2015 Spring Lamplighter
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Transcript of 2015 Spring Lamplighter
Rooted and Growing:In Christ. In Community.by Pastor Kyle Bitter
Over the past year, the Board of Outreach and the Communications Committee have been working on establishing a permanent brand for St. John’s to use as we reach out to our community. One major piece of this project has been the design of a memorable and unique logo that represents our ministry as a church and school. Through consultation with several graphic designers and after gathering input from both congregational leadership and the membership at large, the logo you see on this page has been chosen. Look for this logo on church and school publications, our website, bulletin cover, e-news, and other places. Ian Welch is the graphic designer who produced this piece of art for our congregation. Here are some of his words regarding the symbolism in this particular design: One of the things that stood out during the first month of research was the strong history of lay members and leadership at St. John’s in Wauwatosa. In researching other churches, it seemed as though the church itself stood or fell by the pastors—the shepherds of the sheep. St. John’s has endured many ups and downs throughout its long history, but during those times the layity have stood out as a beacon of light and solidarity to continue preaching the truth of God’s life-giving Word.
This is something that could not be overlooked and directly affected the design process. Other consideration were the gospel of “St. John” and its use and symbolism throughout the history of the Christian church and during the church year. St. John’s current mission statement and the
mission statements used over the past century were studied and also influenced the design of the logo.
This concept . . . makes use of the cross as the central element of the logo. An eight-pointed cross [note: four leaves create four additional points–ed.] is used that references the “Eighth Day” used by St. Augustine of Hippo which is a symbol of Holy Baptism and New Creation. Eight sided objects are frequently used in churches—Martin Luther, being keenly aware of its significance, also used its symbolism in his sermons and in churches.
The [leaves] protruding from the corners have also been used to symbolize the Resurrection. During the Easter season, the Gospel readings are often from the Gospel of St. John. [The] leaves in this concept pictures Jesus’ words in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches.” The end result is a timeless presentation that is both ancient and modern; rooted in history, yet approachable; and that will serve you well for decades to come.—Ian M. Welch
During the evaluation process, several other connec-tions came to light. When this logo was first observed, many people felt as though they had seen it somewhere before. Such an observation shows the influence the architecture of our church had on this logo. A somewhat similar cross can be seen on the wooden organ case and on the front of the balcony. The shape of the leaves can be seen on the sides of some pews and in much of the woodwork in the front of the church. This logo also connects in a meaningful way to our ministry through our school. This logo reflects the “Rooted and Growing” campaign that built our school and that is engraved on our school cornerstone. In time, our community will come to identify this logo with our ministry as a church and school.
B o a r d o f D i s c i p l e s h i p
B o a r d o f D i s c i p l e s h i p
THANK-YOUThank-you for all your care and support through our illnesses and John’s death. Your prayers and kind words are just what were needed. For our pastors, special thanks and blessings on your continued ministries— especially Pastor Leyrer who has been beside us during so many challenges. Your funeral message echoed through our entire family.—Carol S. Hanson and family
by Pastor Eric Schroeder
Have you ever wondered where the idea for the season of Lent came from? Maybe you just assumed that it must be in the Bible somewhere. It’s not. Countless scholars have done the research, but none of them have been able to come up with the definitive answer. The best guess is that the concept of Lent developed sometime in the early church, when early Christians agreed that it would be a good thing to review the life and work of Jesus Christ on an annual basis—thus the “Church Year,” which begins with Advent and ends with End Times. Right at the heart of the church year is the most glorious festival of all: Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord.
Those same early Christians must have decided that the death and resurrection of Jesus deserved more than just a day or three in the church year, so they included a 40-day period of repentance and preparation for the celebration of Easter (you may remember that the Sundays in Lent don’t count towards the 40 days—every Sunday is meant to be a “little Easter”). They began with a reminder that on our own, we are condemned sinners, dust and ashes before a Holy God—Ash Wednesday. And now here we are today, in the early days of another Lenten season.
How should we be observing it? Should we eat less or cut certain foods out of our diet? Should we pray more? In Christian freedom, we can observe Lent however we choose—or not observe it at all! If we asked Jesus himself how to observe Lent, what would he say? Wouldn’t it be along the lines of something like this: “Come and see. See how much I love you, how much I gave you, how much I still have to give you. See the crown I wore to give you the crown of life. See my hands. See my side. See my tomb.” You see, Lent isn’t about anything we do or don’t do. It’s a 40-day intensive focus on what Jesus has done for us. That’s a tradition worth keeping.
Lent—A Tradition Worth Keeping
After the Ash Wednesday communion service, on February 18, worship for our midweek services will follow the Lenten series entitled: I tell you the truth . . .
E February 25, Midweek 2: . . . One of you will betray me. (Pastor Grunewald) E March 4, Midweek 3: . . . Anyone who sins is a slave to sin. (Pastor Knickelbein)
E March 11, Midweek 4: . . . Faith can move mountains. (Pastor Amborn)
E March 18, Midweek 5: . . . Fruits of faith will be remembered. (Pastor Leyrer)
E March 25, Midweek 6: . . . You will disown me. (Pastor Wilcox)
Not pictured:Mark Gaub
B o a r d o f O u t r e a c h
Mission Trip 2015by Pastor Kyle Bitter
You may have noticed some of the dedicated work our teens have been putting in over the last couple of months in preparation for this summer’s mission trip to Rock Hill, South Carolina. Whether it’s helping out at the Advent dinners, ushering for services, or any number of other opportunities, it’s been great to see so many of our young people serving their Savior. On the mission trip, teens will have the opportunity to help Illumine Lutheran Church run a summer camp for their community. Illumine was established in 2013 and because they are relatively small, this effort could not take place without the help of our congregation. What an opportunity to help! There are only four months until the mission trip, and many families are already making summer plans. Here is what you should do if you would like to go:
1. Set aside July 11-19 on your summer calendar. 2. Continue earning service points by getting involved at St. John’s. Twenty points are needed to go. Many teens have almost finished earning their points, but it’s still not too late to start. There are lots of opportunities coming up soon. Documents with opportunities to serve are available at www.sjtosa.org/youth, or you can contact Pastor Bitter for additional ways to get involved. 3. Your $50 participation fee is due at the end of March. The rest of the cost is covered through the generosity of our congregation. Checks can be made out to St. John’s.
B o a r d o f D i s c i p l e s h i p B o a r d o f O u t r e a c h
Kai (pictured left) and Eva (pictured right) with Pastor Yu
Baptismal Blessingsby Pastor Joshua Yu
Kai Zhang and Eva Shen were baptized at St. John’s last month. Both Kai and Eva are international students from China studying at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Over the past five years, St. John’s Chinese ministry has recruited about 50 Chinese students for WLHS and Luther Preparatory School. Some of these students begin their studies at St. John’s in 8th grade. We now have one Chinese student at St. John’s and will have another join in February. In the past three years, four Chinese students have finished 8th grade at St. John’s.
International students like Kai and Eva now make up the largest number of participants at St. John’s worship services in Chinese. Thanks be to God! He uses Chinese ministry at St. John’s to do gospel ministry outreach to our Chinese students, their parents, and even their grandparents.
Discovery Day 2015by Brenda Denk and the Christian Education Society Committee
The big day is just around the corner! Friday, March 20, is Discovery Day at St. John’s School. Discovery Day is such a great time for our students to learn about so many things—some things that they have never tried before and some things that they just love to do. They always come home with great stories about their day!
The day starts off with an all school assembly which gets the students and faculty excited for the events of the day. The end of the day is also an all school assembly which serves to bring the school back together to close an awesome day.
The remainder of the day is split into three or four 45-minute sessions. Topics range from art to science, theater to dance, and have also included dogs, lizards, frogs and all that is crawly. Every year Nature in the Parks plays a big role in the days’ events. Our own Mary Gaub, who works with Nature in the Parks, has done sessions on making paper, introducing the students to an 1800s pioneer school, and learning about salamanders and other critters.
The 7th and 8th graders participate in Discovery Day by going on an off-campus field trip. These trips have included visits to Cave of the Mounds, Camp Phillip, and Discovery World.
To make the day go smoothly, helpers are needed for Discovery Day. Volunteers assist during presentations, serve lunch, set up for the day, and clean up after the day’s events. Food donations are also appreciated. Everyone is invited to attend the events of the day. Please notify the school office at 414-258-4214 if you’d like to attend so that a schedule of events can be forwarded to you and so we can plan for lunch attendance. If you are interested in volunteering or donating food, please contact Brenda Denk at 414-327-7077 or fill out the Discovery Day volunteer form, available in the school office.
B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n
B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n
Not pictured:Dan Westfahl
B o a r d o f P r o p e r t i e s
Volunteers Needed!by Kurt Kramer
Just as your house needs maintenance, so do our church and school. The Board of Properties works with our staff, called workers, and members to determine the repairs, improvements, and maintenance needed on campus to keep things looking good and working well.
Members volunteer in several areas, such as mowing lawns, weeding gardens, making minor repairs, painting, or carpentry. We occasionally need professional plumbers, electricians, carpenters, or other trades for minor repairs. If you are a professional tradesman and would like your name added to our call list, please contact Kurt.
Our church and school also need to adhere to state and local codes. The Board of Properties coordinates annual inspections of elevators, fire suppression systems, and heating and cooling systems to ensure a safe environment for our faculty, staff, students, members, and visitors.
Spring and summer are busy times for the Board of Properties. The grounds are prepared for the growing season, facility work is done, and school areas are cleaned and prepared for the next school year.
Please prayerfully consider volunteering to help. We are looking for teens and adults to volunteer at church and school. Check out the list below and contact Mr. Kurt Kramer at [email protected] or 414-507-0307 if you are interested.
B o a r d o f P r o p e r t i e s
Board of Properties Coordinator
Pass the Salt PleaseIt may sound mundane, but during winter we need someone to check the level of the salt buckets at church and school and refill as needed. You should be able to lift 50 pounds. These duties take about 30 minutes each week during snowy weather.
Power Equipment PrepWe need someone to prepare the power equipment owned by the church for use this spring. This task also includes moving the equipment between the church shed and the school garage. You should have some experience with lawn mowers and other small gasoline powered equipment and should be able to lift 50 pounds.
Light Bulb ChangerHow many volunteers does it take to change a light bulb? Perhaps just one or two! We need someone (or a group of someones) to check and change burned out light bulbs at church and school. Light bulbs at school are generally checked and changed twice a year and bulbs at church are changed as needed. You should be comfortable working overhead on 6- and 8-foot step ladders. Don’t worry . . . this position does NOT include changing light bulbs in the pendant fixtures in church! For access purposes, these duties are handled on weekdays and take 4–6 hours twice a year.
WeedersThink Spring! We need a team of folks to weed flower and shrub beds around church and school. You should be able to work on your knees comfortably and enjoy being outside. You will need to bring your own garden tools. We will gladly provide training upon request. During the growing season, these duties take 1–2 hours every other week.
Lawn MowersCalling all lawn rangers! We need people to mow the lawns at school, church, and our lots up the street. You should be familiar with running walk-behind lawn mowers, riding mowers, edgers, or line trimmers. We hope to get a large group here so these duties would take about 3–4 hours a week per person.
PaintersWe’re not looking for another Rembrandt here, just some people who are good with a brush. Different areas of church that are in need of a touch-up throughout the year. You should be comfortable working from a 6-foot step ladder and have experience painting. Supplies and materials will be provided.
E x e c u t i v e B o a r d
E x e c u t i v e B o a r d
Executive Board Updateby Bill Dittman
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” On Sunday, January 25, 2015, St. John’s observed its annual Mission and Ministry Sunday. During Bible class, the Executive Board presented the Ministry Plan to the congregation. We highlighted accomplishments and achievements from 2014 that were bestowed on St. John’s through God’s grace and then looked forward to goals and direction for 2015.
In 2014, the Executive Board oversaw the revision of the Constitutional Bylaws, created a Long Range Planning Committee to identify options for the growth of our church and school, and implemented a Task Force to smoothly transition to a new Office Manager, Sharon Kieselhorst.
For 2015, our emphasis will be directed to Stewardship as we transition into our next three-year plan. We will work closely with the Communications Committee to enhance the timeliness and clarity of communication with the congregation. We will help develop a Leadership Training Program so that more of our members will be equipped to serve by using their God-given gifts and talents. We will also continue to monitor developments with regards to Long Range Planning and the future of our congregation.
A copy of the 2015 Ministry Plan presentation is available at www.sjtosa.org. To access it, log in as a member, click on “church,” and look for the Ministry Plan link on the right side of the page. If you need assistance, please contact the church office. Thank you for your prayers.
P a s t o r a l S t a f f
Large Group:A Study in 1 CorinthiansMr. Al Greschner March 1-March 29
Being a Christian in Our Congregation Pastor Eric Schroeder April 12-May 17
Small Group:The Lord’s SupperRev. Dale Baumler March 1-29
Creation, Evolution, and the Relevance of GenesisMr. William Krause April 12-May 17
2015 Spring Pathways Bible Studies
MemorialsIn Memory of John Hanson December 2014, from Thomas and Loris Gabel, Judith Goetz, Betty McGowan, Ronald and Jean Schroer, Marshall and Barbara Scheibe, Roger Hanson, George and Ann Schubert, Harland and Ramona Strohschein, Joyce Vanselow, Frank and Marian Smith, Norbert and Marie Sprengeler, Jeanette Kupferschmid, Delores Schmeling, Eldyn and Sara Tarbush, Frederic Zoerb, Kathleen Maag to General FundIn Memory of Lawrence and Adelia Birmingham December 22, 2014 from Ernest and Darlene Tarmann to Debt Reduction In Memory of Fred and Linda Baumann December 29, 2014 from William Baumann to General Fund In Memory of Roberta Hahn January 16, 2015 from Annette Birkholz to General Fund In Memory of John Hanson February 6, 2015 from Thomas Sholes to General Fund
Not pictured:Michael Henning
B o a r d o f S t e w a r d s h i p / F i n a n c e
B o a r d o f S t e w a r d s h i p / F i n a n c e
We Give Thee But Thine Own Financial UpdateOur members’ response of a 19% pledge increase in dollar commitments for ministry plan operation (general fund) 2015 compared to 2014 is cause for thanksgiving and gratefulness to God for moving the hearts of his people. The amount necessary to cover our monthly school building payments (capital fund) for the next year was also reached through the generosity of God’s people, for which we are also most grateful. However, our stated desire to double the number of member commitments from last year to our current one year “We Give Thee But Thine Own” building fund/debt reduction appeal was not met.
Because of its importance to the conversation we wish to have at the end of this year on the future building needs of our congregation, increasing this base of support will be the subject of our March Council Project of the Month. Please offer prayers of thanksgiving for blessings received, as well as prayers for trust and wisdom as together we seek how best to participate in the kingdom work God continues to set before us.
Our members’ response of a 19% pledge increase in dollar commitments for ministry plan operation (general fund) 2015 vs 2014 is cause for thanksgiving and gratefulness to God for moving the hearts of his people. The amount necessary to cover our monthly school building payments (capital fund) for the next year was also reached through the generosity of God’s people, for which we are also most grateful. However, our stated desire to double the number of member commitments from last year to our current one year “We Give Thee But Thine Own” building fund/debt reduction appeal was not met. Because of its importance to the conversation we wish to have at the end of this year on the future building needs of our congregation, increasing this base of support will be the subject of our March Council Project of the Month. Please offer prayers of thanksgiving for blessings received, as well as prayers for trust and wisdom as together we seek how best to participate in the kingdom work God continues to set before us.
General Fund Pledge Comparison
Pastoral ActsBAPTISMSBaptisms - ChildrenAubrey Elyse Simon November 5, 2014 Dayanara Ann Chavez November 8, 2014 Erin Marie Siever November 15, 2014 Emily Grace Shortts December 2, 2014 Annelise Noelle Young December 14, 2014 Norah Patricia Plamann December 27, 2014 Evelyn Dorothy Dodd January 24, 2015 Joseph Lawrence Totsky January 25, 2015 Baptisms – AdultEva (Xiao) Shen January 10, 2015 Kai Zhang Janaury 10, 2015
ADULT CONFIRMATIONMiss Zewei (Brooke) Ji January 10, 2015 Mr. Scott Rivers January 10, 2015
MARRIAGESErin Cleary & Evan Towey December 31, 2014
ASLEEP IN THE LORDCarole Dresang November 19, 2014 Sandra Greenfield November 29, 2014John Hanson December 12, 2014Georgian De Leeuw January 26, 2015
Pastor Yu baptizing international student Kai
Not pictured:Mark Meissner
B o a r d o f E l d e r s
B o a r d o f E l d e r s
Worship OpportunitiesOur Lent and Holy Week worship services will focus our attention on the contrasts between the ways of God and the ways of the world. E February 18, Ash Wednesday: Which kind of sinner are you? E February 22, Lent 1: Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Chorus E March 1, Lent 2: Carry the cross or serve yourself? E March 8, Lent 3: Accept parts of God’s Word or all of God’s Word? E March 15, Lent 4: God’s plan of salvation or another? E March 22, Lent 5: Glory before God or before other people? E March 29, Palm Sunday: Jesus’ suffering: coincidental or intentional? E April 2, Maundy Thursday: poverty or riches? E April 3, Good Friday: joy or sadness?
Worship at St. John’s during the Easter season reminds us that Jesus has Risen for a Reason. E April 5, Easter Dawn: Risen for you and me! E April 5, Easter Festival: Risen to drive away fear E April 12, Easter 2: Risen to offer peace against
all odds E April 19, Easter 3: Risen to work through his word E April 26, Easter 4: Risen to be our good shepherd E May 3, Easter 5: Risen to produce fruit in our lives E May 10, Easter 6: Risen to change the world through us
E May 14, Ascension: Risen to mark his work complete E May 17, Easter 7: Risen to lead his people
Membership ChangesNEW MEMBERS
BY TRANSFER Mrs. Janelle (Fenske) Brinkman from Good Shepherd, West Bend, WI Mr. Aaron Matter from David’s Star, Jackson, WI Ms. Sharon Plautz from Good Shepherd, Downers Grove, IL Mrs. Kiara (neé Winters) Ristow from St. Luke’s, Watertown, WI
BY ADULT CONFIRMATION Miss Zewei (Brooke) JiMr. Scott Rivers
BY PROFESSION OF FAITHMr. David CarlsonMr. Robert Romboy
TRANSFERRED TO SISTER CONGREGATIONSMr. & Mrs. Bernard (Rachel) Banks and Mackenzie to Riverview Lutheran, Appleton, WIMr. Joshua Bartz to Our Savior, Grafton, WIMs. Nicole Belter to Zion, South Milwaukee, WIMr. & Mr.s Jonathan (Emily) Ebeling and Josiah to St. John’s, Newburg, WIMr. & Mrs. Eric (Jill) Howe and Miranda & Adrienne to Illumine, Rock Hill, SCMr. & Mrs. Kevin (Kathy) Miller to Trinity, Redgranite, WIMr. & Mrs. Benjamin (Erin) Murphy and Bryar & Cole to St. Peter, Appleton, WIMr. & Mrs. Aaron (Rachel) Nikodem to Morning Star, Jackson, WIMs. Jennifer Shaw to Bethlehem, Menomonee Falls, WIMr. & Mrs. Kieth (Katie) Szerkins and Sawyer, Sydney, Hadley & Emily to St. Mark, De Pere, WI
RELEASED BY REQUESTMs. Caryn JohnsonMrs. Nicole Rosenberg and daughter, Aniah Brown
Not pictured:Kerry Kuehn