Check out the latest news from St. John’s.

A library refresh

The Education Commission is in the process of updating the St. John’s Library and needs your help!

  1. Buy books. They are hosting a book sale of books cleaned out of the library to raise funds for new resources. Books are available for a freewill donation – take what you want, give what you can. Cash or check are accepted. Find them in the Fellowship Hall. Funds will be used to update the library space.
  2. Donate. They have a wish list available of new resources they wish to make available. Items can be donated directly OR donate funds to help purchase.
  3. Volunteer. If you are passionate about books and interested in helping, your contribution would be welcomed.

Questions? Want to donate? Want to volunteer? Contact Amanda Sabelko ( or (507) 634-7110).

Wish List

The future library materials will all contain religious content. The Kasson Community has numerous resources available for non-religious content.


Children’s and Young Adults

  • Berenstain Bears – Religious Series
  • Veggie Tales
  • Adventures in Odyssey
  • Devotionals
  • Comics/Graphic Novels
  • Bible Studies


  • Devotionals
  • Personal Growth
  • Bible Studies
  • Wellness

Library Room

  • The committee also wishes to replace the tables, chairs, paint and decorations

Lenten Book Study for Moms

Lindsay is leading a book study for moms Thursdays 12:30-1:30 pm and Sundays 9:10-10:10 am. They are reading Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNiel. Talk to Lindsay if you need a copy of the book or childcare arrangements (

Volunteer or donate for Doing Day

The Women of the ELCA of our congregation will host a “Doing Day” on Wednesday, March 21. You are invited to come any time after 8:00 am (usually wrapping up by about 2:00 pm) to help pack kits to help benefit people around the world and in the United States and/or help prepare quilts. We will take time out for morning coffee and devotions and a potluck lunch. Find a list of required items below, in the Snippets at the Welcome Center, or on the WELCA bulletin board. Questions? Contact Gail Jensen at (507) 633-2467 or (507) 951-3367.

  • child-size blunt tip scissors
  • 24 count crayons
  • pencil sharpeners
  • 12” rulers that include centimeter on one side and inches on the other
  • 70-sheet notebooks (wide or college rule)
  • ball point pens (black or blue)
  • 2½” erasers
  • sturdy combs
  • pick-style combs
  • jar or tubes of petroleum jelly (approx 4 oz or larger)
  • heavy duty kitchen style gloves (size medium)
  • nail clippers
  • cloth diapers
  • light weight bath towels
  • hand towels (preferably dark colors)
  • soap (ivory or unscented is preferred, individually wrapped)
  • infant-size clothing (6-18 m sizes – T-shirts, sleepers without feet and cotton knit sleep sacks)
  • new or gently used sheets double sized or larger fitted sheets, twin sized or larger flats
  • flannel pillow cases


CKP Sunday & Open House

On Sunday, March 4, we will celebrate the ministry of Creation Kids Preschool on “CKP Sunday.” Please help us welcome the special guests and visitors who come to share the day with the children.

Then on Tuesday, March 6, CKP will host an open house from 5:00-6:30 pm. All families are invited to meet the staff and board members and check out our facilities and the programs we offer.

Registration is now available for the ‘18-’19 school year. Available at these events or at

Prayer Stations

During Lent on Sundays and Wednesdays there will be different interactive prayer stations available for all ages to try out. There will be a variety of activities rotating during those weeks, but they will all center around the concept of spiritual practices and ways that we can take our faith into our ordinary lives. Check them out – you may find a great new way to connect with your faith!

2018 Chili Cookoff & Bingo Night

You’ve had a long, cold winter to work out the perfect chili concoction and now it’s time to show it off! St. John’s Youth & Family Ministry will host its fourth annual Chili Cookoff and Bingo night on Sunday, February 25 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

Chili Tasting: Free Will Donations
Bingo: $1 per card
Prizes for Bingo and the Best Chili

Proceeds help send youth to the ELCA National Youth Gathering

Register your chili by 11:00 am, February 25
Contact Lindsay Colwell –

Transition Forums

The Transition Team will be hosting two open forums in the Fireside Room about the “Trends Shaping the Future of St Johns.”

  • Wednesday, February 7 from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Sunday, February 11 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am

We’ll be discussing the following chart, which was originally presented at the annual meeting:

What did you say in the transition activity?

At the annual meeting, the Transition Team shared what they learned from the activity the congregation went through in November. The team worked hard to compile everything that YOU, the members of the congregation told them without interpreting it yet. The next step will including interpreting the information and determining, “What does this mean?”

Much of the information they shared can be found in the report below:

2017 Annual Report

At St. John’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 (7:30 pm), the congregation will review the annual report from 2016 and vote on business for the future of the congregation.

Download the 2017 Annual Report here.

Be sure to take a look at the Narrative Budget as well – it explains the ministry we do together as a congregation and how your financial giving supports that ministry. Instead of dozens of rows of numbers, you’ll see all the lives we touch through our spending in each of the following five areas (and see lots of pictures!):

MOE to Prairie Meadows

Next Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) recognition visit is to Prairie Meadows on Tuesday, February 6. Prairie Meadows, located here in Kasson, is a residence for senior citizens. Some residents enjoy independent living. Others receive daily care that extends through the end of life including memory care. We will be recognizing the complete 24 hour staff (50-60 people). Help by joining us to thank them in person and/or contribute treats or supplies. Sign up at the Welcome Center. For those coming on our short visit, we’ll meet inside St. John’s at 10:15 am and leave as a group. Contact Mary Adam at (507) 696-8469 or with questions. Ardis Grovdahl, co-chair of this group, may also help answer your questions.

What we learned from the transition activity

A Temple Talk by Jen Smith on January 7 & 10.

The transition team has been busy over the past 8 months. We have met 2 hours a week most weeks (including the summer and busy month of December). Most recently we met 4 separate times to process the information collected from the “game board” activity. We had over 300 people participate in this activity helping us understand who we are and where we are going as a congregation.


  • Nearly 300 participants.
  • Rich dialogue has been generate and should continue.
  • This activity was about more than the answers written on the board, it was also about the discussions it has generated.
  • Conversations need to continue. This is where the work continues giving us direction and also validating where we are.


We have a rich history which we are proud of. Of particular note is that MANY of them touched upon the importance of relationships. These relationships are instrumental in everything we do within our wall, through service and community. A wide variety of favorite memories were identified:

  • worship experiences
  • youth offerings
  • relationships
  • service opportunities

Something for Everyone:

We asked what makes St. John’s unique. In particular the response that there is something for everyone stood out. There is something for everyone. And if there isn’t, we want and need to hear about. We want St. John’s to be something to everyone. Lutefisk isn’t just about the fish. It is the spirit or everyone working together. Everyone makes the donation they are asked of in order to provide a meal and experience for the community. We open out doors and show them our best. What if this is what everyone saw every time they entered our building?

  • Over 40 programs were identified as important
  • Oasis Afterschool, including the big blue bus picking up kids at school
  • CKP
  • Variety of programs
  • Lutefisk


  • Our worship experiences are diverse and dynamic
  • Identified ways to enrich what we have
  • Looked at gaps
  • We are blessed with excellent musicians vocally and instrumentally – we need to utilized them more

Faith Formation:

  • We need to attract, train and support our volunteers. Our programming is only as good as our volunteers
  • Offer a variety of experiences
  • Find ways to incorporate technology
  • Enhance bible study offering for all ages
  • Celebrate our unique offerings such as Oasis


We formed this transition team to look into who we are as a congregation. After 8 months and several interactions with the congregation including discussions during coffee  and on Wednesday evenings, our open forum, and information gathered from the game board; one thing in apparent. Leadership is not the responsibility of the lead pastor alone. We need to look to our council, our lay leaders, our programming staff, and each other. We have done great work to gather a sense of who we are. This information has been compiled and can be handed off to each of our commissions. We have the information necessary to complete a rich and accurate site profile. We do know that what we need is someone engaged, visible and personable. Again, that someone isn’t just the lead pastor, that is each of us.

Inspiration at the annual meeting

The annual meeting for St. John’s is scheduled for Wednesday, January 24 at 7:30 pm.

Does this sound too “businessy”? This is your chance to be inspired by all of God’s work happening right here at St. John’s and help us determine where else we can share the love of God in 2018. We’ll hear about the transition process, get updates from our ministries, elect new leaders, and vote on our priorities for 2018 (also known as a “budget”).

There will be opportunities to ask questions about the budget in advance of the meeting: Wednesday, January 17 at 5:45 pm in the Fellowship Hall and Sunday, January 21 at 9:00 am in the Fireside Room.

Watch other communications in the month of January for a notice about the annual report. A printed and electronic version of the report will be available mid-January. This will have more information about what to expect: stories from all our ministries, the agenda and business items for the meeting, and the proposed budget including a narrative of what we can do as a congregation with the gifts we receive.

Another chance to hear the Christmas message

If you weren’t here at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, Pastor John’s Christmas Eve sermon and Pastor Nirmala’s Christmas Day sermon are available online. You can also find all our Wednesday and Sunday sermons on our website, so check in any time you want to catch up!

Listen at