Intro to the New Pastor

john-allen-2-webPastor John Allen
Interim Pastor

I’m happy to be with you as your interim Lead Pastor. I’ve had a few brief moments to share with you since I arrived here on December 18, driving from Great Falls, Montana, and dodging winter storms.

First, I want to thank Colleen Jacobson for housing me while we waited for a townhouse to be available, and then to all who helped move and provide furniture. My wife and I will be very comfortable there during our time here.

Now a little about myself and my family: Yes, Ruth and I currently own a home in Great Falls, MT, though we’ve spent more time recently in Minnesota. My most recent interim ministry was with Good Shepherd Lutheran in Rochester. We were there nearly two years and had a very positive and productive relationship with that congregation and staff. After a six-week rest at home, we are back and ready to start afresh with you.

While we were in Montana, Ruth’s 94-year-old mother suffered a broken thigh bone while in a nursing home in Kalispell, MT. We rushed there for the surgery, and Ruth has been with her since then. I look forward to the time when she can join me here. We have three grown children and three grandchildren, whom I hope you will meet in due time.

Please expect that this will be a longer and more productive interim than you have experienced in the past. While serving on your staff in ministry, I will be giving special attention to the leadership of the congregation as we tend to five developmental tasks of interim ministry. Namely: coming to terms with the past, exploring your identity and direction, making helpful leadership changes, renewing relationships with the larger church, and committing to new leadership and direction. That may sound technical, but we will be as open and cooperative as we can in this work, and I believe we will be happy with the results.

I but I look forward to our time together and ask your willing cooperation in the work that we have ahead. I’m happy to say that Pastor Nirmala has also agreed to stay on with us as part-time assistant pastor. She and I will work closely with the talented staff you already have in place.
cell (406) 590-2974

Miss Amanda’s Musings

amandasabelko2016-1Amanda Sabelko
Children, Youth, & Family Development Director

Happy New Year!

Do you have something you want to accomplish this year? Maybe it has to do with your finances, health, or maybe your spiritual practices?

As you think about your resolution for the year, consider doing something to share your passion (whatever it is) with other people! I am passionate about learning how to equip people for ministry. I live this out in my day to day life, but this year I plan to live out that passion with trust in the way God works in our lives and world.

Although it was postponed, thank you so much to all of our teachers, parents, and students for helping to prepare for the wonder of the Christmas Story through the Christmas Program! The Children’s Christmas program will take place on January 15 at the 10:15 am service.

Important Upcoming Meetings

Annual Meeting January 29

The Annual Meeting is schedule for January 29, 2017 at 11:30 am. The congregation will review the annual report from 2016 and vote on business for the future of the congregation. The report will be available in hard copy and electronic format in mid-January.

Budget Information Meetings

We’ll be hosting two Budget Information Meetings for people to ask any questions they may have about the congregation’s financial reports and proposed budget. You’ll get the opportunity to understand where the congregation is and what needs to be done to further the mission and vision of St. John’s. We would like everyone to provide input and ideas on how best to move St. John’s forward! Meetings will be Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 pm, and Sunday, January 22, 9:00 am and 11:15 am.

2017 & 2018 Youth Summer Trips

We’re already planning ahead for the next two summers and inviting our High School youth to join us on our coming summer trips. This summer, June 24-July 1, 2017, youth and adults are invited on a backpack trip to Colorado. A $50 deposit and registration are due by February 19.

In 2018 the High School youth will go to the ELCA National Youth Gathering, June 21-July 1 in Houston, Texas. We’re collecting names of those interested in this trip now.

Sign-up and more information for both are available at

Second High School Youth Group Time

Starting January 8, the youth will have another opportunity to gather as a “Youth Group.” Join Lindsay and other youth from the congregation at 11:30 am Sundays! Youth also meet on Wednesdays at 7:15 pm. Come to whichever time(s) work for you! All are invited.