Connections E-Newsletter – September 10, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
              We want to share with you the plans for Discipleship Hour this year. You can either keep reading or watch the video linked above to get a little taste of where we are heading.
Some broad points:
  •  We’ll be diving into material from Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) and the Barna Group entitled “Households of Faith.” Briefly summarized, LHM and Barna took a broad survey of practicing Christian homes to examine what practices and activities were prevalent in the household, and the results were telling.
  •  Please don’t let the term “Household” deceive you into thinking that this isn’t for you if you aren’t married, don’t have kids, are a single, widow, still, live with your parents, etc. One of our goals is to define “Households” in a biblical sense because the term is all over the scriptures. A Household of Faith is wherever God’s people are found, and at whatever stage of life they are.
  • Another one of our goals in this series is to tear down the wall that so often exists between church and home. One of the most significant objections to Christianity in the world is the relative hypocrisy of Christians on Sundays versus everywhere else. Strengthening the Household of Faith enhances our witness to the world around us.
  • We hope to equip you and your Household of Faith to be a place to nurture and grow faith. Through this series, we will wrestle with some of the challenges we face in our households, whether it be caring for an aging parent, trying to find some rest in this chaotic world, or wrestling with doubt in faith.
These are just a few of the goals and hopes we have for discipleship hour this year. The format will be different- Either in the Sanctuary at 6:00 PM on Wednesday Nights or via Livestream on our YouTube page, but the goal remains the same – Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ, our Households of Faith, and wherever God has placed us.
Join us next Wednesday at 6:00 PM or via Livestream!
Pastor Reynolds
Click HERE for Livestream
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures forever!
(1 Chronicles 16:34)
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus, your Savior!
St. John’s annual Thank Offering is a sacred opportunity to look beyond ourselves and what we are doing in daily life and look at the big picture . . . to look to God and thank Him. No matter what is going on in our lives, the Lord has amazing promises for us, promises that are real and eternal. Our God is awesome, and He loves you!
It is in response to God’s love and works among us that each year (usually in May/June), we encourage the people of St. John’s to consider making a special Thank Offering. This invitation is a special invitation to stop, reflect, pray, and respond to the Lord with genuine thanks for God’s work through all the ministries of St. John’s.
This Thank Offering tradition has been a personal blessing to my family and me as we have paused to reflect on God’s love for us and work in our lives. Will you join Christine and me in giving a special Thank Offering that is over-and-above your regular offerings?
Indeed, these tough times are a recipe for fear, disunity, and trepidation in our community, economy, and even in our homes. Perhaps, especially with the disconnections and disruptions of life since March, you have fallen behind in your offerings to support God’s work among us. This Thank Offering is a great opportunity to join fellow disciples of Jesus at St. John’s to catch up and support the work God has given us to do together.
Maybe times are tough for you, and making a special gift is not possible. If this is your situation, can I ask that you pause and commit to making a special prayer of thanksgiving to God? It is as easy as saying, “Thank you God for_________.” God loves prayers of thankfulness! We all have something we can bring to the Lord in prayer.
If you choose to make a gift, you can give through the green Thank Offering Envelope
or our St. John’s App – look for the pull-down menu that says, “Thank Offering.”
On behalf of St. John’s Staff and Leaders, we give thanks for you! Most of all, we give thanks to the LORD for all that He has done, is doing, and will do according to His plans and promises! These promises are for you and your family. Thank you, Lord!
Peace and blessings in Christ,
Pastor Jeff Hesse
Worship Plans for Indoor and Outdoor Services
Outdoor Worship – We will continue to host our 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM Sunday worship services outside through the end of September as we have done the last three weeks, weather permitting. If there is rain in the forecast, we will move the service into the Sanctuary, and masks will be required.
Outdoor Worship – Set-up & Take-down Crew Signup
 
We are creating crews of people to support outdoor worship by helping to set-up and take-down the various chairs, tables, tents, and equipment before and after services. This is a pivotal and necessary component of our ongoing outdoor worship plan and experience. If you value this worship experience, we encourage you to consider signing up to help.
The more people and crews we can commit to this need, the lighter the commitment and rotation will be. Crews will consist of 4-6 people and be schedule for either set-up or take-down on respective Sundays. Set-up will begin at 8:30 AM on Sunday and take-down will begin following the 11:00 AM service. Point leadership for this has been identified and signing up with this form will open to door for communication and coordination. Thank you for your help!
Sign-Up HERE.
Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ
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.
 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.
It’s Good to be Together in the Lord
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE!
Discipleship in as many places as possible.
Morning Bible Studies Resume beginning Wednesday, September 16 at 9:30 AM and Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 AM in the Lower Level. Join us as we dig into God’s word and some coffee led by one of our pastors!
Discipleship Hour Resumes every Wednesday beginning September 16 at 6:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Discipleship hour begins both in person and virtually! We’ll meet in the Sanctuary to spread out. We will also stream Discipleship Hour to our Youtube and Facebook Channels. We’ll be digging in our theme for the year, “Households of Faith,” based on content from Lutheran Hour Ministries, and examining how our Lord calls even our own homes to be places of His presence.
Promises of Grace Begins Sunday, September 27 – Lower Level of the Sanctuary. Promises of Grace (POG) is our “new to St. John’s” course that examines the foundational elements that we believe, teach and confess and also helps people connect into life here at St. John’s. POG lasts for nine weeks and is offered on both Sunday Mornings at 9:30 and Wednesday nights at 6:00 PM. Are you interested in membership at St. John’s? Contact the church office to register. 
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This alert is being sent to you out of love and concern. We have had fraudulent emails sent out using the pastor’s names and names of our members trying to get people to buy gift cards. Upon a willing donor buying gift cards, the perpetrators then ask the person to scrape off the back of the cards, take pictures of the numbers on the cards and email the images so the cards can be used remotely.
Please be advised that this is a scam, and the emails did NOT come from our communications. Someone is posing as people from the family of St. John’s are trying to take advantage of our love, care, and generosity to help others. We have met with the West Bend Police Department, and they are investigating. The WBPD suggested that we communicate with all of you as quickly as possible.
St. John’s pastoral team (or anyone on staff) will never communicate via personal email asking for gifts to be transacted in such a manner. We always work through our carefully established St. John’s structures and protocols for transparency, protection, trackability, and efficiency. When in doubt, check it out. Before you are inclined to act on your willingness to help, please talk with us. There is never a rush (no matter what the story is). So stop, evaluate, and chat with us so we can work through what is real and what is fake. If you get any of these emails, please delete them and do not click on any links or attachments.
It is a broken world, and scams are real. Let us remember what Jesus told His followers in Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” We pray for these fraudsters and call on them to repent, confess their sin, turn away from this behavior, and trust that Jesus has forgiven them. We also thank the Lord for all law enforcement, and specifically, we thank the West Bend Police Department for their work and protection.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the church office at (262) 334-4901.
Contact Alan Lull for more details. alull@stjohnswestbend.org, 262-707-9198
Contact Alan Lull for more details. alull@stjohnswestbend.org, 262-707-9198
Contact Alan Lull for more details. alull@stjohnswestbend.org, 262-707-9198
Faithful Disciples, Academic Excellence, Christian Leaders
We are looking for a dependable custodian to maintain and protect our facilities, fulfilling a part-time position, cleaning mainly at our day school, and other assigned areas. The work is 15 hours a week for three hours a day, Monday-Friday, 3:30-6:30 (hours can be flexible). The external and internal appearance of a building reflects on the occupants. Job duties will include but are not limited to, cleaning and tidying the premises, and preventing vandalism. The ideal candidate needs to have experience as a custodian, focused on building upkeep, be able to physically work to cover a large campus in the allotted time, a keen eye for detail, and the diligence to cover a large campus—a keen eye for detail is imperative.
To apply, please contact Janet Hatland at jhatland@stjohnswestbend.org, or call 262-707-9587.
Partner Ministries
Contact the office to learn how to join the Living Word Luther High School family.
 
Click HERE to sign-up!
Contact the Enrollment Office to learn how to join the CUW family.
 
Click HERE to sign-up!
Do you feel God’s Calling to Become a
Pastor or Deaconess?    
Click HERE to learn more. 
Reach in Prayer, St. John’s App, Daily Devotions


Wednesday
6:00 PM Traditional
 
Saturday
6:00 PM Traditional
 
Sunday
8:00 AM Traditional
9:30 AM Blended
11:00 AM Contemporary

809 South 6th Ave
West Bend, WI 53095
Church Office: 262-334-4901