The Messenger

2018 Action Packed Day Camp

Youth who were in grades 4-8 in 2017-2018 are invited to St. John’s 2018 Action Packed Day Camp. Join us for a week of non-stop fun!

Details

July 9-12, 2018
Cost is $50, includes a tshirt

Registration

We have closed the registration form but there are still some spots! Contact Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org(See bottom of the page for payment info) Participants also need to complete the medical form.

Schedule

Camp days will be approximately 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. A couple of days will be closer to 6:00 pm; families will be notified closer to the week of camp.

  • Monday, July 9 – Science Museum of MN, with Imax movie
  • Tuesday, July 10 – ValleyFair, with waterpark
  • Wednesday, July 11 – Scenic Tour at Mystery Cave, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
  • Thursday, July 12 – MN Zoo

What to Bring

Students will need to bring a sack lunch, wear sturdy shoes or sandals (no flip flops!), bring a swimsuit and towel on Tuesday and Thursday, a sweatshirt/jacket on Wednesday for the cave tour, and a water bottle. Daily snacks will be provided.

Payment

Fee is payable by cash/check or pay online below.

After selecting your payment, you can change the quantity if you are registering more than one child.

2018 Action Packed Day Camp
2018 Action Packed Day Camp
$50.00

Family Fun Night June 20

It’s that time of year – time for a neighborhood party! Come out and bring a friend or neighbor along to this year’s FREE Family Fun Night. Food, root beer floats, face painting, games, songs by the VBS kids, a cake walk, and more.

Wednesday, June 20
5-8 pm
Here at St. John’s

Lutheran 101 is here for the summer

Are you interested in learning or reviewing the fundamentals of Lutheran faith, practice, and teaching? Pastor John will lead Lutheran 101 this summer Thursdays at 6:00 pm. All are invited!

Prayers for our travelers

We have two groups of travelers this month. Our confirmation students will be at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, WI June 10-15 and a bunch of our High Schoolers will be headed to Houston, TX for the ELCA National Youth Gathering with thousands of youth from around the country. Pray for safe travel and that God may speak to them through these experiences.

Operation Christmas Child no longer housed at St. John’s

Tanya Young
Operation Christmas Child Coordinator

After much thought and prayer, as well as discussion with the Mission and Outreach Commission and the congregational council, it has been decided St. John’s will no longer house the Operation Christmas Child project. This decision wasn’t an easy one to make, but felt I needed to be the one to share with everyone. Over the last 4 years, it has been such a joy to see how God has worked through everyone with this project. All the individuals/groups who have come to a packing party, financially supported by buying items or shipping, and those who have just simply prayed for each child that would receive a shoebox gift. Over the last 4 years we have packed and shipped 2,900 shoeboxes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It is more than just the number, but better yet the amount of children that have had the opportunity learn about Jesus through a shoe box gift.

Thank you for allowing me to be your coordinator of the Operation Christmas Child project. It has been an honor to lead this project for our congregation and the community. I will be continuing my work with the Mission and Outreach Commission and putting my energy into the many local and worldwide ministries available through our own Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA churchwide, and our mission partners in Haiti.

May Special Events

  • Rummage Sale
    May 11 (2 pm—6 pm) & May 12 (9 am—2 pm)
  • Milestone Celebrations
    May 13 & 16 at worship
  • Senior Recognition
    May 16 & 20 at worship
  • Breakfast Fellowship
    May 20 between services
  • First Day of Summer Worship Schedule
    May 27 at 9:00 a.m.
  • No Worship
    May 30

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

Can luxury distract us?

Pastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

Apsley Cherry-Garrard was an English gentleman who was, as they say, born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In 1907, he inherited his father’s large estate. Though he knew luxury, he had always been thrilled, hearing of his father’s achievements in India and China, fighting with the British Defense Forces.

At the age of twenty-four ‘Cherry’ applied to join Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica, hopefully, to the South Pole (1910-1913). His first application was rejected. Scott felt he had nothing to add to the expedition. He would be a detriment and a danger to himself and the entire expedition. He applied a second time and offered to pay one thousand pounds. He was turned down again but gave the money anyway. Scott was impressed with this unselfish act, and a close comrade persuaded him to allow Cherry to sign on as assistant zoologist. This man who had only known luxury was in for the experience of a life-time, and the most torturous battle between life and death imaginable.

For two years the men endured temperatures as low as -77°F in winter. In one event Cherry’s teeth chattered so hard that he shattered most of them. The men were frost-bitten and on the verge of death several times. Scott and four of his men, with the support of the others, did reach the South Pole, but tragically died on the return trip. Yet Cherry remembered those days as some of the best in his life. He wrote in his memoirs:

Those Hut Point days, would prove some of the happiest of my life. Just enough to eat and keep warm, no more – no frills or trimmings: there is many a worse and more elaborate life…the luxuries of civilization satisfy only those wants which they themselves create.” 
–The Worst Journey in the World

That final phrase has stayed with me – what a profound saying! Is it true that luxuries we live with can be a liability, blinding us to the joys of a simpler life? My own trip to Antarctica and the South Pole, taught me that I could live comfortably for months with less than seventy pounds of luggage, including winter survival gear. I’ve traveled lighter ever since.

St. Paul teaches:

…I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
— Philippians 3.8

We all have different gifts & styles of serving

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

In the midst of a busy end-of-program-year season, Amanda and I were able to take a few hours a month ago to attend the Twin Cities Faith Formation Network in Lakeville with children, youth, and family workers and volunteers. The topic for the day was all about engaging volunteers in the congregation, not just in youth ministry. The first speaker, Nancy Thompson, spoke about how important it is to recruit and develop volunteers and leaders, not just to start and develop programs. She noted in particular how important it is to build and grow relationship, both with other people and with God. In her talk, she spoke about how important it is to find the right fit for volunteers to help them succeed. In her way of thinking there are four levels for people to volunteer at, and she also highlighted the importance of each one.

Serving = this is an entry level volunteer position; easy, not long term, low investment. Examples: greeters, supply room coordinator, room coordinators, service project supply person, anything that can be done on own time.

Shepherding = a position that involves giving care to others, more involvement than serving level, the next step in investing in community. Examples: nursery caregivers, large group hosts (think bereavement representatives at a funeral), technology helpers.

Teaching = higher level of commitment, more preparation ahead of time, direct engagement with groups of people. Examples: small group leaders, Sunday School/Oasis teachers, leading a women’s or men’s group.

Leading = those who advocate for programs, chair events, high capacity volunteers. Examples: congregational council, chair of commission, transition team, all members of commissions.

As the speaker finished up I began to realize just how important it is to help everyone find the right level for investment in our community. In 1 Corinthians 12:4 Paul reminds us that there are different kinds of gifts, but one Spirit who distributes them. We all have different gifts that can be used to the glory of God. I have been working on changing my thinking so that I notice in a different way. Where do you notice gifts that you could use? Or maybe gifts in another? How can we help each other grow those gifts? How can we empower, equip, and encourage one another? Rather than trying to fill the voids that we have in programming, what if instead we worked from a place of abundance? What are you abundant in? How might you share that gift to the glory of God? God has given us all amazing, but different gifts! Let’s figure out how to use them together!

Lutheran 101

Are you interested in learning or reviewing the fundamentals of Lutheran faith, practice, and teaching? Pastor John will lead Lutheran 101 on a weekday evening during the summer. Sign up in the office or welcome desk and mark your preference for date and time OR click here to sign up online.

Superhero VBS

Remember to register your kids for our FREE Superhero VBS by May 18 to be guaranteed a t-shirt! Here are some other things to remember:

  • June 18-22, 8:30-11:30 am
  • Early drop-off/late pick-up available
  • 3-year-olds through 4th grade
  • Open to the entire community!

If you’re a 5th grader or older, we have lots of ways for you to help! Including:

  • Donate milk caps, empty paper towel rolls, washi tape, and cereal boxes
  • Help with the kids at VBS
  • Come decorate June 9 (9 am—2 pm)

Full details on the bulletin board at St. John’s or at www.stjohnskasson.org/vbs

Rummage Sale

The Education Commission will host their annual rummage sale May 11 (2 pm-6 pm) and May 12 (9 am-2 pm) in the education wing of St. John’s. Clothing, home décor, toys, books, and so much more! There are always some really fun finds all supporting faith formation programs.

As you work on your spring cleaning, we’re ready to take any treasures ready for a new home! Bring them to the Youth Room any time. No furniture or electronics, please.

Milestone Celebration

In all worship services on May 13 and May 16 we’re having a celebration! Our 1st – 6th grade students will be sharing what they’ve learned about the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Bible, the Sacraments, and the Apostle’s Creed with the whole congregation. Students will also receive a special gift—a small stone (“milestone,” if you will) to remind them of what they learned this year!

Read more about our Milestone Ministries.

New Badminton Club

All are welcome to join us for some friendly badminton Sunday afternoons from 2:00-4:00 pm at St. John’s. Playing will be in front of the church by the sign. This is open to anyone, though we encourage high school and older. If you have your own racket, please bring it. Snacks (ex. cookies or chips) are always appreciated because that intense racket swinging makes one rather hungry. Questions: contact Ashley Johnson at duxashley@gmail.com.

April Special Events

  • Pr. Nirmala’s Installation in Byron
    Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • American Legion Burger Night Youth Fundraiser
    April 20, 5:30 pm
  • New Member Coffee Hour
    April 22, 9:15 am
    (new members received at worship April 29 & May 2)
  • WELCA Birthday Party
    April 26, 7:00 pm

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

Blessing

Pastor Nirmala Reinschmidt
Interim Pastor

Each Sunday, at the conclusion of our worship, I stand before the people, extend my hands, and speak a blessing over them. If I were ever to stop being a pastor, this may be what I would miss most.

In biblical terms, to bless is to declare God’s truth into someone’s life and to announce God as the gracious, sovereign Lord who intends to flood His children with goodness and joy. When we pronounce a blessing, we serve as witness to the truth that God’s generosity and power has not been extinguished. Regardless of the difficulties we face or the despair we know, God’s tenacious love will have the final word.

In the sermon on the mount, the Lord speaks blessings that reflect the subversive reality of God’s kingdom. Blessed are the poor in spirit, says Jesus. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek and the hungry (see Matthew 5). With these strange words, Jesus makes a prophetic announcement declaring who is included in the blessing of God’s kingdom. Again and again, He affirms that blessings come to us not because of our ingenuity or effort but because God is kind and always working for our good.

Because we belong to the Lord who blesses, we live as a people who bless. In our corners of the world, we announce—and live as instruments of—His blessing. Whenever we bless others in Jesus’ name, we join God’s healing and restoration. We participate in His intentions to bless the world.

May the Lord help us to become people of blessing!