Hello March Children Youth and Family 2023

Hello St Paul Children, Youth and Families!!   

In Sunday school, we are doing a Lenten devotional. Each Sunday we will learn about a different ‘father’ in the bible and how they showed love to their families and friends. Just like God our Father shows His love for each of us through the life and death of Jesus. We will also make St. Patrick Day cards for our homebound members as we share the Gospel like St. Patrick did.  Sunday school starts at 9:40 in the Ed building for all kids Elementary school age and younger. Our middle school and high schoolers will continue meeting in the lower level of the church with the adults. We would love to have you all join us this each Sunday.

I am pleased to announce that we will resume our coloring book fun this month! On Sunday March 19th from 2-4pm we will be coloring, crafting, drinking tea, and enjoying fellowship with one another. If you would like to join us, just let me know! We will have coloring supplies available along with tea and snacks.

Now that we are in the full swing of Lent, here are some dates for upcoming activities. We will begin collecting wrapped candy on March 8th for the Easter egg hunt on April 8th. We will have the older youth help with setting up the egg hunt and cleaning up afterwards. We will also have our Easter Sunday breakfast again this year. The wonderful Talia Johnston will reach out to all who helped last year as we get closer to Easter Sunday.  

Do you have a beach house you’d share with us for a weekend? We weren’t able to have our Youth Ski retreat this January. This retreat is a great way to reinforce how important each teen is to our church and to God. Pastor Don, Talia, and I are looking for an opportunity to spend time away with our teenagers and help deepen their faith connection to our church family. Do you have a suggestion? Please let us know!

My email is jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.”- Isaiah 55:1

Jennifer Gatke

Youth Program Director

CYF calendar Mar 23.docx

S.P.A.R.K. (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know) March 2023

Dear friends in Christ,

May God’s grace and peace be multiplied to you.

 This whole month of March we are in the season of Lent. Since I outlined our Lenten worship series “Promised Treasures” in last month’s newsletter, I ‘d like to use this month’s newsletter to update you on the Firm Foundations Academy Northwest that is using our school classrooms. Along with our own preschool, I believe Firm Foundations operating on our campus is one of the best things happening at our church.  

Firm Foundations Academy Northwest was started last summer by Melissa Parmelee and Clare Kozushko, two educators who live in this area. Melissa’s children are alumni of our preschool. Melissa and Clare’s vision was to set up a Christian, hybrid homeschool in Newberg and Sherwood, to serve as an alternative to traditional home-schooling, public and parochial school. Students have in-person class three days a week with a teacher, and two days at home working on assignments. For their Sherwood operation, Firm Foundations is using our old schoolhouse and gym (Connect Center), one modular classroom and the adjacent playground. Plus, the kids have the whole grove to explore and play in. When the weather is warm and dry, they eat lunch in the grove. There are 32 students on our campus in grades K through 8th. The students wear uniforms and learn by the classical model of education: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Within that sphere they learn the classics of literature, art, languages (Latin, French) history, theology, and much more.

Firm Foundations is an impressive operation. The teachers are very professional, and the students are some of the brightest, most personable young people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. I am privileged to be able to have devotions with the 6-8th grade classes each Friday morning and afternoon. You can tell just by talking with the students that their parents are serious about a Christian education for them, in a safe environment. It is such a joy to see children playing in the playground and in the grove again. I am fond of mentioning that we haven’t had middle school students learning and playing on our campus since 1968. I hope it is a long-lasting relationship between our church and Firm Foundations. If you have any questions about this school or even if you’d like to walk through the classrooms and see what it’s about, I’d be happy to show you. Pastor Don

Greetings in Christ Jesus

Welcome to March,

The name March is derived from the Latin word Martius, the Roman god of war. In Ancient Rome, March marked the start of the military campaign season.  Today much of March is about Lent.  In Lent the church sets aside time to reflect on Jesus and His campaign to defeat sin, death, and the devil.  At the cross Jesus took our place and His sacrifice removed these enemies from us.  Lent gives us the opportunity to draw closer to God and His love for us.  In this month of March, rejoice in the victory won for you!

This Lenten Season the Senior Saints will study and meditate on the Hallelujah Psalms, 113-118.  These psalms were sung at the Passover meal.  Therefore Jesus and His disciples would have sang them the night He gave us the Lord’s Supper. 

Note:  Lenten worship is available on Wednesdays at 1:30 and 6:30.  The 1:30 Service is in the Senior Center Chapel.   God bless your life this month!

 In Christ’s Love,

 Pastor Rich


Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

 Hi Folks,

Beware the Ides of March.  Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC.  It changed the course of Roman history.  Today it means look out for trouble that could change your life.  Have no fear, it has no power over us.  Strange how events in history are used today.  But I would warn all rabbits to beware, for Basset Hounds are getting ready to sniff them out.  I have sniffed some March smiles      for your good health. The bigger your smile, the healthier you will be.


  • How many seconds are there in Match? Give up?    March 2nd.
  • Why is March a good time to buy a mattress? It is when they are most springy.
  • Can February March? No but April May.
  • Did you know North Korea’s military marches to the left? They have no rights.
  • What’s Irish and comes out during March? Paddy O’Furniture
  • Why is everyone so tired on April 1? Because they just finished a long, 31 day March.


Your Basset Hound,                                                                        


Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord !

And just like that it was finished. This will be my last newsletter article as your president. Brian Logan will be taking on the challenges of leading and shepherding the congregation. I leave you with some words from Peter. Chosen in part because of Peter’s role in Christ’s ministry and Simon Peter is a larger than life figure in the Christian mini-series The Chosen. I encourage everyone to watch it, Debbie and I have seen many of the episodes in this three (3) season documentary on Christ countless times. Other than reading the scriptures, you will not find a truer depiction of our Lord and Savior and His ministry here on earth. All to His Glory!  Amen.

2 Peter 1:16-21, 3:14-18, 3:10


1:16-21 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such a declaration as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory: This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased”— and we ourselves heard this declaration made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

3:14-18 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which there are some things that are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unscrupulous people and loose your own firm commitment, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered.


Tim Grace



 (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)

     February 2023


PROMISED TREASURES: A series of midweek services for Lent

This Lenten season, we have a fresh opportunity to embrace God’s amazing love for us, His baptized children, in new ways. St. Paul clearly says that “faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17), but the Gospel is also communicated through the physical senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste. Jesus mentions that a good teacher not only brings out new treasures but reminds people of old and rich treasures as well (see Matthew 13:52). So, each Wednesday in Lent, we will take a weekly journey to see, smell, touch, and taste a number of biblical elements. Our Lenten series is called Promised Treasures. Just as Israel wandered through the wilderness under Moses for forty years, awaiting the Promised Land, we await heaven in the wilderness of this life. Life as exiles in the wilderness of this world is not easy and pain-free. In this vale of tears, we await our real home, the new promised land of heaven. Until we enter our eternal promised land, however, the Lord calls us to be His light in this dark world (see Colossians 3; Ephesians 4). This series will begin with ashes, then proceed to salt, water, light, bread, and finally, palms. Then, during Holy Week, the focus shifts toward water and blood, wood, fragrant oil, and finally, on Easter, milk and honey. All these beautiful Old and New Testament elements will remind you of God’s eternal love in Christ, fill you with renewed hope, and increase your joy, knowing that because we are His baptized children, God is near to us now more than ever.

Ash Wednesday – February 22 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)

Sermon: Sitting in Dust and Ashes

Children’s Message: Ashes and Hope!


Midweek of Lent 1 – March 1 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)  

Sermon: Salt: The Gift That Sweetens and Preserves

Children’s Message: Salt to Sweeten and Preserve


Midweek of Lent 2 – March 8 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)  

Sermon: Water Gives You Life

Children’s Message: Water for Life


Midweek of Lent 3 – March 15 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)

Sermon: Light Shining in the Darkness

Children’s Message: Light Shining in the Darkness


Midweek of Lent 4 – March 22 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)  

Sermon: Bread of Life

Children’s Message: Bread of Life


Midweek of Lent 5 – March 29 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)  

Sermon: Palms and Victory

Children’s Message: Palms and Life!


Maundy (Holy) Thursday – April 6 (1:30 PM Senior Center; 6:30 PM Sanctuary)


Sermon: Water and Blood


Good Friday – April 7 (1:30 PM Senior Center Hot Cross Bun Service; 7 PM Sanctuary Service of Darkness)


Sermon: The Old Rugged, Wooden Cross


Easter Sunrise – April 9 (7 AM in the Grove, weather permitting)


Sermon: The Oil of Joy and Gladness


Easter Morning – April 9 (8:30 AM & 10:45 AM in the Sanctuary)


Sermon: Welcome to the Promised Land of Milk and Honey

Children’s Message: Milk and Honey Bible Study: Milk and Honey



Soup suppers will start at 5:15 PM in the lower level of the church for the midweek services 1 through 5.


Communion will be served at the Maundy Thursday services.


Easter falls on a non-communion Sunday at St. Paul. Invite your friends to church!


Pastor Don

Greetings in Christ Jesus


February offers a variety of days to celebrate.  You can check out the weather on Groundhog Day.  You can ask someone to be your Valentine.  You can listen to the State of The Union Address.  You can have ashes put on your forehead in the form of a cross.  A busy month indeed.  We are busy people.  I want to encourage you to slow down this Lenten season and reflect on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Focus on what Jesus did for you on the cross.  He took all your sins upon himself.  He was sacrificed on your behalf.  You are free from condemnation.  Jesus loves you!   If you believe in Jesus, you can live in Heaven with Him.  It won’t matter what the groundhog says the weather will be.  He invites you to be His Valentine.  The State of The Union is in His care.  God bless your February.


 In Christ’s Love,

 Pastor Rich



Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound


Hi Folks,

 The daylight is increasing.  Yea!   I am waiting to see what my groundhog friend is going to predict.  As you know, we Basset Hounds prefer rabbits.  But since there are no rabbit days this month, I will share some groundhog smiles.  Remember the more you smile, the healthier you will be.


  • What do you call a pig with no legs? Ground Hog


  • What did the groundhog say when the wolf grabbed his tail?  That is the end of me.


  • What do groundhogs put on pancakes? Hog cabin syrup.


  • What do you call a groundhog laundromat? A Hogwash


 That is enough.  Have a great February!  Come see me at the Senior Center. 


Your Basset Hound,




Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord !

John 14:4-6

And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going; how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

This is a difficult scripture for many, I wonder why that is?  It seems so exclusionary, could that be the reason? Jesus also said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” Matthew 10:34–36

How can this be?  This doesn’t seem to make sense. As part of the agenda for this past voters meeting, I included an extensive reference to the book of James, but forgot to include the particular book and verse from the Bible. The passage was James, chapters 3 to 5. Here we are told to pray for wisdom and understanding. Every time I read these passages I hope to have a better understanding of what Jesus meant when He said that He is the way, and the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the father except through Him.

Clarification on Member Participation on Boards

There was a question asked at the voters meeting about serving on boards if you are not a voting member. Our constitution indicates that voting members “are entitled to vote and/or hold office according to the provisions provided by this Constitution.” This implies if you are not a voting member then you cannot be elected to a board or office. All board members are eligible to be chair persons and all chair persons are a part of the church council and represent the board and congregation with their vote on various issues at our council meetings. On page 3 of our constitution we have established three distinct types of congregational membership, there are (1) Baptized members, (2) Communicant members, and (3) Voting members.

It seems reasonable that all three member types not just voting members can attend and participate on our boards, they just won’t be voting members of those boards. All church meetings are open meetings and are open to all members. All are encouraged to serve and you can serve by attending and contributing your thoughts and your love to the body of Christ, His church at our various meetings and other activities.

May His Spirit be with us all in this time of growth for our church, sometimes we feel growing pains, and this might be one of those times, but He is faithful.


Tim Grace

Hello everyone from Children, Youth and Family!

Happy February! I hope this month finds you all warm, cozy, and filled with the love of Christ. This is the perfect month to shine Christ’s amazing love for all to see. I challenge you to love everyone as Christ does. While waiting in line, stuck in traffic, in a meeting, these are great times to shine love to all around you. It’s truly life changing and the results will surprise you!

In Sunday school, we will be talking about love and Lent. With Ash Wednesday on the 22nd, we are going to work on what we can do to thank Jesus every day for saving us on the cross. We are still meeting in the Ed building at 9:40 to 10:30 for pre-K and elementary ages, middle and high schoolers will continue meeting with Pastor Don and the adults in the lower level of the church. Come join us!

Parents! Do you need an afternoon off? Could you use a couple hours to get things done while someone else entertains your kiddos? You are in luck! It’s Mini Mixer Time!! On Feb 5th all families are invited to join us for our bring your own picnic lunch in the Connect Center. We have lunch around 12pm. Pastor Don will give us all the details about our upcoming family camp at Camp Lutherwood this summer. Then after lunch, Parents can leave for a couple hours while your kids play Bingo, become comedians, and run off some of their energy. Parents get the afternoon off! Pick up time will be 3pm. Please RSVP to Pastor Don.

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, and/or you want to volunteer?

My email is jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8

Jennifer Gatke

Youth Program Director

Youth Calendar Feb 23

S.P.A.R.K.  (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)      January 2023

Dear friends in Christ,

Despite the high amount of people experiencing Covid and flu, coupled with the extreme weather, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Sunday services at St. Paul were blessed with many people in attendance. The 3:00 PM Christmas Eve service had 150 people, mostly visitors whom I’ve never met before. In fact, at both the 3 and 7:00 PM services, there were more visitors in attendance than members. What can this tell us? It may be the case there were lots of people in the area visiting family and wanted to attend a Christmas Eve service. Countryside Community Church canceled their Christmas Eve services due to the storm, and there may have been a few others in town that did as well; so perhaps some of their people attended here. Whatever the case, the bad weather may have been a factor in our church being a vital ministry in our community during the Christmas weekend. There were a few preschool alumni families in attendance, which is always nice to see, knowing our preschool is also a vital ministry here. Regarding our midweek Advent services, I have prepared a separate article on that if you wish to read it.

Looking ahead at 2023, Lent starts on Sunday, February 26th! I hope we see as many if not more visitors this coming Easter as we did Christmas 2022—without the bad weather. And of course, I always encourage and pray for strong attendance from you, our members. There are a couple of special events happening during Lent I want you to get ready for: on Saturday, March 4, we are hosting the Kapelle choir from Concordia University Chicago. They will give a concert of sacred choral music in our sanctuary at 7:00 PM. The other event is an evening with our friend Yoel Ben David from Jews for Jesus. He will be here Sunday, March 26th at 5:00 PM to give us an update on his ministry. This event might include a potluck dinner – more on that as we get closer.

God’s blessings be upon you and your family as we enter the new year.

Pastor Don

January 2023 From Your Congregational President – Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord !

John 14:1,12-15 – Jesus Comforts His Disciples
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 12 Truly, truly I
say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater
works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in
My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me
anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Holy Spirit Come
There must be a message that He wants us to hear in Chapter 14, it feels like the
spiritual center of John’s Gospel to me. It follows 13 where the disciples had just shared
the last super with our Lord and Savior and He washed their feet and instructed that they
ought to wash one another’s feet. He then lays out the things that are to come and
repeatedly instructs them and therefore us to follow His commandments.
He continues with that instruction into Chapter 15 and explains why this is, “These things
I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater
love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends.”
The Work of the Church
We have been blessed, in December we had a dozen people come forward to serve as
trustees of the church, Lord knows we need the help. Many of the projects that need to
be worked on are the painting projects that are carry overs from 2022. We have a voters
meeting scheduled for Sunday January 22 at approximately 12:15 where we will hold
elections and have some annual reports. The church’s finances are much improved and
we have not needed to withdrawal any of our reserves this fiscal year. Praise be to God
and our faithful parishioners, the giving, other income and preschool tuition has been
adequate to cover the expenses this past six months.
Tim Grace