I’ve been a lot of different places for Thanksgiving over the years. I’ve spent the whole day with my grandparents and larger family in Phoenix (which is a nice, warm place to spend the holiday), and I’ve been in the small college town of Monmouth, Illinois with my buddies for others. I’ve even spent Thanksgiving on my own, in my dorm room at the seminary in St. Louis, watching the snow falling onto a mostly empty campus. Samantha and I spent our first Thanksgiving in a friend’s apartment in Seattle, where a bunch of young teachers and friends each brought something different to the meal, and we sat wherever we could find a perch. We celebrated with all the energy and joy a group of fiscally-challenged early 20-somethings can muster, and it might be one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. Wherever I’ve ended up, each year seems to bring a little more perspective, and with it, a little more appreciation for what I’ve been blessed with.
I think the holidays are, among other things, a way for us to measure and remember ourselves, like how we’d measure our heights against the wall at home. Each Thanksgiving, I take a moment to reflect, compare, and look at where I’ve come from, and each time I see what God has done and been doing at those points in my life. I don’t know if I feel especially more thankful than usual, if I’m being honest, but it does help me see more clearly where God has brought me.
This year, Samantha and I are hosting her parents, right here in West Bend. God keeps blessing us with love and family, wherever we’ve ended up, and my prayer is that you see how he’s doing it in your life, as well. It may very well be that Thanksgiving doesn’t have a lot of happy memories for you (not all of my own memories are happy ones – one Thanksgiving saw the onset of a chronic condition), but know that God is with you, and that He is pouring out grace upon grace into your life, in this place – wherever you may be.
Maybe when you gather, you’ll pray the common table prayer together. And if you don’t get a chance to gather, you may still have an opportunity to pray it. My family only ever said the first bit: “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed.” But things have changed since those Thankgivings past: when Sam’s folks are with us, we add a little more, and I’d encourage you to take some time to pray this, too:
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever.”
Milwaukee Area Messiah Community Chorus & Orchestra
MAMCCO is community ecumenical choir and orchestra formed for the purpose of enriching our lives and those of the residents of the Greater Milwaukee area by spr eading God’s word through music including Handel’s Messiah. They are primarily volunteers committed to learning and performing this great work, providing free opportunities for the people to hear it, and presenting the opportunity to respond to by collecting a free will offering for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Experience Handel’s Messiah, and support members of the St. John’s family that have volunteered their time and talents to spread God’s word through music.
Proceeds to benefit the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.
Friday, December 1 at 7:00 PM
St. Anthony on the Lake, Pewaukee
Sunday, December 3 at 2:30 PM
Crossroads Presbyterian Church, Mequon
Wisconsin Parental Choice Program Information Meeting
As the family of St. John’s continues our mission of Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ, we have the opportunity to further explore the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program and how it can help us achieve our vision of Discipleship in as many places as possible.
An informational meeting, open to everyone, is scheduled for December 4 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Church Lower Level. Pastor Dorth and Mrs. Oldenettel will discuss:
On the Verge invites the people of St. John’s to join them for a Christmas party, on December 16 at 7:00 PM, as they celebrate the end of another year of God’s blessings at work in our lives. All are invited to 1310 S. 7th Ave., West Bend for the party.
Please bring a dish to pass. There will be games and a white elephant exchange. If anyone wants to participate they need to bring a gift ($10 max). There will also be an ugly sweater contest for anyone interested!
The time is now! Registration is open for the 2018 Couple’s Retreat in Door County. Make sure you pencil February 9-11, 2018 in your calendar, and download the brochure to register. It promises to be a great weekend and a time to grow together in Christ.
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7
Let the Light shine bright in your marriage. The Lord has plans for you and He has prepared a way to new life in the Light. Join your fellow couples in beautiful, romantic Door County as we learn to “Walk in the Light” together and grow closer to one another through fellowship, worship, and His word.
Worshiping together is a big deal to God! For us as disciples, all of life’s activities stem from our time together in worship. Worship is literally practice for life.
God restores and leads His people in worship so that we may be prepared for life outside the gathering. Seeing and experiencing God’s presence by Being Together equips us to faithfully engage our neighbor in God’s love. Praying Together in worship strengthens our ability to pray for and with our daily communities. Praising Together helps us to learn how to praise God in and through all of life. Offering Together prepares us to live faithfully and generously with a prioritization and acknowledgement of the God who provides everything. By Worshiping Together , God prepares us in His grace to live as His disciples.
Discipleship Hour Breakout Sessions continue this week. Make plans to continue in the session you have been attending, or join a new one. We can’t wait to dig deeper into God’s word with you during the 9:25 AM Discipleship Time.
Stewardship and Gifting
As we continue to walk in faith together, thank you for returning your Life Together cards. Your cards can be dropped off in the offering basket, in the receptacle found in the narthex, at the church office or at the business office.
If you have any questions regarding the Life Together card, or why we commit to this process each year, please contact Craig Toerpe, Director of Stewardship & Gifting at 262-707-3005 or email@example.com
Help Support St. John’s with Scrip
Support the St. John’s Tuition Grant Fund while you shop this holiday season when you buy with Scrip.
Great Lakes Scrip purchases gift cards at a discount and them sells them to you. The difference between the face value of the gift card and the discounted cost is a rebate that is returned to the organization. At St. John’s, we will be using all of the funds for the Tuition Grant Fund.
This Holiday season, we will have Scrip for you to purchase without having to set up a Shop with Scrip online account. You can purchase what we already have on hand, or you may pre-order for pick up the next week. Click here for a full list of retailers.
Scrip gift cards will be available for you to purchase on Sundays, November 19-December 10.
Please join us as we make cards for new members and for confirmation. Come with your ideas and supplies for a morning of creative fun! We will meet in the church’s Gathering Space (note change of location) at 9:00 AM on Saturday, December 2.
AM to 1:30 PM , at St. James Episcopal Church. 148 S. 8th Ave. We need 12 to 15 volunteers the day of the event. In addition, volunteers are needed to bake desserts. These can be your favorite cookies, bars, or pies. Desserts need to be labeled for “Harvest House” and delivered to the St. John’s church kitchen by NOON on Friday, December 15.
Help decorate the front of the church this Christmas by purchasing a Christmas poinsettia. Envelopes for ordering are available by the fireplace at church and in the church office. Due date for ordering is December 18 and the cost is $11.00.
For more information, contact the Church Office at 262-334-4901.
ECC Employment Opportunity
The Early Childhood Center is looking for a motivated, caring individual who loves to work with children. The full time, Floating Assistant Teacher would partner with teachers and parents in all of our classrooms, Monday through Friday. We are also in search of a full time assistant teacher who would be working exclusively in our 1 year old room. If you would like more information please contact Cheryl Rudolf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-429-1061 ext. 502.
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
Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information. www.cuw.edu
Christmas at Concordia
It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate Christ’s birth through music and song. The Concordia University Wisconsin Music Department invites you to join them in the Chapel of Christ Triumphant on December 1 and December 2 for Christmas at Concordia. Tickets must be purchased beforehand.
Click through to their website for up to the minute news and information.
Since its founding in 1839, Concordia Seminary has provided more than 12,500 workers to the church. Our students become pastors who preach in your church and lead your Bible study, and deaconesses who care for your congregation and serve you, your family and your community in times of need.
We’re excited to share the wonderful news that Dr. and Mrs. Dale A. Meyer, the Seminary’s president and first lady, have made a $10,000 Giving Tuesday gift to encourage you – our alumni, faculty, staff and friends – in your support of the Seminary on Giving Tuesday.
“Every good and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17 ESV)
We hope we can count on your gift today to help support our future servants of the Word!
6:00 PM Traditional
8:00 AM Traditional
9:25 AM Discipleship Time
9:30 AM Blended
11:00 AM Contemporary
6:00 PM Traditional
Advent Services (Dec. 6, 13, & 20)
3:30 PM Lower Level 6:00 PM Lower Level
NO SATURDAY SERVICE DECEMBER 23
Christmas Eve Worship (Dec. 24)
9:30 AM Contemporary
11:00 AM Family Service
3:00 PM Traditional
5:00 PM Candlelight
7:00 PM Candlelight
11:00 PM Candlelight
Christmas Day Service (Dec. 25)
9:30 AM Traditional
NO WEDNESDAY SERVICE ON DECEMBER 27
St. John’s Lutheran Church | 809 S. 6th Ave, West Bend, WI 53095