NEWS!

WLS Begins Classes and Holds Opening Services
Classes will begin at Wisconsin Lutheran School for the 2015-16 school year this Tuesday, August 25th.  The opening services will be held    during the weekly chapel spot at each campus; Wednesday, August 26th at 7:45am at Epiphany, and Friday, August 28th at 7:35am at First Evan.  You are welcome to attend!  God’s blessings to all of our teachers, students, and parents as we begin this new school year.
 
Opening Service at Shoreland Lutheran HS
Let us praise and thank God for the blessings of Shoreland students, teachers, staff, and a new year of grace!  You are invited to attend Shoreland’s opening service and installation of several new teachers on Wednesday, August 26th, at 8:00am.  God’s blessing to them & all of the Shoreland faculty as they serve Christ in their calling. Shoreland will open its doors for freshmen on Tuesday, August 25th, and for all grades on Wednesday, August 26th. 

Wednesday Night Bible Study - Elisha
This fall we will participate again in a Bible study streamed online live. Pastor Keith Wessel, a professor at Martin Luther College, will lead a Bible study on the life and ministry of Elisha. We'll watch it and discuss it together in the church basement each Wednesday at 6:00pm, September 9th through October 7th.

Funds Needed for National Night Out Expenses
Thank you to all who helped out by generously donating to the door  offering last Sunday to help cover the expenses for our neighborhood cookout held on National Night Out on August 4th.  Please be reminded, that if you were not prepared for last week’s door offering, you may still help out by making a donation for this in your offering envelope by specifying the amount you wish to donate on the “Other” line on your envelope.  All donations are appreciated! 

Bible Instruction Class Begins
Has anything changed in your life since you were 14? Probably a lot! Do you think the same way today about things that you did at 14?  And yet, for many of us, age 14 was the last time we studied the major teachings of the Bible and the Lutheran church—in confirmation class.  You’re older and wiser now.  Maybe you’ve been through some tough times since then.  Maybe you’ve even questioned some of the most basic things you were taught back when you were 14.  Come and ask your questions, and learn again what you learned before.  On September 13th, between services, we begin a new Bible Instruction Class, which is a review of the basic teachings of the Word of God.  Maybe it’ll look a little different this time around.  Or maybe you’ll look at it a little differently.  Bring your questions, and bring a friend.  Let a pastor know if you're interested in attending.
 
Fall Worship Schedule and Sunday School
We will return to the regular Sunday morning worship schedule on September 13th.  On that day, service times will once again be 8:00 and 10:45am.  Sunday School will also be starting up that day.  All children are invited to attend!  Parents, please watch for a post card invitation for your child(ren) to be coming in the mail.  On the Sunday School wish list are: age appropriate scissors for grades 1 through 6 (about 20 pair) and glue & glue sticks.  A donation box will be in the church library for donations.
 
Take the Survey!  We Need Your input!
Thank you to those who have already taken the Pulse Survey.  If you haven’t done so yet, please know that we need your input!  Please take some time to fill out the Pulse Survey.  You can do that in one of the following ways:

1. Go to http://welsccc.polldaddy.com/s/firstevangelical-racine on your own computer or electronic device.  
2. Pick up a hard copy of the survey (top of stairs), fill it out at home and return it to church to the box at the top of the stairs.

The survey will likely take you an average of 20 to 40 minutes to fill it out. The   survey is used in connection with the Self-Assessment and Adjustment Program which we are currently going through and is intended for every confirmed member.
 
Reserve October 3rd & 4th for SAA Meeting!
You are crucial participants!  We are asking and encouraging all confirmed members to attend meetings on Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th as part of the SAA (Self-Assessment and Adjustment) program that we are currently engaged in. Pastor Steven Pagels (from St. Matthew’s, Oconomowoc) will lead us in Bible Study and small-group discussion on Saturday, Oct. 3rd (we’ll announce the hours soon). This is not an exercise for the leadership of the congregation, but for all members. We need you to be a part of this.  Pastor Pagels is coming to facilitate discussion amongst ourselves about how we might share the Gospel as much as possible.  Then on Sunday, Oct. 4th, after the 10:45am service, he will help us determine what adjustments to our ministry, if any, we would like to make over the next year. Please set aside those days!​

Worship Service Recordings on DVDs
Please be reminded that our worship services are recorded onto DVDs by our teens.  Tim and Jan Weidner make several copies and distribute them accordingly so our shut-in members who request these copies receive them.  Paper copies of all sermons are also available and may be emailed, put into your church mailbox or mailed to your home.  If you or someone you know would like to start receiving these DVDs or copies of the sermons, please notify the church office -churchoffice@firstracine.org or 633-8267.
 
Greece Tour
Are you interested in walking in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul?  A 10 day tour of Greece, including a 3 day Mediterranean cruise is scheduled for October 19-25, 2015.  The tour is being hosted by Pastor Gene Kock.  See such places as Kavala, Philippi, Thessaloniki, Meteora, Athens, Corinth, Mars Hill & much more.  If you would like more information, please contact Pastor Roekle at pastorroekle@firstracine.org.
 
Please Consider a Gift to the Organ Fund
Please be reminded that we have an organ fund needed to rebuild our existing organ or to purchase a new one.  We encourage you to contribute to this fund whenever possible.  To make a contribution, you may do so along with your regular offering.  On your offering envelope, simply write “organ fund” with the amount you are contributing in the category marked “other”.  There is already a substantial amount of money in the fund, but we anticipate that we will need a sizable amount in addition.

Member Assistance Reminder
Keep in mind that a group has been set up to help if members ever find themselves in need of necessities such as food, clothing, etc.  If you are in need, you can contact the Member Assistance Team (MAT) for help.  Either send an email to mat@firstracine.org or drop a written request in the locked dropbox in the church library with your name and contact information.  Also, if you would like to be included among those members who are notified when donations are needed, please contact the MAT at the email address listed above.  
 

 


 

 
A New Logo:  The Picture of Our Purpose
           
            Symbolism permeates the entire history of God’s relationship with people.  After the flood God showed Noah a rainbow.  At the first Passover God taught about the Savior by using lambs and blood on doorways.  Jesus used many pictures to tell people who “I AM.”  He is the bread of life, the light of the world, the good  shepherd, the vine.  The Christian church picked up on this use of symbolism, and for many centuries symbols have appeared in Christian churches and Christian worship.  Our own church building is full of pictures and symbols that teach us the gospel and remind us of what it means for us.
 
            Your church council recently authorized the use of a new logo for use on publications, letterhead, and other church-related materials.  You will see this logo often as a visual representation of our congregation.  The intent is that, after some use, whenever people see the logo they will immediately connect it with First Evangelical Lutheran Church.  But like other Christian symbols, this logo is meant to teach people and remind people (including us) who we are and why we exist.  This logo is a meaningful one; it pictures our purpose.
 
            Let’s take a brief look at each part of the First Evan logo.

We preach Christ crucified.  The Cross is the center of everything we are and do.  On the cross, Jesus won our salvation by receiving the punishment for the guilt of our sin.  The church exists for no other reason than to connect people to the blessings of Christ’s cross.  At the cross the guilty conscience finds forgiveness.  At the cross the burdened soul finds rest and refreshment.  At the cross we see our Savior, whose love for you is so boundless that he determined to do everything necessary to bring you peace now and to secure your eternity.  This is what it’s all about.  Any description of our church and its mission must start at the cross of Christ.  Our logo, the visual description of our church, is no different.  It starts with the cross.
 
There are only two ways that God has provided for us to connect people to the cross.  One of those is The Word.  The open Bible describes what goes on in our church and in our homes.  We study and search the Scriptures diligently, because we know that by them we possess eternal life (John 5:39).  What the pastors preach and teach is not their opinion, but rather the words of God himself taken from his holy Scriptures.  What the members of our church believe and confess is not the latest theory or philosophy, but rather the timeless and changeless truth of God’s inerrant Word.  The Word directs faith and life, because through the Word the gospel goes to work on our hearts.  The Bible is “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
 
The second way God has provided to connect people to the cross is the gospel in the sacraments.  The shell represents one of the two sacraments:  Baptism.  Baptism saves us by connecting our lives to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Everything that Jesus did for you becomes your own personal possession through your baptism.  Baptism is our birth:  it’s how many of us entered the church.  Baptism is our life:  it’s a constant reminder of our daily cycle of repentance and assurance of forgiveness.  Baptism is our mission:  Jesus commanded us to baptize others as we make disciples of all nations.  A shell is sometimes used to hold the water or pour the water at a baptism.  Therefore, the shell is a universal Christian symbol for baptism.  The three droplets of water remind us that we baptize into the name of the triune God—“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
 
The second sacrament is The Lord’s Supper.  The wheat and grapes signify the earthly elements in this sacrament.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread…Then he took the cup.  Jesus used unleavened bread and wine when he instituted this sacrament; therefore, we do, too.  In that bread and wine of the sacrament Jesus’ real body and blood are present in a real way, connecting us to the body and blood that he gave and poured out at the cross and therefore giving us the blessings of that sacrifice:  the forgiveness of sins.  And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.  This particular representation of wheat and grapes was taken from the corners in our church sanctuary.  Next time you are in church, look up to see if you can find them.
 
            The purpose of our church is two-fold:  to care for the spiritual needs of the Christians in this family of believers we call First Evan and to reach out to others that they might come to know the true God and Jesus Christ, his only Son.  If a Christian is going to grow in his spiritual life and not remain immature, he will do so only through the gospel that is found only in the Word and sacraments.  If others are going to come to faith and join the Holy Christian Church on earth, they will do so only through the gospel that is found only in the Word and sacraments.  A simple phrase has been employed to describe this mission of ours and how it will be accomplished:  Growing and Going with the Word and Sacraments.  Now we have a logo that describes in symbols that very mission.
 
A.J.Dolan

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. ~ Jeremiah 17:7