St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church Newsletter

July 2018

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1)

Whenever you mention July in this country, what date automatically comes to mind?  JULY 4TH!!  This day, known as "Independence Day” has become a national holiday and a date that marks our nation’s independence. We celebrate with fire works, parades and cook outs!  We celebrate freedom, but it was freedom that came at a cost.  242 years ago, our nation’s founders risked life and limb, along with those who paid the high price and sacrificed their life to form a new nation. They paid the cost because they knew that it would bless future generations. We are free!

There is another date in July that is significant in our history here at St. Paul. 125 years ago, on July 20th, 1893, our congregation was incorporated and came into legal existence with “religious, charitable, moral and educational purposes.” Because of the freedoms of this country we were able to buy land, begin a ministry and start a school.  This came at a cost to our founding 18 member families that signed the constitution. They paid the cost of time, talents and treasures because they knew that this would bless future generations. Look where we are today, we are blessed!

An ever greater cost was paid than our founding fathers and our founding members paid almost 2000 years ago. There was only one who could truly set us free. Not from foreign nations or big mortgages, but from the one thing that held us all captive - death!  Jesus came to set us free, but this freedom came at a cost. This cost our God was willing to pay. His perfect life sacrificed to take the place of ours. His death on a cross has set us free. The resurrection guarantees this freedom. Free from sin! Free from death! Free to live a new and holy life!

This July, celebrate our independence! Celebrate 125 years of freely proclaiming the Gospel here in Lake Mills! But above all, celebrate every day that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!”

Free indeed!

Pastor Tomhave


At the district convention this past month, Pastor McKenney was reelected as circuit pastor of our Lakeside Circuit. Pastor Tomhave and Pastor Nass helped lead our teens at the WELS International Youth Rally in Bowling Green, Ohio at the end of June. Summer is a time of vacations and a break from some routines, but the work of planning and preparing for the fall continues. Two things to keep an eye out for that are coming this fall: We’re celebrating St. Paul’s 125th anniversary, and we’re working with our Parish Ed board to launch some small groups.


On Sundays from 9:15-9:45am throughout the summer, we're hosting "Family Bible Hour." People of all ages - from families with little children to senior citizens - are invited to meet together in the half classroom. Our Family Bible Hour 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.

Did You Know? – Parish Education Board

Part of our ongoing communication series

  • The goal of our Parish Education Board is to help you and your family continue to grow in God’s Word. We organize programs like our Sunday School, adult Bible studies, and the St. Paul youth group.
  • Many of our members have been asking if we could start more small group Bible studies, which we are looking into for this fall.
  • If you’re on the church email list, you should have received a link to a survey that will ask you for any suggestions or input you’d like to share to help us better plan these small group studies.  If you’re unable to fill out the survey online, there are paper copies available in the gathering area.
  • On June 26-29, twenty-three members of our St. Paul youth and five adult chaperones will be attending the WELS International Youth Rally at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. 
  • Members of the St. Paul Vacation Bible School (VBS) committee are gearing up for this summer’s VBS. Our VBS will run from July 30 - August 3 this year.  The theme is “Under Construction.”

Did You Know? – Future Planning Committee (Part 1)

Part of our ongoing communication series

The Future Planning Committee (FPC) has developed a new Purpose, Values, Vision and Mission Statement for St. Paul which was adopted by the Congregation.  Further, the FPC developed 10 year Targets, 3 year Pictures and 1 year Plans.  The final items to be developed were recommendations to the Church Council in two areas; Ministry and Structure/Function.

The Ministry Working Group created three sub-committees to develop recommendations in the areas of Worship, Outreach and Nurture (Parish Education and Fellowship).

  • The Worship sub-committee presented 5 recommendations ranging from usher duties, greeter operations, use of projector and screens and several other items.
  • The Outreach sub-committee presented 3 recommendations which highlighted contacting new residents, creating a staffed visitor site, and more use of advertising for the church and school.
  • The Nurture sub-committee developed 6 recommendations which included conducting a survey on parish education classes, creating a volunteer directory, examining offering childcare for educational and fellowship activities, and 3 more items.

These recommendations have been forwarded by the Church Council to the current Worship, Outreach and Parish Education Boards for review and possible implementation.

Did You Know? – Future Planning Committee (Part 2)

Part of our ongoing communication series

The Future Planning Committee (FPC) has developed a new Purpose, Values, Vision and Mission Statement for St. Paul which was adopted by the Congregation.  Further, the FPC developed 10 year Targets, 3 year Pictures and 1 year Plans.  The final items to be developed were recommendations to the Church Council in two areas; Ministry and Structure/Function.

  • The Structure and Function Working group was tasked to look at more of the administrative and operational functions of the congregation. They evaluated what we do, how we do it, and with whom we do it.
  • The Structure and Function Working group developed recommendations for personnel and staffing needs in the short term, and for the future depending on what expansion decisions are made by the congregation.
  • The Structure and Function Working group made recommendations regarding the hiring authority and supervisory responsibility for all non-called staff positions.
  • The Structure and Function Working group, at the request of the Church Officers, developed a recommendation for the creation of a Ministry Operations Manager position.
  • The Structure and Function Working group, after discussions with the Church Officers, made recommendations revising and streamlining the current administrative organization.

All of these recommendations have been given to the Church Council for their consideration. When the Council is ready, these recommendations will be brought to the voters for review, discussion and approval. 

Did You Know? – Outreach Board

Part of our ongoing communication series

  • As Rev. Paul Kelm described during his July 25th, 2000 address to the WELS Home Missions Conference, Christians tend to use the terms “Outreach” and “Evangelism” interchangeably.  However, they are two distinct activities of the church.  “Outreach” is the effort to connect with people based on a secular need or interest.  “Evangelism” is presenting the gospel to people.  Outreach must eventually lead to Evangelism.  If we perform one but not the other, we risk limiting or abandoning the mission of the Church.     
  • Several of our members attended the WELS Commission on Evangelism School of Outreach over two Saturday sessions.  There were many great ways given to improve each of our personal outreach efforts, included below are just a few suggestions to help make connections with people already in our lives:  
    • Listen to people and what they need.  Many times people are searching for security or healing.  
    • Show your heart and how much you care for their secular and spiritual well being
    • Connect them with St. Paul through our many programs and events.  You don’t have to start with inviting them to worship.  
    • Introduce them to other Christians in which they may have much in common. 
    • Be open about how much you enjoy and appreciate being a part of our family at St. Paul.  “Nothing advertises like a satisfied customer.”
    • Be persistently patient and don’t forget to pray for them!


The Building Committee has some information to share with the congregation and desires to receive more input and reaction from the members.  Two Open Forums have been set for 9:15am on Sunday July 8th and at 7:30pm on Monday July 9th.


The Church Council has set a tentative date for a Special Voters’ Meeting for Sunday July 15th at 11:00am.  The purpose will be to act on proposals regarding the building program in response to the open forums.


We are looking to hire for the 2018-19 school year for a Before School Childcare position (6:30-7:30 am), an Early Afternoon Preschool position (11 am–3 pm) and a School Aged After School Care position (3-6 pm) and an Assistant Preschool Teacher (7:30am-3:00pm)   For more information contact Allie Byers or Steve Gartner, 920-648-2918.


St. Paul school lunch program is looking to hire a an Assistant Cook beginning in the 2018-19 school year.  This position would work from 8 AM to approximately 1:30 PM – the perfect job for that mom whose youngest is now in school all day.  For more information contact Steve Gartner, 920-648-2918.


Under the leadership of Dr. Dennis Gulczynski, a committee of members has been making tentative plans to observe St. Paul’s 125th anniversary. Here are the projects/events, one of which has already happened:

  • A new church directory
  • An updated history
  • An outdoor service on September 23rd to which we will invite the community.
  • An anniversary celebration reunion Sunday in conjunction with Mission Festival on October 13-15, 2018.
  • Sponsor for the community a concert by the First Brigade Band.

Part of the celebration will involve congregational projects to celebrate the spread of the gospel locally, nationally, and globally. 

Locally:  Pastor Jonathan Bauer, a son of St. Paul and the founding pastor of a home mission in Mt. Horeb, WI., will be our guest preacher on September 23rd.  The anniversary event that weekend will include a project to support that home mission.

Nationally:  It is also the 125th Anniversary of our work among the Apaches in Arizona.  St. Paul would like to sponsor a team of members, 4-5 people, to go down for 4-5 days at the end of October to help our fellow members there with their anniversary events.  If you are interested in being a part of that team, please speak to one of the pastors immediately since we need to let them know by the end of June.

Globally:  For our mission festival, we will have a guest preacher from the Synod office regarding our work in Pakistan and India and somehow reconnect with the two congregations from India for whom we built churches when we built our current facilities.


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!

Don & Lois O’Connor               July 5                   60 years
Andrew & Sarah Weihert         July 6                   5 years
Jake & Meghan Schultz           July 20                 5 years
Jim & Gayle Bauer                   July 22                 45 years
Paul & Alana Enger                  July 25                 10 years

A belated acknowledgement with apologies to John and Johanna Chworowsky, who observed their 60th anniversary on June 29th.


Last month we inadvertently missed a graduation.  Congratulations to Allison Steffen on her graduation from Lakeside Lutheran High School.


We welcome the Andersen family to our Family!

Jacob and Lateesha, along with their children Shayane, Javaise and Davonte were welcomed by transfer last month.  Lateesha's history with St. Paul goes all the way back to when she was 7 years old. After a short move away, she is now back in town. She has been married to Jake for 20 years. They run a small construction business and Jake is a machinist and a state & nuclear certified welder. Lateesha works for the state as a CNA. They have been blessed with three children and Grandma Betty (also a member). Over the years together they have also fostered five children. Welcome back home to St Paul!  


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

In memory of MARGIE THOMSON, $30
In celebration of the 75th wedding anniversary of Fred & Donna Poweleit, $25


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.

June 4             $ 27,330
June 11           $ 22,281
June 18           $ 25,562
June 26           $ 23,289

Also received during those weeks were gifts of $11,597 for the Building Fund (Bountiful Blessings), $609 for the Improvement Fund, $9,832 for Phase 2 Building, and $100 for Tuition Assistance.


Summer concerts for the WELS Wind Ensemble will be held Thursday, July 19 at 7 PM in Arlington City Park and Sunday, August 12 at 4 PM in the Swan Park Band Shell in Beaver Dam.


Shop: Watch for our Christmas in July sale! We will sell Christmas crafts and large Christmas display items. Don’t forget our 50% color tag sale that runs the last week of each month. 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.

Volunteer: Summer is also a great time to help others! The Jefferson County Fair brings many new customers to the store – will you help us prepare for this surge? New volunteers are especially needed for sorting and stocking, no prior experience required! Can you plan a volunteer date with a friend? Call the store at 920-674-6868 and ask for the Day Manager to set up a day and time.


Our annual OWLS PICNIC is scheduled for July 17, 2018, third Tuesday of the month, beginning at 12:00 NOON, held at Aero Park, 907 Boomer Street in Watertown. Bring a dish to pass, your tableware and beverage. Members of St John, Waterloo will provide brats and buns. Our next season's 2018-2019 program schedule will be ready to hand out. Aero Park has a shelter with electrical and restrooms. Turn off Highway 26 just north of the airport on Boomer Street, less than a mile north of WalMart. Please invite others. The Organization of WELS Seniors (OWLS) provides meaningful activity for those retired and/or 50 years and older. We pray for good weather and hope to see everyone at the picnic. Come and enjoy spiritual growth and fellowship with other WELS and ELS seniors!


Alpha Life Resource Center in Watertown will be holding their annual Ice Cream Social and Silent Auction on Sunday, July 22 from 10 am to 1 pm.  It will be held at St. Mark’s School Commons in Watertown.  For more information, see the poster on the bulletin board in the lobby.