In accordance to Governor Pritzger’s extension of Illinois’s Stay at Home order due to Covid-19 virus, St. Petrie will be closed for services and all events through April 30th. This will be updated as the Governor directs.
Pastor Steele is sending out weekly devotions. They will be posted here along with our usual quips and quotes and Carolyn’s monthly devotions.
If you like you may worship online with AFLC congregations across the United States. The below is from the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations AFLC website http://www.aflc.org/
“In view of the recent and ongoing COVID-19 health concern sweeping our nation, The AFLC President’s Office and AFLC Evangelism & Discipleship are compiling a list of online sermon and service options featuring pastors and churches from our own Association. In addition, our AFLC staff will be recording a weekly worship service, and will be posting those videos online each week.” This list is found at the following link: https://www.aflc.org/listen-online/?fbclid=IwAR0hXKJGg4MlhGf5PvgAG0XhgjB3glHGniBHMIA4qzvvkD-7mFWSlgnM-kA
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
– Numbers 6:24-26
~St. Petrie Lutheran Church
Favorite Hymns About Jesus: “Onward Christian Soldiers” April, 2020
By Sabin Baring Gould
Mr. Baring-Gould wrote “Onward Christian Soldiers” in 1864 for a large Sunday school class to march from their school to the church in another village of Yorkshire, England. He needed a song to sing and march to on the” Whitmonday” holiday.
Mr. Baring-Gould sat up that night to write something himself for the festival. Within about fifteen minutes, “Onward Christian soldiers” was penned with at least six verses. Leaflets were quickly printed and the Sunday school class marched and sang to the church.
From that point on, the popularity of the song traveled to America. Today, we are still stirred by the inspired words of “Onward Christian Soldiers.” We realize afresh the privilege we have in sharing the story of the cross of Calvary!
“Onward, Christian Soldiers,
Marching as to war
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!”
- Stories of Popular Hymns, p. 99,100, by K. Blanchard, Zondervan Pub. House, 1939
~from an encouraging word
~The Celtic Christian Tradition
A thought from your Pastor!
Philippians 3:10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
1 John 5:20 we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
We don’t have to look far in America to meet a person from another culture. Those of us who have lived in the same culture all our life can’t imagine how difficult the transition must be: a new language, new money, new people, new customs, new almost-everything. The first day? Challenging! A year later? Gaining knowledge! Five years later? Still gaining knowledge!
It takes time and desire to learn new things. And the same goes for knowing God. The apostle Paul wrote that his chief goal in life was to “know [Christ]”-His power and His presence in fellowship. Paul spent his pre-conversion years learning the Old Testament and his post -conversion years getting to know the One to whom the Old Testament pointed. And how long did Paul imagine it would take—for the rest of his life!
Philippians 3:13-14 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
He forgot everything else and made knowing Christ his rest-of-life goal.
Now that we are not getting out like we use to or even being able to go to church, I believe Snoopy has a great idea.
When you smell the roses also take time to get to know Jesus better. Spend a little time to read the Bible and pray. We will realize the more we are into His Word the worries of life will fade. They may not be completely gone but they will fade.
Carolyn and I are praying that God will bless each of you and also keep you healthy, as we pray for you please pray for us also.
Pastor Gerry and Carolyn
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
St Petrie Evangelical Lutheran Church Affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations Pastor Gerald L. Steele email@example.com http://www.stpetrielutheran.church
Dear member(s) and friends of St. Petrie Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Jesus says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep ….. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:11,27,28).
Friend(s), Jesus is walking with you today! He will lead you in the days ahead even if that means staying put in your house. His love will dispel your fears. Sickness and death have always been around since the fall of humankind in the Garden of Eden. Today is no different. Sickness and death are rightfully magnified now because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. And yet, here we find ourselves at unique time in our nation’s history…. right…. with…. Jesus! He is still the Good Shepherd. He is still delivering the gift of salvation to all who will receive it. He still promises that we will not perish. Yes, the body can get sick, whether it’s from Covid-19 or a myriad of any other diseases that are out there. The body even dies. However, in Christ we are assured we have eternal life and that we will always be in His presence whether here on earth or in heaven. In Christ, our bodies will rise to glory at the return of Jesus. No one and nothing, not even Covid-19 can rob us of these promises!
With that being said, it is necessary for St. Petrie Lutheran Church to do ministry in different ways for a while. For the time being we will not meet for public worship or activities. God’s word will continue to go forth to His people and this community. There are many good services that can be listened to or watched on Sunday mornings. Do not give up that spiritual uplift that each of us needs. Even though our church activities are suspended, this in no way means we have stopped being the church. The days ahead will provide many opportunities to be Christ’s hands and feet to our neighbor. We all need to commit to praying and/or making phone calls to those who have to self-isolate, especially our vulnerable members and citizens. Helping our neighbor may mean picking up groceries and dropping them off at their front step. Jesus tells us that we are the salt and light of the earth. In Jesus’ day, salt was the preserving agent for meat. Without it meat would spoil quickly. We can be the “salt” today by bringing the necessary help and hope people will be looking for.
Please visit our church’s website and Facebook page frequently for more information (Margret does a great job and keeps that up to date).
The AFLC also has a great web site (https://www.aflc.org/listen-online) and is planning on having Sunday morning service on it. Never hesitate to call the church and leave a message 815-246-9890 (I try to check it regularly).
Lastly, I want to end this letter with this encouraging verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” This verse is our encouragement that in the face of this pandemic we can serve our neighbor with the love of Jesus, even if that means staying home and making a phone call, writing a letter, or just praying for them.
In Christ, Pastor Gerald Steele