How often do we feel empty? How much of our life is spent fighting emptiness? Jesus walked out of the tomb, His body fully restored, and left the tomb empty. Victory won, over sin and death, in the empty tomb. When we focus on that victory, won in emptiness, every empty struggle, empty fear, and empty promise is cast aside with the risen Christ.
The tomb was empty! John saw the empty slab with the linen and facecloth folded neatly, but he didn’t rejoice. He was frantic. When Mary Magdalene saw the empty tomb, where Jesus’ ravaged, dead body lay, empty, she was hysterical.
“They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:13)
The feeling of physical emptiness was there, and the feeling of spiritual emptiness was there, but Mary was speaking to Jesus! He was also there.
“He is not here, for He has risen.” (Matthew 28:6)
Victory in the empty tomb! He is RISEN! Hallelujah!
April 28 Congregational Voters Meeting
Join the St. John’s family at the April 28th Voters’ Meeting at 12:15 PM in the lower level of the church. We will have Ministry updates, as well as prayerful determination to extend a divine call to Pastor Brian Lee to serve as St. John’s Connection Pastor.
The Lee Family
Pastor Brian & Diane count themselves immeasurably blessed to be called children of our Heavenly Father. They love being married and have been blessed with three children, Madelyn (7), Caleb (5), and a little girl coming in June.
Both Pastor Brian and Diane were born and raised out West, blessed with Christian parents, and aspire to live their lives and lead their family centered upon the grace of Jesus. They have been a part of congregations in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Algonquin, Illinois after leaving St. Louis, where Pastor Brian attended Concordia Seminary.
Pastor Brian and Diane both graduated from Concordia Nebraska and Diane has degrees in Music and Music Education but has chosen to invest her time at home during this season of life. They enjoy the outdoors and spending family time exploring their community.
“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again,” Jesus had said (John 10:18). So now He does. No other man possesses this authority, to lay down His own life and then to take it back up on the third day. His lungs drew breath anew; His heart resumed beating. His marrow produced all new red blood cells to flow in His veins again. His brain roared to life. His eyelids opened, and, once His now living hands wriggled free from the grave wrapping and removed the face cloth, after some effort, His eyes saw again. The stone that had been heavy with creation’s sadness at the death of her Creator was rolled away, and He got up, and walked out. Mary thought He was the gardener. What an odd confusion. How did she make that mistake? What was He doing? Had He stopped to pull some weeds or prune some bushes? She wasn’t wrong, of course. He is a Gardener, but of an ancient Garden Eden and of the new Eden to come. Jesus’ resurrection is not just for His sake. As His death was for us, who are bodily dying as the consequence for our sins, now His resurrection is also for us, over whom death thought to have the final word. Jesus rose bodily; His body and soul were knit back together eternally. And He promises the same bodily resurrection of us-not some disembodied rest for our souls with Him. Our lungs will breathe again. Our hearts will beat warm and strong anew. Our eyes will see; our ears will hear. Our lips will be freed from their lifeless rigor mortis to join the unending Te Deum of the eternal Bride of the resurrected Christ, His Holy Church. Our bodies will rise, as His is risen.
Stewardship & Gifting
Members of St. John’s who are 70 1/2 have been taking advantage of rolling over their required minimum distributions (RMD’s) to satisfy the requirements of this investment vehicle for the last few years. If you qualify, below are a few reasons why you should consider this option of serving God through the resources He has blessed you with.
For questions or to learn more, contact your financial advisor or Craig Toerpe, Director of Stewardship at 262-334-4901 or email@example.com.
Sonshine Community Park – Celebrating Families Fence
As the weather warms and we venture out from our winter hibernation, Sonshine Community Park and the playground are again becoming the “go-to” destination in our community. You can still purchase pickets for the Celebrating Families Fence. Download an order here, or stop by the church office and pick one up.
The 8th Grade class is collecting food for the Full Shelf Food Pantry. Donations of food will be accepted until April 26.
What food should you donate? The most popular and most needed items include: peanut butter, jelly, canned meat (tuna & chicken), cereal, pancake/muffin mix, vegetable oil, canned soups, canned fruits, canned vegetables, pasta/rice, and tomato/pasta sauces. There will be bins located in each classroom to receive these donations.
Who are we helping? Donations will be going to people of the Washington County area. The Full Shelf Food Pantry often receives between 2 and 3 million dollars worth of food each year. This food serves about 450-525 families a month. Broken down, that includes about 750 adults and 450 children.
How else can you help? If you want to take helping the Food Pantry to another level, there is another option – volunteering. Some requirements include being at least 16 years of age, and only two people can volunteer at a time.
Thank you so much for your support.
You can also donate money through their website, linked below, under “donate.” Checks are also accepted by mailing it to the Food Pantry at Full Shelf Food Pantry, Inc. PO Box 1157 West Bend, WI 53095. All money donations go to purchasing food or maintaining the assets of the pantry (building, grounds, freezer, coolers, van, etc.).
Parents and students are welcome to schedule a tour and learn more about Living Word at any time! We would be happy to host your child for a shadow day, which can include a half a day (morning or afternoon) or an entire day in any of our classrooms.
Living Word Lutheran High School presently has openings on its Board of Directors. Do you have an interest to serve in a position that influences the lives of our next generation in a positive Christian atmosphere? These are appointed positions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Backgrounds in HVAC/Construction, IS/IT, and Accounting are especially desirable. You do not need to have a student attending to apply. Nomination papers will be forwarded to those of interest.
Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information. www.cuw.edu
Do you feel God’s Calling to Become a Pastor or Deaconess?
Concordia Seminary exists to prepare the next generation of church leaders. We are here to support you as you consider being trained to become a pastor, deaconess or scholar, to ultimately contribute to the church with deep commitment to Lutheran theology and practice, and in a spirit of servant leadership.