St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

1530 South Main Street, Lake Mills, Wisconsin 53551

St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
Monthly Newsletter


Weekly Announcements Monthly School Newsletter

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
Church-648-2235; School–648-2918
Principal James Grasby LLHS 648-2321 


Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Dear Fellow Worshipers of the Savior!

Over the last several weeks while driving around the area making visits on members in their homes or in the hospital, I noticed something that I often take for granted—how beautiful the area is in which we live.  Over the next several weeks, take time to notice the rolling hills, the fields plush with ripening grain, and the many groves of trees whose green leaves are turning brilliant shades of red and yellow.  We see it every day, so we may take for granted how beautiful this part of the country is in which we live. 

There is another place that is truly beautiful that we often take for granted.  That place is inside our church.  Although our worship area is only a temporary place until, God-willing, we build our permanent place of worship, it is very beautiful, and yet so often we take it for granted.  And no, I’m not talking about stained glass windows, the burgundy colored chapel chairs, or the beautiful sounding organ we have.  All these add to the beautiful décor of our church, but that’s not what makes it truly beautiful.

So what’s the beauty of our church that we take for granted?  Listen to what David said about going to his church:  “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

What’s interesting about this verse is that the Temple in Jerusalem had not yet been built.  That would happen after David died.  Solomon his son would build the Temple of the Lord and it was so beautiful that some considered it one of the “7 wonders of the world.”  David’s place of worship was still only a tent.  And yet, it was a place in which he longed to be in all the days of his life.  Why?  There he could gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.  Yes, in the Lord’s house David saw the beauty of the Lord in the promises of a Savior to come and in the messy and bloody animal sacrifices which pointed ahead to David’s own Son who would be offered up as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world!  To David, nothing was more beautiful than hearing about his salvation in the house of the Lord.

Isn’t that what makes our house of worship a beautiful place?  It surely is.  When we gather for worship our beautiful Savior is there.  Through his Word and in his holy Sacraments we see, we hear, and we receive the beauty of our salvation.  So as you take in all the fall beauty around us, don’t forget that the most beautiful place for us to be is in the house of the Lord.  There we too can gaze upon the beauty of the Lord!

Serving You in Christ,

Pastor McKenney

Rev. David Scharf declined the call to serve on our pastoral staff so another call meeting has been set for Sunday, October 5 at 11:30 a.m. (following the late service).  We pray for God’s guidance as we extend this call.

We will observe Mission Festival in the services of October 11-13.  Guest speaker will be Rev. Paul Prange, administrator for the Ministerial Education division of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  Between the Sunday services there will be some fellowship time and a presentation on his work.  (The presentation replaces the adult Bible classes that day.)

The fall quarterly voters’ meeting will follow the late service on Sunday, October 26, beginning about 11:30 a.m.  The meeting reviews the work of the congregation’s boards and considers any recommendations of the church council.  We encourage all our eligible voters to be involved in our joint work.

Plan ahead for the Vision 2020 stewardship presentations.  We will be setting aside the first week in November for group meetings and ask each of our families to take part in one of them.  The planned opportunities are Tuesday, November 4, at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 5, at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 6, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, November 8, at 9 a.m. and Sunday, November 9, at 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  Watch for messages in the coming weeks about signing up.  Childcare will be available. 

St. Paul Mission Society will meet on Monday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. Following dessert and fellowship the program will be a presentation by Pastor Mark Bartsch, chaplain for Heritage Homes in Watertown.  All ladies are invited.

We will be collecting disposable gloves and hotel size soaps for the African Medical Mission.  Please bring these items to this meeting.  Anyone in the congregation is welcome to donate those items.  A box will be in the lobby.

At the services of October 18-20 and 25-27 a door offering will be received for Camp Phillip.  Our congregation is a member of the association which operates the camp, located near Wautoma.  Our support through this annual offering also enables our members to receive a discount on camp rates.  Our seventh graders have an annual fall outing there and several families utilize the camp in the summer.

The fall schedule is into full swing with the new offerings for Bible classes as well as confirmation classes.  Planning is underway for the fall stewardship presentations.  In October the pastors will attend conference.  This fall’s conference will include several workshops planned by the district mission board.

Pastor Rath recently attended the annual seminary symposium.  This year’s topic was on Lutheran preaching.  The papers reviewed important principles, evaluated preaching methods and also looked at the challenges in communicating the gospel in today’s world.

Congratulations to several couples who are observing special (multiples of 5 years) wedding anniversaries this month—many are significant milestones.  May God continue to bless you and all our families at St. Paul!

Willie & Lilabelle Armstrong

October 1

65 Years

Steve & Emily Alexander

October 2

15 Years

Bob & Evie Strakeljahn

October 2

70 Years

Ken & Pat Walters

October 3

50 Years

Hank & Frieda Luetzow

October 10

65 Years

Don & Pat Dolph

October 12

40 Years

This month we have the privilege of introducing M/M Kevin Amundson and family and Joe Dach and family.

KEVIN AMUNDSON is a native of Onalaska and a graduate of UW-LaCrosse, with a degree in chemistry and physics.  He teaches science at Poynette High School.  KARA grew up in Ixonia.  She has a degree in special education from UW-Eau Claire.  She is a special education teacher at the Jefferson Middle School.  The family includes son MICAH, in first grade, and daughters CAILEE in 4K and MARIUM in 3K, all at St. Paul’s School.  The family likes to swim, read books, play games and travel.

JOE DACH and his wife JESSICA are Watertown natives.  He attended UW-Whitewater and now operates a home inspection business, while she has a degree in social work from UW-Oshkosh.  Jessica is a homemaker for four-year-old daughter KIERA, with another child expected this fall.  The family likes outdoor activities.

What do you have that God has not provided?  All our earthly possessions come from his hand, but most important are his spiritual gifts of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven.  One expression of our gratitude is our offerings.  Gifts received in recent weeks for the operating budget are printed below.  Average weekly needs for this fiscal year are $19,760.

August 31


September 7


September 14


September 21


Also received during those weeks were amounts of $8,462 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $303 for the Improvement Fund, $482 for the Scholarship Fund and $485 for the Lakeside mortgage.

We give thanks for the gift of $300 to the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings) given in memory of THOMAS CHRISTOFFEL.

The Fall Rally of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society Capital Circuit is Saturday, October 11 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Middleton.  Rev. Michael Duncan will present the topic “Moving Mountains—Overcoming Impossible Odds” as he shares the story of our WELS East Asia Missions, especially the work in Nepal.  The day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m.  Brunch is included. 

An area Reformation service will be held at Luther Prep in Watertown on Sunday, November 2 at 4:00 p.m.  Joint choirs of children and adults will be formed, with rehearsals earlier that afternoon.  Adults interested in singing should contact Pastor Rath by October 20 for copies of the music.

After an absence for a couple years, Home Health United will again offer a flu shot clinic at St. Paul this year.  It will be Sunday, October 12, 8:30-11:00 a.m.  Cost is $31 for the injection, $33 for intranasal.  They are able to bill directly to Dean, Unity, GHC, Physicians Plus, WPS as well as Medicare B and Medicaid.  Preservative, latex free vaccines are used.

We need a volunteer (or two to split the time) to serve as host for the event.  Please contact Pastor Rath if you are interested.

Every two years Kingdom Workers holds a national convention for the purpose of sharing the mission skills, tools, and opportunities available to all the people of our fellowship. We hope that through this event many people will feel equipped and motivated to become personally involved in mission work and many congregations take steps to engage the mission and building services provided through Kingdom Workers in their own communities.

January 9-11, 2015, Kingdom Workers has been joined by five other WELS ministries to deliver an event which not only includes the objectives of a Kingdom Workers Convention, but also delivers tools for leaders and aspiring leaders to be used in both their vocations and their local ministries. The event is named The Christian Leadership Experience. www.christlead.com

The sessions of the event specific to the mission of Kingdom Workers include the following three focuses:

  • Building and Construction—Multiple sessions covering building design, construction planning, building financing, working with zoning & permitting, volunteering with Builders For Christ
  • Mission Outreach & Evangelism—Multiple sessions including Spanish language cross-cultural ministry, Apache mission & culture, Millennials in mission work, Congregational mission trips, mission volunteerism
  • Global & Community Health Ministry—Multiple sessions including Diabetes support as ministry, Mental health of Hispanic Youth, Participatory learning as community assessment among poor populations, Community agriculture methods

We would like to invite, and ask that you would pass this invitation on to:

  • Any congregation member who may serve on a building committee
  • Any member interested in initiating or supporting outreach ministry in your community or participating as a mission volunteer or worker in any other mission field
  • All health workers in your congregation who may consider serving or volunteering in mission work

Northwestern Publishing House is holding a fall harvest festival October 3-4.  Inspirational books, devotions, de’cor and more are on sale, plus there are fun fall activities for all ages.  NPH is located at 1250 North 113th Street in Milwaukee.

LPS will be hosting an open house on Sunday, October 5 from 2-4 PM to share the school's important role in WELS ministry with WELS members and the surrounding community. The open house will include campus tours, a brief history of the campus, student choirs, a meet and greet with LPS faculty, and light refreshments.

Bethany Lutheran College invites high school juniors and seniors to a free weekend on campus October 30-November 2.  For information call Bethany’s admissions office at 800-944-3066 or email admissions@blc.edu.  Reservations and a deposit of $40 (refunded to all who participate) are due by October 20.

The Red Cross will hold a bloodmobile at Lake Mills City Hall on Friday, October 3, 12 noon-5 p.m.

Pastor James Humann, semi-retired WELS pastor and experienced tour host, invites you to join him on a fourteen day Kenya Safari Adventure. The tour leaves March 28, 2015. This is a tour that features Kenya’s finest national parks and game preserves. This tour is not only an African animal lover’s and photographer’s dream but also includes a visit to the world famous Mt. Kenya Safari Club. Each year thousands of tourists safely enjoy seeing the sweeping plains, abundant African wildlife and the unique culture of Kenya.  For a colorful brochure with the daily itinerary, tour costs and General Conditions, e-mail Pastor Humann at Jhumann383@aol.com or call 253-839-9055 (Pacific time).

Advent By Candlelight will be held Sunday, December 7.  Mark your calendars.  More information will be coming soon.

We are in need of a part time custodian to clean a portion of the school; flexible hours between 3:30 & 10 PM.  If interested, contact Dan Schmidt at 608-577-4813 or Steve Gartner at 648-2918.

The women of the congregation are invited to a Bridal Shower honoring Kaitlyn Biggs.  Please join us in welcoming Mr. Seim’s fiancée into our St. Paul church and school family.  A casual brunch will be held on Saturday, October 18 from 9-11 AM at the home of Adriane Stuebs, N7318 Rock Lake Rd. in Lake Mills to shower Kaitlyn with well-wishes, good advice and many blessings.  Please RSVP by October 16 to Laura Schneider, 920-222-1002 so proper plans can be made.

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 27th installment.

The Leaders’ Roles

You’ll pardon me if I emphasize once again the absolutely critical role the leaders of the congregation (clergy and lay leaders) have in helping people to view themselves as God’s stewards.  Leaders, you are in the key position to influence thinking - for better or for worse.  In this area, as in so many others, enthusiasm is contagious, but so is the lack of it.  When I hear a pastor say, “Oh, setting a percentage goal for Synod Mission Offering wouldn’t work in our congregation.  Our people wouldn’t go for that,” I feel like asking:  “Why don’t you present God’s call, and then present God’s promises, and let people determine their own response, instead of predetermining it for them?”  I’ll tell you frankly that those words, “My people won’t go for that” sound to me like code words for “I don’t like the program.”

Thoughtful stewardship appeals will emphasize the spiritual transaction, not the financial transaction, involved in bringing gifts to the Lord.  When we seek to help a Christian determine his or her gifts to the Lord, we will do well to de-emphasize the relation between the gift and the congregation’s treasury and instead to emphasize the relation between the giver and his Savior.  Hear the Word.  Recall your baptism.  Meet him at his holy Supper.  Yes, Christ has ordained a special office, the incumbents of which have nothing else to do than to keep on saying to people what Christ said to the paralytic:  “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven.”