YES, ESTABLISH THE WORK OF OUR HANDS!
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)
As we make plans to break ground on a new sanctuary in 2019, this prayer at the end of Psalm 90 has been on my mind.
Psalm 90 is the one Psalm we know was written by Moses. Its main theme is God’s eternity in stark contrast with our mortality. He never changes; we live 70 or 80 years. Everything God establishes lasts; the very best things humans produce are temporary, like grass that is green one day and brown the next. Apart from faith, that glaring reality can drive people to cynicism. “If I am going to die and nothing in this world endures all that long, why should I even try?!?”
But that’s not how Moses ends the Psalm. It’s true that our lives and the things we accomplish are fleeting. But God, who is unchanging, is able to (even purposefully chooses to) use the work of our hands and the words of our lips to accomplish his eternal plan. That’s why the final verse of Psalm 90 is a prayer that God would establish the work of our hands, yes, establish the work of our hands.
When the work is exhausting and the cost is enormous, it’s easy to wonder whether it might all be for nothing. But someday in heaven, looking back from the perspective of eternity we will see just how much it was worth it, just how much eternal work God did through us.
So, let’s throw ourselves into the work of God’s ministry here at St. Paul. Let’s proclaim the gospel in our preaching and teaching. Let’s reach out to the world around us. Let’s build a new church. Let’s do all that and more with this prayer: May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands!
Serving you in Christ,
REVIEW OF BASIC DOCTRINE CLASS
We are starting another “basic doctrine” Bible class. It will be offered twice a week starting Thursday, February 7th from 6:30 pm till 8:30 pm, and on Sunday, February 10th from 9:15 am -10:15 am. The class is intended for those want to learn what we teach and believe on the basis of God’s Word and for members who want to review the truths of salvation that they learned long ago. You can sign up in the lobby or call the church office at 920-648-2235. If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor McKenney.
The new round of Connect groups started the week of January 27. It’s not too late to join! For more information, contact the church office.
Our sixth grade teacher, Mr. Andy Dais, has accepted the call to teach grades 5&6 and serve as athletic director at St. Paul Lutheran School in Howards Grove, WI. He will continue teaching here at St. Paul the rest of this school year. More information will be brought to the annual voters’ meeting on February 3 about plans to call a teacher to replace him. Mr. Dais, may God be with you, Bonnie, and Grace as you prepare to transition to your new field of ministry!
Our 5th grade teacher, Alana Enger, has received a call to teach middle grades math at Divine Savior Lutheran School in Doral, FL. Please keep the Engers in your prayers as she deliberates the two calls she now holds.
Mrs. Gail Mateske, our 3rd grade teacher, has announced her retirement at the end of this school year. May God bless her as she finishes the school year and transitions to life outside a called worker.
ANNUAL VOTERS’ MEETING
Our annual Voters’ Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 3rd at 11:45am. Come hear updates, ask questions, share ideas, and give your comments as we discuss our ministry together. This annual meeting is especially important because we will be setting the course for our ministry in 2019. The main things that will be brought to our voters for decisions are:
Elections for council and board positions
With Mrs. Mateske's coming retirement, both the St. John Newville and St. Paul Lake Mills church councils are recommending that the current call-sharing agreement between the two congregations be ended. That would mean that St. Paul, rather than St. John, would call for the next 3rd grade teacher.
We will have a large kindergarten class enrolling in the fall. Our church council will bring a proposal from the school board about how to staff our kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year.
Annual trust fund distributions
SANCTUARY VOTERS’ MEETING DECISION
On Sunday, January 27th, a special voters’ meeting was held to decide whether or not to move forward into construction with our plans for a new sanctuary. The resolution passed by a vote of 53-7. May God be with us as we prepare to build a new church!
Mission Society meets on Monday, Feb 4th at 7:00pm for fellowship and refreshments. At 7:30 Ruth Hirschfeld and LLHS students will give a presentation about the Special Friends program. All St Paul members are invited.
We join the following couples in thanking the Lord for blessings received as they celebrate special wedding anniversaries (multiples of five years) this month. May God’s blessings continue on you and on all of our families!
Patty & Douglas Bradt February 3 30 years
Dale & Theresa Wrasse February 14 35 years
WITH THE LORD
HARVARD LUETZOW departed this life on December 30, at the age of 98. His funeral was held on January 8. Blessed are those who die in the Lord!
EUNICE RIDDLE departed this life on January 20, at the age of 89. Her funeral was held on January 26. May the Lord comfort her loved ones through his Word.
Our review of Christ’s love and goodness during the recent weeks provides motivation for our giving for the work of his kingdom. His daily blessings supply the means to do so. May our response always be grateful and generous! Offerings of recent weeks for the general operating budget are listed below. Average weekly needs are currently $ 27,900.
January 6 $ 36,198
January 13 $ 24,189
January 20 $ 22,447
January 27 $ 25,058
Also received during those weeks were gifts of $6,044 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $375 for the Improvement Fund, $24,041 for Phase 2 Building, $331 for Scholarship, and $1,510 for Tuition Assistance.
We express sincere gratitude for these recent memorial gifts presented to the Phase II Building Fund and Bountiful Blessings:
In memory of JOHN CHWOROWSKY, $25
In memory of MARSHA HOPMANN, $355, $250 toward a new oven
In memory of GILBERT RYDER, $50
In memory of HARVARD LUETZOW, $680
In honor of CHRISTIAN STUEBS $300
Thanks to our Meals on wheels drivers: Vicki Walta, Marianne Hafenstein, Vi Topel, Dinah Elliot, Rose Pfeifer, Tara Topel, Roger & Judy Mundt and Connie Wilson. If you would like to volunteer to help with this service, call Darlene Meyers at 920-648-5436.
ROCK RIVER AREA OWLS
The OWLS chapter will have its February gathering at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc on February 19 starting 1:30 PM. Rev. Nathan Strutz of Resurrection, Verona will present "Rural Evangelism & New Church Startups." Our OWLS meeting is at the St. Matthew Church site, still located on the city's west side at 818 West Wisconsin Ave.
CAMP BIRD FOR LUTHERANS - Registration is now open!
Registrations are now being accepted for Camp Bird. Camp Bird for Lutherans is a youth camp for children in grades 5-8. It is located near Crivitz in Marinette County on Sand Lake. The price for each child is $150 per week. Swimming, canoeing, boating, hiking, challenge course, kickball, volleyball, archery, handicraft, campfires, Bible study, games, camp songs and many other activities are waiting for you this year! Three weeks are available in July:
*Sunday July 7 – Friday, July 12
*Sunday July 14 – Friday, July 19
*Sunday July 21 – Friday, July 26
For more information or to download the registration form, please visit www.campbird.org.
TWICE IS NICE RETAIL STORE NEWS, February 2019
We finished 2018 strong! Our December 2018 sales were up 7%, due in no small part to the approximately 1,100 boxes of Christmas items that were placed on floor for sale throughout the season. Total sales for the year were $670,000!
Volunteers: Thank you to Lakeside student helpers last month—see these young people in your congregations and ask what’s it’s like to volunteer: Oliver Butler and Luke Marti (St. Matthew, Oconomowoc), Kayla Laures and Emily Meske (St. John, Jefferson), Rachel Mayer (St. Paul, Fort Atkinson), Jackson Stake (Eastside, Madison), Espen Storlie (St. Paul, Lake Mills). We so need a Shoe department volunteer, as well as back door donation un-loaders. Could that be you?
Shop: We have “color” sales every month – February is YELLOW! Find outstanding bargains anytime – even our regular prices beat other stores’ clearance prices! We’re easy-to-find and open Mondays-Saturdays from 9-5 PM: just a minute east on the Hwy 18 exit off the 26 bypass at 907 W. Racine St., next to the Jefferson Piggly Wiggly.
Please Donate! Donations can be brought to the door at the back side of store from 9-4:30 any day we are open. Questions? Call 920-674-6868, ask for the day manager.