“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
In the hallway outside our sanctuary stands a flip-through display filled with pictures. Most of them are in black and white, though the more recent are in color. Some of the earliest are missing, but overall it’s very complete. It’s a history in photos of the young men and young women who have been confirmed over the last 125 years here at St. Paul.
Yesterday (as I write this) I overheard some of our young people talking as they looked through those pictures. They were especially interested because their picture is about to be added to that collection. They commented on the picture where all the guys have matching bowties. They checked to see what the adults they know looked like when they were fourteen.
But the point of keeping those pictures is not so that we can look back at the fashion trends of the 1950s. It’s not a complete record of the membership here at St. Paul. Instead, it is an attempt to capture in photographs something that is spoken on the lips and hidden deep in the heart … a confession of faith. Every single one of the young men and women you see there was photographed just after they declared publically that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who died for them. They vowed to remain faithful to him, even if the only alternative were death.
In the passage above, the Apostle Paul urges Timothy to hold onto his confession of faith, to fight the good fight of the faith and, in the end, to take hold of the eternal life that is God’s gift to us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Satan would like nothing more than to loosen our grip … to give up the fight … to ultimately lose Christ and eternal life. Confirmation photos can sometimes be a sad reminder of those who once believed but later turned their backs on their Savior.
So we at St. Paul press on. Fashion trends and hair styles come and go. Each generation grows older and is called home (and that includes you and me, too). But Jesus doesn’t change, and neither does our shared confession of faith in him. For 125 years Jesus Christ has been confessed by the members of St. Paul. That is continuing right now. We pray that God would use us—through our everyday ministry, through our current Connecting campaign and building project, through every means he puts at our disposal—so that his Word is proclaimed here, so that people confess their faith here, so that we take hold of eternal life there in heaven.
Serving Christ by serving you,
Pastor Timothy Nass
It was wonderful to celebrate Easter with you this past month, and we’re looking forward to the confirmation of 22 young people in their Christian faith. As we wrap up another school year and get ready for the summer, may God be with you and your family and keep you growing in him. Along with you, we’re eagerly waiting to see how God will bless our Commitment Weekend!
The weekend of Sunday, May 6th is our Congregation Commitment Weekend. God has generously blessed each of us in different ways. Come join us in our gospel ministry here at St. Paul and make a commitment to help us keep connecting to Christ, each other, and our community.
Thursday, May 10 is Ascension Day. We hold a special worship service at 6:30 p.m. with participation by the Praise Singers, Junior Choir and Handbells.
On Sunday, May 20 the Lakeside Lutheran High School A cappella Choir will sing in our worship services. Sign-up to bring breakfast items in the lobby.
That weekend we’ll also be rejoicing in the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and celebrating the results of Commitment Weekend.
On Memorial Day weekend we begin the summer worship schedule. The late service moves to 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 27. The other services remain the same: 8 a.m. on Sunday, Saturdays and Mondays at 6:30 p.m. This summer schedule continues through Labor Day weekend.
DIVINE CALL ACTION
Our 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Enger has returned a divine call to teach physical education at Luther High School in Onalaska, WI. We pray for God’s continued blessing on her service among us!
Our 6th grade teacher, Mr. Dais, received a divine call to Faith Lutheran School in Tacoma, Washington. The call is to teach 5-6th grade along with the extra duties of athletic director and technology. Feel free to give Mr. Dais any thoughts you might have as he deliberates where the Lord might have her serve next year. Above all, keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.
CHURCH OFFICE HELP: DATA ENTRY
Since last October we've been implementing a new church database. We're hoping that later this year we'll be able to open it to all our members so that you can see an online directory and other features. But first, there's a lot of work to do to get it ready. For more details talk to Terri Happel or Laurie Strache or to one of our pastors. Since the new database is cloud-based, you could probably do the work from your home computer.
HELP PLAN OUR 125TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
This year we're celebrating 125 years of God's grace to us as a congregation here at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lake Mills. Here are some of the things we have in mind for this fall:
- a weekend with a special worship service and cookout
- an updated history of the last 125 years
- possibly a mission trip to the Apache churches in Arizona since it's their 125th anniversary this year as well.
If you'd like to help with the planning, talk to one of our pastors.
Did You Know? – Elders Board
Part of our ongoing communication series
- St. Paul gained over 100 new communicants this past year. Our communicant membership now stands at 1,253. This is an increase of 1.2% from the end of 2016.
- We have had just under 34% of our members at weekend services so far this year. This is an increase from the 33.3% in 2016. Last year our weekly attendance did not fall below 30% for the first time in many years.
- The Elders Board has been attempting to contact delinquent members who have not attended in the past 6 months. This is to encourage them to attend, partake in Holy Communion, and participate in our other church activities more regularly. Contacting members has become more difficult recently as they remove their land line phones and switch to cell phones without notifying the church. If you ever change your phone number, email address or move, please let the church office know.
- Prayer Partners has participated in several prayer requests over the past year. Forms for the requests are available on a table in the entryway of church. A prayer list is generated from the requests and sent to members who wish to pray for those on the list. More members are encouraged to join this group as “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Did You Know? – Mission Society
Part of our ongoing communication series
- The stated objective of Mission Society is to help the mission programs of the WELS and to assist St. Paul Church and School in any way our time, talents and treasures are needed.
- Mission Society supports three WELS missionaries through the LWMS Befriend a Mission program. We are assigned new missionaries every two years.
- Mission Society gave almost $2,000 to a variety of WELS missions and St. Paul programs last year.
- Our programs for last year included: Christian Aid and Relief, St. Paul Power Hour, St. Paul Fine Arts Fair and Forensics presentations, Asia Lutheran Seminary, Lakeside's STEM Program, a WELS ministry overview and two Bible studies.
- Mission Society serves an Advent and Lenten supper each year along with a variety of other meals or snacks throughout the year.
- We meet the first Monday (or second if the first falls after a holiday) from August through June. All the ladies of St. Paul are welcome to attend any and every meeting! We would love to have you join us.
- Upcoming programs include:
- April 9 - Institutional Ministries
- May 7 - Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel
- June 4 - Martin Luther College
Did You Know? – School Board
Part of our ongoing communication series
- The St. Paul Preschool has 53 spots filled already for the 2018-2019 school year. We currently have 55 preschool students enrolled this year.
- Our school has 97 students in grades 3-8 involved in the two school choirs
- St. Paul has 43 students in grades 5-8 involved in our school band program
- We have 23 students involved in school piano lessons
- Many of these same students will be involved in the Lakeside Fine Arts Fair on Saturday-Sunday, April 14-15 culminating in a concert at 1:30 p.m.
Did You Know? – Technology Board
Part of our ongoing communication series
- There are several ways technology is being used here at St Paul. They include:
- Monthly displays of the WELS Connection
- Displays of the verses for all communion hymns
- Weekly recording of church services
- Uploading of church services to YouTube
- Creating the weekly sermon video and audio tracks for our website
- Updating the HVAC system weekly to support the various meetings and events at St. Paul
- While some of the items above may actually be the responsibility of other boards or committees, they highlight the various ways technology is being used here at St. Paul to help fulfill our mission.
- Feel free to contact any of the Tech Board Members, or Pastors, if you would like to volunteer to be a part of any of the activities noted above.
Did You Know? - Property Board
Part of our ongoing communication series
- As a follow up to the previous Property Board communication, the large gym lights have been replaced with LED fixtures, and the countertops and faucets in the lower grade bathrooms have been replaced and look great!
- Our lawn mowing crew uses two large riding mowers and one push mower to keep all of our extensive lawn areas looking great. They are always excited to talk to additional members willing to volunteer!
- Volunteers have the ability to sign up to maintain the various flower garden areas around the property. Please watch for a sign-up sheet to be posted soon if you are interested.
- Our utility bills have been averaging $5,700 a month (about $190 a day). Unfortunately, that is 25% higher than our budget.
Mission Society will be meeting on May 7th. Come for fellowship at 7 PM and enjoy the presentation at 7:30 PM. Our speaker for the evening will be Pastor Jon Bilitz, the campus pastor at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel in Madison.
Save the date! St. Paul will be hosting the fall rally of the Capitol Circuit on Saturday, October 20. The speaker will be Rebecca Wendland, wife of former African Missionary Rob Wendland.
MEALS ON WHEELS
Thanks to our Meals on Wheels drivers: Tara Topel, Judy & Roger Mundt, Marianne Hafenstein, Vi Topel, Vickie Walta, Pastor Rath, Linda Jentzsch, Rose Pfeifer.
WORSHIP SERVICES AND SERMONS ONLINE
Every week we record the sermon and service to broadcast on TV and to share with our members who can’t be with us. We now have those videos on our own YouTube channel and on our website. If you weren’t able to join us, or if you’d like to watch the sermon again or share it with someone, check out the “media” menu on our website or on our new app.
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!
Jim & Jennifer Sukow May 9 20 years
Eric & Michelle Wiberg May 9 20 years
Jason & Nicole Lenz May 10 15 years
Don & Kay Stein May 13 45 years
Dave & Chris Kohlhoff May 14 35 years
Scott & Laurie Null May 14 35 years
Ron & Jane Hans May 25 50 years
Brian & Crystal Cramer May 31 10 years
Don & Jen Schultz May 31 15 years
Jim & Terri Ziebell May 31 30 years
WITH THE LORD
Margie Thomson departed this life on March 27th at the age of 90. Her funeral was held on April 2nd. We pray that God will provide comfort to her loved ones through his Word.
Kris Roe departed this life on April 11th at the age of 64. Her funeral was held on April 16th. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life!
We express sincere gratitude for these recent memorial gifts presented to the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings):
In memory of KRIS ROE, $50
In memory of MARTIN STRAKELJAHN, $100
In memory of LYLE ZIMMERMAN, $100
In memory of MARGIE THOMSON, $105
In memory of MERLIN PFEIFER, $30
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 $ 26,420.
April 1 $ 43,585
April 8 $ 17,775
April 15 $ 20,422
April 22 $ 29,489
Also received during those weeks were gifts of $9,097 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $527 for the Improvement Fund, $160 for Tuition Assistance, $125 for Undesignated Memorials, $2 for Scholarship Fund and $225 for Wisconsin Lutheran Child & Family Service.
ROCK RIVER AREA OWLS
The May meeting of our OWLS chapter will be held at 1:30 PM on the third Tuesday, May 15 at St Mark's Lutheran Church in Watertown. Our guest speaker, Rev. Joel Gaertner, will update us on "The Jesus Cares Ministry." Rev. Gaertner is its Vice President of Ministry and National Director. The Jesus Cares Ministries helps our congregations reach out to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and communities. There will be refreshments. St. Mark's is served by Pastors Jensen (WW District President), Walther, Wells and Bachus, plus some part-time semi-retired pastors. Their Lutheran elementary school operates with a staff of 15. St Mark's Church has been in Watertown for 164 years since 1854 and is located near the downtown at 215 N. 6th Street. OWLS is an acronym for Organization of WELS Lutheran Seniors and ELS, namely, those who are retired and/or 50 years and older. We gather for fun, fellowship, service and spiritual growth. Come and bring a friend!
TWICE IS NICE RETAIL STORE NEWS April 2018
Shop: Sales in May! All jeans will be $1.50/pr through Saturday, May 5. Orange-tag items will 50% off May 14-19. Look for some Mothers Day gift ideas! 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. Come check out the new spring/summer inventory!
Volunteer: We continue to host regular work nights at Twice Is Nice on the 1st Tuesday and the 3rd Monday of the month (for May: the 1st and 21st). The evening hours will run 5-8:30 p.m. Volunteers can come as early as they are available that evening and stay as long as they’re able. No expertise required.
Donate! "Stuff the Truck" at LL the Saturday of Fine Arts Fest was another success, even through the nasty weather – thanks to all who helped by donating or loading/unloading! Keep bringing those spring cleaning donations to the door behind the store from 9-4:30 any day we are open. Questions? Call 920-674-6868, ask for the day manager. Items that cannot be accepted are TVs, computer monitors and printers, appliances, console pianos/stereos/sewing machines, mattresses/box springs, organs and paint.
Martin Luther College Wind Symphony, under the direction of Professor Miles Wurster, will present several concerts in the area on their tour between May 13 and May 18. They will be at Lakeside Lutheran High School on Sunday, May 13 at 7:30 PM. Other concert places and times are on a poster on the bulletin board in the lobby.
LUTHER PREP SPRING BAND CONCERT
Luther Preparatory School will present its spring band concert, entitled "Where in the World is the Luther Prep Band?” on May 6th at 7 p.m. in the LPS Auditorium. It will feature the LPS Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Guitar Ensemble, Brass Choir, String Ensemble, Senior Bells, Ukulele Group and a flute ensemble playing songs from all over the world. Our guest host will be the well-traveled Rev. Paul Prange, WELS Administrator for Ministerial Education. We also welcome former MLC band director Paul Wendland, who will be playing alto flute with the flute ensemble. A freewill offering will be taken to help defray expenses of the band program.
CONCERTS AND GRADUATIONS
Martin Luther College
Concert May 11, 4 & 7:30 PM
Graduation May 12, 10 AM; call day 2 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary
Call day May 24, 10 AM
Concert May 25, 7 PM; graduation 10 AM
Concert May 17, 7 PM
Graduation May 19, 10 AM
Concert May 20, 7 PM
Graduation May 27, 2 PM
A Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at the Lake Mills Municipal Building on Tuesday, May 29, 12 noon- 6 p.m. Call 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED CROSS) to make an appointment.
The Blood Center of Wisconsin will hold a blood drive in the St. Paul gymnasium on Thursday, May 31, 2:30-6:30 p.m.