Ongoing opportunities this summer

  • Adult Bible Forum with Pastor John
    Sundays, 10:00 am
    Conversation going deeper into scripture.
  • Prayer Group with Pastor Nirmala
    Mondays, 10:00 am
    We pray for our congregation, community, and world.
  • Lutheran 101 with Pastor John
    Thursdays, 6:00 pm
    Learn more about the fundamentals of Lutheran faith, practice, and teaching.

Lutheran 101

Are you interested in learning or reviewing the fundamentals of Lutheran faith, practice, and teaching? Pastor John will lead Lutheran 101 on a weekday evening during the summer. Sign up in the office or welcome desk and mark your preference for date and time OR click here to sign up online.

Milestone Celebration

In all worship services on May 13 and May 16 we’re having a celebration! Our 1st – 6th grade students will be sharing what they’ve learned about the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Bible, the Sacraments, and the Apostle’s Creed with the whole congregation. Students will also receive a special gift—a small stone (“milestone,” if you will) to remind them of what they learned this year!

Read more about our Milestone Ministries.

Rummage Sale

Mark your calendars and gather your items. The Education Commission’s rummage sale is May 11 and 12, 2018. We will begin accepting donations April 29. No furniture or electronics, please.

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 ( 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!

Thank You

amandasabelko2016-1Deacon Amanda Sabelko
CYF Ministry Development Coordinator

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our Faith Formation volunteers and staff this past year! From our Sunday and Oasis teachers to our adult education leaders, and confirmation guides we could not have gotten through this whole year without your support and dedication to the faith life of our congregation and its visitors. Thank you also to Country Pleasures & the Confirmation groups for your work with the Oasis Meals. We have been truly blessed by your service!

Vacation Bible School

This June 19-23 at St. John’s we will be learning about God’s love through the stories of Dr. Seuss! From 8:30-11:30 am each day we will learn how God helps us to care for creation and each other!

Sign up today, it’s free!

3 years – 4th grade (2016-2017)

For questions or to volunteer contact Amanda at (507) 634-7110 or

A Dr. Seuss VBS

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!

The Advent Conspiracy – a 5-week Bible study


Sundays, 9:10 – 10:00 am
November 13, 20, December 4, 11, 18
Fireside Room
Cost: $10

Did you know we spend over $450 billion on Christmas every year? In this study we’ll be learning about ways we can turn from our consumerist culture and be compassionate by spending less, giving more, loving all, and worshipping fully this holiday season.

For any questions, contact Amanda Sabelko – or (507) 634-7110.

(Registration and payment are closed.)


An easy way to pray & bless each day

Amanda Sabelko CYF Ministry Development Director

Amanda Sabelko
CYF Ministry Development Director

Amanda Sabelko, AIM
CYF Ministry Development Coordinator

Over the past few months Lindsay and I have been walking through the Faith 5. We’ve learning about sharing highs and lows, reading a Bible verse or story and talking about the Bible reading as it relates to our highs and lows.

This month we’ll be looking at the last two steps of Faith 5 – prayer and blessing.

Pray. Take your highs and lows to God in prayer: 1) Thank and praise Jesus for the highs; 2) Ask the Holy Spirit’s help with the lows; 3) Close in Jesus’ name.

Bless. Close your evening with a simple blessing. Trace a cross on each other’s foreheads while saying – “You are a blessed Child of God.”

Even if your family was to do these last two steps each day, imagine how it might change your perspective.  Taking our excitement and worries to God calms the soul. And the daily reminder that you belong to God can empower you and your children to live like Jesus every day!

Learn more at and on the bookmarks at the Welcome Center or in the office.



Yes3Yes!3 is an adult education course starting Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

Yes!3 Is Not Your Ordinary Christian Education Program

Yes!3 is an experiential study program designed to use the participants’ faith resources (however those resources are perceived and understood) in the pursuit of creating a life in which they can say Yes! to God, Yes! to their neighbor and Yes! to themselves, without significant reference to the content of that faith.

About the Yes!3 Program

  • Vision without action is an empty dream.
  • Action without vision is mindless chaos.
  • Vision embodied in loving action is purposeful living.

Since we will spend the rest of our lives in the future
we need to ensure that the future we imagine and create
is the future we would prefer to live in.

Basic assumptions of Yes!3

“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it,
listen for what it intends to do with you.”
Parker Palmer

  • We are made for a purpose .
  • We have been fully equipped with gifts and talents to fulfill that purpose.
  • We most closely manifest our purpose when we are at our best, being and doing those things that flow from the core of our being and bring deep satisfaction.
  • Life and the abundant life that Jesus promised comes from what we deeply and profoundly say yes to, for it is in what we say Yes! to that we manifest our God given purpose.
  • Rather than egotistically creating your own life, Yes!3 uses appreciative inquiry and conversation to help you awaken to the life-giving purpose that is already within you. This is based on the following assumption: “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.” – Frederick Buechner

From the Authors

At its heart Yes!3 simply assumes and uses the belief that we are created by a loving God for a loving purpose. It is our hope and prayer that participants will discover that purpose and lovingly manifest it in the world in a way which is a blessing to others and themselves and evokes wonder and awe of the

One who created it all. In the course you will gain a core understanding of living a life of passion.


Five Wednesdays, 7-8:30 pm, May 25 – June 22

and One Saturday, June 11, 9 am – 3 pm.



Registration Required

Register by signing up at St. John’s Welcome Center or office, calling (507) 634-7110, or emailing

10 Minutes to Stay Connected to God

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

Last month Amanda began walking us through the Faith 5 by looking closely at the first step: Share highs and lows. This month we will take a closer look at the next two steps in the Faith 5: 2. Read a Bible verse or story and 3. Talk about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs and lows.

Read. Explore the power of God’s Word. Reading Bible stories as a part of bedtime routine can enrich a child’s faith, emotional health, and spiritual imagination.

Talk. What happens when God’s Word is applied to the highs and lows of each day? What does it do to a child, a parent, a family to come together nightly seeking God’s wisdom and will?

Ten minutes feels unattainable in the midst of busy schedules. I know that in my own home trying to get ten minutes to quietly talk with my husband while wrangling a very active toddler feels practically impossible. And yet, somehow we figure out a way to at least once a week take time to do these things.

God’s place in our lives is important at every age. These steps are a simple way to help us stay connected to one another and to God.
Learn more at and on the bookmarks at the Welcome Center or in the office.

Teaching Faith at Home

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

I recently attended a conference at Luther Seminary that concentrated on Martin Luther as a pastoral theologian, meaning how Luther functioned as a pastor and how he taught people about their faith. Luther was a big advocate of empowering parents to teach their children about faith. Our goal at St. John’s is similar; we want to empower families and parents to teach and learn together. Most people are only in church for two hours a week, at most, which means they need engagement with the Bible and their faith outside the church walls. Where do you start? The Faith 5 from Faith Inkubators, the curriculum that we use with our confirmation students, is an excellent starting point and can be done in your home every night, no matter your age. We will be talking more about how to share our faith and how to make these discipleship practices part of our everyday lives. For now, here is a good place to start.

  1. Share highs and lows of the day.
  2. Read a Bible verse or story.
  3. Talk about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs & lows.
  4. Pray for one another’s highs & lows.
  5. Bless one another.

Learn more at and watch for the bookmarks with the Faith 5 that we have available at St. John’s!

First Communion Classes

We will be hosting First Communion classes for 4th graders (or any student who missed it previously). Parents are also welcome to attend!

Classes will be Wednesdays, February 24, March 2, March 9, and March 16, 2016, from 3:45-4:45 pm. Students must attend all sessions. Students who do not attend Oasis Afterschool are welcome to ride the Blue Bus from school to St. John’s on these days at no charge. Contact Amanda if interested – or (507) 634-7110 ext. 14.

There will be a First Communion Service on Maundy Thursday, March 24, 2016, at 6:30 pm.

Download the information and registration form and return the registration to the office by February 24.

Faith Formation Ministries

Amanda Sabelko CYF Ministry Development Director

Amanda Sabelko
CYF Ministry Development Director

Amanda Sabelko
CYF Ministry Development Director

  • On November 4, Oasis kids will pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We do need more donations of toys, school supplies, and health items. For more information, please contact Tanya Young,
  • We will be giving out Prayer Pillows to 3-year-olds on November 8 and 11. Anyone is welcome to receive this special gift. Three-year-olds will receive prayers to put in their pillows throughout the year!
  • On November 11, there will be a family packing party for Operation Christmas Child. Bring your whole family and help to pack a box for a special child! Contact Tanya Young with questions.
  • There will be an Advent Festival, November 29 from 2:00-5:00 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.