Thank you to everyone for your cards and gifts this Christmas season, it is a joy to serve you as pastor especially during this joyous season.
With the new year comes opportunity. For some people it takes the form of resolutions, for others it simply takes the form of statements or thoughts. Even without any sense of formal resolution one thing the new year ought to bring to everyone is hope. Hope is there behind resolutions, it’s there behind those thoughts of what the new year may bring. We’re hopeful that we’ll able to achieve whatever we’ve resolved, hopeful that our thoughts or hopes for the new year will come true.
On the opposite side from hope and certainly behind the resolutions of some is regret. Unfortunately for some of us regret is the primary motivator. A fight the previous year, left unresolved. An unfinished accomplishment left on the mental shelf. Maybe a plan that just never played out into reality. As a person who has ‘suffered’ from procrastination my whole life there is regularly enough regret of the unfinished or set aside or past failures to go around. Thoughts not jotted down, ideas that never came to fruition, plans barely made to never go anywhere, I’m sure I’m not the only one to make such ill-fated resolutions with half-hearted hope out of wallowing regret. “Maybe this year will be different.”
The reality is: new year or not, past regrets or not, as God’s people we have every reason for hope. Ours is a God of hope, always has been, and always will be. From the moment sin entered the world, God gave to His people a message of hope by promising a Savior. When there was no discernable people whom God called to be His own, He plucks Abraham out of the nations and gives to an old man and his barren wife the hope of a son and future offspring to bless all nations. When the people of Israel were oppressed by Pharoah God sends hope and leads them by the mighty hand of Moses. Even amidst the punishment of captivity some of our most beloved Messianic prophecies read every Christmas Eve brought hope to the people sitting in darkness that eventually a light would dawn.
Hope is and will always be a stronger, better, more gracious and grace filled ‘motivator’ than regret. While regret may spurn us in the short term and spur us to some level of resolve, the uncomfortable poking and prodding of the conscience; hope does not put us to such shame. Actually the apostle says as much in Romans 5:5, but his words there come at a cost – as one might consider it. Paul starts in Romans 5:3 and following through verse 5, “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
The cost I alluded to was the suffering of which Paul speaks. Life is full of suffering and in some cases, in light of our current conversation, suffering comes in the form of regret, I know that I’ve suffered mentally over past regrets. But hear again Paul’s words: “we rejoice in our suffering,” because it has the opportunity to produce endurance. Regret over failure or misfortune does not need to be outcome of difficulty, rather the good fruits Paul speaks of – endurance, character, and hope – are what God desires for us when He allows difficulty to enter our lives, or allows failure to befall us. Sin is bound to afflict all people, it is inescapable. As God’s people we are not left to wallow and drown in our sins, we are not left alone with the regretful feelings inflicted upon us by the Law spoken nor by the law of conscience felt. That regret does not provide hope and a future, Christ alone does that through His blood shed for you on the cross. He takes our guilt, our sin, our regrets upon Himself on the cross and makes us right with God by His shed blood, even as Paul starts Romans 5 with these words, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Faith in Christ, thanksgiving for Christ, hopefulness given to us by God and lived by faith is ours daily all year, all life long.
Happy New Year,
St John Bible Class & Sunday School:
Adult Bible Class starts again on January 8th at 9:00am. We decided to study Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Come and witness the power of God’s Word. Bring your children to Sunday School and Youth Bible Class and then join us at Adult Bible Class. You do not need to come every Sunday, but come as often as you can.
St John Wednesday Bible Study:
Please join us starting January 11th for our Wednesday Bible Study.
St John Finance, Council &
Nomination for Annual Meeting:
The Monthly Finance Meeting, Quarterly Council Meeting and Nomination for the Annual Meeting is set for January 16th at 6pm.
St John Annual Meeting:
Mark you calendars for the St John Annual Meeting on January 29th at 12:30pm. Please join us for a potluck after the St John Service.
St John Congregation Christmas Party:
Thank you for celebrating at the St John Congregation/ Sunday School Christmas Party.
Youth Group Cookie Walk:
Thank you for supporting our Youth Group at their Annual Cookie Walk! They were able to raise twice as much as last year!!
Thrivent Choice Dollars:
Thank you to Nick Buchholz, Paul Cerven, Helen Heimerl and Ray Heimerl for choosing St John Lutheran Church for your Thrivent Choice Dollars!!
Jan 25 Kevin and JoAnn Wilber
Jan 1 Perry Heise
Jan 2 Donald Gardebrecht
Jan 5 JoAnn Wilber
Jan 6 Oliver Carey
Jan 6 Kevin Wilber
Jan 7 Jennifer Heimerl
Jan 9 Joshua Linzmeyer
Jan 11 Claire Madison
Jan 11 Mary Rakow
Jan 12 Cyril Marcheske
Jan 18 Erick Bohmbach
Jan 18 Kaley Thompson
Jan 19 Ellen Huncosky
Jan 21 Paul Buhrandt
Jan 22 Logan Schowalter
Jan 24 BreeLynn Block
Jan 25 Michael Steffeck
Jan 30 Caleb Bohmbach
Jan 30 Gavin Staszak
Jan 31 Brandon Bartz
Jan 31 Lynda Clayton
Jan 31 David Hurning
Jan 31 Brian Pitzen
Jan 31 Sherri Smiley
Office hours this week:
The secretary will be in the office Monday through Friday on scheduled school days from 8am to 12pm. The secretary is also available by email: email@example.com or by phone (920)842-4443.
Please send all bulletin articles to the secretary by Wednesday morning each week.
St. John Church Council Members- Openings 2023
President: (Open) Nominations Needed
Board of Elders:
Bill Erb- Elected 2017/2020 Nominations Needed
Luke Hischke- Elected 2020 Eligible for Nomination
Marvin Genskow- Elected 2018/2021
Steve Rakow- Elected 2021
Ruben Rakow- Elected 2019/2022
Rob Laabs- Elected 2022
Board of Education:
Sarah Hischke- Elected 2020 Nominations Needed
Kate Mikle- Elected 2021
Kayla Hischke- Elected 2022
Board of Finance:
Cathy Rakow-Elected 2017/2020 Nominations Needed
Board of Trustees:
Bill Bartz- Elected 2020 Eligible for Nomination
Jeff Heimerl- Elected 2021
Robert Johnson- Elected 2022
Board of Stewardship:
Scott Bohmbach-Elected 2020 Eligible for Nomination
Susan Schneider- Elected 2021
Kathy Tuschy- Elected 2022
JoAnn Wilber- Elected 2018/2021
Larry Tuschy- Elected 2021
ARTICLE VIII – DUTIES OF OFFICERS
A. President: The president shall preside at all meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and of the Church Council and see to it that all meetings are conducted in an orderly and Christian manner. In absence of the President the congregation or the Church Council shall appoint a temporary President.
B. Secretary: The secretary shall keep accurate minutes of the meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and of the Church Council for the permanent records of the congregation, submit such records for approval & shall perform other duties in keeping w/ office.
C. Treasurer: The treasurer shall promptly pay all bills and salaries authorized by the congregation and shall make regular monthly remittances of mission offerings to the District Treasurer. (Amended 2-9-2016)
D. Board of Elders: The board of elders shall consist of six members. They shall organize annually and elect a chairman who shall represent them on the council. They shall:assist the pastor in all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the congregation; consider complaints and grievances of members of the congregation if Matthew 18: 15-16 has been fully observed & shall report to the congregation those which cannot be otherwise adjusted in accordance w/ Matthew 18:17-18; Make every effort to induce members who have been negligent in their attendance at services, in the use of the Sacraments, and the financial support of the church, to mend their sinful ways and fully enjoy the rights and privileges of their membership; be an example of Christian conduct and life; see to it that all services are conducted in such manner as to avoid needless disturbances and to foster an attitude conductive to worship among those in attendance; assist the pastor in arranging for pulpit assistance, special services, and guest speakers; see to it that proper ushering is provided for all services; and make arrangements when an organist vacancy occurs.(Amended 2-9-2016) Oversee Church/School Secretary and office duties(Amended 2-9-2016)
E. Board of Christian Education:
This board shall be a six member board which consists of three elected members, the pastor, the principal and the superintendent of the Sunday School. They shall organize annually and elect a chairperson who shall represent them on the council and a secretary. All teachers (full time and part-time) would be encouraged to attend all regularly scheduled board meetings. (Amended 2-9-2016)
The Board shall: concern itself with a program of Christian education for the Christian Day School and for all age levels; work for the strengthening of the Christian home; encourage the congregation to set up agencies and organizations to help the parish best perform its educational tasks for each specific age level; give attention to the enrollment of all the children of the congregation of school age in the Christian Day School and other agencies of Christian Education, such as confirmation instruction, Sunday school, Youth League, etc,; review and appraise all phases of the educational program and plan for improvements on the basis of such regular appraisals; bring to the attention of the Voters’ Assembly the needs of facilities and equipment for all educational agencies; and see that all agencies of Christian education are receiving proper and adequate financial support, teacher evaluation, non-called teacher hiring, student discipline related decisions, assist Church/School Secretary with school related office duties (Amended 2-9-2016)
The Board shall set up a handbook, outlining specific responsibilities for the Board, for the Christian Day School teachers, and for the other educational agencies where necessary.
F. Board of Trustees:
The Board of Trustees shall consist of three members. They shall organize themselves annually and elect a chairman who shall represent them on the Church Council. (Amended 1-27-2002)(Amended 2-5-2008)(Amended 2-9-2016)
The trustees shall be the legal representatives of the congregation and the custodians of all its properties (including the church building, the school building, the parsonage, and the teacherage) and all valuable papers as deeds, documents, insurance policies, certificates of incorporation, etc. They shall keep a careful record of all transactions and submit an annual report. They shall make loans for the congregation when authorized by the congregation to do so. In short, they shall transact all business of the congregation assigned to them by the Voters” Assembly. The congregation is to be directly responsible with its property for whatever the Trustees do in the conformity with its resolutions and instructions and is in no such case to permit the Trustees to suffer any personal loss whatsoever.
G. Finance Board:
The Finance Board shall consist of the President, the Recording Secretary, The Treasurer, The St. John Church and School Secretary, The chairperson Board of Trustees, The chairperson Board of Christian Education, The chairperson Board of Stewardship, the chairman Board of Elders and one elected assistant. This Board shall meet monthly on the second (2nd) Monday of each month. The board shall assist the Treasurer and the St. John Church and School Secretary in auditing the records each month, preparing a monthly statement of receipts, disbursements, balances, deficits, an annual report, and in the publishing of the same. (Amended 1-18-1998, 1-24-1999, 2-5-2008, 2-9-2016)
H. Board of Stewardship:
The Board of Stewardship shall consist of three members and shall be a part of the church council. The senior member shall be the spokesman to the church council and the Voters’ Assembly. He shall also be a member of the Finance Board as a record keeper, thus replacing one of the elected assistants. They shall work with the Pastor and the Board of Elders if necessary. Their duties shall be to organize Stewardship programs in the congregation in order to keep all members active in all church affairs. (Amended 2-9-2016)