The Messenger

Lenten Book Study for Moms

Lindsay is leading a book study for moms Thursdays 12:30-1:30 pm and Sundays 9:10-10:10 am. They are reading Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNiel. Talk to Lindsay if you need a copy of the book or childcare arrangements (lindsay@stjohnskasson.org).

Volunteer or donate for Doing Day

The Women of the ELCA of our congregation will host a “Doing Day” on Wednesday, March 21. You are invited to come any time after 8:00 am (usually wrapping up by about 2:00 pm) to help pack kits to help benefit people around the world and in the United States and/or help prepare quilts. We will take time out for morning coffee and devotions and a potluck lunch. Find a list of required items below, in the Snippets at the Welcome Center, or on the WELCA bulletin board. Questions? Contact Gail Jensen at (507) 633-2467 or (507) 951-3367.

  • child-size blunt tip scissors
  • 24 count crayons
  • pencil sharpeners
  • 12” rulers that include centimeter on one side and inches on the other
  • 70-sheet notebooks (wide or college rule)
  • ball point pens (black or blue)
  • 2½” erasers
  • sturdy combs
  • pick-style combs
  • jar or tubes of petroleum jelly (approx 4 oz or larger)
  • heavy duty kitchen style gloves (size medium)
  • nail clippers
  • cloth diapers
  • light weight bath towels
  • hand towels (preferably dark colors)
  • soap (ivory or unscented is preferred, individually wrapped)
  • infant-size clothing (6-18 m sizes – T-shirts, sleepers without feet and cotton knit sleep sacks)
  • new or gently used sheets double sized or larger fitted sheets, twin sized or larger flats
  • flannel pillow cases

 

CKP Sunday & Open House

On Sunday, March 4, we will celebrate the ministry of Creation Kids Preschool on “CKP Sunday.” Please help us welcome the special guests and visitors who come to share the day with the children.

Then on Tuesday, March 6, CKP will host an open house from 5:00-6:30 pm. All families are invited to meet the staff and board members and check out our facilities and the programs we offer.

Registration is now available for the ‘18-’19 school year. Available at these events or at www.stjohnskasson.org/preschool

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!

 

First Communion classes

Fourth graders will have two First Communion preparation sessions. These classes will be on Saturday afternoons March 10 & 24 from 1-3 pm. It is expected that you attend both classes. At least one parent or guardian is expected to attend class with their student. We believe it is important for families to be involved with one another’s faith journey, and this is the perfect opportunity to learn with one another!

Students will celebrate First Communion with their family during worship on Maundy Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 pm.

For more info, questions, or if your older student wishes to take the classes contact Deacon Amanda at (507) 634-7110 or amanda@stjohnskasson.org

Special Events

  • Senior Quilt Milestone Cutting
    January 3 (4:00 pm), January 6 (8:30 am), & January 7 (9:00 am)
  • Budget Information Meetings
    January 17 (5:45 pm) & January 21 (9:00 am)
  • Youth Serving Burgers at the American Legion
    January 19 (5:30-7:30 pm)
  • CKP Breakfast
    January 21 (9:00 am)
  • Annual Meeting
    January 24 (7:30 pm)

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

New Year’s Resolutions

Pastor Nirmala Reinschmidt
Interim Pastor

“I never make New Year’s resolutions, anymore,” the man told me, “I never keep them, anyway.” But I believe New year’s resolutions are worth making.

Let me tell you why.

First, we all need changes. Some we find very hard to admit to ourselves. There is great power in confession—to ourselves, to God, to others. Owning our failures is the first, painful step on the road to something better.

Second, when we change our calendar is a good time for reassessment. How did last year go? What do we want to do differently this year? Let us ask us a serious question. What percentage of our life is producing something value to God? How much “unplowed ground” do we have that ought to be broken up in this coming year and made useful? Reassessment.

Third, New Year’s is an excellent time for mid-course corrections. Sure, we might fail in what we set out to do, but if we fail to plan, the old saying goes, then we plan to fail. Failure is not the end. For the person who determines to learn from it, failure is a friend.

One of my heroes in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. Talk about failure! Throughout his life he was opposed, persecuted, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, slandered, and scorned. But during his life in prison he wrote, “Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil.3:13-14). Paul did not let the fear of failure keep him from trying again.

Fourth, the new year is a time to learn to rely more heavily on the grace God. One more secret from the Apostle Paul: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” he said (Phil. 4:13). And God’s strength saw him through pain, through joy, and through accomplishment. Let us rely on God who is our refuge and strength.

May the grace of God abide with you and carry you through this new year.

Peace and Joy!

New opportunities

Amanda Sabelko, Deacon
CYF Ministry Development Director

Wow – it feels like we were just here a few months ago! Another new year, full of anticipation! Which will probably fly by 🙂

This January there are a few changes taking place for Faith Formation at St. John’s.

First – we are going to be taking a new approach to our Faith Milestones. From January through April we will be using one lesson time each month to talk about a particular building block of faith. First through fourth grade students will learn about the Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, the Bible, and the sacrament of Holy Communion. Club 56 students will be concentrating on the Apostle’s Creed. Next year, we will implement a year-long program to delve deeper with all Preschool – 6th grades.

Second – Our confirmation large group learning times will be on Sundays 1-3 pm. During these learning opportunities, we are encouraging any and all community members to participate as well. The learning times will focus on learning the Bible and catechism. Click here for the full schedule.

Each of these new learning opportunities is meant to help you grow in your faith and build a closer relationship with God. Please join us!

Inspiration at the annual meeting

The annual meeting for St. John’s is scheduled for Wednesday, January 24 at 7:30 pm.

Does this sound too “businessy”? This is your chance to be inspired by all of God’s work happening right here at St. John’s and help us determine where else we can share the love of God in 2018. We’ll hear about the transition process, get updates from our ministries, elect new leaders, and vote on our priorities for 2018 (also known as a “budget”).

There will be opportunities to ask questions about the budget in advance of the meeting: Wednesday, January 17 at 5:45 pm in the Fellowship Hall and Sunday, January 21 at 9:00 am in the Fireside Room.

Watch other communications in the month of January for a notice about the annual report. A printed and electronic version of the report will be available mid-January. This will have more information about what to expect: stories from all our ministries, the agenda and business items for the meeting, and the proposed budget including a narrative of what we can do as a congregation with the gifts we receive.

Another chance to hear the Christmas message

If you weren’t here at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, Pastor John’s Christmas Eve sermon and Pastor Nirmala’s Christmas Day sermon are available online. You can also find all our Wednesday and Sunday sermons on our website, so check in any time you want to catch up!

Listen at stjohnskasson.org/sermons

Supporting CKP this month

Do you need to wash that filthy salt spray off your car? Do breakfast burritos sound delicious? Do you want to help young children grow in their faith and love of God?

Creation Kids Preschool can use you!

Support the preschool by purchasing a Kwik Trip Carwash Card. Each card has 5 Ultimate car washes for $30. This is a $50 value (regular car wash price is $10, cost on gift card is $6 per wash!). Gift cards to do not expire and can be used at any Kwik Trip in MN, IA, and WI. Please contact Jessica Paulsen at (952) 484-2777 or Rachel Linbo at (507) 421-6013. You can also send a message on Creation Kids Preschool-Kasson, MN Facebook page.

Come hungry Sunday morning, January 21. The preschool families will be serving a breakfast 9:00 am-10:30 am. Breakfast burritos are on the menu!

2018 Large Group Sessions

All ages are invited to learn more about the Bible and the catechism at the upcoming confirmation large group sessions. These intergenerational opportunities will be Sundays from 1:00-3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We will go through the different sections of the Bible with group activities, video, and study. The schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday, January 7 – The Pentateuch, or the 1st five books of the Bible/Old Testament
  • Sunday, January 28 – The 4 Gospels
  • Sunday, February 4 – The History books of the Old Testament
  • Sunday, February 11 – The Book of Acts and Paul’s Letters
  • Sunday, March 4 – Wisdom Literature and Poetry (Psalms, Proverbs, etc/Prophets of the Old Testament
  • Sunday, March 18 – General Letters of the New Testament and the book of Revelation

Within the Old Testament studies we will also learn about the 10 commandments, 1st and 3rd articles of the Apostles’ Creed, and the people’s covenant with God. Within the New Testament studies we will cover the 2nd and 3rd articles of the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the sacraments.

Advent & Christmas Special Events

  • Lessons & Carols
    Dec. 10 | 8:00 am & 10:15 am
  • Grief Support Gathering
    Dec. 14 | 11:00 am
  • Children’s Christmas Program
    Dec. 17 | 10:15 am
  • Senior Community Worship
    Dec. 21 | 2:00 pm
  • 4th Sunday in Advent
    Dec. 24 | 9:00 am
  • Christmas Eve
    Dec. 24 | 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm
  • Christmas Day
    Dec. 25 | 9:00 am

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

Notes:

  • Dec. 27 – NO worship
  • Jan. 31- worship at 9:00 am

Well Trained & Alert

Pastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

For twenty-three years, beginning in 1990, I served as a chaplain in the Montana Air National Guard. The first two years of service were during the “Cold War.” The perceived threat, in those days, was that the Warsaw Pact countries, led by the Soviet Union, would attack one or more NATO countries, allied with the US. World War III would presumably start with a swift Warsaw Pact invasion of West Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Belgium, to deny a landing point for NATO allies. This conventional warfare was expected to be short lived, for neither side wanted to be the last to deploy the inevitable nuclear weapons.

As a squadron of fighter jets, our basic mission was to “Survive, Fight, Win.” Surviving a direct nuclear strike, for obvious reasons never came up in our training. We, who were, “non-essential,” to the fight spent the better part of most exercises sheltering against radioactive fallout. We sat, and sat — reading books, watching movies, and struggling to imagine that anything like this could ever happen. Such a war could scarcely be imagined. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War was declared to be over, and talk was of a “peace dividend.” How would we spend all of the money we would save, by not preparing for war? Now we had only to worry about “rogue nations,” and terrorist groups. In 1993 there was an unsuccessful attempt to bring down the World Trade Center with a truck bomb. We felt relieved at the relatively few casualties, and the minor damage done to the building, but we were warned to be alert.

Then came September 11, 2001, as another “day that will live in infamy.” Now, we lined up the troops for a no-kidding war. It was my job to brief the troops and their families on the cultural and religious differences between the US and the Middle East, and praying for their safe return. I remember thinking, with a lump in my throat, as families were divided in tearful goodbyes, “So this is what we have been training for all of these years. I pray we have trained them well.”

The key words for Advent season, will be, “Stay Awake, Watch, and Pray”…”So that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:7). “Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly, and what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake” (Mark 13:35-37).

Have a blessed Advent season and a merry Christmas.

We are not alone

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

I remember one Advent when I was around 13 years old, I heard the song “Breath of Heaven” for the first time. The song is the story of Jesus’ mother, Mary. It is a plea for God to be with her as she nears the birth of her child and she is frightened by all that the future holds. I remember thinking the burden she felt must have been enormous. The line that has always struck me hardest is, “Must I walk this path alone?” I have heard this sentiment from many people and have even heard it swirling around my own mind more often than I would like. Fear and doubt can take us over. So many people around us just don’t seem to get it. Must I walk this path alone? Inevitably , when I have these thoughts God finds a way to break into my life. He sends people to be with me during life’s burdens.

Advent is a season of waiting. Waiting in anticipation for the birth of the Savior. In life, whether we are waiting for a joyous event, like the birth of a baby, or waiting for something difficult, like treatment for an illness, waiting is the hardest part. Burdens get heavier in the waiting, if we let them. As we travel through this time of Advent I would encourage you to look around and see if you can pinpoint the people who are walking with you on the path. Is there someone you hadn’t noticed before? Where is God showing up? Is it a family member? Maybe, you are showing up as God’s hands and feet to someone else. In a world where, at least lately for me, the burdens seem so heavy and it feels that I am alone, a change of perspective is needed. At Jesus’ birth the words of the prophet Isaiah are remembered and he is called Emmanuel, which means God is with us. When we worry, when we doubt, when we feel that we are walking the path alone God is with us. When we are filled with joy and excitement God is with us. Breathe that in and remember in the bustle of this busy season that God is with us and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.