Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Ken Bahneman Obituary


Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather

Age 95, of Woodbury, Proud Navy veteran passed away peacefully on Monday, August 24th.

Preceded in death by loving wife of 66 years, June; son, Craig; and sister, Lorraine Krueger.

Kennard is survived by his children, Mary (Dan) Hart and Brian (Jennifer); eight grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Doris Schultz.

Evening visitation Wednesday, August 26th, 5 PM – 8 PM at Wulff Woodbury Funeral Home 2195 Woodlane Dr, Woodbury.

Funeral service Thursday, August 27th, 10 AM with visitation 1 hour prior at St. John Lutheran Church 765 Margaret St, St. Paul.

Interment at Elmhurst Cemetery, St. Paul.

Wulff Woodbury 651-738-9615

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Open Forum - Ministry Planning - This Sunday

In July and August, we collected member input on four ministry options through a series of listening sessions, phone calls, and paper surveys (it is not too late to provide your input if you have not already) and answered the questions:

  1. As we seek to grow the Kingdom of God, 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?

This coming Sunday, there will be an Open Forum to review and further discuss the input we captured. Our goal is evaluate the four ministry options in order to work towards a consensus on which option would best grow God’s kingdom. 

The Open Forum will occur after the worship service, from 11:45AM to 12:30PM, and will include structured sections to review and discuss the input captured for each ministry option. The leadership council recently completed a similar small group forum and found it both beneficial and encouraging so we hope you can join us!

The Open Forum will take place in the sanctuary and will follow all safety guidelines in our public worship safety plan.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Good Newsletter


August 2020

Can God take my guilt away?

This year in our monthly articles we are considering favorite verses from the Bible.

This month’s favorite Bible verse is:  

2 Corinthians 5:21

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

“I wish I could take it all away,” Mom whispered to her suffering five-year-old son. He had the flu for a couple of days now, and Mom’s heart was broken. As he lay in his bed suffering from the chills and a fever, there wasn’t much Mom could do except give him some children’s flu medicine and just be there for him. Mom felt helpless and wished she could take it all away from him. She even wished she could have the flu instead of her son.

When children are sick, the love of Mom and Dad really starts to shine through. In a heartbeat, parents go to extra lengths to make sure their kids are feeling as comfortable as possible. If you’re a parent, you’ve been there. You make sure their pillow is extra fluffy. You bring their favorite juice box. You provide their favorite movie to watch. And any time you hear them call, you quickly respond with, “What can I do for you?” The love of Mom and Dad goes so far that if they could take the sickness away, even become sick instead of their child, they would. But they can’t, and it hurts.

Has there ever been a time when you wished you could take it all away? Not just a sickness of a child, but something you did that you really regret? Maybe it was something you did to end a close relationship with a friend. Maybe you said something to a family member that you wish you could take back. Maybe it was something that only you know about, but it haunts you each day.

It’s at moments like these that God’s love really starts to shine through. He knows your sin, your guilt, your regrets. But he doesn’t just wish he could take them away. He did take them away. He forgave them all! He took your sin and guilt away when he put them on his only Son, Jesus. He loves you so much that he had Jesus die for your sin so that you wouldn’t have to. God forgave your guilt and now considers you right with him because of what Jesus did for you.

Wish your guilt and regrets could be taken away? They were. In their place, he gives you forgiveness and eternal life. Now that’s a love that shines through!

Upcoming Events at St. John:

Worship Services: Sunday 11:00 AM.

Adult Bible Study 10:00 AM.

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For more information or to unsubscribe go to or call us at 651-771-6406

Dedicated Funds Letter

 Dear St John Members:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Hope you and yours continue to be safe and healthy during this time.  

At our Council meeting on August 10th, a member sent a letter wanting to know why when there are repairs or projects to be done around the church, why we don’t use funds that are in the Dedicated Funds list to do the projects.  When someone is called home to heaven, family members may decide to give memorial money in their memory and they designate it for a certain project or fund.  We are always going to satisfy their wishes and designate that money for the purpose that they desired and nothing else.  If the church were to spend the money on some repair or project that they want, then people in the future will not be inclined to give memorial money because they will feel that the church is going to use it for whatever they want and not for what they designate it for.  Even if a family were to give memorial money for something that may never develop, the church will still not use it for anything else.   As an example, someone once gave money to start a handbell fund hoping that someday St. John would have a handbell choir.  Some have said we will probably never have a handbell choir, and that may be true but we still are not going to use the money for something else.  If the family who gave the memorial money would come to the Council and tell the Council that they could use the money for something else, then we would do that but that would be the only way it would be used for something else.  

August 16 worship

 You can watch this week's worship here.

God will bless you through his Word!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Minutes from Voter's Meeting-July 19, 2020



St. John Voter’s Meeting – July 19, 2020

1.            Council recommendation to approve budget for 2020/2021 in the amount of $195,290.

2.            Elmhurst Cemetery update

3.            Crossroads Consulting update

Opened with prayer.

33 people present.


Treasurer Jim Connolly presented the budget

St. John has resumed Sunday services and plan to continue moving ahead.

Not sure how Covid-19 will impact us.

CLUES wants to rent ball-field in addition to the rental of the garden property.

$500 per month through October for the garden.

Updates on the irrigation system were paid for by CLUES and will then be billed by St. John for the water used at the end of the growing season.

There is little change in expenses from the previous fiscal year. 

A Called Pastor salary was addressed which varies by the number of years as a minister – (plus health insurance can be an additional $20,000 a year).

Addressed lightning strike but all has been repaired ($25,000 in losses) - $3,500 increase to insurance budget.

Budget carried – A motion was made by Tom Koepsell, seconded by Alan Salchow, approved and carried by the members of St. John in the amount of $195,290.


Jim Connolly gave an Update on Elmhurst Cemetery

Talk about Jerry’s retirement and training Jay as his replacement. Jay took over as the Superintendent but has now left the position.

Jerry has now agreed to temporarily come back and help again after 44 years of service with Elmhurst.

It takes a unique individual to run a cemetery with many skills including diplomacy, and able to manage grieving families and emotions that arise during their time of loss and planning a burial.

Accounting background is needed and understanding of State Statutes/Payroll.

Accountant was hired to keep thing in order (at a cost of $2,000-$3,000 a year).

Revenues will be going down with less casket burials (no interment fee, no marker, etc.).

Property sales are down – more cremations are the norm.

Public assistance pays $750 for the individual.  Per Ramsey County the additional cost of a grave site now cannot be passed on to the family as was done in the past which reduces revenue. 

Capital improvements = $85,000-$100,000 primarily for maintenance on the cemetery roads.

600 plus grave plots are still available to sell/purchase.

Drainage and sewer line to Rice and Larpenteur discussed which may impact expansion of the cemetery.

A cost of $9,500 for tree removal after last winter 2019/2020.

Hard to find workers beyond the general maintenance of the property (they have to take breaks from the other tasks that need to be accomplished like simply cutting grass).

Insurance discussed.

Security issues – parties on the grounds – gun issues in the past years – neighbors complain to police about what is happening. BUT all has now been peaceful for the past two years!

No one living in the house on the property to watch and guard the cemetery.


Sell? There will be a discussion at the Elmhurst Board Meeting on Tuesday July 21st   as a possible option because  “the world is changing”.

Crown of Life is also included.  Jim Haberkorn is the President of the Board and is the contact person.

Meeting was then opened for questions and comments (nothing to document).

Non-binding vote was taken for board members to consider:

               Show of hands to sell – 10 men (including members of the council) raised their hands to sell.

               This gives Cemetery Board an indication on what St. John thinks.

Business Closed.

 Derek Meyer gave an update on Crossroads Consulting

Derek has evaluated our ministry at St. John and continues to work towards options for St. John.

Overview of Listening Sessions.

Next Wednesday and Sunday there will be Listening Sessions.

Phone call is option for those unable to attend.

Paper copy is also an option if so desired.


Tony Wimmer asked if there were any more questions and Closed the Meeting with a blessing.

“May the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)


Update On Elmhurst Cemetery

 Dear St John Members:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Hope you and yours continue to be safe and healthy during this time.  

I think you would agree with me that we are living in a changing world and uncertain times.  The only thing that we are certain of is that the Lord is in control and we have to have faith in Him.  It seems like we seem to be facing different challenges daily.  As many of you know, St John along with Crown of Life Lutheran Church owns Elmhurst Cemetery.  Originally, in 1858, Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church purchased property and started what is currently Elmhurst Cemetery.  When St John was started as a daughter congregation of Trinity, they sold ½ interest in the cemetery for $1.00.  That is how St. John became half owner of the cemetery.  In the past 18 months there have been various changes at the cemetery both within the operation and outside of the operation.  In December of 2019, Jerry Krieger who was the superintendent for the past 44 years, decided to retire.  Being the superintendent of a cemetery is not an easy job nor is it is easy to find someone that can fill the position.  First of all, as you may expect you have to be someone who can deal with many different emotions.  Each situation is different and you have to be able to react to whatever the situation is.  It is also someone who should have some knowledge of accounting because you have to prepare monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports as well as you have to prepare payrolls.  We have been very very fortunate to have had Jerry for all those years.  He did a great job of running the cemetery.  Jerry had informed the Board about a year before his retirement that he wanted to retire in December of 2018 and he was going to start looking for a replacement.  Training for this job requires an extensive training time frame before someone is up to speed.  When a replacement could not be found, he asked Jay Kemp who was the lead person in the yard crew and who had worked at Elmhurst for 8 years if he would be interested in being the superintendent.  When Jerry was gone or on vacation, Jay would come into the office so he was somewhat familiar with what needed to be done.  Jay agreed to take the superintendent’s job and has been doing it for the past 18 months.  In May he decided that it wasn’t for him and he unexpectedly resigned.  Fortunately, Jerry agreed to come back and run the cemetery but he made it clear that he didn’t want it to be long term.  The Board decided to have a special meeting to discuss what options we had.  We basically came down to two options.  We could try and find a superintendent to run the cemetery or we could pursue trying to sell it.  If we decide to find a superintendent to run it, there are some major decisions that have to been addressed going forward.  First of all, in the next couple of years, there are a couple of roads that will need to be replaced and that is expensive.  There are also some trees that have become diseased and will need to be removed and replaced.  Because of the age and size of the trees, the yard crew is not able to remove them because they don’t have the equipment required.  This too is expensive to do.  There is a section in the northeast part of the cemetery that can be developed for additional graves but this too will require a landscaping company to come in and develop the area.  

The cemetery is financially strong but the capital improvements that are needed will require a lot of resources.  One of the trends that we are seeing is that more and more people are opting for cremation instead of the traditional in-ground burial.  Probably the major reason for that is cost.  The cost of a niche at Elmhurst is about the same as a single grave lot for an in-ground burial but the rest of the traditional cost of a funeral has become expensive.  This can have an impact on revenues for the cemetery.  At the quarterly board meeting on July 19th, the Board decided to pursue the sale of the cemetery.  The time seemed right to do this.  With the development of the property that I had mentioned before, there would be approximately 650 graves available.  This would be a positive situation for someone who was looking to purchase the cemetery.  One of the major reasons that the Board decided not to pursue finding a new superintendent, was that in the next couple of years, there are 3 other superintendents of cemeteries that are going to retire and so they too are looking for replacements.  Selling the cemetery will require some time because before we can even think about putting it on the market, we will need to have a commercial real estate agent appraise it to see what it is worth.  I can assure you that it won’t be a fire sale or we are not going to give it away.  Also, there are state statutes that governs how a cemetery is run and requires reporting to make sure they are doing things correctly.  Any one who has purchases property at Elmhurst would continue to own that property just as they did when they purchased it.  Nothing would change.  The net proceeds from the sale would be split 50/50 between St. John and Crown of Life.   I know there may be some questions that you may have about this decision and what will happen.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

God’s Blessings

Jim Connolly