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Busy building relationships this summer

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

In the midst of the break of summer, our students at St. John’s stay busy when it comes to faith formation and community building. June was a particularly busy month for those of us in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry.

The second week of June many of our 7th grade confirmation students attended camp at Sugar Creek in Wisconsin. We spent our week building community, in Bible studies, on a Christ hike, and in small groups re-centering our focus on Christ through the study of a book called #Struggles: Following Jesus in a selfie centered world.

The third week of June, Amanda and the Education Commission put together a spirit filled week of VBS for over 100 students! Our young people learned about the power they have through Christ in the VBS theme Hero Central! There was an amazing number of super heroes for Christ whooshing around St. John’s in June.

As I write this, 10 of our high school students are preparing for a week of faith formation in Houston at the 2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering. We will learn together through interactive learning stations, Bible study, service, and nationally known speakers during our time in Houston.

The second week of July, our middle school students will spend time building community through fun and fellowship at Action Packed Day Camp, with short daily devotions to center our time together in Christian community.

All of those things that I have written about above are great, and the numbers are inspiring. But, what I find inspiring and Holy Spirit filled is the amazing support of this congregation to make these events happen for our students. Where I see God is not in the numbers, but in the deep relationships I see being built at these events. I am inspired by the palpable presence of God in all that is happening. And to that, all God’s people said, AMEN!

June Special Events

  • Confirmation Camp
    June 10-15
  • Vacation Bible School
    June 18-22
  • Family Fun Night
    June 20, 5-8 pm
  • ELCA National Youth Gathering
    June 25-July 2

Find a full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

Summer Worship

We’re now on our summer worship schedule!

  • Sundays – 9:00 am followed by fellowship
  • Wednesdays – 6:30 pm at the fire pit
    (weather permitting, inside in case of rain)

Upcoming confirmation dates

6th graders: Mark your calendars for confirmation orientation. You and your parents should plan to attend Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 pm OR Sunday, May 6 at 9:10 am to learn more about your journey ahead.

8th graders: Plan to attend a meeting with your parents either Sunday, May 6 at 11:15 am OR Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 pm to help you understand the final requirements of your confirmation instruction.

Students in both grades will receive further information or talk to Lindsay (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110).

6th and 7th graders – registration will be sent to you and posted online soon!

New opportunities

Amanda Sabelko, Deacon
CYF Ministry Development Director

Wow – it feels like we were just here a few months ago! Another new year, full of anticipation! Which will probably fly by 🙂

This January there are a few changes taking place for Faith Formation at St. John’s.

First – we are going to be taking a new approach to our Faith Milestones. From January through April we will be using one lesson time each month to talk about a particular building block of faith. First through fourth grade students will learn about the Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, the Bible, and the sacrament of Holy Communion. Club 56 students will be concentrating on the Apostle’s Creed. Next year, we will implement a year-long program to delve deeper with all Preschool – 6th grades.

Second – Our confirmation large group learning times will be on Sundays 1-3 pm. During these learning opportunities, we are encouraging any and all community members to participate as well. The learning times will focus on learning the Bible and catechism. Click here for the full schedule.

Each of these new learning opportunities is meant to help you grow in your faith and build a closer relationship with God. Please join us!

2018 Large Group Sessions

All ages are invited to learn more about the Bible and the catechism at the upcoming confirmation large group sessions. These intergenerational opportunities will be Sundays from 1:00-3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We will go through the different sections of the Bible with group activities, video, and study. The schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday, January 7 – The Pentateuch, or the 1st five books of the Bible/Old Testament
  • Sunday, January 28 – The 4 Gospels
  • Sunday, February 4 – The History books of the Old Testament
  • Sunday, February 11 – The Book of Acts and Paul’s Letters
  • Sunday, March 4 – Wisdom Literature and Poetry (Psalms, Proverbs, etc/Prophets of the Old Testament
  • Sunday, March 18 – General Letters of the New Testament and the book of Revelation

Within the Old Testament studies we will also learn about the 10 commandments, 1st and 3rd articles of the Apostles’ Creed, and the people’s covenant with God. Within the New Testament studies we will cover the 2nd and 3rd articles of the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the sacraments.

Christmas Tree Auction

The confirmation small groups, along with a couple other groups, have decorated Christmas trees and other holiday decorations (pallet creations, wreaths) for the Advent season. They will be in the Fellowship Hall for you to bid on until Sunday, December 17. Proceeds from the auction go to help pay for confirmation summer camp.

Congratulations Confirmands

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Director

Another group of confirmands affirmed their baptismal promises on Sunday, October 1. Twenty-six young people who said and continue to say yes to the gift that Christ bestowed on them at baptism. I am always impressed with our students of all ages, but I want to brag about this group for a moment. Four of them are teaching Sunday School/Oasis this year (not to mention that 11 of our team of volunteers this year are current confirmation students or high school students). Two of them are children’s ministry assistants on Wednesday afternoons. They are teachers, musicians, service minded, and understand what it means to care for God’s people. They have a good grasp of the gospel message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. They are beginning to have a really strong grasp on the concept of the Trinity, and as someone who has worked with seminary students I can tell you this is not an easy thing. They hold the Bible as central to their faith, but are honest in realizing that they could do a better job of reading and studying it. In this day and age honesty when it comes to how we engage with our faith is essential. In their faith statements they wrote things like, “there is a place for us,” “God has my back,” “defined by God,” “God on my side,” and “Jesus wants us in eternal life.” These kids get it. They know what public confession of faith is for and why forgiveness is important. These kids, those who have gone before them, and those who come after them are earnest in their faith. Sometimes they just need a little help and room to grow. They need a safe space to develop and nurture their faith. Can we at St. John’s continue to give that to them? In the affirmation of baptism service, the minister asks the question of the assembled congregation, much like at a baptism service, “People of God, do you promise to support these sisters and brothers and pray for them in their life in Christ?” The response to this is simple and one that I know you will agree with me is what we all strive for, “We do, and we ask God to help and guide us.”

Fall education program registration now available

Summer is quickly coming to an end and it’s time to think about fall! Registration is available online or in the office for:

  • Sunday School (ages 3-4th grade)
  • Oasis Education (ages 3-4th grade)
  • Oasis Afterschool (kindergarten-6th grade)
  • Club 56 (grades 5-6)
  • Confirmation (grades 7-8)

More information about each of these programs and links for registration is available at www.stjohnskasson.org/lifelong-learning

Free AGAPE* Concert

On Wednesday, May 17, 7-9 pm (after Wednesday night worship), AGAPE* will be joining us at St. John’s for a FREE evening of music and storytelling. We will be collecting peanut butter and jelly (plastic containers only, please) for our Food for Friends program.

AGAPE* (Dave Scherer) combines rapping, dancing, storytelling, and his fluency in Spanish to connect with his listeners in a way that they really “get it.” His energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. You can find more information here.

agapeconcertflyer

Join us for breakfast!

Confirmation group serving on March 19

On Sunday, March 19, the Sunday Confirmation Group will be serving breakfast in the Fellowship Hall 8:30 am –10:30 am. All proceeds will benefit their trip to confirmation camp this summer.

Palm Sunday Brunch & Silent Auction

Youth will be serving breakfast and hosting a silent auction on Palm Sunday (April 9) to raise funds for camp this summer. They are seeking items that can be donated to the silent auction. If you have an item to donate, you may contact Lindsay at Lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or bring your item to the office.

breakfast

Order Easter Lilies by March 22

The confirmation students are selling Easter lilies to decorate the church building for Easter Sunday. You may purchase lilies – one for $15 or two for $25 – from any confirmation student. Proceeds from the sales will help pay for confirmation camp. Orders are due by March 22.

Great Christmas Tree Auction!

Thank you to all who bid on the beautiful Christmas trees to support the St. John’s confirmation campers. In total, the auction raised approximately $1,100. Thank  you for your support and we hope you enjoy your new trees!

Christmas Tree Auction

The confirmation groups at St. John’s have decorated the Fellowship Hall with their beautiful and creative Christmas trees. Now YOU have the chance to take home their creativity!

Now through 10:15 am on Sunday, December 18 you can place your silent auction bids. Bid sheets are right on the wall next to each tree – stop in any time.

Funds raised from the sale of these trees will support the campers as they go to confirmation camp Summer 2017.

The trees available:

16treeauction-believe 16treeauction-cars 16treeauction-movie 16treeauction-nativity 16treeauction-ornaments 16treeauction-snowflakes 16treeauction-snowman 16treeauction-traditional 16treeauction-wooden16treeauction-pallet 16treeauction-sports

Miss Amanda’s Musings

amandasabelko2016-1Amanda Sabelko
Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Development Director

Faith Formation Ministries
On November 2, Oasis kids will be packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We are looking for more donations of toys, school and health supplies – more information in this newsletter.

We will be giving out Prayer Pillows to 3-year-olds November 13 & 16. Anyone is welcome to receive this special gift. Three-year-olds will receive prayers to put in their pillows throughout the year!

This year’s Advent Festival will be November 29, 3:00–5:00 pm. Please join us for games and fellowship!! This will also be the kick off for the Christmas Tree Silent Auction put on by our Confirmation Classes. We are looking for different groups to provide an activity or craft during the event too! If your bible study group, commission, or even family would like to host an activity please reach out to me or another member of the Education Commission!

Confirmation service night

Wednesday, October 12 was one of St. John’s Confirmation Service nights. At St. John’s there are eight confirmation small groups that meet on Wednesday and one that meet on Sunday with a total of 70 students in grades 7-8. Each small group will do five service nights throughout this school year.

Pictured below is a group of 8th grade confirmation students who volunteered to help pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Volunteers pack rice, soy, dried vegetables, and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are then sealed, boxed, placed on pallets and shipped to partners working to reach the neediest children around the world. This small group of boys packed enough food to feed 42 kids for a whole year!

In addition to the group who packed meals, another group packed 55 boxes for Operation Christmas Child, another group took letters of appreciation to the fire station, several groups helped around St. John’s with preparations for the Advent Festival, and one group deep-cleaned and sanitized the nursery.

8th-grade-confirmation-serving-at-feed-my-starving-children-1 16-8th-grade-confirmation-serving-at-feed-my-starving-children-2 16-8th-grade-confirmation-serving-at-feed-my-starving-children-3