God feeds his flock in a time of crisis

Together – God feeds his flock in a time of crisis

God feeds his flock in a time of crisis

After earlier placing restrictions on the size of public gatherings, today Wisconsin governor Tony Evers issued an even more restrictive “Safer at Home” directive. The directive effectively closes all Wisconsin businesses and entities other than those that are deemed essential. Other states have issued, or likely will issue, similar directives. Already after the first restrictions were imposed, many WELS congregations …


Bearing fruit in a time of need

In his book The Rise of Christianity, Dr. Rodney Stark estimates that Christianity grew an average of 40 percent per decade for the first few centuries of its existence. To put that in perspective, if WELS grew at that rate, in two generations we would have over two million members. How did that happen? Christianity was started by misfits from the …


Update from WELS Missions

WELS World Missions has always had very straightforward marching orders. “Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely …


Resources from WELS and NPH

WELS and Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) are offering several resources for free to help you stay connected to your Lord, to your church, and to WELS during this time of unrest and change. Resources include hymn downloads, Sunday school materials, digital access to Forward in Christ magazine, and access to Kids Connection and WELS Connection videos. Hymnal/music options Eighty hymns …


Spiritual and mental health support

With Americans told to stay home—away from church, school, and in some cases work—in an anxiety-inducing time, WELS ministries are creating and making available resources to help. Here are a few that we found. If your ministry, school, or congregation is offering spiritual or Christian educational resources that can be used by individuals and families, let us know! We’ll continue …


Online giving options

Congregations are increasingly seeking out options for online giving to meet the preferences of members across generations. The current COVID-19 pandemic has made finding a donation platform even more urgent as restrictions on public gatherings have temporarily moved many worship services online. These platforms offer an array of popular giving options: Online donations—set up a page to collect one-time and …


You Should Also Know . . .

A Note from the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry

Per an order from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, workers at the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry, Waukesha, Wis., will be working from home until April 24. We will do our best to serve you and thank you for a bit of grace should responses be slightly delayed.

WELS Investment Funds webinar

On Feb. 19, 2020, WELS Investment Funds hosted their inaugural live webinar featuring WELS Investment Funds Executive Director Jim Holm and Vanguard Senior Investment Consultant William Burns.

The webinar provided timely information:

• An introduction and overview of WELS Investment Funds

• A recap of the 2019 market performance

• Investment philosophy of WELS Investment Funds

• Performance and portfolio construction of WELS Balanced Fund and WELS Endowment Fund

• Q&A

Watch the webinar

For more information about WELS Investment Funds, visit wels.net/welsfunds, e-mail WELSFunds@wels.net, or call 877-888-8953.

Together PDF 

NOTE: There will be no printable PDF this week. Please feel free to share any content from the Together e-newsletter online in your newsletters, e-mails, social media, or websites.

Call Reports

Call Reports detail when pastors, teachers, and staff ministers change positions within WELS. View Call Report.

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Emmanuel & St. John’s Lutheran Church leaders offer their response to COVID-19 to align with all current bans and guidelines for the next few weeks.

1 “God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Following the announcement from government officials on March 16, all worship services and gatherings are suspended at Emmanuel & St. John’s.  However worship services will be offered online via our stjohnsmontello.org website “Church Recorded Service” menu button & linked You Tube channel, or via recorded DVDs, or via printed bulletins and sermons.

4 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.”

Every Saturday at 11:00am, I will record an abbreviated service that will be uploaded to our website Church Recorded Service” menu button and YouTube channel together with a bulletin (.pdf) file and available for viewing at your convenience. Remaining Wednesday Lenten Devotions (3/25 & 4/1) via printed materials will be e-mailed out to our members and made available on our website via the “Bulletins” menu button.

7 “The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

While we might be tempted to face this situation with a great deal of disappointment and chagrin, we also recognize the opportunity God is placing before us to ponder and grasp ever more firmly his promise of spiritual health for our souls and to reflect the light of his love to others. We can:
– pray for God’s healing for those affected by the virus
– pray for those involved in essential services – medical personnel, first responders, and those who keep the peace
– share the links to our website and worship service with family, friends, and acquaintances
– renew our daily devotional life
– continue to support the message and ministry of our congregation by responding in thanks to God for his gift of eternal life through offerings mailed to the church office or by electronic giving. Call secretary Ciara Neuhauser at the church office 608-297-2866 for details.
– offer care and compassion for those who need support and a listening ear

8 Come and see what the Lord has done.
   the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
   He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Church elders and I have begun contacting all E/SJ members (via email, text, and phone) to make all aware of the situation, to offer alternatives for those who do not have a computer or Internet access, and to offer any special assistance during these challenging times. Lord-willing and law-permitting, we would also like to offer communion distribution (up to 8 communicants at a time) every Sunday from 9-11am at St. John beginning 3/29. Pastor Zietlow (608-408-7830 talk/text) and our E/SJ Elders are also available for home visits. Please reach out to them directly or by calling the church office.

“The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.” – Psalm 46  

We as your church family want to be able to help and serve you, but we can all rejoice as we look to the One who is our real and lasting helper. He is our strength and that’s especially comforting in a time like this, when our human weakness is made so clear!

In Jesus Christ our loving & protecting Savior,
Pastor Pete Zietlow (608-408-7830 talk/text & ZietlowPL6@hotmail.com)

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St. John’s School 90th Anniversary Invitation Letter

Image result for Celebrating 90 years
“Rejoice in the Lord always.” Philippians 4:4  

March 1, 2020

Dear Alumni, Former Teachers & Principals, School Families, and Parish Members:

For 90 years, God has blessed St. John’s Ev. Lutheran School in Montello with the privilege of sharing Christian education with hundreds of students.  It’s time to celebrate!  This amazing milestone will be marked by a special 10 a.m. worship service at St. John’s, followed by an anniversary celebration meal, on Sunday, April 19.  We invite you to attend and share in the events of this special day—a guest preacher, special music by the choir and present school children, history displays, and an anniversary meal and fellowship.

To help us with preparations, please make your reservation(s) for the meal.  Email to: scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org   or   call the church office at 608-297-2866   or   send mail to St. John’s Ev. Lutheran School Anniversary, 313 East Montello Street, Montello, WI 53949. 

The reservation deadline is Sunday, April 5.

Please bless us with your prayers for St. John’s Ev. Lutheran School’s 90th anniversary celebration and for our day school’s continuance as a light in our community.  We hope you can attend!

James Wachholz, Chairman

90th Anniversary Committee

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Welcome Home Kick-Off Sunday 10/13

The Welcome Home initiative is an attempt to address the challenge of members drifting away from church. Learn more from the video below.

Welcome Home Video

“Welcome Home” will kick-off Sunday 10/13 with a special service, sermon and a free breakfast served after the 10am service in the St. John’s church basement.  More “Welcome Home” services will continue through November.

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Schedules for Ushers & Greeters


(with communion)  
E   SJ
  Brian Ninnemann, Warren Buchholz, Joe Heller, (comm. assist) Lucas Stelter Jack Yates; Chief, Paul Van Treeck, Martin Schmanke, Lee Ollendorf, Aaron Kendall
JUNE 9 E      
  (with communion) SJ
  Darrel Buchholz, Bob Ferber, Gary Wegner Don Smith; Chief, Chuck Boetcher, Jim Eisermann, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr
JUNE 16 E                                          
  DuWayne Sommerfeld, Jim Stuempges, Paul Dahlke Kenon Smith; Chief, Robin Smith, Joe Zauner, Gordon Krause, Richard Freitag
 (with communion) SJ
  Wayne Stelter, Noah Buchholz, Joe Heller Cal Kapp; Chief, Gerhardt Freitag, Mitch Simon, Matt Borzick, Glen Bubolz
JUNE 30 E  SJ   Lucas Stelter, Bruce Stelter, Gary Wegner James Wachholz; Chief, Al Rosenthal, Christopher Smith, Calvin Wojtalewicz, Zeb Zuehls
JULY 7 (with communion) E SJ   Don Stelter, Paul Wuerch, Paul Dahlke, (comm. assist.) Wayne Stelter Jack Yates; Chief, Mark Emond, Kevin Kaul, Scott Ritz, Ken Borzick
JULY 14 E (with communion) SJ   Brian Ninnemann, Glenn Buchholz, Joe Heller Don Smith; Chief, Ben Emond, Thomas Wojtalewicz, James Henke, Paul Van Treeck
JULY 21 E  SJ   Darrell Buchholz, Warren Buchholz, Gary Wegner Kenon Smith; Chief, Martin Schmanke, Lee Ollendorf, Aaron Kendall, Chuck Boetcher
JULY 28 E (with communion) SJ   DuWayne Sommerfeld, Bob Ferber, Paul Dahlke Cal Kapp; Chief, Jim Eisermann, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr, Robin Smith

Greater Schedule

June 2 Scott & Debbie Ritz
June 9 Elsa Russell & Linda Lou Wacholtz
June 16 Al & Carolyn Rosenthal
June 23 Dixie Wagner & Bernice Wegner
June 30 Karen Wojtalewicz & Susan Brown
July 7 Don & Doris Smith
July 14 James & Linda Wachholz
July 21 Ron & Evie Blada
July 28 Paul & Christa Van Treeck
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Sunday School had a LIVE and LEARN lesson

Sunday School had a LIVE and LEARN lesson to start the SS year.  The SSers and teachers re-enacting God’s Jericho battle plan. Playing the parts of soldiers and priests and carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the SSers learned walls really do fall down when God is in control!



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