The Life Begun At Easter


Leo the Great once wrote the following: 

            “There are two loves from which proceed all desires.  They are as different in their quality as they are different in their sources.  For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, it


The Life Begun on Easter


Reflections on what it means for our Christian life

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must love either God or the world”.                                                                                                                                              The life begun at Easter is a life of love towards God.  Easter is a time of new life.  It’s a time of being born again.  Though technically it’s a time that we celebrate in conjunction with the ancient Festival of Passover, it’s also denotes a time during which each person begins their life anew.  As the Apostle says, “You’ve been called out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).  You’ve been released from the prison of sin (Ps 102:20); the enmity of the natural mind (1 Cor 2:14); the way that seems right to a man but in the end, leads to death (Pr 16:25).  You’ve been, in effect, called out of the tomb and restored to a life in which you now know the love of God and in return, have entered into a relationship in which you love Him in return.

Leo’s words above echo the words of our Lord:  “You cannot serve

You’ve been called out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).

Text Box: “You’ve been called out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). two masters.  You will either hate one and love the other or you will be devoted to one and despise the other” (Matt 6:24).  The life begun at Easter is a life of love towards God.

No one choses this life (John 15:16).  This life is a gift.  It is planted in you like a seed when you hear God’s word (Ro 10:17).  It grows as it’s watered (Is 45:8).  It dies when it’s neglected (Lk 8:14).  You can always fall away.  It’s one thing to believe that there is a God.  It’s another thing to love Him (Ja 2:19).  So what does God do?  He has formed His church where His Word is preached and where His Sacraments are distributed freely that you might hear His gospel time and time again and He promises that no matter what happens, the gates of hell will not prevail against His church (Mt 16:18).

The new life that begins at Easter is a life that lives not by bread alone, but by every word that flows from the mouth of God (Mt 4:4).  It’s a life that rejoices like the beloved in the Song of Solomon, “The voice of my beloved! Behold, He comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills” (So 2:7).  This life comes to you.  It comes to you through Word and Sacrament.  It comes in the form of Law and Gospel.  It comes calling you to repentance by promising you forgiveness.  It comes to you daily, as God’s mercy is renewed (La 3:23).

Leo goes on to say:

            Therefore, we must cling inseparably to eternal treasures, but we must use temporal things like those who are just passing by and as sojourners hastening to return to our own land.

The life begun at Easter is a life that lives as part of a new house and a new home.  It’s a life that changes who you are.  As Peter says, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people” (1 Pet 2:10).  In other words, once you were just a bunch of individuals.  You thought like this world.  You reasoned like this world.  You said to yourself, “I will love me”.  You said to yourself, “I will do what’s good for me”.  You believed in yourself (or tried to).  You fought for yourself;  Cried for yourself; Lived as if there were really no greater God than yourself.  But now, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13).  You’ve been baptized into the death of Christ Jesus (Ro 6:4) and sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) who has come into your hearts that you might cry out to God, ‘Abba, Father!” (Gal 4:6). 

The life begun at Easter is a life that gives you a new identity and a new home.  This new life is your salvation.  Don’t neglect it (Heb 2:3).  If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with each other and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7).  Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet 1:13-15).                                                                                 The life begun at Easter is a life of holiness.  As your Pastor, I implore you: Deal with the complications as they come but by all means, do not give up!  Learn to walk in this Easter life.  IJN Every One His Witness™ — Lutheran Evangelism Program


Did you know that 90 percent of churches are declining or on a plateau in worship attendance? Intentionally focusing on revitalizing congregations is necessary to fulfill Christ's command for us to “go and make disciples of all nations.”


Our office has been able to acquire a copy of the new Evangelism Programs for our congregation at less than 1/2 the regular price on account of the generosity of St. John’s, Ellinwood (who happened to have an extra copy for only $50.00).


This program focusing on training people in witnessing. What’s it all about? The Every One His Witness Lutheran evangelism program puts sound doctrine into practical action for sharing the faith with people in our everyday lives.

Participants learn: What is witnessing? Why do we witness? And the “how-to” of witnessing using the LASSIE approach — Listen-Ask-Seek-Share-Invite-Encourage.


Would you prayerfully consider becoming part of a group of re-vitalized witnesses?  If so, please let the Pastor know.




Looking forward to our Youth


There are a lot of opportunities being offered for Youth every year by our District, our Synod and even in conjunction with our missionaries around the world.

Points of Interest:



1.  Lutheran Valley Retreat Summer Camp (LVR)

            Peri and Parker Lange attended this camp a few years ago and had nice things to say about it.  Our District runs it every year for all students in grades 9-12.  This year’s dates are from July 15-20 in Woodland Park, Colorado.  For more information, check out:



2.  International Missions

            Did you know that you can share Christ while in teaching English or while helping with Vacation Bible School in a foreign country?  The Board of International Missions of the LCMS is always looking for groups to help with our missionary endeavors overseas.  For more information, check out the mission service opportunities at:


3.  2019 Youth Gathering

            The theme is out for the next twi-annual youth gathering which will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 11-15, in 2019.  Interested in what they have planned?  Check out:

The Keys to Sunday morning Worship

                                                                                                                        -  Loren Schmidt.


            At the heart of our church services, is the wonderful music provided by our musicians playing the Organ. It has interested me for a while to learn more about this instrument that we really don’t get to look at but do hear. My research is both with our organists and to learn as much about the instrument as I can using Google. Some facts and opinions were learned that I was not expecting.  I created a questionnaire for all of our organists to answer as they saw fit. My only disappointment was within a week of handing them out, My mother-in-law Maxine began her final lap to be with our Lord and so I didn’t get to add in her account. The Organ has a plate screwed on it listing it as a Hinners-Smith Pipe Organ and that the console was rebuilt  in 1983 by Hoyer Organ Co., Lawrence, KS. Hoyer Organ is no longer in business as Mr. Hoyer has passed on. However I did visit with Duane Hanks of Pipe Organ Craftsman  who did so much work on it for us last year. This is where the confusion begins for me; as having read the plate, I went searching for information of the Hinners Organ Co. and found some very entertaining and interesting facts. Unfortunately, most of those stories may not apply to this organ as Duane says most of the console looks like it came from other organs which he says isn’t really that uncommon. In my car logic words, it’s like putting a Chevy small block engine in a Ford and then putting a Chrysler Dana rear end under it. He is strongly of the opinion that the Wind Chest action is from a Kilgen organ(remember that name later) as they have a  specific look and if someone else copied it, they would likely have ended up in court.  Smith is also the name of a Kansas based Organ company that spent some time in Kansas City, but what part Smith plays in this organ is currently unknown by me. Other than this plate referencing this as a Hinners, I also found in the Sunday bulletin used for the 90th Anniversary service of 14th of July, 1968, the following chronological  lines: 1936, A two manual Himer(incorrect spelling) pipe organ was purchased from the Wangerine Organ Co.(remember this name later) at Milwaukee, Wis and installed in the church at a cost of $985.00.

Rumor in our church is that this organ was originally in a Kansas City Theatre. However, it is not a Theater Organ design and Wangerine Organ Co. may have been the intermediary to make the purchase work.. So our organ must have some connection to the Hinners Organ Co. Just can’t be sure exactly what and how.


            So starting with that, here is a little history about the Hinners Organ Co. In 1879 John L. Hinners began creating organs with 1 assistant at his factory located at 125-131 Cook St., Pekin, Illinois. Pekin is located just south of Peoria, Illinois and had a population of ~6000 people in 1879 and ~20,000 when the plant was closed in 1942. Pekin, Illinois is also known as the home town of Susan Dey of “The Partridge Family” & “L.A. Law”, TV fame; Republican Senator and Senate Minority leader during the 1960’s, Everett Dirksen; and one of my favorite Rock bands from my high school days, Head East. John L. soon took on a co-owner in  a Mr. Fisk whose interest was bought out in 1886 by Uddo Albertson. Mr. Hinners came to make organs being a carpenter and blinds-maker. Hinners created Organs were regarded as one of the country’s best quality manufactured organs, prized for beautiful cabinetry and excellent tone. “Only recently has it been acknowledged that these Hinners organs represent a "meat and potatoes" class of instrument, as it were, an honest meal without the pretense of delicate appetizers, vintage wine, and gourmet dessert. In this way the  company offered churches a serviceable and respectable musical alternative to grandeur, and was able to fulfill the needs and meet the budget of a small congregation without the expense of a custom instrument.” iAnn Allison, The Hinners Organ Company in Dakota’s 1879- 1936,   Aug, 1997


            There are reports that Hinners made ~10,000 Reed Organs which were aimed at private owners, and 3097 pipe organs for church and Theater use. Because there was no assembly line and each was essentially hand built, each was assigned an Opus # which was a serial # and with many choices of options, each could be somewhat unique. Also the 3097 Opus #’s also included rebuilds and enlargements and it is possible the real # of pipe organs built by Hinners is closer to 2000. Hinners plan of business was to sell through advertising but used no salesmen. After attracting a prospect through print advertising, Hinners was one of the earliest to use the US mail to conduct the affairs of business. The customer choose the basic design & custom alterations and then the financial agreement was also completed through the mail. After completing the build, the organ was crated and shipped by train. Upon arrival of the organ to the customer, a factory representative arrived to install and adjust the organ to the customers satisfaction.

Uddo Albertson left in 1902 and John L. Hinners passed away in 1906. John Roelf served as President until 1912 when John L. Hinners son, Arthur, took control and ran the company until the company shut down organ production in 1936. In 1920, Hinners hired away 2 employees from the Gottfried Company, which is who Hinners & other Organ companies sourced their metal organ pipes from. A separate company, Illinois Organ Supply Company, was formed in house to begin making their own pipes for themselves and they also sold flues & pipes to two other organ producing businesses, Kilgen(Possible manufacturer of our organ’s Wind Chest) & Wangerine(The company our organ was purchased from in 1936).

            While researching on Google, many entries are to be seen from churches & universities who own Hinners organs and have rebuilt and or restored their organ and if you look, many have cabinetry and pipes that are simply gorgeous and are stationed in full view of the congregation or audience. Hinners organs can be found in many Catholic, Methodist, Baptist churches among others  along with numerous Lutheran houses of the Lord. In one instance, in 1927, Hinners constructed a 3 manual, Opus #2806 organ for the St. John Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in their home town of Pekin, Illinois. What is fascinating is that the comment was made that most of the Hinners employees attended church at St. John. With that said, we can say that our organ, at least the Hinners components, were born a Lutheran organ.

            The questions I asked our current organists were answered very well. It seems they all began by learning to play the piano at 7-8 years of age. Playing piano as an accompanist for singers and other instruments is also a common trait. One said that the minister here at the time heard her play at a recital and came to her parents home the next day to ask if she would consider playing in church. Beginning dates of playing organ here range from  the late 1930’s for my mother in law, Maxine, to early 50’s for Barbara, early 60’s for Dorothy, early 80’s for Pam  to early 2017 for Jenny. Quite a range. I do remember Maxine saying when she started, the service was still spoken in German and she couldn’t speak or read German but had to learn how to know where in the service she was. When Immanuel still had a school, the teacher often also was the organist. Mr Henry Ostoff, who was hired as a teacher in 1929, likely then became the first organist in 1936 when the organ was purchased and installed. Following Mr. Ostoff, Mr. John E. Bartels was hired as a teacher and he also performed on the organ. Mr August F. Droegemueller, who was hired as a  teacher in 1911 & 1912, long before an organ existed here, returned on September 14, 1952 to play the organ with Mr. Bartels for the morning service and then solely for the new church dedication service that evening. It appears that to be a teacher here at the school, that individual had to have many talents. Others who did service for the Lord playing the organ here include Alice Otte; Carl E. Freudenberg, who was also a teacher; Geneva Otte Price played on occasion to fill in; and Herman J. Hoyer, Donald Hoyer, and Helen Hoyer are also said to have played here.

            I have personal experience as a child learning how to play the piano(though not very well) and I understand the concepts of how a piano works. The organ, on the other hand, is  a much more complicated instrument that I have a tough time understanding & knowing how if functions in much detail. While I do appreciate when we occasionally use the piano for our service, it must be said that an organ can bring a much more full volume, a far wider range of sounds, and an inspiring to listen to, performance.

            I think I have taken having so many organists who all can play so well for granted as that would be unusual in most any church. Many churches have to hire an outside organist. If you think about it, they are out of sight during the service and if our bulletin didn’t tell us each Sunday who was playing, would we, unless we saw who walked out after service, know who did the performing that day? I asked about that and as a pretty universal reply was told that the organist during service has no idea what is going on out in the sanctuary. For announcements at the end of service or any other voice participation from the sanctuary is almost unheard by the organist. If any alteration to the bulletin order of service occurs, the organist has to be on their toes to stay correct. That then takes much experience  to follow along with only visual sight of the  pastor and his actions and movements to enlighten the musician as to where we are in the service. On communion Sunday’s, each organist can decide if they will participate and where to cease playing to come to the altar. Some will go at the first so that how many more opportunities are available are not a concern. Others watch for when the last elder comes up and join then.

            In conclusion, our church bought a used organ in 1936 that had a rank of very beautiful pipes that were in full view of the congregation Sixteen years later, with the construction of a new building, the organ was moved into the new building. The building construction plans were designed to be efficient, modern, and cost efficient. There is not a thing wrong with any of that as this building has served this congregation well for the last 66 years. There was a period of time when design concepts placed the  organ by itself in a room off to the side instead of out in full view of everyone. Also the decision to place the pipes out of sight, which are said to have been quite beautiful to look at in the old church building, are today hidden behind gray concrete blocks, having deteriorated in looks, and I’ve been told that not the whole complement of pipes were transferred and are now lost. I do suspect that going back to the beginning of this article, that while possibly an original complete  Hinners Organ Co. build from the 1920’s, it is now a compliment from several other brands through changes, repairs, updates, etc. and that the pipes may be the largest component of what is left of an original Hinners organ. I’ll leave it at that but if anyone has any additional comments, information, or corrections, please let me know.

Synod and District News


The 73rd LCMS Kansas District Convention will convene from June 7–9, 2018 in Topeka Kansas.  Travis Sebits and Pastor Horne will be attending on behalf of our congregation.  A complete booklet of everything from minutes from the last convention to overtures and candidates that will be considered at this convention is available online at:

If you would like to learn more, please see Pastor Horne or Travis Sebits.


The Kansas District has supported international mission work in the country of Guinea, West Africa since 1997. The LCMS sent its first missionary to Guinea in 1996 to work with refugees who fled there from Liberia and Sierra Leone; the Kansas District joined the effort the following year. (To read more about LCMS mission work in Guinea, visit the LCMS Guinea page.)

The initial phase of our mission partnership focused on spreading the Gospel and engaging in mercy work. Over the past two decades, we’ve deployed multiple missionaries, pursued mercy projects, sent Kansans on short-term mission trips, and offered financial support and prayer. Workers in Guinea have established churches and preaching stations, baptized believers, and encouraged evangelists.

Today, we’ve moved into an exciting new phase of work: raising up pastors in Guinea. Three Guinean Lutherans are currently enrolled at the Lutheran Center for Theological Studies (CLET), an international seminary in Togo. Thanks be to God! You can read more about the CLET and the students from Guinea below.

Please keep these students, our church workers, and the people of Guinea/West Africa in your prayers.


Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) Training Sessions

Interested in helping out when disaster strikes? If so, think about attending a Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training session. These 6-hour sessions will equip you to be an effective volunteer in times of need. Participants who complete the training will receive volunteer credentialing issued by LCMS Disaster Response. Please note that registrations are due two weeks prior to the event.  At Immanuel, we can be thankful that Gary Boesker has both volunteered and been trained as a LERT responder.  If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Gary for more information on what our Synod is doing to create a network that’s prepared to help people in their hour of need.




2          Mark Barnett

5          Bryce Staley

             Jeff Biehler

6          Clayton Sargent

            Katelyn Staley

            Nathan Nutter


8          Crystal Nutter

            Dawn Mastre

10        Lana Heim

13         Brynn Kruse

15         Becky  Horne

22        Erin Barnett

23        Brenda Vogts

            Brian Smith

24        Sandy Schmidt

28        Austin Bullinger

            Fred Renken

29        Dave Rupp

            Parker Lange

            Isaac Bunn

            Stuart Moddelmog



8          Lance Otte

12         Larry Heim

20        Dorothy Otte

23        Charlene Rupp



1           Cason Mastre

6          Kylee Soeken

7          Brad Potter

12         Eldon Otte

14        LeAnn Heim

17         David Moddelmog

23        Tanner Klingensmith

26        Kari Schmidt

27        Pastor Horne