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Pastor's Weekly Devotions

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.

Address

227 North Good Haven,
Columbia, IL; 62236

Service Hours

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