Lutefisk Wrap-Up 2017

2017 Lutefisk Dinner Meals Served: 1,867

As we opened our front doors at 9:00 am on October 26, 2017, we knew it was going to be a great day for our 56th annual lutefisk dinner! From the beautifully decorated narthex and sanctuary to the welcoming smiles of our greeters, the guests were eager to participate in a delectable dining experience!

Behind the scenes, workers had arrived before 6 am to cut and bag 1,700 pounds of fish. Others were just as busy preparing gravy, setting up the parking lot, arranging bake sale items and enjoying the ‘spirit’ of working on lutefisk day. It’s always fun to reconnect with former members who travel to Kasson to provide an extra pair of hands and to also see so many Kasson community members share in our dinner.

Our congregational endeavor allows us to disburse $20,000 from the profits as mission support to our ELCA synod. In addition, the bake sale table proceeds of $7,950 will be used to fund various projects at St. John’s over the next several months. Thank you, the members of St. John’s, for your generous donations of money, time and talents which allow us to keep the ticket price at $16. We also want to thank those of you who helped with lefse baking week after week beginning in late August. Not many congregations in the area make their own lefse.

Mange takk (many thanks)!



Showing our appreciation for The Center Clinic

Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) went to The Center Clinic in Dodge Center on September 20, 2017. This was our seventh MOE visit where we thank people for the service they do for others. The Center Clinic takes care of the uninsured, underinsured, and low income. They offer many services and medical care is provided by volunteers from the Mayo Family Practice Clinic in Kasson and Mayo Clinic.

Not only did we bring them lots of food, but we also thanked/treated 19 other organizations that were there for their Health Fair. It is such a pleasure to be able to recognize these people and their good actions and to let them know that St. John’s Lutheran Church of Kasson appreciates them.

These pictures show the people that we thanked, our group from St. John’s (we have anywhere from 5-15 people attend), and pictures of some of the food given to them. The Lutefisk/Lefse Committee donated lefse and one of the employees was happy to see “Mexican tortillas.”

The Center Clinic takes care of people from Dodge County and if you would like to learn more abut them, you can check out their website at

We have great volunteers who donate lots of food and attend the MOE visits. If you would like to be one of those volunteers, watch for our next MOE adventure later this year.

Thank you

Pastor Nirmala Reinschmidt
Interim Pastor

Thank you so much for your care and prayers sent to us through sympathy cards and memorials. It truly brought us comfort and consolation. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we mourn.

Pastor Nirmala’s father passed away August 13. She spent three weeks in India with her family, but she is back in the office now.

Women of St. John’s share the warmth of God’s love

The following message was written by Pastor Corrine Haulotte from the Lutheran Campus Center in Winona. The ladies of our congregation have shared God’s love in our community and throughout the world in a number of powerful ways. One of those is creating and sharing prayer shawls and quilts. Read about how powerful those gifts can be:

In the bleak midwinter of 2010, I received a colorful prayer shawl.

The shawl was sent to Wartburg Theological Seminary following a press conference held on campus regarding the death of [my friend] Ben in the Haiti Earthquake. A woman I have never met (even to this day) sent the shawl with a prayer square and a note to our Academic Dean, asking him to pass the items onto me. Craig explained that she heard me speak about Ben on the news and was moved to send the items.

I don’t remember what I said to Craig, but I remember the feeling that washed over me as I held the soft shawl and square in my hands. It was the same feeling I have each time I pull the shawl around my shoulders, cloaking myself in tangible prayer and colorful love.

Yesterday I held the shawl open for four women at the LCC. Kay, Marlene, another Marlene, and Charlotte from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson met Kelly and me at the LCC with quilts and shawls they had gathered for our students. I shared my story with them, and we all nodded, knowing deeply the simple and profound gift of such prayerful creations.

I also shared a long-held dream of mine: to have quilts and prayer shawls on hand to give to students. Of course, they already knew this. But Kay didn’t know about such a vision when she emailed us in June, inquiring whether or not we could use some quilts at the LCC. (Well, hello there, Holy Spirit.)

There’s more to the story…

The same day I met with these four angels from Kasson, a colleague and friend told me about a prayer shawl and square he had from a woman he had never met. Hmm, I thought, that sounds familiar. “Do you know if she sent a shawl to Wartburg Seminary in 2010?” Later that night, he called: “I received a message today you might find interesting… ‘Yes, I did send two shawls to Wartburg after the earthquake in 2010.’” My jaw dropped. What are the chances that on the same day I told this story and received beautiful quilts and shawls for our students, I would also receive a connection with this other woman?

Dear LCC friends, we just never know, do we? We never know what an impact we might have on one another. I want to invite you into this impact at the LCC. Please pray for our ministry together; consider offering a financial gift to further our ministry; perhaps offer a quilt or shawl to campus ministry, or a friend (or stranger!) in need. If you’d like to be part of this dream unfolding, please let me know!

Imagine the students who will wrap prayer about their shoulders and receive healing balm for their hearts through these quilts and shawls. Just imagine…

With gratitude,
Pastor Corrine Haulotte

Thank You

amandasabelko2016-1Deacon Amanda Sabelko
CYF Ministry Development Coordinator

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our Faith Formation volunteers and staff 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 Country Pleasures & the Confirmation groups for your work with the Oasis Meals. We have been truly blessed by your service!

Vacation Bible School

This June 19-23 at St. John’s we will be learning about God’s love through the stories of Dr. Seuss! From 8:30-11:30 am each day we will learn how God helps us to care for creation and each other!

Sign up today, it’s free!

3 years – 4th grade (2016-2017)

For questions or to volunteer contact Amanda at (507) 634-7110 or

A Dr. Seuss VBS

Awesome participation in Middle School MOE

Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) had another successful “thank you/appreciation” at the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School on May 16. Again, all food and beverages were donated by volunteers and we had an awesome number of people at the school bright and early to thank our teachers. Included in this group were many 8th grade confirmation students and their group guides. These 8th grade boys not only brought food but parked themselves at all the doors to welcome everyone. It was a wonderful quick morning, so appreciated, and this is a great service that we do for those who serve others. Thank you to all our volunteers, including our office staff and custodian.

At this time, our next MOE is planned for September. Stay tuned for details!

Kasson-Mantorville Middle School MOE on May 16

Our next Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) visit will be to the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. This will be an early morning celebration, and we will meet at St. John’s at 7:00 am and hustle off to the Middle School to get set-up for them before their meeting at 7:30 am. You can either meet at the church or be at the school by 7:15 am. We will thank all the middle school personnel, about 65-70 people. Sign up to attend and/or bring food online or there are paper sign-up sheets at the Welcome Center. We will show our appreciation for all those who are teaching and working with our students so plan to join us. This is open to any volunteer to attend and/or donate food. Any questions, contact Ardis Grovdahl at or (507) 634-7644.

Reception for Linda Wunderlich


LindaWunderlichAfter 23 years of leading St. John’s ringing choirs (including starting them!), Linda Wunderlich is retiring. We’re saying “thank you” to her on Sunday, May 14 between services (approximately 9-10 am). Come and thank her for her time and plan to be in worship to hear the bells play!

A message from Linda:

St. John’ s ringing choirs began when three octaves of chimes were loaned to us in 1993. We had a group of youth that volunteered to ring. With the beginning of 1994 we had to return the chimes. I began a fundraising program that featured sponsoring a whole bell for $130, the bell casing for $60, the clapper for $30, or the handle for $30. We needed $4,810 for a thee-octave set (37 bells with cases). Within a month 50 plus individuals contributed enough to purchase the set of Malmark bells, gloves, stands, and music. Pastor Johnson wanted me to be on the stewardship committee. The bells were ordered and arrived in April 1994. In the fall of 1994 we began Senior and Junior Bell Choirs. A three-octave set of Malmark Chimes were purchased in March 2001 and a Children’s Chime Choir was begun.

The ringing choirs have rung for services, Dessert Concerts, Food Shelf Concert, Austin Area Ring Out, KM Christmas Program, 10 Area VII Festival Conference, 6 Area VII Young Ringers Camp, and 4 narrative/ringing of Bible stories. We have had 48 ringers in Senior Bells, 71 ringers in Junior Bells, and 93 ringers in Children’s Chimes. I have taken apart and polished a total of 851 bells, clappers, handles, and guards over 23 years.

It has been a privilege to be the director of these ringing choirsand see them sharing their faith through ringing at worship. My final service as director will be May 14th where Sr Bells will ring “In Christ Thereis No East or West” by John Behnke. It was commissioned to honor the dedicated service of the ringing choirs of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Kasson, Minn., and to the honor that I’ve had to be their director for the past 23 years.

God’s richest blessings,

Thanks Giving

Faithful giving to St. John’s Lutheran Church enables us to continue our ministry within our congregation, community, state, the wider church, and throughout the world.

First Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Thank you to everyone who donated candy, filled eggs, volunteered, participated, and invited for the first annual Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt! We had about 200 community members join us despite the snow!

Thank you MOE volunteers

Thanks to all who helped with our February ministry of Encouragement (MOE) visit to SEMCAC. Not only did we all have a great time thanking the workers for all they do for so many struggling in Dodge County, but we also learned that SEMCAC provides a lot more services than most of us realized. We also learned that a number of our St. John’s members regularly volunteer at SEMCAC – so they also got to enjoy the goodies we left. Be on the lookout for information about our next MOE visit soon.

Presenting a Certificate of Appreciation

Presenting a Certificate of Appreciation

The St. John's crew

The St. John’s crew

Getting a tour of the food shelf.

Getting a tour of the food shelf.

We bring a ton of tasty treats to every "Ministry of Encouragement" visit to thank people in our community for making Kasson a great place to live.

We bring a ton of tasty treats to every “Ministry of Encouragement” visit to thank people in our community for making Kasson a great place to live.

A Big Thanks to All Who Helped with the Giving Tree

Thanks so much to all of you who took tags from the Giving Tree before Christmas. All together, we put over 140 tags on the tree – and every single one was taken and returned with a terrific present. You all made a lot of families very happy this Christmas. Way to go St. John’s!

November’s Ministry of Encouragement Visit to City Hall

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped with our Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) visit to Kasson City Hall on Thursday, November 12. We all had a great time thanking the city employees for the amazing work they do to make Kasson a great place to live. Our thank you included a certificate of thanks and a whole lot of really good food.


Thank You from Creation Kids Preschool

Phyllis Sands CKP Director

Phyllis Sands
CKP Director

Phyllis Sands
CKP Director

Thanks from CKP to everyone who helped make our Pancake Breakfast/Silent Auction such a success. We had wonderful help and support from our staff, our board, our families, and our congregation members. We served 225 people at the breakfast. What an affirmation of our service to the children of our congregation and our community!

Our former board members who organized and ran the silent auction deserve special thanks. Well done!

Because of your support and interest in CKP, we are able to offer scholarships to qualifying families and to continue as a self-supporting outreach program of St. John’s.

Our students have chapel time in the sanctuary every Thursday 10:40-11 am and 2:25-2:45 pm. You are welcome to join us!

All ages enjoyed a tasty breakfast.

All ages enjoyed a tasty breakfast.

Visiting and enjoying breakfast.

Visiting and enjoying breakfast.

Thank you to the volunteers who helped serve.

Thank you to the volunteers who helped serve.

Bidding on silent auction items.

Bidding on silent auction items.

Lutefisk Dinner – THANK YOU!

Thank you to the many people who made this year’s Lutefisk Dinner a success – planning, lefse baking, publicizing, setting-up, prepping, cooking, baking and carving for the sale, welcoming, serving, cleaning, and countless other tasks. Through your efforts, you reflected God to each of our guests and to each other as you worked together to create a really joyous experience for nearly 2,000 people!

Number served:
1,604 adults/children, 140 take out, 181 workers
Total: 1,925 meals served

Click here to check out more pictures from the big day.

It takes dozens of volunteers all YEAR to prepare for this event!

It takes dozens of volunteers all YEAR to prepare for this event!

It was a packed house all afternoon and evening in the Fellowship Hall.

It was a packed house all afternoon and evening in the Fellowship Hall.