The Messenger

Call Process Update

The Call Committee has begun the first round of interviews with several candidates. Continue to keep them and the process in your prayers.

God’s work. Our hands. Service Projects

On Sunday, September 9 and Wednesday, September 12 after worship we are going to get hands-on for God’s work in our community. We’ll have activities for all ages, all abilities, all time commitments. Activities might include: making fleece blankets, packing breakfast bags for Ronald McDonald House, letter writing, and outdoor work. We’ll get started at about 9:10 am and again at 11:15 am on Sunday or 7:30 pm on Wednesday. Just show up ready to serve!

All Commission Meeting

On Sunday, September 23 following worship everyone involved with a commission, committee, or organization at St. John’s is invited to an All Commission Meeting. The meeting is scheduled 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, lunch will be served.

This will be a great opportunity to bring everyone to the table. Many of the ministries lean on each other. By getting everyone together we can work as one voice. If you are not on a Commission but are looking to get involved, this is an excellent day to participate and find out where your talents can serve.

Every commission is asked to answer some questions and submit them by September 19. Read the full details here or in the office.

Wednesday Praise Opportunities

We have traditionally 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 about the newly renamed Old Testaments. 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).

Help us prep for Oasis meals

This year St. John’s volunteers will be cooking our Wednesday night meals. We are looking for 2-4 volunteers for each week of the Oasis meal to come in to prep, cook, and help with clean-up for the Wednesday evening meals. Menu and food supplies for the meal will be provided. Our confirmation students and their families will continue to help set-up, serve, and clean-up the meal (a big thank you to all of our confirmation families, past and present, for this!) If you are interested in helping out with meals, visit stjohnskasson.org/meals or talk to Lindsay.

Opportunities to serve the community with Meals on Wheels

St. John’s members generously volunteer their time one week every six weeks to deliver meals in our community through the Meals on Wheels program. Each day of that week the deliveries take about an hour. The other five weeks volunteers from other congregations do the deliveries.

We are currently looking for a leader who can make a few phone calls if there are volunteer slots left to fill (sometimes 1-2 days need help getting filled). We’re also always welcoming more volunteers to help deliver meals. We train you, you sign up as you are available, and it’s a one-day-at-a-time commitment. St. John’s next week to deliver is September 24-28. Sign up on the calendar at the Welcome Center or in the office.

If you can help with either role, contact Ardis Grovdahl (temporary coordinator) at (507) 634-7644 or grovdahlardis@kmtel.com or speak with Sheryl in the office.

Looking Ahead: Lutefisk 2018

Make plans now to help with the 57th annual Lutefisk Dinner to be held on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Lefse bakes began on August 22 and will continue through October 17. No experience necessary! Coffee fellowship is served mid-morning. Contact Marge Albright (507-421-5184) or Jeannine Allen (507-271-0969) to sign up to assist with the bakes.

Be on the lookout for the worker signup sheets in the narthex on Sunday, September 23, and Wednesday, September 26. There are many ways to volunteer on October 23-25.

Mark your calendars to take part in the Norwegian Cookie Bake on Monday afternoon, October 15, from 1:00-5:00 in the church kitchen. All supplies will be provided. Please contact Gail Jensen (507-951-3367) if you have questions.

July Special Events

  • Office Closed
    July 4
  • Action Packed Day Camp
    July 9-12
  • Prairie Meadows Worship*
    July 12 at 2:00 pm
  • Fairview Worship*
    July 19 at 9:30 am
  • Sunwood Worship*
    July 19 at 2:00 pm

* These worship services happen monthly. You are invited to join residents with us. These services are always on the online calendar or printed calendar in the Snippets.

Find a full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

 

The Cross Symbolizes a Cosmic as Well as Historic Truth

Pastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

The cross symbolizes a cosmic as well as historic truth. Love conquers the world, but its victory is not an easy one.
— Reinhold Niebuhr, 100 Days of Prayer

This year, in worship, we are reading mostly from the Gospel of Mark. If there is one central theme and truth expressed it that book, it is the one stated so well above. Early in the Gospel, Jesus seems to command everything. He heals the sick, casts out demons, commands the seas to be still and the storm to end, and confounds his enemies. He even raises the dead, as in the story of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:41-42).
The story only gets complicated, it seems, when Jesus comes face to face with human pride, greed, hatred, and unbelief. The old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” seems to be born out when Jesus came to his home town of Nazareth, and the people “took offense at him” (6:5). “And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief” (6:5-6).

Jeremiah (5:21) prophesied, “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” That thought was repeated in 1738 by Jonathan Swift in his Polite Conversation: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

The one who came as the Word of God, and with a word commanded all the forces of nature, seemed to have met his match in human sin. That victory could not be easily won. It would take a cross. It should be no surprise that our work of sharing the Gospel in a busy and conflicted world will not be an easy one. It will take nothing less than a cross.

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!

Curious about the call process?

Your St. John’s Call Committee is meeting to keep moving us forward toward calling a Lead Pastor. Our Ministry Site Profile, a kind of resume potential candidates will review to learn more about our congregation, has been submitted.

Join us Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 pm for a Town Hall Meeting with Rev. Susan Miller from our Southeastern Minnesota Synod office. She’ll address what we can expect from the call process and answer your questions.

If you know a pastor that the Call Committee should consider, there are forms at the Welcome Center you can fill out and submit. These will be sent on to the synod office.

Ongoing opportunities this summer

  • Adult Bible Forum with Pastor John
    Sundays, 10:00 am
    Conversation going deeper into scripture.
  • Prayer Group with Pastor Nirmala
    Mondays, 10:00 am
    We pray for our congregation, community, and world.
  • Lutheran 101 with Pastor John
    Thursdays, 6:00 pm
    Learn more about the fundamentals of Lutheran faith, practice, and teaching.