Maybe it’s the dozens of things that get added to an already-full schedule. Maybe it’s 25 years of ministry experience, watching Jesus get shoved out of the way by Santa and the Elf on a Shelf. Maybe I was just born with a heart 3 sizes too small. Whatever the reason, Christmas has never been my favorite time. Hearing the Christmas songs, that seem to start right after Halloween (Reformation!), makes me want to cover my ears. I’m one of those people for whom this is not “the most wonderful time of the year.”
But every year, without fail, something would happen. During the drudgery, through the gritted teeth, something would get through. Maybe it would be a song on Christmas Eve. Maybe it would be during the sermon on Christmas Day. It didn’t always happen at the same time, but it always happened. The clutter and the nonsense that filled so much of the ramp-up to Christmas would melt away, and all that was left was the baby. The baby born all those year ago, all those miles away, yet born for me. The baby crying in his mother’s arms, who would cry out in agony as he felt God’s full-strength wrath years later. The baby who was laid in a manger, who would later be laid in a tomb, a tomb that he would walk out of in victory. And all for me. To live what I didn’t. To do what I hadn’t. To win what I couldn’t. For me.
Sure, sometimes that gets lost in the chaos that is December. But it’s there. Always. For you. Cherish the gift of your Savior. Celebrate what he gives you. Have a blessed Christmas.
Pastor Rik Krahn Campus Pastor, Theology Department Head (Office) 920.682.0215 ext. 409 (Cell) 920.209.2716
You Make a Difference
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our goal during our Month of Giving promotion. In two short weeks we reached our goal of $50,000, so we moved our goal to $75,000. Which was surpassed again! In total, we raised nearly $150,000 what a blessing to have such dedicated members of the Lancer family! Please continue to keep the Building our Future on Christ campaign, as well as the students and ministry of MLHS, in your prayers. To find out more information about how to make another one time donation, make a pledge to the campaign, or set up a memorial towards the campaign please contact the Mission Advancement Office.
Be Featured with your Mug
Everyone is invited to join our MLHS Mug Club. You don't even have to be an alumni (shhh!). Help support MLHS and add to your collection of coffee mugs. With a one-time donation of $120, or a monthly gift of $12, you will receive the 2021 MLHS mug as a thank you for your donation! Once you receive your mug in the mail, email a photo of you (or your mug) in your location, on vacation, or with a bestie to be featured next month.
Alumni Spotlight: Heidi Raddatz
Heidi Raddatz, 2015 MLHS and St. John’s Newtonburg Graduate, currently lives in Madison, WI and works at Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving. Heidi offers amazing advice for her sister, Molly, and other current students at MLHS.
How did MLHS prepare you for your future studies or career? At MLHS I learned what it means to be involved in community and how to balance a variety of different activities. I had the opportunity to participate in many extracurricular activities and learned how to be a leader. This prepared me for a busy four years of college and taught me how to be a leader in the workplace and an active member of my community as a young adult.
How did MLHS prepare you spiritually to go out into the world? I will never forget sitting in the gym on the red bleachers for yet another chapel service. I was admittedly half-listening to the pastor, half analyzing how I thought I did on the pre-calc test I just finished. Third hour couldn’t come soon enough. In the background of my thoughts, I caught the pastor telling a story about an alum who wrote a letter to MLHS. This alum wrote to the school saying how much they missed chapel services after graduating. I couldn’t help but think, “That will never be me. Chapel is fine, but I will never miss it. I probably don’t even need it. Religion class is enough, honestly.” Well, here I am, 25 years old, writing about how MLHS prepared me to go into the world. I get it now. I would love to have a designated 12 minutes of worship with fellow believers each day.
Daily chapel services and religion classes were instrumental to my Christian foundation. Even if the messages were only half-absorbed, the theme stuck. Students at MLHS are taught that Jesus loves them. He lived, died, and rose again. They are taught how to live a Christian life and what it means to be God’s child. That is how they prepared me to go into the world. Because the world is hard. But the many messages, hymns, religion classes and Christian teachers make a difference.
After high school I learned that I should have given chapel and religion class a bit more attention. I was asked many difficult questions that I didn’t (and still don’t) have the answer for. Although the hard things aren’t always easy answers, I can fall back on my Christian education because I know who Jesus is. And I know how to tell others of His love. And the Holy Spirit gives the rest.
What is your fondest memory from MLHS? My fondest memory is of the Homecoming Bonfire during my Freshman year. I will never forget taking pictures with friends after the Pep-Rally. It was a chilly night, but the massive bonfire kept us all very warm. I remember being proud to be a Lancer on that night, and I’m just as proud to be a Lancer today.
What advice would you give to current MLHS students? I often tell my sister to pay attention to what she enjoys. I ask, “’What do you research on your own time? What kind of podcasts and YouTube videos do you listen to? What classes do you enjoy the most?’ You don’t have to turn your passions into your career, but these interests will guide you. Don’t force yourself to be what others expect you to be. God made you as a unique creation. It would be a shame if you tried to be someone or something else. God will guide your path; you just need to take the steps. And you will.”
I would tell them to be kind to each other. Teenage years are hard, and there’s a lot going on. But if you learn to be kind and a good friend, that will last you a lifetime. Pay attention during chapel, get as involved as you can, and enjoy these four years. Each day might seem like forever, but the years go by quickly!
Alumni Meet-up: St. Paul, Minnesota
December 9th, at 6:30. Meet with MA Director Ryan Hulse and President Pastor Kock at the Fireside Lounge in west St. Paul. Can't wait to meet with you!
Upcoming Events at MLHS
MLHS Christmas Concert
Enjoy sounds of the season as MLHS students praise our Lord through song at the Capital Civic Centre. Two identical shows are free and open to the public on Wednesday, December 22 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We hope you are enjoying Advancing the Mission, our Alumni newsletter! Our goal is to keep everyone connected to our favorite school even when life pulls us apart. If you have news to share, announcement to make, or want to write for us, please reach out to Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings to you throughout the month ahead.
Manitowoc Lutheran High School 4045 Lancer Circle | Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220 920-682-0215 | MLHS@mlhslancers.org