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Growing Young

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

In February’s Messenger article I spoke a little bit about the book, Growing Young, that comes out of the Fuller Youth Institute in California.

February’s article centered around the concept of the warm community and how important it is to get to know the people around you. By getting to know one another we are able to have empathy for one another’s joys and challenges. By getting to know one another we truly become the people of God, one body in Christ.

During this Lenten season I am contemplating and daily trying to sit with one of the other important concepts that comes out of that book, namely, to take Jesus’ message seriously. When I started to think about that concept in a real way I realized that I have some serious work to do. What is the main way that we can take Jesus’ message seriously? By pulling out our Bibles and engaging with God’s word every day. Now, as someone who works in a congregation for a living you would think that I get to do this on a regular basis, but when I thought about it I have fallen desperately short. The past year plus has been pretty busy not only at St. John’s, but also in my personal life as we work to figure out how to help our son, Oliver, overcome his apraxia of speech. Most days I find myself simply trying to make sure I have eaten enough and gotten what needs to happen taken care of.

But during this time of Lent I wanted things to be different. Small steps, for me, is the only way to really create a habit. When I overwhelm myself in an attempt to get it right the first time…that is usually when I find myself stumbling, falling, and going back to old habits. In trying to set an intention for this Lenten season I came across an excellent spiritual practice in the book we are reading for the moms’ book study, Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline. One of the practices which the author suggests is concentrating on your breathing. Try it. Breathe in slowly and completely, then hold for a second. Breathe out slowly and completely, then observe the moment between breaths. Try this a few times throughout your day. Be intentional. Think on this verse when you do, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). And just like that you have made something you do without thinking into a prayer, into worship.

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!

Bare Necessities

john-allen-2-webPastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

At the age of 24, Apsley Cherry-Garrard was one of the youngest members of Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica (1910-1913), in support of Scott’s dream of being the first to discover the South Pole. “Cherry” had lived a life of privilege and luxury. He fit well the description being “born with a silver spoon in his mouth.” But, there were no luxuries at all on this expedition. The men of the Terra Nova endured two winters of unimaginable hardship — living on the edge of survival. Strangely enough, Gerrard learned to appreciate the bare necessities of life. “The luxuries of civilization,” he wrote, “satisfy only those wants which they themselves create.”

During lent we are reminded of the luxuries we have and take for granted. These luxuries are not only habit forming, but they create a desire for more. The miracles of the smartphone we own make us wonder how much more awesome the next generation will be.  Lines form outside the Apple Store every time there is a new release, which we believe we can scarcely live without. Cherry Gerrard had to be removed from all of his luxuries before he appreciated the simple pleasures of existence. These forty days of life without some of the addictive luxuries of life might be enough to liberate us from the wants that our luxuries create.

Thoughts on Lenten practices

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

The season of Lent is upon us again. Lent is a contemplative time. A time when we hear the phrase, “what are you giving up for Lent?” I have known people who have given up everything from chocolate to soda to smoking. It was never something I thought much about, as it was not a tradition that I was brought up with, and then the day before Ash Wednesday when I checked Facebook I noticed a post a friend of mine made. She said, “When did Lent become New Year’s 2.0?” That struck me as I have been trying to set my own Lenten intention. Is that what we have turned this season into? Just one more holiday that we enter into with good intentions, and then set aside when the restrictions become too difficult once we have made it only half way through the season? Perhaps, but I hope you will take a moment with me to consider a different way to approach Lent. Instead of viewing this season as another fly-by holiday, that we begin by celebrating with gusto and high expectations of ourselves that will just be set by the wayside later, perhaps we could simply set an intention to bring ourselves closer to God. Take 5-10 minutes every day for some quiet. Turn off your phone. Read a Bible passage. Do some yoga while you say the Lord’s Prayer. Quiet your mind by doing some coloring. Do anything that will shut out the world for a few minutes and allow you to talk to the God who made you. The God who loves you so deeply that he sent his Son to die for you on the cross. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Try it and see what happens. Let me know how it goes.

Journey to the Cross – Holy Week Worship

 Journey to the Cross web

Palm/Passion Sunday
March 20-27, 2016
8:00 am & 10:15 am
You are invited to journey through the last week of Jesus’ life, beginning with his celebratory entrance into Jerusalem and ending with his death on the cross five days later. We’ll use a combination of music, slides and readings, as the entire congregation participates in the story of those final days. You will then be ready to delve deeper into those final hours with the Seder Meal on Wednesday and the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services later that week.

Seder Meal & Worship
March 23
6:30 pm
Read more about the Seder Meal, a Jewish tradition, here. It is helpful to know how many people to plan for, so be sure to check out the RSVP info and sign up to bring something if you’re able to help out.

Maundy Thursday
March 24
11:00 am & 6:30 pm
We remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. At the 6:30 pm service, our 4th graders celebrate their First Communion!

Good Friday
March 25
6:30 pm
We remember the darkness of the crucifixion.

Easter Sunday
March 27
6:30 am, 8:00 am, & 10:15 am
We celebrate the resurrection during an Easter morning celebration! The 6:30 am sunrise service will lead us from the dark of the tomb to the light of Easter with a blended worship style. The 8:00 am and 10:15 am services will be traditional services.

CKP Sunday is March 13, Preschool Registration Starts

CKP Sunday is March 13. It is a big day for Creation Kids Preschool! The children will have many of their projects on display and will sing at the 10:15 am service.

The children are inviting their families and friends to come to this service. Some of the students are members of other congregations so help us welcome them. We will be serving coffee between services and hope you will be able to join us.

Enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year will begin that day. Board and staff members will be available to answer any questions you might have.

CKP will also serve chicken and wild rice soup for the Lent soup supper Wednesday, March 16.

Seder Meal 2016

Cancelled!

Due to predictions of dangerous road conditions, we have cancelled this service.

Join us for a traditional Jewish Seder meal and worship service Wednesday, March 23, 6:30 pm. We need to plan, so let us know if you’re coming and if you can help by bringing an item. See the below for descriptions of what is needed.

What is a Seder? Click here for more information.

Ready to sign up? RSVP and (if desired) sign up to bring at item or sign up in the office or at the Welcome Center.

Seder Meal Needs

If you’re coming to the Seder Meal & Worship on Wednesday, April 1, 6:30 pm, you can help by bringing one of the following!

  • Matzos – Small crackers or unleavened bread.
    Need: 2 families to bring 100 pieces each
  • Bitter Herbs – romaine lettuce leaves
    Need: 3 families to bring 50-75 leaves each
  • Grape Juice – red grape juice, frozen concentrate
    Need: 2 families to bring 3 large cans (or 9 small cans) each
  • Charoset – 8 cups finely chopped apples, 4 cups finely chopped almonds or walnuts, 8 teaspoons of cinnamon, a little orange juice to help mix items together
    Need: 2 families to bring one batch each
  • Beitzah – hard boiled eggs
    Need: 3 families to bring 50 each
  • Karpas – parsley
    Need: 2 families to bring 75 each

Lenten Devotions

Are you looking for a devotional practice during this Lenten season?

Pastor Dana sends out daily email devotions. Her theme has moved into Lent, so if you want to take part in this devotion practice, email her at dana@stjohnskasson.org to get on the list!

Also, we’ll be posting short reflections each day on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up by text message – text “follow @stjohnskasson” without quotes to 40404 (standard text rates apply) and you’ll get all of St. John’s Tweets, including the Lenten reflections, by text. You don’t need to be a Twitter user. If you’d prefer to receive them by email, click here to sign up. Each day you’ll receive something short – a quote, an image, a song, or something else!

Seder Meal 2015

Join us for a traditional Jewish Seder meal and worship service Wednesday, April 1, 6:30 pm. We need to plan, so let us know if you’re coming and if you can help by bringing an item. See the below for descriptions of what is needed.

What is a Seder? Click here for more information.

Ready to sign up? RSVP and (if desired) sign up to bring at item or sign up in the office or at the Welcome Center.

Seder Meal Needs

If you’re coming to the Seder Meal & Worship on Wednesday, April 1, 6:30 pm, you can help by bringing one of the following!

  • Matzos – Small crackers or unleavened bread.
    Need: 4 families to bring 100 pieces each
  • Bitter Herbs – romaine lettuce leaves
    Need: 3 families to bring 50-75 leaves each
  • Grape Juice – red grape juice, frozen concentrate
    Need: 2 families to bring 3 large cans (or 9 small cans) each
  • Charoset – 8 cups finely chopped apples, 4 cups finely chopped almonds or walnuts, 8 teaspoons of cinnamon, a little orange juice to help mix items together
    Need: 2 families to bring one batch each
  • Beitzah – hard boiled eggs
    Need: 3 families to bring 50 each
  • Karpas – parsley
    Need: 2 families to bring 75 each

Lenten Worship Opportunities

Lent tree of life feature

Through this Lenten worship and study, we hope to answer some of those questions, arrive at what all those messages are telling us and learning how we can use the book of Revelation to help us.

Lenten Worship:

  • Sun. Mar. 1 – The Lamb of God – Rev. 5:1-4
  • Wed. Mar. 4 – The Seven Seals and Seven Trumpets – Rev. 6:1-17
  • Sun. Mar. 8 – God’s Plan – Rev. 11:1-13
  • Wed. Mar. 11 – Evil Exposed – Rev. 12:13-13:8, 16-18
  • Sun. Mar. 15 – Pick a Side – Rev. 14:1-20
  • Wed. Mar. 18 – The Fall of Rome – Rev. 17:1-18:5
  • Sun. Mar. 22 – Pictures of the End – Rev. 19:11-16, 20:11-15
  • Wed. Mar. 25 – The New Jerusalem – Rev. 21:1-10, 22:7

Wednesday night worship at 5:20 pm and 6:30 pm, Sunday morning at 8:00 am and 10:15 am.

Lenten Soup Suppers

During Lent, different groups are serving soup each Wednesday 4:45-6:30 pm. Join us!

  • March 4 – Vegetable with Roast Beef – Education Commission
  • March 11 – Chicken Wild Rice – CKP
  • March 18 – Chicken Noodle – Confirmation classes
  • March 25 – Cheeseburger Soup – Youth & Family Commission
  • April 1 – Passover Seder Meal & Worship at 6:30 pm