Friday, January 31, 2020

Video Message: Thank You from St. Croix Lutheran Academy

Pastor Dave Huebner takes an opportunity to thank St. John and all of you for continued support of the ministry at St. Croix. Watch the video below.

Anticipating Worship (February 2)

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Worship Focus:
The Savior’s Sermon: Trust in God’s Strength

Micah 6:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 5:1-12

Prayer of the Day:
Lord God, you know that we are surrounded by many dangers and that we often stumble and fall.
Strengthen us in body and mind, and bring us safely through all temptations; through Jesus Christ,
your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Sermon:    1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Blessed Are Those Who Boast in the Lord. 

Please join us at 10:00 am Sunday for Bible Study and Little Lights and
Worship at 11:00 am.
Pastor John Berg will be leading us in worship.

(Choir rehearsals have been postponed until February 16th)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

A Pre-Game for God, Sunday Feb. 2nd, 4:00 to 5:30PM

The on-site portion of Phase 2 “Analysis” of our ministry planning process is fast approaching with a full weekend of activities planned starting the evening of Friday, Jan. 31st.

All members are encouraged to join us on Sunday, Feb. 2nd from 4:00 to 5:30PM (just in time to catch kick-off for the Superbowl!) to hear an oral report from Pastor Stroh, our planning consultant, on what we’ve discovered thus far.

What better way to spend your pre-game than an opportunity to engage in the ministry God has planned for St. John! See you there!

P.S. Don’t forget to wear your team colors...

Friday, January 24, 2020

Anticipating Worship (January 26)

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Worship Focus:
Jesus Appears as the Light that Shines in the Darkness.

Isaiah 8:19-9:2
Psalm 27
1 John 2:3-11
Matthew 11:12-23

Prayer of the Day:
        Almighty God, you sent your Son to proclaim your kingdom and to teach with authority. 
Anoint us with the power of your Spirit that we, too, may bring good news to the afflicted,
bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to the captive; through Jesus Christ, your
Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Sermon: Matthew 11:12-23
Christian Education Points to Jesus

Please join us on Sunday at 11:00 am for our worship service. 
Little Lights a 10:00 am.
(Just a reminder there is no Bible Study this Sunday)
Pastor John Berg will be leading us in worship. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

No Bible Study Sunday January 26th

Our Bible Study will be canceled for Sunday, January 26th. Worship will be at 11:00 am as usual.

Ministry Planning Update - What you need to know and Feb. 2nd

A lot has happened in the last 4 months! We’ve completed several big milestones and we have another one coming up, the on-site analysis portion the weekend of 1/31-2/2.

Mark your calendars for Sunday Feb. 2nd for a report out on what we have discovered.

We are at the midway point for Phase 2 “Analysis”. We expect this phase to conclude and Phase 3 “Mission/Vision Setting” to begin in March.

We anticipate being well prepared to call a Pastor after completing Phase 3 “Mission/Vision Setting” around August or September.

Continue reading for more on this and other information.

What has happened?

A lot has happened since engaging with Crossroads Ministry Consulting last fall to guide us through a ministry planning process:
  • In September, phase 1 “Introduction” concluded with a workshop presentation by Pastor Stroh.
  • In October, members voted to continue with phases 2, 3, and 4 of the ministry planning process with the continued assistance of Pastor Stroh.
  • In November, we kicked off phase 2 “Analysis” and scheduled the on-site analysis
  • In December, we worked on several analysis instruments about our church and community.
  • In December, we also started forming a “Guiding Coalition” to support the ministry planning process.
  • In January, we conducted a congregational survey and submitted the completed analysis instruments.
  • Now, we are planning for the on-site analysis happening Jan. 31st to Feb. 2nd.

What is an “analysis instrument”?

As part of the ministry planning process, Pastor Stroh provides several documents that help us take stock of what’s happening at our church and in our community. These documents help us analyze where we are at today and where we should go in the future. Listed below are some of the activities that went into completing the analysis instruments:
  • Reviewed a demographics report including population, household, race/ethnicity, economic, social, and other trends in our community
  • Interviewed 8 community leaders including a city council legislator, two principals, and five Pastors
  • Surveyed 61 people in our community who are on our prospect list
  • Conducted a member survey, guest survey, and tabulated the result
  • Reviewed St. John membership, attendance, financial, and participation trends
  • Completed a volunteer inventory and fellowship group profile
  • Gathered reference documents including council and voter meeting agendas/minutes
  • Conducted a survey of our elected leaders and office worker

What have you learned?

That our community is ripe for the Gospel!  Phase 2 “Analysis” is still in progress so we’re still gathering information but we have learned a lot thus far. For example, did you know the following about the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood?
  • 50% of households with children 0-18 are single parents
  • The two largest generations are Gen Z (ages 0-17) at 33% and Millenials (ages 18-37) at 31% of the population.
  • 76% of Adults have graduated high school and 20% have a college degree
  • The community is considered more receptive to Christian faith than national averages
  • The primary concerns of the community are affordable housing, neighborhood security, programs for youth, and racial/ethnic prejudice.
  • Homelessness and family instability are two of the primary factors negatively impacting student success at our local schools.
These are just some of the many things we’ve learned so far in the process. You can hear about these and more at the February 2nd report out to all members.

What’s next?

Next is the on-site analysis which is scheduled Friday Jan. 31st to Sunday Feb. 2nd and will conclude with a report out for all members the afternoon/evening of Sunday Feb. 2nd. This weekend will include lots of activities intended to help analyze our potential for ministry, including:
  • Several “Pulse Groups” with 8-10 members each
  • A council leaders brainstorming and analysis session
  • Interviews with Pastors, our office staff, and others
  • A tour of our facilities
  • An observation of our worship service, Bible study, and Little Lights
  • Meals and events in the community as an opportunity to observe the community

How can I help?

There will be several opportunities to be involved, including pulse groups or attending congregational meetings. When asked to be involved, share your candid feedback and honest responses. Attend congregational meetings and be engaged.

When will start to see the results of our Ministry Planning?

We are already starting to see the positive benefits of ministry planning, although you may have to look closely to see it! Ministry planning is a long and thorough process so it can be easy to miss the small successes. Instead, we need to celebrate and thank God for the successes! For example, did you know the Evangelism committee doubled the number of people who canvassed the neighborhood this past summer? Or think about all the fruitful discussion on the future direction of St. John. These are all blessings that we are evaluating our Ministry and working to make it better.

When are we going to call a Pastor?

So far we have been waiting to extend additional calls to Pastors until we have a more defined ministry plan. Without a ministry plan, we don’t know what skills are important for a Pastor at St. John and in the community. Additionally, it is difficult for a Pastor to evaluate the call if a church does not have a ministry plan.

The good news is the Crossroads Ministry Planning Process is helping us to develop a ministry plan! We anticipate being well prepared to call a Pastor and share our ministry plan at the conclusion of Phase 3 “Mission/Vision Setting” which will conclude in August or September.

We know it isn’t ideal without a full-time Pastor, but our prayer is that by enduring this period of instability we will establish the foundation for our ministry to thrive on the East side for decades to come!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Midweek Bible Study Opportunity!

The Jesus You Thought You Knew - This Bible study will begin Tuesday, January  21st,
at 6:30 pm.  This midweek Bible study digs into the person of Jesus and his true purpose. For more information talk to Tom Koepsell. Please, sign up at the table in the narthex.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Anticipating Worship (January 19)

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Worship Focus:
Jesus Appears as the Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World.

Isaiah 49:1-7
Acts 13:38-49
John 1:29-41

Prayer of the Day:
Almighty God, you gave your one and only Son to be the light of the world. Grant that your people,
illumined by your Word and sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and believed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever.   Amen. 

Sermon:   John 1:29-41
                 We Hope We Are Saved.

Please join us at 10:00 am Sunday as we study God's Word in Bible Study and Little Lights,
and as we worship our Lord and Savior at 11:00 am. 
Pastor John Berg leads us in worship. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


St. John Mid-Winter Chili/Soup Potluck and Game Night – Saturday, February 22, 5:00 PM. 
Mark your calendar and bring your favorite soup or chili and game for an evening of fun in the fellowship hall. Doors will open at 5 and dinner will begin at 5:30. Bring a board or card game, or just enjoy some social time with friends. If you would like to bring snacks for game-time, that would be great too! Interested in helping with setup? Contact Jim Julian.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Anticipating Worship (January 12)

Worship Focus:
Jesus Appears as the Christ, the Anointed One

Isaiah 42:1-7
Acts 10:34-38
Matthew 3:13-17

Prayer of the Day:
Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Keep us who are baptized into Christ faithful in our calling as your children and make us heirs with him of everlasting life; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Sermon:   Acts 10:34-38
"Jesus Unites the Divided"

Please join us on Sunday at 10:00 am, for Bible Study and Little Lights
and Worship at 11:00 am.
Pastor John Berg will lead us in worship. 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Your Help is Needed! Please Join Us!

Christmas Decoration takedown is Friday, January 10th, at 6:00 pm. Please come and help if you can. The more hands the faster it goes. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Little Lights Starting this Sunday!

‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ - Matthew 19:14

Our Little Lights children program will continue in 2020 starting this Sunday, January 12th! We are looking forward to another great year of sharing God’s word with our children at St. John.

If your child(ren) have not attended in the past and you want to learn more - stop by any Sunday!

If you are interested in helping or teaching in a classroom, please contact Mary Meyer.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Anticipating Worship (January 5)

Second Sunday after Christmas

Worship Focus:
The Incarnation Reveals God

Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Ephesians 1:3-14
John 1:14-18

Prayer of the Day:
Almighty God, you have filled us with the new light of the Word who became flesh and lived among us. Let the light of our faith shine in all that we do; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.   Amen.

Sermon:  Isaiah 61-10-62:3
"God Gives You New Clothes to Enjoy"

Please join us Sunday at 10:00 am for Bible Study and Worship at 11:00 am.
Pastor John Zeitler will be leading us in worship.