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
Blessed are the eyes that see what you see (Luke 10:23).
Dear Friends at St. Paul,
With our 2020 Vision stewardship emphasis we are talking about clear vision. How we benefit from good eyesight! Those of us who have to deal with glasses or contacts or have other conditions affecting our sight are thankful for those devices which help us see but also wish we didn’t have to bother with them. Yet we also note what beauties we are able to enjoy because God has granted us the ability to see. The fall colors are a current example.
Yet there is another type of seeing that Jesus was speaking about in the verse above, one that even those who are physically blind may have and that far exceeds what we see in the world around us. We Christians see Jesus as our Savior. We see his guiding hand in all that happens each day. We gaze into eternity and know that we have a marvelous home with our Savior awaiting us.
Our stewardship program will help us bring those vital spiritual blessings into focus. That’s why we urge each of our members to come to the 2020 Vision presentations (see schedule below) and review our blessings and our opportunities to respond to those blessings in support of the work of our congregation and beyond.
We look forward to seeing you November 4-9!
Sincerely in service of our Savior,
Pastor James Rath
As mentioned above, we are offering our 2020 Vision stewardship presentations in early November. A variety of times and days are available so that we hope each member will have opportunity to attend. We asked for advance responses, but please come to one even if you have not yet signed up. The schedule is below.
Tuesday, November 4
6 p.m. light supper;
6:30 p.m. presentation
Wednesday, November 5
9 a.m. snacks and presentation
Wednesday, November 5
6 p.m. light supper;
6:30 p.m. presentation
Thursday, November 6
1:30 p.m. snacks and presentation
Saturday, November 8
9 a.m. snacks and presentation
Sunday, November 9
9:15 a.m. snacks and presentation
Sunday, November 9
11:30 a.m. light lunch;
12:00 noon presentation
The services of November 15-17 will be our Commitment Weekend, when we ask members to return their response forms.
CALL DECLINED – MEETING SET
In last month’s newsletter we reported a call meeting to be held in October. That meeting extended the call to Rev. Jonathan Kruschel of Stevensville, Michigan. He has recently declined our call. A special voters’ meeting will follow the late service on Sunday, November 2 (about 11:30 a.m.) to place another call for the third pastor. We pray that the Lord will lead us to his choice to serve among us.
NEW MEMBER WELCOME
Following the late service on Sunday, November 16, we will host a New Member Welcome potluck. Families who have joined our congregation in the past year will be guests at a potluck meal, with the rest of the congregation providing the food. Table service and beverages will be supplied. We ask the other members attending to bring a generous dish to share.
Various boards and organizations of the congregation will have displays and information to share about their work. We look for a good turnout so we can become better acquainted with our brothers and sisters in the faith.
QUARTERLY MEETING REPORT
The fall quarterly voters’ meeting was held October 26. At this meeting Alana Enger was called to serve as fifth grade teacher during Sue Thorman’s leave of absence. The length of the leave is indefinite. The importance of attending the 2020 Vision stewardship presentations was emphasized. The Worship Board calls attention to the articles that have been appearing in this monthly newsletter, also available on the church website. Planning is underway for Advent and volunteers are sought to project hymn verses during communion. Attendance dropped during the third quarter, from 479 to 452. The Outreach Board calls your attention to the devotions printed weekly in the Lake Mills Leader. The financial report showed offerings through the first quarter of the fiscal year were 6% short of budgeted needs, leaving us short of our commitments to WELS and Lakeside by $10,000.
The fall pastoral conference joined with the pastors from four districts of our synod for the annual Missions Conference at the Dells at the end of October. Under the theme “Something for Everyone” the conference included presentations for congregations large and small plus leadership topics. At home, your pastors have been involved in the 2020 Vision preparations.
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday we have special worship services on Wednesday, November 26 at 6:30 pm. and Thursday, November 27 at 9:30 a.m. Come, give thanks to the Lord for his many blessings on both body and soul.
At these services we also receive a door offering for the St. Paul Fund for the Needy, which is used to provide some assistance to families or individuals who are experiencing financial difficulties.
TRUST FUND PROJECTS
Annually St. Paul Trust Fund is available for special projects. The time to make requests for the distribution is now through November 30. Contact Mrs. Happel in the office for forms. If the project relates to the work of one of our boards, please contact its chairman to ensure the request is appropriate.
The dark mornings remind us that the time to turn your clocks back one hour is nearing. Sunday, November 2 is the return to standard time. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep!
St. Paul Mission Society will meet on Monday, November 3 at 7 p.m. After dessert and fellowship, several forensics participants from St. Paul’s School will present their selections. All ladies are welcome.
TUITION ASSISTANCE ENVELOPE
The offering packet includes an envelope for Tuition Assistance during the month of November. This fund helps students attend our school. Families that benefit greatly appreciate the help. Your support is encouraged.
Congratulations to Ben and Stacy Schweighardt, who are celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary on November 6. May God’s blessings continue!
AREA REFORMATION SERVICE
On Sunday, November 2, an area Reformation service will be held at Luther Prep in Watertown. The service begins at 4 p.m. Service theme is “By Grace Alone, By Faith Alone, By Scripture Alone, Through Christ Alone!” Celebrate God’s blessings through the Reformation, enjoy special music and fellowship with others at a lunch following the service.
EPHESIANS BIBLE CLASS
St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians includes Reformation truths (“By grace you have been saved, through faith…”). Pastor Rath’s Sunday morning class will begin a study of this epistle on Sunday, November 2 at 9:15 a.m. The class meets in the half classroom. The Wednesday morning class also began studying Ephesians in late October.
WELCOME, NEW MEMBERS!
It is our privilege to introduce M/M Damion Dehnert and family and M/M Joseph Wood and family. Welcome to our family of faith!
DAMION DEHNERT grew up in Lake Mills and Fort Atkinson. He attended MATC and is now employed as a sanitation worker for Jones Dairy Farm. LAURA is a Fort Atkinson native. She is a homemaker, as the family includes daughter JOCELYN, a senior at Fort Atkinson High School; CHRISTIAN, age 15 and a sophomore at Lake Mills High; KATELYN and MADISON, in grades 7 and 6 at St. Paul’s School; and young JACKSON, age 15 months. The busy family enjoys video games.
JOE WOOD hails from Sun Prairie. He operates a company that builds race cars. MEGAN came from Michigan. She is a realtor and does public relations work for the Madison International Speedway. Their daughter JADE is a sophomore at Lakeside and son ALBERT is in eighth grade at St. Paul’s School. The family enjoys horses on their farm.
In response to God’s goodness we as his people bring offerings for his work. Printed below are the gifts for the operating budget in recent weeks. Average weekly needs are $ 19,760.
In addition to the above amounts there were offerings of $6,821 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $476 for the Improvement Fund, $2,267 for Mission Festival, $120 for the Scholarship Fund and $1,613 for the Lakeside mortgage.
MEMORIALS & SPECIAL GIFTS RECEIVED
We acknowledge with gratitude recent special gifts and memorials, both for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings).
In memory of DOROTHY ZUBKE, $20
In honor of the 70th wedding anniversary of ROBERT & EVELYN STRAKELJAHN, $300
WELS MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT
A famous person once said, “Any fool can complicate things; it takes a genius to simplify them.” The Bible does call marriage a mystery, but the gospel of Jesus unravels the mystery and simplifies things. Let an upcoming WELS Marriage Enrichment and Get-Away Weekend help you give glory to God and joy to your spouse. Space is limited, so register early for the weekend event at destination resorts in Lake Geneva (Feb. 13-15) or Wausau (Feb. 20-22). See the poster or brochure in our lobby for more information. Visit www.wels.net/adult-discipleship for more information and to register.
ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT
Make plans to attend this Year's advent by candlelight...Have a Mary Christmas, where you will hear God's word as he prepares us for His coming, through the life of Mary of Bethany, Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdelene. The event will take place on Sunday, December 7. The schedule will be as follows: 6 pm social time, 6:30 pm dessert and 7 pm program.
All ladies and girls in the 6th grade or older are welcome.
Sign up for attending and/or hosting will start the weekend of November 1st. We always need willing ladies to hostess...which includes decorating a table and making a dessert for 8 people. Not good at baking but still want to host? ...ask a friend to co-host with you and each take one task! More information about hostessing will be on the sign up board.
For questions or information about the event contact Becca Lauber at 648-2676 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For table and seating questions contact Toni Shiels at 920-723-5402 or email@example.com
We hope to see you there for this wonderful ladies evening devoted to fellowship and the birth of our Savior.
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 28th installment.
Spiritual Yardsticks for Bringing Offerings
There’s considerable evidence to show that in the past we have been quick to supply mathematical yardsticks for Christians to use when determining their gifts for Jesus. There’s been a lot of pious talk about average contributions needed and fair shares and quotas. How much more helpful we will be to God’s men and women if we will suggest spiritual yardsticks instead of mathematical ones. What are they?
God asks for regular gifts. As often as he blesses us with income, he asks that we set aside a share for him. God has asked us: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Pr 3:9f). How shall we view payday income, windfall income, tax-return income, interest income? Remember who you are. With his blood Christ purchased you for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. He has made you to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and you will reign on the earth (Re 5:9, 10).
God asks for the first-fruits of our harvest, not for the sweepings of our granary; for first-fruits, not for rinds and crusts. His share comes off the top of my income, not the bottom. Does it matter in what order I write out my checks? What difference does it make to God? To my own soul? To my fellow Christians? To the unchurched?