The Greater and Lesser Feast at St. Paul, Hamel
My friend, Pastor William Weedon, invited me to hop across the river this morning to attend Bible Class and Divine Service at his parish, oh, yea…as a little incentive, St. Paul’s annual sausage dinner! It worked out well so that my two sons and I, with son #1′s girlfriend, were able to go over, while wife #1 and my only daughter, were off across the state at a piano competition.
The Bible Class was great. If you’ve ever heard Pastor W. on the radio, you know what kind of a dynamic teacher he is. Great class, great thoughts.
The Divine Service was a real joy.
We used LSB Divine Service #3, the service most like TLH pg. 15. It
was my first chance to use it and what a thrill it was to sing all the
parts of the liturgy as I remember it from my childhood and up until the sad day that I ran up against LW [boo-hiss!], it all
flowed perfectly back to me from memory. I love that service. Thank God
LSB provided it. Pastor W. is also a great preacher. But don’t tell him
I said that. But he is good, really good.
Great sermon on being
forgiven and forgiving. Weedon does not, thanks be to God, follow a slavishly formulaic pattern of preaching I notice too often these days: 1) Generic, general and hence weak and anemic Law; 2) Gospel as"But you are ok anyway" and 3) Take Communion. No, he had Law/Gospel/Sacraments Justification and Sanctification. He did not shy away from exhortation. But the clearly the Gospel predominated. Here is his sermon.
Son #2, on the way home said, "I liked the way
he used an everyday experience everyone could understand to relate the
Bible teaching to the people. I think every sermon should do that."
[I do too!] Son #1 said, "He really is captivating and you can’t help
but pay attention." The liturgy at St. Paul’s is conducted with
reverence and joyful energy. Liturgy doesn’t have to be boring. And
Pastor W. makes sure it is not. But there is such a reverence about it
as well. Truly a joy. The Lord’s Supper at St. Paul is celebrated with
great reverence and dignity and you can tell thereby that they are not
just running through the motions, but confess that in fact the Living
Christ is present under the bread and wine and comes to us in His body
and blood for our forgiveness, life and salvation. A real joy to be in
the Lord’s house at St. Paul’s and receive His gifts there.
Then, after the greater feast, the lesser: the sausage supper. I had
never been to a sausage supper and so I had this idea that it would be
kind of like a potluck/buffet with a brat on a bun. No. Wow, what a
feast. Extremely well organized. You get your meal ticket and are
ushered into a waiting room. You ticket number is called and then you
are ushered into the gym, first you pick up your pie from a selection
of oh…what seemed an endless variety. I picked rhubarb. They all
looked great. Then you take your seat a table and are served family
style. Mash potatoes, green beans, cranberry salad, homemade applesauce
and the sauerkraut, fabulous. And the sausages. All you can eat. Pastor
W. was waiting table and was quite solicitous at our table and pushed
as many sausages on us as we could eat.
This is a popular supper. We sat with two older couples who told me
that this is definitely the best sausage supper in the whole area. I
said there was only one thing missing. They said, "What?" I said, "The
beer!" Said they: "Oh, we don’t drink beer we are Southern Baptists."
Whoops! But I quickly won them back when I talked about being raised in
Southern Baptist territory down south and then we talked about Southern
We ate till we could eat no more and then headed home. It was great
to meet the person who obviously is the better half of the Weedons,
Cindy. And I saw a lady I went to college with and we had a nice chat.
Chatted with a seminarian who is in the process of transcribing the
Henkel 1854. Had a nice talk about, what else, my favorite subject, the
Book of Concord. Saw a CPH coworker, Jon S., and friend Jeff and Beth
S., who are without doubt the cutest couple in the Synod and have the
cutest kids, with one more about to arrive!
All in all, a great way to spend the day. Headed back home and stopped and picked up my wife’s birthday present.
Thanks Pastor Weedon. May God bless your ministry. We’ll be back, God willing, for more feasting at St. Paul.