On Sunday morning, May 21, we welcomed into confirmed membership three of our young people by their Affirmation of Baptism/Confirmation: Darcie Diem, Reese Swingle, and Gracey West.
VBS Volunteers still have time to sign up! Choose your favorite position and STAND STRONG as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. VBS will be July 9-13. Volunteer sign-up sheet is located in the Education Building hallway.
Elsie June Hurelbrink, 88, of Versailles passed away at 6:15 pm Sunday, November 27, 2016 at Ripley Crossing in Milan. She was born at Batesville on June 28, 1928, the daughter of William Firsich and Elsie Kessens Firsich Enzinger. She was married to Robert Hurelbrink on April 21, 1951 and her husband of 65 years survives. Other survivors include two daughters, Barbara (Ross) Peabody of Greenwood and Diana Hurelbrink of Cincinnati; four grandchildren, Ashley Peabody of Indianapolis, Andrew (Megan) Peabody of Nashville, Tennessee, Robert (Rachel) Watka and Jessica (Stacy Smith) Watka both of Cincinnati; two great-grandchildren Emilia and Charles Watka. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers William and Walter Firsich, and her sister Annabelle Vreeland. Mrs. Hurelbrink was a 1946 graduate of Batesville High School and attended beautician college in Cincinnati. She was a homemaker and for several years operated a beauty shop in Batesville. Her favorite things to do besides doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren included ceramics, upholstering with her sister-in-law Irma and niece Phyllis, gardening and sewing. June was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church at Olean where she participated in quilting and making baby blankets with the Ladies Aid. She was also a member of the Correct Homemakers club. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, December 1st at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, Olean, with Pastor Curtis Black officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles. Memorials may be given to St. Paul Lutheran Church in care of the funeral home.
We Could Make Beautiful Music
A young man carefully held his kora harp in his hands. “If I were marooned on a desert island, the one thing I’d want with me is this harp,” he said.
The kora harp is a West African instrument and has twenty-one strings. Each string is attached to a tuning peg on a long neck of the harp. The young man held the instrument between his knees and, with his hands on two handholds on either side of the neck, plucked the strings to make a beautiful sound. As he plucked the strings, he often stopped to tighten or loosen one of those twenty-one tuning pegs. He knew exactly which string was out of tune. Most who listened had no idea there was anything wrong with the string, but the young man who knows his instrument well, and who is a master at playing this instrument, knew the sound it made could be better than it was. He loved his harp. He understood it and he wanted its music to be perfect.
That’s the way God is with us. He loves us so much, just like the kora harpist loves his instrument. He knows all about us. He knows when we are living a true life and when we are faking it. He knows what our lives can be if we let him correct us and tune us so we make music that is harmonious with his will for our lives. And he will never leave us. He’ll be close by to help us, always.
Dear Lord, Help me to let you change me into who you want me to be. I want to make beautiful music with my life. Let my life be like a love song to you. Tune me up so no ugly or unkind words come from my mouth. Thank you, Father, for loving me so much. Amen.
We’re at War
Read Ephesians 6:10-20
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
In the Christian life we battle against rulers and authorities (the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by the devil, who is a vicious fighter, see 1 Peter 5:8). To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of his armor. Paul is not only giving this counsel to the church, the body of Christ, but to all individuals within the church.
The whole body needs to be armed. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from him and back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us his Holy Spirit within us and his armor surrounding us.
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (Ephesians 6:18). You don’t have to isolate yourself from other people and from daily work in order to pray constantly. One way is to make quick, brief prayers your habitual response to every situation you meet throughout the day. Another way is to order your life around God’s desires and teachings so that your very life becomes a prayer.
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The Living One
Have you ever been to a funeral? They are very sad times. There is a finality to funerals that is difficult for us to understand. One moment the person we love is with us on earth, and the next he or she is gone. A funeral is a way for us to say goodbye to that person. We know that we will meet him or her again in heaven, but it’s still hard without him or her here on earth. We won’t be able to make any more memories with that person. We won’t be able to laugh with him or her about a funny joke. Death is the end of everything we know here on earth. We will all die someday and leave our life here behind.
But there is one person who lives forever. Christ died on the cross, but three days later he burst the chains of death and rose victoriously. Christ conquered death and lives in heaven, at the right hand of God the Father. And Christ also lives within us, working within your heart to bring his kingdom to earth. Because Christ lives, we don’t have to fear death. We don’t have to worry when our loved ones pass away. Someday we will all share in Christ’s eternal, heavenly glory!
Dear Lord, The best news of all is that you are alive today and that you love me. I know that someday I’ll be able to see you and everyone I love here on earth! Amen.
Special Congregation Meeting, Sunday, September 21. Discussion and vote of improvements, porch railing project and parking.
You are invited to attend our annual Mother/Daughter banquet on May 10, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. Please join us for a delicious meal and informative program about how children are like flowers. It will be inspirational and help us see that children are the love shared by our mothers and our God above.
There will be a sign up sheet posted in the educational building, so please take a moment to sign up! Or, if you’re not at the church and want to RSVP now, you may do so via our Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/stpaulolean/
Hope to see you there!