Early in my ministry, I was given a small statue of Jesus washing Peter’s feet. It sits on my desk as a visual reminder of what Jesus was teaching his disciples - you are called to serve. As one reads through the first 17 verses of John 13, this truth is made clear. In essence, Jesus says, “All power is mine. May I wash your feet, please?”
Not what you’d expect from the richest, most famous, most powerful being that exists. That’s servant work. We expect the wealthy and influential to hire “little” people to wash cars, mow lawns, scrub bathrooms. Yet almighty God in the flesh - Jesus - insists on washing feet.
This is confusing in our world. What a waste! Unless, of course, serving others is the ultimate honor. Our human nature is taught from little on to aim high, grasp for power, seek influence so that others can serve us. How can I get ahead? How can you help me? Our eyes so naturally see others as opportunities to “be served”. This falls in line with our fallen nature that thinks of “me first”.
To this attitude God says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” We don’t. We’ll love our neighbor just enough so people think we are nice. So often we strive to get away with as little as possible. This is selfish. We know it and God sees it. Yet instead of punishing us as we deserve, Jesus invites us to watch him in action. Then he puts on a towel, gets on his knees and washes dirty feet.
Why did our God so humble himself? He didn’t do this as just an example, Jesus was actually serving as our substitute. Jesus, the Creator of heaven and earth, washes dirty toes and then tells us "all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal 3:27). You get credit for his perfect love.
Jesus didn’t stop with foot washing. Later in the week, he gave up his very life for his friends, you and me. God put our sin on Jesus and treated him like he should have treated us. In Jesus we are washed clean of all disobedience. What love - the greatest served the least.
This is now your privilege. Serving others is the greatest honor that exists. Let us love, as he loved us. Keep your towel handy as Jesus lays opportunities all around you to ask, “May I wash your feet, please?”
Together in Jesus’ service,
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Our anniversary celebration on September 23rd was a wonderful morning … a beautiful day … God’s Word and worship with 500 people outside … ice cream. And on top of all that, a unity and fellowship that we share as we live together and serve together and are served together here at St. Paul. What a good thing that is!
Here are some things that were new this month in addition to the ways we regularly serve you as your pastors: Pastor Tomhave and Pastor Nass attended a symposium on the topic of Shepherd Leadership at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Pastor Tomhave and Pastor McKenney each spent a day in meetings at the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry connected to their work on behalf of our synod. Pastor Tomhave is the chairman of WELS evangelism. Pastor McKenney serves as a circuit pastor. We also hosted a conference for the congregations and councilmen of our circuit on September 16th on the topic of rural evangelism.
Mission Society will meet on October 1st. Come for fellowship at 7 PM and then at 7:30, we will learn about Alpha Life Center in Watertown. Our speaker will be Pastor Reuben Schmitz, chairman of the Alpha Center board. That night we will also have a shower for the center. Look for the list of needed items on the LWMS bulletin board in the lobby. During the business meeting we will continue to plan for the upcoming LWMS rally hosted by our congregation.
BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE
On Sunday, September 23rd our Building Committee presented updated rendering of the plan for our sanctuary along with a printed update. Copies are available in the St. Paul gathering area. If you would like a copy mailed to you, please contact the church office.
SUPPORT GOOD NEWS LUTHERAN IN MOUNT HOREB
We thank Pastor Bauer, a son of our congregation and son of Paul and Becky Bauer, for the message from God's Word on our 125 anniversary weekend. He serves a mission named Good News Lutheran in Mt. Horeb. They recently celebrated their 5th anniversary as a church, having been started in July of 2013. What started as a group of 35 is now over 100 with about 75 people in worship each week. Currently, a rented office space serves as their worship and education space. For the past year, Good News has been looking for land to purchase in the Mount Horeb area in order to build its first permanent church home. St. Paul would like to make a special offering to help them accomplish this costly first step. If you would like to give a gift toward this exciting effort, a special offering envelope is available on the information table in the gathering area. Just place the offering into the plate on a Sunday or deliver it to the office. We will send a combined offering at the end of October as an encouragement and blessing toward their future land purchase.
ADVENT by CANDLELIGHT
Make plans to attend this year's Advent by Candlelight event...An Evening with Isaiah. It will be held on Sunday, December 2nd. Advent by Candlelight is an evening set apart for women to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. All ladies 6th grade and older are welcome.
Sign up for attending and/or hosting will start the weekend of November 4th. More information about hosting will be available on the sign up board. You can even co-host with a friend! For more information or any questions, text Becca Lauber at 648-2676 or email at email@example.com
OUR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION CONTINUES IN OCTOBER
On October 14th we will host a reunion Sunday along with a guest pastor who will preach and present about mission work. From October 24-29 a group of St. Paul members will travel to Arizona to assist with the 125th anniversary celebration of WELS World Missions as begun with Native American Missions among the Apache.
SAVE THE DATE: REFORMATION
The area Reformation worship service will be held at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown on Sunday, October 28th at 4:00pm.
SAVE THE DATE: LUTHERAN WOMEN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY
On Saturday, October 20th we are hosting the fall rally for the Lutheran Women's Missionary Society (LWMS). Come hear Rebecca Wendland (author of Bloom Where God Plants You) tell about her life in Africa.
LAKE MILLS FALL FESTIVAL
St. Paul will be connecting with the community of Lake Mills by taking part in the Fall Festival this year, held on Sunday, October 7th. We will be filling an unmet need by providing activities for the children and families that attend the event. Through bouncy houses, crafts, and give away items we hope to connect socially with Lake Mills residents and further introduce them to the St. Paul preschool program and elementary school. The Chamber of Commerce is organizing the event and is very appreciative of the difference we will bring to the festival. We need at least (8) volunteers to help with various tasks over the course of two “shifts” that day, approximately 9AM – Noon and Noon – 3 PM. Please consider joining us and using this opportunity to help show St. Paul’s commitment to the community and its events, and also highlight our school.
Contact Paul Enger at (firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-509-5531) with any questions or to sign up. When you sign up, please specify which shift you prefer. Thank you!
OBITUARY EMAILS At St. Paul we want to support each other through times of joy and sorrow. Some of our members have asked if there's a way to let everyone know more quickly when someone in our church family has been called to glory in heaven. So, in the future, we plan to send out a copy of the obituary as an email. If you're not on our email distribution list and would like to be, please contact the church office.
BUILDING PROJECT SUBCOMMITTEES The Building Committee has met with our architect four times in the last seven weeks and is preparing to bring the congregation an updated site plan based on feedback we've received over the past year. The next phase will be to start working on the details. We'll form a number of subcommittees and will need help from many of our members. A yellow sign-up form has more information about specific subcommittees. If you'd like to help, please fill one out!
LUTHER PREP PRESENTS Romeo and Juliet, Together (and alive!) at Last on Saturday, October 20 at 7 PM and Sunday, October 21 at 2:30 PM in the auditorium. General admission seats are $6-no RSVP. Saturday also has a dining option at 5:30. Must RSVP by October 5 online: lps.wels.net/page/performing-arts/fall-play or call Sue at 920-262-8104.
USHERS NEEDED: The new usher schedule will be coming out soon. We are in need of more ushers, especially father/son(s) usher teams. If you are willing to help serve your Lord and fellow members in this way, please let one of the pastors know or send an email to email@example.com
OFFERING STATEMENTS can be picked up on the table by the library.
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!
Terry & Carol Loroff October 1 30 years
Bill & Erica Marty October 11 15 years
Dan & Lonnie Schmidt October 14 40 years
WITH THE LORD
GERALD MAAHS departed this life on September 4, at the age of 74. His funeral was held on September 8. May the Lord comfort his loved ones through his Word.
VIC GENNERMAN departed this life on September 5, at the age of 86. His funeral was held on September 11. Blessed are those who die in the Lord!
MARIAN GARTHWAIT departed this life on September 12, at the age of 96. Her funeral was held on September 17. Our hope is in Jesus, who said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
We express sincere gratitude for these recent memorial gifts presented to the Phase II Building Fund and Bountiful Blessings:
In memory of VIC GENNERMAN, $35
In memory of BRENDA MYERS, $380 and $60 for Tuition Assistance
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.
September 2 $ 22,966
September 9 $ 14,745
September 16 $ 17,851
September 24 $ 15,663
Also received during those weeks were gifts of $15,141 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $296 for the Improvement Fund, $78,986 for Phase 2 Building, $225 for Undesignated Memorials, and $20 for Tuition Assistance.
All summer flowers are to be removed by October 15. If family members wish to save any decorations they should be removed before October 15. Fall and winter wreaths can be placed after November 1. Items other than live, cut or artificial flowers and wreaths are not allowed. Veteran’s flags were placed by our sexton, Gene Burrow for the summer. They will be removed now and new ones will be placed next spring.
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH REOPENED
Lakeside Lutheran High School has reopened its search for an Executive Director. Qualified individuals with a desire to serve in Lakeside's ministry to teenagers are encouraged to apply. A position description is available from Lakeside or from St. Paul that will better inform prospective candidates of the desired qualifications and skills for this position, along with its relationships, responsibilities, and benefits.
Applications will be accepted through the end of the school day on October 15, 2018. They may be mailed to: Principal James C. Grasby, Lakeside Lutheran High School, 231 Woodland Beach Road, Lake Mills, WI 53551 or emailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTOBER 2018 NEWS FROM TWICE IS NICE
Shop: Fall brings sweater weather and seasonal home décor opportunities, and Twice is Nice can help you with that! We’re easy-to-find and open Mondays-Saturdays from 9-5 PM: just a minute or so east on the Hwy 18 exit off the 26 bypass at 907 W. Racine St., next to the Jefferson Piggly Wiggly.
Volunteer: Sorting nights continue the 1st Tuesday and 3rd Monday of each month from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 2 and Monday, October 15 will be open work nights. We are hoping to see more new faces – LLHS parents that work during the day, grandparents, friends, groups from Federated congregations, you! Come at 5 PM or any hours you can spare those nights. Enter via the back-donation doors. Help is greatly needed at this time to sort clothing! Call the store at 920-674-6868 and ask for the day manager with any questions.
ROCK RIVER AREA OWLS
Our local chapter of the OWLS will hold its second meeting of the new 2018-2019 season at St. John Lutheran Church in Jefferson on October 16th at 1:30 PM. Naomi Plocher will present a monologue in recognition of this year's anniversary at our synod's Apache mission at Peridot, Arizona. Her topic: "Anna Dowidat Plocher, Apache Missionary Wife 125 Years Ago." Refreshments to be served, courtesy of the St. John ladies.