Pastor Wagner's Article:
At the risk of being irrelevant, I want to go back to the 16th century Lutheran Reformation and even further back to the 1st century cross of Christ. You can never get more relevant than the cross of Jesus Christ. In fact, the whole of the Christian's life from beginning to end, day by day, moment by moment, is simply a learning of what it means to live under the cross of Christ.
The 16th century Lutheran Reformation was really a call to return to this most relevant of truths. The word on the street was that the cross of Christ was not as relevant as good works in various shapes and sizes. Luther called the Church to return to preaching the message of the cross as the complete and total answer to forgiveness, life and salvation. The issue of the Reformation was about whether God's grace in Christ crucified was both necessary and sufficient.
That issue is as relevant today as it was 500 years ago as it was 2,000 years ago. In the cross of Christ, we see that what God has done for you and me was done freely. It cost God's Son everything but it costs us nothing. That is what those three little words, "by grace alone" mean.
The Galatians were setting aside what God had done for them in sufficiency of their own works and merits. Paul had only recently planted these churches in southern Galatia and had preached and taught the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone. Listen to Paul preach, "We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified."
Ultimately you see, God did not give us the law so that we could reform ourselves. God gave the law to crush all of our self righteousness and forgiveness and mercy. The purpose of the law is to crush our hopes to ever become 'like God' on our terms and to drive us to Christ so that we may be accepted God on His terms. The law says: you must do and do! The Gospel of grace says: "It is finished!"
God's grace is not based on your moral condition, it is based on His moral condition. It is not based on your keeping the law it is based on keeping the law of God perfectly. It is not based on your pleasing God it is based on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, "with whom He is well pleased." You may say, "I failed to live to the glory of God this week," but Christ did not fail. And you are hidden in Christ - by grace, through faith for Christ's sake.
First Trinity Lutheran Church Council Meeting Minutes for September 13, 2022
Meeting was called to order by Elder Allen Pfingsten. Pastor Timothy Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from Luke Chapter 10. Minutes of the August Council meeting were approved as read.
Treasurer's report was provided. Income for August was $15,931.07, Expenses were $11,562.24, with an ending balance of $52,339.09. Motion was made to accept Treasurer's report by Darin Pohlmann. Seconded by Pastor Wagner. Motion carried. Financial reports were presented by Russell Behrends. Motion to accept report by David Faulder. Seconded by Dean Damme. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elder's Report - Allen Pfingsten
*Next month's meeting will be on October 11th with Elder's meeting at 7:30 p.m. and Council meeting at 8:30 p.m.
*Voters' Meeting will be October 16th after church with the election of officers and Pastor's salary.
Pastors' Report - Pastor Wagner
*There were two deaths in the congregation recently, Carol Ossowski and Sharon Adam.
*Baptism of Lyvia Nickel.
Evelynn Grace Meyer was born September 10th to Hannah and Jacob Meyer.
*There will be a bulletin insert about a Falls City Reformation Event in Tecumseh coming up in October.
Trustee's Report - Darin Pohlmann and Matt Brott
*Two additional handicap signs have been installed on the East side of the church.
*The light on the utility pole in the parking lot by the highway has been replaced. It was installed by NPPD. This light is being rented from NPPD. We currently rent a light on the pole west of the school building.
*Darin has put a call into Schottler's asking for an update on the pew curls but has not received a reply.
*Hutchinson Roofing is to be here to replace the shingles on the church roof the first part of October 2022.
*The insurance adjuster was out to look at the church and parsonage for additional damage. They determined the damage was less than the deductible.
*Matt mentioned that there is some rotten wood on the church steeple most noticeable on the northwest corner. He has contacted Van's Painting to see if they can do this repair before painting.
*New locksets have been installed on the parsonage along with new seals on some doors and mouse proofing the dryer outlet vent.
*The windows on the north side of the parsonage have been caulked. New windows may be in order soon.
*The storm door on the north side of the parsonage needs to be replace.
Stewardship/Board of Education