Blog

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

2019 Haiti Mission Trip

On March 21-28, 2019, eight people from southeastern Minnesota will travel to visit our mission partners in Haiti. From St. John’s: Jen Smith, Emilie and Luckinger Hilaire, Wayne Hendrickson, and Dennis Foster. From Rochester Central Lutheran School: Missy Tjosaas. And from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Island: Pastor Marie Anderson and Kari Toft.

Planned projects:

  • Children’s VBS in Bouyaha and in Pignon
  • Taking student pictures in Bouyaha
  • Women’s bible study
  • Health education and wellness clinics
  • Food distribution to Families in Bouyaha
  • Basic sewing classes
  • Solar powered computer lab at the school in Bouyaha
  • Rehabbing Bouyaha homes (cement floor, roof repair)
  • Funding for a truck (partnership with two other congregations)

Before the trip, St. John’s is working to raise $15,000 for three of these projects:

  • $4,500 for a solar powered computer lab. This will include the solar power infrastructure and 11 laptop computers.
  • $4,000 will go to providing cement floors and metal roofs for homes in Bouyaha, upgrading from dirt floors and makeshift roofs.
  • $6,500 is St. John’s portion of a total $20,000 goal for a reliable pickup truck. Two congregations in Illinois will share the total cost. We’re also looking for leads on a 2004-2010 3/4 or 1 ton, 4-door, diesel, 4 WD, manual transmission pickup with reasonable mileage.

There are ways the team is asking for help meeting this goal:

  • Come to the February 20 Oasis meal. Donations will go to support these projects. A pizza supper will be served 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
  • Join us again for a Pulled Pork Luncheon on Sunday, March 17 starting at 11:30 am.
  • Cash donations are always welcome! Cash or check to St. John’s Lutheran Church clearly marked for Haiti Mission can be placed in the weekly offering or left in the office.

All funds raised will directly toward those we serve. Each team member is paying his or her own expenses. 

Your prayers are also needed! Pray for:

  • The team as they travel
  • The team as they complete God’s work
  • The students in Bouyaha
  • Pastor Mioche and his staff

Warm up with some chili

Warm up at the annual Chili Cook-Off & Bingo event! Sunday, February 24, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm (note the time change from previous years). The chili tasting is by free will donation. Bingo is $2 per card. There are prizes for bingo and the best chili – plus the coveted Gus the Goose trophy for the best chili!

All proceeds help fund our youth summer service trip to San Diego.

Think you have the best chili? Register by 11:00 am, February 23 by contacting Lindsay (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org).

Pastor Dave Efflandt to start at St. John’s February 18

St. John’s is excitedly awaiting the arrival of Pastor Dave Efflandt, the next Lead Pastor of the congregation. He was approved by a vote of the congregation on January 6 after a thorough interview process by the St. John’s Call Committee and approval by the Congregational Council.

Pastor Dave currently leaves in Northwood, Iowa, with his wife (Sarah), two children (Austin, 16, and Bella, 15), and mother-in-law (Maryell). He is the pastor to Bethlehem and Deer Creek Valley Lutheran Churches in Glenville, Minn. Please keep those congregations in your prayers – as excited as we are to welcome Pastor Dave, they are facing losing a beloved pastor!
The Glenville congregations are his first call as an ordained pastor. Early in his career he managed restaurants and taught band in the Twin Cities, and later he and Sarah, moved to California where he continued teaching middle school band and working as a church music minister.

In 2011, after feeling a calling to ordained ministry, the Efflandt family moved to Iowa where he began studies at Wartburg Theological Seminary. He was called to Bethlehem and Deer Creek Valley in 2015.

During his time in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod he has been active on the synod level including Committee to Elect a Bishop (current), Synod Assembly planning team, Minnesota Technology of Participation, mentor for first call pastors, and Power and Boundaries Facilitator.

According to his references, Pastor Dave:

  • “Loves his people”
  • “Works well with Staff”
  • “Previous life experience is invaluable”
  • “He is out in the community”
  • “Awesome”
  • “Not an ivory tower pastor”
  • “Very wise”
  • “His life experience strengthens his preaching”
  • “Strong leader”

As he focuses on the final days of his time in Glenville, Pastor Dave took the time to share:

People have been telling me what an amazing congregation St. John’s is, and I am so looking forward to getting to know you all in person. Whether in ministry, during worship, working alongside staff, or in fellowship, I look forward to hearing your stories of what it means to be church, to hear about your hopes and dreams for future ministry together, and to be a part of such a vibrant and growing community of faith. Thanks be to God for the ministry you have been a part of in the past, and for allowing our paths to cross for ministry together in the future. See you soon!

Plan to be at worship Sunday, March 3 as we formally install Pastor Dave!

February 2019 Messenger

Twice a year we publish a BIG issue of our newsletter with tons of updates on what we have been doing and what exciting things you can look forward to. 
 

Congratulations Sabelko family!

We’re excited to celebrate with Deacon Amanda and Justin Sabelko as they welcomed Tyler Odin Sabelko at 6:14 pm on February 3 at 6 lbs, 6 oz. All are healthy and doing well!

Amanda will be on parental leave until March 17.

Apply for funding

St. John’s Foundation accepting applications through March 31!

If your ministry group has a need that was not part of the 2019 budget, you may apply for Beyond the Budget funding from St. John’s Foundation.

If you are planning to attend an ELCA college in the 2019-2020 school year, the Foundation has scholarship funding available!

Both applications for funding are available at www.stjohnskasson.org/foundation or in the office. Application deadline is March 31.

Revive your soul!

This Lent we’ll revive our souls in a discussion of The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. If you’re feeling the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an overwhelmed soul, plan to join one of our small group discussions.

Groups will meet Thursdays at 7:00 pm, Saturdays at 10:00 am, and Sundays at 9:00 am. The study will take place March 7-April 14.

Hop on over to stjohnskasson.org/best-yes to sign up for the time that works best for you. We’re also looking for leaders for each time, which you can indicate right on the signup.

2018 Annual Report

At St. John’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 20 (11:30 am), the congregation will review the annual report from 2018 and vote on business for the future of the congregation.

Download the 2018 Annual Report here. We also shared some more details on our 2019 budget, specifically a categorical breakdown of expenses and of compensation.

We also encourage you to read through our narrative budget. Maybe an unfamiliar term, but this is the actual story of how our resources will be spent in 2019 and what we can do TOGETHER with your support!

New envelopes in 2019

New envelopes are now available at the Welcome Center and have been placed in the pew slots in the sanctuary with the hymnals. We are using these general offering envelopes instead of the personalized booklets we’ve used in the past. Please take as many as you think you will use. More will be available throughout the year. Please print your name on the envelope so we may ensure you get proper credit for your offering. This use of generic envelopes has helped us save over $2,000 in printing and mailing. Regular online giving is also appreciated – stjohnskasson.org/giving. Forms for automated giving are available at the Welcome Desk or download one here. St. John’s is grateful for your regular and special offerings to fund the ministry that we are able to do through your generosity.

Announcing our next pastor

St. John’s is excited to announce that Pastor Dave Efflandt will be joining us as our Lead Pastor on February 18, 2019. He will be formally installed at both worship services Sunday, March 3.

As we celebrate our next step in this transition, we also lift up the congregations of Bethlehem and Deer Creek Valley (Glenville, MN) as they enter into their own transition.

Congregational vote January 6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God.
~ Philippians 4:6

On December 11, St. John’s Leadership Council met with representatives from the Call Committee who presented an excellent candidate for our next lead pastor. By a unanimous vote, the recommendation was accepted. This is not the final “yes” for this candidate. This candidate is ready to accept a formal offer from us however, we as a congregation will vote to call the pastor to be our next Lead Pastor. We will have a special congregational meeting on Sunday, January 6 following the 10:15 worship. In order to extend a call, we will need a 2/3 majority vote saying “yes” to the candidate presented. All confirmed members are encouraged to attend and exercise their right to vote.

Please continue to pray for the process of calling our next Lead Pastor to St. John’s. It is through prayer and patience that we continue to move forward.

Some video scenes from our ministry in Haiti

St. John’s has a long standing relationship with Pastor Mioche Rock and his Christian ministries in Haiti. St. John’s worked in partnership with Pastor Mioche Rock to fulfill a dream of providing a Christian school in rural Bouyaha, Haiti.

Read More…

Christmas & Advent Special Events

  • Festival of Lessons & Carols
    Dec 9 | 8:00 am & 10:15 am
  • Grief Support Program & Lunch
    Dec 10 | 11:00 am
  • Children’s Christmas Program
    Dec 16 | 10:15 am
  • Senior Christmas Worship
    Dec 20 | 2:00 pm, dessert to follow
  • Christmas Eve
    Dec 24 | 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 10:00 pm
  • Christmas Day
    Dec 25 | 9:00 am
  • No worship
    Wed, Dec 26 or Jan 2
  • One service, coffee to follow
    Sun, Dec 30 | 9:00 am

More times and details about worship at St. John’s here.

Full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

Advent Devotions

Looking for a devotional to lead you through this season of Advent? Hark, the Glad Sound! devotions from Luther Seminary are available for you to pick up at the Welcome Center or download at www.luthersem.edu/advent There are other devotionals with a special focus on family-style resources on a dedicated shelf in the Library for you to borrow.

Giving Tree

There will be a variety of giving opportunities this holiday season on our giving tree in the narthex. Ornaments with ELCA Good Gifts items will be available, gift cards to resupply our Good Samaritan Fund, and a local family to support this Christmas. All items should be turned into the office no later than Sunday, December 23. Any checks should be made out to St. John’s Lutheran Church. Items for the local family should not be wrapped. Thank you in advance for your generosity! Any questions may be directed to Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org