Good Shepherd News
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
LIRS has been heping refugees for over seventy years. We have had members of our church who have come to America as refugees. Here is the story of one of them:
John Sengele’ was born in 1935 in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, France. He was the oldest of three sons born to Rev. Martin and Florence Sengele’. The family lived in Strasbourg throughout WW II. Because of the proximity to the German border their town changed hands several times during the course of the war. The parsonage and the Lutheran church shared the same building. The parsonage basement became the unofficial village bomb shelter during attacks, in hopes that the Germans and the Allies would respect and spare the church building. Following the war, Martin made the decision to relocate the family to the United States. With help from Florence’s parents, who lived in Milwaukee, they were able to book third class passage on the Queen Elizabeth I. John remembers being seasick for most of the journey, and that he saw his first motion picture onboard (“The Egg and I” starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert), and arriving at Ellis Island/New York City. The family moved to Browns, Iowa for one year to cover a pastoral vacancy. During that year the parsonage they we living in burned down. In 1949 Martin was called to serve St. John Lutheran Church in Pulcifer, Wisconsin. They moved just in time for John to start his freshman year in high school. John died in 2012, but he is survived by his wife Mary Ann and son Mark and his wife Lynn and their son Mark, who are members of Good Shepherd.
Good Shepherd Lutheran School Graduating Class of 2015
Duane Rankin Distinguished Christian Service Award
Duane and Ruth Rankin were honored at the Metro East Lutheran High School graduation on Saturday, May 16th, with a new annual award begun in Duane's name. Duane was one of a handful of people who worked together to help MELHS get started in 1977. He has devoted countless hours to the school in the last thirty years. Read more about MELHS' history here.
Good Shepherd Students Excel
Five of the fourteen Summa Cum Laude graduates of Collinsville High School were also graduates of Good Shepherd Lutheran School. Included in the picture below (left) are Caleb Mayhew, Sarah Scrum, Erika Audrain, Meredith Huffman & Kelsie Jeffries. At Metro East Lutheran High School (right) Lydia Walther and Kurtis Nesmky were Valedictorians and Salutatorians.
Our Seminary Field Workers are Moving On
Good Shepherd has been blessed with the help of four different field workers these last few years. All four have received their vicarage assignments, and will be heading out this summer for a year of work and study full time in a congregation.
* Peter Adelsen and his wife Melissa are going to Iowa City, IA, where Peter will serve at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
* Casey Kegley and his wife Beth are headed to Knoxville, TN, where Casey will serve at The Point.
* Jacob Schultz and his wife Rebecca are going to Boca Raton, FL, where Jacob will serve at St Paul Lutheran Church.
* Joshua, Virginia, and young Simeon Vanderhyde are headed to New Braunfels, TX, where Joshua will serve at Cross Lutheran Church.
We have enjoyed having them here during the first half of their seminary education, and we pray that their vicarage year will further shape them towards the ministry.
The Greenville College Choir Here Sunday, March 8th
The Greenville College Choir will be singing in the 10:30 a.m. service on March 8th. This is the beginning of their Spring Tour.
The 2015 Women's Day of Renewal March 13th and 14th at Good Shepherd.
Click here for a complete description and Registration Form.
Women's Retreat at Camp Wartburg
GSLC member Phyllis Wallace will lead a women's retreat with the theme: "He is Able" February 27-28. Leave your "yes buts" at the door, there are "ahahs" in store! The cost is $45 for housing, meals and snacks. More information and registration form.
The new picture directories are finished and ready to be picked up in the Narthex. Each family that took a picture has a directory with their mailing lable attached. New and future members who were not able to participate will also receive a directory.
Sermon Listening Options
You can listen to sermons through iTunes by searching for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Collinsville and subscribing to our podcasts. For Android users see the directions on the website. You can also download either the audio or printed versions of the sermons from the website.
Ground Breaking for Early Childhood Center Celebrated September 7, 2014
Good Shepherd values every soul within the body of Christ from the newborns to the aged. Older saints would certainly pray with the psalmist: “O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” (Psalm 71.18)
About nine years ago the School Board began working on a plan for a new Early Childhood Center. The current facility at Chapel Court was starting to age, and its design as a church converted into a preschool limited the kinds of educational programs that we could provide. The School Board also hoped that moving the facility to the main campus would help unite our educational ministry and provide the children and their parents with more opportunities to be involved at Good Shepherd.
In 2013 we began a fund drive with the help of LCEF Capital Funding Services. This effort has raised approximately $577,454.00 in pledges and gifts so far. In July and August of this year the congregation approved the building plans drawn by Hurford Architects and the loan agreement with Lutheran Church Extension Fund with the help of Dennis Klussman. Boeker Construction was chosen to construct the new building.
Dr. Alvin Kollmann's 60th Anniversary of Ordination June 29, 2014
Sunday, June 29th, we will celebrate Pastor Alvin Kollmann’s 60 years in the ministry during the Bible Class Hour! Refreshments will be served. Pastor Kollmann was the founding pastor of Good Shepherd Church in 1959, a former Southern Illinois District president, and long standing member of Good Shepherd. His dedication to preaching, teaching, and living out the true Word of God helped build the foundation of Good Shepherd Church, as well as influence the lives and actions of many of its members. Join us in thanking him for his commitment to God’s ministry in reaching this important milestone.
It's Here… VBS Starts Monday at 9:00 a.m.
You can still invite your friends to attend. They can register at the school entrance. We will have a special closing program on Friday, June 27th at 11:00 a.m. with Christian the Magician. Parents and family members are welcome to attend. Buffs, T-shirts and CDs will be available at the close of VBS on Monday.
Early Childhood Center Bids
Bids for the Early Childhood Center will be opened Wednesday, June 25th at 6:30 p.m. Members are welcome to attend. We hope to have construction and financing decisions ready for the Voter's Assembly on Jun 29th. Please keep this process in your prayers.
July Newsletters Are Ready
You can pick up a copy of the July newsletter in the Narthex or read it here.
Spending Guidelines Are Ready
Please pick up a copy of the Spending Guidelines in the Narthex as we prepare for the June 29th Voter's Assembly.
Good Shepherd Culver's Night Next Wednesday
Come eat at Culver's in Collinsville next Wednesday, June 25th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A portion of the sales during this time will be give to our Harvest Fest fund.
Over Three Hundred for the Making the Case Conference!
Over three hundred people participated in the recent apologetics conference. They came from 31 different states and from Canada!
Good Shepherd Worship on Video
We are working on making some of our worship services and Bible classes available on video. Click here for our June 8th Pentecost service.
Dying & Rising in the Desert… The Book of Numbers
Join us for our Midweek Bible Study this summer on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Lower Level. The Book of Numbers records the wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness for 38 years. This book contains some amazing scenes such as fiery serpents, the earth swallowing thousands of rebels, and Balaam's talking ass! But most of all it is an important preparation of God's people for the Promised Land and the promised Messiah. The class will be taught by Pastors Walther and Adle.
Could You Visit a Shut-in Once a Month?
For more information email
or call Jeanette at 344-3151.
School Open Houses
Would you or a friend like a tour of the school? Come by on June 22, 29; July 13, 20, & 27 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the programs available for the Preschool through Eighth grade. Check out the School Facebook Page.
Farewell Celebrations for Kathy Whitworth & Shirley Bostian
This Sunday, June 8th, after the late service we will have a farewell celebration for Kathy Whitworth and Shirley Bostian, who are both retiring from Good Shepherd Lutheran School. Please stop by to give your congratulations.
Midweek Worship and Bible Study
Join us for worship each Wednesday evening from 6:15-6:45 p.m. Afterwards we will be reading and discussing The Book of Numbers and remembering some of the important things that happened to Israel as they were preparing to enter the Promised Land.
Why The Ascension?
Seminarian Casey Kegley will explain tonight (May 28th): Jesus said, "It is to your advantage that I go away." The Ascension is the beginning of Christ's work in the church by the Holy Spirit… in Russia, New Zealand, Togo and Collinsville… Come to our services tonight at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. to find out more!
Online Giving Is Available
If you like the convenience of online giving, please click on the "Donate" button at the bottom of our home page to find out more.
June Newsletters Ready
Please pick up a newsletter in the Narthex or you may have it emailed by sending a request to our church secretary //
/">Jeanette Simpson. You may also view it at our website under the "About GSLC" menu.
Congratulations to All Our Graduates
God's blessings to all the students who are graduating from area schools. We pray for your future success as you move on to further education or to your vocation! Special congratulations to Allison Johnston (GSLS Valedictorian) and Brandon Johnston (Lutheran North Valedictorian)!
Prayers for The Persecuted and the Persecutors
Keep those who are persecuted for their faith in your prayers, especially the school girls of the Christian village of Chibok, Nigeria as well as many others who have suffered attacks from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.
Good Shepherd Lutheran School Achievement Test Results
Click here to see the 2014 results.
Reaching Every Generation Update
As the building plans are being finalized, the Church Council is working on our spending guidelines and the information needed to secure a loan. We hope to have the guidelines ready a month prior to our Voter's Assembly which will be Sunday, June 29th.
4 Your Marriage Audio Files Posted
The audio files for the recent marriage class led by Dr. Joel Biermann are posted here.
Spiritual But Not Religious?
Pastor Jonathan Fisk of "Worldview Everlasting" will be speaking on this topic at the upcoming "Making the Case Conference" June 13-14. For more from Pastor Fisk take a look at his website. Registration Information
Vacation Bible School Registrations Continue
We will soon set sail for Gangway to Galilee. Paint a yard sign, get a free "buff." Learn how you can help!
Journey to Easter (Video)
Bring your children to an Interactive Journey through the Passion Week along with Easter Egg Hunts, Games, Crafts, and Snacks. This is an open-house style event. Come between the hours of 9 a.m. - Noon on Saturday, April 19th. Visit the various activities, bring friends and neighbors with you. The Journey to Easter will leave every 10-15 minutes, there will be an egg hunt every half-hour, and the games and crafts will be open throughout the morning.
How to Make a Palm Cross (Video)
Simple directions to convert your palm frond into a cross.
Walking, Witnessing, Praying
Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 12th. That's the day we'll be fanning out to walk through our area neighborhoods distributing door hangers with information about our Easter Family Event and Holy Week Services. We'll meet in the Lower Level at 10:00 for a thirty minute orientation. We plan to walk from 10:30-12:00 p.m.
Pancake Breakfast This Saturday (April 12th)
Boy Scout Troop 1039 is having a Pancake Breakfast serving pancakes and sausage from 7 am - 11 am in the church basement. Tickets will be $7.00 for ages 13 and up, $5.00 for ages 4-12 and under 4 are free, or you can choose a family pass for four (any ages) for $20.00.
Christ in the Passover
Wednesday, April 16th, (4:30 & 7:00 p.m.) we will have a special Christ in the Passover presentation by David Garrett of Jews for Jesus. David is the father of GSLS teacher Virginia Vanderhyde. Did you know that in most countries Easter is called Pascha? Pascha is Hebrew for Passover. This presentation will help you to understand the relationship between Passover and Easter and the way modern Jews celebrate the Passover today.
Adult Catechism Class Begins Tuesday, April 22nd
Our next Adult Catechism series begins Tuesday, April 22, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. This is a ten-week class that introduces you to the teachings of the Lutheran church. Babysitting will be provided. Please email Pastor Walther at
if you are interested or have any questions.
Please consider applying for a scholarship for Good Shepherd Lutheran School. You can apply at www.TADS.com and clicking on the green box. You can also find out more about our scholarship program at our website. Applications need to be submitted by April 28th.
The April Newsletters are in the Narthex. You can also receive them via email by sending a request to
. Copies are also kept at the church website under the "About GSLC" menu. By picking up your newsletter or receiving it by email you help us provide for special mailings to our members and for outreach. Thanks!
Concordia Pocket Calendar
Add the CPH Pocket Calendar to your iCal. In iCal, click on "Calendar" and "Subscribe." Paste this link: http://www.cph.org/images/topics/pdf/calendar/LSBSeriesA2013-14.ics The Pocket Calendar will show you all the Sundays and special worship days along with the Scripture readings and other notes.
Food Basket Distribution
If you know of someone who could use a Food Basket, please contact the church office at 344-3151 by Monday, April 7th. The baskets from our Food Pantry can be picked up for delivery between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 12th.
Parish Nurse Lynn Cook will be presenting a new ministry at Good Shepherd call "Cancer Companions" at the next Lutheran Women's Missionary League meeting, Thursday, April 3rd. She will explain how we can help our fellow members who are fighting this disease. For more information email Lynn at
Master Plan / Early Childhood Center Update
At our last meeting, Tuesday, March 23rd, Architect Dan Hurford presented revised plans for the the classrooms without a multipurpose room. A straw poll showed that the committee liked the plans and wants to move forward. The next step will be to finalize our financial arrangements and prepare for a presentation to the congregation. Please watch for upcoming meeting announcements.
As our confirmation students continue their study of God's word and the Small Catechism they are also sharing their faith personally in their testimonies. Each Wednesday at our Lenten services we will hear them speak of their faith and their life of faith in Christ. Please keep them in your prayers.
Elections This Tuesday, March 18th
We encourage all our members to exercise their vocation as citizens and to vote. Voter’s Guides are available in the Narthex that poll candidates on important issues for Christians. We encourage you to visit the websites of candidates to find more information about them so you can vote responsibly. For general information about voting or a sample ballot, visit the websites for the Madison or St. Clair County Clerk’s Offices.
Dr. Sue's Latest Newsletter
Dr. Sue is a socio-linquistics consultant with Wycliffe Bible Translators. To receive her newsletter please send an email to:
. Because she works in countries that are sometimes opposed to the Christian faith, we do not publish her full name on the internet.
Are You or Someone You Know Interested in Good Shepherd Lutheran School?
You can sign up online for a tour of the school at the school website. Good Shepherd is thankful to have a school offering and excellent Christian education from Early Childhood to Eighth grade.
A Rough Winter So Far
Bad weather has certainly affected our attendance and offerings in January and February. So far we have also spent $6,000 for snow and ice removal. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to attend worship even though the travel is difficult and also your offerings to keep the ministry moving.
The Lutheran Church of Southern Africa
GSLC, along with our sister churches of the Southern Illinois District, support the Lutheran Church of Southern Africa. You can read about their church and ministry in this newsletter published by their seminary. LTS has trained students from South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Congo, Kenya, Uganda, S. Sudan, Ethi-opia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia.
Please pick up a Scholarship Brochure in the narthex or read it online. We want to make sure that as many families as possible can benefit from Lutheran education. To apply for a scholarship to to www.TADS.com and click on the green box "Apply for Financial Aid."
Dawn (Cochran) Walker & Joe True to Be Inducted Into the MELHS Hall of Honor!
Dawn (Cochran) Walker and Joe True both attended GSLC and will be inducted into the Metro East Lutheran High School Hall of Honor next month. Dawn is currently a Lutheran school principal and Joe is in the athletic department of Marquette University.
GSLC member, David Otten, was promoted to Commander in the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps in February. Congratulations David & Danele! David also serves as missionary/pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Golconda, Illinois. Chaplain Otten and Pastor Walther both graduated together from the seminary.
Sometimes the battles we have against sin and temptation can overwhelm us. We get discouraged. We feel so worthless. The world's advice might be to ignore it, but this doesn't make the guilt go away. God gives us another way of handling our self-condemnation or the condemnation that we get from others. More…
Every Member Visits
The Board of Elders will begin to make Every Member Visits this month. The goal of these visits is to meet will all our families once every two to three years so that we can share information about the church as well as keep up to date with addresses, phone numbers, etc., and to see if there is anyway we can be of help.
Thrivent Choice Dollars
Thrivent is a fraternal insurance and financial management company for Lutherans. As a fraternal company, instead of paying corporate taxes, they distribute profits to charities. If you are a member of Thrivent, you can designate these distributions to charities such as Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or School, Metro East Lutheran High School and other ministries. Go to their website or call 800-THRIVENT for help. Designations need to be made by March 31st.
Missed a Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study?
Did you miss a class? Find the handout, Powerpoint slides, and listen online at the Bible Study Archive.
Can I Afford a Christian Education for My Children?
Please check out our Good Shepherd Lutheran School page on our website. There is helpful information there about our school and the way we encourage our parents to think about the cost of Christian education. We know it is a challenge. But we believe it is reasonable and most important of all - well worth it.
GSLS Choir Sings at the LCMS International Center
Students from Good Shepherd Lutheran School had the opportunity to sing at the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod International Center last month. The picture below is from the Reporter.
Early Childhood Center Update
So far we have received over $550,000 in pledges. Over $100,000 has already been given. We will continue to receive pledges and donations. The Church Council and Master Plan Committee met jointly on Monday, January 20th. The plans are about 80% complete at this time. We are still discussing a few changes. We are finalizing our financial plans to see what our loan options might be.
New Principal Coming to Metro East Lutheran High School
Dr. Jay Krause has accepted the call to serve at MELHS. Dr. Krause began his teaching ministry at MELHS. He also served at Concordia University-Mequon, Concordia University-Austin, Executive Director at Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and most recently at Academy of the Cross in St. Charles, Illinois.
Church Council 2014
The new and continuing members of the Church Council are pictured above (L-R) Front Row: Cheryl Schnicker (Congregational Secretary); Dick Bold (MELHS Rep); Marty Hoffman (Parish Administrator); Kathy Bohnet (Congregational Life); Jennifer Martin (School Board); Wally Streuter (Congregational Chairman); Back Row: Pastor Walther; Doug Ruckmann (Finance); Tim Meister (Outreach); Bob Mayhew (Principal); Paul Lauber (Elders); Gary Engeling (Property); Pastor Adle. Not pictured are Burke Latch (Stewardship), Mark Sengele (MELHS Rep) and Gary Smith (Personnel). We are also thankful for the service of outgoing members Darren Wright (School Board); Bob Jones (Property); and Bruce Cross (Outreach). The Church Council meets the third Monday of the month to receive reports from the various boards and to coordinate the activities of those boards.
Enjoy Sacred Music?
The online radio website/app Live365 has over 7,000 radio stations. Lutheran Public Radio is ranked in the top 100 listened to radio stations. Download the app or listen online for great Christian music whenever you want.
School Registration Has Started
Go to the School website and, particularly, to the latest Charger News to find out how to register for the 2014-2015 school year.
The Duck Dynasty Controversy
Last month the A&E show Duck Dynasty was making the news because of Phil Robertson's comments about his faith. In our January Men's Ministry Bible Study we looked at the controversy and the Biblical background to it. You can listen to the study and follow along with the study guide by going to the Bible Study Archives on the church website under the Bible Studies Menu. The Men's Ministry meets every second Saturday of the month at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast and Bible Study.
Evening Prayer Services Resume Wednesday, January 8th
Join us for Evening Prayer services again on Wednesdays from 6:15-6:45 p.m. This is a good way for Christian to reconnect with God and with one another as God leads us through another week.
Updates from Our Missionaries
Good Shepherd supports several mission efforts including those of Dr. Sue (Malaysia) and Jamie Diliberto (Peru). Click here to see Jamie's newsletter. Send an email to
to receive a copy of Sue's newsletter. We cannot print Sue's last name online because she sometimes works in countries that restrict missionary activity.
Take a look at the Upcoming Sermons page on the website to read the sermon texts and themes as you prepare for worship.
Scripture Readings for Each Sunday
You can find the readings for each Sunday at our website under the Sermons menu. Read ahead for your own personal and family devotions.
Here are a couple of recommended daily devotions that you can find online: Lutheran Hour Ministries; Higher Things (youth).
Pastor Scott Adle Installed
Pastor Scott Adle was installed Sunday, December 15, 2013 as our new Associate Pastor. He previously served for five years at St. John's Lutheran Church in Secor, Illinois. He is originally from North Platte, Nebraska. He and his wife Rose have been blessed with three children: James, Maria, and John. Pictured above are (L to R): Pastors Michael Walther (Good Shepherd), Gary Galen (retired), Benjamin Ball (St. Paul, Hamel & preacher), Scott Adle, Jeff Hemmer (Bethany, Fairview Heights), Wally Hischke (retired), and Brad Thomas (Chaplain at Meridian Village). Pastor Adle will give his first sermon this weekend December 21-22.
Pastor Adle's Installation Service December 15th at 4:00 p.m.
Join us for a celebration of the Holy Ministry and for God's answers to our prayers for another pastor. You can read more about Pastor Adle and his family in this month's newsletter. If you would like the monthly newsletter emailed, sent a request to
. You can also find past and present newsletters at our website under the About GSLC menu.
Endowment Fund Distributions
At last Sunday's Congregational Assembly we approved the distribution of $30,122 to Metro-Area Missions ($2,000), World Missions ($5,300), GSLS ($6,022), Church Work Students ($10,000), GSLC Church Workers Education ($3,800), and other organizations outside our church ($3,000). If you would be interested in giving to the Endowment Fund or would like to include a gift to the Fund from your estate, please contact Parish Administrator Marty Hoffman.
Check out this interesting article about our own Vern Trampe… "It started in New York and Seattle and places like that…" Vern.
Preschoolers Singing for All Saints
We were blessed to hear the preschoolers sing in our Sunday services this past Sunday, November 3, 2013. Thanks to teachers Julie Bedard and Cindy Voss. "Out of the mouths of babes, You have ordained strength!" (Psalm 8.2)
Meet Our Field Workers
Each year several students from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis come to Good Shepherd for Field Work training. While they are studying, they begin some ministry taskssuch as leading worship, preaching and teaching. This year's students pictured above are: Josh & Virginia Vanderhyde (1st year); Sarah & Jacob Schultz (1st year); Beth and Casey Kegley (1st year); Melissa & Peter Adelson (2nd year); Weston and Sarah Wildauer & children (4th year).
Early Childhood Center Video
Amanda Zika put together this short video to help inform our members about our stewardship campaign. With this effort we hope to be able to build a good facility that will expand our programs and provide additional space for school and church activities. Click here for more information. The picture above is the current Preschool/Daycare building.
New Small Catechism App by Concordia Publishing House
If you have a smartphone or iPad, search for the free app "Martin Luther's Small Catechism." This free app provides you with a quick reference to the parts of the Catechism.
Phyllis Wallace Honored
GSLC member Phyllis Wallace received the "Christus Primus" award from Concordia University, Ann Arbor on May 20, 2013. The "Christ First" award is given LCMS to clergy, educators and laypersons for distinguished service to the church and community. Phyllis created the Woman to Woman Bible Study at GSLC in 1979. After 10 years of teaching women from many different church backgrounds, the Lord led her into broadcasting with KFUO AM in St. Louis and then with Lutheran Hour Ministries. She was also the Commencement Speaker at the CUAA graduation ceremony, picking up on their theme for the year, Romans 1:16. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of salvation for those who believe..."
New Director of Children's Music
The Elders and School Board recently approved a new position funded by both the church as school. Zach Stegmann will serve as our first Director of Children's Music. Zach will lead the school choirs and band and will coordinate them with the music and worship of the congregation.
Responding to the Boy Scouts
Follow this link to an official response of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to recent decision by the BSA to allow gay scouts.
Moving Ahead Toward New Early Childhood Center
On Sunday, May 5, 2013 the Voter's Assembly approved two proposals moving us closer to a new Early Childhood Center. The congregation will begin a special fund drive for this fall. We will also begin construction drawings on both phases of the project. Depending on the outcome of the fund drive we will make a decision whether or not to build both phases.
Click here for the Powerpoint Presentation which describes the Early Childhood Center project.
Update from Jamie Diliberto - Peru
Jamie, member of Good Shepherd, serves with her husband Anthony as a mission coordinator in Peru. Their March 2013 newsletter highlights some of the work that they are doing with children and adults. Please remember them in your prayers and with financial support.
Ten GSLC Members Join Rally for Marriage in Springfield
Good Shepherd members were among the 4,000 people who travelled to the Capitol last Wednesday for the Rally for Marriage. The Illinois legislature is considering a same-sex marriage bill designed to erase any distinction between the marriage of a man and a woman and that of same-sex couples. Same-sex couples already have legal rights through the 2011 Civil Unions law. Everyone is encouraged to contact their legislators to voice their concerns. The Illlinois Family Institute website provides an easy way to make contact. Southern Illinois District President Timothy Scharr has issued the following letter:
To All Illinois Citizens,
On Feb. 14 the Illinois State Senate passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois. This bill is now being considered in the House. We as members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod congregations (LCMS) feel compelled to express our Synod’s stance on same-sex marriage and the negative consequences that this bill will have on society.
Homosexual behavior is prohibited in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6: 9-20; 1 Tim. 1:10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1: 26-27). The LCMS affirms that homosexuality is “intrinsically sinful” and that on the basis of Scripture, marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2: 2-24; Matt. 19: 5-6). It also urges its members “to give a public witness from Scripture against the social acceptance and legal recognition of homosexual marriage” (2004 Res. 3-05A). At the same time, the Synod firmly believes that “the redeeming love of Christ, which rescues humanity from sin, death, and the power of Satan, is offered to all through repentance and faith in Christ, regardless of the nature of their sinfulness”.
Some supporters of the bill rationalize their vote because of an amendment added that prevents churches from having to perform same-sex marriages. This does nothing to protect individual families, schools, hospitals, and other organizations from the negative repercussions associated with it. Examples of these serious repercussions can be found in the “What same-sex marriage has done to Massachusetts” booklet comprised by the Illinois Family Institute (IFI). A downloadable version of this booklet can be found at www.massresistance.org. One example in the booklet states that because same-sex marriage is “legal,” federal judges have ruled that the schools now have a duty to portray homosexual relationships as normal to children, despite what parents think or believe.
We urge everyone to please contact their State House Representative and ask them to vote ‘No’ for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.
Rev. Timothy J. Scharr and Concerned LCMS members
There continues to be interest in the Comparing Mormonism to Christianity seminar which was presented here at Good Shepherd a few years ago. Click here for more information and to access the audio for the seminar.