A new look

Your Communication Commission was charged with creating and/or sourcing graphic design for a new logo for St. John’s after we worked as a congregation to redefine our mission, vision, values, and identity. A new logo is a direct extension of that work. We felt it was important to keep the visual representation of the unique shape of our church building, so that is central to our design. We felt it was important to represent how “church” means going out into our community and showing love to our neighbors: Thus the pathway leaving the church door. The pathway also leads you inside our doors where all are welcome. The color palette was selected for its natural-ness of the blue (sky) and green (grass). It felt modern, clean, and real. We hope you enjoy the new face of St. John’s.

Watch for more redesigns to coincide with this new look in the coming weeks!

Bible Study on Ephesians

Beginning Saturday, April 25, 2020, through May 30, we will be hosting a new Bible study on the book of Ephesians. The study will be on Saturdays at 10:00 am.

You will need a Bible. Additionally, if you want a study guide Deacon Amanda & Kelly will be using  Life Lessons: Book of Ephesians: Where You Belong by Max Lucado to guide our conversations. If you want the book but you are unable to purchase the book online, please let Deacon Amanda know and we can get one for you.

To sign up, contact Deacon Amanda at amanda@stjohnskasson.org or (701) 770-0360 (call/text).

Masks needed for childcare workers

While most of Minnesota is staying at home, there are still children in our community in need of outside care and the workers at our community’s child care groups are in need of face masks. 

K-M Community Ed is in need of at least 100 masks and there may be other needs as well. Anyone wishing to donate can drop in the bin at 503 11th Ave NE, Kasson. 

More about the Minnesota recommendations for child care workers and masks is available here and guidelines from the CDC, including sewing and no-sew instructions, are available here.

Share your family’s social distancing adventures with Flat Moses

As we live in the unknown, think about how Moses might have felt wandering through the desert for 40 years! That’s a long time to be unsure of what the next day brings! Print off a Flat Moses to color and show off what you are doing in the wilderness with him!

Deacon Amanda took Flat Moses to work at her home office this week! What will you do??

Download a printable PDF to color your own Flat Moses!

Share on Facebook or Twitter and tag: @sjkchildren #sjkfamily #flatmoses

Current COVID-19 Precautions at St. John’s

More on online worship available here and online study options are listed here.

As of March 28 – The office is closed through at least April 10. Most staff are monitoring their email during this time.

\Update as of March 16, 2020

People of St. John’s,

As the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Minnesota provide new guidelines for protecting our communities from the spread of COVID-19, the leadership of St. John’s has made additional decisions about our lives together:

  • Until further notice, in-person worship will be suspended. This includes Sunday and Wednesday worship times, and also includes all regularly scheduled programming, including Sunday School, Club 56, Oasis Afterschool and Education, Confirmation, and Youth Troop.
  • We WILL worship together at 9:00 am Sundays and 6:30 pm Wednesdays via web video. Videos will be accessible live and on-demand (after they air) at stjohnskasson.org/sermons and through our Facebook page. You are encouraged to gather around a screen as a family and participate along with our worship leaders.
  • Upcoming events that will be affected are below. If you have questions about any of these or other gatherings, contact the office at (507) 634-7110. We will continue to alert you to changes in the weekly enews and Snippets (to be posted with the worship videos and emailed).
    • WELCA Doing Day is postponed
    • Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday Ruth book studies are suspended. We are exploring online options. If you have not yet participated but want to be included, contact Deacon Amanda (amanda@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110) to get connected.
    • Fairview, Prairie Meadows, & Sunwood worship services are suspended.
    • Senior Choir rehearsals are suspended.
    • The WELCA Bus Tour is postponed.  
    • Directory photos WILL take place, but families are encouraged to keep the 6’ or more safe distance from other families as encouraged by the CDC. Update: These have been postponed.
  • Meetings will be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on available space and size of the group, though we will be advising all commission meetings to consider postponing meetings or meeting virtually (phone or web meetings). For assistance setting up a virtual meeting, contact katie@stjohnskasson.org or call the office at (507) 634-7110.
  • At this time, office hours will remain 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.
  • Creation Kids Preschool will remain open through Tuesday, March 17, but then will be closed March 18 through March 27 or until further notice, following the lead of the Kasson-Mantorville Schools.
  • Outside groups will still have access to the building, though they will need to comply with CDC and MDH guidelines for gatherings.
  • Stewardship of Finances: As always, we are encouraged to steward our finances “according to our means.” During the coming weeks, even though we will not be gathering in-person for worship, there is still ministry happening at St. John’s, which means we still rely on your regular financial support. Please take a moment to pray over your situation, and consider your financial stewardship. If you are able to do so, please continue your support of our congregation and its ministries during these anxious times. You can contribute through Tithe.ly, our online giving platform at stjohnskasson.org/giving or the Tithe.ly app on your mobile device. You can also drop off or mail in your contribution. Thank you to everyone for your continued financial support of the ministries of our congregation, and for your prayers, as we do our best to meet the increased need in our community, working together to live into Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Staff continue to be present in the office and are also available by email. Please do not hesitate to connect. Remember, God is walking with us through these uncertain days. We are experiencing changes in routines, but not in God’s grace. We look forward to finding new ways to connect as people of faith until we can gather again in person.

Grace and Peace,
Leadership of St. John’s

Reminders that remain true from the original update on March 13:

We know this is an uncertain situation and uncertainty creates anxiety. There are things we can do to stay proactive without raising anxiety. In addition to these measures, you can:

  • Pray. Pray for prudence in individuals’ actions, for wisdom of those seeking solutions, for thanksgiving for science that can help understand this disease and its progression, and for peace as we walk through uncertain times.
  • Do not panic. God has promised to walk with us. Rest in that promise and seek hope that prayerful responses and informed precautions make the difference they are intended to make.

We will keep you informed as the days and weeks continue. We pray that routines can return to usual. If the risk increases, we will continue to implement the best protocol for our community’s safety.  

Additional Resources:
For more information on best practices during this time, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization websites.

Ready to join St. John’s?

A couple times a year we offer opportunities for people who are ready to or interested in joining St. John’s to gather to learn more about this faith community. If they’re ready to officially join, they are welcomed formally in worship.

The next chance for new member meetings are:

  • Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, May 3 at 11:30 am

Anyone interested in learning more or taking the next step is encouraged to come to one of these sessions. Participants will enjoy a meal, get to know each other and some of the St. John’s leadership, learn more about St. John’s mission and opportunities, and cover any other questions you may have.

New members will be received during worship:

  • Wednesday, May 6 at 6:30 pm
  • Sunday, May 10 at 8:00 am and 10:15 am

First Communion Registration

First Communion Classes will be held Saturdays, March 28 & April 4, 1:00–3:00 pm.

All 4th Graders Welcome! If your student is older than 4th grade and has missed First Communion, we welcome their presence.

Important – 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.

When do we celebrate First Communion? Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm.

If you have any questions, contact: Deacon Amanda at amanda@stjohnskasson.org

Registration form available in the February Messenger (PDF) or in the office.

WELCA/Quilting Bus Trip

St. John’s Women of the ELCA (WELCA) and the Quilting group will be taking a bus to the Twin Cities to visit Lutheran World Relief & Global Ministries on Thursday, March 26.  If we have 35 passengers, your cost for the bus will be $15. Lunch stop to be determined; meal not included. Additional details will be available when we know the total number of riders. The sign up is on the table at the Women’s Bulletin Board.

A Lenten spiritual practice of stewardship

Pastor Dave Efflandt
Lead Pastor

“In Lent, we, as disciples of Jesus, are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbor: self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love—strengthened by the gifts of word and sacrament.” (ELW)

On Ash Wednesday, we were met with these words; an invitation into Lent with a reminder that faith is a practice. And, at the core of that practice is the call to be faithful stewards of everything in our lives.

This season of Lent is about so much more than just giving something up. It’s about the discipline of recognizing our sin and seeking forgiveness from God. And ultimately, it’s about the spiritual practice of receiving that blessing from God and responding likewise to our neighbors as stewards of the faith.

On Sunday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 4, we will have an opportunity to “Try a Tithe.” We learned in the fall that our regular “support” is wrapped up in our practice of stewarding our gifts towards the routine ministries of this congregation. A “tithe” is something that is sacrificial; it’s something over and above our regular support.

Between now and then, I invite you to pray over your own spiritual practice of stewardship. Just as we did in the fall campaign, we are encouraging you to pray over all those cherished gifts of your finances, your time and your talents. Consider a gift of a tithe on one of the dates above. Not only will our ministries be blessed by your tithe, but we hope that you will be blessed as well. Join us this year as we reach out even further into the world through these gifts to live and love as God loved us first. Amen.

Some truth for Lent

Lindsay Colwell
Director of Youth & Family Ministry

Lent is a busy time here at St. John’s. We have lots of fundraisers and activities that happen during this season of contemplation as we meditate on the earthly ministry of Jesus. For me in particular, it can be a difficult time to center myself the way that I hope to on devotions and spiritual practices.

Lent is a period of self-examination. A set aside period of time where we take time to see how God is at work in our lives. By slowing down we take the opportunity to recognize the great love that God is already bestowing on us, to see grace at work in our lives. It is hard not to slow down just a little when you are reminded at the beginning of Lent at Ash Wednesday that, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.”

Daunting words, but perhaps, also an invitation to remember. An invitation to remember that we are more than the clothes we wear, more than the things we have or don’t have. An invitation to remember that whether we are at the height of the good things in life or at our most broken that we belong to God. February saw several terrible losses in our community. At every turn I kept reminding myself, and continue to remind myself, that God’s promises are wide and true, that he will get us any way he can.

The slowing down and noticing of Lent can be deafening and daunting. Fr. Richard Rohr has said, “In silence all of our usual patterns assault us…That is why most people give up rather quickly. When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, the first thing to show up were the wild beasts.” At those times, when the world seems like too much remember, God sent his Son to redeem this world. The kingdom of God has come near. Have no fear for God’s promises are wide and true, and for you.

A Night of Good Coffee & Good Art

Come enjoy gourmet coffee, appetizers, and fine arts of all kinds. Visual artists and performing artists will be showcasing their talents throughout the evening. Coffee provided by Trail Creek Coffee Roasters.

The Coffeehouse Event will be March 7 at St. John’s from 6:00-9:00 pm. Cost is $10/person.

All proceeds benefit outreach programs and youth programs in our community.

Child care will be available for children ages 6 months-12 years. St. John’s youth will provide games, crafts, snacks, and a movie for $15/child or $40 max/family. Registration and details at stjohnskasson.org/date-nights

Events for youth & to support youth

  • April 5 is the Palm Sunday breakfast and silent auction put on by our students attending summer trips. We will have lots of auction items and a tasty breakfast!
  • Youth & Family Ministry will be putting on a raffle for a Yeti cooler. Tickets at $10 and will be on sale April 1-15. Only 300 will be sold. Chances of winning are good!
  • Registration for 2020-2021 program year will be available beginning in April. If your student will be in 7th grade next year get them signed up for confirmation. Information will also be available before the end of the school year regarding high school summer trips for summer of 2021.
  • Registration for Action Packed Day Camp will be available in April. Space is limited to 30 kids in 4th-8th grade. Dates are June 8-11 and cost is $60 for the full 4 days or $15 a day. Details are still in the works, but the week will include a trip to Valley Fair, a service project, and other fun adventures.
  • Tickets for a St. John’s night at the Rochester Honkers baseball game will go on sale in mid-March. Tickets are $10 and include a voucher for concessions (a hot dog and bottled beverage). St. John’s participants will be involved with between inning fun. The game is Thursday, June 11 at 6:35 pm. $5 of the total ticket cost comes back to St. John’s to help support youth programming.

For more info on any of the above, contact Lindsay at lindsay@stjohnskasson.org

MOE to Kasson American Legion Color Guard

Our next MOE (Ministry of Encouragement) visit will be to thank the Kasson American Legion Color Guard on Thursday, March 12, 2020. We will be thanking about 20-25 people. These are all veterans who are at every local veteran’s funeral to recognize them for their service to our country, march and carry the flags in all local parades, participate in ceremonies, and other requests. They are a proud group and we will show them our appreciation and how proud we are of them. Possibly this group recognized one of your loved ones at their funeral. If you would like to carpool, we will meet at the church, depart at 6:45 pm to arrive at the Legion for their 7:00 pm meeting. If you plan to attend and not carpool, you can enter the front door at 212 West Main Street or the west door from the parking lot. The meeting room is in the basement. Sign-up sheets are at the Welcome Center for food donations and/or attending the Thank You. If you want further information or have questions, please contact Ardis Grovdahl (634-7644) or grovdahlardis@kmtel.com

Relay for Life Breakfast

Saturday, March 14, 8:00-11:00 am St. John’s Relay for Life team will serve pancakes and other goodies for breakfast, host a bake sale, and offer a silent auction. All proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Dodge County.

Silent auction bidding starts Sunday, March 8, and closes at 11:00 am on March 14. Bake sale items can be brought to the church kitchen Friday, March 13. Please mark them with Relay for Life event.