Senior Pastor: Rev. Richard C. Mueller
Associate Pastor: Rev. Martin T. Schnare
Head Teacher: Mrs. Jill Mueller
School E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor: Ellen Christensen
Church E-mail: email@example.com
Perhaps you've seen these letters on one of the bulletin boards in the fellowship hall. Concordia Publishing House offers a Bible with these letters imprinted on the cover. They stand for the Latin phrase:
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.
For those of you who aren't Latin scholars, this translates into English as
The Word of God remains forever.
It is taken from the Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate) in Isaiah 40:8:
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
You have also seen the three Latin phrases on the banner that hangs in the narthex most of the calendar year:
Sola Fide (through faith alone)
Sola Gratia (by grace alone)
Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone).
These three phrases constitute a concise summary of the focus of the Reformation, whose 500th anniversary we observe this October. The central question the Reformation addressed is "How is one made right with God?" Rome taught that one is declared righteous before God by faith in Christ together with the works which the Christian performs in his earthly life. Luther and the other reformers took their stand on the confession that righteousness before God was not something an individual merited by his works, but that one is righteous before God simply by grace alone, through faith alone. This, they pointed out, is the clear teaching of Scripture alone.
So what's the significance of VDMA? Simply this: the reformers took their stand strictly on the Scripture rather than the writings of the church fathers, the edicts of popes, or the decisions of church councils. Their position was that only the Word of God could be a certain foundation for all Christian teaching, and the Word of God would endure forever.
Frederick the Wise, Luther's prince, had this four-letter motto embroidered on the right sleeve of the official clothing of his court, a practice continued by his successor, John the Steadfast and his successor, John Frederick the Magnanimous. It became a symbol of the unity of the reformers and their successors, testifying to the commitment to the Scripture as the only rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
What does this mean for us? Every Christian denomination makes the same claim: "we teach what the Bible says." The fact is, however, that not every Christian denomination teaches the same thing. The label "Christian" has become so muddied with different ideas and teachings that we must be vigilant and critically evaluate any and every so-called Christian teaching on the basis of God's Word, and God's Word alone. We can no longer assume that those who bear the title of Christian actually do proclaim the truth of Scripture.
Our faith and our eternal future rest on the Word of God, and the Word of God alone. Only that Word will endure, as it has throughout the centuries. Many have tried to destroy it. Many have denied it. Many have attempted to debunk it. But the Word of our God remains forever. For that we give thanks to God.
We are nearing the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, All Saints' Eve, 1517, when Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. So, let's hear from Luther himself on the topic of giving and stewardship.
In the Small Catechism under the Table of Duties, Martin Luther gives specific Bible passages to help Christians know their duty in their various vocations as members of their family, society at large, and in God's family, the Church. Under the heading "What Hearers Owe Their Pastors," Luther lists five passages from the Bible, three of which have to do with giving to your local congregation. They are these:
"The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14).
"Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:6-7).
"The elders [presbyters, i.e., pastors] who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages'" (1 Timothy 5:17-18).
Luther comments on these passages in his 1535 Lectures on Galatians. He wrote:
When Paul says "all good things," this is not to be taken to mean that everyone should share all his possessions with his preacher. No, it means that he should provide for him liberally, giving him as much as is needed to support his life in comfort. . . . The apostle is so serious in advocating this topic of support for preachers that he adds a threat to his denunciation and exhortation, saying: "God is not mocked.". . . All this pertains to the topic of support for ministers. I do not like to interpret such passages; for they seem to commend us, as in fact they do. In addition, it gives the appearance of greed if one emphasizes these things diligently to one's hearers. Nevertheless, people should be taught also about this matter, in order that they may know that they owe both respect and support to their preachers. Christ teaches the same thing in Luke 10:7: "Eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages"; and Paul says elsewhere (1 Cor. 9:13-14): "Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the Gospel should get their living by the Gospel." It is important for us who are in the ministry to know this, so that we do not have a bad conscience about accepting for our work wages . . . it happens when those who proclaim the glory of God and faithfully instruct the youth derive their livelihood from them. It is impossible that one man should be devoted to household duties day and night for his support and at the same time pay attention to the study of Sacred Scripture, as the teaching ministry requires. Since God has commanded and instituted this, we should know that we may with a good conscience enjoy what is provided for the comfortable support of our lives from church properties to enable us to devote ourselves to our office. (LW 27:125-126).
In other words, pastors are not to suffer from low wages just because they are servants of Christ and the Word. They are to share in the livelihoods of all to whom they preach the gospel and instruct in the faith, so that the Word can be proclaimed and the faith carried from one generation to the next.
October Coffee 1 - LWML Sunday - Shirley DeVoogd
8 - Johanna Wills, Cindy Brown
15 - Kara Aguallo, Robyn Jensen
22 - Jill Mueller, Marlene Stewart
29 - Cheryl Sheldon, Andrea Luce
BIBLE STUDY OPPORTUNITIES. . .
Sunday Adult Bible Study - 9 am Fellowship Hall.
Martha Circle - 2nd Monday, 7 pm
Rhoda Circle - 1st Tuesday, 7 pm
Hemingford Bible Study - Mondays, 2 pm Hemingford Care Center
Lydia Circle - 2nd Wednesday, 1:30 pm
Bible Break - Thursdays, 9:30 am, Conference Room
Men's Bible Study - Fridays, 6:30 am, Fizzy's
Tabitha Circle - 4th Monday, 6:30 pm, Fellowship Hall
RHODA CIRCLE will meet Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Please note the change of date.
QUILTERS meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays month.
LYDIA CIRCLE will meet October 11, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Janice Brixius will be the hostess and will give the devotion. Pastor Mueller will lead the Bible study.
MARTHA CIRCLE will meet October 9, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Pastor Mueller will lead the Bible study.
LWML WEEKEND is September 30 and October 1. There will be some special LWML items given to all the ladies of the congregation. It will also be LWML mite weekend.
ALTAR FLOWERS for September are from the funeral of Betty Schnell.
ONGOING MISSION PROJECTS: We collect good used clothing and shoes. Used bedding is needed by the quilters. Canceled postage stamps are needed for mission projects. Old eye glasses and outdated hearing aids are useful to others. Bedding may be left in the quilting room. Other items can be left in the cupboard under the guest book.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED for a church flower bed "renewal." Some of the flowers have just taken over and the area needs a face lift! We have some ideas for this "renewal." If you can help, please contact Deb Moore at 308.760.6625.
GREETING CARDS: If you plan to send greeting cards for any occasion please consider cards from our LWML. We have birthday, get well, sympathy, anniversary and others. These are nice and all have Scripture text. They are located in the lower level of the narthex of the church.
RETURN TO SENDER: A reminder to notify the church office of any address changes. We are required to pay a fee for undeliverable mail.
PASTOR APPRECIATION will be November 5 at 8:30 am in the fellowship hall. Come and eat breakfast with the Pastors and show them how much they are appreciated! Sponsored by Women's Ministry.
IMMANUEL EV. LUTHERAN SCHOOL 2017-2018 ALUMINUM CAN DRIVE is an ongoing year-round fund raiser. This helps fund the operational costs of our school. Please ask everyone to collect and save all aluminum cans, bring them to the east side of the school, and place in the bins that are labeled "aluminum cans." We appreciate your help in this ongoing effort.
RAISING DISCIPLES total receipts to date as of September 18, 2017 is $501,318.42.
MERCY SUNDAY offering for the month of October will be going to LWML Mites on September 30 and October 1.
OUR SINCERE CHRISTIAN SYMPATHY: The Steve Gerth family on the death of his mother and the family of Betty Schnell.
JUST A FRIENDLY REMINDER when making out your contribution checks, the church has many different funds. (i.e., General, Building, Missions, School, Raising Disciples, Memorial). It is very helpful to make out SEPARATE checks to these funds to make the counting more efficient. It is very difficult to split up a check into two or more different funds for depositing. Thank you for your help!
SENIOR DINNER will be held October 15 after church. We invite everyone 60 and older to sign up on the sheet in the narthex for head count. We look forward to seeing you there! Sponsored by Women's Ministry.
BLESSINGS FROM OUR SCHOOL
During the last school year (2016-17),we asked parents of our students to complete the following sentence: "Immanuel Ev. Lutheran School has impacted the life of my child/family in the following way:" Here is one of the responses we received:
*Our oldest child was in [another] school last year and we were informed from his teacher that he was constantly disruptive and not focused on his work. He had problems getting friends and when he did, they weren't good influences. Since enrolling in IELS, we have seen a complete turn around in him and his school work. He loves learning now and we are told he stays focused and is respectful in class. He also had made friends that are positive influences. His whole attitude has turned 180.
*IELS has been a blessing to our family. Our daughter used to go to [another school]. There she was getting her belongings stolen, and her attitude was very negative. After Miss Jill heard about this, she told us there was an opening at IELS. Since she had been going here, her attitude has gone from negative to positive. Her grades are better and she feels safe here. Both of our kids attend this school and dearly love it. They love learning and singing about Jesus. We are so very thankful this school exists.
*That I don't have to worry about my child when he is at school. I know that he is in good hands. All of the teachers and faculty members are wonderful. My child can learn about God as well as learn about everything else. It is absolutely amazing what it has done both for my child and for me.
*My child is happy to go to school. He loves his teachers and the pastors. We as a family have become more spiritual because of our son and his compassion for the Lord. IELS is a blessing to us all.
SCHOLARSHIPS Every year I have people ask what they can do to help some of our students and their families. One wonderful way is by making a contribution to the school that we can use to supplement a child's tuition. Many of our families struggle to make ends meet yet truly want their children to go to school here. If you would like to help in this way, please let me know. Every little bit helps. Thank you so much! -Miss Jill
"God Blesses Families" has been the kindergarten theme for September. The students heard how God blessed the families of Abraham, Noah, and Adam and Eve and how He continues to bless us.
In science class, the children learned about the five senses and how they were created with them to keep us from harm and so we can enjoy the world God made. Another science topic was the human body where they talked about how wonderful our body is and how God gives us what we need to sustain our lives.
A favorite celebration for this time of year is the International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th. This day coincides with learning the phonogram /p/ so we celebrate with pirate hats, eye patches, silly talk, treasure maps, and popsicles. At the end of the day, the students recognize that we were chosen by God to be His own treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6).
Miss Tessa Benson is a student teacher from Chadron State College and has been developing skills in teaching academic subjects as well as classroom management. She will be with kindergarten until the middle of October and will then work with an upper grade. What a wonderful addition she has been to our classroom with her enthusiasm for this grade! -Mrs. Gerth
The first graders have been practicing their phonograms and learning new phonograms. We will begin writing in our spelling notebooks next week. I currently have 3 levels for Spelling at this time. In Math, we are reviewing addition facts, and beginning subtraction facts. In Grammar, we have begun learning about Nouns, Verbs, and Adverbs. They have also learned how to label these parts of speech in a complete sentence. We have begun to learn greeting words in Latin. We have also been discussing our new season that will be upon us soon. We are off to a GREAT year!
Greetings from the 3rd grade classroom! Before sharing some of the wonderful information we are investigating, I want to send a sincere thank you to the wonderful congregation of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. The CCLE conference our teacher staff attended this past July in Cheyenne was such a wonderful and educational experience. If you ever have any doubts as to the importance of our attendance to such conferences, let me assure you that a wealth of knowledge, encouragement, support and discussion abound. We gain not only applicable information, but new ideas and even vocabulary with which to pass on to our students. My sincerest thanks to all of you for allowing us such a wonderful blessing, as well as for your prayers in our efforts. What a blessing you all are!
On to 3rd grade happenings! It has been an easy transition from second grade to third, as this is the second year in a row that I have had the privilege to teach this group. We jumped right in to Math, Reading, Spelling and Science, picking up where we left off. (We had already begun some of our third grade curriculum at the end of last year.) Our class began the year of reading by learning about King Midas and the golden touch. They are now in the throes of John Midas's drama in, "The Chocolate Touch". As I'm sure you can image, the kids are having a lot of fun with this story!
Science continues to be a class favorite, and we are continuing our section on weather, specifically focusing on wind and air currents. Soon we will study tornadoes, always an exciting lesson! The kids have so much fun contributing to discussions on this topic, since most of them have some sort of direct experience on the subject.
Our artist of the month for September was Norman Rockwell. The students really enjoyed learning about him. They even created their own "Saturday Evening Post" covers. You are welcome to come and check them out!
We will soon begin our intense study of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Please come to our school and look at all of the wonderful projects our students are preparing for the 500th celebration! We hope to see you soon! -Mrs. Soriano
FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE
Our class has just read Tuck Everlasting, a novel about a family who found water that would make them live forever. The students discussed benefits and problems of living forever on this earth and concluded that we are very thankful that Jesus, the living water, earned a heavenly home for us.
During October, our attention has turned to Martin Luther and the Reformation. Grades 4 and 5 are reading Luther, Biography of a Reformer during religion and reading classes. We made faith shields during art class. The students will sing during the Reformation Rally on October 29. Some workshops will be held on the 29th at the school, and we are excited to have visitors. Please join us for this great celebration of the Reformation.
Students are progressing nicely through their math lessons. Many have recited their multiplication facts and are learning new concepts. Our first history unit has ended and we have begun a science unit on motion. As usual, the excitement in Latin continues in all classrooms.
We are blessed to hear the children sing each day during devotions and chapel services. What a wonderful gift we have in hearing God's Word each day. We thank you for your prayers and support of our school. -Mrs. Schnare
SIXTH AND SEVENTH GRADE
Hello from the 6th and 7th Grade Classroom! Time is flying by, and we are enjoying every minute of it. We have been enjoying our new classroom and working hard at being good examples to all of the younger kids at school. It is such a joy to watch these young people mature and put their faith into practice. We've been enjoying our book From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and having fun and interesting conversations through that. We've written several rough drafts in writing, and have learned about the Holy Roman Empire, the riches of Spain, the Dutch Revolt and Mary, Queen of Scots in History. Science explorations have included the three laws of motion, an experiment with an old roller skate, and Mrs. Oestman being brave enough to allow the spinning of eggs on tables to understand inertia! One of the most exciting elements has been the use of our brand new computers. Four students at a time get to practice keyboarding each day, and the students love it! Overall, it has been an exciting beginning of the school year, and we love our classroom, peers, and school! -Mrs. Oestman