I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him is the one who bears much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (EHV)
Lately, I seem to be getting more and more frequent reminders that I am not as young as I used to be. The latest was a notice that the year 2018 is my 35th year since my High School graduation from Northwestern Preparatory School in Watertown, WI. I would like to say that I have kept a close connection with all my classmates, but honestly I have lost a connection with many of them. Indeed, those 35 years have gone by very quickly, and a lot has happened in those 35 years that have made it hard to stay in contact with all my classmates. Life happens. Many of us got married and had children. Most of us are Pastors and Teachers and this has taken us all over the country. And truth be told, when we go so long without seeing people, it is very easy to lose the connections we once had with them.
It’s also easy for us to lose our connection to Jesus. Life happens. We get married and have children. We fill our schedules up with work and sports and school activities. We have family and community obligations. We take vacations and try to make the most of life and before we know it we are losing our connection with Jesus. This happens gradually just like it does with High School classmates over the last 35 years. But before we know it, we have not remained very close to Jesus.
But we have to very clear on this, losing a connection to a high school friend is one thing. Losing our connection with Jesus is another thing altogether. Jesus makes it clear in John chapter 15 that without a connection to him we are in BIG trouble: Without a connection to Jesus we can’t grow…we can’t produce fruit…we can’t be saved. Ultimately, no connection with Jesus means no getting into heaven. It means getting tossed out with the other dead branches into the eternal burn pile.
The good news is that Jesus will never sever his connection with those who are joined to him by faith. He is always ready and waiting in his Word to remind us of his love and to draw us closer to him. Perhaps for you now is a good time to reconnect with Jesus and take steps to remain in Jesus. Recommit yourself to regularly attending worship. Join a Bible study. Expand your devotional life. We may or may not have kept close contact with our High School classmates, but we never want to miss out on our connection with Jesus through his Word and Sacraments which will bring us eternal life!
— Pastor Gartner
Called Home To Heaven:
Elaine Jentz was called home to heaven on Sunday October 7 at the age of 93. Her funeral will be on Friday October 26 at 11:00 am.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25)
Adult Bible Class:
Everyone is invited to join us for our new Bible Classes that have started. Pastor Frey is leading the Sunday morning class on Prayer. Pastor Gartner is leading the Monday morning class at 8:00am and Tuesday night at 5:30pm on the book of Ephesians. May the Lord lead all of us to grow in our faith through the use of these Bible class opportunities.
We have a few members that walk during confirmation class on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. with the exception of October 3. We walk in the church parking lot or the mall depending on weather conditions. If you are looking for some fellowship and exercise, please join us. No sign up is necessary. If you have any questions, contact Amy Helmrick at 920-833-7525 or Wendy Raschka at 920-560-2193.
Bible Information Class (BIC):
Jesus says to each of us “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Here again is an opportunity to invite a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member to hear the Good News of forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ. This class is for everyone but especially for those who are not members but would like to know what we teach. Classes will begin Thursday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m. Go and invite! Come yourself! Talk to Pastor Gartner if you will be attending or if you have questions.