Connections E-Newsletter - March 18, 2021
God at Work through Personal Connections

Amid a pandemic, God continues to lead His people to develop new ways in which they can connect. Through the development of two new programs, Friends in Christ and Connecting Families, we can connect households, providing an opportunity to get to know each other in a personal, meaningful way. New friendships are developing, and old friendships have re-connected as God’s people walk together in all of life.

The Connections Task Force kicked off a new program called Friends in Christ in November 2019, three months before the Covid shut down. As a part of celebrating New Member Weekend, we wanted to provide an opportunity for new members to connect with an existing member.  After meeting at the New Member Orientation and sharing contacting info, our Friends in Christ reach out monthly to see how our new members are doing both personally and in their time at St. John’s. We hope that they develop a personal connection getting to know each other, being the friendly voice and having open ears to listen, being the encouraging friend we all need. Over the past year, during the pandemic, God provided 29 members of St. John’s to walk alongside new members through our Friends in Christ program. Whether it’s gathering together for onsite worship, praying together, extending a personal invite to a St. John’s Town Hall Meeting, Ladies Aid, Trunk –n-Treat,  or the Couples Day Retreat, God’s people continue to connect, caring for each other in all of life. It’s so cool to hear how God connected two families that adopted a pet from the same rescue organization, or hear about the personal prayer time over the phone during a time of need, or the excitement of planning for a summer cookout. 

Last August, your Connections Task Force, in partnership with the Elementary/Middle School and ECC staff, planned three Connection picnics allowing all our NEW families in K4, K5, and 1st-8th grade an opportunity to get to know St. John’s better. The K4 and K5 picnics were filled with families interacting, getting to know each other through a time of enjoying pizza and fellowship. For our 1st – 8th grade picnic, we intentionally partnered an existing school family with a NEW family. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, the picnic was canceled, but that didn’t stop Mark and Sarah Lovy from being a Connecting Family. The weather caused a slight pause in timing, but when encouraged to reach out and extend an invitation to our Trunk-n-Treat, Mark realized that God’s plan was so much bigger than he imagined! You see, Mark, Sara, and Isaiah partnered up with Eric, Ana, and Elijah Hanson. WAIT, ERIC HANSON. . . that was the name of Mark’s best friend through grade school and middle school. Could that be him? Well, the Facebook friend request was sent, and YES, best friends connected. This wasn’t a coincidence; this was God’s plan unfolding at the right time for two households to RE-CONNECT. As Mark shared his story with me, his face filled with thankfulness and joy, I couldn’t help but celebrate God’s hand so evident in our connections ministry. 

When getting together is challenging, remember that God meant for His people to stay connected. If you’ve returned to onsite worship but don’t see the familiar face of the family that usually sits by you, REACH OUT and CONNECT with them. Check in to see how they’re doing, and let them know you care and miss them! As opportunities to gather together unfold, extend a personal invite. May 2021 be a time of RE-CONNECTING as God’s people in as many places as possible! 
Confirmation of Faith

Confirmation has probably been a word at the back of your mind, if at all, in these troubled days. Due to the Coronavirus, our plans and routines have been thrown into disarray as businesses, churches, schools, and jobs have closed their doors. Even as society begins to open up again, it may take some time before we're "back to normal." So, what does that mean for those seeking to confirm their faith?
To use the old phrase: "There's no time like the present."

At St. John's, we do confirmation a little differently. Our approach is built around voluntary confirmation, which is confirmand-driven, and church-supported. Pastors work one-on-one with families in a relaxed, conversational atmosphere as we seek to help our confirmands take ownership of their faith and step forward with confidence in their beliefs alongside the rest of the church. When pastoral conversations are concluded, confirmands join the next available Promises of Grace class to complete the process and be both welcomed and celebrated with the rest of our new members.

Unsurprisingly, this "small scale" approach to confirmation allows both families and pastors a great deal of flexibility for scheduling, and even for taking proper precautions in the midst of times like these. Confirmation conversations have successfully been ongoing, even now.

God's promises are good at all times, and these times, in particular, are rich for exploring how faith and life come together in real ways. Don't add it to the always-growing list of "I'll get to that later." Come and see; come and be blessed!

Whether you're seeking to confirm your faith or want to support someone in your house as they seek to confirm theirs, give the church office a call (262-334-4901), and we'll see how we can walk together with you.

I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the Lord!" (Ps. 122:1)
Easter Egg Hunt

Join us on Saturday, March 27th. Last names A-L registration begins at 8:45 AM, and devotion starts at 9:00 AM. Last names M-Z registration begins at 9:45 AM, and devotion starts at 10:00 AM.

If it rains, we'll have a drive-thru! You'll get to pick-up candy-filled eggs and hide them at home!

Our Easter Egg Stuffing will be on Saturday, March 20th, from 12:00-2:00 PM. Check your calendar and see if you can join us in the ECC Resource Room. Send Desiree Titus a message (dtitus@stjohnswestbend.org) to let her know who will attend so she can buy enough food for lunch. See you there!

Register HERE.
Much like our plans from this past Christmas services, Easter worship will require preregistration. St. John’s is hosting five worship services for Easter worship on April 3 and 4:

Saturday 6:00 PM, Sunday 6:00 AM, Sunday 8:00 AM, Sunday 9:30 AM, and Sunday 11:00 AM. We will continue to utilize the same socially distant seating pattern that is currently in place. Check-in ahead of each service will also be required, so please plan to arrive a few minutes early.

Register for Easter Worship HERE.

When you register for your preferred service time, you will see four seating options: Sanctuary, Balcony, Narthex (area before entering the sanctuary), and Gathering Space. Seating in the Gathering Space will utilize a video feed for participation. Seating options will be removed from that list as the available seating in that space is filled. Utilizing these spaces and options gives us additional seating and helps you and your household plan your Easter around worshiping together.

Please note that Maundy Thursday worship and Good Friday worship do not require preregistration at this time. However, we have added a 3:30 PM service for Good Friday along with the usual 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM services.



Order and Easter lily for the alter HERE, through the St. John's App,
or by contacting the church office at 262-334-490
or stjohns@stjohnswestbend.org.
Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ
St. Johns & Soles for Jesus

The St. John's Foundation has made a generous gift to Soles for Jesus and members have gone down to sort over 1,000 pairs of shoes.

Thanks to all the families of St. John's, we were able to gather over 1,200 pairs of shoes to send over to one of the villages in order to give shoes to people who need them. Each person that gets a pair of shoes has their feet washed and hears of the beautiful gift of LOVE from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is with great joy that St. John's is partnering with Soles for Jesus. Thus far, Africa has received over 550,000 pairs of shoes. Please pray for the less fortunate as we continue Discipleship in as many places as possible.

Our New Guide Book & Directory is Here!

Check your mailbox for our new 2021 St. John's Guide Book & Directory. It should be arriving in the coming week!

The Advertisers helped provide this service at NO cost to our congregation. We encourage you to think of them in the future as your needs arise.
Email Camp Director Marcia Milam for any questions or to apply for a scholarship at mmilam@sjswb.org.

Register HERE.
It's Good to be Together in the Lord
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE!
View our Livestream HERE!
Join us Sundays at
8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, or 11:00 AM
for In-Person Worship.

9:30 AM Worship is also Livestreamed.
Join us Wednesdays at
3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM
for In-Person Worship.

6:00 PM Worship is also Livestreamed.
Our next "Communion Appointments" for members not able to attend in-person worship will again be during a prescribed time window. RSVPs are required - Please contact the church office!

The window will be Thursday, March 25 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM 

Appointments will be every 10 minutes and will take place in the Sanctuary.
Discipleship in as many places as possible.
Faithful Disciples, Academic Excellence, Christian Leaders
What Is the Take Heart Scholarship?

The Take Heart Scholarship was developed for Y.I. Club members, who are high school seniors and will soon advance to the next level of higher education. During these times of excitement, anxiousness, and uncertainty, “take heart!” As Christians, we cannot anticipate that life will be perfect or familiar, but when we feel that the world has become difficult, take comfort in knowing that our God has overcome it all!

As you begin your new journey, LCEF’s Young Investors Club wants to assist your transition by offering financial support through the Take Heart Scholarship with up to three awards of $3,000, $1,000, and $500. Applications close April 19, 2021. Winners will be announced on May 7, 2021.

How To Apply (Click HERE)

In 1,000 words or fewer, answer this question:

Reflect on your faith walk during 2020. What steps did you take to stay connected with your church and your faith community at school or outside the church?
Contact St. John's Elementary & Middle School for Enrollment Options: 262-334-3077 or email school@stjohnswestbend.org.
Contact St. John's Early Childhood Center for Enrollment Options: 262-429-1061 or email ecc@stjohnswestbend.org.
Partner Ministries
LWLHS Virtual Auction

Help us celebrate our 20th year of Christian education at Living Word Lutheran High School by participating in our online virtual auction! Rather than having a virtual event at a specific time, we will be conducting the auction with a simple on-line bidding website and sharing our program through videos that will be released for your viewing from March 18-20th. More information at www.lwlhs.com/auction.
Living Word Youth Summer Camps

Are you looking forward to summer? We sure are...which is why we are excited to announce our 2021 Living Word Youth Summer Camps! For more information regarding camp offerings and online registration, visit www.lwlhs.com/camps. Discounts are available for attending multiple camps and we offer sports, music, art, and more, so spend your summer with us!
Living Word Jr Wolves Football Program

The Living Word Jr. Wolves Football Program is offering 2021-2022 5/6th Graders Flag Football and 7th/8th-grade Tackle Football. Each team will practice 2-3 nights per week with games in SE Wisconsin. The season runs August-October. For more information, visit www.lwlhs.com/jrwolves.
Contact the office to learn how to join the Living Word Luther High School family.
 
Click HERE to sign-up!
Contact the Enrollment Office to learn how to join the CUW family.
 
Click HERE to sign-up!


Do you feel God's Calling to Become a
Pastor or Deaconess?    

Click HERE to learn more. 
Reach in Prayer, St. John's App, Daily Devotions
For a Digital Copy of the Connections Booklet, click HERE.
Wednesday
3:30 PM Lenten Worship
6:00 PM Lenten Worship
(In-Person and Livestream HERE)

Saturday
6:00 PM Traditional
 
Sunday
8:00 AM Traditional
9:30 AM Blended
(In-Person and Livestream HERE)
11:00 AM Contemporary
809 South 6th Ave
West Bend, WI 53095
Church Office: 262-334-4901