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Messages - Julio

Your Turn / Re: And a beautiful Advent I Liturgy
November 29, 2020, 12:26:50 PM
We rejoiced that hymns are again being sung during the distribution of the Lord's Holy Body and Precious Blood. 

Slowly returning to a semblance of 'normal' .. still missing ... the sharing of the peace (I don't miss that), no passing of the plate, no kneeling at the altar or chalice, still physically distanced with the pesky masks ... but all in all, much better that the best virtual service available.

Thankfully Midweek Advent services with communion will be in person.

In deference to 91+ year old father, we signed up for the guaranteed physically distanced 4p Christmas Eve service .. attendance limited to about 20% of sanctuary capacity .. guess singing in substantially empty nave is better than a virtual service from the recliner.

Christmas Day will be the Divine Service with Holy Communion ... thus beginning the celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas.
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 28, 2020, 09:25:32 PM
I comment:
I'm not referring to the others at church, but those the worshippers meet at the store, in school or wherever they go after they become infected at church. There is clear proof that church services with people close and singing are spreader events. And those who want freedom of religion at church services must also support freedom of speech at street protests.
The misunderstanding now comes to light  ... the congregation I am currently attending is not an infected church ... there have been absolutely none, zero, zip, nada Coronavirus cases attributed to a Divine Service in our Sanctuary.  I believe one of the elders is a dentist ... and as such he insures that the sanctuary is a virus free as your dentist office.

Yes, the pastor contracted the virus and was sidelined for almost two months ... with neurological complications from the virus ... yet in the Thanksgiving Sermon he thanked God for the virus! He attributes the virus to his local gym/fitness center and no one at church ... not even his wife and children became infected in spite of the fact that he became symptomatic less that 24 hours following an couple of mini communion services. Thanks be to God!

Those of us attending Divine Services certainly support the peaceful freedom of speech at street protests!  Those we are concerned about are those who would condemn us for worshipping our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while at the same time supporting freedom of speech at street protests while failing to condemn the sinful violence, destruction and looting that many of our cities have experienced.

Most are in far closer contact With utter strangers at the supermarket than attending a Divine Service.  There has yet to be a confirmed case of china virus as the result of attending St John's Gaspump Lutheran church where I attend.

For those more at risk, I support your decision to take precautions worthy of your standing in life ... please respect the rest of us as we do the same!
Quote from: Richard Johnson on November 28, 2020, 03:11:23 PM
I find myself quite conflicted about the Supreme Court ruling. On the one hand, I believe that the free exercise of religion is one of the bedrocks of our nation, and from one point of view, a ruling that affirms this as an absolute right is good and salutary. On the other hand, in a public health crisis it seems there are reasonable restrictions that might be made that in some way inhibit what a church would ordinarily do. This is nothing new; a while back our congregational historian wrote about an incident in 1918 when the rector of our church was arrested because he had failed to follow the flu pandemic restrictions for a funeral he conducted.

So the nub of the issue seems to be what is "reasonable" for safety. I think the complaints about "why is an acupuncture office essential but a church isn't" is really a red herring, and it is unfortunate that the pandemic experts chose the word "essential" (just as many of us wish they hand't used "social distancing"). The real issue is whether churches are being treated differently from "comparable businesses." Not many businesses are really comparable to churches. In an acupuncture office, for instance (just because I'm familiar with this option), you don't have large groups of people sitting in an enclosed space for long periods of time. Same with a retail store. The simple fact is that a church service, as "essential" as we think it is, has many risk factors that most other businesses don't have.

The closest parallel I can think of is a venue like a movie theater. And actually, just looking at California restrictions, the provisions for churches and movie theaters are pretty much the same for the "--outdoor only, with modifications (like masks and spacing). Live theater is completely closed, interestingly--so more restrictive than worship.

I have little patience for the hysteria of people who are trying to claim that "politicians" (especially, of course, Democrats) are trying to "persecute" churches by restrictions that are more onerous than tattoo parlors or liquor stores. Apples and oranges in terms of risk. The "politicians" are listening to the public health people. Do they get it right all the time? No; who does? But crying "anti-Christian persecution" doesn't really help any of us as we navigate an unprecedented situation.

I do tend to agree, though, with those who criticize the "one size fits all" regulations. A building that seats 100 is not comparable to a building that seats 1000, and a rule that says "25% or 25 people, whichever is smaller" is really not well considered.

As an aside, when we were worshiping in person in our fellowship hall, the rule was 25% and then it was 40% for a while when we were in the orange tier. The fellowship hall was built in the 1940s, and there had never been a reason for the public safety people to set an occupancy limit (which happens with any new construction, but usually not otherwise, at least here). So we just ballparked it. When the limit was raised to 40%, we decided that we really couldn't go that high and still be safe, given the configuration of the room. So we basically said, "OK, 25%, but if a few extra people show up, we'll make it work." And an attitude like that is precisely the kind of problem the public health people are dealing with: give some leeway, and somebody will take advantage of it--not maliciously, but just in trying to do what's right but without thoroughly thinking through the implications. (Fortunately, only one Sunday during the four months of in-person did we come anywhere near a problematic number of attendees. The rector that Sunday said "Maybe we need to go to two services"; I said "Let's wait a couple of weeks; I suspect this was a one time issue" which turned out to be right.)
It would seem that attending church services has not been the spreader event that many fear. 

Yes there have been spreader events ... but have any of these been among our confessions/traditions?  We here are primarily Lutheran traditions, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox ... my apologies if I missed anyone.

Have there been any spreader events blamed on worship services among the confession/traditions represented. Some congregations never ceased gathering together (Hebrews 10:25), having taken prudent precautions, have experienced no Coronavirus outbreaks.  There are a number of congregations that may have forgone the chalice for a period ... and/or have fewer communing with the chalice ... yet no super spreader events.

The congregation I attended this summer was conducting mini half hour communion services following the local edict limiting to 50 in a 500 seat sanctuary early this summer ... the day following one of these services after a day car travel pastor fell ill with was later diagnosed as Coronavirus.  No family member who spent 12 hours in the same vehicle as he ever contracted the virus ... no one in the masked, physically distanced mini communion service attendees ever contracted the virus.

I totally respect those who are uncomfortable with the in person services conducted with an abundance of caution ... with proper physical distancing and other precautions ... why can't my choice to attend these carefully conducted services be respected as well?  It seems that some who claim to be tolerant are simply tolerant of opinions and actions mirroring their own thoughts and actions.😶🤭

Finally,  some seem to fear what MIGHT happen ... so much that they refuse to accept what is happening each and every Sunday ... In person Word and Sacrament Ministry is occurring ... with none of the disastrous results tragically imagined by some.
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 28, 2020, 10:15:56 AM
I will listen to and discuss your criticism of Governor Cuomo, when you come equally hard down upon your guy, the president, who plays golf every day, holds massive rallies, (and is planning more),  completely ignores the virus rampaging through the country, and continually spouts lies concerning the election.
Until you deal with that, I don't want to hear one word from you about Governor Cuomo, who at least responded to criticism and modified his plans.
Criticism in the eyes of some is hypocrisy in the eyes of others.

Meanwhile the false accusations that President Trump 'plays golf everyday' is simply partisan talk.

President Trump golfing rounds neither hinder the work of our first responders nor are responsible for any additional China virus cases.

Dealing with factual inaccuracies concerning President Trumps private life is of utmost importance to many.
Your Turn / Re: Weekly Pericope Study
November 28, 2020, 11:00:53 AM
It is noteworthy that while Rev. Dr. Carl Fickenscher, the primary presenter of the Three Year Series pericopes, is a Homiletics Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. David Petersen, the primary presenter of the One Year Series, is a parish pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church as well as a contributor to 'Gottesdienst: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy'.

As this previous post indicates, Rev Timothy Mech and Rev John Berg are parish pastors of Triumph nity Lutheran Church, Sheboygan, WI.  Rev. Mech is author of 'Pastors and Elders: Caring For The Church And One Another
Your Turn / Re: Rev. Paul T. McCain, RIP
November 28, 2020, 09:16:47 AM
Obituary: Rev. Paul Timothy McCain, publisher and executive editor, Concordia Publishing House
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran ethnic origins
November 28, 2020, 09:08:02 AM
It's interesting that the forefathers of our various Lutheran traditions initially were very careful not to utilize the word "church" to describe the temporal federation of congregations that were being created.

In the case of what now is the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod our founding fathers named this temporal organization "German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (German: Die Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Missouri, Ohio und andern Staaten)" properly recognizing and respectfully reserving the term 'Church' to refer to the una sancta.

The founding fathers of other Lutheran traditions utilized 'Ministerium' respectfully recognizing that these temporal organizations were only a part of the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints.

As time passed ... and perhaps because the finer nuances of language were lost by the descendants of our respective synods or ministeriums, it became acceptable to refer to these temporal organizations as 'Church'.
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran ethnic origins
November 28, 2020, 02:53:48 AM
A review of the history of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod lists the following church bodies that were 'absorbed' over time ...

1880 - Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Illinois and other States (German)

1886 - Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Synod of Pennsylvania and other States (German)

1911 - English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and other States

1961 - Synodical Conference Negro Mission

1964 - National Evangelical Lutheran Church (Finnish American)

1971 - Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (Slovak Synod)

Unmentioned thus far are our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod brethren ... of German background who are in fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod who were/are of Norwegian ancestry.
Your Turn / The First Sunday in Advent
November 28, 2020, 01:38:00 AM
The 'Online Bible Study' from Trinity Lutheran Church, Sheboygan, WI topic for the First Sunday in Advent is titled 'Why Do We Celebrate Advent?'
Your Turn / The First Sunday in Advent
November 28, 2020, 01:36:05 AM
Issues, Etc. First Sunday in Advent Pericopes Study

Looking a Forward to Sunday Morning - One Year Lectionary for November 29, 2020

Looking a Forward to Sunday Morning - Three Year Lectionary (Series B) for November 29, 2020
Your Turn / Re: Weekly Pericope Study
November 28, 2020, 01:33:53 AM
The Issues, Etc. One and Three Year pericopes series have been ongoing for some time.

The 'Looking Forward to Sunday Morning' (One Year Lectionary) are catalogued from the most recent back and are generally an hour in length.

The 'Looking Forward to Sunday Morning' (Three Year Lectionary) are catalogued from the most recent back and are generally an hour in length.

Relatively new is a video series from the Pastors and music director of Trinity Lutheran Church, Sheboygan, WI  Labeled as an 'Online Bible Study' YouTube playlist, the Pastors and music director provide a brief overview of the pericopes and hymns for the following Sunday. 
Your Turn / Weekly Pericope Study
November 28, 2020, 01:31:47 AM
For most of us the New Church Year begins this weekend ... and there are opportunities and resources to study the weekly pericopes. 

Perhaps ... with the moderators concurrence, this thread can be dedicated to the sharing of various resources for the study of the pericopes each week. 

Any additional discussion of the weekly pericopes could be via individual threads as needed and/or on a single 'Pericopes Discussion Thread' ... again with moderator concurrence.

For most congregations, either the One Year Lectionary or the Three Year Lectionary is used ... at least in LCMS nomenclature the First Sunday in Advent 2020 begins the use of the 'B' series.

As contributions are made to this thread, please note the lectionary series being referenced (one or three year & year {A, B, or C}  ... especially if it is not the One or Three Year Series.   Also, if a specific Feast or Festival Day is being observed, please note that as well.

May our Good and Gracious God continue to bless us in the New Church Year and bless our new or continued study of His Holy Word.
On-line Articles / Re: Thanksgiving 2020
November 27, 2020, 11:25:25 PM
Proclamation on Thanksgiving Day, 2020
Issued on: November 25, 2020

President of The United States of America

On Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for the abundant blessings in our lives.  As we gather with family and friends to celebrate this season of generosity, hope, and gratitude, we commemorate America's founding traditions of faith, family, and friendship, and give thanks for the principles of freedom, liberty, and democracy that make our country exceptional in the history of the world.

This November marks 400 years since the Mayflower and its passengers faced the unknown and set sail across the Atlantic Ocean.  Propelled by hope for a brighter future, these intrepid men and women endured two long months at sea, tired and hungry, to arrive in a new world full of potential.  In the winter weather that greeted their arrival, they lost nearly half of their fellow travelers to exposure, disease, and starvation.  Despite unimaginable hardships, these first Americans nevertheless remained firm in their faith and unwavering in their commitment to their dreams.  They forged friendships with the Wampanoag Tribe, fostered a spirit of common purpose among themselves, and trusted in God to provide for them.  The following year, they celebrated a successful harvest alongside their Native American neighbors — the first Thanksgiving.  This seminal event in the history of our Nation is a continual reminder of the power of faith, love, perseverance, prayer, and fellowship.

The Mayflower's arrival to the New World in 1620 also marks the arrival of the first seeds of democracy to our land.  Absent the rule of a monarch in an uncharted wilderness, these early settlers resolved to create their own government through what is known as the Mayflower Compact.  Defined by majority rule through elected leaders responsible for creating "just and equal laws," the Mayflower Compact represents the first chapter in the long tradition of self-determination and rule of law in America.  One hundred and fifty-six years later, our Nation's Founding Fathers resolved to break free from England, building upon the Mayflower Compact to establish an enduring government whose authority came solely "from the consent of the governed."

This year, as our Nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, we have once again joined together to overcome the challenges facing us.  In the midst of suffering and loss, we are witnessing the remarkable courage and boundless generosity of the American people as they come to the aid of those in need, reflecting the spirit of those first settlers who worked together to meet the needs of their community.  First responders, medical professionals, essential workers, neighbors, and countless other patriots have served and sacrificed for their fellow Americans, and the prayers of our people have once again lifted up our Nation, providing comfort, healing, and strength during times of uncertainty.  Despite unprecedented challenges, we have not faltered in the face of adversity.  To the contrary, we have leveraged our strengths to make significant breakthroughs that will end this crisis, rebuilding our stockpiles, revamping our manufacturing capabilities, and developing groundbreaking therapeutics and life-saving vaccines on record-shattering timeframes.

During this season of gratitude, we also acknowledge those who cannot be with their families.  This includes the brave American patriots of our Armed Forces who selflessly defend our sacred liberty at home and abroad.  And we pause to remember the sacrifices of our law enforcement personnel and first responders.  We are deeply grateful for all those who remain on watch over the holidays and keep us safe as we celebrate and give thanks for the blessings in our lives.

This Thanksgiving, we reaffirm our everlasting gratitude for all that we enjoy, and we commemorate the legacy of generosity bestowed upon us by our forbearers.  Although challenges remain, we will never yield in our quest to live up to the promise of our heritage.  As we gather with our loved ones, we resolve with abiding faith and patriotism to celebrate the joys of freedom and cherish the hope and peace of a brighter future ahead.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 2020, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
Quote from: MaddogLutheran on November 27, 2020, 04:03:29 PM
Except that's not what was being allowed/ordered in New York.  As I understand it, New York was limiting religious gatherings to a maximum head count, not a percentage of occupancy like other enterprises.  That was the point of the lawsuit and Gorsuch's opinion.  They were not being given preferential treatment.  Quite the opposite.  And that runs afoul of their First Amendment protections.  Certainly if everything is shut down, then they no reason to complain.  The distinctions which the governor decreed may be justifiable if done by a legislature, I'm not sure about that yet.  But for this case, Gorsuch seems to be saying it's an arbitrary exercise of executive discretion which violates the First Amendment.
One wonders why a maximum head count seems to be far more commonly applied to religious gatherings. In Nevada casinos are by percentage of capacity ... a report ... probably from California indicates that strip clubs are to a percentage of capacity .. yet churches gatherings are limited to a flat specific number ... totally disregarding sanctuary capacity. 

A limit of 50 in the country sanctuary I once worshipped in way have been proper ... or a bit high ... a limit of 50 in the current sanctuary I am privileged to worship would be a complete travesty of justice as capacity is better than 500. 

Perhaps the antagonistic attitude towards religion by some decision makers is God's righteous chastisement on Christians for failing to be the salt and leaven in the world today that our Lord wishes us to be.
Your Turn / Re: A Table Blessing for Thanksgiving
November 27, 2020, 07:50:46 PM
Quote from: Weedon on November 17, 2015, 10:13:33 AM

Thank you ... in an Thanksgiving Day e-mail to  the congregation, pastor shared the following link which in turn linked to

Yes this is the same Litany of Grace that Reverend Weedon linked to above .. but in the wonderful high tech world at times a when a server fails some legacy content is lost .. or consciously never recovered.

Providing these legacy links may one day preserve this Thanksgiving Day Litany and Grace for future generations.

Thank you Pastor Weldon ... this gem originated from LCMS worship during you tenure ... and very possibly from your fingers and keyboard.
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