January Epistle

The Epistle

Newsletter of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Random Lake, WI ELCA

705 Grand Avenue, Random Lake, WI   53075

Volume XLVII, #1, January, 2024

Church Phone: (920) 994-4043                                      Pastor Elizabeth Jaeger (920) 331-0874  

Website:  www.stpaulsrandomlake.com                           Email: jandejaeger2@gmail.com                                

Email:   stpaulsrandomlakewi@gmail.com

Pastor’s Article

In Pastor Dale’s memory, we are printing an article that he wrote for our January epistle back in 2020.

Do not remember the former things.

Or consider the things of old.

I am about to do a new thing

Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19

Where I grew up in New Orleans, New Year’s Eve was a big deal.  After a church service where we tried to leave our past year’s mistakes and misfortunes behind, my dad would make a big fire in front of the house, and neighbors brought out fireworks.  (I have no idea how this fit in with the fire code.)  Were we torching our sorrows and disappointments to make room for a fresh start?  Some homes were open for special food and refreshments.  I don’t remember happier days on our block.  There was a spirit of optimism, at least for that evening.

In the passage quoted above, Isaiah, the prophet, hears God telling his people to look out for the good things coming their way.   They need to perk up.  It was time to move out of exile into the new future for them and their community.  I’m thinking that this might be a good word for all of us as we enter 2020 together.

If you feel cut off and isolated, it’s time to connect.  If you are still clinging to disappointments and mistakes in 2023, it may be time to let go.  The Lord offers new possibilities.  He’s ever willing to make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  Watch out for the new things he might do in your life and the life of St. Paul’s, including the communities it serves.

After the 12 days of Christmas, on January 6, the Church observes The Epiphany of our Lord, the day when the Magi, the Wise Men of the East showed up in Bethlehem to worship the Child born to lead us.  We remember the mysterious star that led these representatives of all nations to make their long journey of faith.  The story invites us to hitch up our best ideas and get involved in taking part of the new life that the Lord has brought to us in Jesus the Christ.  He is the Light of the World.  Let’s allow him to shine through us.

Pastor Dale Erickson

The Epistle article deadline for February, 2024 is Monday, January 22nd  at Noon.

Sunday Bulletin article deadline is every Monday at Noon.

FROM YOUR PARISH NURSE – Nancy Eberhardt

Dear Friends of St. Paul’s Lutheran,

May you and your loved ones experience a joyfilled and healthy New Year and Epiphany season!  As we begin this New Year, I would like to visit with you about the Season of Epiphany and living a Spirit filled and wholistically healthy life.  The word Epiphany means “to make known” and during this season we celebrate the full measure of God’s glory in the birth of Jesus.

Epiphany: Living in and Reflecting the Light

One of the Old Testament Lessons for the Epiphany season is taken from Isaiah 42:1-7.  These words describe living a spirit filled life.  God has called and enabled each one of us to be His healing lights in our dark world as we “….open the eyes that are blind, to free the captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness”.  First, we need to make sure we are in a right relationship with God.  Eyes can be blinded both physically and spiritually and this causes darkness to overshadow the light.  Second, our great God can use us to help others know the light of His love as we care for them.  We are called to free the captives and release those who sit in darkness.  People can be imprisoned by sin, death and the devil.  Third, we can speak God’s word of healing grace to others and invite them into a relationship with ourselves and our faith community.  The darkness of our lives can only be overcome when we see the Baby of Bethlehem in the face of every precious person He has created. (Matthew 25:35-40).

PASTOR DALE’S MEMORIAL SERVICE will be Saturday, January 13th at 12:00pm at Faith Lutheran Church in Cedarburg. Visitation will be from 9:30am-11:45am.

FUN BINGO will resume in April.

A NOTE FROM YOUR PRESIDENT, 

It is once again that time of year when we begin looking for members to serve on the church council. Serving on the council is an excellent opportunity to serve and drive the direction of our congregation.  As you look around the pews, you will notice that we don’t have an overabundance of members.  I ask that if you are tapped on the shoulder and asked to give of yourself by serving, you prayerfully consider accepting. No one is too old, and if you are over 18 or confirmed, you are not too young.  Everyone has lots to do outside of church, but what a wonderful way to help this congregation grow and thrive by giving of yourself.  Council meets the 1st Tuesday of every month for about 1 and 1/2 hours, and we ask that you usher 2 months out of the year. That’s it. Nothing too hard, right? Please consider accepting the call to help St. Paul’s continue to serve this community and show our love and faith to those we encounter. This year, we are in need of 2 people to accept a 3-year term, and 1 person to accept a 1-year term. –Sandi Wulff

THE ANNUAL MEETING will be held Sunday, January 28th. All committee reports are due in the office by January 10th. All reports should be emailed to the office, if possible. The report will be ready for review 2 weeks prior to the meeting.

COPIES OF THE SERMON will now be available for anyone having a hard time hearing. Check the back table on your way to a pew, or check with Sandi. They will also still be available after service as well. 

HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated on the first Sunday and third Sundays of the month.  Wafers and wine are in disposable cups.

SERMON NOTES If you have missed a Sunday and would like to have a copy of the current or previous sermon, see Sandi Wulff.

READER SIGNUP Please consider signing up to read the lessons. There are copies next to the sign up sheet for you to review before that day. It’s nice to hear different people spread the Good News!