• ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
    Weekend of August 8th, 2021

    One Day Diet

    *Painting above found at https://ainvaresart.com/products/original-painting-put-on-the-new-self-ephesians-4-22


    I've never heard anyone say, "I went on a diet yesterday. It was great. I'm done now."


    A diet isn't something you can accomplish in a day (despite the claims of the book I found on Amazon called "1 Day Diet"). A diet is a way you eat for an extended period of time, often with the goal of losing and keeping off pounds.


    Sometimes we act this way as Christians, though. "I went to church yesterday. It was great. I'm done now."


    The Christian life isn't something that is done in one day. It is a way you live. In the words of Ephesians, it is a way you walk for an extended period of time with the goal of glorifying God out of love for what he has done for you.


    Ephesians 4:22-23, from our sermon text for this weekend, says that the Christian life is something that happens continually. "As far as your former way of life is concerned, you were taught to take off the old self, which is corrupted by its deceitful desires, and to be renewed continually in the spirit of your mind..."


    How can this be done? By continually, daily, returning to what God has done for you, in his Word and Sacrament. Confess your old sinful self, that would prefer to live the Christian life for a day and then be done. Instead, put on the new self, receiving Christ's forgiveness through faith in what God gave you in baptism. And establish a steady diet, a way of life, that continually returns to the renewing and recreating word of God.


    Ephesians 4:24 goes on, "...[P]ut on the new self, which has been created to be like God in righteousness and true holiness."


    Our Christian life can sound more like this: "I was clothed with Christ's righteousness and true holiness yesterday. It was great. I want to do that again today!"


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    Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

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    God bless you as you serve him!


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    1. published a newsletter

      ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
      Weekend of August 1st, 2021

      Worth Re-Hearing

      “Vermont? Must be nice this time of year—all that snow.”


      I love that line from the movie White Christmas. Even though I’ve rewatched the movie many times, it never gets old.


      Many of us have our favorite movies or shows that we don’t mind rewatching, even though we know the plot and we know how it all ends. It’s still enjoyable to rewatch them. Sometimes they even get better the second, third and fourth time through. Even the 100th time, you may see or appreciate something you hadn't before.


      “God so loved the world, that he gave…”


      I love that line. Even though I’ve heard it 100 times.


      In Ephesians 3, Paul prays that we never get tired of “re-watching” the good news. He prays that we never think, “Ok, big deal, I know about Jesus, that’s old news, I’ve seen that movie before.” In fact, he prays that it gets better and better our whole life long as we savor it every day and come to know Jesus love more and more.


      So today, repent of your sinful heart that sometimes enjoy re-watching movies more than re-hearing the gospel. And as you look to Jesus’ forgiveness, pray “that you would be able to comprehend, along with all the saints, how wide and long and high and deep his love is, and that you would be able to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19)


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      Zachary Beach, the son of Chuck and Nancy Beach and brother of Melissa Bater, Kurt Beach, Kyle Beach, and Nicole Alcorn, died suddenly this past Sunday (obituary here). His funeral will be held where he was a member, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Wyoming, MI, but we will have a memorial service at St. Paul's this Wednesday evening at 7pm, and you maybe may visit and offer comfort to the family at the church for the hour before the memorial service. Please keep the family in your prayers to God and reach out to provide support and comfort.


      "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."

      (Revelation 14:13)


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      Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

      Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



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      God bless you as you serve him!


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      1. ReadVoters' Meeting Sunday
        July 25th, after Late Service, at exactly 10:58 am

        The voters would like to meet to discuss an item related to the call extended to Mrs. Zelenka. Please plan to attend what will be a short, but important meeting after late service, this Sunday.

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
          Weekend of July 25th, 2021

          We Are the Church

          Throughout the church year, we follow something called a Lectionary. You can see the word "lectio" in there, from a latin word that means "a reading." This means our church follows a series of readings through the year that give a steady, well-rounded, diet of the important truths of God's Word. As the manual to our current hymnal puts it: "In the first half of the Christian year (Advent to Pentecost), the focus is on the time of Christ, recalling the events of his life. The second half of the year constitutes the time of the church, the joyful response of the community of believers to God's grace in mission and service."


          One of the features of the lectionary we adopted with the 1993 hymnal was something called "lectio continua." As you might guess, this was a continuous series of readings through a particular book of the Bible. This feature went away with the revised lectionary that came with the Hymnal Supplement, and will also not be included in the new lectionary in the new hymnal coming later this year, which aims to have each Sunday be tightly themed with readings that hang together closely around that theme.


          What does this mean? It means over the next 7 weeks, we're doing something of a "last hurrah" for the lectio continua, by following the chosen readings of the book of Ephesians. Our loose theme over the 8 week Ephesians series (last weekend and the following seven) could be outlined this way:


          We Are the Church


          Chosen from Eternity (Ephesians 1:3-14)

          United by Redemption (Ephesians 2:13-22)

          Stronger through Diversity (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)

          Renewed in Mind (Ephesians 4:17-24)

          Godlike in Attitude (Ephesians 4:30-5:2)

          Guided by a Higher Purpose (Ephesians 5:15-20)

          Committed to Real Love (Ephesians 5:21-31)

          Prepared for War (Ephesians 6:10-20)


          The details of old Latin words like lectio continua and the lectionary might not excite you as much as the average nerdy pastor, but what can be exciting for every Christian is how the letter to the Ephesians, all by itself, gives us a steady, well-rounded diet of the truths of God's Word, particularly helping us understand what it means to be the church.


          Come this Sunday to hear how in a country divided by culture, creed, race, politics, and sin, God calls his church to the only reality that can truly unite: We are all bought and paid for by God's own blood. The proud, the dignified, the lowly, the humbly, the "good, the bad, and the ugly," the "righteous" and unrighteous, the Jews and the Gentiles--we all need Jesus, and we are all united as we possess Jesus through Spirit-given faith.


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          Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

          Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



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          God bless you as you serve him!


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          1. published a newsletter

            ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
            Weekend of July 11th, 2021

            Rejection is the Rule

            When it comes to the kingdom of God, rejection is the rule, not the exception. Even Jesus was rejected in his hometown (sermon text for this weekend)!


            Rejection of Jesus is the rule in our hearts too, not the exception. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the Means of Grace, does he stop us from pushing Jesus off the cliff of our hearts. What grace that Jesus chose not to reject us, but instead of give us faith in him!


            "You did not choose me, but I chose you." John 15:16


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            Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

            Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



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            God bless you as you serve him!


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            1. ReadSt. Paul's Church Council Items
              From Council Meeting, June 29, 2021

              Elders: Worship Changes

              The Board of Elders approved the following changes:

              • The offering plate will once again be passed. This returns the offering to being in the worship service, which emphasizes that what we give to God is a grateful act of worship in response to God's Word (after the sermon). Don't feel guilty to pass the plate without placing an envelope in (e.g. if you give electronically, or once-a-month, etc...)! No one is watching and judging you. If you'd like to hand something in as a reminder that what you have given in a different way is part of your worship, you can always put an empty envelope in. My family writes "deducted" on one of our empty envelopes and has one of the kids hand it in.
              • Ushers will usher out from the front once again.
              • The information table will be removed and ushers will hand out bulletins/magazines etc...
              • Monday night church will be mask-optional. Average attendance has been ~30, so this remains a great option for those at higher-risk.
              • Sunday School and Bible Study this fall will return to the school.
              • Communion remains unchanged for July, but common cup and kneeling will most likely return on August 1st.


              Also: September 12th Picnic. We had considered not having the fall church picnic because of the anniversary picnic, but the elders and council decided we will have it anyways (the more picnics, the merrier?)! Planning will begin for the September 12th picnic (also a special anniversary Sunday).

              1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                Weekend of July 4th, 2021

                The Resurrection and the Life

                This past week, I got to help with Camp Lor-ray, a Lutheran camp in the Twin Lake area of Michigan. In the 1st through 3rd grade camp, we focused on the "I am" statements of Jesus. It's amazing to overhear the confidence these little children have in Him.


                Walking down to the beach, I heard one girl saying to another, "Does everyone at this camp believe in Jesus?"


                "Yes," the other said, "My friend doesn't though. How can you not believe in Jesus? Who made all this? Who made your grandma, or your great-grandma, or your great-great grandma.... (and so on for a lot of "greats")?


                Don't lose that confidence when you grow older! One of the "I am" statements we reviewed here was Jesus saying, "I am the resurrection and the life!" This weekend in worship the readings are all about the confidence we can have in Jesus because he conquered death. Because of Him, what confidence we can have every day, for ourselves and for our loved ones, whether we live or die! As the children sang around the camp fire: "Let my near and dear ones be, always near and dear to thee, oh bring me and all I love, to thy happy home above."


                Receive that confidence once again through God's service to you in worship this weekend.Share that confidence with your children and with your friends.


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                Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

                Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



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                God bless you as you serve him!


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                1. published a newsletter

                  ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                  Weekend of June 27th, 2021

                  Sometimes Jesus is so kind and comforting in storms. In the gospel reading for this weekend, Mark 4:35-41, Jesus answers the disciples' worried question, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" with a swift rebuke of the wind and instant peace.


                  When we are worried and afraid, Jesus often does the same thing in our lives. He quiets what terrifies us so quickly that we forgot about what was bothering us, and even forget to say thank you!


                  Sometimes, however, Jesus responds a little more violently.


                  Job knew a thing or two about difficulty in life. He had lost everything! But when he started to question God and why he did things the way he did, God did not respond first by quickly removing all trouble (though soon he would restore everything to Job!). Instead, "The LORD responded to Job out of a violent storm. He said, 'Who is this who spread darkness over my plans with his ignorant words? Get ready for action like a man! Then I will ask you questions, and you will inform me."


                  *Gulp!*


                  In the next two chapters, God humbles Job with zingers like, "Can you loosen the belt of Orion (the constellation)? Can you unleash the lightning bolts?! Did you teach the hawk how to soar?"


                  In the "storms" of life, when we cry out in terror for mercy from God, we find such comfort. When we cry out in prideful questioning, as if we know better than God, God humbles us.


                  And Job was humbled. He said, "I know you can do all things. No purpose of yours can be thwarted... So I despise myself. I repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2, 6)


                  Praise God that he accomplishes his amazing and wonderful plans in this world without our advice. Praise him that he humbles us through difficulties, so that we can humbly look to the one who knows what is best and who guides us through every storm and gives us peace through faith in Christ. As we pray in the prayer of the day for Sunday:


                  "O Lord, our God, govern the nations on earth and direct the affairs of this world so that your Church may worship you in peace and joy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."


                  Picture: The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt, 1632.





                  Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

                  Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



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                  Bulletins & Calendar



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                  God bless you as you serve him!


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                  1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                    Weekend of June 20th, 2021

                    The Gospel Flourishes!

                    This Sunday is all about how the gospel flourishes throughout the world, often in ways we do not know. One of our anniversary projects focuses on the gospel being spread far from here. Check out the table in the church entryway and read some information about the ministry we have chosen to support in Nepal.


                    NEPAL CHAPEL CONSTRUCTION PROJECT


                    For many St. Paul's members, gathering in our church for worship is a weekly habit passed down to us by parents and grandparents, a habit we hope to pass on to our children and grandchildren. We enjoy a legacy of blessings from God through our house of worship. As St. Paul's sanctuary marks its 100th birthday, what better way to give thanks for that legacy than to seek to share it with others.


                    This is why St. Paul's congregation has chosen to devote one part of our 100th Anniversary Thank-offering to an effort to construct a house of worship for our fellow believers in Nepal.


                    Nepal is an Asian territory bordered on the north by China and in the south by India. Situated in the Himalayas, this mountainous country boasts eight of the ten highest peaks in the world, including Mt. Everest. A nation of 30 million people, Nepal is roughly 80% Hindu and 15% Buddhist. Though it is reportedly the 5th most practiced religion in Nepal, Christianity only comprises 1.5% of the population.


                    Hinduism was the official state religion of Nepal until 2006. Laws still restrict conversions away from the Hindu faith and prosyletizing for other religions is forbidden. Those who do take up the Christian faith are often shunned in society. On occasion, anti-Christian persecution has turned violent.


                    For these reasons, our Gospel outreach in Nepal often occurs remotely and always with great caution. WELS visitors help to train Nepalese workers in regional Bible Institute and Seminary workshops. Christian literature translated into local dialects helps get 'the Word” out. Since many Nepalese suffer in severe poverty and homes are subject to damage from frequent earthquakes, humanitarian aid also offers opportunities to share God's love in Christ.


                    What Christians in Nepal lack most is places they can gather to worship, learn, and share their faith. These are the very blessings we receive week after week in our house of God. What a privilege we have to help provide for others what God has allowed our forefathers and us to enjoy for the past 100 years.


                    Through our Anniversary Thankoffering, we hope to gather $15,000 for mission church construction in Nepal. Currently, we are about half-way to that goal. Won't you use the anniversary envelopes in your offering packet to support this project? Then, please, bolster your offerings with your prayers for God to bless the spread of his Gospel in Nepal, that one day we may gather with our Nepalese fellow believers to worship together around the throne of grace in heaven.




                    ** Thank you to all who helped with the Anniversary Service and Picnic! **



                    Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

                    Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



                    Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



                    Bulletins & Calendar



                    Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)



                    God bless you as you serve him!


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                    1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                      Weekend of June 13th, 2021

                      A Big Day

                      When I was little, I always woke up early on my birthday. I was so excited that I couldn't sleep because it was a big day!


                      This weekend we have a very big day! We're celebrating the 100th anniversary of the dedication of our sanctuary (June 12th, 1921 - June 13th, 2021). It is a very exciting day with lots of reasons to celebrate. But you don't have to wait until this special anniversary Sunday to wake up excited for a big day.


                      Lamentations 3:23 says, "Your mercies are new every morning."


                      Every morning is like a day with 1000s of wrapped presents, and within each one is more mercy from God--mercy for every new situation and struggle, and for each new emotion and adventure. Today is a big day!




                      + 100 year Anniversary Services & Picnic, This Weekend! +


                      + Church Open House this Saturday 1-3pm! All are welcome to visit in front of the church and to invite friends to tour our sanctuary! +



                      Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

                      Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



                      Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



                      Bulletins & Calendar



                      Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)



                      God bless you as you serve him!


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