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Pastor's Weekly Devotions

Devotions - 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.

Address

227 North Good Haven,
Columbia, IL; 62236

Service Hours

Sunday 8:00 AM
Sunday 10:30 AM
Monday 7:00 PM