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Sixth Sunday of Easter
Collect: O Lord, our God, Father in Heaven, from whom all good things come: Lead us by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit to think those things which are right, and by your goodness help us to do them; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever. Amen
First Lesson: Acts of the Apostles 15:1-2, 22-29
Second Lesson: Revelation 21:10-14,22-23
Holy Gospel: St. John 14:23-29
Wednesday, May 18
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
St. Matthew 6:19-24
Thursday, May 19
2 Thess. 1:1-12
St. Matthew 6:25-34
Friday, May 20
2 Thess. 2:1-17
St. Matthew 7:1-12
Saturday, May 21
2 Thess. 3:1-18
St. Matthew 7:13-21
James 1:2-8, 16-18
St. Luke 12:13-21
Monday, May 23
St. Matthew 13:1-16
Tuesday, May 24
1 Timothy 2:1-6
St. Matthew 13:18-23
Wednesday, May 25
St. Matthew 22:41-46
The Rev’d. Mark A. Hoffman, STS
The Rev’d. Kenneth E. Campbell
James M. Slemmer
Director of Children’s and Youth Choirs
Parish Youth Worker
Tammy J. Meckley
The Small Catechism — A Refresher
Perhaps it’s been a long time since you looked at the Small Catechism. Perhaps you’ve not even looked at it since the day of your Confirmation by the Holy Spirit. Yet there are two very good reasons that the Small Catechism has been called “The Layman’s Bible”: it contains the five most important aspects of the Bible: Ten Commandments, Apostles Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Sacraments, and Table of Duties; and it is easy to memorize, thereby enabling you to carry it with you and contemplate it wherever you are. It is our intention over the next several newsletters to provide a substantial review of each section of the Catechism for your spiritual enrichment.
We begin with the Ten Commandments. If we asked, “What is the beginning of the Commandments,” many people would probably answer, “You shall have no other gods before me.” However that is not the beginning of the Commandments — that is the First Commandment. The beginning of the Commandments is the Prologue:
I am the Lord, your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the bondage of slavery into the freedom of the promised land.
The Prologue is part and parcel of the Commandments and is important for an excellent reason, namely that it is the Gospel. The Commandments themselves are Law, but they are preceded by Good News! Our Lord rescued our forefathers from slavery before He gave them the Ten Commandments! He did this simply because they were His people, not for anything which they had done. Therefore we understand the Commandments as a response to the Lord’s saving actions, not as a way to gain His love. This is very important to understand because many people think that we have to live right and do good deeds to earn the Lord’s love. But nothing could be further from the truth. The Lord loves us simply because He is our creator and we are his children. There is nothing we need to do, in fact, there is nothing we can do to earn His love. We already have it! Therefore, being His children, the Lord gives us His Commandments, laws by which to live His life.
Now before we get into the Commandments themselves, there is one other piece of information which you need to know. Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with two tablets of stone written with the finger of God.(Exodus 31) Since there are Ten Commandments, it is often assumed that there were five commandments written on each tablet. In fact, that is the way the Commandments are often portrayed in art and even taught in some denominations. But not so in the Small Catechism where the first tablet contains the Commandments about the Lord and the second about our neighbor. Thus the first tablet has four commandments and the second six. Although it is difficult to find illustrations set up this way, it is the proper way.
So unto the first tablet and the First Commandment
You shall have no other gods before me.
When we consider the prologue and the wonderful things that the Lord did for our forefathers, we must also keep in mind that He did the very same things for us! Like our forefathers, we were saved through water by means of Holy Baptism. By that Sacrament, we received the benefits of our Lord’s death on the cross — forgiveness and life — rescuing us from our bondage, a bondage to sin! Therefore, indeed, we ought to honor him and have no other gods in our life.
But those gods are there, aren’t they?! They’re all around us, tempting us to worship them! The Word of God from the Book of Daniel absolutely nails it: You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.(5:23) Silver and gold themselves are gods to many people — what wouldn’t they do for some of it?! Then there are a myriad of other gods tempting us — cars and clothing and houses and sports and careers and men and women and… anything which controls our life by our own desires is a god to us. So, in some ways, it is the easiest commandment to break. But deep down we know that any happiness which these things bring to us is only temporary. Only the one true God can give us our inheritance — the eternal joy and peace which He has promised.
The Second Commandment
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
This Commandment is often misunderstood. It is about using the Lord’s name in inappropriate ways. It is not about foul language. Foul or filthy language is simply language unbecoming a Christian. But using the Lord’s name to curse; or validate what we are saying; or deceive others; or simply as a glib expression, is to abuse the name of the one who is our Lord and therefore to abuse Him. Instead we should always honor the Lord’s name in everything that we do and say, calling upon Him in times of trouble, praying to Him who is our greatest Helper, and praising and giving thanks to Him in all circumstances.
Next time, on to the Third and Fourth Commandment.
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 2
Last newsletter we began a substantial review of Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism. We addressed the Prologue and the first two of the Ten Commandments. Now, unto
The Third Commandment
Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
That’s it, right? Well, no. There’s also the Bible’s explanation.
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, your livestock, or the stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”(Exodus 20)
For some people, this is a particularly onerous Commandment. They find it unduly restrictive of their time. (Imagine, advising the Lord that He is expecting too much!) Or, in an effort at self-justification, that it is a less important Commandment than “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not steal.” (It needs to be said, that although not equal in ethical weight, all Commandments are equal morally — breaking any Commandment is a sin, no matter which Commandment. They are, after all, Commandments not suggestions.)
So we receive the Commandment thankfully. Dr. Luther teaches us that the Hebrew meaning of “Sabbath” is simply “day of rest”, not “seventh day” as some presume. Yes, for the Jewish people, the Sabbath was the seventh day, Saturday, the day the Lord Himself rested in creation. But due to the wonderful event of the Resurrection of Our Lord, and in honor of Him who is our Lord, we keep Sabbath, we “rest” on Sunday. A few years ago, during Coffee Hour, some of our ladies were upset that the church lawn was being mowed on a Sunday. And rightly so. Not only was the mower not remembering the Sabbath, but he was also disturbing the Sabbath for the “rest” of others.
Rest is essential for our life. Our Lord, who fell asleep in the stern of the boat, understood this. As we are mortal creatures who become exhausted, our Lord takes care of us and provides for us by this day of rest. In fact, Jesus informs us that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,”(St. Mark 2:27) meaning this day of rest is provided for our welfare.
However the Sabbath Day is not just for rest, as in relaxation. More importantly it is a “rest” from all activity in order that we may devote our full and undivided attention to praise and worship of our Lord. But careful! The Commandment is not fulfilled by attending church for one hour on Sunday mornings. The Commandment is to remember the whole of the Sabbath Day. The “rest” of the day is to be filled with conversation about all Lordly matters, including the Lessons and Sermon received that morning, and with attention to our spouses, children, and families who we may not have given our full attention throughout the rest of the week. Since it is a day of “rest”, even a little nap would be completely in keeping with the Commandment (but not during the Sermon!).
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 3
Having considered the first three Commandments in previous newsletters, we now turn to
The Fourth Commandment
Honor your father and mother.
The first observation is that this Commandment is properly part of the first tablet. Sad to say, the internet most often pictures the Commandments as two tablets of stone with the first three Commandments inscribed on the first tablet and the last seven inscribed on the second. However this is due to a misunderstanding of the Fourth Commandment.
We honor our father and mother because they re-present the Lord to us. As the Lord provides us with every blessing, our parents are the conduit of most of those blessings, providing us with house, food, clothing, protection, love, and family, as well as teaching and modeling faithfulness for us. By honoring our father and mother, we also learn to honor the Lord. Therefore the Fourth Commandment properly belongs on the first tablet.
That being so, the onus is on parents to righteously re-present the Lord to our children. Our God is not capricious in his conduct or expectations, nor mean or vindictive. He expects faithfulness as He is faithful to us and He expects justice and mercy as He Himself is forgiving. Therefore as children are taught to honor their father and mother, in the Table of Duties at the end of the Small Catechism, parents are taught “not to provoke our children let they become discouraged, but to raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Honoring parents is not just a matter of being obedient and respectful. Children are the mirror image of their parents as we are all the mirror image of the Lord. The manner in which children lead their life reflects on their parents, either bringing them honor or disgrace. This reflection continues throughout our lifetime, for we are always children of our parents. Even when our parents have been received into the Church Triumphant, we continue to honor them by our lives. So we can take great comfort if we overhear it said about us, “Their parents sure raised them right!”
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 4
Having considered the first table of the Commandments, the table having to do with the Lord, we now turn to the second table, that having to do with our neighbor. So before we explore the Fifth Commandment, let us clarify that concept of “neighbor”. As Holy Scripture always interprets Holy Scripture, Jesus himself defines “neighbor” for us by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan in St. Luke 10. There we learn that our neighbor is not just the person who lives next to us, but is anyone with whom we come into contact. It is for the benefit of our neighbors that we are given the second table.
The Fifth Commandment
Thou shalt not kill.
Superficially, this does not seem to be a difficult commandment to understand or keep. But it is. Of course, most, if not all of us, have never literally killed anyone. One might even argue that we inherently know that it is wrong to take someone else’s life. Yet, as Dr. Luther rightly teaches us, we do so with our tongues, perhaps more often than we’d like to admit — speaking ill of someone, imputing a bad reputation, instigating harm or even hating someone, as Jesus indicates in the Gospel according to St. Matthew: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders shall be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement and whoever insults his brother will be liable to the Council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
However this commandment raises a whole slew of questions:
What about soldiers in active combat? Governments are a blessing from the Lord. As such, the primary purpose of any government is to protect its citizenry. Therefore it is understood that official militaries are doing their duty when they kill enemy soldiers. However that does not excuse them. Thus before soldiers go into combat, they are offered the opportunity for prevenient confession and absolution.
What about the capital punishment? Referring again to the purpose of a government, capital punishment is permissible to protect its citizenry from abject criminals who have no consideration for the lives of other people. However as we all have been made aware, the criminal justice system of any government is never perfectly just. Therefore we citizens should at all times lobby the government for increasingly just methods of justice.
What about abortion? Plain and simple, it is wrong. It is taking the life of another person. Abortion may not be utilized as a method of birth control. In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, the acceptable options are keeping and loving the baby, or giving it up for adoption. It may be asked about the extreme situation where the choice is between the baby’s and the mother’s life? And the answer is that, sometimes, life hands us extremely difficult choices and the decisions with which we need to live. When such difficult, heart-breaking decisions are made, there is always room for forgiveness with the Lord. The question is also raised with regard to a gestational baby in whom defects are detected. However, abortion is not the answer. Who among us does not have defects? Should any of us have been aborted because we have a lower than “normal” intelligence quotient? Or a cleft palate? Or a hole in the heart? Who are we to determine the value of any one person’s life?! That presumptuousness connects very quickly to the end of life and the next question.
What about mercy killing or suicide? The same question must be posed — Who are we to determine the value of any one person’s life… or even our own?! Life is not all-encapsulated in youth. Nor is it ever without pain and suffering. Instead we must incorporate the Word of the Lord from Romans 5: We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
Finally, if we were to relax the commandment to make any of these situations licit, we would also remove the need for forgiveness, and removing the need for forgiveness would remove the need for Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death — something we most assuredly do not want to do!
Therefore, Dr. Luther enjoins us in the Catechism to fear and love the Lord our God and do everything within our power to protect our neighbor’s life!
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 5
Having entered into the Second Table, we now turn to the Sixth Commandment.
The Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
I’ve always found it interesting that this Commandment is sandwiched between the Commandments forbidding killing and stealing. When people commit adultery, they are both cutting the spouse to the quick and thus killing them, and they are, quite obviously, stealing from them. Nor does the act of adultery just kill the spouse, but also all who are related to the spouse, for such a disgraceful act brings disrepute and shame upon the whole family.
The Estate of Holy Matrimony is so important that it undergirds three Commandments: the Fourth — Honor your mother and father; this, the Sixth; and the Tenth — You shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife. It is holy, sanctified by the Lord. Marriage is a sacramental sign, a reflection of the Lord’s faithfulness to us. It is also the means by which the Lord continues the creation of the human race, as well as providing, protecting, and guiding the children, enfolding them in a safe, societal structure. Therefore, violation of the marriage vows both falsely imputes the lie to the Lord’s faithfulness and does egregious violence to the peace and harmony of the family.
The Commandment requires chastity. Chastity is not the same as celibacy. Chastity implies moral purity, so that outside of marriage, those who are chaste are in fact celibate, pure of heart and mind, treating all women as mothers and sisters and men as fathers and brothers. While within the estate of marriage where conjugal rights are a blessing, those who are chaste are clean, pure in mind and conduct, honoring their spouse in word and deed.
Many years ago, a sitting President of the United States publicly confessed that he had lusted after other women. He was right to make this confession, because the Sixth Commandment is broken even in the mind’s eye. So also viewing pornography, dirty jokes, and even accommodating lifestyles which are contrary to marriage all break the Commandment. One simply needs to take into consideration that the persons participating in pornography are someone’s daughters and sons, that dirty jokes denigrate what the Lord has proudly named as “good”, and that such accommodation is understood as a silent approval.
Instead, Christians are bound to encourage and support the bond of holy matrimony, helping our neighbors live chastely, assisting them in overcoming disagreements, protecting them from preying interlopers, and celebrating this great and wonderful Estate!
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 6
We now turn to a Commandment which looks backwards and forwards.
The Seventh Commandment
Thou shalt not steal.
The sense of this Commandment seems patently obvious, and, for the most part, it is. However it may not be so obvious as to how this Commandment is broken. Superficially, we understand clearly that it is wrong to take what does not belong to us — to shoplift, to pocket something while in a neighbor’s house, or to forcibly take something which is not ours. A little more complicated but just as obvious is dealing in property previously stolen since not only are we the undeserved recipients of another person’s property, but but being so, we also encourage this evil practice. A little more sinister are false business practices by which we steal from our clients, our suppliers, or even the government when we falsify our tax records. Consider also that stealing from the government is stealing from both the public and also people who are deemed worthy of assistance. Our Lord’s admonition is, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.
On a more profound level, as we alluded in regard to the Sixth Commandment, to commit adultery is to steal as well, but not just in stealing a spouse — it is also stealing the co-conspirator’s integrity and reputation; the victim’s honor; the honor of the co-conspirator’s children, parents, and siblings; and, finally, it is stealing from the Lord who has joined the two in Holy Matrimony. Thus by those examples, we also understand that when we break the Eighth Commandment — Thou shalt not bear false witness — we steal the honor and respect of other people when we speak ill of them. By the same means, with the dagger of our tongue, we steal someone’s reputation and livelihood, whether in casual conversation or if we speak falsely in a legal setting. We break the Seventh Commandment when we prevent others from obtaining any kind of promotion, whether it benefits ourself or not. And, finally, the age-old temptation of self-justification can cause us to steal if we believe that we are owed something — if we believe we are underpaid or don’t receive sufficient benefits, or if we compare our lifestyle and our possessions to those of others and we believe that we deserve more and better.
Which is an excellent segue to address the fact that stealing is a blatant statement of mistrust in and unfaithfulness to the Lord. We believe that God has given me clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods, in sum that he provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, (Small Catechism, Creed, First Article, which we will address soon enough), and therefore we are satisfied with the blessings with which He provides us and have no need to steal.
In conclusion, it is not sufficient for us simply not to steal, but being children of the Lord, Dr. Luther encourages us to actually and proactively protect our neighbors’ property, possessions, reputation, integrity, and honor, remembering that our neighbors are all people with whom we come into contact on a daily basis.
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 7
In this chapter we explore one of the more challenging Commandments.
The Eighth Commandment
Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Most often this Commandment is understood in one of two ways. The first is in terms of forensics — swearing to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” as a witness in a Court. There are some fundamentalistic Christian denominations which object to this requirement on the basis of Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount in St. Matthew 5:
33 “You have heard that it was said to the people of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Although we certainly believe and teach what Jesus taught, that we ought not swear because, in our fallibility, we are most likely to break our oaths, thus incurring both sin and wrath, still we believe and teach that it is permissible, in the case of being a witness to the truth, to take just such an oath.
The second understanding of this Commandment is in terms of not bearing false witness by lying when speaking to other people. Let us be up front and crystal clear: there are no such things as “little white lies”! Lies are lies, no matter how large or small, each and every one of them breaking this Commandment. Many justifications are used for such lies: not wanting to hurt feelings, being put on the spot, not wanting to be a tattle-tale, etc. The cause for such justifications is an irresolute, cowardly spirit. But there is no justification for any lies; courage must be the Christian Spirit! If due consideration is given, there are other appropriate ways to deal with these situations. If asked one’s position on a particularly delicate subject, the matter-of-fact answer, I’d rather not comment on that, is completely appropriate. If put on the spot by someone asking a critical opinion, one can always find something truly complimentary to say. And then there is always the option of simply and courageously speaking the plain, honest truth.
There is a third means of transgressing this Commandment which is equally wrong but more insidious than the first two. Sometimes it rears it ugly head in the form of backbiting (complaining behind the back of another person rather than face to face), and other times in the form of gossip. Again, let us be up front and crystal clear: there is nothing more damaging to another person or to the Lord’s church! That old adage of, Sticks and stones… is patently false — words can not only cut to the quick but can ruin a person’s career and reputation. In a world which is replete with backbiting and gossip normalized by all forms of the media, it is very easy to fall into such scandalous behavior. But we must resist and refrain. When party to backbiting, we must be courageous and stand up for the absent person, saying, Let’s not talk about her when she’s not here, or I encourage you to speak to him about that, or even to contradict the backbiting and to speak positively of the person. When we hear gossip and gossipers, we must courageously confront the gossip, Do you know that to be a fact? or, Might there be another perspective to what you are saying? Backbiting and gossip tear apart the Body of Christ as well. There is nothing more damaging to the Body than an irate person complaining publicly. There is nothing more damaging and divisive to the Body than internal gossip. In Biblical scholarship there is a perpetual hue and cry reminder, Ad fontes! Back to the source! It is an excellent reminder for us all: if ever in doubt, if ever one wonders, be courageous and go to the source!
Finally, dear Dr. Luther, in the Small Catechism, instructs us that it is not sufficient to simply keep the Commandment by not bearing false witness: we ought to do everything we can to proactively protect our neighbor’s reputation.
The Small Catechism — A Refresher, Chapter 8
Finally, we arrive at the last two Commandments:
The Ninth Commandment
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
The Tenth Commandment
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, ass, or anything else which is your neighbor’s.
We are here treating these two Commandments as a unit, but we must be careful not to confuse them — they address the same sinful desire, but the objects of that desire are greatly different. The objects of the Ninth Commandment are material items while the objects of the Tenth Commandment are living beings. The sin of both Commandments is desire and it is a sin of the eyes. Thus our Lord’s hyperbolic teaching, twice, no less: “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”(St. Matthew 5:29, 18:9) Closing your eyes or purposely avoiding temptations would solve the temptation just as well. What would that mean? Not driving through upscale neighborhoods, not watching television shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, not looking at glamour and fashion magazines and assuredly not certain adult magazines, in sum, avoiding those objects which are visual temptations.
The question must be asked of ourselves, When is enough, enough? Famous author G.K. Chesterton observed, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” The culture driven by Madison Avenue would have us believe the former; the Lord would have us believe the latter. Time and again, Holy Scripture teaches us about possessions:
St. Matthew 6:19ff. — Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
St. Luke 12:15 — Be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.
St. Matthew 6:25ff. — Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?… Why are you anxious about clothing?… If God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? For the unbelievers seek after these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But first seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
Acts of the Apostles 20:35 — It is more blessed to give than to receive.
St. Matthew 10:8 — You received without paying, give without pay.
St. Luke 6:38ff. — Give and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
However the most important teaching of all is that the Lord, our God provides us with everything that we need — house and home, spouse and family, clothing and shelter, food and drink. So when we desire more, we are insinuating that what the Lord has given us is not sufficient. We really don’t want to find ourself in that position. Conversely, we should do everything within our power to help our neighbors maintain their possessions and the members of their household.
In conclusion to the Ten Commandments as a whole, notice how they are inextricably intertwined. The Tenth Commandment, coveting the neighbor’s wife, is intertwined with the Sixth Commandment on adultery, which is intertwined with the Seventh Commandment on stealing, which is intertwined with the Fourth Commandment on honoring father and mother, which is intertwined with the First Commandment on having no other gods. One can do this with any one of the Commandments. But in fact, all of the Commandments ultimately come down to keeping the First Commandment since we ourselves are our greatest temptation — not that of being like God, but that of wanting to be God.
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church serves Millersburg and her surrounding communities. We are a confessional, orthodox congregation of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Come and join us for worship and any other of our events!
Church donations are received through Vanco Payments. By clicking the donate button below, you will be redirected to their secure site at www.eservicepayments.com. Thanks for giving to St. Paul’s!
Action Against Hunger is a service to the community in which we provide a hot meal on the First Friday of every month. We are currently serving over 175 meals and would be glad for your assistance. Or if you know someone who could use a hot meal, send them our direction!
The pipe organ installed in St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was built by the M.P. Moller Organ Company of Hagerstown, Maryland in 1948. Some pipes from the church’s previous 1906 organ were used in this organ. In 1972, the organ was rebuilt and enlarged by the Moller Company.
In 2016, the organ was completely restored and installed by Bard B. Wickkiser, Organbuilder, of Baltimore, MD, with the assistance of Larry Pruett of Columbia Organ Works, Columbia, PA. A new computer controlled electrical system was installed in the console. All leather actions, felts, and valves were replaced along with all rubberized cloth, wind line gaskets, and all other perishable materials. All of the wiring in the organ’s console, organ chambers, and in-between was replaced. The old DC power converter was replaced with three new DC power supplies, one located in each of the pipe chambers and one in the console. The entire organ was thoroughly cleaned, including washing of the pipework and restoration of the reed stops. The old organ blower, which had been located in the basement, was replaced with two high speed, German-crafted blowers, one each located in the pipe chambers. Now that the organ has been restored, it will continue to play reliably for decades to come.
The organ contains 980 pipes contained across 14 ranks. The specification of the organ is as follows:
8’ Open Diapason
2’ Super Octave
Great to Great 16’
Great Unison Off
Great to Great 4’
Swell to Great 16’
Swell to Great 8’
Swell to Great 4’
16’ Lieblich Bourdon
8’ Stopped Diapason
8’ Vox Celeste
4’ Flute D’ Amour
2 2/3’ Nazard
4’ Vox Humana
Swell to Swell 16’
Swell Unison Off
Swell to Swell 4’
16’ Lieblich Bourdon
8’ Stopped Flute
4’ Lieblich Flute
Great to Pedal 8’
Swell to Pedal 8’
Great to Pedal 4’
Swell to Pedal 4’
Music is an integral part of our Lutheran Heritage. We are blessed with two exceptional professionals — Parish Musician James M. Slemmer, and Children’s and Youth Choir Director Sophia Hoon. We provide several opportunities for music participation:
• Adult Choir which leads the liturgy every Sunday;
• Alleluia Choir, upper elementary and high school youth, which leads the liturgy every Sunday;
• Cherub Choir, lower elementary, which sings monthly;
• Bell Choir which plays at Festival Services;
• Chime Choir, children’s bell choir preparatory, which plays at Festival Services
R.E.A.D. = Read, Enjoy, And Discover was inspired by the long line of people and their children waiting to be served by the Outreach Center. R.E.A.D. is not a program which teaches how to read, but instead is designed to assist children in improving their reading skills, communication skills, self-esteem, and attention span. Trained volunteers provide extensive one-on-one interaction with the children. Included are special events for the children throughout the year.
The Outreach Center is a service project of enormous proportions involving many people who willingly give their time and efforts. We provide food for ~75 families on the third Saturday of every month. Donations of food or funds are always welcome. You are welcome to join us in this effort.
Worship the Lord with Us!
Sunday Services – 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Full Liturgy of Word and Sacrament — Sunday 9:00 am
Education Hour for All Ages — Sunday 10:30 am
Candlelight Liturgy of Word and Sacrament — Sunday 4:00 pm
Weekday Minor Festival Celebrations — 7:00 pm
Saturday Minor Festival Celebrations — 4:00 pm