Dear members and friends of St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Greetings from Hobart. I returned Tuesday evening. It was great to be able to spend Dad’s final days on earth with him. My siblings and I, along with spouses worked cooperatively and tirelessly in planning the funeral, tidying up various loose ends and the challenging task of clearing out the house. It was great to spend time together with them and to catch up with others.
I write to remind you to put your clocks forward an hour Saturday night, as daylight saving commences this weekend.
Please pray for the first part of General Synod which will be held online tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday. The second part will be held in person at a date to be advised next year following (God willing) the country opening up from COVID travel restrictions. Sonia (Parish delegate), Kim (chair, LCA Ecclesiastical Discipline Review Team) and I will attend both the virtual and face to face sessions. One of the main tasks over the next couple of days will be the election of various Boards within the Church including the election of a new Church-wide (LCANZ) Bishop and Assistant Bishop, as current Bishop John Henderson and assistant Bishop Andrew Pfeiffer are stepping down. We will announce on Sunday at General Prayer time who the new Bishop is.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you this Sunday at worship and commend you to God’s gracious care.
Yours in joys and sufferings,
Warm regards and blessings,
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Dear members and friends of St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hobart,
We give thanks to God for the life and faith of our sister in Christ Kathleen Schluter. Kath was taken from this life last Sunday afternoon, 12th of September at her home in Moonah where her daughter Christine Douglas has provided loving and devoted care for her in recent years. She is also survived by sons Paul, Andrew and Simon. Andrew is in the US while Paul and Andrew have assisted with caring for Kath in recent weeks as Kath neared death.
Kathleen loved her Lord and contributed richly to the life of the Saint Peter’s Congregation. She was president of the Ladies Guild for many years, leading meetings with great skill, gentleness and kindness. Along with her husband Albert who was also very active in the congregation, they would host Bible studies in their home which are remembered both for the feeding of the soul as well as for the lovely suppers. Among other things Kath also sang in the choir.
A private funeral for Kath will be held this Friday with Pastor John Heidenreich officiating. ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints’ (Psalm 116:15).
I share the following that I prepared for distribution to friends and relatives yesterday.
Last Friday, 10th of September, my Father Lance Steicke died. He had secondaries through most of his organs from a melanoma that had grown in his head which was removed about two and a half years ago. I have been in Adelaide since the night of Monday the 6th of Sept, and so was able to spend a few days with Dad as he slipped in and out of consciousness. My siblings Janet, Peter and Liisa have been great, all providing wonderful support to Dad and to one another. We have also worked as a team, along with sister in law Julie, in the quite challenging task of cleaning up the house.
Thankfully Dad didn’t have to linger too long or experience great periods of pain. He approached his death with a strong faith and a positive attitude resulting from his trust in the forgiveness of sins and the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life found in the loving faithfulness of God as revealed and given in Christ Jesus. This was exhibited when, upon learning from the oncologist that there was nothing more that could be done, he shared: “As I was walking out of the hospital I was singing the words of a hymn ‘I Am coming home, Lord Jesus’. In the bus, it was, 'whether we live or die, WE ARE THE LORDS'."
A Memorial or Thanksgiving service for Dad will take place at St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Blair Athol, SA this Saturday, 18th of Sept at 10.30am. (It will be preceded by a private graveside committal for family only).
Attendance numbers are being managed through TryBooking. Attendees must book. (This does not apply to the 50 invited guests attending the graveside prior to the service; a place at the church is already reserved for you.)
The Memorial service will be live-streamed. The live stream is available here.
I give thanks for my Father and the closure that has occurred through various family events in recent times, including the memorable and joyous time he and so many family members experienced in travelling to Hobart to celebrate my 60th birthday earlier this year. He has run the race and fought the fight, and now receives the crown of life, getting to rest and to bask in joys sublime.
Warm regards and blessings,
Pastor Mike Steicke.
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Dear Members and Friends of St Peter's Congregation.
As most of you will be aware Pastor has been in South Australia since Monday, to be with his family as his father was coming to the end of his battle with cancer. We are thankful that Pastor was able to spend time with him throughout this last week, with his father passing away in the early hours of this morning.
Pastor will now be away for the next 3 Sundays, as he attends the funeral and takes some leave.
We all join together in expressing our sympathies to Pastor and his family during this time of loss. We also join in the sure and certain knowledge that Pastor's father is now safely in the Lord's hands, and though his life on earth has ended he is now in his heavenly home. Please keep the Steicke family in your prayers.
In other news Church Council met last night for the September meeting, to discuss various matters.
We shared the following devotion written by Corrie Gerbatz, which members of Council thought we should distribute. We hope that you are uplifted by the message as we were.
Surviving the Storms
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
'Ten years ago, the first waves of struggle hit my family.
The economy crashed and along with it so did our lives. My husband was laid off from his job; our bank accounts circled the drain and we were forced to make difficult financial decisions. Ultimately, we lost our home — and along with it our sense of security — and had to move to a house that held none of our memories but much hardship.
We prayed for patience to weather the storm. We did our best to “make do” in the waiting. And we kept our eyes on the horizon for calmer waters. But the calm never came. Instead, the waves continued to build, and one storm seemed to lead to another. From ongoing financial hardships to relationship trials, ongoing health issues and beyond, our lives felt completely shipwrecked.
For years I prayed God would change something, anything, in our circumstances.
I begged, “Lord, please give us a break.”
I bartered, “If You do this … I promise I’ll do that …”
And I grumbled — a lot: “Lord, it’s too much. This just isn’t fair!”
Have you ever felt as though you were stuck in life? Or worse … sinking? You’ve tried your best to keep moving forward, to keep your head above water, but the waves of struggle are relentless. Gone is the energy to put on a “good face” and pretend everything is OK — because everything is definitely not OK. Surviving the day while dreading the next is the endless cycle of your reality.
I know that kind of living.
Yet still the waves came, and I couldn’t help but feel as though my prayers had been filed under “forgotten.” So I stopped praying about it for a long time … until recently.
While reading in the book of Philippians, I was reminded of the Apostle Paul. Now Paul was a man who knew a thing or two about difficult circumstances and setbacks. In his travels to advance the gospel, he navigated a number of hardships — poverty, beatings, literal shipwrecks and hunger. In fact, at the time he wrote Philippians, he was a prisoner of Rome. Paul had every reason to barter, beg and grumble about his circumstances. But he didn’t — not a word. Instead, his letter to the church at Philippi was one written in hope, full of thanks and overflowing with joy.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
This verse in particular struck a chord of conviction deep within my soul. Paul was reminding his fellow believers to pray “with thanksgiving” in “every situation” (v. 6, emphasis added). I had long forgotten the “thankful” piece.
Paul was assuring his fellow believers the peace of God would triumph over any circumstance. But I had only desired God to change my circumstance.
Paul radiated joy while in chains, but I marinated in my misery.
My heart had been so focused on the storm that I had lost sight of God’s faithful presence in the midst. I knew I needed to admit where I’d turned from God and resume praying. So I did. But this time around, my prayers are sounding a little different. This time, I’m asking God to cultivate within me a heart of thanks for His daily provisions. I’m seeking His peace to guard against anxious thoughts. And I’m learning to choose joy when clouds of despair loom and my trust falters.
Friends, if you find yourself sinking amid a trying season, and your trust is wavering — take heart! Not only is the Lord sovereign over every circumstance, but He’s with us in every circumstance. Our prayers have not been forgotten. Our loving Father has heard every word. He knows our struggles; He desires to lift us up and He is waiting to calm the storms within our hearts. We need only turn to Him and ask. I pray we all would be encouraged to do just that today.'
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am humbled. Hallelujah — You are my assurance, and my circumstances are not! Open my eyes to Your gracious provisions. Embolden my trust in You that I might more clearly radiate Your peace and Your joy in my life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Quiz Night 18th Sept 6pm
Please keep in mind the Quiz night scheduled for the 18th of September 6pm at the St Peter's Centre. It should be a fun evening and we will also be raising money for Hobart City Mission and Shia Lutheran Mission. Come along and have some fun.
Members are encouraged to continue to keep updated on the website for various pieces of news regarding events.
We continue to monitor Covid developments, and address issues as they arise, and are committed to continuing to serve you.
Wishing everybody a good coming week.
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
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