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
His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him" (Lamentations 3:22ff).
Dear Friends at St. Paul:
How do you view the start of a day? With dread? With excitement? As just another step in a ho-hum existence? It all depends on your focus. There is a lot of sameness in life and we face many challenges. But when we recall that we live each day under the care and blessing of our faithful Lord, we have reason for optimism. Why? God is all powerful. He can handle any difficulty we encounter. God loves us. We know that absolutely in Jesus, who has sacrificed himself for our sins. He has brought us to know and trust his work for our salvation. God wants us in his heaven. He will guide and guard us until we get there.
How do we maintain such confidence? Our faith receives its strength through the same source that produced it: God's gospel love in Word and sacrament. That's why we come to his house with joy. That's why we turn to his Word on a daily basis. Make his Word and your opportunity to hear it a priority. Grow in faith and bask in your blessings as a child of God. Awake each morning with the certainty that God has great things in store for you.
Serving him with you,
Pastor James Rath
On June 18 our voters extended a call to Rev. Stephen Helwig of Omaha, Nebraska to serve on our pastoral staff. Pastor Helwig currently serves Gethsemane Lutheran Church. He graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2001. He is married to the former Carrie Milbrath and they have six children. Please remember their family in your prayers as he deliberates our call.
Summer is a time for relaxing with vacation days and recharging for the schedule of the school year. However, there are also numerous special events during these months, such as Vacation Bible School, church picnic, Lake Mills parade and Relay for Life. We also do planning for upcoming worship and Bible classes. Above all, we continue to conduct worship and Bible classes and look forward to seeing you each week in God's house!
A group trip to see the Madison Mallards baseball team take on the Willmar Stingers has been scheduled for Thursday, July 17. Game time is 7:05 p.m. We have purchased the tailgate package which costs $ 18 and includes admission to the game plus food and soda from the time the gates open at 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Children age 5 and under are free if they sit on laps. Sign up and pay by July 9. First come, first served. Special attraction: Whiplash, the dog riding cowboy monkey. Car pooling will be arranged once the sign up is complete.
Congratulations and God's continued blessings to these couples who are celebrating special (multiples of five years) wedding anniversaries this month. May God's goodness continue with all our families!
Paul and Becky Bauer
Jim and Karen Battist
Ron and Ginny Glock
WELCOME, NEW MEMBERS!
It is our privilege this month to introduce M/M Jason Lenz and family, M/M Joel Lenz and Angela Schultz. Welcome to our family of faith!
JASON LENZ is a native of rural Lake Mills and works for Steve's Car and Truck Service. NICOLE grew up in Jefferson County. She has an associate's degree in radiography from Blackhawk Technical College and works as an X-ray technician at the Fort Atkinson hospital and at Lake Mills Urgent Care. Son JONATHON will be entering fifth grade and daughter JENNA will be in third grade, both in Jefferson schools. She likes art, Jon enjoys fishing, Nicole is a gardener and snowmobiling is a favorite for most.
JOEL and ROBIN LENZ are both from Lake Mills. Robin is a retort operator for Purina in Jefferson and Joel works in construction for London Lumber. They have two sons (one is Jason, above) and four grandchildren. They enjoy their family.
ANGELA SCHULTZ grew up in Big Lake, Minnesota. She studied social work at UW-Stevens Point and now works in human resources for the UW Extension in Madison. Her husband is Josh; children are Rex, ready to be a senior at Lakeside; Rafier, entering high school; and Rowan, age three. Angela likes to cook and travel with her family.
WITH THE LORD
BETTY PRANKE departed this life on June 11, at the age of 83. Her funeral was June 14. May God's comfort be with her family.
As we approach the end of the fiscal year we review the progress on the plans outlined in the budget. Offerings at the end of May were $125,000 behind the target amount, but expenses were also less than expected because we had not called a third pastor. The offerings received in June plus the special deficit offerings will bring us closer. Rather than focus on numbers, however, remember always that our gifts are prompted by our Savior's love for us and his blessings for both body and soul. Budgetary offerings in recent weeks are listed below.
Also received during those weeks were gifts of $7,996 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $249 for the Improvement Fund, $9,275 in deficit offerings, $296 for the Lakeside mortgage and $227 for Wisconsin Lutheran Child & Family Service.
MEMORIALS & SPECIAL GIFTS
We acknowledge with gratitude several recent memorials and special gifts. (Recall that the Building Fund receives gifts from the Bountiful Blessings campaign.)
In memory of BETTY CHRISTIANSEN (sister of Darlene Meyers), $35 for the Building Fund
In memory of KAREN CODY, $1135 for a fountain, hand bells and the Building Fund
In memory of RUSSELL MEYERS, $2085 for pastoral stoles, Building Fund and deficit
In memory of BELLVA VITENSE, $20 for the deficit
In honor of the 50th anniversary of JIM & KAREN BATTIST, $20 for the Building Fund
In honor of the 55th anniversary of RON & CAROLYN KOENIG, $55 for the Building Fund
In honor of the 90th birthday of EVIE STRAKELJAHN, $80 for the Building Fund and deficit
Pastor Jonathan Bauer, a son of our congregation, will be installed at Good News Lutheran Church in Mount Horeb on Sunday, July 13 at 4 p.m. Good News is located at 1217 Business Highway 18/151. The congregation would appreciate knowing in advance how many will be attending, so if you plan to go, please inform the church office by July 9.
ROCK RIVER AREA OWLS
The local chapter of the OWLS invites members and guests to their annual picnic on Tuesday, July 15 at 12:00 noon. Come to Watertown's Aero Park at 907 Boomer Street. Bring a dish to pass, your tableware and beverage. Brats, hamburgers and buns will be provided by members of St John, Waterloo. The Organization of WELS Seniors (OWLS) provides meaningful activity for those retired and/or 50 years old. Come enjoy opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship with other WELS and ELS Seniors.
WELS NIGHT AT THE BREWERS
The Milwaukee Brewers invite WELS churches and members to purchase discounted tickets for their game on Tuesday, August 5, against the San Francisco Giants. Seating will be in a block for WELS members. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Discounted tickets can be purchased online at www.brewers.com/wels. Groups of 20 or more can contact WELS member Jason Fry at 414-902-4516 at the Brewers to purchase seats together and to bypass service charges on ticket purchases.
NEW FROM NPH
More than half of the world's Christians are Roman Catholic, but do you know what they believe and teach today? Discover the historic traditions and modern practices of the Catholic Church—and be better prepared to share your own faith—in A Lutheran Looks at Catholics (BU1500777, $16.50) by Curtis Jahn. Available at Northwestern Publishing House in Milwaukee or order through www.nph.net/LLA or by calling 1-800-662-6022.
ICE CREAM SOCIAL
The Alpha Life Resource Center will be holding its annual Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 13 at St. Mark's Lutheran School Commons in Watertown, serving from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot turkey, hot pork, hot dogs, potato salads, baked beans, homemade desserts, banana splits & sundaes made with Mullen's ice cream are just some of the items available. Jefferson Co. Chapter of Thrivent Financial is sponsoring the fundraiser.
The center will again be accepting new or gently used children's Bibles, devotional or Christian storybooks. Your support of Alpha Center is greatly appreciated.
HOLY LAND TOUR
You are invited to join a tour to the Holy Land from March 16-25, 2015. All of the important places in the life of Jesus will be included, plus other places of significance. There is also an optional tour to Jordan (Petra) and a day in Istanbul, Turkey. For more information and details, please contact retired Pastor Eugene Kock at 608-318-1079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 24th installment.
Setting a Congregation's Work Program
It occurs to me that this truth may very well have special significance for the members of this district at this time, with many rural congregations losing young adults to the big metro areas. Meanwhile, big metro areas in the heartland often lose members by transfer to big metro areas in fast-growing saltwater areas. Economic circumstances may have changed for Nebraska, but God's steady plan for you has not changed, nor have his steady promises to you.
I am reminded of another not-so-pleasant period in the history of the synod about sixty years ago, when the synod was saddled with a paralyzing indebtedness of $752,000. (And remember, that was three-quarters of a million 1930 dollars.) I was told by the man who at the time was chairman of the synod's Board of Trustees that there were many at that time who thought the synod wouldn't make it through. Banks were refusing to honor checks written by the synodical treasurer! That staggering indebtedness was paid off during the years of the Great Depression. Can you believe that? What we saw in 1936, and what God intends for fiscal year 1994-95, is another fulfillment of his promise that his work done his way will never lack his supply.
I am not always going to be able to explain how Christian people living under financial limitations may be able to support an ongoing and even expanding congregational program. We must provide for corporate worship and Christ-centered education and worker training and mission outreach. Based on today's data I can't see tomorrow's victories. But that just shows the limitation of my understanding. I don't know what lies ahead as far as transfers in and transfers out. I can't control whether the graduates of my Bible information class will want to become members. I won't be able to show on paper that this work program makes unimpeachable business sense.
But I recall fondly how, in a comparable set of circumstances, a layman stood up in a congregational voters' assembly. He argued in favor of adopting a congregational budget with an expanded mission goal, even though there didn't seem to be dollars to do it. After many years I can still hear his words. "I'm convinced the Lord is calling us to do this larger work, and I'm going to vote for it. I don't know where the funds are going to come from, but I'm convinced that when you're determined to follow the Lord Jesus and his will, the responsibility for success rests with him and not with us." (But do we admire that spirit, or grumble against it and question its intelligence?)
As attendees of the WELS Worship Conference hear and learn about introducing worship customs like the liturgical procession (a cross and Bible are carried to the altar at the beginning of the service) and the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, we may voice this question, "But isn't that Catholic?" Please think of how these practices may be of benefit to our worship attendees at St. Paul, Lake Mills. What feelings and opinions might we have to overcome?
Patrick Arndt, Worship Board Chairman
But isn't that Catholic?
by James P. Tiefel [abridged version – read the full article on the St. Paul Website]
In a workshop on teaching worship to children, I had encouraged participants to use the Sampler's musical settings of the psalms in their classrooms. The workshop had just ended when a teacher asked a very pleasant but obviously frustrated question. "All my life I've been taught that chanting was Catholic," she said. "How can I convince myself and other people that it's all right for Lutherans to chant the psalms?" Her question was a variation of a question which hundreds of WELS members have asked when they have been introduced to new worship forms. How are WELS pastors and worship leaders to answer that question?
"It's not Catholic at all"
That's the easiest answer and it is also the most accurate. The chanting of the psalms was a part of the worship of believers 1500 years before anything resembling Roman Catholicism appeared on the scene, and scholarly research indicates that the Sampler's settings may not be so different from what Old Testament believers heard and sang. Many customs which people perceive as being "Catholic" are actually very Christian and very Lutheran!
"We use many Catholic forms"
Isn't that the truth! It doesn't take a liturgical scholar to notice the similarities between our Lutheran liturgy and an English version of the Roman Mass. Again, it was Luther who saw to it that the Reformation did not trample on the church's traditions.
"So what if it's Catholic?"
That's a better response than it may seem at first glance. There can be no doubt that Roman Catholicism still holds to a false theology. But neither the church nor its members are completely without the gospel. What does it matter if a Lutheran paints a picture of Christ or a Catholic paints a picture of Christ so long as both pictures say about Christ what the Scriptures do? Martin Luther set the pace for the churches of the Reformation when he let it be known that he would throw out of worship whatever harmed the gospel and bring into worship whatever proclaimed the gospel.
"Let me explain"
The perception that certain rites and ceremonies are symbols of Roman Catholic heresy developed, in some cases, over many years and may even have been reinforced by well-meaning church leaders. People need time to analyze and redirect those perceptions and that's why none of the answers suggested by this article's headings is really adequate. The key ingredient is education, first for ourselves and then for our people. Perhaps with patience and education the day will come when more WELS members can enjoy more of the symbols and ceremonies of Christian worship without wondering if the use of such signals the loss of the gospel!
With the celebration of Pentecost Sunday, which is on June 8th, the Festival half of the church year comes to a close and we begin what is called the “non festival half of the church year.” The Festival half of the church year focuses on the person and work of Christ Jesus. The non-festival half of the church year, which is called the season of Pentecost, focuses on the life of the Christian as guided and empowered by the Word of God. In the assigned readings this summer, we will have opportunity to learn again about the characteristics of the Holy Ministry, the Christian, the Church, our God, and the Christian life. Take a look at the spiritual feast that awaits us this summer:
June 8, Pentecost 1
The Holy Ministry proclaims the Triune God
June 15, Pentecost 2
The Holy Ministry stands on the rock-solid truth of God’s Word
June 22, Pentecost 3
(A special service led by Pastor Charles Bonow)
June 29, Pentecost 4
The Holy Ministry is given by God out of compassion for his people
July 6, Pentecost 5
The Holy Ministry preaches Christ in spite of persecution
July 13, Pentecost 6
The Christian loves God above all things
July 20, Pentecost 7
The Christian fines rest in Jesus
July 27, Pentecost 8
The Christian is planted by the Word and produces fruit
August 3, Pentecost 9
The Christian lives as wheat among weeds
August 10, Pentecost 10
The Christian seeks spiritual wealth
August 17, Pentecost 11
The Christian trusts God to provide
August 24, Pentecost 12
The Christian answers doubt with faith
August 31, Pentecost 13
The Church is meant for all people