It is good to finally be amongst the family of God at St. John’s Lutheran Church. What a challenging, yet exciting time to join the family!
The 2020-21 school year will be upon us before we know it, and, while there are many questions regarding what the school year will bring, there are several values that guide our decision making:
God is Sovereign
While we may be surprised at daily events, God is not. Our God is a God who knows. All the days of our lives were ordained by Him. So, while we may be uncertain, we know that God, Himself is certain!
God Cares for Each of Us as His Children
Mark 29:29-31 reminds us of His personal care for each of us, ” Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Our Children are a Gift from God
Psalm 127:3 says, ” Children are an inheritance from the Lord . They are a reward from him.” (GW) At St. John’s, our responsibility is to teach them, protect them, and care for them as precious gifts of the Heavenly Father. The physical, emotional, and Spiritual health of our students is of paramount importance.
Relationships are Vital
God, by His very nature, is relational. He has created us to be in relationship – with Him, and with each other. We believe that it is vital that we meet together to build our relationships, and we believe that the best teaching and learning occurs when we can be face to face in relationship with each other.
Learning Goes Beyond the Curriculum
Much of what is taught at St. John’s isn’t found in the formal curriculum. Instead, these “soft skills” can most effectively be learned experientially by interacting with others. Teachers help guide this learning within the framework of Christian values through classroom relationships. Successes are celebrated together and failures are turned into opportunities.
Our Responsibilities Reach into Our Surrounding Community
We have been working, and will continue to work in partnership with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department to monitor developments and seek the direction and advice of public officials. As the St. John’s family, we have a responsibility to protect and care for those around us.
So, the good Lutheran question begs to be asked: What does this mean?
We are moving forward with plans that will allow St. John’s Lutheran School to reopen in a five full day, face to face instructional model.
While all the details are not yet finalized, we will do all within our power, with a firm reliance on God’s help and direction, to provide “school as normal as possible.” As of this date, we anticipate the following to assist us in mitigating risk to our families while providing an environment where growth and learning are promoted:
Classrooms may look a little different as we seek to socially distance our students as much as is reasonably possible within our context.
Hallway procedures may look different as we seek to minimize placing students in close proximity to each other.
Lunch procedures may look different as we minimize the size of groups gathered in one location.
Visitors to the school will be limited and protocols will be developed for essential visitors.
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols are being developed and employed.
Cloth face masks have been ordered for all members of St. John’s School, and may be required to be worn in some instances when social distancing is difficult.
Families will be required to keep their children at home if they are sick, and, if any symptoms are Covid-like, to contact their physician for advice and keep them at home for 72 hours after symptoms abate.
Staff and students will be required to check for symptoms on a daily basis, and to remain at or go home should they display symptoms of illness.
With the assistance of the Washington Ozaukee Health Department, COVID-19 cases will be monitored and adjustments will be made in the best interest of students and families.
As has been the case throughout the duration of this pandemic, things change quickly as we continue to learn more about COVID-19. As information changes, we work to remain nimble and adjust to new information and direction as it is learned. It is our intention to share bi-weekly email updates as we develop protocols and procedures aimed at providing our families with opportunities to “Connect, Care, and Share in Christ” in a responsible and loving manner.
Finally, I look forward to meeting each of you in person, and a great way to do that would be to join us in worship. St. John’s is open for worship on a normal schedule each week and, while we can’t necessarily shake hands, my wife and I are enjoying beginning to make connections with people as we share in praising God together. Please introduce yourself to us and share your story of life as a part of the family at St. John’s.
In Service to HIS Children,
Jim Van Dellen
Administrator, St. John’s Lutheran School
VBS is happening at St. John’s next week, 7/6-7/10!
What’s the best part of Vacation Bible School for you? Is it the crafts, the dancing, the games? Is it the chance to hear and learn God’s Word in a fun and meaningful way? Is it being able to share with others what you made during the week? We’ve got you covered.
This year, St. John’s is hosting a virtual VBS through our YouTube channel, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to sit in your chair for long!
We have an exciting schedule laid out for the week:
On Monday, stop by St. John’s campus to pick up your materials for the week (remember to register so we’re ready for you)!
From Tuesday to Thursday, watch a new video each day that introduces the lesson, a song, a craft, and a game for you to learn and enjoy!
On Friday, we’ll bring our projects back to the campus, to share them with St. John’s and our surrounding community as we bring the creative beauty of God’s world to the St. John’s Campus for all to see!
To receive your free materials, including a cool bracelet and everything you’ll need to make beautiful art, please register online so we can prepare for pickup!
Come and join us as we explore how God has made us to be together — even when we feel far away!
Celebrating the Lord’s Supper During this Time of Pandemic
As we continue to evaluate the state of the pandemic in our community and how God’s people are strengthened in faith during this time, the worship ministry would like to share two announcements regarding the Lord’s Supper in July:
We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper according to our regular schedule (1st, 3rd, and 5th Sundays) starting in July, in the sanctuary. In order to maintain proper social distancing, the Pastors will be serving communion to you and your family in the pew while wearing a mask and gloves.
2.We recognize some just aren’t ready to be in the sanctuary yet, and thus we will provide “in-vehicle” communion on Sunday, July 5th, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM as we have done the past two months.
We look forward to receiving God’s gifts of His Son’s body and blood with you!
St. John’s Worship Ministry
Discipleship in as many places as possible
An Update on Life Groups at St. John’s
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
There’s an important question making its way around St. John’s these days. The question is: “When can our life group meet again?” St. John’s is here to assist you in seeking a prayerful answer.
When St. John’s closed its doors on in-person worship activities, our church leadership also made the difficult decision to cancel all life group gatherings until further notice for the sake of our church family’s health.
The impact of this decision varied: many groups have suspended activities while individuals stayed in touch; other life groups continued to meet on the internet or over the phone; some life groups even reported having conversations more frequently due to the quarantine. Whatever the case, it has been a great reminder that God is always at work in and through His people.
Now that we have begun to meet again in worship, the Unified Leaders of St. John’s are encouraging our life groups to consider doing the same. Our goal, Lord permitting, is to see the majority of our life groups restored and active at St. John’s by September, though we understand every life group will approach this differently.
Whether you’re a lay leader or a member of one of our many life groups, this is a time for reflection and conversation with one another. I invite you to prayerfully consider the following:
How did this quarantine impact your life group(s), when do you hope to meet again, and what would it take?
As these days come and go, remember that whether on earth, or in heaven, or when all of creation is restored, it is good to be together in the Lord.
Leaders: as you consider meeting, please reach out to your Management Team Lead for guidance on re-opening and procedures to consider. The official policy for re-opening Life Groups has been attached for informational purposes. In addition, please make use of the attached flowchart for some helpful questions to ask your group as you pursue fellowship once again.
Confirmation has probably been a word at the back of your mind, if at all, in these troubled days. Due to the Coronavirus, our plans and routines have been thrown into disarray as businesses, churches, schools, and jobs have closed their doors. Even as society begins to open up again, it may take some time before we’re “back to normal.” So, what does that mean for those seeking to confirm their faith?
To use the old phrase: “There’s no time like the present.”
At St. John’s, we do confirmation a little differently. Our approach is built around voluntary confirmation, which is confirmand-driven, and church-supported. Pastors work with one-on-one with families in a relaxed, conversational atmosphere as we seek to help our confirmands take ownership of their faith and step forward with confidence in their beliefs alongside the rest of the church. When pastoral conversations are concluded, confirmands join the next available Promises of Grace class to complete the process and be both welcomed and celebrated with the rest of our new members.
Unsurprisingly, this “small scale” approach to confirmation allows both families and pastors a great deal of flexibility for scheduling, and even for taking proper precautions in the midst of times like these. Confirmation conversations have successfully been ongoing, even now.
God’s promises are good at all times, and these times, in particular, are rich for exploring how faith and life come together in real ways. Don’t add it to the always-growing list of “I’ll get to that later.” Come and see; come and be blessed!
Whether you’re seeking to confirm your faith or want to support someone in your house as they seek to confirm theirs, give the church office a call (262-334-4901), and we’ll see how we can walk together with you.
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Ps. 122:1)
As on-site services resume at St. John’s, we are looking for some volunteers to help us keep up with the sanitizing procedures between services.
We are looking for adults 18+, people who are not considered high risk individuals, and people who are not already actively serving on a ministry team (we are trying to lighten the load of the ushers and other ministry leaders already serving in worship; however, if you are an usher or worship team leader, you are more than welcome to volunteer for a Sunday service as you feel led).
Volunteers can sign up to sanitize after the 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, or 11:00 AM Sunday services (Saturday and Wednesday services will be taken care of by usher teams). We will create a rotating schedule of 2 people per service to get us through the summer or for as long as these procedures need to be in place.
The procedures include sanitizing:
-Offering box surface
-Chairs used in the narthex or by the fireplace
-Any other frequently touched surfaces (note, this does NOT include cleaning bathrooms but DOES include the door handles for the bathrooms)
Teams will be overseen by Asst. Worship Director Rachel Morton, and by sextons Bob Krause and John Ehlke. Once responses have been collected, Rachel will email the schedule to everyone.
St. John’s West Bend – Worship Re-opening Unified Leader’s Announcement
Excited to Open Safely!
We are excited to open again for worship following our usual worship schedule. However, recognizing that COVID-19 is still a threat, we wanted to share with you some precautions that we at St. John’s are taking and that we are asking you to take as you prepare to attend worship.
Please watch the video and download the letter to learn how we cotinue to honor God and our community.
After much prayerful deliberation, planning with our venue, and conversations with our speaker, the Women’s Retreat Committee has decided to postpone the Fall 2020 retreat to September 2021. The decision was not made lightly, but out of love and concern for the women of St. John’s and also for those who serve on behalf of our venue.
We are very excited for the future of the Women’s Retreat, and we look forward to walking through the theme “Identity Crisis” with you next Fall! So mark your calendars….September 24-26, 2021 we will be heading to the Green Lake Convention Center with our speaker, Karen Lippert, for a time of renewal and recreation as we talk about what it means to find your identity and your vocation in Christ!
Jeanne Uyhely, Rachel Morton, Lonnie Scott, and Tonja Bryan
As we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, we invite you to enroll now in our K4 classroom. We have multiple options, including a half-day morning class or full day classroom. The deadline to enroll is June 30. If you have any questions, please contact us at 262-429-1061.
Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information. www.lwlhs.com
Contact Living Word
Contact the office to learn how to join the Living Word Luther High School family.
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.