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St. John Lutheran Church

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

“A Caring Congregation in a Growing Community”

8020 South Park Road
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
(715) 423-7788

August 2006 Newsletter


Thank You

Our Line of Beach Towels earned $162.00. Thank you to all those who support the children at St. John. Money earned goes towards the children’s prizes at the church picnic.

Ladies Aid Picnic

The Ladies Aid will be having their picnic on Thursday, August 3 at noon at the Open Shelter House at Lake Wazeecha. Please bring a dish to pass. All ladies of the congregation are invited.

Cook Out

Evening Guild Cookout

Evening Guild will be having a cookout at Copp’s on Saturday, August 26 at 10 AM. Your support is appreciated!


Human Care Collection

The Human Care Ministry Board will be collecting supplies for The Family Center during the month of August. There will be a basket in the Narthex for donations. Thanks for your help. Goods needed are:

Cleaning supplies
Garbage bags-all sizes
Dust pans
Laundry detergent-regular and high energy
Dryer sheets
Coffee and filters

Letter From Sarah in China

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

I am finally situated and teaching at theUniversity of Chemical Technology in Beijing. The school has been very kind to Millie and I. We are living in a nice two bedroom apartment. Everything was recently remodeled and so it is much more than I ever expected. The showerhead does just hang out of the wall in the bathroom which is unique, but it works and we even have a color TV with one station in English! We live on the fifth floor and there is no elevator, but it has been great exercise!

China is beautiful. I have not yet figured out how to download pictures from my camera to share with you but as soon as I have learned I will send them to you. Chinese people are not very accustomed to seeing foreigners and so Millie and I are stared at in a way that would not necessarily be normal in the US but in China it is very different to see two white women. They do enjoy every opportunity possible to speak in English which has been wonderful. I have not learned much Chinese, I can count to about 100, say hello and goodbye, what is your name, I am an American and a few other phrases, but it is difficult to learn another language!

In our free time we have been able to visit many attractions and learn much about the rich history of Beijing. Someday I would like to be able to visit the older cities in China that are more rural. Beijing is becoming quite Western especially since the Olympic games are coming on so quickly in 2008. It is a very diverse country and there is much history here. My mind is expanding in many ways that I have never thought possible. I have also been able to experience some unique weather. The thunderstorms here are very intense and last week there was even a small earthquake, even though I was not able to feel it at all, I was still here to experience it.

Our students are excellent. They are all Professors here at the University with the exception of a few Graduate students. They are all older than both Mollie and I. The majority of them have PHD’s in things like: Law, Chemical Engineering, Biomechanics, etc. At first this was quite intimidating for us as they are very brilliant people. But Mollie and I have come to realize that we were called here to serve because we have something that they don’t have and that is fluent English abilities and we are native English speakers. They are diligent students and enjoy every minute that we can give them practicing English. I am working with the more advanced speakers and I am very excited because they pose extremely difficult questions and debates. This will open many doors for me to share about the United States and some of my personal views if they decide to ask. Many of them have invited Mollie and I to their homes, we have not visited any yet but will within the next week or so. This will also be a great opportunity to share about our lives. We have asked our students to go by English names as it is difficult to learn Chinese names. Some of them came in with English names but many of them asked us to come up with names for them. I have been giving most of them biblical names: Samuel, Joseph, etc. That is very fun. But as for the ones who come up with their own names they can be quite creative. In China there names have very specific meaning, like “snowflake falling from the sky,” or “beautiful flower” so they expect their American names to be the same. Here are some that I have encountered: Dolphin (because dolphin’s are his favorite animal), Eleven (her lucky number), Never (because he never wants to fail), Star, and then there are those that name themselves after famous Americans like, Fox Woods (like Tiger Woods) or characters of famous American TV shows. Sometimes it is difficult not to laugh. I simply Praise God for these moments of difference. They really brighten my day.

If any of you have specific questions to ask I would really like to respond to some of them.

I look forward to hearing from you. May God bless you all my friends!

Sarah Jane Nordhaugen

Teacher & Group Guide Training

Teacher & Group Guide Training will be August 14 at 6:30 PM with a Teacher & Group Guide Meeting to follow at 7:00 PM.

Kid's In Christ Kingdom has dedicated Teacher's and Group Guide's but needs to build up a willing substitute list to teach our children at St. John. Are you a member of St. John? Are your Wednesday nights free? Maybe you are retired with not too much going on, on Wednesday nights? Are you willing to start making the connection to the children that are here on Wednesday nights, as a member of the congregation?

As dedicated Teacher's and Group Guide's most of us are parents to the children involved but sometimes we have things like funerals, vacation, sick days that come up. As you know most comes unexpected.

Please consider becoming a substitute to the children here at St. John.
"God doesn't call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing and then He qualifies them."

Examples of a Lesson in the Lower Grades and Upper Grades will be shared.

Come with an open mind and open heart. Listen, make your decision after you have heard all the information.

Go and make disciples...baptize and teach..--Jesus

Thank You Letter From New Orleans

June 29, 2006

Dear Children and Members of St. John Lutheran Church,

Thank you for your most generous gift of $500.00. Your support of our school mission is greatly appreciated. The repairs needed were too extensive for us to reach our goal of a January reopening but our new August goal will be reached! With the help we are receiving from all over the country, we will soon be able to replace enough of what we lost in the school building to reopen our school. We have seen the power of God in nature and we are now seeing the power of God in His people!

All of our buildings have been cleaned and sanitized. We still do not have electrcity in the sanctuary but had been holding services in it since the Sunday after Thanksgiving until the end of May. We are now worshiping in the Fellowship Center becasue the Sanctuary is filled with scaffolding. With the help of volunteers, we replaced all of the moldy ceiling tiles, plastered walls and painted the hallway and classrooms on the first floor of our school building. All restroom fixtures have been replaced as well as the water fountains. We have new floor tiles installed as well as bulletin and dry erase boards. We have purchased the doors for the classroom building and the interior doors have been stained. Most of the interior doors have been installed and need only two more coats of varnish. We are very excited about our continuing progress and have begun to furnish the rooms. We will purchase the picnic tables that you chose from our wish list soon. To see pictures of our rebuilding efforts, go to our website at

Our Lord, the Master Carpenter, has used us and the many other volunteers who have come to work at St. John as His "tools" and you have sent us come of the "wood and nails" for His rebuilding of this mission. To Him we give all the glory.

Thank you again for the gift and for wanting to help reopen our school. May God bless all of you.

In His Service,

Bethany Gonski
St. John Lutheran Church and School
3937 Canal Street
New Orleans, La 70119

Thank You Letter From SWEPS

July 10, 2006

Dear St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church,

The South Wood Emergency Pantry Shelf gratefully acknowledges and thanks you for your recent gift of 187 cans of tuna from the "Great Catch Collection" delivered on July 5. What a creative way to collect food! Providing food for the hungry is truly an important mission of the church. Thank you for being in mission.

SWEPS volunteers packed food for 100 families in June. This brings our total to 430 families served thus far in 2006. On behalf of the families who will benefit from your gift-thanks for caring and sharing!


Judy Steele, Treasurer

Int'l LLL District Convention

You are invited. Mark Your Calendar Now

This Years Theme-Glorify the Lord (based on Psalm 34:3)
Keynote Speaker-Pastor Steven Hyvonen (Zone Pastoral Advisor)

Dates: October 13-14-15, 2006
Place: Comfort Inn & Suites
Shawnao, Wisconsin
Intersection of Hwy 22 & 29-Exit # 225

See your LLL Ambassador (or call 920-667-4398) in August, for registration forms.

Bring a Friend or Two and Enjoy

Fish Boil

Concordia University
Friends of Concordia

Northwest Region
6th Annual

Friday, August 11, 2006

Christ Lutheran Church
308 West Linden Street (Right off Highway 13)
Abbotsford, Wisconsin
$8.00 Adult $4.00 12 Years and Under
Continuous Serving 4:00-8:00 PM

White Fish, Red Potatoes, Baked Beans, Onions, Cole Slaw, Rye Bread, Beverage, Bars
Carry-Outs Available
Handicap Accessible

Funds raised will be supplemented by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
All proceeds go toward student financial assistance for
Concordia University Wisconsin Pre-Seminary Students in our Northwest Region

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