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!

Dodge County Cardboard Box City Fundraiser

As temperatures here in Minnesota are dropping, many of us look forward to sweatshirts and hot chocolate to keep warm, but the reality is that over 9,000 individuals in Minnesota are homeless, no matter what the temperature outside is. Of those, 23% are under the age of 18. In an effort to raise money to benefit programs for homeless and at-risk individuals and families in Dodge County, and to raise awareness about this problem right here at home, we’ll be joining with other groups in Dodge County for a “Cardboard Box City” on Friday, October 28, 2016.

What is a Cardboard Box City?

Participants set up their cardboard box shelter outside and spend the night. Their experience will give them a small taste of what it’s like to be without a safe, warm place to sleep at night and be a visual reminder to those in the community about the existence of homelessness right here in Dodge County.

How can you participate?

Register now to participate.

The event is:
Friday, October 28, 2016
Location: Faith Lutheran Church in Dodge Center
Set up begins at 4 pm, registration 4-6 pm

  • There is a $25 per person registration fee. The goal is for every person who registers for this event to raise $100 besides the registration fee. We will have prizes for the most money raised so get as many donations as you can! Proceeds will go toward Dodge County SEMCAC’s special projects.
  • Make your own cardboard shelter (or a group shelter for extra warmth). A heavy box makes for a warmer shelter. You will need to clean your site and recycle your box at the end of the event.
  • Bring a warm sleeping bag, pillow, and clear packing tape. Bring a mat or two to keep you off the ground. It is also a good idea to use a tarp over your box to keep out wind and rain.
  • Recommended clothes to be worn in layers: warm cap that covers the ears, long underwear (top and bottom), warm long sleeve sweat shirt or sweater, warm windproof jacket (ski jacket or parka), warm pants, snow pants or ski pants to wear over regular pants, wool or synthetic material socks (wear two or three pair at once), boots, loose fitting and waterproof, mittens. Tight clothing/boots make you colder!
  • Set up of cardboard boxes can happen earlier than 4 pm if you’d like.
  • Event T-shirts will be on sale for $15 ($20 for long sleeves). Proceeds will go to SEMCAC.
  • Families can participate together.
  • Everything will be held outside except the meals will be served in the church fellowship hall.
  • Coffee and hot chocolate will be available. Please don’t bring snacks to help us make this event more realistic for the youth.
  • Soup supper will be served between 6 & 7 pm in the church.
  • Participants will be in “bed” by 11 pm.
  • A simple breakfast will be served at 7:30 am in the church fellowship hall.
  • You can pick up your child after they have helped clean up. (between 8:30-9)

Needed: 3 more helpers for Thursday

We’re looking for three more people to help with Thursday’s Lutefisk Dinner. Can you help? We need:

Meatball disher-upper (fill the serving bowls)
3:30-6:00 pm OR 3:30-8ish (need one for each time slot)
Casual clothes and comfy shoes

Take-out room cashier
3:30-6:00 pm
Casual clothes

Contact Renee Solberg at (507) 421-8178 or if you can help us out!

Lutefisk 2016: Where can you help?

How can you help make our 2016 Lutefisk Dinner a success?

Sunday, October 23:

  • 10:15 am – begin setting up rooms for the Lutefisk Dinner. Stop by if you can help!

Tuesday, October 25:

  • 7:30 AM – cutting and peeling rutabagas in church kitchen (bring your own knife if you have a favorite one)

Wednesday, October 26:

  • 7 am – cooking rutabagas in church kitchen
  • 8 am – meatball preparation in church kitchen
  • 9 am – 8 pm please bring in food donations and items for bake sale table
  • 9 am – set up and room prep in fellowship hall
  • 12 noon – Potluck for workers (please bring a dish to share)

Thursday, October 27 Lutefisk Day!

  • 6:30 am – bag lutefisk
  • 8 am – 10 pm: workers are still needed in many areas (contact Renee Solberg if you can help –

Special Information for Workers:  If you are working in a public area, please wear white shirts and black pants; vests/aprons and name tags will be available in the church library on Thursday. Do not bring purses or valuables in to the church on Thursday; we cannot be responsible for lost items. Workers may purchase a meal for $6 in the take-out room and then eat in Sunday School Rooms 8 and 9. Please be considerate of where you park and leave those parking spots closest to the entrance open for our guests.

Bake Sale Items:  Please specifically label your items (i.e. nuts, flavorings, etc.). If you have never donated baked items, please consider doing so. All proceeds from the bake sale table are used to fund a variety of church projects.

Monthly service projects kick off

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, St. John’s had our first monthly service projects. Each month we’ll offer an opportunity for anyone, any age to help give back to our community. The first event was a highway cleanup day.

Our service event we are calling a Thankfulness Challenge. We are inviting everyone to collect items for the Ronald McDonald House needs list. The list can be found at Any items collected can be brought to Lindsay’s office. People are also invited to make fleece tie blankets as well (these are really easy! a short tutorial is available here). We will deliver all of these items the week of Thanksgiving, so please bring in items by Sunday, November 20.

Photos from the highway cleanup:


Confirmation service night

Wednesday, October 12 was one of St. John’s Confirmation Service nights. At St. John’s there are eight confirmation small groups that meet on Wednesday and one that meet on Sunday with a total of 70 students in grades 7-8. Each small group will do five service nights throughout this school year.

Pictured below is a group of 8th grade confirmation students who volunteered to help pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Volunteers pack rice, soy, dried vegetables, and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are then sealed, boxed, placed on pallets and shipped to partners working to reach the neediest children around the world. This small group of boys packed enough food to feed 42 kids for a whole year!

In addition to the group who packed meals, another group packed 55 boxes for Operation Christmas Child, another group took letters of appreciation to the fire station, several groups helped around St. John’s with preparations for the Advent Festival, and one group deep-cleaned and sanitized the nursery.

8th-grade-confirmation-serving-at-feed-my-starving-children-1 16-8th-grade-confirmation-serving-at-feed-my-starving-children-2 16-8th-grade-confirmation-serving-at-feed-my-starving-children-3

2016 Lutefisk Dinner

Join the hundreds of visitors and volunteers for our annual Lutefisk Dinner! This event is a family tradition, bridging across all ages and groups in our congregation and bringing families from throughout not only our community but from all across the country!

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Serving: 11 am – 2:30 pm & 4:00 pm until all are served.
Bake sale: 9:00 am until sold out

Adults $16, Children (under 10) $6
No advanced ticket sales.

Menu: Lutefisk, lefse, meatballs in gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, rutabagas, cabbage slaw, Norwegian baked goods

Be sure to check the Lutefisk Dinner webpage for news about volunteer needs, carry outs, and other details.

Lutefisk Dinner room setup

We’ll be setting up for the Lutefisk Dinner on Sunday, October 23, beginning at 11 am. Please let Renee Solberg ( know if you can help with covering floors and setting up rooms.

Norwegian Cookie Bake

Please join us for the annual Norwegian Cookie Bake in the church kitchen on Monday, October 17, beginning at 2 pm.

It’s Lefse Time Once Again!


Our first lefse bake of 2016 will be held on Wednesday, August 24, and will continue weekly through Wednesday, October 19.  Mixers will begin at 7:30 am each Wednesday. All others, please report at 8 am. No previous experience needed.  For questions, contact Shelley Gustafson (

If you can help with potato prep/cooking in the church kitchen on Tuesday evenings, please contact Becky Knoepke. Potatoes will be provided.

If you can help with lefse bake setups on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 pm 2 to 4 pm, please contact Marge Albright ( for additional information.

We also need help with lefse laundry. Lefse laundry consists of sheets from the cooling tables, dish towels, and rolling pin and rolling board covers used weekly. This is a great way to help behind the scenes and can be done in your home. Laundry is ready for pickup on Wednesdays at noon and needs to be returned to the church in time for setup the following Tuesday. Talk to Marge or Shelley (info above) for details.

2016 Family Fun Night coming up July 28

Are you part of a family? Do you like fun? Then you should plan to join us Thursday, July 28, 2016 for St. John’s annual Family FUN Night!

The night will be filled with fun activities for all ages – bouncy house for the kids, food, prizes, classic car and tractor show, and much more. The entire event is FREE and open to the entire community.

The fun will start at 6 pm and wrap up about 8 pm.

We are looking for some volunteers. If you can help out, click here.


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.

Drivers and/or Vans Needed

Needed: 7-8 passenger vehicles for the summer confirmation camp trip June 24-July 1, 2016. EITHER volunteer your vehicle for our adult chaperones to drive OR volunteer to drive to camp (Friday, June 24, returning home Sunday, June 26) and/or back (driving to camp Thursday, June 30 and returning home on Friday, July 1. To volunteer, talk to Pastor Randy ( or (507) 634-7110) or Lindsay ( or (507) 634-7110).

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.

First 2016 Ministry of Encouragement Visit to SEMCAC on February 24

On Wednesday, February 24, we’ll be doing our first 2016 Ministry of Encouragement visit (MOE) to SEMCAC (20 E Veterans Memorial Hwy, Kasson).

What is an MOE?

For those of you who may not be familiar with an MOE, it is a quick visit to thank workers as various social service agencies and nonprofit organizations for all they do for our community. Although our visits are short – only as long as it takes to set up the food, introduce ourselves and present a certificate of thanks (about 15-20 minutes) – these MOEs are powerful ways to thank those whose work in our community goes largely unnoticed. (In 2015 we visited the workers at Fairview Nursing Center to thank them for all the help they provide to our seniors and to Kasson City Hall to thank them for helping to make Kasson a great place to live.)

What’s SEMCAC?

SEMCAC is the Community Action Agency in our area. Their mission is to assist people to achieve or maintain independence and self-reliance through their own and community resources. They offer important services in our community including a food shelf, transportation services, and housing and energy assistance. These folks really make a difference in our community, and it’s wonderful to have an opportunity to thank them for all they do.

Event Details

On Wednesday, February 24, we’ll gather at St. John’s at 10:00 for prayer and then drive over together to SEMCAC.

We’d like you to come along. And if you can’t come, please sign up to bring bars, or fruit or veggies, or drinks or paper products. There’s a way for all of us to be involved.
As those who participated in our 2015 MOEs discovered, these visits are powerful for both for those we visit and those of us who go along. God always shows up big time!

Sign up at the Welcome Center or with Pastor Dana – or (507) 634-7110