Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day: Now for Tomorrow!

Hi All,
Hope you're having a great time today, celebrating the birth of the Reformation.
Tomorrow, however, is All Saints Day, so let's celebrate this day in style!

Minor Festival and Colour.
All Saints Day
1st November

"The Commemoration of All Saints" was first celebrated in the East. The feast is found in the West on different dates in the eighth century. The Roman Martyrology mentions that this date is a claim of fame for Gregory IV (827-844) and that he extended this observance to the whole of Christendom; it seems certain, however, that Gregory III (731-741) preceded him in this. At Rome, on the other hand, on May 13, there was the annual commemoration of the consecration of the basilica of St. Maria ad Martyres (or St. Mary and All Martyrs). This was the former Pantheon, the temple of Agrippa, dedicated to all the gods of paganism, to which Boniface IV had translated many relics from the catacombs. Gregory VII transferred the anniversary of this dedication to November 1.
Things to Do.
All Saints' Cakes
(Heiligenstriezel; Strucel Swiateczne; Mindszenti Kalacska)

On All Saints' Day in some parts of Europe, this festive cake is baked. It is a sweet dough, made of braided strands. These "All Saints' Cakes are called Heiligenstriezel in German, Strucel Swiateczne in Polish, Mindszenti Kalacska in Hungarian.

The next day, the same dough is used to make figures. Boys receive a cake in the shape of a hare, and the girls are given a cake in the shape of a hen. (This is an interesting combination of fertility symbols and "spirit bread".)

· 8 cups flour
· 2 cups milk
· 4 yeast cakes
· 8 egg yolks
· 2 cups sugar
· 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
· 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
· 1/2 cup soft butter
· 1 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast cakes in 1/2 cup of the milk. Make thin sponge by mixing yeast with rest of milk and 1 cup of flour. Mix thoroughly, sprinkle top lightly with flour and set aside to rise. Add salt to egg yolks, beat until thick and lemon-colored. Add sugar, rinds, and mix with sponge. Add two cups of flour, alternating with the milk, and knead for half-hour.

Add remaining flour and butter and continue to knead until the dough comes away from the hand. Set in warm place to rise until double in bulk. Separate dough into four parts, roll into long strips and braid into loaf. Brush top with lightly beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seed. Let rise. Bake in 350° oven for one hour.

Recipe Source: Holyday Book, The by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., New York, 1956

Photo credit: 'for us 2' by spiz

Sunday, October 29, 2006

No Ladder Required!

Hi All,
Welcome to Reformation Sunday! Join in with us and listen to Pastor John talk about the truths, rediscovered by Martin Luther, that lead us to realise what we do in our Lutheran faith: we wait for God to come to us.
Breathing new life into our fallen selves, God, through Jesus Christ and His work, makes us realize that we can never be good enough to work our way to Him
through good works/false humility/mortification, indeed by anything that we could do. God always comes down to us!

Click to listen or download:
No Ladder Required!

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
29th October 2006
Reformation Sunday

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, you have build your church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Join us together in one spirit by their teaching, and make us into a holy temple pleasing to you. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points.

  • Give thanks for the Reformation and the reemphasis that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone.
  • Pray that this would be the message in Christian churches throughout the world.
  • Give thanks for the work of the Holy Spirit in all different Christian denominations.
  • Pray that the Lutheran Church of Australia would know how to reach this generation with the good news in a way which speaks to them.
  • Give thanks for the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Andrew D. that brought him to the waters of baptism this morning.
  • Give thanks as we welcome two other members into God’s family as Benjamin S. is baptized at Holy Cross and Abbey M. is baptized at St John’s.
  • Pray for Wolfgang G. who remains in Intensive Care in an induced coma.
  • Pray for others in our community who are suffering illness: Linda F., Fritz T., Christine F., Horst M., Max C., Harold M., Hardy B.
  • Pray for the Lutheran Churches in Wagga Wagga and their pastors Mark Lieschke and John Guilfoyle.
Todays Readings
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Romans 3:10-28
John 14:21-27

Todays liturgical colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours this week:
Reformation Day
31st October
Reformation Day is celebrated on 31 October, when in 1517, Martin Luther tacked up his 95 Thesis on the church doors of Wittenburg.
Click here for a great website with things to do to celebrate Reformation Day!

Thought for the Week.
'Here I stand: I can do no other. God help me. Amen!'
Martin Luther.

Photo credit: 'Arrow Blue' by Andreas Blum, Germany.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let the Kids In!

Hi Everyone,
Pastor John speaks in todays message about the meaning of families and the pain of divorce, all evident in the passage of Mark 10:2-16.
Marital breakup should never be taken lightly: it will always leave a scar on both parties. Sometimes it's bitterness or hurt, longing, regret or even an unreal expectation of a new partner, which can cause the break-up of another relationship.
This is not what God had in mind when he brought forth woman from man-it is yet another result of our wilful step into sin.

Click here to download: Let the Kids In!

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
22nd October 2006
20th Sunday after Pentecost

Prayer of the Day

Loving heavenly Father, you have made us your own children, the younger brothers and sisters of your Son, Jesus. Give us faith like a little child, so that we ask you for whatever we need with complete confidence. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points
  • Give thanks for the institution of marriage and God's blessing upon it.
  • Pray for married couples who are struggling to maintain their relationships that they would have the courage to seek help.
  • Pray for people who suffer in abusive relationships that they would be safe.
  • Give thanks for the way God works through the waters of baptism.
  • Give thanks for the blessing on Kyan P. and Toby J. as they enter the kingdom of God this morning.
  • Pray for Kyan and Toby's parents and god-parents that they would be able to fulfill the promises they make.
  • Pray for those in our community suffering illness or hospitialization: Fritz T., Wolfgang G., Christine F., Harold M., Helga S., Irmgard J., Max C., Hardy B. and Linda F.
  • Pray for rain and for farming communities under immense pressure from the drought.
  • Pray for our politicians as they prepare to debate the Patterson bill on human cloning.
  • Pray for Pastor Mark Welke and the Temora parish.
  • Pray for Amanda Spalding as she takes up a new challenge as an apprentice chef in Canberra.
Todays Readings.
Genesis 2:18-24
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16

Todays liturgical colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours this week:
St Simon and St Jude
28th October
Both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament.

St. Simon is represented in art with a saw, the instrument of his martyrdom. St. Jude's square points him out as an architect of the house of God. St. Paul called himself by this name; and St. Jude, by his Epistle, has also a special right to be reckoned among our Lord's principal workmen. But our apostle had another nobility, far surpassing all earthly titles: being nephew, by his father Cleophas or Alpheus, to Joseph, and legal cousin to the Man-God, Jude was one of those called by their compatriots the brethren of the carpenter's Son.

We may gather from St. John's Gospel another precious detail concerning him. In John 14:21-31 (the admirable discourse at the close of the last Supper), our Lord said: "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love those who love me; I too will love them and reveal myself to them." Then Jude (Judas) asked Him: "Lord, how can it be that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" And he received from Jesus this reply: "Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them. Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me. "

Things to do: try some English Soul Cakes

Thought for the Week.
"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
Galileo Galilei

Photo credit: 'Take My Hand' by Jeremy Brown

Monday, October 16, 2006


It's been said that signs can either clarify or confuse. For me, this pic from 'The Lutheran' magazine (May 2005) seems to sum up what I think really shows one of the differences about the Lutheran faith: Works in the left hand kingdom, Grace in the right hand kingdom.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Specialist.

Hi All,
This week, Pastor John talks over just why we need a specialist to help us with our terminal disease of sin. Christ is our 'specialist' high priest, and we, as His priests, need Him to make peace with God, just as the Jewish High Priest did on the Day of Atonement each year. There is one difference, though: Christ intercedes for us all the time, removing that veil of sin that separated us since the day of our birth.

Click here to listen or download : The Specialist.

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
15th October, 2006.
19th Sunday after Penticost.

Prayer of the Day
Jesus, Son of God, we thank you that you suffered so much because of our sins and gave up your life. Make us willing to serve and strengthen us for suffering, until we live with you forever. For you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points
  • Pray for those struggling to come to terms with the decision of the LCA Synod not to allow the ordination of women.
  • Pray for unity for our Lutheran Church.
  • Give thanks for what Jesus has done for us and pray that his life might be reflected in how we live.
  • Pray for those in our community who are in ill health or in hospital: Fritz T., Max C., Irmgard J.,Christine F., Hardy B., Harold M., Linda F. and Wolfgang G.
  • Pray for our politians as they prepare to debate the Patterson bill on human cloning.
  • Pray for Pastor John Davidson and the Leeton/Griffith parish.
  • Pray for rain!
  • Pray for a sensible and wise response from world leaders to the nuclear testing in North Korea.
Todays Readings
Isaiah 53:4-12
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

Todays liturgical colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours This Week
St Luke
18th October
St. Luke, the inspired author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, was a native of Antioch in Syria and a physician, and one of the early converts from paganism. He accompanied St. Paul on a considerable part of his missionary journeying, even companioning him in prison at Rome on two different occasions. His account of these events, contained in the Acts, is firsthand history.

Luke's Gospel emphasizes the fact that Christ is the salvation of all men, especially of the repentant sinner and of the lowly. Legend says that Luke painted the Virgin Mary's portrait. It is certainly true that he painted the most beautiful word-picture of Mary ever written.

Things to Do
Try some Banbury Tarts!
St. Luke, "the beloved physician" of Antioch, was a convert of St. Paul. He gathered information from the apostles in order to write his Gospel, sailed with Paul to Macedonia, stayed for seven years at Philippi, shared perils and shipwreck during a voyage to Rome, and was Paul's faithful companion to the end. He himself died the death of a martyr in Achaia some time later.

Some of the great fairs held in England in October were once placed under St. Luke's patronage. Now, even though we have no authentic information as to the food sold at these fairs, we can be sure that buns, pastries, and tarts were included. Furthermore, we know that Banbury Tarts rank high in England's culinary fame. So let's serve these raisin tarts for dessert on October 18, St. Luke's Day, and place cubes of sharp Cheddar cheese alongside of them.

· 1 cup sugar
· 2 teaspoons cornstarch
· 1 cup raisins
· 1 egg
· 2 saltine crackers
· grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
· 2 packages pie crust mix

Combine sugar and cornstarch; add raisins. Beat egg slightly; add. Crumble saltine crackers; add with lemon juice and peel. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until thickened. Prepare pie crust according to directions on package; roll out 1/8 inch thick on floured board. Cut in 4-inch squares. Place a spoonful of raisin mixture on each square. Fold over to make triangle. Press edges together with tines of fork. Prick tops with design. Bake on cookie sheet at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Source: The Cook's Blessings by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965

Thought for the Week
"Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use."
Wendell Johnson

Photo credit: 'Health Care' by Tom Denham, Fl, USA.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Through the Eye of a Needle.

Hello Everyone!
This week we have a special treat: Pastor John's dad, Reverend Joe Strelan is preaching on the passage from Mark 10:17. The rich young ruler who meets Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. There are many 'classic' statements in this passage that show us how our worldview can seriously mess up our thinking on important spiritual truths.

His most telling question is "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" As we know, you don't 'do' to inherit; it is a gift, given by one who has died. The deceased can bequeath to whomever they wish and many people have been given an inheritance even though they may have known the person for the briefest time, or (in the case of institutions) not even at all!!

And so it is with our Lord: he will give His inheritance to those He will (doctrine of election) because we cannot do anything: we are 'dead in our transgressions'!

Click to listen or download to Pastor Joe:
Through the Eye of a Needle

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
8th October 2006
18th Sunday after Pentecost

Prayer of the Day
Our Saviour Jesus, it is through you that we come to God. Do not let us be drawn away from you by the glitter of wealth or the burdens of daily concerns, but make us ready to leave everything and boldly follow you. For you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points.
  • Pray for the work of pastor Simon Mackenzie in Thailand and for his safety at this time.
  • Pray for those who are sick in hospital: Fritz T., Max C., Irmgard J., Christine F. and Linda F.
  • Give thanks that the LCA could meet together as synod this past week.
  • Pray for the spirit of freedom and openness in our church so that the Gospel can do its work.
  • Give thanks for the gift of grace that comes from God and leads to eternal life.
  • Pray that our tongues would be loosed to speak the Good News the we have received.
  • Pray for Pastor Michael Braunberger and the St. Andrews & St. Peter's congregations in Lavington.
  • Pray for our national president Rev. Michael Semmler who was re-elected for another three years at synod.
Todays Readings
Amos 5:6,7,10-15
Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31

Todays Liturgical colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours this week:

Thought for the Week.
What must I do to inherit eternal life?
Mark 10:17 (GNB)

Photo Credit: 'The World is Yours' by Brian Lary.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Am The Greatest!

Hello All,
This week Pastor John presents the scriptural message of Mark 9:30-37. Jesus explained to the quarelling disciples that their own place in the coming 'New World Order' was not based on a geo-political, temporal glory but that they should be looking to be as a little child, having no important rank but only wishing to serve others without thought for themselves.

Click to download or listen: 'I Am The Greatest!'

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
1st October, 2006
17th Sunday after Pentecost.

Prayer of the Day
Holy God, take away any obstacles that cause us to stumble or fall in our faith and keep us from causing others to stumble. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for General Synod.
As General Synod begins in Queensland this weekend we pray for the safety and protection of every delegate as they travel and for your blessing on them as they represent your Church. As the debate on the ordination of women is entered into, we pray for the unity of the Church and our Confession of Faith. Whatever the outcome of General Synod, keep us together in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. May you will be done among us and through us for the blessing of the world you call us to serve in Jesus' name. Amen.

Prayer Points.
  • Give thanks for God's blessing on Tilda S. who enters God's family through the waters of baptism at St John's this morning. Pray that Tilda may gow in faith and understanding of Jesus.
  • Give thanks for the opportunities we have to worship in peace.
  • Give thanks for the meeting of LCA pastors this past week and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct the decisions of Synod.
  • Give thanks of the blessing of God on the marriage of Joanne W. and Thomas M. yesterday.
  • Pray for all those who are weak or marginalized in our community. Pray for the ability to reach out in love to them.
  • Pray for those who are sick or in hospital: Fritz T., Max C., Irmgard J., Christine F. and Linda F.
  • Pray for St John's Lutheran School in Jindera and it's principle, Sharon Kotzur.
  • Pray for families who are divided by animosity and jealousy.
  • Pray for opportunities to serve and to reveal the greatness of God through service.
Thank you to the family and friends of Tilda S. (Eila R.'s granddaughter) allowing us to share in the celebration of her baptism.
Next week (8-10-06) we will have Rev Joe Strelan as guest preacher. Please come along to hear the message.

Todays Readings.
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:30-37

Todays Liturgical Colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours this week:
None this week.

Thought for the Week.
What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?

Irv Kupcinet (July 31, 1912 – November 10, 2003) was a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and broadcast personality based in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo credit: 'Ali vs Liston: First Round, First Minute' from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.