Recently, during the Christmas season and early in the Epiphany season, we’ve heard that God’s love for us was brought to us in personal and tangible form in the person of Jesus – the Son of God / the Word of God made flesh. God’s love is not an emotion. It’s attitude and action. It is attitude and action that selflessly sees the need of another and does something about it. This is well summed up in what the Apostle Paul wrote to his missionary friend and colleague Titus: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, he saved us – not by righteous works that we did ourselves, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:4-5).
God acted in love toward us when, “seeing” our need for rescue from the condemnation the human race brought on itself with Adam and Eve’s fall into disobedience he “sent his Son, born of a woman, born under
But then we will move to a season of our church year that brings it into clear focus and strongly impresses on us how great our God’s love for us is. In a few
Lent – what a special time! Let’s use it to better appreciate and grow in this love of God. Use the special opportunities to hear of it! Seize the opportunities that daily appear to pour it out on someone else!
First Friday Communion
The pastors often hear from our homebound members how they miss being with God’s people in God’s house. Some can still get out, but may not able to get to an early morning service or sit for a whole hour. We now have a brief (20-25 minutes) Communion Service on the first Friday afternoon of the month. Our First Friday Communions for the next months will be:
- Friday, February 1 at 1:30pm
- Friday, March 1 at 1:30pm
The ramp and elevator entrances will be open.
During our Bible Class on prayer last fall, Pastor Stratman talked about how some of our churches have a monthly Prayer Service, a service focused on sharing and bringing concerns to the Lord in prayer, and the class experienced a sample Prayer Service. There was some interest, and we are trying a prayer service on the third Fridays of the month, also at 1:30pm. The service will also include a short Scripture reading and devotion. Our prayer services will be:
- Friday, February 15 at 1:30pm
- Friday, March 15 at 1:30 pm
The ramp and elevator entrances will be open.
Lenten Midweek Services
“Three Words of Truth” is the theme of our midweek worship for the 2019 Lenten Season. Each service focuses on important three-word phrases from the record of Jesus’ passion and resurrection: “Is it I?” “Love One Another.” “Watch and Pray.” “I Am He.” “What Is Truth?” “Take Him Away!” Our pastors will be preaching in rotation with the pastors of St. John’s in Juneau and Good Shepherd in Beaver Dam. Worship services will be at 1:30 and 6:30pm. Lent begins Ash Wednesday, March 6. The Ash Wednesday service will be a service of Holy Communion.
Christian Education Opportunities
For all adults…
Our Monday and Wednesday classes continue the Bible studyof the Letters of Peter. We meet Mondays at 7:00pm and Wednesdays at 11:00pm.
The Women’s Bible Study group meets Wednesdays 6:00-7:15pm in the room above the church office It’s open to all women of the congregation. During Lent, we will meet at the same time on Tuesdays.
Questions about the group or the study may be directed to Ranee Welch at 887-1624.
The Men’s Bible Study will not meet February 3. We will meet all other Sunday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm. We will meet in the room above the church office. We are studying Jesus’ parables and word-pictures with the study “19 Minutes with the Messiah,” focusing on Jesus’ parables.
Annual Marriage / Pre-Marriage Seminar
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 23rd, 9:00am to 1:00pm. 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 to help us have an adequate supply of study guides and refreshments. Or you may call the church office to RSVP (885-3309).
Explorers 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.
NOTE: CHANGE FROM THE PRINTED NEWSLETTER: The Explorers may meet in February to frost sugar cookies and have hot cocoa. Please watch our Facebook Page for updates. The February 5 date will not work because of the rescheduling of a basketball game.
Also, keep your eyes and ears open for a possible Pine Car Derby event in March. More information will be coming later.
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 next OWLS meeting at St. Stephen’s will be on Tuesday, February 12th. Rev. John Hildebrandt will be here at 1 pm to tell us about mission work in India. Please plan to join us.
Thanks to all the teens that came for tubing in January! We had an excellent time. February is a busy month, so we will not have a planned activity. Tentative date in March is the 9th for Laser Tag in Madison. More information will be coming out soon!
Our Mission – To assist the congregation in maintaining and furthering the program of the Kingdom of our Lord.
At our January 3 meeting, we installed new officers for the 2019-2020 term and welcomed new members. At our February meeting, we take up revision of our Constitution. Also in February, we will be sending cards of encouragement along with a monetary sum to our congregation’s college students, ministry students, and the men and women serving our country through the military.
Our March meeting agenda includes discussion of the LWMS Spring Rally and learning about this year’s 8th grade student trip.
We welcome new members! Consider this a personal invitation to join us at one of our monthly meetings. We meet the 1st Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m. in the church basement. Enjoy a 30-minute bible study by one of our pastors, a business meeting followed by fellowship and a light snack.
We work, we laugh, we sing, we enjoy, and we would love to see you!
“O Lord, in your mercy bless these gifts, receive our offerings, and make us living sacrifices to you; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
For more information please call Bonnie Wagner at 326-5872 or Bev Haas at 382-7680.
St. Stephen’s Radio Service
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 9:30am on WBEV (1430 AM).
These services involve many people – our pastors, organist, and very importantly a volunteer congregation. We record two half-hour services on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (September – May). We start at 7:00pm and finish around 8:10. It’s a simple and pleasant way to serve Jesus and his people. We record 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.
Principal Call Extended
As we continue to do the Lord’s work here at St. Stephen’s, the Lord is using his servants in a myriad of ways. Mr. Schulz, Mr. Schmidt and Pastor Dorn are all working together to help the school continue its ministry. The three gentlemen continue to do administration duties in addition to their regular calls. Mr. Schmidt helps with running the safety and curriculum meetings of the administration. Pastor Dorn is involved with the outreach arm of administration. Mr. Schulz deals with discipline and the rest of what helps keep our school moving forward. At this moment, a call has been extended to Jason Rupnow. Mr. Rupnow is currently serving the Lord at Risen Savior in Mankato, MN. Please keep Mr. Rupnow, St. Stephen’s, and Risen Savior in your prayers as the Lord works to see how his ministry can be best accomplished.
Kindergarten Round Up:
St. Stephen’s Lutheran School will be hosting Kindergarten Round-Up on February 7th from 6pm until 7pm. There will be a short meeting allowing parents the opportunity to get inside our classroom, meet the teacher, and get to know other possible parents and students. We will have a short presentation on how the kindergarten enrollment process works and what our school has to offer. If you have a child ready for Kindergarten this upcoming 2019-2020 school year, feel free to stop by and collect some information, meet some friendly folks and maybe enjoy a cookie or two.
If you know someone who has children in this age range, please encourage them to attend this evening.
Our basketball teams are coming to the end of the regular season as February approaches. On January 26, our B-Team girls brought home the Consolation Trophy from the TSL Tiger Tournament. The weekend of February 1, both B-teams will be participating in the Defender Tournament at Peace, Sun Prairie.
Each weekend in February, the A-teams will be participating in tournaments to end the year
Feb 8-10 is the conference tournament in Watertown
Feb 15-17 is the Lakeside Lutheran High School tournament in Lake Mills
Feb 22-24 is the Eastside Tournament at Eastside Lutheran in Madison
If you are interested in a schedule for any of these tournaments, please contact the school and one will be provided. Come on out and cheer on your Raider basketball players.
After basketball season, we turn our eyes to track.
Help Our School by Saving Labels and Boxtops
• Boxtops for Education
• Milk Moola bottle caps or bags (Kwik Trip) program ends February 28. Please get all box or bag tops in before then!
• 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
• There are containers in the church basement for these items or send them to school with your children. Thank you for your help!
• For all you Amazon.com shoppers out there, please go
• When you sign in with your
Reminder: We no longer collect Piggly Wiggly or Kemps receipts, Campbell’s Soup Labels, postage stamps greeting cards or ink jet cartridges.
From the Church Office
Update Your Information for Our Records
Has your address, phone, or email changed? Help us update our records by filling out our online form at https://goo.gl/mUoZnX, or ask one of the pastors for a paper form.
Summary of January 27 Annual Meeting
Jaymie Roll and Gary Pepin were elected as new members to the council. Michael Schultz was re-elected. Rich Zimpel was re-elected to Board of Education, and Matt O’Brion was elected to Board of Property and Maintenance.
Reports for the church and all organizations were presented.
Our 2018 deficit of $103,805 was eliminated by transferring the balance of the Building and Debt Fund ($51,632) and the balance of the Special Deficit offering ($41,687) and a portion of the Estate Fund ($10,485) to the 2018 General Fund. $81,773 of the Special Deficit Offering was applied earlier to eliminate previous years’ General Fund deficits.
Proposal for Unified Budget
An initial presentation was given about the possibility of a unified budget, beginning in 2020. A unified budget would incorporate all expenditures under one budget. Offering envelopes would simply say something like “My Weekly Gift to the Lord” without special categories like “Building & Debt Fund,” “Missions” or “General Fund.” Our contributions to Synod Mission Offering and Lakeside would be a consistent amount, sent in monthly, based on our annual subscription. Dedicated funds like “Scholarship Fund” or “Memorial Fund” would remain separate. This would eliminate the need for an end-of-year shuffle of funds as described above.
No action was taken. More information and more presentations will be given before a decision is made.