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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

Thank you for making this a place to gather and grow in faith

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

Summer is just around the corner and there are so many exciting things coming up at St. John’s! Before we start getting excited about summer I want to thank everyone in the congregation for your overwhelming support (in all ways: time, talent, and financially) of our young people at St. John’s this program year! Throughout the year everyone generously gives to the cause of helping us raise money for our youth trips, as well as making our programming function. Whether it is donations of Christmas trees for our tree auction at Advent, attending coffee or breakfast on a Sunday morning, coming to eat burgers and buy raffle tickets at the American Legion, serving as a confirmation small group leader, mentoring young musicians/confirmation students/students who serve as assistants in all of our programs, or even sharing our events on social media…it all matters and it is all support.

Our youth programming here at St. John’s has grown so much in the four years that I have been here at St. John’s. To be honest, much of that has nothing to do with me. Our 7th and 8th graders have told me they will miss confirmation because of the time spent with friends and caring adults as they explore their faith. Our high school youth group went from five regular attending students in 2017-2018 to an average of 15-20 students every week in 2018-2019. That isn’t because of me. It is because of our ten young women who attended the 2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering. The experiences that they had and the faith that was cultivated on that trip they went out and shared with others. The safe space that they helped create they have shared with others and built a place and community where God’s love is actively at work.

As we look to the summer and the new program year let us give thanks for the wonderful program year at its close and all of the amazing people that made it happen! Thanks be to God!

Action Packed Day Camp

Youth who were in grades 4-8 in 2018-2019 are invited to St. John’s 2019 Action Packed Day Camp. Come along for a week of non-stop fun!

Details

June 10-13, 2019
Cost is $60

Schedule

  • Monday—Air Insanity Trampoline Park in the morning, service projects in the afternoon
  • Tuesday—ValleyFair
  • Wednesday—ROCA Climbing wall in the morning, Oxbow Park in afternoon
  • Thursday—Quarry Hill Nature Center (cave tour and fossil hunting) in morning, afternoon movie

Questions

Any questions? Contact Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110.

Something for Everyone—Support Our Youth

Whether you’re hungry, love to win, or just want to help out and save yourself the carbs – there is a way to help our youth who are headed to San Diego for the summer service trip (silent auction also helps out kids going to Sugar Creek Bible Camp).

  • Caramel rolls are for sale till April 10! Order Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings or online (stjohnskasson.org/caramel-rolls). Rolls may also be picked up frozen to bake later—simply indicate fresh or frozen with your order. Pick up is Palm Sunday, April 14.
  • Palm Sunday Brunch and Silent Auction (April 14) will feature egg bake, muffins, and fruit. Anyone who is willing to donate to the silent auction, please connect with Lindsay by Friday, April 12 (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org).
  • Cooler raffle is a chance to win one of three awesome prizes: 45 qt. Yeti cooler, 2 Yeti 20 oz. tumblers, $30 Kwik Trip Car Wash Card. Only 300 tickets available. Tickets are $10/each and available April 14-April 28.
  • Let the youth serve you dinner at the American Legion Burger Night, Friday, April 26 from 5:00-7:00 pm. Burger baskets are $8.
  • Fill an envelope to support the youth. There are envelopes of varying amounts on the wall between the Library and the Fellowship Hall. Just take one, fill it with the amount listed, and return to the office by May 1.

Caramel Rolls

Our youth going to San Diego for the summer service trip will be selling ooey gooey caramel rolls March 31 through April 10 (in-person Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings or order online). Rolls will be fresh-baked and ready for pick-up Palm Sunday, April 14 beginning at 8:00 am.

Now available: take and bake is also an option! Simply indicate on your order if you prefer baked or frozen.

Caramel Rolls are Coming!

Starting March 31 our summer service trip youth will be selling caramel rolls to be picked up Palm Sunday (April 14). Watch for details!

Tree Auction

Our youth are decorating and auctioning off amazing Christmas trees again this year! The auction will begin on Sunday, December 2 and will end on after worship Wednesday, December 19 (7:30 pm end time). The auction proceeds will benefit our students attending summer youth trips in 2019 to Sugar Creek Bible Camp and our service trip to San Diego. Please be sure to stop into the Fellowship Hall between the above dates to check out all of their great work! Direct any questions to Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org

October—A Time for Looking to the Future and the Past

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

October is such an odd month for me. Since starting my position here at St. John’s the month has been to a large degree about looking towards the future. In October we hold our affirmation of baptism worship service for our 9th grade students as they profess their faith before the entire congregation. In the weeks leading up to that worship service I spend many evenings engaged in listening to their faith statements and talking with them about how we as a congregation can support them as they continue to move forward in their faith. October is the time that we put out all of the information about the upcoming summer’s high school youth trip, plan for fundraisers and activities throughout the year, and get a fresh start with the high school youth group.

But October is also a month of looking back for me and remembering those no longer with us. October 4th marks year six for me of being without my Grandma Alice who was my strongest supporter. October also marks the due date of what would have been our first baby that I lost very early in 2014. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us there is a season for everything, and 3:11 tells us that God has made everything suitable for its time. While October is a joyful time of looking forward and things to come, it also holds a sadness for me. But whenever I am sad or anxious about these things I am reminded of, just as many of you are I am sure, the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Christ takes the hurt in our lives and uses it for good. He used the loss of my grandmother to bring my family together in one town and put a roof over our heads in the form of her home. And without that first loss I would not have Oliver, who is the rainbow after a life of storms. As we head into our celebration of All Saints remember the sad, but don’t forget to look for how God has used it to work good.

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.

Time to register for fall classes

Registration is now open for Sunday School, Oasis Education, Oasis Afterschool, Club 56, and Confirmation classes for the fall. We’re also making plans for adult education opportunities, so watch for details!

Visit the Lifelong Learning page for more about each program and links to the registration options.

Busy building relationships this summer

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

In the midst of the break of summer, our students at St. John’s stay busy when it comes to faith formation and community building. June was a particularly busy month for those of us in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry.

The second week of June many of our 7th grade confirmation students attended camp at Sugar Creek in Wisconsin. We spent our week building community, in Bible studies, on a Christ hike, and in small groups re-centering our focus on Christ through the study of a book called #Struggles: Following Jesus in a selfie centered world.

The third week of June, Amanda and the Education Commission put together a spirit filled week of VBS for over 100 students! Our young people learned about the power they have through Christ in the VBS theme Hero Central! There was an amazing number of super heroes for Christ whooshing around St. John’s in June.

As I write this, 10 of our high school students are preparing for a week of faith formation in Houston at the 2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering. We will learn together through interactive learning stations, Bible study, service, and nationally known speakers during our time in Houston.

The second week of July, our middle school students will spend time building community through fun and fellowship at Action Packed Day Camp, with short daily devotions to center our time together in Christian community.

All of those things that I have written about above are great, and the numbers are inspiring. But, what I find inspiring and Holy Spirit filled is the amazing support of this congregation to make these events happen for our students. Where I see God is not in the numbers, but in the deep relationships I see being built at these events. I am inspired by the palpable presence of God in all that is happening. And to that, all God’s people said, AMEN!

June Special Events

  • Confirmation Camp
    June 10-15
  • Vacation Bible School
    June 18-22
  • Family Fun Night
    June 20, 5-8 pm
  • ELCA National Youth Gathering
    June 25-July 2

Find a full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

Summer Worship

We’re now on our summer worship schedule!

  • Sundays – 9:00 am followed by fellowship
  • Wednesdays – 6:30 pm at the fire pit
    (weather permitting, inside in case of rain)

2018 Action Packed Day Camp

Youth who were in grades 4-8 in 2017-2018 are invited to St. John’s 2018 Action Packed Day Camp. Join us for a week of non-stop fun!

Details

July 9-12, 2018
Cost is $50, includes a tshirt

Registration

We have closed the registration form but there are still some spots! Contact Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org. Participants also need to complete the medical form.

Schedule

Camp days will be approximately 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. A couple of days will be closer to 6:00 pm; families will be notified closer to the week of camp.

  • Monday, July 9 – Science Museum of MN, with Imax movie
  • Tuesday, July 10 – ValleyFair, with waterpark
  • Wednesday, July 11 – Scenic Tour at Mystery Cave, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
  • Thursday, July 12 – MN Zoo

What to Bring

Students will need to bring a sack lunch, wear sturdy shoes or sandals (no flip flops!), bring a swimsuit and towel on Tuesday and Thursday, a sweatshirt/jacket on Wednesday for the cave tour, and a water bottle. Daily snacks will be provided.