The Messenger

Discussions on being faithful with what God has given us

Pastor Dave Efflandt
Lead Pastor

Greetings everyone! I hope that you had a wonderful summer, and that this finds you well-rested and ready to make our way into the program year!

As the program year gets started, I’d like to personally invite you to be a part of an important conversation we are having here at St. John’s: a conversation about stewardship. Over the course of eight weeks, from September 8 – October 27, we will explore what scripture teaches us about being faithful stewards of everything in our lives. We will also welcome the words of Mark Allan Powell to partner with us on this journey, through his book Giving to God; The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life. Discussions for this series will take place in the Fireside Room between services on Sunday morning and after worship on Wednesday evenings. Listed below are the dates and topics we will explore.

Each week during worship, we have invited a member of our congregation to share their stewardship story with us right before the offering. I am certain that we will be blessed by their stories and inspired by God’s faithfulness at work in their lives.
Come, join us as we dive deeply into what it means to be called as faithful stewards of all that God has given us.

Stewardship Discussion Schedule

Date Theme
Sun, Sept 8
Wed, Sept 11
Belonging to God
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
Sun, Sept 15
Wed, Sept 18
Stewardship as an Act of Worship
1 Chronicles 29:14
Sun, Sept 22
Wed, Sept 25
Stewardship as an Act of Faith
1 Corinthians 4:1
Sun, Sept 29
Wed, Oct 2
Stewardship as a Spiritual Discipline
Matthew 6:21
Sun, Oct 6
Wed, Oct 9
Stewardship as Faithful Living & Giving
Acts 20:35
Sun, Oct 13
Wed, Oct 16
Stewardship as Support & Sacrifice
2 Corinthians 9:7
Sun, Oct 20
Wed, Oct 23
Financial Stewardship: How Much is Enough?
Psalm 116:12
Sun, Oct 27
Wed, Oct 30
Make a Stewardship Pledge

2019 All Commission Meeting

All members of St. John’s commissions, committees, and ministries are invited to an All Commission Meeting on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 6:30 pm. More information will be coming!

All groups should discuss the following questions at their September meetings:

  • What is most important right now? Please answer this question as it pertains to YOUR Commission.
  • What resources do you need to actualize what you identify?
  • What is your strategy?

Last year we asked you to review the work your Commission does as it pertains to St. John’s. Please review this document and update it accordingly.

Agenda will include:

  1. What is most important right now
  2. Fiscal responsibility/Stewardship
  3. 2020 BUDGET
  4. Facility Usage

Looking Ahead: Lutefisk 2019

Make plans now to help with the 58th annual Lutefisk Dinner to be held on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

Lefse bakes began in August and will continue on Wednesday mornings through October 16. No experience necessary! Coffee fellowship is served mid-morning. Contact Marge Albright (507-421-5184) or Jeannine Allen (507-271-0969) to sign up to assist with the bakes or if you’d like to help on your own time by helping with laundry. We also need help prepping potatoes Tuesday evenings 6:00-8:00 pm. To sign up for potato prep, please contact Becky Knoepke (if you need contact info, call the office at (507) 634-7110 or email office@stjohnskasson.org).

Sign up to help at the dinner or the week of online here or at the table in the narthex on Sunday, September 22 or Wednesday, September 25.

Mark your calendars to take part in the Norwegian Cookie Bake on Monday afternoon, October 14, from 1:00-4:00 in the church kitchen. All supplies will be provided. Please contact Gail Jensen (507-951-3367) if you have questions.

Installation of new synod bishop

In June our Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA elected a new synod bishop. Everyone in our synod (southeastern Minnesota) is invited to the installation of Bishop-Elect Regina Hassanally, which will take place on Saturday, September 14 at 2:00 pm at St. John Lutheran Church in Owatonna.

A special choir will sing at the installation. Interested participants should email Deacon Bob Tewes at music@gracealbertlea.org. A rehearsal will be held the day of the service at 12:30 pm.

Children are wanted and welcome to attend. Presiding Bishop Eaton will be offering a children’s sermon and children are welcome in the service. A nursery will also be available.

Additional details available here.

Meetings for 2020 summer trips & camps

Any high school aged youth with an interest in a 2020 summer trip is invited to an informational meeting Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 pm or Sunday, September 29 at 11:30 am.

Next summer there will be opportunities for students currently in 1st-12th grade to attend summer camp at Sugar Creek. They have a variety of programs available! Anyone interested is invited to an informational meeting Wednesday, October 9 at 7:30 pm or Sunday, October 13 at 9:10 am.

Preschool positions available

Creation Kids Preschool is currently looking to hire for the 2019-2020 school year:

PT Teacher Assistant – part-time position in the Little Lambs care room. Hours will be from 3:00-6:00 pm M-F. Must have HS diploma + experience working with children or a degree in a related field. Job description available here.

Please contact Jessica Paulsen, Rachel Linbo, or Mindy Knutson for more information or send email to preschool@stjohnschurch.org.

Resumes and cover letters can be emailed to preschool@stjohnskasson.org or dropped off at the St. John’s office. In lieu of a resume, applicants can submit a job application instead.

This position has been filled. CKP Administrator – this position is part-time and will require approximately 10 hours per week. Hours are flexible but will require some time be spent in the classroom during preschool hours. The remainder may be self-scheduled and occur at home. Must be at least 18 years of age, have HS diploma, some child care experience, and at least 9 credits or 90 hours earned in any accredited course of staff supervision, human relations, and child development or a degree in related field.

These positions has been filled. PT Teacher Aides (2) – part-time position in the Little Lambs care room. Hours will be from 3:00-6:00 pm M-F. This position is open to adult, high school, and college-aged individuals. Willing to work around extra-curricular schedules.

July Special Events

Summer may look different, but these special events continue to happen every month!

  • Fairview Worship
    July 18 | 9:30 am
  • Sunwood Worship
    July 18 | 2:00 pm
  • Breakfast Fellowship
    July 21 | 10:00 am

Also—keep our high school youth & accompanying adults in your prayers as they travel to a service trip in San Diego July 28-August 4.

Full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar

Called to represent God in our world

Pastor Dave Efflandt
Lead Pastor

What passages from Scripture have the greatest influence on your walk of faith? One of my favorites is 2 Corinthians 5:13-20. It gets to the very essence of how we’re meant to see the world, and then, how we’re called to engage it. Really, it all comes down to an understanding of both who and whose we are: children of God.

So, who am I? The answer begins by remembering that I was created by God in His image, to care for this creation and everything in it. I was created to worship God, and Him alone. And yet, I am a descendant of Adam and Eve, and therefore, I am also a sinner. We all are. But then I read verse 14, and I’m reminded that God sent Jesus to die for us all; taking all our sin to the cross with him, dying with it on the cross, thereby mending our relationship with God. I am someone worthy of God’s love in Christ.

So, how is this supposed to help me live my life? The answer, though simple, isn’t the easiest thing to do. Paul says we’re to see in others the same need that we had for God’s grace; to recognize their worthiness of God’s grace. We’re to see ourselves in the other. I am someone worthy of God’s love, and so are you.

And, because we have received forgiveness and the reconciliation that it has worked in our relationship with God, we are to do our best to represent God to the world in the same way. We are to use this as a guide when it comes to all our relationships; especially the broken ones. We are called to be the bearers of this grace which brings reconciliation as a sign of God’s kingdom come near.

Building lifelong faith during the summer

Lindsay Colwell
Youth Ministry Coordinator

Happy July, everyone! It has been an incredibly busy summer in youth ministry and only one month of summer is done! The second week of June, 40 4th-8th grade students participated in Action Packed Day Camp. This is 15 more students than our typical maximum number! The third week of June, 16 of our middle school and high school students attended Sugar Creek Bible Camp for confirmation camp and high school programs. Later in July, we are taking 42 of our high school students to San Diego for a week of service. That is almost 100 students taking part in our programming!

At the end of June I had a chance to sit in on Pastor Dave’s final table talk. It was really great to have conversation with a large group of folks who shared stories and pieces of St. John’s history, present, and dreams for the future. One particular comment really struck me. One member stated just how important being an adult leader for youth trips was in their faith journey. It was heartening to hear just how invested our adults have always been when it comes to cultivating the faith life of our young people.

In the spirit of this emphasis on our youth I wanted to take a minute to share just a few of the ways that our youth make ministry at St. John’s happen. Our high school families serve coffee every Sunday during the school year. Our middle school and high school students serve as the majority of station and crew leaders for our Vacation Bible School program each summer. Students provide special music at many of our worship services on both Sundays and Wednesdays. High school students serve as leaders and assistants in our Action Packed Day Camp, Oasis Afterschool program, and as Sunday school/Oasis teachers. When we think of how amazing our volunteers at St. John’s are and everything that they make possible let’s also not forget how lucky we are to have such talented and faithful youth volunteers as well!

How are you giving this summer?

Last spring we had a big roll-out—our new online giving platform, Tithe.ly!

If you haven’t set it up yet, now is a great time. If summer is keeping you on the run, automated giving is an easy way to simplify. No more remembering cash or checkbooks or catching up after a week away. And it’s easily managed online or through the Tithe.ly app on your phone.

Automated giving is an ideal option, but if you decide it’s not right for your family. Tithe.ly also offers one-time giving. Same web portal, same app, different selection.

Get started:

Simply visit stjohnskasson.org/giving or download the Tithe.ly app to set up your giving. (Not a web person? Contact the office or a council member for assistance.)

Make the most of your gifts:

  • Select ACH/bank to incur the lowest fees.
  • Opt to “Cover card processing fees” to pay the fees and ensure your full intended amount goes directly to St. John’s.
  • This is a good time to consider if you can enhance your giving. Even a small step up – such as a $5 or $10 periodic increment over time provides St. John’s the valuable support we need.

Thank you for generosity to St. John’s. We appreciate all the ways you give so that we may live as witnesses of Jesus Christ in our community.

Ready, Set, Learn now collecting

Ready Set Learn is gearing up for the 2019 season. This is a program that gives school supplies and backpacks to any child that goes to school in Dodge County, and is in need of help. Applications are available in the St. John’s office and turned in to St. Johns Lutheran Church or MN Prairie Alliance before July 29. An application is required, but assistance is not income-based.

Items requested are listed below or pick up a shopping list in the Narthex. Bring your donations to the bin in the Narthex at St. John’s. Lists available near the bin.

  • backpacks (large preferred)
  • glue sticks (washable, small)
  • 2-pocket folders (blue, green, red, yellow)
  • washable markers (wide or narrow)
  • spiral notebooks (wide or college ruled; blue, green, red, yellow)
  • #2 pencils (12 packs)
  • pencil pouches/boxes
  • dry erase markers (wide or narrow)
  • highlighters (wide or narrow)
  • composition books (wide or college ruled).

If you have any questions please contact program coordinator Tanya Young at tyoung8550@yahoo.com or (316) 390-5368.

Relay for Life is August 2

During Dodge County’s Relay for Life, the St. John’s Relay for Life team will be selling root beer floats, soda, water, chips, bars, and cookies. Stop by August 2 from 6:00 pm -12:00 am.

Other opportunities at the event include:

A silent auction from 6:00 – 10:00 pm.

When it gets dark, the honorary chairs walk the track and luminaries are lit in honor or memory of loved ones.

That night they will announce team fundraising totals and the honorary chairs will speak.

People can walk the track any time. There are also track signs advertising business names. Anyone is interested in purchasing one for $100, contact Tanya Young (tyoung8550@yahoo.com or (316) 390-5368) to have your purchase count towards St. John’s team’s fundraising total.

Meet the new CKP teachers

Creation Kids Preschool is excited to announce the 2019-2020 preschool teachers!

Carol Sullivan lives on a farm near West Concord where she and her husband, Tim, raise Angus beef cattle. She and Tim have three children: Sadie, Wyatt and Schuyler who are very active at KM in sports, drama, 4-H and FFA. Carol loves animals, watching college basketball and her hobbies include cooking, crafting and selling Pampered Chef. Carol is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and is an avid Gopher fan! She is a true Minnesota Lutheran (with the accent to prove it!) and is extremely excited to become a part of the CKP family!
Jessica Falk lives in Kasson with her husband and two young boys. They enjoy playing games, reading, and spending time with their family and friends.  Jessica stated “As the CKP Little Lambs Teacher, I am looking forward to providing enrichment opportunities for the preschool children and I am excited to meet the CKP families!”
Peggy Moran lives in Owatonna with her four children: Abbigail (16), Annika (14), Abram (12), Amelia (8), her husband, a dog and 2 cats.  She stays busy watching and supporting her children in their many activities.  In her free time she enjoys camping, reading, and drinking coffee!  Peggy stated “I love teaching preschool and am so excited to be at CKP again!”

June Special Events

  • CKP Carnival
    June 6
    5:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Action Packed Day Camp
    June 10-13
  • Confirmation Camp
    June 16-21
  • VBS
    June 24-28
  • Family Fun Night
    June 26
    6:00 – 8:00 pm

Full schedule of events at stjohnskasson.org/calendar