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Holy Week Worship

  • No Wednesday Worship
  • Maundy Thursday – 11:00 am & 6:30 pm with First Communion
  • Good Friday – 6:30 pm
  • Easter Sunday – 6:30 am (Blended Sunrise Service), 8:00 am (Traditional Festival Service), & 10:15 am (Traditional Festive Service)

What will St. John’s look like going forward?

Pastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

I’ve heard it recognized a number of times, “this interim is different than the others before it.” I hope it is, because that difference is intentional. When it is complete, we will have spent about eighteen months reflecting, analyzing, dreaming, and visioning. Of course, the main expectation is that you will call a new “settled” senior pastor, and possibly an additional pastor after that. But, what else should we expect for the future. What difference will you see for the effort made?

There is a book called The Unstuck Church. In it, author Tony Morgan describes stages of growth and decline that congregations experience in their natural lives. The title implies that congregations or ministries can get stuck in any of those stages, and it takes vision, insight, and perseverance to move from one stage to a healthier one. Morgan labels the seven stages: Launch, Momentum Growth, Strategic Growth, Sustained Health, Maintenance, Preservation, and Life-Support. Honestly speaking, St. John’s most likely fits the description of “Maintenance,” meaning we’re working pretty hard just to keep the status quo.

Our vision for the future, however, borrows some of the best attributes of a momentum growth congregation, to jump start a path to sustained health. Imagine this being the description of St. John’s ministry:

  1. We will have an “outward focus.” That is, we will not be “unashamed about [our] desire to reach people for Jesus.”
  2. “There’s a lot of buzz.” We will be known in the community by word-of-mouth.
  3. “Creativity and innovation (therefore change) will be expected.” We will be “risk driven.”
  4. We will be “driven by personality.” For better or worse, the ministry will often be identified with the senior pastor, but we will “multiply the voices and personalities that carry out the ministry strategy.”
  5. We will “begin to focus [our] vision.” We will “mark out the specifics of where [our] ministries are heading in the future. There will always be “a new mountain the ministry team intends to take on.”
  6. We will “begin to give leadership away.” We will “recognize the one person can’t call all the shots.” We will seek out and raise up leaders within the congregation.

This sounds a lot like what your congregation council and transition team have been working on. It describes an exciting future, “unstuck” and moving forward. This is my hope and prayer for you. May God so inspire and ordain it.

God Bless.

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.

Lenten Book Study for Moms

Lindsay is leading a book study for moms Thursdays 12:30-1:30 pm and Sundays 9:10-10:10 am. They are reading Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNiel. Talk to Lindsay if you need a copy of the book or childcare arrangements (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org).

Volunteer or donate for Doing Day

The Women of the ELCA of our congregation will host a “Doing Day” on Wednesday, March 21. You are invited to come any time after 8:00 am (usually wrapping up by about 2:00 pm) to help pack kits to help benefit people around the world and in the United States and/or help prepare quilts. We will take time out for morning coffee and devotions and a potluck lunch. Find a list of required items below, in the Snippets at the Welcome Center, or on the WELCA bulletin board. Questions? Contact Gail Jensen at (507) 633-2467 or (507) 951-3367.

  • child-size blunt tip scissors
  • 24 count crayons
  • pencil sharpeners
  • 12” rulers that include centimeter on one side and inches on the other
  • 70-sheet notebooks (wide or college rule)
  • ball point pens (black or blue)
  • 2½” erasers
  • sturdy combs
  • pick-style combs
  • jar or tubes of petroleum jelly (approx 4 oz or larger)
  • heavy duty kitchen style gloves (size medium)
  • nail clippers
  • cloth diapers
  • light weight bath towels
  • hand towels (preferably dark colors)
  • soap (ivory or unscented is preferred, individually wrapped)
  • infant-size clothing (6-18 m sizes – T-shirts, sleepers without feet and cotton knit sleep sacks)
  • new or gently used sheets double sized or larger fitted sheets, twin sized or larger flats
  • flannel pillow cases

 

CKP Sunday & Open House

On Sunday, March 4, we will celebrate the ministry of Creation Kids Preschool on “CKP Sunday.” Please help us welcome the special guests and visitors who come to share the day with the children.

Then on Tuesday, March 6, CKP will host an open house from 5:00-6:30 pm. All families are invited to meet the staff and board members and check out our facilities and the programs we offer.

Registration is now available for the ‘18-’19 school year. Available at these events or at www.stjohnskasson.org/preschool

Meals to support our youth

The youth attending the 2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering will be serving two upcoming meals.

On Palm Sunday, March 25 they will serve breakfast between the morning services. The menu will be egg bake, muffins, fruit, juice, and coffee. There will also be a silent auction. Lindsay will take any donations that you would like to contribute until Friday, March 23. Come enjoy a wonderful breakfast as we prepare our hearts and souls for Holy Week.

On Friday, April 20 they will cook and serve at the American Legion Burger Night in Kasson. Join us for burgers and fries at the great price of $8 a plate. Serving will be 5:30-7:30 pm. There will also be a meat raffle. We look forward to seeing you there and doing the cooking for you!

 

First Communion classes

Fourth graders will have two First Communion preparation sessions. These classes will be on Saturday afternoons March 10 & 24 from 1-3 pm. It is expected that you attend both classes. At least one parent or guardian is expected to attend class with their student. We believe it is important for families to be involved with one another’s faith journey, and this is the perfect opportunity to learn with one another!

Students will celebrate First Communion with their family during worship on Maundy Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 pm.

For more info, questions, or if your older student wishes to take the classes contact Deacon Amanda at (507) 634-7110 or amanda@stjohnskasson.org