From the Pastor :: September 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last month I addressed the future as we looked forward to our Sunday School Rally Day with worship in the park on August 30th. Wasn’t that a great day?

Sunday School Rally Day kicked off our new “Education Year.” So this month, as we move forward with a new year of Sunday School, let’s take a look backward also.

The Lutheran Church around the world is gearing up for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. The Indiana District Convention passed a resolution encouraging congregations and the District as a whole to celebrate this historic event. What are we celebrating? We’re remembering and celebrating with praise and thanksgiving to God for the work of Martin Luther as he restored to the Church, the pure teaching of the Gospel, that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. This teaching of the Gospel is condensed for us in Luther’s Small Catechism.

As we look back and remember, we will also look to the present and ask this question, “How can the work of Martin Luther, especially his Small Catechism, help shape our life of faith at St. James Lutheran Church in Logansport, Indiana?” One thing we will definitely do is refocus our efforts to the study of and learning the Small Catechism. This will begin with memorizing the words of the Catechism. Once the words are memorized, the meaning of those words will be learned. All of the children in Sunday School will receive a “Learn By Heart” Catechism. Memorization will be assigned each week according to the ability of the students and reviewed as part of the Sunday School lesson.

When the words are memorized, Junior Catechesis will be the time to learn the meaning of the words and how the words shape our faith and our understanding of the Bible. The words of the Small Catechism are a correct teaching of the Bible. When the words are memorized, you have the words necessary to share your faith with others. Junior Catechesis and the study of God’s Word in Sunday morning and Midweek Bible Classes will grow your understanding of the Lutheran faith which was shaped 500 years ago. This memorization will be reinforced as we read a portion of the Catechism each week in our Sunday worship.

While Junior Catechesis is for our children in third grade and up, Adult Catechesis is an opportunity for adults to also study the Scriptures and learn the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from the Scriptures, as it is taught in the Small Catechism. A new Adult Catechesis class will begin on Thursday morning, September 10, at 9:00 am. Everyone is invited to be a part of this class. How long has it been since you studied the Bible, guided by the Small Catechism? Perhaps it is time to do it once again.

Finally, let me put a plug in for our Stewardship Committee and the Reformation Celebration which will take place on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Everyone who attends this event will be in for a special treat. Kevin Hildebrand, Kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, will be here with some Seminary students to share music from our Lutheran heritage and talk about what life is like as a Seminary student. You will not want to miss this event. Details will be shared with you in the St. James Scroll and in the Sunday morning bulletin.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Dehning