PASTOR'S PAGE...........................MARCH 2018
The world cries out today asking, “Where is God?” In the world today we witness violence and war. There have been numerous shootings. We have seen the damage done by several hurricanes. We have seen destruction in California with the fires and mudslides. And closer to home many of you have experienced tragedies of your own. You have been affected by injuries, diseases, death, marriage and family troubles and so much more. Thus, the question “Where is God” may have crossed your mind as well.
Some will contend that there is no God in which case there is no hope. Others will believe that God is whatever you believe Him to be. This sort of God will offer no deliverance from any real enemies. Still others will think that God is as close as you feel that He is which means at times of despair and depression He will be far away and will be of no help whatsoever. There are some who will say that God is in heaven and that we can reach out to Him there. But, heaven is a long way away. We don’t need a God to reach out to, we need one who gathers us to Himself.
Of course in our catechism instruction we learned that God is omnipresent, that is, He is present everywhere. While this is true He isn’t present everywhere for you with His grace and comfort.
So, where is God? The answer to this question centers on one day, Good Friday. He is there on the cross so that He might bring you forgiveness. Christ has died for the sins of the world and now He remains present with His people in His means of grace, His Word and Sacraments. That’s where God is.
At Golgotha, one can say, “There is God” because He is there for all to see. He is hanging on the cross to die for the sins of the world. There He is on the cross.
Whatever you do in this life you are not alone for God gives you His Word. When you suffer because of some trial or temptation His grace is sufficient for you. Where you sin His forgiveness cleanses you. He gives you His name. He gave it to you personally at the font of Holy Baptism as you were baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. How do you know God is here? Remember your Baptism. There He is for you.
Jesus Christ has shed His blood for us and for our salvation. And the Lord Jesus says to you, “Take and eat, this is My Body given for you. Take and drink, this is My Blood shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” In Holy Communion He is there for you to forgive your sins and to strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the one true faith. Where is God? He is here for you. He will not forsake you.
The Lord be with YOU, Pastor Wagner
Please join us for the following worship opportunities during the Lenten Season:
Lent II Worship – “You Shall Not Steal” February 28, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Lent III Worship – “You Shall Not Commit Adultery” March 7, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Lent IV Worship – “You Shall Not Murder” March 14, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Lent V Worship – “Honor Your Father and Mother” March 21, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m. w/Questioning
Maundy Thursday Worship w/Holy Communion “Remember the Sabbath Day”
March 29, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Good Friday Worship - “God's Name” March 30, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Sunday Worship April 1, 2018 @ 6:30 a.m.
Easter Breakfast @ 7:30 a.m. No Bible Class or Sunday School
Registered Visitors at First Trinity for Jan/Feb 2018
(Visitors who filled out cards.)
Jan 28 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE; Rosie Hill – Fairbury, NE; Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE; Leon/Marie Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Aaron Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Andrew Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Art/Eleanor Wagner – Imperial, NE; Jamie Sederberg – Beatrice, NE
Feb 4 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Chris/Leah, Zia, Eli & Mya Humphries – Omaha, NE; Randi Niemeier, Beatrice, NE; Anna Pohlmann, Plymouth, NE; Art/Eleanor Wagner – Imperial, NE; Callen Wagner – Marshalltown, IA
Feb 11 Anna Pohlmann – Plymouth, NE; Randi Niemeier – Beatrice, NE; Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Paul/Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE; Andrew Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Sophie Linneman – Beatrice, NE; Art/Eleanor Wagner – Imperial, NE
Feb 14 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE; Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Art/Eleanor Wagner – Imperial, NE; Taylor Hageman – Ceresco, NE; Jacob Gramlich – DeWitt, NE; Anna Pohlmann – Plymouth, NE
Feb 18 Eldean/Sharon Adam – Jansen, NE; Kay Brown – Beatrice, NE; Norbert Meyer – Beatrice, NE; Wayne/Vivian Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Randi Niemeier – Beatrice, NE; Art/Eleanor Wagner – Imperial, NE; Liz, Reagan & Hallie Elgan – Gretna, NE; Leon/Marie Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Andrew Zimmerman – Beatrice, NE; Jeanne Lorenzen – Lincoln, NE; Lisa Schmitt – Grant, NE;Lisa Bluege – Belivedere, IL; Naomi Thompson – Ulysses, NE; Aric & Graysha Brandt – Plymouth, NE; Anna Pohlmann – Plymouth, NE; Brian/Elaine Burger – Plymouth, NE; Bob/Erin, Ellie & Sadie Dunn – Lawerence, KS; Ila Burger – Plymouth, NE; Everett/Cheri & Madison Burger – Columbus, NE
Church Offering Income for the Month of January: $10,578.16
THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF MARCH
Darin Pohlmann 1 Stacy Damme 10
Brinn Remmenga 2 Zachary Eyer 11
Michelle Belding 3 Matt Brott 12
Jacob Brandt 6 Megan Sothan 16
Joshua Wagner 7 Lee Nickel 21
Diane White 7 Lydia Niemeier 21
David Wollenburg 8 Grant Bennett 24
Peter Spilker 9 Victoria Barnard 25
William Winterstein 9 Michelle Malchow 28
THOSE CELEBRATING BAPTISMAL BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF MARCH
Joan Meyer 1 Matthew Beethe 17
James Hahn 4 James Franzen 18
Kolby McAllister 5 Jacob Brandt 19
Madison Wagner 8 Joshua Wagner 20
William Winterstein 9 Matt Brott 25
Carol Cunningham 11 Stacy Damme 26
Allen Pfingsten 13 Aubriana Sluka 26
Robin Hahn 15 Michelle Belding 30
THOSE CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES IN THE MONTH OF MARCH
Mark/Kris McAllister 10
Randy/Jane Bartlett 21
Henry/Joan Meyer 31
*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 Voters' Meeting Minutes of January 28, 2018
Meeting was called to order by church President Tom Brandt. Pastor Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from Matthew chapter 17. Minutes of the October Voter’s meeting were approved as read.
Ron Malchow presented the Treasurer’s report and Russell Behrends presented the Financial Secretary reports. Income for the year was $178,377.14, expenses $169,502.90, with an ending balance of $15,026.36. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Brent Niemeier. Seconded by Gerald Pohlmann. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elders’ Report – Brent Niemeier
· No Report.
Pastor’s Report – Pastor Wagner (see report)
· The average attendance for Sunday services during the year was 76 people with an average of 63 members. The average number of people who communed was 64. The average adult bible class attendance was 26. The average attendance for Sunday school was 12.
· See separate report.
Trustee’s Report - James Wenzbauer
· The plaque for the National Register of Historic Places needs to be installed yet.
· There are wood chips available across the road by the cemetery if anyone is interested. The plan is to burn the brush pile yet this winter.
· Dwight would like to use a powder cleaner on the church pews. If anyone knows of a good one, let him know.
· The blinds in the east meeting room need to be looked at since they are not functioning.
· Jane asked about getting the windows fixed in the meeting room so that they can be opened when it is nice out since there is no air conditioner in that room.
Stewardship / Board of Education – James Hahn / LaVern Niemeier - Nothing to report.
Cemetery Sexton – Walt Neumann
· See report with the CD amounts. Cemetery was mowed 21 times in 2017.
· Steeple Jacks of America has filed a lawsuit against the church for the remaining balance of the attempted repair of the cross and steeple. The cross on the steeple was installed crooked and the curls were installed backwards July 23rd. Time has expired to have them fix it. So we are looking for another contractor to finish it correctly. Paul Davis Restoration has given a bid of $7,000 to straighten the cross. It would cost extra to replace the curls and for a new ball on the cross.
· Kyle Spilker is heading up a committee which is looking into getting a camera installed in the church. This camera would then be able to broadcast the service in the school building for large funerals. Midwest Sound and Lighting gave a bid of $8,426 and Diode Communications have submitted a bid of $4,200. It was noted these bids are not exactly “apples to apples” as there would be some additional side costs. Motion by Jane Niemeier to proceed with the bid from Diode Communication to add a video system to the church. Seconded by Robin Hahn. Motion carried.
· Motion by Pastor Wagner for Judy Haussler to be the lay delegate for the District convention with Robin Hahn as the alternate. Seconded by Kyle Spilker. Motion carried.
· Motion by David Barnard to split the 2017 Thrivent Choice dollars with $1,000 to the cemetery fund, $500 to the Youth Enrichment Fund, and $254 towards the interpreter for the deaf. Seconded by Russell Behrends. Motion amended by Robin Hahn to change it so $300 goes to the Youth Enrichment Fund and $454 towards the interpreter for the deaf. Seconded by David Barnard. Amendment and motion carried.
· Motion by Russell Behrends to have the 2018 Christmas Eve offering go to Lutheran Family Services. Seconded by Ron Malchow. Motion carried.
· Motion by Russell Behrends for the 2017 interest of $15.55 earned go to the Building Fund. Seconded by Kyle Spilker. Motion carried.
· Motion by Brent Niemeier to send $500 to support missionary Kristen Lange in Germany. Seconded by Delores Wollenburg. Motion carried.
· The budget put together by the church council was presented. Motion by Kyle Spilker to accept the budget. Seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Dean Damme to adjourn, seconded by Ron Malchow. Motion carried. Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer. There were 29 voting members and two visitors present.
Submitted by Secretary Dean Damme.
Meeting was called to order by church President Tom Brandt. Pastor Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from Matthew chapter 20. Minutes of the January Council meeting were approved as corrected.
Ron Malchow provided the Treasurer’s report and Russell Behrends presented the Financial Secretary reports. Income for January was $10,578.16, expenses $12,258.84, with an ending balance of $13,346.41. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Allen Pfingsten. Seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elders’ Report – Brent Niemeier
· Next month’s meeting will be March 13th with Elders meeting at 6:30 pm and Council at 7:30 pm.
· Orphan Grain Train fish feed will be September 1st from 11am – 1 pm.
Pastor’s Report – Pastor Timothy Wagner
· Confirmation will be April 8th and questioning will be March 21st. Gracin Hahn will be the only confirmand.
· Randi John Niemeier will be baptized this Sunday.
· Pastor’s conference will be April 9th and 10th. The theme is “Creation, Sabbath, and the Biblical Theology of the Presence of God”
Trustee’s Report - Jim Wenzbauer
· Jim has received a quote from Paul Davis Restoration to straighten the cross for $7,020. There would be additional charges for turning the curls around and a new ball.
· Will be getting in touch with Chris Witulski to get us an official copy of the cross survey.
· The new sink for the parsonage needs to be put in.
· The brush pile by the cemetery was burned yesterday. The logs and stumps that did not burn will need to be hauled off.
· Dan Bennett has looked at the church secretary’s computer and determined it should be replaced due to age and lack of speed. Council said to go ahead and get a new one.
· A letter has been received from a company that would come out and inspect the stained glass windows to see if repairs need to be made. There would be no charge for the inspection. The card needs to be filled out and sent in.
· Plan on getting the historical plaque installed on one of the first available nice days.
· Joann Niemeier is working on having a company come out and look at the blinds that are not working.
Stewardship / Board of Education – James Hahn
· Nothing to Report.
Cemetery Sexton – Walt Neumann
· A cemetery map is now in the school.
· Missionary Kristin Lange is ending her service this spring as she is getting married. Motion by James Hahn to approve the Elder’s recommended missionary support of Reverend Cullen and Deaconess Jacqueline Duke who are serving in Peru. Seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried.
· James Hahn and David Wollenburg brought up that they have been contacted by Trinity Dewitt about joining them for VBS this summer. They have low numbers just like us, of approximately 5 students. They are tentatively looking at the end of May. The church council gave their approval to join them.
Motion was made by Russel Behrends to adjourn, seconded by Dean Damme. Motion carried. Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer. Members present include: Tom Brandt, Russ Behrends, Walter Neumann, Brent Niemeier, Jim Wenzbauer, Pastor Wagner, Allen Pfingsten, James Hahn, and Dean Damme. Submitted by Secretary Dean Damme.
Rev. Cullen and Deaconess Jacqueline Duke
Serving the Lord in Peru
Rev. Cullen and Deaconess Jacqueline Duke serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as career missionaries in Peru. As a church planter, Cullen works with other missionaries to plant new churches and mission centers in Lima, Peru. He forms and develops groups of believers into mature, self-sustaining and self-replicating congregations through Word and Sacrament ministry. Jacqueline serves as a mercy deaconess and partners with other missionaries to further the mercy work that is being done in this country. She also mentors future deaconesses. Cullen and Jacqueline both share administrative responsibilities with the other missionaries serving in Peru.
Cullen’s hometown is Pasadena, Texas. His home congregation is Epiphany Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas. Cullen earned a bachelor’s degree, as well as a master’s degree in accounting, from Rice University, Houston. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in 2011. Cullen worked as certified public accountant and tax consultant before attending seminary and serving in Peru. Cullen’s hobbies include flying (he is a private pilot), boating, bicycling, walking/hiking, reading and camping.
Jacqueline’s hometown is Wakefield, R.I., and her home congregation is Our Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, Smithfield, R.I. She received a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, and a master’s degree in deaconess studies from Concordia Theological Studies, Fort Wayne, in 2011. In her free time, Jacqueline enjoys cooking, gardening, camping, writing songs, bicycling and walking/hiking.
Pray for Cullen and Jacqueline as they serve in Peru. Ask God to give them strength and peace as they transition to working and living overseas, adjusting to the culture and the language. Pray for God’s provision of safety for them as they traverse the United States building their financial support network. Pray that the existing mercy work and church planting happening in Lima, Peru, is fruitful as the Dukes progress towards deployment. Ask God to give Cullen and Jacqueline compassionate hearts to love, care for and provide mercy and witness to the residents of the neighborhoods in Lima in which they are serving. Let us give thanks to God that the Dukes are serving His children in this part of the world.
THANK YOU FROM THE DUKE'S
We were just informed by Debbie Feenstra of the LCMS in St. Louis about your commitment to support our mission service in Lima this year with quarterly support of $125. Thank you so much! Your support for international mission and for us is very much appreciated and is very encouraging to us. When we are so far from home and unable to visit with congregations and and individuals in person to share about our service here in Lima, it's easy to feel "out of sight, out of mind." Whenever we receive notices of donations made to partner with us in the mission here, it reminds us that that is not the case at all.
If you would like to know more about us or have any questions about our activities here, please do not hesitate to let us know.
God's blessings to you as we all journey together through the penitential season of Lent looking forward to the great celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. He is still what it is all about, in Beatrice, in Lima and around the world!
Cullen & Jackie
The Dukes Serving the Lord in Peru