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 479-200-6626
Principal James Grasby LLHS 648-2321
Supreme Court Decision on marriage: What now?
The Supreme Court recently redefined marriage in regard to the law in the United States of America. They didn’t change what marriage is for the Christian Church. Marriage for the Christian Church has been the same since God created it. The Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman for life.
In one sense, the Supreme Court decision is absolutely no surprise. Secular society is increasingly out of step with our biblical worldview. For years now, the law of the land and the opinion of the people have emptied civil marriage of much of its meaning. As it’s been said, we live in a “hook up, shack up, break up” generation which has very little regard for marriage as God intended it. For example, a recent study showed that nearly half of all couples of opposite sex live together outside of marriage—this too, is outside of God’s plan for marriage, but has become mainstream. That doesn’t, however, make it right. So are we surprised that five justices have changed the definition of marriage so that it suits their worldview? No, we are not.
We are not surprised, but we are most certainly concerned. The Supreme Court cannot change the truth of God’s Word. They can ignore it; they can pass judgment that contradicts it; they cannot, however, change it. Christian churches that remain faithful to the Bible maintain the truth of what God said about God pleasing marriage: one man, one woman, for life.
But we are concerned that churches standing on the unchanging truth of God’s Word and on millennia of natural law and practice will be challenged and persecuted. That comes with being a Christian in this fallen world. Because of that possibility, the pastors, elders and council are preparing a policy outlining our commitment to the biblical doctrine of marriage.
What does this mean? We affirm the rights of all individuals and the equality of all people. We rejoice that in this country, your standing before the law is not determined by who you are or what you believe. We respect the dignity of all people, but we also recognize that God’s law means all of us are sinful in thought, word and deed. And all of us are covered by the blood of the atoning sacrifice for our sins, Jesus Christ. Forgiveness in Jesus and justification by faith means we are wrapped in robes of Christ’s righteousness. As forgiven children of God, it is our mission to hold before a dying world the message of life through Jesus. It’s not a message of judgmentalism, but a message of Law that condemns the sin in sinful mankind and Gospel that proclaims the forgiveness and love of God. Being Christian means speaking God’s Word of truth that calls every sinner back to God’s plans and purposes.
We don’t judge; we don’t hate; we simply hold to the truth of God’s Word. As Isaiah says, "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (40:8). It is yet to be seen if the tolerance movement will be tolerant of people who believe differently than they do. Past history makes us doubtful.
So what can we do?
- Repent of our sins and trust in Jesus as our Savior from sin
- Pray that God would help all people see Jesus as Savior from their sin
- Proclaim the Gospel; let us be like a light shining in this dark world that others may see and believe in Jesus Christ
- Trust that the Lord of the Church most certainly still reigns
If anyone has any questions about this issue, please let your pastors know. We are all here to guide and help in any way possible.
Serving the Savior together,
Your Pastoral Team
CHURCH PICNIC & CAR SHOW
St. Paul Church Picnic will be held Sunday, August 2. Plans call for outdoor worship at 10:00 a.m., weather permitting. While there will be tents, you are welcome to bring lawn chairs and umbrellas. Dress casually. The potluck meal will follow at 11:30 a.m. A variety of grilled meats, buns, beverages and table service will be provided (freewill offering for expenses). Families whose last names begin with A-L are asked to bring a dessert to share; M-Z please bring a salad.
Volunteers are needed to help with serving and clean up.
A Cruise-in Car Show will be held in the afternoon. Invite your friends and neighbors to share the day with us!
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
“Making Tracks” is the theme for Vacation Bible School, which will be held August 3-7, 8:45-11:45 a.m. Children entering 3K through sixth grade are welcome to attend.
Sign up online at spaullakemills.org/vbs.html or in the church lobby.
VOTERS’ MEETING REPORT
The spring quarterly voters’ meeting was held on June 10. Major business for the meeting was the budget proposal for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The budget as amended and adopted changed our called worker salary schedule to follow the synod matrix for base salary plus half of the housing allowance. In the adjustment some would not have received a raise, so the amendment was added to provide all called workers at least a 2% increase for the coming year. The budget includes commitments of $ 175,000 for Lakeside and $ 100,000 for WELS. Tuition is $ 1,175 (including fees) for St. Paul’s School. The total budget calls for an 8% increase in offerings.
An extra mortgage principal payment of $70,000 from the Mortgage Fund and $10,000 from Directed School Memorials was approved, as well as the balance of the Tomhave moving expenses from Directed Church Memorials.
St. Paul’s School closed the year with an enrollment of 179. Judy Graumann will not be returning as preschool aide. Elders reported 25 contacts. Attendance was up slightly for the first quarter. Eight individuals are enrolled in Bible Information Classes. The Lakeside report noted 78 seniors graduated and 111 freshmen are expected for next year.
TIME & TALENTS PRESENTATION
During the services of August 15-17 our Stewardship Board will promote the use of our time and talents in the work of our congregation, another aspect of our 2020 Vision. We have many opportunities for service through our various programs and activities. Come and see where your abilities can be used to honor the Savior who gave all for you.
The summer quarterly voters’ meeting will be held Sunday, August 23, following the late worship service (11:00 a.m.). Come for an update on the work of our boards.
As students head off to college, please make sure to update the church office with your address. We want to keep in touch by sending the monthly newsletter. Forms are available in the lobby.
Congratulations to these couples who are celebrating special (multiples of five years) wedding anniversaries this month. May the Lord’s blessings continue on you and all of our families!
David & Darice Brumm
Larry & Andrea Kuhl
Scott & Mary Gronholz
Terry & Debra Radloff
WELCOME, NEW MEMBERS
This month it is our privilege to introduce M/M John Guld and family and Jon Marshall. Welcome to St. Paul!
JOHN and NICOLE GULD met while students at UW-Platteville, he from Jefferson and she from LaCrosse. John’s degree is in industrial technology, used as he is a quality manager for commercial projects at Johnson Health Tech in Cottage Grove. Nicole’s degree is in mathematics and she is an electric rate analyst for WPPI. Daughter EMMA will be a sophomore at Lakeside Lutheran High School and KATIE will be a freshman. The family enjoys outdoor activities like kayaking and swimming as well as arts and music.
JON MARSHALL grew up in Westfield. As he enjoys learning new things he has continued on a path of independent education and is self-employed, having several companies involving networking with people.
We give thanks to God for his blessings received and shared by our members. The insert prepared by our treasurer reflects some of those blessings. By God’s grace our congregation met its commitments to both WELS and Lakeside Lutheran High School in the past fiscal year and even exceeded the budget goal. For the new year our weekly goal for the operating budget is $21,300. May we continue to work together to carry out the work of our Lord! Recent weekly general fund offerings are listed below. (The figure for June 28 includes electronic offerings for that month; the July accounting has not yet been received.)
June 28 $ 27,105
July 5 $ 8,767
July 12 $ 16,471
July 19 $ 12,470
July 26 $ 14,659
Also received during those weeks were amounts of $12,027 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $482 for the Improvement Fund, $9,570 for the Thankoffering, $90 for moving expenses, $613 for the Lakeside mortgage, and $20 for Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Service.
We give thanks for the gift of $25 for the Building Fund in memory of KENNETH WOOD (uncle of Pastor Rath).
TWICE IS NICE NEWS
Big news came from Jefferson this past month, as you perhaps read in local newspapers: Twice is Nice broke ground on a 7,800 sq. ft. addition. The eastside building addition will increase work and storage space for volunteers, as well as provide more retail space for “an even better shopping experience or our customers,” says Good Stewards Chairman Ken Schuman. At an estimated cost of $825,000, the targeted completion date for the project, being managed by Maas Brothers Construction of Watertown, is October 31, 2015.
Shop: The store will be open during construction--summer is a great time to shop for bargains! All clothing will be 50% off August 13-19, and the semi-annual bag sale runs August 20-22. The store is easy to find: just a minute east on the Hwy. 18 exit off the 26 bypass at 907 W. Racine St., next to the Jefferson Piggly Wiggly. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Volunteer: The “changeover” where Twice is Nice shifts to fall/winter clothing is Saturday August 22 at 4 pm and would be a great “no-pressure” time for you to help out one busy evening, explore the store, meet some volunteers and learn about other opportunities for you to have fun and feel productive while making a huge difference for Lakeside Lutheran and other ministries. Call 920-674-6868 and ask for Jeanette, Carolyn or Norma with questions.
Ladies! You are cordially invited to attend the at peace? women's retreat in Loves Park, Illinois on Saturday, October 3rd. Choose from six possible workshops which flow from the theme "Let's Fix Our Eyes on Jesus." For more information, please go to www.peacelp.com or call Cheryl at 608-290-0631. Hurry! Early bird registration by August 15th will save you $5!
A Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at Lake Mills City Hall on Friday, August 7, 12 noon to 5 p.m.
TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD
In this month’s newsletter, 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 this final installment.
Your Personal Righteousness: Active or Passive?
On another face of the pedestal of the Luther statue at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is engraved:
A Christian is a free lord in all things, subject to no one.
A Christian is a ministering servant in all things, subject to everyone.
Those inscribed words and ideas come from the year 1520. They rang out from a pastor’s study. A pastor’s study seems like a place of quiet and passivity; it’s an apparently weak place. It’s a place for reflection, as opposed to the world’s frantic and relentless busyness. But God let Luther’s study serve Martin, and his family, and his congregation, and his town, and his country, and his world. God let that study serve as a forge made hot by attempts at intimidation, social confusion, personality clashes, the entrenched message from his old church of law, law, law. From that study came answers and insights into the dreadful enslavement of the consciences of human beings. The forge was made hot by the howling of an enraged devil.
From the pages of his open Bible arose a living, loving, and powerful Jesus Christ. He holds the field forever-the magnificent Champion Moses wrote about in Genesis 3. Jesus held the field in 1520, and he holds it now, and he holds it through us, and part of that holding is the stewardship of our income. Those ideas carved into granite on the Seminary campus are the twin truths (“free lord, ministering servant”) we must carve into the hearts of every single Christian man, woman, and child who comes under our teaching care.
When All Is Said and Done
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live in him,
rooted and built up in him,
strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness” (Cl 2:6).
Remember, Christian, Jesus don’t sponsor no flops.