The Rev. Dr. Richard A. Zeile, M.A., M.T.S., M.Div., Ed.Spec., D.Min., was born in Detroit and his life was changed by attending a Lutheran high school there. He studied history, education, and theology at Valparaiso, Pedigogische Hochschule Reutlingen (Germany), University of Michigan, Harvard Divinity School, Concordia Theological Seminary,Ft. Wayne, and Wayne State University. His Doctor of Ministry dissertation at Detroit's Ecumenical Theological Seminary was published as When Lutheran Schools Close by Lambert Academic in 2014. He is married 42 years to Barbara and they have 4 (adult) children and 3 grandchildren. He has served as teacher, pastor, principal, hospital chaplain, written Sunday School lessons for CPH and articles for Lutheran Education. He served on the State of Michigan's Board of Education 2011-2018, the last two years as Co-President. He has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Boards of Education, and chaired their Study Group on Rural Education (2014). Dr. Zeile has taught adjunct courses at Concordia University Ann Arbor in education and theology. He has been Speaker on Detroit's Martin Luther's Evening Prayer since 2009.
The Unique MISSION of
Martin Luther's Evening Prayer
The Martin Luther's Evening Prayer radio ministry acquaints listeners with what they will actually experience in Confessional Lutheran worship, and can reinforce this form of devotion for existing church members. This sets it apart from many Lutheran broadcasts on radio, most notably the respected International Lutheran Hour. Many of these have a talk show format and are of great value in encouraging a Christian world view. Some are marketed to the average unchurched Harry or Mary and appeal to the assumptions and prejudices of popular culture, entering into the world of the unbeliever so as to present a Christian witness or invitation. Others, consciously or unconsciously, appeal to Christians who may or may not be churched, and avoid doctrinal issues seen to be divisive of Christians. Others take an aggressive approach toward “practical Christianity” and cross the line into political matters, matters in which Christian faith may be the motive but the action is suggested by personalities, or economic theories, matters about which reasonable Christians may disagree. Still others can be embarrassingly parochial in the sense that they speak only to those of a limited community and local affairs.
Martin Luther's Evening Prayer is unique in that it prepares the listener for participation in a Lutheran congregation committed to the Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord of 1580). The heart of the half-hour broadcast is the message or sermon based clearly on the Scripture and applying Law which confronts the listener with his/her sin, and the Gospel which shows God's grace in Jesus Christ, conveyed through Word and Sacrament. This is related and illustrated by Christian history, modern psychology, and classic literature, inviting the listener out of the mundane and superficial habits of thought encouraged by mass media into a richer, deeper world of awareness. “Be still and know that I am God,” says the Psalmist, and this is the attitude encouraged by these messages from God's Word. They are supported by elements of Confessional Lutheran worship, hymns, and liturgy, which make up the other portion of Martin Luther's Evening Prayer. The great theorist of communication, Marshall McLuhan, pointed out that “The medium is the message,” and the “unpopular” approach of traditional Lutheran (which is traditional Christian) worship conveys the otherness or holiness of God, and the uniqueness of approaching Him in worship. Every broadcast has at least one classic hymn, a song of praise to God, and/or a Psalm which invites the listener to leave the natural feeling-centered mindset to join the Church of every age in acknowledging the presence of the transcendent God. Thus, Martin Luther's Evening Prayer is intended not for the “lowest common denominator” in the radio or podcast market, but for those untouched by existing programs, who sense that religion is about another world, a world that transcends space and time, and yet connects with our history, our present, and our future. The goal is to connect listeners with others who gather around the Word and sacraments. If This is what your church or ministry does, we want to partner with you.
Michigan District's Downriver Circuit supports
Martin Luther's Evening Prayer
The Martin Luther's Evening Prayer radio ministry received its first support from the Downriver circuit on November 17 as Pastor Grannis of Calvary Lincoln Park gave us a check for $251 (and another pastor gave a $20 personal gift) to enable us to broadcast internationally via short wave radio in 2021. The same day a gift of $2400 memorial to Esther Dryden designated for the radio ministry was received in the mail. This strongly suggests that we will be able to begin the international broadcast in 2021, perhaps as early as January. Earlier at the September meeting of the circuit pastors, Rev. Robert Marshall had suggested that the circuit could ask each congregation to commit $300 in the coming year to make this possible. The 8 congregations include: St. John's Lutheran Church, Taylor; Calvary, Lincoln Park; Redeemer, Taylor; St. Paul, Trenton; Christ the King, Southgate; Community, Flat Rock; Mt. Hope, Allen Park; Trinity, Wyandotte.
This endorsement is particularly helpful as it lends momentum to our drive to broadcast internationally. We have Sponsor Formsavailable which are suitable for honoring individuals, giving public thanks to God for blessings received (much like our altar flowers), mentioning other ministries of interest to listeners. Now that we will be heard in Africa, we will have opportunity to share the special ministry of Lutheran Heritage Foundation which makes available Lutheran books for children, adults, and aspiring pastors in various African languages. We hope to be able to offer such books to listeners in the near future!
2020 Advent/Christmas Broadcast Schedule (Coast to Coast stations follow the same week)
8pm Monday on WMKM 1440am Text/Title 6pm Sunday on WRDT 560am
November 29 Jeremiah 28 “Happy Talk” November 30
December 6 Genesis 49 “Until Shiloh Come” December 7
December 13 Genesis 28 “Jacob's Ladder” December 14
December 20 Luke 1:39-45 “Joy in Emmanuel” December 21
December 27 Malachi 3 “God makes a Distinction” December 28
January 3 Luke 1:39-45 “Joy in Emmanuel” January 4
January 10 Malachi 3 “God makes a Distinction” January 11
January 17 Deuteronomy 25 “Slavery” January 18
Station Log of MARTIN LUTHER'S EVENING PRAYER
City Station /frequency Day Time (Zone)
Detroit, MI WMKM am1440 Monday 8:00pm (E)
Detroit, MI WRDT am560 Sunday 6:00pm (E)
Wilkes-Barre WITK fm94.7 Thursday 7:00pm (E)
/Scranton, PA WITK am1550 Thursday 7:00pm (E)
Richmond, VA WDZY fm103.3 Friday 8:00am (E)
WDZY am1290 Friday 8:00am (E)
Omaha, NE KLNG fm101.5 Saturday 7:00pm (C)
/Council Bluffs, IA KLNG am1560 Saturday 7:00pm (C)
Bakersfield, CA KERI am1410 Friday 1:30pm (P)
SHORTWAVE OPPORTUNITY for Martin Luther's Evening Prayer
We have been contacted by Memphis-based World Wide Christian Radio (F.W. Robbert Broadcasting) about the possibility for shortwave broadcast of Martin Luther's Evening Prayer. For just under $4000/year, we could broadcast our message to many corners of the world ($75 per weekly 30-minute program), notably Communist and Muslim countries where there is NO local Christian radio permitted or existing. Perhaps God will raise up a donor who would sponsor yet another expansion of our radio ministry!
(From the Company) FW Robbert Broadcasting provides global coverage on international shortwave via WWCR which reaches over 120 countries each day with a potential audience of 1 billion listeners. WWCR listeners range from highly educated professions in North America and Europe to listeners in Africa and South America who live in poverty, often without electricity and access to the internet.
WWCR stands for World Wide Christian Radio. Since 1989, WWCR has assisted churches and evangelists in their missionary endeavors. The signal reaches areas inaccessible to Christian organizations, particularly Muslim countries where Christianity is forbidden. With such a broad footprint, WWCR also reaches extremely rural areas within North America where no churches are found. The world audience is very, very diverse. WWCR’s powerful transmitters provide daily encouragement and Christian teaching to many who would otherwise not hear the Gospel. In more developed Christian nations, we routinely hear from listeners who simply prefer the shortwave transmission (“DX-ers”) over any other type of medium. WWCR has earned a world-wide reputation for being an uncensored, constant supply of information and culture through a wide variety of programming, news and music ranging from Country (we are in Nashville), Gospel, Blues and even a program that features music which was recorded before radio broadcasting began! The programs are meant to attract and retain audiences. And, while WWCR reaches areas where people have no access to the web, it also reaches lots of places that do have such access because streaming audio is provided for all FWR stations.
Easter Season Dates for 2021
Ash Wednesday is February 17; Palm Sunday is March 28
Maundy Thursday is April 1; Good Friday is April 2
Easter Sunday is April 4;
Ascension Day is Thursday, May 13; Pentecost is May 23
Support St. John's Radio Ministry On Line
Use a credit/debit card, OR your bank routing number (from your personal check).
Use this address in your browser- https://www.kindridgiving.com/app/giving/stjohnstaylor/
Of course, you may certainly mail your offering to the Church office (St. John's Lutheran Church 13115 Telegraph Road, Taylor, MI 48180). You may even make a cash donation during office hours, 9am to 11am, Monday through Friday. If Dr. Zeile is in he will want to personally thank you!
OUR RADIO MINISTRY CELEBRATES BROADCASTING OUR FIRST YEAR COAST to COAST on OUR 11th ANNIVERSARY (October, 2020)
In October of 2019, thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous Iowan, we began broadcasting coast to coast on 7 stations of the Wilkins network. At the suggestion of Rev. Robert Marshall (of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation), the September 15 Circuit Pastors' meeting decided to recommend to the 8 congregations of our Downriver Circuit to provide $300 each a year to make international broadcast of Martin Luther's Evening Prayer possible via short-wave radio. We were humbled and thrilled that our fellow pastors would consider this, and it is a great boost to our ability to seek support from others. The following month, November, 2020, a memorial gift from Joan Fowler of Columbus, Missippi, in memory of her aunt, Esther Dryden is enabling us to proceed with plans for that international broadcast.
We are asking for sponsors for our broadcasts who can be thanked on air. Individuals may do this, and Lutheran ministries of our fellowship may offer reciprocal support. Several ministries have done this in the past, the Lutheran Center, Lutheran Heritage Foundation (Pr. Marshall), People of the Book Lutheran Ministries (POBLO), and Trinity Lutheran Church of Wyandotte, and Calvary Lutheran of Lincoln Park, Michigan.
Pray for God's blessing on His Word as people hear it in their homes and automobiles. Despite the internet age, more people listen to radio than to any other media.
Second, we must develop on-going support. Continue generous giving to your home congregation; but if you feel a special desire to support the outreach of Martin Luther's Evening Prayer, your gift would be helpful and appreciated.
Thirdly, at this particular time, help is needed to contact and solicit listeners and support in areas where we are being heard for the first time. We need to form partnerships with local churches, coordinate with their ministry, both for listeners and for referrals when individuals develop a hunger for the pure teaching of God's Word and Sacrament as only occurs in Lutheran Churches truly committed to the faith as exhibited in Luther's Catechism and other Lutheran Confessions.
Contact Pastor Zeile (DrZeile@Juno.com) (313.802.1146) if you can help with this exciting work.
Comments from Listeners
“If you had not had your radio ministry, we would have been cut off from the Word of God during the pandemic. And you ministered to others in the house who I could never get to come to church.” -Martha of Taylor
“Praise God ... What a terrific way to spread your message to all listeners about Lutheran teachings in a larger area... God's Blessings on your radio ministry.” -Carol of Dearborn
“I'm always learning from you and I like that. You know, I loved the hymns you picked out because they always went with the lesson.” - Linda of Taylor
“I think your broadcast is a very nice complement to the Lutheran Hour... There is a niche to be filled here. I hope your broadcast will catch on and envelop many more listeners...” -Dan of Iowa
“When I heard our children's voices singing the opening Hymn last night it made me want to cry, but I didn't because we have the hope that is in Christ our Lord and Savior. Thanks be to God. I know that God wants children of all ages and generations to know there is One Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to know what God has done for us in Christ. He puts that responsibility and blessing on each parent, His Church on earth and all who serve in His Church.” - Anonymous
A Meditation on COVID Rev. Dr. Richard Zeile, Speaker on Martin Luther's Evening Prayer
I have been meditating on the Pandemic experience lately... The ancients, including the Hebrews would describe someone with a contagious sickness, especially one spread by breath, as having an evil spirit (they used the same word for wind, spirit, and breath). In our situation, we regard all others as potentially having that evil spirit/contagion, and avoid them, reject their closeness, etc. When people treat you that way, especially when there is emotion present (often fear, or anger, sometimes disgust), you feel like dirt. I think this explains the occasional violent incident growing out of people refusing to put on masks in public places. Obviously, as Christians we are called to be tactful in urging others to do the right (safe) thing, and patient with those who may lack that tactfulness.
But another element is part of this Pandemic experience- fear and distrust. If you have ever left a door unlocked and someone robbed you, or if your spouse or other family member has done this, there is great distrust directed toward the one responsible. The fear of this happening again can become disproportionate in our minds, driving us not only to check and double check, but also to question our memory. Some of us cannot get 50 miles into a vacation without the nagging feeling that we forgot something! And if we doubt (distrust) ourselves, how much more will we be prone to distrust others, especially those who do not share our anxiety. There is a basis of truth here- the Bible says (Romans 3:4) “Let every man be a liar and only God be true.” We cannot be sure that a careless driver will not cross the center line and take us out, yet we must take that risk or be forever confined to our homes where 65% of accidents occur. In fact, our obsession with one risk may blind us to other, greater risks. We see it with those afraid of flying. Statistically, one is more likely to be killed on the road to the airport than in flight, yet the one risk looms larger in our imagination than the other. Similarly, one is much more likely to be killed in an argument with a friend than in a confrontation with a policeman, but our imagination and emotion are inflamed by headlines intended to grab our attention.
God is using our experiences of fear, of not knowing what to believe or who to trust, to help us turn to Him. “This world is passing away” (Matt.24:35); “We have here no continuing city”(Heb.13:14); “Set your hopes on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col.3:1-2). Or as the hymn says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.” I read of a blind ski team that performed at an obstacle course at the Olympics some time ago. Each blind skier was paired with a seeing skier who called out each move. Trust in the caller and instant obedience to the command enabled these blind skiers to do the seeming impossible. Our journey through life is an obstacle course and there is much we do not see. But we can trust in God who sees all, and live in obedience to His commands so as to navigate and win the victory.
May our experience during the uncertainties of the Pandemic encourage us to trust and obey God, and practice tact and patience in our relations with each other!
LET US FEED YOUR SPIRIT while Quarantined
We have set up our YOUTUBE channel. Search for St. John's Taylor, MI. Don't forget our radio broadcast, Martin Luther's Evening Prayer Mondays at 8pm on am1440 and Sundays at 6pm on am560, available on internet. The podcast version is available on Spotify, Buzzsprout.com/34718, or Access our web presence on Facebook, “St. John's Lutheran of Taylor, MI”
and our website stjohnstaylormi.org
Pastor Zeile can be reached at 313.802.1146 for phone prayer, counseling, or to request visitation.
The mission of St. John’s Lutheran Church is to conserve and promote the true Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ in our members, our community, and our world.
Dear Friends and potential listeners/supporters of the Martin Luther's Evening Prayer ministry:
God send you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
The radio/podcast ministry of St. John's Lutheran Church has grown tremendously and we have been enabled by gifts from Iowa and Mississippi, as well as by the faithful continued support of St. John's Lutheran of Taylor, to expand our broadcast Coast to Coast in the last year, and endeavor to begin international broadcasting via shortwave in 2021. We praise God who has moved many hearts to share in our ministry to promote the True Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. I write to you today to invite you to share in this work through your prayers, gifts, and especially by listening to the messages on radio or podcast. To that end we are enclosing a “Christmas gift” of a demo disc which features 3 slightly abridged programs from our radio broadcast. You may enjoy it yourself or you may pass it on to a friend to give them a feel for Lutheran preaching and worship. The messages include 1) Your ONE Job (your life's purpose); 2) Love for the Lost; and 3) the Rapture. They will be of interest to many and can be listened to while driving, exercising, or even as a time of devotion.
Also included in this mailing is a statement of the mission of this ministry, my own (the Speaker's) background, sponsor forms with a return envelope, and news of our opportunity to broadcast internationally. I hope that you will be encouraged by our efforts to glorify God and meet humanity's spiritual need for knowledge of Christ, and perhaps be led to share in its support.
Please accept my prayers for your richest blessing in the New Year: peace (that passes understanding); health (of spirit as well as of body); and prosperity (rich towards God as well as abundance of earthly wealth overflowing to others)!
Your in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Richard Zeile