Halloween or Reformation Day?
As a Christian who attends a Lutheran church, am I to choose between these two days and decide which one I should celebrate with my family? I say, NO. Be a proud Lutheran and celebrate the heritage of our church body in which Martin Luther’s ideas of Reformation were that of: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide and Sola Gratia all through Solus Christus. These ideas started a reformation of the church at the time. Most of us would say these ideas have held the test of time and are as relevant in the 1500’s as they do in 2022. I would agree that we should celebrate these free gifts of God not just on Oct. 31st but everyday of our lives. So what about the other Oct. 31st, Halloween? Is there room for two celebrations? YES. Halloween is an opportunity to dress up in a costume, pretend to be someone else and get treats. But more importantly we get to tell the Devil he didn’t win. Dressing up in a costume is a way to celebrate the freedom we have been given by the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have nothing to be afraid of when the Devil does everything in his power to persuade us to follow him instead of God. We are poking fun of him when we dress up. Although, we don’t have to put on the Elvis wig, sunglasses, white jumpsuit and sing “Blue Suede Shoes” to show the Devil who’s the boss. We do that every time we pray. Every time we open our Bible. Every time we look to God for help, instead of other sources. So celebrate. Eat your German Lutheran (brats and sauerkraut) dinner to celebrate the Reformation and follow it up with some well deserved Halloween candy that your kids shouldn’t eat a lot of (but you have no problem helping them out). After all, we wouldn’t have any of this opportunity without the free gifts God has given to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Enjoy!
The seven weeks of Lent are devoted to reflection upon the suffering and death of Christ. But Lent is also a time to hear again the words of the Lord. As Jesus attested: “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). It is appropriate during this season of Lent to give attention to the words of life that Jesus spoke while in the very midst of death. These words from the cross are his “CrossWords.”
In this Lenten series, CrossWords, the services address the following themes:
· “Father, Forgive Them”
· “You will be with Me in Paradise”
· “Behold Your Son; Behold Your Mother”
· “My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
· “I Thirst”
· “It is Finished!”
· “Father, Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit”
I hope that you can join us as we begin this journey of Lent. We will have services at 12:15pm and 6pm each week. Come and be a part of the St. Peter’s family as we prepare our hearts and minds for the ultimate sacrifice Christ pays for our sins.
In His Service,
From the Pastor
Thank you! I just wanted to begin by saying, Thank you, to all of you for calling me to be your pastor. My family and I feel very welcome by all of you we’ve met and are looking forward to meeting you all who we haven’t had the chance to meet yet. The move to Kansas has been smooth and I attribute that to God and His protection and also to the welcoming spirit of St. Peter’s.
With that being said… It is time that I get to know you. My plan is to make time to get to know each and every one of you. I am happy to make a visit to your home, work, out in the town or even here at church. The best way I can start to put names to faces is by seeing them, well yours and your family’s.
I would imagine that there are a lot of questions about what is in store for St. Peter’s in the coming days, months and years and I think I am asking a lot of them myself. Hopefully you are too. After all, this is our church given to us by God some 160 years ago. This has been quite an accomplishment and we should be celebrating that.
I can think of no better way to: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) than to be together while we are part of God’s church!
I am looking forward to rejoicing, praying and giving thanks with you all, for everything that God has blessed us with here at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.
In His Service,
Rev. Matthew Wood, LCMS International Pastor in Indonesia
Rev. Matthew and Kali Wood serve on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Indonesia, based in Medan. Matthew works closely with the Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church (GKLI). He helps train pastors and lay leaders by providing resources through educational workshops, translation projects and other efforts in cooperation with the GKLI.
This Sunday Rev. Wood joined us to share how the Gospel is being shared with the people in Indonesia. During his sermon Rev. Wood proclaimed that the forgiveness of sins we have in Christ is the foundation of both our faith and life, and how is teaching is being revealed to many in Indonesia for the very first time. In his presentation he told us a story about the village of Kuamang Kuning.
There the local GKLI congregation looked with mercy upon a group of Sanak people, a jungle dwelling people who lost their home due to the development of palm oil plantations. The congregation taught them how to farm and sell produce in addition to the freedom we have in the Gospel. This wasn’t a simple lesson in theology but had a great practical impact upon this people who, for example, believed that a child’s death in the womb meant the whole people had to move due to the presence of an evil spirit. Knowing that Christ is greater than any evil spirit changes their way of life. The GKLI also worked with the LCMS and the Lutheran Church in Australia to build housing and shelter for the Sanak people. So far this ministry has resulted in 19 baptisms!
For more information you can watch his presentation below. Don’t forget and visit his family’s website and sign up for their newsletters. You can also watch Rev. Wood’s sermon here.
Value Them Both Amendment
A Letter from President Justin Panzer
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In late 2019, a campaign was launched in Kansas to “Reverse the Ruling,” with the goal of overturning the Kansas Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt. This decision, you might remember, made abortion a constitutional “right” in the state. The Value Them Both Amendment, produced as part of this effort, came before the Kansas Legislature in early 2020 but was narrowly defeated.
The Value Them Both Amendment has now been reintroduced in the Kansas Legislature, with high hopes of securing the votes needed to get the amendment before Kansas voters. As legislators contemplate their vote, we have a wonderful opportunity to get involved and advocate for the sanctity of life. I’ve written a letter of support for the amendment, and I’ll also be offering the opening prayer at the Rally for Life on January 21 in Topeka (provided the event proceeds as planned).
You and the members of your congregations can help, too. Please keep this effort in your prayers and consider contacting your local Senate and House representatives. The more people legislators hear from, the more persuasive the message becomes!
Following are three options for getting involved and making your voice heard:
1) Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-432-3924. An operator will take a message and deliver it to elected officials.
2) Contact legislators through the Value Them Both Amendment page on the Kansans for Life website. (See the gray “Will you help?” box for options.)
3) Send an email message to your legislators and encourage others to do the same. (See the sample below, which can be copied and modified as needed.) Registered voters can locate their legislators by using the Open States System at https://openstates.org/
You can also check the Senate and House rosters for contact information.
Thank you for your efforts in defense of life. Whatever the outcome of the Value Them Both Amendment, we can take comfort in the words of John 1:4: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
In the service of Christ,
Dear (Insert Legislator’s Name),
Thank you in advance for your support for the Value Them Both Amendment during the 2021 Legislative Session. Unlimited abortion hurts women and babies, and this amendment is the only way to stop this from happening in Kansas. You have taken a public stance in support of life in the past. I look forward to you supporting this commonsense amendment when it comes up for a vote in the legislature.
If you are not planning to support the amendment this coming year, please inform me as soon as possible.
(Insert Your Name)
A Service of Reflection, Repentance, and Absolution
Missed our New Year’s Eve service? Watch our ReCast! to reflect, repent, and find rest in Christ.
Jesse Tree, Christ’s Family Tree
Apple of the garden. Rainbow of hope. Tent of promise. Ram of substitute. Ladder of heaven. Manger of Jesus. The Jesse Tree is filled with symbols telling the story of Jesus from creation to His second coming. Above all else the story of the Bible, Old and New Testaments alike, is the story of Jesus. He is the Seed, the Root, the Life, and the Firstfruit of Jesse’s tree.
Watch our Recast as our midweek children retell the story of the Jesse Tree, Christ’s family tree. Our readers take you through stories of Scripture readings, our midweek students summarize the stories through rhyme and sing us a song that points us to Jesus.
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
Romans 11:1-2, 13-15, 28-32
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