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Congratulations Confirmands

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Director

Another group of confirmands affirmed their baptismal promises on Sunday, October 1. Twenty-six young people who said and continue to say yes to the gift that Christ bestowed on them at baptism. I am always impressed with our students of all ages, but I want to brag about this group for a moment. Four of them are teaching Sunday School/Oasis this year (not to mention that 11 of our team of volunteers this year are current confirmation students or high school students). Two of them are children’s ministry assistants on Wednesday afternoons. They are teachers, musicians, service minded, and understand what it means to care for God’s people. They have a good grasp of the gospel message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. They are beginning to have a really strong grasp on the concept of the Trinity, and as someone who has worked with seminary students I can tell you this is not an easy thing. They hold the Bible as central to their faith, but are honest in realizing that they could do a better job of reading and studying it. In this day and age honesty when it comes to how we engage with our faith is essential. In their faith statements they wrote things like, “there is a place for us,” “God has my back,” “defined by God,” “God on my side,” and “Jesus wants us in eternal life.” These kids get it. They know what public confession of faith is for and why forgiveness is important. These kids, those who have gone before them, and those who come after them are earnest in their faith. Sometimes they just need a little help and room to grow. They need a safe space to develop and nurture their faith. Can we at St. John’s continue to give that to them? In the affirmation of baptism service, the minister asks the question of the assembled congregation, much like at a baptism service, “People of God, do you promise to support these sisters and brothers and pray for them in their life in Christ?” The response to this is simple and one that I know you will agree with me is what we all strive for, “We do, and we ask God to help and guide us.”

Backpacking Trip Highlights

Seventeen of our youth ranging from 14-18 years old took part in our summer youth trip to Sky Ranch Lutheran Bible Camp near Fort Collins, Colorado. They split into three hiking groups along with five of our wonderful adult volunteers to do some high wilderness backpacking for four days and three nights. These intrepid travelers hiked over seven miles a day, slept in tents in the mountains, and endured the ultimate experience of roughing it…and came back with smiles, stories, and an appreciation of the beauty of God’s creation.

Check out some of the great experiences they had:

Fall education program registration now available

Summer is quickly coming to an end and it’s time to think about fall! Registration is available online or in the office for:

  • Sunday School (ages 3-4th grade)
  • Oasis Education (ages 3-4th grade)
  • Oasis Afterschool (kindergarten-6th grade)
  • Club 56 (grades 5-6)
  • Confirmation (grades 7-8)

More information about each of these programs and links for registration is available at www.stjohnskasson.org/lifelong-learning

Action Packed Day Camp

Kids – did you just finish grades 5, 6, 7, or 8? Are you excited to get away for some awesome adventures? It’s time to sign up for 2017 Action Packed Day Camp!

Join us for a week of non-stop fun! We begin our day with a short devotion and will spend the rest of our time in fellowship together.

July 10-13, 2017
Cost: $50/student (scholarships available)

Click here for details and registration.

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.

Free AGAPE* Concert

On Wednesday, May 17, 7-9 pm (after Wednesday night worship), AGAPE* will be joining us at St. John’s for a FREE evening of music and storytelling. We will be collecting peanut butter and jelly (plastic containers only, please) for our Food for Friends program.

AGAPE* (Dave Scherer) combines rapping, dancing, storytelling, and his fluency in Spanish to connect with his listeners in a way that they really “get it.” His energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. You can find more information here.

agapeconcertflyer

Join us for breakfast!

Confirmation group serving on March 19

On Sunday, March 19, the Sunday Confirmation Group will be serving breakfast in the Fellowship Hall 8:30 am –10:30 am. All proceeds will benefit their trip to confirmation camp this summer.

Palm Sunday Brunch & Silent Auction

Youth will be serving breakfast and hosting a silent auction on Palm Sunday (April 9) to raise funds for camp this summer. They are seeking items that can be donated to the silent auction. If you have an item to donate, you may contact Lindsay at Lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or bring your item to the office.

breakfast

8th-12th Grade Retreat

Students in 8th-12th grade are invited to a retreat at Ironwood Springs Friday-Sunday, April 21-23 June 16-18 (note the date change!). Cost is $50/person and includes all meals, housing, challenge course, and zipline! We’re also looking for some adult volunteers to join us.

Stop by the Welcome Center for an application.

2017 & 2018 Youth Summer Trips

We’re already planning ahead for the next two summers and inviting our High School youth to join us on our coming summer trips. This summer, June 24-July 1, 2017, youth and adults are invited on a backpack trip to Colorado. A $50 deposit and registration are due by February 19.

In 2018 the High School youth will go to the ELCA National Youth Gathering, June 21-July 1 in Houston, Texas. We’re collecting names of those interested in this trip now.

Sign-up and more information for both are available at http://stjohnskasson.org/youth/.

Second High School Youth Group Time

Starting January 8, the youth will have another opportunity to gather as a “Youth Group.” Join Lindsay and other youth from the congregation at 11:30 am Sundays! Youth also meet on Wednesdays at 7:15 pm. Come to whichever time(s) work for you! All are invited.

Youth & Adult Backpacking Trip

We are offering a backpacking retreat for youth and adults at Sky Ranch Lutheran Bible Camp in Fort Collins, Colorado June 24-July 1, 2017. We will be doing the “Taste of the Mountain” option. More information can be found at www.skyranchcolorado.org/backpacking or by contacting Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org. The registration deadline is February 19, 2017.

Register here.

Use this button if you wish to pay your $50 deposit online:

Christmas Tree Auction

The confirmation groups at St. John’s have decorated the Fellowship Hall with their beautiful and creative Christmas trees. Now YOU have the chance to take home their creativity!

Now through 10:15 am on Sunday, December 18 you can place your silent auction bids. Bid sheets are right on the wall next to each tree – stop in any time.

Funds raised from the sale of these trees will support the campers as they go to confirmation camp Summer 2017.

The trees available:

16treeauction-believe 16treeauction-cars 16treeauction-movie 16treeauction-nativity 16treeauction-ornaments 16treeauction-snowflakes 16treeauction-snowman 16treeauction-traditional 16treeauction-wooden16treeauction-pallet 16treeauction-sports

What’s coming up in youth ministry

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

The air is turning crisp and the first leaves have started to change color. There is no denying that fall is upon us. Of course, with fall comes the hectic pace of school as well as programs here at St. John’s. Confirmation is in full swing as we organize small groups and get schedules in place. High school youth are getting themselves plugged in to opportunities for service throughout the congregation as junior leaders for confirmation, Sunday School and Oasis teachers/assistants, and being of service to the larger Kasson-Mantorville community.

This year we will be concentrating on equipping parents, students, and everyone in the congregation to live out their passion for service, provide opportunities for learning, and continue the work of being God’s hands and feet in the world. In an attempt to make serving easier in the midst of busy schedules the St. John’s Youth and Family Commission is committed to providing a congregational wide (open to all ages) service opportunity and learning opportunity each month. This month’s service opportunity will be a highway clean-up on Saturday, October 8 from 10am-12pm. We will meet at the church and head out to do some work beautifying our community. Our learning opportunity will be the 3rd in our Bible introductory sessions during confirmation on Wednesday evenings. Join us for an evening of delving into the New Testament on Wednesday, October 5 at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall.

During confirmation interviews we have been reviewing the Affirmation of Baptism service that they will take part in (this is the confirmation service). As a part of the vows that students will agree to is the line “live among God’s faithful people.” Every time we help others, every time we participate in service, or take part in our community whether in the church building or in the wider world we are living out our lives among God’s faithful people. I look forward to continue to serve with you all as God’s hands and feet in the world. If you have any questions or suggestions of events, please let me know!