Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Pastor Kurbis Returns Call

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On Monday afternoon, Pastor Kurbis, to whom we extended a divine call to serve us as associate pastor, returned that call and indicated he will continue to serve God’s people in North Carolina. Pastor Kurbis writes:

Date: December 4, 2017
To: St. John’s Lutheran Church in Two Rivers, WI

Greetings, brothers and sisters, in the name of Jesus, our advent King!

Deliberating a call is a very humbling process. It’s humbling because God works through his Church
to call jars of clay to share the treasure of the gospel. It’s humbling because clarity requires being in
the Word and applying what the Spirit says. It’s humbling because the Word and prayer drive us to
our knees as nothing else can. It’s also humbling because God has moved his people to share
thoughts and prayers that are focused on the good of His Kingdom. How good and gracious God
always is!

Throughout this humbling process it has become clear to me that it is best for me to stay where I
am: serving the saints at Living Savior and sharing the gospel with the greater Asheville area.

While it has become clear that I need to be here, some other things have become clear as well. God
has blessed your congregation immensely. I thank him for that. The ministry opportunities that he
has given you are also blessings from him. The zeal and desire to seize those opportunities come
from the God who is at work in you who believe. God has his man in mind for you.

I thank you for your prayers and will continue to remember you in mine.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Pastor Caleb Kurbis


St. John’s next call meeting has been scheduled for Monday, January 8th at 6:30pm in the school music room!

Live Nativity Volunteer Online Sign Up Now Live!

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It is a gift that truly keeps on giving – St. John’s annual “Christmas Card to the Community.”  Each year hundreds walk through our recreation of Bethlehem and worship the one promised so long ago.  But it takes more than a village to raise Bethlehem’s shops that night.  It takes you!  Follow this link to claim your role in this gospel outreach!  And God bless your proclamation and participation!


Holy Spirit Reaches Out to NC as St. John’s Calls for Associate Pastor

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On Monday evening St. John’s voters extended a divine call for associate pastor to Rev. Thomas Glende of Fayetteville, NC.  Pastor Glende, a 1999 graduate of our Seminary, along with wife Susan (nee Spevacek) and their four children serve God’s people at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, a congregation of roughly 110 members and 65 communicants.  Pastor Glende has previously served congregations in New Mexico and Utah.  Let’s keep the Glende family in our prayers – and share freely with them our dreams, needs and opportunities for ministry on the lake shore.  You can reach Pastor Glende at didymusglende(at)  (yes, please replace the (at) with @)

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!