Thursday, July 9, 2020

Note from Pastor Berg

I will be on vacation from July 13-27.  Pastor Dustin Sievert from SCL will preach on 
July 19.  Pastor Moua will preach on July 26.

For any emergencies requiring pastoral care

· call Pastor Al Schleusener from Mt. Olive in St Paul at  651-202-1924 from July 13-19

· call Pastor Jon Hackbarth from Salem in Woodbury at 651-894-2156 from July 20-27

Ministry Planning - Listening Sessions

This Sunday will be our first small group Listening Session, which is the next step in our ministry planning process. The Listening Sessions will be used to gather member input on our ministry options. 

Earlier this week, more detailed information was emailed and mailed to members, including an agenda of items that will be discussed. If you did not receive an email (check your spam/junk mail folder too) or a letter, or you’d like another copy, please email or call the church office.

We care deeply for your health and safety and are offering four different ways you can participate including two different in-person sessions on July 12th and 26th, a virtual meeting conference option on July 22nd, individually scheduled one-on-one phone calls, or a paper copy to fill out. We hope these options make it possible for every single member to participate and strongly encourage you to participate in one of the interactive options (in-person, virtual, or phone discussion).

This Sunday there will be a shortened worship service to accommodate the listening sessions after worship. In the session we’ll consider as we seek to grow the Kingdom of God: (1) What are the benefits (pros) and drawbacks (cons) of each option?, and (2) What open questions do you have about each option that would help in evaluating what is best for God’s Kingdom?

May God bless our efforts!

Ministry Planning Guiding Coalition

Ellen Mueller

Tamara Julian

Jill Abrahamson

Steve Ross

Derek Meyer

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Congregation Meeting

A voter's meeting will be held on July 19, 2020, following our church service in the sanctuary.
This will be an abbreviated meeting and the topics are budget approval and an update on moving forward with Crossroads Consulting.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Continuing Ministry Planning - Listening Sessions

With the state of Minnesota starting to lift restrictions, planning is underway to pick back up our ministry planning process. As we plan, we are keeping several core principles at heart:

  1. We recognize all good things come from God and ask Him to bless our efforts!

  2. Ministry planning is an urgent item. Souls are at stake and we should urgently pursue our ministry planning process.

  3. We care deeply for the safety of others. This means we will likely have to do things differently to ensure the safety of our members.

  4. Your involvement and contributions to this process are critical to the success of this process.

  5. We strive for a Kingdom mindset, expanding our sights to what is best for God’s family of believers while recognizing that God has a plan for the members of St. John.

Isaiah 49:6 “It is too small a thing for you to”... “bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”

1 Chronicles 16:11 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

With those principles in mind, we are in the midst of planning for Listening Sessions, the next step in our ministry planning process. Need a refresher on Ministry Planning? Refer to this blog post and other eNews posts (just search for “Ministry”). 

Listening Sessions are intended to gather a deeper level of member input on our ministry options. While we don’t have all the details yet, we wanted to share the information we have. Here is what we know today:

  • We will offer multiple ways to participate so you can choose the option you are most comfortable with (in-person, virtual, paper input, or one-on-one phone discussion)

  • We are targeting July to conduct the listening sessions.

  • Discussion items will be provided to members in advance so you know what will be discussed and to allow you to collect your thoughts. We’ll email it to members who have provided an email address and mail it to all others.

  • In-person sessions will be conducted after a shortened (30 min) worship service and will follow the same safety guidelines outlined in our Public Worship Safety Plan.

Look for more information in the coming days and weeks. Should you have any questions you can reach out to any member of the Ministry Planning Guiding Coalition (Ellen Mueller, Tamara Julian, Jill Abrahamson, Steve Ross, or Derek Meyer) or call the church office and Jan will direct your question to the right person.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Private family communion at St. John

It's taken a little while to figure the schedule out, but we will again be having private family communion at St.  John.  If you are not yet comfortable coming to worship but desire holy communion Pastor will be available the fourth Tuesday of the month from 3:00 PM-6:00 PM.  The next day available is June 23.  You can sign up here.

June 14 worship

You can watch this week's worship service here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020


June 2020

Is God Up There?
This year in our monthly articles we are considering favorite verses from the Bible.
This month’s favorite Bible verse is:  Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

“God, if you are up there, please show yourself to me.” Have you ever said that to God? Wouldn’t it be great if God just came down and showed himself to us?

God does show himself. In the first line of the Bible, God reveals himself to us. He tells us that he made all things. He made the huge galaxies of the universe. He made the tiniest atoms. He made you and me. His creation demonstrates his power, creativity, wisdom, and tender concern for us.

Take time to notice and to marvel at all God made—the colors of the sky, the light of the sun and stars, the mosaic of leaves outside your window, the beauty of the landscape within your view. Consider how God made you. Think of how your body works—your eyes and ears, your arms, legs, fingers and toes, your brain.

However, God did not make the world and then stand back as a disinterested observer far removed from it all. He is watching over it all. He continues to care for us by providing for all our needs.

Sadly, we often don’t thank him for what he has done for us. We forget him. For that, God has every right to turn his back on us. Amazingly, he still cares for us. More than that, he came down to us and saved us from our wayward ways. He came down in love in the person of his Son, Jesus, and rescued us. Jesus lived the perfect life of thanks that we should live. On the cross, he died the death we should die for our sins. He promises a new and perfect world where all who believe in him will live forever in perfect joy.

Is God up there? Yes, he is! And, thankfully, he was willing to come down here to save us so that, one day, we will see him face to face.

Upcoming Events at St. John:
Worship Services: Sunday 11:00 AM.
Adult Bible Study 10:00 AM.
Visit our website at
For more information or to unsubscribe go to or call us at 651-771-6406


We are in need of 4 people each week to clean and sanitize the church, narthex, and link area after worship. It takes about 15 minutes. A sign-up sheet is on the table in the narthex or you may call the church office at 651-771-6406. All the necessary cleaning supplies and instructions are in the Pastor's office. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 


July 6-9 - Girls Basketball Camp  (grades 5-9)

July 13-16 -  Boys Basketball Camp (grades 4-9)

Monday, July 20 - Golf Classic, Troy Burne Golf Club

July 20-23 -  Volleyball Camp (grades 6-9)
                    Wrestling Camp (grades 1-9)
                    Bowling Camp (grades 4-9)

July 27-30 - Academic Camps

Friday, July 31 - High School Graduation

August 3-6 - Soccer Camp  (grades 5-9)

August 10-13 - Football Camps (grades k-8)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Bible Study

A timely Bible study will be offered beginning this Sunday at 10:00 AM. Simply entitled "Burden Bearing," this study will help us make sense of, give us perspective on, and teach us how to deal with the stressful situations we face in this world of sin. Please, join us in the fellowship hall where we can spread out and safely study together and find healing and help in these troubled times.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Public Worship Restart

Public Worship Restart – June 7 at 11:00
       Adult Bible class will be at 10:00

Psalm 122:1 says “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.”  It is a time for rejoicing!  We can again gather for worship.  The most important things will be the same.  You will hear God’s Word, you will receive the Sacrament, and you will do it with other believers.

Many of the procedures will be different, some of them very different.  This is for two reasons: 
1.    Some are required by law.  For example, we cannot have the number of people exceed 25% capacity.
2.    Some we are choosing to do in love for each other.   For example, IF you sing you are required to wear a mask.  God’s Word makes it very clear that we are to show Christian love by caring for each other’s health and well-being.  I may not feel I am at risk for COVID-19, but I will also do what I can to prevent me unknowingly spreading the virus.

·        Those who have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home.
·        Those who are at high risk of serious illness are encouraged to stay home.
·        Those who are uncomfortable attending services at this time are encouraged to stay home.
·        You are encouraged to wear a mask for the entire time you are in the building, but they are not required unless you choose to sing.  Some masks are available for you if desire one but don’t have one.
·        Everyone should practice distancing and good hygiene.

·        Two rows are taped off between pews, ensuring six feet of distance between members.
·        Two households will be allowed per pew, on opposite ends.
·        Ushers will assist with Communion.

·        High contact surfaces (like pews and door handles) will be disinfected after every service.
·        We are asking for volunteers to sign up for weekly disinfectant cleaning. This should take about 15 minutes after each church service.  Council members will clean the first 2 weeks.
·        A deeper cleaning will be done after each weekend.  Immanuel Hmong will do this.
·        Hymnals and Bibles will be removed from the pews.
·        The entire service will be printed and bulletins place in pews.
·        Those who are accustomed to following along in Bibles and hymnals are encouraged to bring their own.
·        Offering baskets will be set up in the rear of church.
·        The elements for Holy Communion will be prepared by someone wearing a mask and gloves.
·        Exterior doors will be propped open before, during, and after the service.

Before the Service
·        Hand sanitizer will be available at the doors.
·        There will be no hand shaking before the service.
·        A pastor or other member will be present in the narthex to guide people in these new procedures.
·        Those who do not wish to commune or are not comfortable communing at this time will be free not to do so.
·        Those who are distributing the Sacrament will clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer immediately before distribution and wear a mask and gloves.
·        Eight individuals will be allowed to come forward at a time.
·        Communicant will come forward down the center aisle and return to their pew down the side aisle.
·        Communicants will receive the wafer in a ziplock bag on the rail. 
·        The common cup will not be used for a time.
·        Individual cups will be placed on the rail.

·        We will be singing, but it will be limited.
·        Those who sing are asked to wear a mask.  This will not sound like what we are used to, but it will help protect others.  ONLY those who sing are required to wear a mask.

After the Service
·        Pastor will not shake hands with people as he exits the sanctuary.
·        Members are encouraged not to stay and socialize in the narthex or church. This is something that can be done more safely outside, if desired. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Worship to resume on June 7

To give us adequate time to plan and communicate the council has decided to resume worship on Sunday, June 7 at 11:00 AM.    We will take many precautions to make it as safe as possible.  Please watch for further details in the days to come.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Question and Answer

Members of St John,

During the last 2 months, with the Covid-19 “Stay at Home” order that Gov. Walz has issued, there has been a lot of anxiety by our members.  There is one thing that we can be SURE of.  Our Heavenly Father is there for us and we can come to Him in prayer for assurance.  He is watching over us and will bring this outbreak to an end while strengthening our faith in Him.  We are not like unbelievers who have no hope.  He is with us now and forever.
With less contact from our church leadership, I know that you have some questions and I will try to address them here.  Feel free to contact Pastor Berg, Jan Tholl, our council members, or Tony Wimmer at 612-306-5329 if there is anything else you would like to discuss.

Question: When will we start worshipping together again?
Answer: Right now the Governor has limited gatherings to 10 people.  When he allows us to meet for church services, we will let you know.

Q: Are there ways to receive the Word and Sacrament?
A: Pastor Berg has recorded 37 daily devotions which are available on Divinity’s Youtube page and our Facebook page.  He is taking a break from that to focus on other parts of our ministry but you can still view the devotions already recorded.  Every week a worship service is recorded and uploaded to Youtube and Facebook as well.  We are planning to mail out DVDs to our members who do not have internet access.
A: We have started offering Holy Communion on Wednesdays prior to the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month from 3:00-7:00.  There is a sign-up for families with 15-minute increments.  The next available day is May 27.  Contact Pastor Berg or myself if you need assistance with this.
A: There is a weekly Adult Bible Study on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.  Contact Pastor Berg or myself to get signed up and for more information.

Q: When will we be calling a pastor?
A: Before we are ready to call a pastor, we need to finish going through the next phase of our Crossroads Consulting program.  The next step will be to schedule the listening sessions.  In these listening sessions, we will try to answer these questions:  1) Are we ready to call a pastor now and commit to changes in our outreach efforts?  2) Should we work towards combining with another congregation?  3) Should we move to another location? 4) Should we close and transfer our members to other WELS congregations?  Derek will be working with our Guiding Coalition members to get these scheduled

Q: How are the mail in offerings going and what is our financial status?
A: Some of our members have been mailing their offerings to St John.  We ask that everyone do this.  At this time we are meeting our expenses, but our offerings have fallen in the last 2 months.

Q: What are the hours and duties of our church office secretary now?
A: Jan has been working a flexible schedule now.  She comes in 2-3 days per week and also when needed to send out blogs, mailings, and other duties. She has been able to answer texts, emails, and voicemails from home.  She also coordinates the mowing schedule.  We are paying her the same as before.

Q: Is our custodian working/getting paid?
A: Our custodian is still emptying trash, cleaning bathrooms, adding towels and TP where needed, and spot cleaning floors when needed.  His hours have been shortened.

Q: What recent repairs have we made?
A: Completed repair and update of our outdoor and bus garage lighting.  Completed boiler repairs (water tubes).

Q: Are we renting or plan to rent our school building?
A: There are no plans for renting the school building at this time.  CLUES has rented some space in the field for a community garden.  They are paying $500 per month for this space.

Q: Are our leaders meeting together at this time?
A: The council has not met since March.  We are using emails for the items that we need to discuss.  Since the Governor has relaxed his stay at home policy, we are planning to have a council meeting on May 26.

Q: Will we be holding basketball and soccer camps this year?
A: Both basketball and soccer camps have been cancelled this year

Q: Are we planning to canvass our neighborhood this year?
A: We are planning to delay the start of our canvassing until later this summer.

Q. Are the home bounds getting visits?
A:  There are no Home Bound visits as the facilities are not allowing any visitors. They are getting their weekly church mailing.  They enjoy that very much.

Q: Is there anything I can be doing for my church right now?
A: Even though we have not been using our facility, there are still many things that you can do.  General cleaning inside (mopping floors, dusting, window washing).  Outdoor things to do (mowing, weeding, pick up trash, window washing). Let Mike Tholl know when you have completed any of these projects.  There is a mowing schedule in the Link or you can talk to Jan.

May God bless you all, Tony Wimmer 612-306-5329

Sunday, May 24, 2020

You can watch today's worship service here.

You can also watch a special Bible study here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Good Newsletter!

May 2020

What More Could We Want?
This year in our monthly articles we are considering favorite verses from the Bible.
This month’s favorite Bible verse is: 
Psalm 23:1
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest men in the world. An interviewer once asked him, “How much money is enough?” Rockefeller replied, “Just a little bit more.”

How many times have we told ourselves that if we had “just a little bit more” we would be happy? A higher-paying job. A larger home. An earlier retirement. Better health. Successful children.

But what happens when those wants are met? Are people truly happy? And what happens when those wants aren’t met? When you find yourself unemployed. When in rough times your savings are depleted. When plans for better housing or earlier retirement have to be put on hold. When your health takes a turn for the worse or your children struggle in school. Where do you turn? Turn to Jesus and remember, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

We might not have everything we want in life, but Jesus, our Good Shepherd, has truly given us everything we need. He’s given us his word. He’s given us his promises. He assures us that our sins are forgiven and eternal life in heaven is ours through his death and resurrection.

He promises to provide for all of our physical and spiritual needs richly and abundantly here on earth until he takes us to the glorious home that he has prepared for us in heaven. There we will experience the fulfillment of his promise, “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).

Not long after his death, someone came up to the accountant of John D. Rockefeller and said, “We know Rockefeller was a very wealthy man. How much did he leave?” Without a moment’s hesitation, the accountant answered, “Everything!” A man who seemed to have it all was forced to leave it all behind in the end. The only things that will go with us from this life to the next are the spiritual treasures that belong to us through faith in Jesus.
What do we want out of life? What we need the most has already been fully and freely supplied by Jesus, our Good Shepherd. So, what more could we want? What more could we need?
What a reason to celebrate!

Upcoming Events at St. John:
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have temporarily suspended our worship services. We pray that God will keep us all safe from sickness during this outbreak and calm our fears.  You are in our prayers.
To watch our online services visit our Facebook page at St. John Lutheran church or visit our website at
For more information or to unsubscribe go to or call us at 651-771-6406

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

note from your elder and prayer

Today Christ Beguhl undergoes open heart surgery.  Please keep him in your prayers.

“We live in uncertain times.”

No doubt you’ve heard that said more than once in recent weeks. But are times ever certain? Are there times that we know exactly what tomorrow will bring – with absolute certainty? James 4:14 plainly tells us, “You do not know what tomorrow will bring.” We may have our doubts; we may have confidence in what tomorrow will bring. But, in the final analysis, James is spot on.
What have we observed? What lessons have been driven home as we experience this phenomenal pandemic? It is common for we Americans to look to the government to find the solution to the problem. But we are hearing more and more criticisms of how the government is handling the crisis. The government is not God. We look to science to come up with the medical weapons to end the threat. Science is not God. The god of sports has taken quite a blow on all levels; we can’t even turn to it for diversion or even for the health benefits it might offer. The god of money and financial security isn’t batting 1000 either. We live in uncertain times.
We live in very certain times. Though all the afore-mentioned “gods” have proven unreliable, there is a God – our God – who does not change. Again, we can turn to James (1:17): “Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, who does not change or shift like a shadow.” He is the One who identified himself to Moses as “I AM” – the God that does not change, who lives in the eternal present, who is steadfast in love, who says, “I the LORD do not change.” [Malachi 3:6]
Our God is like a loving parent who consistently disciplines his children in wisdom and love. And that is what he has been doing to with us right up to the present. Is he getting our attention better than he has in the past? Is he saying to us as he said through Malachi, “Return to me and I will return to you”? [Malachi 3:7]
There are many distractions in life. The distractions that take us away from time with God in prayer, in the Scriptures, in worship. This is true of everyone of us without exception.
God in his inscrutable wisdom has deprived us of the privilege of gathering as a congregation. How will we respond? Will the response be, “Hey this easy-chair church isn’t half bad; I can worship in my jammies with a cup of coffee and at a time suitable to me.” Or are we growing to miss corporate worship and in greater appreciation of the privilege it is and the benefit it brings to join together as God enjoins us in Hebrews 10:25: “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Our good and gracious Lord Jesus intends this experience to be a blessing for us. It will be a blessing if we view each day in the light of his Word, and in patient endurance focus our eyes on Him.
May the God of all peace keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Thomas Koepsell - elder