3607 45th St, Two Rivers, WI 54241 office@sjtworivers.org (920) 794-7300

Call Extended to Rev. Erik Janke

St. John’s voters have extended a divine call to Pastor Erik Janke of Bluffton, SC to join us pastor to fill the vacancy left when Pastor Kruschel left of Platteville, WI. Pastor Erick is 32 years old, and with his wife Amanda, enjoy two daughters, ages one year and three months.

Pastor grew up in California where his father served as pastor. He met and eventually married Amanda, a pediatrician. From the seminary he was assigned to start a mission church in South Carolina. To date that congregation numbers roughly 65 souls.

In the meantime his parents relocated to West Bend, WI where his dad now serves on a large pastoral staff at our WELS congregation. He also has a sister who teaches at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran School, just outside of Menasha. So he knows the area pretty well – except perhaps what it is like to walk the sands of the best beach in Wisconsin 🙂 Pastor Erick likes to “grapple,” chase after shrimp and to fish.

Pastor welcomes your input as the Jankes wrestle with the two calls he now holds – to continue to serve the saints in South Carolina or to join us in same mission and effort here in Two Rivers. Please keep them in your prayers – and if able, reach out to add your voice and thoughts to the call.

Call Extended to Pastor Steven Neuman

Pastor Neuman currently serves our fellow believers in Pigeon, MI – a congregation of nearly 400 with a smaller school of 12 students and Early Childhood ministry serving 22 students.

Pastor is married to Sarah, and they’ve been blessed with children 12,10,7,5 and 4 years old. He grew up on a dairy farm in Markesan, WI and served dual congregations in Kendall and Ontario, WI before his current call in Michigan.

On Monday, May 22nd, St. John’s voters met to “call” a replacement for departing Pastor Steve Kruschel. (please see link below to further explain our “calling process)

Please keep the Neumans in your prayers – and feel free and encouraged to reach out to them at pastorneuman at gmail.com or by phone (as provided in the news and notes available every worship service. But be prepared for what he’ll ask of you – most importantly, “what would you rather he not know about our congregation and ministry in Two Rivers?”

God bless both us and our Pigeon, MI family members as we pray the Spirit of Pentecost would visit the Neumans with guidance, peace and a decision where God would have them serve 🙂

Pastor Kruschel Reaches Decision

April 30, 2023

Dear Members of St. John’s,

After much prayerful consideration, I have decided to accept the call to St. Paul’s
Lutheran Church in Platteville. I thank all of you for your prayers and
encouragements on behalf of me and my family over these past many weeks.
We are so very thankful for the ministry we have shared together.
This is an opportunity for all of us to remember that the Lord is the Lord of the
Church. He is the one who keeps it together. He is the one who makes it grow
and move forward. He is the one who is in control. The words he spoke to his
prophet Jeremiah are just as true today as they were back then: “For I know the
plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm
you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

In Christ,
Pastor Kruschel

Threat Received

Last week, the Two Rivers Police Department informed Pastor Arndt and the church of an anonymous email they received, which threatens Pastor Arndt’s life during Christmas week at church.  Similar to Easter 2021, the threat focused on Pastor Arndt on a major religious holiday.  

St. John’s Church Council members, the pastors, and Mr. Jaeger met with Det. Lt. Melissa Wiesner of the Two Rivers Police Department on Monday, December 12.  Det. Lt. Wiesner informed those in attendance that she along with the FBI, Homeland Security and WI Department of Criminal Investigations have investigated the threat and will continue to monitor the situation and act upon any information that comes to their attention. 

The safety and peace of mind of our congregation members has always been and still remains a high priority. Even prior to the threat in 2021, we have been focused on safety by conducting staff, student, and church members violent critical incident response training, along with other safety measures such as cameras, patrols, locked doors, etc.  The Two Rivers Police Department and the church take threats seriously.  If you or someone you know ever hears of a threat or witnesses suspicious activity, please report the threat or activity to the police and/or church officials immediately. 

After extensive discussion, the Church Council has decided to hold church services as normal.  Proclaiming the Word of God and the birth of his son Jesus is most important!  As Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” 

If you have questions about this info, please contact Church Council President Jim Pautz at 920-242-7939 or pautzjam6@gmail.com.  

God’s blessings to you and your family this Christmas season and always!

St. John’s Church Council

Masking Survey – Now What?

At their May 17 meeting the St. John’s church council designated all services “mask optional” beginning this week Thursday, with current distancing between seating to continue.

We encourage all families to take into account CDC guidance regarding protecting your families.

Thank you for your feedback with over 160 surveys returned. The council members will personally contact the over 20 members who shared circumstances that would find them unable in good conscience to attend services where worshipers would be unmasked.

We ask the congregation to continue to make an effort to register for worship services so those concerned individuals may then choose lesser attended services.  Also, we ask you to consider leaving seating available near the large window for those with health concerns because this is the most ventilated area of the sanctuary.

Thank you again for the response to the survey – and especially for the selfless comments and willingness to serve each other. God bless us as we gather!

New 5/6 Grade Teacher!

Mr. Kurt Callaway has *accepted* the call we extended to serve as our 5/6 grade teacher and athletic director! He and his wife Tina will be purchasing a home in Two Rivers and are eager to join our ministry team. We praise God for the Callaways and for leading the Jaegers to remain with us!!

Online Worship Only This Week!

See you online tonight/Sunday morning/at your leisure? Since a member who worshiped with us this past Sunday has tested positive for COVID, following our protocol, worship services tonight and Sunday will be ONLINE ONLY. The next in person worship service will Wednesday next week at 4 & 6pm for our midweek Lent Services and then regular worship schedules will resume. Please get the word out to those not connected by way of FB, internet or our text alert system. And if you know of someone we can bring a dvd of this weeks worship or a tablet to view it online, please let us know.

Please remember also to sign up for text alerts to be kept up today in the most timely manner of any changes to worship schedules or other important information – the signup is here:


Annual Voter Meeting Materials

St. John’s annual voter meeting is this Sunday, January 31 at 1pm in the church.  Please download and view a copy of the annual report here – and if possible, familiarize yourself with the reports it contains so we can save time by not reading them out loud in the meeting itself.  You can also download and view a presentation on church finances and the proposed ministry plan (budget) for 2021.  God bless you and the part you play in our faith family and ministry!

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Bible Information Class Begins Tuesday October 6, 8pm

What we believe / teach and where you ‘ll find it in the Bible – Class for the curious, for members to remember, for parents of children in our school, for those wishing to join us in our mission and ministry. Tuesdays at 8pm scheduled for those especially with kids to get in bed. Join us! Permanent link http://bic.sjtworivers.org


Thank you for your cooperation as we do our best to balance our love for the Word and for each other.  Below you will find the links to register for upcoming worship services.  You’ll be registering for a FREE “ticket” or “tickets.”  They are only our way of ensuring that our two worship spaces (church and gym) remain safe and uncrowded and that you are well aware where you should go on Thursday nights or Sunday mornings.  Currently each service time has room for a maximum of 55 in the church and 65 in the gym.  God bless you and others through you as we return to public worship.

Here’s where you will find weekly opportunities to register for worship services – http://register.sjtworivers.org