The Teaching Corner is a monthly educational column written for our newsletter (usually by Pastor Adam Ruschau). This column seeks to address questions people have about church, the Bible, faith, and more. If you have a question, please write it down on a slip of paper and deposit it in the orange "Teaching Corner Box" in the narthex.
Here is the latest Teaching Corner column:
Many people coming to the Bible for the first time may open it up expecting the Bible to flow like any other book, from the beginning to the end in a chronological fashion. Of course the Bible does start at the very beginning, at creation, in Genesis, and ends and the end, the restoration of creation under God in the book of Revelation. However, many of the books in between do not flow in chronological order either in the order in which scholars think they were written or in the order in which events are covered. But that doesn’t mean there is no organization to it. Since the Bible is a library of books of various types of literature, the Bible is organized along more of a library principle.
The Old Testament’s organization is far more complicated than that of the New Testament, complicated in part by decisions about what type of literature a certain book is and the Hebrew tradition that informs us. The first five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) of the Bible are the Pentateuch or Torah. These are the central books of Hebrew faith, the books of the law, the books describing the origin and purpose of God’s chosen people. Following the Torah come the so-called history books of the Old Testament in roughly chronological order (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther). Following the historical books are the books classified as poetry or wisdom literature (Job, Psalms Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs). Then come the prophets with the major (or longer) prophetic books first, (like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel), followed by the lesser (shorter) prophetic books (with Lamentations thrown in after Jeremiah because Lamentations is thought to be written by Jeremiah).
The New Testament has an even more systematic organization, with its three odd ball books (those who don’t have a similar book to them in the New Testament) placed in between the systematic categories. First come the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), organized as the early church originally thought of their order of writing (though most scholars today think Mark is the oldest gospel). Then comes the book of Acts, the second volume of Luke’s gospel, but so different in its content (tracing the history of the early church) that it has no other book in the New Testament quite like it. Following these five narratives come the letters of Paul, which are all named by their recipients. (Otherwise we would be referring to them as 1 Paul, 5 Paul, 13 Paul, etc., and it might get rather confusing.) First come Paul’s nine letters to churches organized from longest to shortest (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians). Then comes Paul’s four letters to individuals, also ordered from longest to shortest (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon). Following Paul’s letters are the remaining epistles, starting with Hebrews (another odd ball book since it is more of a sermon than an epistle and is the only book of the New Testament without an attributed author). The other epistles, named after their attributed authors, are also organized by author, longest to shortest (James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude). The final book of the New Testament is, of course, Revelation, an apocalypse which has no other New Testament book like it and is most similar to the Old Testament book of Daniel (another apocalypse).
Everyone knows that the Bible is a rather complex book (In fact. it is a complex library of books.) and that it can be a challenge to understand certain passages or even entire books of the Bible. Many faithful Christians are confronted with a both a desire and a call to read the Bible for themselves, but often don’t know where to begin and can get easily frustrated when what they are reading doesn’t make sense. With this in mind, here are a few, hopefully helpful, pointers and reminders.
1. Choose a translation of the Bible that is helpful for what you need it for. Unless you read and are fluent in ancient Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, you need to read a translation of the Bible and, as anyone who has learned more than one language fluently can tell you, some things always get lost in translation. Numerous English translations of the Bible exist and some are better than others at certain things. The King James Version (KJV) is a beautiful and poetic translation and just the version want to use if you are planning to cross stitch and frame a Bible verse on your wall, but unless you read Shakespearean poetry for fun and are completely fluent in 16th century English, the KJV is exceedingly difficult to read. Other English translations run the gambit from being an actual literal translation of the Greek and Hebrew to being simply a paraphrase in modern colloquial English. In between are a number of versions that attempt to be a “dynamic” translation (a thought for thought more than a word for word translation), such as the popular New International Version (NIV). Those that are more of a paraphrase [such as the Good News Bible (TEV), the Living Bible (NLT), the Contemporary English Version (CEV), and The Message] are easy and helpful for devotional reading, but can present challenges for a closer study of scripture, while those that are more of a literal translation [such as the Revised Standard Version (RSV), the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), the English Standard Version (ESV), and the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB)] present a slightly greater difficulty to the reading, but are better for a Bible study. To this is added the complication of theological interpretation of scripture. Since all translations are translated by Christians with a particular theological outlook, this outlook is sometimes passed on in the interpretation, choosing to interpret a given text more in line with the theology of that church. While this typically doesn’t strongly impact one’s ability to understand scripture, it is something to keep in mind when comparing differing English translations and studying controversial passages. Once you select a translation that is helpful for what you need it for, it is helpful to know what that translation’s strengths and weaknesses are. (I will hopefully be putting together a reference sheet soon for those who are interested comparing some of the differences between popular English translations.)
2. Find a Commentary and/or edition of the Bible that gives you the helps you need. Not everyone is a Biblical scholar and so it is often helpful to have some scholarly input
as you read scripture. While a basic Bible simply consists of the books of the Bible, many Bibles are published with various helps such as maps (to locate unfamiliar places and put them into
geographic context), a concordance (to help find verses on a particular topic or containing a particular word), book introductions (to give some background on the book of the Bible you are about to
read, devotionals (to compliment your reading of certain texts), and in-text commentary (to address some common questions about a particular verse or passage). Various study Bibles can be a
great help in reading scripture, but it is also important to note that study Bibles will much more strongly reflect the denominational theology of the publishing company than any given
translation. (Once again, this merely something to keep in mind rather than any insistence that only a “Lutheran” Study Bible is helpful.) Study Bibles can also overwhelm the average
reader with more notes than one knows what to do with, so if selecting a study Bible be sure to look for one that has notes that are helpful to you without overwhelming you with too much information.
While in-text Bible helps are useful, it is often more useful to have a good commentary to compliment your reading, though it gets rather expensive to buy a whole commentary series. Many commentaries are aimed at a very scholarly crowd, doing a lot of work with the nuances of the Greek and Hebrew languages, but some are more accessible to the layman. I have found the Interpretation series, published by Westminster John Knox Press, to be a helpful series that balances high scholarship with readability. N.T. Wright’s New Testament commentaries, The Bible for Everyone series, is an even more readable and informative commentary. Like Bible translations and editions, Bible commentaries can be hit and miss depending on both the level of detail you want to learn and how scholarly you want to get, and the best way to find a commentary that works for you is to simply try reading a few different ones. (There are several commentaries available for borrowing in the church library and I am willing to let anyone borrow some of the commentaries in my office upon request.)
3. Don’t be afraid to highlight important verses or write down questions about that which you still don’t understand, even in the Bible itself. The Bible is a holy book, but that doesn’t mean you cannot make marks in it. While the thinness of pages in certain Bibles discourages writing anything in them, part of personal Christian devotional life for centuries has been marking up the Bible with highlights, questions, and notes. Some Bibles are even published with wider margins to encourage this practice. But if writing in a book offends your sensibilities, (or you don’t have the Bible for it) having a journal to jot down your questions, thoughts and favorite verses is a great way to get a lot out of a Bible reading. Writing down your thoughts can personalize a Biblical passage for you, keeping track of special verses gives you scriptures to turn to that give you help and inspiration in various aspects of your life, and writing down questions allow you to bring those questions to other Christians for discussion and/or answers.
4. Always remember that the best commentary or help in understanding scripture is conversation with fellow Christians. While commentaries, study Bibles, certain translations and more can offer great assistance in further understanding scripture, there is no substitute for talking scripture over with your brothers and sisters in Christ. As we each read the Bible, we bring our own questions, assumptions, experience and knowledge to scripture, and when we share this with others, scripture is often opened to us in new and enlightening ways.
Looking at obituaries today can be rather confusing at times. Some people have memorial services, some have funerals, and a growing number are now having “celebrations of life” in addition to whatever other creative names for these events people come up with. It doesn’t help the confusion between these events when these phrases are sometimes used interchangeably and even falsely to describe what is happening. For while all three of these are a helpful format for grief and consolation at the death of a loved one, they are distinctly different from each other with a different intended function.
A memorial service can perhaps best be described as a funeral type service where the body (or the ashes) of the deceased are not present. Memorial services can be either secular or religious and can vary widely in their practice because of this. The primary purpose of a memorial service is to remember and honor the dead and give the family and friends of the deceased an opportunity to publicly share their memories and positive feelings for their loved one. Memorial services typically center around a eulogy, a speech given in remembrance of their lost loved one. Some memorial services can be very liturgical while others can be very informal. In the Christian tradition memorial services are most appropriate when (for whatever circumstances) a community of family and friends are unable to celebrate a funeral. For example, if I passed away next month, it is likely that my wife would make arrangements for my funeral and burial to be done back in Ohio. However, it is unlikely that many from Redeemer would be able to travel all the way to Ohio for that funeral and therefore, the congregation may decide to hold a memorial service in Jasper for me at a later date (Of course it may be rather presumptuous to think that people would want to hold a memorial service for me.)
A “Celebration of Life” can perhaps best be described as a combination of a wake and funeral meal where the body (or ashes) of the deceased are not present. “Celebrations of Life” can often resemble a graduation party where the guest of honor is not present. A “Celebration of Life” can include a memorial service or a short prayer, but is generally focused on the gathering of family and friends. Like memorial services a “Celebration of Life” can be secular or religious, but skews far more strongly to the secular. The primary purpose of a “Celebration of Life” is to gather friends and family together to remember the deceased and share stories. A “Celebration of Life” typically centers around food fellowship and memorabilia of the deceased (pictures, diplomas, crafts, etc.). “Celebrations of Life” are a relatively new fad in the mourning business, but the elements making it up have been around for centuries.
A funeral is a worship service where the body (or ashes) of the deceased are present. Funerals are by definition religious; there is nothing secular about them. The purpose of a Christian funeral is “to worship, to proclaim Christ crucified and risen, to remember before God our beloved sister or brother in Christ, to commend him/her to our merciful redeemer, and to comfort one another in our grief.” A funeral centers around the proclamation of the gospel for the deceased (scripture readings and sermon) and the commendation of that loved one to God’s redemptive care. While a memorial service might include this first part (the proclamation of the gospel), only funerals provide the second part. That commendation and committal, which happens only at a funeral, provides a sense of hope and promise that is real and not just psychological as we commend and commit our brothers and sisters in Christ “in sure and certain hope of the resurrection.” One could say that one of the perks of being a Christian is the ability to have a funeral, the ability to be commended by our loved ones into the promise of resurrection in Christ.
Unfortunately funerals have gotten a bad rap in our culture which for some reason sees memorial services and “celebrations of life” as more “upbeat” ways of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Christian funerals acknowledge the sadness and loss at death directly rather than indirectly. In a funeral the reality and sting of death is not covered up, ignored, or smoothed over, but instead it is acknowledged in its fullness and confronted head on with the power of the gospel. A funeral works to bring us all from our despair at death to the place where we can shout out in Christian confidence with Paul “’Where, O Death, is thy victory? Where, O Death is thy sting?’ . . . Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:55,57) Funerals are an incredibly powerful Christian witness. It is in them that we proclaim what we really believe, what really makes our faith so important. While memorial services, “celebrations of life,” and funerals are all helpful ways in enabling us to deal with our grief, I think it is in funerals that we find the most uplifting, most hopeful way of overcoming the pain and sadness of death.
November 1 is known on the church calendar as All Saints Day. It is considered one of the “Lesser Festivals” of the church year, but along with Reformation it is one of two lesser festivals that we traditionally celebrate every year, even when November 1 and October 31 (Reformation Day) do not fall on Sundays. (Most other lesser festivals on the church calendar we only observe in Sunday worship if that day falls on a Sunday, such as Michael and all Angels, Mary, Mother of our Lord, Holy Cross Day, etc.) This tells us some of the importance we place on this particular lesser festival.
Although we do not canonize saints within the Lutheran tradition in the same way as the Catholic tradition does, we nevertheless believe the saints are important. A saint is someone in whom the grace of God is at work, bringing about a greater holiness or sanctity. In this respect, all Christians could be considered saints, though we tend to use this label to refer the the faithful departed or people of great influence and inspiration in our faith. While many traditional saints have their feast days throughout the year, All Saints Day is a day to celebrate all the saints together, both the named and unnamed saints. The tradition of commemorating all the saints of the church on a single day goes back to at least the third century. In the eighth century Pope Gregory III combined All Martyrs Day with a celebration of all the saints and moved the festival to November 1st as All Saints Day. Neo-pagans, atheists and agnostics are quick to point out that All Saints Day is celebrated on the same day as the Celtic festival of Samhein, the ancient Celtic new year, a festival associated with human death as the harvest ended and the cold winter began. All Saints Day was moved to this date to speak a message of Christian hope and promise at a time of year when many were already reflecting on death and the dead.
Therefore All Saints Day celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who make up the body of Christ. On this day we especially remember all who have died in the faith and now serve God around the heavenly throne. It is, in a way, the church’s celebration of the church, and a way for us to confront the day to day reality of death with the promise of Christ for us and all our loved ones.
Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) was a major leader of the Lutheran Reformation and the second most influential theologian of the Lutheran Reformation (after Martin Luther, himself). He stands alongside Luther as the co-founder of what would become the Lutheran church. He was also a great reformer in his own right.
Melanchthon was a younger colleague of Martin Luther at the University of Wittenberg. He was a professor of Greek at the university and an early supporter of Luther’s reform efforts. In 1521 (the same year as the Diet of Worms and Luther’s excommunication), Melancthon wrote the Loci Communes, the first effort to organize and systematize Protestant theology. In 1530, when Emperor Charles V summoned the Lutheran princes to the Diet of Augsburg to give and account of themselves, Melanchthon was chosen to write the confession of faith. The Augsburg Confession that Melanchthon wrote became the key theological document of the Lutheran Church. Adherence to the Augsburg Confession is still what defines a church as “Lutheran” today. In response to the Medieval Roman Catholic church’s critique of the Augsburg Confession, Melanchthon also wrote the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (a brilliant theological defense of the confession). In the late 1530s, when Luther was writing his last theological will and testament (The Smalcald Articles) Melanchthon wrote a Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Papacy as an attachment to the Augsburg Confession. (In 1530 the Augsburg Confession had said nothing about Protestant issues with the office of the Papacy in order to make it more acceptable.) This means that of the seven documents (excluding the three creeds) in the Book of Concord (the collection of authoritative confessions of the Lutheran Church), Melanchthon is the author of three of them (the Augsburg Confession, the Apology, and the Treatise) and Luther the author of three others (Small and Large Catechisms, and the Smalcald Articles). In his writing Melanchthon was often much more diplomatic than Luther and while some of Luther’s writing is often remembered for its colorful polemic, Melanchthon’s writing is remembered for its organized and balanced theological arguments. While Luther and Melanchthon didn’t always agree eye to eye on everything, their families were close. In fact, Melanchthon’s wife and Luther’s wife (both Katherines) were close friends and the story goes that there was a path leading from the backyard of Luther’s house to the backyard of Melanchthon’s house that the women would use to see each other even if their husbands were having an argument.
After Luther’s death and the defeat of the Lutheran princes in the Smalcald War, Melanchthon was put in a difficult position. Melanchthon rejected the Augsburg Interim (the theological settlement the Emperor tried to enforce upon the defeated Protestants), but during the Leipzig Interim which followed, Melanchthon made several theological compromises that many Lutherans found unacceptable, and his reputation among more ardent Lutherans suffered accordingly. He died in 1560, and while some of his compromising theological statements are remembered with regret, his positive influence on the formation of the Lutheran Church is what he is most remembered for today.
If you’ve ever been to a worship service you may notice the pastor or assisting minister leading certain parts of the worship service from different places, or with different postures, or facing different directions. If you’ve been to worship enough times you may notice that some worship leaders have different patterns in their worship leadership than others and many worship leaders always do the same thing as if a certain posture were required for that liturgical act. So, are there right ways and wrong ways of leading certain prayers and parts of the liturgy? And what does all this movement in worship mean?
This simple answer to this is that all worship postures are what we would call adiaphora (stuff that is not essential to Christian worship and practice). There is no one right way to stand while leading a particular prayer or chanting a particular part of the worship liturgy. The pastor doesn’t have to stand by the baptismal font when leading the congregation in a Thanksgiving for Baptism. The assisting minister doesn’t have to face the cross while leading the congregation in the Prayers of Intercession. People don’t have to reverence the altar upon entering and exiting the chancel. At the same time, all of these acts and more have significance and are done for a reason, not just for the heck of it. Here are a few traditional and common practices of worship leaders and why they are done:
Reverencing the Altar/Cross--Worship leaders will often stop and bow upon entering and/or exiting the chancel (the area of the sanctuary bounded by the Communion or altar rail). This is done as a sign of reverence to God, acknowledging God’s presence, and in respect of the ministry that happens in that space, for the chancel is where the sacrament is celebrated and where the Word of God is proclaimed.
Leading from the Baptismal Font--Whenever a part of the liturgy that is very closely related to baptism occurs, it may be led from the baptismal font, wherever it is located in the sanctuary. Being by the font reminds the congregation of the promises of baptism and enables the worship leader to touch or pour the baptismal water and an even stronger reminder of baptism. The greeting to funerals, Thanksgiving for Baptism, Corporate Affirmation of Baptism, Confession and more can often be led from the font.
Facing the altar/cross during prayer/confession-- Often when leading prayers of the congregation, a worship leader will face the cross or altar. This is done as a sign of reverence and emphasizes the prayer leader as one who is praying with the congregation. It may also be done to allow the prayer leader to feel more prayerful and reflective. Other times, the person leading the prayer may face the congregation. This posture enables the congregation to better hear the content of the prayer. Neither posture is better than the other, but each emphasizes something important.
Lifting arms in prayer and blessing--When leading prayers the pastor or assisting minister may stand in with his/her arms outstretched in an ancient prayer posture known as Orans. The lifted arms and upturned palms symbolically direct the prayers to God. Meanwhile, in speaking words of blessing to the congregation a pastor may turn his/her palms towards the congregation as a symbol of God’s presence and blessing being directed to the people of the congregation.
This question is particularly relevant for my family at this time for our dog Schnitzel just passed away this last week. We had only had him for less than a year and a half, but he had become a part of our family in that time and his loss hurt us all. The questions and comments from Katie and Abby, my 8 and 6 year old daughters, came rolling in. “Why did Schnitzel have to die?” “But I’ll miss him so much!” Underlying it all was that question we all face when someone we love dies “Will we ever see him again?”
It isn’t only other people in our lives that we get emotionally attached to. Animals, especially pets, can be just as much one of our loved ones as the people we care about. We get to know them, they recognize us, and, though they can’t talk, they each have their own unique personality. When people die we can point to the promises we have through Christ of resurrection and eternal life, but what happens when a beloved pet dies? Will we ever see them again? Will they be there waiting for us when we pass away or are they gone forever simply because they aren’t human.
Some people have claimed that dogs don’t go to heaven because animals don’t have souls, but nowhere does the scripture say this. If we want to get technical about it, the whole belief in some sort of immortal soul really isn’t Christian, it is Greek. We are saved to new life because of Christ, not because there is anything about us that is inherently immortal. At the same time, scripture is fairly silent about the salvation of any animals leading speculation as to whether pets are “saved” or not all over the board. Many people, especially pet lovers, claim that dogs (and cats, horses, and more) do go to heaven, if only to give them comfort in their grief.
However, I believe that our hope to see our pets again after we die is not just a comforting thought, but one that has some very solid theological grounding. For first we understand that God has created everything--plants, animals, and us--and that God created it good. God cares about all of his creation, not just the humans, (though being made in the image of God we may claim a special place in God’s heart). Second, our ultimate Christian hope is not for eternal life in some disembodied spiritual heaven, but for eternal life with God in a restored and renewed creation. We have to remember that God’s purpose for salvation includes more than just us, it includes all of creation. We tend to be the most problematic part of that salvation for we often resist God and Jesus, but we are not the only part. God made those animals and put them in our lives for a reason. Life without those animals, even an eternal life, would be kind of empty. Therefore, I believe that I will see Schnitzel again some day along with Crockett, and Tina, and Sadie (the other dogs I have lost in my life) not because that thought helps me deal with my grief, but because God cares about those animals too. After all he made them and brought them into my life. So if anyone asks you if dogs go to heaven, you can respond with some conviction that yes, dogs do go to heaven. Amen.
A creed is most simply a statement of faith, a statement of what you believe. While there can be many different statements of faith that could be called Christian creeds, the Lutheran Church and many other Christian churches frequently use three historical creeds in worship to confess our faith. These three creeds are often referred to as the three ecumenical creeds since all churches with a legitimate claim of being a Christian church generally recognize the validity of these creeds, even if their particular denomination attaches no importance or frowns upon the use of creeds. The use of these creeds throughout the long history of the church has helped to draw the line between orthodoxy (right teaching) and heresy (false teaching). When we use these creeds in our worship we are confessing our faith, declaring that this is what we believe and teach, because “this is most certainly true!”
The three ecumenical creeds are the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest and shortest of the three creeds. We do not know exactly when it was written, but it has been very closely associated with baptism from its very beginning. The Apostles’ Creed is the creed confessed by those coming to baptism and by those affirming their baptism and is the most often used creed in Christian worship. The Nicene Creed was officially developed over the course of two church councils, the Council of Nicea (325 AD) and the Council of Constantinople (381 AD). The Nicene Creed was written both to help unite the church and to combat the growing heresy of Arianism within the church. (This heresy insisted that Jesus was not God but was merely the first creature created by God.) That is why the Nicene Creed’s second article contains those seemingly redundant phrases “God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made.” The Nicene Creed is the second most used creed in Christian worship. The third creed, the Athanasian Creed is less well known than the other two creeds. Its specific origin is not known, but it emerged a century or two after the Nicene Creed. Named after Athanasius, the major theological opponent of Arius and Arianism (but not written by him, for he died long before this creed was written), the Athanasian Creed helps to further define the boundaries of orthodoxy and heresy regarding the doctrine of the Trinity and and the person of Jesus. Its length and redundancy (especially in the Trinitarian section) makes the Athanasian Creed awkward to recite in worship and has traditionally been used in Lutheran worship only on Holy Trinity Sunday, but even its use on this day is falling out of style. The theology it expresses however is still a central part of our Christian faith. (The Athanasian Creed can be found on pages 54-55 in the Lutheran Book of Worship.)
Therefore, for the most part, we alternate confessing our faith with the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed in worship throughout the church year. While there is no hard and fast rule for which creed must be used in which season, traditionally the Nicene Creed is used for the higher festival days, including the entire seasons of Christmas and Easter, while the Apostles’ Creed is used during the other times of the church year. Typically if an event related to baptism occurs in worship (baptism, reception of new members, Confirmation, installation of officers, etc.) the Apostles’ Creed is used, even on days when the Nicene Creed would normally be used.
Whether it is the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, or even the Athanasian Creed, these statements of our catholic (universal) Christian faith help to unite us as Christians, remind us of what’s important, and provide a witness of our faith to the world. For as Luther says in his Small Catechism, when we confess the words of our creeds we are stating with faith and conviction that “This is most certainly true!”
Why can anyone receive Holy Communion in our church, but we can’t receive Communion in a Catholic Church? (November 2012)
Why do we not practice the Laying on of hands? (December 2012)
What is Zion? (January 2013)
What’s the difference between us and Catholics? (February 2013)
What is the liturgy? (March 2013)
What is that big candle by the baptismal font called, and why is it lit at sometimes and not others? (April 2013)
Why do many places talk about the seven days of creation if it says in the Bible that it took God six days to create and on the seventh day he rested? (May 2013)
Why do pastors and acolytes wear white robes in worship? (June 2013)
What is this “Season after Pentecost” all about? (July 2013)
Does the ELCA foster the Creationist (young world) concept? Why or Why not? (August 2013)
What do Lutherans believe about death and the afterlife? (September 2013)
What does the church teach about angels? (October 2013)
What is Christ the King Sunday? (November 2013)
Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th? (December 2013)
What is the meaning of the Advent wreath? (December 2014)
What is Epiphany about? (January 2015)
Where do the ashes we use on Ash Wednesday come from? (February 2015)
Redeemer Lutheran Church
140 E 32nd St
Jasper, IN 47546
Pastor:Rev. Adam Ruschau
Secretary: Kristine Harris
(Holy Communion is typically celebrated at all weekend worship services)
Youth--9:00am 2nd Sundays
(durring the school year)