December Anchor

 

Congregational Catechesis and the Small Catechism

“Lord, help us ever to retain The Catechism’s doctrine plain As Luther taught the Word of truth In simple style to tender youth.”

-John 8:29-31

 

How well do you know the Bible and what it teaches? This was a question that Luther sought the answer to nearly ten years after nailing the 95 Thesis to the door of the church in Wittenberg, effectively beginning the Reformation. From 1526-1528, Luther visited common area churches in what is known as the Saxon Visitation, to consider what pastors and people knew of Scripture and the Reformation. What he found both pleased him and heavily disappointed him.

He found people free of the Roman Catholic slavery to the Law and sacramental system of merit which was wonderful. But, he also found people were free of Scripture and the Gospel entirely and unable to articulate even the basics of the Christian faith such as the Ten Commandments, the Apostles Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. In an attempt to provide a solution to the problem, Luther wrote the Small (and Large) Catechism in order to teach the basics of the faith and the Word of God.

He wrote it in a simple, easy to teach and learn method of questions and answers that put the Word of God in the mouths of the people. What he taught was not in addition to Scripture, but in agreement with it and reflect the truths of the Bible. There is no difference between the Bible and the Catechism, but they say the same thing. The Catechism (coming from the Greek word for resound or echo) literally means and does echo back the Word of God teaching what it says about the Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar. This six chief parts of the Catechism teach us what God says in the Bible about the basic elements of the Christian faith.

So, how well do you know the Catechism? Whether the answer is not at all or that you have it all learned by heart, we ought to continue to keep it before us just as we continue to keep the Bible and the Word of God before us as the Catechism teaches the Bible. This was Luther’s intention for the Small Catechism, as he explains in his preface to the Small Catechism (which you really ought to read), that it should be taught “year after year.”

Luther calls upon pastors, reminding them of what God has called them to do and their ordination vows (1 Tim. 4:13), in a desperate and gravely serious plea to teach their people. So as I have vowed before God and men at my ordination, I am trying to do the thing God and you have called me to do, which is both to preach and teach God’s Word by putting before all of us God’s Word as explained in the Catechism.

So, before each Sunday service, we will recite a portion of the Catechism together. We will recite the same portion for a month, before taking up the next portion in the following month. We have broken down the Catechism and its six chief parts into 24 portions so that we would repeat the entirety of the Catechism every two years. This should help us to learn the Catechism and the basics of the Christian faith in a timely manner (rather than taking 3 or 4 years) while making each portion manageable (short enough to learn easily).

This should help us not only to learn the Catechism and the Christian faith by heart, but also give us a vocabulary to talk with our neighbors and give a defense (explanation) of the faith. By continuing to repeat it, I pray it begins to roll of the tongue without having to think about it (like 1+1=2), helps us to talk about the faith, and in grains in us trust in the Promises of God.

In the teachings of Christ,

Pastor Simek

 

 

News & Notes 

Sunshine Circle News

The ladies meet each Thursday morning to quilt, work on banners for the sanctuary, and have devotions.  Please join them when you are able!

Annual Cookie Walk

will be held Dec. 15 from 9am to 11am

2018 Church Council

President:                     Eric Trisler

Vice President:          Jim Sharich

Secretary:                    Sharon Butler

Treasurer:                     Linda Blasa

Financial Secretary: 

Education: 

Evangelism:    

Properties:                     Bob Hall

Stewardship:                 Tim Butler

Youth:                                Rick Whyers

Social Committee:     Joan Brown

Worship:                          Rick Angel

Altar Guild:                     Deb Basham

2018 Elders

Dave Jacobs

Jim Sharich

Travis Trisler

Tim Van Hoveln

Rick Whyers

Higher Things

The Youth have decided to go to Higher Things at Concordia University, Mequon, WI. from July 16-19, If any confirmed youth or confirmed member would like to go, please see Pastor for a registration sheet. Registration sheets are due back before Jan.1.

Christmas Poinsettias

The order forms and payment envelopes are in the narthex.  Flowers are $8.00 each and may be ordered until Sunday December 10th.

Bible Class We continue our Bible 101 class on both Sunday and Wednesday. Join us as we discuss Genesis 37 and Joseph and his coat.

Catechesis continues Sunday nights at 6:00 p.m. Please pray for our catechumens.

Advent/Christmas Devotional Books are available in the narthex.  The Higher Things Reflections offer daily readings and devotions for everyday of Advent and Christmas.

Congregational Catechesis in an attempt to refresh our memories of Luther’s Small Catechism, we will be reciting portions of the Catechism every Sunday prior to service.  For more explanation, please read the Catechism insert or see Pastor’s December Anchor article.

A Simple Explanation books can be found in each pew.  The Christian faith (Luther’s Small Catechism) and the Divine Service are explained briefly and simply.  Please feel free to take these with you or grab a copy in the narthex.

Church Basement Ladies a Christmas Musical Comedy, will be held Nov. 8th – Jan. 6 at the Playhouse in WestPort Plaza, St. Louis.  For more info, contact Joan or info is in office.

Advent Midweek Services will be held on Dec. 5th, 12th, and 19th at 7:00 p.m.  The focus of these services will be the Ten Commandments.

 

   

Sunday Mornings

General Schedule

Sunday School    8:30-9:15 a.m.  All children are welcome – bring a friend with you — the more the merrier!

Bible Class     8:15-9:15 a.m.  If you have never been before or haven’t been lately, join in the fellowship & learning. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Divine Service  9:30 a.m. Come worship and give thanks for all of the gifts God gives us.

Stewardship Corner

November Attendance

Date Divine Service/Lord’s Supper Sunday School Adult Bible Class
11/4 81/59 5 9/
11/11 68/56 5 9/6
11/18 81/60 6 10/
11/21 26/22
11/25 69/56 5 11/

At your service…

Elders

Lead:             Jim Sharich

Assisting:     Rick Whyers

Altar Guild

Gary & Jan Kallal, Mary Ann Husmann

Ushers

First Sunday: Rick Angel, Jim Manns,

Nathan Martin

Second Sunday: Rick Angel, Ed Basham,

Owen Roberts, Matthew Baecht

Third Sunday: Mike Roth, Rick Angel;

Randy & Travis Trisler, Jim Manns

Fourth Sunday: Eric Trisler, Kris McGuire

Tim Van Hoveln, Rick Angel

Fifth Sunday: Tim Van Hoveln, Travis Trisler

Acolytes

December:                     

Samuel Baecht

Carter Raines

Ella Roberts

Samuel Baecht

Samantha Strubberg

Ava Roberts

Emily Strubberg

   

 Our Church Family

December Prayer Partners

We pray particularly for these brothers and sisters in Christ:

Week of Dec. 2nd: Jim, Korri, & Tanner Ontis

Week of Dec. 9th: Alex & Whitney Hendricks

Week of Dec. 16th: Gary & Jean Pinkard

Week of Dec.23rd: Susy Pohlman

Week of Dec. 30th: Ed & Ella Jane Pointer

December Birthdays

12/3   Sarah Mansfield

12/4   Karley Blasa

12/5   Ella Pointer

12/9   Bob Hall

12/9   Kurt Hall

12/11 Samantha Strubberg

12/12 Brienne Conklin

12/12 Norma Anderson

12/13 Trish LeBlanc

12/14 Austin (LeBlanc) Seymour

12/15 Erinn Hileman

12/18 Whitney (Ontis) Hendricks

12/20 Abigail Jacobs

12/21 Susy Pohlman

12/22 Jason Morgan

12/29 Roy Young

12/29 Billie Whyers

12/30 Hannah Greene

12/30 Nick Manns

12/30 Lincoln Morgan

12/31 Vance Miller

 December Anniversaries

Dec. 9th Eric & Tina Trisler

Dec. 10th Gary & Jean Pinkard

                                                                                                        

   Pastor Simek Cell: 618-410-9827, hopelutheranpastor@gtec.com                                                                            https://www.facebook.com/HopeJerseyville/               

Church Office 618-498-3423

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