Senior Pastor: Rev. Richard C. Mueller
Assistant: Rev. Martin T. Schnare
Head Teacher: Mrs. Jill Mueller
School E-mail: email@example.com
Editor: Ellen Christensen
Church E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
–1 Corinthians 15: 51– 52
What would life be like if you knew that you couldn’t fail? What risks would you be willing to take if you had an absolute guarantee that even if things didn’t work the way you anticipated, the final outcome would be a rousing success? What challenges would you pursue if you were certain that no matter how many failures and struggles you encountered, in the end it would all come together and you would enjoy complete victory? My hunch is that there is very little if anything we would not be willing to risk, few if any challenges we would be unwilling to pursue, if we knew that in the end, the outcome would be good.
That’s what it means to be Easter People. (“Easter People” isn’t a title that originates with me. It has been used in a number of contexts by several writers.) Being Easter People means that we live our lives in the light of Christ’s victory over death, over sin, and over the tripartite enemy, the devil, the world, and our own sinful nature. It means to live our confession of faith in Christ crucified and risen again, confident that no matter what challenge we might encounter, no matter how bleak the outlook may seem, no matter what opposition we might face, God will provide for us, will accomplish his purpose, and will finally give us an eternal victory.
This does not mean that we will be successful in every undertaking we pursue. The disciples who followed Christ and boldly declared his Gospel experienced imprisonment, persecution, and usually death at the hands of those who opposed Christ and his Gospel. But even in death, they were not conquered, for since Christ rose from the dead, they also shared in his victory over the grave. As the apostle said,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Ro 8:36, ESV).
Being Easter People is not a guarantee of a comfortable, easy life, a movement from one triumph to the next.
Being Easter People means that we can take on whatever calling God sets before us knowing that he will direct us, provide for us, protect us, and finally, “when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven” (Luther’s Small Catechism, Seventh Petition of the Lord’s Prayer).
Being Easter People means establishing and supporting a school for the education of our children in the academics they need for life in this world and especially in the Gospel they need for life in this world and in the world to come. Being Easter People means attending to the Divine Service, hearing the Word of God and receiving the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, even when your neighbors or family members think it’s a foolish waste of time. Being Easter People means being pro-life, even when our friends support abortion and euthanasia. Being Easter People means taking on the challenge of speaking the truth about marriage, sexuality, and gender issues even when everyone else has bought into the politically (in)correct attitudes of our culture.
Easter people do these things, not because they are easy, or popular, or comfortable. They do them because they have been grasped by the message of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. They do them because that is their calling as Christ’s redeemed people. They do them, confident that even if they fail to accomplish what they desire, God will use their effort to accomplish what he desires.
It is said that when Thomas Edison’s laboratory was burning down, he said to his family, “There go all our mistakes. Now we can start over afresh.” That’s the attitude of Easter People. They live their lives each day as people who have been made new by the resurrection of Jesus, who live new lives as his Easter People, confident that their final victory is assured.
So, what challenge, what opportunity, what calling has God set before you as his Easter People?
Our Father in heaven sent His Son, Jesus, to be our savior. His atoning sacrifice is the firstfruits of all the dead, a pleasing aroma to His Father – and ours – so that His perfect life and death count for all who believe in Him.
He claimed us as His own children in Holy Baptism. He sustains and strengthens our faith with His Holy Word and His Body and Blood. As new creatures, who have put on Christ, we bear good fruit. We do the good works prepared for us, which He makes known to us in His Word.
By faith then, trusting in the Word of God, we do what he says because He does not lie and always keeps His promises. For “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
And so the Lord promises: “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (Prov. 3:9-10).
How do we honor the Lord with the wealth that God has given us in His generosity? By giving it generously to those whom the Lord has called us to love and support: your family, your society, and your church. And His promise is that in so doing, you will never lack.
I can almost hear it now: “But that’s from the Old Testament!” But our Lord Jesus Himself gives us similar promises in the New Testament. He says, at the conclusion of the parable of the talents, “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance” (Matt. 25:29).
And then at the end of the parable of the dishonest manager, he says: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:10–13). And in His sermon on the mount, he says: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19–21).
We have become conditioned against these promises because of their misuse by the peddlers of the prosperity gospel – the guys on TV who say you get rich by putting God in your debt. And thus, we miss out on the fact that God does reward temporal faithfulness in temporal matters with temporal blessings.
It’s no quid pro quo. It’s all from God’s grace, His fatherly divine goodness and mercy. But those Bible passages just quoted do in fact say what they say! It’s not the Old Testament’s problem. It’s ours. It is almost as if we have become so jaded against this that we think it a virtue to be stingy with our offerings.
But our Father in heaven still loves to bless those who bless others. He loves to give to those who give freely and generously. In fact, he challenges us to challenge Him: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Mal. 3:10).
And so, while we don’t give so that we would get, we do receive from the Lord in order to give, and He will bless your giving with more receiving. For “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things” (Rom. 8:32)?
April Coffee 1 - Easter
8 - Jill Mueller, JoElla Fritzler
15 - Deb Moore, Virginia Dennison
22 - Jocelyn Gerth, Alexa Minich
29 - Kari Narjes, Teresa Thies
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
Highland Park Bible Study - Wednesdays, 9:30 am
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’s, 6 pm, Fellowship hall
RHODA CIRCLE will meet Tuesday April 3rd at Ida Mae Drabbels’ home.
LYDIA CIRCLE will meet Wednesday April 11, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Virginia
Dennison will be the hostess and Violet Colson will give the devotion. Pastor Mueller will have the program.
MARTHA CIRCLE will meet Monday April 9th 2018 at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Jocelyn Gerth will give the devotion and Pastor Mueller will lead in Bible study. This is the last regular meeting of the Martha Circle until fall.
TABITHA LWML (Acts 9:36) will meet Monday April 23 at 6 pm in the fellowship hall.
QUILTERS meet the 2nd & 4th Mondays of the month.
THANK YOU to everyone who shared Easter lilies on Easter Sunday.
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. Clothing and bedding may be left in the quilting room. Other items can be left in the cupboard under the guest book.
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.
RAISING DISCIPLES total receipts to date as of March 23, 2018 is $556,206.79.
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 and 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!
CHAPEL SERVICES are held at Immanuel Ev. Lutheran School each Monday morning at 8:30 am and each Thursday afternoon at 2:20 pm. Everyone is invited to attend and hear how our children treasure the Word of God.
OUR SINCERE CHRISTIAN SYMPATHY to the family of JoAnne Mueller, Pastor & Jill Mueller’s aunt. Be comforted by these words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5.
2017 QUILTERS REPORT
Orphan Grain Train: Christmas Baskets: One local quilt gift
31 sleeping mats 26 quilts
4 throws 4 Angel Tree quilts
12 baby quilts
FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE
Congratulations to Rozlyn Wills, Nassim Monroe, Maira Richey, and Ian Gomez who won awards for their essays submitted to the American Legion Auxilary. Each student won a monetary award and had their picture in the newspaper.
Students in grades 3-5 are participating in a program designed by Keep Alliance Beautiful. This program helps children learn about the importance of recycling and care for our Earth. We recently collected used markers that will be sent to the Crayola company to be recycled into fuel. Last Friday, we tried to have a trash free lunch. Students brought their lunch to school in containers that would not be thrown away. When the weather gets warm, we will have a playground clean-up day.
In reading class the students are enjoying a book entitled Brian’s Winter. In preparation for this, they learned the locations of the 5 Great Lakes and the Canadian Provinces. They learn new vocabulary words with each chapter. This is an adventure book telling the story of a young boy who survived a harsh winter after becoming stranded in the Canadian wilderness.
Math skills are improving. As we near the end of the books, the children are working with fractions. The 4th grade class will begin the 5th grade level math in the middle of April.
Students in their 3rd year of Latin recently had a test on Roman History. The study of Roman history supports the study of Latin. The author of our Latin materials is Cheryl Lowe who said, “Latin has more educational value than any other subject you can teach your children.” The amount of knowledge imparted in our curriculum is amazing!
Teachers went to school this month, too! We had our trainer from Spalding International in our school to help us with our Writing Road to Reading instruction. This trainer was the same man that gave us our two-week training during the summer of 2015. It was very beneficial to all of us to have him here. The children will see results from this training, as well! Our trainer was very impressed with our school and with the behavior of our students.
Each student made a garden stepping stone that will be auctioned off for our Easter auction. In addition to the stepping stones, our class is compiling a basket with a Movie Night theme, as well as a painting to be auctioned. Don’t miss the Easter celebration and breakfast on April 1.
In religion class, we are studying the events of Holy Week. Many great discussions are held as we study the memory work that is assigned by our pastors. It is my prayer that the Word touches the hearts of our students. God’s blessings to you as you support this mission where our children can hear the great truths of God’s Word. –Mrs. Schnare
SCHOOL NEWS FROM MISS JILL
Greetings in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have continued to keep busy at the school as the fourth quarter is speeding by us. I wanted to remind you of a few of our fundraisers and ask your continued support. We currently have Dimock cheese available at the school. We are also trying to encourage all members of the school and congregation to remember to use scrip. If you grocery shop at Grocery Kart or Safeway you could help our school in a big way. (There are also lots of others stores as well, but if everyone just used these, it would be huge!)
We are also working on the greenhouse fund-raiser from the greenhouse in Valentine. We are only pre-ordering roses, hanging baskets and specialty planters. There is a wonderful assortment of them available. Garden vegetables, herbs, and lots of different kinds of flowers. The pre-ordered roses and planters will be available on May 11th and 12th. At this time, we will also have our Greenhouse available to shop all of the other varieties of flowers and vegetable. The orders must be received at the school by April 4th. Call with any questions.
The Board of Christian Day School will be serving Easter Breakfast on Easter morning after the early service. We will be serving pancakes, sausage, and fruit. The school children will once again be making stepping stones and art selections that will be auctioned off. We will also have themed baskets for purchase as well. They are as follows:
Preschool= Nebraska Cornhuskers--- Yes there are tickets in the basket!!
Prek-PM—Family Game Night
Kindergarten—Arts and Crafts
1st grade—Summer fun
2nd grade—Outdoor fun
4th/5th grades—Family movie night
The registration process has begun for all grades. Those students currently attending and members of our congregation have first pick of spots available. After April 1st any open spots will be available to the community. Please call the school office to reserve your spot as soon as possible. Kindergarten round-up will be held on April 12th. Our students will also be taking the Iowa Test of Basic skills on April 17th. A representative from the Spalding Education program was here to observe in our teachers and spend time in each of our classrooms. This was the same rep that was here for a workshop after our first school year. He was greatly impressed by the quality of our teachers and the classroom environments. God has indeed blessed our school with a roster of wonderful teachers.
There have often been questions about why our school teaches Latin to our students. Here is just a bit of information to share with you. First Latin is not a dead language. Latin is important in the Christian Church. The beauty and richness of our liturgy has its roots deep in Latin. Latin teaches and improves English grammar. Latin is precise and logical. It is a disciplined language and its rules are concrete, never changing. It teaches students’ minds to think in a systematic manner. Parts of speech in English are easier to understand once one has mastered them in Latin. Latin improves and increases English vocabulary. Over 60% of English vocabulary comes from Latin. These words tend to be more difficult, multi-syllable words. Latin improves reading ability and comprehension. Increased vocabulary and decoding skills automatically improves reading ability and comprehension. Latin students out perform their peers on SAT college entrance exams. Latin is the basis for most scientific and legal vocabularies. Students will excel at learning terms for science classes or for careers in the medical, scientific, or legal fields. We feel that the benefits FAR outweigh the hardships. It has been amazing to see the light come on in the children’s eyes when they make the connection. Our students’ hard work will pay off in their future endeavors. If you have any questions concerning this or any of the curriculum from our school, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
We ask that you continue to pray for our school and its staff as we work towards the end of our fourth school year. We are so thankful for your prayers, scrip purchases, and support for our school. If you ever have questions, feel free to give me a call. Two of our kids were riding with their mom and they happened to see a beautiful rainbow. So my preschooler commented that at the end of the rainbow was a pot of gold. Her sister said there is no pot of gold. She said why would God put a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? He has already sacrificed His own Son. We have enough!! Indeed folks we have enough! Blessed Easter season! --Miss Jill