NEWS!

Midweek Service for Lent
Our services for Lent continue this week on Wednesday, February 25th at 7pm.  The theme for the midweek services is “What Grace Is This!”  Pastor Emeritus Nathan Pope will be preaching and  focusing on the theme for Wednesday “He Gave Himself for Me”.  There is a 6pm supper hosted by The Heinitz, Dolan and Roekle families.  On the menu is: Sloppy Joes, Potato Salad, Chips, Pickle Spears, Dessert & Beverage.  A supper is also planned for March 4th hosted by the 2014 Confirmation Class; they will be serving ~ Hot Ham Sandwiches, Chips, Veggies/dip, Dessert and Beverage.  There will be free-will offerings for the meals.   Please sign up at the north bulletin board.

Shoreland Music Festival
The 2015 Shoreland Music Festival will be held on Saturday, March 7th. The Solo & Ensemble contest runs from 9am-3pm.  Volunteers are needed to help make the festival run smoothly.  Anyone that would like to volunteer a couple hours would be deeply appreciated.  Areas to help include: supervision of performance sites & halls, tabulation and organization in the main office, and the concession help.  To volunteer, please contact James Groth at – grothjs@slhs.us. 
 
Dine at Buffalo Wild Wings to help Shoreland
You can help the Shoreland Prom Committee out by dining at the Racine Buffalo Wild Wings located off the Regency Mall parking lot (Durand Ave.) on the following Mondays, beginning tomorrow - 2/23, 3/2 and 3/9, all day, dine in or carry out.  Ten percent of all sales will go to the Shoreland Prom Committee.  Tickets are needed for Shoreland to get credit, and are located at the top of the stairs.

Adult Volleyball at Trinity, Caledonia
Trinity, Caledonia, is once again hosting an adult volleyball league for high school aged adults on up!  Games will be played at Trinity on Sundays in March and one in April (a schedule to come soon) from 5-7pm.  Teams are divided up between a rec league and a competitive league.  If you or a group would like to participate, please email Martha Lau, mlau@trinitycaledonia.org by February 25th.  You may also sign up on line at http://goo.gl/YrALlv. 
 
Simplified Worship Service held at New Hope
This Saturday, Feb. 28th, our sister church, New Hope Lutheran Church at 5970 Douglas Avenue, is hosting a simplified worship service entitled “Worship at the Cross.”  The service begins at 10am & is offered on the 4th Saturday each month.  The service, designed by Jesus Cares Ministries, is intended for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families.  If you know of someone who could benefit from this service, encourage them to come or even bring them.  Informational postcards are available at the top of the stairs.
 
Donkey Basketball at Shoreland
Shoreland LHS is hosting a Donkey Basketball tournament on March 5th, at 6pm.  There will be fun, games, prizes, and real live donkeys!  Tickets are $6 if they’re preordered or $8 at the door.  All proceeds will go to our Nepal and Pakistan missions.  If you would like to preorder tickets, please email Abby Lash at alash@slhs.us or Jen Beres at jberes@slhs.us.  Please join the fun!
 
Bowling for a Home
You are invited to 2 fun events to benefit New Beginnings – A Home for Mothers, a Christian Life Resources’ Ministry, which recently moved to Milwaukee.  FAMILY BOWLING: Sunday, March 15 from 12-3pm at Classic Lanes, 5404 W. Layton Ave., Milwaukee.  Cost is $12.50/person.  This relaxed group and family-friendly afternoon includes 3 hours of unlimited bowling.  In addition, each lane gets a 16” pizza and pitcher of soda.  BOWLING TOURNAMENT:  Saturday March 28 from 12:30-4:30pm (check in begins at 11:30am), also at Classic Lanes.  Start forming your 5 member team for this 3 Game, 9-Pin Tap Tournament.  Entrance is $30/person.  Cash prizes for top bowlers and a silent auction! Go to www.clrevents.com

“Forward in Christ” Subscriptions
If you would like to receive monthly issues in your church mailbox of our Synod’s informative magazine/periodical, “Forward In Christ” please sign up at the south bulletin board.  The cost is $11.00 for a one year subscription, beginning in April.  Please make your check payable to First Evan and place it in the envelope at the south board or in the church mailbox.  Current subscribers are reminded to renew.  Please  order or renew by March 1st

Monday Night Service Returns After Easter
The 7pm services will resume on April 13th.
 
Sewing Circle to Resume in March
The ladies of our Sewing Circle have decided to forego meeting in February and will instead commence on Thursday, March 5th at 10:00am.  Hopefully by then, there will be less snow and warmer days, with spring and robins on the way!  If you have an interest in sewing or quilting, stop down any Thursday on/after March 5th to see what these ladies do.  Sewing Circle meets in the church basement and the ladies bring a bag lunch.  Feel free to join them!

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. 

WELS Marriage Enrichment Weekend
A famous person once said, “Any fool can complicate things; it takes a genius to simplify them.”  The Bible does call marriage a mystery, but the gospel of Jesus unravels the mystery and simplifies things.  Let an upcoming WELS Marriage Enrichment and Get-Away Weekend help you give glory to God and joy to your spouse.  Space is limited, so register soon for the weekend event at destination resorts in Lake Geneva (Feb. 13-15) or Wausau (Feb. 20-22).  See the poster and brochures at the south bulletin board or go to www.wels.net/adult-discipleship.  
 
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

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5