December 7, 2017

Moving Forward  
Have you ever thought about what it really means to
Connect, Care, and Share in Christ
? Why are we, as disciples (people who are called by and follow Christ), compelled to care for one another? To be more specific, what does this mean as the family of St. John’s, and what are we attempting to accomplish in our personal discipleship, congregational discipleship, and community discipleship? Sometimes we separate what we experience weekly within the walls and campus of St. John’s and what we practice while we live daily in the vocations God has given us. However, this urge to care for one another is one step to living all of life connected to Christ, and sharing His love.
There has been a rush of information in the last few months concerning St. John’s exploration of the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program and how it can help us accomplish our mission and vision. Truthfully, St. John’s leadership has been involved in this exploration process for years. The Leadership Board, Pastor Dorth, Dawn Oldenettel, and other members of leadership have been following a direction put in place with the adoption of the four ministry ends by the congregation back in 2015. These ends: Personal Discipleship, Congregational Discipleship, Community Discipleship, and Communication, have directed all the decisions, programs, and ministries implemented for the last few years. Exploration of the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program has been part of Community Discipleship over the past 18 months.
So, what does this mean? How do we move forward, and what does the future look like for St. John’s? As with everything we do here, God is in control.  The exploration process has always had an end goal in mind and exploration does not occur without hope for the final outcome. The exploration of the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program is no exception. That being said, the exploration has not been easy. As leadership determined that the program fit perfectly within the mission and vision of St. John’s, other evaluation quickly became the main focus of the exploration. Leadership evaluated state mandates to ensure that inclusion in the program would not change the the academic standards at our school, and that inclusion would not prevent us from continuing to teach, share, discipline, and let God’s word guide everything that we do. Many benefits and challenges have been explored and considered, and leadership has sought counsel from experts in the field from within and outside the family of St. John’s. Finally, two challenges remained in the exploration and decision making process.
Both the interest of families with school age children and the raising of appropriate resources to fulfill the needs of program implementation have been assessed and the outcome is extremely positive and encouraging. With such positive support and feedback, the leadership of St. John’s has decided to continue moving forward with the application process to join the Wisconsin Parental Choice program for the 2017-2018 school year. The deadline for the school application is January 10, 2018, and, God willing, St. John’s Elementary & Middle School will join 131 other school in Wisconsin in offering parents the opportunity to choose the best educational opportunities for their children.
We know that there are many questions and concerns that have arisen during this process, and Pastor Dorth is more than willing to sit down on an individual basis to walk together through this exciting transition. Questions regarding the process of applying for a voucher, eligibility, provisions within the current tax code, and timeframe should be directed to Terry Brown of School Choice Wisconsin. It is Terry’s job to guide parents through the process, and he can be reached at: 414-319-9160 (Office), 414-403-3952 (Cell), or
. Any questions regarding the appropriateness of applying for a voucher, or if you are struggling with any aspect regarding how this program could change the culture at St. John’s, please contact Pastor Dorth at 262-334-4901 or 
God is good, and He continues to bless his people. We have been given the opportunity to walk alongside parents in the education of their children and fulfill the mission and vision of St. John’s with
Discipleship in as many places as possible
.The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program is another opportunity to spread the Good News and continue to do the work of
Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ
What can we do?
  • Pray as Mrs. Oldenettel fulfills the application process
  • Contact the School Office by January 5 with intent to enroll in the program




For the most up to date calendar and event information, visit our website at  


EventsUpcoming Events 

On the Verge Christmas Party 

On the Verge invites the people of St. John’s to join them for a Christmas party, on December 16 at 7:00 PM, as they celebrate the end of another year of God’s blessings at work in our lives. All are invited to 1310 S. 7th Ave., West Bend for the party. 
Please bring a dish to pass. There will be games and a white elephant exchange. If anyone wants to participate they need to bring a gift ($10 max). There will also be an ugly sweater contest for anyone interested!
For more  information, contact the Church Office at 262-344-4901 or


Register NOW for Couples Retreat

The time is now! Registration is open for the 2018 Couple’s Retreat in Door County. Make sure you pencil
February 9-11, 2018 in your calendar, and
download the brochure to register. It promises to be a great weekend and a time to grow together in Christ.
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7
Let the Light shine bright in your marriage. The Lord has plans for you and He has prepared a way to new life in the Light. Join your fellow couples in beautiful, romantic Door County as we learn to “Walk in the Light” together and grow closer to one another through fellowship, worship, and His word.
For more  information, contact the Church Office at 262-344-4901 or



Readings for Worship: Isaiah 40:1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-14, Mark 1:1-8  

The word “advent” means “coming.” It’s during this season that we look back at the people who prophesied about the coming Messiah, the events immediately preceding Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, as well as look forward with joyful expectation to the time with Jesus will return again. We gather together in worship each week praying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus,” as we prepare our hearts not only to celebrate His birth at Christmas, but also as we continue to prepare our hearts for His coming again, the time when He will restore all creation. Come, be strengthened and encouraged by God’s Word this advent season!

Wednesday evening also gives special opportunities for us to be in worship together during this season of Advent. “Behold the Light” is the theme for our 3:30pm and 6:00pm service in the Lower Level and carries over in our 6:30pm children’s programs and services in the sanctuary. During a time of the year when Christmas trees and homes are decorated with special lights, we are reminded of the Light of Christ for us and in us. 

Discipleship Hour

Discipleship Hour Takes a Break  
Discipleship Hour will be taking a break for the month of December. Make plans to join us again in January
Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ 

StewardshipStewardship and Gifting 


As we continue to walk in faith together, thank you for returning your Life Together cards.  Your cards can be dropped off in the offering basket, in the receptacle found in the narthex, at the church office, or at the business office.
If you have any questions regarding the Life Together car, or why we commit to this process each year, please contact Craig Toerpe, Director of Stewardship & Gifting at 

EducationEducational Ministries  

Help Support St. John’s with Scrip  



Support the
St. John’s Tuition Grant Fund while you shop this holiday season when you buy with Scrip.

Great Lakes Scrip purchases gift cards at a discount and them sells them to you. The difference between the face value of the gift card and the discounted cost is a rebate that is returned to the organization. At St. John’s, we will be using all of the funds  for the Tuition Grant Fund. 

This Holiday season, we will have Scrip for you to purchase without having to set up a Shop with Scrip online account. You can purchase what we already have on hand, or you may pre-order for pick up the next week. Click here for a full list of retailers.



Scrip gift cards will be available for you to purchase on Sundays, November 19-December 10.
For questions, please contact Leah Toerpe at 262-334-3077 Ext. 402 or




Dec. 13 – Christmas Program Gr. K3-1 (L-Z) 6:30 PM
Dec. 14 – Band/Music Concert 7:00 PM
Dec. 20 – Christmas Program Gr. 2-5, 6:30 PM
Dec. 21 – Jan. 2 – NO SCHOOL for Christmas Break

FellowshipYouth & Young Adults

Join us on
January 13 for fun, fellowship, games, and learning about the love of Christ.

TAG (1st-3rd Grade) meets from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM and BASH (4th-7th Grade) meets from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
For more information, contact Alan Lull at 262-707-9198 or

Fellowship Fellowship

Women’s Christmas Tea  
Please join us on Monday, December 11 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall for food, fellowship, and music!
Our menu has expanded to include
savory appetizers as well as sweet desserts.
Living Word Lutheran High School Jazz Band will regale us.
Please RSVP to Pam Muther at
or 262-338-9435.
Hosted by LWML – Lutheran Women in Mission

Harvest House Service Opportunity  
Our next community service event is

Saturday, December 16, from 8:00

to 1:30
, at St. James Episcopal Church. 148 S. 8th Ave. We need 12 to 15 volunteers the day of the event. In addition, volunteers are needed to bake desserts. These can be your favorite cookies, bars, or pies. Desserts need to be labeled for “Harvest House” and delivered to the St. John’s church kitchen by NOON on Friday, December 15. 

To volunteer to serve or bake, please contact Terry Soper at 262-416-2172 or 

Christmas Poinsettias    
Help decorate the front of the church this Christmas by purchasing a Christmas poinsettia. Envelopes for ordering are available by the fireplace at church and in the church office. Due date for ordering is December 18 and the cost is $11.00.
For more information, contact the Church Office at 262-334-4901.  

ECC Administrator Search     
As many of you may have already heard, Cheryl Rudolf has announced that she will be stepping down as St. John’s Children’s Ministry Director in June. As we celebrate Cheryl’s tremendous contributions and success and praise God for raising her up to lead and build the Early Childhood Center (ECC) into the thriving ministry it is today, we must now also find a new leader to continue the progress.
We hope to hire an Early Childhood Center Administrator by early next year to allow for an effective transition. Do you know a loving and caring soul with a passion for young children and a heart to
Connect, Care, and Share in Christ, who is also an effective leader, administrator and manager that might be interested? If so, please share the
job description with them and ask them to send a resume to the Church Office by
January 12.
Please keep Cheryl, her staff, the ECC and our entire St. John’s family in your prayers as we go through this process and ask the Lord to provide us with appropriate candidates and to prepare the way for the person He has in mind to serve among us.  

Partner Ministries

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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. Click
here to learn more. 

Worship Times

Saturday Evening 

6:00 PM Traditional

Sunday Morning

8:00 AM Traditional

9:30 AM Blended
11:00 AM Contemporary 

Wednesday Evening
6:00 PM Traditional 

Advent Services (Dec. 13, & 20)
3:30 PM Lower Level
6:00 PM Lower Level 
Special Services

Dec. 13 – Christmas Prog. Gr. K3-1 (L-Z) 6:30 PM 
Dec. 14 – Band/Music Concert 7:00 PM 

Dec. 20 – Christmas Program Gr. 2-5, 6:30 PM 



s Eve Worship (Dec. 24)
9:30 AM Contemporary
1:00 AM Family Service
3:00 PM
5:00 PM Candlelight
7:00 PM Candlelight
11:00 PM Candlelight  
Christmas Day Service (Dec. 25)
9:30 AM Traditional