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Summer Bible Study on the Apostles: St. Jude

posted Aug 5, 2017, 6:06 AM by Jason Stegman

               

The Apostles

St. Jude



Name: The last name on the list of faithful disciples is “Judas the son of

James.” The name Judas in itself is a fine Hebrew name that means “Yahweh

leads.” But because of the treachery of Judas Iscariot the name Judas will forever have a negative connotation. And so the English form of the name Judas, “Jude’ is used in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. is in In Matthew 10:3 he is listed as Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus.” Because of these three St. Jerome called him “Trinominus’ or the man with three names.” Judas was probably the name given him at birth. Lebbaeus and Thaddeus were probably nicknames.


Who was he?

There is some dispute as to whether Jude the Apostle is the same Jude who wrote the epistle of Jude. It is generally agreed that the Jude referred to in Jude 1 was the brother of James the half-brother of Jesus (see Mark 3:31 ).

Mark 3:13-19 The name Thaddeus means ‘breast child’ evoking the idea of a nursing baby. It almost has a derisive tone to it, like ‘mamma’s boy.’ Perhaps he was the youngest in his family and therefore the baby among the other siblings.

Matthew 10:3 (please use KJV) His other name Lebbaeus is similar to Thaddeus, it is from a Hebrew root that refers to the heart, and so other nickname means ‘heart child,’ or ‘man of heart.’

Both names suggest he had a tender childlike heart. It is interesting to think of a tender soul hanging around with Simon the Zealot or the ‘sons of thunder.’ But the Lord uses all kinds. Zealots make good preachers, and so do tender-hearted, compassionate gentle sweet spirited people as well. Together they make up a complex and intriguing group of disciples. Like the other three members of the third apostolic group, Jude is more or less shrouded in obscurity. But that obscurity should not could our respect for him.


His discipleship under Jesus.

John 14:21-22. The New Testament records one incident involving Jude. In St. John’s description of Jesus’ upper room discourse you see the heart of this apostle. He doesn’t say anything brash or overconfident. He doesn’t rebuke the Lord the way Simon Peter did. His question is full of gentleness and meekness and certainly devoid of pride. He couldn’t believe that Jesus would manifest Himself to this rag-tag group of eleven, and not to the whole world.

Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jude’s question reveals a pious believing disciple. This was a man who loved his Lord and who felt the power of salvation in his own life. He was full of hope for the world, and in his own tender hearted way wanted to know why Jesus wasn’t going to make himself known to everyone. He was obviously still hoping to see the kingdom come to earth. We certainly can’t fault him for that; that is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray (Luke 11:2)

John 14:23 Jesus gave Jude a marvelous answer, and the answer was as gentle as the question. Christ would manifest himself to anyone who loves Him. Jude however was still thinking of the material and political realm; Jesus’ answer meant that he wasn’t going to take over the world externally but one heart at a time.


What we know after Pentecost.

There is no Biblical account of St. Jude after Pentecost.


Lore/Church tradition.

Legend has Jude working in Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. Most of the early tradition regarding St. Jude suggests that a few years after Pentecost he took the gospel north to Edessa, a Royal City in Mesopotamia, in the region of modern day Turkey. There are numerous accounts of how he miraculously healed the Prince of Osorene (a tiny kingdom between the Tigris and Euphrates River) a man named Abgar the Black. In the 4th century Eusebius the historian said that the archives at Edessa (now destroyed) contained the full account of Jude’s healing and visit of Abgar. If there is a grain of truth to the Abgar legend Jude became one of the first apostles to witness directly to a Gentile King.

St. Jude is also associated with the Armenian Church as one of five apostles who visited Armenia and evangelized there. Armenia became one of the first Christian nations in the world. Christianity was officially proclaimed there in 301 AD as the national religion.

We have a mixture of traditions about the death and burial places associate with Jude. Assyrian church leaders state that the tomb of Jude is was in a small village called Kara Kelisa near the Caspian Sea about 40 miles from Tabriz. This is in Iran, and could likely be the site of the original tomb of St. Jude even though it is likely that to keep the relics safe from the invasion of Genghis Khan, there were moved westward and scattered from Rome to Spain. The tremendous tomb which is built for those relics in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome attests to the firm belief among Catholic authorities that some of the genuine relics of Jude are indeed to be found there today.

According to the “Apostolic History of Abdas,” Simon and Jude were opposed in their ministry by Zaroes and Arfaxat, the same to warlocks who had been forced to leave Mesopotamia by the preaching of Matthew. Despite the fierce opposition these men encountered some sixty thousand people converted to Christianity in and around the city of Babylon before Simon and Jude moved on to the city of Suanir. It was in Suanir that the sorcerers who dogged the apostles’ footsteps persuaded local rulers to force Simon and Jude to sacrifice to the local deities. Just as the demonic presence allegedly fled the temple when exorcised by Bartholomew, two black figures were seen fleeing the Persian temple howling furiously on account of the exorcism of Simon and Jude. This enraged the sorcerers further. They stirred up a mob which converged on the two elderly men. Jude turned to Simon and said ‘I see that the Lord is calling us.” The crowd pelted them with stones; Jude was run through with a spear. Simon was seized and sawn into pieces.

The feast of St. Jude is October 28th. The theme is ‘The Apostles as foundation stones of our faith.’ He is the Patron of Hopeless causes and hospitals. The shield of St. Jude depicts a small sailing ship symbolizing his missionary journeys. This tender hearted soul followed his Lord faithfully to the end. His testimony was as powerful and as far-reaching as that of the better-known and more outspoken disciples. He, like them is proof of how God uses perfectly ordinary people in remarkable ways.


Question 1: Gentleness is a fine attribute for a person to have. It’s needed in many aspects of life, caring for children-or anyone for that matter. It’s also an attribute that invites mistreatment, as gentleness is also mistaken for weakness, or passivity. How do we as Christians keep a tender heart in a sin darkened world?


Question 2: Jude’s question of Jesus in John 14 is prescient. Will the Lord manifest himself today in our community, and how will he do it?

Prayer: Almighty God, You chose Your servants Simon and Jude to be numbered among the glorious company of the apostles. As they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so may we with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one God now and forever. Amen.



Summer Bible Study on the Apostles: St. James son of Zebedee

posted Aug 5, 2017, 6:01 AM by Jason Stegman   [ updated Aug 5, 2017, 6:01 AM ]

The Apostles

James, son of Zebedee; aka “James the greater”



Name: The English name "James" comes from Italian "Giacomo", a variant of "Giacobo" derived from Iacobus (Jacob) in Latin, itself from the Greek Ἰάκωβος. Jacob was a common name among the men of his day. There are four men named James in the NT. All four are closely associated with Jesus. The first a younger son of Joseph and Mary, became an important leader in the early church, two are apostles, and the fourth the father of an apostle. He is often called “James the greater” or “James the great” to distinguish him from James the son of Alphaeus (James the less).


Who was he?

Luke 5:10 Mark 1:20 .

James was the eldest son of an apparently influential man named Zebedee, whose hometown was likely Capernaum, on the Sea of Galilee. It is known that James and his brother John were partners with Simon Peter in a fishing business. Typical of the era and culture it was a multigenerational business that was large enough to have hired men.

Luke 6:12-14. It was from fishing that Jesus called James to be his disciple. Later after praying all night Christ chose James to be numbered among his twelve apostles

Mark 3:17. In the list of the apostles in Mark 3 a nickname that Jesus gave to James and John is explained. They were called “boanerges” which means ‘sons of thunder.’

Luke 9:54. The nickname ‘sons of thunder’ is reflected in how James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village.

John 18:15-16 It is apparent that Zebedee’s family had enough status that John was ‘known to the high priest’


The character of James.

Matt 20:20-24 Along with being hot heads James and John were also ambitious and overconfident. Matthew recounts how they enlisted their mother to speak for them to ask for a high position. James wanted a crown of glory. James never appears as a solitary character in the gospels but is always paired with his younger brother John. He is an intense man who is zealous for the Lord, but this zeal is at times mixed with anger. Zeal is a virtue when it is for righteousness sake. Zeal divorced from knowledge is damning, zeal without wisdom is dangerous, zeal without sensitivity can be cruel.


James as a disciple under Jesus.

Mark 5:37 He is one of only three who are allowed to see the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter.

Matthew 17:1 He is one of three disciples to witness the Transfiguration.

Mark 13:3 He was one of four disciples who questions Jesus on the Mt. of Olives.

Mark 14:33 He is one of the disciples the Lord urged to ‘watch and pray.’

James saw Jesus’ power to raise the dead. He saw the Lord’s glory in the transfiguration. He saw Jesus’ sovereignty when He prophesied the future. And He saw Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.


Is there a place in the church for men and women like James?

James is quite a contrast to disciples like Andrew who were quietly bringing people to Jesus, while he wanted to call down God’s wrath. Despite all of his seeming flaws we must remember that he was also one of the Lord’s closest friends. James’ temperament is like that of Elijah, and indeed it is Elijah whom James is modeling himself after when he and his brother ask to punish the Samaritans. Unlike Elijah the motives of the sons of Zebedee are misguided.

James is ambitious but God tempers his ambition and turns it to himself.


After the disciples are sent.

Acts 12:1-2 James is the first of the apostles to die. The final mention of James in the New Testament is in regard to his death at the hands of King Herod Agrippa in AD 44. The only place James is mentioned alone is in his execution His is the only death of an apostle recorded in the Bible.

James wanted a crown of glory, Jesus gave him a cup of suffering. He wanted power, Jesus gave him servanthood. He wanted prominence and Jesus gave him a martyr’s grave. He wanted to rule but the sword would be the means of his execution. In his death he is still a man of passion, now under the Holy Spirit’s control. Ultimately his passions were tempered by love and grace, he learned to control his temper bridle his tongue and redirect his zeal, eliminate his thirst for revenge and completely lose his selfish ambition.


Lore/Church tradition.

Clement of Alexandria tells us that when the one who led James to the judgment seat heard his testimony and the manner James bore himself, he was moved to confess himself also as a Christian. They were both led away together and on the way he begged James to forgive him. James thought for a time, and then said ‘Peace be with thee,’ and kissed him. They were both beheaded at the same time.

Tradition has it that St. James preached the gospel to the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain, Portugal and Andorra). According to ancient local tradition, on 2 January AD 40, the Virgin Mary appeared to James on the bank of the Ebro River at Caesaraugusta, while he was preaching the Gospel in Iberia. She appeared upon a pillar, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, and that pillar is conserved and venerated within the present Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza, Spain. Following that apparition, James allegedly returned to Jerusalem where he was martyred. However it is likely most of his evangelistic and apostolic efforts were in the region around Jerusalem. The connection to Spain is due to some of his relics ending up there.

His head allegedly is buried in the Cathedral of St. James in Jerusalem. It is also reputed that St. James is buried in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. St. James the greater is the patron of laborers, Pharmacists, Pilgrims and rheumatism sufferers.

The feast of St. James the Elder is July 25th, the theme of the feast is ‘sharing Christ’s sufferings.’ His shield depicts three scalloped shells (or "cockle shell"), which symbolize the considerable amount of travelling he accomplished. There is a lesser used symbol/shield which has a scalloped shell and a sword. Pilgrims to his shrine often wore that symbol on their hats or clothes. The French for a scallop is coquille St. Jacques, which means "cockle of St James". The German word for a scallop is Jakobsmuschel, which means "mussel (or clam) of St. James"; the Dutch word is Jacobsschelp, meaning "shell of St James".

False teachings: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) teaches that James has been resurrected and that in 1829 he—along with the resurrected Peter and the translated John—visited Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and restored the priesthood authority with Apostolic succession to earth.


Prayer: O gracious God, Your servant and apostle James was the first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the name of Jesus Christ. Pour out upon the leaders of Your Church that spirit of self-denying service that they may forsake all false and passing allurements and follow Christ alone, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.



Summer Bible Study on the Apostles: St. Bartholomew

posted Aug 5, 2017, 5:52 AM by Jason Stegman

               

The Apostles

St. Nathaniel/Bartholomew


1. Name: Bartholomew is an Aramaic name which means “son of Tolmai.” Tolmai, or more accurately in Hebrew “Telem,” which means ‘furrow.’ Nathaniel is listed as Bartholomew in all four lists of the twelve. In John he is always called Nathaniel, which means “God has given.” So he is Nathaniel son of Tolmai, or Nathaniel Bar-Tolmai.


2. Who was he?

a. John 21:2,

b. John 1:44-51 Who is his closest friend?

3. What does Nathaniel know? John 1:45ff

a. About the prophets? (Micah 5:2)

b. About the Messiah? Obviously, the truth of scriptures was something that mattered to Nathaniel.

c. What does vs. 46 gives another insight into his character.

d. How does Philip deal with Nathaniel’s ‘question?”

e. What is the most important aspect of Nathaniel’s character? Vs. 47


3. Discipleship under Jesus.

a. Contrast John 1:50-51 to Genesis 28:12.

b. Unfortunately there is little else about Nathaniel found in Scripture during the 3 year ministry of Jesus or after Pentecost.


4. Lore/Church tradition.

a. A later apocryphal gospel is wrongly attributed to him. Later Church tradition describes his missionary activities in Egypt, Persia, India, and Armenia where he was reportedly martyred by being flayed alive. Hence he is considered the patron saint of tanners, (or plasterer’s depending on the region). There is no reliable record of how he died. One tradition says he was tired up in a sack and thrown into the sea. Another tradition says he was crucified. By all accounts he died a martyr’s death.

b. What we do know is that Nathaniel was faithful to the end because he was faithful from the start. Everything he experienced with Christ and whatever he experienced after the birth of the New Testament church ultimately only made his faith stronger. And Nathaniel, like the other apostles, stands as proof that God can take the most common people from the most insignificant places and use them to His glory.

c. The feast of St. Bartholomew is celebrated on August 24th the theme of the day is loyal faith. The shield of St. Bartholomew shows a single knife to portray the horrible way in which he died.


Prayer: Almighty God, Your Son, Jesus Christ, chose Bartholomew to be an apostle to preach the blessed Gospel. Grant that Your Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God, now and forever. Amen.


Summer Bible Study on the Apostles: St. James son of Alphaeus

posted Aug 5, 2017, 5:24 AM by Jason Stegman   [ updated Aug 5, 2017, 6:19 AM ]

The Apostles


James the son of Alphaeus aka "St. James the less”




Name: The English name "James" comes from Italian "Giacomo", a variant of "Giacobo" derived from Iacobus in Latin, which was itself derived from the Greek name Ἰάκωβος (Jacob). Jacob was a common Hebrew name among the men of his day, which means ‘heel gripper’ (Genesis 25:26). There are four men named James in the NT. All four are closely associated with Jesus. The first a younger son of Joseph and Mary, became an important leader in the early church, two are apostles, and the fourth the father of an apostle. He is often called “James the less” to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee (James the greater).


Who was he?

Matthew 1:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, and Acts 1:13

James appears in each of the four New Testament lists of the twelve.

In Matthew he is paired with Thaddeus.


Mark 15:40 and John 19:25; In Mark’s Gospel he is referred to as “James the less,” which could refer to his size, or height, but more likely means he is younger than the other apostle with the same name. This passage also calls James’ mother Mary. The parallel text in John can be interpreted as identifying the mother of James as the sister of Mary the Mother of our Lord. If that interpretation is correct then James the son of Alphaeus would have been one of Jesus’ cousins.


Mark 2:14 We know that James had a brother named Joses. This text from Mark reveals that Levi, or Matthew was ‘son of Alphaeus,’ makes it likely he and James were brothers or at the least two different men bore the surname of Alphaeus. We may also conclude that because Matthew was also called Levi, that his family was of that tribe, James the less was also a Levite.


His discipleship under Jesus:

Nothing is known with certainty about James the less. He is mentioned only in the lists of the Apostles. It may well be that James was simply not very influential. Perhaps he was a quiet person who stayed mostly in the background. We might say his most distinguishing mark is his obscurity. But that in itself is a significant fact. Apparently he sought no recognition as did James and John. He displayed no great leadership nor aspired to it as did Simon Peter. He asked no crucial questions at an important juncture. He demonstrated no unusual insight. Only his name remains, while his life and labors are unknown.

Hebrews 11:33-38. Yet James the less was one of the twelve. The Lord selected him for a reason, trained and empowered him like the others, and sent him out as a witness. He is rather reminiscent of those unnamed people in the book of Hebrews whose names and the testimonies the world barely remembers and knows nothing about but are eternally ensconced in heaven.

In any case, we can be certain that he became a powerful preacher like the others. He surely performed ‘the signs of an apostle… in signs and wonders and mighty deeds’ (2Corinthians 12:12). And his name will be inscribed on one of the gates of the heavenly city. (Revelation 21:14)

The stories for some of the disciples do seem inadequate at best. It should be pointed out that all of the disciples more or less disappear from the biblical narrative within a few years after Pentecost. In no case does Scripture give us a full biography. This is because Scripture’s purpose is to keep the focus on the power of Christ and the power of the Word, not the men who were instruments of that power. These men were sent out to obey the Lord’s commission, inspired by the Spirit they preached the Word. That is all we really need to know, the vessel is not the issue, the Master is. No one epitomizes this better than James the Less.


Lore/Church tradition:

Church tradition has unfortunately confused St. James the Less with James the brother of our Lord, the first bishop of Jerusalem, and so he is sometimes called “James the just.” Church tradition also erroneously attributes the Epistle of James to James the less.

A modern writer named A.S. Atiya in his book “History of Eastern Christianity,” affirms certain old traditions that James the less was the first Bishop of Syria. This probably would have placed him at Antioch. However other histories of Christianity state that the first bishop of Antioch was Euodius, who was ordained by St. Peter.

According to tradition, at the ripe age of 96, James was thrown from the topmost portion of the Temple and his mangled body sawn in two. However this is the same story that is told of James the Righteous the first Bishop of Jerusalem, the half-brother of Jesus. Other traditions state that James remained in Jerusalem and was stoned to death by a mob of angry Jews and buried in Jerusalem (this is probably the better conclusion). Allegedly James’ remains were re-interred in Constantinople in 332 AD at the church of the Holy Apostles. In 572 AD his remains were again exhumed and re interred in Rome by Pope John III at the Church of the apostles St. Philip and St. James the less which was later re-named the church of the Holy Apostles.

The feast of St. James the less is May 1st and is in conjunction with the Feast of St. Philip. Often James is depicted with a palm branch or a fuller’s staff. The theme of the day is witnessing to the risen Christ. The day recalls the founding of the church in the honor of Philip and James under Pope John III. In northern Europe, May Eve or Walpurgisnacht (St. Walpurga’s night) is a night for witches to meet on Broken Mountain and wait for the arrival of spring. Apparently the church elevated the feast of Philip and James on that same day to counter the appeal of the pagan festival even though St. Walpurga is a canonized saint.

The shield of St. James the Less depicts a saw, which was allegedly the means by which he was martyred. As previously stated, his life is often confused with that of James the Bishop of Jerusalem who was indeed martyred by being thrown from the roof of the Temple beaten by fullers and sawn in two. Even in death James’ life is obscured.


Question 1: Does it, or would it trouble you to know that the many things you do in your Christian vocation, in service to the church, to your neighbor, etc. will never be known or acknowledged by anyone? Though we know the right answer is ‘of course not,’ the reality is often quite different. Working in obscurity can be appealing to some, as the limelite does not appealing. Yet we as human beings and children of God need encouragement and recognition of our efforts or we become discouraged and wonder if there’s any point to what we’re doing. We begin to wonder ‘why?’


Question 2: In what way or circumstance can we see the life of James the less like that of Christs?


Question 3: It is customary to name Christian congregations after one of the Apostles. What if the namesake reflected the congregation’s personality? Is there a place and a ‘need’ if you will for a part of the bride of Christ to go through her entire existence as ‘St. Obscurity.’ Must the church be loud and popular because we live in a time that values loudness and popularity over service and humility?


Prayer: Almighty God, Your Son revealed Himself to Philip and James and gave them the knowledge of everlasting life. Grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way the truth and the life, and steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.



Important Church Update

posted Jun 3, 2017, 12:32 PM by Jason Stegman


Good Shepherd Lutheran church update:

May 27th 2017

 

  1. We have given notice to the Seventh Day Adventist Church that we will vacate at the end of July.  We are up to date on our payments to them.

  2. The Palms of Mt. Pleasant has us on their calendar to use their meeting room on Sundays starting August 6th, unless other arrangements have been made.

  3. The Franke at Seaside chapel is not available for our use on Sunday mornings or afternoons.

  4. Pastor has been in communication with the CCSD District 2 Facilities administrator.  We have asked to tour the  Mt. Pleasant Academy, Laing Middle school. Moultrie Middle school and Sullivan's Island Elementary to see if they have any rooms that would be suitable for worship and classes on a long term basis. Rental depends on the size of the room. Non- school organizations are expected to provide their own liability and property damage insurance, we are checking to see whether the church policy meets CCSD minimums. We also have to provide proof of 501c 3 status but that should not be a problem.

  5. We have not abandoned the possibility being in the West Ashley area, but as of yet most of the storefront locations are either too expensive, or are not feasible because of parking, location, or the facilities are not conducive to worship.

  6. Pastor and Carol are considering a change to their healthcare plan which would save the church money in monthly payments.  We will likely leave the Concordia plan for healthcare.

  7. We're in communication with Church Creek Presbyterian church on the use of the Charleston Christian School's chapel.  It wouldn't work for Sunday mornings but possibly Sunday afternoon or evening, and then we could have a Sunday morning service in Mt. Pleasant. 

New Bible Study Topic for September and October 2016 - “Promises, Promises, Promises”

posted Sep 20, 2016, 5:53 PM by Jason Stegman

On September 4th we began a brief Bible study entitled “Promises, Promises, Promises.”  In which we will spend the next 9 weeks, ending Lord willing, on Reformation Sunday. We will be considering the Prayers of St. Paul, each Sunday will be a different prayer or group of prayers from the Epistles.  We study the Lord’s Prayer so that we may understand what the content of our prayers ought to be, so too we consider the words of the Apostle, and his inspired words for the church. 

New adult Sunday School class

posted Sep 8, 2014, 1:20 PM by Jason Stegman

Our new pastor, the Rev. Allen Bergstrazer, is jumping in with both feet.
He began conducting an adult Bible class on the Divine Service on Sunday, Sept. 7.
The class is open ended but is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks. All are welcome to attend. You don't need extra materials. Bibles and hymnals will be provided.
This is a great opportunity for you to get to know Pastor Bergstrazer better and for him to get to know you better. Please join us for adult Bible study after church next Sunday.

Installation of New Pastor

posted Aug 18, 2014, 3:05 PM by Jason Stegman

The members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church are excited to announce that we are installing a new pastor on Aug. 24, 2014.
The Rev. Allen C. Bergstrazer, formerly of York, Nebraska, has already moved to Charleston and is getting settled in the community with his wife, Carol and their son, Preston.
The installation service will take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24 at the SDA Church on Savannah Highway, followed by a pot luck supper reception in the fellowship hall.
Please come out and meet Pastor Bergstrazer and his family.


New Adult Sunday School Class

posted Dec 13, 2013, 7:05 PM by Jason Stegman

Join us after fellowship on Sunday, Dec. 15 for the first of a four-part video and Bible study entitled "The Great Deceiver" Details on our Sunday School page.

Sunday School during vacancy

posted Sep 2, 2013, 7:59 AM by Jason Stegman

  • During our pastoral vacancy, we are on an extended summer schedule, with a modified Sunday School schedule.
  • On Sept. 8, there will be no Sunday School after the Divine Service.
    On Sept. 15, 22 and 29, Pastor Russell Helbig, one of our guest preachers, is teaching a course on the Lutheran Confessions.
    Because Pastor Helbig, who is a chaplain at a federal prison, has to work at his regular job on Sundays, the class begins before church at 8 a.m., in the Fellowship Room.
    For his first class on Sept. 1, there were about 15 people in attendance. All are welcome to attend.

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