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Thank you from our confirmation campers

RandyFettPastor Randy Fett
Lead Pastor

Thank you on behalf of the summer confirmation class trip campers and families for all of the support of fundraisers from the congregation, and for the scholarships and travel money form Thrivent, St. John’s Foundation Board, and WELCA. The students were nurtured and taught about Bible and the faith, celebrated Christian community and service, and took adventures in horseback riding, kayaking and paddle boarding, Mountain biking, and hiking. Yes, it was faith experience. Everyone loves this camp. If you see a student make sure you ask them about the “Outlaw” experience. They hope to share stories at the Sunday, July 17 worship service. Thank you.

Praying, sending, welcoming, & listening – what our mission trip needs

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

July! How is it already so far into summer! As I write this I am surrounded by paperwork and resources as I prepare for this month’s senior high school mission trip to Philadelphia. St. John’s will be sending 13 students and 4 adults to Philadelphia July 15-23 to participate in service work through YouthWorks, a non-denominational Christian service trip organization. Our group will be learning about urban gardening, poverty issues, and food sustainability. The people of St. John’s have generously supported us over the past several months as we have prepared for this trip. You have attended our Chili Cook-off, joined us for Sunday morning coffee, and let us cook soup suppers and Sunday morning breakfasts for you. Through all of this food-related fundraising you have been overwhelmingly generous with both your time and your money, and for that we are immensely grateful.

And now, I have another favor to ask of you. This is much more difficult than giving $20 here and $5 there. What our students and adult leaders will need most from you is emotional and logistical support. Our mission team needs your support and feedback. We need your prayers for safe travel and God’s presence to be tangible as we serve in Philadelphia. We need you to send us off with encouragement. We need you to receive us as we return with open arms of welcome, listening ears to help us process our experiences, and willingness to help us apply what we learned in Philadelphia to our own context here at home in Kasson. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our youth!

Action Packed Day Camp

Youth who were in grades 5-8 in 2015-2016 are invited to St. John’s 2016 Action Packed Day Camp! We’ll meet at St. John’s at 9:00 am August 1-5 and we’ll go somewhere different every day for action-packed activities! Details about the schedule are at the link below. Cost is $50/student (scholarships available). Registration is limited to 30 students and the deadline to register is July 17.

Registration and information at http://stjohnskasson.org/action-packed-day-camp/

High School Retreat April 16-17

8-12th graders are invited to a retreat April 16-17. We leave at 2 pm on Saturday and return around 3:30 pm on Sunday. The deadline to sign up is April 6. There are 20 spots for students and three spots for chaperones. Cost is $50 which includes housing, meals, and challenge course. We will have a guest speaker. This is a leadership retreat and planning for the coming school year. Sign-up is in the office.

High School Retreat April 16-17

High Schoolers – Join us for a retreat Saturday, April 16-Sunday April 17. We will leave church around 2 pm on Saturday and return around 3:30 pm on Sunday. The cost is $50 per student which includes meals and the challenge course if it is open. We will be staying overnight in cabins, have worship, and conversation together. We will have a guest speaker and plan for the future of Peer Ministry/PLAGUE. The retreat is open to 8th-12th graders. Deadline to register is Wednesday, April 6. Those interested in coming should contact Lindsay (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110 ext 15. Registration will be available in early March. Watch www.stjohnskasson.org/youth and the youth board for details.

Blessings of youth ministry activities

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

As 2015 comes to a close, we have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to here at St. John’s! I feel blessed to have been welcomed into such a congregation as this one: a congregation willing to have conversations, people willing to give so much of themselves, and a congregation invested in the future of its youth. God is at work among us, which I see every time I spend time with the youth of this congregation. I am looking forward to all that 2016 has to bring and to all that God has in store for us. Here are just a few things that Youth and Family Ministry and I are working on at the moment:

  • Our 5th and 6th grade students are becoming more active in their involvement in service and educational opportunities both on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. During the Oasis afterschool time on Wednesday we are trying out a new youth group model with our 5th and 6th graders centered-around fun and fellowship, giving them a chance to burn off some energy after a long day at school. I am hoping to work toward establishing something similar for those students who take part in Sunday mornings.
  • Our 7th and 8th grade students taking part in confirmation have been enthusiastically engaging in our quiz bowl contest, having lots of fun and competing a little while learning about the Apostles’ Creed. In 2016, we will continue our confirmation study with the sacraments, as well as planning a few events for this age group outside the structure of confirmation class.
  • Our high school youth have a great inter-generational event in the works for the winter months. Look for more information to come on this event that will be planned by our students for the entire congregation to enjoy. The high school youth group (Peer Ministry/P.L.A.G.U.E) will also become more regular in their events. High school students looking to get involved can meet the group at church at 7:30pm each Wednesday to carpool to our meeting place. Our meeting events will be on a rotating schedule for the month as follows: week 1 – service event, week 2 – learning activity and conversation, week 3 – fellowship/fun (often the week we will go to Rochester), and week 4 – a leadership activity. If there is a 5th week in the month, we will have a second fellowship/fun evening.

As always, please check out the church calendar and announcements for any changes. Students and those interested in taking part in any of these ministries can follow goings on through the Remind app or by texting the number 81010. The following are the class names to follow in the app or to put in the message portion of a text message: 5th and 6th grade – @cyf5and6; 7th and 8th grade – @sjkasson; High school – @sjkyouth.

May God bless our work together, giving us hearts full of his love and compassion and hands to do his work in the world. May he show us how to be everyday missionaries, the people of God at work in the world.

Prepare your heart for Christmas at the Advent Festival

AdventFestial2015The store aisles are telling us that Christmas is here. The Christian church, however, is just preparing to turn the page to a season of preparation before Christmas arrives. This season is called Advent. St. John’s, invites you to their annual Advent Festival to kick off the season. The free event will take place Sunday, November 29, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Participants will have a chance to create their own paper link chain “Countdown to Christmas” with an act of kindness for each day leading up to Christmas. While waiting for Christmas day, families will be able to share gifts and kindness with their community.  There will also be other fun activities for all ages including a cake walk, sing-a-long, lighting of the Christmas trees, a Christmas tree silent auction, and refreshments. It will be a great afternoon of fun, seasonal activities, and time with friends and neighbors.

“The Advent Festival is about looking beyond the consumerism of Christmas,” says Amanda Sabelko, the Children, Youth, & Family Development Director at St. John’s. “It’s a celebration of the beginning of Advent and remembering what Christmas is about – preparing for Christ.”

This family-friendly event has something for all ages. The congregation at St. John’s invites the entire community to come celebrate Advent, the season of preparing for Christmas.

Friday Roundup – November 20, 2015

Winter seems to have arrived, but not for the five families who spent last weekend at the Wilderness Lodge in Wisconsin Dells!

15 Operation Christmas Child CollectionMeanwhile, here in Kasson, Tanya Young, the coordinator for our collection site for Operation Christmas Child, was collecting shoeboxes gifts for children around the world. Other congregations could bring their boxes to St. John’s and then they’d be shipped on from here.

On Monday, November 16, Pastor Dana opened her home for any who wanted to enjoy watching the movie musical Meet me in St. Louis. The next one is November 30 and will start of a Christmas movie series. Join her at 506 7th Ave. NE, Kasson at 7 pm for Holiday Inn.

High school youth have been meeting at 7:30 pm Wednesday nights. This Wednesday, the 18th, they hung out at the ice rink.

15 Youth Group Ice Skating

Festival of Trees

The 7th-8th grade confirmation group “Festival of Trees” is back this year. The groups will be decorating Christmas trees and wreathes and putting them up for sale by silent auction. Starting date is Sunday, November 29. The last time to bid on the trees will be Sunday morning, December 13. The trees can be picked up that day or in the following week.

High School Highlights

  • The Chili Feed will be rescheduled for later this winter.
  • Youth Mission Trip for grades 9-12 (‘15-’16 school year) will be to Philadelphia, July 15-23. Trip is through Youth Works and will focus on poverty and food sustainability. More info at www.stjohnskasson.org/2016-mission-trip

Friday Roundup – October 24, 2015

Welcome to the first-ever Friday Roundup post! What have we, the people of St. John’s, been up to this last week?

Lutefisk Dinner

The BIG deal was the Lutefisk Dinner. This year’s event served 1,925 meals (1,604 adults and children, 140 take-out, and 181 workers).

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.

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

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

You can view more photos on our Facebook page (yes, even if you don’t use Facebook).

Faith & Art

Member Wayne Hendricksen talked about his woodworking and his faith as part of our Faith & Art adult education series. Our final session is this Sunday, the 25th, at 9:15 and will be led by Gustavus student Karoline Stark on sacred dance.

High School Peer Ministry/PLAGUE

Wednesday night after worship, the high schoolers met at Buffalo Wild Wings in Rochester and then went shopping for supplies for Operation Christmas Child.

St. John’s 2016 High School Mission Trip

Philadelphia, PA
Dates: July 15-23, 2016 (at Youth Works site July 17-22)
$60 non-refundable deposit is due by Sunday, November 29.
Questions? Talk to Lindsay Colwell – lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110

Get started by registering at the form at the bottom of this page!

YouthWorkswebYouthWorks description of this site and serving experience:

As Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia offers a unique blend of history and progress. The city is filled with numerous parks, gardens, and historical and cultural landmarks, which help to remind visitors and residents alike of its long story. Beyond its vibrant past, there is much happening in the City of Brotherly Love today, both in terms of urban development and urban struggle. Poverty and unemployment are very real issues here, but the city is making strides to address the problems. Currently, Philadelphia is focusing on sustainability, providing healthy food to the hungry, creating equal opportunities for its diverse population, and redeveloping neighborhoods to invite more people in.

Serving opportunities in Philadelphia:

  • Partner with local organizations to meet ongoing needs in the community.
  • A fully integrated service and learning experience where students not only assist with needs but also understand the causes and outcomes of specific issues facing the community, as well as the community strengths.
  • Learn about food sustainability and how it affects this community as well as your community back home.

St. John’s student information to join:

  • 15 student spots available
  • $60 non-refundable deposit is due by Sunday, November 29. Please submit to the office, checks made out to St. John’s.
  • Total cost for the trip per student will be $500 (This includes transportation and payment to Youth Works for July 17-22, which includes all meals during that time period. We will work out food and lodging for the trip there and back as we go along.)
  • Registration can be done online or by speaking to Lindsay. We will have a meeting to fill out paperwork and to discuss fundraising efforts.
  • Fundraising efforts are currently in the planning stages, but spots are available right now for coffee fellowship fundraising opportunities. The sign-up sheet is on the Youth Board in the Narthex. Questions can be addressed to Lindsay.
  • Spots will be filled on a first come first served basis. The final deadline to decide if students are attending or not (based on available spots) is February 1, 2016. At this time, if there are open spots parents will be given the opportunity to attend as well.
  • We are in need of one female and one male chaperone. These chaperone spots are not a part of the 15 student spots. As of right now, Lindsay will be attending as the female chaperone, but that is dependent on family circumstances at that time.
  • Students and chaperones will need to have a TB test prior to turning in our student forms to Youth Works. A current test within the last 2 years will suffice.

Upcoming Family & Youth Events

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

There are several family and youth events in the coming months to look for! Here are some of the highlights: ?

  • A block of rooms has been reserved for us at the Wilderness Territory Resort at the Wisconsin Dells for November 13-15. Friday the 13th there is no school as it is the end of quarter for our students. Wristbands for the waterpark are included in the price of rooms (up to 6 per room). The deadline to book rooms is Oct. 14, 2015. Fliers can be downloaded here or found on the youth board or in the office. ?
  • The youth, along with the Youth and Family Commission, will again be hosting a Chili Feed and Bingo Night fundraiser. Mark your calendars for Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 4-6pm. More information to come. Come join us for great chili and good fun following the Vikings-Packers game! Rescheduled, but watch for details!?
  • The 9th-12th grade students are invited to take a trip to ValleySCARE on Friday, October 16, 2015. We will take the “Big, Blue Bus” and leave church at 4pm. We will stop for food on the way, so students should bring money for that expense. We will return to the church parking lot at midnight. Tickets will cost $20 for the amusement park and gas. There are 35 spots available for students. Deadline to sign-up is Monday, October 11th. Students may bring friends. All students are required to fill out a signup form, a health form, and a youth and family covenant – all available in the office or at www.stjohnskasson.org/youth. (Adults interested in chaperoning, please speak to Lindsay.) Cancelled