Thursday, July 9, 2020
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 email@example.com 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
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
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
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:
We recognize all good things come from God and ask Him to bless our efforts!
Ministry planning is an urgent item. Souls are at stake and we should urgently pursue our ministry planning process.
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.
Your involvement and contributions to this process are critical to the success of this process.
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
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020
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