Wil Pritzel has passed from death to eternal life

Please pray for the family and friends of WIl Pritzel as he passed from death to life early this afternoon from a heart attack.  
Arrangements are pending and may not be made till Friday due to out of town family being delayed because of the storm.
Blessings and peace to all who mourn!

Hilda Heichelbech's 90th birthday party this Saturday at 1pm

Hilda would like to invite her friends from St. John's to her 90th birthday party this Saturday beginning at 1pm.  It is at the community room at the Homefield Villas across from T.R. Hughes ballpark in Ofallon. 
We'll see you there!

Peace on your day y'all!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DEVOTION:  (From Lutheran Hour Ministries)
 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John 13:17

Having spent 20 years working with North American congregations, Thomas S. Ranier has come to some conclusions -- conclusions about what "happy" churches have in common.

Happy? Where did "happy" come from?

Thinking back, I was pretty positive none of my church constitutions had happy as a priority, and none of my call documents asked me to be a happy pastor, who would try to establish a happy congregation. Even more, after a quick search in my Bible's concordance, I was assured nowhere had the Lord commanded, "Thy church shalt be a happy place."

Even so, I imagine most people would rather attend a church filled with happy worshippers than one which features pews packed with sour-pussed parishioners.

Now, if you're interested, I can share just a few of the nine features which Mr. Ranier says are shared by most happy congregations. For example, he says a happy church is one which has a pastor who is authoritative but not dictatorial. Another rule says, "The pastor shows love for the congregation ... no matter how they feel about him." Happy congregations, according to Mr. Ranier, have a staff that likes each other and works well together. They also have a high percentage of the congregation actively involved in ministry.

One of Mr. Ranier's rules I liked was, "Happy churches have business meetings, which are brief and friendly." Another rule worthy of note was, "In most happy congregations many of the people were involved in small group Bible studies or Sunday school." Mr. Ranier came to other conclusions, but space doesn't allow me to share the rest.

As a Lutheran pastor, I was surprised to see none of the items on Mr. Ranier's list spoke of Word and Sacrament. None touched upon proper preaching of Law and Gospel, and nowhere did he reference the Savior who said, "If ye know these things, ye are happy if ye do them."

Do you remember when Jesus said that? It was after He had washed the disciples' feet, after He had said, "If I do this for you, you ought to do the same for others." It was after Jesus said we should make sacrifices for the greater good of God's people.

That was, after all, what Jesus did. His leaving heaven and being born in Bethlehem was a sacrifice. His rejection by fickle hearts and souls was a sacrifice. His years of ministry where He was misunderstood, maligned and hated was a sacrifice. His betrayal, His unfair trial, His carrying our sins, His unjust crucifixion were all sacrifices made, so we might be saved.

Sacrifice -- that is what Jesus did for us, and it is what He encourages us to do for others, if we are to be happy.

Honestly, I like Jesus' list better than I do that of Mr. Ranier.

Maybe I should say, the Savior's sacrifice for my salvation has made me forgiven, saved, peaceful and, yes, it has made me happy.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, sin and Satan try to ruin the fellowship of the faithful. Today I pray You will do what is necessary to defeat them so peace, contentment, joy and happiness may be found in the hearts of Your people. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

TUESDAY'S QUIZ: What inheritance did the Levites get in the and that was given to the Israelites by God (the Promised Land)? 
"The priests, who are Levites, indeed the whole tribe of Levi, are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel.  They shall live on offerings made to the Lord by fire, for that is their inheritance.  They shall have no inheritance among their brothers, the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them."  Deuteronomy 18:1-5
"The Lord  appointed the men of the Levi tribe to be in charge of the Covenant Box & to serve him as priests.  That is why the tribe of Levi received no land as the other tribes did.  What they did receive was the privilege of being the Lord's priests as God had promised."  Deuteronomy 10:8-9  (Thanks Dianne!)

WEDNESDAY'S QUIZ: How many times a year were the Israelites supposed to celebrate a festival to the Lord?
Wed- Ladies Aid 1pm; Supper 5:30; Worship 6:30
Fri- 30 Hour Famine begins at noon for those participating
Sat- worship 5pm; 30 hr famine ends at 6pm
Sun- worship 8:30- Sunday school 9:45; worship 11am

LENTEN SUPPER is Wednesday at 5:30!!!! 
This week's menu is spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, and dessert.  Come and support your youth with a free will offering!
WORSHIP is at 6:30 on Wednesday!
Come and hear all about the 40 days and nights that the water covered the earth. 
Bring them to church asap to make sure the money gets to where it has to go in a timely manner so babies can get adopted into a forever home!
There is a week and a half left!  Get to Rural King and buy some stuff and bring your receipt to the church office!!
The kids have started a new program called CROSS EXPLORATIONS, that is very interactive and the kids say it is a lot of fun!!  In our adult class we are working through a video based Bible study called "Foundations" with Ken Ham who is the founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum!!
A great time is planned for August 23-25 as we head to the Creation Museum just south of Cincinnati, Ohio.  We will be making a stop at the Abraham Lincoln National Historic Site in Kentucky on the way.  Along with the creation museum on Saturday, we will also enjoy a comedy on the Showboat majestic in the evening.  On Sunday we will tour the national museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  As usual, cost will depend on the number of people going.  As of now it should run about $350 per person, plus meals, or $506 a couple.  If you are interested in this trip, please sign the sheet on the counter in the narthex.  Again you may invite your friends and family to join us.

For LIL WINTER who is having back surgery today at 10:45.

For THANKSGIVING FOR the birth of a healthy baby to Jon  and Kim Stetzel, friends of the Robines.
For CAROL KOHRS who is recovering from gall bladder surgery at SSM rehab in Wentzville
For JOSIAH TULEY, a son of friends of the Hances who is going through chemotherapy treatments for cancer. 
For JEANETTE KOEHLER who is still at the Cedars, but should be going home this week. 
For ANITA ALTHEIDE, a friend of the Klaustermeiers from Hannibal, MO, who has been put on hospice care.
For MIKE WADE, a missionary St. Johns has sponsored for at least 12 years, as he has had to take leave because of severe migraine headaches.  



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Prayers of thanksgiving requested

Prayers of thanksgiving to our Lord for the birth of a healthy baby to Jon  and Kim Stetzel. Their new daughter is Janie Rose and was born EARLY this morning at 12:21 AM. Thanks to all who kept Kim and Janie Rose in their prayers these past weeks. The family really appreciates them. Just FYI, Kim is a 3rd grade teacher (and former student!) at Kennerly School in the Lindbergh School District.