The Transfiguration of our Lord
February 19, 2012
Speak, O Savior; I am list'ning, As a servant to his lord. Let me show respect and honor To your holy, precious Word, That each day, my whole life through, I may serve and follow you. Let your Word e'er be my pleasure And my heart's must precious treasure. (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal 283:1)
Worship Focus: “This is my Son … Listen to him”
Order of Worship: Service of Word and Sacrament, p. 26
Hymns: 95, 97, 537, 289
Personal Preparation for Holy Communion, p. 156
First Lesson: 2 Kings 2:1-12a
Elijah had served as the Lord's prophet, proclaiming the word of God. Now it was time for Elisha to continue that work and to stand firm as the chariots and horsemen of Israel against the assaults of darkness.
Psalm 148, p. 121
As we listen to our Savior, we praise him. For the Son of God humbled himself to the cross to save us.
Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
God's Word pulls back the veil from our eyes so that we see that Jesus is our God and Savior. His death brings life. His resurrection brings forgiveness. As we listen to him, we will plainly set forth his truth for others to hear.
Gospel: Mark 9:2-9
Jesus' divine glory shines through as we prepare to enter the season of Lent. We witness him hiding his glory and going to the dark cross in our place.
Copies of sermon are in the narthex and online.
The Lord's Supper
At St. John’s we observe the biblical practice of “close communion,” since the Bible teaches that communing together is an outward sign of the inner closeness of faith that seeks to agree in all that the Bible teaches. Therefore, we ask that only those commune who are confirmed members of our church body and of those churches which have declared fellowship with the WELS. If you have further questions about this, please talk with the pastor.
Ash Wednesday: We mark the beginning of Lent this Wednesday, February 22, as we walk with our Savior to his cross. We come as repentant sinners who confess that we are but dust and ashes. Only Christ's blood gives us worth. Only his cross saves. The service with Holy Communion begins at 7:00pm. A light supper will be served, starting at 6:00pm.
Lenten Serving Schedule: If you have any questions about the midweek Lenten suppers, please contact Gloria Zeltwanger (392-5985).
Council Notes: The council met after the service on February 12, 2012, and opened the meeting with prayer.
Pastor reported that Justin Flaten, David Paul, Phyllis Joos, and Gloria Zeltwanger agreed to receive emails from the Easter 2012 (E12) outreach initiative.
The Treasurer's report showed a General Fund balance of $351.06 for January 31. $62 had been given to missions for our $8000 annual commitment.
Two of the church furnaces work most of the time, but sometimes they do not come on as they are suppose to. The Trustees will be looking into this.
Under new business the council gave permission for the pastor to share with the WELS the total offerings and gifts given for local congregational work and the total amount spent on capital projects.
The annual bundle subscription to Forward in Christ was renewed for $10.50/subscription. The total number was kept at 35 for a total cost of $367.50.
Lenten rotation with St. Paul's of Morris and with Trinity of Johnson and Mt. Olive of Graceville will take place as in previous years.
E12 Outreach. The Easter 2012 outreach initiative suggests using postcards to invite the community to the Easter service. E12 offered the first thousand postcards for a total of $45. Getting fewer would cost the same. The council authorized the E12 committee to purchase them and to spend a reasonable amount for distributing them. The best and cheapest way to get them out is for you, our members, to use them to invite unchurched neighbors. So start thinking of whom you could invite.
The annual Church Leaders Workshop will be at 9:00am, March 3 at Belle Plaine, MN. Men and women are welcome to attend. Please see the enclosed brochure. Anyone interested in going should speak with Pastor Bitter.
Next meeting is March 11 after the service. We closed with the Lord's Prayer.
February ushers: Dick Lubenow (capt.), Jason Brown, Barry Nelson, Dennis Schroeder, Cory Schroeder
February cleaners: Pastor & Mary Bitter; Dick & Polly Smith
Today's Greeters: Duane and Bonnie Hausmann
Rev. Mark G. Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, has issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ new requirement that all health care plans cover contraceptives, abortive drugs, and medical procedures:
“Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will require all health care plans, including those provided by religious organizations, to include coverage for contraceptives, abortive drugs, and medical procedures that are contrary to the doctrinal positions of many Christian churches and denominations. This action is a clear and unprecedented threat to the religious liberty guaranteed to all citizens by the First Amendment. No religious organization should be required by the government to support or facilitate activities which are in clear violation of its principles and beliefs.
“The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod holds to the biblical teaching that human life begins at conception and that the unborn are fully human beings, created by God. We are deeply distressed that the government of the United States would require the health care plans of our church-affiliated organizations to provide abortion-inducing drugs or other procedures that would end the life of an unborn child and would require coverage for any other medical treatment that violates our teachings and conscience.
“More recently, President Obama has announced an ‘accommodation,’ saying that religious organizations will not be required to pay directly for such coverage. Instead, insurance providers serving religious organizations will be required to make these services available free of charge. As one congressman has correctly said, this is a ‘distinction without a difference,’ since such costs would still be provided indirectly by the religious organizations through the insurance premiums they pay.
“The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod clearly understands and teaches that Jesus has directed his followers to ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar’s’ () and that secular government is used by God for the good of all society. Christian citizens recognize their responsibility to pay taxes, support the government, obey its laws, and pray for its leaders. While it is not normally within the sphere of the church to become involved in secular politics, we do recognize that individual Christians have a responsibility to exercise their rights as citizens, to express their beliefs, and to encourage the government to act in the best interest of society.
“Therefore, we encourage all of our members, as Christian citizens, to express their convictions boldly and to urge the government to be faithful in carrying out its primary responsibility to protect and preserve life. We also encourage our members, as many others in various denominations and church bodies have done, to recognize and speak out against this clear threat to the blessing of religious liberty American citizens have enjoyed since the founding of the nation.
“We also confess and affirm that if the government directs us to do something in clear violation of the will of God, ‘we must obey God rather than men’ ().”