Newsletter
REDEEMER’S VOICE
“O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
November 2020
 
A DEVOTION FROM THE PASTOR’S DEVOTIONS
13 But we are always obligated to thank God for you, brothers, loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation by the sanctifying work of the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 For this reason he also called you through our gospel so that you would obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold on to the teachings that were passed along to you, either by word of mouth or by a letter from us. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and in his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and establish you in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)
Just as Paul was thankful for the believers in Thessalonica, I am very much thankful for all of you. You encourage me. You support me. And most importantly, you are my brothers and sisters in Christ!

Mind the prepositions Paul and I used in expressing our thankfulness. I am thankful for you, not to you, because it was not by your thinking or choosing that you believe in Jesus Christ your Lord or came to him. God chose you from the beginning for salvation. The Holy Spirit sanctified you (made you holy) by faith in God’s Word so the glory of Jesus Christ would be given to you. You did nothing to be saved or come to faith. It was ALL God’s doing!
Now that you have been given salvation and faith, don’t lose it! Continue to stand firm and hold on to truth! Which you might be thinking is your work again, but to stand firm and hold on to the truth is as simple as remaining in God’s Word, written or spoken. Through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit is working in you so you can stand firm and hold on to the truth. To stay in faith is not even your work, but, again, God’s work!

Also notice that it is not from your strength that you live your faith, but it is Jesus Christ and God the Father who encourages your heart and establishes every good work in you. What do we do in doing good works? What do we do in coming to faith? What do we do in being saved? It is not our work that does it. It is all God’s work in and to us that we are saved, have come to faith, and live our faith.

For that reason, I, too, am always obligated to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, loved by the Lord.
 
A Word from Your Church President
Dear Family at Redeemer,
Welcome to November!
We are into our fall activities and as I write this an interesting election is coming up shortly. I certainly hope everyone takes the time to cast their ballot in the upcoming elections and issues.

It is also that time of the year we often discuss stewardship. The word stewardship sometimes makes a person cringe a little. We know what is coming… discussion about giving, and often it can make us feel a bit guilty or uncomfortable.
Should I give more? Do I give on a regular basis? Do I give only when I go to church? Do I attend church enough? Do I shoulder my share at my church home?

While stewardship usually focuses on monetary gifts to support the church’s work, it is well to remember we also can share ourselves by gifts of time. Worship attendance is how we grow, and come to understand what God in His grace does for us. It is how we learn our sins are forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is how we are brought to eternal life by the Holy Spirit alive in us. Just as in regular worship attendance, participating in your church will help the overall mission of our church:

“The mission of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is to reach out with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to call those that are lost, comfort those who mourn, rejoice with those who come to know and believe that Christ’s victory is their victory and to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ until the final victory is ours.”

Much like water if we are flowing with current, we won’t become stagnant.

We have recently submitted our building plans and application to Builders for Christ for their review and scheduling, hopefully for next summer. This covid virus has caused a lot of havoc in our economy, our lives, and our activities. This includes our original plans for our new addition, which was to coincide with our 50th anniversary. By the way did everyone get to see the fine article Pastor wrote for the Capital Journal on our 50th anniversary? (Pastor included it in this Newsletter).

I recently checked on our Building fund, our balance is approximately $29317 at the end of September. On September 30 2019 we stood at $25123, while the increase is just over 4000 it is less than we could have had if our efforts had not had the set back, and we actually closed our doors for a few months, due to the covid virus. As many of you may recall, last spring we were about to ask for pledges from the membership towards the new addition. It was planned to ask for the pledges so we can have an idea on what may be coming in and how we need to plan for or adjust in our annual budgets in upcoming years. We are at that point in time when we would kindly ask you to again give some thought and consideration to any amount you feel is right for you. We do not ask for an entire upfront gift, but respectfully suggest a pledge be done over a 3-year period so there is no hardship in meeting a planned gift. There are various ways for this such as a payroll deduction, Auto-payment, and even the offering envelopes have designated “Building Fund” envelopes. I personally prefer a payroll deduction, then it is automatically deposited and if I never have it, I don’t miss it. Having pledges toward the building may also be beneficial when we apply for our construction loan as it would be a gauge of commitment as expressed by our members to the project.

I do ask you to remember the less we need to borrow the quicker we can pay off any construction loan. With this newsletter (and with additional copies on the table), a pledge form is available. These can be placed in the collection plate as you complete them after prayerful consideration. For your privacy please use an envelope. If you need a form to set up an auto-payment, they are available too. If pledging please try to return the form by the end of November. This will allow time to discuss pledged amounts and loan options before we actually need to begin seeking financing.

Moving on to our stewardship of time, we have many things to think about as we near our addition project and what we need to prepare for, meals, snacks, trees removal, etc. We are expected and required to actively assist in the building of our addition. As a reminder BFC work Tuesday through Saturday specifically, so local church members can be there on Saturdays if unable during the work week. If you cannot help with the physical labor there will be many other ways to be involved. Everyone has heard the expression “many hands make light work”, in this case it is especially true.

I hope everyone can and will be actively involved if even for a few hours and enjoy our family gathering to help each other as we add to our church home.
In closing I will leave you with this from the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:4 & 5, “For as one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually members one of another.”

Church President,
Rich Nickerson
 
A Year for Anniversaries
In 1970 the crew of Apollo 13 came safely home, Richard Nixon was president, and Frank Farrar was governor of South Dakota. That year in history in July was also when a small group of Christians formally organized Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pierre, SD. This year, 2020, Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) is celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Though the congregation was formally formed in 1970, they had been gathering for several years by then. In 1967 Pastor Nathan Engel of St. Paul Ev. Luth. Church in Faith, SD drove over 100 miles to conduct the first official worship service for seven people in the “Hospitality Room” of the First National Bank in Pierre. For the next several years, the small group of Christians would continue to worship at Thompson Funeral Home while being served by pastors from Zion Ev. Luth. Church in Mobridge, Zion Ev. Luth. Church Akaska, and St. Paul Ev. Luth. Church in Faith, SD.

Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church’s first called pastor was Floyd Brand who just graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. While Pastor Brand served Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church (1970-1976) the congregation formally organized, choose the name Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church, and built a church building still located on 813 Mellette Ave.

Since then, Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church has seen a few changes over the years including receiving a hand carved oak altar made in Germany at the turn of the 19th century, expanding their balcony in order to have some Sunday School rooms, and a new outdoor Church sign.

Currently, the members of Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church are being served by Pastor John Schwartz and they are planning on building an addition to their fellowship area to allow for more and larger gatherings. Which is perfect for this small congregation as they are a group of loving Christians of all ages who love getting together to hear more about their Savior. They are loving and welcoming. They arrive early and stay late just so the adults have time to talk and catch-up with each other, while the kids enjoy playing together. It feels like being at home with one big family at Redeemer. They would love to welcome you also to God's house, your home.

Going back another 50 years, in 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified, President Woodrow Wilson was finishing his term while candidate Warren Harding was elected, and the ninth governor of South Dakota, Peter Norbeck was in office. 1920 also marks the 100th anniversary of another body of Christians formally forming—the Dakota-Montana District of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The WELS could trace their history all the way back to 1850 when the Wisconsin Synod formed. In 1892 the Wisconsin Synod, Minnesota Synod, and Michigan Synod joined to form one synod later named WELS.

The WELS would not stay within those three states. As settlers moved into the Dakota territory, so did pastors to share God’s Word. Lutheran pastors in the 1880s-1920s were scarce, but hard workers just like the rest of the people of the Dakotas. Some pastors would travel by horse and buggee for six weeks at a time to visit every town that did not have a regular pastor. At this time, pastors in the Dakotas were part of the Minnesota District. That would not last very long, because in 1920 the Dakota-Montana District was from in order to reduce travel time to district conventions and for the sake of better and more focused ministry done in the Dakotas including our very own town of Pierre.

So, 2020 not only marks the 50th anniversary of Redeemer Ev. Luth. Church but it is also the 100th anniversary of this church’s district, the Dakota-Montana district, which now spans over 1200 miles and is home to 70 different congregations.

Capital Journal
By Rev. John Schwartz
October 7th, 2020
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
No More Live Stream: In hopes of having better video quality, our services will no longer be live streamed, but they will be uploaded a few hours after the worship service.

Thanksgiving Potluck: The Outreach/Fellowship Committee has decided that it would be wise not to have the Thanksgiving Potluck this year due to COVID concerns.

Thanksgiving Eve Service: Due to poor attendance in past years, we will not be having a Thanksgiving Eve Service this year.
  
Pastor Could Use Your Help: Pastor has been trying his best to weekly clean the church, set-up the Lord’s Supper/other altar duties, and recently snow removal for the Redeemer Church. It is getting to be too much for pastor. He asks that you please help. You can indicate when you plan to help by signing up on the “How You Can Help” bulletin board. Thank you so much. Pastor greatly appreciates it.

Congregational Mission Statement:  The mission of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is to reach out with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to call those who are lost, comfort those who mourn, rejoice with those who come to know and believe that Christ’s victory is their victory and to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ until the final victory is ours.