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Look for God every day

LindsayColwell 2017webLindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

When people aren’t familiar with the type of job that I have or are not familiar with St. John’s they tend to say to me as the school year winds to a close, “Things must be slowing down for you now that the school year is ending, right?” Usually that produces a laugh from me and the comment, “No, I am actually MUCH busier in the summer.” I spend my summer preparing last-minute details for the high school and confirmation trips, putting together summer mid-week worship with Amanda, and trying desperately to get everything ready for the coming school year. Three months sounds like a lot of time, but in reality it goes by in a flash.

This summer in mid-week worship around the fire pit we are using a book called Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. The book outlines how everything from waking up in the morning to checking email to going to bed are sacred practices in the life of our faith. We are also spending time concentrating on prayer. How can we not only make prayer a more regular part of our lives, but how can we pray for one another. One of the things that we are trying out is writing our prayer requests for the week on a Post-It note and then at the end of the service taking home someone else’s prayer request to include in our own prayers. Busy lives get in the way of our faith at times, but perhaps if we spend a little time shifting our perspective about what prayer looks like we will see that our entire day can be seen as a prayer. I have a quote up in my office that says, “God comes to you disguised as your life” (Paula D’Arcy).liturgy-of-the-ordinary

Take a moment to look around and see where God is showing up in your life. Take a moment to pray for someone else. Open your eyes to the possibility of the sacred in the everyday ordinary occurrences in your life. Find a few moments this summer to set aside the busyness and thank God for the wonder that is life. God’s blessings to you in your sacred, ordinary life.

 

Vacation with Jesus

NirmalaReinschmidt2017webPastor Nirmala Reinschmidt
Interim Pastor

Summer time is a wonderful time of the year! The days are warmer and most of us take time off to go on vacation. Many like to go camping and fishing and others enjoy going to a different city to visit friends and families.

Who do you vacation with? Do you take best friend along with you? Do you spend time with Jesus in the summer? Many Christians find it very easy not to think much about Jesus all summer long. Many don’t attend worship as much, and some don’t come at all. Where are these people? Often they are out trying to have fun on their own without Jesus.

A woman said to me once, “Pastor, don’t worry, when September comes I will come back to church. This is my vacation from church.” This woman did come back to church in September. However, she also said that she was lonely for Jesus and that it felt good to come to church again and hear Jesus speak to her there through scriptures, hymns and the sermons. Think of how much happier her life and her summer could have been if she had regularly heard the Lord speak to her through the Bible. How refreshed she would have been to worship with her fellow Christians all summer long. We are blessed to have churches throughout the nation and the world. When you go on vacation make effort to find a church and go there to be refreshed by the Word and Sacrament. If you won’t be near a church make sure that you take your Bible, hymnals and the devotional books along to read and sing along with your families and friends to worship and praise the Lord. Make it a point that you remember to begin the day with the Lord and with His word and end the day with the Lord and with His word. True rest and Peace comes from the Lord and through His word alone.

Remember that our Lord Jesus be with us at all times. He never takes time off including summer. So we too should never take time off from Him. Let us remember that by His grace and patience alone that we live. As Hebrews 10:25 says “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing, instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see the Lord is coming nearer”

May you all have a blessed summer!

vacation with jesus

Worship by the Fire Schedule

We’ll be worshipping at St. John’s new fire pit every Wednesday at 6:30 pm. We do worship rain or shine! We just move inside if weather dictates.

Every week we’ll worship guided by a book called Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life. You bring a camp chair and we’ll bring the s’mores!

  • June 24: Blessing of the Pets
  • June 21: Celebration of VBS and Family Fun Night
  • June 28: Prayers for those on St. John’s mission & faith formation trips
  • July 5: Christmas in July
  • July 12: Celebration of Haiti Mission
  • July 19: Celebrate the County Fair
  • July 26: Prayers for confirmation campers
  • Aug 2: Celebration of Backpacking Trip
  • Aug 9: Festival in the Park/Celebrate our community
  • Aug 16: Celebration of Confirmation Camp
  • Aug 23: Affirmation of Baptism
  • Aug 30: Back to School Backpack Blessing

Summer is Almost Here

LindsayColwell 2017webLindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

The summer is fast approaching and we have many opportunities to take part in as the weather warms up!

  • Summer worship on Sunday mornings at 9 am (one service) will begin on Sunday, May 28. Our Wednesday evening worship will move outdoors beginning on June 7 (we will not have worship on May 31) with a time change to 6:30 pm. Come join us around our brand new fire pit care of Eagle Scout candidate, John Kllinkhammer.
  • We will be celebrating our graduating seniors at worship on Sunday, May 21 at both services, as well as on Wednesday, May 24 at 6:15 pm. Come celebrate this milestone with us!
  • Community baccalaureate will be held on Sunday, May 21 at 7 pm at First Baptist Church of Kasson.
  • Our high school discipleship retreat for 8th-12th grade students has been moved to June 16th-18. This retreat will take place at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch near Stewartville. Cost is $50, which includes zip line, challenge course, and all meals. Space is limited.
  • This year’s Vacation Bible School will be held June 19-23 from 8:30am-11:30am. Our theme this year is Dr. Seuss! Come have some wild fun with us! Sign-up at www.stjohnskasson.org/vbs or in the office.
  • Good Earth Village is offering two family camps this summer: Family Camp (July 28-30) and Grand Camp (July 5-7). More information available at www.goodearthvillage.org.
  • Our middle school day camp, Action Packed Day Camp returns this year for 5th-8th graders. This camp is planned for July 10-13, 9am-3pm (at least one day will end around 6pm). Cost for this week of constant action is $50. Schedule of activities and sign-up available soon. Space is limited to 25 students.

Summer Worship

Summer worship begins Sunday, May 28 and Wednesday, June 7 (no worship Wednesday, May 31). We will worship:

  • Sundays at 9:00 am
  • Wednesdays at 6:30 pm by St. John’s new fire pit

A Dr. Seuss VBS

Join us for a week full of fun and faith as we learn about God through the stories of Dr. Seuss!

June 19-23, 2017
8:30-11:30 am
Special Wednesday worship June 21
Ages: 3-year-olds through 4th grade

Details and signup in the office or at http://stjohnskasson.org/vbs/

A Dr. Seuss VBS

A Dr. Seuss VBS

A Dr. Seuss VBSJoin us for a week full of fun and faith as we learn about God through the stories of Dr. Seuss!

June 19-23, 2017
8:30-11:30 am
Special Wednesday worship June 21, 6:30 pm
Ages: 3-year-olds through 4th grade (2016-2017 year)

Online registration has closed, but you are still welcome! Come on by and get signed up at the door!

For questions, please contact Amanda at (507) 634-7110 or amanda@stjohnskasson.org

Free kids’ games in August

Some of you may remember that last summer St. John’s had a booth at both National Night Out and Festival in the Park. We had free kids’ games which both got us a bit of publicity and provided everyone with a practical example of God’s free grace. Well, the plan is to do it again this year, but I need your help. We’ll need some volunteers to help staff the games at National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2 and again on August 12 and 13 during Festival in the Park. It’s easy and loads of fun. Mark your calendars now and look for more info and sign up sheets as the dates get closer.

All around the community this summer!

Plan to join us for:

  • Vacation Bible School
    June 20-24
    Ages 3-4th grade
  • Family Fun Night
    July 28
    Fun for all!
  • Action Packed Day Camp
    August 1-5
    Grades 5-8

Community events including:

  • National Night Out
  • Festival in the Park
  • Dodge County Fair
  • Marigold Days

 

Reflecting on the first year, looking ahead to a great summer

Pastor Dana

Pastor Dana O’Brien
Associate Pastor

Pastor Dana O’Brien
Associate Pastor

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been at St. John’s for just over a year. (I started in May 2015.) And I just want to thank you all for this last year. I know that lots of the stuff we tried was a bit different for many of you – certainly not something that you were used to – but you jumped in with both feet, often going well outside your comfort zones to try something new. You were even willing to humor me on some of those things you may have thought were really weird (watching movies in worship, for example).

I was particularly reminded of how great you all are last week. On Tuesday, we had our most recent ministry of encouragement (MOE) visit to the local elementary school. I had never done an MOE this big before – over 100 people – and I’ll admit I was a bit concerned about whether we could pull it off. But I needn’t have worried. On Tuesday morning we had about 15 people who came and set everything up with an efficiency that was pretty darn impressive. And then there was the food! Over 30 people prepared so much food that we filled up three tables, had some piled up under the tables and had to bring some back. God’s abundance reflected through the people of St. John’s!

And then on Wednesday, we had our first worship service in the park. Again, so many people stepped up to be involved. People brought food, helped set up (a special thanks to Terry Czeck for sharing his grilling skills), and then stayed to clean up afterward. If our first service was any indication, the kids will definitely be taking the lead. They participated in communion, in the bike blessing and singing, and they did a great job starting to fill our jar with stones as they shared places they saw God this last week.

Not to be outdone were all of you who worshipped Sunday morning. (It was so packed we almost ran out of bread for communion – a wonderful problem to have. C’mon, I challenge you – bring your friends and neighbors, so we have so many people we have to use two loaves on Sunday morning.) Anyway, not only did you show up big time on Sunday, but you also stayed for quite awhile to chat afterward – really nice.

I look forward to the remainder of the summer, with more Wednesday worship services, and more events to get us out of the building. We’ve got our Family Fun Night at the end of July (July 28) and we’ll also be in the park a couple of time with our free kids games. Food for Friends will also be continuing all summer long. And then there’s VBS, the youth trip to Philadelphia, confirmation camp and action camp in August . . .

It’s going to be a great summer!!

Summer Worship in the Park – WIP on Wednesdays!

In addition to our combined Sunday morning worship service (9 am), we’ll also be trying something a little bit different this summer – weekly worship in the park.  We’re calling it “WIP on Wednesdays” – WIP stands for Worship In the Park – and it’s easier to say. We’ll be over in Veterans Memorial Park (North Park) at the shelter just east of the pool every Wednesday evening between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Since we’ll gather around suppertime, we’ll share a meal at 6 pm and then move right into a short worship at 6:30 pm. We‘ll usually be done by 7 pm, so that people still have a good chunk of the evening left to attend sporting events or do whatever. We’ll do communion as part of our meal (just like they did it in the early church), and try something a little different every week. Our tentative summer schedule looks like this:

  • June 1 – Blessing of Bikes and other Wheeled Things – all wheeled things welcome
  • June 8 – Kids Service – to bring out the kid in all of us
  • June 15 – Father’s Day Celebration – something special for the men in our lives
  • June 22 – Celebrate VBS – focus on our around-the-world VBS theme
  • June 29 – Independence Day – get a head start on celebrating the 4th of July
  • July 6 – Pet Blessing – all pets (large and small) are welcome
  • July 13 – Clown Worship – clowns lead worship like you’ve never seen it before
  • July 20 – Christmas in July – “Merry Christmas” without the snow
  • July 27– Youth Mission Trip Celebration – a recap of the mission trip to Philadelphia
  • August 3 – Olympics Theme – celebrate the start of the Olympics
  • August 10 – Festival in the Park – a celebration of Kasson’s annual festival
  • August 17 – Baptism affirmation in pool – a different way to affirm our baptisms
  • August 24 – Dr. Seuss Worship – need I say more?
  • August 31 – Back to School Blessing – blessing of staff, kids and parents

The plan is to worship casually and have kids very involved in every service. Since we’re in the park, feel free to come early and/or stay late to take advantage of the playground equipment, the tennis and basketball courts, and the pool. And since we’re going to serve food (burgers and hot dog kind of food), we could use your help getting set up (and helping to clean up) each Wednesday. We’d also love lots of you to help out by just showing up and getting involved in the fun. And please bring your friends – this is definitely a community thing!

June Youth Events

GEVlogo

Good Earth Village Confirmation Camp, Spring Valley, MN – parents take kids down and pick up, Sunday, June 14– Friday, June 19

OutlawRanchLogo

Camp connections allow each person to explore and play in a nurturing environment, which leads to a stronger faith foundation, discovering personal gifts, developing new skills, as well as building life-long relationships. June Outlaw Ranch Confirmation Class Trip, Black Hills of SD, Leave Friday, June 19 and return Friday, June 26.

everest-vbs-web

This VBS promises to be mountains of fun! Plus, kids walk away with a rock-solid faith that they can rely on God when life gets tough. Join our climbing team ! June 22-26, more info at www.stjohnskasson.org/vbs

Pastor Randy’s Column – June 2015

RandyFett“Extraordinary” – do you feel ordinary or extraordinary? I think most of these days we feel rather normal, average, or ordinary.  There is nothing we are doing that really seems extraordinary and yet our God is extraordinary in God’s work with us. We as Christians celebrate a triune God. Our mind goes to God’s creation first of all. There are so many extraordinary parts to creation. We often take this for granted. Lately, one can marvel at the corn plants popping through the soil in the farmer’s field. This is extraordinary. It is extraordinary to hear a newborn baby cry. We say, second, that Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection for our sake is something really quite extraordinary. Jesus laid down His life for us. This is what makes our Christian faith unique and extraordinary. We say, third, what do you know, some of the time the light comes for understanding or someone is moved to do the extraordinary because of God’s gift of the extraordinary, which, just like Pentecost, made a normal ordinary day become extraordinary.

This summer we will elaborate God’s extraordinary ways with us. We will talk about how we are gifted from God. We are given extraordinary gifts from God. We are all gifted from God. One of my favorite sayings is “God doesn’t make junk.” This applies to each one of us. We will celebrate how we are crafted and shaped and molded by God to be an extraordinary people of God, that group of people called “Church.” And we will inquire about a future which right now might seem rather mundane and normal but really is a future that God has stretched out far beyond our wildest imaginations, and we call that future an extraordinary future.

Are you ready for this series? Tell your neighbors about us, and about what God is doing. Prepare your heart and your mind, your soul, your family, your life’s work, your everyday lives, and your church to be touched by and moved by the extraordinary.

This summer we also celebrate one “unified” worship service together at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday. We also see this as a time of really getting to know each other in ways that we have not in the past because we  celebrate at three different and distinct worship services during the school year. Some have asked if it will be a distinctly traditional worship service. The answer is “no.” As we seek to be unified this summer we celebrate the distinct styles of all three of our worship services in one worship service this summer. There will be a little bit of each worship style included in the worship service. And then plan on staying afterward for coffee and fellowship, the occasional multi-generational family activity, and the older High School youth and adult class that will be offered after each worship service. Please remember the church with your summer offerings. If  you are away you could set up an automatic gift with your bank or simply send your gift to the church in the mail. We will pray for you this summer. May God bless you with something really quite extraordinary this summer.

Pastor Randy

Extraordinary

Miss Amanda’s Musings – June 2015

AmandaHagenThank you, thank you, thank you to all of our Faith Formation volunteers 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 Cresta Melcher and Angie Moore for your work with the Oasis Meals.  We have been truly blessed by your service over the last three years!

Vacation Bible School

This June 22-26th at St. John’s we will be learning about God’s Mighty Power as we trek to Mount Everest!  From 8:30 – 11:30 AM each day we will learn how God helps us conquer challenges in our lives!

Sign up today at www.stjohnskasson.org/vbs or in the office.

3 years – 4th grade (2014-2015)

Cost: $25/child or $50/family

Each year Vacation Bible School students collect donations for a particular ministry.  This year we will be raising money to go toward the purchasing of 33 dozen bowls and spoons for the Friends of Christ Christian School of Bouyaha, Haiti.  Donate toward this project by bringing monetary gifts to the office or placing it in a special basket in the Narthex.

For questions contact Amanda!
amanda@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110