April-May 2019 Newsletter

April/May 2019
The Trumpeter

Grace and Peace,
We are looking forward to sharing that greeting in the name of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday, April 21. It is not difficult to say good-bye to the winter of 2019; it has been an especially difficult time with a lot of snow and extreme cold weather that kept us from some of our usual activities. We cancelled one Sunday worship service, and I cancelled six Wednesday morning Bible study sessions because of that weather. But the spring thaw has finally come. I guess I am grateful that Easter Sunday falls late this year. (April 25 is the absolute latest date that Easter Sunday can occur on our calendar.) Easter is coming!
But we are still in the season of Lent, and I want to express my deep thanks and appreciation for the members of St. John’s who have been willing to share something of their faith and life story during our Wednesday evening Lenten services: thanks to Bonnie Deke, Kermit Jorgenson, Jeanne Williamson, Peter Duesterbeck, Lee Jensen, and Lori Szczublewski. And thanks to our music leaders, Deb Sattler and Dave Karbowski, for leading us in the Holden Evening Prayer Service for those services. And thanks to Paul Szczublewski and others who helped to provide our meals for the Lenten time of fellowship.
And now Lent leads us to Holy Week and the Three Days (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Vigil of Easter) and then to Easter Sunday. We will gather this year for an Easter Breakfast at 8:00 am before our Easter service at 9:00 am.
Bring your family and friends! This is the principal festival of our faith, so much so that Martin Luther said that every other Sunday of the year is like a “little Easter”. This is the day our Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!
May your Easter be full of the joy and hope of the risen Christ!
Pastor Rick Engen

Movie Days - All are welcome

Movies are free and include free popcorn/drinks. If you haven’t been to one of the movies, why not give it a try. It’s all free and we have a great time!

Movies: Movies: Movies: Movies:

Palm Sunday, April 14 at 2pm “The Grace of God” A story of Easter Traditions.

This movie, “Grace of God,” demonstrates grace in a powerful way. Over $30,000 has been stolen from a church and it is an inside job. Who would do such a thing? Detective Bill Broadly is called on to investigate and he is a man who thinks Christians are no more than hypocrites. But as he investigates he gets to know the secretary, a single mother named Constance, and he becomes intrigued by her simple faith in God’s forgiveness. He sees her love for her two troubled daughters: Brenda, who needs stability, and Julie, who is separated from her abusive husband. As Broadly zeroes in on the culprit, it becomes difficult for him to proceed because of his conflicted feelings regarding God and forgiveness, not to mention he has come to like the person he suspects. Terrific actors perform in this movie including Erin Bethea, John Ratzenberg and Lorenzo Lamas. It concludes with a powerful sermon by the pastor that inspires several of his congregation to admit they are human and not perfect. The most amazing miracle takes place when Bill Broadly realizes that Christians are real people with real problems, but they have it within themselves to do some amazing things, like confess their sins. We are pleased to award this amazing movie our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. This is an inspiring movie!

Saturday, May 11 at 6pm “The Current”

Jake loves living in Chicago but when big city violence hits a little too close to home, his parents buy a campground in rural Minnesota and move the family there. Jake hates living at the campground until he meets Peter, the boy across the river. The two quickly become best friends and spend a fun-filled summer together on the river. In one of their conversations, Peter shares his Christian faith with Jake. Jake uses his new faith to help a friend through a tragedy.
We will share Easter breakfast at 8 am St. John’s Women of the ELCA will host breakfast. A sign up sheet will be available so you can find out the best way to offer help. A free will offering will be collected.
St. John’s Women of the ELCA will be taking orders for rosettes. $7.50 per dozen. Rosettes will be made April 13 and ready for delivery April 14.

St. John’s Women of the ELCA News

St John’s Women of the ELCA fundraisers this spring will include the coin challenge campaign to benefit ARISE: Embracing God’s Promised Future. Funds will be used for people who are discerning a call to ministry right here in our synod.
May 11th – Generational High Tea – details to be announced shortly
May 12th – Bold Women’s Day – Mother’s Day

Kerm’s Corner
Wind, water and fire can be destructive or a blessing - depending on the amount (volume) of each. A cool breeze is favored over a hurricane or tornado. A sip of water when we thirst is a welcome relief - but a flood can be highly destructive. A tiny spark can start a giant forest fire or bring heat (and light) on a cold dark night. That “spark” can also be a collection of words written (or spoken) by one individual! In that sense Thomas Paine was an arsonist (especially in the mind of King George III of England) when he wrote that forty-seven page pamphlet entitled Common Sense back in 1776. The British has waged a seven year war with France and were low on funds. Taxing their colony was a quick fix for the problem! But that forty-seven page pamphlet set a fire in the minds of all who read it (or heard it read.) Many of the colonists had come from Europe. It was in language that appealed to the common people. Even the esteemed political leaders such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams praised it! And when the beloved Ben Franklin whole-heartedly approved it, the American public took note! The flame grew and produced a revolution. That war in which a colony in America took on (and defeated) the mighty British Empire was truly amazing. The U.S.A. is proof! Thomas Paine thus was an ’arsonist’ who ignited a flame that inflamed a people to act. There is no comparison in all of world history! But there is a comparison in the three year ministry of Jesus of Nazareth who brought hope and assurance which became a flame known as The Gospel! That word ’gospel’ has a synonym - truth. Have you ever hear the expression “the truth will set your free” or maybe it was “the gospel truth”! Were Jesus and Thomas Paine really arsonists? You decide. 


If you would like to purchase an Easter lily in memory or in honor of someone, please contact Bea Rodencal. The cost is $10.

It Is Time For A New Directory

Photo Options: 1. Members may submit their own photo if desired. Please make sure it is appropriate for the directory and has only St. John’s members in the photo. Submit it to Julie as a .jpg file.

2. Myra Dickson has volunteered to take photos of those who would like a new photo taken. They will be done after church on Sunday, April 28. We will set up an area downstairs to have some privacy and background uniformity for these photos.

3. If neither of these works for you, we have the photos from the 2014 directory available if you were pictured there. If you wish to use your photo from the 2014 directory, just let Julie know.

Julie will be requesting updated information you are willing to share - addresses, email addresses, phone numbers.


St. John’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held Sat. April 20 at 10:30 am


We are looking for someone to step up and lead the rummage sale scheduled for June 1415. This has been used as a fundraiser for the youth conventions the last 3 years and is scheduled to be used as such again. It would be great if we could get parents of youths who may be planning to attend the 2021 Youth Gathering in Minneapolis. Please prayerfully consider helping. Contact Steve Sorenson if interested or for any questions.

Jesus is Lord! By John Kaplinski
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:5, 11 NRSV) Before the first year of seminary, all the students go through a period of trial by fire. This is called “Greek Boot Camp” when we learned how to read Greek. This was done to acquire skill in translation from the Greek that the earliest known texts are written in. This was a time of “emptying” ourselves by becoming “humble” in our realization of how little we knew about scripture. We learned to be “obedient” to our seminary professors so that we could be shaped into the future leaders of the church. We “emptied ourselves” of what we thought we knew and were filled with a new understanding of scripture and God. This transformation took place over six weeks of 12-14 hour days of class and homework. The whole experience is quite humbling.

I mention this because the passage of scripture that we analyzed with our new skills was the “Christ Hymn” (Phil. 2:5-11). All the underlined words in the above paragraph are from this passage. These concepts are central to our understanding Christ’s action during the time prior to his execution as a criminal against the Roman Empire. Jesus was obedient to the Father even unto death on the cross. This public crucifixion is the most humbling and appalling way to die. Jesus freely gave of himself to ransom us from the penalties of sin and death. He did this out of love for us and the Father. Then three days later Jesus is resurrected from the grave thus setting us free and raising his name to the highest name of all: “Jesus Christ is Lord”. Jesus is Lord is the most important scripture passage we can remember.

Whenever we read or hear the Passion of Christ let us take this time to reflect on what Christ has done for us and all of creation. Central to our thoughts should be the emptying, humbling, obedient actions of Jesus. Actions performed not because he had to, but because he wanted to make these sacrifices out of love. Let us take some time to examine our own lives. Let us reflect on our obedience to God. Let us reflect on our willingness to empty ourselves of our own desires while putting the needs of others first. Finally, let us admit where we fall short of the mark in these areas. Then we can humbly confess our transgressions while asking for forgiveness and for the strength and faith to be more willing to be humbly obedient to God.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus we humbly come to you on bended knee. We admit to placing ourselves before others and to not emptying ourselves of all selfish desires. Please forgive us our sins and bestow upon us grace and humility so that we might better serve you and others out of love. Jesus, you are Lord of all! Amen.

Maundy Thursday April 18, 6:00 pm Absolution and Holy Communion Good Friday April 19, 6:00 pm Tenebrae Service
EASTER SUNDAY April 21, 9:00 am

St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA Council Meeting Minutes ~     February 4, 2019

Present: Steve Sorenson, Paul Szczublewski, Julie Attoe, Pastor Rick Engen, Lee Jensen, Mike Myren, and Debi Smith. Excused Absence: Janine Christensen

The meeting was called to order by Council President Steve Sorenson at 6:09 pm.

Devotions and Prayer by Pastor Rick

Treasurer's Report: Motion by Debi Smith, second by Paul Szczublewski to accept the Treasurer's report. Motion carried.

Secretary's Report: Motion by Lee Jensen, second by Mike Myren to accept the Secretary's report with a change in the minutes from January 3, 2019 to reflect Scott Beck will be the required second signature on the “We Care Cases” account. Motion carried.

Pastor's Report: Pastoral acts for this last month included two private visits with Holy Communion. Pastor thought the annual meeting went well, was very positive with good healthy discussion. We thanked the council members who are leaving service at this time and welcome Mike and Debi as they begin their service on this council. Last week all meetings and activities were cancelled due to snow and bitter dangerous cold. Pastor is making plans for our midweek Lenten services. He hopes to have 5 people willing to share their faith stories for the reflections during those services. Dave Karbowski has agreed to lead us in the music for the Holden Evening Prayer service. Soup supper at 5 pm, worship service at 6 pm. “We are in Christ”, the county-wide church group working with Vision 20/20 to fight hunger and poverty in the county, is encouraging churches to make donations to our county food pantries a part of our Lenten observance. The goal is 8000 (this was corrected to 4000) food or health hygiene items during Lent. We would ask people to bring such an item to our weekly Lenten services.

Committee Reports:

Worship Committee: Mike Myren is new to this Committee

Stewardship Committee: Church cleaning is planned for March 9 at 8:30 am. Three $500 scholarships were presented to our college students: Monica Dickson, Karli Hansen and Jordan Konrath.

Evangelism Committee: No report

Property Committee: We thank Paul Szczublewski for the salting and sanding of the parking lot on Sunday.

Old Business:

Basement lights need to be updated/replaced. Paul Szczublewski will bring an estimate for the project to next month's meeting. The lights would all be LED.

Paul Smith has volunteered to build doors for the shelving units in the toy room.

Wally Petersen has volunteered to help Julie Attoe with a new updated directory. Myra Dickson has volunteered to take photos or members can submit their own photos. Some of the information in our current directory is outdated.

Lenten services will be Wednesdays at 6 pm. Soup Suppers will be at 5 pm. Three more volunteers are needed to share their faith journeys.

New Business:

There was discussion on the purchase of additional arm chairs to replace a pew. Motion by Paul Szczublewski, second by Lee Jensen to purchase four more arm chair like we currently have. Five in favor, one opposed. Motion carried.

Peter Duesterbeck will take care of setting up and running a facebook page for St. John's. It was also mentioned at this time that the whole service is recorded and can be accessed on our website. The question was raised if there would be any interest by any individual in receiving a CD of the service. Notices of availability were discussed as a follow-up to the annual meeting.

Sisters into Soup seem to be getting their message out but there was discussion on posting Pastor's phone number outside the church as a contact. This issue will be investigated further and brought back next month.

There was discussion on the budget line item of Kitchen/Bathroom Supplies.

There will be a review of St. John's Constitution. There seemed to be confusion at the annual meeting regarding the correct version of the Constitution. Copies of the current Constitution will be made available to everyone. Pastor Rick will check with Pastor Brinkman as to any updates that might need to be made as required by the ELCA.

The Council reviewed the annual Congregational Report for 2018. There was discussion regarding the transfer of funds from the checking account into the Thrivent account so interest could accrue. The exact amount will be determined at the next meeting.

The next Council meeting date will be Monday, Feb 25 at 6:05 pm. The meeting closed with the Lord's Prayer.

Respectfully submitted, Debi Smith Council Secretary

St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA Council Meeting Minutes         February 25, 2019

Present: Steve Sorenson, Janine Christensen, Paul Szczublewski, Lee Jensen, Pastor Rick, Julie Attoe, Debi Smith Excused Absence: Mike Myren

The meeting was called to order by Council President Steve Sorenson at 6:05 pm.

Devotions by Pastor Rick

Treasurer's Report: Motion by Debi Smith, seconded by Lee Jensen to approve the Treasurer's report. Motion carried. Motion by Julie Attoe, seconded by Lee Jensen to approve the invoice from Paul Smith for $800 for 2 stained glass windows. Debi Smith abstained. Motion carried.

Secretary's Report: Motion by Janine Christensen, seconded by Julie Attoe to accept the Secretary's report. Motion carried.

Pastor's Report: Pastoral acts for last month included one private visit with Holy Communion. Winter weather forced the cancellation of Wednesday Bible study five weeks in a row, a few confirmation classes and Sunday worship on Feb 24. Plans are set for our midweek Lenten services. Six people have volunteered to share their faith stories. FYI: Paul Brinkman has announced his retirement at the end of May. First Lutheran has begun conversations with Grace Lutheran in Berlin regarding a possible joint ministry. Pastor Rick believes that First Lutheran is also interested in continuing conversations with St. John's so a committee will be assembled to be available for future discussions.

Committee Reports:

Worship Committee: No report

Stewardship Committee: Church cleaning March 9 at 8:30 am

Evangelism Committee: Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on a date to be determined.

Property Committee: An ice jam caused a leak that has been resolved. Possible solutions will be investigated in the spring.

Old Business:

Paul Szczublewski has been in discussion with H&H Industries regarding the lights in the basement and sanctuary. The upgrade to LED will be more efficient and some of the older covers downstairs are cracked and/or yellowed with age. Motion by Lee Jensen, seconded by Janine Christensen to replace all of the bulbs in the church (except the sanctuary sidelights) including six new fixtures in the dining area downstairs plus the furnace room at a cost of approx $2400. Motion carried. (The lights in the gathering area have already been upgraded and are excluded from this motion) Paul has already changed out the closet bulbs to LED. Thank you, Paul, for all of your work on this project.

Julie Attoe will be including information about the new directory update in a Friday email. Myra Dickson has volunteered to take photos of members for the new directory if they do not have a photo to submit. Updated phone numbers and email addresses will be collected as part of this project.

Four new armed chairs have arrived. They will be assembled and located across the aisle from the existing row of chairs.

There was a discussion regarding transferring funds from the checking account to the Thrivent account so interest could accrue until the funds were needed. Motion by Lee Jensen, seconded by Julie Attoe to transfer $10,000 from the checking account to the Thrivent account. Motion carried.

There was discussion on a sign to be placed outside the church door posting contact information for Pastor Rick. This will be considered further at a later meeting.

A review of St. John's Constitution has been tabled until after the ELCA Assembly this summer. Pastor Rick commented that the sections marked with an asterisk are required by the ELCA.

New Business:

Easter Breakfast will be held at 8 am on Easter Sunday. In an effort to simplify the breakfast and allow everyone to attend worship, there will be a signup sheet for specific food items. More details to come. Debi Smith will organize the food chart.

Steve and Pat Sorenson have volunteered to be St. John's delegates to the Synod Assembly May 17 and May 18. The Assembly will be held at the Red Lion Hotel and Convention Center in Appleton.

The next Council meeting date will be Monday, March 25, 2019 at 6:05 pm.

The meeting closed with the Lord's Prayer.

Respectfully submitted, Debi Smith Council Secretary


We will continue our mid-week Lenten services through April 10. Soup Supper 5 pm Holden Evening Prayer Service 6 pm Nonperishable food items and hygiene items will be donated to a local food pantry.


Anybody who would like to see what I do with my weaving is welcome to give me a call and come over. 920-291-5770. Beth Lucht

St. John's has a page on Facebook and our members & friends are encouraged to "like" it. When you do that, it increases our visibility among people in and around the Saxeville area, some of who could very well be looking for a church home. Better yet, if you take a picture at one of our events, pass it along to either Pete or Julie and we'll post it. https://www.facebook.com/SjJohnsSax

Exciting news for the Poy Sippi Library. They were one of 15 libraries in the nation to receive the “Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces” $5000 grant. The only library in Wisconsin! 

We received wonderful news. Our son Adam and his wife Jenn are expecting their first child in Sept. Grandchildren are definitely gifts from our Lord. Paul & Deb Sattler

Thanks so much for the Council minutes in the newsletter. Linda Forseth

The palm fronds we use on Palm Sunday are purchased through ecopalms.org. By choosing Ecopalms for Palm Sunday we promote environmental and social justice: Gatherers receive a higher price for their “fair trade” palms improving their income. Palms protect valuable natural forests because they provide income to forest communities. Palms are “sustainably” harvested and managed protecting the palms and the forests they need for shade.
Communities gathering the palms improve their income and living conditions Approximately 308 million palm fronds were consumed in the United States in 1998. Palm purchases for Palm Sunday may be worth up to 4.5 million dollars/year. At least half of the farmers in the Central Petenof Guatemala earn additional income from harvesting fronds and, more than a quarter of household heads support themselves exclusively by collecting fronds. Each palm plant produces 2 to 5 harvestable leaves over a 2 to 4 month period.

We just returned from a fun three days of skiing in Utah. Two of the days it was sunny and warm (for skiing). One day we were snowed in at our hotel in the Salt Lake City area. The canyon roads we travel to get to the areas we like to ski were closed. The following day the area where we skied had 36" in 24 hours and it continued to snow as we skied that day. Makes for tough visibility. It was incredibly challenging but incredibly fun. POWDER!!! The Attoes

We have a possum who’s been hanging around since last week. Margie even hit it with a snowball, but all it did was hiss at her and turn its back while it continued to eat bird seed on the ground. We have a pair of robins who showed up a few days ago. They sit in our cranberry tree out front but the cardinals have picked it pretty clean. Hope the frost comes out so they can get some worms. The Kaplinskis