Worship services are only on Sunday this weekend due to Labor Day on Monday.  Attached is an invitation to our Bible Instruction Class (for you or for you to give to someone) that will begin Sunday, Sept. 13.

Bible Instruction Class Invitation

Worship Emphasis

For the next several weeks, our focus shifts and during these weeks, the overall emphasis will be: To Deepen Our Understanding of His Grace, Jesus Becomes All in All to Us.  This coming weekend’s specific emphasis or theme is: All God-pleasing Obedience Must Begin in the Heart

Wednesday Night Bible Study Begins Next Week

This fall we will participate again in a Bible study streamed online live.  Pastor Keith Wessel, a professor at Martin Luther College, will lead a Bible study on the life and ministry of Elisha.  We’ll watch it and discuss it together in the church basement each Wednesday at 6:00pm, September 9th through October 7th.  Give it a try!

Service Time Change and Family Bible Hour

On Sunday, September 13, late service will return to the 10:45am time slot where it will remain until Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.  This signals the return of between service activities with Family Bible Hour.  After a brief opening at about 9:15am, kids and adults will divide into various groups: Sunday School, Teen Class, Adult Bible Class, Bible Instruction Class.  We pray that you will be able to join us as we grow in God’s Word together. 

Senior Choir Begins Soon

The Senior Choir will begin the fall season with practice next Wednesday, Sept. 9th from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.  If you have any interest in joining the choir, please talk to the choir director, Doug Nass at 632-0790.

Devotional Booklets Available

The latest (Aug. 30—Nov. 28) issue of Meditations is available at the south bulletin board.  A $3.50 donation per book is asked to help with the cost.  This is an excellent resource for your daily devotional life!

Please Take the Survey

Thank you to those who have already taken the Pulse Survey.  If you haven’t done so yet, please know that we need your input!  Please take some time to fill out the Pulse Survey.  You can do that one of two ways: 1. Got to http://welsccc.polldaddy.com/s/firstevangelical-racine on your own computer or electronic device.

2. Pick up a hard copy of the survey, fill it out at home and return it to church.

The survey will likely take you an average of 20 to 40 minutes to fill it out.  The survey is used in connection with the Self-Assessment and Adjustment Program which we are currently going through.  The survey is intended for every confirmed member.  For more details, please read the lead article in the August ALERT (the opening page of the survey also includes details of its purpose).  After you have taken the survey, we request that you contact either the church office (633-8267 /churchoffice@firstracine.org) or Pastor Roekle (637-7142 / pastorroekle@firstracine.org) to let us know.  We are planning to contact those who haven’t filled it out to encourage them to do so. 

Reserve October 3-4 for SAA Meeting!

You are crucial participants!  We are asking and encouraging all confirmed members to attend meetings on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4 as part of the SAA (Self-Assessment and Adjustment) program that we are currently engaged in.  Pastor Steven Pagels (from St. Matthew’s, Oconomowoc) will lead us in Bible Study and small-group discussion on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Lunch will be served.  This is not an exercise for the leadership of the congregation, but for allmembers.  We need you to be a part of this.  Pastor Pagels is coming to facilitate discussion amongst ourselves about how we might share the Gospel as much as possible. Then on Sunday, Oct. 4, from 9:00am to 10:30am (between services), he will help us determine what adjustments to our ministry, if any, we would like to make over the next year. Please set aside those days! 

Have you seen the videos about Planned Parenthood? 

Are you angry or upset about the death of millions of children in America to abortion? You can do something about it. The Choices of Life Pregnancy Help Center (currently located in First Evan’s Parish House) aims to show scared mothers that abortion isn't their only option. We offer assistance for children after they're born as well as counseling for devastated mothers who have had abortions. In short, we offer Jesus to those who need it. We need you. We currently need clerical help, counseling help, hot liners who answer the phone and provide comfort for scared women, and men for our Board. You can make a difference at this critical moment on the pro-life front. Join us! For more information, call Pastor Emile Burgess at 713-398-5649 or email eburgess@trinitycaledonia.org

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 7  -  Labor Day: No Monday evening service

Wednesday, September 9  - Elisha (online) Bible study begins at 6:00pm

Wednesday, September 9  -  Senior Choir practice begins, 7:30-8:30pm

Sunday, September 13  -  Regular worship service times resume: 8:00am and 10:45am

Sunday, September 13  -  Family Bible Hour resumes between services, beginning at 9:20am

Wednesday, September 16  -  First Evan family Night, 6:00-7:30pm

Saturday, October 3  -  SAA meeting for everyone at church, 9:00am—5:00pm

Sunday, October 4  -  SAA follow-up meeting at church, 9:00am—10:30am

Prayer Requests

Keep the following in your prayers:

1. Chris Pierce and Leah Bauer as they are married on Saturday at church.   

2. Pastor John and Katy Roekle who celebrated 25 years of marriage yesterday (Wednesday).

Personal Bible Study

This coming Sunday, September 6, we mark the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  The Scripture lessons for Sunday follow.  With each reading, take the time to reflect on four questions: 

1. What does this teach me to do? (ACTION); 

2. What does this teach me to thank God for? (THANKSGIVING); 

3. What does this teach me to confess? (CONFESSION); 

4. What does this teach me to ask God for? (PETITION). 

God bless your study!

 

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost:

“All God-pleasing Obedience Must Begin in the Heart”

Deuteronomy 4:1,2,6-8

Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Ephesians 6:10-20 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Mark 7:1-8,14,15,21-23 

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“ ‘These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

7     They worship me in vain;

their teachings are but rules taught by men.’

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’

21 “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ ”

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Aaron Dolan and Pastor John Roekle