The Messenger

April Special Events

  • Youth Brunch and Silent Auction
    April 14 | 9:00 a.m.
  • NO Worship
    April 17
  • Maundy Thursday
    April 18 | 11:00 am & 6:30 pm (with First Communion)
  • Good Friday Worship
    April 19 | 6:30 pm
  • Easter Sunday Worship
    April 21 | 6:30 am, 8:00 am, & 10:15 am
  • Milestone Celebration
    April 18 & May 1 services

Full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

Changing seasons and signs of God

Amanda Sabelko, Deacon
Children, Youth, & Family Development Director

After what seems like an endless winter, it looks like we’re finally turning a corner to spring. The sun is shining brighter and there are new shoots of green peeking out from the formerly snow-covered ground. The skies are starting to fill with the sweet sound of robins returning to their summer homes. And as the air warms up around us many people are starting to take advantage of the beautiful change of seasons. God surrounds us with new things in creation each and every day.

I find myself with a renewed sense of wonder as there are new things to see and experience. And as I watch out our living room window and see people taking advantage of the beautiful weather, I wonder if others are experiencing the same. This is a common time of year to take notice of the new things you experience. Whether you hear the first-morning song of the birds or find a patch of colorful wildflowers, there are always new things to be found.

During this Lenten season, I have found myself dwelling on Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” In spite of everything going on in our world, God calls us to “be still.” For me, this means to slow down and take notice of where I see God working in the world. In spring, I see God in the renewal of creation. I see God taking what was dead and creating new life in the form of flowers, grass, and grains. I see God in the new life of animals, continuing the cycle of life which we live in.

I hope you will find time this spring to spend in God’s creation; that you might experience the renewal of life around us. Where will you see God?

Giving just got easier

After months of careful research, we are excited to announce we have a new platform for giving – Tithe.ly! We now have the opportunity to set up automated giving or send one-time gifts through our website OR through a convenient app on your phone. Simply visit stjohnskasson.org/giving or search for the “ELCA Giving Tool by Tithe.ly” app to get started.

Make the most of your gifts:

  • Select ACH/bank to incur the lowest fees.
  • Opt to “Cover card processing fees” to pay the fees and ensure your full intended amount goes directly to St. John’s.

If you haven’t participated in electronic giving in the past, now is a great time to consider setting up this option! It’s easy and secure. It also makes consistent giving one less thing to think about because Tithe.ly works even through vacations, inclement weather, and forgotten wallets. St. John’s will continue to offer envelopes for donations, but we ask that you consider electronic giving!  Giving electronically, is a tremendous time savings when counting and recording donations, it also provides the church with more reliable and steady donations.

Please take this time to consider, if you are able, to enhance your current giving. Even a small step up – such as a $5 or $10 periodic increment over time provides St. John’s the valuable support we need.

If you have any questions about the new system, council members or office staff are available to help!

Participants enrolled in our previous automated giving option will be receiving information about the changeover. Your current automated giving will end April 30, 2019.

Thank you for generosity to St. John’s. We appreciate all the ways you give so that we may live as witnesses of Jesus Christ in our community.

Shipwrecked VBS

Shipwrecked VBS is coming June 24-28 from 8:30 – 11:30 am for ages 3 through 4th grade (2018-2019 school year).
We are planning to offer early drop-off (7:00-8:15 am), late pick-up (11:45 am-12:30 pm, and transportation to Just Like Home or Project Kids in Kasson. For questions, contact Deacon Amanda at amanda@stjohnskasson.org or (507)634-7110 ext. 14.

Volunteers needed!

We need a lot of people to make VBS a success! We have opportunities for 5th graders through adult. Details and signup at stjohnskasson.org/vbs or talk to Deacon Amanda.

Save the Date—Decorating Party

Saturday, June 15 | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Share your hands and/or ideas to make our space fun and inviting for VBS! Come for the entire time or any amount of time you can. Help us plan for lunch by signing up on the bulletin board at St. John’s or talk to Angie Moore or Deacon Amanda.

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.

Milestone Recognition Days

Sunday, April 28 & Wednesday, May 1

During and between services on these days, students will share the Milestones they have been working on during this past school year. The purpose of our milestone ministries is to name both sacred and ordinary events in our daily lives by creating rituals and traditions that shape our identities and give us a sense of belonging to the family of God. By learning about sacred texts it is our hope to help students as they build a foundation of faith.

Rummage Sale donations welcome beginning April 28

The Education Commission’s Annual Rummage Sale will be May 10 & 11. We will begin taking donations on April 28. Watch for signs for where to leave donations. We do not take electronics or furniture items. For questions, please contact Carol Cady: carolcady1964@gmail.com

Proceeds from our annual rummage sale help our Education Commission support their programming to help our children grow their faith.

Ladies – Let’s Have Cake!

The St. John’s Women are celebrating! The annual WELCA Birthday Party is Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 pm. The entire community is invited, so plan to bring your friends. Who turns down cake, right?

March Special Events

  • Ash Wednesday Worship – March 6 | 5:20 pm & 6:30 pm
  • Daylight Savings Time Begins March 10
  • CKP Sunday – March 17
  • Deacon Amanda returns – March 17
  • WELCA Doing Day  – March 20
  • Chili Cook-off & Bingo Event – March 24 | 11:30 am

Full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

Lent & Holy Week Worship

Join us on the journey to the cross this Lent and Holy Week:

  • Ash Wednesday
    March 6 | 5:20 pm & 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday Lenten Worship
    March 13-April 10 | 6:30 pm
    Soup Suppers at 5:15 pm (benefiting our youth: the summer service trip, Sugar Creek Bible Campers, and Creation Kids Preschool)
  • Maundy Thursday
    April 18 | 11:00 am & 6:30 pm
    (evening service includes First Communion)
  • Good Friday
    April 19 | 6:30 pm
  • Easter Sunday
    April 21 | 6:30 am, 8:00 am, & 10:15 am

Foundations of faith

Pastor Dave Efflandt
Lead Pastor

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. (1Cor 3:10-11, NRSV)

Grace and peace to you all! I am so excited to finally be here with you, to accompany you on this sacred path of faith, to encourage you through the proclamation of the Gospel, to provide leadership, to extend God’s peace, but most importantly, to be a fellow sojourner along the way, partnering together for ministry.

You know, this passage from Paul is fitting as we find ourselves together here, at the beginning of our time together. Paul encourages us to gives thanks for the pastoral leaders that you’ve had in the past, for their proclamation of the Gospel, and for the leading of the Holy Spirit through the mission and ministries of this church in the past. And, Paul wants us to remember that we take this precious treasure that is our faith, and do our best to nurture and care for it during our lives. Then, we find ourselves doing what our parents and grandparents have done for us: we hand this treasure along to them, and help nourish their faith as well. We take what was handed on to us, care for and build upon it the best we can, and hand it on. That is the way of the faith. It was never meant to be kept solely for ourselves. This faith has, and always will be, meant to be shared with the world.

And so, let’s step out together with this precious treasure. Let’s get out there into the community, sharing the good news of God’s love for it, and for the whole world. Let’s do our best to plant the seeds of God’s faithfulness in our homes, in our schools, in our communities, and yes, even in the places where we work. Let’s scatter the Word of God far and wide, and show the world that God is up to something amazing here in our community of faith.

God’s peace and courage to you as you do your best to take the faith handed on to you, share it with the world, and watch as God goes to work in and through you.

Thanks be to God.

Season of Lent

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

The season of Lent is upon us as we head into the month of March. I started to fall in love with Lent when I was in seminary. Growing up, my family never practiced the discipline of giving things up for Lent. To be honest, most of my memories around Lent revolved around going to worship and the emphasis being put on Easter morning.

When I started seminary in 2007, I fell in with a great group of friends who taught me how to immerse myself in the season of Lent. I think Lent appealed to me because there was an element of dark in it, an element of it’s okay to not be okay. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time it felt good to feel that acceptance and the call of God to find peace in the saving death and resurrection of his Son. Seminary was also the first place that I encountered the practice of taking on a discipline for that season, rather than giving up something. I have never been good at giving things up, especially when I try to do it intentionally. I don’t know about you, but for me, habits are hard to cultivate and they are even harder to break. But for this Lent, what about trying something new with me? Well, it isn’t that new, since I introduced the idea to you last Lent in some of our prayer stations. The idea comes from the book, Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNiel. Let’s try taking on the spiritual discipline of prayer. But there is no need to make it complicated. Try reciting the Lord’s Prayer in your head when walking. Try taking 5 minutes to breathe deeply with the words of John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Let’s see if we can allow the Lenten season to become part of who we are this year, rather than just another thing we have to do. May the peace of the Lord go with you now and always.

Revive Your Soul

If you missed signing up for our Lenten discussion of The Best Yes there is still time! If you’re soul is overwhelmed, now is a good time to join in. Groups meet Thursdays at 7:00 pm, Saturdays at 10:00 am, and Sundays at 9:00 am. The study will take place March 7 through April 14. Sign up at stjohnskasson.org/best-yes or the Welcome Center.

Easter Lilies for Sale

The Altar Guild will be selling Easter lilies to decorate the building for Easter Sunday. Sales begin Wednesday, March 13. Purchase before Wednesday worship or between Sunday services OR from the office. One for $15 or two for $25. The last day to purchase flowers will be Sunday, April 7.

2019 WELCA Doing Day

St. John’s WELCA (Women of the ELCA) will be holding their annual “Doing Day” on Wednesday, March 20 inviting all women who would like to help in putting together all the kits we send to many different organizations. There will be guidance from 8:00 am until we finish packing. There will be lists on the Women’s bulletin board of items we need for packing. Come for the time that fits your schedule or just to have coffee with us at 9:30 am and lunch at noon. The CKP students will help pack school kits, help us bless our work, and have lunch with us. We have special t-shirts for them to show they were part of “Doing Day.” Please join us as we pack to help those in need of these supplies.