Connections E-Newsletter – September 17, 2020
“New” Discipleship Hour
Dear St. John’s Households of Faith,
St. John’s pastors, staff, and leaders are excited to announce that last night St. John’s kicked off its “New” Discipleship Hour in the Church Sanctuary. Wednesday night’s worship services have been re-purposed into a robust learning/teaching opportunity for you and those in your Household of Faith. 
Discipleship Hour takes place each Wednesday at 6:00 PM (up until Advent). It will be live streamed and recorded through St. John’s YouTube Channel (please subscribe) for those who can’t participate in-person due to schedules or health concerns.
Last night, Pastor Jeff Hesse started us off with Week 1 of Discipleship Hour – Why Households of Faith? You and your household are invited and encouraged to click the link to watch last night’s session. Last night, Pastor Jeff shared some important congregational goals for 2020-2021 as we explore Households of Faith:
  • Define Households
  • Grow in Faith
  • Increase Spiritual Connections & Vibrancy
  • Households grow as sites of teaching and learning about God
  • Open up about struggles/doubts (grow in humility)
  • Be willing to ask for help (from God and one another)
  • Look ahead with joy to the Seasons of Life to come
  • Embrace Discipleship in as many places as possible
There is a lot to unpack and much to engage in for all households no matter where they are in faith or how they look (Singles – Roommates – Couples – Nuclear Families – Single Parents – Multi Generations – Grown-up Nuclear Families – Other/Combo). We all have the opportunity to grow in faith – such an important goal of St. John’s because it is the call of Jesus! 
Some of the things being explored for “New” Discipleship Hour this year include:
  • Seasons of Life – Changes in Households (next week w/Pastor Reynolds)
  • Spiritual Conversations/Connections
  • Organic, authentic, real-life Discipleship Stories shared by real people in real households at St. John’s designed to encourage, mentor, support, and nurture faith in all households.
  • Care in God’s Household
  • Rest & Rhythms of Life
  • Hospitality & Spiritual Vibrancy
  • Resourcing the Household
  • Spiritual Disciplines – Rituals & Tools of Faith
  • Struggles & Stumbling Blocks – Sin & Forgiveness
We are on this journey together, join us as we grow together in faith. We hope to see you and your Household of Faith in Discipleship Hour!
May God bless you and your household in the power and promises of Jesus!
Download Children’s Sheet HERE.
Click HERE for Livestream

Save the Date for a Concert in the Park! 
On Saturday, October 3 from 1:00-3:00 PM, St. John’s will host the West Bend Community Band (WCBC) in Sonshine Community Park. The WBCB is composed of volunteer adult musicians from our community under the direction of Mr. Bill Berlyn and serve as the musical ambassadors. You can learn more about the band and their repertoire by clicking HERE.
Bring a lawn chair or blanket and be blessed by talented musicians from our community as we Connect, Care, and Share in Christ. A free will offering will be taken to support LCMS Disaster Relief after the derecho that struck Cedar Rapids, IA. You can see some of the damage in the video.
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
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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