St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church Newsletter

June 2018

Ephesians 6:4:  Father’s do not exasperate your children.  Instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Dear Members of St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church,

            As you read this newsletter we are just days past the graduation of both St. Paul’s 8th grade and the senior class at Lakeside Lutheran High School.  We pray for God’s blessings on this year’s graduating classes from our Lutheran Schools.

            Did you know that Christian education has always been a big part of St. Paul’s history for 125 years?   Already on June 21, 1893, when St. Paul formally organized as a Lutheran congregation, the members saw to the need of Christian education stating in its original constitution that “Luther’s Catechism is to be used as the textbook for religious instruction for our youth and for adult instruction.  In the 75th Anniversary Booklet of St. Paul, it also states this:

Already at the time a resident pastor was being sought, efforts were being made to strengthen the Christian education and training of the young. Firmly believing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Christian parents welcome the Lords urging to Bring them up in the nurture and instruction of the Lord.’” (Ephesians 6:4)

            Acting on that firm belief in the spiritual training of youth St. Paul introduced summer school in 1900 making arrangements to use the public school for no charge. During the winter months school was to be conducted four days a week and the pastor, Herman Gieschen, was the teacher. Classes were taught in the church basement and in 1908 St. Paul called its first full-time teacher, Mr. Harmening.  From that time on, St. Paul has called and supported full-time teachers to assist parents with the spiritual training of the Lord.

            That the members of St. Paul have supported generously the effort of Christian education is demonstrated by the history of one of its past members by the name of Miss Johanna Thielke.  How so?  From the 75th anniversary booklet it states this about her,

 “At the annual meeting in January of 1924 it was reported that Miss Johanna Thielke had willed the balance of her estate, $2100, to the congregation with the capital and interest to be used toward the erection of a new school building.  This was the same Miss Thielke who in earlier years had herself assisted (Pastor Gieschen) in the schoolroom.  Herself an orphan, she showed a love for children all her life.

 Advancing age increased her frailty.  But from her Prospect Street home she overlooked her own privations and distress as she looked across the open field toward her churchs basement schoolroom exit. With tears in her eyes she said, Every time I see our children coming out of the basement of the church I feel the need of a new school building. Beloved by her Savior she fell asleep in Jesus giving her all that his lambs might also have better facilities to learn of his love

 It was Johanna’s generosity that helped sow the seed for the building of a new school in 1958.

            In 2005 the generous support of many other St. Paul members made it possible to build our current school facility.  That continued generosity also makes it possible to support a staff of full-time teachers and hired staff to run St. Paul school.   What additional space the Lord will provide to help St. Paul continue the work of assisting parents in bringing up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord, only he knows.  But what we do know is that full-time Christian education on the grade school level at St. Paul and the high school level at Lakeside has been a big part of the gospel ministry of St. Paul.  May the members of St. Paul continue the generosity that it will take to support that work and may the Lord continue to bless it as he has in the past!

Serving You in Christ,

Pastor Bruce McKenney


As we head into the summer, there are many things for which to be thankful ... for 22 young people who confessed their faith on their Confirmation this spring, for the gifts of God’s people on our Commitment Weekend, for ministry to serve, the Gospel to preach, and planning to be done as we keep serving our Savior here in Lake Mills.


The weekend of Sunday, May 6th was our Congregation Commitment Weekend. God has blessed us with many families who are joining together as we continue forward in this work together. Here is a copy of the letter that was read at the close of worship on the weekend of May 20th:

“Whenever we enjoy the bounty of the Lord we often bow our heads and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his mercy endures forever.”  Dear Members of St. Paul, we have reason to give thanks to the Lord and to celebrate. Several weeks ago, we had our commitment Sunday when our members made a three-year commitment of gifts toward our building program.  As of today, I am happy to announce that we have received commitments of $4.1 million in offerings and in-kind gifts for our building program.  We know that there are more families who will be making commitments in the coming days, and it is our prayer that all of our families will join us in this effort.  According to his experience, Larry Ulrich, our capital campaign advisor stated that congregations can expect up to 20% more in commitments following the commitment Sunday. If his experience holds true for us, it is possible that in the coming weeks we may reach our goal of $5 million.

The Building Committee met this past week to start making plans to move forward. Over the next month they will bring concrete options for our congregation to discuss and on which to vote.

The Building Committee now asks you to join in this effort in the following ways:

            1) Pray that the Lord would continue to bless us and guide us in this building program;

            2) If you have not yet made a commitment to this building program, please join your         fellow members and do so now;

            3) Please attend the open forums that will be arranged in the coming weeks.  The purpose of these open forums will be to seek your input to assist the Building             Committee in setting the priorities in building efforts.”


On Memorial Day weekend we began 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.


Our 6th grade teacher, Mr. Dais, has returned a divine call to teach 5-6th grade at Faith Lutheran School in Tacoma, Washington. We pray for God’s continued blessing on his service among us!


Jason Zweifel graduated from Martin Luther College with a double major in education: K-12 and an emphasis in Spanish.  He deferred taking a call this year and is instead going to Quito, Ecuador in August for a year. There he will be working at a school and also helping the two WELS missionaries who are there.


Congratulations to our members graduating from high school this spring!  From Lake Mills:  Zachariah Brocker, Olivia Christ, Anna Glock, Daniel Kaufman, Katie Klug, Brittney Rockney, Mathias Schuett, Joshua Woodland.  From Lakeside Lutheran:  Sofia Asmus, Sophia Collins, Jordan Gade, Noah Gartner, Emma Guld, Benjamin Hodel, Ethan Miller, James Neuberger, Shane Schultz, Dylan Thurnbauer, Cassidy Wilson.


The goal of our Parish Ed board is to help you and your family keep growing in God’s Word. We organize things like our Sunday School, adult Bible studies, and our youth group. Many of our members have been asking about if we could start more small group Bible studies, which we're looking into for this fall. To plan for all that, we're asking you to give your input in a survey we're distributing this week. You can find the survey at If you aren't able to fill out the survey online, there are paper copies available in the gathering area. 


On Sundays from 9:15-9:45 am throughout the summer, we're excited to have "Family Bible Hour," beginning on Sunday, June 3rd. People of all ages - from families with little children to senior citizens - are invited to meet together in the half classroom. Our Family Bible Hours this summer will focus on "Christ in the Family". Each week, we'll pick up a different topic about growing families rooted in Jesus Christ. The course we’re using is written to be multi-generational, with kids, teens, parents, and grandparents all talking through family issues together.


Beginning this September, St Paul is organizing gatherings in smaller groups in homes to do Bible study and to get to get to know one another in a different setting. The plan is to offer 8 weeks of gatherings in various homes around Lake Mills and offer it 3 times a year. This will be a great way for members to connect outside of Sunday mornings and school events. Watch for more details coming your way this summer and "sign-up" schedules will be available this Fall! 


This year WELS is celebrating 125 years of mission work in Apacheland. Over the summer, the church library will house different items from our Apache brothers and sisters. Make sure to stop in and see beautiful bead work, woven baskets, traditional camp dresses and more!

 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.

 Did You Know? – Worship Board
Part of our ongoing communication series

  • The Paschal Candle is the tall candle located in the chancel in front of church. 
    • The candle represents Christ and His resurrection, and is lit for services from Easter until Ascension. 
    • After Ascension, the candle is lit during baptisms throughout the church year passing the light of Christ to each person baptized. 
    • The candle may also be used at funeral services to serve as a reminder to us that the sacrament of Baptism is itself a death and resurrection in Christ. 
    • It testifies to our Christian certainty in the resurrection of the dead and life with Christ in the world to come. When you see the candle lit, remember how Jesus raises us from death to life. 
  • There are roughly 175 individuals that volunteer their God-given time and talents, on a yearly basis, to help make four church services a week possible. We thank God for all these individuals and gladly accept more volunteers in ushering and greeting.

Did You Know? – Stewardship Board
Part of our ongoing communication series

  • We will be continuing the Generosity Journey with Generis consultant Larry Ulrich, to build on the momentum of the capital campaign
  • Our members with appreciated assets may find it “tax smart” to donate such stocks or mutual funds rather than cash. Check with a board member if you have a question.
    • St. Paul has a brokerage account at Edward Jones to accommodate such gifts, often for an annual gift or a campaign commitment

 Did You Know? – Finance Board
Part of our ongoing communication series

  • Salaries and benefits of our called workers makes up about 55% of our 2 million dollar annual operating budget,  broken down as follows:
    • $250K Pastoral Staff
    • $701K LES Teachers
    • $120,800K 3K and 4K Called Teachers and Aides
  • The total cost per student to attend St. Paul Lutheran School last year was $5,420.   Our congregation subsidized $4,160 of the total cost with the remainder ($1,260) covered by the student. 

Did You Know? – Fellowship Board

Part of our ongoing communication series

  • Sign-up sheets will soon be available for the 5th Annual Milwaukee Brewers WELS Night at Miller Park.  This year's event will be taking place on Friday, August 3rd when the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Colorado Rockies.
  • The Summer Picnic/Pig Roast is scheduled for Sunday, August 5th.  This wraps up the conclusion of the St. Paul Vacation Bible School.  
  • We are looking for ideas and volunteers for hosting a special celebratory event for 125 years of our congregation in Lake Mills.  If you would like to share or help, please contact a member of the Fellowship Board.    


In conjunction with the DNR, the city of Lake Mills, and St. Paul a bike path spur is being constructed from the Glacial Drumlin Trail to the north end of our property.

·    The spur was approved by the voters just over two years ago when a 50/50 matching grant became available through the DNR thanks to the spearheading of several of our members.

·    Our cost is $25,000.  To help pay for the path, St. Paul approved funds to come from the PTL funds and if needed the remaining funds to come from school memorials.

·    The path should be completed by the end of May.

·    The path will now allow families to bike to school; allow the cross country and track teams to use the bike path rather than Hwy 89; allow the summer care to take more field trips off campus throughout the city, and various other off campus activities.


The budget for the next fiscal year was adopted, including funding for an Executive Director position which will be filled, God-willing, in the coming months. Anticipated enrollment for next year is in the range of 424-429. Lakeside's request for an assignment to teach Science was granted. Our newest faculty member is Mrs. Hannah Uher. She joins Pastor Mike Helwig, Mr. Nate Sievert, and Mr. Justin Vanderhoof as Lakeside's newest faculty additions. We are overjoyed that the Lord has provided all four workers and we ask that he bless each of them as they take up their new duties here. A new course called The Principles of Engineering was approved as the second course in Lakeside’s STEM curriculum. It will first be offered in 2019-2020. Currently, 81 students have been verified for the Wisconsin Parental Choice program.


Mission Society will be meeting on June 4th.  Come for fellowship at 7 PM and enjoy the presentation on Martin Luther College at 7:30 PM.  


Congratulations to all who are celebrating special (multiples of five years) anniversaries this summer.  We join you in praising God for his blessings.

Gordy & Micha Petersen         June 4                30 years
Adam & Amy Zimmermann   June 14                15 years
Steve & Bonnie Spencer        June 15                 50 years
Dan & Dawn Neuberger         June 18                30 years
Boyd & Nancy Warren           June 22                55 years


MERRILL KUHL departed this life on APRIL 26, at the age of 100.  His funeral was held on April 30.  May the Lord comfort his loved ones through his Word.


We express sincere gratitude for these recent memorial gifts presented to the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings):

In memory of MERRILL KUHL, $165
In memory of OLGA WASCHER, $10


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.

May 6              $ 22,861
May 13            $ 22,224
May 20            $ 25,576
May 27            $ 23,336

Also received during those weeks were gifts of $29,651 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $529 for the Improvement Fund, $11,345 for Phase 2 Building, and $10 for Wisconsin Lutheran Child & Family Service.


We have scheduled a fellowship outing to the baseball game between the Madison Mallards and Kenosha Kingfish on Tuesday, July 10.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.  We have the tailgate tickets reserved, which include a meal before the game.  Cost is $20.  Sign up and pay in the office by June 18.


Shop: Summer is for having fun, and Twice is Nice can help you with clothes, activities and equipment! 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: Summer is also a great time to help others! Call the store at 920-674-6868 to try it yourself or with a friend! Tuesday, June 5 and Monday, June 18 continue to be open work nights from 5-8 p.m. 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!