Journey to the Cross – Holy Week Worship

 Journey to the Cross web

Palm/Passion Sunday
March 20-27, 2016
8:00 am & 10:15 am
You are invited to journey through the last week of Jesus’ life, beginning with his celebratory entrance into Jerusalem and ending with his death on the cross five days later. We’ll use a combination of music, slides and readings, as the entire congregation participates in the story of those final days. You will then be ready to delve deeper into those final hours with the Seder Meal on Wednesday and the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services later that week.

Seder Meal & Worship
March 23
6:30 pm
Read more about the Seder Meal, a Jewish tradition, here. It is helpful to know how many people to plan for, so be sure to check out the RSVP info and sign up to bring something if you’re able to help out.

Maundy Thursday
March 24
11:00 am & 6:30 pm
We remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. At the 6:30 pm service, our 4th graders celebrate their First Communion!

Good Friday
March 25
6:30 pm
We remember the darkness of the crucifixion.

Easter Sunday
March 27
6:30 am, 8:00 am, & 10:15 am
We celebrate the resurrection during an Easter morning celebration! The 6:30 am sunrise service will lead us from the dark of the tomb to the light of Easter with a blended worship style. The 8:00 am and 10:15 am services will be traditional services.

The New Life of Easter

RandyFettPastor Randy Fett
Lead Pastor

Christ is risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

With these words comes the challenge to embrace our lives with hope, faith, vitality, and life. Spring, the season of new life, is just around the corner. As is Easter. Easter is about the new life that comes from the risen Christ. In baptism we say that you and I went through a type of regeneration. Imagine the butterfly – the creature inside the cocoon emerges a new being, a beautiful butterfly, free to wander and fly.

Recently I completed training in a way of doing vision work called “Appreciative Inquiry.” I hope that this helps me be a better and more encouraging person and pastor. I hope that it helps our congregation. Often we get stuck in the negative doldrums of our lives. We can all be more affirming. This is about the affirmation and transformation that God has made in baptism. We emerge at Easter as new beings in Christ.

We were asked to walk with Jesus several times while I was taking this training. It was a time for silence, for listening for God’s direction. We were asked about God’s purpose for our lives, to discern in our souls where God was taking us, our ministries, and the church we serve. We were invited to close our eyes and to see an image of what God may be presenting. My image was a butterfly.

As we come through Lent, I invite you to lean forward to the resurrection, the new life that we have in Christ. Consider with me, what is you purpose in life? Where is God leading you? How might the butterfly be an image of hope for us in the coming season of Easter?

Join with us this month as we meet with Jesus, enter the streets of Jerusalem with Palm branches, eat supper with Jesus, and experience the sheer joy of his resurrection. Bring a friend. Tell the stories of your faith. Get out of the church walls. Jesus didn’t rise in the temple. He raised on the hills outside of the city walls.

Beautiful Blue Butterfly

Teaching Faith at Home

LindsayCowell2Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

I recently attended a conference at Luther Seminary that concentrated on Martin Luther as a pastoral theologian, meaning how Luther functioned as a pastor and how he taught people about their faith. Luther was a big advocate of empowering parents to teach their children about faith. Our goal at St. John’s is similar; we want to empower families and parents to teach and learn together. Most people are only in church for two hours a week, at most, which means they need engagement with the Bible and their faith outside the church walls. Where do you start? The Faith 5 from Faith Inkubators, the curriculum that we use with our confirmation students, is an excellent starting point and can be done in your home every night, no matter your age. We will be talking more about how to share our faith and how to make these discipleship practices part of our everyday lives. For now, here is a good place to start.

  1. Share highs and lows of the day.
  2. Read a Bible verse or story.
  3. Talk about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs & lows.
  4. Pray for one another’s highs & lows.
  5. Bless one another.

Learn more at and watch for the bookmarks with the Faith 5 that we have available at St. John’s!

St. John’s Easter Egg Hunt

At 10 am on Saturday, March 26, St. John’s will be holding a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Kids get to hunt for treats and we’ll have lemonade and snacks for kids and parents. The Easter Bunny may even stop by for a visit!  This is a community-wide event, so invite your neighbors and friends.

And we need your help. Please bring lots of small pieces of Easter candy to fill our plastic eggs. There is a drop box outside the office door. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, activities during the event and cleanup. Contact Pastor Dana ( or (507) 634-7110) if you are able to help.

Cluster of Painted Eggs

CKP Sunday is March 13, Preschool Registration Starts

CKP Sunday is March 13. It is a big day for Creation Kids Preschool! The children will have many of their projects on display and will sing at the 10:15 am service.

The children are inviting their families and friends to come to this service. Some of the students are members of other congregations so help us welcome them. We will be serving coffee between services and hope you will be able to join us.

Enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year will begin that day. Board and staff members will be available to answer any questions you might have.

CKP will also serve chicken and wild rice soup for the Lent soup supper Wednesday, March 16.

High School Retreat April 16-17

High Schoolers – Join us for a retreat Saturday, April 16-Sunday April 17. We will leave church around 2 pm on Saturday and return around 3:30 pm on Sunday. The cost is $50 per student which includes meals and the challenge course if it is open. We will be staying overnight in cabins, have worship, and conversation together. We will have a guest speaker and plan for the future of Peer Ministry/PLAGUE. The retreat is open to 8th-12th graders. Deadline to register is Wednesday, April 6. Those interested in coming should contact Lindsay ( or (507) 634-7110 ext 15. Registration will be available in early March. Watch and the youth board for details.

Drivers and/or Vans Needed

Needed: 7-8 passenger vehicles for the summer confirmation camp trip June 24-July 1, 2016. EITHER volunteer your vehicle for our adult chaperones to drive OR volunteer to drive to camp (Friday, June 24, returning home Sunday, June 26) and/or back (driving to camp Thursday, June 30 and returning home on Friday, July 1. To volunteer, talk to Pastor Randy ( or (507) 634-7110) or Lindsay ( or (507) 634-7110).

Welcome New Members!

On February 21 we welcomed 27 new members into the St. John’s family.

Kelly Utesch & Tanner Weifenbach
Kelly Utesch and Tanner Weifenbach recently relocated from La Crescent, MN, and are transferring from First Lutheran – Onalaska. Kelly grew up in St. John’s and is returning after twenty years in the La Crosse, WI and Lexington, SC areas. Kelly is a service advisor at Rochester Ford. Tanner (age 4) attends KM Nursery Group. Kelly and Tanner like to fish, be outdoors, and play with their Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Kelly also enjoys running, and Tanner is a LegoManiac.

Kelly & Tanner

Kyle, Jackie, Ryan, & Ayden Howell
Last June, Jackie and Kyle were married and started a life together in Kasson with their sons Ryan and Ayden.  As a family they enjoy gardening, traveling, fishing, golfing, and just simply spending time together. During the week, both Jackie and Kyle work at Mayo Clinic in Rochester while Ryan and Ayden attend Kasson Elementary.


Mike, Tracy, Madison & Cameron Lee
The Lee family lives in Mantorville and come to St. John’s from Bethel Lutheran in Rochester. Mike works as a systems administrator for Heartman Insurance. Tracy is a finance analyst at Mayo Clinic. Madison is 10 and enjoys dance. Cameron is 7 and plays hockey.


Jon, Melissa, Kaleb, Mya, & Eliana Klein
Jonathan (Jon) and Melissa (Mel) Klein and their three children, Kaleb (9), Mya, and Eliana (both 5), live just south of Kasson.  Jon is employed with Morton Buildings in Rochester, and Mel is a CRNA at Mayo Clinic.  Kaleb is in 3rd grade at KM Elementary School and Mya and Eliana are in pre-school. In the winter they like to snowmobile, sled, and play in the snow. In the summer they can be found camping as much as possible. They also enjoy attending sporting events and concerts, playing basketball, and spending time with friends and family.


Cindy Wiste
My name is Cindy Wiste. My husband, Duane and I have lived in Kasson for over 37 years. Our children, Tim and Jillaine graduated from KM High School. We have six grandchildren and one great grandson. At the end of March we will be moving to Sierra Vista, Arizona in hopes that my husband’s health improves with the more stable temperatures. Our daughter Jillaine is already there with her family. Her husband grew up in Sierra Vista and that is how we all are ending up in that community. Our son Tim and his family will stay in Rochester so we hope to get back to visit often! I was a previous member of St. John’s for about 20 years before taking a position at Trinity Lutheran in Hayfield for the past 15 years. I am excited to return to my “home” church in Kasson before we move and start our new adventure. While I am here I am enjoying helping out where I an and reconnecting with old friends.


Jeff, BJ, Colton, & Dalton Ostgaard
I’m Jeff Ostgaard, and my wife is BJ. We have two children. Colton is 14 years old, and Dalton is 12 years old. We have lived in Kasson for 11 years. BJ and I both work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I am an event support specialist in the Media Support Services department. BJ is an Assistant Supervisor in the DLMP department. Colton participates in band and choir, and loves playing video games. Dalton also is in band, and he plays soccer and baseball. He also loves to play video games. We have 2 cats, Odin and Zeus. During the summer, we spend most of our weekends at our camper trailer in Elysian, MN. We spend a lot of time boating, swimming, and fishing, and sitting around the campfire in the evening. We also like movies and music, and I like to watch and play sports when I can.


Mindy Ward (with husband Paul and daughter Maren)
I was born in Comfrey, small town of 400 people in Southwestern Minnesota, and raised on a farm (my father and brother still actively grow corn, soybeans, and sugar beets and raise beef cattle). I attended high school there and after graduation attended college at Augsburg College. In addition to obtaining degrees in Biology and Psychology, I enjoyed being a pitcher on the softball team. After college, I moved to New Jersey to attend graduate school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Rutgers). I graduated, moved to the “Philly Burbs” and started my career in Allentown, PA as a Trauma Physician Assistant. In early 2012,  I was blessed with the opportunity to grow in my career at Mayo as a Trauma and General Surgery PA. After accepting the position and making the decision to move back to MN,  I was also blessed to meet my now husband, Paul, at a friend’s wedding…and how great it was that he was from Kasson! We were married in April 2014. In November of 2015, our beautiful daughter, Maren, was born. In my free time, I’m a big college basketball fan! My team (from Philly), the Villanova Wildcats, are currently #1..whoo hoo! I also enjoy watching the Gophers, who also notched a big win this week, and enjoy going to games with Paul. I also like overall staying active and getting outside. “Playing” on Paul’s family’s small farm south of Kasson when the weather is nice is one of my favorite things to do.  I look forward to joining St. John’s and meeting many of you!


Jordan, Channing, Bennett, & Maclin Sorensen
From Northeast Iowa originally, we have lived in Kasson for 2-3 years. Channing is a pediatric nurse practitioner with Mayo Health Systems in Mankato, MN. Jordan is an assistant store leader at Scheels in Rochester. Bennett James Sorensen was born January 9, 2014 and is two years old. Maclin Ray Sorensen was born September 30, 2015 and is 5 months old. In our spare time we love spending time with our families, who live in New Hampton, Iowa. We are avid Iowa Hawkeye fans, whether it’s on the football field, wrestling mat of basketball court, it doesn’t matter; we love our Hawks. Bennett loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Pau Patrol, and Thomas the Train! Maclin has recently found his voice and his personality is starting to show through. He loves to smile!


Thank you MOE volunteers

Thanks to all who helped with our February ministry of Encouragement (MOE) visit to SEMCAC. Not only did we all have a great time thanking the workers for all they do for so many struggling in Dodge County, but we also learned that SEMCAC provides a lot more services than most of us realized. We also learned that a number of our St. John’s members regularly volunteer at SEMCAC – so they also got to enjoy the goodies we left. Be on the lookout for information about our next MOE visit soon.

Presenting a Certificate of Appreciation

Presenting a Certificate of Appreciation

The St. John's crew

The St. John’s crew

Getting a tour of the food shelf.

Getting a tour of the food shelf.

We bring a ton of tasty treats to every "Ministry of Encouragement" visit to thank people in our community for making Kasson a great place to live.

We bring a ton of tasty treats to every “Ministry of Encouragement” visit to thank people in our community for making Kasson a great place to live.

March Special Events

March 13 – CKP Sunday

March 14 – The King & I Movie Musical at Pastor Dana’s house (506 7th Ave. NE, Kasson) at 7 pm

March 16 – WELCA Doing Day

March 20 – Palm Sunday Breakfast hosted by the youth

March 23 – NO Oasis Programming, Seder Meal Worship at 6:30 pm

March 24 – Maundy Thursday Worship at 11:00 am & 6:30 pm, First Communion at 6:30 pm worship

March 25 – Good Friday worship at 6:30 pm

March 26 – Easter Egg Hunt at 10 am

March 27 – Easter Sunday worship at 6:30 am, 8 am, & 10: 15 am, NO Sunday School

March 28 – Office Closed

More details & events available at