December means Christmas is quickly approaching, and it feels like we are constantly on the move, forever going somewhere. We need to go to the store to get ingredients for the cookies and pies we make once a year, or we carve out time for Christmas concerts and programs that are finished in under an hour. We make plans to spend the exact amount of time at each relative’s house, needing a complex scheduling spreadsheet to make sure nobody feels left out. This is the season or lists, plans, and hurtling towards a multitude of small moments – each one over too soon. We are constantly on the move.
This continuous movement can prevent us from being present at the celebration of Christ’s coming. Advent, derived from the Latin word adventus, and translated from the Greek word parousia, which means “coming.” The four weeks leading up to Christmas are, actually, all about coming, not going. Advent focuses on Christ’s first coming into the world as a baby, born of humble beginning in a manger, but also in preparation for Christ’s second coming as Christ Triumphant. In addition, we celebrate Christ’s present coming to us in Word and Sacraments. Martin Luther saw Advent as a perfect time to teach children about the coming of Christ, and we can use the Advent wreath and candles to do just that.
The Advent wreath itself, a circle without beginning or end, represents Christ’s eternal victory over death, and the evergreens, which do not wither or fade, are a sign of God’s faithfulness to His people. The candle flame reminds us that Christ is the Light of the world, while the purple candles match the purple paraments on the altar and symbolizes the royalty of the coming King. The pink candle, to emphasize joy, is the third candle to be lit on Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent. Gaudete means Rejoice! in Latin, which is taken from Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice! . . . the Lord is near.” Finally, the white Christ candle, in the middle, is lit during the 12 days of Christmas (December 25-January 5).
As we celebrate and observe the numerous traditions surrounding the Advent season and prepare for Christ’s coming, let’s take time to slow down and focus on what is coming, instead of where we are going. Remember the coming of Christ and that the King arrived to give us life and salvation. Take time to gather as God’s people to Connect, Care, and Share in Christ and give thanks for the gift of Faith He has given us to shed light in the dark places. Wherever you find yourself this Advent season, take the time to wait.
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.
The word “advent” means “coming.” It’s during this season that we look back at the people who prophesied about the coming Messiah, the events immediately preceding Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, as well as look forward with joyful expectation to the time with Jesus will return again. We gather together in worship each week praying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus,” as we prepare our hearts not only to celebrate His birth at Christmas, but also as we continue to prepare our hearts for His coming again, the time when He will restore all creation. Come, be strengthened and encouraged by God’s Word this advent season!
Wednesday evening also give special opportunities for us to be in worship together during this season of Advent. “Behold the Light” is the theme for our 3:30pm and 6:00pm service in the Lower Level and carries over in our 6:30pm children’s programs and services in the sanctuary. During a time of the year when Christmas trees and homes are decorated with special lights, we are reminded of the Light of Christ for us and in us.
Discipleship Hour Takes a Break
Discipleship Hour will be taking a break for the month of December. Make plans to join us again in January .
Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ
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 Administrator Search
As many of you may have already heard, Cheryl Rudolf has announced that she will be stepping down as St. John’s Children’s Ministry Director in June. As we celebrate Cheryl’s tremendous contributions and success, and praise God for raising her up to lead and build the Early Childhood Center (ECC) into the thriving ministry it is today, we must now also find a new leader to continue the progress.
We hope to hire an Early Childhood Center Administrator by early next year to allow for an effective transition. Do you know a loving and caring soul with a passion for young children and a heart to Connect, Care, and Share in Christ, who is also an effective leader, administrator and manager that might be interested? If so, please share the job description with them and ask them to contact the Church office at 262-334-4901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please keep Cheryl, her staff, the ECC and our entire St. John’s family in your prayers as we go through this process and ask the Lord to provide us with appropriate candidates and to prepare the way for the person He has in mind to serve among us.
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.
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.
6:00 PM Traditional
8:00 AM Traditional
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