Health Ministry Presentation on Being a ‘Caregiver’

  Presentation Sponsored by Your St. Stephen’s Health Ministry Team
         Wednesday, March 8,  at 2:15 P.M. in the church basement

 

Are you the “caregiver” for a family member?  Do you see that in your future It’s a growing reality for many families.  There’s help!!

The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dodge County is committed to helping people with limiting conditions stay in their homes as long as possible. There are many types of programs available to help with this. Catherine Knickelbein of the ADRC will talk about each one. There will be time for questions, and a display of some of the fun and helpful items available.

2017 Lenten Schedule

Midweek Services

Ash Wednesday March 1       Repent: Turn to Jesus; He Changes Your Life  Luke 7:44-50
Pastor Stratman

Wednesday March 8               Repent: Turn to Jesus; Do Not Turn Away  Matthew 27:1-5
Pastor Schupmann, St. John’s, Juneau

Wednesday March 15      Repent: Turn to Jesus; He Longs to Forgive You  Luke 23:32-34
Pastor Vander Galien, Salem, Lowell

Wednesday March 22 Repent: Turn to Jesus When You Face Temptations  Mark 14:32-38           
Pastor Dorn

Wednesday March 29  Repent: Turn to Jesus; He Holds the Key to Heaven Luke 23:35-43
Pastor Heyer

Wednesday April 5                       Repent: Turn to Jesus and Not to Yourself  Luke 18:9-14
Pastor Vanderhoof, Good Shepherd, Beaver Dam 

Holy Week Services

Tuesday April 11, Confessional Communion Service, 1:30, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday April 13, Maundy Thursday Communion Service, 1:30, 6:30 p.m.

 Good Friday April 14, Midday Worship, 1:30 p.m.
                                           Service of Darkness (Tenebrae), 7:00 p.m.

lenten-envelopeNOTE: This year the purple Lenten envelopes are designated for the General Fund. If you wish your offering to be directed to Missions, please make a note on your envelope. Thank you!

From the January 29 Annual Meeting

  • Mr. Jared Brennan’s call as principal has been made permanent.
  • Beginning February 12, Sunday services will go back to the old schedule of 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. An adult Bible Study opportunity will be still be offered at 9:00 a.m. in the “Upper Room.”

Elections

  • Council: Mark Paul, Del Winning, Roger Leland
  • District Elder Area Chairman: Dale Grulke, Tim Welch
  • Board of Education: Erv Loest, Josh Voelker
  • Board of Property and Maintenance: Jack Rhodes

Annual Voters’ Meeting, January 29

ANNUAL VOTERS’ MEETING  date has been set for Sunday,January 29th, at 1:15 P.M.  The annual report of congregation activity for 2016 will be reviewed, and elections will take place for congregation boards.  All men 18 years and older are urged to take part in this leadership activity of our congregation.  Every member is welcome to attend and listen in on the business.

Nominees are:  *Incumbents

For Church Council:   Roger Leland, *Mark Paul, Gary Pepin, David  Schumann, Duane Swenson, *Del Winning

For Board of Education:  *Erv Loest, Aaron Milan, Rudy Sennhenn, *Josh Voelker

For District Elder Area Chairmen:  Dale Grulke, William R. Hemling, Rick Stibb, *Tim Welch

Board of Property Maintenance:  Tim Alderden, Jack Rhodes

Other business:

  • Upon receiving more feedback through our District Elders and doing an analysis of attendance, the Church Council will make the recommendation to discontinue the experimental 2 service Sunday worship schedule and to return to the previous schedule of 3 Sunday services (7:30, 9:00, 10:30) with Sunday School at 9:00 A.M., effective mid-February.
  • Also, the voters will act on the Board of Education’s recommendation that Mr. Brennan’s Call as principal be made permanent.

Call for Upper Grade Teacher and Athletic Director Has Been Accepted

Dear Members of St. Stephen’s,

mr-20schmidtAfter prayerful deliberation and conversations with family and friends, it pleases me to inform you that the Lord has lead me to accept your call to teach in the upper grades, and serve as your school’s athletic director, beginning the 2017-2018 school year.  I am looking forward to the opportunity the Lord has placed before me to serve St. Stephen’s church and school, and most importantly, blessing me with the opportunity to bring the students of St. Stephen’s the saving message of salvation they have through their Savior Jesus Christ.

On behalf of my entire family, we are looking forward to becoming part of the St. Stephen’s family. Thank you for all your prayers during my deliberation, and I ask for your continued prayers as I finish out my current call at Riverview in Appleton, and begin making preparations for our move and transition to St. Stephen’s and Beaver Dam. Have a blessed Christmas season!

In Christ’s humble service,

Mr. Joshua Schmidt

Photo from http://www.riverviewlutheran.org/

 

Christmas 2016 Newsletter

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born  to you; he is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.

Luke 2:11, 12

heyer2013Imagine under your Christmas tree a flat, light gift to you wrapped only in a bag from the “Dollar Store.” So you open the bag to find a previously used, coffee-stained envelope. What might you think about the gift and the giver? Cheap gift? Cheap giver?

“Oh, this is going to be great,” you think sarcastically as you begin lifting the envelope flap. From the envelope you pull two official looking documents. One is a deed to a newly built $500,000 house on lakefront property! And your name is on the deed! The second document is a Certificate of Deposit with a handwritten note attached. The note says,

“This CD for $1,000,000 should be enough to pay the utilities and outrageous property taxes on the  house for the rest of your life.  Love, Mom & Dad.”

Do you think your thoughts about the gift and the giver might change?!

When our heavenly Father gave the great Gift of his Son to be Savior to a world of sinners the process was reversed. Through his angel he told the Bethlehem shepherds what the outrageously valuable gift was: “A Savior, Christ, the Lord…peace…life…a perfect and eternal home.”

Then he told them about the gift wrapping: “A baby, wrapped in strips cloth, lying in a manger.”

This perfect gift to you of life eternal through God’s son, that Baby of Bethlehem, is still wrapped in relatively simple packaging. “You will find” this gift  wrapped in the pages of your Bible. “You will find” your Father’s gift of  forgiveness and life in the body and blood of that Son of his “wrapped up” in bread and wine. He offers his precious gift in the simple “wrapper” of fellow believers who share the message of the Gift with you.

This Christmas, and every day, go find that Gift of a Savior to you and “unwrap” that Gift. You know where to find him.

Merry Christmas

Pastor Philip Heyer

“O, COME, LET US ADORE HIM!” + Holiday Worship Opportunities

 December 18, Sunday

  • 8:00 & 10:30 A.M. Advent Song Service
  • 2:00 P.M. Sunday School Christmas Service
  • 4:30 P.M. Spanish Service at Good Shepherd

December 21, Wednesday

  • 7:00 P.M. Joint Advent Service at Good Shepherd with St. John, Juneau, and Good Shepherd

December 24, Saturday

  • 6:00 P.M. Day School Christmas Eve Service
  • 10:00 P.M. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

December 25, Sunday

  • 8:00 & 10:30 A.M. Christmas Day Worship & Communion Services
  •  No Sunday School

December 31, Saturday

  • 6:30 P.M. New Year’s Eve Communion Service

January 1, Sunday

  • 8:00 A.M. & 10:00 A.M. New Year’s Day Worship Service

Special Christmas Worship Themes

While we celebrate only one event at Christmas – the birth of Jesus our Savior – the marvel, blessings and joy of that event will be presented during the season under a variety of themes.

  • Our Sunday School Children, at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 18 will present the  message of Jesus’ birth through service titled  “The Songs of Christmas!”
  • Our Christian Day School Children, in the 6:00 P.M. Christmas Eve Service will  lead us in a celebration of Jesus’ birth under  the theme: “Mary, Did You Know.”
  •  Various Singers and Musicians will help us with our “quieter” service, the  Candlelight service at 10:00 P.M. Through the  traditional Christmas Gospel (Luke 2) and many of  the familiar songs of Christmas we will quietly  ponder the blessed event and what it means for us.

CHRISTMAS: A Time To Reach Out!

Share Your Savior With Others at Christmas!

What an opportune time to share the Christ-Child with the unchurched in our area! Soon you will be hearing radio spots and seeing newspaper ads inviting our neighbors to come and hear in special Christmas services the message of the Savior born for all people. Here at St. Stephen’s we are “steering” people toward our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 10:00 P.M. 

You can be part of that outreach effort. Here’s how:

  • Pray! Ask our Savior and King to bless our effort to reach people with the good              news of His birth, life, and death for all people.
  • Identify people in your circle of acquaintances who need the Good News of Jesus. Pray for them. Ask God to give you opportunities to talk to them about Jesus.
  • Mention our radio or newspaper ads to them and use these as a springboard to invite them to the Candlelight Service. Or….
  • Use the special invitations on the table in the church entry to invite someone to join you at the Candlelight Service to hear about the birth of their Savior.

CONCERTS

  • Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills Sunday, December 18th, 7:00 P.M.
  • St. Stephen’s Band   Tuesday, December 20th, 7:00 P.M.
  • Luther Prep, Watertown  Sunday, December 11th, 3:00 P.M.    Monday, December 19th, 6:00 P.M.
  • St. Stephen’s Piano Recitals in the Gym  Thursday, December 15th, 10:00 A.M.                      

SUNDAY SCHOOL STUDENTS

will be rehearsing for their Christmas Program on Saturday, December 17th, 9:00 – 10:15 A.M. There will be no Sunday School on December 25th or January 1st. Classes resume on Sunday, January 8th, at 9:00 A.M

ST. STEPHEN’S CHRISTIAN DAY SCHOOL

  • Practice Thursday, December 22 & Friday, December 23….8:10-10:00 A.M.
  • Christmas Eve, December 24…6:00 P.M.
  • Day School dismisses at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, December 23rd.
  • Classes resume at 8:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 3rd.
  • Kindergarten Round Up – Monday, January 30th, 6:00 P.M. – More information later.
  • Check out our web-site http://www.saintstephen.org/school.

YEAR-END HOLY COMMUNION SERVICES

In all our services on Sunday, December 25th, the Lord’s Supper will be offered. We also have the opportunity to close the year 2016 not only worshipping in our Savior’s house, but also with the assurance of His grace and forgiveness through His supper in our New Year’s Eve Service at 6:30 P.M.

If you have been neglecting this gift of your Savior throughout this year, why not take these opportunities to be assured of His forgiveness and to receive the Savior’s strength to make 2017 a year full of His grace and blessing through regular worship and communing!

PUBLIC SCHOOL CONFIRMATION CLASSES

Classes will resume on Wednesday, January 4th, for 5th – 8th. We’ll pick up with our lessons on the Creed and Commandments.

Organization of WELS Lutheran Seniors (OWLS)

Our Lutheran Senior’s group will be starting our  23rd year of fellowship, encouragement and service in 2017. Our bi-monthly programs cover topics ranging from social to historical to community to religious; hopefully, something for everybody. If you are 55 years or older, check us out! Watch Sunday Bulletins for programs planned for 2017.

BIBLE STUDY OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NEW YEAR

Bible Information Class A new course of instruction in basic teachings of the Bible will begin Thursday, January 5th, meeting at 11:00 A.M. (if needed) and at 7:30 P.M.(after worship). The class is open to anyone, as informational for people who would like to learn about the Bible and St. Stephen’s and as review for St. Stephen’s members. If you know someone who would like to learn more about Jesus and His word, please give their name to one of the pastors and/or invite them to take part in the class.

Sunday Bible Class The Sunday Bible Hour will finish up the current study of  selected Psalms. There will be a 2 week break in the class  (no class Christmas Day and New Year’s Day), resuming Sunday, January 8th, when we’ll begin a new topic. Why not take the opportunity for a little more spiritual feeding on a Sunday morning?! The class is held in the basement at 9:15 A.M. a pot of coffee is usually on, as well!

Weekday Bible Class After a one week break (no class the week after Christmas)  the Monday/ Wednesday class will continue through  February with the current study of the book of Leviticus. Feel free to jump in if you haven’t been able to take part previously. This class meets Mondays at 7:00 P.M. and Wednesdays at 11:00 A.M.

Women’s Bible Study During the busy time leading up to Christmas we arenot meeting. We’ll get together again on Wednesday,January 4th, at 6:00 P.M. to continue our study, Coffee with Jesus. We meet in the room above the church office.

Men’s Bible Study We are presently going through a study of the book of Genesis.Each week we take a short section of the book, no more than a chapter. It’s alright to jump in anytime. Men, if you’d like a little fellowship and spiritual growth time with brothers in Christ, join us Sunday evenings at 6:30 P.M. We’ve been meeting in the church basement. We also are suspending our study until after New Year’s. We meet again Sunday, January 8th.

GETTING MARRIED NEXT YEAR? BEEN MARRIED FOR MANY YEARS?!

Each year our Pastors lead a Marriage (Enrichment) Seminar for couples  planning to be married and for married couples wanting to be refreshed on    what God says in his Word about marriage and family life. Our next “seminar” is set for Saturday, February 25th, 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.             Using the study-discussion guide “Building the Christian Home”, we will touch on God’s “blueprint” for marriage, the foundation and structure of a Christian marriage, finances in a family and the growing family. A sign-up sheet will be available at church in January to help us have an adequate supply of study guides and refreshments. Or you may call the church office to RSVP (885-3309).

RADIO MINISTRY

text99031_2As of January 2017, we will have been broadcasting our Radio Service on WBEV for 44 years! Our homebound members are thankful for that opportunity to hear God’s Word in sermon and song every Sunday. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE “Radio Choir” over the years! New participants are always needed and welcome. Recording takes place the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, 7:00 – 8:00 P.M. in the church. The most recent radio services can be listened to any time via audio streaming on the church website www.saintstephen.org. Click on Radio Service in the menu and follow the instructions.

A special one hour service of lessons and carols from St. Stephen’s will be broadcast on WBEV AM 1430 on December 25th at 12:00 noon. The service features the children of our school and our Senior and Handbell Choirs, with our pastors and special guest pastors giving devotions.

Monetary gifts to the Radio Fund are always needed and welcome, too. Each ½ hour Sunday service costs about $70.

EXPLORERS

text94541_2The Explorers continue to hold monthly meetings. We have a full slate of things planned for the new year. All kids from 4K- 6th Grade can join us the second Tuesday of the month

 

LUTHERAN TEENS

text94574_2Teens will take the month of December off. In January we planon going tubing on the 14th. Watch for more information.

STEPHEN’S & GOOD SHEPHERD COOPERATIVE MINISTRIES

For too long the two Beaver Dam WELS congregations have been carrying out Jesus’ mission in our community as if we are two almost totally unconnected groups of believers. As such, we have been duplicating a lot of mission and ministry efforts that could be more effective and beneficial if done together. We are one in faith and teaching! We are one in mission!

The Pastors and Executive Committees of our two congregations have met a few times in the last year to talk about this. Pastor Vanderhoof (Good Shepherd) and Pastor Heyer and St. Stephen’s President Tal Diekvoss recently attended a WELS Multi-Site conference to learn more about congregations in close proximity working better together.

Leadership of the two congregations will be meeting more in the next months to improve our ministry relationship. Already, however, some ministry activities are being carried out jointly, such as the Lutheran Explorer program for younger children, Teen activities, Jesus Cares Ministry to develop-mentally disabled, and some Catechism instruction. A closer relationship between St. Stephen’s Lutheran Elementary School and Good Shepherd Pre-School is developing.

A joint outreach effort to the Spanish speaking population of our area is being pursued, with the help of Pastor Dale Hella (St. Peter’s, Oak Grove). A couple more joint worship services are in the works, as well. We plan to share more about these discussions and efforts in the future.

SAVE LABELS, CARDS, BOXTOPS

  • Boxtops marked for Education, used greeting cards for Bethesda
  • Milk bottle caps or bags (Kwik Trip)
  • Our Family UPC (proof of purchase labels). Please cut off the proof of purchase bar code and place it in the slot for St. Stephen’s at Recheck’s Food Pride or bring them directly to the school. The bar code # should key in with the #70253. Only Our Family Bar codes can be accepted.
  • There are containers in the church basement for these items or send them to school with your children.

Thank you for your help!

We no longer collect Piggly Wiggly or Kemps receipts, Campbell soup labels, or postage stamps.

2017 OFFERING ENVELOPES

New envelopes are available for pick up in the church basement.  To pay for them, please use the initial offering envelope in the front of your packet and place it in the collection plate or in the box in the basement. Thank you for your cooperation!

As we enter this season of celebrating how our Savior God GAVE His only Son for us, may he grant us all joyful, thankful and gracious hearts that recognize His many gifts to us and hearts that generously distribute them to his church and to others in our lives, all to His glory! Now is an appropriate time to make special gifts of love and to make a plan for regular, generous thank offerings in the New Year.

In His Service,

Pastors: Seth Dorn, Philip Heyer, Paul Stratman

October 2016 Newsletter

sethdorn1Even though the weather might not feel like it, a look outside the window reminds us of what is coming. The leaves turn various colors displaying their beauty. Piles of leaves stand by the side of the road waiting to be picked up and taken away. Darkness comes all too soon leaving us long for those nights in the summer when we stayed outside soaking up the warm weather. Yes, all signs point towards fall.

The fall season also brings with it a celebration of something very special (Even though many almost make it something special, I am not talking about deer hunting. Sorry hunters!). We soon will be celebrating a very special time of the church year. Starting on Reformation Sunday the season of End Times is upon us.

So, let me ask you, “Are you ready?” Thanksgiving is still a month away, so I have plenty of time to get those things ready. The Christmas crunch time still is far away. I guess I am ready. Are you really ready?

God does not want us to only be ready for the busy holiday season coming up. The season of End Times focuses on our readiness for Jesus’ second coming. Our lives are busy. We run around from one thing to the next. Rest might not even be in our vocabulary at times during the year. The only thing we are ready for is a vacation.

All this running around leads many people to forget about the Lord’s coming. They think they have plenty of time to come back to God. Many think it is okay just to be baptized or confirmed, but they do not need to continually strengthen their faith through regular use of God’s Word in church.

Paul tells us, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief…So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled” (I Thessalonians 5:4, 6 NIV84). Christians keep their eyes heavenward. We constantly stand ready just waiting for Jesus to return as judge of the living and the dead.

This does not mean that we need to be scared. Far from it. This is the day all the faithful have been waiting for. Jesus will say to those who believe in him, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34 NIV84). Do you hear the joy in those words? We will be home in heaven for all eternity.

Are you ready? Let us make preparations that are truly needed. We never want the things   of this world to cloud out our heavenly home. Let us make Christ the first priority in our life. Let us take God’s Word seriously and make church and Bible Class a priority.

The season of End Times gives us a chance to focus on what is important. We can focus on our life of faith. We examine our heart and our lives of faith.  We get to look forward to the eternal joys of heaven God has prepared for us.

May God find all of us ready when he comes again, so we can hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NIV84).

Pastor Dorn

FESTIVAL OF THE REFORMATION

The end of October brings us to the beginning of the season of End Time in our Church Year.  It begins with the celebration of the Reformation of the Church that took place at the time of Martin Luther (1500’s).  Martin Luther’s emphasis was on the Word of God, not on traditions and teachings of people in the church. Sola Scriptura was one of his Latin mottos – by Scripture alone.  By Scripture alone do we know what God wants us to believe and to do.  By Scripture alone do we know and believe the grace and promises of God in Christ.  In the end times in which we live, only by God’s Word do we have his promises and guidance that will bring us safely to and through that day of judgment when Jesus returns to judge all people, living and dead.  

Special opportunities for this celebration will be:

  • In our worship services on Sunday, October 30th,  at 8:00 and 10:30 A.M. (and the preceeding Thursday) we will give thanks for those blessings and be encouraged to hold to the truths of God’s Word and to share them.

Other special opportunities for celebration of the Reformation of the church are:

  • At Lakeside Lutheran High School with area WELS churches on Sunday, October 30th, 4:00 P.M.
  • In our school’s Children’s Service, Monday, October 31st, at 8:30 A.M. in the church.

2016 ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT

Save the date!  It’s never too early to mark your calendar for an important event!  St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church will hold the sixth annual “Advent by Candlelight” event for ladies of the congregation, their female family members, friends, and neighbors on Sunday, December 4, 2016, at 2:00 P.M. in the school gymnasium. This is a wonderful time of gathering around the Word, music, and fellowship to help you prepare your hearts for the Advent Season before the holidays get into full swing!  If you would like to help out on a committee, call Linda Kroeger at 885-0442 or Jane Winning at 920-344-0400.  Would you like to be a table hostess this year?  Watch the October bulletins for contact information about this great opportunity.

text94574_2LUTHERAN TEENS    

The teens will meet next on Saturday, November 12th, starting at 11:00 A.M.  We will have a presentation on drug abuse and its dangers.  After the presentation we will have pizza and play games.  We will finish at 4:00 P.M.                      

text99031_2RADIO  SERVICE

Since 1973 St. Stephen’s has been airing a radio worship  service, especially designed for homebound members who can’t get to church for worship.  Recording of services for this year has just begun.  We gather on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to record two half-hour services each time.  Our recording begins at 7:00 P.M. and we are usually finished by 8:10.  We meet in the church.  We’d love to have you join us!

LUTHERAN EXPLORERS

text94541_2The Explorer program exists for our youth to grow in their faith and Christian service.  It is open to kids from pre K to 6th grade.  Once again we have joined forces with Good Shepherd in order to promote our activities at both churches.   Every month we have a meeting on the second Tuesday from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00  P.M.   Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 8th, at St. Stephen’s.  We will be making items to hand out when we go caroling in December.

In the parking lot you might have noticed a trailer with the sign “Cans for Kids.”  We are accepting aluminum cans.  Once a month the explorers will be taking the cans in for money to help with our activities.  Feel free to bring all your cans here.

BIBLE CLASS OPPORTUNITIES  (Seize them!!!)

Bible study opportunities are available for all ages. Sunday School for our children ages 4-13, Catechism for Middle School aged children, Lutheran Teens activities for grades 6-12.

  • Bible study on Sunday mornings is at 9:15 A.M. Our study through Christmas will center on the Psalms.
  • The men meet at 6:30 P.M. on Sundays. They are studying the book of Genesis.
  • Adult opportunities are available Monday evenings at 7:00 and Wednesday mornings at 11:00 A.M.
  • Beginning Monday, November 7th, we will be taking a look at the book of Leviticus. Many of us might never have gone through this Old Testament book, or if we have, wondered what are all these things about.   In this class we will examine the various sacrifices and festivals of the Israelites.  We will look     at the importance of these things for them, and how Christ fulfilled them for us.
  • Studies geared especially for the ladies of St. Stephen’s is held Wednesday evening at 6:00 P.M. Their study book is “Coffee with the Savior”. The purpose of this study is to help you see Jesus as your best friend.

Please join us to study God’s Word!

QUARTERLY VOTERS’ MEETING           

Wednesday, December 18th,  at  11:40 A.M.  On the agenda the main item will be the adoption of a financial ministry plan (budget) for 2017. There will also be the regular reports of the various committees and boards. Updates on projects will be given.  All male communicant members 18 years and older are encouraged to take part in this leadership activity in Christ’s Church.  All other members are welcome to come and listen to the reports and discussion.

ST. STEPHEN’S ONLINE!

  • SERMONS: Since August 2014 sermons have been published online at http://ststephenspulpit.wordpress.com  Sermons are printable. You can also enter your email address and subscribe to weekly emails of our sermons.
  • NEWS: We also have a news blog where you can read an online version of this newsletter, and other news items at https://ststephensnews.wordpress.com
  • FACEBOOK: Our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/ststephensbd and features verse of the day (from http://BibleGateway.com), daily devotions from WELS similar to Meditations, WELS Connection, and news items and special announcements from St. Stephen’s and WELS.
  • AUDIO: Streaming audio of our Radio Services is available on our radio page: http://www.saintstephen.org/radio.cfm. An archive of radio services goes back several months.
  • CALENDAR:  A calendar in an agenda format is available on the calendar page: http://www.saintstephen.org/calendar.cfm. If you use Google calendar, you can merge events from St. Stephen’s Church and School calendar with your own!
  • YOUTUBE: Video from our church and school will be viewable on our YouTube channel. Window on St. Stephen’s, our own video connection, can also be viewed here! http://bit.ly/2esfQit

All of these pages are linked to our main webpage, www.saintstephen.org.

STUDENTS PREPARING FOR CHURCH WORK

We are happy to report that these students from our congregation are enrolled in our Synod schools and are preparing themselves to enter either the teaching or preaching ministry.  The Lord willing, they will one day be a part of Synod’s full-time work force.  May the Lord be with them and bless their study and preparation for this important work.

Martin Luther College – New Ulm, MN

  • Matthew Behm – Senior (Randall and Bev Behm)
  • Nathan Hildebrandt – Sophomore (Nathan Hildebrandt and Stacey Hildebrandt)
  • Jamie Stibb – Freshman    (Rick and Rochelle Stibb)
  • Jessica Stibb – Freshman    (Rick and Rochelle Stibb)

Luther Preparatory School – Watertown, WI

  • Alyssa Hildebrandt – Junior   (Nathan and Stacey Hildebrandt)
  • Emma Zellmer – Junior   (Erich and Rebecca Zellmer)

In addition to the students at WELS Worker Training Schools, 11 St. Stephen’s members are attending Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills.  May the Savior’s rich blessings be on them as they receive a high school education based on God’s Word.  Several of these students are also considering full-time service in the church.

Seniors:

  • Ashley Koltz  (Kory and Cindy Koltz)
  • Malachi Mortensen (Marvin Mortensen and Mara Mortensen)
  • Chris Schuman   (Mark and Tina Schuman/Frances Johnston)

Juniors:

  • Philip Seim    (Steve and Julie Seim)
  • Katrina Stratman (Pastor Paul and Corinne Stratman)
  • Sarah Taylor-Evert  (David and Jennifer Taylor-Evert)

Sophomores:

  • Mariah Mortensen (Marvin Mortensen and Mara Mortensen)
  • Dustin Schulz (David and Amanda Schulz)
  • John Schuman (Mark and Tina Schuman/Frances Johnston)
  • Anna Swenson (Duane and Kathy Swenson)

Freshmen:

  • Joshua England (Lee and Patricia England)

SCHOOL NEWS….

The Lord blessed St. Stephen’s again this year by allowing us to open our doors for another school year and the opportunity to teach young children about Jesus as their Savior. Our theme this year is:  “Growing in Faith.”

We opened the year with an opening church service.  Teachers, parents, and students were excited as we listened to the pastor encourage us to appreciate each day we get to learn and grow with fellow Christians.  Our enrollment presently stands at 136.  We are going through many changes this year, some planned, and some not.  We approach each new task keeping in our hearts and minds that the most important thing is teaching our student’s about God’s Word. We accept the challenge of integrating God’s Word into all our subjects and strive to provide the best education we can offer each day.  We ask that you keep the students, the faculty, and your school in your prayers.

In addition to the regular school curriculum, we have many outside activities for the children.  Our band, piano and Junior Choir and Children’s Choir programs teach the children to use their musical talents to the glory of God.  Our Forensics team improves each day their ability to speak of the richness of God’s blessings.  Our athletic teams represent their Savior, using their physical abilities, as they compete against other schools and teams in cross country, volleyball, and soon basketball.  The coaches and directors of these groups serve as examples as they coach and direct these events keeping Christ as the central focus.

Remember to continue saving, milk labels, caps and box tops for education.  Thank you for your support with these programs in the past.

During the past summer we improved our playground by recoating the parking lot.  We painted the 4th grade classroom and the conference room.  We had the gym floor refinished, which has received many compliments.  Technologically, we had our network professionally set-up to perform at optimal levels.    We  are grateful to have had the ability to improve our school this summer.

Mr. Jared Brennan, Principal 

Mr. Schoenfeld Makes a Career Change

October 7, 2016

Dear friends in Christ our Savior,

I have a desire to serve our Savior with my life, but have come to the realization that teaching is not the best way for me to do that. I had hoped it might be, but struggles I have had within me as I have begun this vocation cause me to know it is not. It would not be beneficial for your children, your congregation or me to continue to try while struggling within.

That being the case, with a heavy heart but for the good for the gospel ministry at St. Stephen’s, I tender my resignation from the teaching ministry among you. Thank you for being so welcoming and making me feel apart of the St. Stephen’s family. I pray that our Savior God bless your ministry to your children and the community in the future. God’s richest blessing today and always!

Your fellow brother in Christ,

Andrew Schoenfeld

A Note from Mr. Brennan

It is with a heavy heart that I share the following news. Mr. Andrew Schoenfeld will be resigning his call to teach at St. Stephen’s Lutheran call. This is his decision that goes back to the fourth day of school. After encouragement to continue he came to a certain conclusion. He no longer wishes to serve the Lord as a teacher, and he has stated that if he doesn’t feel in his heart he should be teaching and the desire is not there, he cannot ignore that. He is very aware that the timing is not great but, he is very correct that for the benefit of the students we should have a teacher who wants to teach with their full heart. We wish him God’s blessings on his future. For the benefit of stability for the students, and for Mr. Schoenfelds sake, we made a decision not to disclose Mr. Schoenfeld’s resignation until we had a plan in place. Mr. Schoenfeld agreed to stay until we had achieved a proper replacement plan. I will share with you his resignation letter in its entirety later tonight.

The school board, the pastors, members of the faculty and myself have discussed and planned for the remainder of the school year. We spoke with available teachers and have established a plan. We will be moving forward with 2 teachers filling Mr. Schoenfeld’s teaching duties. Mrs. Tiffany Vanderhoof will be teaching from 7:30-10:45 each day. She will teach 5th and 6th grade Language Arts each day and 6th Grade Christ Light on Tuesday and Thursday. Mr. Thomas Heuer, a retired teacher and member of St. Paul’s Ixonia, will be teaching from 10:45 – 3:10. Mr. Heuer will be taking the 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts, Study Hall supervision, and 5th – 8th Grade Spelling. Mr. Heuer has served as a long term sub in several schools and has great references. His area of focus as a teacher is the Language Arts, so we have no fear he will be more than adequate.

Several other teachers will be switching classes to accommodate our new situation. Mrs. Dorn will now be teaching 4th Grade social studies instead of Mr. Brennan. Mrs. Dorn will also be teaching 5th-8th grade Computer/Technology instead of Mr. Brennan. ( Mr. Brennan will remain involved) Mr. Schoenfeld’s Physical Education classes (5-8) will be assumed by Mr. Brennan. Mr. Brennan will also assume the Athletic Director role for the remainder of this year.

Neither Mr. Heuer nor Mrs. Vanderhoof will be given extracurricular activities.

Going forward, we have reserved Mr. Heuer and Mrs. Vanderhoof through the remainder of 2016. Each school board meeting will dedicate some time to discussing the effectiveness of our new situation. At which time we may decide to extend our subs to longer terms. We will also give much thought to placing a call from the field, the possibility of a winter assignment from MLC, or using a different long term sub if needed. What is important first and for most is the Christian education of our students.

I am aware this news is a bit startling and that it is very much a question provoking situation. I hope I have explained our plans for the future effectively. However, I urge you to call me, email me, text, me or find me to ask or discuss anything you need to. God’s Blessings on your day, and if you see Mr. Schoenfeld please wish him the same, this has not been an easy decision for him.

Mr. Jared Brennan
Principal

August 2016 Newsletter

heyer2013Dear fellow crops in God’s fields,

It’s been gently raining on and off as this is being written.  It seems this summer that the rain in our area has come at all the right times from a farmer’s perspective. We got some in late May and into June as plants were sprouting and growing.  And then again later in June, so that much of the corn in the fields I saw was waist high or taller by the 4th of July! Then there was more rain as ears were forming on the stalks. And now again, a little rain to perhaps lead to an excellent crop of corn in the fall. We’ll see.

From the Christian’s perspective regarding our faith-life, we’ve  always had rain at the right time. Through his prophet Isaiah or Lord tells us, “As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it, so that it yields seed for the sewer and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to the empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10,11).

God’s precious and soul-saving Word is always here.  It’s in your Bible.  It’s in your Meditations daily devotional booklets.  It’s in your memory.  It’s in our worship services and Bible classes.

Regarding this ‘rain,’ don’t stand under a spiritual umbrella. Let’s use in our homes these Bibles and devotion books. Let’s take a few minutes and try to pull out of our memory banks some precious bible verses wee memorized from our days in School, Sunday School, and Catechism class.  Let’s soak up all the opportunities to gather around the Word with fellow believers at worship and Bible class!

The great  “harvest day” is approaching when God will call us from this life to eternity with him. Let’s be growing and bearing the fruit of godly living until that day. It all depends on getting rained on with the Word!

Pastor Heyer

SEPTEMBER IS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION MONTH!

WORSHIP SERVICE SCHEDULE

First of all, thank you. A fair number of people have shared with the church Council members and the Pastors opinions about a possible change to two Sunday worship services from three due to decrease in participation in services. Since the summer experiment did not take into account the effect on our Sunday School program, our Voters’ Assembly decided to continue the experiment through the Fall to assess how Sunday School is affected.

Thursday Worship: 6:30 p.m.
Sunday Worship: 8:00 & 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Bible Hour (Sunday School and Adult Bible Study): 9:15-10:15 a.m.

ALSO ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 28TH, IS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION SUNDAY

Emphasis in our worship that weekend will be on growing as disciples of Jesus, regardless of our age, through education in his Word. Our worship “kicks off a new season” of Christian educational activity here at St. Stephen’s. Here is some of that activity …

  • In the 10:30 A.M. service our Lutheran Elementary School and Sunday School Teachers and helpers will renew their promises to faithfully and joyfully teach God’s word to the children entrusted to their spiritual care. Also, that service will include installation of Mr. Andrew Schoenfeld who be the homeroom teacher for Grade 6, and be our athletic director. Mr. Brennan will be installed as our interim principal, and Mrs. Dorn will be installed as our 8th grade homeroom teacher.
  • Sunday School begins on September 11th for children ages 4 years – 8th Classes meet 9:15 – 10:15 A.M. No pre-registration is necessary, just bring your child to the school classroom for their grade level (rooms will have signs). This time for study of God’s word is especially geared for our children not attending St. Stephen’s School, so that they receive a foundation in Bible truths. Children just under 4 years old who can be attentive for 10-15 minutes of a Bible lesson are also welcome in our Nursery/Pre-K class.

Catechism / Confirmation Classes Begin

  • 7th & 8th Grade Catechism instruction will begin on Friday,   September 2nd, in St. Stephen’s School.
  • Public School 7th & 8th Grade Catechism classes begin Wednesday, September 7, meeting on Mondays 5:00 – 6:00 P.M. and Wednesdays  3:30 – 4:30 P.M. Watch your mail the last week of August for a letter  with more details.
  • Public School 5th & 6th Grade Catechism classes will meet on  Wednesdays, 3:30 – 4:30 P.M., beginning September 9. Watch the  mail for an informational letter.
  • “Special Instruction for Special Students” – Our congregation has loving concern for any of our children with developmental disabilities who may need special instruction in God’s Word. If the Lord has blessed you with one of these special children, please speak with one the Pastors so that a specialized program of instruction can be worked out for your child.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION …. For Adults!                          

BIBLE STUDY OPPORTUNITIES

Weekday Bible Study – Monday nights 7:00 – 8:00 & Wednesday mornings  11:00 – Noon. The Fall study will be on the book of Ecclesiastes, follow-up to last year’s study on King Solomon.

Sunday Morning Bible Study — 9:15-10:15 a.m. “Idols We Never Knew We Had.” Maybe it isn’t always obvious, but idolatry can live on in success, love, sports, and other places.

Bible Study 4 Women The Women’s Bible Study group invites you to join us for our next study book, “Coffee with the Savior” by Kristen Myers. The purpose of this study is to help you see Jesus as your best friend. The innate yearning for relationship is not an accident. God designed us for relationship – with Him and with those He places in our lives. Join us starting on Wednesday, September 28th, at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesdays in the room above the church office for this 8-week study. Take a S.I.P. (Scripture invites Peace) of coffee with us on Wednesday evenings for 1 hour. Call Bonnie at 326-5872 or email her at bonniewag@live.com to order your book or for more information.

Adult Bible Information Class Your pastors will begin an adult course of basic Bible teachings on Thursday, September 1st. This course may be taken for church membership, for instruction regarding the teachings of our church as compared to others, or for review. Anyone is welcome to attend! We will meet on Thursdays at 11:00 A.M. and Thursday evenings at 7:30 P.M. in the church basement. The course lasts about 16 weeks. ARE YOU INTERESTED? Give your name to one of the pastors. DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO MAY BE INTERESTED? Please give their name and address to a pastor.

PICNIC NEWS Join us for our annual picnic. Our Lutheran Teens, Lutheran Explorers and Parent-Teacher Society will again coordinate the event to be held on Sunday, August 28th, at Lakeview Park at noon. Our coordinating groups will provide brats, hot dogs, and drinks. Everyone should bring a side dish, salad or dessert to share. A freewill offering will be collected at the picnic to help with some of the expenses. We will also welcome Mr. Andrew Schoenfeld, as our 6th grade teacher and Athletic Director and Mrs. Andrea Dorn as teacher for grades 5-8,and Mr. Jared Brennan as interim principal, tech director and teacher grades 4-8. Bring a lawn chair and be ready to have a great time. We are also planning to have a friendly softball game. In case of inclement weather, we’ll use our school gym.

text94574_2LUTHERAN TEENS All students in grades 7-12 are invited to join our teen group. The teens will once again have a full slate of Bible Studies and activities. Our first activity will be Saturday, September 10th. Final prices and times are being planned. More information will be here by the end of the month. Check out our page on Facebook for updates.

 

A Message to all parents with children:

St. Stephen’s Lutheran School is an affordable, quality, Christian education for all of your children. There is no tuition charge. We have a book fee of only $450.00 per child, per year to cover technology and consumable materials.

If you have not enrolled your children in the past because you felt the cost would be too much, please reconsider. A quality, Christian education is affordable for about $2 a day. Members of our congregation generously support the church and school so that the children can be taught the precious message of Jesus each day.

For more information about the school please check out the Web site at www.saintstephen.org and click on the school side. You can also call the school office at 885-6484 and I will gladly discuss the school with you.

Check out Good Shepherd Preschool for your K3 and K4 children.

Jared R. Brennan, Principal   

SCHOOL NEWS

With summer almost over it’s time to think of school again.

Teachers are busy making their classrooms ready in preparation for the coming school year. What a blessing we have that we are able to share Jesus each day with the children. Registration Packets were given out on picnic day in May. Be sure to examine all the information and bring the completed forms when you register.

Registration times for this year are as follows:

  • Friday, August 19. Just come to the school office between 9:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. Bring registration forms and book fee payment.
  • Sunday, August 21 between 11:30 A.M. & 3:30 P.M. and (PTS BBQ.).
  • Monday, August 22 between 3:00 & 7:00 P.M.

Come to the school office with registration forms and book fee payment. It is very important that all families come to one of the times and register their children.

Do not bring supplies when you come to register.

School Supplies: Parents and children can bring in school supplies and talk to the teachers August 25 or 26 between 5:00 and 7:00 P.M.

School begins: Thursday, September 1st, 8:00 A.M.

Opening Service: 8:30 A.M.

Please call Mr. Brennan at 885-6484 or Email jbrennan@saintstephen.org if you have a question.

The complete school calendar is on the school website: www.saintstephen.org/school 

SAVE LABELS, CARDS, BOXTOPS

We Collect:                                                   

  • Boxtops marked for Education, Used greeting cards for Bethesda
  • Milk bottle caps or bags (Kwik Trip)
  • Our Family UPC (proof of purchase labels). Please cut off the proof of purchase bar code and place it in the slot for St. Stephen’s at Recheck’s Food Pride or bring them directly to the school. The bar code # should key in with the #70253. Only Our Family Bar codes can be accepted.

There are containers in the church basement for these items or send them to school with your children.

Thank you for your help!

(We no longer collect Piggly Wiggly or Kemps receipts, Campbell Soup Labels, postage stamps or ink jet cartridges.)

SPECIAL USHERS’ MEETING will be held on Wednesday, September 7th, at 6:30 P.M. in the church proper. All of our ushers (rookies and veterans) are encouraged to be in attendance for this important meeting. We will review the ushering duties, emergency procedures, and anything else that involves our ushers. If any of our confirmed men are interested in serving the Lord in this special way, please contact the head of our ushering program, Del Winning, at 887-1411.

owls_logoST. 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

  • All events will begin with a noon potluck in the church basement:
  • Tuesday, October 11th: Speaker will be Pastor Ken Wenzel –
  • Any WELS member, 55 years or older is eligible to join us for service and fellowship. Guests are always welcome.

text94541_2EXPLORERS is for children from Pre-K – 6th Grade. Although we are no longer affiliated with the national Pioneer groups, we continue to have the same purpose.

  • To promote Christian fellowship among the children of our congregation.
  • To promote Christian citizenship as our children live as salt and light in the world.
  • To learn useful life skills to glorify God and serve our neighbor.

Our first meeting will be Tuesday, September 13th, at 6:00 P.M., at St. Stephen’s.

Registration material will be available at church as well as during school registration in August. Please fill out these forms and bring them to the first meeting.

INVITATION TO JOIN HANDBELLS The Handbell Choir will resume practices on Wednesday, September 14th. Practices are at 7:15 P.M. in the church balcony each Wednesday. We play in church the last Sunday of the month, at Advent by Candlelight and occasionally for other functions and special services. You do not need to have experience with handbells. Please call Ranee Welch at 887-1624 and leave a message if you are interested or have any questions.

SENIOR CHOIR begins rehearsal on Thursday, August 25th, at 7:30 P.M. after the worship service. We meet in the band/choir room of the school. During September and October we will work on music for Mission Fest/Reformation. November and December we will work on music for Thanksgiving/Advent/Christmas. If you are a confirmed member and love to serve your Savior through song, we would be happy to see you join us. Bring a friend and come to the first practice to learn more about what’s happening this year. If you would like more information about Senior Choir, contact Mr. David Schulz at 920-344-9435.

text99031_2RADIO SERVICE TAPING Since 1973 St. Stephen’s has provided a half-hour radio worship service  primarily for our members who are homebound and in nursing homes, but also as a tool to share God’s Word with many others. This service provides the opportunity to hear God’s precious word and to sing with fellow Christians the hymns of the faith. It airs every Sunday at 9:30 A.M. on WBEV (1430 AM).

These services involve many people – our pastors, organist, and very importantly a volunteer congregation. We tape two half-hour services on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (September – May). We start at 7:00 P.M. and finish around 8:10. It’s a simple and pleasant way to serve Jesus and His people. Our first taping session will be Tuesday, September 13. We tape in the church. The Maple Ave, church office and ramp entrances will be open. Please join us! Another way to support this ministry, if you can’t participate, is with an offering. Each half-hour Sunday service on WBEV costs about $65.

You can listen to our radio services over the internet. Go to our Radio Service Page and listen by streaming audio.