JESUS IS OUR INNOCENCE

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1 ST. JOHN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH PEKIN, ILLINOIS VOLUME 42, ISSUE 2 S T. JOH N S JOU R N AL FEBRUARY 2016 F om he Pa o... JESUS IS OUR INNOCENCE What if Jesus were to stand trial for alleged violations of God's Ten Commandments? If the whole truth about Him were known, and the judge and jury were fair, He would unquestionably be found innocent! For Jesus is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and without sin, as God tells us in Hebrews 7:26 and 4:15. The centurion at Jesus' cross was absolutely right when he exclaimed, This Man really was innocent! Luke 23:47 Now, what if we were to stand trial for alleged violations of God's Ten Commandments? If the whole truth about us were known, and the judge and jury were fair, what would the verdict be? We would surely be found guilty of all charges! Consider: We have not feared, loved, and trusted God above all things as we ought, but have repeatedly disobeyed Him and done as we pleased, as though we were our own gods. We have not called upon God's holy name in prayer and thanksgiving as we ought, but have spoken His name carelessly, falsely, and even in cursing. We have not held God's word sacred and gladly heard and learned it as we ought, but have often been working or playing when we should have been resting in His house so that God could do His work in us through His word. We have not honored our parents and other authorities as we ought, but have often been disobedient and disrespectful to parents, teachers, governing officials, and others whom God has placed over us. We have not helped and supported other people in their physical needs as we ought, but have selfishly Our Monthly Newsletter (309) neglected others, and have even harmed them by hateful words and actions. We have not lived sexually pure and decent lives, and loved and honored our spouses as our Lord requires, but have been impure in thoughts and even deeds, and have been rude, inconsiderate, and uncaring toward our husbands and wives. We have not helped and served others with their possessions and income as often and generously as we should, but have often been selfish and dishonest, eager to take advantage of others for our own advancement. We have not protected people's reputations as we ought, but have repeatedly slandered others, listened to gossip about others, and assumed something bad about others when we should have assumed the best. We have not been thankful and content with what God has given us, but have coveted people's property, possessions, spouses, and workers. Truly, if we had to build a defense that rested on our own thoughts and words and actions, there could be only one just verdict: Guilty on all counts! But what if Jesus were to stand trial for us in our place on our behalf? What then? Thankfully, this is not a hypothetical question, but asks about what He has in fact already done for us! For Jesus did stand trial for us. He took the accusations for our sins, was judged guilty of them, and was punished for them. The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 God found His own Son guilty, so that He could find us innocent! God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 All this is simply to say: Jesus is our innocence! We stand before God right now, and we will stand before Him on Judgment Day, and He finds us not guilty, but innocent on account of Jesus! Continued on page 6

2 Christian Education Sunday School Sunday School Perfect Attendance December 2014 Feb 09 Loretta Newman R. Michael Thompson Feb 10 Lia Huber Lorelia Huber Sarah Huber Sandra Morgan Candice Swift Barbara Theleritis Kylee Alexander Stanley Ehmke Ronald Garber Feb 22 Susan Waddell Feb 23 Alison Burris First Grade Briella Hoover Feb 11 Katherine King Feb 24 Vernice Funk David Sego Third Grade Bradley Hoover Feb 12 Viola Deppert Feb 25 Tyler Widby Fourth Grade Zachary Webb Feb 13 Charles Diemer Carrie Schmidgall Feb 26 LeaAnn Becker Fifth Grade Brayden Hoover Seventh Grade Sydney Webb FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS Feb 01 Joseph Hillman Edward Hodgkins Vincent Thomason Feb 02 Nathan Barth Katie Bollinger Edward Gaitros David Justi Stephen Webb Feb 04 Gayle Gettman Ryan Hansen Feb 06 Richard Jarvis Jamie Hoover Steven Depew Belinda Frankel Barbara Thompson Feb 15 Nola Berger Ruth Keil Lori Sego Feb 16 Karen McCammon Patricia Proehl Feb 17 George Andrae Feb 18 Michael Becker Shantel Childs Jeremy Garmon Emma Hicks Rosemary Peacock Barry Pool Gregory Swibold Feb 20 Dean Cooper Marcille Frevert Shirley Williamson Feb 08 Emma Jones 3 Feb 27 Christine Neumann Feb 28 Carl Beale Ava Friedinger Sandra Gay Carl Whitlatch Rose Marie Williamson Feb 29/Mar 01 Carol Becker FEBRUARY ANNIVERSARIES Feb 01 John & Allison Gillespie Feb 02 Gerald & Paula Norman Thomas & Cheryl Ivey James & Julie Widby Barry & Katherine Wright Feb 20 Pastor Glenn & Laura Niemann

3 PARISH NOTES Acolytes Church Attendance Dec 2015: Dec 2014: Dec 2013: 2,868 3,052 2,989 Lainey Jensen Daden Ruder Feb 10 Ash Wednesday 7:00 Avery Theleritis Dec , services Dec , services Dec , services Sunday School Attendance Year-to-Date Zane Dobbelaire Audrey Driskell Feb 17 Lenten Vespers Service 7:00 Zane Dobbelaire Sydney Webb Cailin Wilson Feb 24 Lenten Vespers Service 7:00 Audrey Driskell Videographers Jim Lonergan Feb 28 Worship Committee Lisa Pool Dave Drockelman Steve Depew Lainey Jensen Cooper Theleritis January Greeters Pastor Kesslemayer Communion Assistance Dan Rees Randy Couch Dee Rees Don & Valerie Dobbelaire Feb 28 February Ushers Jim & Julie Widby Jerry Bohannan Darrell Hansen Steve Kesselmayer Noah Kesselmayer Terry Norman Ross Gould Jacob Gould Ray Hall Mike Nauth Howie Proehl TREASURER S REPORT DECEMBER, 2015 December INCOME EXPENSES 60, , , , INCOMEEXPENSES 18, , LIABILITIES Note Payable Payroll Liabilities Misc LCMS Orgs Fund TOTAL LIABILITIES 20, , , General Fund Accounts General Fund Schwab Cash Account Cat Stock at FMV GAP Stock at FMV General Fund Total -9, , , Educational Fund Accounts Ed Grant Fund Checking -3, Ed Grant Fund CD #1 102, Ed Grant Fund #2-Vanguard 65, Educational Fund Total 164, Building Fund Checking 69, Sunday School Fund Checking 9, Memorial Fund Checking 49, East Bluff Property Fund CD 106, TOTAL ASSETS Checking Account Balance We appreciate the time and dedication you give to our Church community. 4 $439, , FUND BALANCE Building Improvements -299, Net Income (Loss) 70, Capital Accounts 445, TOTAL FUND BALANCE, 217, Please consider being a greeter at our TOTAL LIABILITIES & a.m. service. FUND BALANCE A big thank you to all our Service Volunteers. Y-T-D $439,655.79

4 Board of Christian Education John Gillespie reported that the HI-LITES OF ST. JOHN S VOTERS ASSEMBLY Board of Christian Education met last week. January 11, 2016 President Ray Barnes called the meeting to order. A quorum was present. Pastor Bishop opened with devotions. The Board reviewed and approved a draft letter to all GSLS parents regarding tuition obligations and their students. The letter was mailed out last week. The Higher Things Youth Conference will be held on July 5-8, 2016 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls with The Parish Report for December 2015 was approved as four youths and three adults registered to attend. A bake sale published. The minutes from the December 14, 2015 for a Fund raiser will be scheduled to help cover fees. Voters Meeting were approved as published. Treasurer s Report Ron Reising presented the December 2015 Treasurer s Report. A motion was made by Tom Ivey, seconded by Nancy Drockelman, to approve the December 2015 Treasurer s Report motion carried. Board of Trustees Gary Pool welcomed Dan Dobbelaire as the new trustee and thanked Trent Hoover for his six years of service as a trustee. Jack Hall will remain on the Board of Trustees. Aaron Miller will serve as the trustee s secretary, Jack Hall as vice chairman, and Gary Pool as chairman. Tucker Plumbing has been scheduled to repair several plumbing issues including the water fountain in the gym and a leak in the men s room off the gym. Randy Morris Plastering completed repair to the plaster in four different areas of the church and the trustees hope to paint those repairs in the coming weeks. T. J. Lowe Electric has installed a new light for the flag pole and repaired lights at the entrances to the lobby and sanctuary. A new light was installed in the choir loft and additional lighting for the altar area should be installed this week. Mr. Jack Steger has received the appraisal of the parsonage and stated that he is not quite ready to make an offer. The youth met on Dec. 20 to help the Share Program fill food baskets and deliver them to members of the congregation. The January activity will be Bible Baseball on the 17th at the church with sandwiches, chips and drinks served afterwards. The Basketball team is seeking donations for new basketballs. The Sunday School classes have been divided differently than in the past to correspond with the new curriculum from Concordia. The classes are pre-k and K, 1 and 2 together, 3, 4 and 5 together, and 6, 7, and 8 together. Approximately 25 students participated in the Christmas program. January 25 to 29 is National Lutheran School Week. Board of Stewardship Allison Gillespie reported that the Board of Stewardship still needs one person to serve on this Board. Under the Share Program, six households were helped in December and five households will be helped in January. Donations are still needed. Board of Evangelism No report. Long Range Planning Committee No report. Educational Grant Fund Committee No report. East Bluff Property Committee No report. Unfinished Business No report. The Trustees are continuing to obtain estimates for the blacktopping of the parking lot and hope to make a rec- New Business Pastor Bishop noted that previously it had been discussed that a letter giving an update on the renovation proommendation at the February Voter s Meeting. jects and outstanding debt be sent to the church members. The Finance Committee and the Stewardship Committee will disthanks to Don Dobbelaire for his recent electrical recuss this with input from the Chairman of the Trustees. pairs. Board of Finance Nothing to report. Board of Elders Nothing to report. One member brought a sample of a candle with plastic holder that could be used at the Christmas Eve service. The Board of Worship will discuss this further at their next meeting. Board of Worship No report. 5

5 President Barnes asked each board to review the Table of Duties in the Church Constitution for their respective board, identify any issues or recommended changes, and return to him by April 1. Any changes would need to be proposed to the Church District. The meeting adjourned and closed with the Lord s Prayer. Respectfully submitted, Cheryl Ivey Secretary ############################# continued from the cover page We will be reading the account of Jesus' suffering and death from the Gospel according to Luke in our Lenten Vespers services this year. Because Luke's Gospel so emphasizes Jesus' innocence, our sermon series will be Jesus, Our Innocent Savior. We earnestly invite and urge all St. John's members (and your guests!) to come and listen to the Passion reading and to the preaching of Christ's innocent suffering and death for our salvation, that we may trust all the more firmly in His innocence, and thank and praise Him with sincere hearts. - Pastor Bishop Received a thank you letter from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation for our contribution to them. Rev. Heise says Thank you! Good bless in 2016! LENTEN VESPERS February 10 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We have again planned Wednesday evening Vespers services for the six weeks of Lent. The Passion readings this year will be from Luke s Gospel. The sermon series is Jesus, Our Innocent Savior. The services in February are: Feb 10 It was Necessary for the Passover Lamb to be Sacrificed Luke 22:7 Feb 17 He was Counted with Transgressors Luke 22:37 Feb 24 To Overcome the Power of Darkness Luke 22:52-53 Services begin at 7:00 p.m. A light supper is served in the church basement prior to each service, beginning at 5:30 p.m Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." FEBRUARY LIBRARY CORNER By Eileen Tiona I haven't any new books to report on this month, but would like to invite everyone to come into the library and check out all the wonderful books that are available. #################################### TRIPS TO MARTIN LUTHER SITES Dr. David Bueltmann plans to lead tours to the Martin Luther sites in Germany in Dates of the tours are May 9-17, July 5-13, and September 26-October 7. For more information contact him at or ************************************ 2016 LERT (Lutheran Emergency Response Training) Saturday 8 am 4:30 pm (Sessions begin at 8:30 am) Moses Okoyo, Seminary student at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne sent Thank you very much for the gift you gave the Semi- February 20, St. Paul s, Havana...February 27, Trinity, Bloomnary. Your gift is highly appreciated. ington...march 5, Our Savior s, Milford...March 12, Immanuel, Rock Island...June 11, Redeemer, Peoria God s blessings. Also received a thank you letter from Concorida Seminary, St. Louis. Your gift is a special blessing and encouragement to our seminarians, faculty and staff. Your gift is already at work on behalf of this mission of preparing the church s future pastors, missionaries, deaconesses and leaders. THANK YOU. Chainsaw Training, Saturday, April 2, Lutheran Church of St. John, Quincy (9 am 5 pm) $35 Registration fee...led by Randy Wolf and Stephen Born Registration at or call CID office 217/

6 GOOD SHEPHERD NEWS ORGANIZATIONS Dining Night Out will be held on Tuesday, February 9th at Papa John's in Pekin. GSLS will receive credit for orders placed for lunch or dinner. All you have to do is mention GSLS while ordering! FELLOWSHIP CLUB By Veva Martin Mrs. Cheryl Rhodes is a Bible teller. She writes her own scripts sticking to the Biblical account but adds historical, geographical, archeological, and information from other points in scripture relating to the story. She has been doing this about 7 years and gives the person emotion and thoughts. She will be portraying Photini, the woman at the well, for our Fellowship Club meeting, Saturday, February 13 at 6:30 pm in the church basement. We invite you to come, bring a friend to meet this woman from the Bible, and enjoy an interesting evening. Hostesses for the evening will be Veva Martin and Mary Beck. The WOMEN S GUILD By Deb Lakamp dies Guild will meet on Thursday, Feb. 25th at 6:30. La- Our hostesses for the evening will be Vi Deppert (chairperson) and Lori Dagit. Please bring paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc.) for the Carol House of Hope of Pekin, IL. All ladies of St. John are invited to attend. Cajun Mission Meal - Mon. Feb. 8, 4:30-7:30 pm.the members of St. John's Lutheran Church of rural Bath THE YOUTH GROUP Friday, February 12th is a half day. Pre-K will 12:00 p.m./k-8th will 12:30 p. m.. Monday, February 15th, there is no school in honor of Presidents Day! Aiden Foreman in 6th Grade was the All School Spelling Bee winner! Second place went to Mason Garlisch in 5th grade and third place was taken by Wilson Hunter in 8th grade! Congrats to all students who participated! Tickets to attend Good Shepherd Lutheran School's 10th Annual Benefit Auction, "A Decade of Reflections with Ewe!" on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at the Par-A-Dice Hotel Ballroom are available! Please check the SCRIP tables at the churches, or ask at the school's office for a form to make your reservation. For reservation questions, call Ann Fuelberth at Our menu has been finalized: Beef Chuck Filet-5 oz. and Chicken Breast-5 oz. with a Dijon Mustard Cream Sauce, Whipped Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad, Chocolate & White Cake. The Special Live Auction Item #1 will again be the "First Dinner" which will feature: Beef Filet-6oz. and Crab Cake-6 oz., Julienne Vegetables, Custard Potatoes, Caesar Salad, Turtle Cheesecake, Coffee, Tea, and Water. Talk to your table mates and be ready to bid on this delicious "First Dinner"! As in the previous years, we have Table Sponsorships available for our Live Auction--$200, Silent Auction--$100, and Dinner--$50. These sponsorship ads are great ways for businesses to advertise and support our auction! Please talk to any Auction Committee member if you have questions. ************* will meet on Sunday, February 21st at 4:00 p.m. This month we will have wacky gym games and enjoy tacos. IN OUR PRAYERS If you know of anyone who needs to be added, please let the church office know. Watch bulletins for more information and All our shut-ins Griffin Glass serving in the U.S. Navy Adam Jackson member of Armed Services (grandnephew of Lila Lisenbee) Pastor Niemann Jacob Holloway Dale Schott Cheryl Williams Shannon Stocke Mark Reeder Vaylen Tomlinsen Susan Oliverius Vanessa Bjorling please bring a friend to enjoy the fellowship. invite you to join them for a "Fat Monday" meal to help raise money for the Latino Mission of Beardstown. The menu will include: jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, beignets, cold spinach salad, virgin hurricanes, and a wide variety of desserts all for a free will offering. Hope to see you there. 7

7 Bringing Christ to people around the world More than 120 years ago, the Missouri Synod sent its first missionaries to India, and our church has been active in international witness ever since. Though our witness and message are the same, much has certainly changed since then, and the 21st century brings even more new opportunities and challenges as we continue our international witness by the power of the Holy Spirit: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). As the LCMS focuses on international witness, we thank God for our partnerships with brothers and sisters around the world in carrying Christ s rich gifts to the ends of the earth! Join us in lifting up international witness this month. To help you do so, we have put together information and worship resources, including bulletin inserts, prayers, Scripture references and more for your use. lcms.org/focus/international-witness >> 8

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