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 


A Valentine’s Day Thought!

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

            Did you realize that some say that Valentine’s Day and the custom of sending valentines are tied to a pastor who was executed for his faith in 270 A.D.?  It is only a tradition, but supposedly a priest by the name of Valentine lived and served in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius.  He was put to death on February 14th in 270 A.D.   That date became part of the calendar of remembrance in the early church.  Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, Valentine left a note of encouragement and love for a person (some believed a young maiden) who was the daughter of his jailor.  This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring on Valentine’s Day! We don’t know for sure whether or not that tradition is true, but  it seems to make sense.
            Even though there might be some doubts about how Valentine's Day started with its tradition of sending cards, there is no doubt about the “love” letter that God has written to us in the pages of Holy Scripture.  Jesus summed up God’s love for us all in these words, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends!” Even if you feel as though no one loves you and even if you receive no valentines this month, you can always look to the Scriptures and be assured of God’s love!  He proved his love for each of us and signed his message of love in the blood of his Son who died for us so that we might have forgiveness and life eternal.   
            As we enter the month of February, our thoughts naturally turn to Valentine’s Day.  What picture comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day and how you will celebrate it?  Will you celebrate it by sending a greeting card with a heart on it or a chubby little angel with a bow and arrow?  Will Valentine’s Day this year involve a beautiful bouquet of roses, a big box of chocolates, or a romantic night out for supper?  There are many ways in which we can celebrate love this month. But as we celebrate the love we have for others, let’s also celebrate the most  important love of all—the love of God!.  And how can we celebrate that love?  Not only by praising Jesus and promising him our undying love, but also by loving one another.  That’s what Jesus wants.  We know that because just before telling his disciples “Greater love has no one than this, that a many lay down his life for his friends,” he also said, “Love each other as I have loved you.”   Happy Valentine’s Day!

Serving You in Love,

Pastor Bruce McKenney

LENT 2016
Do you what “irony” is?  Irony can be a figure of speech used to express something other than the literal meaning of a word or words. Sometimes the irony is intentional and sometimes not. An example of irony as a figure of speech would be this:  A man looks out the window at the terrible thunderstorm and says to his friend, “Wonderful weather we are having.”  There is also an irony that is used in plays or dramas. This is called “dramatic” irony. Dramatic irony is a statement or a situation in a drama that is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play. An example dramatic irony would be in Shakespeare’s play, Oedipus Rex.  The audience is aware that Oedipus’s journey to find the murderer will be fruitless because he himself is the murderer.
Did you know that there are some “ironies” found in the Scriptures and in the passion history of the Savior?  There are a number of them and they will be the focus of the sermons during the midweek Lenten and Holy Week services this year.  The theme of our midweek and Holy Week sermons this year will be “The Ironies of the Passion.”

Ash Wednesday/Midweek 1
This Man Went Home Justified ......Luke 18:9-14

Midweek 2
It Is Better That One Man Die for the People!.....John 11:45-53

Midweek 3
Not During the Feast............Matthew 26:1-5

Midweek 4
He Had Been Wanting to See Jesus..........Luke 23:6-12

Midweek 5
We Have No King but Caesar! ...............John 19:12-16a

Midweek 6
Don’t You Fear God?.................Luke 23:39-43

Palm Sunday
Do You Hear What These Children Are Saying?
Matthew  21:12-17

Maundy Thursday
Do This in Remembrance of Me...1 Corinthians 11:23-29

Good Friday
He Said, “I Will Rise Again”..............Matthew 27:62-66

Easter Sunday
Why Do You Look for the Living Among the Dead?......Luke 24:4-8

Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season.  That’s February 10 this year.  Midweek services will again be held on six Wednesdays before Holy Week (February 10-March 16) at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.  The Ash Wednesday services include Holy Communion.  The theme for the sermon series will be “Ironies of the Passion” as it considers texts from the gospels.

We plan to offer light fellowship suppers in the gym from 4:30-6 p.m., with a freewill offering to cover expenses.  We could use one more group to serve.  Please contact Luke Wiedenfeld or Pastor Rath if you are interested.

In January Pastor Tomhave participated in a continuing education retreat in Texas and gave a presentation at the Martin Luther College Evangelism Day, plus participated in meetings of the synod’s Board for Evangelism.

Your pastors are now involved in preparations for the Lenten season and look forward to sharing God’s Word with you in these special weeks.

On January 17 the voters met to extend another call for a second grade teacher, as Sarah Seelow had declined our call.  Miss Lisa Radue received the call.  She presently serves at St. John Lutheran School in rural Manitowoc.  Please keep her in your prayers as she considers her future service.
The February meeting of St. Paul Mission Society will be held on Monday, February 1 at 7 p.m.  Following snacks and fellowship, the program for the evening will be a video on World Missions.  All ladies of St. Paul are invited.

We rejoice with Cliff and Vi Topel, whose fiftieth wedding anniversary is February 12.  May the Lord’s blessings continue!

HARLEY RAETHER departed this life on January 1 at the age of 90.  A private family service was held on January 9.

BRADLEY BEHLING passed away on January 4 at the age of 39.  His funeral was January 9.

MARLENE HOPMANN entered life eternal on January 8 at the age of 69.  Her funeral service was January 12.

SUSAN LANGBECKER died on January 15 at the age of 94.  As she had been served by our pastors for many years, we held her funeral on January 19.
We pray for God to be with all of these families as he provides the strength of his Word.

It is our privilege to introduce ANN GLOCK, who recently joined St. Paul by adult confirmation.  Ann was born in Oconomowoc but grew up in Lake Mills.  After high school she studied accounting at MATC and now works as a bookkeeper for Jensen Plumbing and Heating.  Her husband PHIL has been a member of St. Paul for most of his life.  The family includes BRANDON, now in college.  Ann enjoys volleyball and bowling.  Welcome to our family of faith!

The calendar turned to another year but the blessings of our Lord have not stopped.  As we rejoice in his goodness we also respond by returning gifts for his work.  Offerings for the operating budget in recent weeks are listed below.  The amount for New Year’s Eve includes the electronic gifts for December.  Average weekly needs are $21,323.

December 31    $ 28,883
January 3         $ 14,700
January 10       $ 22,747
January 17       $   9,672
January 24       $ 23,308

Also received during those weeks were offerings of $13,687 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $390 for the Improvement Fund, $565 for One in Christ and $577 for Wisconsin Lutheran Institutional Ministries.

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

In memory of BRADLEY BEHLING, $100
In memory of HARLEY RAETHER, $55
In memory of KEITH WOLFGRAM, $100

Last month we mentioned that some families had made an offer to match the first $20,000 that came in for the synod’s One in Christ debt elimination effort.  To date over $9,000 has been received.  Additional brochures/envelopes are available on the lobby tables.

Please remove all winter artificial wreaths and flowers from the cemetery by April 1.  Anything left will be discarded.

For an 8th grader to enroll at Lakeside Lutheran, there are two steps:

  • Course selection.   This past week, families selected courses online or they came to Lakeside to meet with a homeroom teacher to select courses.  This sets up a tentative plan for classes and also reserves a place for the student in Lakeside's Class of 2020.  There is no cost for selecting courses.
  • Enrollment.  After courses are selected, every family receives an email or a letter providing information on school enrollment.  It is important that the parent/guardian enrolls the student in this system soon after the email or letter arrives.  There is no cost for enrollment.  Within school enrollment is the opportunity to apply for financial aid from Lakeside.  Lakeside's financial aid application deadline is March 1.  There is a $15 fee to apply for financial aid which is refunded if the student qualifies.

2016-2017 is Lakeside first year in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP).  The application for this program is completely separate from course selection and enrollment.  Soon after the WPCP application period opens on February 1, Lakeside will provide a link on its website for parents who wish to apply.  The final date of WPCP enrollment is April 20.

If you have questions about course selection, registration, or the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, please contact Lakeside (920-648-2321) and your call will be directed to the correct party.

Join your Lakeside Lutheran High School as together we "Walk by Faith" at a winter garden party on Saturday, February 13 at Windwood of Watertown for the 5th annual Grand Event auction and dinner at 4:30 pm. Your support benefits Christian Education and the Student Assistance fund.  For details & to purchase tickets, go to www.llhs.org/grandevent or call Bari weekdays at 920-648-2321 x2223.

The next monthly meeting of the local OWLS chapter will be on Tuesday, February 16 at 1:30 p.m., hosted by Immanuel Lutheran Church (Farmington), located 2 miles east of Johnson Creek at W4095 County Rd B. Carol Gronholz presents the February program, "A Valentine Social." Refreshments by Immanuel's ladies.  The Organization of WELS Seniors (OWLS) provides meaningful activity for those who are retired and/or 50 years and older. Come and enjoy spiritual growth and the fellowship of neighboring WELS and ELS members. Bring a friend!

Ironmen of God Wisconsin is a men’s retreat to be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Ixonia on Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.  Pastors Ben Berger and Bill Linmer will lead the day’s activities.  Christian contemporary artist Mike Westendorf and a band will perform.  Catered lunch is included.  Cost is $30 by March 4; $35 after that date.  Space is limited.  Register at www.ironmenofgodwi.org.

Year-end report: The new addition at Twice is Nice opened December 7, just in time for many Christmas shoppers to enjoy a bigger and brighter store, with significant increases in merchandise that’s able to be on display. 2015 overall showed a 7% increase in sales.  In December, receipts totaled $50,478, a 29% increase over December 2014. December 2015 is the second highest month for receipts on record, falling only $700.00 behind November 2013 (the highest receipt month on record).

From 2015 receipts, the Lord’s blessings and the hard work of an all-volunteer corps enabled TiN to give Lakeside $259,932 for operating, $88,661 for wish list items, and $45,000 for a special roof repair project, for a total of $393,393. This also puts our total contributions since 1993 at over $4 million!! We offer all glory to God even as we thank Him for providing such capable leaders, willing volunteers and generous donors and enthusiastic shoppers.

Volunteer: A new year is great time to start a new thing – why not let it be volunteering at Twice is Nice? You’d be in great company with new faces including Sue Filter and Marlys Zimmerman. The shoe department is especially in need of help at this time. Or are you handy? We have some construction projects, such as building new donations bins or swinging doors. We look forward to hearing from you, whether it’s for this or to simply visit and see what our big new store has to offer you!

Visit: 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. Questions? Call and ask for the day manager at 920-674-6868.

2017 will mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Beat the crowds by going to Germany in Sept. 2016 (19-28).  Visit the historical sites of the Reformation as well as other "touristy" places in Germany. $100.00 discount for January enrollments.  For further details, contact retired pastor Eugene Kock 608 318 1079 or pastorkock@yahoo.com.

Dear members of St. Paul,

Two days before Thanksgiving, our then 4-year-old son, Auden, received the miracle we had been waiting for, his liver transplant. We had been preparing for that day as best we could ever since he was 8 weeks old. We prayed that God would deliver his new liver at just the right time, and he certainly did!  During this scary time, it was so reassuring to know that our family, friends, and our church family were all praying for Auden. God certainly kept his promise to hear and answer the prayers of his people!  He guided the surgeons’ hands and has healed Auden of his horrible liver disease.  We thank and praise God for his goodness.

We would also like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks for everything the church and its members have done for our family.  We have a long financial road ahead of us and are so grateful to everyone who helped and are helping us on this journey.  We truly would not have been able to do it without all of you! We have been so blessed to be part of this congregation and to have our children attend school there.  We thank the students and their parents for the special cards and gifts that have been given to us. Again, we are so grateful. We don’t know all the people from whom we have received generous gifts.  Even though we cannot thank them personally, be assured we are praising God for their generosity.

Auden will continue to have a long road ahead of him. There is the fine-tuning that comes with transplants like this including lifelong medicine to keep him from rejecting his new liver. There are also the weekly trips to the clinics in Milwaukee for the on-going lab work and tests.  In spite of all the hospital stays, surgeries, and on-going treatments we are amazed by the transformation that has already taken place. The Lord has truly blessed us!  

Again, thank you to all of you at St. Paul. We look forward to the day when we in turn can be as generous as you have been to us.  

God Bless,  
Tom and Kerri Evensen, and family