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Building lifelong faith during the summer

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

Happy July, everyone! It has been an incredibly busy summer in youth ministry and only one month of summer is done! The second week of June, 40 4th-8th grade students participated in Action Packed Day Camp. This is 15 more students than our typical maximum number! The third week of June, 16 of our middle school and high school students attended Sugar Creek Bible Camp for confirmation camp and high school programs. Later in July, we are taking 42 of our high school students to San Diego for a week of service. That is almost 100 students taking part in our programming!

At the end of June I had a chance to sit in on Pastor Dave’s final table talk. It was really great to have conversation with a large group of folks who shared stories and pieces of St. John’s history, present, and dreams for the future. One particular comment really struck me. One member stated just how important being an adult leader for youth trips was in their faith journey. It was heartening to hear just how invested our adults have always been when it comes to cultivating the faith life of our young people.

In the spirit of this emphasis on our youth I wanted to take a minute to share just a few of the ways that our youth make ministry at St. John’s happen. Our high school families serve coffee every Sunday during the school year. Our middle school and high school students serve as the majority of station and crew leaders for our Vacation Bible School program each summer. Students provide special music at many of our worship services on both Sundays and Wednesdays. High school students serve as leaders and assistants in our Action Packed Day Camp, Oasis Afterschool program, and as Sunday school/Oasis teachers. When we think of how amazing our volunteers at St. John’s are and everything that they make possible let’s also not forget how lucky we are to have such talented and faithful youth volunteers as well!

Keep our summer travelers in your prayers

Summer is here and we have young people venturing out on all kinds of exciting adventures. Thank you to all who have supported them in preparing for these experiences. Let’s all pray for safe travels and positive experiences for all of them!

  • Action Packed Day Camp – June 10-13
  • VBS – June 24-28
  • Confirmation Camp – June 16-21
  • San Diego Service Trip – July 28-August 4

2019 Haiti Mission Trip

Unfortunately, the Haiti Mission trip has been postponed. Due to the current civic unrest and crime in Haiti there is a Department of State travel advisory. The group will continue to raise funds for the projects they are supporting as discussed below.

On March 21-28, 2019, eight people from southeastern Minnesota will travel to visit our mission partners in Haiti. From St. John’s: Jen Smith, Emilie and Luckinger Hilaire, Wayne Hendrickson, and Dennis Foster. From Rochester Central Lutheran School: Missy Tjosaas. And from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Island: Pastor Marie Anderson and Kari Toft.

Planned projects:

  • Children’s VBS in Bouyaha and in Pignon
  • Taking student pictures in Bouyaha
  • Women’s bible study
  • Health education and wellness clinics
  • Food distribution to Families in Bouyaha
  • Basic sewing classes
  • Solar powered computer lab at the school in Bouyaha
  • Rehabbing Bouyaha homes (cement floor, roof repair)
  • Funding for a truck (partnership with two other congregations)

Before the trip, St. John’s is working to raise $15,000 for three of these projects:

  • $4,500 for a solar powered computer lab. This will include the solar power infrastructure and 11 laptop computers.
  • $4,000 will go to providing cement floors and metal roofs for homes in Bouyaha, upgrading from dirt floors and makeshift roofs.
  • $6,500 is St. John’s portion of a total $20,000 goal for a reliable pickup truck. Two congregations in Illinois will share the total cost. We’re also looking for leads on a 2004-2010 3/4 or 1 ton, 4-door, diesel, 4 WD, manual transmission pickup with reasonable mileage.

There are ways the team is asking for help meeting this goal:

  • Come to the February 20 Oasis meal. Donations will go to support these projects. A pizza supper will be served 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
  • Join us again for a Pulled Pork Luncheon on Sunday, March 17 starting at 11:30 am.
  • Cash donations are always welcome! Cash or check to St. John’s Lutheran Church clearly marked for Haiti Mission can be placed in the weekly offering or left in the office.

All funds raised will directly toward those we serve. Each team member is paying his or her own expenses. 

Your prayers are also needed! Pray for:

  • The team as they travel
  • The team as they complete God’s work
  • The students in Bouyaha
  • Pastor Mioche and his staff

High School Service Trip 2019

Students in 9-12 grade (2018-2019) are invited to join the 2019 summer youth trip to San Diego. We will be traveling to a YouthWorks site July 28-August 4, 2019. Service activities will include serving at a food bank, clothing distribution center, and homeless shelter. Participants will also engage in educational experiences regarding the current refugee and immigrant crisis. An informational meeting will be on Sunday, October 14 at 9:10 am in the Fireside Room.

More info:

July 28-August 4, 2019 (may depart earlier depending on travel arrangements)
Open to students in grades 9-12 (2018-2019)
Register by November 4 to ensure a spot.
$50 deposit due at time of registration.