Church Picnic

After worship on Sunday morning, members and guests alike spilled out onto the front lawn of St. John’s for the annual church picnic. Like any true Lutheran potluck, there was an abundance of tasty food. There were also games, bounce houses, and plenty of good company. Thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers who helped make this such a pleasant summer afternoon!

Return to Wittenberg Conference

St. John’s hosted Return to Wittenberg's third annual conference on Saturday, July 27. Built around the theme From Age to Age, speakers addressed various ways in which the Word of God is preached and preserved throughout time. Pr. Christopher Doerr (not pictured) of Garden Homes Lutheran Church in Milwaukee presented on the topic Use Christ’s Baptism to Enter Your Baptism. The other three presenters are listed below. You can learn more about the speakers at returntowittenberg.org. If you would like audio or video from the conference, recordings are currently being edited and will be available soon.

Dr. Paul Lehninger, Professor of Theology at Wisconsin Lutheran College, presented his extensive work on Luther and Theosis.

Dr. Paul Lehninger, Professor of Theology at Wisconsin Lutheran College, presented his extensive work on Luther and Theosis.

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Dr. Joseph Jewell, a research scientist for the U.S. Air Force, discussed the relationship between faith and reason, during both Luther’s time and ours.

Dr. Joseph Jewell, a research scientist for the U.S. Air Force, discussed the relationship between faith and reason, during both Luther’s time and ours.

Dale Reckzin, pastor at St. John’s, tied the conference themes together with a Sunday morning discussion of Article XXI ( On Worship of the Saints ).

Dale Reckzin, pastor at St. John’s, tied the conference themes together with a Sunday morning discussion of Article XXI (On Worship of the Saints).

Confirmation Sunday

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At our late service on April 28, we had the joy of publicly examining and confirming two of our members, Carter Churchill and William Craig, in the Christian faith. Carter’s confirmation verse was Jesus’ words in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” William’s verse was another of Jesus’ words from John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We rejoice with their families in the assurance of their baptisms, and in the unity of their new communicant memberships.

If you are interested in seeing the service more closely, or in meditating on the examination questions for yourself, you can download the order of service by tapping the button here.

Easter for Kids

Our second annual Easter for Kids event was held on Saturday, April 6. While 26 children were registered beforehand, we were pleasantly surprised to welcome 32! This event put us in touch with a number of families new to St. John’s, and we were happy to have some good conversations with them. Additionally, the kids had a fun afternoon that underscored the Easter message of the risen Christ. Many thanks to Pastor for his Easter message, and to the volunteers who did a tremendous amount of work stuffing and hiding eggs, leading crafts, welcoming visitors, donating food, and much more. We look forward to doing this again next spring!

Building Plan Continues

While some of the plans to initiate a building project and capital campaign were temporarily set aside at the end of last year, our Long Range Planning Committee has continued to discuss them and hopes to have the project back on track by September. The images below are those that were revealed at our 175th anniversary celebration, and are the most current proposal. Notable features include:

  • a fellowship hall (smaller than originally planned)

  • a new main entrance on the east side of the church that is handicap accessible

  • an elevator to the basement

  • a new steeple designed to look more like the 19th century original.

  • Thoughts? Aaron Lambrecht, or any member of our Long Range Planning Committee would be happy to hear them.

What’s Happening in 2019

Dates have been set for our 2019 events. See what has been planned below:

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Construction Begins on Oakwood Road

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the area of Oakwood Road that runs under the freeway will be closed as part of the I-94 reconstruction project until late 2019. Travelers will have to use Howell Ave, Ryan Rd, and 27th St to get around the construction. You can get current traffic updates at wi.511.gov.

175th Anniversary Service Celebrated

St. John’s rejoiced in celebration of its 175th anniversary on September 30. Pr. Mark Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Synod, offered a resounding message as guest preacher: what we strive to build will ultimately fail, but the Lord blesses his church with his Word, saving countless souls through the pulpit, baptismal font, and communion rail - and his work always endures. (You can hear it again at our Sermon page) Pr. Reckzin served as liturgist, while multiple musicians, the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary chorus, and our Sunday School children all beautified the service.

Afterwards, members and guests enjoyed a banquet, complete with a chicken dinner and a full roasted pig. There were also numerous photos, books, and other historical artifacts set out for viewing, some of them well over a century old. Speakers for the banquet included Erika Bahr, who is a lifelong member of St. John’s and a direct descendent of Daniel Goelzer, a German immigrant who left his home country and arrived in the Oakwood area; his cabin served as the first worship space in the 1830s.