We are streaming all of our services on Facebook Live at https://facebook.com/stpaulsbrownsville/live Click on the link to watch the services live or to view them later. Services as of Jun 14 are Sunday mornings at 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. (You do not need to be a Facebook member to access these videos.)
We now have DVD copies of all the worship services we've livestreamed
since last month. Please let us know
1) if you'd like a copy to take to someone who isn't able to
watch our services online;
2) if you know someone you'd like us to deliver these DVDs to
because they can't watch our services online;
3) if you'd like to help us deliver these DVDs to people who
aren't able to watch our services online.
E-News from St. Paul's
Upholding God's Truth and Proclaiming God's Promises
June 26, 2020
This Week in Worship
Concrete Dust – Help Needed
Vacancy at St. Peter, Kekoskee
Open Forum Questions
Pastor Paul H. Huth (1932-2020)
“Taste and See” Online Event
Returning to Worship Again
Something New for Communion
Continuing the Livestream service
Dear members of St. Paul’s, brothers and sisters in Christ,
(see the end of this letter for a reminder of the steps we’re taking to help each other practice social distancing and careful hygiene when we gather together and the things to consider before making the personal decision whether or not to return to worship.)
This Week in Worship Green Is for Growth; It's Not Easy Being Green
As the season of Pentecost begins, we begin a focus on the work that the Holy Spirit does to grow and strengthen our faith so that we can dedicate all that we are and all that we have in our lives to the mission he has given us to serve him until he takes us home to be with him.
The church wears green during the season of Pentecost because it is the color of growth. It takes a lot of energy, from the soil and the sun, to make things grow and stay green. The same is true with people, especially when we’re talking about spiritual growth. It’s hard work, made even more difficult because of the way that Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh strive to keep us from growing in our faith, to keep us spiritually weak, and to lead us away from our Savior and his salvation.
This Pentecost season, we’re going to borrow the words that Muppets song-writer Joe Raposo put into the mouth of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green,” to help us focus on the way the Old Testament lessons describe the challenges we face trying to stay “green” (to keep growing in our faith) and the way God helps us do that through the power of his Word.
As the rest of today’s Scripture readings show us the compassion of our Savior, both in the way he died for us while we were still sinners (Second Lesson) and when he saw that we needed gospel workers to bring us his truth (Gospel Lesson), our sermon shows us God’s compassion to the people of Israel in spite of all their complaining and rebelling. We also see their response to that review of his compassion.
Concrete Dust - Help Needed
When the bricks and blocks were cut to open up the exterior wall so that we could install the new door to enter the new office suite from the parking lot, the concrete saw left a thin layer of concrete dust through much of our facility. While that layer is thicker in areas closer to where the work was done, there is still some of that dust in other areas, including the hallways, the classrooms, and the basement
We’d sure appreciate a few volunteers to do a quick dusting of most of the flat surfaces throughout the facility. Please let me know if you can help.
We are making plans to resume our regular Bible studies. Here’s what we know so far:
Sunday morning Bible study - It will be difficult to find a way to hold Sunday morning Bible study with our current worship schedule, especially when Pastor Carter starts serving as the vacancy pastor for St. Peter, Kekoskee. We may be able to resume whenever we determine that it will be safe to go back to one worship service per Sunday. Or we may need to think about moving that Bible Study to another date. Watch for more information.
Men’s Bible Study - has resumed its meetings at Rolling Meadows Restaurant in Fond du Lac. We’ll meet every other Saturday (usually the first and the third). Because of the national holiday on the first Saturday of July, our next meeting will be Saturday, July 11 at 7:00 a.m. We will sit in the back room and the tables will be spaced to allow for social distancing. We will continue to focus on articles from the current issue of Forward in Christ.
Ladies’ Bible Study - will be able to meet for their next regularly scheduled meeting this Thursday, July 2 at 1:30 p.m. We’ll make an announcement if that needs to change.
Joint Ladies’ Study - plans to hold their next meeting (Mon Jul 6) online. They hope to meet in person on Monday, July 20.
Vacancy at St. Peter, Kekoskee
This Wednesday (July 1), I will begin serving the vacancy at St. Peter, Kekoskee caused by the retirement of Pastor Dennis Bratz. I will be responsible for conducting their worship services, which have been scheduled for 11:00, which means that I will need to leave for Kekoskee soon after the end of our 9:30 service, starting July 5.
I also plan to attend most of their regularly scheduled meetings and to make regular visits to their shut-ins. I will also need to lead them through the discussion of how to conduct their gospel ministry in the future. They have several options, including extending a divine call for a new pastor of their own and merging with St. John, Juneau to become their fourth campus. They have also had initial discussions with our Council of Elders about the possibility of forming a dual parish with St. Paul's.
Note: we will now include activities at St. Peter’s on our weekly and monthly calendars, so that you can know when I will need to be at St. Peter’s.
Questions from the Open Forum
After the brief summary of what's involved with serving a vacancy after last week's worship, we offered you the opportunity to email us with any questions you might have about the vacancy, or about the steps we're taking to help each other practice social distancing and careful hygiene when we gather for worship. I did not receive any email questions about either of those topics.
Voters Meeting this Sunday
The Council of Elders has scheduled the Voters’ Meeting that was postponed in April for this Sunday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. In addition to reports from the Council of Elders, the agenda for this meeting will include the election of the members of the Council of Elders.
Cemetery Association Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the Cemetery Association will also be held in conjunction with this voters meeting.
Pastor Paul H. Huth (1932-2020)
This Thursday morning, the Lord called to himself the soul of our brother in Christ and former pastor of St. Paul’s, Pastor Paul H. Huth, at the age of 88. Pastor Huth served St. Paul’s from 1962 through 1975. Funeral services have been scheduled for this Thursday morning at 11:00 at St. Peter’s, Weyauwega (312 W. Main St.) The service will also be livestreamed on St. Peter’s Facebook page. We thank the Lord for Pastor Huth’s faithful service and pray that he would comfort all who mourn with the precious promises of the resurrection to eternal life.
"Taste and See" Online Missions Event
The WELS Missions office is excited to partner with the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) to host an online event called Taste and See! This first-of-its-kind event will combine the very best of Taste of Missions and LWMS Convention to provide all WELS members an opportunity to learn more about gospel outreach occurring in our synod.
Visit www.welstasteandsee.com for information about and links to all the worship services, devotions, presentations, and other activities that have been scheduled as part of this special event. The opening service will be livestreamed 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, June 27, followed by a presentation of the flags of all the countries where the WELS is sharing the gospel. From June 28 - July 10, you can learn about Missions through keynote presentations, recorded workshops, mission-minded daily devotions, and more. You can also participate in family-friendly scavenger hunts, try your hand at making ethnic recipes shared by our missionaries, and ask questions during live Q&A sessions with Home and World Missions representatives. The festivities will wrap up with the livestreamed commissioning of new missionaries on Saturday, July 11.
Opening Service Tomorrow - 11:00
We will show the livestream of the opening service of Taste and See on the video screen in the sanctuary so that people could watch it together. We'll also show the procession of the flags of all the countries where we're doing mission work that will take place immediately after the service. Make plans to join us.
Returning to Worship
This is a decision that each of us is able to make based on Christian love and common sense. We ask you to especially remember these things:
If you or anyone in your family have any flu-like symptoms, especially those that have been associated with the virus (fever, difficulty breathing, fatigue, new loss of smell or taste, etc.), we strongly urge you to stay home.
If you are in the at-risk group, either because of your age or your medical history, we ask you to carefully consider staying home.
If you are concerned that attending a church service will make it more likely for you to contract the virus or expose others to it, please feel free to stay home.
Careful Hygiene and Social Distance
As we resume gathering publicly for worship, out of Christian love and concern for each other and our community, we’re trying to make it possible for everyone to practice the careful hygiene and social distancing that the CDC guidance recommends to help lessen the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A few things to emphasize again:
We’ll hold two worship services, one at 8:00 and the other at 9:30, until we can determine whether and when we can gather safely in just one service.
Please maintain social distance on the way into church, especially in the bottlenecks at the doors, stairs and the corridor between the addition and the narthex.
Please resist the temptation to hang out in the narthex before and after the service
We have roped off every other pew; please also consider sitting at the opposite end of the pew from the people in the pews behind and in front of you.
We will resume the practice of ushering people out of church, and we’ll do it from the back to the front.
We have hand sanitizer available in various locations in the entrance please use it when arriving and when leaving and before touching surfaces others need to touch
We will not gather an offering during the service; please place your offerings in the plates in the narthex.
Please take your copies of the bulletin and worship folder home with you; do not leave them here to be used for the next service.
We will take some time between the services to disinfect as many high-touch surfaces as possible. To make time for this, we will shorten the service by removing a hymn and not using some of the liturgy
The CDC recommends wearing masks when you aren’t able to practice social distancing. Because we’re trying to make it possible for everyone to practice social distancing, we’re not requiring masks. Please feel free to wear a mask if you’re concerned that you or others won’t be able to practice social distancing.
We are now using pre-filled communion cups. Cups are available at the table at the back of the sanctuary. We will all take communion at the same time. When it’s time to receive the bread, open the cover at the bottom of the cup to get at the small wafer contained there. When it’s time to receive the wine, open the cover at the top of the cup to drink the wine.
Note: we have celebrated the Lord’s Supper in every service during the month of June. We will resume the regular first and third Sunday schedule in July.
Note: if you’re not planning to return to worship soon, please contact me to schedule a time when I can bring Communion to you. I will use the pre-filled cups and maintain social distance when I make these visits.
We will continue to livestream our 8:00 worship services with Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/stpaulsbrownsville/live so that those who have decided not to return to worship yet can still worship with us. You can also use that link to watch today’s service later, along with all the other services we’ve livestreamed since March. The worship folder and bulletin are also available on our website, www.stpaulsbrownsville.org. Find the link for “News and Worship Folders” along the left side of the page. Then click on the link for bulletin or worship folder you’re looking for.
God be with you all.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Bill Carter
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