Volume 8, Number 2
Winter 2014
Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church U.A.C.
The Emmaus Lutheran
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he
interpreted to them in all the Scriptures, the things
concerning himself.
Luke 24:27
Take Refuge in Christ, the Prince of Peace
What is going on in the world today? This year we
have entered the 100 year anniversary of the “War to End
all Wars,” and we see anything but the end of wars. Syria
continues to be torn by war, and ISIS has now taken over
chunks of Iraq in a most brutal fashion. We look at Iran
and North Korea, and some see signs of possible wars.
Then there has been the whole series of violence between
Russia and the Ukraine. As if that was not bad enough,
areas of St. Louis are now being torn with violence due to
police shootings. What is going on?
Not only is this the 100 year anniversary of World
War I, but we are also now preparing to celebrate the
coming of the Prince of Peace. Jesus’ birth was heralded
by the angels saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke
2:14 ESV) Despite this, we still see violence and death all
around this world.
When we see this, it is easy for us to get upset with
God and wonder why He has not eradicated this type of
danger. These thoughts and concerns are not new;
Christians have wondered about Christ’s return and why
it has been so long for almost 2,000 years. Within the life
of St. Peter, Christians facing persecution wondered at the
delay. Peter responded to this with the explanation “The
Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count
slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any
should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2
Peter 3:9 ESV). This means that the easy answer of why
our Lord tarries is His mercy.
...continued on pg. 6
Rev. Dr. John Hellwege
Inside this Issue
Take Refuge
pg. 1, 6
New Members
pg. 2, 3
Recent Events
pg. 3
Thrive Update
pg. 4, 5
Outreach Efforts
pg. 6
pg. 7
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Emmaus Welcomes New Members
Nine new members came into our midst during the second half
of 2014. We praise God for them! In the spring, Emmaus
welcomed Rev. Randy and Elizabeth Golter, as well as Shawn
Barnett. Rev. Steve and Kim Schave and their children Rachel,
Sarah, Leah, and Luke, joined in June. Here’s your chance to
get to know some of our new brothers and sisters in Christ…
What do you think makes Emmaus unique?
Golters: Of course, many similarities with other LCMS city
congregations exist, such as, the struggle to reach out to a changing and
diverse demographic. Similarities also include the proclamation of the
Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments, which are essential,
for which we praise Him. Unique to Emmaus, we might surmise, is the
high number of LCMS pastors and families as members of the
congregation, although, this is Saint Louis!
Rev. Randy and Elizabeth Golter most
recently lived in Denver, Colorado.
Barnett: Emmaus is as unique as the members that congregate there
whom God loves and calls by name. I rejoice every time I see their faces.
They are all very courageous and full of hope. What a gift it is to be able
to gather with those who treasure the Church's heritage and faithful
Why did you choose to join Emmaus?
Golters: We were intent on attending a local LCMS church and to help
support a small, urban congregation.
Barnett: A friend of mine suggested that I attend Emmaus. I've been
very pleased with the worship and the preaching, which conforms to the
norms of Scripture and the confessions. At Emmaus, the Gospel is
preached and the Sacraments are administered according to Christ's
institution. The Lord serves me there, provides me with the medicine of
immortality, strengthens my faith, and draws me into communion with
his body, his catholic Church.
What good things do you see in Emmaus’ future?
Golters: Gladly we know her future is His, as was the past, for which we
find great comfort. The good things of course include the preaching of the
Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. While we're not the
experts in urban ministry challenges, it seems to us that Emmaus has
exhibited a stubborn toughness and resiliency to keep going forward, no
matter the obstacles and challenges. Secondly, because of this, to keep
looking for ways to utilize her property assets and location, namely, the
school building and her Jefferson locations as avenues to proclaim Jesus
Christ to the neighborhood. LCMS congregations—it seems--end up to
...continued on pg. 3
Shawn Barnett is chair of Emmaus’
new Outreach Task Force.
Emmaus Mission
Enabled by His Spirit,
Emmaus Lutheran Church
boldly proclaims God's love
and grace in Jesus Christ
to all people through
excellent liturgical worship,
bold community outreach,
and dedicated, caring service
to our neighbor.
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Emmaus Welcomes Members
(Continued from pg. 2)
be at the end of some forgotten and less
traveled street, at least in our experience.
Therefore, these two things are great gifts
from God.
Leah Schave Confirmed June 15, 2014
Leah Schave, daughter of Rev. Steve and Kim Schave,
confessed her faith and confirmation vows in June. The
Schave family are the newest faces at Emmaus. Back
row (Left to right): Kim, Steve, and Rev. Hellwege.
Front row: Luke, Leah, Rachel, and Sarah.
Barnett: Emmaus has weathered many
storms and I pray that the weather is
beginning to clear. Our location provides us
with the opportunity to serve in an
underserved area and to care for our
neighbors. Furthermore, the school building
may yet prove to be a great asset to serve our
neighbors and to provide instruction in the
Holy Scriptures. Emmaus will continue to
sow the Word and to water. May God give
Rolland/Wosepka Wedding
Thank you to our frequent
non-member donors! We
give thanks to God for
your ongoing prayers and
“I thank my God in all my
remembrance of you, always in
every prayer of mine for you all
making my prayer with joy,
because of your partnership in
the gospel.”
—Philippians 1:3
Chad Rolland and Alicia Wosepka were united in marriage on
August 2, 2014. The couple met at Emmaus in 2012. Pictured from
left to right: Rev. Paul Beisel, Alicia, Chad, Rev. John Hellwege, and
Rev. Ben Mayes.
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Neighborhood Families “Thriving” at Emmaus
By Rebecca Mayes, Emmaus Volunteer Recruiter for Parent University
“Sarah” was filling out paperwork at the Planned
Parenthood in St. Louis this past August with a gnawing
feeling in her soul that this wasn’t where she should be.
But almost everyone else in her circle of friends and
family said it was. It didn’t feel right, though. It was her
mom, who had accompanied her on this day of the
scheduled abortion, who noticed the inner struggle and
spoke up. “You know, you don’t have to do this if you
don’t want to” she said. Surprised by the compassion in
her mother’s voice, Sarah was speechless for some time.
Then her voice spoke in a tone more firm than it had been
in a long time. “I don’t want to,” she replied, still shocked
that she’d been given permission to make up her own
mind. And so they left—all three of them.
I met Sarah a few weeks ago at one of the Parent
University classes held at Emmaus on Thursday nights.
She told me her story about that fateful day, and about
the kind woman who caught her attention as she was
leaving the clinic. The woman was from Thrive, a
pregnancy resource center, and she asked Sarah if she’d
like to have a free ultrasound in the mobile unit across the
street. Sarah took her up on her offer and was introduced
to the caring support network of the Thrive team. She
later met a Thrive counselor and was directed to the
parenting classes offered at our church.
Sarah beamed as she told me about her baby and
how relieved she was that she left the clinic in time. She
wasn’t sure exactly what her future held, but she knew
she’d done the right thing. She loved this child. Her
glowing face and the gentle stroking of her belly both
indicated her full acceptance of this new role as “mother.”
Emmaus is still a small congregation. We don’t
have the time or manpower to walk sidewalks with prolife signs and we don’t have the finances to purchase
mobile ultrasound units. How could such a little church
make a difference in the lives of children at risk of being
aborted? God knew the answer to this question. He has
worked through staff from Thrive, members of Emmaus,
volunteers from churches around the city, pastors from
Thrive Parent University
Above: Emmaus member Geraldine Cole
lends a hand during Thrive childcare.
Below: Parent University classes take place
at Emmaus’ school every Tuesday and
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Neighborhood Families “Thriving”
(Continued from pg. 4)
“Come, Thou long
expected Jesus, Born
to set Thy people free;
From our fears and
sin release us; Let us
find our rest in
Born Thy people to
deliver; Born a child
and yet a king! Born
to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious
kingdom bring.”
LSB 338
Thrive Advent Dinner
(Below) On December 4,
Emmaus hosted a special
Advent event for Parent
University students and their
families. All enjoyed a catered
meal, a Christmas message by
Rev. Hellwege, and the
fellowship of singing favorite
Christmas hymns!
other congregations, as well as donors to orchestrate marvelous
partnerships, all with the centralized goal of supporting families and
women like Sarah.
On Thursday nights families continue to receive a filling
meal and free childcare from volunteers while learning from Thrive’s
educators how they can be the best parents possible. From the Bible
study given by Rev. Hellwege and other pastors at the beginning all
the way through the hour-long class sessions, students hear from the
Word of God about His love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness, and His
directions for living a life which pleases Him and cares for those
around us. Each week the Holy Spirit plants the seeds of the Gospel,
and God’s people provide for bodily needs. This joint effort among
LCMS congregations and volunteers, headquartered at Emmaus, is a
true example of our synod’s motto: Witness, Mercy, and Life
Please keep this partnership in your prayers and ask that the
Lord would continue to provide the many volunteers needed to
make this effort successful. There are many dates on the 2015
calendar that need filling. If you would like to learn more about
volunteering or would like your church to consider rotating food or
childcare volunteers every few months, please contact me at 314229-1134 or [email protected].
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Outreach Efforts Expand: New Task Force, MissionShift
By Denise Hellwege
Emmaus has begun actively seeking ways to reach out to the neighborhood
around us. Partnering with Thrive and hosting their Parent University is our most
concrete effort so far, but other steps are also being taken. This fall, we created an
Outreach Task Force to help create a focus for our outreach efforts. This group helped
make the Advent Dinner for the Thrive students and families a great success. We have
also been looking into the possibility of partnering with a local group that is interested in
using our gym and a national group that would offer assistance in creating an afterschool tutoring program for area students.
Another big step we have taken is enrolling in MissionShift Institute. This
program’s mission is to equip Christians to build and lead culture-crossing ministries. I
have been attending this 30-week intensive training program. In the first quarter of the
class, we spent time learning about the unique challenges of urban ministry (particularly
in the diversity that is 21st century U.S. cities) and learning from ministries already in
place in St. Louis. We read two books that I would highly recommend to everyone
(with the caveat that they are definitely not written from a Lutheran theological
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor … and
Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert presents concise information on the
subject of poverty alleviation and ministry to those in need. It brings an
understanding that poverty is much more than simply a lack of financial or
material resources and that it takes much more than donations and handouts to
solve the problem of poverty. Developing relationships and setting people on the
road to rehabilitation and reconciliation elicits much better results than simple
relief measures.
Cross Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World by Duane
Elmer helps you understand core values that determine how people in different
cultures make decisions and interact in everyday life. While written particularly
for overseas ministry, this book also has great relevance for today’s diverse
American cities. It helps you understand and appreciate the differences between
cultures and how to overcome obstacles that these differences can create.
Both of these books are available on Amazon (using our Amazon Smile
account, of course!) or in Emmaus’ library. The MissionShift class culminates in the
spring with an Urban Ministry Project in which a group from class will work with
leaders from Emmaus to develop an innovative ministry project to strengthen the work
of our congregation.
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Emmaus Members Attend Doxology
By Chad Rolland
Chad Rolland visits with a pastor from
Minnesota during a meal break at Doxology.
“The Church is a living
and breathing body, and
its members are meant to
be in communion.”
Doxology, which is headed by The Lutheran Center
for Spiritual Care and Counsel, is a three part program
designed to help address the too-often-overlooked needs of
pastors. Each part of the program has a specific focus and
the second retreat, called “The Encore,” which was held at
the Chiara Retreat Center in Springfield, Illinois, included
lay leaders for the purpose of helping them better
understand ways to support their pastor. My wife Alicia and
I were able to attend the November 2014 program with
Pastor Hellwege and were incredibly blessed by the
Doxology Innovators and Faculty, Rev. Dr. Harold
Senkbeil and Dr. Beverly Yahnke, were very insightful in
their presentations as they addressed topics ranging from the
mission of the church to the scrutiny many pastors and their
families receive in their congregations. It was eye-opening to
hear that pastors experience a wide variety of struggles that
many of us laypeople are simply ignorant to.
The two aspects of the conference that I appreciated
the most was being able to hear other lay leaders tell about
their congregations and bouncing ideas off of them to
consider for our own church, as well as worshiping using
the daily offices of the church in the Chiara Center chapel.
Both of these aspects brought home the fact that the Church
is a living and breathing body and its members are meant to
be in communion and serve one another as Christ our Head
has graciously done for us.
Merry Christmas!
Use Amazon? Amazon will donate
0.5% of the price of your eligible
AmazonSmile purchases to
Emmaus whenever you shop on
Start here each time you shop with
your regular Amazon account:
May God richly bless your celebration of
the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church
2617 Shenandoah Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63104
Emmaus Ev. Lutheran Church U.A.C.
Winter 2014
Take Refuge in Christ, the Prince of Peace (Continued from pg. 1)
As we wait, it really should not surprise us that sinful people act, well, sinfully. We
know that people are born in sin (Psalm 51:5), and history should show us that people are
capable of all sorts of evil. In the midst of hard times like this, we need the reassurance that
God is still in control, which is one of the reasons that Psalm 46 is a personal favorite of
It is times like this that it is so important for us to remember the birth of the Prince of
Peace. While our world is still wracked with sin, we know that Jesus has won for us eternal
life and will one day take us out of this world. While there is danger, we are reminded of
the words of St. Paul “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21
ESV). Most of all, we are reminded that our God entered this world of sin and suffering. He
was threatened by Herod the Great and died under Pontius Pilate. But He defeated death
for us. Therefore we continue to join the angels in saying, “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14 ESV).
May God give you a blessed, joyful, and peace-filled Christmas.
Pastor John Hellwege