PASTOR'S PAGE..............................MARCH 2021
“For by grace you have been saved through faith.” Ephesians 2:8 What is “Grace”?
A LCMS pastor died and went to heaven. As he arrived at the pearly gates, St. Peter asked him for the password to enter. This pastor explained how he had shepherded a small congregation in a very non-Lutheran part of the world and had held faithfully to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions throughout his career. St. Peter just shook his head from side to side and the gates remained shut. The pastor explained how he had planted a new congregation where there had been almost no LCMS presence before. Still, St. Peter just shook his head and the doors remained shut. The pastor explained how he had tithed on the gross and not the net, rarely taken all the Sunday’s allotted to him for vacation and spent a lot of his days off writing a sermon instead of fishing or hiking. But still, St. Peter would not open the doors. Finally, the pastor said, “I give up.” At that the gates opened and St. Peter welcomed him into heaven.
It is either by grace you are saved or by works - but it can’t be both because 'grace' excludes all 'works.' And the scriptures say, “It is by grace you have been saved.”
A good definition for grace would be “the kindness which bestows upon one a goodness which he does not deserve.” Grace is the giving of something for free that the receiver doesn’t deserve. If there is anything deserving in the receiver – then it may still be a gift but it isn’t grace.
What could possibly be the motive that lies behind grace? There can be only one – love. It is not our worthiness or our goodness that motivates God to save us. It is His love for us. Paul describes this to the Ephesians by saying, “Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even while we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.”
It is good for us to examine ourselves honestly and identify all of those big and little hopes we have that are based on our own goodness or works and that stand in the way of our full appreciation and gratitude for God's love for us. How do we try to add merit to motivate God to save us? Are we afraid that the love of God is not great enough or the mercy of God not rich enough to save us as we are? Are we afraid that it’s just too simple or too free?
If we were honest with ourselves, we would all have to confess that we do not really believe that God is that loving and that merciful to love us and save us as we are. Our faith is weak and our doubts are strong.
Yet, even here, God is greater than we are! Even our faith may not be counted or considered to be our “good work” before God. How wonderfully freeing it is to entrust your life to God who loves you simply because He loves to love you.
Yours in Christ,
Registered Visitors at First Trinity for January/February 2021
(Visitors who filled out cards.)
Jan 31 Rosie Hill – Fairbury, NE
Feb 7 No Visitors
Feb 14 No Church
Feb 17 No Visitors
Feb 21 Dianna Bannister – Omaha, NE
Feb 24 No Visitors
Church Offering Income for the Month of January: $9,129.62
Midweek Lenten Worship Services:
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 7:00 p.m.
The Passion History II: “Gethsemane - The Sweet Salvational Swap”
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.
The Passion History III: “The Palace of the High Priest - The Sweet Salvational Swap”
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.
The Passion History IV: “The Praetorium - The Sweet Salvational Swap”
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.
The Passion History V: “Calvary - The Sweet Salvational Swap”
Maundy Thursday w/Holy Communion Worship
“Jesus Says So” - April 1, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday Tenebrae Service
“It Is Finished – Your Salvation That Is!” - April 2, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.
Resurrection of Our Lord - 6:30 a.m.
“Jesus Is Risen! And You're Never the Same Again!
April 4, 2021 - Easter Breakfast to follow at 7:30 a.m.
*Please note: No adult Bible class or Sunday School classes will be held on this day!
© Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission.
THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF MARCH
Darin Pohlmann 1 Matt Brott 12
Henry Niemeier 2 Eldean Adam 14
Brinn Remmenga 2 Megan Sothan 16
Michelle Belding 3 Lee Nickel 21
Jacob Brandt 6 Lydia Niemeier 21
Joshua Wagner 7 Grant Bennett 24
Peter Spilker 9 Victoria Barnard 25
Stacy Damme 10 DeVaynee Beethe* 28
Zachary Eyer 11 Michelle Malchow 28
THOSE CELEBRATING BAPTISMAL BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF MARCH
Joan Meyer 1 James Franzen 18
James Hahn 4 Jacob Brandt 19
Kolby McAllister 5 Joshua Wagner 20
Madison Wagner 8 Eldean Adam 25
Carol Cunningham 11 Matt Brott 25
Allen Pfingsten 13 Stacy Damme 26
Robin Hahn 15 Arthur Morris 29
Matthew Beethe 17 Michelle Belding 30
THOSE CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES IN THE MONTH OF MARCH
Mark/Kris McAllister 10
Randy/Jane Bartlett 21
Nathan/Tiana* Haussler 25
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 Council Meeting Minutes - February 9, 2021
The meeting was called to order by Elder Dean Damme at 7:41 pm. Pastor Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from John Chapter 2. The minutes of the Council meeting were approved as corrected for Financial and Treasurer’s report numbers. Russell Behrends presented the Financial Secretary's report. The Treasurer's report was presented by Ron Malchow. Income received from Financial Secretary for January was $9,129.62, expenses $21,955.60, with an ending balance of $50,245.03. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Brent Niemeier. Seconded by Allen Pfingsten. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elders’ Report – Dean Damme
· Next month’s meeting will be March 9, with the Elders meeting at 6:30 pm. and Council at 7:30 pm.
· Lenten services will be at 7:00 pm since there is no midweek classes.
Pastor’s Report – Pastor Timothy Wagner
· The theme for Lenten services is “Sweet Salvational Swap”.
Trustee’s Report – Not Present, no report.
Stewardship / Board of Education – Not Present, no report.
Sunday School Superintendent - Not Present, no report.
Cemetery Sexton – Not Present, no report.
· Eldean Adam has expressed interest in Cemetery Sexton position.
· We have not heard status of Payment Protection Program loan forgiveness.
New Business - · None
Motion to adjourn by Pastor Wagner. Seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried. Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer at 8:40 pm.
Members present include: Pastor Wagner, Allen Pfingsten, Dean Damme, Russ Behrends, Ron Malchow, Brent Niemeier, and Kyle Spilker.
Submitted by Secretary Kyle Spilker.