Archive for the ‘News’ Category

First Annual SJ Men’s Conference Scheduled!

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After two years of being blessed by the Iron Men of God men’s conference at Principal Jaeger’s home congregation in Ixonia, WI – the men of St. John’s are excited about holding our inaugural event on the lakeshore.  Scheduled for Saturday, March 17th, the CROSS+MEN conference theme for 2018 will be “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  In a world where men are tempted to boast and brag about earthly things, we’ll gather with the Word, worship, plenty of coffee and food – and humble men who will lead us to celebrate honest Christian maleness and to boast about God’s grace, forgiveness, direction and the identity that are ours Christ.   The conference will run from 9AM to 2PM and leave plenty of time in the day to get back to living what we learn.  Watch the “teaser” web site at for the full site to live in a week or two!  And if you’d like to help, contact Pastor A. or Ryan Jaeger.

Fifth Call Returned – Next Meeting Scheduled

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Pastor Peter Hagen has returned the call to fill the pastoral vacancy at St. John’s.  His letter is copied below.  As we wait to meet the shepherd God has in mind for us, the next call meeting has been scheduled for Monday, September 11 at 6:30 pm in the school commons.  Please continue to keep our shared ministries and your role in them in your prayers!

8 August 2017
St. John’s Lutheran Church – Two Rivers, WI

Dear Chairman Marshall, Pastor Arndt, and the congregation of St. John’s,

Greetings in the Lord!

The gospel writer Luke records:
After this [discussion about the cost of following Christ,] the Lord appointed
seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and
place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the
workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send workers into his
harvest field…” (Luke 10:1-2)

After 3+ weeks of serious deliberation, discussion, and consideration, I have decided to remain as
pastor here at Shepherd of the Lakes in Fairmont, MN. At the present time, it seems that the
unique needs & opportunities at this congregation merit continued full-time pastoring. I say this,
fully recognizing that the needs of your congregation are similar – and likely larger in scale.

I did have opportunity to speak with the many dedicated called workers & staff at your
congregation, as well as quite a few caring & involved laypeople. Jesus described his followers as
people who love one another (Jn 13:34-35), and those words continue to be fulfilled among you.
As believers walking together in the Lord, then, allow me to share three specific encouragements
during this time of vacancy:

1. Please continue to pray for & support your pastor. His zeal for the ministry and
Scriptural insight will continue to be a blessing for you – but even the prophet Moses
needed people to assist and encourage him.
2. Please pray that the Lord would send more workers into the plentiful harvest field – and
take a moment to speak with your young people who would be good candidates for the
public ministry.
3. Please continue to faithfully attend Bible study and worship. In a plentiful harvest
where workers are few, it is imperative that God’s people know what they believe &
why, and that they continue to encourage one another in truth & grace.

Thank you for your words, encouragement, and patience during the last three weeks. I pray that
you may continue to grow in faith & godly living, encouraging one another to hold firmly to the
faith we profess (Heb 10:19-25) – for the Lord of the Church is faithful, and he will return soon.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Peter Hagen
Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church

St. John’s Extends Call to Rev. Peter Hagen to Fill Vacancy

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St. John’s voters met Monday night, July 24th to consider the latest call list as offered by District President Joel Zank.  After much discussion, a unanimous ballot was cast for Rev. Peter Hagen of Fairmont, MN.  Pastor Hagen, born in Green Bay, attended Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton.  Pastor Hagen vicared in Canada, where he met his wife Desiree.  The couple served St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ontario until immigration back to the states became a possibility.  The Hagens were then assigned to Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Fairmont, where Pastor Hagen has served four years.  The couple have been blessed with two young sons.  Please keep this young family, the congregation they serve and the ministry of the church at large in your prayers!  You can contact Pastor Hagen with prayers, encouragement and thoughts regarding ministry opportunities and needs in Two Rivers at pastorhagen”at”

UPDATE: St. John’s Extends Fifth Call to fill pastoral vacancy

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Pastor Kirk Lahmann has declined the call to serve at St. John’s in Two Rivers as of Saturday evening, July 8th.  Watch for news regarding the next call meeting.




Monday evening, June 12th, the voters of St. John’s prayerfully extended a divine call to Pastor Kirk E. Lahmann, of Burlington, WI to serve as associate pastor at St. John’s.  Pastor Lahmann, together with wife Sarah and three children currently serve their Lord at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Burlington, a congregation of 899 members and 682 communicants.  Please keep the Lahmann’s and St. John’s Burlinton in your prayers and Pastor Kirk seeks God’s guidance with regard to his service to the church and feel free to offer words of encouragement and support during this period of spirit-led deliberation.

St. John’s extends third divine call

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Sunday afternoon the voters of St. John’s prayerfully extended a divine call to Pastor David Barkow, of Cottage Grove, MN.  Pastor Barkow originally hails from Green Bay, where his parents and brother still reside.  Pastor Barkow is married to Rachel, who grew up in Mankato, MN.  The two met while on an international joint trip between Martin Luther College and Wisconsin Lutheran College.  The Barkows have two children.  Please keep them in your prayers – and feel free to offer words of encouragement and support in their prayerful deliberation.  Pastor Barkow can be reached at pastor”at”

New Church Financial Feasibility Cottage Meetings

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After years of discussions, decisions and planning it is time to determine what is financially feasible with regard to building a new church.  Please make plans to join the Financial Feasibility Committee for one of the following cottage meetings.  You’ll receive up to date information regarding the history, needs, plans and costs to replace our aging worship space – and most important, you’ll be given a chance to join in the effort.  While the committee is willing to schedule individual presentations, they hope the majority of members will be able to attend one of the following.  Please remember this project in your prayers!

  • Wed. February 22 11:00 AM at school
  • Thur. February 23 7:00 PM at church
  • Sun. February 26 11:30 AM at school
  • Sun. March 5 9:00 AM at church

Still Looking For Another Pastor :)

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Pastor Timothy Wagner returned the call last Saturday evening to join us in Two Rivers.  Pastor Wagner and family will continue to serve Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio.  Another call meeting has tentatively been scheduled for Sunday, March 5th at 1pm at the church.  Please plan on joining us and continue to keep our shared ministries in your prayers!

This Is “Trivers” Calling!

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On Sunday afternoon, January 22nd, the voters of St. John’s extended a divine call to Pastor Timothy Wagner of Columbus, Ohio to serve as associate pastor at St. John’s.  Pastor Wagner and his wife Elisabeth, have five children.  He currently serves Lamb of God Lutheran Church and grew up in Burlington, WI.  His wife hails originally from Neenah, WI and her parents are now retired to Appleton.  You can read the Wagner family biography here.
Not by coincidence, the pericope (historically assigned readings for each Sunday of the church year) that particular Sunday emphasized the power of the Gospel that is inherent in the Word of God, and not aided or assisted by a preacher’s personality or talents.  Pastor Wagner is pleased to know that we have called him to simply let his God given light and love for the Gospel shine among us!  With faces now matched to names, please remember Pastor Tim and his family your prayers as he seeks the Spirit’s guidance with regard to the two calls he now holds.

Accreditation Team Wraps Up Business at St. John’s Lutheran Elementary School

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The accreditation team finished up with their report yesterday, and the outcome was good news, but first I have to explain a little.

Whenever a school has an accreditation team come to their school, the final report and the team’s recommendation are sent to the synod offices. The Commission on Lutheran Schools (CLS) at the synod offices reviews all the reports from schools who go through accreditation. They do this once a year – the end of August and into September. Since our report will be sent this next week, our school’s report and recommendation from the site visit yesterday and Monday will not be able to be reviewed until next year when the CLS goes through all the reports from the schools who went through accreditation during 2016-2017 school year.

That said, there are 99 sub-standards that need to be fully met, and we fully met 98 of those. We had to put some locks on some of our cupboards. Now that this has been accomplished we have met all 99 of those required sub-standards. Our accreditation team will recommend to the CLS that St. John’s receives “Full Accreditation”. This “Full Accreditation” status, however, will not go into effect until next Fall when the CLS reviews all the reports from the 2016-2017 school year. even if we would have fully met all 99 of the required as of yesterday, we still would have to wait until the Fall of 2017 for our report to be reviewed by the CLS.

So….after all of the above, you may be wondering, “Did we achieve accreditation status?” The short answer to that is “yes.” But in order for full accreditation status to be officially recognized as such by WELSSA (the accreditation agency), we will have to wait until the CLS reviews our report next Fall.

Another question that you be be asking is, “will the CLS pass our team’s recommendation of Full Accreditation Status?” To that question, our team captain mentioned to us yesterday that in the 25+ school visits he has led, all of the team’s recommendations were approved by the CLS.

So, thank you to all of you for any help you gave, thank you for answering questions from the team if you were contacted or spoken to in the hallways, and thank you for helping make St. John’s a great school! Continue to pray for the ministry of St. John’s.

I was pleased on the outcome as were all the members of the team and those who helped with the standards. At the end of our meeting yesterday, we found out that we were only a few points away from the team recommending “Exemplary Accreditation Status” – the highest rating a school can get! A great goal the next time we go through this process, which will be every 5 years.

I will keep you updated as I hear more from our team and the CLS.

If you have any questions about all of this, please do not hesitate to ask.

Again, thank you!

Blessings on your day.

Ryan Jaeger – Principal, Grades 3-8 Departmentalized

St. John’s Lutheran School

Bible Class – Living As A Child of the King in a Tough Election Year

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Wednesday mornings and evenings, you’re invited to join us for a Bible Class seeking God’s will regarding Christians and voting.  The class titled “Called to Vote,” will be held for four consecutive Wednesdays, start October 5th, at 10:00AM and 7:15PM in the school music room at 3607 45th Street in Two Rivers.  All materials will be provided, although a personal Bible would be beneficial.  Bring a fellow citizen, of the USA, and of the King!