Today marks the first day we have attended church outside of the St. Louis area since moving. We attended Linda’s home church in Evanston, IN. St. John’s is another church we consider home. Besides they stop considering us guest many years ago. My day started off rushing to Bible Study by myself. Seems some wise elder thought waking folks up 50 minutes before Bible Study (when everyone needed showers and its a 20 min drive) was a bright idea. Nevertheless, I left by myself while my mother-in-law and Linda got the kiddos ready.
The bible study group was studying the Gospel of John. Since I had just finished my New Testament qualifier the week before the “wise elder” decided to put me on the spot. He is such a stinker. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the “wise elder” is none other than my father-in-law.
St. John offers a traditional service setting with worship following LSB layout. Pastor MLF Freiberg Sr is the sole pastor at this congregation. I don’t think I have ever gone to a service that had more than 15 spots open to sit. Those country churches are throwback to what churches used to be. Namely, your only excuse for missing church is working in the field and at Holiday World. This was another one of the services where we didn’t experience a baptism or communion. Seems now we are on a streak going the wrong with that trend. This service included the installation of Sunday School Teachers and it marked the five year anniversay of Pastor Freiberg. Actually, the service they used out of the LSB was the “Service of Prayer and Preaching”.
I’ll touch on one thing from Pastor Freiberg’s sermon that touched on doing the right thing. He goes on further to acknowledge the people in the pews/laity, seminarians, everyday people, and even the pastor find themselves doing the right thing, but just going through the motions. While the initial feeling from someone in the pew can be hurt by thinking the pastor is just going through the motions. They’ve missed the whole point, we all suffer from this tendency and we should hold ourselves accountable to do God’s work with a happy heart as a direct result of HIS love for us. Not out of some sort of obligation. I personally think it takes a big and humble man of the cloth to speak to his congregation about how we live our lives. He opens himself up to scrutiny, but he also shows his humble side along with his own realization that he too has fallen short of living properly. I wish more pastors would.
Pastor Freiberg is a very good preacher and unbeknownst to many a smart teacher as well. He has a good grasp of the church history, lessons, and blends them well with the issues before us today. For all my fellow seminarians who make annual treks to Holiday World, I suggest spending the night and attending St. Johns in Evanston, IN. You will always be welcomed with a smile, firm handshake, and quite possibly a hug or two.
Here is the info for St. Johns
St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMS)
12308 East CR 1160 North
Evanston, IN 47531