Covid-19 Updates

Due to the ongoing concerns in our community, we intend to provide important updates regarding ministry at St. John Lutheran Church, here. Below are recent letters to our entire congregation. 

 

 October 23, 2020

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at St. John:

Very soon, we will with all other Lutherans mark the Reformation. While it would be tempting to turn this celebration into one that glorifies the work of Martin Luther or even the faithfulness of those who follow in his footsteps, the Reformation is really about one thing: The Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is even more critical for us now. As we all know, we have been through a time like no other. From the shutdown in March, to the virtual celebration of Easter, the gradual re-opening of the summer, the re-opening of schools and now a seeming surge--there is so much going on, and in the minds of many, wrong. Couple this with the political tides in which we float we can concur with Luther’s great hymn:

 A mighty fortress is our God, A trusty shield and weapon; He helps us free from every need that hath us now o’ertaken. The old evil foe now means deadly woe; Deep guile and great might are His dread arms in fight; On earth is not his equal.

 Yet in the face of these challenges, the Lord has continued to be that promised Mighty Fortress!

 Here is just a partial list of how our Mighty God is working in our midst:

  •  Word and Sacrament ministry has gone back to in-person with consistent risk mitigation since May 30-31, 2020.
  • We have been able to transition successfully to a livestream of worship so that those who need to stay home can remain connected to the Word and SJL.
  • We have welcomed many visitors seeking an active, in-person worship community.
  • Our Zoom Bible Study and Evening Prayer services have continued to build community and faith of those involved.
  • In September we returned to in-person Sunday morning Bible Study and Confirmation instruction.
  • Because of the efforts of so many, our school is in operation 5 days a week and the kids are learning about our Lord and His creation.
  • God’s faithful people have responded with generosity through consistent stewardship in support of the Gospel ministry at work through SJL.
  • Many who are not comfortable in larger crowds continue to receive the Sacrament on Tuesday small groups and home visits.

These are just a few examples of how our Lord live out our mission of being a congregation shaped by Christ to serve.

 Yet as we have much for which to be thankful, know that your pastors are also starting to have a few concerns. We want to address them now with you in this time when we focus on the Reformation. Reformation is as much about God’s Word calling us to repentance as it is a call for us to be right.

 In this spirit, please carefully consider these concerns:

  • Is it possible that we are making it too easy for people to not assemble around Word and Sacrament? Has our online worship service made it too easy to not gather in-person? We are not considering changes. But the question is clear; are we allowing the disciples of Jesus to think that virtual church is “good enough?”
  • There are so many of those we know and love who are under our spiritual care that have not had the Lord’s Supper since March. Are we reaching a point where we are allowing people to think they do not need this precious gift of Christ’s body and blood?
  • We know that children learn by example. Is virtual church allowing kids to learn accurate patterns of the practice of the faith? If kids can play with toys or video games while their parents are watching church, are we truly modeling the faith for the next generation?
  • We know there is concerns about being in crowds during this time of pandemic. With that being said, if you can go out to dinner, or for coffee, or to a game for the kids, while taking all necessary precautions, that same family should be in the Lord’s House where we take even more precautions.
  • If you are staying away from church because you do not want to wear a mask, are you really willing to allow a piece of cloth or surgical paper to keep you away from the Gospel in all its forms?

Please know this. These are concerns, not accusations. We understand there are many who have legitimate reasons to seek to remain isolated during this time of pandemic. This does not change our need to prayerfully address these serious concerns.

There continues to be many changes that we have been forced to make because of this evil time.

  • We have had the SJL Auction go fully online.
  • The SJL Craft Fair has been cancelled.
  • We have scaled back the Veterans Service.
  • We are looking at ways that current restrictions will affect our Christmas services. When we have finalized those details, we will send out another mailing.
  • We will not be able to hold large services like the day school Christmas services.
  • Pastors are currently not allowed to visit people in most hospitals and care centers.
  • We will need to find creative ways to continue to serve the community Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

We have legitimately lost so much to this pandemic. What we are asking your continued prayerful consideration of God’s Word during these gray and latter days.

We pray that He will lead you to make the necessary accommodations to give you access to the one and only thing that will overcome this evil day and the evil one: The Gospel!

Your pastors stand ready to do whatever it takes to get Jesus to you. What we are asking of you is that you pray and work as diligently at making every effort to receive this Gospel goodness.

 To that end we ask you:

  • Get to the services of God’s House as much as you are able
    • Saturday 4:30pm
    • Sunday 8am and 10:30am
    • Monday 6:30pm
  • If limited to virtual participation, make every effort to make the time and surroundings sacred
    • Move to different room
    • Set up a cross and candles
    • Include the children in this process
  • Seek the Lord’s Supper frequently. Call us if we need to bring it to you.
  • Call the church office and sign up for the small group communion services on Tuesday 9:30am.
  • Make daily devotions a daily priority, not a replacement for public worship.
  • Sign up for the weekly email blast. If you do not do email, call the church office for a bulletin to be mailed to you.
  • PRAY!

If you have questions on how you might address these things, please call! We want nothing more than to share the Gospel with you. This Gospel goodness and its promise is summed up well by Dr. Luther that same wonderful hymn which serves as the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation:”

The Word they still shall let reman nor any thanks have for it; He’s by our side upon the plain with His good gifts and Spirit. And take they our life, Goods, fame, child, and wife, Though these all be gone, Our Vict’ry has been won; The kingdom our remaineth!

May God bless and keep us all during these strange times and into eternity!

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. Nathan M Meador, Senior Pastor

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June 9, 2020

Dear Friends at St. John,

It is time for another important update:

As of June 5th, Sheboygan County progressed to Stage 2 of the Reopening Plan. This means that we are now able to host up to 50% of our capacity. This is tremendous news! After the late service this last weekend we took down almost all of the tape on the pews! This also means that there will be no longer a need to pre-register in order to attend a worship service at St. John! We are one step closer to normalcy!

We realize that there are still those in our family at SJL that are not comfortable being among larger gatherings. If that is you, there are several ways that we are looking to make sure that you will continue to be blessed by Word and Sacrament ministry!

  • Worship will continue to be broadcast at 8am on Sundays via sjlplymouth.com or www.facebook.com/sjlplymouth
  • Sunday Worship, a broadcast for worship at SJL airs at 7am on 98.5fm and AM1420
  • Channel 14 still airs our services on Wednesdays and Sundays.
  • Sign up for a small group communion service on Tuesday mornings.
  • Contact the office for a pastoral visit to your home with communion.

These are just a few of the ways that the pastors and elders are seeking to meet the pastoral care needs of our family at SJL. If there are any needs of which we are not aware, please contact the office. We will do our level best to be faithful in all we do.

Amidst this challenging time, God has been more than faithful! As we transition to a more open process, God continues to bless us as we seek to be a congregation shaped by Christ to serve!

God bless and keep you!

Pastor Meador and Pastor Schultz

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May 21, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at St. John:

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:1

These words have had new meaning for us the last couple of months. A space that we regard as sacred, where we have gathered for baptisms and confirmations, weddings and funerals, where generations have been met by Jesus to receive His gifts of forgiveness of sins, life and salvation has been severely limited to us. This scourge of the coronavirus has thrown our life in the world and our life with the Lord into confusion and isolation.

Recent developments, however, have given new meaning to these words of the Psalmist. What we have longed for during these months will soon be a reality. In a meeting on Monday, the elders have moved for SJL to begin in person worship services again the weekend of May 30-31. We will resume services at our normal times on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Why did we settle on that date? Well, there are reasons:

  • May 31 has great liturgical significance. Pentecost where the work of the Spirit launches the work of the New Testament Church!
  • After consulting with the Sheboygan County LCMS congregations, many of them were going to return to in-person worship on this date.
  • This interval of time has allowed us to set up the equipment for transition to livestream of worship.
  • This time will also be used for training elders, ushers and altar guild in changes in procedures that will minimize risk in our return to in-person worship.

However, while the times are the same, for the foreseeable future there will be several accommodations. Please note them:

  • IF YOU ARE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS OF COLD OR FLU, HAVE A PERSISTENT COUGH, OR DON’T FEEL WELL—PLEASE STAY HOME
  • Worship will be limited to 25% of capacity (100 people) per service until Sheboygan County moves the phase two of the reopening plan. Reserve your seat on the Church Website (sjlplymouth.com). This is the preferred method to reserve your seat.
  • You will need to reserve a spot each week until we no longer face these restrictions. If you do not have a computer, you may still call the church office to reserve your spots. For the first couple of weeks all four services will be the same. As soon as we can determine best practice with social distancing, the contemporary service will resume.
  • Social distancing will be strictly observed. 6 feet between family groups. This means we will skip pews. Families may sit together in the pews. Individuals and couples must maintain this distance in the pews.
  • Masks and face-coverings are encouraged by the CDC and the WEDC. Worshipers are encouraged to wear them. It is not a requirement for worship attendance. Masks and gloves WILL BE worn by pastors and elders distributing the Lord’s Supper.
  • Communion will return to the services as well. We will use continuous communion method. The host will be served into the hand and the communicant will have the option of either individual cup or the chalice. The individual cup will be handed to the communicant by the elder. The chalice will be wiped with a high alcohol soaked purificator between communicants.
  • Offering will be received in the drop boxes as you enter the worship service. Offerings will be presented at the time of the offertory in the liturgy.
  • Online worship will transition to a live stream of the 8am serving on Sunday. It will be archived for later watching as well. The radio program Sunday Worship will continue to air at 7am on Sundays. The video of the service will continue to air on Channel 14 at its regular time. Those who are at high risk or who don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person worship at this time should feel free to contact the pastors for private communion and other pastoral care issues.
  • At the conclusion of the worship service, worshipers will be ushered out to allow for proper social distancing as people exit the sanctuary.
  • All other activities at St. John remain suspended.

It is critical that everyone at SJL is patient in this process. We know there are various opinions about this situation, our need to keep social distance, the use of face-coverings and the like. It is very important that we not allow the devil to get a foothold among us. Bear with one another in love and patience. God has led us through this time of pandemic. He will also lead us going forward.

Starting June 1, the church office will resume normal office hours. When you have business to attend to in the office, only one person will be allowed in the reception area at a time. If someone is at the window, please wait outside. Scrip orders should continue to be called in, emailed, or done online. There will be daily pickup on these orders as well.

Any questions regarding this transition back to in-person worship may be directed to the pastors and elders. It is our goal to balance our call to be together in worship and our call to love and serve our neighbor. It is in this balance that we will take precautions to minimize as much risk as possible. But it is here where we will fear, love and trust in God above all things!

To close, we return to Psalm 27. We have the great comfort of our Lord’s promise and presence.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. Nathan M Meador, Senior Pastor

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April 24, 2020

 St. John Family,

Please read this important update regarding ministry at St. John Lutheran Church.

This continues to be an uncertain time. None of us have lived in a time like ours. We have never faced a time where we were not free to worship as a family of believers, have our kids in school, go to work and all the other things we have taken for granted. We don’t do well with uncertainty. But as those who are baptized into Christ, we have a certainty. We are people of Easter. The fear and uncertainty of Good Friday gives way to the glorious certainty of the empty tomb and the Risen Christ! The vision of Jesus’ resurrection changes how we view everything: life, this pandemic, and even death. We can confess confidently with St. Paul, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

We have lived in this certainty even during this time of uncertainty! We have seen it in the way that we have responded to our transition to online worship and online education. The number of people who have learned how to worship in different way, learning platforms like Zoom for Bible Study and Evening Prayer, and your continued faithful and generous stewardship is this certainty in practice. St. John, it is clear in the way we have responded to this challenge that we are indeed a congregation being shaped by Christ to serve!

Some things are starting to gradually change. We will slowly start to resume operations. It is nowhere near full operation. But it is a start. It is our prayer that sooner rather than later we will once again be able to gather as an entire family in the beautiful sanctuary and feast on Christ’s body and blood. When that day comes, there will likely be some changes to what we used to do. This will require us to be patient and loving toward each other and our community!

What do we do? We continue to focus on Jesus! This is where we are being shaped by Christ to serve! Keep worshiping. Keep studying God’s Word. Keep praying. Our Lord will see us through the days and weeks to come!

Campus & Office

  • John Lutheran’s Office remains closed. While our office is closed, we are working from home making sure that St. John continues to serve you and our community. We will continue to be available by phone and email. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
  • We will begin to offer Scrip Sales as a “call-in and pick-up option” only.
    • Call in orders for Scrip can be placed Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
    • Scrip Orders can only be picked up at the Office Entrance (on Stafford Street) on Mondays and at the Fellowship Hall Entrance on Saturdays only from 8:00 AM – 10:00AM.
    • You will not be allowed to enter the building to buy or pick-up scrip gift cards.

Rescheduled Events and Important Dates

  • In response to the continuing crisis, the following events have been rescheduled:
  • Confirmation:
    • Modified class schedules and expectations for our current students
    • Confirmation Examination will be moved to Saturday August 15, 2020 at the 4:30 PM service.
    • Rite of Confirmation will be moved to Sunday August 16, 2020 at the 10:30 AM service.
  • First Communion:
    • This event is for those students and families who were taking the spring four week class with Pastor Meador.
    • We will make-up the last First Communion Class online through Zoom. Look for an invitation to meet soon.
    • Rite of First Communion will be moved to Sunday August 23, 2020 at the 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM services.
  • John Lutheran Auction:
    • We will host a “Mini-Online Auction” on May 1-3, 2020 for a few special items.
    • The Dinner Auction will be moved to September 26, 2020 and will begin at 5:00 PM at The Osthoff Resort.
    • For those of you that had already registered for the Auction, you are still registered and have a seat at the rescheduled events (both the Mini-Auction and the Dinner Auction).
    • Learn more and to register for either event on the church website (sjlplymouth.com/auction)
    • For questions, please call Sheila Kaufman at (920) 838-6016.
  • 155th School Year Celebration:
    • We value lifelong learning and celebrate the 155 years of our Lutheran School.
    • The rescheduled party and celebration will be modified and smaller in scale than originally intended.
    • The 155th School Year Celebration will be moved to Sunday September 27, 2020.
  • Spring Voters’ Meeting:
    • Our annual Spring Voters’ Meeting will be rescheduled for a later date when we are able to meet in larger gatherings and groups.

Our Faith in Action – We Give Thanks For You

  • Over the last month, we have seen our gracious God at work through you. Thank you for your service to our church family and to our community in need.
  • We especially give thanks for:
    • 800+ people watching our weekly online church services.
    • 800+ people receiving our weekly Email Blast – sharing pictures and updates on our life together.
    • 350 Easter at Home Kits were assembled and passed out to our church family.
    • The Daily Devotions for Holy Week were a great success. 400+ people watched the devotions each day.
    • Our Online Bible Study (led by Pastor Meador) has over 100 people participating! We are studying the book of Philippians.
    • 40+ people participating in the online Evening Prayer Service (occurring every night except Wednesday). Pastor Meador leads this short Service of the Word where we pray and meditate upon God’s Word.
    • 300+ crosses, artwork, and special cards have been mailed to members of our church family – lifting up spirits and sharing joy with others.
    • New resources for Small Groups and Church Families – offering thousands of free Bible Studies. We have partnered with “RightNow Media” (The Netflix of Bible Study videos for all ages) to provide new resources. Free accounts are available through our church website.
    • Members creating hundreds of facemasks for healthcare workers.
    • Members visiting and calling on each other. These encouraging messages are so appreciated.
    • Lots of prayer requests (submitted through the church website) – and lots of prayers prayed for families in need.
    • Hosting 3 free grab-and-go meals to our community for those in need.
    • Entrances of our building are covered with hearts. These hearts share encouraging messages and include the family names of each family at St. John.
    • Our School won the Best School Award for the Best of Plymouth 2020.
    • We continue to take care of our Awesome Teachers and Wonderful Students during our Virtual Learning Days.

Lord’s Prayer Devotion Book

  • We have created a daily devotion (10 devotions in total) to deepen your understanding of The Lord’s Prayer and to persistently pray to God for all of our needs of body and life.
  • Each devotion includes a reading from Luther’s Small Catechism, a short Online Teaching, and a Prayer Station Activity. First, read through the Catechism Reading. Then, watch the short online teaching (from our pastors – connecting the daily reading to our lives). Finally, complete the Prayer Station Activity.
  • This Study will begin on Tuesday April 28, 2020 and end on Thursday May 7, 2020 (culminating on the first Thursday in May – the annual date for the National Day of Prayer)
  • The study will be archived for you to watch and participate at a later date, as well.
  • Pick-Up Devotion Book:
    • Pick-up a paper copy of the devotion book during one of the upcoming Holy Communion services (on Sunday mornings, Tuesday mornings, or Thursday Evenings)
    • Download the devotion book on the church website (sjlplymouth.com)
  • Watch the Daily Teaching:

Weekly Worship Services

  • A weekly worship service (Sunday at 9:00 AM) is broadcast via Facebook Live through St. John’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sjlplymouth
  • A recording of the church service is posted on our website: https://www.sjlplymouth.com
  • We continue to provide a worship service that will be broadcast on Spectrum Cable Channel 14. (Services are shown on Wednesday at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM and Sunday at 10:00 AM)
  • For those who don’t have internet or cable TV, we are broadcasting a 30-minute radio service (Sundays at 7:00 AM) on 1420 AM or 98.5 FM.

Holy Communion Visits

  • We continue to provide a brief Divine Service with Communion for 10 people on the following days and times at Church:
    • Sunday Morning: 7:30 AM, 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:00 PM
    • Tuesday Morning: 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 10:00 AM
    • Thursday Evening: 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 6:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 7:00 PM, 7:30 PM, 8:00 PM
  • Sign-up to attend a Holy Communion service by contacting the Church Office: or (920) 893-3071.

Giving. Continuing to Serve Our Community.

  • Your consistent, recurring gifts are keeping our ministry strong and helping us reach so many people with the Gospel. Please continue to support St. John with your gifts and offerings.
  • We have tripled our weekly online giving since the crisis began. Wow! Thank you for your recurring gifts which enable St. John to daily serve our community in need.
  • Ways to Give:
    • Option 1 – Visit our giving portal through the Church website (sjlplymouth.com). It's secure and easy.
    • Option 2 – Text GIVEATSJL to 73256 (standard data and messaging rates apply).
    • Option 3 – Mail your offering to St. John Lutheran, 222 N. Stafford St., Plymouth WI, 53073
    • Option 4 – Drop off your offering to the “secure dropbox” located outside the main office door (outside). This dropbox is checked regularly.

In Christ Jesus,

+ Pastor Meador

+ Pastor Schultz

+ David Zimmermann, Chairman of the Board of Elders

 

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March 31, 2020

 St. John Family,

 Please read this important update regarding ministry at St. John Lutheran Church.

It is not an overstatement that these are strange times. None of us have experienced anything like this ever! Coronavirus is a word that falls from our lips now. But a month ago, few had ever heard of it. These days have presented challenges for the way we do ministry at St. John and the way that we live life in the world. It is important that we find our voice. These times are not crisis. They are challenges, of that there is no doubt. Crisis is something dark and sinister. Challenges are met head on! This is exactly what we have done at SJL!

With challenges come opportunities! We have been heartened by the number of people that have embraced the technology we have used to share God’s Word – both with our congregational family and the world! Having hundreds of people tuning in for worship online, a new radio broadcast at 7:00 AM on Love 98.5 FM, gathering in small groups to receive Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper, a hundred gathering for an online Bible Study, dozens coming together for an online Evening Prayer service each night at 7:15 PM, and the faithful stewardship of God’s gifts in spite of not being able to gather as a family in our beautiful sanctuary. All these are opportunities that have met this challenge. While the times are strange, the Lord is still working in mysterious and wonderful ways!

We do need to take some time to offer thanks to our staff. The office staff has done wonderful work from home. You are informed and served because of their service. A HUGE prayer of thanksgiving goes to our school staff as well. They have been able to embrace and implement a robust online learning component that will make sure that the students entrusted to our care are still learning about Jesus and our life in the world! Principal Lindsey and the teachers are AMAZING!

We are a people “Being Shaped by Christ to Serve.” This is on full display! We will be seeking other opportunities to meet this challenge faced by our congregation and community in the coming days. Later in this letter you will read about just a few! Our good and gracious God is at work in and through St. John Lutheran!

We are trying hard to keep you informed. Please take the time to read this letter. You will learn about God’s work among and through us. After you do, take some time to pray. Pray for our work together. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing challenges such as fear and uncertainty. Then, pray that we will be exactly who God has called us to be: His people Shaped by Christ to Serve!

Campus & Office Closure

  • In response to recommendations from local health officials, St. John Lutheran’s Office is closed. While our office is closed, we are working from home making sure that St. John continues to serve you and our community. We will continue to be available by phone and email. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
  • All normal worship services and regularly scheduled meetings/groups continue to be postponed from meeting in person until April 24, 2020.

Our Wonderful Faculty & Staff

  • We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that all staff will be paid their average hours at least through the end of the school year. We will be creative in assignments and deploy our staff in ways to better serve our community. We will continue to care for our workers.

Weekly Worship Services

  • A weekly worship service (Sunday at 9:00 AM) will be broadcast via Facebook Live through St. John’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sjlplymouth
  • A recording of the church service will be posted on our website: https://www.sjlplymouth.com
  • We will continue to provide a worship service that will be broadcast on Spectrum Cable Channel 14. (Services are shown on Wednesday at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM and Sunday at 10:00 AM)
  • For those who don’t have internet or cable TV, we will broadcast a 30-minute radio service (Sundays at 7:00 AM) on 1420 AM or 98.5 FM.

 Study God’s Word

  • We value Lifelong Learning and love studying God’s Word together.
  • Pastor Meador has been leading an online four-week Bible study on the book of Philippians. This short book of the Bible reminds us of the Lord’s work in our lives and our joy in all circumstances. We have been blown away with the tremendous response – over 100 people participating!
  • We are planning on hosting a new online Bible Study after Easter. Watch the Friday Email Blast and check the website (sjlplymouth.com) for more details.

 Holy Communion Visits

  • We are offering a brief Divine Service with Communion for 10 people on the following days and times at Church:
    • Sunday Morning: 7:30 AM, 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:00 PM
    • Tuesday Morning: 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 10:00 AM
    • Thursday Evening: 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 6:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 7:00 PM, 7:30 PM, 8:00 PM
  • Sign-up to attend a Holy Communion service by contacting the Church Office: or 920-893-3071.

Easter at Home Kit

  • Come to St. John and pick-up an “Easter at Home Kit” to help you celebrate Holy Week and Easter at home. Your “Easter at Home Kit” will include essential items to help you celebrate the passion, suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
  • The “Easter at Home Kit” will include:
    • Palm Branches (for Palm Sunday)
    • Holy Week Devotions (Daily Devotion for each day of Holy Week)
    • Cross (for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday)
    • Children’s Coloring Sheets (for Easter Sunday)
  • Pick up your “Easter at Home Kit” on the following days and times:
    • Friday April 3 (8:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
    • Saturday April 4 (8:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
    • Sunday April 5 (7:30 AM – 12:00 PM)
    • Simply drive up to the Fellowship Hall and pick up your box. No need to leave the car or enter the building – a greeter will assist you.

Holy Week Church Services

  • We will continue to reflect on the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and celebrate the new life we have through His resurrection. We invite you to listen and participate in the amazing story of our crucified and risen King.
  • Palm Sunday Service on Sunday April 5 at 9:00 AM. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week as we recall our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem amidst the shouts of "Hosanna," as well as hearing once again of our Lord's suffering for our salvation.
  • Maundy Thursday Service on Thursday April 9 at 6:00 PM. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "commandment". Our Lord Jesus gives a new commandment to "love one another even as I have loved you". The greatness of His love is in sharp contrast to His disciples' betrayal and denial. His selfless servanthood is demonstrated as He washes His disciples' feet and gives of Himself in Holy Communion.
  • Good Friday Service on Friday April 10 at 6:00 PM. Good Friday impresses upon the hearts and minds of believers the awful consequences of sin and the magnitude of our Savior's sacrifice. As we recall our Lord's passion, suffering and death, we give thanks to God for reconciling the world to Himself through the death of His only Son.
  • Easter Service on Sunday April 12 at 9:00 AM. Easter brings joy and thanksgiving as we exclaim that "Christ Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!" We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and give thanks to the Lord who promises that because Jesus lives, we will live also!
  • The Holy Week services will be broadcast via Facebook Live through St. John’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sjlplymouth or through the Church Website: sjlplymouth.com

Community Easter Meal

  • In partnership with “The Welcome Table”, we are in the planning process of serving the Community Easter Meal as a to-go option.
  • More information about serving and registration for the meal will be coming in the email blast and announcements in the worship services.

Holy Week Devotions

  • During Holy Week, use this devotion to pray, read God’s Word and be reminded of God’s great love for you. Each of the daily devotions includes a reading, hymn, and prayer. Each day meditate upon our Lord’s journey to the cross and empty tomb for you.
  • Our pastors have created a short online meditation to accompany the daily reading. Each of the meditations will be available (through the Church website or Facebook page) each day of Holy Week.
  • Watch the Daily Meditations on:

Caring for Our Community – Share Joy, Prayers, & Cards

  • We're all in this together. Continue putting your faith and trust in God and reach out to us if you need assistance.
    • Helping Members and Neighbors. We stand ready to serve our at-risk members and neighbors. We will pay special attention to the homebound, isolated, kids, and those in crisis.
    • Do You Need Help? Know of Someone in Need? With any need (pastoral care, food, grocery delivery, errand running, etc.) contact the Church Office at or 920-89-3071.
    • Can You Help? If you are interested in volunteering to reach out to those in isolation with a word of encouragement or to volunteer for serving your neighbor, contact the Church Office at or 920-893-3071.
    • Make Cards. Help us spread joy and be a light to those around us. We invite you to make cards (write encouraging notes, share your artistic ability with a drawing or photo, or share Bible verses) for those we caring for in our community during this time of social distancing. Remember to sign your name. Drop off the cards to the Church Office (in the secured lock box – outside the Office Entrance on Stafford Street). We will address, stamp, and mail the letters to others in our St. John community. What a kind way to share love to others in need!  
    • Prayer Requests. Many have asked “What can I do in response to the coronavirus crisis?”. One action we can take is to pray. The Friday Email Blast will include our weekly Prayer List. Use these prayers in your personal devotions or with your family/group as we join together in prayer for our families and neighbors, our churches, our communities, and ourselves. Submit your prayer requests through the church website (sjlplymouth.com) or by emailing the Church Office ( ).

Giving. Continuing to Serve Our Community.

  • About 90% of our contributions to St. John Lutheran Church come through offering envelopes submitted during our weekend worship services.
  • If you normally give in person on Sunday mornings, it would be a blessing if you would consider switching over to our online giving platform. You can do this by visiting our website at https://www.sjlplymouth.com and clicking Give in the upper right corner. This will allow you to set up regular online contributions to St. John and enable the church to continue our daily ministries of serving our community.
  • In addition to supporting our continuing ministry, your continued giving will help us meet any unexpected needs of our members or community over the next several weeks. This is an awesome opportunity for St. John Lutheran to demonstrate the love of Jesus to those impacted most by the global pandemic.
  • Electronic giving is a great option for many, but you can also mail in your contributions to the Church at 222 N. Stafford St., Plymouth, WI 53073, if you prefer.
  • A secured lock box is now placed outside the main office door (outside) for people to drop things off like offering envelopes, cards, and notes. This box will be checked regularly
  • Why does this matter? St. John Lutheran serves as an anchor to those in need in our community. Your sustained giving allows us to support our members and community during this challenging time. By standing with us, we can stand in the gap for those that need to experience God’s grace and mercy during this critical time. It also puts us in a stronger position to help those in need after this immediate challenge passes.
  • However, you decide to give, please know that your giving is making an impact in the lives of the people at St. John Lutheran and around the world.

Thank You. Thank You.

  • We cannot thank you enough for all the prayers and encouragement you've given to the pastors and our St. John staff. We are so blessed to be a part of this incredible ministry.
  • We encourage everyone to sign up for our Weekly Friday Email Blast. Sign up on our website: https://www.sjlplymouth.com

“You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9b-10 ESV)

 In Christ Jesus,

 + Pastor Meador

+ Pastor Schultz

+ David Zimmermann, Chairman of the Board of Elders

 

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March 17, 2020

 Church Family,

Please read this important update regarding ministry at St. John Lutheran Church.

We write this letter on the Feast of St. Patrick. It sure would be nice if we could have someone drive out, not snakes, but the coronavirus! But on this day of the wearing of the green held in the midst of a national crisis that we have not seen since 1918, we are not out looking for leprechauns, four-leaf clovers or pots of gold at the end of rainbows! Rather, we are looking fully and faithfully to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. It is our Lord who has overcome the greatest scourge of all time. He has undone the power of sin, death and hell! In Christ is the victory, even in this time of great concern!

Over the last couple of weeks, at the urging of our leaders in both the health community and the government, we have learned a new vocabulary word, “social distancing.” What started just a few days ago as a limit to a group of 1000, then 250, then 50 and now a strong suggestion that groups be limited to 10, has changed every aspect of our lives. Major events and sports were the first casualty. Then, the schools closed only to be quickly followed by dine-in restaurants and bars. Again, this is as unbelievable to us as it is to anyone else.

This has forced us to look at what we do at St. John Lutheran. For the sake of our neighbors and especially those most vulnerable among us, now is the time for us to lead as well.

Effective Immediately, All Worship Services at St. John Lutheran will be Suspended.

  • There will be no midweek or weekend worship services until further notice.
  • The Church Office will remain in operation, including Scrip sales, until it is deemed unsafe for our staff.

In the absence of public worship services, the pastors and elders are taking the following steps:

Weekly Worship Options

  • A weekly worship service (Sunday at 9:00 AM) will be broadcast via Facebook Live through St. John’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sjlplymouth
  • A recording of the church service will be posted on our website: https://www.sjlplymouth.com
  • We will continue to provide a worship service that will be broadcast on Spectrum Cable Channel 14. (Services are shown on Wednesday at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM and Sunday at 10:00 AM)
  • Starting March 29, 2020 at 7:00 AM, we will broadcast a 30-minute radio service for those who don’t have internet or cable TV on 1420 AM or 98.5 FM.

Study God’s Word

  • We value Lifelong Learning and love studying God’s Word together.
  • We are in the process of establishing an online Bible Study. Pastor Meador will lead our congregation in a four-week study on the book of Philippians. This short book of the Bible reminds us of the Lord’s work in our lives and our joy in all circumstances.
  • We will meet together on Wednesdays (starting on Wednesday March 25, 2020) at 10:00 AM or at 7:00 PM.
  • Sign-up for the Philippians Bible Study on our website: https://www.sjlplymouth.com

Holy Communion

  • We are looking at alternative ways to offer the Lord’s Supper to our members.
  • We will offer a brief Divine Service with Communion for 10 people at a time on the following days and times at Church:
    • Sundays (Starting March 29, 2020)
      • 7:30 AM, 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:00 PM
    • Tuesday mornings (Starting Tuesday March 31, 2020)
      • 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 10:00 AM
    • Thursday evenings (Starting Thursday April 2, 2020)
      • 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 6:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 7:00 PM, 7:30 PM, 8:00 PM
    • Sign-up to attend a Holy Communion service by contacting the Church Office: or 920-893-3071

Planning & Reminders

  • We are also planning on Holy Week and Easter contingency plans that will be communicated soon if we are not going to be able to meet publicly.
  • We encourage everyone to sign up for our Weekly Friday Email Blast. Sign up on our website: https://www.sjlplymouth.com

Gifts & Offerings

  • One of our greatest challenges, at this point, is how we will fund the ministry. It is our goal to care for the members of SJL as best as possible. We also want to make sure that our hourly employees are cared for as well.
  • To do this, we need every member of SJL to continue to faithfully and sacrificially support the ministry. There are on-line and text giving opportunities for those with connection to the internet. Contributions could also be sent through the mail, but please do not send cash. In addition, if you are feeling well and are out, you could also drop them by the Church Office.

Prayers & Thanksgiving

  • Please know that this was not a decision that we have made lightly. With prayer and consultation with each other as well as the District Office, we have taken this step in an attempt to balance our call to be faithful proclaimers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our need to care for those among us and in our community, who are most at risk.
  • The Elders will be meeting weekly to reassess this situation. The last few weeks make it clear that the circumstances of this crisis have changed daily, if not hourly. You have our solemn promise that we will resume our lives of worship, study and fellowship as soon as the situation allows.
  • We know that this creates all kinds of questions. Some questions of logistics will be easier to answer. We also know that there are some questions that we just don’t know the answer to at this moment. The greatest of them is, “How long?” We pray not long. But until then, we need to be the best stewards of the Gospel and the people God has assembled here at St. John Lutheran.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5b-7 ESV).

In Christ Jesus,

+ Pastor Meador

+ Pastor Schultz

+ David Zimmermann, Chairman of the Board of Elders