Visitor's Guide
A Visitor's Guide to St. John's

Since you're viewing this page, you're probably here because you have some questions about our church.  We encourage you to visit our church.  We understand that visiting a church for the first time is not easy.  You may have questions about what goes on during the services.  You may wonder about your children.  You may wonder what you should wear.  All of these unknowns may make you feel uncomfortable.

We would like you to feel as comfortable as possible when you visit our church.  We will do our best to answer some of your questions here.  If you have a question that is not answered, please contact us. 

It is our promise that when you visit St. John's you will hear about Jesus, your Savior, His love, forgiveness and promise of eternal life in heaven. We look forward to greeting you as a guest of our church family!

St. John's is located in the Northeast corner of the city of Fox Lake.

Our address is:

110 Edgelawn Dr.
Fox Lake, WI  53933

What Happens on Sunday mornings at St. John's?
Worship Services:
Sundays - 8:00 & 10:30 AM (Between Labor Day and Memorial Day)
Sundays - 8:00 & 9:30 AM (Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day Weekend)
Wednesdays - 7:00 PM (Year around, however, occassionally a Wednesday service may be omitted.  These dates will be on our calendar.)
Bible Study Opportunites (Between Labor Day and Memorial Day):
9:15 - Bible Study in the Fellowship Hall meets each Sunday, except for the 3rd Sunday of each month.  Teens & Adults study various Bible topics.  Babies and small children are welcome to stay with their caregivers during Bible study. Join us!
9:15 - Sunday School for children.  We welcome preschool age children through Grade 8 to join the Sunday School time in the classrooms of our school.

Fellowship Times:  On the 3rd Sunday of each month various groups provide light snacks and coffee.  There is usually a basket present for free-will offerings.  These gifts generally are put toward our school library fund.  Donations are not required.  We are happy to have this time to visit and get to know each other better!

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What is a worship service like at St. John's?

We think you'll enjoy the services at St. John's.  Just as in any church, you should expect it to take a couple of Sundays before you are accustomed to our way of praising our Lord.

An usher will hand you a bulletin on your way into the sanctuary.  Feel free to choose any seat you'd like.  Our bulletins will outline the service for you.  The bulletin will list the hymn numbers, what page in the hymnal our order of service will be found on, and the Scripture readings for the day.  The theme of the sermon and main points will be listed also.

Our worship will focus on God's Word - The Bible.  There, we hear God talk to us.  Music is important in our services also.  God is praised in our singing no matter the style, harmonies, or volume!  We sing hymns and songs of praise.  These hymns are found in the red Hymnals located in the pews.  On occasion we sing hymns from the blue Christian Worship Supplement.  When we use these, an usher will hand you one as you enter church. Feel free to join in as you feel comfortable.  Pastor will announce what page we will follow at the beginning of the service.  If you are unsure, please don't hesitate to ask someone seated near you to guide you to the right page.

Our worship usually includes the following parts:
  • The Invocation - We call on our Triune God as we begin our worship.
  • Confession of Sins and Absolution - We admit that we are sinful.  We have not done what God asks and have done things God forbids.  We are then assured that we have forgiveness that is found only in Jesus.
  • Scripture Readings - As the Bible readings are read, you may follow along in a Bible that is found in the pew rack, in your own Bible, or with the readings that are printed on the back of the bulletin.  In the readings, we hear sections from God's Old Testament prophets, Jesus' apostles, or from Jesus himself.
  • Sermon - The pastor will lead a Bible based sermon.  The sermon offers encouragement and instruction in God's Word.  In God's Word we find guidance and God's grace.  We hear God talk to us and guide us in our daily lives as well as preparing us for the eternal life we have in His promise of heaven though Jesus, our Savior.  Printed copies of the sermon are available on the table in the back of the church.  Feel free to take a copy before the service to follow along with during the sermon or to take with you after the service. The sermons can also be found online on this website.
  • Response to God's Word - We respond to the Word with offerings, and prayers of thanks, praise, and petition.  We ask God for the things He has promised us, and for the strength to live each day to His glory! We also respond with offerings. 
  • Blessing - As we conclude our service, we leave with the assurance of the Lord's gracious care.
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What about taking Communion?

During services on the first and third Sundays of each month, our members partake of the Lord's Supper.  The Lord provides for our spiritual needs when He invites us to partake of Holy Communion.  Our faith in Him is strengthened when we share in His body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine.  Therefore a Christian is eager to attend the Lord's Supper on a regualar basis.  Our members and those who share a comon fiath and fellowship with us (WELS or ELS) are invited to commune with us. St. John's Lutheran church (and all congregations of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) practice what is called "close Communion".  Out of love, we ask guests who have not become accustomed with our church and its teaching to learn more about us before joing us for the Lord's Supper.  If you are not a member of St. John's, we ask you to speak to the pastor before communing.  You will usually find him in the church entryway before the service.  He is always ready to speak to everyone who enters into our church.  For more information that will help you understand the reasons we follow this God - commanded, Bible - based practice, please see the attached article.    

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What about the Offering?

"When will they take the offering?"  "How will it be collected?"  "How much am I expected to give?"  "Do they want visitors to contribute too?"  These are typical worries about church offerings, but God's Word teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is His gift ot us.  It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God and express our trust in Him to continue to take care of us. 

Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. These offering give them the opportunity to not only show love to Christ, but also to support the work of our congregation as we bring the Good News of Christ's love to more people. 

We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God and we use offering envelopes to keep our gifts a private matter known only to the Lord. Now a child may bring the quarters and dimes his parents give him. Someone older may write a check. Both, however, remember Jesus and give their gifts out of love for him. 

As our guest, we will not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so. You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church, but you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.

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How Should I Dress?

You might wonder how you are expected to dress at a church you've never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility, St. John's doesn't make any rules either.

Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. Still dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King.

On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his or her Lord, the choice of dress, be it casual or more formal, is acceptable to God . . . and us.

What Is the Worst that Can Happen?

Attending a church for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:

"I would just die if they made me stand up and say something."
We can assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior.

"I know my child is going to be too noisy."
Our congregation is much like a family with infants and kids and teens and adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. St. John's encourages young children to worship with their parents in the Sanctuary.  Though children can be restless, God’s Word is intended for them as well as adults! If, however, at any time you feel the need, we have a fellowship hall, where you can take your child. You will be able to see and hear the service.  Also, if you have a little one who needs a change, diaper changing stations can be found in both the men's and ladies' restrooms located down the hallway.
"I know I will feel out of place."
We hope this visitor's guide has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, "I'm new here. Can you help me?" We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!

"I'm afraid I'll say or do something wrong."
You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you'll see that the people of St. John's are ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that with a critical spirit.

"I just want to watch at first, but I know they'll try to get me involved or sign me up for something."
We believe church membership should be a voluntary matter, and the most important thing of all is to trust in our Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. This takes time. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement in a congregation. We believe we should respect that need.

"I don’t know that much about the Bible."
Worship and Bible Study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer. Don't forget...sometimes the wisest words to say say are, "I don’t know."

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