Moving into the new year, and continuing our focus on Connections, the family of St. John’s continues to see countless blessings from our Lord. Pastor Dave Kellerman’s retirement brings new opportunities to see how see God reveals His plans for us as we move through the process of calling a Connections Pastor. The Lord already knows the shepherd he has chosen for us, and we continue to work diligently and pray constantly as the process unfolds. Staff and Lay Leaders in the family of St. John’s have been praying, gathering, processing, and evaluating to discern God’s will of a Connections Pastor to shepherd us, and it has been a lot of work.
The Interview Team, consisting of: Danielle Gunville, Pastor Dave Kellerman, Anna Loeber, Alan Lull, Chairman Dawn Oldenettel, Brian Pesch, Georgia Robedeau, Dan Rudolf, Sarah Schultz, and Mike Senkbeil, first met back in November, as the process started with lots of prayer and preparation. A call went out to congregation members for candidates that the we felt would help us further our mission and vision, and the response was amazing. A list of 28 names was submitted to the South Wisconsin District President and just last month we received a large file of information with names from all over the country.
Each Interview Team member poured over the candidate packets, over 20 pages for each pastor, and used an evaluation tool (download evaluation tool HERE) to screen and eliminate candidates whose gifts do not match those outlined in the Connection Pastor position description (download position description HERE). In addition, members of the team spent a great deal of time reviewing the web presence of each candidate, including listening to sermons and podcasts as well as analyzing church calendars and missional philosophies. All of these processes have been bathed in prayer from within the team, staff, and family of St. John’s.
Team Chairman, Dawn Oldenettel reflected on the power of the Holy Spirit working throughout this process. “I experienced a clear testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit working through the process as I assembled the results. How often do 11 people working independently come up with such amazingly similar ratings?”
The hard work, prayer, and diligence continues as team members make plans to video conference the candidates that God provides and bring the top candidates to West Bend, along with their spouses, for face to face interviews with the interview team, pastoral team, management, leadership, as well as with the Leadership Board.
Anna Loeber reflected on how amazing the process has been for her. “I’ve had a wonderful experience being on the Interview Team for our newest pastor. It’s been very inspiring to see multi-generational congregational members working together, wrestling through hard conversations and working towards God’s will for St. John’s future leadership. It’s pleasantly revealing to see a new dimension of how members work together, each one bringing their varied experiences to play in this process!”
Sarah Schultz echoed the same sentiments as she reflected on the honor it is to serve. “It is encouraging to see the unity and vision of the team in terms of selecting a pastor that meets the needs of our congregation. The enthusiasm and dedication of the team is unmistakable.”
God has amazing plans for us and it is exciting to see Him use so many different people to Connect, Care, and Share in Christ.
Every January, we gather hope and expectation for the coming year. We resolve, “This is the year I will lose that extra weight.” We resolve, “This is the year I will complete that project.” We resolve, “This year will be different. I will be different.” We make our resolutions, and we set our course, hoping the New Year will be better than the last.
For most of us, resolutions become a stumbling block or a reminder of our weaknesses. What if there is a better approach to the New Year and to resolutions?
James 1:17- 18, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of His own will, He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creation.”
God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ has made every day a new day. In Him, we experience a new year every day. We don’t have to hope for the best; we have been given the best. And in Jesus Christ, we have been given the freedom to follow Him where He leads.
This January, we will be learning much about Jesus, His family, and resolutions through James. Why James?
James teaches us what’s most important to Jesus. James reveals the priorities of Jesus’ family. James helps us discover resolutions worthy of our attention. In Christ, we resolve because we are in His family and know whom to follow.
You are cordially invited to our annual dinner event hosted by the St. John’s West Bend Foundation. We would like to take this opportunity to Connect, Care, and Share in Christ and to say “Thank you!” for all of the ongoing efforts and support of the Lord’s work, through the Foundation, in 2018.
Join us onMonday, February 11 for hors d’oeuvres and drinks at 6:00 PM and dinner at 6:30 PM in the Lower Level.
As we gather together to celebrate the Lord’s work through His people, it is also an opportunity to learn about the exciting things the foundation has planned for 2019.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP through the St. John’s App or click HERE by Friday, February 1.
We will gladly provide childcare. Please let us know the age of children attending so that we can coordinate volunteers. You can also download an invitation HERE.
If you have any questions, please contact Craig Toerpe, Director of Stewardship & Gifting at 262-707-3005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milwaukee Rescue Mission
For the past ten years, St. John’s West Bend has been Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. We have had over 100 people volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to help clean, serve lunch, and give canned goods and car loads of clothing for all ages.
The Milwaukee Rescue Mission has been helping to restore lives through God’s grace since 1893, helping women, children, and men who are homeless, suffering from addiction, or just in need of some help. Before each meal, there is a time for songs, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, and prayer. Every person that has spent time helping has said that they get way more than they give when they serve the homeless, in Christ, at Milwaukee Rescue Mission.
Here are upcoming ways to support our partnership with Milwaukee Rescue Mission:
Do you know what your children are reading, watching, or playing during their screen time? The world is literally at their fingertips, and parents need to be equipped to help their children as they navigate this online landscape.
Officer Brandon Knepprath of the West Bend Police Department will be here to share statistics, educate on unseen dangers, and empower parents to be part of their child’s screen time activities.
Childcare will be available. Please RSVP for childcare by online form, or call the school office at 262-334-3077.
Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information. www.lwlhs.com
Check out the new LWLHS quarterly newsletter the_Link .
Schedule a Tour or Student Shadow Day
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.
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.