Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. -2 Timothy 2:11-13
Most of us are over it. We are tired of quarantine, social distancing, staying at home, and the rabid news cycle that has come with our situation. The simultaneous reality of being isolated continuously except with our closest family and yet staring at our screens and scrolling through Facebook for the twenty-seventh time today have exhausted us. Experts in epidemiology and medicine have seemingly popped up everywhere despite having no qualifications. Opinions are rampant, and wisdom seems to be scarce. Remote learning has taken its toll on parents and teachers. Planning vacations during the summer is an exercise in “We could, but only if . . .” My guess is that I’ve captured most of you by now.
Paul is in a similar state in the above reference from 2 Timothy. He’s in prison, assuming that his life will end at some point soon. What’s fascinating is that here Paul asks for Mark to come and see him. Earlier on in Paul’s ministry, Paul didn’t want Mark along on his missionary journeys because Mark had flaked out earlier. (Acts 15:37-40) Well, as we all know, situations change. God used Paul’s imprisonment and isolation to begin to reconcile Paul and Mark. God works through challenging circumstances to bring together His servants.
The life of a disciple does not stop or get put on hold during difficult circumstances. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You’ll notice, Paul asks for some particular things like his cloak, some parchment, and books. Paul’s ministry continues despite the adverse situation he finds himself. He will go on being God’s mouthpiece, shepherding the many churches under his care, raising leaders in his wake, and encouraging the faithful to live out their faith where God has placed them.
So, that’s my challenge to you. What if we see our current situation, not as an opportunity to throw a pity party but rather a time to embrace more fully being a disciple? Here are some reflection questions I’d encourage you to talk about with your household of faith: (Spoiler Alert: get used to hearing this phrase a bunch in the coming months)
1. What are you longing to get back to? Is it God-pleasing or self-serving? How do you know the difference? How might life be different if you aren’t able to get back to what you want to for a significant amount of time?
2. What anxieties and worries have crept up in the past weeks and months? Have any of these led to less than God-pleasing behavior, whether in person or in this virtual world? What does repentance look like in light of these behaviors?
3. How has your faith been strengthened in these past weeks? Challenged?
A Taste of Joy
Discipleship in as many places as possible
St. John’s continues to try and find ways to say thank you to those who are serving our community during this unique time. The Connections Task Force recently put together “A Taste of Joy from St. John’s”. Over twenty St. John’s members made over 700 individually wrapped desserts that were delivered to a dozen different businesses in West Bend to simply say “Thank You” to the essential servants in our community. We’ve found that employees at several places are often overlooked because they are either part of a larger corporation or not thought of as that important. Think, for example, of an auto mechanic. No one worries about an auto mechanic until they need one. We want to be different and let folks know we care about them long before we need or ask anything of them. Thanks to Chery Rudolf, Alan Lull, and all who made treats!
A Small Clarification
We are grateful to our friends at the West Bend Daily News for their recent article about the work of the Connections Task Force that was published here last week. However, one clarification is in order. The money which was utilized by our Connections Task Force came from either private donors supporting this specific ministry or our missions and connections budget. No funds were repurposed from other dedicated sources. Instead, St. John’s makes it a point to utilize the gifts of God’s people in finances to serve both our school families and our local community. Thank you to everyone who continues to support all of our ongoing ministries at St. John’s through your time, talents, and gifts!
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, June 7. Please read the procedure below and watch the video to prepare.
We are joyfully looking forward to receiving the Lord’s Body and Blood as a family together, even in this strange time!
Online Bible Study Opportunity!
Connecting in God’s Word
Join us on Wednesday’s at 6:00 PM as we see each other’s face, dive into the word from 1 Peter, and lift up prayers on behalf of God’s people and our world!
We’ll be using Zoom as the platform for our online bible study. Many of you have used it for our Red Letter Challenge Check-Ins. It’s a platform that will allow us to be interactive as we dive into the Word of God and Prayer.
Need some help getting the week’s groceries? Due to COVID-19 concerns, a trip to the grocery store has become for many an exercise in anxiety as well as a potential health risk. Even so, our God promises to provide our “daily bread,” and He does that in many ways, through many people. If one of our volunteers at St. John’s can help you pick up your local groceries, please call the office at 262-334-4901.
Please note: our volunteers are offering to pick up groceries – payment for the groceries (cash or check) is still the recipient’s responsibility.
Given the current circumstances around COVID-19, St. John’s has canceled the spring Men’s Retreat originally planned for May 15-17. Although we are saddened by our need to cancel this event, we are eager to continue our Men’s Ministry into the future as the Lord provides opportunity.
If you have any questions regarding this cancellation, please contact Doug Raddemann through the church office or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. We also participate in the WI School Choice Program. The deadline to apply for this tuition assistance is May 14. 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.