From Our Sister Church
Fellow Saints in Christ,
Back at the end of July and the first part of August I had the privilege of representing you as the Circuit’s Pastoral Delegate to the 2023 LCMS Synod Convention. There were many different matters of business to handle, from the drudgery of updating By-Laws to the joy of recognizing fellowship with 6 church bodies around the world. One of the other joys is to hear essays from various pastors. I’d like to share with you this month some portions of the essay by Bishop Juhana Pohjola of our sister church in Finland. I pray it is as encouraging to you as it was for me.
“Over a hundred years ago in Finland, a young man was going through a spiritual agony. He was walking down a country road and stopped by an old fence. While he was looking at the red-painted fence, it crossed his mind: The fenceposts certainly look wretched inside, but the red color covers them all. With a new joy he confessed: ‘The righteousness of Christ Jesus covers me totally. Although I am a sinner, I receive forgiveness.’ This man later became a pastor and wrote a hymn: ‘Go to the ends of the earth preaching the Good News from the cross: It is fulfilled!’
“But we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23). This is the mission statement of St. Paul. This is the Gospel that he preached. This message, which is the wisdom and the strength of God, has only one goal: to save us. “It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (v. 21, also 18)…
… The Apostle Paul, however, had a specific meaning, a cruciform content, for the words Gospel of salvation. This was passed on to him from the eyewitnesses directly in Jerusalem. And he had handed this sacred and immutable apostolic teaching to the congregation in Corinth: “The Gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you. … For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried that he was raised on the third day” (1 Cor. 15:1–4). The content of the Gospel of salvation is this and this only: Christ was crucified for our sins, and since he was raised from the dead we are no longer in sin and do not perish (vv. 17–18). Redemption is not a utopian dream to be fulfilled on earth, not a spiritual opportunity to achieve and earn final salvation, and not even something that our faith in Christ causes. Redemption of the world is an existing reality. Paul is preaching the Gospel of salvation in a world that is already atoned for and redeemed on the cross and declared forgiven in Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 4:25, 2 Cor. 5:19–21). Certainly Paul teaches that salvation is a future and eschatological reality, when we are saved on the Day of the Lord from the wrath of God (1 Cor. 5:5). However, salvation is also a present reality, one to be received as a gift through faith: “Behold, now is the favorable time, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2)…
…My late teacher Kurt Marquart reminds us that in the transmitted Gospel traditions the Supper (1 Cor. 11:23ff) and Resurrection (1 Cor. 15) are the special points of our Lutheran teaching. The perfection of the objective justification and the true presence of the Lord’s body and blood are also the demarcation line between the Lutheran teaching and both Rome and the Geneva Reformed tradition. Prof. Marquart writes: “The two constitutive foci of the Church of the Augsburg Confession are justification and the Holy Supper. These stand at the center of her confession, and without them she ceases to be.”4
How do we then pass on this heritage to the next generation and new people? We asked this over twenty years ago in the midst of spiritual ruins in Finland. There are many mission models. What would be ours? We fixed our eye to this profound truth: All the life of the Church flows out of the altar and the pulpit. What builds the Church is the purely preached Gospel and the rightly administered Sacraments as our fathers confessed at the Diet of Augsburg (AC VII). We gather weekly to hear Christ speaking to us and to receive his body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.
This way of the cross has both a vertical and a horizontal aspect for building up new congregations. We need both substance and contact, faith and love. Theological substance means the vertical gifts given freely by Christ through the service of his ordained servants in the divine service. The horizontal aspect is the contact with people, showing hospitality, sharing life together as the family of God amidst individualistic society and broken culture. This means that the mission is shared together with pastors and the royal priesthood, each according to one’s vocation. This means that in a postmodern world it is not enough to theoretically explain crucifixion and teach how the congregation is a body of Christ, but rather to call people to live and experience the sacramental and communal life together. If the younger generation is skeptical of the big words and cynical about solemn statements and they look for concrete answers, we have a great opportunity to invite them to an embodied liturgical and congregational life. Christ’s mission is his Church. The motto of my church is simply: “Divine service for life, congregation as home.” Nothing new but old truth rediscovered in a different cultural context — and we are still in the learning process!”
The brief selection from this essay emphasizes the beauty of the reality that often out of the difficulty and spiritual ruin, the heart of the Gospel, the heart of the church still pulses on. By God’s grace in Christ the truth is not just preached and heard, but believed and lived out in the community of the church.
Our struggles though perhaps different are also very similar; in these last days we do well to learn from our brothers and sisters around the world. We do well to be encouraged by these saints who hold fast the faith and confess it in their lives. God help us to follow their example and believe, teach, and confess the same faith in Jesus Christ.
Peace in Christ,
Rev. Jordon Andreasen
5 Cheryl Finley 19 Colton Fryer
6 Phyllis Schott 19 Ron Hoops
8 Rhyan Johnson 19 Chad Petrich
8 Dave Scepaniak 21 Barbara Wickham
8 Jenelle Siebert 24 Kenneth Maas
12 Nathan Thone 26 Brady Haar
13 Aaryah Lassanske 28 Russell Brandt
15 Judy Bulian 28 Baker Haar
15 Kim Medenwald 30 Cyarrah Fryer
17 Sarah Rausch
9 Berwyn & Sharon Bain
12 Steve & Paula Grieben
19 David & Karla Johnson
20 Paul & Peggy Dennert
Meetings in September
– Sun Sept 10th
after the service
– Mon Sept 11th
at 3:30 pm
– Thur Sept 14th
at 5:15 pm
– Thur Sept 14th
at 6:30 pm
Board of Education
– Sun Sept 17th
after the service
Elders for September:
Russell Brandt & Brandon Christianson
– Rhylan Tschappat & Dalton Lee
– Abigail Andreasen & Rhyan Johnson
– Tristan Tschappat & Caleb Siebert
– Ally Johnson & Cassie McKown
– The church office will be closed on Monday, September 4th
for Labor Day.
resumes on September 10th
at 9:30 am.
will resume their meetings on the second Sunday of each month after the service, starting September 10th
– Anyone is welcome to join us for a devotion on Wednesdays at 9:00 am in Pastor’s study.
– There will be a potluck lunch at Our Savior after the service on September 10th
. All are welcome!
Coffee & Confessions
– Join us Tuesday mornings at 6:30 am to learn about the Lutheran Confessions, from the Book of Concord. All are welcome!
The Fall Wednesday Schedule
has resumed, with catechism class at 5:00 pm, a short service of Vespers at 6:00, and Bible Study at 6:30.
Senior Noon Potlucks
will resume on September 12th
and continue on the second Tuesday of each month through May. Join us for good food and fellowship.
The LWML “Bakeless” Bake Sale
will run from September 3rd
through October 1st
. There is a container in the narthex for monetary donations. Thank you to everyone for your generosity in helping with our mission fundraiser.
Saturday Bible Studies
– 9:00-11:00 am at Our Savior
Based on the results of the recent survey, here are the “winning” topics for the Saturday morning monthly Bible study during the next three months. If one of the themes you were hoping for didn’t make the cut this time, it will be offered for consideration again in the future.
September 9th – The Book of Ephesians
In this incredibly rich epistle, the apostle Paul glories in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and our exalted position in Him: “By grace you have been saved through faith … not by works” (Eph 2:8–9). St. Paul then lays out how the church is to live in light of the free gift of salvation in Christ. Finally, he exhorts the church to stand firm against the powers of evil. There is much to enrich the spirit and strengthen the resolve in this small book of the New Testament.
October 14th – Eying the six-color rainbow
More and more, homosexuality and its cousins are vying for attention and demanding acceptance. How do we as Christians deal with our family, friends, and neighbors who are embracing this as the new normal? How do we show love for and acceptance of persons without implying endorsement of their lifestyles? What is “love” in such circumstances, anyway? These and other questions will be discussed, building on the foundation of Scripture’s teaching.
November 18th – Life under the cross
We all know that Jesus tells His followers to take up their cross. What does this mean in everyday life? How do I “take up my cross” at home, at work, at play, at church? Are the ordinary sufferings of life that believers and unbelievers alike undergo our “cross”? How is taking up our cross countercultural? Is the Christian life then necessarily gloomy? Can a Christian under the cross have any fun? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this study.
Home and Hospital Visits
– If you would like Pastor to visit you at home, please let Pastor or the church office know. Also, if you are having surgery or are hospitalized and would like Pastor to visit and/or include you on the prayer list, please let us know.
Ink cartridges and cell phones
– Please bring your used printer ink cartridges and cell phones to church. They can be recycled so as not to harm the environment, and raise money for LWML mission projects as well. There is a box for them in the narthex. Thank you!
Grocery Receipts & Labels
– Receipts from Ken’s and Kessler’s will be collected again from September through May so they can be turned in for cash. Place receipts in the container in the narthex. We can only turn in receipts from the current school year,
so no old receipts, please. (Just an FYI – we receive a percentage of the grocery sales only; not for gas, gift cards, lottery tickets, alcohol, or cigarettes.)
We also collect Best Choice labels. Best Choice products can be found at Ken’s. Save the UPC (bar code) including the words “Best Choice” above it, and place them in the same container as the receipts.
Spread the word! Vocatio: Retreat - set for Oct. 22-24
Know a college student or second-career adult interested in full-time ministry? Tell them about Vocatio: Retreat
, an opportunity to rest in God's Word and learn more about serving as a pastor, deaconess, missionary or chaplain.
Vocatio: A distinctively Lutheran retreat that provides the space to rest in God’s Word, time to spend in prayer and the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest theologians in the church! Concordia Seminary, St. Louis invites you to attend Vocatio: Retreat
— a three-day retreat geared toward college students and second-career men and women who are considering serving as a pastor, deaconess, missionary or chaplain. Registration
is free and includes lodging and meals. To register, visit csl.edu/vocatio-retreat
or Google “Vocatio: Retreat Concordia Seminary.” For more information, email email@example.com or call 800-822-9545.
St. John’s - Columbia
4 Tom Hanson 17 Amanda Bisbee
5 Molly Ringgenberg 21 Dustin Buntrock
8 Lorie Ringgenberg 25 Andrew Buntrock
12 Erin Wolter 30 Larry Vietmeier
2 Mic & Jen Daggett
18 Karl & Val Eichler
21 Brent & Barb Miller
St. John’s Usher List
Sept. 3 Mic & Jen Daggett
Sept. 10 Ray & Cyndy Larson
Sept. 17 Dean & Lorie Ringgenberg
Sept. 24 Roger & Sharon Zastrow
Oct. 1 Anna Bisbee & Logan Ringgenberg
Oct. 8 Brent & Barb Miller
Oct. 15 Karl & Val Eichler
Oct. 22 Lyle & Cathi Podoll
Oct. 29 Mike & Molly Ringgenberg
St. John’s Hymnals
– Since St. John’s is now using the LSB hymnals, the red TLH hymnals are in the Pastor’s study at St. John’s for anyone who would like one if given in a family memorial.
LWML SOUTH DAKOTA
Fall Christian Life Workshops 2023
- TOPIC - "The Impact of Original Sin"
Josh Schmitt, Director of Christian Education, St. John's Lutheran Church, Yankton, SD
September 16, 2023 - Peace Lutheran Church, 219 E Saint Anne St, Rapid City, SD
September 30, 2023 - Zion Lutheran Church, 1400 S Duluth Ave, Sioux Falls, SD
LWML SD District VP of Christian Life
Click on the "Calendar" tab on the website to see the September Calendar.