PASTOR'S PAGE....................................................................MAY 2017

Forty days after Easter we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord. This year it falls on May 25. You can read the account in Acts 1:1–11 and Luke 24:44–53.

Jesus ascension does not mean He is gone. It means He is with us everywhere. He is with us as both man and God. Jesus is closer to each of us now than if we could see him with our physical eyes.

We have already seen this at work during the forty days Jesus appeared to His disciples after He rose from the dead. He left the tomb without bothering to move the stone away from the door. He had a conversation with two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus and then simply disappeared after He broke bread with them. Later on that same night, He suddenly showed up in a locked room in the middle of His disciples. He did exactly the same thing a week later and had a special talk with Thomas. He came and went and appeared and disappeared at will. He was always with the disciples, but they could not always see Him. He got them used to the idea that even though they could not see Him, He was always with them.

Jesus made many promises to His church that He would not be able to keep if it weren’t for the fact that He communicates His divine attributes to His human nature. We hear that Jesus ascended into heaven, but elsewhere Jesus made the promiseBehold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) and Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20) Then there is the promise that Jesus makes in the sacrament itself when he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new testament in my blood. (Luke 22:19–20) How can Jesus make all these promises to be with us and then go and ascend into heaven?

If Jesus were a mere human being, these passages would make no sense. But because Jesus is both God and man, He can fulfill these passages easily. The divine nature of Jesus communicates the ability to be everywhere to the human nature of Jesus. The ascension does not mean that Jesus went away. Instead, it means that He is always with you no matter where you go or what you do.

This eternal presence of God with us means that Jesus is always with us in His full deity AND His full humanity. The very body with the prints of the thorns, the marks of the nails, and the hole of the spear (these are called the “stigmata”) is with us even though we cannot see it. In a way that we cannot understand, all of His forgiveness, all of His love, all of His comfort is with each and every one of us in the crucified and risen, human body of Jesus Christ.

I feel so sorry for those who reject the possibility that the divine nature of Jesus communicates its attributes to the human nature of Jesus. It means that they believe that the bread and wine of the sacrament only represent the body and blood of Christ. It means that there is no forgiveness, but only a symbol of forgiveness. It means there is no love of Christ in the sacrament, but only a representation of the love of Christ. It means that there is no comfort in the cup, but only a symbol of the comfort of Christ. When people reject the divine power communicated to the human nature of Jesus, there is no real Gospel. Instead there is merely a symbol of the Gospel.

But Christ has ascended to fill all things. He not only dwells in heaven, but He also dwells with us both as God and as man. He still is Immanuel, God with us. He continuously brings us the gifts that He earned for us with His life, suffering, death, and resurrection. He is with us with His real love, His real forgiveness, His real comfort, His real salvation, and his real eternal life.

The Ascension of Our Lord means that the God-man Jesus Christ is fully with us even though we cannot see Him. The good news is that the day is coming when we shall see Him. In Acts 1 St. Luke tells us that while [the disciples] were gazing into heaven as [Jesus] went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10–11) Jesus will come again. We will see Him again face-to-face for the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write,For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Until that day comes, we can rest in the assurance that we are never alone. Christ our Lord, true God and true man is always with us. We have His forgiveness, His love, His comfort, and His strength. The world will do all it can to separate us from Him. It will discourage us. It will attack us. It will persecute us. Jesus Himself warned us, In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33) Never the less, He also said,Take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The one who overcame the world ascended into Heaven in order to fill all things. He ascended so that He could be with us to the close of the age. For now, He is with us always even though we can’t see Him. At the end of the age, we shall see Him and those who believe in Him will see Him forever.

Have a Blessed Ascension Day!  Pastor Wagner

Registered Visitors at First Trinity for Mar/Apr 2017

(Visitors who filled out cards.)

Mar 26 Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Arlene Smith – Blue Springs, NE

Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE

Rosie Hill – Fairbury, NE

Paul/Minnie Koening – Beatrice, NE

Mar 29 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Chris Carnes – Beatrice, NE

Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Apr 2 Wayne/Vivian Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE

Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Lyle Osborn – Lenexa, KS

Katelyn Fortin – Kinde, MI

Apr 5 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE

Apr 9 Pastor Arthur/Barbara Schauer – Seward, NE

Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Anna Ramey – Parkville, MO

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Wayne/Vivian Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE

Apr 13 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Paul/Minnie Koenig – Beatrice, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Wayne/Vivian Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE

Orville/Helen Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Marge Wollenburg – Odell, NE

Sharon Rosenthal – Jansen, NE

Jonnathan Rosenthan & Steph – Beatrice, NE

Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE

Donna Hipp – Beatrice, NE

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Dawn, Ethan, & Isabella Hirschler – Beatrice, NE

Apr 14 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Paul Koenig – Beatrice, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Orville/Helen Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Virgene Schmidt – Jansen, NE

Marge Wollenburg – Odell, NE

Jayme Sederberg – Beatrice, NE

John/Dawn, Ethan & Isabella Hirschler – Beatrice, NE

Kevin/Cammy Weichel – Plymouth, NE

Leonard/Laura Rosenthal – Jansen, NE

Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE

Aaron Shuck – friend of Abby Hahn

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Christopher Clifton – Unknown

Apr 16 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Lyle Osborn – Lenexa, KS

Bailey Bannister – Omaha, NE

Jayme Sederberg – Beatrice, NE

Lyle/Pamala Burger - Kearney

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

Kaitlyn Fortin – Kinde, MI

Logan Husa – friend of Bill Spilker

Glennys Linemann – Beatrice, NE

Aaron Shuck – friend of Abby Hahn

Philip/Andrea & Mallory Nelson – Prairie Village, KS

Mark/Jordan Nelson – Kearney, NE

Mike/Kim & Ty Zellers – Omaha, NE

Donna Hipp – Beatrice, NE

Herb/Marge Wollenburg – Odell, NE

Jeremiah/Karen, Katie, Lauren & Carter Johnsen –

Grand Island, NE

Sean/Jennifer, Alex, Emma & Andrew Shaeffer –

Lincoln, NE

Jeremy/Lori, Alayna, Reagan & Harper Landis -

Waverly, NE

Aaron, Siera, Halee & Ava Pfingsten – Arlington, NE

Apr 23 Wayne/Vivian Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE

Arlene Smith – Blue Springs, NE

Amy Brott – Beatrice, NE

Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE

Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE

Paul/Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE

Rosie Hill – Fairbury, NE

Paul/Minnie Koening – Beatrice, NE

Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE

Tierstyn Murray – Beatrice, NE

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF MAY

Kent Parde           1              Augustus Wollenburg           16

Orma Hahn          7              William Spilker                            17

Arlene Meyer      7              Judy Pohlmann                           18

Toni Lisec              9               Renee Kettelhut                         19

Deanna Beethe  13           Amanda Johnsen                       25

Katie Genrich      13          Emery Sluka                                   28

Michael Sothan  13          Abby Hahn                                     29

Angie Belding      14         Walter Neumann                       30

THOSE CELEBRATING BAPTISMAL BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF MAY

Rachel Genrich          1           Kent Parde        12

Jonathon Schleufer 1          David Barnard 13

Mariah Brandt            3          Betsy Spilker     15

Karen Reynolds         7         Jane Niemeier   22

Carolyn Brott             8         Arlene Meyer     27

Brian Genrich            12

THOSE CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES IN THE MONTH OF MAY

Ron/Patty Collins 18

**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 - April 11, 2017

Meeting was called to order by church President Tom Brandt. Pastor Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from John chapter 8. Minutes of the March council meeting were approved as read.

Russell Behrends presented the Financial Secretary reports and Ron Malchow presented the Treasurers report. Income for the month of March was $32,464.24, expenses $11,305.27, with an ending balance of $22,116.08. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Dean Damme. Seconded by Jerry Larmeu. Motion carried. (see reports)

Elders’ Report – Brent Niemeier

  • Next meeting will be Tuesday, May 9th with the Elders Meeting at 7:30 pm and Council at 8:30 pm.

Pastor’s Report – Pastor Wagner

  • During the church service on April 2nd we received into membership Carolynn Brott, Ethel Hartman, Arthur and Sarah Morris, James and Carolynn Nelson.

  • Confirmation was held March 19th, with two confirmands Madison Wagner and Logan Damme.

  • For the first quarter of 2017 the average attendance was 75 people with an average of 60 members and 15 visitors. The average number of people who communed was 60. The average adult bible class attendance was 27. The average attendance for Sunday school was 15. The average for midweek Lenten services was 50.

  • The dual parish of Zion Harbine and St. Peter Wymore have called a pastor from the seminary. The seminaries are graduating 92 men with callings on April 25th and 26th, while there are 150 congregations looking for a pastor.

Trustee’s Report - Jerry Larmeu

  • Dwight Holtmeier is going to paint the women’s restroom starting Monday after Easter.

  • They have been informed that new belts are needed for the vacuums.

Stewardship / Board of Education – David Wollenburg

  • VBS will be held May 22 through 26th in the evening from 6:30 – 8:30pm.

  • A different CD player has been purchased to accompany the children’s bells due to technical difficulties experienced with the old one.

Cemetery Sexton – Walt Neumann

  • Still need a second person on the cemetery CDs. Motion by Tom Brandt to have Brent Niemeier be the second person to oversee the cemetery funds. Seconded by Dean Damme. Motion carried.

Old Business

  • The application for the church credit card is being filled out.

New Business

  • Motion by Russell Behrends to accept the transfer in of Arthur and Sarah Morris and James and Carolynn Nelson from St. Paul’s Beatrice. Seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried.

  • Tom Brandt asked if there was any objections if he paid the $100 entry fee to have First Trinity Lutheran Church be a part of the 125th Plymouth Celebration deck of cards. The council did not have any objections.

  • It was asked about the conference that was held at Grace Lutheran Church in Fairbury that was attended by Pastor Wagner, Judy Haussler, Meagan Sothan, and Michael Sothan. Pastor mentioned that there are 3 types of “inactive” people who don’t attend church. Discussion was held about what we are doing or should be doing about “inactive” members in our congregation.

Motion was made by Russell Behrends to adjourn, seconded by Ron Malchow. Motion carried. Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer. Respectfully submitted by Secretary Dean Damme.

Members present include: Russell Behrends, Tom Brandt, Walt Neumann, Pastor Wagner, Brent Niemeier, Jerry Larmeu, Ron Malchow, and Dean Damme.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Church Income for the Month of March: $32,464.24

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL!

Be part of Mighty Fortress VBS! God’s children of all ages will learn that in Jesus, the victory is won at Mighty Fortress VBS. AND, every child will hear the Good News that Jesus, their Savior, has won the victory over sin, death, and the devil and that God gives us that victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! At Mighty Fortress VBS, as VBS staff you can live out the theme “In Jesus, the victory is won” as you share the message and the fun with kids! If you can help full or part time, we have many ways to be involved to suit your schedule and interests. Talk to Melissa or Adena for more information or see the sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall. Join us to see how in Jesus, the victory is won! VBS dates are May 22nd -26th, 6:30-8:30 pm.

 

Orphan Grain Train Wish List

Drug Store Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, combs, bandaids, bath towel, wash cloth (dark colors recommended), deodorant, chapstick

School Supplies: Writing paper, notebooks, crayons, ballpoint pens, pencils, chalk, watercolors & brushes, new coloring books, erasers, pencil sharpener, glue stick, rulers, blunt scissors, backpack, construction paper, washable markers, protractor

Infant Supplies: Disposable or cloth diapers, sleepers, onesies, receiving blankets, bibs, blanket or quilt, burp cloth, baby wipes, bottles (new), pacifiers (new)

Clothing: All sizes of clothing, socks, and shoes in good condition and clean (no tears or stains)

For more information, visit www.ogt,org

Pages