NEWS!

This Week’s Services
Beginning with Palm Sunday worship, you are encouraged to experience the events of Holy Week from beginning to end.  Follow Christ through Holy week - the celebration of our Lord’s suffering, death, and resurrection.  The times and dates of services are as follows:

April 2 (7pm) Maundy Thursday Worship with communion -includes the Stripping of the Altar; and Senior Choir singing.
April 3 (1pm) Good Friday Service of the Cross of Christ with the children of Wisconsin Lutheran School singing.
April 3 (7pm) Good Friday Tenebrae Service (service of darkness) with communion. 
April 5 (6:30am & 9:30am) Easter Day Festival Services with communion - includes the choir singing in both services and the Sunday School children singing in the 9:30am service. 

Special music by soloists and instrumentalists will adorn our services throughout the week.  You won’t want to miss any part of this Holy Week celebration!  

Easter Family Fest
Easter Family Fest is on Saturday, March 28th from 9am-10:30am at Epiphany   Lutheran Church, 2921 Olive Street, Racine.  The whole family is invited!  The teens and adults will discuss what Easter means for their lives as Christians.  The children, ages 3-12, will learn about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Easter morning.  Everyone will join together for a resurrection skit by Epiphany’s teens and then    parents will help their children make and decorate Easter cookies.  No registration needed.  What could be better than celebrating with your family the great news that our Savior is alive!  The Easter Family Fest is a joint ministry of Epiphany and First Evan Lutheran Churches.

Taste of shoreland
You are invited to attend this year’s Taste of Shoreland for the purpose of raising funds for tuition assistance and having a good time doing so!  It will held on April 25th at UW Parkside in Kenosha.  Included in the fun are games, raffles, a silent auction, live auction, dinner, entertainment and an opportunity to be reminded of the blessings that come through the Christian education at Shoreland Lutheran High School.  Tickets cost $75 and include $20 worth of “funny money” for the games.  Purchase your tickets online at http://tinyurl.com/ToS-SLHS or at the Shoreland office.
 
Joint Mission Annual Meeting
Ladies, mark your calendars!  All women are invited to join us on Saturday, May 2nd at 9:30am in the church basement for our annual Joint Mission Meeting.  Breakfast will be served, followed by devotion, a short business meeting, & a presentation by Pastor Emile Burgess and Paulette Halbur, speaking on the Choices of Life Center. Watch for a sign-up sheet to be posted in the near future.
 
First Evan Family Nights
Your Christian Education Committee invites you to a new opportunity for education and fellowship – First Evan Family Nights (FEFNs).  The first night, Game Night, will be on Wednesday, May 20th from 6pm-7:30pm in the church basement.  The evening will include a discussion about the importance of home devotions, followed by an opportunity to play a game (board, card, dice, etc.) with members of your First Evan Family.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.  Watch for more information on Easter Sunday and we hope you can join us! 
 
Shoreland’s Annual Rummage Sale
Just a head’s up… the SLHS Annual Widow’s Mite Rummage Sale will be held on May 29th and 30th at SLHS. Start cleaning closets!  Watch for more details!

Monday Night Service Returns After Easter
The 7pm services will resume on April 13th.
 
Church Picnic Date Set
The date for our Joint Church Picnic with New Hope Lutheran Church has been set.  It will take place on Sunday, August 9th at Johnson Park.  Please make note of it!
 
Training Camp – A Lutheran Camp for Kids
Training Camp is a WELS kids’ camp held at the YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside, IL, for young people in the WELS & ELS who will be entering grades 3-9 in the fall.  The purpose of the camp is to provide an opportunity for kids to grow in God’s Word in an outdoor setting.  The theme this year is Training Camp Assemble!  It will be held from Sunday, July 26th - Friday, July 31st, 2015.  Total cost is $300 per camper. Forms are available at the south bulletin board.  Contact Pastor Michael Zarling (Epiphany Lutheran) at pastor@epiphany-wels.org or call 994-2711 with any questions. 

2015 Flower Chart
The flower chart for 2015 is posted down by the northside mailboxes.  If you would like to donate altar flowers on a particular Sunday in memory of loved ones or in honor of special occasions, please write your name next to the date of your choosing.  The cost remains $30 again this year.  If a particular Sunday is already spoken for, you may donate flowers for the  pulpit area, at the same price of $30.  The church secretary will contact you in advance for your color choice. 

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