Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, Friedheim
10653 N 550 W
Decatur, IN  46733

 Rev. Daniel F. Dahling
547-4248 (Office)
547-4534 (Parsonage)

Website – www.zionfriedheim.org
Pastor’s E-Mail – pastor@zionfriedheim.org
Secretary’s E-Mail – churchoffice@zionfriedheim.org
Parish Nurse’s E-Mail – wlwlichtle@hotmail.com

Mr. Lowell Timm, Principal, Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School
Mrs. Sandy Blomenberg, Director of Music
Mrs. Wava Lichtle, Parish Nurse

Welcome!  We are so glad you have chosen to worship with us this morning.  If you are visiting, please sign your name to one of the guest registries that can be found in either entranceway of the church.   Please come and worship with us again soon.

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Advent 3
December 14
, 2008

+ In Nomine Jesu +

Bulletin Table of Contents

The Great “O” Antiphons

The Bells of Zion, Friedheim
 

The Prelude  
P:         In the name of the Father (+), and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
C:         Amen (to be sung).
   

The Choir

"Come My Savior

The Readings   The Christian Witness …

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

of God’s anointed is proclaimed
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24   of a Christian life
John 1:6-8, 19-28  that Jesus is the Christ
   
The Sermon Hymn

LSB #349

“Hark the Glad Sound”

   
The Sermon  
  “The Witness that Jesus is Christ” – John 1:6-8, 19-28
   
The Gathering of the Morning Offerings
   

+  The Great “O” Antiphons  +

   
The First Antiphon

“O Wisdom”

O Wisdom, who comest forth from the mouth of the most high, reaching mightily from one boundary of the world to the other, and pleasantly ordering all things, come, teach us the way of prudence.
   
P: Behold the name of the Lord cometh from afar.
C: And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power, O Lord, and come, that by Thy protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Thy mighty deliverance; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, Thou WISDOM from on high,
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show.
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

The Second Antiphon

“O Lord”

O Lord, eternal and leader of the House of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and didst give the law to him on Sinai, come to redeem us by Thine outstretched arm.
   
P: Prepare ye the way of the Lord.  Alleluia!
C: Make His paths straight.  Alleluia!
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Thine only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, O Come, Thou LORD of Might,
Who to Thy Tribes on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe,
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

   
The Third Antiphon

“O Root of Jesse”

O Root of Jesse, who standest for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silent, to whom the nations shall offer their petitions, come to deliver us, wait not any longer.
   
P: Rejoice greatly, O Zion.
C: Behold, Thy King cometh.
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power and come and with great might strengthen us that by the help of Thy grace whatsoever is hindered by our sins may be speedily accomplished through Thy mercy and satisfaction; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, Thou ROD OF JESSE’S STEM,
From every foe deliver them,
That trust Thy mercy to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

   
The Fourth Antiphon

“O Key of David”

O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel, who closeth portals and no one can open them, come thou and from his cell lead forth the captive who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

   
P: Come, O Lord, and make no tarrying;
C: Loosen the bonds of the people Israel.
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works may of Thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, Thou KEY OF DAVID, Come,
And open wide our heav’nly home
Make swift the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

   
The Fifth Antiphon

“O Rising Sun”

O rising orb of day, splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness, come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

   
P: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
C: Our God shall come, Alleluia!
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the way of Thine only-begotten Son; that by His Advent we may be enabled to serve Thee with purified minds; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, Thou DAYSPRING from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to Thee, O Israel.

   
The Sixth Antiphon

“O King of Nations”

O King of Nations and their great desire, thou cornerstone who makest one of twain, as Thou has formed man from the ground, come now and save him.

   
P: Behold, the Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.  Alleluia!
C: And in that day the light shall be great.  Alleluia!
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power and come, that they who trust in Thy mercy may speedily be delivered from all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, DESIRE OF NATIONS bind,
In one the hearts of all mankind,
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And by Thyself our King of Peace,
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

   
The Seventh Antiphon

“O God with Us”

O Emmanuel, our King and lawgiver, for whom the nations wait, their only Savior, come Thou, O Lord our God, be our salvation.
   
P: Drop down ye heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness;
C: Let the earth open and bring forth salvation.
   
The Collect  
P: Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power and come, that they who trust in Thy mercy may speedily be delivered from all adversity; through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord.
C: Amen.
   
The congregation sings:  

O Come, O Come EMMANUEL,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

   
The Prayers of the People of God at Friedheim
   
The Lord’s Prayer  
   
P: The Lord be with you.
C: And with Thy Spirit. (to be sung)
   
The Collect for Peace  
   
P: The Lord be with you.
C: Thanks be to God. (to be sung)
   
The Benediction  
C: Amen, Amen, Amen.  (to be sung)
   
The Closing Hymn

LSB #515

“Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers”

   

The Acolyte

Katie Linnemeier

+  Soli Deo Gloria  + 

Advent Wreath

One of the ways we symbolize our “waiting in hope” is through lighting the Advent candles in the Advent wreath.  The idea of a wreath, a circle, is symbolic of eternity, or God—no beginning, no end, but continuous.

In the wreath are five candles.  The first candle is the Prophecy Candle, which means the time of waiting.  The second candle is the Bethlehem Candle, which represents the preparations made to receive the Christ Child.  The third candle is the Shepherd’s Candle, which suggests the welcoming of Jesus by all people, even simple shepherds in the fields.  The fourth candle is the candle of the Wise Men.  It suggests that Christ came to the people of all nations because the Wise Men were from different countries.  The large white candle is the Christ Candle.  As we share the joy of Christmas it reminds us of Jesus who is the reason why we celebrate this Advent Season.

Announcements

We remember our members who are celebrating birthdays this week—Angela Sielschott, Ruth Heckman, Shirley Hormann, Julie Bock, Zach Stoppenhagen, Sean Bultemeier, Alma Keidel, Veronica Moellering, and Brian Walker.  We also remember our 5th & 6th grade Sunday School teacher, Stan Stoppenhagen, our school custodian, Stephanie Comer, and our school secretary, Danielle Fuhrman, as well as Candace McMullan, who teaches at Immanuel in Riverside, California.    May our loving Savior direct, bless, and guide their lives.

May the Great Physician grant health and strength to all who are in need of His healing hand, especially Karen Johnson (Leslie Lawson’s mother).

We welcome into church membership through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Jacob Alan Bultemeier, son of Davon & Dianna (Bergelin) Bultemeier.  Jacob was baptized by his grandfather, Rev. Darrek Bergelin yesterday afternoon.  Jacob’s godparents are Daniel Bergelin, Doreen Bergelin, Douglas Bergelin, and Shelby Bultemeier.  May the Good Shepherd keep an ever-watchful eye on this most precious of His lambs.

We rejoice with our Wyneken 8th grade language arts teacher, Amber Franz and her husband, Darin, on the birth of their first child, Veronica Ann, on Wednesday, December 10.  May the Good Shepherd keep an ever-watchful eye on this most precious of His lambs.

We also remember in our prayers the friends and family of Albert F. (Pete) Doehrmann, father of Rev. Paul Doehrmann of New Hope in Ossian, who was called to his heavenly home this past week and was given Christian burial on Wednesday.  May the God of all comfort be with those who mourn reminding them of that great day when all believers will be reunited in heaven.

We remember those who are serving our country—Jason Putteet who is in South Korea, Randy McAllister (Fern Riemke’s son and brother of Kim, Terry, and Julie) who is serving in Germany, Brian Moeller, Cam Koldyke (Audra’s husband),our reservists, Josh, Zach, and Jacob Stoppenhagen, Mike Brandt, Cody Kiess (grandson of Gene & Irene Kiess), Josh Colwell (Tiffany’s husband), and Danny Cross (Laura Knipstein’s fiancée), as well as Lydia Reynolds (niece of Dick & Donna Hileman), James Johnson (Jean Timm’s nephew), and Chad Hall (Doris Conrad’s son-in-law).  May the Lord protect and guide them in their missions.

Our third and final midweek Advent services will be held on Wednesday, December 17.  Church begins at 7 p.m.  Choir practice will follow the worship service.

Board of Stewardship’s Food for Thought"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned" (Isaiah 9:2).  You once were walking in darkness, and the Holy Spirit, through Word and Sacrament, has led you to the Light.  You, a steward of the mysteries of the Gospel, are to reflect that Light so that others may step out of the darkness that envelops them and walk in the light.

Included in this morning’s bulletin is our weekly study guide, “Time in the Word.”   Next week’s theme is “The Time has Come.”

The Rev. John Dreyer who is currently at the Ft. Wayne Seminary, has accepted Bingen’s call and will be installed in January.  Zion (Decatur) has called Rev. Phillip Phifer who is serving the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church in Corpus Christi, Texas and is still awaiting his reply.   We remember these congregations and Rev. Phifer in our prayers as he contemplates this call.

You can watch Worship for Shut-Ins on Sunday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on WPTA-TV Channel 21, at 8 a.m. on Digital 33.2 & Satellite 252 on Sunday mornings, or on Comcast Cable Channel 55 on Sunday and Monday afternoons at 4 p.m.   They are also now broadcasting via the DIRECTV Channel 377 on Sundays at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. 

If you are unable to come to church, make sure you listen to our live service on WZBD (92.7 FM).  Our service is broadcast from 9:05 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.  Pass the word on to others!  (Please do not use the phone line in the church basement or in the Parish Hall during this time.  This is the line that the service is being broadcast from and if you use the phones, your conversation will also be broadcast.)   You can also listen to the broadcast over the Internet.  Just log on to our website (www.zionfriedheim.org) and click on “Listen to Zion’s worship service on WZBD radio from 9:05 - 9:50 a.m. on Sunday mornings.”  This might be a great way for those who can’t pick up the signal or live farther away to “hear from home.” 

You can listen to Issues, Etc., on demand.  Issues, Etc. is produced by Lutheran Public Radio and hosted by LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken.  Listen to what you want when you want at www.issuesetc.org.

Tune in to the Lutheran Hour which airs on Sunday on WLW (700) out of Cincinnati at 7 a.m. and on Van Wert stations WERT (1220) and WKSD (99.7 FM) at 10:30 a.m.   The program is broadcast on Sundays at 8:05 a.m. on WZBD (92.7 FM) and on WFCV (1090 AM) at 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Lutheran Hour can also be heard on WOWO (1190 AM) on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m.    This week’s message is “Things can Change.”  People like change, if it’s good.  Find out about the best change of all.

Make sure you get your blood pressure checked today.  Nurses will be available both before and after the worship service to take your pressure.

The Budget & Election Meeting will be held after today’s worship service.  The meeting will be held in the church basement since the children will be practicing their Christmas program in church.  The following individuals are running for Council positions.  The Church Council will be installed on Sunday, December 28. 

Vice Chairman

Financial Secretary

Friedheim Foundation

Board of Christian Education

Sam Baumann

Stephanie Freimuth

Jane Thieme

Joe Gorman

Tom Blomenberg

Dennis Werling

Judy Werling

Randy Hockemeyer

 

 

 

 

Elders

Deacons

Board of Stewardship

Trustees

Tim Blomenberg

Don Kitson

Lisa Bultemeier

Chad Baumann

Waldo Bultemeier

Brad Schamerloh

Tami Schultz

Don Gehres

Dave Conrad

Todd Scheumann

Ed Geyer

John Nidlinger

Kent Stoppenhagen

Evangelism

Dale Heckman

 

 

Ruth Heckman

Shelly Kiefer

The December “Meals of Grace” coordinator is Sara Rhymer (547-4408).   Please contact Sara if you know of someone who could benefit from this ministry of our church.

There are sign-up sheets in the south entranceway for the 2009 sponsorship of our weekly radio broadcast as well as placing flowers on the altar.  Information was included in the December newsletter concerning both.  Don’t forget to complete these forms as well so that others can see which weeks are open.  Thank you

Christmas Eve program practice continues today.  The children are asked to remain in church (except for Mrs. Freimuth nursery-kindergarten class who are to go over to the Parish Hall and meet in their classroom) for the practice.

The men’s basketball team has two games this week.  They will face Berne Missionary at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, December 15, and St. Mark’s at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16.  Both games are at Bellmont Middle School.  If you have any other questions, please contact Steve Conrad (547-4597)

The LYF invites you to join them for supper.  Enjoy soup, salad, breadsticks, and dessert before our midweek Advent worship service this Wednesday, December 17.  Serving begins at 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall.  A free will offering will be accepted.  LYF members are reminded to bring a dessert for the 17th.  Youth are asked to be at the Parish Hall by 5 p.m. (or as soon as you can after your various practices).

The calendars have arrived!!!  You can purchase your calendar this morning from any LYF member.  The cost of the calendar is $15.  If you would like to send one to a family member or a friend, there are mailers available at a cost of $1 per mailer.  Thanks for supporting this LYF fundraising project.

Pastor Dahling will be preaching at Woodcrest on Thursday, December 18.  If anyone wishes to help assist residents to the chapel service, please contact Pastor Dahling.  You would need to be at Woodcrest around 12:45 p.m. 

The Morning Glories raised $552.75 at the Wyneken Show.  A word of thanks to those who helped transport items to and from the show, donated craft items, or worked the show.  All your help is appreciated! 

Today (and for the next two Sundays) you will have the opportunity to check out the crafts that the Morning Glories have available and to make a purchase if you so desire.  The crafts will be set up in Room D at the Parish Hall.  The room will be open following the worship service today.  Take a moment to go over and look at all the items.  If you wish to make a purchase, be sure you write down the items in the book provided.  There will be a box for you to place your money.  Any checks should be written to Zion Morning Glories.  Happy shopping!

The Portals of Prayer (January-March) are here.  Take home a copy for yourself.  Perhaps you would also like to share a copy with a friend.

Please don’t forget about our 2009 Lenten Devotional Booklet, “Let Us Enter the Journey of Lent.”  The hope is to have all devotions by January 15.  Please contact Pastor Dahling if you would be willing to write a devotion and a passage can be assigned to you.  Thanks!

Our Sunday School classes continue to collect items for families in Adams County.  A list can be found in either entranceway of the church.  There is a need for clothes—new gloves, new coats, new socks, new hats, and new underwear—that would fit children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  The greatest need is for sizes 5-10, both girls and boys.  You may place your donations in the boxes marked “Kids Helping Kids.”  Thanks!

A Note from the Synod’s Foundation - Federal legislation has opened new stewardship opportunities to strengthen ministry. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 allows an individual over the age of 70 1/2 to make a gift up to $100,000 from an individual retirement account (IRA) to ministry without increasing taxable income for 2008.  Those interested in taking advantage of this special rule need to contact their IRA account administrator for the necessary paperwork to complete the transfer. To ensure that the transfer qualifies, a check from the IRA account administrator should be received by the ministry by December 31, 2008.

The holiday season is a difficult time for families grieving the death of a child, who died at any age from any cause and regardless of the length of time it has been since the death.  A Candle Lighting Memorial Service will be held in conjunction with the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting today at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Center in Decatur.  The ceremony will be outdoors around the gazebo and moved inside Riverside Center if the weather warrants it.  The ceremony will feature music, readings, reflections, and a remembrance ceremony with the reading of children’s names during the candle lighting.  Light refreshments will be served inside following the memorial service.  Parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends are invited to attend.  If you are unable to attend but would still like your child’s name read or if you have any questions, please contact Sandy Girod (547-4267), Susan Miller (724-8510), Susan Wilder (728-2926), or Nora Niblick (724-6460. 

Have you wondered who and why “Immanuel House” was created?  In a time when the economy is failing, leaving families to struggle, this ministry is intended to give a “helping hand.”  There are gently used (and some new) items sized from infant to adult (clothes, shoes, and boots).  If your budget is just too tight, you are welcome to come, shop, and select some clothes for your family (no referrals needed).  There is no charge.  If you feel more comfortable, you can leave a donation (only what you are comfortable with).  For the thrifty shoppers out there who are regular customers of consignment shops in the area, keep Immanuel House in mind.  Stop in and shop and make a fair donation to the cause as well.  The store hours are 9 a.m. to 3p.m. on Wednesday and Friday or by appointment.  You can call Janice Fuelling at 260-723-7326.   Immanuel House is located at 8545 N 500 E in Decatur in the two-story home (the old teacherage) just north of Immanuel’s cemetery (across from the old school).  Right now there are a lot of holiday sweaters and clothing available. 

Concordia Lutheran High School invites you to Emmanuel:  God With Us, as part of Christmas at the Embassy today at 4 p.m.  Vocalists and instrumentalists will premiere the commissioned Christmas work by Edgar Struble.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students. 

Concordia Lutheran High School’s Thrift Shop is having a year-end-sale from December 19-January 3.  You will find half-off items throughout the store (some exceptions may apply).  The shop is located at 3436 N Anthony Shopping Center with shop hours as follows:  Monday (10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.), Tuesday – Friday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and Saturday (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).  The store will be closed on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.

The 2009 Eternal Word Calendar, provided by Zwick & Jahn, has arrived.  The calendars are in either entranceway and can be picked up following the worship service.

Attendance:  Sunday Worship Service – 194 with 128 receiving Holy Communion; Sunday School – 55; Bible Class – 15; Monday Night Bible Class – 4; Early-bird Bible Class - 22; Midweek Advent Worship – 82.

 OFFERINGS LAST WEEK

Fund

Last Week’s Contributions

Home Purpose-Thanksgiving Eve

$5,551.94

Missions - 12/3

$178.10

Missions - 12/7

$545.00

Wyneken News

THANK YOU!!  A total of $61,344 of SCRIP was sold and Wyneken received a profit of over $3,000.  The students will be treated to an ice cream sundae treat in the future.  Funds raised through this contest will go toward the acoustic and lighting fund for the cafetorium.  Don’t forget SCRIP as you plan your family gatherings and finish up your shopping needs—gift cards are always appreciated!  Did you know that the Wal Mart gift cards can also be used at Sam’s Club?  If you shop at Sam’s Club, please keep this is mind.  The very last order date prior to Christmas will be placed on December 16.  Anyone needing something specific needs to contact Kim Weiland before this date to ensure that you can get the SCRIP you desire.  SCRIP will be available all day in the school office except on Tuesdays as well as after school.  You can see Kim Weiland about purchasing SCRIP this morning.  You can also e-mail her at kimw@jwgroupinc.com to place your SCRIP order.

SCRIP continues their search for an assistant coordinator. This position involves helping with the SCRIP orders a few hours every other week, as well as some computer and manual bookkeeping duties.  If anyone is interested or would like to know more about the SCRIP program, call Jane Kleine (639-7244) or Sarah Butler (724-7025).  The funds this program raises is a great asset; please prayerfully considering helping.

The 1st and 2nd grades are working on a Christmas gift for the residents of Woodcrest.  Old Christmas cards are needed.  (They will be going to Woodcrest on Friday, December 19.)  Please drop of your old cards as soon as possible.

The remaining registration fees for 2008-2009 are due by Monday, January 12, 2009.   You can either drop your payment off at the school office or mail them to Wyneken.  Thank you.

ISTEP test results for students in grades 3-8 are in.  Parents, if you are picking up your child from school, you (parent only) can come into the school office to get it.

There is still a need for a librarian for the 4th grade class—Thursdays from 1:25 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.  If you can help, please contact Mrs. Gemila Rabel at Wyneken (639-6177) or home (724-4949).  Thanks!

Besides the old inkjet cartridges, toners, and cell phones that are being accepted for recycling, Advantage Cartridge is also accepting laptops and Ipods.  You can drop off your items in the school office.

The 8th grade class is selling two kinds of cheese balls (chocolate chip dessert and chipped beef-n-onion) for $7 each.  They are frozen now and can be kept frozen until ready to eat.  Please contact Jani MacDowell at 705-5264 or 639-3401.

The packages were delivered for our adopted families on Tuesday.  Thank you for your wonderful generosity in helping others have an extra-special Christmas.

Take a few moments to look over the Market Day order sheet included in today’s bulletin.  Since Wyneken’s last day of school prior to the Christmas break is this Friday, December 19, if you are returning the order form to school you need to do so by that date.  (You could also give your order form to Sharon Franke as long as it reaches her prior to December 31).  Internet and phone orders are due by noon on Saturday, January 3.  Pick-up date is Thursday, January 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Take a moment to look over all the great price items, sale items, and what’s new.  Market Day is also offering you the chance to win a three-day cruise onboard the Disney Wonder or over 1,000 other great prizes.  Check out the flier for all the information.

Parking Reminder:  It is necessary that we keep the entire sidewalk along the south side of the school open for buses when dropping students off in the morning (7:50 a.m. to 8:10 a.m.) and picking up (2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.) at the end of the day.  Please do not park any vehicles in the spaces along the sidewalk.  Also, the parking spaces directly outside the lower grade hallway doors open from 11 a.m. –11:45 a.m. each day for the pre-school and Pre-K 4 families to pick up their child.  Thanks for your cooperation with this matter.

Looking Ahead:  Wyneken’s Christmas break is December 20 through January 4.  School will resume on January 5.

Sports

On Monday, December 15, the varsity boys’ team will face Zion (Decatur) at 5:30 p.m. at Wyneken and on Tuesday, December 16, the 8th grade teams will play Concordia at Concordia, with the girls’ game starting at 4:15 p.m. followed by the boys’ game at 5:30 p.m.  The 7th grade girls’ team will face Blackhawk at Wyneken at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16.  On Thursday, December 18, the 8th grade teams will face St. Peter-Immanuel at Wyneken with the 8th grade girls’ game beginning at 4:15 p.m. followed by the varsity boys’ game at 5:30 p.m.  The 7th grade girls’ team will be going to St. Joe in Decatur for a 5 p.m. game on Thursday, December 18.  The 5th grade boys will face Zion (Ft. Wayne) at Wyneken on Monday, December 15, at 4:15 p.m. while the 6th grade boys’ team plays Blackhawk at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16.  Remember, always check with a player about game dates and times to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.     

Boys and girls intramurals began on Saturday, December 13, for the 3rd and 4th graders.  They run from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

There are knit hats, T-shirts, long sleeve T’s, crew sweatshirts, sweat pants, and a hooded sweatshirt for sale at discounted prices still available.  A representative from the Boosters will be in the school lobby every Wednesday and Friday afternoon (2:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.) until the rack is empty!

THIS WEEK AT FRIEDHEIM

TODAY 9:00 a.m.

Worship Service (Blood Pressure Clinic)  

  10:00 a.m. Christmas Eve Practice & Bible Class
  10:00 a.m. Budget & Election Meeting
  10:00 a.m. Morning Glories Open House
MONDAY 7:00 p.m. Adult Bible Class
  8:30 p.m. Men’s basketball @ BMS
TUESDAY 6:00 a.m. Early-bird Bible Class
  9:30 p.m. Men’s basketball @ BMS
WEDNESDAY 6:00 p.m. LYF Soup & Salad Supper
  7:00 p.m.

Mid-week Advent Service

  8:00 p.m. Choir
THURSDAY 1:00 p.m. Chapel at Woodcrest
FRIDAY 8:20 a.m. Chapel @ Wyneken
    January Newsletter articles due in at church office

NEXT WEEK AT FRIEDHEIM

December 21 9:00 a.m.

Worship Service with Holy Communion (Choir Service of Song)  

  10:15 a.m. Christmas Eve Practice & Bible Class
  10:15 a.m. Budget & Election Meeting
  10:15 a.m. Morning Glories Open House
December 22 7:00 p.m. Adult Bible Class
  8:00 p.m. Men’s basketball
December 23 6:00 a.m. Early-bird Bible Class
  8:00 p.m. Men’s basketball
December 24 6:30 p.m. Hymn sing
  7:00 p.m. Children’s Christmas program
December 25 9:00 a.m.

Christmas Day Worship with Holy Communion

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

Stewards of the Christmas Gospel

As Christians, we are all stewards of the Gospel.  We are to be messengers of God’s Good News that Christ was born to save.  Sometimes it’s difficult to share this news.  We don’t want to put anyone off; the “perfect” opportunities don’t come along; we don’t know what to say.  There is perfect opportunity, however.  God has given us exactly the right words, and rarely does the Christmas story put anyone off.  Let’s not waste our opportunity!  What message does your Christmas card convey?  Does it announce the birth of Jesus or wish your loved ones “Happy Holidays”?  Does your Christmas letter mention how God has shed His grace on you and your family during the past year?  God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.  Personalize that message.  Tell others how the birth of Christ has touched YOUR part of this world.  Remind others that they are unique creatures whom Christ came to save.  Tell them that they are among “all the people” to whom the angels brought “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10).  Tell them that Christ, the Baby in the manger, became a man Who died for their sins so that they can live eternally in heaven with Him.  Invite them to church where God’s Word is preached and sung and confessed and where His Sacraments are administered.

      Join the “great company of the heavenly host” and sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:13-14)

The Greatest Gift

            Once again we come to the beginning of the Church year, a time of great anticipation, a time of simultaneous repentance and rejoicing, a time of preparing for the birth of the King Jesus, and a time to proclaim His coming again.

            What a glorious gift the Lord Jesus is to us!  The Apostle Paul called our Savior God’s “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15), and that He is.  Who can comprehend the depth of love the Father has for us to give up His only begotten Son?  Who can fathom the love of that Son Who willingly laid down His life for us (John 10:15) in order that we might pass from death into life eternal with Him.

            If eternity in Heaven were all God gave us, it would be more than we deserve, but, besides Heaven, He gives us good gifts on Earth.  In his explanation to the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Martin Luther lists some of those great gifts: “food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, god reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”  As Luther urges, we would do well to realize that these are God’s gifts and to “receive [them] with thanksgiving.” 

            Of course, we cannot repay God.  We have nothing to give Him that He did not first give us.  David, in Psalm 51 comes before God with deep repentance and then expresses complete dependence on his Lord.  “O Lord, open my lips,” he pleads in verse 15, “and my mouth will declare Your praise.”  And our Savior is quick to respond to our prayer, enabling us to glorify and praise Him just as the shepherds did (Luke 2:20) and inspiring us to proclaim with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14).