In Case You Missed It

Royal Ball Run for Autism

Anyone interested in donating to the Royal Ball Run this year, All Saints Lutheran Church will be a Royal Supporter and listed on the t-shirts. Put Royal Ball Run on your donation and the church will write one check in June.

The annual Taco Night to kick off the 2022 Royal Ball Run for Autism season is Thursday, April 7 from 5:00 – 7:30 pm at The Camden Centre in Milan for dine in or carry out options. Event will feature taco dinners including two tacos, rice, beans, chips, and salsa from Rudy’s Tacos — all for your donation to Royal Ball Run.

Plus, don’t miss the bake sale and incredible raffle prizes along with yard signs and posters to help promote our carnival and race events scheduled for the weekend of June 17-18.

1000 Runners and Walkers each year
600 Royal Ball for All Participants each year
One Annual Autism Resource Fair
$300,000 donated to support local autism programs to date

Now in its 11th year, the 2022 Royal Ball Run for Autism and Royal Ball for All promises to do even more to raise autism awareness and raise funds for local autism programs.

The Royal Ball Run weekend of events will likely look a bit different this year due to uncertainties around Covid-19 but we’re getting creative. Currently, we’re exploring a carnival on 17 Jun at 5 p.m. in Milan, IL with a 5K race on 18 Jun. Royal Ball Run for Autism also hosts an Autism Awareness Night to mark World Autism Awareness Month as well as an annual autism resource fair to connect families to resources.

Visit us at for more information or visit our Royal Guide for autism resources in the QCA at

Message from March 30, Mid-Week #4 by Pastor Richard Pokora

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

Doesn’t it feel like conflict has become more prevalent and yet also more hidden in our world? We rip each other apart on Facebook, and then shake hands in the grocery store. We smile together for a picture, and then support policies and politicians which demonize one another. It’s like we feel more and more divided in this world, but less and less willing to admit it. We’ve become a society of conflict avoiders.

Of course, avoiding the conflict, or glossing over it – that doesn’t really work, does it. The division is still there. And that’s the real problem. Division between people, whether it’s out in the open or not.

There was division between Paul and the Christians living in Corinth. They saw Paul as a fraud. He saw them as faithless. Both looked at the other with suspicion. And that suspicion created a gap, division between them.

And so, Paul sends a harsh letter before this one. He engages in the conflict.  And that starts tearing him up, so he rushes toward Corinth, hoping to hear from the messenger how his letter was received. And now, in this letter, what Paul wants more than anything else is for that tearing feeling inside him to stop. He wants healing for this division, not just to avoid it or gloss over it. He wants reconciliation.  We all do. We all want reconciliation for the division rampant in our world and in our lives.

We point fingers at immigrants and refugees. We point fingers at conservatives and liberals.  We point fingers at the poor for dragging us down and at the rich for not pulling us up. We point fingers at millennials for taking this country for granted and at baby-boomers for getting us into this mess.

We point fingers at the uncle who we can’t hardly talk to at the Thanksgiving table, and the parents who we blame for everything in our lives, and the boss who doesn’t see our potential, and the employees who don’t understand our vision. We point fingers at the spouse who doesn’t do enough chores or doesn’t understand why we’re too tired to vacuum. We point fingers at home, after pointing them all day at work. We point at the other because they are different, and we don’t trust those who are different.

And with all this pointing, we become more and more fractured. Separated from one another. And sometimes the separation, the division boils over until 50 people die and then somehow the finger-pointing gets even worse.

So, we long for reconciliation. Not for avoidance. Not for glossing it over. Not for finding sanctuary among our own tribe.  No, we long for a healing of the division.  A closing of the gap. But how?  How do we find reconciliation?  Is it even possible?

Throughout this letter, Paul keeps hinting at reconciliation.  Sometimes it comes across in an almost patronizing way, like he’s telling them they can easily be reconciled if they just realize that he’s right and they’re wrong. Thanks for the advice, Paul, I’ll try that one at the next family political discussion. I’m sure it will work out great.

But just when you think Paul isn’t doing anything more than egging them on, writing from a heart too torn-up to speak with any objectivity, just then we hear this whole new truth that might really shake things up. “For the love of Christ urges us on,” Paul writes, “because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore, all have died.” Whoa!

Paul does not just believe that Christ died because he was offensive to those in power.  Paul does not just believe that in Christ’s death we have forgiveness of our sins.  Paul does not even just believe that in Christ’s death God took on death for us. But Paul also believes that in Christ’s death, we all die. In Christ’s death, there is some part of us that dies.  In some letters he calls that part the old Adam.  Using last week’s reading, he might have called it the earthly, secular part of us. The part removed from God. But whatever you want to call it, in Christ’s death, some part of us dies.

It’s a bit of a stretch for us because we don’t feel dead. We don’t feel like something in us has died. Even if it is something that probably needs to. Some piece of us that is selfish, greedy, fearful, and full of hate. Some piece that is cowardly, faithless, and despairing. But Paul insists that in Christ’s death, we die. And in Christ’s rising, there is new life.

“Everything old has passed away,” you can hear Paul shouting through the ink on the parchment. “See, everything has become new!”

And that, it turns out, makes all the difference. Because that enables a new perspective. A new perspective on one another, an alternative to the suspicion that seems the norm in our world. As Paul puts it: “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view.”  Since everything is made new in the death and resurrection of Christ, we no longer look at one another with old suspicious eyes, and we no longer see untrustworthy others across that divide.  Rather, we are granted new eyes, and new identities. Identities based in this new life in Christ.

Now, I know that all sounds pretty abstract. But think about it. Think about how this could really change things.  At root, at our base, we are no longer gay or straight, young or old. We are those who died and have risen. We are no longer black, white, or brown. We are not conservative, liberal, or moderate. We are the beloved of God. We are not immigrant or native, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, winner or loser, giver or taker. We, you, I – we are new.  We have died in Christ, and we are raised in Christ.

And that truth leads to some pretty good news, and also to a calling. The good news is this: reconciliation is now possible. See, the division that runs rampant in our world survives because we are convinced that the gap between us is too wide, too deep, too impenetrable to ever overcome. We’re just too different. Or so we suppose.

As Paul did so many years ago, so too now can we thank God for those who were separated from us. It can be done. It must be done.  We are ministers of reconciliation, ministers of God’s work of reconciliation. We have been called to that work, that work that we had always hoped might be possible.  Everything old has passed away. Everything has become new.  Amen.

May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.