Newsletter of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Newark, DE

MARCH 2018

 The Year Turns

It happens every year, sometime in March. The year turns away from winter and to spring. Unless you are really into winter sports, it is a welcome change. Spring brings warmer weather, new life in flora and fauna, and longer days. Here at Our Redeemer, we can look forward to the blooming of our beautiful cherry tree.

We are, of course, in the middle of Lent. The season will end with Holy Week, the final week of March. Lent is a time of turning also. We turn from our sins and to the new life found in Jesus. Throughout the month, our Wednesday Lenten services will continue (7:00 pm), preceded by our soup suppers (5:45 pm). The theme of the messages is “The Shadow of Christ” in Old Testament stories. The question being addressed is, “How can we read the Old Testament stories in light of Jesus?” The upcoming stories are:

Wednesday, February 28 – Sermon: The story of Joseph and his time in Egypt (Genesis 37, 39-47)

Wednesday, March 7 – Sermon: The story of the fall of Jericho (Joshua 2, 6)

Wednesday, March 14 – Sermon: The story of Sampson (Judges 13-16)

Wednesday, March 21 – Sermon: The story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

The month ends with Holy Week. The first Sunday in April (April Fools Day) is Easter Sunday (He Is Risen! No Fooling). Our Holy Week schedule will be:

Sunday, March 25 – Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion – Sermon: The Glory of God

Thursday, March 29 – Maundy (Holy) Thursday – Sermon: Shadow of the Lord’s Supper

March 30 – Good (Holy) Friday – Sermon: Shadow of the Cross

Sunday, April 1 – Easter Day (The Resurrection of our Lord) – Sermon: He Is Risen! No Fooling

Our Easter service will be a half-hour later than usual (10:30 am), allowing plenty of time for everyone to enjoy an Easter breakfast with our fellow redeemed (9:00 am) and an Easter egg hunt!

It is a season of turning. We turn from the world, our sinful nature, and yes, the devil, and towards our loving Savior, Christ Jesus. This is something we poor sinners always need, for we are drawn away from Jesus every day by this unholy three. Turn towards Jesus in our many worship opportunities during this season of turning. Invite your neighbors, friends and family to turn with you. Turn to Jesus and receive his grace, his forgiveness, his great and precious gifts. His warm love is a welcome change from the cold of a life without the Son (sun). Turn to the new life that springs up in our very souls, by God’s riches in Christ. Turn to the long days of God’s good gifts.


Blessings in Christ,




Digging In

The Nicene Creed

Introduction, Part 5

In this introduction to the Nicene Creed we have, so far:

  1. Given some background on the other two ecumenical creeds (Apostles & Athanasian)
  2. Given some preliminary historical background leading up to the first Ecu- menical Council, held in the city of Nicene in 325 ad.
  • Part of that background was the establishment of the Christian Church as a legal religion
  • The rise of Arianism, and Arius’ views concerning Jesus and the Trinity
  • The decision of Constantine to summon a council of bishops to settle the Arian dispute, and other issues, and who attended the council.

This month we will continue to fill in the background.

Arianism, while the most important topic to be considered, was not the only issue this council considered. There was a controversy over what was the proper day in the year to celebrate Easter, which was settled (we use the date this council determined to this day). A question about the validity of baptisms performed by heretics was settled. As baptism is an act of God and not of man, the faith (or lack thereof) of the person administering the baptism is of no importance. As long as the baptisms were Trinitarian, they were valid. In the long run, this was a great decision as we can never be sure of someone else’s faith. There was a difference of opinion on how to treat people who had abandoned their Christian faith during the recent persecutions under Licinius and wanted to return to the Church. Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis in Egypt, and his followers, wanted quite harsh measures. His superior, Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, went with the historic, mild approach. The council decided Peter was correct. In remaining consistent, they also endorsed a rather mild approach towards Meletius. This proved unwise as Meletius simply joined forces with the Arians in opposition to true Christianity. A few other issues were also address, but these were the most significant.

Arius was present at the council and allowed to present his own views. The more he talked, the more his support vanished. There were audible gasps of disbelief from some of his initial supporters when they heard what Arius actually believed and taught. At one time, in order to make his point, he sang one of his songs. It was so sacrilegious that Nicholas of Myra (Santa Claus) got up and knocked Arius to the ground. For his display of passion, Nicholas was ejected.

Those present who were orthodox sought to reason with Arius. They cited all the now classic biblical passages in support of the Trinity and the eternal sonship of the Second Person of the Trinity, but to no avail. No matter what passage they presented, Arius had a new way to look at it, a way that twisted it into a lie. This is something heretics are always skilled at doing. In the end, the orthodox believers asked Arius if anyone before him had held his views. Arius had to admit, he was the first. As far as he was concerned, no one since the Apostles had properly understood these things. This included the people the Apostles themselves taught. So Timothy, Barnabas, and so many others, were wrong. Arius alone (and his followers) was correct. In the end, it was the very newness of Arius’ teaching that settled the matter. Arius not only had new ideas, but those ideas rejected the truth once delivered by God to us and held by the Church since Apostolic Times (Jude 1:3). (A new idea is not necessarily a wrong idea, but if it rejects already established and known truth, then it is wrong.)

Things went even worse for Arius. The “Homoousians” did demonstrate, both from the scriptures and from the witness of earlier generations of Christians, that their understanding was sound. (Remember, the word “homoousia” comes from the Greek word translated “of the same substance (or essence).”) This word was incorporated into the Nicene Creed and was seen as a bulwark against Arianism. (However, remember how heretics are able to twist words into meaning whatever they want. Well, after a decade or two, Arius did just that. It was his sudden and unexpected death that prevented him from confessing his the Nicene Creed, with its concealed, modified interpretation of the word homoousia, that prevented him from trying to reenter the Church.)

The council passed a creed which was the first step in the forming of our Nicene Creed. It was focused mainly on Jesus. What follows is that creed.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, only-begotten of the Father; that is, of the essence [ek tes ousias] of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father [homoousion to patri]; By whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

But those who say: “There was a time when he was not;” and “He was not before he was made;” and “He was made out of nothing (ex ouk onton),” or “He is of another substance” (hypostasis) or “essence,” or “The Son of God is created,” or “changeable,” or “alterable”—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.

It was a good start. Nonetheless, it had room for improvement. That is what happened at the Second Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople in 381 ad.

Next month we will look at that council  Until then, may “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Amen.


Some Thoughts From LW

Read Luke 4:16—30

TEXT: And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place , . . And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4: 16– 17, 21)

Do you respect the Bible? That’s kind of an insulting question, isn’t it? Not too many people would say no, especially people in the church’

Jesus certainly respected the Bible. ln this passage, we read that He was invited to preach in the synagogue in His home town. so He took the scroll of Isaiah and unrolled it nearly all the way to the end, found His passage, and read it aloud to the group. Then He started preaching on it.

Think for a moment. Here is God Himself God in the flesh, planning to preach and He starts by reading the Bible to the people. He doesn’t say, “Well, I’m here Myself today, so I’ll just speak directly and bypass the Scriptures–they’re not necessary.” No, He sets the example Himself by using the text and sticking to it. It is as if God said, “l myself value the Bible, and l won’t even speak to you without using it. lf I value it so much, you should do so, too.”

When we stick to our favorite passages, its easy to value the Bible. The people of Nazareth had no problem listening to Jesus read about helping the oppressed and setting captives free. It reminded them how much God cared about them.

But there was a problem when Jesus turned to other bits of the Bible. He mentioned the prophet Elijah, who helped a poor foreign widow and the prophet Elisha, who healed a man from Syria. Suddenly the Bible lesson wasn’t going so well any more. What, the God of Israel, helping foreigners instead of His own people? Are we supposed to respect that?

They didn’t. Instead, they tried to throw Jesus over a cliff.

Ultimately, they wouldn’t respect the Bible. But Jesus did. And as He went on His way, He fulfilled every single promise in the Old Testament about the savior who would rescue us all from sin and death. And now that He has risen from the dead, He continues to fulfill His promises. He saves everyone who trusts in Him and gives us eternal life.

THE PRAYER: Lord Holy Spirit, help me to treasure the Bible and to grow through it’s daily use.  Amen

Arlen D. Besel – Ambassador


Through The Worship Window

Our Church Year Concludes Lent In March:

March opens with the third Sunday in Lent where we relive Jesus clearing the temple of merchants. In Exodus we read God’s law provided through Moses. Our look at John continues by reminding us of Moses use of the bronze snake that heralds the best known verse in the Bible; John 3:16; ‘for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

Our message then changes to Mark’s Gospel where we  begin to hear the Lord tell of Him coming death and resurrection.  There too He reminds us that He came to serve and we too should serve.

This leads us to Palm Sunday and the triumphant trip to Jerusalem when Jesus is hailed as King of Israel as recorded in John’s Gospel. Palm Sunday is also called the Sunday of Passion and includes the Lord’s Supper and Jesus before Pilate.

We will celebrate Maundy Thursday with the record of Jesus’ introduction of the Holy Eucharist. This leads to

Good Friday where we are carried through Jesus death on the cross in payment of our sins.

The Holy Week observance includes John’s depiction of Jesus arrest, Peter’s denials, and the final sentencing and His crucifixion.

This year Easter comes on the first day of April as the climax of the Lenten devotions.

Let’s consider the other messages for this month by looking at the Epistle lessons.

At the outset, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us that the cross is foolishness to those who do not believe, but is power and wisdom to the saved. A similar message is in Ephesians where Paul reminds us that we are made alive in Christ as a result of His suffering on our behalf.

In Hebrews we are taught that Christ is our High Priest and represents us in God’s presence.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians urges us to imitate the Lord’s humility in our lives.

The Epistle lessons end with a reminder of the Lord’s role to grant us salvation through His grace that is ours through faith alone.

Arlen D. Besel – Worship


 “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” Exodus 4:12 (NASB)

“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:5-6 (NASB 1977)

Do you find it difficult to share your faith in Jesus with others? That is a common occurrence. It is easy to talk about our favorite sports team, car, food, vacation spot, etc., but so hard to speak about our eternal hope in our crucified and risen savior!

Sometimes, for me, I am afraid of not having the right words or answers to questions. I even become tongue-tied, awkward, and paralyzed! I’m kind of like Moses, I guess; he wanted God to send someone else to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, anyone else to speak to Pharaoh! Yet God promised to be with Moses’ mouth, giving him the words needed for the salvation He had prepared. The same is true for us today, each and everyone God has granted faith in Jesus; the Holy Spirit gives us courage and the very words to speak. Armed with so great a promise, we look for opportunities to share God’s great love.

Opportunities abound, but we need a direction; we know the goal: salvation by faith in Jesus. It is also important to create an atmosphere of love, care, and respect in our efforts to let others know about God, especially in an age when most Americans are bombarded with differing opinions about what is truth, and are suspicious and guarded with anyone who claims to know the truth, especially Christians, sadly.

This does not negate our responsibility to love others by telling them about Jesus. It does change how we engage them. The emphasis of iNeighborhood is creating ongoing relationships in our neighborhoods and communities so that we may be heard when we share the gospel message.

On Sunday, March 4, there will be an open meeting, headed by the Evangelism Board, to plan out how we as a congregation will reach out with the love of God in Christ Jesus in an ongoing relationship within our community. This is a 3- to 5-year plan that will be implemented at once; we will move forward in faith, making the most of the opportunities God provides.

Please come to this meeting! Bring your ideas of where you want this congregation to be in five years. Do you want to see more young people? Do you hope for a revitalized Sunday School? How are we going to reach out to those people with the gospel? The meeting will follow directly after the worship service. I pray you will attend; if you cannot, please send your ideas via email to pastor or Kitty.

Kitty Rickert, Evangelism Chair


Congregational Life

Our Lenten soup suppers continue each Wednesday evening in March through 3/21. Please join us!



Easter Sunday breakfast, April 1, 2018 9:15 AM

Come and enjoy our Easter breakfast and children’s Easter egg hunt. This will be held before the Sunday morning service (10:30 a.m.). We will have a variety of casseroles and breakfast foods available. Please plan to attend with family and friends to celebrate and rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you would like to participate a sign-up sheet will be available for food and attendance. All our welcome! Please contact me if you have any questions at (302) -737-3234 or e-mail (wbesteder@aol.com).

God’s blessings to all, Congregational Life, Lina Besteder



  • Sundays 8:45 a.m. “Be filled with the Spirit”
  • Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. Book of Revelation
  • Thursdays 10:00 a.m. Hymn Study: context, theology & history


NOTE: Due to lack of interest, BAB (Build-A-Bag) has no additional schedule for sleeping bag construction until Fall 2018.


Bulletin & Newsletter Information Date

Please have all information for the bulletin into the office no later than Tuesday of each week. Newsletter info is due no later than the 20th of each month to ensure its inclusion. Thanks!

Renewal Time—Portals of Prayer

It’s that time of year again! Time to renew or add subscriptions to Portals of Prayer, a daily devotional guide. You can renew or add subscriptions by emailing the secretary (orlcde@outlook.com) or filing out a subscription form in your Sunday bulletin. Thanks, and good reading!



  • 13 Carl Kruelle
  • 13 Erika Bates
  • 25 Donald Hartwig

If your birthday or anniversary is missing from this list, please email your information to me at: secretary.orlcde@outlook.com.



For only $25, you can give a listening device with an audio drama New Testament and selected Psalms to a member of our Armed Forces. Please make checks payable to ORLC and write “Bible Sticks” in the memo. Thanks!



Easter Plants

There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex for ordering Easter plants to beautify our sanctuary. Orders and payment must be made by Sunday, March 18. Make checks payable to ORLC; memo line notation: “Easter Plants”. Thanks.


Sunday, March 25 – Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion

Sermon: The Glory of God

Worship Service—10 a.m. with Communion

Thursday, March 29 – Maundy (Holy) Thursday

Sermon: Shadow of the Lord’s Supper

Worship Service—7 p.m. with Communion

March 30 – Good (Holy) Friday

Sermon: Shadow of the Cross

Worship Service—Tenebrae (Service of Darkness) 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 1 – Easter Day (The Resurrection of our Lord)

Sermon: He Is Risen! No Fooling

Worship Service—10:30 a.m. with Communion




Our Redeemer’s Voice

Newsletter of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Newark, DE



Lent Begins


It is a maxim in Lutheran circles that all scripture preaches Christ. This thought is based on the clear teaching of passages like:

39You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. John 5:39-40

26Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:26-27

35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. Acts 8:35

45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45

46For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. John 5:46

We see this idea plainly in passages like Isaiah 53 or Isaiah 7:14. We also see it in how the New Testament writers use events in the Old Testament like the Exodus (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15) or the flood (1 Peter 3:18-22). Finally the Holy Spirit guides the writers of the New Testament to also see Old Testament individuals in this Christ-like light. So Melchizedek is seen as pointing to Jesus (Genesis 14; Hebrews 5-7). St. Paul uses Isaac and Ishmael to explain Law and Gospel in Galatians 4. We all remember how Jesus used Jonah’s time “buried” in the great sea creature as a pointer to his resurrection from the grave (Matthew 12:40).

With such a wealth of New Testament applications of this truth to the Old Testament, we can certainly understand why Lutheran ministers often go to such places when teaching about the Christ-accent in the Old Testament. After all, the above references only scratch the surface of New Testament quotes and allusions to the Old Testament that a minister might use. One could do a whole sermon series based solely on direct quotes and allusions to the Old Testament found in the New.

However, this practice restricts our Old Testament canon, at least functionally. If the story or individual isn’t referred to in the New Testament we, well, kind of skip it when considering Christ in the Old Testament. That is, in my opinion, a shame. It seems that the New Testament has gone to great lengths to teach us how to read the Old with a Christ-focused eye, even if those individuals or stories are not directly referred to, or alluded to, in the New.

This is the thought behind the messages we will hear in our Wednesday worship services this Lent. We will consider stories from the Old Testament that are not typically used by us today as pointers to Jesus. We will look under every rock for Jesus. We will squeeze the texts until they drip Jesus. We will put them under the microscope to find the Christ-DNA of Scripture. The scheduled is:

February 14: The story of Joel

February 21: The story of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24)



February 28: The story of Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 37, 39-47)


March 7: The story of the fall of Jericho (Judges 2, 6)


March 14: The story of Sampson (Judges 13-16)

March 21: The story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

Our Ash Wednesday service will be preceded by a soup and sandwich supper that begins at 5:45 pm. Our worship service will begin at 7:00 pm. On each subsequent Wednesday, our Lenten services will also be preceded by a meal. A sign-up sheet to help provide the meals will be posted in the narthex.


At our Ash Wednesday service we will have the traditional imposition of ashes. We will also celebrate the Lord’s Supper, as is our custom here at Our Redeemer. There will be information about Holy Week (March 25 – April 1) in next month’s newsletter.

As you can see, Ash Wednesday is also Valentine’s Day. Why not take your sweetie on a special date and bring her to Our Redeemer to worship the Lord together? And the meals are free, both the soup supper and the Lord’s Supper!

Blessings in Christ,



Digging In

The Nicene Creed
Introduction, Part 4

In this introduction to the Nicene Creed we have, so far, given some background on the other two ecumenical creeds (Apostles & Athanasian), and some preliminary background leading up to the first Ecumenical Council, held in the city of Nicene in 325 ad. Part of that background was the establishment of the Christian Church as a legal religion, the rise of Arianism, and the decision of Constantine to summon a council of bishops to settle the Arian dispute, and other issues. This month we will continue to fill in the background.

Constantine decided to hold this ecumenical council in the city of Nicaea in Bithynia. This site had two real advantages. First, it was relatively easy to get to for the majority of bishops. Second, it had the facilities to handle large gatherings. So Constantine sent out invitations to all 1800 Bishops (1000 in the East and 800 in the West). Constantine promised to pay for all their traveling expenses as well as provide lodging, food, and whatever else was needed during the council. The bishops were also permitted to bring with them two priests and three deacons, again all expenses paid.
The traditional number of bishops that attended is 318. If each had five in their support staff, which is probable, the number at the council would have been around 1800! Representatives from all over the empire, except Britain, were present, but the largest number was from the eastern half of the empire. There were also at least three from outside the Roman Empire. We have the names of slightly over 200 of the Bishops, so it is possible that more from outside the Roman Empire attended. This was truly a “worldwide” council.

While the Pope didn’t attend, he did send representatives, the most important probably being Hosius of Cordova, who apparently led the theological discussions. The other attendees read like a veritable who’s who of Christian luminaries of the early fourth century. The patriarchs Alexander of Alexandria, Eustathius of Antioch, and Macarius of Jerusalem were there. Also present were Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eusebius of Caesarea (the first church historian), Nicholas of Myra (from whom the popular Santa Claus character would be derived), Aristakes of Armenia (son of Saint Gregory the Illuminator), Leontius of Caesarea, Jacob of Nisibis (a former hermit), Hypatius of Gangra, Protogenes of Sardica, Melitius of Sebastopolis, Achilleus of Larissa (considered the “Athanasius of Thessaly”), and Spyridion of Trimythous (who even while a bishop made his living as a shepherd). From the Latin church, aside from Hosius, there also attended Marcus of Calabria from Italia, Cecilian of Carthage from Africa Nicasius of Dijon from Gaul, and Domnus of Stridon from the province of the Danube. From foreign places came a Persian bishop John, a Gothic bishop Theophilus and Stratophilus, bishop of Pitiunt of Georgia.

Many of the assembled fathers—for instance, Paphnutius of Thebes, Potamon of Heraclea and Paul of Neocaesarea—had stood forth as confessors of the faith and came to the council with the marks of persecution on their faces. A “confessor” is one who underwent persecution for the Christian Faith, but was not killed. The bishops were very prone to listen to the words of these witnesses.

These were not wishy-washy men!

At the outset of the council the bishops that supported Arius numbered 17, and included Secundus of Ptolemais, Theonus of Marmarica, Zphyrius, and Dathes, all of whom hailed from the Libyan Pentapolis. Other supporters included Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eusebius of Caesarea, Paulinus of Tyrus, Actius of Lydda, Menophantus of Ephesus, and Theognus of Nicea. By the end of the meetings, only two bishops (Theonas of Marmarica in Libya, and Secundus of Ptolemais) continued to support Arius.

There were three main factions. The Arians, of course, was one. The second was called the Homoousians, from the Greek
word translated “of the same substance (or essence).” The third group didn’t like the word “homoousia.” Their objections were two-fold. First, it isn’t in the Bible. Second, it could be misunderstood, as Paul of Samosta had. Because of Paul of Samosta, the term had been condemned at the Council of Antioch in 264-268. This third group was the largest and was open to being shown by either the Homoousians or the Arians that their view was biblical and historical Christianity. Many of them, when they actually heard Arius, immediately recognized that he was teaching false and damning doctrines.
Wow, that is a lot on just who was present. I promise things will get more interesting as we go along. Still, I think it is important to realize that this was not a “fixed” council. Humanly speaking, it could have gone either way for Arius.

Next month we will finish our look at this council, along with the creed it endorsed. But that creed is not the same as the one we confess in our worship services. It would take another council to finish the Nicene Creed.
Until next month, may “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Amen.


Some Thoughts From LW: St. Peter’s Sharing Suggestion

              In Peter’s first letter to the church, he spends a great deal of time instructing and encouraging these believers in their conduct within the larger culture. These new believers were part of a pagan culture that was becoming more and more hostile toward followers of The Way. He provides instructions for wives and husbands, servants, and all those under human authority. He especially zeros in on their conduct as pilgrim citizens—living in the world but journeying toward their true home.

In chapter 3 verse 15, Peter sums up his thoughts by encouraging the believers to ” revere Christ in your hearts as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I am struck by the insight that the “you” is plural. We could translate the verse to read, “You all need to be prepared to give a reason for the hope you all have.”

Why is that important? I believe Peter emphasizes that our call to witness is a team activity. As we conduct ourselves as followers of Jesus, people around us are bound to notice, and we need to be ready to answer their questions. Our actions and our words are important, because we do not only act on our own behalf nor do we speak only for ourselves. We do both together as the body of Christ.

Think of it this way: Over one million people each week hear the broadcast of The Lutheran Hour, on the radio or on their phone or computer or some other mobile device. The Word of God is shared, their heart may be touched, and you, yes, YOU, may be the one that is asked to give a reason for the hope that was expressed. Or, you may find a way to serve someone in Jesus’ Name in a way that touches their heart and moves them to ask another believer, someone they know, why you would do such a thing. Now it becomes that believer’s role to give a reason for the hope we have.

All around the world, every week, over 70 million people come into contact with words or actions that point them to Jesus Christ as their Savior and friend through the efforts of Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Ministry Centers. Every week there are people all around the world that may be looking for someone who can help them to understand the hope we have in Christ. Your gentle words of hope may be shared in response to actions, or respectful words may be shared as an explanation for your acts of service. We are linked in this process of proclamation as we, working together, offer a reason for the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Are you prepared? Are you ready to give a reason for the hope we share in Jesus? If you could use some help, support, or encouragement, then I urge you to consider the resources available for you and your congregation at the Lutheran Hour Ministries’ website (lhm.org). Classes and witness tools, demographics and personal devotions, are only some of the resources designed to equip believers for this most important task of living out our calling as Jesus-followers.

All of us have received the hope we have as a gift through Christ. LHM has resources to help you share this wonderful gift. Find some like-minded friends. Form a team. Gather with a small group so you–all of you together–are prepared for every opportunity of Bringing Christ to the Nations-and the Nations to the Church.

Arlen D. Besel – Ambassador


Through The Worship Window

Our Church Year Moves to Lent:

Epiphany .ends as February begins and as Pastor told us we will be hearing Mark’s Gospel. This begins with a number of the healing acts of the Lord. But we also divert to the transfiguration of the Lord when He is clearly shown as God’s Son with a glorious nature.

The next event is Ash Wednesday that opens the Lenten devotions. We are given a view of Jesus’ baptism in His effort to fulfill all the requirements of His mission. At this time He also begins calling His disciples and launching the overall ministry.

As we are led along with the Gospel messages the other lessons bring us additional preparation for Lent. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes his rights as an Apostle but also his clear responsibility to share the good news of salvation that Jesus won for everyone. Paul deeply feels his obligation to reach out to everyone; Jew and Gentile.

In his second letter Paul points out that we are under a new covenant for Christ has won our place in God’s family and given us access to the Father by His death and rising.

The Ash Wednesday lesson reveals the ministry of reconciliation we are assigned.

From James we are reminded that blessings follow any temptation we face. All our gifts come from the Father through the Holy Spirit.

The lessons wrap up with a reminder from Romans 5 that peace and joy are provided to us when we hold fast to the faith in Christ and the salvation He won for us.

Arlen D. Besel – Worship


Loving = Serving

Jesus… said, “You know that the rulers of nations have absolute power over people and their officials have absolute authority over people. But that’s not the way it’s going to be among you. Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant. Whoever wants to be most important among you will be your slave. It’s the same way with the Son of Man. He didn’t come so that others could serve him. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people.”                                                                                                                                                           Matthew 20:25-28 (God’s Word Translation)

Lent is a time of reflection and repentance; seeing the depth of our own sin and the price Jesus paid to rid us of it. One of the chief sins is self-centeredness. Everything is about me, #1; what I want, what I need, what I desire. This is completely contrary to the teaching of God in Scripture. Jesus tells us that, if we want to be top dog, we must get in the dirt and serve everyone else as their slave! This even includes people who hate us! How backward is that!? Being “other-centered” does not come naturally to sinful humankind. The disciples had this same problem (as have all people since Adam and Eve fell into sin); they were focused on what rewards they could reap from God rather than focusing on what they could give to a world in need of God’s Good News.

God does promise rewards to His children in heaven, but that is not now, nor ever has been, the reason we love God and our neighbor. We love, and serve, because God loved us first, and loves us forever! We love, and serve, people by telling them about the peace Jesus gives, because we know it and want others to know it, too. We love, and serve, each other because Christ’s love flows out of us, enriching and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ. To love is to serve; Christ is our example: God of God and King of Kings, yet born a peasant and hunted by leaders; Ruler of All and Ever-living God, yet owning nothing and dying on a cross as a criminal. God calls us to a life of faithful serving after serving us by giving His all for us. He equips us with everything we need to love by serving, providing from His eternal storehouses the love, forgiveness, abilities, and time to serve well.

The disciples had it wrong that day when they were asking Jesus for glorious rewards in heaven; their focus was on themselves and what they could gain by knowing Jesus. We are wrong today, too, when we focus on self-interest. That is not what Jesus says life is about. Loving and serving God and our neighbor is what life is about. This is what people need; this is what people see and remember – our loving service to each other and all in need. Serving God and our neighbor is what often gives us the opportunity to share His love for them, a love they cannot live without, whether they know it or not.

This year, your Evangelism Board is asking everyone to join in the iNeighborhood initiative in this way: BLESSing our neighbors—Bonding, Learning, Engaging, Serving and Sharing. The congregation voted to make Our Redeemer a Covenant Congregation, meaning that we hope to, over the next three years, 1) Pray for our neighbors (which we have been doing for over a year), 2) Be personally involved in sharing the Good News of Jesus in three different zip codes, and 3) Publicly praising God for what He is doing through our efforts at being faithful servants.

We are on this earth for a short season. We are here because God uses His children to bring the lost and erring into His kingdom. So, we move forward with the promise of God that His Word will go out and be fruitful unto salvation. We pray that we are good and faithful slaves of Christ, loving God by serving our neighbor. This Lenten season, let us confess the sins of self-absorption, self-aggrandizement and self-promotion, and seek to serve God and neighbor fully, knowing God forgives, restores, and leads us forward.

NOTE: Our next Evangelism Board meeting will be Sunday, March 4, following worship. We will be planning for the full calendar year (including Easter, VBS, UDel, CHECA, etc.) and doing a 3-5-year plan for outreach (building on the iNeighborhood ideas we learned last year). Please make every effort to be at this meeting if you are interested in ORLC’s future.

Kitty Rickert, Evangelism Chair

2018 Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekends Announced Your marriage relationship is one of the things in life that provides the greatest potential for happiness. Is yours living up to this potential? Please make 2018 the year you resolve to attend a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend to learn how to maximize the joy and intimacy that God intends for your marriage. The following Weekends have been scheduled with one more to be added in Massachusetts in the fall. • March 16-18, 2018 at Heritage Hotel Lancaster in Lancaster, PA. A newly-renovated hotel, home of the unique treehouse-inspired restaurant, “Loxley’s.” • April 6-8, 2018 at Toftrees Golf Resort in State College PA. A peaceful resort surrounded by a golf course and nestled in the woods in the center of PA. • September 14-16, 2018 at Spruce Lake Retreat in Canadensis, PA. A lovely hotel-style facility In a wooded area of the Poconos, an hour north of Allentown. • October 19-21, 2018 at Olmsted Retreat Center. A stunning, hotel-style retreat next to Olmsted Mansion in Allegheny National Forest, 2 hours north of Pittsburgh.
Two nights lodging, 5 meals for each of you, and all supplies are included with your $100 per couple registration fee, plus toward the end of the weekend you will be given an opportunity to make a confidential contribution of whatever amount you wish toward the continuation of the program. To be sure to get the Weekend of your choice, sign up at your earliest convenience by going to the website: www.GodLovesMarriage.org and paying the registration fee with your credit card, or marking the option to mail a check. For questions, or if you would like a brochure with registration form mailed to you, contact Northeast US Directors of Lutheran Marriage Encounter, Fred & Julie Schamber, at 724-325-3166 or fjschamber@comcast.net.




In November, many in the congregation filled out pledge forms, promising before God how you would support this congregation with your time, talents and treasures. Please remember to honor those pledges. Do you remember what you promised? If not, did you fill out a reminder card? The leadership of this congregation is here to help you fulfill your pledges, so let them know how you will serve in this place this year. Didn’t pledge? That’s okay; you can still let our board chairs and office holders know that you are willing to meet the needs of this congregation by serving with them. Bob Johnston, Arlen Besel, Laurel Pearson, Julie Hockersmith, Robin Billy, Lina Besteder, Pastor and Kitty Rickert are all eager to help you serve here; just let one of them know you want to do so!

Stewardship Board


Congregational Life


Ash Wednesday and Midweek Soup Suppers starting on February 7, 2018 (5:45 PM) before the church service at 7:00PM

Everyone is welcome to attend our Midweek Lenten Soup Suppers. If you would like to participate and share your favorite recipe a sign-up sheet will be available for each Midweek service. If you have any questions please contact me. Lina Besteder (302) 737-3234 e-mail wbesteder@aol.com




Sundays 8:45 a.m. “Be filled with the Spirit”

Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. Book of Revelation

Thursdays 10:00 a.m. Hymn Study: context, theology & history


Bulletin & Newsletter Information Date

Please have all information for the bulletin into the office no later than Tuesday of each week. Newsletter info is due no later than the 20th of each month to ensure its inclusion. Thanks!


Build-A-Bag With Us!

In the winter, it is especially important to help the homeless stay warm. We at Our Redeemer Lutheran do this by building sleeping bags to give to local charities. We recycle bedding and create warm, cozy bags and fill them with toiletries, hats, socks & prayers.
Come, join us each Thursday at noon and each Saturday at 10 a.m. Bring a friend, bring your lunch, and help make winter more bearable for the homeless in our midst. NOTE: B-A-B will not meet on the following dates in February: Thursday, Feb 1 & Saturday, Feb 3.



3 Paul Billy

If your birthday or anniversary is missing from this list, please email your information to me at: secretary.orlcde@outlook.com.