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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Memory Work for Wednesday, Dec. 19

Grades 1-4 are to continue learning their parts for the Christmas Program.

Grades 5-8 are to learn The Third Article of the Lord's Prayer.
The Third Petition
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in
this petition that it may be done among us also.
How is God's will done?
God's will is done when he breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the
devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God's name
or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word
and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

Christmas Program Practice's that time of year again. All students should have received a part for the Christmas program. If you didn't get one, please see pastor ASAP! Practices will be Sunday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 23 from 1:30-3:00.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Caroling

The shut in members of our congregation always look forward to the evening when our children come to sing Christmas carols to them! We will be caroling on Wednesday evening, December 19, beginning at 6:00! Dress warmly and be prepared to sing! Cookies and hot cocoa will be served afterwards.

Midweek Memory work for Dec. 12

The students in grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 are to study your Christmas parts, as assigned at midweek tonight. IF you did not get a part, or if you DID get a part and won't be here on Christmas Eve, please call Pastor as soon as possible!!

Students in grades 5-8 are to learn the 2nd Petition of the Lord's Prayer. You are also to begin working on your parts for the Christmas program!

Study Up!

Youth Group Fun

Following the youth meeting tonight, we had a fun activity involving a tightly wrapped present (inside a present, inside a present, and so on). The unwrapper had to wear a stocking cap, scarf and mittens, while the rest of the group took turns tossing a die. If the tosser rolled a 6, they had to snatch the hat off of the head of the unwrapper, put on the hat, scarf and mittens, and take their turn unwrapping the gift. The person who unwrapped the final present, got to keep the
prize. What FUN we had!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Memory Work due December 5

Memory work for next Wed. December 5 is:

Grades 1, 2 and 3: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Grade 4:

The First Petition
Hallowed be Thy name.
What does this mean?
God's name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept
holy among us also.

Grade 5-8 (the above "What does this mean" AND the following)

How is God's name kept holy?
God's name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and
we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this,
dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God's Word
profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!

Monday, November 26, 2007

We welcomed the Wissmann Family

The members of St. Paul's, and the surrounding community, were treated to a wonderful program on Friday, Nov. 23. The Loren Wissmann family presented a spectacular program, singing and speaking God's word to us. Their program kept the gathered crowd entertained for around 90 minutes. Their very talented instrumentals and beautifully harmonizing voices, from the young children through the young adults worked together to bring us God's word through music. We so enjoyed the evening, and thank them all for coming to share a holiday Friday evening with us. Following the program, we had munchies and coffee in the fellowship hall while chatting with friends and neighbors. Here are a few pictures I took.

Large Catechism Study

has been carried over to next Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4:00 pm. We will study the 4th and 5th petitions. Follow the link for the text in this blog post. You can find the questions in THIS blog post. Hope to see you then!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Memory Work for November 28

Memory work for this week is the Introduction to the Lord's Prayer.

ALL Grades learn the whole section. It really isn't that long, so everyone should be able to do it!

The Introduction

Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean?

With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and
that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask
Him as dear children ask their dear father.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Family Entertainment

We are hosting the Wissman Family on Friday evening, November 23 at 7:30 at the church. It will a great opportunity to sit and enjoy some family entertainment! Of course, refreshments will be provided following their program!

Thanksgiving Service

Thanksgiving services will be on Wednesday, November 21 at 7:30 pm, immediately following Midweek classes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pray for Wilma's family

Wilma passed away on Friday evening. Please remember her family in your prayers. The funeral will be on Wednesday at 10:30 at the church.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Memory Work for Nov. 21

The memory work for midweek students for Wednesday, Nov. 21 is as follows.

Grades 1-4 in RED
Grades 5-8-the whole thing

The Third Article: Sanctification
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness
of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my
Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened
me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He
calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and
keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily
and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will
raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.
This is most certainly true.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Large Catechism Study Questions

Here is the "assignment" for the Large Catechism, 3rd and 4th Petitions of the Lord's Prayer. See the previous post for links to the Large Catechism text.

Read in the Large Catechism the Lord’s Prayer The Third
Petition, pages 145 to 417 and answer the following questions:

1. What are some ways in which the devil opposes and blocks the fulfillment of God’s will?

2. Why should Christians expect the devil and his angels along with the world to be our enemies?

3. In paragraph 65 Luther speaks of the blessed holy cross. From the context, tell what specifically he is referring to. (See also Matthew 16:24-27)

4. What should we be ready to sacrifice?

5. Read again the verses of “A Mighty Fortress” on page 2 of this study guide. From these words and the Large Catechism, describe what God uses to ensure His will is done.

6. Read John 6:40. What is God’s will?

Read in the Large Catechism The Fourth Petition pages 417-418.

1. Can you think of historical or modern instances that illustrate well how a disruption in domestic and civil relationships interfere with the necessities of life?

2. Here and in the Small Catechism, Luther gives a seemingly exhaustive list of stuff included under “Daily Bread.” Considering our 21st Century’s wider awareness of the necessities of life, can you add to the list?

3. Why would it be fitting for the coat of arms of the prince to feature a loaf of bread?

4. Why is it said that this petition directed especially against the devil?

5. Review the Small Catechism on this petition (p. 335) and Psalm 145:15-16. Is God just waiting for us to pray so that He can give us what we need?

Read in the Large Catechism the Fifth Petition pages 418-420

1. Is God pacing around in heaven just waiting for sinners to repent and ask for forgiveness so that He can have mercy on them? When does God give forgiveness?

2. Then what purpose does it serve for us to ask for forgiveness again and again?

3. Why is God purposefully trying to break our pride and keep us in humility?

4. What makes us confident in heart enough to stand before God and pray?

5. How does the clause “as we forgive those who trespass against us” serve as a sign to strengthen and comfort us?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Bible Study

will be on Sunday, November 18 at 4 pm in the fellowship hall. We will continue our study of Luther's Large Catechism, covering the Lord's Prayer, Petitions 3 and 4. If you'd like the study questions ahead of time, please drop Pastor an email or give him a phone call! We sure hope to see you there!

Please pray for Margaret

Margaret K. will be having surgery on Tuesday. Please pray for a successful surgery and an easy recovery for her! Thanks!

Prayer request for Wilma

Please keep Wilma G. in your prayers, as she is hospitalized this week. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Memory Work for Nov. 14

Grades 1-2 : Philippians 2:11
Grades 3-4: Philippians 2:10-11
Grades 5-8: Philippians 2:8-11 just 5-10 minutes every night and you'll get it down in no time! Don't wait til Wednesday to START studying!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Banner Making Evening

Hey...everyone who wants a crafty type night out, come to the church Thursday evening at 6:30. We have one boy banner to be completed by Sunday, and 2 more boy banners to be made by the following Sunday. Plus backup boy and girl baptism banners!

This is a simple way we can keep the remembrance of baptism in front of our families! Please come help! I can not get it all done with out you!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Memory Work for Nov. 7

It was kindly pointed out to me that I haven't been updating the blog with the kids memory work. So sorry about that! I'll try to get back into that habit. It's good to know that people are looking here for that information! (Click on the link to go directly to a page with the printed words)

Grades 1-2 Memory work is: Psalm 46:1

Grades 3-4 Memory work is : Pslam 46: 1-2

Grade 5-6 Memory work is: The Close of the Commandments (Just the What does God say about all these commandments)

Grade 7-8 Memory work is: The Close of the Commandments ("What does God Say...?" and "What Does This Mean?")

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Teaching in Benin

Here Pastor Koch (in the yellow) shirt gives a presentation to a
fellowship of Christian students at the University of Abomey in Benin.
Pastor Gregoire Legbanon (in the multi-colored shirt) is translating.

In Benin

Pastor and Mrs. Gregoire Legbanon of the Lutheran Church of Benin.
Pastor Koch spent Friday, October 26 meeting with Pastor Legbanon about
the work of the Lutheran Church in Francophone West Africa.

Funeral Information

The funeral service for Simon Scroggins will be held on Thursday morning at 10:30 at the church.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 3:00-8:00 pm at Hugeback and Chenoweth in town.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Prayer Request-Funeral info

We pray for Richard and Marge, and Ann and Matthew and the whole family at the loss of Simon on Monday. Please pray that God would send his mercy and peace to them all, and comfort them with the knowledge that God faithful, God is just, and God is merciful and cares for them all.

The blog will be updated when we know funeral information.

Home again, Home again....

Pastor made it home again. Thanks for all your prayers while he was gone! IT was a very eventful and interesting trip, and keep checking back. We'll add photos as he has time.

The only glitch in the travel came when he arrived in Paris, and discovered that all the Air France workers were on strike, and flights were being canceled left and right. He waited in line from 6 am til 3 or 4 pm and finally was on a several hour late flight to Chicago. Of course, this made him miss the connecting flight to Cedar Rapids, where his excited family was waiting for him. He called while we were at the baggage terminal saying "I just landed in Chicago". He called back a few hours later, saying he was going to be put up in a hotel and would leave at 10 arriving at 11 am on Sunday. The kids and I also stayed at a hotel in CR, just for time sake (and to sleep!), and we did have a joyous reunion. Luggage and all arrived with him. What a glorious few hours we had! Praise God with us for safe travels!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Safe Travels..

well, according to the itinerary I was left, Pastor has been in air for about a half an hour. He'll travel overnight to Paris, where he'll have a 7 hour layover, and then will be bound for Chicago, arriving there at 3:20 tomorrow afternoon (our time). He should arrive in Cedar Rapids at 7:10 p (our time, which will be 1:10 am his time!)

Keep him in your prayers for uneventful, and restful travel!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hello from Cotonou

I am in Cotonou. Somethings have changed but a lot is still the same. Like today I piled into a car full of Africans and we took off. To where? I don't know. We stop somewhere and then we conference for a long time and then we go again. I am feeling well and have been very safe.
Diane and the children are well. I saw Gregoire's finished home.
I have a presentation tonight to University students.
Alain has been a big help.
The hotel I am staying at here is much nicer than hotel de l etoille where we stayed before.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Update from Togo

I am having a nice relaxing Sunday.

Church was nice. The singing was awesome. There was a very good youth choir.

Now I am out for a stroll around Dapaong. I took a taxi moto to a cybercafe: all for a few cents.

Tomorrow I will preach for the chapel service: and one of the professors wants me to speak to his class on the history of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

I am staying at the guest house at the seminary.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

From Burkina Faso

Here is a picture of Rev. James May's class in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He teaches them from Luther's Small Catechism and Good News. The man in the center in the light blue shirt is Ziba. Please pray for him. He is a Muslim and this is his first visit to this class.

A Burkina Faso Meal

Here I am eating at the home of one of the men being instructed by Rev. James May, missionary in Burkina Faso. Rev. May uses GOOD NEWS to teach the Christian faith to new Lutherans here. We walked to this one room home after dark. (Very dark in Africa in a village where there is no electricity) The family had a table spread out in their courtyard and we ate by the light of one candle. They had killed a rooster for us and served it with fried yams and rice. Yum.

Photos from Togo

This picture shows me teaching at The Center for Lutheran Theological Studies in Dapong, Togo. The seminar was offered for the seminary students. Vicars from nearby came also and several pastors. The professors of the Theological School attended as did the President of the Lutheran Church in Togo. They were very attentive, asked good questions and were all very appreciative. Several times I asked if they thought they could teach this in their churches at home in their villages and they said yes. Each participant in the seminar (about 40 in all) received one of each issue of GOOD NEWS in French.

After the seminar the student's wives had a prepared lunch for us, pictured here. It was rice with goat sauce. When we arrived at the Center last night I saw a guy skinning a goat out behind the guest house where I am staying. I didn't think too much of it at the time. But today, I really enjoyed it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quick Note from Burkina Faso

Pastor was able to get a quick email connection last night, from Burkina Faso.

He says, "I am in Burkina Faso. with the May family. Every connection went just right. All my luggage was waiting for me in Ouagadougou.

Today I went with James to the Bible study he has. Thursdays they study the catechism. Sundays they study Good News. Then one of the students invited J and me to their house for supper. They live very deep in a large village with no electricity or running water. We arrived at their home after dark. But they were very hospitable and appreciative of me coming.

Ouagadougou is a lot like Cotonou only hotter.

I feel great and have not been jet lagged yet. I slept some on the planes and quite a bit in the airport in Paris."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

He's off!

Well, Pastor Koch is off and at this moment in mid-air between here and Paris. He left Cedar Rapids at 4 this afternoon (complete with 2 suitcases that were 50 pounds each, and a carry on suitcase that was 100 pounds...or so it seemed!) So far, all has gone very well. Here's a photo from the airport.
He will arrive in Paris at 9:45 am, Wednesday (Paris time, which is 2:45 am, Wednesday, Iowa time). He will be in Paris until 4 pm Paris time (which is 9 am Iowa time), and will arrive in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at 7:40 pm on Wednesday (Burkina Faso time, which is 2:40 PM on Wednesday, Iowa time) (I am hoping I'm giving you all correct information...that's what I figure, doing the math--but math was never my strong suit!)

Just for your information, the high in Burkina Faso for the next few days is Wednesday-102, Thursday-106 and Friday-104. On Friday he'll head to Togo, and on Monday he'll be in Benin.

Keep checking back, because as he sends photos and emails telling me what's going on, I'll be updating the blog!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Can you help???

Classes have started up again at our schools, and you know what that means for us at St. Paul's! Time for Sunday School and Midweek classes to resume! This year we have a HUGE number of students enrolled in Sunday School and Midweek! We are excited to see what God has in store for our education programs this year!

BUT...with the increased enrollment comes the need for even more Sunday School and Midweek teachers. If you haven't served as a teacher in the past few years, why not step up and try it again this year? We really do need help, as we can't do this without you! Please see Pastor if you would like to volunteer to teach a class, or even if you'd like to team teach a class. That worked well for several people last year!

As always, please keep the education of our kids in your prayers!

Thanks, Janiece!

A reception was held on Sunday, August 19 to recognize Janiece for her 10 years of service to our congregation and community as director and preschool teacher at Fun in the Son Daycare and Preschool! Thanks, Janiece!

Pictured are Jerry Reno, Church Council President, Pastor Koch, Kandi Attleson, Daycare Board President, and Janiece Kramer.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Photo Scavenger Hunt photos

Throughout the gathering our Youth participated in a Photo Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Concordia University, Portland. We were given a list of 30 people or activities that we were to catch in a picture. We didn't win, but we had fun playing (and we all got new t-shirts, too!) Here are a couple of fun ones.
An 8 person, human pyramidOne of your youth group's chaperone's in a swimming pool, in street clothes.
THANKS SHERYL!!!This was one of the more difficult shots to take.
Our entire youth group is in the shower of room #356 in the Rosen Plaza.Rachel and Ashley get an autograph from David of the band"Remedy Drive".

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Splash in the Surf

The youth had a day at Cocoa Beach before the Gathering started.

Nathan as Martin Luther

This is courtesy of one of the many organizations that had display booths at the Gathering.

Singing Before Bibles Study

The Youth enjoyed listening to the musical group Fusebox before the Bible Study every morning.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A sobriety test

Jessie takes a sobriety test with an officer from the Florida State Patrol.

5K Run

OK, I, personally would not get up to run a 5K race at 6 am on a Sunday morning, but over 1,000 of the kids at the Gathering did! I think that's a pretty impressive number! Here is a photo of the kids from St. Paul's that participated in the run.

Caleb, Rachel, Ted, Sally, Jared, Adam and David, EARLY Sunday morning, before the 5K run.Caleb finishes the 5K run.

Exhausting Days

Pastor sent me this photo just a few minutes ago. He says "This is NOT a posed photo!"
Kayla, Jessie and Rachel

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Photos from Orlando!

Pastor is doing a great job of taking pictures and sending them to me so I can get them up on the blog! Looks (and sounds) like everyone is having a great time!

Thursday they spent the day at Cocoa Beach. Weather was great and everyone had a good time. Some of the group went to Medieval Times for dinner that night.Rachel, Sam, Nathan and David at Medieval Times

On Friday, the group spent the day at Universal Studios. Sounds like it was a HOT day, filled with long lines. But everyone had a good time.At the entrance to Universal Studios, Florida

Concordia University Portland sponsored a Digital Photo Scavenger Hunt throughout the week. It began today. Hopefully we'll be updated throughout the week as to how our team is doing!
At the Concordia University Portland gathering on Saturday.
Adam, Sally, Ted, Nathan, Jenna, Cortney, Mickie, Caleb and Jared

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Here's a picture of the youth from "above the clouds". This flight was a first for about half the group! Photo taken by Pastor.

And They're OFF

After three years of hard work (making funnel cakes, serving Easter breakfast, soup dinners, and Valentine's Dinners, selling candy bars and wreaths and candles. ..) our youth group has headed off for their trip to the LCMS Youth Gathering in Orlando, FL. They left the church at 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 24. Their flight left Cedar Rapids at around 10:45 or so. It only took 5 vehicles to get 22 people and their luggage to the airport!

They really appreciate all the support from our congregation members to get them this far! We hope they have a wonderful time, and we'll hear lots of fun stories when they get back, I'm sure!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Congratulations Pastor Hale!

Our former Vicar, Philip Hale, was Ordained and Installed as Pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Bancroft, NE on Sunday, July 1. Pastor Koch was honored to be asked to preach the sermon for the 3:00 service. We wish Pastor Hale God's blessings as he shepherd's His people!

Pastor Hale (front row, center) with the pastors who attended the Ordination and Installation. Pastor Koch is in the back row, third from the right.
Pastor Hale and Pastor KochPastor Hale and his parents, Neil and Verna, in front of the alter at
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Bancroft, NE

Friday, June 22, 2007

Funnel Cake Fun

The youth and their families had another great year at the funnel cake stand! We sold between 700-800 funnel cakes! WOW! Way to go! And the good news the trip is PAID FOR! Great work!

St. Paul's Members Enjoy Dairy Days