April 2019

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A WORD FROM PASTOR TOM

WBLC - Pastor TomPastor Tom’s Mission and Ministry Report The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all the people of Williams Bay Lutheran Church. (Here is my annual report to the congregation. God has truly blessed our congregation in 2018.) This past year was filled with both challenges and joys. Overall, I am grateful for the many ways that we came together as a faith community in order to move our congregation forward in mission. Thank you to all the people of Williams Bay Lutheran Church! I am especially thankful to God for three surprises that happened this past year.

The first surprise was Vacation Bible School. We have not held VBS at our church for three years. This past summer the education committee decided to take a step of faith and plan for a week of VBS. When the week for VBS came thirty-six kids appeared! It was a fantastic week and the children were blessed by this ministry. As time goes on, and we continue building up our VBS program, I hope that we become known in the community for offering an outstanding VBS ministry.

The second surprise was all the new members that we received. I was filled with joy on New Member Sunday as twenty-one adults and children joined our congregation. It has been a while since we welcomed new members to our congregation. This past year God blessed our church with a large group of new members. We have been doing the work of evangelism! Already our new members are getting involved and are participating in the life of the congregation.

The last surprise happened at our Thanksgiving Service and our Christmas Eve services. This year I decided to invite the Chapel on the Hill congregation to join us for our traditional community Thanksgiving service. They welcomed the invitation! That evening we filled the church as we gave God  thanks and praise. A very large ecumenical choir also sang during the Thanksgiving service.

For Christmas Eve we decided to bring back the 10:00 service. The attendance between the 5 and 10 service that night was one hundred sixty-seven people. That was the highest attendance for Christmas Eve worship in many years!

While there were challenges this past year I am so grateful for your enduring support and grace. One thing that I have learned, from my two previous congregations that I served, is that the work of a pastor is too great without the support of other people. I am grateful for your partnership with me in God’s mission and ministry work here at WBLC.

I especially want to thank Carol, Rebecca, and Chad. Thank you Carol, for your creativity and for your beautiful music. Thank you Rebecca, for your good work and for helping to promote our church within the community. Thank you Chad, for being such a faithful and dedicated church council president.

Lastly, I want to thank the church council for walking with me in both the challenges and joys of ministry this past year. Can the challenges and joys of ministry coincide so deeply? We discovered that it can! Thank you to those who are serving now on church council. Thank you for your leadership and for your love for our church.

As we look to a New Year I hope that we can, even more, awaken our love for God. In looking ahead to the coming year I have started planning ministry for 2019. I will soon be leading a Bible study on the Psalms. I will also be leading a class on a book that has greatly influenced my spirituality: Desiring God by John Piper. During Lent I will be inviting people to share their faith stories during the Wednesday Lenten services. I have invited the Voice of Praise, a sacred chorus, to come and to sing for us on Sunday, March 17th . This fall I am planning on leading a class on the topic of living out our faith in real and practical ways. In the fall I would also like to invite our congregation to participate, in some way, in our town’s Centennial celebration. Lastly, I am planning on
working ecumenically with UCC and Chapel on the Hill for more ecumenical worship services.

Please continue to keep our church in prayer and to remember me in prayer as well. I will be praying for you and for our church in 2019. May God richly bless our congregation!

Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish those words over a lifetime. –Dale Carnegie

In Christ, Pastor Tom Dowling

SHARING OUR FAITH STORIES

During the five Wednesday Lent services Pastor Tom will be inviting people to share their faith stories during Lent worship. Have you ever given your faith testimony to others? Would you like to? Sharing our faith is an important way to spread the Gospel. If you are interested, please let Pastor Tom know and he will assign you to a Wednesday service. He can also offer you some coaching and guidance in writing your faith story.

VOICE OF PRAISE

Pastor Tom has invited the Voice of Praise Chorus to join us on Sunday, March 17th for the 9:30 am worship service. The Voice of Praise is a local religious chorus. Their mission statement is to Sing God’s Praise, to Tell God’s Story, and to Sing God’s Praise. We will have a unity service on that day. There will be no 8 am worship. Come and hear this talented choir as we listen to and join in on singing God’s praises!

SUNDAY MORNING CLASS

Our next topic will be: “Desiring God.” We will read the book Desiring God by Pastor John Piper. In life we desire many things. Do we desire God above all the material things of this world? Come and explore this faith question in the Sunday
Morning Class. We meet at 11 am in the Hearth Room on Sunday mornings. Come with you questions and grow in your faith. Pastor Tom would love to have you join the group! All are welcome to join in on this new topic.

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary Mock or Cheral Sadler. February 26, 2019 “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls March 26, 2019 “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

4-WEEK LUNCH BIBLE STUDY

Come and join Pastor Tom for lunch and a Bible study. We will meet for four weeks to study the Psalms. We will begin our first study on February 14th , Valentine’s Day, at 12:30 pm. We will use the study guide: Psalms, Prayers of the Heart by Eugene Peterson as a guide for our conversation. We will meet in the Hearth Room. Bring your lunch and your Bible. All are welcome!

PASSIONATE BELIEVERS

Please join Pastor Tom for conversation on becoming more passionate in our faith lives. How do we live with passion for our Lord? How do we make sense out of our beliefs? How are we to live out our faith in our day-to-day lives? Come and join in on the discussion! We meet on Sunday mornings at 11 am. All are welcome!

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower
level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary Mock or Cheral Sadler.
February 26, 2019 “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

March 26, 2019 “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

LENT
Every year during Lent we have the opportunity to renew our relationship with God and with the people in our congregation. During Lent we prepare for the celebration of our risen Lord, Jesus the Christ. Lent can be a very meaningful time for us within the church year. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6th. On that day we will worship at 7 pm with our special Ash Wednesday service. During the next five Wednesdays of Lent you will hear faith testimonies from people in our congregation. Pastor Tom will also offer a short message. His topic this Lent will be: “Understanding the Bible.” Our worship services will be the beautiful Holden Evening Prayer Service. All services will begin at 7 pm. A delicious soup dinner will be served before worship. Come to the Lent services and find renewal for your faith journey. LENTEN SOUP SUPPER Lenten Soup Suppers will resume on March 13th. Come and break bread with your church family before our midweek Lenten services. Two to three types of soups, bread and a sweet desert are served up from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

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December 2018 – January 2019 Newsletter

A WORD FROM PASTOR TOM

THE GIFT OF LISTENING TO EACH OTHER

WBLC - Pastor TomRecently, I picked up a book off the shelf in my office that I first read back in seminary. The book is called the: The Lost Art of Listening by Michael Nichols.

As I am reading through the book once again I am reminded of the importance of listening.

In the book Nichols makes the point that listening is so basic that we often take it for granted.

For example, just the other night my daughter was speaking to me about an exciting thing that happened during her school day. While she was speaking my mind was elsewhere thinking about my own day. My wife, Kalen could tell that I was not listening.

“Tom,” Kalen said, “Are you listening to what Evie is telling you?” I was caught! Quickly my mind came back to the moment. “Sorry, Evie,” I replied. It was true. I was not listening and I was missing an important moment with my daughter.

In the church it is also very important that we listen to each other. Often misunderstandings can occur simply because we are not listening. As Nichols points out, the reality is, that most of us think that we are far better listeners than what we really are. That includes me!

May God bless as we work to listen to each other with love. May God guide us to truly listen to each other. May the Holy Spirit speak to us in such a way that we can listen and hear what God is saying to us even now.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19

NEW MEMBER SUNDAY

On December 2nd we will begin the new season of Advent. During Advent we await and anticipate with glad hearts the coming of Jesus. On that Sunday we will also be welcoming a large group of new members at both services. The church council will be serving coffee and desert refreshments on that day. Please come and welcome our new members!

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP

This year our traditional Christmas Eve worship times will be at 5 pm and 10 pm on Monday, December 24th. Come and worship the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

PASSIONATE BELIEVERS

Please join Pastor Tom for conversation on becoming more passionate in our faith lives. How do we live with passion for our Lord? How do we make sense out of our beliefs? How are we to live out our faith in our day-to-day lives? Come and join in on the discussion! We meet on Sunday mornings at 11 am. All are welcome!

CHRISTMAS CANTATA UNITY SERVICE

There will be a unity service on Sunday, December 9th at 9:30 am for the Christmas Cantata worship service. There will be no 8 am worship on that Sunday.

CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS

Order your Christmas Poinsettia plant to help decorate the church on Christmas Eve Day, and your home afterwards. We will be ordering the plants from Pesche’s Greenhouse again. Order sheets can be found in the bulletin or on the narthex table.

COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE

We joined with United Church of Christ and Chapel on the Hill for a community Thanksgiving service.  An offering of $602.50 was taken for Agape House.  A large ecumenical choir sang for the service and Rev. Sean Walker gave the message.  It was a very meaningful worship service as we all gave thanks to God for God’s many blessings.

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary Mock or Cheral Sadler.

No December 2018 meeting

(However, read “A Redbird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg to discuss at January meeting)

 

January 29, 2019               “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven”

by Fannie Flagg

 

THANK OFFERING BOXES

Thank offering boxes can be turned in and placed in the large basket located in the narthex. Money will be sent to Synod WELCA. Collection will continue through December 9, 2018.

MITTEN TREE

Mitten Tree will be up December 2nd. Branches will be reaching out for your donations of NEW or slightly used mittens, gloves, hats and scarves. Periodically items will be given to our local schools and homeless shelter. Donations will be taken through January 20, 2019.

We are once again going to help needy families throughout the Walworth County Holiday Care Program. Each ornament has a number on it as to what family they belong to and whether it is for a boy, girl, mom or dad. On the ornament is a suggestion of what they would like and sizes. If in doubt on the size for a child I always suggest going up one size rather than have it too small, or get a gift receipt and enclose in the package. The ornament MUST BE SECURELY ATTACHED to the package. If you are giving gift cards please put in a small box or bag or much larger envelope with ornament attached to it. The gifts MUST be returned to church by December 16th as they need to be delivered to Elkhorn on Dec. 17th. If you have old large paper shopping bags with handles on please bring those to church as it’s easier to transport when I can put several gifts in one large bag.Thank you for your help and thank you for your generosity!! Jorine Granberg, cell (text is fine) 262-949-7998 or email me at josiegranberg@gmail.com,

MUSIC NOTES

    from Carol Berndt

The Williams Bay Lutheran Handbell Choir was warmly welcomed by Christ Lutheran Church of Sharon on Sunday, October 21st where they performed 10 songs with narration assistance by Kyle Marshall, for their first official Handbell Concert. A time of fellowship followed the concert, which allowed us to get meet some of their parishioners. A free will offering was taken at the concert & we are happy to say that we received over $250.00 in donations. We chose the Agape House in Walworth to be the recipient of this generous free will offering.

On Tuesday evening, November 13th, our Handbell Choir was invited to play for the Norsemen of the Lakes Memorial Service held at WBLC & led by Pastor Tom. The Handbell Choir performed 3 songs for the service and there was the tolling of a bell for each member that had passed away from their Sons of Norway Lodge in the past 20 years. It was an honor to be asked to be a part of this service and appreciate their hospitality & fellowship following the service.

On Tuesday, Nov. 20th the Williams Bay Lutheran Chancel Choir joined with Chapel on the Hill & Williams Bay U.C.C. choirs in a combined choir that presented 2 Thanksgiving songs at the ecumenical Thanksgiving “Eve” service. It is always a nice opportunity and experience to join together with fellow musicians. ~ Carol Berndt, Music Director

CHRISTMAS CANTATA

On Sunday, December 9th during our 9:30 AM Unity Worship service (no 8:00 AM service on that morning) our Christmas Choir, Handbell Choir, Sunday School children & Confirmation students will present “Emmanuel—God With Us!” by Lloyd Larson, featuring songs such as Michael W. Smith’s “Christmastime”, Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven” , the popular song “Mary, Did You Know” & finishing with a traditional Christmas Carol medley. Come and enjoy this intergenerational experience.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING

On Sunday, December 9th following our Unity Service with our Cantata presentation, those wishing to visit our shut-ins and sing Christmas carols will be gathering for sub sandwiches. After our light lunch we plan to go caroling to:

Williams Bay’s Atrium, Walworth’s Golden Years, Elkhorn’s Lakeland, & Lake Geneva’s Arbor Village Care facilities.

Please join us to visit & carol to as many of these facilities as you can that early afternoon. The residents really enjoy the visits (especially from the children.)

THANK YOU WBLC HANDBELL CHOIR

Thank you to the Handbell choir for gracing us here at Christ Lutheran with a beautiful concert.  The music was wonderful, and it was meaningful to be together.  Thank you also for providing refreshments.  What a treat!  Many people have shared how much they enjoyed the afternoon. May God bless your ministry of music as you continue to share your gift with others.

-Christ Lutheran Church

LENTEN SOUP SUPPER

Lenten Soup Suppers will resume on March 13th. Come and break bread with your church family before our midweek Lenten services. Two to three types of soups, bread and a sweet desert are served up from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Sign-up will begin after January 1st.

WELCA OUTING

WELCA Outing is being planned for March 3 (3:00 pm) at UW Whitewater Young Auditorium. Young Auditorium will present Church Basement Ladies – Rise Up O Men. Last time our group went we had loads of fun and rolled with laughter. Please consider joining us and bring your spouse with you! This edition of SBL is about the men in the church. The musical looks through the eyes of the church men as they take part in the town’s Centennial Celebration. If you are interested, please sign up on the sheet in the narthex before December 25th.

CROPWALK TOTALS

WBLC had 10 walkers participate in the year’s CROPWALK, raising $405. An anonymous donor matched these donations for a WBLC total of $810. In all, over $10,000 was raised. A final total will be coming soon.

HEIFER SUNDAY RECAP

Sunday, November 5th was our annual children’s sermon focusing on the work of Heifer International. Our Sunday School and VBS offerings are donated to Heifer International for their use in ending world hunger and teaching sustainable farming. For about the 10th year running, we had a visit from our own Heifer to help with the children’s sermon. Their children chose the following animals to donate: 2 pigs, 1 set of honeybees, 1 flock of ducks, 3 flocks of chicks, 1 goat, 1 llama, 1 sheep, and a share of a heifer. To donate or learn more about the program, visit www.heifer.org.

ANNUAL MEETING

The annual meeting will be on January 27th after the 9:30 a.m. service. The annual committee reports must be turned in to the church secretary by January 10th. Following the meeting join us for the potluck.

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October – November 2018 Monthly Newsletter

A WORD FROM PASTOR TOM

WBLC - Pastor TomDuring the Sundays of October we will be focusing on stewardship. Stewardship is about how we manage what God has first given to us. Our theme this year for our stewardship season is “portion giving.”

What does it mean for us to give a portion of our money, time, and talents back to God in the form of an offering? Let’s explore that question together during the four Sundays of October.

“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, they share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, God will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-10

May God bless you as you steward the gifts of God for the people of God.

TIME & TALENT

This year we are asking you to fill out the time and talent survey online. Please visit http://wblc.org/time-talent to complete the survey.

If you prefer to fill out a paper version, you can pick up a copy on the Narthex table. Simply fill it out and place in the offering plate or drop off at the church office.

MUSIC NOTES from Carol Berndt

Here are some dates to take “note” of for the upcoming couple of months. October 7th our Sunday School children will be leading the congregation in the singing of “Jesus Loves Me”. On Oct. 14th the Sunday School children will be presenting the congregation with a special treat & song having to do with the stewardship theme of the month. Our Handbell Choir will be preparing for their concert at Christ Lutheran in Sharon on Oct. 21st at 3:00 PM (see separate article). On Tuesday, November 20th at 6:00 p.m., Chapel on the Hill will be joining us along with Williams Bay U.C.C. for our traditional Thanksgiving “Eve” service where there will be a combined vocal choir. Rehearsal time will most likely be at 5:00 pm. That evening at U.C.C., which is where the service will be held this year. We will once again present a Christmas cantata this year, which will be on Sunday, December 9th during our 9:30 AM unity worship service (no 8:00 am service on that morning). It will involve a Christmas Choir, Handbell Choir, Sunday School children, Confirmation students and Congregation participation. This year’s presentation is “Emmanuel—God With Us!” by Lloyd Larson, featuring songs such as Michael W. Smith’s “Christmastime”, Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven” & their combined song, “No Eye Had Seen” along with another favorite of many, “Mary, Did You Know” & finishing with a traditional Christmas Carol medley. If you are interested in joining us in this cantata, please contact me for a rehearsal schedule & music. I have made practice recordings that I can email to you for easy practice.

HANDBELL CONCERT

Our Williams Bay Lutheran Handbell Choir will be presenting a Handbell Concert at Christ Lutheran Church in Sharon on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 3:00 PM. Pastor Kalen Barkholtz, Pastor Tom’s wife, and her congregation are looking forward to our musical presentation and are anxiously awaiting meeting members of our Williams Bay congregation. Refreshments will be provided after the concert to provide time for fellowship and a time to get to know everyone a little better.
We will be taking a free will offering at the concert that we will be donating to the Agape House in Walworth. I encourage you to visit their website for further details of their loving ministry. Agape House is a non-profit ministry which provides counseling services, mentoring, school and a safe home for girls and their families throughout Walworth County and the surrounding area.

It is our hope that this is just the first of many handbell concerts to come that we will be able to share our talents and abilities with others outside the four walls of Williams Bay Lutheran Church. We hope to see you there & thank you in advance for your support of our music ministry & mission to help the Agape House this year with our donation.

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary Mock or Cheral Sadler. Our next meeting is October 30, 2018. The book is “Home Front” by Kristin Hannah.

CROP WALK

The 32nd Annual Crop Walk will take place on October 21, registration is at 12:30 pm, walk at 1 pm.

75% of donations go to world hunger relief through Church World Service, 25% stays local and is split between 7 food pantries in Walworth County.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Jim Pfeil for a walk packet.

NEW MEMBER SUNDAY

Pastor Tom would like to formally invite our new members to Williams Bay Lutheran. If you are interested in joining the church please let him know. He is planning a “New Member Sunday” for the fall.

LUTHERAN CAMPUS MINISTRIES

Our church supports many important ministries. One ministry that we support is Lutheran Campus Ministry. LCM reaches out to college students with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. LCM offers a Christian Community on college campuses for students seeking to grow in their relationship with God.

SUNDAY SCHOOL & CONFIRMATION

Sunday school is at 9:40 am each Sunday morning during the 9:30 worship service. Confirmation is every Wednesday evening from 6:00-7:00. Please keep these ministries in prayer. Pray that God might bless and grow these important ministries in our congregation.

MUTUAL MINISTRY

Pastor Tom is working on starting a mutual ministry committee. The purpose of this group is to offer support, to reflect upon the mission of Williams Bay Lutheran Church, to pray for our church, and to plan for future ministry. Please keep this committee in prayer as it begins meeting this fall.

ENRICHING WORSHIP VISUALLY

An update from Ron Berndt, Church Council, Worship Committee Member: You probably know that I spend a lot of time in church as cantor, lector and choir member. I am always thinking about how we might enhance our worship experience and appropriately leverage technological and content resources available widely today. You may not know that I have spent many years of my professional life successfully enabling thousands of individuals and multiple businesses to present their messages in a more compelling and memorable way, with learning styles in mind. So, how does my experience apply to our church and our worship? I have been the proponent of exploring ways to add a visual element to our worship. I’d like to summarize our research, our findings, and how we’d like to move forward with this initiative…

Why add visual elements? (the research) Do you know that, according to the Social Science Research Network, nearly 65 percent of people are visual learners? People who learn visually need to see what they hear not only to comprehend, but also to retain information. When listening to a sermon, visual learners benefit from pictures, slides and live demonstrations. The visual aspects help people connect with what is being spoken or sung and reinforce the service in a positive way.

Our experimentation and findings so far: We have been experimenting with enhancing worship by adding a rich visual element, using a projector and screen, visual images, pictures, text and even short video. We did this during Lent and Vacation Bible School and we have spent considerable time and effort researching the best way to bring new visual elements to our service, yet keep intact, the word, music and flow that we cherish as a valued part of our Lutheran heritage. There have been questions, we’ve had a dialogue, and people are embracing the idea and the implementation. However, we thought it would be good to communicate the concept in writing, and the proposed way forward…

What will be different once we add this visual element to our church?  (The physical aspects) There will be one retractable projector screen measuring 45” x 80” in the front left side of the sanctuary mounted at a height where it will be visible to all, but not “block” the view of the altar area, window cross, pulpit and so on. The screen will be visible when being used and retracts into a thin case when not in use. The projector is small and will be mounted right above the screen and on the wall, no pipes or cables hanging down from the ceiling or other distractions. (This is the same type of setup thousands of schools use for “smartboards”.) Sourcing a locally recommended vendor, we have found a new, very capable but cost-effective projector that will be almost twice as bright as the one we’d experimented with (usable day or night) and has no expensive bulb to burn out. With our usage of a few hours a week, we calculate it should last us 128.2 years.

What will I experience in Worship? Think of it this way, the visual experience is “additive” to what we do today. It does not take anything away. The service, word, music, communion, having a bulletin, etc., do not change. Here are a few examples of what we may add to our worship experience:

  • Before the service, we could show announcements to save time and repeat the messages as people enter the church.
  • During a sermon, if Pastor referred to a painting of Jesus, we could see that picture on the screen.
  • As we are walking to the front of the church to take communion, we could continue to sing communion hymns from words displayed on the screen.
  • We might show a short video that reinforces the message of the day.
  • We may show pictures and even “home” video of church events for those who could not participate.

And the list goes on. I will continue to work with Pastor, our Church Secretary, the Church Council and anyone else who would like to guide how this evolves, and even help create or produce the visual aspects of our service, using a computer, projector, screen and carefully selected visual media. We seek your feedback and input as we explore new ways to learn and grow closer to God.

Thank you for your continued support in this effort to enrich our worship with the visual experience. Ron.

FOUR WEEK BIBLE STUDY

Starting on All Saints’ Day, the day we remember the whole company of God’s people, which is November 1st, Pastor Tom will be starting a new Bible study on the book of James.  We will be meeting on November 1st, 8th, 15th, and 29th over the lunch hour.  Bring your lunch to the Bible Study.  Pastor Tom ordered study guides by N.T. Wright for the James study.  N. T. Wright offers a refreshing and inspiring look at the book of James in the Bible.  Please let Pastor Tom know if you are interested.

 

 

 

My (Our) Gifts to Williams Bay Lutheran Church

In the Bible we are reminded that all that we have is from God. God is the source of all good gifts. As we give we remember this truth. Giving reminds us to put our trust in God and not in what we have or in what we own.

As we give a portion of what we have back to God in the form of an offering we connect our giving with our faith life. Giving is a faith practice and it can be a deeply spiritual discipline.

When we give during the worship service time we do so as an act of worship to God.

Giving supports God’s ministries here on earth.

Your offering gifts supports our congregation along with the many other ministries that our church supports including ELCA World Hunger, Lutheran colleges, Lutherdale Bible Camp, San Jose Mission Church, our local food pantry, Lutheran seminaries, and the work and mission of the wider church.

Thank you for your gifts that support the mission of God here on earth.

If you choose to pledge for 2019 know that your pledge is not binding. It is between God and you. Please return this form to the church office. Thank you for your support and generosity!

My (Our) commitment to give this coming year (2019) to WBLC is:

Per Week____________      Per Month _____________

Per Year _______________

Name __________________________________________

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August – September Newsletter

A Word from Pastor Tom

WBLC - Pastor TomThe month of August will mark two years that we have been together in our ministry with and for Jesus.  I had a seminary professor who once said that the first two years of a new pastorate in a church can be challenging as both the pastor and the congregation figure out how to do ministry together.

We made it through the first two years!  I am thankful for your grace, love, and patience as we figured out how to do ministry in our new life together.

You may have noticed that the name of this newsletter has changed to:  Life Together.  I felt that this was a good, new name for our newsletter.  In our life together in Christ we work and share life together in order to make Christ known here in this place and in this community.

Thank you for sharing your life with me these past two years!  Let us now look to the future and to the ways in which God will bless the ministry that we do together in Christ’s name.  I am looking forward in seeing how the Holy Spirit will move in year three of our life together.  Come and see!

MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES

Get prepared for some new worship music & worship experiences coming this upcoming church music season.  We have already begun adding some more contemporary songs to our services as well as adding some visual experiences to our worship services as well.

Our Chancel Choir will be returning to add their special messages generally on the first two Sundays of the month.  We welcome “older” youth thru adult to come & join us.  Our first rehearsal will be on Wednesday, Sept. 5th at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary.

Our Handbell Choir will be sharing their instrumental music generally on the 3rd Sunday of the month.  We still have openings for 3-4 more ringers. (You do not need to know how to read music, just know your left from your right hand & be able to count to about 4.  The music is color-coded for you.)  Our first rehearsal will be on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary.  We hope to reschedule the postponed concerts from late spring to the end of October or beginning of November.  Please watch for further details regarding the specifics in our next newsletter or on our website.

We will be presenting the Christmas Cantata, “Emmanuel, God with Us”, which will feature our Sunday School Children, Handbell Choir, & special Christmas Choir.  The tentative date for that presentation will be at 9:30 AM during our worship service on Sunday, December 9, 2018.

With the introduction of “newer” songs to our worship services, we are looking for those interested in reading song introductions, persons who would like to play an instrument to accompany the new songs, such as guitar, bass, drums, flute or something else that would enhance the songs as well as those who might wish to assist as vocal song leaders.

If you have any questions, please contact Carol Berndt, Music Director choirdirector@wblc.org.

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary Mock or Cheral Sadler. Our next meeting is on September 25, 2018   “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman

GOD’S WORK. OUR HANDS SUNDAY.

On Sunday, September 9, our church will be participating again in a meal packing event at Lutherdale Bible Camp.  This project benefits our local food pantry along with area food pantries.  Please let Pastor Tom or Jim Pfeil know if you are interested.  We will meet at Lutherdale from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.  All are welcome to join in on this mission work! 

SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sunday School begins on September 9 during the worship service. All children ages 4 through 6th grade are welcome. If you are interested in teaching Sunday School or have any questions, please contact Kari Pfeil at 262-607-6166.

VBS WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!

A huge thanks to all who helped to make this year’s Vacation Bible School a success!  Thirty-five kids attended VBS this past week!  The week of VBS ended up being a wonderful outreach ministry to the children in our community.  Praise God!

NEW MEMBER SUNDAY

Pastor Tom would like to formally invite our new members to Williams Bay Lutheran.  If you are interested in joining the church please let him know.  He is planning a “New Member Sunday” for the fall.

BLESSING OF THE BACK-PACKS

On Sunday, September 9th Pastor Tom will offer a special blessing and prayer for all of our Sunday school children as they begin a new year of school.  He will also have a special gift for each child.  Children, please bring your school back-packs on that day.

DISCIPLESHIP CLASS

This fall there will be a class on discipleship.  We will read the book:  Real Faith for Real Life: Living the Six Marks of Discipleship by Michael Foss.  During the class we will talk about what it means to live as disciples of Christ.  We will meet on Sunday mornings from 11:00 – 11:45 beginning September 16th.  All are welcome to join in on the discipleship conversation.

FALL BIBLE STUDY

Pastor Tom is considering teaching a “Lunch Bible Study” this fall on Thursdays from 12:00 – 1:00.  We will meet at church with a sack lunch or maybe even, from time to time, a nearby restaurant.  If you are interested please let him know.

BISHOP INSTALLATION SERVICE

All are invited to attend the bishop installation service of Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld at First Lutheran Church (612 North Randall Ave.) in Janesville on Saturday, August 18th at 2:00 pm by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.  Our church was asked to provide four dozen ham and turkey sandwiches for the celebration.  Pastor Tom is planning on attending and Evie will be singing in the community children’s choir during the installation service.  Please let him know if you are interested or have questions.

ELCA WORLD HUNGER

Our church supports a variety of ministries.  One ministry that our church supports is ELCA World Hunger.  This world-wide Lutheran ministry supports communities impacted by hunger and poverty.  If you would like to donate to this life-giving ministry simply mark:  ELCA World Hunger on your giving envelope

OUTDOOR WORSHIP

This summer our outdoor worship service will be on Sunday, August 26th at Dr. Wayne and Susan Anderson’s home (7230 S&D Townline Rd. in rural Delavan).  We will have a unity service on that day at 9:30 am.   There will be a potluck after worship.  Dr. Wayne Anderson will be grilling and all are invited to bring a salad or desert.  Please also bring your own lawn chairs. Come, invite a friend, and enjoy worshiping God in the beauty of nature! There will be no 8 am worship on that Sunday.

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June – July Newsletter

A WORD FROM PASTOR TOM

WBLC - Pastor TomI am so excited!  Why?  Because this summer we are bringing back our Vacation Bible School ministry.

VBS is a wonderful ministry for our Sunday school children.  VBS is also a great outreach ministry for families and children in the community.  In VBS we invite all children to come to our church and to hear about Jesus.  For some children this may be the only opportunity that they will get during the entire year to hear about Jesus’ love for them.

This year our theme for VBS is:  Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus.  The children will learn that Jesus will always be with them even through the storms of life.

Would you be able to invite a child to come this year to VBS?  Do you have grandchildren?  Does your neighbor have children?  Please help the education committee to spread the word about this very important ministry for children.

All children ages 4 to 6th grade are welcome to attend.  The older children are invited to be helpers and/or counselors.  Please hold this ministry in prayer and pray that children might come for this week of VBS.  May God bless our VBS ministry this summer and may God bless the children who will attend this week of VBS.

Join us on July 16th – 19th from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. for a fun-filled week of activities, Bible stories, songs, and games. The year’s theme is Shipwrecked: Rescued By Jesus will be sure to make a splash this summer. Ages 4 – 6th grade are invited to join us. Please let grandkids, neighbors, friends, nieces and nephews know about our fun event.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING?

Synod Assembly in the Wisconsin Dells.

Pastor Tom and Mary Mock were the voting members from Williams Bay Lutheran Church. Around five hundred people from all around our synod gathered together for this year’s assembly.

 

 

 

 


 

National Day of Prayer

Almost three hundred people gathered for the National Day of Prayer breakfast at Lake. We prayed for unity and that the Holy Spirit might work among us.

 

 

 

 

Affirmation of Baptism/Pentecost Sunday

Kyle Marshall was confirmed on May 20th. On that day we prayed for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be upon him and he shared his faith story in worship.

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary Mock or Cheral Sadler. Our next meeting is on June 5, 2018 “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah

RENEWAL OF WEDDING VOWS SERVICE

Is there a special wedding anniversary coming up in the future?  If so, have you and your spouse thought about a renewal of vows ceremony?  It can be very meaningful for couples to renew their wedding vows and remember together the promises that they made to each other on their wedding day.  Pastor Tom can offer a short, simple renewal of vows service either at church or at another setting.  The service blesses and strengthens marriages.

MISSING UMBRELLA

Roberta Hanlon is missing her dark grey Mercedes-Benz umbrella.  If you accidentally took the umbrella please call her at 262.245.0169

HOSPITALIZED OR PASTORAL VISIT

Please call Pastor Tom at the church office or reach him on his cell phone: 608.778.3319.  Pastor Tom can also bring Holy Communion.

PRAYER SHAWLS – SHARE ONE!

If you know of someone that could use prayer support for any reason, bring him/her a prayer shawl to let them know that our prayers are with them.  We have shawls in all sorts of colors to suit almost everyone. The shawls can be found in the last Sunday School room (off the Hearth Room). Just sign the sheet that you took one, attach the blue “angel tag” and share it. If you would like to be a part of making prayer shawls, join us when we meet as “Sally’s Circle Questions? Contact Sheila Lundin or Carol Choyce.

 

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April – May Newsletter

A WORD FROM PASTOR TOM

WBLC - Pastor TomRecently, I was thinking about what it means to rejoice in the Lord. As I was thinking about this and meditating on this a verse from Scripture was brought to my attention. The verse comes from the book of Psalms.  Here is the verse:

“This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”        (Psalm 118:24) 

This is a beautiful verse from Scripture!  The verse is an important reminder for us to remember that each and every day is a gift from God. To remember this truth I started a new prayer practice. It is something that I now do each and every morning.

Every morning when I wake up but before I rise out of bed I say this as a prayer:

“Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, thank you Lord for this new day.”

This short but powerful prayer only takes me about seven seconds to say.  Beginning my day with this prayer has inspired me to be thankful for the new day that God has given me.

I encourage you to begin your day with God.  It can be a simple prayer like the one that I say each morning or it can be something different.

The important thing is to say something to God.

Usually we begin each and every day by thinking about the tasks at hand for the new day.  What if, instead, we started the day thinking about God and giving God praise for the new day?

If we begin our days by giving thanks to God then each and every day would begin with us rejoicing in the Lord.

 

You are invited to join Pastor Tom for a study on the Gospel of Mark.  We meet at 11 am on Sunday mornings in the Hearth room.  All are welcome!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SUMMER OUTING

Join us for a great family event on Tuesday, August 7th. Cheer on the Milwaukee Brewers as they face the San Diego Padres. We will leave the church at 4:30 p.m. and carpool together. Game time is 7:00 p.m. Tickets will be $5.00 per person and all attempts will be made to get all the tickets together. Invite friends and neighbors as well. The deadline to sign up is Sunday, April 8th. Sign up using the sheet on Narthex table or call the Church office at 262-245-5995.

2018 Elkhorn Conference Spring Gathering

ELCA Women’s Spring Gathering. Registration and Refreshments beginning at 8:30am. “Serving God and ALL Around Us” “But be doers of the Word, and not merely hearers.” James 1:22 Morning agenda: Fellowship, Synodical women’s update, Jane Harrison from “UPAVIM”, Worship and Song, Raising awareness on the problem of Human Trafficking, Election of officers For lunch, bring a salad to pass (one for every two attendees). A free will offering will be collected to be donated to “UPAVIM” and the Synodical board Please RSVP to Mary M. by April 5th. We’d like to take a group.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Join us on July 16th – 19th from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. for a fun-filled week of activities, Bible stories, songs, and games. The year’s theme is Shipwrecked: Rescued By Jesus will be sure to make a splash this summer. Ages 4 – 6th grade are invited to join us. Please let grandkids, neighbors, friends, nieces and nephews know about our fun event. Any question contact Kari P.

DO YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?

Pastor Tom is looking to start a new music group at Williams Bay Lutheran.  If you play an instrument please let Pastor Tom or Carol Berndt know that you are interested.

NEW WEBSITE

We are pleased to announce that the Church has a new website thanks to Pastor Tom and Secretary Rebecca Wardlow. Check it out at http://wblc.org. A huge shout-out to Alan T. and Judy N. for all the work they did our previous website.

SALLY’S CIRCLE BOOK CLUB

All WBLC women are welcome to join our Sally’s Circle meetings. Some of the participants knit or crochet prayer shawls or do other hand work while we talk. Our meetings are very informal and are a great way to get to know each other. We meet in the Hearth room in the lower level of the church. If you have any questions about where to get the book, please see Mary M. or Cheral S.

April 24th at 7:00 p.m.
“Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People” by Jim Cymbala and Dean Merrill

MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL HYMN SERVICE

May 13, 2018 at 9:30 am.

Unity Service (No 8 am service)

Featuring

Dave Wickerham

 We invite you to join us for a special hymn service to celebrate Mother’s Day. Do you have a favorite hymn that you’d like to hear? Email the church office (secretary@wblc.org) with your request.

About Dave Wickerham  Dave Wickerman

From 2001-2004, Dave was the principal Organist here at Williams Bay Church and he was also the featured staff Organist at the Piper Music Palace in Greenfield.

He enjoys concertizing frequently to many audiences including various chapters of the American Theatre Organ Society. In April of 1999, he took great pleasure being a feature artist in Melbourne, Australia for the convention of the Theatre Organ Society of Australia for which he received rave reviews.  He returned “Down Under” for a six-week concert tour in Australia and New Zealand during the summer of 2003 and 2012, as well as October/November of 2015.

Dave also enjoys recording and has recently “sold out” his fourth CD “Sounds of Music” recorded on the famous 5 Manual, 80 Rank Theatre Organ at the Sanfilippo Residence in Barrington, IL.  There are several NEW recording projects that are soon to be completed and released.

After seven years as Organist – Curator with the legendary Milhous Collection in South Florida, Dave and his family currently enjoy living in Upper Michigan in the historic town of Crystal Falls.

Learn more about Dave on his website: http://www.davewickerham.com/

REFRESHMENT VOLUNTEERS

We are seeking volunteers to provide light refreshments after the morning service for April and May. Help us fill all the empty spots. You can find the sign-up sheet on the Narthex table. 

ALTAR FLOWERS

Did you that you can provide flowers for our Sunday Worship? The flowers at the altar are a symbol of beauty of God’s creation and our thankfulness to God for the world God has created. The cost of the flowers is only $24.00. If you are interested in providing flowers in honor of or to celebrate a life event, please sign up on the flower sign-up sheet located by the food cart in the back of the church.

HOSPITALIZED OR PASTORAL VISIT

Please call Pastor Tom at the church office.  Pastor Tom can also bring Holy Communion.

 

PRAYER SHAWLS – SHARE ONE!

If you know of someone that could use prayer support for any reason, bring him/her a prayer shawl to let them know that our prayers are with them.  We have shawls in all sorts of colors to suit almost everyone. The shawls can be found in the last Sunday School room (off the Hearth Room). Just sign the sheet that you took one, attach the blue “angel tag” and share it. If you would like to be a part of making prayer shawls, join us when we meet as “Sally’s Circle Questions? Contact Sheila L. or Carol C.

 

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February – March 2018 Newsletter

WBLC - Pastor TomA Word From Pastor Tom

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all the people of Williams Bay Lutheran Church.

(In case you missed the annual meeting here is my report to the congregation.)

As I reflect on my first full year at Williams Bay Lutheran I am grateful for all the positive ministry that happened during the year. It was a great year!

From updating our church bulletin to participating in CROP Walk for world hunger to having an outdoor worship service and picnic to commemorating the Five Hundred Year Anniversary of the Reformation, to inviting the Country Gentlemen Barbershop Chorus to our church, to participating in “God’s Work. Our Hands Sunday” at Lutherdale Bible Camp, to offering a painting party in our fellowship hall, and to worship our Lord Jesus with a full church on Christmas Eve it was a very active year for our church.

Some highlights from this past year in my ministry include being asked to offer the opening prayer and invocation at the Flatiron Park for Lake Geneva’s Memorial Day Ceremony, participating in a synod-wide bike ride for world hunger, using my puppet, Marty for children’s sermons, playing guitar for worship, having my daughter, Evie assist me in a hand washing ritual for Maundy Thursday, helping Savanna Lundin in launching a church Facebook page, and in joining the Walworth County Ecumenical Pastor’s Association.

One highlight from this past year that I am especially excited about is the evangelism class that I just taught during the Sunday morning class. In the class, we read the book: Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism by Martha Grace Reese. Ten people from our congregation read the book and participated in the class.

One thing that we discussed together is the need to be intentional about looking for and finding opportunities to share our faith. We also need to be intentional in actively inviting people to church. This coming year let’s all be intentional about looking for and finding opportunities to share our faith and in inviting people to church. Let’s pray that God would provide opportunities for us to share our faith. Let’s pray that God would grow our ministries.

In looking ahead to the coming year I am looking forward to leading a book discussion on the topic of sharing our faith, in leading a Bible study, in giving a sermon series during the Wednesday Lent services on people from the Old Testament, in Bishop Mary Froiland’s visit in February, in teaching new songs for worship, in hosting the Ecumenical Easter Sunrise service, in having another outdoor worship service and picnic during the summer, in having a special bell-choir/choir summer concert, in partnering with Chapel on the Hill with their homeless shelter and food pantry, and in praying with you that God would richly bless our congregation in 2018.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Judy Newell for her excellent work as parish secretary these past seven years. Judy was a great help for me during my first year as pastor at Williams Bay Lutheran. Thank you Judy! To take over the job we hired Rebecca Wardlow. Rebecca is quickly learning the work and is doing a great job. Come by and meet Rebecca some morning!

“What’s at stake in evangelism is transformed lives, yours included!” Martha Grace Reese from Unbinding the Gospel

Thank you for your partnership in God’s ministry and mission work. Pastor Tom Dowling

 

The Season of Lent

The Season of Lent

Lent is a call for us to return to God and to renew our relationship with God and one another. Lent begins on February 14th with Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday we will worship together at 7 pm. The Ash Wednesday service will include Holy Communion and the ritual of receiving the sign of the cross with ashes. For the remaining Wednesdays of Lent, we will gather for worship at 7 pm for prayer and worship around the cross. We will sing Holden Evening Prayer and Pastor Tom will give a sermon series on people from the Old Testament. You will hear sermons on Daniel, Samuel, Esther, Joshua, and Elijah. Before worship, we will gather for a simple supper at 6 pm in the fellowship hall. There will be no supper on Ash Wednesday.

Lenten-DevotionalLenten Devotional

You are invited to use the Lenten devotional; You are the Way during the season of Lent. Please pick up a copy on the narthex table.

Bishop Visit

On February 18th Bishop Mary Froiland will be visiting our congregation for the 9:30 worship service. We will be having a unity service that day with no 8:00 am worship. A special coffee fellowship will follow worship.

Special Guests

On December 3rd we had a special guest chorus visit our congregation. The Country Gentlemen Barbershop Chorus from Lake Geneva offered beautiful Christmas music for our worship service. After worship, we were treated to some festive Christmas songs in the gathering space during coffee hour.

Hospitalized or Pastoral Visit

Please call Pastor Tom at the church office or reach him on his cell phone: 608.778.3319. Pastor Tom can also bring Holy Communion.

Homeless Shelter Ministry

This year we will be helping out Chapel on the Hill with their men’s homeless shelter ministry. St Benedict’s Catholic Church, who we usually work with, is not participating in the homeless shelter ministry this year. We have been invited by the Chapel on the Hill congregation to help them when they host the shelter week. The next week that they need help with runs from Sunday, February 25th to March 4th. The shifts go from 5 pm to 7 am. Only men can stay overnight but anyone can help with the evening dinner. Please contact Pastor Tom or Claus Wellhausen if you would like to help with this ministry.

Altar Flowers

Looking for a way to honor someone or celebrate a milestone? Sign up to provide flowers for the Sunday worship. Sign-up sheet is located by the food pantry cart.

Sharing Our Faith

We are reading the book: Tell it Like it Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony by Lillian Daniel for the Sunday morning class. We meet at 11:00 am in the Hearth room. All are welcome.

Prayer Shawls – Share One!

PLEASE, if you know of someone who could use prayer support for any reason, bring him/her a prayer shawl and let them know that our prayers are with them. We have shawls in all sorts of colors to suit almost everyone. The shawls are in the last Sunday School room off the Hearth Room. Just sign the sheet that you took one, attach the blue “angel tag” and share it. If you would like to be a part of making prayer shawls join us when we meet as “Sally’s Circle Questions? Contact Sheila Lundin or Carol Choyce.

2018 Membership Directories

Membership directors were inserted into the Feb. 4th Bulletins. If you did not receive one, there are extra copies on the narthex table. Want us to mail you a copy? Call the office (262) 245- 5995 or email secretary@wblc.org

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Join Us for Sunday Worship

  • 8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
  • 9:30 a.m. Traditional Worship
  • 9:45 a.m. Sunday School
  • 10:45 a.m. Refreshments
  • 11:00 a.m. Adult Bible Study