PASTOR'S PAGE...........................SEPTEMBER 2018
Following is a report from the Higher Things Youth Conference in Lawrence, Kansas where everything is done under the motto: Dare to be Lutheran. The theme for this year’s conference was “Sanctified.”
Even though the conference was in Kansas, the campus was quite hilly and we did a lot of walking from one event to another. We walked eight or more miles a day.
The Higher Things Conference opened with a Divine Service. All the services and the hymns for the conference were from the Lutheran Service Book. Each day there were several opportunities to worship. In the morning the Order of Matins was prayed. After lunch it was the order of Vespers and in the evening we used Evening Prayer. It was a great joy to hear our youth boldly singing the hymns and liturgy of the church.
During our conference everyone went to four plenary sessions. The two speakers for two sessions each were Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller and Pastor Aaron Fenker. As the theme of the conference was “Sanctified”, so the theme of these sessions were sanctification, to make holy. In these sessions good works were spoken of and of course those good works flowing from faith. Good works are the fruit of faith or the fruit of repentance. As Christians we are free. Not free to sin, but free to fight against sin. Good works are the Christians love toward the neighbor. And the 10 Commandments give shape to our love. It was also noted that suffering with patience is a good work. When St. Paul speaks of suffering he writes, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” This makes it frustrating for the devil to attack St. Paul, because no matter what he and we are winners in Christ.
At six other times we went to Breakout Sessions. During this time there were around a dozen different sessions to choose from to attend during each of these sessions. Some of the ones that we attended are described below.
FARTING AT THE DEVIL: STANDING AGAINST TEMPTATION Martin Luther joked (maybe) that when the devil confronted him, he would break wind in the devil’s direction in response. Here, Luther expressed his great confidence in the face of the devil’s temptations. But what was the source of this confidence? Why could Luther stand confidently in the face of all the devil’s accusations? What does he do? It was because Luther had the great assurance of his sins being forgiven, an assurance he gained because the scriptures were clear. The clarity of the Bible was a major source of comfort for both Luther and the reformers, one it seems many today have forgotten (or never learned). Let’s re-discover this joy together!
INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, AND JESUS What is the good, the bad and the ugly use of social media? What is the impact of social media on youth today? How has social media helped and/or destroyed relationships? How should we confess Christ in various forms of media? We will look at the use of social media in light of God's law and Gospel. Social media can be good and bad depending on how it is used. Remember that Jesus will never “unfriend” you, but unbelief “unfriends” Jesus.
LAWYER, LAWN GUY, LAYMAN, OR PASTOR? WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE? My grandparents were lawyers. Two of my three brothers are lawyers. The other makes the big bucks in the tech industry. Was I supposed to be a lawyer? What should you be? What does God want you to be and why does He want to you to be it? College? Junior College? Apprenticeship? Will God love you more if you're a pastor than if you were a lawyer? These and other questions about your future will be answered as we look at the doctrine of vocation. Here we learned that all vocations are equal and we should see it that way. God does not love one vocation over another.
WHY ARE YOU LUTHERAN? What do you tell your friends when they ask, "Why are you Lutheran?" Do you know what you would say? Do you know why you are Lutheran? Because you were born Lutheran? Not only is being able to give an answer for your faith important, so is knowing why you believe as you do. Come and learn how to give an answer to "Why are you are Lutheran?" and be able to ask, "Why are you . . . ?” We should not be afraid of being Lutheran. The blessings of being Luther are that we distinguish between Law and Gospel, and between justification and sanctification; we have the sacraments, the means of Grace; liturgical worship; and most importantly we focus on Jesus.
DATING AND MARRIAGE: IS PURPLE THE NEW WHITE? Boys are blue. Girls are pink. Purple outside of marriage is bad. Blue with blue and pink with pink are also “shameless.” Dating? How far is too far? Abuse? What makes a good boyfriend or girlfriend? Does God think he or she is the right one? How do I know? Why do brides wear white? Let’s take a look at dating, relationships, marriage, and Christ and His church. We define marriage as Christ and His bride the church.
This session looked at marriage from Genesis 1-3 and Ephesians 5.
Also, all the pastors that were in attendance were asked to stand up and each of us were asked if the Bible clearly said that homosexuality was sinful. All confessed that it was.
ORGANIST WORKSHOP I: SERVING THE WORD WITH MUSIC For all you organists (and aspiring organists as well): This is for you! Come and discover how the organ leads and “sings” with the congregation. Learn about the art of leading congregational song, and open your ears to the ways in which the organ serves the music and the text of the liturgy and hymns. We will discuss how to register the instrument, learn about phrasing and breath, and explore the moods and tempos of hymnody.
WHAT YOUR BIOLOGY PROFESSOR DOESN'T KNOW Evolution is a common topic in both high school and college biology classes. It’s also an area where many Christians are misled because the science doesn’t seem to be on our side. But…is that really true? You might be surprised by the “scientific” methods being used to establish evolution as the basis for the origin of life. Come and learn a few points your professor or teacher may not have an answer for! Darwin admits that no species has changed. There is variation within a species, but the species barrier is never crosses. Change within a species is not evolution. If evolution really happened there would be no distinct species.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO CARRIE UNDERWOOD American Idol winner and mega, mega country star, Carrie Underwood, has some incredible songs. In this breakout we'll watch a few of her videos. As we do, we will learn what the Bible teaches about what that "Something" is "in the Water." In addition, get ready to be "Blown Away" with the biblical truth that, even though "there's not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house," there truly is a divine gift that cleanses sinners from all sin. Carrie Underwood has many truths in the words of her songs but they don’t tell the full story.
Our meals were served in the college dining hall. In the dining hall there were several stations that you could go to for different meal choices. One station had hot sandwiches while another had cold sandwich choices. One station was reserved for those with different dietary considerations. One had homestyle cooking while another had a Mexican style menu. And of course there was a station for deserts with two soft serve ice cream machines, one of which served frozen yogurt.
During the conference there was also time to play each evening. There were many activities that one could partake in. They included: Karaoke, a talent contest, a picture taking booth, archery tag, inflatables, a rock wall, sand volleyball, basketball, capture the flag, boche ball, sidewalk chalk art, swimming and archery tag.
Just as the conference opened with the Divine Service, so also, it ended with the Divine Service. So, the conference was bookended with the gift of the Lord’s Supper, the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.
Church Offering Income for the Month of July: $8,807.75
Registered Visitors at First Trinity for July/August 2018 - (Visitors who filled out cards.)
July 29 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Paul/Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Rosie Hill – Fairbury, NE; Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE; Charlotte Parris – Beatrice, NE; Katie, Lauren & Carter Johnsen – Grand Island, NE
Aug 5 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Paul/Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE; Lyle Osborn – Lenexa, KS; Jeremiah/Karen, Katie, Lauren & Carter Johnsen - Grand Island, NE; Paul/Rachel, Abigail, Grace, Saul & Elijah Burger – Kearney, NE; Helen Burger – DeWitt, NE; Reagan Schultis – Plymouth, NE; Dianna Blevins – Superior, NE
Aug 12 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE; Bruce & Ben Yoder – Omaha, NE; Brady/Bonnie Yoder – Omaha, NE; Jeffrey/Beth Lohse – Beatrice, NE; Harvey/Kathleen Brandt – Sitka, AK
Aug 19 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Charlotte Parris – Beatrice, NE
THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
Henry Meyer 1 Dale Meyer 16
Judy Haussler 5 Ron Malchow 18
Leo Kettelhut 7 Carol Ossowski 19
Tyler Malchow 7 Jamie Brandt 20
Pam Niemeier 8 Dwight Holtmeier 21
Jack Spilker 8 Karen Pfingsten 24
Tessie Smith* 12 Mark McAllister 29
Todd Niemeier 15 Myron Belding 30
THOSE CELEBRATING BAPTISMAL BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
Cameron Meyer 1 Marlene Malchow 12
Adena Wollenburg 2 Matt Collins 13
Fred Swartz 4 Carolyn Bennett 20
Judy Haussler 5 Alisyn Wenzbauer 22
Joan Burger 9 Tyler Malchow 27
Krista Reynolds 10 Pamela Niemeier 28
Dillon Damme 12 Dale Meyer 30
THOSE CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
David/Victoria Barnard 2
LaVern/Joann Niemeier 2
Alan/Laura Bock 4
Gerald/Judy Pohlmann 6
Leon/Marie Zimmerman 8
Todd/Kathy Niemeier 10
Jerimiah/Amanda Johnsen 12
Jim/Joyce Wenzbauer 15
Dale/Arlene Meyer 26
*If your birthday, baptismal birthday, or anniversary date is missing from our lists, please contact the church office so we can include it next year.
First Trinity Lutheran Church Council Meeting Minutes - August 14, 2018
The Treasurer report was provided by Ron Malchow. Russell Behrends presented the Financial Secretary reports. Income for the July was $8,807.75, expenses $9,574.61, with an ending balance of $15,535.96. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Dean Damme. Seconded by Allen Pfingsten. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elders’ Report – Brent Niemeier
Next month’s meeting will be September 11th with Elders meeting at 7:30 pm and Council at 8:30 pm.
Pastor Wagner will be on vacation September 2nd. Pastor Art Schauer will be the guest pastor.
Pastor’s Report – Pastor Timothy Wagner
We can nominate a lay delegate to the Synod Convention July 20-25th, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.
District Conference is being held September 16-18 in Ainsworth, NE. The title is “The Biblical Roots of the Divine Service”. The speaker will be Dr. Thomas Winger, a professor and President at the Saint Catherine’s seminary in Ontario, Canada.
The church has been contacted about helping with the Tri County backpack program. The cost is $250 per student per school year. Motion by Allen Pfingsten to have a free-will door offering after church on August 26th. Seconded by Dan Bennett. Motion carried.
The church has also received an inquiry about donating towards the military bible stick program again like we did in the past. The council decided to wait with this as we are doing the backpack program now. The cost would be $25 per stick.
Trustees' Report - Darin Pohlmann
New edging and bushes have been planted and put in around the church sign.
The drinking fountain in the school has been looked at.
Painting still needs to be done on the church doors and in the back of the church.
The windbreak, spruce tree and bushes have been sprayed for bagworms.
Paul Davis Restoration has been called about our choice for the steeple fix.
Stewardship / Board of Education –
Cynthia Wagner has decided to become the Sunday School Superintendent. The tentative start date will be September 9th. She will be looking for teachers.
Cemetery Sexton –
Kyle Spilker, Michael Sothan, and Dean Damme, the video system committee, met with Diode Communications again and a possible alternative was discussed. The Diode representative is installing this system in his church. Once this is done, he will be able to better tell us of pros and cons which will help us determine the correct path.
Motion by Brent Niemeier to transfer Diane White to Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln. Seconded by Allen Pfingsten. Motion carried.
Dean Damme made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Russell Behrends. Motion carried.
Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer. Members present include: Brent Niemeier, Pastor Wagner, Allen Pfingsten, Darin Pohlmann, Russell Behrends, Dan Bennett, and Dean Damme.
Submitted by Secretary Dean Damme.