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
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 Friends at St. Paul,
Churches—why bother with them? They have problems. Sometimes people in them argue with one another. They’re always asking for money, right? They get blamed for people’s psychological problems as they point out guilt and wrong behavior. Have thoughts of that kind ever crossed your mind?
In the verses quoted we hear that Christ loved the church and that includes the people in it. He sees it as important, so much so that he sacrificed himself for it. Yes, the church consists of sinners, but sinners that have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We are now holy in his sight. We are radiant and gorgeous. You might recognize these verses from the section that uses the relationship between Christ and the church as a model for husbands and wives in marriage. We believers are Christ’s bride, dazzling in beauty just as a lady coming down the aisle on her wedding day, adorned in the most expensive dress she likely will ever wear.
Our beauty comes solely through Jesus and his work for us, so we cannot brag but we do rejoice in it. We certainly recognize that the church is something our Savior regards highly. So will we also cherish it. We delight in our opportunities to gather as members of Christ’s church to hear God’s Word and to receive the forgiveness of sins the gospel proclaims. We love and care about our fellow believers who gather with us. We look to expand our fellowship by spreading that gospel message.
The scripture readings of our services in the coming weeks will bring messages about the nature of the church. May God bless us as we grow through his Word and lead us to appreciate his church! See you in God’s house.
Serving you in Christ’s name,
Pastor James Rath
QUARTERLY VOTERS’ MEETING – CALL EXTENDED
St. Paul voters meet on August 24. At this meeting a call was extended to Rev. David Scharf to serve on our pastoral staff. He graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2005 and has served since then at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Greenville, Wisconsin. He also serves as chairman of the Northern Wisconsin District Commission on Evangelism and of the synod’s Commission on Congregational Counseling. He and his wife Beth have six children ranging from ages 1-12. We pray that the Lord will guide Pastor Scharf as he deliberates our call.
St. Paul’s School is opening the new term with 169 students in grades K-8 and 33 in the Early Childhood programs. Theme for the school year is “Living for Jesus”. The financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30 noted regular offerings of $ 1,003,278, which was 5% short of the budgeted amount. Remitted to WELS was $ 70,000 and to Lakeside, $ 145,000. All mortgage payments were made, but the mortgage fund is down to $ 29,368. The loan balance is $ 2,448,582. Approval was given to transfer $ 15,000 from the directed memorial accounts to the mortgage fund, to be repaid when the Stolzman house proceeds are received.
Thanks was expressed to all who helped with Vacation Bible School, youth rally trip, church picnic, Relay for Life, parade entry, car show, Ragnar race and the many individuals who volunteer in the school. The Lakeside report noted a freshman class of 95 students and a total enrollment of 354.
As summer comes to an end, we return to our fall schedule. The late worship service on Sunday moves back to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 7. All other services remain the same: 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Monday, 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. Sunday School and Bible classes meet at 9:15 a.m.
SUNDAY SCHOOL & BIBLE CLASSES
Sunday School registration will be held on Sunday, September 7 at 9:15 a.m. Classes begin on Sunday, September 14. Sunday School is offered for children age three through sixth grade. Classes begin together in the church at 9:15 a.m. for an opening devotion and singing, then move to their individual areas.
Two teen Bible classes are offered: grades 7-8 meet under the name Roots and grades 9-12 meet as Branches. These classes also meet at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays, beginning September 14.
Adult Bible classes resume on Sunday, September 7, also at 9:15 a.m. One class will begin the year studying the epistle to the Galatians. It highlights the doctrine of justification and our freedom in Christ. This class will also be offered on Wednesdays at 9 a.m., starting September 2.
The history of the early church until the time of Luther:
Pastor McKenney will be teaching a Bible class on Sunday mornings that will cover the history of the early Christian church until the time of Martin Luther. Here are some of the questions we will consider: “Why did Jesus have the apostle John write special letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor that are part of the book of Revelation in the Bible?” “Who wrote the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed and why do we still use them today?” “Why did the early church begin the custom of sponsors and the church rite of confirmation?” “Whose false teaching has poisoned much of ‘praise’ worship that is so predominant in America today?” “How did the pope become the pope?” “Who started the Baptist church?” “Are the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic, and the Episcopalian the same, or are they different?” These are just a few of the topics that will be touched on in this class. Come and learn again how “church history” really is “His story.”
BIBLE INFORMATION CLASS
We are prepared to offer Bible Information classes this fall. The class reviews the teachings of God’s Word in preparation of adults for membership or as a beneficial review for current members. The first weeknight class will meet for one hour on Tuesday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m. Another class will meet for two hours starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 13. At these first sessions we will determine to exact future schedule. If neither option fits your needs, please contact one of the pastors in advance.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY
St. Paul Women's Bible study meets on Tuesday mornings from 8:00-9:00am in the school library beginning on September 2. Their first curriculum for the year will be "Recharge, Reach Out, Rejoice!", a Bible study created by the Lutheran Women's Missionary Society. This is a six-part study with each part written by a different woman, done under the guidance of the two pastors on the LWMS board of directors.
They welcome and encourage women from all walks of life who are connected with our church and school to attend. It lends a lot to their discussion to have attendees with a wide-range of experiences and circumstances.
Look for the St. Paul Women's Bible study page on facebook. They will post announcements and hopefully share discussion from that week's class on the page for those who are not able to attend.
While activities did not stop during the summer, those weeks did provide some opportunity for time away from regular routines. Planning also occurred to prepare for the services, classes and programs to be offered this fall. We look forward to working with you in the months ahead.
St. Paul Mission Society will meet on Monday, September 8, at 7 p.m. Following dessert and fellowship, Becca Doering will present a report on the International WELS Youth Rally held in Knoxville, Tennessee this past summer. All ladies are invited.
Congratulations to these couples who are celebrating special (multiples of 5 years) anniversaries this month. May God continue to bless you and all our homes!
Kent & Lora Kautzer
Adam & Kimberly Gusse
Mike & Deborah Schumacher
Mark & Mary Brown
Joel & Gayle Medenwaldt
WITH THE LORD
THOMAS CHRISTOFFEL entered life eternal on August 10, at the age of 90. His funeral was held on August 15. May the Lord fill his family with peace through his Word.
SCHOLARSHIP FUND ENVELOPES
The offering packets for September include an envelope for the Scholarship Fund. Gifts received in this envelope support students from St. Paul who are attending one of our WELS schools preparing for fulltime church work. Proceeds are placed in the Trust Fund, so the gifts keep on giving. Annual distributions are given. The students appreciate your support.
What do you have that God has not given you? Our earthly lives are blessed, but even more so we have untold wealth spiritually, with heaven waiting. We respond to God’s goodness with gifts for his work. Our budgetary offerings of recent weeks are listed below. Average weekly needs are $19,760.
July 27 $ 11,316
August 3 $ 18,137
August 10 $ 12,706
August 17 $ 14,094
August 24 $ 16,511
Also received during those weeks were gifts of $10,728 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $659 for the Improvement Fund, $140 for deficit reduction, $195 for Vacation Bible School, $50 for Tuition Assistance and $1,071 for the Lakeside mortgage.
MEMORIAL & SPECIAL GIFT
We acknowledge with gratitude a gift of $60 to deficit reduction in memory of GEORGE PRANKE and $500 to the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings) in thanks to God upon the 50th wedding anniversary of JIM & KAREN BATTIST.
The Blood Center of Wisconsin will hold a bloodmobile in the St. Paul gym on Tuesday, September 23 from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Appointments to donate can be made online at www.bcw.edu/lakemills .
FLU SHOT CLINIC
Home Health United will offer a Flu Shot Clinic at St. Paul on Sunday, October 12 from 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.
Rock River OWLS (Organization of WELS Lutheran Seniors) will meet on Tuesday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Hustisford. Rev. Larry Schlomer will speak on “Mission Challenges in Mexico”. OWLS invites WELS members who are retired or age 50+ to participate in their activities.
GOING TO ARIZONA?
WELS Kingdom Workers is looking for volunteers to help with a variety of maintenance projects at the Apache Lutheran Mission. Do you have handy-man skills and/or construction experience? Do you live in AZ or plan to travel there? This could be the perfect opportunity for you to serve!
Learn more at http://kingdomworkers.com/apache-mission-maintenance.php, or go to
KingdomWorkers.com - Serve - Opportunities.
Questions? Please contact Laura Harstad:
email@example.com or (262) 955-4643
ALPHA CENTER BANQUET
Please make plans to support the ministry of the Alpha Life Resource Center by joining us at our Fall Auction and Banquet. We need to always be ready to praise, because "I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:14). Gather your table of 8 now! Thanks for your faithful support.
When: Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 4:30 PM Shopping* & Fellowship includes a Silent Auction (incl. hot air balloon rides and a photo safari to Africa!) followed by 6:30 PM Banquet (featuring Pork Chops|Swiss Steak|Mashed Potatoes|Green Beans|Cranberries|Schaum Torte)
Where: Plattdeutscher Hall | 115 S. Second St. Watertown
Who: Supporters of the Alpha Center family ministry
Cost: $35.00/ticket or table of 8 for $250.00+ For tickets, stop in, call or e-mail with name, # of tickets and contact info
313 E. Main St. • Watertown • 53094 | 920•261•9207 | firstname.lastname@example.org
+Reservations required by October 15. *Cash, check or credit card accepted night of event.
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 26th installment.
“Count the cost” was Jesus’ warning against starting something you can’t finish. We’ve heard that and perhaps repeated these words. But that phrase was directed against a faint-hearted attachment to him. Those words were never intended to sanction sailing inside the breakwater, or retreats from the battles of a fighting Church in a hostile world. God is absolutely committed to making it possible for you to carry out his will.
When we have been led to believe the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed, then we may listen to the law again for direction (Formula of Concord: On the Third Use of the Law).
And having listened to the law again, then let us not fail to preach and believe the First Article of the Creed. The sparrows’ God still feeds them, and our dear Father still gives his little children their daily bread. And daily bread is still “everything I need to keep my body and life,” including what it takes to live out a careful and prayerful program of local inreach and outreach, to train teachers and pastors, to send missionaries around the States and around the globe, and to publish the word of Christ in every kind of media.
There’s a significant implication here for the role of the pastor and lay leaders in the congregation’s stewardship education program. It’s a fallacy to imagine that if a congregation’s members are made aware of budget requirements and are urged to respond, there’ll be a rich financial harvest. That’s directing people’s eyes downward, and that’s the wrong direction (or at least an incomplete message). When I look downward I can see too many difficulties and complications which argue against practicing generous and responsible stewardship. I simply cannot agree with a congregational stewardship program which is based on the philosophy: “Show the people the needs, and they’ll rise to meet the needs.” Does a fruit tree produce fruit because the farmer needs it, or because it’s the nature of a good fruit tree to produce fruit? Martin Luther says somewhere that you need not tell a Christian that he should love the Lord just as you need not tell a pear tree to bear pears.