March 2023

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:24


March Madness! If you’re a college basketball fan, you look forward to this tournament for months. Diehard fans from 64 colleges watch the action unfold on television. They sport their team colors and cheer on their favorites. They enter brackets and talk nothing but basketball at home and at the office. Fans everywhere are filled with enthusiasm for and loyalty to their teams.

Enthusiasm and loyalty are not only reserved for sports. We express those feelings for family, friends, colleagues, and most of all our Christian congregations. We support each other with helping hands and kind words. We go the extra mile when someone is struggling. We meet together for worship. The writer to the Hebrews sums it up with these encouraging words. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together…but encouraging one another…” Heb 10:24-25

 We Christians treasure the special support and encouragement we receive from and give to our fellow believers. This support and encouragement is even more precious when we find ourselves far from our homes and families. But what about outside the church walls, apart from our spiritual families? Do we sport our team colors in secular settings? Do we explain why Jesus is the center of our lives? Do we challenge ungodly practices in our world? Are we ‘speaking the truth in love’ as St. Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4? If we examine our daily lives, we must confess that we don’t always display enthusiasm for our Christian values. We aren’t always loyal to our team. But thankfully, we know where to turn when our loyalty to our Lord wavers.

God’s holy Word reminds us that we are forgiven when we fail. It comforts us and strengthens our faith. It emboldens us to stand up for Jesus in our daily lives. With God’s help we can show the world that we belong to Christ. We can proudly “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16:24


Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross!
Lift high his royal banner; It must not suffer loss.
From vict’ry unto vict’ry His army shall he lead
Till ev’ry foe is vanquished An Christ is Lord indeed.

CW 474



Easter Retreat Information

Where? Jugendherberge Würzburg, Fred-Joseph-Platz 2, 97082  Würzburg   Hostel info.

When? April 6-9, 2023

Cost: €90.00 per adult, €45.00 per person aged 6-16, ages 5 and under free. This includes Thursday supper, 3 meals on Friday, Saturday breakfast and lunch, and Sunday breakfast. Saturday evening we will eat at a restaurant at our own expense. (For those coming Friday-Sunday: €60.00 per adult, €30.00 per person aged 6-16, ages 5 and under free.)  (For those staying elsewhere but wanting to eat the noon and evening meals at the hostel, the cost is €9.50 per meal.)

Please bring your own towels.  Children should bring their own Easter baskets for the Easter egg hunt on Sunday.

Please note that we have reserved ALL available rooms at the hostel. If you want to attend the retreat, but have not yet signed up, you are very welcome, but you will have to find your own accommodation in local hotels.

Participants April 2023: Please take a look at the linked list of participants and let us know if your information is incorrect. This is especially important for those staying at the youth hostel.

Things to do in Würzburg


Thursday, April 6

Check in after 15:00
18:00 Dinner at hostel
19:30 Maundy Thursday worship followed by fellowship

Friday, April 7

7:30-9:00 Breakfast
9:00 Bible study and children’s activities
10:00 Break
10:30-11:30  Bible study and children’s activities
12:00 Lunch at hostel
Afternoon free time
18:00 Dinner at hostel
19:30 Good Friday worship followed by fellowship

Saturday, April 8

7:30-9:00 Breakfast
9:00 Bible study and children’s activities
10:00 Break
10:30-11:30  Bible study and children’s activities
12:00 Lunch at hostel
Afternoon free time
18:30 Dinner at local restaurant

Easter Sunday

7:30-9:00 Breakfast and check out
9:00 Easter worship followed by group picture and Easter egg hunt.

April Schedule Change

Because of the retreat there will be no worship in Munich, Vilseck, and Switzerland in April. We will resume the regular schedule in May.

News From Our Worship Groups


Austin and Lilly Herrick

Our Ramstein group heartily welcomes Lilly and Austin Herrick who recently moved here from Georgia.


Our 3 Stuttgart families:(l-r) Tanya & Jeff Bessler with Sam and Abby; Lindsey & Jared Kassulke, with Charlotte, Elijah, and August; Courtney & Adam Kuehl

We had a worship service on Ash Wednesday with three military families in Stuttgart. We hope to start regular worship services in Stuttgart in the near future.

Pastor Hartwig Retiring

Last summer, during our furlough, we met with the military services committee. One matter for discussion was how long the Hartwigs might remain in Europe. No decisions were made at that time, but we said we would review the matter at the beginning of the new year. We have very much enjoyed our time in Germany and have reached the conclusion that 2023 is a good time for us to retire and move back to the States. So the wheels have been set in motion for our replacement. The WELS Conference of Presidents extended a call to Pastor Rob Weiss to serve as the next civilian chaplain in Europe. Many of you know Pastor Weiss, as he served as our furlough replacement this past summer. If Pastor Weiss accepts this call, I anticipate he would move to Germany early this summer. Should he decline the call, the process would begin again with the COP extending a call to another man. The Hartwigs have agreed to stay on the field until a new chaplain arrives, so there shouldn’t be a vacancy situation.

Our Offerings

In February €299.50 and CHF230.00 were received in basket offerings. €1,937.98  were received as direct deposits.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,  for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8


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