The Messenger

Worship & Fellowship Schedule

Join us each week for worship and opportunities to spend time together!

  • Traditional Worship
    Sundays at 8:00 am
  • Coffee Fellowship
    Sundays at 9:00 am
  • Blended Worship
    Sundays at 10:15 am
  • Oasis Meals
    Wednesdays at 5:15 pm
  • Wednesday Worship
    Wednesdays at 6:30 pm

Find a full schedule of events at

Recommitting to Prayer

Amanda Sabelko
Children, Youth, & Family Ministry Director

Labor Day weekend again marked the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year at St. John’s!

We’ll be getting back into the groove of things for Sunday School, Oasis, and Club 56 starting the week of September 17. Registration forms are available in the office or at

This year I am working on different ways to strengthen my own prayer life. In the coming weeks, I plan to start a daily prayer practice. It will be open to others who are looking for a place to listen to God and the world around us. If we truly believe prayer is meant to be a conversation with God we must take time to center ourselves on Godís Word and just listen. As you finish your summer out, I pray that youíll take a little time to be still.

A Town Hall with the Bishop

Our Southeastern Minnesota Synod’s bishop, Steven Delzer, will join us on Wednesday, October 11. He will preach in worship and lead us in a town-hall-style meeting afterward. We will hear more about how the synod will help guide us on this process of defining our congregation and seeking out our future leaders. It is a great time to ask questions about the coming months.

Ministry Fair September 17 & 20

Have you ever wondered what the commissions of St. John’s do? Who is on the congregational council? What sorts of things the youth group does and when? What is Food for Friends? If you have ever had these questions or others, or perhaps wondered how you can be more involved in serving God’s kingdom through St. John’s, make plans to visit our ministry fair Sunday, September 17, 9:00-10:00 am and Wednesday, September 20, 5:30-8:00 pm. No pressure to join anything, just come and learn and join in some time together!

Bible Blessings

The 4-year-old & 3rd grade Bible Blessing will be on Sunday, September 24 and Wednesday September 27 at all worship services. Thank you to those who help support the purchase of these Bibles through their donations!

4-year-olds will receive a Spark Story Bible and the third graders will receive a study Bible from the St. John’s Lutheran Church faith community.

Third graders will also participate in a Bible Adventure course to learn about their study Bible and how to use it.

MOE to The Center Clinic

The next Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) will be to The Center Clinic in Dodge Center on September 20 to thank the paid and volunteer staff for the great work they do in Dodge County. For many years they have provided services to the uninsured, underinsured, and low income. Learn more at Our purpose is simple — to acknowledge and encourage the staff in what they do by bringing food and beverages to indicate their efforts are appreciated. We’d love to have you come along with us but if you can’t, you can still participate by contributing food. We will meet at St. John’s at 8:30 am and carpool. Details and signup at the Welcome Center and Mary Adam and Ardis Grovdahl co-lead this ministry. If you have questions, contact Ardis at or (507) 634-7644.

We’re Hiring

St. John’s has openings in both our music and preschool ministries.

  • Adult Handbell Choir Director
  • Children’s Handbell Choir Director
  • Preschool Teacher’s Assistant

If you are interested in more information or applying for the following positions, visit or contact the office.

ELCA Responds to US Disasters

We have featured hurricane relief by Lutheran Disaster Response in our recent Globe Offerings. Gifts given to this ministry are used 100% for disaster response.

If you still wish to give, give a check marked “Lutheran Disaster Response” to St. John”s or visit

Adult Fellowship Turkey Dinner Outing

Please join Adult Fellowship as we journey to Dodge Center’s St. John Baptiste de la Salle Catholic Church on Sunday September 24 for their annual turkey dinner. We will meet in the church parking lot right after the 2nd service & proceed from there. You may call Barb Pike 634-7179 or Carole Baker (507) 634-7133 to let us know that you plan to attend, or just show up in the parking lot around 11:15 am.

Looking Ahead: Lutefisk 2017

Make plans now to help with the 56th annual Lutefisk Dinner to be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017. Lefse bakes began on August 23 and will continue Wednesdays through October 18. In addition to lefse bakes, you can volunteer in many different capacities. Renee Solberg will continue as dinner chairperson; Shelley Gustafson and Marge Albright will again serve as co-lefse leaders.

If you have been looking to become more involved, the lutefisk committee welcomes new members. Our current members have all served many years and for this dinner to continue, new leaders need to join the committee. Please think about saying “YES”!

The lutefisk committee is pleased to report that most proceeds from the 2016 dinner and bake sale have been dispersed. Many organizations and groups have benefited from our proceeds. THANK YOU!

Needed: Volunteers for Our Offering Counter Team

We are looking for some great people to help us out! Due to some members of our money counting team deciding to share their talents in new ways with the congregation, we are looking to find some new volunteers to help us with this weekly project. Ideally, we are looking for three teams of two to help us count and deposit the weekly offerings into the bank. The current counters worked Monday mornings, but we can work with the new team to determine if this time works best or if we need to move it to Thursday morning or Monday afternoon as a couple of options – we can be flexible.

This position works great if you have a good friend to help you out as teams of two help us ensure we have dual controls and ensure we are accurate in our counting each week. If just you yourself are interested, that also works just fine. We are hoping to establish some rotation within this group to ensure we always have tenured people on board and people do not feel like it is a commitment for life. You can sign on for a term of 1-3 years and then decide if it is something you wish to continue or not at the end of your term. This allows us to better plan for turnover when you wish to share your talents in other ways with our congregation.

If interested, please reach out to treasurer Adam Richards ( or (507) 251-0677) or a member of the congregational council.

Operation Christmas Child

Guess what time it is? IT IS SHOE BOX TIME! That’s right, Operation Christmas Child!

There are going to be a lot of exciting opportunities this year. We have started collecting supplies and empty shoe boxes in a bin in the Narthex marked Operation Christmas Child. (See below for a list of items to donate.)

Packing parties will start Wednesday, September 27 around 7 pm (after worship). They are scheduled every Wednesday and Sunday until November 11, with a few days off. If you or your group would be interested in doing a packing party, please Tanya Young know. We are open to doing them other days as well.

The 2nd annual parade will be held October 8 at 3:30 pm. We will collect supplies in the streets of Kasson with fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and St. John’s Blue Bus. Additional features will be in the parade, but you will have to wait to see what they are. Following the parade, we will meet back at the church for refreshments. Please consider walking or riding in the parade with us.

Thank you so much for your continued support of this project!

For more information, contact Tanya Young at (316) 390-5368

Items to donate:

  • TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries)
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, colored pencils, erasers, rulers, scissors with rounded edges, water color paints, coloring and picture books, glue sticks
  • NON-LIQUID HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, combs, washcloths, small package of Kleenex
  • ACCESSORIES: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
  • A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

What can congregational leadership look like today?

John Allen 4 webPastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

The congregation in which I grew up had one pastor who did virtually everything. Thank goodness he almost always had a stay-at-home wife, who did virtually everything else. He did almost all the teaching of adults. He taught confirmation for seventh and eighth grade students. He also taught confirmation to any new initiates to the Lutheran faith. Lay adults could teach Sunday school and vacation Bible school, with supervision by the pastor. The pastor was either the president of the council, or approved most or all the action.

High school youth group or “Luther League” was organized like most groups of the congregation: by electing a president, vice president and secretary. Regular meetings were held and notes were taken. Dues were accepted from members to cover any expenses of the group. Besides Bible studies, regular outings, or service activities were planned at the meetings. Car washes were a regular form of fund raising. Outings were chaperoned by adult volunteers. The pastor was nearly always present at Luther League meeting and outings. When the congregation grew too large for one pastor (usually due to worship size and building capacity), the solution was simply to add another pastor—usually a younger one, to help manage youth ministry. Worship was very traditional and uniform with little variation between one service and another.

I suspect these “pastor centric” congregations were a product of a time when pastors, lawyers, and doctors were virtually the only members of the community educated beyond high school, let alone college. It’s not surprising that, with the prevalence of college educated adults, church leadership and activity has evolved to include male and female pastors, lay professionals, and volunteers in the leadership roles. People have also come to expect a wide selection of things and activities. Adults and young people are no longer content with a single option—whether it be with worship or any other activity.

That being said, it’s surprising how many congregations want to call a pastor who can do all and be all in the congregation. Expecting leadership to come almost exclusively from one person “at the top,” is a recipe for confusion and dysfunction. The larger the congregation grows, the more it should, and can, rely on a variety of leaders with a broad range of skills. Though it may still be wise to have a trained theologian and skilled administrator to be the key leader of a large congregation, there are many levels of leadership and responsibility that allow for the variety of programing beyond what any one person can lead and be involved in.

Congregational councils are wise not to try to manage all of committee or commission activities. Appoint skilled leaders at all levels and divisions of church work. Give them the freedom to operate within guidelines established by the leadership and approved by the congregation. Let the council be occupied with the vision and general direction of the congregation and God’s mission. Let the congregation seek to call a lead pastor with good management and people skills and a vision of the future development of the congregation. Let the congregation be committed to prayer and discernment of God’s work. Let them be committed to a common vision and strong support of all leadership throughout the congregation and the wider church. And let the glory belong to God alone.

Look for God every day

LindsayColwell 2017webLindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

When people aren’t familiar with the type of job that I have or are not familiar with St. John’s they tend to say to me as the school year winds to a close, “Things must be slowing down for you now that the school year is ending, right?” Usually that produces a laugh from me and the comment, “No, I am actually MUCH busier in the summer.” I spend my summer preparing last-minute details for the high school and confirmation trips, putting together summer mid-week worship with Amanda, and trying desperately to get everything ready for the coming school year. Three months sounds like a lot of time, but in reality it goes by in a flash.

This summer in mid-week worship around the fire pit we are using a book called Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. The book outlines how everything from waking up in the morning to checking email to going to bed are sacred practices in the life of our faith. We are also spending time concentrating on prayer. How can we not only make prayer a more regular part of our lives, but how can we pray for one another. One of the things that we are trying out is writing our prayer requests for the week on a Post-It note and then at the end of the service taking home someone else’s prayer request to include in our own prayers. Busy lives get in the way of our faith at times, but perhaps if we spend a little time shifting our perspective about what prayer looks like we will see that our entire day can be seen as a prayer. I have a quote up in my office that says, “God comes to you disguised as your life” (Paula D’Arcy).liturgy-of-the-ordinary

Take a moment to look around and see where God is showing up in your life. Take a moment to pray for someone else. Open your eyes to the possibility of the sacred in the everyday ordinary occurrences in your life. Find a few moments this summer to set aside the busyness and thank God for the wonder that is life. God’s blessings to you in your sacred, ordinary life.