You have been born again, not from perishable seed but from imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For: All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like a flower of the field. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:23-25 – EHV)
It’s the end of October and that means that the seasons are changing. We are well into fall—most of the crops are out of the fields, the majority of leaves have changed colors and have fallen to the ground. With the heavy frost the last few weeks, most of the plants have been killed off. We even received a dusting of snow here a few days ago! It happens every year. Plants come up in the spring and by late fall they are gone. Nothing lasts forever.
And that includes you and me. In our verses above Peter is quoting Isaiah 40 when he says, “all flesh is grass.” That is, our lives won’t last forever, we are born one day and die the next. Moses writes in Psalm 90, The days of our lives add up to seventy years, or eighty years if we are strong. 80 or 90 years might seem like a long time, but not compared to eternity. It’s like the passing of seasons. Just as grass withers and flowers fall, so we grow up and then die in only a short among of time.
That is true—at least temporarily. How so? Because you have been born again! Through water and the Word, you have been born again—not physically, but spiritually. Born again—not by temporary physical parents, but by the living and enduring Word of God! By the gospel you were brought to faith and thus given a new life. Many of Peter’s readers were adult converts and so they were brought to faith through the preaching of the Word. Many of us were brought to faith through the waters of baptism—and that faith was fed, nourished, and strengthened through the Word. Through faith in Christ we will not perish! As Jesus says in John 11, Whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies. And whoever lives and believes in me will never perish.
The Word of the Lord is eternal. It is by his word that the Lord made this wonderful world (and it is the Word of God, Jesus—see John 1—who is true God from eternity). The word of the Lord will not perish, it will always endure until the end, and then forever in heaven. It will not be taken away from the world; for the Lord will continue bringing people to faith until he comes again in his full glory.
This eternal word, which makes you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, has been preached to you and through it you were either brought to faith or kept in that one true faith. And through faith in Christ you will live—you will live even though you die! The seasons may change, the grass may wither, and the flowers may fall; but you, even though you but grass and like the flowers of the field, will live and endure forever!
Pastor Andrew Frey
The quarterly Voters’ meeting was held Oct. 20. Among other things, elections were held. Pat Gowey was elected to serve as President and will begin serving in an official capacity in January. Andy Pevonka has been elected to serve an additional three-year term as Chairman of the Board of Evangelism. We thank Kris Wilson, outgoing president for his years of service.
Minutes from this meeting are available in the narthex. For more information, please read the minutes or talk to any of the council members or pastors.
Special Mission Offering
At our Voters’ meeting Tuesday evening we designated special offerings. $3500 to Sure Foundation Lutheran Church in Brandon SD, a new congregation in the Sioux Falls area. $3500 to WELS Mission for Christ in Kenya. And $3000 for WELS Christian Aid and Relief that helps out WELS congregations, members, and others after natural disasters hit.
Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time ends in the morning of November 1st. Remember to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night and get an extra hour of sleep.
Pastor Frey has started a Bible study on the Christian and the Government—looking at what God says concerning the government and the Christians relation to his other Kingdom. We may be sick of hearing about politics already; but with so much information being thrown at us on a daily basis, it is important to step back and look at what God has to say to us. Join us Sundays at 9:15am.
Pastor Gartner also started a Bible study on "The Life Moses -- A Study of the Book of Exodus". Please join us either Mondays at 8:00am or Tuesdays at 5:30pm.
All these Bible Classes that will be starting will be held at church. If you are not comfortable attending them in person or can't make these times and you would like to receive a recording of these Bible Classes, please contact one of the Pastors and we will send you the link for these recordings.
If you are not comfortable sending your child to in person Sunday School, we have weekly recorded videos of each weeks Bible Lesson and the Lesson sheets that we can send to you so that your child can still learn the valuable truths of God's Word. Please contact us if you would be interested in these materials.
In order to encourage and practice social distancing, we are trying to limit each Worship service to 75 people. We are offering 8:00 and 10:30 services on Sunday as well as 6:30 pm on Monday. We are also asking everyone to sign up each week for whatever Worship Service you plan on attending. Please note, that we are in need of volunteers to help sanitize the sanctuary between services. When you sign-up you’ll have an opportunity to mark whether or not you are willing to help out—it only takes about 10 minutes, so we pray that you will!
You can find the link to sign-up on the front page of our website at: www.stjohn-appleton.org.
We rejoice that we have been able to return to the Lord’s house to worship together, but at the same time we want to do so in a safe manner. As many of you are aware, the last few weeks, the 8:00am service has been full, which perhaps made some of our members uncomfortable. First off, we encourage you to attend a different service. Both the 10:30 am and the Monday evening service have plenty of room in order for you to socially distance. In addition, our council has decided to remove the ropes in the front portion of the lectern side of the sanctuary. This section will not require social distancing. We hope that, with enough worshipers sitting in this section, it will leave enough space in the rest of the sanctuary for everyone else to socially distance. If you have any questions, please speak to one of the Pastors or Council members.
As we go forward, we will continue to live-stream our services and posting our worship folders online. We will be recording our Sunday 8:00 am service which means you can watch anytime after 8:00 am on Sunday morning. If you need any help accessing these resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can find our worship services at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCsQs-LDzlHE1NTjOaVaQ2A.
You can find a bulletin for each Worship Service so you can follow along here: https://stjohncenter-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/pastor_frey_stjohn-appleton_org/EqetvOMWflhLsfsLRcDkxSgBL2cnYkpiuk8Klh7d-r_XQg?e=07dSma.