October - November 2019 Newsletter

October - November 2019



The Trumpeter

Grace and Peace,
This week, on September 17, I had a very personal anniversary. It was not one of the big days that we observe in a public way, like a birthday or a wedding anniversary. It was the 47th anniversary of my ordination into the ministry of the Lutheran church. I was ordained on September 17, 1972 at Carthage College in Kenosha where I was called to serve as Associate Campus Pastor and Instructor in Religion. I have not paid much attention to that date over the years but now it means more and more to me. I give thanks to God and cherish the work that God has called me to.

I did that work at Carthage College for eight years. Then I served thirty years as pastor of Christ The Servant Lutheran in Waukesha where our two children were born and raised and went off to college and even were married there before we left Waukesha. Since then I have served nine years of interim ministry – Grace in Berlin, Zion in Fairwater, Immanuel-Trinity in Fond du Lac – and now in my fifth year at St. John’s.

On that day in Kenosha, September 17, 1972, I could not see this future. I could not see what was to come. I could not see the great joys and sense of wonder and accomplishments; I could not see the disappointments and failures. And all of that came, the good and the bad. And I am so grateful. God is good - all the time. 

I worked with Pastor Dudley Riggle at Carthage College. He became my
mentor, my dear friend, and in so many ways my pastor. He preached the sermon at the service of my ordination, and I read it often. Here is one paragraph: “We need people to tell the story, but our hope is not in the storyteller, but in the power of the story. Our hope is not in Rick Engen or any clergy. As much as I admire and respect you, Rick, and like you for your openness and honesty and unassuming way, I still must say that our hope is not in you, but in the Gospel you preach. And at times you will find that comforting to know.”

After 47 years of ministry, I must say I find it very comforting to know that the hope is not in me. And I am so deeply grateful to Dudley and to others who have helped me to hear the story and to tell the story. And I give thanks to God that I am able to continue to tell the story here at St. John’s. God is good – all the time.
Pastor Rick Engen



Movie Nights
Everyone is welcome. Popcorn and beverages are provided.
These free movies are shown at St. John’s Lutheran Church
W4570 County Rd A in Saxeville. RSVP to Steve Sorenson.

Saturday, October 19 at 5 pm
Before the Border
On the verge of graduation, hardworking Sam (Khadijjah Mote) is conned into a chase to the Canadian border. Her odyssey goes viral after her spoiled competitor Tarquin (Delon de Metz) offers up a bounty for her captured notebook. She must separate ally from adversary as she and her waggish accomplice (writer/director Tom Fox
Davies) trek closer to their goal.
“Before the Border” is an innovative and imaginative story about two adversaries who bet each other they can cross the border of Canada by using means only available in the 1800s. One of the intriguing themes of the movie focuses on a woman’s determination and struggles to realize her dream of becoming a lawyer. A bounty is put out on Samantha, and she flees with all her might, disguising herself in order to make it across.
This delightful movie makes it clear: dreams can be realized if a person can hang in there!

Saturday, November 9 at 5 pm
What If
What If... tells the story of Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo), who fifteen years ago left his college sweetheart (Kristy Swanson), and his calling to be a preacher, in order to pursue a business opportunity. Now with a high-paying executive gig, a trophy fiancé, and a new Mercedes, he hasn't considered a family nor felt the need to step foot in a church. But God has other plans. While on a thrill ride outside the city, his new car mysteriously breaks down, and he's visited by a tow truck driver named Mike (John Ratzenberger) who claims to be an angel sent to show Ben what his life would look like had he followed his true calling. Suddenly Ben wakes up in the middle of domestic chaos as his "wife" Wendy and daughters (including Disney Channel's Debby Ryan) are getting ready
for church, where Ben is the new pastor. Before he can get back to his old life, Ben must first embrace this reality and discover the value of faith and family, and perhaps restore his love for those who were heartbroken fifteen years ago: Wendy...and God. In the tradition of "It's A Wonderful Life" and "The Family Man," What if... is a story
of finding your true purpose in life.


Price is Right

We are trying a new adventure this fall. After a huge success with the Murder/Mystery last year we are launching a Dinner and a Game Show. A night of fun and laughs. This event is a fundraiser for the St. John’s Women of the ELCA. They will receive 100% of the proceeds.
Fright Night Price is Right tickets are now available. Come On Down If You Dare! Tickets will be limited to 60. We are selling general admission tickets at $10.00per person and that will include BBQ boneless pork ribs, smashed potatoes, vegetable, dessert, and drink. In addition you may purchase a $5.00 players ticket to be chosen as a contestant to play Price is Right. You will have the opportunity to win prizes with the total of all prizes to exceed $250.00. All winners are guaranteed
to get their $5.00 back. Don’t be left out to get the details the day after. Plan now to Come On Down!
The event is scheduled for Saturday October, 26 at 5pm here in the church basement. Costumes are encouraged.
Contact Steve Sorenson or Karen Karbowski.


Kerm’s Corner

While growing up on a farm I learned early in life that my skin is pretty amazing. The frequent cuts and other injuries all healed in just a few days. Do you know that the medical community labels skin as an organ? In fact, it is the largest organ of all the organs. It keeps the other organs out of sight (and keeps us from spilling our guts.) Sorry, girls! Naturally, its main purpose is to protect us from infections. It also protects us from harmful rays from the sun, helps maintain body temperature and, surprisingly, sheds regularly. The skin you have over you now has entirely replaced the skin you had five years ago.
Teaching seventh graders was about as interesting and exciting a career as one could enjoy - but talk about changes. They were change personified! In their excitement over becoming teenagers they were also going through all the changes that mark puberty. The physical as well as the mental and emotional changes seem to be in high gear (if not overdrive.) To be a first-hand witness (and partner) to this (and to them) was ‘the greatest’!

God loves change I do believe. The world is a different place with every century. Just the changes in my ninety-plus years have been staggering. The changes in communication have been enough to change your hair color (mine fell out.)

Certain individuals have led the way to changes. You might name others but I’ll mention Johannes Gutenberg, Martin Luther, Winston Churchill, FDR, Elvis and Oprah. Each of them had a way of affecting change. My question would be: Did God have a hand in it?
Regardless, change is ever present. We may try to slow it, direct it and even prevent it ...but it happens....sometimes for good, sometimes not.
Is change a gift from above? Your decision!


Our Thanksgiving Eve Service will be Wednesday, November 27
at 6:30 pm


News from the Quilters
We are unhappy to announce that the Quilting group is disbanding in October after we send this last shipment of quilts to Lutheran World Relief. All of the ladies are dealing with health or age issues and
can no longer create the quilts as we have done for years.

If there are any sewers and other willing workers who would like to continue this project, please call Shirley Thompson and she will share information about how this group worked. There are still many
tops already sewn and plenty of batting available to put quilts together.
We thank you, the congregation, for the wonderful support you have given us over the years. Your financial and material donations were always welcome and appreciated. Also, we thank the folks who
helped us send the many boxed quilts to their destination every year.
We enjoyed our Tuesday mornings laughing, talking and sharing as we worked. We especially liked seeing each completed quilt and hoped that whoever received it would like it, too.

This was our way of doing “God’s Work using Our Hands.”



Awakenings Chapter One

 ~ retired Pr. John Kaplinski

The following is the first in a series of accounts of my spiritual descent and rebirth over the past five years. This starts about five years ago and will continue up to the present. Suddenly, out of a deep sleep, I heard a voice. I heard a voice calling to me urgently. At first, I
thought that it was Margie, my wife, calling for help. The voice called out strongly saying, “John, I need you, come quickly!” I jumped out of bed as I threw the covers off. I tossed my apnea mask aside, grabbed my flashlight and raced for the living room where I thought I heard “the voice” calling to me. I didn’t see anyone anywhere. I looked out the windows to see if someone was outside, but everywhere that I looked, I saw no one, not one single person. I was mystified as I headed back to bed, I saw that Margie was sound asleep on her side of the bed under the covers. I happened?

In the morning as Margie and I had our morning coffee I told her about the previous night. She was non-committal about the event, but her first reaction was that the voice was the Holy Spirit calling me back to action. What action she didn’t know, but she knew that I truly missed preaching, and leading worship. As for myself, the more I pondered in my heart the events of that night, the more I began to feel the same thing as Margie. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit was calling out to me that night, bringing me back into the fold as I had strayed and was losing heart.

In the past few years I had lost so much. I no longer could do any of the physical activities that were such a big part of my life for so long. True, I finally knew why I had been having so much pain for the past seven plus years. Pain so debilitating that I could not stand for a minute or two without a sudden sharp pain like being shot in the spine. Pain so bad that it brought tears to my eyes and caused me to lose my breath. Pain so bad that I no longer found any joy in any part of my life. Pain
so bad that I was slowly drifting away from God, God who had been an integral part of my life. As a matter of fact, I had ceased getting down on my knees every morning and thanking God for another day and for all of the blessings in our lives. I was slowly dying a spiritual death while my heart was beating, and my lungs still pumped fresh air into my body. I felt the breath of God slowly seeping away, like a pinprick in a balloon. I was a shell of my former self...

Continue this journey with me in the next newsletter. Peace, Retired Pastor John



Bible Study - Wednesdays 10:00 am

Confirmation Class - Wednesdays 4:00 pm

Sunday School - 1st & 3rd Sundays during worship


St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Council Meeting Minutes
July 29, 2019

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

The meeting was called to order by Council President Steve Sorenson at 6:10 pm

Devotions by Pastor Rick.

Treasurer's Report:  Motion by Paul Szczublewski, seconded by Mike Myren to approve the Treasurer's report. Motion carried.

Secretary's Report: Motion by Mike Myren, seconded Lee Jensen by to approve the Secretary's report. Motion carried.

Pastor's Report: Pastoral acts for last month included two visits with Holy Communion and one memorial service. We had a very good response to the folk music service we had yesterday and we could do that kind of service more often, at least more than once a year. I think our musicians enjoy doing and would be glad to do it more often. We had a wonderful week of vacation with our family. Thanks to Steve for leading worship that day. We would like to take vacation time August 8-
13. Scott Beck has agreed to lead worship on August 11.

Committee Reports:

Worship Committee: July has been a busy month of planning the patriotic service, folk music service, and service led by Steve. It is planned to have some hymns recorded so they would be ready on short notice.

Stewardship Committee: Church picnic August 18. Meat provided for a potluck dinner. Thrivent funds have been procured to cover expenses.

Evangelism Committee: Nothing to report

Property Committee: Nothing to report


Old Business:
Lee Jensen is continuing to investigate alternative insurance companies. Our current policy renews in November.
It seemed the new dishwasher was not drying but that issue has been resolved.


New Business:

A motion was made by Mike Myren, seconded by Janine Christensen to purchase a $500 Visa debit card to be used for a local mission project. Motion carried.

Ideas were discussed for God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday. One project was approved but the Council is open to additional ideas as well.

A Halloween dinner event is planned for October 26, 2019.

The next Council meeting will be Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm.
The meeting adjourned at 6:55 pm.
The meeting closed with the Lord's Prayer.
Respectfully submitted,
Debi Smith
Council Secretary



St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Council Meeting Minutes
August 28, 2019

Present: Pastor Rick, Steve Sorenson, Paul Szczublewski, Lee Jensen, Julie Attoe, Janine Christensen, and Debi Smith.
Mike Myren was absent.
The meeting was called to order by Council President Steve Sorenson at 5:05 pm.

Devotions by Pastor Rick.

Treasurer's Report: Motion by Janine Christensen, seconded by Paul Szczublewski to accept the Treasurer's report.
Motion carried.

Secretary's Report: Motion by Julie Attoe, seconded Lee Jensen by to approve the Secretary's report. Motion carried.

Pastor's Report: Pastoral acts for last month included two visits with Holy Communion and one hospital visit. We had a wonderful week of vacation visiting family in Cleveland. Thanks to Scott Beck for leading worship and Gene Trieglaff for presiding at Holy Communion. I am looking forward to the fall schedule and making plans to start
Wednesday morning Bible study and Confirmation classes the first week in October.

Committee Reports:

Worship Committee: No report

Stewardship Committee: Church picnic August 18 went well. Pictures were posted on our Facebook page. Scholarships will be the next Committee project.


Evangelism Committee: Roadside cleanup will be scheduled in a month or so.

Property Committee: No report


Old Business:
Lee Jensen has made several contacts regarding insurance for the church. He is awaiting a quote from Church Mutual. This policy would have a greater scope of coverage than the church now has. Insurance coverage for the hayride was discussed. Motion by Debi Smith, seconded by Janine Christensen to purchase a one day policy for the hayride unless there is existing coverage. Motion carried.

God's Work. Our Hands. projects were discussed. This discussion included an outside free-standing food pantry.

New Business:
Quilters are concerned with the future of their ministry.

Laura Tucker will be given a key so she has access to practice on the organ as a substitute organist.

Bea Rodencal is acquiring quotes for a backsplash in the kitchen.

There was a discussion regarding vinyl wrapping of the pillars by the front entrance. Estimates will be gathered for this project.

Cindy Emrich is working on Sunday School materials. There will be 3 Sunday School students.

Pastor Rick will be setting up first Communion classes sometime in October.

The next Council meeting will be Monday, September 30, 2019 at 6:05 pm.
The meeting adjourned at 6:40 pm.
The meeting closed with the Lord's Prayer.
Respectfully submitted,
Debi Smith
Council Secretary




Labor Day weekend we went to visit Bonnie Deke at her new home in South Haven MI. She has a nice 2 bedroom condo type on the 3rd floor. She is very happy, yet homesick for all her Wisconsin friends. She is walking distance to Aldi’s which is very nice. We had a good time with her showing off her town and a quick visit to St Joseph. At night we
had a good 'me playing cards, Yahtzee, and her favorite Tri-onimoes.
As you are reading this we will be travelling to the Smoky Mountains with friends. Renting a VRBO in the hills between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge for 6 days. Hoping to see some color and some good shows. Also plan to do some hiking and driving on the Roaring Forks Motor Trail. Will give an update upon our return. Pat & Steve Sorenson


We are excited to announce, that after 5 years of dating, our son, Mitchel has proposed to his girlfriend, Bree LaFrance. They met while at University of Madison and are residing in Ruthven, Iowa. No date has
been made but two seasons have...lol Looking forward to having Bree as a daughter-in-law either next
Fall or Winter.        ~Myra & John Dickson

CC and Ally are both enjoying playing soccer this fall in Wautoma. School has begun and CC is in 4th grade and Ally is in 1st grade. It’s crazy how fast they are growing up!            ~Janine Christensen

We are blessed with a new grandson. Adam & Jenn are proud parents of Isaac Roy Francis Sattler. He arrived on September 7 at 8 lbs. 13 oz. A healthy baby! The Lord is good.          ~Paul & Deb Sattler

We took a trip in August with our 10 year old grandson Wyatt to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. We drove, and towed our old camper which was a new experience for Wyatt. He loved camping and being "PopPop's" main helper, but the drive......not so much! We went hiking, rafting, and flew in a four seater airplane which he was allowed to "pilot" over the Denver area. Wyatt learned to fish and caught his first, a brook trout that he ate for dinner and thought that was the coolest thing ever! Our rafting trip was pretty dicey as we "dump trucked" in a Class III rapids, and the recovery took about 45 minutes in VERY COLD mountain water! After Colorado we drove to North Dakota to enjoy our niece and her husband’s wedding reception and spent a long weekend camped at their farm, and visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park. All in all we had a great time! Having one-on-one time with a 10 year old is an exceptional time to bond.   ~The Attoes

Paul and I helped our daughter, Kelly, and family (and dog) move from Oregon to Vermont. It was a cross country driving trip that allowed us to see the beautiful and varying landscape this country offers. With two vehicles, we switched drivers and passengers on a rotating basis. Kelly planned out our daily destinations. Along the way we spent
time at Yellowstone, the falls of Sioux Falls, and Niagara Falls. Now the Lawsons are a bit closer to us, if only we could drive across water! Neither we nor they knew this move would be happening at the time I chose to re're but the timing couldn’t have been better.   ~Debi Smith

Please consider donating at Foundations for Living in Waupaca, the only local warming shelter for our cold winters in this area. Please keep them in mind when shopping and drop some of the following items off as you pass through Waupaca on your way home at 1421 Churchill Street. They also are looking for Volunteers in the store!
Needs at this time are: Toilet paper, paper towels, toilet bowl cleaner, Kleenex, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, dish soap, laundry
soap, shaving cream, liquid hand soap, spray cleaners, Q-tips, band-aids, first aid supplies, water bottles, snacks.



October Events:
October 1 8:30 am - Quilters
October 6 Food Pantry Sunday
Sunday School
October 9 5:00 pm - 2nd Wednesday Meal
October 14 1:30 pm - WELCA Bible Study
October 17 9:00 am - Sisters into Soup
October 19 5:00 pm - Movie Night - Before the Border
October 20 Noisy Offering - Parkinson’s research
Sunday School
October 26 5:00 pm - Price is Right Fright Night
October 28 6:05 pm - Council meeting


Every Wednesday: 10:00 am - Bible Study with Pastor Rick 

4:00 pm - Confirmation Class

Dr. Rev. Eugene Trieglaff will be our guest speaker with special sermons
Oct 6: “Growing Old Gracefully”
Oct 13: “Don’t Retire from Living” 


November Events:
Nov 3 Food Pantry Sunday
           Sunday School
Nov 9 5:00 pm - Movie Night - What If...
Nov 11 1:30 pm - WELCA Bible Study
Nov 13 5:00 pm - 2nd Wednesday Meal
Nov 17 Noisy Offering - Waushara Cty Food Pantry
             Sunday School
Nov 21 9:00 am - Sisters into Soup
Nov 25 6:05 pm - Council meeting
Nov 27 6:30 pm - Thanksgiving Eve Service


Every Wednesday—except Nov 27
10:00 am - Bible Study with Pastor Rick
4:00 pm - Confirmation Class

Thanksgiving food boxes will
be packed and distributed.
God’s Work, Our Hands.

Member of the ELCA
P. O. Box 27
W4570 S County Road A
Saxeville, WI 54976
Phone: 920-622-3371
E-mail: saintjohns@centurytel.net
website: stjohnssaxeville.org
Pastor Rick Engen - 920-566-4014
9:00 am
Children’s Classes
1st and 3rd Sunday
Coffee and Fellowship
10:15 am Sunday