A reminder—If you or a family member enter the hospital and you’d like Pastor Kenyon to visit, please call the church office 815-223-1144.
Lent is the season of preparation before Easter and a time when many Christians observe a period of repentance, moderation, and discipline. In so doing it creates space and time to reflect upon Jesus’ suffering, his life, death, burial and resurrection. Typically for us and for many churches throughout the world, a special time is set aside for worship and reflection that by the power of the Holy Spirit we might be drawn closer to the wonder and newness of God’s love.
Lent begins with the observance of Ash Wednesday. Officially named in the Western church as “Day of Ashes”, which always falls 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included). This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14 and will be observed with a service of Holy Communion and the distribution of ashes where the sign of the cross is gently rubbed upon each person’s forehead in the shape of the cross. You will hear the words spoken: “You are dust, and to dust you will return.” From the dust of the earth we were formed and from the dust of the earth we will return. This truth remains constant. However, we live on the side of God’s promises in Christ Jesus that death ultimately has no victory, no lasting sting. God is always working to bring us life and make us new. In Christ we are set free to live our daily lives in confidence as baptized children of God. Deep within us we know full well that God has no reason to pay attention to us, and yet God continues to lift us up and hold our lives together as beloved children forever. We belong to God and God’s care.
Make time for LENTEN worship in your busy schedules. Various area Lutheran pastors will be preaching and leading midweek services again this year under the theme: “Faith Lenten Journey: Seven Wonders of the Word.” Before worship, beginning on Wednesday, February 21, supper in the fellowship hall will be served by the youth and men of the congregation. All are cordially invited. Worship time in the sanctuary then follows at 7:00 p.m.
Please welcome the guest pastors upon their arrival and at the close of the evening service. We are one family, members of the Northern IL Synod, working and serving together making Christ known.
In Christ who makes all things new!
MIDWEEK LENTEN SERVICES
Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Theme: “Lenten Journey: Seven Wonders of the Word”
On Wednesdays during Lent we will be welcoming various pastors from the South Conference/NISynod congregations. Four pastors from our area congregations will be leading our midweek services. This “round robin” format gives you the opportunity to hear the word of God and meditate upon the scriptures and messages. Please take time to warmly greet and welcome each visiting pastor.
March 21—”The Word Saves” - Pr. Scott Schmidt (St. Matthew, Princeton)
Wednesdays during Lent
The men of our church, assisted by St. John’s youth, will be serving a simple supper prior to each service beginning at 5:00 p.m. A free-will offering will be received with proceeds being given to the youth for their 2018 Youth Gathering Trip to Houston, Texas.
March 21—Pork Chops, applesauce, chips, dessert
Schedule of Worship for Holy Week
Palm/Passion Sunday - March 25, 2018
10:15 a.m. – Gather in the narthex for palm branches. Following the reading of the Procession Gospel (Matthew 21:1-11) All are invited to participate in the processional.
March 29, 2018
7:00 p.m. – The Living Last Supper will be presented by the twelve disciples of Jesus. Set in pose created by da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, each disciple comes alive and presents his perspective after Jesus says, “one of you will betray me”. Also, our fourth grade Sunday School children will be welcomed to receive their first Holy Communion.
March 30, 2018
7:00 p.m. – The Tenebrae service is a service of shadows. The approaching darkness symbolizes the flight of the disciples, the arrival of Jesus’ enemies and his ultimate suffering.
March 31, 2018
5:30 p.m. – Please gather in the narthex for a procession into the Sanctuary. The stories of God’s faithfulness throughout the ages will be recounted.
Festive Easter Worship
April 1, 2018
8:00 a.m. & 10:00 a.m.
Sing, rejoice with a music ensemble of choir and brass! Easter is “the day” of all days. The tomb could not keep Jesus. As Christ is risen, we too shall be raised. Come, join the faithful as together we raise our voices in triumphant song and share the meal of Holy Communion which Christ has set before us.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
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