St. John's Lutheran Church LCMS

October – Pastor Rick’s Message

On Wednesday, October 31, we in America celebrate Halloween.  Did you ever wonder how Halloween came into being?  The following is from Dr. Carl Moser of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, from an article he wrote entitled, “Origins of Halloween.”:

“Before the time of Christ, the Celtic people of the British Isles and France were pantheistic. (They believed that god was in everything, and that god and his power was distributed through nature).  Their New Year’s Eve was October 31.  [The calendar year at this time only had 8 months, and the month of October, the 8th month was the last month of the year.]  On that evening [October 31] they worshiped their god of death to signify the end of the old year. They believed that for this one night this god resurrected the people who died during the previous year.  These “zombies” were sent to attack people who might be able to escape if they assumed disguises, especially if they disguised themselves as one of the zombies. The resurrected ones would demand food for themselves or they would cast a spell on the house. Sometimes people would hollow out a pumpkin or squash, carve a scary face on it, and put a candle inside to ward off the evil ones… To combat these superstitions, the Christian Church named November 1 as All Saints Day. On that day we remember those who have died in the faith.  The evening before was named All Hallow E’ven, which has been shorten over time to Halloween.”

To add to confusion was what happened during the time of Luther, during the Reformation. At that time, Albert Brandenburg wanted to become ArchBishop of Germany.  Although he was too young, only 23 years old, Brandenburg offered to pay $550,000.00 to the Church to become Archbishop.  The Church accepted the offer, but a loan had to be taken out and paid back. So, Pope Leo X, decreed that an Indulgence could be bought. Half the money raised would go to pay for St. Peter’s Church in Rome, and other half would go to pay off Bradenburg’s loan.

The primary salesman of this Indulgence for the Church was named John Tetzel.  He went out to the common people and frightened them with talk about the fires and tortures of  Purgatory, that waited for them and their relatives, after death. But, if they bought this particular Indulgence, it would be a good enough work to give them or a relative a free pass into heaven, without Purgatory. This is what got Martin Luther so angered, and moved him to post his 95 Thesis on the Wittneberg Church door on October 31, so that people coming to Church on November 1, to celebrate All Saints Day, could read his protest of the abuse of Indulgences, and see the need for reform in the Church.

Without understanding the history of the past, we will repeat the past.  In all of this, what a blessing God has given to us in the Bible. In His own Word, He states, “For it by grace that we are saved through faith, and this not of ourselves, it s a free gift, and not of works, so that no man can boast.”  (Eph. 2: 8 + 9) And what blessing it is to know that Jesus is and will always be the Resurrection and the Life. (John 11)

Have a great October!

Pastor Brad Rick


LWML Sunday October 7th

Please join the us for a potluck brunch at 10:45.


K.I.C.K. Fall session has started for 2-4 grades on Wednesdays from 3:40-5:15.  They are studying the Trinity with emphasis on gifts of the Spirit.



LWML Fall Rally will be on

Saturday, September 29 in Hill City.

Greetings from Grace Lutheran, Hill City!

You are cordially invited to the Northwest Zone LWML/LLL Fall Rally
Saturday, September 29
At Grace Lutheran Church,   519 N 11th and Ringneck Drive Hill City, KS  (If you aren’t sure where the church is please check the city map located in the NexTech Area Wide phone book.)

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Lunch will be catered and served at the Graham County Community Center located on Highway 24.  The cost will be $9.00 per plate.  Please RSVP by Monday, September 24, to Gloria Gobin at one of the following:    609 N 8th  Hill City, KS  67642         785-421-2578 (evenings)
785-567-7700 (day)     or

1.)  bedding and winter clothing of all sizes for Orphan Grain Train,
2.)  used prescription eye glasses or readers for the 2013 Guniea Trip.  Please no cases, broken frames or lenses beyond repair.  New readers may be purchased at Dollar General, Wal-Mart, Walgreens to name a few.
3.)  For a project here at home, we have chosen to help the program “Back Packs for Kids”.  This program supplies food for all school aged children who do not get enough food to eat at home on the weekend.  Suggested food items are:  chicken noodle soup (poptop can),12 oz. peanut butter, small jar of jelly, beans & franks (poptop can), single serve boxes of cereal, fruit, pudding or applesauce cups, snack mixes, snack size boxes of raisins, tuna fish, tuna helper, sleeves of crackers, cereal bars, mac & cheese boxes and juice boxes without added sugar.

If your society has bandage rollers and sheets, please bring them along as we would like to roll more bandages.

We hope to wrap up our day around 2:30 – 3 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you September 29!!

God’s Blessing,
Grace Lutheran LWML


September 30th
5:00 Fun Night at Farm

September 25th  Registration Deadline for 2013 LCMS National Youth Gathering


Confirmation is scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 4th from 6-7:30pm.  There will be a brief parents meeting at 5:45pm.  A letter to the parents is going out this week.

September Pastor Rick’s Message

On Wednesday, September 14, the Holy Christian Church celebrates, “Holy Cross Day.”  “Holy Cross Day” started being celebrated in the Holy Christian Church in the year 335, in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Traditionally, the Holy Christian Church maintains that Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, found the cross – the very cross on which our Lord Christ was crucified. Constantine the Great, has been credited as the one who enabled Christianity to be the accepted religion of the land. Constantine the Great, appointed his mother Helena, “Augusta Imperatix”, giving her, unlimited access to the Treasury, in order to find historical relics and artifacts of the Christian Church. On September 14, the Holy Christian Church combines the celebration of: 1) Finding the Cross of Jesus, along with, 2) the Dedication of the Basilica (The Church of the Holy Sepulcher), on “Holy Cross Day.

According to Wikipedia:

Helena undertook a trip to Palestine. The Historian Rufinius relates that while traveling in Jerusalem, Helena found 3 crosses (the three crosses of the crucifixion).  The story is, that a woman at the point of death was brought to this site.  The dying woman was told to touch the first two crosses, and nothing happened.  The dying woman then touched the third cross (the cross of Jesus) and was immediately healed.  At this site where the cross was found, and the dying woman was healed, Helena ordered that a Church ( The Church of the Holy Sepulcher ) be built. This is what is celebration of Holy Cross Day, is all about.

According to Historian Eusebius of Caesarea, Helena was responsible for the construction, and beautification of two other Churches.  These are: 1) The Church of the Nativity, and 2) the Church of the Mt. of Olives, where Christ Ascended into heaven.

As all of this is considered, a few thoughts come to mind. The first, is the miraculous way that our God works through history to accomplish His Will. Our Lord also worked through Caesar Augustus, to issue a decree that a Census be taken, that all Jewish families return to their family home to be counted.  This brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, which is the birthplace of Jesus, thus fulfilling the Scriptural prophecy. (Micah 5)

The cross is the most identifiable symbol of the Holy Christian Church today. When we see a person wearing a cross on a necklace, we immediately think of Christ, and that they are a Christian. Sometimes as a Lutheran Pastor, I am asked if it is on to make the sign of the cross, like our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. I then direct the person to Luther’s Small Catechism, Section 2, under the Heading, “Daily Prayer.”  Here, Luther instructs us, “In the morning, when you get up, make the sign of the cross and say, ‘In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  When a Christian does this, they are retracing the cross made on them at their Baptism. This reminds a believer that they are a Christian, believing in, and belonging to the Christ, and that they are also a child of the heavenly Father.

Have a Great September, Pastor Brad Rick

Sunday School Update


9:45 AM

Sunday School will resume on September 16th for all our youth.

We will have a potluck brunch after Worship to celebrate.

The grade school students will be studying “Worship in The Tabernacle”, “The 12 Spies In Canaan”, “The Bronze Serpent”, “Entering the Promise Land”, & “The fall of Jericho”.

Don’t forget about Adult Bible Study also at 9:45 AM



3rd – Labor Day

4th – 5:45pm Confirmation Parent Meeting

– 6:00-7:30pm Confirmation

7th – 9:00am – 1:00pm Pastor Rick & Jo Ann Lerew in the office.

8th – 9:00am LWML meeting

11th – 6:00-7:30pm Confirmation

12th -8:00pm Council Meeting

14th – 9:00am – 1:00pm Pastor Rick & Jo Ann Lerew in the office

– 9:00am LWR Quilting

16th – 9:30am Potluck Brunch

– 9:45 Sunday School Fall Session Starts

– 1:30 LYF Theater

– 5:00 LYF Meeting

18th – 6:00-7:30 Confirmation

21st – 9:00am-1:00pm Pastor Rick & Jo Ann Lerew in the office

25th – 6:00-7:30pm Confirmation

28th – 9:00am-1:00pm Pastor Rick & Jo Ann Lerew in the office

– 9:00am LWR Quilting



August Pastor Rick’s Message

On August 24, the Church remembers St. Bartholomew. Who in the world is St. Bartholomew?

He is the Apostle, who was also named Nathanael. He was born in Cana of Galilee.

St. Philip, having received the gift of faith, sought out Nathanael. He then said to him, “We have found the One about whom Moses wrote the Law (the First 5 books of the Bile), and the prophets did write. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael heard this, and gave his famous reply, “Nazareth, can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1) – The answer is yes – Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior.

Soon after, Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him. Jesus said to him, “Behold, an Israelite in which there is no deceit.” Nathanael asked, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanel replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Being in the presence of Christ and hearing His voice, noting His Omniscience, Nathanael – St. Bartholomew received the gift of faith. (Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Rom. 10:17).

Nathanael-St. Bartholomew, would have seen the Baptism of Jesus, was also anointed with the Apostles (Matt. 10:3, Mark 3:18, and Luke 6:14), witnessed the death of Christ on Good Friday, saw Him after He was resurrected from the dead Easter Sunday night, witnessed the ascension of Jesus, and returned with the Apostles to Jerusalem (Acts 1:4, 12, and 13). All of this fulfills the criteria for being an Apostle.

Tradition has it that St. Bartholomew brought the Gospel to Armenia. It has been reported that there, he was flayed alive, and crucified with his head downward.

St Bartholomew, was, “a calm retiring soul, whose whole sphere of existence lies not here, but where beyond the voices, there is peace. It was a life in which the world sees nothing, because it was hid with Christ in God.” (Farrar)

It is good for Christians to reflect upon the saints of the past. They are, the company of heaven, and, “the great cloud of witnesses.” (Hebrews 11)

St. Bartholomew was chosen by Christ, by being in His presence and hearing His Word. The same thing happened to you and me at the Baptismal Font. He was taught by Jesus, through the Word. So have we. He was sent out to share the Good News. So are we. In His death, he proclaimed that Christ is the Resurrection and the Life, and so will we.

We are where God wants us to be. It is His vineyard, and we are His workers. He decides who goes where, and does what, so His will can be done through us.

Have a Great August Pastor Brad Rick