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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.

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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

What’s coming up in youth ministry

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

The air is turning crisp and the first leaves have started to change color. There is no denying that fall is upon us. Of course, with fall comes the hectic pace of school as well as programs here at St. John’s. Confirmation is in full swing as we organize small groups and get schedules in place. High school youth are getting themselves plugged in to opportunities for service throughout the congregation as junior leaders for confirmation, Sunday School and Oasis teachers/assistants, and being of service to the larger Kasson-Mantorville community.

This year we will be concentrating on equipping parents, students, and everyone in the congregation to live out their passion for service, provide opportunities for learning, and continue the work of being God’s hands and feet in the world. In an attempt to make serving easier in the midst of busy schedules the St. John’s Youth and Family Commission is committed to providing a congregational wide (open to all ages) service opportunity and learning opportunity each month. This month’s service opportunity will be a highway clean-up on Saturday, October 8 from 10am-12pm. We will meet at the church and head out to do some work beautifying our community. Our learning opportunity will be the 3rd in our Bible introductory sessions during confirmation on Wednesday evenings. Join us for an evening of delving into the New Testament on Wednesday, October 5 at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall.

During confirmation interviews we have been reviewing the Affirmation of Baptism service that they will take part in (this is the confirmation service). As a part of the vows that students will agree to is the line “live among God’s faithful people.” Every time we help others, every time we participate in service, or take part in our community whether in the church building or in the wider world we are living out our lives among God’s faithful people. I look forward to continue to serve with you all as God’s hands and feet in the world. If you have any questions or suggestions of events, please let me know!

Lifelong Learning Opportunities

At St. John’s we believe that faith formation is ongoing and for all ages.

  • Sunday School or Oasis Education (Wednesday evenings) – 3-year-old through 4th grade students gather to learn about God and grow in their faith
  • Club 56 – (Sunday morning or Wednesday evenings) – 5th and 6th graders gather to learn about God and grown in their faith
  • Oasis Afterschool – faith-based programming after school for kindergarten through 6th grade.
  • Confirmation – 7th & 8th grade programming, confirmation celebration is held for 9th graders
  • Adult Education – various opportunities are offered throughout the year. Always check news and the webpage for what’s coming up!

If cost is keeping you from participating in any of St. John’s educational opportunities, download the Education Scholarship Form.

 

Thank you from our confirmation campers

RandyFettPastor Randy Fett
Lead Pastor

Thank you on behalf of the summer confirmation class trip campers and families for all of the support of fundraisers from the congregation, and for the scholarships and travel money form Thrivent, St. John’s Foundation Board, and WELCA. The students were nurtured and taught about Bible and the faith, celebrated Christian community and service, and took adventures in horseback riding, kayaking and paddle boarding, Mountain biking, and hiking. Yes, it was faith experience. Everyone loves this camp. If you see a student make sure you ask them about the “Outlaw” experience. They hope to share stories at the Sunday, July 17 worship service. Thank you.

What we were up to last month

  • We kicked off our Worship in the Park Wednesday night worship experience
  • Food for Friends continues with an option for families to pick up food here at St. John’s.
  • Approximately 80 kids joined us for “Around the World VBS”
  • 18 confirmation students and their adult chaperones travelled to South Dakota for confirmation camp.

Drivers and/or Vans Needed

Needed: 7-8 passenger vehicles for the summer confirmation camp trip June 24-July 1, 2016. EITHER volunteer your vehicle for our adult chaperones to drive OR volunteer to drive to camp (Friday, June 24, returning home Sunday, June 26) and/or back (driving to camp Thursday, June 30 and returning home on Friday, July 1. To volunteer, talk to Pastor Randy (rfett@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110) or Lindsay (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110).