December 2022 Newsletter
In the wake of Covid last year, give or take 6 months, depending on people’s re-opening schedules, there were a slew of articles and facebook posts along the lines of “Your Church Needs You!” The best of them smacked of all the sloganeering of the ‘Uncle Sam’ posters of long ago, albeit without the patriotic imagery. But the sentiment was the same: “Step up and serve your church!” Others were blander and more general and simply trying to call people back to the pews that they had vacated months prior during lock-down orders and were encourage to stay out of for a myriad of now debunked ‘scientific correlations.’ I’m not here to debate any of the prior sentiment simply because when these posts were circulating, I paid them very little mind only because we had been completely open, meeting in person, communing together for months prior, and so the call back seemed somewhat moot.
The other reason I never really focused on this wide-ranging campaign was because in my mind, it felt desperate. Churches had realized people weren’t coming back naturally, realized their programs and pews numbers were suffering, realized online church wasn’t really serving them but was in most cases replacing once active and present members with folks who were not happy to do the bare minimum of watching church online and maybe liking or sharing posts online. As I said it felt desperate, in that rather than calling people to repentance by telling them they were wrong in breaking the 3rd commandment, many simply sought to cajole them and gently welcome them back without confronting the reality that there had ever been a problem in the first place.
This whole thought was called to mind for me a few months ago, and then again the other week in confirmation. A member, actually a couple of members at both churches had mentioned earlier this year their desire that I would make mention of need and importance of people serving on various boards or in roles as the end of the year approached. But like I said, it was also brought to mind in confirmation when dealing with a section talking about God’s providence. Does God need to love us? Does He need to provide for us? (Why) Did He send Christ to die for us? No, no, no. As Luther reminds us in the meaning to the First Article, “All this He does out of fatherly divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.” God doesn’t need to love you. He chooses to because God doesn’t need you to come to church of His own self. He is self-sufficient on His own and needs nothing, but He wants you to come to church for your own good, for your own health both spiritually and socially. He wants you to come to church to hear about His great love for you that He lavished upon you in His Son, again, an act He did of His own will and choosing not because He needed to for Himself but rather for your sake. It is this act of God’s love that we are about to celebrate again in a few weeks as we celebrate the birth of our Lord. Giving thanks to God that He was willing to don human flesh, enter personally into our garbage heap of a world for the sake of dying on a torturous execution device for the sake of our many and flagrant sins is exactly why the birth of Christ is so amazing.
Does the church need you? Universal? No. Heaven is full of saints of the past, and will continue to be filled with those who die in saving faith. Local? Always! Your local congregation misses, loves and needs you, but also feels at times as though it is not needed or less important than the myriad of other things that has entered our lives over the years. Which is why all of this has been ordered the way it has. If you are frustrated by my comments, good. The Law is meant to offend, specifically our sin-bound conscience. If we think we are doing a good thing for God the heart and mind of our actions is misplaced. Luther was famously quoted as saying, “God doesn’t need our good works, our neighbor does.” That includes your neighbor at church, as the apostle Paul reminds us that our first good should be done amongst the household of faith.
Nothing I say will ultimately be able to make you come back or serve in the ways God has uniquely gifted you to serve. You are the only one who can make that decision. You are the only one who can summon the physical power necessary to rise to whatever calling or occasion God has laid before you, but proper theology is also why after the sting of the Law the Good News of Christ’s birth and death were proclaimed to you that you would be reminded of the good that God indeed has done for you and seeks for you to place your everlasting, undying faith in. And if that is where you are, and I pray that it is, then you are ready to hear and respond to the words that come at the end of the First Article. After hearing about God’s great providence to us, Luther finally says, “For all this is it our duty to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him.” I greatly look forward to thanking, praising, and serving our God with you as we obey His calls and commands to us as members together in His kingdom.
Advent Mid-Week Services:
Please join us Nov 30th, Dec 7th and Dec 14th for our Mid-Week Service. Refreshments will be served after by the Youth Group.
Sunday School Christmas Party:
Please join us for the Kids Sunday School Christmas Party after church December 4th for fellowship and a potluck.
Youth Group Cookie Walk:
Please support our Youth Group Dec 4th after both services for their Annual Cookie Walk!
St John School Christmas Concert:
Please join us December 9th at 1pm for the St John Christmas Concert! There will be one concert followed by refreshments & dessert.
Please bring a pan of bars or cookies to share.
Note: Mr. Denkert will live-stream the concert on Facebook & it will be available after for viewing.
November Door Offering:
Thank you for donating to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. Your gifts impact the patients by supporting the areas of greatest need throughout the year. These include: enhancing treatment programs, supplying bingo prizes, and birthday and Christmas gifts.
St John Gym Furnace:
Thank you to everyone that has donated to the Gym Furnace. We have now met our goal! The original furnace has been replaced and is working perfectly.
2022 Annual St John Potato Pancake Dinner:
A huge thank you to everyone that volunteered, donated and attended this years Potato Pancake Dinner! The event brought in a grand total of $6,731.00.
Sunday School, Youth Bible & Adult Bible Class:
We are excited to have 3 Bible Classes on Sunday mornings at 9am!
- Sunday School- Students in 3K-7th grade
- NEW Youth Bible Class- Students in 8th-12th
- Adult Bible Class
Dec 14 Jared and Melinda Heimerl
Dec 29 Ruben and Catherine Rakow
Dec 1 Connie Gardebrecht
Dec 2 McKena Bohmbach
Dec 2 Brian Buhrandt
Dec 5 Carson Peters
Dec 5 Rachel Sleeter
Dec 9 Justin Rakow
Dec 10 Jeremy Hischke
Dec 10 Jeff Suring
Dec 10 Harvey Wilber
Dec 12 Rylan Bohmbach
Dec 13 Randall Huncosky
Dec 13 Danna Kiesling
Dec 13 Kallie Malek
Dec 18 Kathleen Tuschy
Dec 19 Eleanor Scheer
Dec 20 Mark Buchholz
Dec 20 Kelly Buhrandt
Dec 21 Vanessa Hasenberg
Dec 21 Kyla Jones
Dec 21 Scarlett Olson
Dec 22 Brinley Davis
Dec 22 Marvin Genskow
Dec 23 Erika Firgens
Dec 25 Madison Davis
Dec 26 Remi Gardebrecht
Dec 26 Stephanie Huncosky
Dec 26 Emmet Kirchner
Dec 27 Robert Johnson
Dec 29 Lue Schuettpelz
Dec 31 Jessica Heckl
Dec 31 Matthew Hischke
St John Church & School Calendar:
An electronic calendar is continually updated and maintained on our new website: www.stjohnlutheranhayes.org/calendar.
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: ATRICLE V – MEMBERSHIP
The membership of this congregation consists of the following:
The baptized membership includes those who have been baptized in the Name of the Triune God.
The communicant membership consists of those
who are baptized;
who accept all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only divine rule and standard of faith and life;
who are familiar at least with Luther’s Small Catechism and have declared their acceptance of it;
who permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected when they have erred and who submit to rules and regulations adopted by this congregation, provided these are not contrary to God’s Word; and
who are not members, affiliates or supporters of secret societies or other organizations conflicting with the Word of God. When application for membership in this congregation is made by a Lutheran of either our own Synod or another Synod who is a member, affiliate, or supporter of a secret society or an organization whose philosophy conflicts with God’s Word, we shall make it our responsibility to define in an evangelical manner the inconsistency of such membership, and proceed according to Matthew 18: 15-18 with the hope that the matter could be resolve satisfactorily within a year.
The voting membership shall consist of all communicant members, both male and female:
who have reached the age of 18 years:
who have read and agree with the constitution and bylaws of this congregation.
A voting member shall not be eligible to hold office until he or she held voting membership at least one year.
Women who have voting membership in the congregation may serve as officers and as members of boards and committees as long as these positions are not directly involved in the specific function of the pastoral office (preaching, the public administration of the Sacrament, church discipline) and as long as this service does not violate the order of creation (usurping authority over men). Accordingly, they shall not serve as pastor, as a member of the Board of Elders, or as president of the congregation.
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 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
Board of Finance:
Cathy Rakow-Elected 2017/2020 Nominations Needed
Financial Secretary: Kimberly Krings