WELS in the News

March 5, 2019

On March 2, MyRacineCounty.com reported that on Feb. 25 the steeple of St. John’s, Burlington, Wis., was toppled from the roof of the church by high winds.

The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported on March 1 that the three Knowledge Bowl teams from Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, placed first, second, and third at a meet in Mankato, Minn., on Feb. 27.

The Feb. 28 edition of the Falls Church News-Press, Falls Church, Va., announced that Grace Christian Academy band students received numerous awards during the American Independent Music Association Solo/Ensemble event. Grace Christian was the school with the highest percentage of students receiving a “Superior” ranking.

On Feb. 27, the Daily Telegraph, Adrian, Mich., reported that preschool students at St. Stephen Lutheran School held a celebration of their 100th day of school on Feb. 26. Parents, siblings, friends, older students, and others sent over 100 letters and postcards to the young students for their special day.

Milwaukee Record, Milwaukee, Wis., shared on Feb. 27 that three WELS artists were nominated for the Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards. Spirited Strings, Koine, and Mike Westendorf were all nominated for best Christian/Gospel Artist. Spirited Strings was also nominated for New Artist of the Year.

On Feb. 26, The Herald Palladium, St. Joseph, Mich., announced that Zachary Uhrik, Paige Martin, and Natalie Ritter of St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Stevensville, Mich., were named local winners in Farm Bureau Insurance’s fifth annual America & Me essay contest.

The Feb. 21 edition of The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported that the math team at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, has qualified to compete in the Minnesota State High School Mathematics League state tournament on March 11.

On Feb. 20, the Lake Mills Leader, Lake Mills, Wis., announced that St. Paul, Lake Mills, will begin construction on a new sanctuary in April. This new space will accommodate the growing membership of the church.

The Verde Independent shared on Feb. 19 that Our Shepherd, Cornville, Ariz., would host a free performance by Stephen Bautista and Marissa Renée on Feb. 23. The pair is a WELS father-daughter traveling musical group performing original Christian music.

February 19, 2019

On Feb. 14, CBS 58 WDJT, Milwaukee, Wis., shared a story about Wisconsin schools that received grants to make security improvements shortly after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018. The enhancements at Trinity, Waukesha, Wis., were discussed, including its new security cameras and locks.

The Feb. 13 edition of The Lake Mills Leader, Lake Mills, Wis., reported that the forensics team from Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills, won its ninth conference competition in a row on Feb. 4.

On Feb. 13, The Belle Plaine Herald, Belle Plaine, Minn., interviewed Eldrid and Wilmay Karnitz. The couple is celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary this year. They are members at Trinity, Belle Plaine, and consider their faith an important element of their successful marriage.

Fox 9, Eden Prairie, Minn., shared a story on Feb. 8 about “Night to Shine,” a prom event held by St. Croix Lutheran Academy, West St. Paul, Minn. The event welcomed 220 guests with special needs for a night of dancing and other prom activities.

On Feb. 7, The Courier, Waterloo, Wis., reported that Immanuel, Marshall, Wis., would celebrate Amazing Grace Sunday on Feb. 10 with a presentation from Craig Wilke, who is in his final year at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon.

The Feb. 5 edition of The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., announced that the math team at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, New Ulm, placed second at the Traverse de Sioux Chapter Math Counts meet in Mankato, Minn., and qualified for state competition.

On Feb. 5, The Tri-County Times, Fenton, Mich., shared news about the plans Shepherd of the Lakes, Fenton, has to build a new church on the vacant land it purchased several years ago.

Doral Community Newspapers, Doral, Fla., reported on Feb. 4 that Matt Willems, varsity volleyball coach from Divine Savior Lutheran Academy, Doral, Fla., was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 3A Volleyball Coach of the Year.

February 5, 2019

The Feb. 2 edition of the Winona Daily News announced that St. Matthew, Winona, Minn., will add a five-day preschool program, starting in the 2019–2010 school year. It currently offers two- and three-day programs but is expanding because it saw a need in the community

On Feb. 1, The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported on Martin Luther College’s Winter Carnival held on its campus in New Ulm from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2. Although the school closed for some time during the event due to cold temperatures, some activities—like a cooking contest—proceeded as planned.

WNEM 5 reported that Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Mich., stayed open on Jan. 28, when most area schools closed due to a winter storm. Most students already live on campus, and commuters were offered a place to stay.

The Herald-Palladium, St. Joseph, Mich., announced on Jan. 26 that St. Paul’s, Stevensville, Mich., would install its new pastor, Rev. Jeremy Koehler, on Sunday, Jan. 27.

On Jan. 24, ABC News 19 WXOW, La Crescent, Minn., interviewed students from Luther High School, Onalaska, Wis., who worked with their families to make blankets for the residents of the Onalaska Care Center.

CBS 58 WDJT, Milwaukee, Wis., shared that Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, held a memorial service on Jan. 24 for student Aliya Hesseltine, who passed away suddenly on Jan. 20.

On Jan. 22, The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported that Martin Luther College, New Ulm, observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a presentation from Greg Patterson, the Board of Education chairman at St. Philips Lutheran School, Milwaukee, Wis.

The Jan. 18 edition of The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., announced that St. Paul’s Lutheran School, New Ulm, placed first in 3M MathCounts meet on Jan. 17. Several of St. Paul’s students also placed in the individual rankings.

January 15, 2019

On Jan. 13, the New Ulm Journal, New Ulm, Minn., featured a story about the 40th anniversary of Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm. The school had its first school year starting in 1979 with 45 students enrolled.

Tri-County News, Kiel, Wis., interviewed Rev. Brett Naumann on Jan. 12 in anticipation of his installation as the new pastor at Trinity, Kiel, on Jan. 20.

On Jan. 11, the Mankato Free Press, Mankato, Minn., reported that local veterans traveled to the Lutheran Home, Belle Plaine, to deliver pillowcases to residents who served in the military. The gifts were each themed to represent the recipients’ respective branches of service.

On Dec. 28, KTVO.com, Kirksville, Mo., shared the story of Judge Karl DeMarce, who left his position as Associate Circuit Judge of Scotland County after 20 years to study for the pastoral ministry at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis.

On Dec. 28, the Fond du Lac Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wis., reported that Winnebago Lutheran Academy, Fond du Lac, put in an offer on a piece of land on the south side of the city. This is part of the high school’s efforts to relocate and expand.

The Eagle, Bryan, Tex., shared a story on Dec. 25 about the traditional Christmas worship service and dinner that was held for international students attending local schools. This year marked the 29th anniversary of the event, which has been hosted annually by Beautiful Savior, College Station, Tex., since 1989.

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Wasilla, Alaska, interviewed Rev. Robbin Robbert from King of Kings, Wasilla, on Dec. 24 about the history of “Silent Night,” the now 200-year-old Christmas carol.

On Dec. 19, WXOW News 19, La Crosse, Wis., reported that sixth graders at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Onalaska, Wis., received the Tools for Schools award to fund virtual reality equipment for use in their classroom.

December 18, 2018

On Dec. 17, Fox 11 News, Green Bay, Wis., reported that five churches in De Pere, Wis., including St. Mark, won a lawsuit that challenged the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

Crowrivermedia.com reported on Dec. 15 that Minnesota State Senator Nick Frentz visited St. Peter Lutheran School, St. Peter, Minn., after students wrote letters to him about the sanctity of life.

On Dec. 14, the Watertown Daily Times included a feature on James Moeller, the “Cookie Guy,” who makes and distributes hundreds of cookies. Moeller is the principal at Trinity-St. Luke, Watertown, Wis.

On Dec. 14, the New Ulm Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported that 14 Martin Luther College students received their degrees at the winter commencement on Dec. 13.

The New Ulm Journal also shared a story on Dec. 14 about St. Paul’s Lutheran School, New Ulm, Minn., and their Blessing Bag program. On Dec. 13, students assembled and delivered 150 bags of household items and nonperishable food to area seniors.

West Bend Daily News, West Bend, Wis., interviewed Brandon Mantz, graduate of Kettle Moraine Lutheran, Jackson, Wis., on Dec. 12, after a skiing accident left him unable to walk. In the interview, Mantz cited his faith as the main motivator in his recovery, saying, “God has a plan for me.”

On Dec. 11, BizTimes, Milwaukee, Wis., named Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services, Inc., Germantown, Wis., and Kingdom Prep, Milwaukee, Wis., among the recipients of grants from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation this year.

On Dec. 6, the Wayne-Westland Observer, Wayne and Westland, Mich., on hometownlife.com, shared the story of the St. John’s Veteran’s Project. The students at St. John’s Lutheran School, Westland, Mich., assemble and send care packages to veterans in Detroit, Mich., every year. They send clothing and other goods throughout the year as well.

KRQE News 13, Albuquerque, N.M., interviewed members of Peace, Rio Rancho, N.M., on Dec. 3, one year after their church was destroyed in a fire. The building held its grand reopening worship services on Sun., Dec. 2.

December 4, 2018

The Dec. 4 edition of The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported on the Christmas concerts held at Martin Luther College Dec. 1 and 2.

The Herald Palladium, St. Joseph, Mich., shared on Nov. 24 that Rev. Paul Naumann, Good Shepherd, Benton Harbor, Mich., would retire from the ministry after 22 years at the church.

On Nov. 23, the Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, Wis., reported that four local WELS churches would perform live nativity presentations Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, at St. Luke’s, Watertown, Wis. The paper also featured a photo from the live nativity at St. Luke’s.

Local 5, Green Bay, Wis., interviewed Benjamin Priebe, director of enrollment at Fox Valley Lutheran, Appleton, Wis., and Erin Litscher, a senior at the school, on Nov. 20. They shared information about Fox Valley Lutheran’s Christ-centered educational programming.

November 20, 2018

On Nov. 17, the Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, Colo., interviewed Rev. David Wietzke, pastor at Crown of Life, Pueblo West, Colo. Three generations of the Wietzke family serve as WELS pastors.

On Nov. 19, TMJ4, Milwaukee, Wis., reported on a trip to Taiwan taken by Mr. Paul Scriver, principal at Shoreland Lutheran High School, Somers, Wis., to recruit students and visit Foxconn, a technology company that is building a local site close to the high school.

On Nov. 19, WBST 22, South Bend, Ind., highlighted the women’s power lifting program at Michigan Lutheran High School, St. Joseph, Mich. Forty-six young women are part of that program, including some girls from the local elementary school.

KEYC News 12, Mankato, Minn., shared the story of Owen Saidler, Mount Olive Lutheran School, Mankato, on Nov. 16. The Make-A-Wish Foundation surprised Owen with a trip to Disney World. Owen also recently led a lemonade stand fundraiser for the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn.

On Nov. 13, the Hutchinson Leader, Hutchinson, Minn., interviewed Gary Bunkowske, who continues to play organ at Grace, Hutchinson, at the age of 90.

TMJ4, Milwaukee, Wis., reported on Nov. 12 that Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, hosted its annual Veterans Day breakfast..

On Nov. 12, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., interviewed Brandon Mattox, basketball coach at Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Milwaukee. Mattox spoke openly about his depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and how his faith and family have helped him through his trials.

The New Ulm Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported on Nov. 12 that the 2018 WELS West Regional Choral Festival would be held Nov. 18 at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, Minn.

On Nov. 8, the Windsor Times, Healdsburg, Calif., shared the story of Rev. Steven M. Lockman who serves at Christ, Windsor, Calif., and Living Word, Petaluma, Calif. The article compares Lockman to a “circuit rider” pastor, a type of clergyman who rode by horseback from one community to another to preach.

November 6, 2018

On Nov. 3, Fox 6 News, Milwaukee, Wis., reported that a 21-year-old man in West Bend, Wis., died after his vehicle stuck Good Shepherd, West Bend. No other vehicles or individuals were reported to be involved in the accident.

WUWM shared a story on Oct. 30 exploring how the results of Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race might affect school choice. Wisconsin Lutheran, Racine, Wis., was used as an example to illustrate the use of vouchers to enroll in private schools.

On Oct. 30, Fox 11 News, Green Bay, Wis., reported that a fire station in Appleton, Wis., was recently renovated thanks to the efforts of Melissa Brown, a teacher from Riverview, Appleton, who applied for a grant for the station.

The Douglas County News-Press, Englewood, Colo., interviewed Rev. Jared Oldenburg, Eternal Rock, Castle Rock, Colo., on Oct. 29 as part of its My Name Is… community profile series.

On Oct. 26, the Redwood Falls Gazette, Redwood Falls, Minn., interviewed Principal David Gartner and Reverends Peter Sulzle and Jonathan Kruschel, St. John, Redwood Falls, as they remember second grade teacher MyKayla Jensen, who passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 20.

On Oct. 21, News8000.com, La Crosse, Wis., announced that Luther High School, Onalaska, Wis., recently completed its $11 million dollar renovations. The school now includes a new atrium, additional classrooms, and improved energy efficiency.

The Falls Church Patch, Falls Church, Va., shared on October 19 that Grace Christian Academy (GCA), Falls Church, will host a 10K race on Veterans Day, Mon., Nov. 12. The race benefits GCA’s tuition assistance program and Decorate a Vet, a local charity that helps veterans with household chores.

On Oct. 19, the Belle Plaine Herald, Belle Plaine, Minn., announced that Trinity Lutheran School, Belle Plaine, added three new teachers for the 2018–19 school year. They are Cait Eisner, preschool; Beverly Bentz, grades 1 and 2; and Zach Unke, junior choir, senior choir, and grades 5 and 6.

Fox 6 News, Milwaukee, Wis., shared on Oct. 19 that Our Savior, Grafton, Wis., suffered approximately $200,000 worth of damage from flooding this past August. The church’s insurance does not extend to these costs.

On Oct. 15, the Tomah Journal, Tomah, Wis., reported that St. John’s, Ridgeville, would hold a sign language presentation on Oct. 21. The presentation included background on the use of American Sign Language in WELS as well as a signed performance of “How Great Thou Art.”

October 16, 2018

On Oct. 14, the Daily Jefferson County Union featured a story on how students at St. Paul Lutheran School, Fort Atkinson, Wis., are celebrating the school’s sesquicentennial year in Christian education. They are doing various acts of kindness in the community, including making baby blankets to hand out to newborns at the area hospital.

The Oct. 14 edition of the Herald Times Reporter profiled Manitowoc Lutheran High School senior Leah Kuchenbecker.

On Oct. 12, the Baxter Bulletin included a story about the 35th anniversary of Trinity, Mountain Home, Ark., which the congregation celebrated on Oct. 14.

On Oct. 12, the Jamestown Sun, Jamestown, N.D., announced that Christ the King, Jamestown, would host its 40th anniversary celebration on Oct. 14.

TMJ4 Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wis., interviewed Joshua Murphy, Michelle Boldt, and Emalie Hahn, three juniors at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, on Oct. 10. The trio of students traveled to Florida to distribute supplies to those affected by Hurricane Michael.

On Oct. 8, WNEM CBS 5, Saginaw, Mich., shared a video of 12 Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary football players singing the National Anthem before their Oct. 5 game. The 12 players are all members of the seminary’s concert choir.

On Oct. 3, WD Times, Watertown, Wis., announced that Josiah Winkel, Amanda Rehberger, and Elijah Schwartz of Luther Preparatory School were named commended students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program.

The Star Tribune reported on Sept. 3 that St. Mark, Eau Claire, Wis., recently installed a new bell tower, featuring their now-restored bell dating back to 1892.

October 2, 2018

The New Ulm Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported on Sept. 30 that Minnesota Valley Lutheran High, New Ulm, has an increased total enrollment of 214 students this school year, compared to 196 during the 2017-18 year.

On Sept. 28, the Clintonville Tribune Gazette, Clintonville, Wis., announced the completion of the renovations at St. Paul, Clintonville. An open house is scheduled for Sat., Oct. 6.

Valentine Midland News, Valentine, Neb., reported the addition of two new K-8 teachers to Zion Lutheran School, Valentine.

On Sept. 26, News 8000, La Crosse, Wis., shared that Luther High School, Onalaska, Wis., accepted 14 new students through the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, a school voucher program. All 14 students are from families who are members of WELS congregations.

Action News 2, Green Bay, Wis., announced on Sept. 24, the opening of the Homeless Connections Resource center, a homeless shelter in the former school of St. Matthew, Appleton, Wis.

On Sept. 24, KEYC News 12, Mankato, Minn., reported that Marshall Mohror, senior at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, Minn., was named a Commended Student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Allegan County News, Allegan, Mich., reported on Sept. 14 that St. John, Allegan, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. A special service was held Sept. 23.

On Sept. 14, WXOW News 19, La Crosse, Wis., shared the story of Coral Cady, Southeast Asia Program Manager with Kingdom Workers. Cady embarks on four mission trips to Indonesia every year.

September 18, 2018

On Sept. 15, the Kenosha News featured an article about how Shoreland Lutheran High School, Somers, Wis., honored and remembered Cameron Nahf during half-time at its football game. Nahf, a former Shoreland student, died in a car accident last May.

The Peshtigo Times reported on Sept. 13 that Zion, Peshtigo, Wis., would celebrate its 150th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 16. The church hosted a free concert by the worship band Koiné.

On Sept. 13, KEYC News 12, Mankato, Minn., reported that Jonah Kramer, sophomore at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, Minn., earned a perfect score of 36 on his ACT test.

The York News Times, York, Neb., detailed Nebraska Evangelical Lutheran High School’s special Patriot Day program, held on Sept. 11. Veterans and other guests joined teachers and students at this memorial event.

On Sept. 12, CBS 58 WDJT reported that Our Savior, Grafton, Wis., had suffered nearly $200,000 in flood damage. The church noted that they lost $13,000 worth of library books alone.

The Washington County Insider shared a brief article and video on Sept. 10 about the recently completed expansion of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School, West Bend, Wis.

September 4, 2018

On Aug. 29, the Cap Times, Madison, Wis., shared the stories of three Christian denominations, exploring how their faiths affected their political leanings. St. Paul, Lake Mills, Wis., and a small group of its members represented WELS.

The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis., interviewed Caryn Ostrand, Mazomanie, Wis., on Aug. 24 after she and her husband, Kevin, were affected by the flooding in the area. Ostrand noted her reliance on her faith and on WELS during this challenging time.

On Aug. 21, the Lake Mills Leader, Lake Mills, Wis., interviewed four new teachers at Lakeside Lutheran High School: Rev. Mike Helwig, Nate Sievert, Hanna Uher, and Justin Vanderhoof.

On Aug. 17, the WD Times, Watertown, Wis., announced that the city would temporarily rename the Main Street bridge after Rev. Tim Mueller, director of the Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center.

August 21, 2018

On Aug. 13, KEVN Black Hills FOX, Rapid City, S.D., reported that parents of St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Rapid City, and other community members had raised funds to install a new playground for the school. The playground will be ready for the upcoming school year.

KEPR TV, Pasco, Wash., shared on Aug. 10 that King of Kings, Kennewick, Wash., was saved after firefighters extinguished a brush fire near the church. No one was injured in the fire, thought its cause remains unknown.

On Aug. 8, the Daily Press, Escanaba, Mich., reported that a group of women from nearby WELS congregations attended the 55th annual Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) convention in Green Bay, Wis. About 1,500 women attended the event.

The Columbus Journal, Columbus, Wis., announced on Aug. 7 that the WELS Wind Ensemble would hold its annual concert on Aug. 12 at Swan Park in Beaver Dam, Wis. The group performed hymns and popular music under the theme of “Out of this World.”

August 7, 2018

On Aug. 2, the Lake Mills Leader, Lake Mills, Wis., reported that St. Paul, Lake Mills, will be hosting the 1st Brigade Band of Watertown, Wis., for its 125th anniversary celebration.

The Belle Plaine Herald, Belle Plaine, Minn., shared a story on July 31 about the grand opening of Solid Grounds, a coffee shop run by The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA).

On July 27, St. Lucia News Online, St. Lucia, West Indies, announced the departure of Rev. Tom Spiegelberg from Trinity, St. Lucia. Spiegelberg served the church for 16 years.

The Chippewa Herald, Chippewa Falls, Wis., reported on July 26 that St. John’s, Cornell, Wis., would celebrate its 100th anniversary Aug. 4. The publication also shared a brief history of the church.

On July 20, The Sault News, Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., announced that Immanuel, Sault Sainte Marie, had initiated an addition and renovation project that includes a new ground-level fellowship area and a refurbished church sanctuary.

WeAreGreenBay.com, Green Bay, Wis., shared an update on July 20 about the vandalism to Fox Valley Lutheran High School’s football fields. Repairs are still underway, but the school’s teams have been able to practice on the baseball field. Nearby schools have offered their football fields for the Fox Valley Lutheran’s home games during the upcoming season.

On July 19, the Post Crescent, Appleton, Wis., interviewed Ben Stern, chemistry teacher at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, about his service to WisconSibs, Inc. The organization provides support to children whose siblings have special needs. Stern was previously helped by WisconSibs and served six years on the board of directors.

On July 18, the Sun Times News, Chelsea, Mich., reported that Faith, Dexter, Mich., celebrated the 40th anniversary of its pastor, Rev. Mark Porinsky. Porinsky was installed at the church on July 9, 1978.

Tri Cities Business News, Kennewick, Wash., reported that King of Kings, Kennewick, will expand to a new building across the city after 40 years at its current location.

July 17, 2018

The July 15 edition of the Yakima Herald reported on a Second Harvest food distribution at Grace, Yakima, Wash., and its impact on the local neighborhood. The monthly distribution, which has been going on for 11 years, had to be suspended due to diminishing donations and community support.

On July 12, the New Prague Times of New Prague, Minn., interviewed six teen members and Rev. Henry Koch from Friedens, New Prague, Minn., about their experiences at the WELS International Youth Rally. The rally was held at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, June 26-29.

The Courier of Waterloo, Wis., reported on July 12 that St. Paul, Marshall, Wis., would offer vacation Bible school July 22-26 for children age four through grade eight.

On July 10, WCCO 4 CBS Minnesota of Minneapolis shared a story about Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a charitable group providing biplane flights to veterans. The group recently provided rides to Willard Bardon and other residents of The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine in Belle Plaine, Minn.

The Green Bay Press Gazette of Green Bay, Wis., interviewed the Lindemann brothers on July 10. Jason, Jared, Jonas, and Jackson shared stories from their high school, college, and county league baseball careers, citing their faith as a major motivator. All four brothers are studying to preach or teach within WELS.

On July 8, IWantTheNews.com of Kiel, Wis., reported on the retirement of Rev. David Laabs. He served as a WELS pastor for 40 years, spending the latter 20 years at Trinity, Kiel.

July 3, 2018

The July 1 edition of Current reported on the retirement of Rev. George Ferch, who served 21 years at Bethlehem, Carmel, Ind.

On June 27, the St. Peter Herald announced the retirement of Rev. Charles Degner, who has served more than 30 years at St. Peter, St. Peter, Minn., and 10 years as the Minnesota District president.

The June 26 edition of the Belle Plaine Herald included a story about Lavonne Bratsch, who is retiring after teaching 30 years at Trinity, Belle Plaine, Minn.

On June 26, The Journal in New Ulm, Minn., featured an article on Peter Markgraf, who has accepted a call to serve as interim principal at St. Paul’s, New Ulm.

On June 20, the Waushara Argus of Wautoma, Wis., reported that Camp Phillip, a WELS camp in Wautoma, is holding its annual summer camp for special needs campers July 2-6.

USA Today shared a story on June 18 about seniors who are volunteers. The article quoted Rev. David Rosenbaum, pastor at Redeemer, Merritt Island, Fla., about the importance of volunteering. Rosenbaum is the chairman of Brevard County’s VOAD, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

June 19, 2018

The New Ulm Journal shared a story on June 15 about the 51st biennial convention for the WELS Minnesota District. District leaders met at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, June 12-14, to discuss membership, education, and more. This year also marked the 100th anniversary of the district.

On June 5, the New Ulm Journal noted the 150th anniversary of Trinity Lutheran School, Nicollet, Minn. A special worship service, presentations, and a dinner were held on June 17 to celebrate.

The Hastings Star Gazette of Hastings, Minn., featured a story on June 4 about the Wise Penny Thrift Store, Red Wing, Minn. The store is run by volunteers from WELS congregations and beyond, and funds raised go to WELS churches and schools.

On June 4, Fox 11 News of Green Bay, Wis., reported that damage from vandalism may render the football fields at Fox Valley Lutheran, Appleton, Wis., unusable for the fall season.

June 5, 2018

The New Ulm Journal reported on June 3 that the principal of St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Mr. Greg Thiesfeldt, has accepted a call to lead a school in California. Thiesfeldt served at St. Paul’s for eight years.

On June 1, the Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, Wis., interviewed the teens and staff of the Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center (ROC), a safe place for youth established by nearby WELS churches.

The New Orleans Advocate interviewed members of Crown of Life, New Orleans, La., on May 30 about their new urban garden. The garden provides healthy food for the community and a healthy outlet for youth.

On May 29, the Marshfield Mail, Marshfield, Wis., reported on the 25th anniversary of Peace, Marshfield, Wis., recounting the congregation beginnings in the early 1990s.

The Washington County Insider, West Bend, Wis., featured a story on May 27 about the ceremony for Army Veteran Merlin Heinecke. Heinecke was declared MIA in Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. A gravestone was funded by his family, the Lutheran Military Support Group, and members of Zion, Allenton, Wis.

On May 26, Fox 6 Now of Milwaukee, Wis., reported how the graduation ceremony of Shoreland Lutheran High School, Somers, Wis., honored senior Cameron Nahf, who was killed in a car crash days earlier. Nahf’s name was said during the distribution of diplomas, and his parents received his certificate along with flowers.

On May 25, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, shared a story about the baseball teams of Shoreland Lutheran High School, Somers, Wis., and Lake Country Lutheran (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod), Hartland, Wis., and how they played together to remember Shoreland senior, Cameron Nahf, who passed away in a car crash.

The New Ulm Journal reported on May 22 that a decades-old piano previously belonging to one of Martin Luther College’s first music professors, Gottfried Burk, was donated to the school.

On May 19, Monroe News interviewed members of the Huggins and Heck family. This year, James M. Huggins was the eighth generation of the Heck family to be confirmed as a member of St. Paul, Monroe, Mich.

The East Valley Tribune reported on May 15 that Emma Laird of Pilgrim Lutheran School in Mesa, Ariz., won the Nicholas Maxim Award for special needs students in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

May 15, 2018

On May 14, The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., included an article about the graduation of 148 students from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.

On May 11, the Marshall Independent, Marshall, Minn., featured a story about Christ Lutheran Church’s free summer music lessons. Raquel Freese, a Martin Luther College third year music major, will provide piano, organ, guitar, and voice lessons to children and adults of the community free of charge.

On May 9, The Journal, New Ulm, Minn., reported that former mayor Arnold “Arn” Koelpin was posthumously recognized as the city’s 2018 Tourism Person of the Year. Koelpin served as a tour guide for the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, introducing new Martin Luther College students and their families to the city.

MLive Media Group of Michigan shared a story on May 9 about the departure of Michigan Lutheran Seminary’s athletic director, boys basketball coach, and baseball coach David Lecker. Lecker will now serve as the principal and a teacher at Redeemer Lutheran School, Fond du Lac, Wis.

On May 7, Houston County News, La Crosse, Wis., reported that First, La Crescent, Wis., will open its childcare center in June. Contractors and members of the congregation alike donated their time to the center’s construction.

On May 4, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interviewed Terrance Thomas Jr., an eighth grader at St. Marcus Lutheran School, Milwaukee, Wis. After displaying a passion for cooking, the school staff connected Thomas with a local restaurant where he now holds an internship under a James Beard Award finalist.

On May 3, the Regional News, Palos Heights, Ill., featured a story on the newly constructed sanctuary at Palos.

KEYC News 12, Mankato, Minn., reported on May 3 that Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, Minn., received a STEM grant to fund a new robotics course for the upcoming school year.

May 1, 2018

Kenosha News featured a story on April 13 about Shoreland Lutheran High School’s plans for a $28 million renovation and expansion at their campus in Somers, Wis. The plan accommodates for a new trades program, an expanding student population, and more.

On April 15, The Journal of New Ulm, Minn., reported that local Erna Zahn recently celebrated her 110th birthday. She was married to the late Meilahn Zahn, former head of the Martin Luther College music department.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shared photos from St. Matthew’s School and First Steps Child Care Center’s Family Fun Construction Day on April 21. Visitors had the opportunity to visit the unfinished building in Oconomowoc, Wis., and take part in fun construction craft activities.

On April 24, Fox 6 Now reported that students of Garden Homes Lutheran School in Milwaukee, Wis., had the opportunity to watch and learn from wheelchair athletes from the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association (WASA).

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shared on April 27 that Wisconsin Lutheran High School plans to build a three-story dormitory for boarding students as well as a five-story apartment building, both south of Blue Mound Road in Milwaukee, Wis.

On April 28, The Washington County Insider reported that one of the victims in a Wisconsin helicopter crash was Greg Rosenthal, a 1993 graduate of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson, Wis.

April 17, 2018

Rev. Timothy Bourman and his wife, Amanda, Sure Foundation, Woodside, N.Y., were on the Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Both were uninjured and made it safely off the plane. The Inquirer and Daily News interviewed Pastor Bourman about his experience. The Associated Press interviewed Amanda in an article featured on msn.com.

On April 14, the Kenosha News reported that Shoreland Lutheran High School, Somers, Wis., is planning a $28 million campus renovation so it can serve an influx of new families in the area.

On April 10, The Free Press from Mankato, Minn., detailed Risen Savior Lutheran School’s support for a teacher undergoing cancer treatments. In addition to fundraising and meal prepping, the students and their families are writing words of encouragement on sticky notes to make a mosaic depicting the empty Easter tomb.

On April 10, The Journal from New Ulm, Minn., reported that resident Mervin Ingebritson celebrated his 100th birthday on April 8. Between 1935 and 1987, Ingebritson attended school and worked in a supervising position at Martin Luther College, then called Dr. Martin Luther College.

On April 8, WAOW of Wausau, Wis., ran a story on the Jim Weiland Table Tennis Tournament. More than 60 teams played at Northland Lutheran High School in Kronenwetter, Wis., to remember Pastor Jim Weiland of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Merrill, Wis., who died in January from complications after a car crash.

The Washington County Insider shared an update on April 5 saying the construction at Good Shepherd Lutheran in West Bend, Wis., is progressing smoothly. The church and school is currently adding new classrooms, a new elevator, and more.

On April 2, KOMO News out of Seattle, Wash., reported that money was stolen from Bethany Lutheran Church in Port Orchard, Wash. Soon after the incident was made public, an anonymous donor gifted the church an amount to cover the lost funds.

On April 1, KBTX-TV 3 of Bryan, Tex., featured a story about Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church of College Station, Tex., and their annual Sunrise Easter Service held at the nearby park. There were hundreds in attendance at the service this year

April 3, 2018

On April 2, the La Crosse Tribune included a story about how faith and hope helped the Hofer family through a cancer diagnosis. The Hofers are members at Mt. Calvary, La Crosse, Wis.

WXOW out of La Crosse, Wis., highlighted a special Easter reenactment at St. Paul, Onalaska, Wis.

On March 30, the Herald Times Reporter reported that Manitowoc Lutheran High School, Manitowoc, Wis., was recently reaccredited and given an exemplary status.

On March 28, the Spokesman-Review interviewed retired WELS pastor Rev. R.F. Westendorf about his work filling short-term vacancies at WELS churches across the world, highlighting his current assignment in Spokane, Wash.

On March 26, an article from the River Falls Journal shared how Wellhaven Senior Living in River Falls, Wis., is commemorating the 120th anniversary of The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA. Wellhaven created a logo and apparel to recognize the military heritage they share with TLHA.

On March 23, the La Crosse Tribune reported that the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse, Wis., finished refurbishing their antique Wicks organ. A celebratory concert will be held at the church in April.

On March 23, Fox 35 in Orlando ran a story on the burglary of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Deltona, Fla. County authorities are searching for the suspect who they say was out on bond at the time of the burglary.

On March 22, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, will honor television broadcaster and Super-Bowl-winning NFL coach Tony Dungy. Dungy will receive the 2018 Divine Servant Leadership Award on April 27 for his display of Christian values throughout his career.

On March 17, the Rockwall County Herald-Banner released an article about Divine Peace Church of Garland, Tex., and their new expansion into a historic wedding chapel in Rockwall, Tex.

On March 21, Your Observer featured a story about the completion of Risen Savior’s church building in Bradenton, Fla., an expansion project nine years in the making.

March 20, 2018

The March 15 edition of the Huron County View published a religious article written by Rev. Steven Neumann of St. John, Pigeon, Mich., about believers being betrothed to Christ Jesus.

On March 13, FOX 6 in Milwaukee included an article about Kevin Zeitler, who plays football for the Cleveland Browns. Zeitler visited his alma mater, Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, in February to speak to current students about a Christian’s character and perseverance in a professional athletic setting.

On March 13, the Watertown Daily Times included an article about Trinity-St. Luke’s Lutheran School hosting an Art Walk and Talk for students to display their visual art skills.

On March 6 Miami’s Community Newspapers highlighted how Divine Savior Academy, Doral, Fla., tested the new Google Expeditions program in their classrooms.

The March 5 edition of the Wausau Daily Herald announced that Northland Lutheran High School, Mosinee, Wis., will be a Wisconsin choice school in the 2018-19 school year.

March 6, 2018

On March 1, the Daily Jefferson County Union ran an article about the upcoming 150th anniversary of St. Paul’s School, Fort Atkinson, Wis., and detailed some changes coming up for the 2018-19 school year.

The March 1 edition of the Herald Times Reporter featured a story on the 75th anniversary of Bethany, Manitowoc, Wis.

In a Feb. 22 article, the La Crosse Tribune reported on a National Engineering Week activity for local eighth-graders. Students from Mt. Calvary-Grace, La Crosse, and First Lutheran, La Crosse, were involved in a Lego car-building activity that tested their skills in comprehension, teamwork, and design.

On Feb. 25, the Morning Sun News included an article about the Michigan Lutheran Seminary concert choir presenting a concert at Good Shepherd, Alma, Mich.


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