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September 2012

Greetings, dear friends in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Well, things have changed a bit since our last newsletter. WE RECEIVED THE GIFT OF RAIN! We have prayed that God in his good time would send us and all those in need relief from the heat and dry conditions. Certainly this is not a drought buster but at the same time it certainly gives us hope and we pray many others affected by the drought received moisture. Let us give thanks to God for his good and gracious gifts.

School Begins:
Lincoln students have one again gone back to school so we know fall is just around the corner. I pray everyone had a good summer despite the conditions and that the new school year for teachers and students alike will be a safe and blessed experience for learning and fun. Along that note I want to also welcome several foreign-exchange students to our community and to our church, they are: Jacqueline Eickmeier (Germany) Pastor Schneider and family as host, Narina Cuzminschi (Moldova) Larry Liggett family as host, and Riina Juola (Finland) Kenny Krueger host family. We welcome these young ladies and pray their experience in the United States will be a blessed one with good memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

St. John News:
With the beginning of a new school year comes the beginning of a new academic year at St. John. Weekday Classes will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 3:40pm with the bus picking the kids up at the grade school. Confirmation classes begin the same day at 6:00pm. Supper and class from 6:15-7:15. And finally, Adult Bible Class will resume at 8:00pm. If you know of any children who may be interested in attending weekday or confirmation please contact Sonja or myself. Also our Dorcas Society and LWML will once again hold meetings and if any of you ladies are interested in joining these wonderful mission groups please contact us or show up at the meetings, we'd love to have you. And last but not least if anyone is interested in joining the Early Risers or at least helping out with projects we'd love to have you join us.

Post Rock Festival
The Early Risers and Youth Group will hold food booths at the Post Rock Festival this year. The youth will hold a bake sale from 7:30 am until mid morning in front of Wagoner Insurance on main street and then they will move to the park where they will set up beside the Early Risers booth. Look us up as you can get an assortment of foods from Frito Pies, Pulled Pork, or Brats, sorry no bloomin' onions this year as Lana and I have to attend a family wedding so we will have to leave the Festival early (I'll give the heartburn a break for a year!).

Trinity Lutheran, Hunter will host a Thrivant Meeting on Monday, August 27, 5:00 pm. Anyone who would like to join us please free. The Gideon's will hold their annual Pastor's Appreciation Banquet in the Hunter Community Building on Monday, September 10th, 6:30pm. We thank the Gideon's for their mission efforts to bring God's word and salvation through the placing of Bibles in various institutions and Colleges throughout the world in many different languages.

St. Paul's:
We had a wonderful day in celebrating St. Paul's 100th anniversary last Sunday. There were over 300 in attendance with over 250 staying for the meal catered by Loren and Kay Heller of the Hunter Cafť and Jo Hachmeister. The worship service was led by Pastor Timothy Frank on the organ, Sonja leading the choir and Jodi White accompanying. Pastor Jonathan Holmes performed the liturgy and Pastor Emeritus Clarence Marquardt preaching. What a wonderful way to celebrate the history of mission and ministry for our sister congregation. I pray God will bless them and us with many more years of sharing God's word and sacrament.

Calendar of Events

August 2012

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

Well the heat and dry just goes on and on and I'm sure youíre a bit discouraged and tired of the monotony! It's true a large part of the country suffers from the effects of drought and excessive heat. The crops are stressing or failing altogether not only in this country but in places all around the world. It's easy to become discouraged wondering whether God will answer our prayers for rain and relief. However, I would like to offer you some thoughts and cause some reflection as we endure. Consider this: There is always someone worse off than ourselves as we take an honest look around. Many have lost their homes and property due to the numerous wildfires that have raged around the county. Others have lost life and property to floods and other natural disasters. We merely suffer the loss of once very promising crops and we have had several good years in a row. So as you endure, consider this: If we are willing to accept the good things that come by the Lord's hand shouldn't we also accept the trials and troubles that come our way? Ponder these things and hang in there, in his good time God will send rain and relief. In the meantime let the test be a time of strengthening, strengthening of faith, resolve, and of patience. God bless you all!

St. John News:
We recently held our quarterly council meeting and discussed several things. The Trustees are in the process of working on the East and Southeast steps. Either we will replace the existing carpet or remove it and replace it with a textured paint. The old carpet has become a bit of an eyesore and a potential hazard.

Also on the agenda is a trip for the WDS and Youth Group kids to rent the pool in Beloit on Thursday, Aug. 9th. We will board the bus and leave the church no later than 6:45 pm. The pool is rented at a flat rate so any parents or adults who wish to go along are certainly welcome. This trip is one of our activities funded by the endowment to reach out to our families and involve them in worship and church related activities. Although we will not go to Beloit until evening we would like to have many of our youth and their families in worship that day.

Finally, the Early Risers will host their annual pie and ice cream fundraiser open to the community to raise money for purchasing supplies for their charity projects. Everyone is invited to attend the fundraiser, which will be held on Sunday Aug. 26, beginning at 5:00pm.

At our recently held voters meeting the people of Trinity once again expressed their sincere thanks to St. John for contracting with them for pastoral services. They are truly blessed by our partnership and cooperation. Trinity hosted their annual BBQ earlier this spring with wonderful attendance and fund-raising results. They are considering hosting an ice cream booth at them Mitchell County fair once again in August.

On another note, the Hunter Methodist Church received a new pastor, Rev. Pat Duell. Her husband Tim, also a pastor will serve the Methodist church in Beloit. They are old acquaintances as I worked for Timís parents in Goodland while attending Vo-Tec from 1981-1982. We have remained in contact since that time. Itís a small world! We wish to welcome the Duellís to our communities.

St. Paul's:
The Congregation voted to renew their application for a fall seminary pastor candidate and we recently sent the forms to the Kansas District office to be signed and forwarded to the seminary placement committee. We pray God will answer our prayers for a pastor.

The 100th Anniversary celebration at St. Paulís set for Sunday afternoon/evening on August 19th is fast approaching. The service is set for 3:00pm with Pastor Clarence Marquardt preaching, Pastor Jonathan Holmes as liturgists, and Pastor Timothy Frank as organist, with myself an innocent bystander.

Calendar of Events

July 2012

Greetings dear friends in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Dear friends the Dog Days of summer are here! And this is not uncommon for us to suffer through heat and dry conditions this time of year. However, it has been an unprecedented kind of year so far. Spring came early and lasted only a short while before summer began. Thus things are drying up in a hurry. The crops and pastures are in desperate need of moisture and more moderated temperatures, however, relief does not seem to be coming any time soon.

It is times like this our faith and resolve are tested. One could even become bitter perhaps! But God allows us to be tested in our faith and invites us to grow and trust him even more. Pray that God will send rain upon our land and wherever it is needed and that restoration would begin.

On another note, the Fourth of July holiday is upon us. Many people will be traveling this weekend or the next and we pray for their safety as well. Let us remember those who continue to defend our freedom around the world as well as those who work to protect us in this country. Even in the midst of drought we are truly as blessed nation and have much to be thankful for. As you make summer vacation plans may you find rest and relief with family and friends and return to us safely. In the meantime stay cool and stay safe.

ST. JOHN NEWS: Sonja will once again host a summer kids event where children and parents are invited to gather at St. John for fun activities and crafts, which they will then take to the elderly at the Post Rock Apartments and Lincoln Park Manor. The dates for the activities will be Thursday, July 5th and July 12th, from 9:30-11:30am. We thank Sonja for working with our children. Sonja plans to be on vacation from Monday, July 16-Monday, July 23.

My family and I plan to leave for vacation also on Wednesday, July 18th-Sunday July 29th. We do not usually leave for this long, however, our family is holding a reunion on the 19th-22 in Colorado and we had already planned our vacation the following week in Missouri. Pastor Dennis Hill will fill in on the 22nd, and pastor Gary Wolf on the 29th. I will ask one of our circuit pastors to be on call and if an emergency arises I am available by cell 785-346-4248.

The LWML will once again host a birthday party at Lincoln Park Manor on Thursday, July 19th, 2:00pm. We invite everyone to come out and enjoy refreshments with the residents.

ST. PAUL'S: St. Paul's will celebrate their 100th anniversary celebration on Sunday, August 19th, with the worship service at 3:00pm and the meal to follow. I hope you all have sent your RSVPs or signed up at the East doors at St. John. Pastor Clarence Marquardt will be the guest preacher and both of our past vicars will also assist in the service. Kay Heller from Hunter will cater the meal.

June 2012

Greetings dear friends in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: This past week we held our VBS program in Hunter. Our theme for this year was "Daniel's Courage in Babylon." As you know Daniel and many of his friends and relatives were carried off into Babylon and placed under captivity. While in captivity God gave faithful Daniel the ability to interpret dreams. In another Biblical account from Genesis God also gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams while he too was in captivity. In the case of Joseph he foretold of 7 good years and 7 lean years to come in Egypt.

We often desire the ability to foresee the future at times as well. Perhaps you are dreaming of cooler wetter days, I know I am, as we seem to be in the middle of a drought, which may or may not have devastating effects on crops, livestock, and even people. But in the midst of all of this we give thanks to God for all his good gifts and continue to pray for a rain and a safe and bountiful harvest.

DISTRICT CONVENTION: The tri-annual convention for the Kansas District LCMS was held Thursday-Saturday this last week. We discussed many interesting and pertinent issues, which face the church today. I will fill you all in more on the happenings and decisions that were made in next monthís newsletter. I want to thank Leon Choitz from St. John and Oliver Kralicek for serving as our Lay Delegates to this yearís convention. The Synodical Convention will be held in Houston in July of next year.

VBS: Once again we have completed our Vacation Bible School Programs at St. John and the Hunter Community at Trinity Lutheran. We were blessed with many children and many wonderful volunteer teachers, helpers, and kitchen ladies.

ST. JOHN REPORT: We have completed our education programs for the year and will restock over the summer. With the summer break will be plans for next fall, researching new education materials and programs as well as meeting new families and children who might be interested in St. John Lutheran.

As of this time the Youth Group has mowed the cemetery three times, however, they may be out of work for a while until we receive rain. The youth will continue to meet over the summer to prepare for the upcoming year. Several of our youth worked at the food stand for Royce and Sharonís sale in Vesper. We wish to thank Krissy, Kaitlyn, Sarah, Tristen, Lana, and Sarah Biggs for manning the booth and serving the bidders.

We wish also to thank Ron and Jo Buttenhoff for the fun evening at the Volleyball Quarry property. They have recently installed a slide for the kids as well as older kids (like Bill and Larinda Meili). If you have never been to the property be sure to take in the next event its really a nice place to gather together for a meal, fellowship and a lot of fun.

In regards to the church property, Bullfoot Contractors have installed the roof over the education wing. Unfortunately we haven't had an opportunity to test it out, but weíll continue to pray for rain. Also we need to replace or remove the carpet from the south steps as it is tearing away, the east steps are beginning to do the same.

TRINITY: We will continue to hold Sunday School classes through the summer and into the fall. As at St. John we are growing slightly and gaining young families with the birth of children. We give thanks for all God continues to do for us! Trinity held their annual BBQ in early May, which was once again well attended. Thank you for all who turned out to support them.

ST. PAUL'S: While we did not receive a pastoral candidate we remain hopeful and confident God will provide a man for St. Paulís ministry. The congregation will apply for a candidate from the field and if need be reapply for a candidate in the fall or coming spring if the vacancy is not filled from a list of existing pastors open to a new call.

We continue to prepare for the coming 100th celebration service and dinner on Sunday, August 19 with 3:00 worship and the catered meal to follow. Please get your reservations in!

With that may God bless you all in your summer endeavors and travels: Pastor Schneider

January 2012

Dear friends, we have closed the door on 2011 and now embark upon a new year. With a New Year comes New Yearís resolutions! What will your New Yearís Resolution be this year? Maybe you are working on the same New Yearís Resolution youíve made for ten years running! I have to admit I once made a New Yearís Resolution to complete my farm records by the end of the calendar year but after not ten but twenty years I am resigned to the fact it isnít going to happen. I will get my records and taxes completed just before the deadline or after an extension or two.

I pray our approach to church and ministry will not take the same approach as my record-keeping and Iím confident it wonít as I get to know you all more and more. However, we do have challenges. Every year the President of the United States gives a State of the Union Address. I think it might be good for me to give a State of the Church Address as well as part of my New Yearís preparation.

Certainly the Christian Church world-wide has suffered. While Christianity is growing in places like Africa and China where persecution of Christians takes place it is declining in such places as Europe and unfortunately right here in the United States. Why then is the faith and church declining and how are we to deal with such realities?

To begin with I would like to comment on the decline of the Christian faith. The decline of the Christian faith world-wide is directly connected to the decline of the church. Have you ever heard the comment, ďI donít have to go to church to be a Christian?Ē Iím sure you have I have heard it many times myself! But consider this; as people have become less active in their worship or in-active altogether faith has died out. This should not surprise us!

Christ gave us the gift of his church where Christian believers gather together to receive the means of grace, which are the preached word of God, Baptism, and Holy Communion. If then God promises forgiveness of sins and the strengthening in of faith in the sacraments and his holy word would it then not stand to reason if one neglected to receive these things that faith would suffer? The answer of course is yes! And it has! What then are we to do? Where do we go from here?

The answer is we must learn from our past. What did the early Christians do when it seemed everyone was against them? They became even more committed to their faith and ministry. And we must do the same! We do many things well here at St. John. We have a very active and well-attended Week-Day school and Vacation Bible School. So the faith is being planted in the hearts and minds of children. We are very good at using the Endowment profits to reach out to in-active and un-churched and unbelieving people. We have also learned to reach out through social ministry (such as the Early Risers men and Labor of Love Ladies) in helping people in need. I commend you for these good things.

However, I would like to see more active and regular worship practices by our members. We set an example for our own families and people in the community by what we do in our own church. When people see how devoted, excited, and committed people are to their church or any other organization they desire to be a part of it. I pray more of our members will make a commitment or a New Yearís Resolution to be regular in our attendance at St. John this year. For as we receive Godís means of grace all the more abundantly so will the faith grow abundantly. This is Godís promise to us. May God bless you throughout the coming new year.

Jack and Cathy Carlos, missionaries in Guinea, will visit St. John Lutheran on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 7:00 pm. A door offering will be taken next Sunday as well as a free-will offering on Tuesday evening. Refreshments will be served Tuesday evening at the presentation.



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