New this week – July 7, 2020

Dear Friends,

How richly we value our citizenship! With the Apostle Paul, we can proclaim that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:20). Yes, we value, above all else, the fact that through faith in Jesus we are members of God’s family, citizens of his kingdom! We are members of a kingdom that will never end. Our King loves us perfectly. We, along with all believers, are co-heirs with Christ, awaiting the full glory of our eternal inheritance, which we will share with Christ. We are citizens whose King always wants what’s best for us; He rules for our good. He intercedes for us before our Father in heaven.  Our King died, rose, and ascended for us! Our King saved us!

Let us never stop giving thanks for the blessing of being a citizen in God’s kingdom, living in his grace now and looking forward to experiencing the fullness of his glory later.

The Lord has blessed us with another citizenship; one which we just celebrated a few days ago. May God defend our nation and protect us from all foes who would threaten our land from within and outside our borders.

*Please note that there will be two publications of NEWS TO NOTE in July, this one and a second one in two weeks.

Prayer Requests

Let us know of any special prayer requests for the Prayer Circle or worship services. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

I pray that out of his glorious riches God may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17).

New this week – July 2, 2020

With Independence Day just days away, I grabbed a prayer book my grandparents gave me in 1972. What follows are some thoughts gleaned from one of the Independence Day prayers:

  • Let us be thrilled as we remember the greatness of our country’s past and give God thanks for the blessings we have enjoyed through the years.
  • Let us treasure and appreciate our dearly won liberty, including the freedom of worship, which is the very cornerstone of our country’s glory.
  • Let us at no time misuse our freedoms nor neglect to praise God’s holy name.
  • Let us appreciate the peace and order maintained by our government.
  • Let us be willing to share in the process of this democratic rule, to respect our country’s laws, to work and pray for the preservation of its institutions, and to serve our country wherever possible.
  • Let us pray for God to protect us and all citizens from all subversive opinions, and for God to keep our government leaders from falling prey to selfish interests.
  • Let us remember that the Lord is ruling the destiny of people and nations and that the future rests in his good counsel.
  • Let us and all citizens turn our hearts to that freedom which delivers from sin and death and which only our Savior can give us.

May God bless us and may God bless America!

Installation Date Set

We are thankful that the Lord led Pastor Hintz, Mr. Hahm and Mrs. Gronholz to accept their Calls to serve as Our Savior. Their installation will take place on Sunday, August 2nd.

Offerings 

Thank you for your financial support of God’s work at Our Savior through your offerings, whether placed in the plates while at worship, dropped off inthe church office, directly mailed from banks, or given online through Vanco or through Vanco’s mobile giving app GivePlus Church.

Prayer Requests

Let us know of any special prayer requests for the Prayer Circle or worship services. “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May you unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you

(Psalm 33:20-22).

New this week – June 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

King David encourages us in Psalm 34:8 to “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is everyone who takes refuge in him.” This verse reminds us of the importance of experiencing God’s goodness; and as we do, we will truly appreciate it all the more. Taste and see God’s love as you read his Word and receive his Sacrament. Taste and see God’s mercy as you find refuge in the good news of his forgiveness. Taste and see the goodness of God and live in the joy of his blessings. “O give thanks to the Lord for he is good…” (Psalm 118).

Schedule of Worship and Events

Join us

  • Thursday, June 18, worship at 7 pm in our Family Life Center Gym
  • Saturday, June 20, at 7 am, men’s Bible study in the fellowship hall
  • Sunday, June 21, worship at 8 & 10:30 in our FLC gym and Bible class at 9:15 in the fellowship hall
  • We continue to live stream our Sunday morning 10:30 service.

Holy Communion

We have begun to again celebrate the Lord’s Supper during our regular worship services the first and third weekends of the month! We understand that some people many not yet feel comfortable gathering on campus for worship, and that for others it may not be advisable to return to on campus worship at this time. If this applies to you, but you would welcome a member of our pastoral staff to serve you private communion, either at your home or in the church office, please call us and we will arrange a visit. (Please note that some of the care facilities do not yet allow us on site. We must wait until those restrictions have been lifted before we can visit those facilities.)

Call Update

We are pleased to announce that Mrs. Amanda Gronholz has accepted the Call to serve as a part-time teacher in our school for the 2020-2021 school year. We thank the Lord that he has led Mrs. Gronholz, Mr. Hahm (principal) and Pastor Hintz (pulpit assistant) to serve the Lord and his people at Our Savior. Continue reading “New this week – June 16, 2020”

New this week – June 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians (4:4), “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” It sounds like things were going really well in his life. Truth be told, he wrote these words while in prison in Rome and facing an uncertain future. Yet these difficult circumstances could not rob him of joy, joy in Jesus. Are you or those you love facing uncertainty and struggles with health, finances, job, school? Undoubtedly nearly everyone these days is experiencing some sort extraordinary challenge. May our outward circumstances not impact our inward confidence and faith in Jesus, who promises us that his forgiveness, care and love will never fail. God keep you centered and firm on the foundation of his unshakable gospel promises, so that you can join Paul in saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Continue reading “New this week – June 10, 2020”

New this week – June 4, 2020

Dear Friends,

This greeting is a few days late, but, Happy Pentecost! The account from Acts chapter 2 is worth celebrating, a day when believers were gathered together in a place and “all of them we filled with the Holy Spirit…” We often refer to the wondrous love of our Father in heaven and the glorious redeeming work of Jesus our Savior. But what about the Holy Spirit? He creates faith in the Savior, through whom we are rescued from sin and punishment. The Holy Spirit calls us out of the darkness of unbelief into the light of God’s grace and into his family, making us heirs of the best inheritance possible. What we and all believers have to look forward to (our inheritance) because of the Holy Spirit’s work is stated well in the explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed: “On the Last Day he will raise me and all the dead and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.” That’s worth celebrating! Happy Pentecost!

Call Update

We are pleased to announce that…

  • Pastor Mike Hintz has accepted the Call to serve as our pulpit assistant, and
  • Mr. Jon Hahm has accepted the Call to serve as our principal for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Please keep Mrs. Amanda Gronholz in your prayers as she seeks God’s will regarding her Call to serve one year as a part-time teacher in our school.

Offerings

Thank you for continuing to support our ministry through your offerings, whether given during worship, sent by mail, dropped off in the church office, directly mailed from banks, and given online through Vanco. You can sign up for Vanco online giving at our church website.
Watch for upcoming information regarding the Vanco mobile giving application (“GivePlus Mobile”), associated with our existing Vanco online giving account. This will facilitate additional electronic giving options for the members of our congregation. You will see more details when it is enabled and ready to use.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
In Christ,
Pastor Wagner and Mr. Hering

New this week – May 28, 2020

Dear Friends,

This last Sunday we sang, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” It’s a song that deeply touches the emotions of many people. We are reminded that “through the storm, through the night” our Lord continues to lead us home! And the picture of our precious Lord taking us by the hand and holding us safely in his care “when our life is almost gone” gives us peace and confidence today and when our “day is almost gone.”  May the Lord guide you every day as you live for him who died and rose for you!

Schedule of Worship and Events

Join us

  • Tuesday, May 26, online women’s Bible study
  • Thursday, May 28, onsite worship at 7 pm in our Family Life Center Gym
  • Sunday, May 31, onsite worship at 8 and 10:30 am in our Family Life Center Gym
  • All three services this weekend include the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. (Please see the announcement on the back of this letter.)
  • We will continue to live stream our Sunday morning 10:30 service.
  • Saturday, June 6, at 7 am, men’s Bible study in the fellowship hall

Call Update

  • We are pleased to announce that Mr. Jon Hahm accepted the Call to serve as our school principal for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Please keep Mrs. Amanda Gronholz, who was called to serve one year as a part-time teacher in our school, and Pastor Mike Hintz, who was called to serve as our pulpit assistant, in your prayers that the Holy Spirit would guide them to a peaceful decision as to how he would have them serve.

Holy Communion Announcement!

Our congregation’s Board of Elders and ministry staff is pleased to announce that we will continue to gather for onsite worship on Thursdays and Sundays in the Family Life Center gym, and that we will now resume offering the Lord’s Supper beginning this Thursday and Sunday, May 28 and 31. While this is not a regular weekend to offer the Lord’s Supper, the decision was made to include it this weekend, and then get back to the regular first and third weekends in June (beginning June 4/7).

There will be several changes in how the Lord’s Supper is distributed, in an effort to promote safety and the well-being of our church family.

While we won’t list all the adjustments in this announcement, please note the following changes:

  • Special measures will be taken which promote health and safety.
  • Those who distribute Communion will wear masks during the distribution.
  • Wafers will be distributed into the communicants’ hands so there is no personal contact.
  • For the time being, we will not be using the common cup.
  • Each communicant will grab his/her own individual cup.
  • More individual cup trays will be used so that individual cups can be spread out on the trays.
  • We will follow the process of continuous communion, which also promotes safe spacing between individual communicants. This will be explained further when we meet for worship.
  • We understand that some people may not feel comfortable gathering for worship and may want to wait longer before coming back to church. Please don’t feel guilty about having such concerns for health and safety!
  • We understand that some people may feel some of these changes are not necessary or are too extreme. We continue to ask everyone to be patient and loving with one another.
  • We ask everyone to be respectful of others and understanding of various perspectives pertaining to these issues and decisions. We are prayerfully assessing information and making decisions to the best of our abilities. Your church leadership team will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed with future updates.
  • We respectfully ask that persons who are ill or feeling symptoms of illness continue to worship remotely.

May God keep us growing in faith and secure in his love!

New this week – May 20, 2020

Dear Friends,

You likely recognize the following words from a beloved hymn, “Change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me!” (“Abide with Me” stanza 2) What a comfort to know that during these times of change, uncertainty and pandemic, our God is with us, our God cares for us, our God is changeless. His love is steady and true. May God give you peace as you maneuver through the changes of life, knowing that you can place your fears on Jesus. Your greatest needs are already supplied when you have faith, forgiveness, and the certainty of heaven. May God give you wisdom as you make decisions and patience as you live under the decisions of others!

Worship Schedule

Join us

  • Special Ascension Service this Thursday, May 21, live streamed at 7 pm (YouTube Channel)
  • Sunday morning onsite worship beginning May 24 at 8 and 10:30 (See more details in the separate Worship Announcement sent to your email or mailbox.)
  • We will continue to live stream our Sunday morning 10:30 service.
  • The first Thursday onsite service will be Thursday, May 28.

Voters’ Meeting Summary

Our Voters assembled this past Sunday, May 17th. Following are some highlights:

  • The Voters extended part-time one-year Calls for the 2020-2021 school year to Mr. Jon Hahm to serve as our school principal and to Mrs. Amanda Gronholz to teach a variety of subjects and grade levels in our school. Mr. Hahm was our school’s principal for the second semester of this past school year. Mrs. Gronholz is a member of St. Matthew in Port Washington. She and her husband, Phil, have three children, all of whom attend our school. She has assisted in our ministry in the past as a substitute teacher, coach, and helper in various areas. She taught previously at St. Croix Lutheran Academy in West Saint Paul, MN and at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson, WI.
  • The Voters extended a pulpit assistant Call to Pastor Mike Hintz. Pastor Hintz retired after previously serving our church body as the Administrator of Evangelism. He has also recently served several congregations on a limited basis.
  • Keep Mr. Hahm, Mrs. Gronholz and Pastor Hintz in your prayers as they deliberate their Calls, that the Holy Spirit would guide them to a peaceful God-pleasing decision.
  • The following elections took place:
    • Andy Koffman: 1-year term as Congregational Treasurer
    • Chad Bloedel: 2-year term as Board of Education Chairman
    • Jimmy Pautz: 3-year term as Board of Education Secretary
    • Jeremiah Backhaus: 3-year term as Board of Elders Member
  • The following appointments were reported:
    • Budget and Finance Committee: Andy Koffman, Dianne Robertson, Craig Shanks
    • Building and Grounds Committee: Ross Duemke, Nathan Grulke, Randy Lippert
    • Outreach Committee: Matt Berger, Joel Fischer, Hilde Miller, Sarah Smith
    • Spiritual Growth Committee: Len Collyard, Andrea Semmann, Stu Stein
    • Stewardship Committee: Jordan Liesener, Scott Martens, Becky Sander, Hannah Wagie
  • The Voters adopted the Ministry Plan/Budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year
  • The Voters authorized the submission of our congregation’s SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan application to assist our congregation with the financial uncertainty resulting from the recent Coronavirus mandatory shutdown. We highly anticipate that this loan will be fully forgiven.
  • The Voters approved the establishment of two Endowment Funds (church and school) and related Bylaws.
  • The Voters received reports concerning our current budget, Long Range Planning and COVID-19.
  • The Voters thanked Mrs. Monica Dierker, who is retiring after faithfully serving in the teaching ministry for 40 years, 30 of which she served here at Our Savior. They also thanked Mr. Hering for his 40 years of ministry service (21 here at Our Savior).
  • The Voters thanked our outgoing board and committee members for their years of service.

“Lord… When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!”

New this week – May 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

Have you thought much about angels lately? Consider how the Bible describes them: huge in number, spirit beings, holy, powerful. Consider their functions: protect us, serve us, carry out God’s will, gather believers on Judgment Day, deliver messages. When you contemplate angels’ characteristics and actions, you naturally conclude just how important they are – to you and to me! They are watching over you now. While we don’t pray to them or worship them, let us thank God for them! He created them for our good. They love to serve God.

“Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his Word” (Psalm 103:20).

Online Playlists

Have you seen our YouTube Channel?  Watch online devotions, children’s messages and worship at http://www.youtube.com/c/OurSaviorLutheranChurchGraftonWI

Offerings

Thank you for your financial support for Our Savior ministry. We continue to receive offerings by mail, dropped off in the church office, by direct checks mailed from banks, and by online giving through Vanco. You can sign up for Vanco online giving here:

Online Offering

Psalm 91:11-12

“For God will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

New this week – May 6, 2020

Dear Friends,

Do you understand why this is happening? To what am I referring? It could be many things, I suppose. But for now, let’s consider suffering.

There are so many ways in which people suffer, and not just during this global pandemic. Is it loneliness? Is it job loss or downward adjustment? Is it illness? Is it monetary misery? Is it family discord? Is it… Think back to the Old Testament account of Joseph and his brothers. What suffering Joseph endured! There was family mistreatment, a slavery sale, a forced move to a strange land, separation from his father, a false accusation, extended undeserved jail time! I have to believe that Joseph knew about suffering. But you know the ending! If not, take the time to read the last chapters of Genesis, beginning at chapter 37.

There were many years that Joseph did not understand why he suffered so. Ultimately, God made it clear. Joseph himself acknowledged that when he said, “You (his brothers) intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). Will you some day clearly see why you suffered? Maybe. But, like Joseph, trust that God in still in control. Jesus, as your Good Shepherd, will keep you safe in his loving arms until you finally arrive in his saving arms in heaven.

Greetings from our Principal – School Update (Jon Hahm)

Our classrooms may be empty, but students and teachers are trying their best to continue learning. Their teachers are providing Pre-K through second grade students learning activities, and parents assist by communicating with teachers. Phones and video conversations work well for networking.

Our 3-8 grade students took their Chromebooks and textbooks home on March 13. Other than the week of spring break, teachers have been using technology to provide “virtual” learning. Though it presents challenges when students and teachers can’t meet in person, the Google Classroom and other available technology assist us as we work hard to carry out our purpose.

Thank You

Dear members of Our Savior Lutheran Church,

We want to express our sincere appreciation for your Christian kindness and support to help our family offset some of our medical expenses.  While we recognize this is a long road, right now appointments are on hold until doctors can start scheduling regular appointments once again.  We continue to appreciate all your prayers and encouragement for our family as we wait patiently for the Lord’s direction for our health.

Joel and Amy Grulke and family

Any email address or cell phone updates?

Please let us know.

Psalm 36:5-7

“Lord, your mercy reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is as high as the mountains of God. Your justice is as deep as the ocean. You save both man and animal, O Lord. How precious is your mercy, O God! So all people find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”

New this week – April 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

For good reason, many people are offering advice about how to deal with the challenges of the day. We could, I’m sure, create a long list of struggles due to COVID-19, such as illness, loneliness, suspicion, job uncertainty, and on and on. Please consider the following challenge: focus on thanking God! Review and reflect upon the past few hours, or days, and create a new list, a list of reasons for which to thank God! Think big, think small, think generally, think details. And then as you think of reasons to thank God, such as music, a sunrise, a favorite snack, an encouraging word, kindness, technology to share and hear God’s Word, prayer, the Bible…then pause and pray. Even during COVID-19, let us give him thanks for his love, mercy, care, compassion, forgiveness… Consider the last words of Psalm 30, “O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever.”

Greetings from our Church Secretary (Sarah Smith)

From the eyes of the church secretary: Howdy!  Things sure have been different the last few weeks, haven’t they? While our office routine no longer includes producing News & Notes and bulletins each week, we are blessed to be able to communicate to all our members by sending weekly letters through 303 emails and 72 home mailings.  I have also been busy getting caught up on some long-term office projects and continuing to prep and plan for our summer and fall calendar activities.

I miss the hustle and bustle of people visiting our campus and office and look forward to when we can all be together for worship in God’s house. Until then, I will keep meditating on one of my favorite Bible verses, Matthew 6:25-34.  Blessings to all of you and your families during this “Safer at Home” order.

Update from our Church Treasurer (Andy Koffman)

“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”  Proverbs 30:7-9

We live in uncertain times; this year continues to be like no other.  While we don’t know when we can return to onsite worship, we do know how the story ends.  We have eternal life because Jesus died and rose again.  No virus can take that from us.

While expenses continue to be under budget, General Fund income also continues to be less than projected.  We pray God continues to provide for our congregation’s needs.  We look forward to sharing more comprehensive information next month as we discuss our new Ministry Plan (budget).

Psalm 107:1-9

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this, those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness, in the wasteland. They did not find the way to a city where they could live. They were hungry and also thirsty, so their lives were draining away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their distress. He delivered them from their troubles. He led them by a straight way to come to a city where they could live. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy and his wonderful deeds for all people, because he satisfies the desire of the thirsty, and he fills the desire of the hungry with good things.”