Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at St. John’s, West Bend,
The weekend of May 17th nearly 100 men gathered at Camp Luther for the annual men’s retreat. This year’s theme was “Remain” and was taken from John 15: “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.” It was a joy and privilege to be counted among them. Too often men’s retreats are small gatherings of men merely escaping their daily routines to have fun in the woods. This retreat stood in contrast to that. To be sure, there was a definite escape from the daily routines, and there was fun to be had, but it was no small group of men. They were gathered first and foremost around word, worship, and fellowship to grow as disciples of Christ committed to remaining connected to their living Lord and Savior. It was inspiring to join in the voices of these men as they were lifted in praise, as they stopped to lift one another up in prayer, as they broke bread together and laughed around campfires, bowling alleys, and cribbage tournaments and flying tomatoes (No really, there were hundreds of pounds of tomatoes soaring through the air. Words alone cannot describe it.)
As a guest, I had the privilege of bringing some of the latest research on Households of Faith in America today. It was exciting to see men of God as young as 15 and up though all the stages of adulthood challenging themselves to become better spiritual coaches within their own households no matter the type of household they come from. I watched two and sometimes three generations of men sit together and build each other up spiritually through conversation and prayer. I watched wives hold up their husbands in prayer through social media. I watched men challenge one another to grow. I watched men accept one another and create new friendships. I watched the body of Christ act like the body of Christ, and it was a beautiful and amazing thing to behold.
We at Lutheran Hour Ministries exist to “Bring Christ to the nations and the nations to the Church.” It has been a privilege to partner with all of you in that mission and it was,for me personally, a privilege to see the fruits of our joint labors at this retreat. Thank you for your ministry, thank you for the invitation, and thank you for your friendship.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Jason Broge
Director of Design and Development for Global Ministries
Lutheran Hour Ministries.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Phillipians 1:3-5)
Today at 6:00 PM
Throughout the year, we have been talking about this idea of “connections.” You might remember the white ropes in January that flowed out from the cross connecting all of us to Christ and to one another and pointing us out the door to the world.
The theme of connections continues in the Ascension service on Thursday (May 30) at 6pm. The service is called “A Connected People,” and is divided into three sections.
First, we will hear from God’s Word about our connection to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the connection that gives us our unique identity as children of God.
Second, we’ll explore what it means to connect to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and also what it means to connect to the rest of the world as sinners wholly dependent upon our Savior.
Finally, we will look forward with joyful anticipation to the day that our risen and ascended Lord returns in all His glory to restore all of creation, wholly and fully, connecting us to God and one another the way that we were always meant to be.
We pray this service and the gift of music provided by our adult choir, handbells, and the Lamb’s choir is a blessing and encouragement to you and your walk with the Lord.
“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” These words have been the proclamation of God’s people all through the Easter season. Even as this season draws to a close and we shift our eyes toward Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit to God’s Church, we continue to live in the hope of that proclamation: Christ is livingnow , and we will live with Himforever !
This weekend we fix our eyes on His promise to return: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21)
Wednesday & Thursday Morning Bible Studies are done and will resume after Labor Day
Stewardship & Gifting
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” -James 1:17
There are a great many passages in Scripture which echo this theme: everything good we have is from God. He loves to give. He loves to bless. He loves to show us generosity time and again – and He desires that we grow into His image and reflect His love and open-handed kindness.
As a congregation, we have the opportunity to say, “Thank You, Lord,” for the gifts He continually pours upon us. Now, this gift is not to replace your weekly financial commitment to ongoing discipleship. Rather, it is a chance for you to bring forward a gift of true appreciation.
Things you may be thankful for…God’s Son and His resurrection, your church and her servants, the family God has given to you, your occupation or volunteer opportunities, your health or recovery from an illness, friends and neighbors who care for you, and the military and those who serve to keep our country and freedoms safe. The list you create will be specific to you and your situations, but the occasion for us to reflect and say “Thank You” is the same!
During the month of May and June, you will see a green “THANK OFFERING” envelope in the pews. If you are so moved, we invite you to use this envelope to say “Thank You God for…” You may also choose to write a note and place it in the envelope to share with the church what you are thankful for.
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.