St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

1530 South Main Street, Lake Mills, Wisconsin 53551

St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church Newsletter
1530 S. Main Street 
Lake Mills, Wisconsin 53551
Pastor Bruce A. McKenney   920-988-9500
Pastor James E. Rath  920-648-8033
Pastor Douglas C. Tomhave 920-723-9806
Principal Steven J. Gartner 920-397-8043
Church-648-2235; School–648-2918
Principal James Grasby LLHS 648-2321 


John 14:6:  Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

As we continue to work on changes in the chancel of our worship area, we have been highlighting some of the symbolism of the chancel’s furnishings.   Several months ago, we learned about the use and symbolism of the baptismal font.  This month we want to talk about the altar.  In the Christian Worship Manual, pages, 77-78, the following information is shared about the use of altars in Lutheran churches:

“Lutherans maintain a balanced thought concerning the symbolism of the altar.  They recognize its Old Testament significance: on the altar, animals were sacrificed.  God had designed the sacrificial rites for the nation of Israel to point his people to the truth that ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’ (Hebrews 9:22).  In the Old Testament worship rites, the altar was a foreshadowing of Christ, who finally ‘appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself’ (Hebrews 9:26). For New Testament believers the altar is a visual reminder that there is no forgiveness without the shedding of the blood of Christ.

Just as the Ark of the Covenant, placed in the temple’s Most Holy Place, was the visible symbol of God’s presence in the Old Testament, so the altar also symbolizes that God is present with his people in Word and sacrament.  When the pastor speaks to the people from the altar in the Words of Institution or in the Blessing, he is speaking as God’s ambassador from the foot of God’s own throne.  When the pastor speaks for the people facing the altar, in prayers and in the confession of sins, he is addressing the throne of God.  Of course God is not confined to the altar any more than he was confined to the Ark of the Covenant.  This is symbolism, not reality.  But it is symbolism that correctly represents a theological reality, and it is an important reality. The altar helps believers to remember that God is present in a supernatural way whenever the Word and sacrament are used.  This is reality.

The altar has an important functional use besides its symbolic purpose.  The sacred vessels are placed on the altar in preparation for Holy Communion, and the people gather around it to receive Christ’s true body and blood in the bread and wine.  Even here, however, is some symbolic value.  The fact that the elements are positioned in this special place, reminds believers that the sacred meal that begins at the altar is a unique meal that has no equal except in heaven, where the church confesses it will ‘eat of the eternal manna and drink of the river of your pleasure forevermore.’  That all the believers receive bread and wine from a single location is also a confession of the truth St. Paul related, ‘Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf’ (1 Corinthians 10:17).

Therefore, by means of the altar that they place in the chancels of their churches, Lutherans symbolize Scripture’s theology in three ways:  they portray the vicarious sacrifice of Christ as the central theme of God’s plan of salvation; they symbolize that God is actually present among his people in the Word and sacrament of Christ; and they show that Holy Communion is a unique meal offered to believers.”

May this information about the use of altars in our churches help all of us appreciate the Biblical truth that when it comes to our public worship and our personal salvation, Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one can come to the Father except through him.

Serving You in Christ,

Pastor Bruce McKenney

Pastors Tomhave and Rath attended a symposium on Hermeneutics (Bible interpretation) at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary this past month.  The Central Pastors Conference will meet this month.  It will be a workshop on “Pastoral Leadership in Challenging Times”. Pastor McKenney will be the keynote speaker at the Women’s Retreat in Loves Park, Illinois on October 2.  On Sunday, October 9th, Pastor McKenney will also be preaching at his son’s installation service at St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church and School in Algoma, WI. Pastor Tomhave will be one of the speakers at the Reformation service on October 30. 

Mission Festival at St. Paul will be observed in the services of October 8-10.  Guest speaker will be Rev. Charles Iles from Wisconsin Lutheran Institutional Ministries.  WLIM is celebrating its 115th anniversary this year, serving in institutions and prisons around the state.  Pastor Iles will share a presentation about the work of WLIM during the Bible class time on Sunday.

The offering packet for October contains a special envelope marked for Missions.  It is used to assist us in meeting our commitment to the work of the WELS.

The WELS East Regional Choral Fest will be held at Luther Prep November 11-13.  We are hosting the group from Shoreland Lutheran High School.  We need lodging and breakfasts for the students from Thursday evening through Sunday morning.  Transportation is also needed to and from Prep (there may be possibilities of sharing some trips among families).  Contact Bev Rupnow (920-699-3926 or rupnowb@yahoo.com) if you are able to host students.

The October meeting of St. Paul Mission Society will be held Monday, October 3rd.  Snacks and fellowship begin at 7 pm.  The program will be a home mission video from the 2016 LWMS Convention that was presented by Pastor Michael Quandt of St. George, Utah.  All ladies of St Paul are invited.

The Property Board has scheduled a Work Day for Saturday, October 15.  Projects will be available from 8 a.m. until noon.  Stop by and lend a hand—the larger the turnout, the more quickly the tasks will be completed.  A list of jobs may be viewed in the lobby.  The plan is to work outdoors, but if weather does not permit, there will be indoor jobs.  

An area Reformation service will be held on Sunday, October 30 at 4 p.m. at Lakeside Lutheran High School.  It will be a song service with the theme “Satan’s Lies - God’s Solutions”. A lunch follows the service.

Adult and children singers are welcome for the group choirs.  The adult choir will rehearse at 3:00 p.m. and the children’s choir will rehearse at 3:30 p.m.  See Mrs. McKenney for copies of the adult music and Miss Radue for the children’s anthem.

We join the couples listed below in rejoicing in God’s blessings as they celebrate special (multiples of 5 years) wedding anniversaries this month.  May God continue to bless you and all of our families!

Dean & Janice McFarlane

October 13

60 years

Randy & Vicki Zimmerman

October 18

30 years

Brad & Angela Chopp

October 20

15 years

Kent & Sue Bell

October 23

40 years

Vic & Harriet Gennerman

October 28

65 years

At the services of October 15-17 and 22-24 we will receive our annual door offering for Camp Phillip.  Our congregation is a member of the association that operates this camp near Wautoma, WI.  It offers a variety of camping opportunities for youth, teens, adults and families.  Several of our young people and our seventh grade class make use of the camp.  By our support of Camp Phillip, our families receive a discount for camping weeks.

Two years ago many of our members participated in a Vision 2020 stewardship discussion.  That presentation will be repeated on Sunday, November 6 at 9:15 a.m. for the benefit of those families who have joined in the past year or anyone who was unable to attend in the past.  We review God’s blessings and opportunities we have to respond to his goodness in our work together here at St. Paul.  Next month’s newsletter will include information for all on making a commitment in support of our work.

You may be wondering what happened to all of the information gathered on April 30th and May 1st at the ministry information session.  The same might be true if you responded to the on-line survey taken after these sessions.  All of the data will be reviewed and worked with by the future planning committee.  The committee consists of Mike Shiels, Scott Schneider, Matt Doering, Scott Filter, Paul Enger, Principal Gartner and all three pastors.  The facilitator is Ted Vratny.  Two meetings of the committee have already taken place.  The committee began with a Bible study on Strategic Planning and reviewed the strategic planning process both from the business approach as well as the religious/not-for-profit organization approach.  Additional work was done looking at Purpose, Values, Vision, and Mission statements and reviewing the pitfalls to the planning process.  In coming weeks the committee will be looking at demographic information about the community and the congregation.  They will be studying the data gathered from the previous congregational input and doing many other tasks.  A key factor to this process is prayer and asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the process for our congregation.  We will continue to provide periodic updates on the process.  We ask that all of you include this committee and their work in your prayers.

Since 2001 St. Paul has reached out to the Hispanic community in Lake Mills by offering free English as Second Language (ESL) classes. There is presently a need for several ESL teachers who could spare a few hours a week.  Most students like one on one classes, held during day/early evening hours.  The time and length of class is agreed upon by the student and teacher. It is not necessary to speak Spanish nor have teaching experience, we have members that will help you.  Any amount of support is appreciated, please consider this outreach opportunity as part of your personal ministry.  Contact Pastor Tomhave, Winnie Zastrow, Andy Asmus or Paul Enger for more information.  

This month it is our privilege to introduce M/M Clark Collins and family, M/M Jason Langille and family and M/M Jamie Lostetter and family.

CLARK COLLINS grew up in Madison, while TRICIA was from Lake Mills.  They both attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where Clark majored in biology and pre-med, while Tricia studied political science and German.  She went on to Marquette Law School and now works as an educational director for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  Clark went to UW-Madison for physician’s assistant training and works for SM Health as a physician assistant specializing in hand surgery.  They have two daughters at Lakeside Lutheran High School:  SOPHIE, who is a junior, and ELLA, who is a freshman.  Son CHRISTIAN is in fifth grade at St. Paul’s School.  The family enjoys sporting events and the outdoors.

JASON LANGILLE is a native of North Fond du Lac.  He attended UW-Stout, where he studied industrial technology and met KIM, who was from Deerfield and had received an associate’s degree from Bethany Lutheran College.  At Stout she majored in hospitality and tourism management.  Kim now works in the training department at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds.  Jason is an IT manager for Deere and Company.  They have three daughters:  SYDNEY, in 8th grade; CLAIRE, in 6th grade; and RUBY, in 4th grade; all at St. Paul’s School.  Travel, hiking and boating are favorite activities for the Langilles.

JAMIE LOSTETTER was born in Eau Claire and grew up in Stevens Point.  He has a degree in accounting from UW-Madison and a Master’s degree in business from Edgewood College.  He is a regulatory manager for American Transmission Company.  KYRA  started life in Portland, Oregon and moved to several places including Colorado, California and Illinois before coming to Sun Prairie as her dad worked for United Airlines.  She has some college experience and works at Lakeside Lutheran High School in the finance office, plus coaches girls golf and will assist with girls soccer.  Daughter LAUREN is in 7th grade and son KOLE is in 5th grade, both at St. Paul’s School.  The family is involved in a variety of sports, plus Kyra likes crafting.

Each day is a gift of God’s grace and filled with his goodness, but most of all we are thankful for his gift of forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus.  As we express our gratitude we bring offerings for the work of his kingdom.  Those gifts offered through the operating budget of our St. Paul congregation in recent weeks are listed below.  The average weekly needs are $ 23,110.  The figure for September 4 includes the electronic giving for August.

September 4                 $ 25,933
September 11               $ 17,775
September 18               $ 18,550
September 25               $ 17,259

Also received during those weeks were amounts of $10,658 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $624 for the Improvement Fund, $171 for Tuition Assistance, $400 for a processional cross and $20 for Wisconsin Lutheran Child & Family Service.

We acknowledge with gratitude the following recent memorial gifts for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings):

In memory of BARBARA BUCHHOLTZ (sister of Judy Mundt), $20
In memory of JEAN RAASCH, $905

The first WELS Day at the Bucks will occur on Saturday, December 3.  The Milwaukee Bucks will be playing the Brooklyn Nets.  Game time is 4 p.m.  Next month we will have details on an exclusive opportunity to watch pregame warm-ups from special seating and for kids to shoot a free throw after the game.  Discounted prices are $50 for lower level corner, $35 for upper level side court and $20 for upper level corner/baseline.  Service fees are waived.  Use promo code WELS in the “access an order” box when ordering online at
Pastor Jason Ewart from Hope in Oconomowoc, WI, will be the keynote speaker presenting on "Hopes and Dreams" at the Three Strands Retreat for husbands and wives. What were your hopes and dreams for your marriage and your life together when you first got married? What are they now? And is this really God’s plan for your marriage? The rest of the day will feature breakout speakers on additional topics of marriage and parenting presented by other WELS pastors, teachers and counselors. Support and enrich your marriage with this blessing on Saturday, November 5 from 8:30am-3:40pm at Three Strands Retreat for husbands and wives (and engaged couples!) being held at Lakeside Lutheran High School. For more information or to register go to www.threestrandsretreat.org

Shop: We have plenty of fall decorations, winter clothes and Halloween supplies! Don't forget, Christmas shopping at Twice is Nice officially begins Monday, October 17, with beautiful stocked displays for your celebrations. We’re easy-to-find and open Mondays-Saturdays from 9-5 PM: just a minute east on the Hwy 18 exit off the 26 bypass at 907 W. Racine St., next to the Jefferson Piggly Wiggly.
Volunteer: Interested in helping with our “Christmas changeover” on Sunday, October 16? The effort will be in swing by 11 AM, and would be a great “no-pressure” chance for you to help out one busy day, explore the store, meet some volunteers and learn about other opportunities we have for you to have fun and feel productive making a huge difference for Lakeside Lutheran and other ministries. Call 920-674-6868, ask for the day manager with any questions.
Donate: We appreciate your saleable donations (i.e., clean and in good working order). We accept items in the back of the building from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. any day we’re open. The only items we cannot accept are console pianos/stereos/sewing machines, mattresses/box springs, large CRT TVs, organs and paint. Thanks for thinking of us!
Advent by Candlelight will be Sunday, December 4th  at 6pm. All ladies 6th grade and older are welcome.   More details coming soon….

Thanks to Meals On Wheels drivers Judy & Roger Mundt, Marie Mertz, Vi Topel, Marianne Hafenstein, Rose Pfeifer, Jan McFarlane and Tara Topel.