to get away from us, in reality he ascended to transform his presence among us. Rather than be with us in a visual way, he now comes to us through the power of his Holy Spirit and in his Word. Jesus said in John 16:7” Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you”. We do not have to go to Israel or somehow ascend to heaven to see what Jesus is up to. Instead, for almost 2000 years Jesus bridges time and space and comes among us through word, meal, and baptismal font. Yet, there is more….he promises to come again in the same way he left us. My hunch is most of those reading this message gave nary a thought to Christ’s ascension yesterday, but whether you did or didn’t….the reality of having an ascended Lord is quite grand. .

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Krenz 

April 2019

"Not That I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers I don consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Dear members and friends of St. Paul’s,

I have run in three marathons, and in each one I’ve gotten slower. This pattern is quite common when you start running marathons in your late forties. The last marathon I ran was The Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon in 2016 with my older sister (she was way ahead of me). Early on, the race was quite easy…there was even a good deal of casual conversation. However, once you hit mile 15 or 16 the conversations cease…and you just want to finish. I had of improving on my previous time of 4:12, but instead ended up for all practical purposes walking to the finish with a time of 4:35 or something like that… Sometimes our life this side off heaven is relatively smooth (the first 14 miles), but then in spite of our greatest effort our life becomes a slow painful slog. As Christians, we press on. Why? Christ is beside us and the upward call of God in Christ is in front of us. There are great advantages to running with Jesus. For one, we have the ability, through the cross of Christ, to forget what is behind. We can forget because Christ has forgotten our sins of “not training enough”, of “taking for granted those smooth sailing miles”, and for our failure to respond to those who could use our assistance in those difficult miles. I did finish that race in Vegas and even got light running jacket at the end. As I understand it, our heavenly prize will be much better 😊

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Krenz

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him….” Philippians 2:8-9a

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

“Eat slow, and eat lots.” As a child, I often heard these words from my grandmother while I would hastily consume meals in her home. It was her way of saying, slow down little guy, eating here with me is more important than you realize….and the stuff you want to get to quickly are not as important as you think they are. The week of Jesus prior to his death on the cross (Holy Week), which covers about 1/4th of the four gospels, shows him slowing down. During this week difficult/painful details emerge slowly revealing that Jesus is taking the road never before traveled…the Calvary road. We live a frenetic life, and so when we encounter rejection, pain, grief, sorrow, guilt, and shame we want to hastily move past these realities to things more pleasant. Yet, we quickly realize that propelling past such things is easier said than done. Holy week gives us a chance to slow down and reflect on our Savior who didn’t skirt such unpleasant times. Instead, he slowly and purposely walked through them all the way to the end so that we are not abandoned as we slog through the unpleasantries of life. Easter is coming, that is for certain, but in the mean time slow down and fill up on your Jesus who walks with you every step of the way.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Krenz     

"He is not here, but he has risen"....but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves, and he went home marveling at what had happened " Luke 24:6a, 11-12.

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

The three women who heard that Jesus had risen, initially responded that these words seemed to them an "Idle Tale" (nonsense). This is the only time in the New Testament that the word "idle tale" occurs. Prior to Jesus death and resurrection we have him taking part in up to 30 miracles but never once were they described by friend or foe as idle tales. Even in a time when fanciful stories of Roman and Greek gods and goddesses were all the rage, the resurrection of Christ was so extraordinary it seemed to be an idle tale. Later Peter goes to the empty tomb, sees the cloths, and his Holy Spirit induced reaction is not in seeing it as an idle tale, but rather he marveled (or became astonished out of ones senses) at the reality of Christ’s resurrection. Our old nature, the world, and the evil one would have us believe Easter is a nice story but in the end merely an idle tale. This Easter season, my prayer is that as you hear, sing, and confess that Christ is Risen, the Holy Spirit will allow you to marvel (become astonished out of your senses) that God would take such dramatic steps to love you!

A blessed Easter to all,

Pastor Krenz

“Whoever acknowledges Me before men. I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven” Matthew 10:32-33

Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,

This Sunday five young people from this congregation will be participating in the rite of confirmation. Allow me to share a few thoughts. In baptism, we are given the Holy Spirit, who exists to reveal Jesus. Think of this as the foundation and key of our life. Yet, we need protection from the elements, so God brings his Word to us in family devotions, Sunday School, the sacraments and Christian conversations. In essence, he is building us a home. Why? To protect us from a multitude of dangers and allow us to enjoy life under his grace. I see confirmation, as God framing up the building. An important step…but the home is not done yet. As these young people mature the meaning and significance of the things they learn will change, and God willing, their faith will deepen. I hope this image helps us see that confirmation, while important, is one part of an ongoing construction project.

Many Blessings!

Pastor Krenz

Address

227 North Good Haven,
Columbia, IL; 62236

Service Hours

Sunday 8:00 AM
Sunday 10:30 AM
Monday 7:00 PM