Sunday, May 31, 2020

Worship for May 31, 2020

For the benefit of our members who are shut-in or are at-risk of contracting COVID-19, we have posted the service for today in MP3 format (48M). You can also read Pastor Arnold's sermon in PDF format, based on John 20:1-18.

The amplifier at church did not work this morning, so this was recorded through Pastor's phone. Please let him know how the sound quality is for you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Church Reopening Guidelines

Pastor Arnold and the Church Council have come up with a list of guidelines for reopening church for services. This letter will also be sent via email to everyone we have email addresses for and by mail to those we don't. Please read the letter carefully. If you have any questions, please email Pastor Arnold or call him at the parsonage. We thank our God that we will be able to gather together again for worship!

Our services will resume this Sunday, May 31, at 9:00 A.M. We will also be starting our mid-week summer services on Monday, June 1, at 7:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Worship for May 24, 2020

Pastor Arnold has posted a short service and sermon in MP3 format (18 M). You can also download and read his sermon in PDF format. Today we are celebrating the festival of the Ascension of our Lord. The readings for this festival are:
The hymns we would have sung are:
  • 174, "See, the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph"
  • 173, "On Christ's Ascension I Now Build"
  • 171, "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing"
  • 169, "Alleluia! Sing to Jesus"
  • 175, "Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise"

In-Person Services Restarting May 31

We will be resuming services in-person starting on Sunday, May 31. A letter will be coming soon with information on how we will be following the guidelines put forth by Oconto County.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Call Day and Graduation

Our Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary will be holding a virtual call day and graduation service today at 10 A.M. You can view the service online. May God bless those men who will be serving us in the pastoral ministry!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Worship for May 17, 2020

Pastor Arnold has posted the service for May 17 in MP3 format (15M). You can also read his sermon in PDF format. The lessons for May 17, which is the Sixth Sunday in Easter, are:
The hymns we would have sung are:
  • 185, "O Holy Spirit, Grant Us Grace"
  • 479, "Jesus, Your Boundless Love to Me"
  • 377, "Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice"

Friday, May 15, 2020

MLC Graduation/Call Day

Tomorrow, Saturday 16, at 10:00 A.M. Central time, Martin Luther College will be livestreaming its virtual graduation and call day service. The stream will also be available to be watched at a later time. My God bless our new teacher graduates as they are assigned to serve in our schools and to our new pastor track graduates as they continue their studies at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary!

Guidance from Oconto County

Oconto County has released re-opening guidelines. Included in there are guidelines for churches. This information is obviously brand new. Pastor Arnold has been in contact with our congregation president on this matter, but that was before these were released. The Council is scheduled to meet next week. One of the guidelines is that there should be no more than 50 per service. Since our first summer service would normally be on June 1, it might make sense to have our first service back on May 31. This assumes that the state will not issue a new order next week. This would also enable the Council to meet, to implement the new procedures for services, to publish those changes, and to have the church building itself thoroughly cleaned.

Keep an eye on this site for more information. For now, the sermon and service will be posted online like usual for Sunday.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Supreme Court Ruling

Many of you are no doubt aware that the state Supreme Court struck down the extension of the safer-at-home order. What does this mean for services? The short answer at this very moment is: we don't know. Local governments are debating how to handle this. Brown country has extended the order there. Watch the website for further guidance as we hear from state and synodical officials.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Worship for May 10, 2020

Pastor Arnold has posted a brief service and a sermon for this week. The service uses an abbreviated version of the Common Service on page 15 in the hymnal. You can listen in MP3 format (17M) or download the sermon to read in PDF format (49K). The readings for the fifth Sunday of Easter are:
The hymns which we would have sung are (note: this would have been confirmation Sunday as well):
  • 599, "Our Lord and God, Oh, Bless This Day"
  • 141, "At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing"
  • 367, "Christ Be My Leader"
  • 597, "May God the Father of Our Lord"
This Sunday is also Mother's Day in our country. We thank God for our mothers and grandmothers. Through their love for us, we see a picture of God the Father's own great love for us all. May God be with them and bless them and continue to make them a blessing to us!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Worship for May 3, 2020

Pastor Arnold has posted a brief service and sermon for this week. The service uses Morning Devotion on page 152 in our hymnal. You can listen to the service (MP3, 16M) or read his sermon (PDF, 47K). The readings for the fourth Sunday in Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, are:
The hymns we would have sung are:
  • 374, "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need"
  • 375, "The King of Love My Shepherd Is"
  • 598, "My Maker, Be with Me"
  • 432, "I Am Jesus' Little Lamb"
As Pastor Arnold mentioned in his sermon, here is a setting of Johann Sebastian Bach's beautiful "Sheep May Safely Graze."


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Lutheran Meditations from Last Week

As promised, here are Pastor Arnold's Lutheran Meditations (PDF, 58K) for this past week which were broadcast on WOCO radio. He looked at different verses from Psalm 103 to find comfort and strength for times like these.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Worship for April 26, 2020

Pastor Arnold has posted his sermon, along with a confession of sins, the Apostles' Creed, prayer, and benediction. You can listen in MP3 format (18M) or read his sermon in PDF format.

The readings for today are:
The hymns for today would have been:
  • 143, "He's Risen, He's Risen"
  • 160, "This Joyful Eastertide"
  • 142, "Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"
  • 159, "Morning Breaks upon the Tomb"

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Pastor on WOCO

Pastor Arnold is up for Lutheran Meditations on WOCO radio this coming week, Monday through Friday, at 9:05 A.M. His devotions will be all about the comfort and confidence we can receive in times like this from Psalm 103. They will be broadcast on FM 107.1 and AM 1260. Once they have all been broadcast, Pastor Arnold will post them on this site. May God strengthen and support us through his powerful Word, just like he promised!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Email Scam

Apparently there is a new email scam going around that has happened with a couple of pastors in the area. The scammers will make the email look like it is coming from Pastor Arnold. The email will appear to come from his email address when it is in fact coming from another one. They will ask you to buy iTunes or some other kind of gift card. He would never in a million years under any circumstances email ask you to buy gift cards for him like this. Just delete the email.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Technical Issues Resolved

It seems that all of our technical issues have been resolved. We once again apologize for the inconvenience. The website is functioning properly again and the pastor@stpaul-ocontofalls.org is also working. If you have any issues, please feel free to contact Pastor Arnold at that email address.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Worship for April 19, 2020

Pastor Arnold has posted his sermon and a brief service based on the General Devotion in the hymnal. You can listen to it in MP3 format (17M) or read his sermon in PDF format.

The readings for today are:
The hymns we would have sung are:
  • 147, "Like the Golden Sun Ascending"
  • 161, "Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands"
  • 165, "O Sons and Daughters of the King"
  • 162, "He Is Arisen! Glorious Word"

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Worship for Easter

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Pastor Arnold has posted a special service for Easter Sunday in MP3 format (19M). You can also download his sermon in PDF format. Here are the lessons for Easter morning:
The hymns we would have sung are:
  • 154, "Alleluia, Alleluia, Give Thanks"
  • 150, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Alleluia"
  • 167, "Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense"
  • 152, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives"
  • 153, "Alleluia! Jesus Lives"
Remember there will be a special Easter service at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary at 6:00 P.M. Following that service there will be some question and answer time with Seminary President Pastor Earle Treptow and Pastor Jon Hein, coordinator of WELS Congregational Services. This will be available for viewing afterward if you can't be there at 6:00.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Worship for Good Friday

Pastor Arnold has posted the service for Good Friday in MP3 format (21M). It includes a reading of Jesus' seven words from the cross, his sermon, prayer, and a special reading at the end. You can also download his sermon in PDF format. The Psalm for today is Psalm 22 where the Holy Spirit inspired King David to write about the events of Good Friday almost 1000 years ahead of time.

The hymns we would have sung today are:
  • 137, "Oh, Darkest Woe"
  • 139, "Jesus, in Your Dying Woes"
  • 105, "Sacred Head, Now Wounded"
  • 138, "Oh, Perfect Life of Love"
It is finished, just like Jesus said!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Worship for Maundy Thursday

Pastor Arnold has recorded a service for Maundy Thursday as an MP3 (32M) that includes his sermon as well as an explanation of the Communion liturgy in the Service of Word and Sacrament. You can also download his sermon in PDF format.

The readings for tonight would have been the seventh part of the Passion History as published by the Wartburg Project, the translators of the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible. The Psalm would have been Psalm 116.

The hymns we would have sung are:
  • 136, "'Twas on that Dark, that Doleful Night"
  • 309, "Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord"
  • 135, "The Death of Jesus Christ, Our Lord"
  • 317, "O Lord, We Praise You"

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Worship for April 5, 2020

Pastor Arnold has recorded his sermon, along with an invocation, confession of sins, Apostles' Creed, prayer, and benediction. You can download it in MP3 format (17M). You can also download his sermon in PDF format.

The lessons for this Sunday, which is Palm Sunday, are:
The hymns we would have sung in church today are:
  • 131, "All Glory, Laud, and Honor"
  • 133, "Ride On, Ride On in Majesty"
  • 134, "O Bride of Christ, Rejoice"
  • 315, "Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face"
  • 130, "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna"
Those links for the readings will open up in Bible Gateway, showing the passages in the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible. May God bless our worship, even though we can't be together!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Synod-Wide Holy Week Worship Opportunities

In addition to the sermons that will be posted here for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, we will have some special worship opportunities Synod-wide for Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, April 5, WELS President Mark Schroeder will have a special message for our members that will be posted at 6:00 P.M. On Easter Sunday there will be a special service at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary also at 6:00 P.M. Following that service there will be some question and answer time with Seminary President Pastor Earle Treptow and Pastor Jon Hein, coordinator of WELS Congregational Services. Both of those opportunities will be available online afterward if you are not able to watch when they are broadcast live.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Worship for March 29, 2020

Pastor Arnold has recorded his sermon, along with an invocation, confession of sins, Apostles' Creed, prayer, and benediction. You can download it in MP3 format (18M). You can also download his sermon in PDF format.

The lessons for this Sunday, which is the fifth Sunday in Lent, are:
The hymns we would have sung in church today are:
  • 211, "I Know of a Sleep in Jesus' Name"
  • 114 v1-5, "Christ, the Life of All the Living"
  • 607, "How Blest Are They"
  • 114 v6-7, "Christ, the Life of All the Living"
Those links will open up in Bible Gateway, showing the passages in the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible. May God bless our worship, even though we can't be together!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hymns for Today

Some members have asked me to post the hymns that we would have sung in church today. They are:
  • 194, "Oh, that I Had a Thousand Voices"
  • 486, "Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us"
  • 359, "Jesus, My Great High Priest"
  • 436, "Jesus, Shepherd of the Sheep"

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Worship for March 22, 2020

Pastor Arnold has recorded his sermon, along with an invocation, confession of sins, Apostles' Creed, prayer, and benediction. You can download it in MP3 format (15M). You can also download his sermon in PDF format.

The lessons for this Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday in Lent, are:
Those links will open up in Bible Gateway, showing the passages in the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible. May God bless our worship, even though we can't be together!

Letter to the Congregation

Pastor Arnold is sending a letter to our members, detailing how we will be proclaiming God's Word while we are still unable to meet together. You can read that letter here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Online Lenten Service

St. John in Wauwatosa, WI, livestreams their services. You can watch today's service. The guest preacher is Pastor Timothy Wempner, a classmate of Pastor Arnold.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Services Canceled

Because of Governor Evers prohibited meetings of more than 10, our services are canceled for the foreseeable future. Please check back on this site on Sunday for some worship materials.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Governor Evers Ban on Meetings Larger Than 50

Today Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers put a ban on meetings of more than 50 people. The pastors of our circuit are meeting tomorrow to discuss how we will handle this situation. Pastor Arnold will also be discussing this with the church council on Thursday. Watch this site for details later in the week.

We pray that God would give our leaders wisdom to deal with this virus outbreak.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19

As you know the COVID-19 aka Corona virus is going across the nation. Following Governor Evers' mandate, the last class for our Little Lambs Pre-School will be this coming Tuesday, March 17. Classes will resume when we get the all clear.

Our services will continue as scheduled (please see the update from March 17 above). Just use the common sense precautions given in this article from the Wisconsin Synod. Please also read this blog post from one of the counselors at Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Service on how to have calm amidst all the chaos.

In everything we know that our almighty Father is in control. He will bring blessing out of this, just like he does with every trouble in life. We commit ourselves to his very capable hands, confident of his love for us in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mid-Week Lenten Services

We will be holding mid-week Lenten services on Wednesdays at 7:00 P.M. from February 26-April 1. You are invited to join us as we watch Jesus win the greatest victory of all time!