Christmas & Advent 2019

  • Children’s Christmas Worship
    December 8 | 10:15 am
  • Christmas Rhythm & Readings
    December 11 | 6:30 pm
  • Lessons & Carols Worship
    December 15 services
  • WELCA Christmas Luncheon
    December 14 | 9:00 am
  • Senior Christmas Worship
    December 19 | 2:00 pm followed by refreshments
  • Christmas Eve Worship
    2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 10:00 pm
  • Christmas Day Worship
    9:00 am
  • One service, coffee to follow
    December 30 | 9:00 am
  • No worship
    January 1

Full schedule of events at

Be Content

Pastor Dave Efflandt
Lead Pastor

“Be content with what you have; for God has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid…Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.'” (Hebrews 13:5-6, 8)

It’s easy to be “in the swing of things” and lose track of time. Being at the mercy of a busy schedule or dealing with all of the things that life offers, both good and troubling, can make it difficult to see God at work in your life. This is why it’s important for us to take time and remember just how amazing God is.

In December, we enter the new church year. Before we get too far into Advent, I invite you to take a look back at this last year, at the peaks and valleys, and remember what our faith felt like during each of those moments. Also remember that God’s promise is to be steadfast through it all. God has promised to be the same yesterday, today and forever. This is the promise on which our faith is built. God’s faithfulness will be the one constant in our lives, no matter what is happening.

Give thanks for the blessings. Give thanks for God’s faithfulness in the valleys when it was so difficult to be faithful on your own. And give thanks for the promise of His steadfast love yesterday, today, which helps us prepare ourselves to encounter God’s faithfulness in the days ahead. Amen.

Serving & Stewardship

Lindsay Colwell
Director of Youth & Family Ministry

It is hard to believe that the season of Advent and Christmas is already upon us. Before we know it 2020 will be here! Things here at St. John’s continue to change and evolve as we work in our community of faith to follow God’s call into this changing world. As we head into the new year there is a specific change that I would like to draw your attention to as 2020 approaches. This year our 7th-12th grade students are going to be taking service trips to Duluth and New Orleans in summer 2020. In the past, as students fundraise an individual account tally has been kept for the work that they do and the funds applied accordingly. In light of the time that we spent this fall on talking about the importance of stewarding our time, talents, and finances the Youth and Family Commission has made a change in how we keep track of our fundraising efforts. Rather than asking students to raise money for themselves, we are asking students and their families to shift their perspective to think of the whole group attending the trip, and in turn, placing their focus on how we contribute and fit into the whole of our faith community. Families will pay a flat fee of $200 for the trip and then take part in at least 10 events of service to our congregation. We have several events planned, including this month’s Advent Tree Auction and Christmas Bake Sale. If you have service opportunities that you think would be a good fit for our students to take part in, please consider connecting with me. Our young people love to be of service to others. Giving them opportunities to exercise that passion is how we train and mentor the next generation of church leaders. Thanks be to God!

2020 Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 22 at 7:30 pm. The annual report will be available in hard copy and electronic format in mid-January. All commissions and committees are asked to submit written reports by January 3 to

Christmas Luncheon & Quilt Raffle

There are still spaces available for any ladies eager to attend this year’s WELCA Christmas Luncheon. The luncheon will be held Saturday, December 14. Guests Patty Kark and Jim Anderson will share their message of hope, healing and grace. Contact the office or sign up on the WELCA board for tickets. Tickets are $13. Doors will open at 9:00 am for viewing of the tables, the program will start at 10:00 am.

The quilters will also draw for their quilt raffle at the luncheon. Anyone can purchase tickets for $1 each Sundays and Wednesdays. Proceeds from the raffle go to the Semcac Food Shelf.

Giving Tree

Thank you to all who generously purchased items for the Share and Care gifts and gas cards for those in need. The tree, located just outside the library, still has tags for ELCA Good Gifts. Instructions are on the tree. Gifts come in many levels and help create better lives for people around the world.

Bid & Buy for Youth Programs

St. John’s youth are doing an Advent tree auction again this year from December 1-15 in the Fellowship Hall. The auction will benefit all of the 2020 summer youth programs (summer camp, service trips, and day camp). They will also host a Christmas baked goods and craft sale December 8-18 with sales taking place Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

St. John’s Lessons and Carols Service—December 15

St. John’s will be alive with the wonderful music of a service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 15 at the 8:00 am and 10:15 am services. This is the 27th year musicians of St. John’s have shared Advent and Christmas music with the congregation. This joyous service, entitled “God’s Promise of True Light and Salvation,” will tell the Christmas story through spoken word and music. The lessons include Adam and Eve in the garden, the prophesy of the ancient prophets and the celebration at Jesus’ birth.

Joining the Senior Choir at the service this year will be an excellent trumpet trio of St. John’s members: Morgan Coy, Austin Efflandt, and Pastor Dave. The trumpets are playing on three hymn arrangements and have an exciting solo arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The Senior Choir will sing two beautiful new compositions: “Long-Expected Dawn” with violinist Justin Sabelko and “All Praise to Thee.” The choir will also sing a rousing arrangement of the spiritual “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

We are excited to have our Wednesday night music ensemble, “The Messengers,” participate in the Sunday morning service this year. They will also be presenting a service entitled “Christmas Rhythm and Readings” on Wednesday, December 11 at 6:30 pm.

Please invite your friends to join us both on Wednesday, December 11 and Sunday, December 15.

2020 Directory Photos

COVID-19 Update: Directory photos have been postponed. New dates will be August 12-15. Watch for sign-ups coming soon.

What to expect

Your photographer will have a variety of ideas for your session. Once photography is complete, your photographer will show you your images and an assortment of products offered. Plan on 60 minutes for your session.

You will receive

  • One free 8×10 standard print
  • Free printed church directory
  • Free Shutterfly gift with purchase