31 October 2011


St. Paul's published its first directory since the 150th anniversary - in fact, five years later.  What strikes me is the ART.  Since the 150th directory came out, we have added:

Two huge images of Christ to the front walls of the Church.
The Crucifix upon the altar.
The images of the Four Evangelists on front of the balcony.
The large image of St. Paul, our patron saint, on the south wall.
New stained glass windows (8 panels!) celebrating each Person of the Blessed Trinity between the nave and narthex, crafted by Pr. Gleason.

THAT'S a lot of art!

Looking a bit further back, since I came we have added:

A processional cross and torches (hand-crafted by Wilbur Schmidt).
Paschal Candle stand (handcrafted by Wilbur Schmidt).
New altar rails (handcrafted by Carl Steinmann).
Tenebrae hearse (handcrafted by David DeVries).
Banners too many to count (by the banner ladies of St. Paul's).
Quilt of the history of St. Paul's (by the banner ladies of St. Paul's).

All of these works, lovingly crafted, glorifying God's great mercy and love, invite the worshipper when he or she enters the nave to a sense of quiet contemplation and prayer.  Everywhere the Gospel is proclaimed in image even as it is vocally in song, reading, and preaching - and everywhere it invites to joyous yet peaceful prayer.

Here's my intro to the newest directory:

155 Years

That’s how long the Lord Jesus has been having Himself a congregation at St. Paul’s – or as it used to be called New Gehlenbeck.  For 155 years He has had His Word preached, His Eucharist celebrated, His children baptized, taught, and confirmed, His sinners absolved.  Here man and women have been united in Holy Marriage and their weddings sanctified by Word and prayer.  Here mourners have gathered to carry their dead to their resting place in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.  Here to the glory of Jesus bells have been rung, songs sung, prayers raised, tears shed, and joys overflowed.

“I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”  (Psalm 122) And such gladness continues to characterize the worship and service of this community of Evangelical Lutherans.  We rejoice to come to God’s house – for here HE serves us with His good gifts, enlivens us, and gives us hope.  Here He strengthens us to be witnesses to the joy of sin’s forgiveness and death’s destruction.  Here He imparts a foretaste of the heavenly feast that gives us the comfort and strength we need to bear whatever troubles and trials come our way.

Some in this family of faith have roots that go back right to the founding of this holy house.  Others have only later discovered this joyful family.  All together we form but one family of faith and we are glad that the Lord Jesus has given us each other as we journey with Him toward the Day that has no evening in His Kingdom – and we pray that He would continue to use us as a family of faith that many others might be joined to Him through and with us, and that we might come together at last to those joys which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the good things God has prepared for those who love Him.

In Jesus,

William Weedon, 14th Pastor of St. Paul’s

Pr. C.H.G. Schliepsick  May 1856 to April 1860
Pr. J.M.M. Moll  August 1860 to October 1865
Pr. W. Heinemann  January 1866 to November 1876
Pr. G. Schieferdecker  July 1877 to November 1891
Pr. F. S. Buenger  January 1892 to Mary 1899
Pr. E. Flach  July 1899 to October 1904
Pr. Wm. J. Schmidt  January 1905 to December 1909
Pr. H.H. Hansen  December 1909 to December 1934
Pr. J. W. Hennig  March 1935 to March 1948
Pr. A. Deichmann September 1948 to April 1961
Pr. R. Bolin  June 1961 to December 1968
Pr. W. F. Hischke  October 1969 to October 1982
Pr. W. Dressler  March 1983 to July 1991
Pr. W. C. Weedon  July 1992
Pr. W. Gleason  March 2011

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