Current Newsletter

Print Friendly
Issue 196 January – February 2018

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Informal Worship with Congregation: 5:30 p.m. Meal and 4th Day Talk following worship.

First Lutheran Church
114 E. Main Street
Geneseo, IL 61254

Offerings given in worship support First Lutheran Church.  A basket will be available at the meal if you would like to support the LWVDC movement.

Couples bring one dish to pass; families please bring two. Coffee, water and ice are provided by the host church, but any other drinks will need to be brought by the community.


From I-80, take exit 19 to S Oakwood Ave in Geneseo.   Follow S Oakwood Ave to E Main St.  Turn left onto E Main St. Church is on the left.



From the Spiritual Director

Notes from the Spiritual Director


The Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright

                                                                                                – Proverbs 2:6-7a       

            As we celebrate the arrival of the Wise persons at the manger of our Lord on Epiphany, we hear a story of discernment, honor and wisdom.

Discernment is seen in the way the Magi first determine the need for their long, risky journey.  Astrologers, they see the signs in the heavens, signs that lead them to believe a king of Israel is soon to be born, One who is different than previous kings of Israel, One worth expending the energy, time and expense for a long journey to greet this new king, and honor him.

Honor is seen as they arrive at our Savior’s bedside and kneel in homage, in worship, to this king of a far-off land, this special king.

Wisdom is seen as they take a different road home to give the babe and his parents time to plot an escape before Herod declares a death sentence for all children 2 years old and under.  Actually, wisdom comes into play in everything the Magi do.  For wisdom is crucial to discernment, and influential in giving honor to another, seeing in them something special, something worth honoring, worth worshiping and the giving of special, precious, gifts.

There’s a bumper sticker that’s been around for awhile that says, “Some Wise Men still Follow Him.”  Wisdom is something that is sometimes in short supply, something that often gets confused with knowledge, or with what seems good to me at the time.  Some say that wisdom is a combination of knowledge, experience and common sense.  It’s a reasonable description, but it’s missing something.  It’s missing the element of God’s guidance in our lives, the One who gives Wisdom, from whom come knowledge and understanding.

Given the choice by God between riches, long life and the lives of his enemies, and the gift of wisdom, Solomon, wisely, chose the gift of wisdom instead.  And God recognizes that choice, saying,

“Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

– 1 Kings 3:11-12

 Wisdom is still a wise choice, still something worth seeking, still something worth cultivating in our lives, still something worth valuing in our lives.  It led the Magi to the Christ Child.  It enabled Solomon to rule effectively.  It leads us to the One who is our source of life, the Messiah.  As we enter a new year, and face challenges, and decisions in our lives, this is the One we can turn to for wisdom and discernment to help us live well, and walk in the ways of righteousness, peace and justice, to be lights of God’s love to all we meet.  I wish you a happy and wise New Year, in the name of the Wise One, Jesus the Christ.

Wayne Melaas-Swanson
Living Waters Via de Cristo Spiritual Director

From the Lay Director

Greetings Sisters & Brothers!

I / We want to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope your Christmas was all you expected with Christ in the center.

That really was about all I had to put in a letter, and then. . . Friday, December 29, it snowed.  It was beautiful.  Now before I get too far – five years ago I would not have liked it too much.  I do commiserate with all my fellows on the road.  I remember all too well.

But that Friday I remembered my youth and how I would have spent most of the day sledding in the pasture.  Then it hit me – God’s Grace – Psalm 104 and part of the ‘Come Holy Spirit’ prayer: “. . . and you shall renew the face of the earth.”

Maybe, just maybe, we all need to renew our faces, too.  My prayer for you all this new year is that you find the Grace of God in the little things in life.  Our God surrounds each and every one of us and loves us more than we can imagine.  He renews us like He renews the face of the earth.

God loves you________ (say your name),
Us, too!


Andrew & Carol Koresko


From the Rector/Rectora

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3:5-6

These are the verses I have chosen for Women’s Weekend 57 this spring.  DeeAnn and I have been busy making contacts and almost have our team that will serve the candidates coming, organized.  We will have Carol Ploch send out the roster when we have it completed so our VDC community can include us in their prayers.  Please consider sponsoring a candidate that will experience the weekend with us.  Our theme will be – “Bloom where you are planted”.  So even though the temps are cold and the snow flies seek a chance to bloom where he has sent you!

God Loves You and So Do I

Julie Anderson
Rectora Weekend #57



I hope everyone had a very blessed Christmas and New Years with family and friends and now it is time to turn our thoughts and prayers to the upcoming VdC weekend #57 on April 12-15, 2018.   As I indicated in the last newsletter,  what a wonderful gift it would be to sponsor someone for the weekend –  to have someone experience His Grace for 72 hours, just as you did for your weekend.  So please be in prayer for that candidate to sponsor.

Also,  Dave and I have been working on building a godly team of men for this special 72 hour weekend, but we still need a few more servant hearts to complete this team.    Please pray about it and if you are so moved by the Spirit, please contact Dave Little or myself ( or 309-798-9494) with any questions or concerns, and join this wonderful group of men in serving our Lord and candidates. If you are wondering about specific dates, our team dates are:

                                             February 10, 2018 – First Lutheran in Geneseo, Illinois

                                             February 24, 2018 -to be announced

                                             March 10, 2018 – Calvary Lutheran in Moline, Illinois

                                             March 24, 2018 – First Lutheran in Geneseo, Illinois

More specific team meeting information will be sent in out in a team letter.  The first team letter will be mailed out and sent via e-mail the week of January 8, 2018.

God Loves You and So Do We,

Bruce Daniel      Dave Little
Rector #57         Head Cha #57


From the PreWeekend

From the Pre-Weekend Chairs:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us … .                                                                                             Ephesians 1:7

To our Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Weekend #57 may seem like a long way off, but we all know how time just whooshes by. If you have been meaning to ask someone to a Living Water weekend, be praying now that the Holy Spirit will place it upon that person’s heart to take advantage of this special opportunity. Then ask “way early” so there is time for the idea to sink in and take root. Also, for most candidates, there will be the need to request time off from work, and with some larger companies, such requests must be made at the start of the calendar year. So let’s “get it in gear” for the new year! The Secretariat has voted to forego the next Fall Mixed Weekend (hopefully a temporary measure), so the Men’s and Women’s Spring Weekends will be the only opportunities for candidates to attend a Living Water spiritual retreat in 2018. As we are renewed in spirit through our participation in VdC, let us renew our efforts to seek out and sponsor new candidates who can benefit from this life-changing gift of grace!

And indeed, God’s grace does transform His people. Nowhere have I felt that grace like I did on my VdC weekend. How about you? I chose the Bible verse above because it speaks of the riches of God’s grace—not doled out sparingly, but “lavished on us.” Nothing held back. Why, God even gave us His son, Jesus!

I am reminded of an encounter I had a while back with one of the kindergarten students that I work with as a para-educator.  Kayleeonna was having tremendous difficulty logging into her computer tablet for her reading lessons, and I was working with her and encouraging her to keep trying. But after several more unsuccessful attempts at entering the correct password, she buried her adorably round and rosy face in her chubby little hands, and in a tiny but quite dramatic voice, declared, “I’m doomed.” To Kayleeonna, there seemed to be no hope of ever “getting in.” Isn’t that a lot like the Christian experience? We once were doomed—by a life lost to sin. Heaven? There was no hope of “getting in.” Then Jesus came to die for us. And He would be the Key that for us would unlock eternity. Pilgrims of Living Water, may you be awash in the riches of God’s grace lavished upon us. No longer doomed, but redeemed!

Wishing you a blessed New Year,

Barb and Joe Geerts (LW #16)


From the Secretary

De Colores!

Just an update on what your Secretariat is working on….We are still exploring ways to get more people involved and participating in Living Water Via de Cristo.  We would love to hear from YOU!!  Please feel free to contact anyone on Secretariat (a list is on the back page of this newsletter).  Jeff Whalen reported that team selection was moving along nicely.   The December Ultreya was held at Salem Lutheran in Moline with Pastor Randy Willers presiding.  We also joined their Saturday evening worship service.  We are also discussing having a ‘Renewal Weekend’ and are exploring possibilities there.

This was taken from our bulletin at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Davenport from Christmas Eve: “The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus.  She is perplexed by Gabriel’s greeting and by the news of her coming pregnancy, but she is still able to say, “Count me in.””  And it got me to thinking, we our busy lives these days, how many times have we been asked to join a VDC team, help prepare a meal for the homeless, serve coffee hour at church, ring the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign bell, decorate the sanctuary, etc…the list can go on & on….and how many times did WE say ‘Count me in’?  It also seems that these tasks always fall on the same individuals as well.  Perhaps it is time for each of us to step out of our comfort zone and do something we haven’t done before?!  Mary did…..

Please do reach out to your Secretariat for any ideas you may have.  We enjoy hearing from you.


Ellen Dalton, Secretary for LWVDC Secretariat


Find a Reunion Group

This list is a work in progress, but I pray that it can be the start of accurate information that can continue to grow. If you have a group to be added or changed, please email Kate Webster (Post Weekend Chair) at You can also call or text 815-992-9036. If you had a reunion group listed on the previous list that is still active, please notify me so that I may add you to the current list. If you are in need of a reunion group, but don’t see one in your area or time frame, please contact myself or another member of the secretariat. We can connect you with other Living Water Pilgrims in your area.


Kate Webster

Post-weekend Chair

Please remember that the ideal reunion group size is 3 to 5 members. If your reunion group seems large, please consider splitting off to allow new members to join. It can be difficult for new or inexperienced pilgrims to start a reunion group, consider being that mentor.

WEBMASTER NOTE: To maintain security for the contacts in this list, I have added images of the tables to their own pages, to which I referred in my article. You can access the lists at this link.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>