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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.

Joyful noises for the fall

If you have a song in your heart, now is a great time to jump in to help make a joyful noise to the Lord! Rehearsals are getting going for the fall and all our musical groups are welcoming new members:

Senior Choir

The St. John’s Senior Choir and their director Clark Johnson invite you to join us in offering your musical talents in praise to God. This fall we will sing several songs with the congregation to encourage everyone to share their gift of music. We will also celebrate Reformation and conclude 2018 with our annual Service of Lessons and Carols on December 9.

The choir is always excited to receive new members. Membership is open to high school students and adults. The choir sings four services per month, normally two services on two Sundays. New to our schedule this year are two rehearsal breaks in the winter. This will provide members an opportunity for refreshment and perhaps a welcome escape from the long Minnesota winter!

The Senior Choir’s first rehearsal is on Wednesday evening, September 5 from 7:00-8:00 pm. On Sunday, September 9, we will be joining with our congregation to sing the hymn “God, You Made All Things for Singing.”

If you like to sing, please come join this wonderful group of musicians. If you have any questions, call Clark Johnson at (507) 635-5465.

Handbells

Do you enjoy hearing the bells ring on Sunday morning? Would you like to give it a try and be a part of making that joyful noise and giving those angels their wings? Come and try it out at our first practice in September 5 at 6:15 pm in the music room. You will be surprised as to how easy it is. If you have questions, contact Ann Brenke at (507) 951-8750 or abrenke55@gmail.com.

Praise Teams (adult or youth)

We have had a couple of worship bands that help lead music on Wednesday nights. As we get back to our regular worship schedule, it’s a great time to jump in if you have ever wanted to help sing or play an instrument in one of these groups. Interested adults can speak with Wes Evans, Amy Evans, or Sam Marsland. Youth wanting to get involved can talk with Amber or Jason Foster. Or anyone with questions or interest can talk with Lindsay Colwell (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110).

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(See bottom of the page for payment info) 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.

Payment

Fee is payable by cash/check or pay online below.

After selecting your payment, you can change the quantity if you are registering more than one child.

2018 Action Packed Day Camp
2018 Action Packed Day Camp
$50.00

Support the Youth at Burger Night

On Friday, April 20 the youth will cook and serve at the American Legion Burger Night in Kasson to help raise money for their trip to Houston for the ELCA National Youth Gathering this summer. Join us for burgers and fries at the great price of $8 a plate. Serving will be 5:30-7:30 pm. There will also be a meat raffle. We look forward to seeing you there and doing the cooking for you!

Upcoming confirmation dates

6th graders: Mark your calendars for confirmation orientation. You and your parents should plan to attend Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 pm OR Sunday, May 6 at 9:10 am to learn more about your journey ahead.

8th graders: Plan to attend a meeting with your parents either Sunday, May 6 at 11:15 am OR Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 pm to help you understand the final requirements of your confirmation instruction.

Students in both grades will receive further information or talk to Lindsay (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110).

6th and 7th graders – registration will be sent to you and posted online soon!

Meals to support our youth

The youth attending the 2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering will be serving two upcoming meals.

On Palm Sunday, March 25 they will serve breakfast between the morning services. The menu will be egg bake, muffins, fruit, juice, and coffee. There will also be a silent auction. Lindsay will take any donations that you would like to contribute until Friday, March 23. Come enjoy a wonderful breakfast as we prepare our hearts and souls for Holy Week.

On Friday, April 20 they will cook and serve at the American Legion Burger Night in Kasson. Join us for burgers and fries at the great price of $8 a plate. Serving will be 5:30-7:30 pm. There will also be a meat raffle. We look forward to seeing you there and doing the cooking for you!

 

2018 Chili Cookoff & Bingo Night

You’ve had a long, cold winter to work out the perfect chili concoction and now it’s time to show it off! St. John’s Youth & Family Ministry will host its fourth annual Chili Cookoff and Bingo night on Sunday, February 25 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

Chili Tasting: Free Will Donations
Bingo: $1 per card
Prizes for Bingo and the Best Chili

Proceeds help send youth to the ELCA National Youth Gathering

Register your chili by 11:00 am, February 25
Contact Lindsay Colwell – lindsay@stjohnskasson.org

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.”