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 648-8033
Principal Steven J. Gartner 479-200-6626
Principal James Grasby LLHS 648-2321
Dear Friends in the Risen Redeemer,
It’s rather interesting that two major events happen during this most sacred time of year, that really have nothing to do with Lent or Easter. I’m thinking of free agency in the National Football League and the “March Madness” of the NCAA basketball tournament. Neither of these sporting events has anything to do with our Savior’s work of redemption, but there are lessons to be learned. What do I mean?
Think of free agency in the NFL. At this time of year players whose contracts expire with one team are free to sign with another team. What’s the goal? Players try to get as much money as they can and teams try to spend as little money as they can. Can you imagine what free agents must feel like when teams aren’t willing to spend money on them because they are considered past their prime or their skill set has diminished? So what’s the lesson? How thankful we can be God does not deal with us that way. Even though we were by nature sinners, whose righteous acts are worth nothing more than filthy rags, God was willing to pay the highest price for us. Through the Apostle Peter, God tells us “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…,but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” Why did God pay such a high price for us? Because we are worth it? Because we offer some value to his team? No, not at all. He chose to pay such a high price because that’s the kind of God he is—a God of grace!
The other event that often coincides with this Holy Season is the NCAA basketball tournament. What often interests people is trying to figure out who’s going to win it all? No matter how well we might do in our brackets, we don’t really know whether or not our top picks will make it to the final four.
Again, how thankful we can be that our Savior’s work of redeeming us is not like that. There is no guesswork and there is no uncertainty. When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it again,” his victory was a sure thing. Because Jesus’ grave is empty, there’s no doubt about who won. It wasn’t sin, or death, or the devil, or hell itself. Jesus has won our forgiveness. Jesus has conquered death. Jesus has a crown of victory awaiting us in heaven. In Jesus, we are the champions forever!
May God bless your observance of Holy Week and may the celebration of Easter give you joy and comfort not only in the knowledge of how much Jesus paid to have you in heaven with him, but also in the certainty that you will live forever with him.
A Blessed Easter to You All,
Pastor Bruce McKenney
HOLY WEEK & EASTER SERVICES
3:30 and 6:30 p.m. with Holy Communion
10 a.m., 1:30 & 6:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. with Holy Communion
9:00 & 10:30 a.m
Sunday School and Bible classes do not meet on Easter. There is no Monday service on Easter weekend
Join us for Easter breakfast in the gymnasium on Sunday, April 5, 7:30-8:45 a.m. The menu includes egg dishes, Easter eggs, baked goods, fruit cocktail and beverages. Donations of egg bakes, colored eggs, bakery items like sweet rolls, breads and muffins are welcome. Baking dishes and sample recipes (you may also use your own) are available at church for the first 30 volunteers for the egg bakes. They are to be brought on Sunday already baked. Colored eggs and bakery items may be brought to church on Saturday or early on Sunday.
Volunteers to help with set up, serving and clean up are needed. Sign up at church.
A freewill offering is received to cover meal expenses and to assist our youth program.
SPECIAL VOTERS’ MEETING – CALL EXTENDED & ACCEPTED
A special voters’ meeting on March 8 extended the call to Alana Enger to serve as fifth grade teacher in St. Paul’s School. She has been teaching the class since Mrs. Thorman began a leave of absence last fall. Mrs. Enger has accepted the call. We ask for God’s blessings on her continued service among us. Thanks was expressed to Mrs. Thorman for her years of service in our midst.
The meeting also approved applying for a DNR grant to extend a bike trail to our property. With that application we agree to cover half of the costs, an amount up to $ 27,500, which would be taken from Dedicated Church and School memorials. Some of those funds will be covered by other grants and fundraising. Approval is needed by the local school district for an easement.
EXAMINATION & CONFIRMATION
A class of 29 students is preparing for confirmation this year. Public examination of the class will occur on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. Confirmation takes place in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, April 26. Remember our young people in your prayers as they take this important step in their spiritual lives.
Sunday School and Bible classes do not meet on April 26.
Pastor Tomhave and family will be moving to Lake Mills in mid-April. If you have not returned the special envelope for moving expenses included in last month’s newsletter, please do so by April 12. Installation will be in an afternoon service on Sunday, May 3.
St. Paul Mission Society will meet on Monday, April 13 (one week later due to Easter). Snacks and fellowship begin at 7:00 p.m.. At 7:30 there will be presentations in the church from the Fine Arts Fair students. The monthly business meeting will be held following the presentations. All St Paul ladies are invited to attend.
During this Lenten season your pastors have been pleased to share Jesus’ love with you in our midweek services and we look forward to celebrating the resurrection. We are also eagerly anticipating the arrival of Pastor Tomhave to join our team.
EASTER SIGNS & POSTCARDS
New yard signs for Easter are available at church (you may also reuse ones from previous years). Please note that they may be displayed for 30 days by city ordinance. Invitation postcards to share with friends and neighbors are also available.
RELAY FOR LIFE GARAGE SALE
St. Paul offers space for members to offer items for sale on the community garage sale day, Saturday, May 2. The sale is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Set up is permitted on Friday evening. A donation to our Relay for Life team is encouraged for use of the space. Contact Melanie Wurz (920-945-0477) for details.
Congratulations to the following couples who are celebrating special (multiples of 5 years) anniversaries this month. May God’s blessings continue with you and all our families!
Jonah and Jamie Vogt
Greg and Melanie Wurz
WITH THE LORD
DAVID LANGBECKER entered life eternal on February 24 at the age of 76. His funeral was February 28.
MARTIN LANGBECKER departed this life on March 1 at the age of 66, with the funeral service held on March 7.
MELBA STEIN passed away on March 1 at the age of 92. Her memorial service was March 13.
We pray for God’s comfort to be with their loved ones through his Word.
WELCOME, NEW MEMBERS
This month it is our privilege to introduce M/M Steve Drevlow and family, Eric Fuchs and family and M/M Randy Kallies. Welcome to our community of faith!
STEVE DREVLOW hails from Minnesota. He attended pre-seminary classes at Concordia, St. Paul, where he also studied art and psychology, then studied art at the University of Minnesota and later obtained a nursing degree at UW-Madison. He works in the emergency room at UW Hospital. TATIANA was born in Kyrgystan and moved to the US at age 14. She studied biology at Lawrence University and now works in registration at UW Hospital. Daughter REKHA is a sophomore at Lakeside Lutheran High School. She enjoys sports, Tatiana likes sports and reading books, while Steve is busy with rebuilding their house and also art and music.
ERIC FUCHS grew up in Watertown. He has an IT degree from MATC-Madison and works as a manager at Copp’s in Madison. His wife KALEY is a Madison native, a certified veterinary technician and works at the Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic. Daughter JORDYN is two years old and daughter RYLEE was born in December. They enjoy spending time together as a family.
RANDY and JULIE KALLIES both began life in Bonduel. Randy attended tech school and now operates Kallies Electric. Julie has business training and is the vice-president of patient services for Aurora Health Care. They have four grown children and five grandchildren, with number six due to arrive soon. They enjoy fishing, boating and family activities. Julie also likes to swim.
During this time of year the unequaled gift of forgiveness, won by our Savior Jesus, certainly is uppermost in our minds. With heartfelt gratitude we respond to his sacrificial love with gifts for his work. Offerings received for our operating budget in recent weeks appear below. (Electronic giving totals are included in the amount for March 1.) Average weekly needs are $19,760.
March 1 $ 23,054
March 8 $ 19,810
March 15 $ 26,898
March 22 $ 14,427
Also received during those weeks were gifts of $7,246 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings envelopes), $270 for the Improvement Fund, $1,075 for moving expenses for Pastor Tomhave, $500 for the Lakeside mortgage and $30 for Wisconsin Lutheran Institutional Ministries.
We acknowledge with gratitude the following memorials recently presented to the Building Fund:
In memory of GLADYS DRAEGER, $40
In memory of DAVID LANGBECKER, $590
In memory of MARTIN LANGBECKER, $50
Lakeside Lutheran High School presents its Easter concert on Wednesday, April 1, at 7:00 p.m.
ROCK RIVER AREA OWLS
The Rock River Area OWLS meets at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, April 21, at St. John Lutheran Church near Ixonia. There will be fun and fellowship, games and an ice cream social emceed by Carolyn Birkholz, along with the usual business reports. The Organization of WELS Seniors (OWLS) provides meaningful activity for those who are retired and/or 50 years old. Enjoy spiritual growth and the fellowship of neighboring WELS and ELS members. Also learn a little history about this rural Ixonia congregation. St. John is located a few miles southwest of Ixonia at W1204 Rockvale Road. All are welcome. Come and bring a friend.
"Mass of the Children" by John Rutter will be presented at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1052 White Rock Avenue in Waukesha on Sunday, April 12 at 3 p.m. This work is scored for adult choir, children's choir, soloists, and orchestra. Participating in the concert will be the Martin Luther College Choir from New Ulm, Minnesota, along with children's ensembles from Our Redeemer Lutheran-Madison, Trinity Lutheran-Waukesha, and Wisconsin Lutheran High School-Milwaukee, all accompanied by an orchestra from the Waukesha area. Soloists for the performance are Jonathan Laabs and Emily Lai. Each ensemble will perform individually as well as joining in the performance of Rutter's work. A freewill offering will be gathered for MLC and concert support.
ALPHA LIFE RESOURCE CENTER
For the last 30 years the Alpha Life Resource Center has represented the local organized effort by WELS Christians to educate women about abortion and offer them counseling during difficult times in their lives. Moms with young children are our primary mission field as they come through our door in need of spiritual and physical help.
Currently, the center is seeking a qualified individual to serve as our part-time paid director. Specific qualifications and responsibilities may be obtained at our center: 313 E. Main Street, Watertown. Interested individuals should contact our office manager Wanda Fredrick at 920-261-9207 Monday & Thursday 10:30 am – 1:30 pm and Friday 9:30 – noon.
TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD
In this month’s newsletter and subsequent issues, the Stewardship Board wanted to share excerpts of a paper they are studying. It was written by Professor Emeritus John Jeske. Its purpose is to remind God’s people that Christian stewardship is all about taking God at his Word. We hope you enjoy the 33rd installment.
Sharing These Insights
Sunday worship offers an ongoing opportunity to teach stewardship principles. Law and gospel regarding stewardship of our redeemed lives might very well be part of almost every message, not just the four “money sermons” during budget crunch time.
Perhaps you could take a second look at the customs with which you have surrounded the receiving of the offering. When a pre-Christian Worship hymn survey in our synod revealed that, with a single exception, “We Give Thee But Thine Own” was the most commonly used hymn in the synod you have to wonder. Placing the offering on the altar is beautifully symbolic. (Having the ushers place the offering on the altar instead of the pastor may be even better). But singing “We give thee but thine own” 52 Sundays out of 52, year after year? Is that the best we can do?
How about a thoughtful, two-sentence offering prayer (different each Sunday) just before the general prayer? Or what about just before the offering itself? Monthly stewardship committee agendas might very well include studies of various facets of God’s biblical stewardship plan.