Dear Church family,

I was able to participate in some of December’s church activities. I’m glad I did. I joined many of the other women and their families at the annual Ladies Tea. Our own Claire Shipman and her friend, Jessica Hornibrook, sang for us. Their voices filled the air with beautiful notes of praise and joy. Our guest speaker, Jan Mathers, spoke on “A Cup of Christmas”. My take-away from her speech was “Hope in the Lord.” I needed to hear that, and I felt a great peace. Other women shared that they could feel the Lord’s presence with us.

I took pictures at the live Nativity. It was a wonderful presentation. Many members of the community drove through several times. As the cars and trucks passed the wise men, they would call out, “Merry Christmas.” I was amazed that this traditional Christmas holiday greeting sounded like a benediction, an invocation of divine blessing on the viewers.

I attended the Christmas Day worship service. I was touched by Pastor Don’s sermon. He reminded us that this innocent babe came for one purpose – to die on the cross to save us from our sins. What an awesome God to share his son with us in this awesome and magnanimous way!

I’d like to close by wishing everyone a blessed and happy new year.


Dottie Buss


The Theme “IN ALL THINGS …” for the 2021-2022 Preschool year, is also the same theme for the National Youth Gathering this summer!

The Preschool will begin the New Year 2022 celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week, January 24th – 28th. NLSW provides our network of more than 1,800 LCMS preschools, elementary schools, and high schools with the opportunity to proclaim and celebrate God’s work among us in Lutheran Schools.

 During the week of January 24th, St. Paul Lutheran Preschool will celebrate “Days of Creation” based on this year’s theme:

“In All Things” Colossians 1:15-20

Monday – Jesus

Tuesday – Creation

Wednesday – Children

Thursday – Church

Fun Day Friday – Community

I give thanks to God and celebrate the many opportunities, that we as a congregation have and continue to have in the new year, to share Jesus with our preschool parents’ most precious gift: his or her little child.


Kathy Prehm

Good News

S.P.A.R.K.  January 2022 – The Angel’s News is Louder

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

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:9-10

There is no good news on the news right now.

National and local news reports would have us believe we are in an ever-increasing state of crisis. That’s partly true because the world is in an ever-increasing state of decay because of sin. Nevertheless, you and I are still able to buy our groceries, make a nice dinner, sit down and eat before bedtime. We can still go to church and do the necessary things in life.

More importantly, the angel’s news is louder and more meaningful than what’s coming out of your T.V. set.

A Savior has been born for you in Bethlehem, and He has overcome the world with all its crises. This good news will keep us faithful and true through 2022 despite more of the same this sinful world has in store for us.

I really enjoyed the “Wait Upon the Lord” Advent series, and I hope you did too. It seemed a timely message as we also wait for life to return to the way it was before Covid. I don’t know how long we will have to wait for that, but our waiting for the Lord’s birth on Christmas has come. This new church year will bring more hope and blessings from God’s Word.

From my family to yours, we thank you for your cards and gifts this Christmas. This is our 13th Christmas at St. Paul and they get better every year.

Happy New Year and God’s peace be with you.


Pastor Don

clothe yourselves Colossians 3-12

Greetings in Christ Jesus

Welcome to 2022!  We wish people to have a happy New Year…that is our hope and prayer.  We might even make a resolution or two to make a change about something.  But soon the New Year will be routine.  The past year may have been good or not so good for you.  Allow me to make a suggestion for you. 

How about dressing up with a new set of clothes?  Paul writes In Colossians 3:12 – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

I suggest we wear these clothes in 2022.  I am picking kindness for the Senior Saints.  Simple acts of kindness go a long way to brighten someone’s day.  They express God’s love in tangible ways.  In today’s world, we are becoming increasingly isolated from one another.  We need kind relationships.  We wear kindness because God is kind to us. This year brighten others with kindness.  You are holy and dearly loved.  Lonely and need some kindness? Come to Senior Saints.  Want to share kindness?  Come and share yours with us! We will resume our weekly gatherings on Wednesday, January 12. Maxine and I wish you a kind giving and receiving New Year!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Rich


Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

Hi Gang,                

I am eager to see you in the New Year.  It has been a lonely three weeks at the Center.   I hope

to sniff some new folks when we gather again.  US Basset Hounds have good sniffing noses.  As Pastor Rich suggested to put on kindness, I will sniff around to find what is happening this year.  I sniffed out some humor for you.  A smile is good for your health.  So let me see a big smile.


  • Why do birds fly south for New Year’s Eve? Give up? It is too far to walk.
  • Not to brag, but I already have a date for New Year’s Eve. It’s December 31st.
  • Why should you put your new calendar in the freezer? To start off the new year in a cool way.
  • What does a ghost say on January 1st? Happy Boo Year.
  • What is corn’s favorite holiday? New Ear’s Day!
  • At the beginning of last year, I made a resolution to lose 10 pounds…only 15 more to go.
  • What happened to the man who shoplifted a calendar on New Year’s Eve? He got 12 months.


Okay, I will stop for this month.  Happy New YEAR!  Be kind!  


Love from Bingo,


Your Basset Hound from the Senior Center!

Hello everyone!

Thank you all for a wonderful 2021. I am looking forward to 2022 and all the opportunities we will have to grow our faith together! We are truly blessed at St. Paul Lutheran.

In Sunday school, we are picking back up where we left off before Advent with our study of the Old Testament.  Starting on Jan 2, pre-k will meet in the library, elementary in the Connect center, and middle & high school will meet in the Old Schoolhouse. All are welcome to join us!

Game Night – Yay or Nay

In November, we had a couple of game nights where no one came. I would like to continue our family game nights but I need your input. During the winter months, it can be a challenge to get together in the middle of the week for an evening game night. I, for one, love to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book on these dark and stormy nights. What are your thoughts and suggestions? Should we wait till spring to have a weeknight family game? Should we plan a mid-day family game on a Saturday? Let me know what would work for your families.

Join us for Coloring and Tea (Childcare not provided)

Thanks to several suggestions and a few nudges, on January 23 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, we are having a quiet afternoon of coloring books, conversations, and tea. In the lower level of the church after the Voters’ meeting, you are welcome to come color and sip tea with us! You are welcome to bring your own coloring books and markers, or you may use some from my extensive collection. This is a wonderful way to relax and get to know your fellow church members better. 

NYG Meeting

There will be an NYG meeting this month. Look for the announcement of when and where, in the near future.

Lutheran Schools Week

Lutheran Schools’ Week is Jan 24th thru 28th, continue to keep our preschool and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

High School Youth Ski Trip

Finally, we will be having our annual High School Youth Ski trip! On Friday, Jan 28th Pastor Don and Jill will lead the caravan up to the Golden Chalet Ski lodge for a 2-night adventure filled with devotions, food, and winter fun! On Saturday, Jan 29th, all ages are welcome to come up and go sledding/skiing with them.  You will be able to use the lodge we have rented as a home base for the day and enjoy a day of snow! If you are interested in sending your High School Youth for the weekend or bringing your family up for the day, let me or Pastor Don know.

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, and/or you want to volunteer? Please reach out to me; I would love to hear from you.

Email is or

“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”

-Psalms 31:24

Jennifer Gatke

Sunday School Superintendent Children’s Ministry

Upcoming Schedule


January 2022

Coloring and Tea

2:00 – 4:00pm

St. Paul Church Library


January 2022

Lutheran Schools Week 

St. Paul Preschool


January 2022


High School
Youth Ski Trip



For this reason we also, since the day we heard about it, your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints, have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:9-14

Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord!

Wow, Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a prayer for us as well!

I encourage you to read the rest of Paul’s letter and that you continue to pray the above prayer and seek His wisdom and will for your individual life and our life together here at St. Paul.

Paul suggests we joyously give thanks, so let’s do that. We have much to be grateful for, where to begin. A big thanks go out to Jennifer Gatke and Jill Richard for a very successful live-drive-thru nativity, it was a lot of work and many were blessed in coming together for this Christmas Celebration. Pastor has done an incredible job of engaging our congregation during the Advent Season including the many extra services and all that entails.

Thank you to those who were able to participate in the elections that were held in December and for Dottie stepping up to run this very important meeting. We are also very appreciative of Craig and Elaina Anderson who have agreed to serve in the roles of Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer this year.

There are many other blessings that we will be acknowledging during our January Voters’ Meeting. Typically during this meeting the Pastors, Officers and Board Chairs present a summary of the church’s activities from the previous calendar year. In general the church is strong financially and spiritually.


The council meeting will be Thursday, January 20 at 4:30 PM and the voters’ meeting will be Sunday, January 23 at noon.



Tim Grace


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

December 2021


A Series of Sunday Services for Advent and Christmas

The season of Advent is characterized by waiting—waiting upon the Lord for his presence to be revealed to us on Christmas. In this worship series for Advent, we look back in Scripture at those who waited upon the Lord for his promises to come to pass through the Christ Child. We also look forward, contemplating how we should wait upon the Lord in this present moment of our lives, as God continues to make himself known to us.


Sunday, Nov 28 – Wait Upon the Lord with Faith (Galatians 3:8): Abraham and Sarah waited with faith for the birth od their son, Isaac, and we wait with faith for the birth of God’s Son, Jesus, trusting that he will come at Christmas to save all people.


Sunday, Dec 5 – Wait Upon the Lord with Hope (Psalm 130:5): The prophet Isaiah declared the coming of the Lord, which gave the people in Israel hope for the future. We wait with hope for the future because we know what the future holds—a Savior.


Sunday, Dec 12 – Wait Upon the Lord with Rejoicing (Isaiah 25:9): Elizabeth rejoiced as she waited for the coming of her son, John the Baptist. And Mary rejoiced as she waited for the birth of her son, Jesus. In the same manner, we rejoice as we wait for the second coming of the Son of God.


Sunday, Dec 19 – Wait Upon the Lord with Gratitude (Psalm 91:1): Zechariah’s waiting days for John the Baptist’s birth were filled with great gratitude for the Lord’s promise about to be fulfilled. In these remaining waiting days before our Savior’s birth, we are ever more grateful for the arrival of the Promised One.


In between each Sunday of Advent, be sure to join us for midweek worship:

Wednesday, Dec 1 – Service of Readings and Carols 6:30 PM

Wednesday, Dec 8 – Sunday School Unwrapping the Manger 6:30 PM

Wednesday, Dec 15 – Youth-led Advent service 6:30 PM 


Last but not least, our Christmas worship services:

Friday, Dec 24 – The Lord is Come (Luke 2:7): After our long Advent waiting, the Lord is come—into our lives, into our homes and into our hearts. It’s time to celebrate his birth as our Savior and Friend. Come, sing “Silent Night” with candlelight, at 3:00 PM or 7 PM.


Saturday, Dec 25 – Let Earth Receive Her King (John 1:16): The wait is over and our new life with Jesus has begun. We join the whole earth in glorifying him on this day. This service will include The Lord’s Supper. This service begins at 10am.


Sunday, Dec 26 – The First Sunday of Christmas It will seem like you’ve been to church a lot the last couple of days, but as the beloved Christmas carol goes, “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Greetings in Christ Jesus,

Welcome to the Advent Christmas Season!  This is a time of celebration of Jesus arriving on planet Earth.  We send people into space to study and explore.  Christmas is about The God of Heaven coming from space to earth to save us from eternal death. Thanks and Praise to Him!  The Bible tells us Jesus became flesh and dwelt with us. Yet when He arrived there was no room for Him in the Inn or in the lives of people.

I pray that you have room for Him.  When you know guests are coming you prepare your home for them.  You may even prepare a room for their stay.  I encourage you to prepare room for Jesus in your heart, prepare room in your mind and in your body. Then you will truly celebrate the Advent Christmas Season.

There will be three Advent services on December 1, 8, 15, at 1:30 pm. In the Senior Center.  They will help prepare room for Jesus in your heart, mind, and body. All are invited to attend.  They are helpful for those who do not drive at night.

The Senior Saints will meet at 12 noon on those dates and will have Advent Soup Lunches.  Seniors, please come join us.  There will be no meetings on December 22, 29, and January 5.

Maxine and I pray that God will bless your Advent Christmas Season with His Peace, Love, and Joy.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Rich


Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

 Hi folks,

          I am out about sniffing to see what I can find.    I hope your Thanksgiving was delicious and joyful.  I had a plate full of good dog chow.  I am looking forward to some tasty soup on Wednesdays at my place.  Hope to see you there.  If anyone wants to bring some Christmas cookies, I will happily sniff and test taste them.

 I have some holiday humor I sniffed out for you. 

  • What did Santa say when he stepped into a big puddle? It must have reindeer.
  • What is Santa’s dog’s name? Santa Paws.
  • What do grapes sing at Christmas? This is the season to be jelly.
  • What did the gingerbread man put on his bed? A cookie sheet.
  • What is Santa’s primary language? Give up?  It is North Polish.
  • Why are Christmas trees so bad at knitting? They have too many needles.

Hope these brought some smiles, not frowns.  Smiles are healthy for you.  I look forward to chatting with you in the New Year!


Love from Bingo,


Your Basset Hound from the Senior Center!

Hello everyone! I pray that the Joy of this Advent Season will fill your hearts and homes with the Love of Christ Jesus completely!

Our theme for Sunday school during Advent will focus on The Jesse Tree. Did you know that Jesus had parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents—just as we do! His family began with Adam and Eve, and it continues through all generations to us today.

With the Jesse Tree as a guide, we will meet the key people from the Bible who are Jesus’ ancestors and learn how they are a part of God’s plan for our salvation. Learning about our Savior’s family tree helps us to see how God kept His promise to redeem us all and make us His children—a promise kept and sustained over thousands of years. That is something to be excited to learn!

We have several events going on to help us prepare for the Birth of Our Savior.  The first Sunday of Advent is November 28 and our midweek Advent services are on Wednesday, December 1st, Dec 8th, and Dec 15th.  There are two services on each of these Wednesdays. The first service starts at 1:30 pm in the Senior Saints Center and the second starts at 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary.  All are welcome to attend either service or both! The evening service on December 1st will focus on readings from Scripture and traditional Carols.  The evening service on December 8th we will be Unwrapping of the Manger with the PreK and Elementary Sunday school classes.  Finally, on December 15th our Middle/High School youth will recount the journey Mary and Joseph traveled to get to Bethlehem.  We hope you will be able to join us for these important services.

December 11th is the Women’s Christmas Tea from 11-1 pm. Tickets go on sale Nov. 21th at both the 8:30 and 10:45 services. If you would like to join us, please contact Jen Gatke at 503.550.9457 as seating is limited.

December 18th is our Drive-thru Nativity on Campus! We need Townspeople, Shepherds, Wise men, Inn Keepers, set up and clean up help, and so much more! We will need all hands on deck and everyone’s help to make this event shine with the Love of Christ for all to enjoy!

Christmas Eve will have its two services; first service at 3 pm followed by the Candlelight service at 7 pm. Christmas Day will have one service at 10 am with Holy Communion.

Finally, our last event of the year will be New Year’s Eve. Service begins at 7pm in the Sanctuary followed by a special Family Game night in the lower level of the church. All ages welcome! Come join us for service, games, snacks, laughter, and fellowship!

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, and questions or want to volunteer? Please reach out to me; I would love to hear from you.

Email is or

“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven- praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14

Jennifer Gatke

Sunday School Superintendent Children’s Ministry

Dietrich Bonheoffer

December 2021 From Your Congregational President

Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord!

We start this month with an excerpt from Dietrich Bonhoeffers An Account at the Turn of the Year 1942–1943.

“Because time is the most precious gift at our disposal, being of all gifts the most irretrievable, the thought of time possibly lost disturbs us whenever we look back. Time is lost when we have not lived, experienced things, learned, worked, enjoyed, and suffered as human beings. Lost time is unfulfilled, empty time. Certainly, that is not what the past years have been. We have lost much, things far beyond measure, but time was not lost. Indeed, the insights and experiences we have gained and of which we have subsequently become aware are only abstractions from reality, from life itself. Yet just as the ability to forget is a gift of grace, so similarly is memory, the repetition of received teachings, part of responsible life.”


How does this fit into our lives here at St Paul?

Well, we have just started a new church year and will be ringing in a new calendar year before you know it. It seems like it is time for something new but I’m not quite sure what that is.

Apparently, prayer is required as we “Wait Upon the Lord !”

Isaiah 9:6 – Birth and Reign of the Prince of Peace

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.



Blessings this Holiday Season,

Tim Grace