PASTOR'S PAGE....August 2021
On June 27 to July 2 Samuel, Cynthia and I went to the Higher Things Youth Conference in Fargo, North Dakota at North Dakota State University.
On the way we stayed a night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While there we spent time at Falls Park and at the Sculpture Walk which is an outdoor exhibit of over 55 sculptures on the sidewalks of the city.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Forgiven.” “I forgive you.” The three most powerful words in the universe. They don’t just change the universe for someone. They change someone’s eternity. They change your eternity!
From His Cross, Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His once for-all death is yours, made yours, delivered into your ears, your heart, soul, mind, and strength with those three words: “I forgive you.” His resurrection from the dead is also yours. Not just yours in your Baptism—once is never enough for Jesus—the forgiveness (justification, innocent verdict) of His resurrection is also made yours through those words: “I forgive you.” Jesus delivers through those Spirit-filled words all the benefits of His death and resurrection to all who hear them; “He who by grace the Word believes The purchase of His blood receives” (“‘As Surely as I Live,’ God Said” LSB 614, st.6).
Forgiveness of sins in His Name is everything to Jesus. He sends out pastors to deliver those three eternity-changing words all over the world. He sent your pastor to deliver them to you. If you have sins, even a specific sin, your pastor’s there to deliver Jesus’ forgiveness for it. It’s not just your pastor, either. You, too—yes, you! You were baptized and gifted all the people in your life so that “if your brother sins against you seven times a day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I repent,’ you will forgive him” (Luke 17:4).
“I forgive you.” Powerful words. Jesus words. His words for you through “The minister whom Christ has sent.” (LSB 614, st.5) Also His words for others through you. These words won’t just change your summer or transform your daily life as a baptized child of God. With these three words, Jesus changes your eternity.
Every day at the conference is punctuated by times set aside for hearing God’s Word, for prayer, and for praise. The purpose of these services is not to entertain you, but to refresh your soul through faithful preaching and devotion. The Conference began and ended with the Divine Service where we received the true Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. The Office of Matins was prayed first thing in the morning, Vespers was in the afternoon, and Evening Prayer followed dinner.
Each day there was a Plenary Session. The speakers for these were the Rev. Harrison Goodman a Pastor from San Antonio, TX and Rev. Matt Richard a Pastor from Minot ND. The each spoke on the theme of Forgiven. At one of these Plenary Sessions they held a forum where attendees could text a question to them and they would give answer to the questions. This was very well received and very interesting.
During our time there we each attended six Breakout Sessions. A description of some of the sessions that we attended are below.
3 S’s - Sons, Sacrifice, and Substitutes Rev. Daniel Voth The Old Testament is full of stories—actual, historical accounts of events, people, and places—which really occurred. Sometimes all we see in them is old history without much application to our life in faith. As Lutherans, we confess that the whole Old Testament points forward to Christ’s substitutional, sacrificial death and resurrection. We will walk through and unpack one of the great stories from Genesis (chapter 22) that clearly confesses this truth in amazing detail.
How do I find a New Church? Rev. Chris Brademeyer Most of us eventually leave home. We leave for college, to take a job, or to start life in a new community. How do we find a new congregation at college? How do we find a new church when we move for work? This can be hard. New places and new people can be uncomfortable. What sorts of things mark a good church? How should we undertake this task? This breakaway will look at these questions and help you think through the issues that arise when looking for a new congregation.
My Church and Others Rev. Nathan Dudley You Lutherans think that you're right and everyone else is wrong. You probably think you're the only ones who will be in heaven. You've likely heard it. Is it true? How do we see ourselves in the greater world of Christianity? How should we think about other churches that confess Jesus Christ but teach some things incorrectly? How much false doctrine is too much false doctrine? And at what point do we consider a church body not to be Christian at all? Come, and together we'll find the answers in the Bible.
Generation Z Survival Guide: Spoiler alert; It’s all about the Gospel! Erica Jacoby One out of five Americans belongs to Gen Z and yours is the first generation in American history whose majority doesn’t identify as Christian. In fact, most of you believe that there is no one true “religion.” What does the Church need to do to keep the youth we have in the Church, and what more do we need to do to reach those outside of it? Let’s talk about this generation’s unique challenges and opportunities and why the Gospel just might flourish in spite of us!
Catechisms Galore Rev. Robert Mayes You know Luther's Small Catechism. Hopefully you've at least heard of Martin Luther's Large Catechism. But were you aware that there were many other Lutheran catechisms in the 1500s that were all different from each other? In this breakaway, you get to explore some of these lesser known catechisms and learn what they say about the Office of the Keys and the forgiveness of sins. Warning: There may be Latin and German words ahead, like claves or Schlüsselamt. And just maybe, you'll appreciate Luther's Small Catechism even more when you leave.
No Creed But the Bible Rev. Michael Mohr “Your church uses creeds written by men. My church has no creed but the Bible!” Have you ever encountered a friend who has told you this? But is this true? Would it surprise you to learn that every phrase in each of the Three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian) is drawn straight from Holy Scripture? In this sectional, we will explore the Scripture behind each phrase in the creed, looking especially at some of the tougher passages, like “He descended into hell” and “those who have done good will enter into eternal life.” Come and see how we are truly confessing the Bible when we confess these creeds.
We stayed in the dorms on campus and the accommodations were very adequate. We ate in the Dining Hall on campus and had very good meals. They also had some pretty good deserts as well as soft serve ice cream available. We talked about how it is no wonder there is the saying of the Freshmen Fifteen where Freshmen at college often gain weight. If you went away hungry it was your own fault.
Some of the things that we did during free time included bowling, pool, shuffleboard, laser tag, mini golf and attending a Redhawks baseball game.
It was a great time and plans are being made for next year’s conference with the possibility of going to Pennsylvania and maybe stopping in Kentucky to see the Ark.
Yours in Christ,
THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Sarah Morris 1 Ethel Hartman 18
Marilyn Kite 3 Rosemary Niemeier 18
Krista Reynolds 3 Carolyn Bennett 20
Denise McAllister 7 Jim Nelson 20
Kim Franzen 8 Joan Burger 22
Betsy Spilker 8 Shirley Neumann 24
Cameron Meyer 9 Dean Damme 25
Fred Swartz 10 Jane Niemeier 28
Kent Cunningham 12 Wayne Ossowski 28
Dillon Damme 17
THOSE CELEBRATING BAPTISMAL BIRTHDAYS IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Delores Wollenburg 5 Denise McAllister 19
Logan Damme 11 Jerry Larmeu 23
Sarah Morris 12 Marilyn Kite 24
Kim Franzen 18 Rosemary Niemeier 30
THOSE CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Michael/Megan Sothan 2
Tom/Sandra Brandt 6
David/Rosemary Niemeier 8
Jerry/Melissa Larmeu 11
Allen/Karen Pfingsten 20
Brinn/Cyndie* Remmenga 20
Jim/Carolyn Nelson 23
*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.
Registered Visitors at First Trinity for July/August 2021 (Visitors who filled out cards.)
July 4 Charlene Barnard, Beatrice; Josh/Jesse, Juniper & Josiah Hsu, Austin, TX; Steve/Marcia Ramey – Kansas City, MO
July 11 Aric & Graysha Brandt – Everton, AR; Jessie, Juniper & Josiah Hsu, Austin, TX; Grandchild of Leon/Marie Zimmerman
July 18 Josh/Jessie, Juniper & Josiah Hsu – Austin, TX; Steve Schumacher – Harbor Beach, MI; Jeanee Lorenzen – Lincoln, NE;
Rosie Hill – Fairbury, NE
July 25 Helen Jordening – Plymouth, NE;; Lyle Osborn – Lenexa, KS; Josh/Jesse, Juniper & Josiah Hsu – Austin, TX; Brady/Bonnie Yoder – Omaha, NE; Pastor Matthew/Sulena, Jean Ann & Rose Koterba – Wymore, NE
Church Offering Income for the Month of June: $10,952.55
First Trinity Lutheran Church Council Meeting Minutes
July 13, 2021
The meeting was called to order by President James Hahn at 8:34 pm. Pastor Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from Luke Chapter 16. The minutes of the previous council meeting were approved as presented. Russell Behrends presented the Financial Secretary's report. The Treasurer's report was presented by Ron Malchow. Income received from Financial Secretary for June was $10,952.55, expenses $14,051.41, with an ending balance of $68,538.94. Quarterly reports were also given. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Dean Damme. Seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elders’ Report –
· Next month’s meeting will be August 10th, with the Elders meeting at 7:30 pm. and Council at 8:30 pm.
Pastor’s Report – Pastor Timothy Wagner
· Quarterly average attendance report: Sunday Services - 54 members and 4 visitors; Communion - 52; Bible Class – 17 and Sunday School - 5.
· Confirmation of Jayme Hahn on June 20.
Trustee’s Report – Not Present. No Report.
· Pastor Wagner asked about turning sand box into a storage shed. No action taken.
· Tuckpointing should begin in mid-August.
Stewardship / Board of Education – Not Present. No Report.
Sunday School Superintendent - Not Present. No Report.
Cemetery Sexton – None
· Talked about Cemetery Sexton vacancy.
· The cemetery parking area has been formed, subgraded, and rebar grid installed. This was all done with volunteer labor. We will now get bids on having it poured, finished and cut.
· Nathanael Prince is requesting to be transferred in from St. Mark of Ruskin, Nebraska. Motion by Pastor Wagner to accept the transfer. Seconded by Allen Pfingsten. Motion carried.
Motion to adjourn by Dean Damme. Seconded by Allen Pfingsten. Motion carried. Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer at 9:18 pm. Members present include: Pastor Wagner, Dean Damme, James Hahn, Ron Malchow, Russ Behrends, Allen Pfingsten, Brent Niemeier, and Kyle Spilker.
Submitted by Secretary Kyle Spilker.
First Trinity Lutheran Church Voters’ Meeting Minutes
July 18, 2021
Meeting was called to order by church President James Hahn. Pastor Timothy Wagner gave an opening devotion with a reading from Luke Chapter 5. Minutes of the January 17th Voters’ meeting and the April 11th Special Voters’ Meeting minutes were approved via motion by Michael Sothan and seconded by Russell Behrends. Motion carried.
Ron Malchow presented the Treasurer’s reports. Income for the second quarter was $27,950.87, expenses $34,561.39, with an ending balance of $68,538.94. Motion was made to accept financial reports by Brent Niemeier. Seconded by Michael Sothan. Motion carried. (see reports)
Elders’ Report – Dean Damme
· All but one set of pew ropes have been removed from the west side of church.
Pastor’s Report – Pastor Wagner
· The average attendance for Sunday services during the quarter was 58 people of which 54 were members. The average communion attendance was 52. The average attendance for Adult Bible Class was 17.
· One baptism of Callee Kay Beethe on March 10, 2021.
· Two deaths, Orma Hahn on March 10 and Brooke Koch on April 6, 2021.
· Transferred in Helen Burger May 11th and Nathanael Prince July 13, 2021.
· One adult confirmation of Jayme Hahn on June 20th, 2021.
Trustee’s Report - Matt Brott
· New holes on west side of church.
· Masonary tuck pointing to start sometime during the first half of August 2021.
Stewardship / Board of Education (including Sunday School) – not present
· Cynthia Wagner reported that Sunday School in the fall will have two classes. A pre-school class of 2 and an elementary class of 3. The high school youth class will be attending the Adult Bible Class Study group.
Cemetery Sexton –
· In need of a Cemetery Sexton.
· The cement parking pad by the cemetery is making progress. The forms are up and it is ready to be poured. The committee is getting bids from contractors. Expecting the cost to be $3,000 for the concrete plus labor.
· Darin Pohlmann and Russell Behrends are investigating the cost and availability of replacement decorative ends on the church pews.
· There was discussion about changing the elected position of Cemetery Sexton to a two person position to possibly make it easier to fill. Some people expressed the opinion that this would not help in filling the position. We need to get instructions of how to mark graves and other duties written down.
· Russell Behrends proposed the idea of charitable giving of money since the congregation has been blessed the last couple of years. His initial thought was $15,000 with $5,000 each to local, district, and nationally or globally. Some ideas that were suggested were missions, funding to help seminary families, food pantry, Big Give Gage, and support the family of Brook Koch who died tragically.
· Dwight Holtmeier asked for the playground equipment to be checked over as he felt some of the equipment was in need of repair and maintenance.
Motion was made by Ron Malchow to adjourn, seconded by Brent Niemeier. Motion carried. Meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer. 29 voting Members and 2 visitors present.
Submitted by Elder Dean Damme.