Expect Positive Change

Pastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

I wish all of you could know the amount and quality of time and work your Transition Team has put in, and how rewarding it has been. The Transition Team is a group of eight specially chosen members, plus myself. They were assigned by the congregation council with five developmental tasks to help our congregation renew, refresh and plan for the future. We are intentionally taking some significant time to assure that your congregation has a clear sense of mission and direction, in order to attract and call a pastor with the commensurate skills to lead you into to the future to which God is calling you.

Here are the five developmental tasks:

  1. Come to terms with the past of the congregation
  2. Discover a new identity
  3. Enable positive change in leadership
  4. Renew relationships with the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and other expressions of the wider Church of Christ.
  5. Commit to new directions in ministry.

The team members have, so far, put in more than two hours each week, reading, thinking, discussing, and wrestling with the tasks listed above. We only wish you could know how enlightening and rewarding it has been for us as a group. And there is so much more to do.

Right now the team is looking for effective and creative ways to engage you in that same conversation. The team is now planning small forums for as many groups as they can gather to share what they have learned and also listen to your reflections. Small blue flyer is available at worship services and at the welcome desk with very general bullet statements, to invite you into the conversation.Please take advantage of these group meetings, and invite team members to your groups.

Here are the names of Transition Team members:

  • Dick Buckwalter
  • Marlo Bungum
  • Madi Flickinger
  • Nancy Johnson
  • Jen Smith
  • Tim Tjosaas
  • Jodie Tvedt
  • Ariana Wright
  • Pastor John Allen

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.”

Participate on October 11

Our Southeastern Minnesota Synod’s bishop, Steven Delzer, will join us on†Wednesday, October 11. He will preach in worship and lead us in a town-hall-style meeting afterward. We will hear more about how the synod will help guide us on this process of defining our congregation and seeking out our future leaders. It is a great time to ask questions about the coming months.

Trunk or Treat

St. John’s will be a part of KM Community Ed’s Community Trick or Treating on Sunday, October 29 from 3:30-5:00 pm. We’ll be doing a Trunk or Treat in the parking lot. Decorate your vehicle and come on out! Our trunks will have non-food treats to allow children with allergies and diabetes to also have a safe place to trick-or-treat. Questions? Talk to Amanda or (507) 634-7110.

Reformation Celebration Services Sunday, October 29

By Clark Johnson

What would you plan for a major anniversary party? St. John’s is preparing to celebrate the 500 Anniversary of the Reformation. When in 1517 Martin Luther stated that we are saved by faith alone, he had no intention of starting a movement that would eventually lead to a break with the Roman Catholic Church. Luther’s strong faith and that of others to follow resulted in the Protestant Reformation. Historians believe this Reformation was one of the most important and influential events in history. We certainly need to celebrate!

Every Monday we share a bit of wisdom from Martin Luther on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Check out the full #MartinMonday series for more.

At the 8:00 and 10:15 services on October 29 we will celebrate with word and song. We will revisit the music and thoughts of Martin Luther with the help of ìClassic Brass,î an outstanding professional brass ensemble based in Rochester. Luther felt that music was a gift from God and a talent to be shared. He understood the tremendous benefit resulting from hearing the Word of God and then uniting as a congregation to offer thanksgiving in song. This is exactly our recipe for celebration. Please plan to join with the organ, brass, and choir as we celebrate our great heritage as Lutherans.

Celebrating the Saints Nov 5

Sunday, November 5 is the day we celebrate All Saints Day. We will be reading the names of members who have passed and lighting candles in memory of any saints for which you wish to come forward. If you have a loved one who has passed in the last year who you would like listed in our printed list, please contact the office by October 30 ((507) 634-7110 or