THIS WEEK AT IMMANUEL
- 9:00 am—Divine Service with Holy Communion
- 10:30 am—Bible Class
- NO Matins
- NO Wednesday Bible Studies
- 3:30 pm—Individual Confession & Absolution
- 5:30 pm—Divine Service with Holy Communion
- 9:00 am—Divine Service with Holy Communion
- 10:30 am—Bible Class
- 2:30 pm—Nursing Home Service
- 6:30 pm—Ladies Bunco Night
IN OUR PRAYERS
HEALTH CONCERNS: Mia Anderson (great-granddaughter of Joan Vukelich); Bernita Ashwill; Mark Ashwill; Jimmee Barger (friend of the Alexanders); Randy Bergeson (friend of Pastor Braaten and Ann Carroll); Dale Brown (friend of Margaret Stilwell); Judy Cox (daughter of Ruth Sims); Ellie Crawford (daughter of Laran Crawford); Jim Harbaugh; Rick Hardesty (family of the Hoels); Kim Hausman (friend of Ann Carroll); Patti Heath (friend of the Hoels); Joel Hilgendorf; John Hofer (relative of Jerry Alexander); Fred and Barbara Holste (friends of Arleigh & Mary Jane Jones); Mike Kerner (friend of Josh and Jaimee Whitson); Laurie McMillen; Rev. Ted Mitchell (pastor of Tuscola United Methodist Church); Bill Negangard (grandfather of Bryce Reifsteck); Ena Raaymakers (friend of Josh and Jaimee Whitson); Rev. Michael Schuermann; Joy Stenger; Jill Zartler.
SEMINARY STUDENT: Hayden Folks.
DEACONESS STUDENT: Carolyn Walsh.
MISSIONARIES: Rev. Dr. Edward and Monica Naumann; Rev. Alan and Patricia Ludwig; Julie Lutz.
HOMEBOUND: Bernita Ashwill; Bessie Benson; Dolores Byers; Marylin Joergens; Joan Mulligan; Janet Pollock; Art Rahn; Ruth Rentschler.
MILITARY: John Bookas; Carl Crawford; Jeremy Gordon; Jack Leonard; Jake Lindgren; Raymond Longtin; Joey Pollock; Chase Reifsteck; Blake Stokes; Paige Stokes; Ruben Wilson.
NEXT WEEK’S READINGS . . . Micah 7:18–20; 1 Timothy 1:12–17; Luke 15:1–10.
ABOUT THIS WEEK’S READINGS . . . Wisdom has issued an invitation to the divine feast: “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight” (Prov. 9:5–6). This is the call of the Spirit of Christ to believe the Gospel and to receive His saving gifts in the Holy Supper. Many make excuses and reject this invitation, even as the Jews did in the days of Jesus, yet the Master’s house will be filled. The Gospel call therefore goes out to the lowly and despised, into the highways, even to all the Gentiles (Luke 14:15–24). For “you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13–22). In Christ, believing Jews and Gentiles are no longer strangers but fellow members of the household of God. The enmity of class and race is put to death through the cross. Having been reconciled in the one Body of Christ, we are enabled to love one another (1 John 3:13–18) as we await the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom which will have no end.
THOUGHTS ABOUT STEWARDSHIP . . . Luke 14:19 “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’” The things of this world tempt us to cast aside the things of God. The things of this world demand our attention, time, finances, etc. But Jesus invites us to the feast – what could be more important than this gracious invitation? Today’s parable invites us to examine our own priorities and attempted excuses…and then to come home to the Lord who invites us in humble repentance.
ALTAR FLOWERS . . . are given by Bryce & Deborah Reifsteck to the glory of God on the occasion of their wedding anniversary.
PASTOR AND IMMANUEL YOUTH GROUP TRAVEL TO SAN ANTONIO . . . this week for the Higher Things conference, Here I Stand. Thank you for your support! They will be in San Antonio Monday, June 26–Friday, June 30. If you have an emergency, you may contact Pastor Braaten on his mobile phone or call one of the Elders (Jack Appleby, Kenny Kresin, Greg Nau, or Bryce Reifsteck).
CIRCUIT CONVOCATION! . . . The Mattoon Circuit of the Central Illinois District is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at our first ever Circuit Convocation. It will feature Luther Impersonator Clifford Friederich. The celebration begins with Divine Service 9 am and includes lunch, supper, and an opportunity for the congregations of the circuit to share how they are doing. The night winds up with a presentation on Luther sites in Germany. RSVP through Pastor Braaten. The convocation takes place Saturday, August 5, at Saint John Lutheran Church, Mattoon.
CELEBRATE THE REFORMATION WITH MUSIC!! . . . Calling all singers to be a part of a multi church festival choir to help celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on August 5th! No audition necessary; sign-up sheet is located on the bulletin board in the hall leading to the fellowship hall. For more information, contact Miguel Ruiz, coordinator, at (217) 234-4923, ext. 203, or email@example.com. Let’s join our voices to create a beautiful service of worship in honor of this once-in-a-lifetime commemoration!
TREASURES IN CHURCH ATTICS . . . (by Pastor Jason Braaten; reprinted with permission from The Lutheran Witness) Johann Gerhard, a 17th-century Lutheran pastor, wrote: “Luther gathered the principal and most necessary points of doctrine and comfort in beautiful German psalms and hymns, so that the simple too might make continual use of them–as has manifestly (praise God) come to pass, and no one can truthfully deny.”
The Lutheran opponents of Gerhard’s day agreed. Christopher Boyd Brown relates two instances in the opening pages of Singing the Gospel: Lutheran Hymns and the Success of the Reformation (New Haven: Harvard University Press, 2005). One “marveled at how securely Luther’s hymns had planted Lutheranism in Germany … to fill German houses, workplaces, markets, streets, and fields.” While another lamented that “Luther had destroyed more souls with his hymns than with all his writing and preaching.” In other words, the great hymns of the Reformation, indeed, Luther’s own hymns, enabled the theology of the Reformation to sink into the head and heart of all who sang them.
These hymns of the Reformation are treasures of our church. Hymns such as “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (LSB 655), “Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice” (LSB 556), “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (LSB 555), “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (LSB 617), “We All Believe in One True God” (LSB 953/954), “To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray” (LSB 768), “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” (LSB 458), and many more. Sadly, they have, in many cases, been relegated to chests in the attics of our churches. Whether it is because they are long or unfamiliar, and thus seemingly difficult, our churches no longer sing with gusto the great heritage of theologically rich and musically beautiful hymns that our fathers in faith have bequeathed to us.
As we look to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, let us crawl up into our church attics, bring down those chests and dust off those treasures. Let us rediscover the heart and soul of the Reformation–the great hymns of the 16th and 17th centuries. Let us sing our Lutheran faith so that it will be lodged, not only in our hearts and minds, but also in the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren.
A PRAYER FOR THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH . . . Almighty God, You have called Your Church to witness that in Christ You have reconciled us to Yourself. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may proclaim the good news of Your salvation so that all who hear it may receive the gift of salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
- Corky & Theresa Fields (West)
- Jim & Carolyn Dyer (East)
- Joan Vukelich (West)
- Laverl Byers (East)
- Jack Appleby
- Holly Wikoff; Lexie Russo
- Kenny Kresin
- Wanda Long; Cassie Russo
- Caleb Stumeier (Crucifer)
- Ethan Stumeier (Torches)
- Oliver Braaten (Torches)
- Jonathan Braaten (Gospel)
- Ethan Stumeier (Crucifer)
- Caleb Stumeier (Torches)
- Josh Dyer (Torches)
- Oliver Braaten (Gospel)
- Pastor & Lauren Braaten—June
- Donna Campbell—July
- Dolores Ford—June
- Wanda Long—July