St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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May 7, 2023

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Sermon Notes for Sunday

  • Sermon Notes

    Sermon based on Matthew 16:13-20

    Today we hear about Peter’s confession of faith and how, like Peter, we are given the Spirit of Christ to confess the one true Christian faith boldly and confidently, and that even when we do not confess as we ought, our God and Savior continues to forgive, strengthen, and renew us so that we learn to confess His name before others.

Serving Schedule

This Week’s Servants

  • ELDER: Chad Calander
  • Usher: Jay Nelson
  • Reader: Pastor
  • Organist: Sue Drury
  • Acolytes:
  • Sound Booth: Chase VanDonsel
  • Altar Guild: Wilma Frazier
  • Fellowship: Sharon M./Stephanie F.

Next Week’s Servants

  • Elder: Chad Calander
  • Usher: Derek Marxhausen
  • Reader: Travis Bemboom
  • Organist: Jane Marquardsen
  • Acolytes: Waylon/Lily Dreyer
  • Sound Booth: OPEN
  • Altar Guild: Wilma Frazier
  • Fellowship: Lanaya T./Laurie M.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled serving day, please contact the church at least a few days before the service so there is time to find a replacement. Thank you!

Statistics for Last Week


  • Regular Offering: $1,469.00
  • Online Giving: $0.00
  • Non-Budget: $20.00
  • Memorial: $0.00


  • Worship Attendance: 46
  • Sunday School: n/a
  • Youth Group: n/a
  • Midweek Bible Study: n/a

Please make every attempt to have your kids in Sunday School each week, and your teens in Youth Group.

Important News & Announcements


A limited number of printed announcements are available each Sunday and left on the table under the mailboxes. You may also have a PDF copy of the announcements emailed to you if you prefer it that way. Just ask.

Please bring unopened (new) children’s undies to church and donate to the Orphan Grain Train. Pastor will be delivering the donations to the Pastor’s Conference on Sunday. You may also support the OGT financially. Simply leave your donation in the offering plate and write “Orphan Grain Train” in the memo. Thank you!

Summer Bible Study Opportunities

There is no time like the present to be in the Word, studying and growing in Christ. To that end, we will continue to have our Thursday morning class where we study the Book of Concord. As Lutherans, we believe the Book of Concord is a correct exposition of the Holy Scripture and thus it’s important we are familiar with it. Join us Thursdays at 9:00 am and bring your Book of Concord with you. If you don’t have one, speak to pastor about getting one for you.

Pastor is prayerfully considering starting a weekly Men’s Bible Study in June. More information to come in the next couple of weeks.

Beginning in June, Pastor Carlson will resume teaching the Sunday morning Bible Study at 10:30. Adults and youth are encouraged to attend. Pastor will be following the “We Preach Christ Crucified” series from the LCMS in preparation for the national convention.

Lifetree Cafe is coming in August…

Senior Social Day

Seniors, why not come to the church every 2nd Thursday at 10am for a time of good fun, fellowship and games, coffee and treats, and to meet other Milaca seniors? We’ve got a good group of people but would love it if you could come too! Bring your favorite board game or card game with you.

Youth Volleyball Night

Youth Open Volleyball night scheduled for Friday, June 9th at 6:00 PM. There will be food and a devotion…and volleyball! Bring friends.

Board of Education

A Board of Ed. meeting is scheduled for Sunday, June 4 at 10:30 AM.

The MAY NEWSLETTER is out! If you’re subscribed to email news, you should have received it already. Otherwise, a copy should be in your mailbox.

Subscribe to the official newspaper of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod! Visit to get regular updates, notices, synodical news, and more!

Pastor Carlson has been publishing a daily devotion online and emailing it to subscribers. That’s right! This is a great way to start of your day in the Word and prayer. Simply go to or speak to Pastor, and you’ll start to receive a devotion every weekday in your email inbox. Devotions return this Monday!

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 68th Regular Convention is July 29 through August 3. Pastor Carlson, along with a lay delegate from our circuit, will be attending the convention and representing St. Paul’s and our circuit. The convention is in Milwaukee, WI at the Wisconsin Center/Arena.

Pastor will spend a little time at the next quarterly voters meeting detailing the convention and provide for you a list of matters which will be voted on.

To keep up with the convention timeline, to read the overtures, and to learn about the various candidates who will fill positions nationally, please visit LCMS National Convention – The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Also, please pray for safe travel for all who are preparing to head to Milwaukee in late July.

Prayer Requests

Tom LitfinGlen Hamann
Family of Harry Totzke
Please keep the prayer list updated by contacting the church via email ( or calling 320-982-6703. You may also speak to Pastor or an Elder. Anyone missing on this list? Let Pastor or an Elder know right away!

Weekend Devotion

Prayer: Lord, help me make right judgments and not judge others by appearances or status. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

SCRIPTURE: “Stop judging by outward appearance. Instead make a right judgment.” – John 7:24

Jesus instructs us in this passage, and also in Matthew 7, what proper and improper judging looks like. In the first place, we are not to judge as the pharisees did by one another’s status in life. For the Christian, a menial job is no worse or no better than an extravagant job. All labor is good and honorable for God’s children, and no one should be looked down upon by worldly standards. This also extends to how we may judge one another by appearances, such as Jesus discusses in John 7:24. Appearances do not make a person righteous or unrighteous, and thus we are not to judge one another by outward appearances, by opinions, or by looking at one another through colored glass. Any judging we do should only be by God’s Word.

However, the Scripture is consistent in saying that we ARE to judge doctrine and theology, that we ARE to judge and condemn false teaching, call it out, and diligently work to avoid it and teach others to do the same, and that we are to judge those false teachers and false prophets who insist on teaching such false doctrine. To let a false prophet have his way in the church, to go about teaching and practicing things contrary to God’s Word, brings division and strife to the church and does not lead to the saving of souls from hell. He is a blind guide, a liar, and in league with the devil and should be marked as such for all to recognize. This is the Word of the Lord.

But in relation to believers, we are not to judge. The world judges constantly because the spiritually blind see everything through jaded glass. They are unable to see or understand the truth which stands right before their eyes. Their hearts are bitter, and they burn with hate. They perceive others through this lens of bitterness and hate and see those whom they choose to resent as enemies and repulsive.

Only Christians see with clear lenses because their eyes have been made clear and bright by the Word of Christ. Christians see their enemies, not with hate or resentment, but with mercy and compassion. They wish no harm or evil upon even the worst of sinners. Should an enemy act bitterly or hateful toward a Christian, he will think, “What a miserable person who stands condemned before the Lord. I wish no further harm on him! If he remains on the path he’s on, he will belong to the devil before long. Instead, I will share the Gospel with him by helping him and treating Him as Christ has treated me. Perhaps he will repent of his wickedness and miserableness, turn, and believe.” Christians have compassion on their enemies and prayerfully hope for salvation. But all others, they view their neighbors with hate, envy, and pride.

This is why Jesus told the pharisees to stop judging by mere appearances and to make a right judgment. He was calling them to repent of their hate and wickedness, and to see who stood before them – God in the flesh – through clear glass. For just as the pharisees judged Jesus and his followers with hate, so too do the enemies of the Gospel hatefully judge us, who believe, as fools.

This Week’s Activities

  • Elders Meeting
  • Pastor in Brainerd for Minnesota North District Pastor’s conference. Returns Wednesday.
  • Adult Bible Study returns this Thursday at 9:00 AM.
  • Senior Social Day this Thursday at 10AM!

Coming Events

  • Council Meeting, May 14th
  • Confirmation Sunday is May 21st!
  • Board of Ed/VBS Meeting, June 4th

“God’s truth judges created things out of love, and Satan’s truth judges them out of envy and hatred.”

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945)