June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
Amid this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and as the re-opening continues to evolve, I wanted to provide an update, support, and encouragement as God continues to bless us by His Word in new and powerful ways!
 
There has been a lot of praying, conversation, and planning by your leaders and staff over the last few months as we seek to follow the Lord and bring His love to you and our community. As different aspects of our ministries re-open, there are challenges, but we continue to trust in His promises for His people. I am excited to announce that we will have a Congregational Meeting on June 28, 2020, at 12:15 pm. It will be held in the sanctuary, and we will be following the same social distancing protocol we are using for church service to minimize contact and keep us all safe.
 
We have lots to discuss and some important decisions the congregation must vote on. This includes the ministry plan for fiscal 2020-2021. In light of the changing environment connected to COVID 19, the St. John’s Leadership Board is recommending that we take a shorter view for the ministry plan. We are recommending a 3-month Ministry Plan to be reviewed and updated in September. We also have to elect three members to the Leadership Board. There will be a link to the agenda for the meeting, as well as short bios of the candidates for your review. These information packets will also be handed out before the meeting. I would like to encourage you to attend the meeting and learn more about all that is happening at St. John’s.

As people of God, we trust in the Lord and call upon Him to increase our faith, and we ask that the Holy Spirit give us confidence to live our faith out in powerful, loving ways. God’s promises are true! We ask for God’s mercy and His strength in the days ahead.
 
Peace to you in the name of Jesus!
 
Rich Buss
President

Download Letter HERE.
Download Agenda HERE.

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.

Download Life Group Reopening Flow Chart HERE.
Download Policy for Restoring Life Groups HERE.

Confirmation of Faith

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)

Sanitation Teams

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:
-Pews
-Welcome Pads
-Handrails
-Door handles
-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.

Please reach out to Rachel with any questions or concerns you may have: 
rmorton@stjohnswestbend.org
 or 262-334-4901 ext 327.

Sign-Up HERE.

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper


Celebrating the Lord’s Supper During this Time of Pandemic

We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper next on Sunday, July 5 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. 

We are joyfully looking forward to receiving the Lord’s Body and Blood as a family together, even in this strange time!

Worship

St. John's West Bend - Worship Re-opening Unified Leader's Announcement
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.
Download letter HERE.

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HERE
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Stewardship is Discipleship

Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ

Families of all ages are welcome to participate in St. John’s first virtual VBS. It will be hosted in the comfort of your home during the week of July 6-10. During this Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to remember God is with us! Join us as we travel through the Bible discovering times when God was with us, and still is with us. We will conduct science experiments, create our own unique crafts, and play fun-filled games which will bring us closer together. Registration is available through St. John’s App. Material pick-up will be on Monday, July 6th. An e-mail will be sent out with more information about material pick-up time and location.

Desiree Titus

St. John’s Children’s Ministry Director


Register HERE!

Click HERE to RSVP.

Educational Ministries  

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.

Partner Ministries

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.
 
Click HERE to sign-up!

Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information.
www.cuw.edu

Contact Concordia University Wisconsin Today!
 
Contact the Enrollment Office to learn how to joing the CUW family.
 
Click HERE to sign-up!

Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information.

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. 

Prayers, App, and Devotions


“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 
Like our REACH in Prayer page on Facebook and be a Prayer Warrior. 

 
Head to the
Apple or
Android App Store
and type St. John’s West Bend, and the app will appear.
 
You will know it is our app because of the “StJ” logo.  
 

  


 

Click HERE for the Lutheran Hour Ministry Daily Devotion
 
Click HERE for the Portals of Prayer Daily Devotion