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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.

CKP Sunday 2020

On Sunday, March 15, we will celebrate the ministry of Creation Kids Preschool on “CKP Sunday.” Enjoy breakfast, students’ artwork, and special music from the kids as we celebrate this ministry!

WELCA Doing Day 2020

Doing Day 2020 has been postponed, but stay tuned for a new date! Donations are still welcomed.

WELCA Doing Day will be Wednesday, March 18 starting between 8:00-9:00 am. This is a day of spirit-filled mission work. We will be packing mission kits that benefit many around the world as well as here in the United States. Along with the mission kits and quilting, there will be morning coffee and devotions, a potluck lunch, and lots of fellowship.

Needed for the kits:

  • child-size blunt tip scissors
  • 24 count crayons
  • pencil sharpeners
  • 12” rulers that include both centimeters and inches
  • 70-sheet notebooks (wide or college rule)
  • sturdy combs
  • pick style combs
  • jars or tubes of petroleum jelly (4 oz or larger)
  • heavy duty kitchen gloves (size medium)
  • nail clippers
  • light weight bath towels
  • hand towels
  • wash cloths (preferably dark colors)
  • large bars of soap (Ivory or unscented)

Also needed are infant items (sizes 3-18 mo) including T-shirts, sleepers without feet, cotton knit sleep sacks, cloth diapers, and infant socks. Fabric of 100% cotton, 3-yard lengths, is needed for sewing kits.

The WELCA quilters always need new/gently used flat bed sheets (fitted sheets must be full size or larger). Flannel sheets and pillowcases are used for quilt backs or to make infant diapers.

Everyone is welcome to join us. If you have any questions, please call Gail Jensen, 507-633-2467 or 507-951-3367.

Easter lily sales opening soon

The Altar Guild will be selling Easter lilies to decorate the building for Easter Sunday. Sales will take place between services Sundays March 15, 22, and 29 and after worship Wednesdays March 18 and 25. Or pick up a form in the office. Plants will be $15 for one or $25 for two. Deadline to order is Sunday, March 29.