“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” (II Thessalonians 2:15)
Around this time of the year many parents load up the car in order to drop off their child at college. The first year of doing this brings a unique set of emotions. On the one hand the parent feels proud and happy for their child. On the other hand fear and concern fills their mind. No longer will their teenager be under the watchful parent’s eye. The newly minted college student will have to shop for themselves and maybe even cook for themselves. For the veteran parents dropping their kids off, maybe those emotions are not as strong, but they are still there.
In order to help alleviate some of those fears, parents will give a little pep talk to their child. It will go further than making sure that they separate the whites and darks while doing laundry or keeping junk food to a minimum in the dorm room. The parents will remind their child to keep their values. At most colleges those values will be challenged. The student will experience new cultures and worldviews, and some might threaten the values they learned at home.
Christian parents might worry all the more. Will my child continue to attend church? Will they be able to fight off the temptations Satan places before them? Will they find friends that share their beliefs? The fears can go on and on.
At this moment we need to keep these words of Paul in mind. Paul urges us to stand firm and hold to the teachings passed on to us. Preparation for these moments took place a long time ago in the child’s life. It all started as the cleansing waters of baptism washed their sins away. It continued as parents make use of our Lutheran Elementary School and Sunday School. Lakeside Lutheran High School and Luther Preparatory School continue building up teens in their faith, so they will be ready to face the world firmly standing on God’s Word. These are the teachings that need to be grasped from an early age.
This means these teachings need to be emphasized at home. Are we, as parents, building on the firm foundation? Are we making sure God’s Word takes precedence over sports, recreation, hobbies, and all other things? Is our church attendance something to be joyful about or embarrassed about? Parents need to be built on the firm foundation. It is then, and only then, it can be passed down to future generations.
When we pass these teachings to our children and build on the foundation of God’s teachings, our fears can subside. God will be with them as they face challenges from friends. The firm foundation of his Word will guide our children in the decisions they make. We pray so that children may continue to grow in their faith and stand up for what is right in the face of doing wrong.
The best part of this foundation is that it does not go away once we have a college degree. This foundation, all the teachings we hold to, will be with us all throughout life. We will continually grow in our faith all our days. From the time we enter this world until the time God calls us home to heaven, we will hold onto those teachings. We will build on the foundation of Jesus and him alone!
SEPTEMBER – Christian Education Gets Back “In Full Gear”!
School Year Sunday Worship Schedule
Our summer schedule of two (2) Sunday worship services continues through Labor Day weekend. Sunday, September 10 we will resume our “school year schedule” of three (3) services as listed below. Worship with fellow believers is Christian Education, too! Let’s all be there!
Thursdays: 6:30 P.M.
Sundays: 7:30, 9:00, 10:30 A.M.
Sunday Bible Hour (Sunday School & Adult Study): 9:15 A.M.
“Christian Education Sunday” is Sunday, August 27.
Our worship that day, as we near the beginning of school, sort of “kicks off” another year of spiritual growth activity. The focus of our worship will be the truth that every one of us needs to be regularly learning and applying from God’s Word the truths we need to remain his children forever by faith in his promises in Jesus. Below are a couple other things that will be taking place that day.
- Installation of Teachers – New teachers in our school, Mr. Joshua Schmidt (6th Grade, upper grades English, Athletics) and Mrs. Tiffany Vanderhoof (new position) will be installed into their called positions. Returning Lutheran Elementary School teachers and Sunday School teachers will renew their promises to faithfully represent our God as they teach.
- Joint Church Picnic – At 11:30 A.M. we will join our brothers and sisters in Christ from Good Shepherd for the picnic at Lakeview Park (eat at noon). It will also provide a chance to meet and welcome Mr. Schmidt and Mrs. Vanderhoof. Everyone is asked to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert. Brats, hot dogs and drinks will be provided by our coordinating groups – Lutheran Teens, Lutheran Explorers, and Parent-Teacher Society. A free-will offering will be received to defray some of the food expenses. Various games will follow the meal. In case of bad weather, we’ll use the school gymnasium.
Sunday School Begins Sunday, September 10
Sunday School is the Christian Education program for our children ages 4 through Grade 8 (3 year olds are welcome if they can be attentive for a 10-15 minute lesson, before there is a lesson-related activity). Sunday School is especially important for our children who do not attend the Lutheran Elementary School. Classes are held Sundays 9:00 – 10:00 A.M. in the school building. No registration is needed; just bring your child(ren) that day to the room for their age / grade.
Catechism / Confirmation Classes for Public School Students
- NEW THIS YEAR! 7th & 8th Grade Catechism classes will be conducted together with Good Shepherd. They will meet Wednesdays only, 3:30 – 4:45 P.M. Classes begin Wednesday, September 6. Students will be contacted with details.
- Public School 6th Grade Catechism will begin September 13 at 3:30 P.M.
- Questions? Call Pastors Dorn, Heyer, or Stratman.
- Specialized Programs can be worked out for special needs students who may need specialized instruction. Parents may contact one of the Pastors.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION … It’s Not Just for Kids!!!
For all adults …
On Summer Sunday mornings we’ve been going through a study called “Reformation: Grace, Faith, Scripture”. It employs scenes from the recently released movie, Return to Grace: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther. With the short Bible class time, we were using the abridged version of the study. There are 12 lessons in the series, and during the summer we will use only 8 of them. Our plan for September and early October is to present the remaining expanded lessons in all of the Bible Class times – Sundays (9:00-10:00 A.M.), Mondays (7:00 – 8:00 P.M), and Wednesdays (11:00 A.M. – Noon). So, pick your time and attend! New study series will begin in October. Watch the Sunday bulletin announcements for those studies.
For Women …
The Women’s Bible Study group meets Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:15 P.M. in the room above the church office (we will not meet on September 6th but all Wednesdays after). It’s open to all women of the congregation. The current study is called “Golden Fruit: Living the Fruit of the Spirit through the Best Times of Your Life”. Questions about the group or the study may be directed to Bonnie Wagner (326-5872).
For Men …
The Men’s Bible Study began a couple years ago and meets Sunday evenings, 6:30 to 7:30. We will also meet in the room above the church office. Last year we worked through the book of Genesis. This year’s study is yet to be determined, though a possible study of the book of Romans has been considered. Our study resumes Sunday, September 10.
For “Seekers” …
Our Bible Information Class (BIC) is geared toward people who are not members of our congregation who are seeking to know what the Bible teaches (and therefore what we teach). It’s also open to any St. Stephen’s member who wishes to take a “refresher course” on basic Bible teaching. If you know someone who might be “seeking” to know what God has to say to them, please invite them and give their name to one of the Pastors. The tentative plan is to meet on Thursdays at 7:30 P.M. (after the Thursday worship service). We would also offer it at 11:00 A.M., if this better fits someone’s schedule. The course, entitled “The Wonders of God” has 20 lessons that we cover in about 15-16 weeks.
For Teenagers …
Lutheran Teens exists for our young people grades 7-12. Their gatherings aren’t formal Bible Classes. Rather, they are activities in which our Christian teens can encourage each other in their faith through some Bible study and other fun activities. Our big activity this summer was the annual trip with teens from our sister WELS churches to Six Flags – Great America. Our next activity will be a trip to Knuckleheads in the Dells. Pricing and times will be coming soon.
A Message to All Parents with Elementary School Age Children
St. Stephen’s Lutheran School provides an affordable, quality, Christian education for all of your children. There is no tuition charge. Families pay only a $510.00 per child/per year Registration Fee that covers technology and consumable materials costs (Chromebooks, software licenses, computers, paper, copier costs, etc.)
If in the past you have not enrolled your child(ren) for fear of the cost, please reconsider. This quality, Christian education is affordable for about $2.80 per school day. The majority of the cost of operating our school where Jesus is at the heart is born by our congregation through the generous thank offerings they (you) bring to Jesus.
For more information about our Lutheran school check out the website: www.saintstephen.org and click on the “St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran School” tab of the opening page. You may also call the School Office at 885-6484, and I will gladly discuss our school with you.
Also, check out the excellent Good Shepherd Pre-School program for your K3 and K4 children!
Jared R. Brennan, Principal
School News …. It’s that time again!!
Vacation Bible School is over, and our teachers are now busy making their lassrooms ready for the coming school year. What a blessing to be able to share our Savior Jesus with the children each day!
Registration packets were distributed on Picnic Day in May. Please be sure to examine all the information in them and bring the completed forms when you register. If you’ve lost yours, or if you have any questions, please contact Mr. Brennan (885-6484 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Registration has been on-going throughout August. If you have not yet registered, please do so soon!
The complete school year calendar is up on the school website: www.saintstephen.org/school. Please note a couple calendar adjustments since it was first posted:
- No School – February 15 & 16
- School in session – February 22.
School Supplies: Classrooms will be open and teachers available August 30 & 31, 5:00 – 7:00 P.M., for parents and children to bring supplies to school and to visit with the teachers.
First Day: School begins Tuesday, September 5th at 8:00 A.M. Our year will begin with a brief worship service at 8:30 in the church.
Help our School by saving labels, cards, and boxtops! We collect…
- Boxtops marked for Education * Used greeting cards for Bethesda.
- Milk bags or bottle caps (Kwik Trip)
- Our Family Brand UPC (proof of purchase label). Cut off proof of purchase bar code and place in the slot for St. Stephen’s at Rechek’s Food Pride, or bring them to school. The bar code # should key in with #70253. Only Our Family bar codes are accepted.
There are also containers in the church basement for some of these items.
Reminder: We no longer collect Piggly Wiggly or Kemps receipts, Campbells labels, stamps, or ink jet cartridges.
Annual Ushers’ Meeting will be held Wednesday, September 13th at 6:30 P.M. in the church proper. At this meeting we review our duties, emergency procedures, etc. We are always looking for more of our confirmed men to serve the Lord and his people in this way. If interested, contact Head Usher Del Winning at 887-1411.
Lutheran Explorers is a fellowship and learning group for children Pre-K through 6th Grade conducted jointly by St. Stephen’s and Good Shepherd congregations. Our purpose remains:
- To promote Christian fellowship among the children of our congregations.
- To promote Christian citizenship as our children live as “salt and light” in our world.
- To learn useful life skills to glorify God and to serve our neighbor.
Our first meeting will be Tuesday, September 12th at 6:00 P.M. at St. Stephen’s .
We will register the children and have games at this first meeting. Please enter by the church office and come to the basement.
St. Stephen’s OWLS
St. Stephen’s OWLS (Organization of Wisconsin Lutheran Seniors) attempts to fulfill our motto: CARING FOR OTHERS. Presentations keep us informed of the work carried on by our Synod and about interesting activity in our community. The Owls Convention will be on October 10-12 at Country Springs Motelin Pewaukee, WI.
The next Owls meeting at St. Stephens’s will be on Tuesday October 17th. Pastor Brett Brauer will report on the Wartburg Project. Please join us for the noon potluck in the church basement. The presentation will follow. Everyone is welcome to join in this fellowship.
Join the Handbell Choir!!
Playing handbells is fairly simple; the most important “skill” is to be able to count! You don’t necessarily have to read music to play. Our practices resume Wednesday, September 20th. We meet Wednesdays at 7:15 P.M. in the church balcony. Throughout the school year we play for worship services the last Sunday of almost every month, as well as for the annual Advent by Candlelight program, and perhaps a couple other special occasions. If interested or if you have questions, call Ranee Welch (887-1624) and leave a message.
Lift Up Your Voice with Senior Choir!!
Senior Choir provides the opportunity for any confirmed member to combine your singing voice with others to provide music for our worship that glorifies God and brings his soul-saving message to the congregation in song. Rehearsals begin Thursday, August 24th at 7:30 P.M. in the School music room. At these early rehearsals we will prepare music for Reformation and Thanksgiving. We’d be happy to have you add your voice! Contact Mr. David Schulz (920-344-9435) if you’d like more information.