About Us

Our Congregation

 

We are a small, welcoming Lutheran church in downtown Oshkosh. We invite ALL people to join us for Sunday Worship at 10:15 am, as well as for all the activities of the congregation. We celebrate our musical program, our welcome of families and our local and world-wide support of refugees and former refugees.  It is important for us to reach across denominational boundaries and we live this commitment out through our partnership with Immanuel United Church of Christ in Neenah, WI.  


Pastor Jen Czarnota serves in the pastoral office for St. John's. Her individual style of preaching, explaining the Scriptures and worship leadership greatly enhance our life together. She is also available for pastoral care needs during the week.  


Paula Steinert is the director of our musical program, using her significant talent to brighten our worship with music. She also regularly coordinates special musical events during our Sunday Worship.


Karen Fenrich  and Lindsai Welch are our dedicated office volunteers and are likely the first voices you will hear when contacting St. John's. They bring joy to their duties and welcome all to our facility. 


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About Pastor Jen Czarnota

Pastor's Faith Story


Being blessed with many years of serving as an ordained minister, I celebrate my great freedom in Christ to be inviting, welcoming, and open to all!  I know, live, and share the truth that God makes no distinction in creation, but loves all people with the heart of a devoted parent. My vision is that the church might fully live into this truth and ultimately remove those barriers that at one time were restrictive. That church can become a place of unity as God’s beloved creation overcomes all divisions and discrimination!

Background & Credentials

  • Born in Clintonville, WI and worked on family farm
  • Bachelor of Arts - Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA 
  • Master of Divinity - Graduated Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH
  • Ordained into ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2000
  • Granted dual-standing with United Church of Christ in 2015
  • Currently Pastor to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oshkosh, WI and Immanuel United Church of Christ, Neenah WI
  • 18 years in ordained ministry; 23 years as a church professional (5 years youth ministry prior to ordination)

Kids and Youth In Church

Miss E

Children in Worship

When Pastor Jen hears a child fussing during the service, her heart lights

up with joy, as that is the sound of parents keeping their baptismal promises! Children of all ages are always welcome to participate in worship. Sunday School(off for the summer) and nursery are available during worship times as well, so parents can choose whether to enjoy worshiping with their children or rest assured that their children are learning about Christ downstairs, while they take an hour of adult time in worship.

Sunday School

St. John's has a Sunday School program for students from ages 4 through 8th grade at 10:15 am during service.  Sunday School(off for summer) generally runs through the normal school year (Sept. thru May).  All participants start in the sanctuary with their families.   Shortly into the service, they are invited together for a Children's Message from the Pastor, then dismissed to class.  

Nursery

While children are ALWAYS welcome in church, a nursery with volunteer staffing is available for ages birth to pre-K during all Sunday worship services.  No one in the nursery today?  Find an usher and we will help you!

Gymnasium

The gymnasium is open for children to play following Sunday Worship Services. Members may also use the gym by appointment when your family wants a safe place to run around, let the kids goof off, host a party, etc (this is especially nice during the Wisconsin winter months).


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Worship at St. John's

Holy Communion

Services at 10:15 every Sunday

In the Sacrament of Holy Communion, God’s beloved gather across time and space as one community in Christ. At St. John’s, we take seriously that God’s beloved includes all of God’s created children; therefore, we offer Holy Communion every Sunday and all are welcome to partake. We understand that Holy Communion is God’s gift of strength to us. In the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we understand that all become one; united, not by our similarities or agreements, but by our common Creator, Savior, Love Giver. 


We invite you to join in this unity with us when you worship and when you commune elsewhere in God’s world.  Holy Communion instruction is offered for children in 3rd grade or older and we encourage our young people to learn about God’s blessing in this Sacrament through these classes. 


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The Meaning Behind the Colors

Church Calendar by Color

The colors serve to adorn the worship space, and to call attention to the nature of the season or festival being celebrated. A brief summary of their usage, according to the church year, follows. 

Advent: Blue is associated with Advent, suggesting hope. Some assemblies use purple in Advent, a color associated with royalty as the church awaits the newborn king. (note, this is a different meaning than when it is used in Lent; see below). 

Christmas: White, calling to mind the purity of the newborn Christ, and to our light and joy in him. Some also use Gold

Epiphany of Our Lord: White (see Christmas). Baptism of Our Lord: White (see Christmas). 

Time after Epiphany: Green is used for its symbolism of our growth in Christ. Green, in a sense, is a "neutral color," used when more festive or more somber color is not appointed. 

Transfiguration of Ash Wednesday: Purple is the preferred color as this is the first day of Lent. Historically, black has also been used on this day, since it is the color of the ashes to which we will all return. 

Lent: Purple is typically associated with Lent, suggesting repentance and solemnity. 

Sunday of the Passion: Scarlet is the preferred color of this first day of Holy Week, as it suggests the deep color of blood. (Scarlet is to be distinguished from the brighter color of red, which is appointed for the Day of Pentecost, martyrs’ days, and certain church celebrations). If a parish does not have scarlet vestments, purple may be used. 

Days of Holy Week: Scarlet or purple may be used for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week. 

Maundy Thursday: For this fourth day of Holy Week, celebrated as the institution of the Lord’s Supper, scarlet or white is used. 

Good Friday: No vestments or paraments are used on this day, after the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday night. Vigil of Easter: White or Gold suggests of joy in the Resurrection is used on this night. 

Easter Day: White or gold is suggested for this day. The gold color symbolizes that this day is the "queen of feasts," unique in the entire church year. Sundays of Easter: White suggests the joy of the resurrection. 

Day of Pentecost: Red as the color of fire is used on this day when we remember the tongues of fire descended on the crowd in Jerusalem. In contrast to the color of scarlet, Pentecost’s red is a bright color. 

The Holy Trinity: White is suggested, the expression of joy in the mystery of the Triune God.

Time after Pentecost: Green is used, to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ. Some assemblies use differing shades of green throughout the Sundays after Pentecost, a lighter green in summer and

 a darker green in fall. 


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