Friday, April 30, 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Weekly Encouragement from Pastor Al

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” // John 16:33

Beverly Collyard Obituary


Beverly Ethel Collyard (Wilcox) was born in St. Paul, MN, on July 12, 1926, the daughter of Fred and Myrtle (Brown) Wilcox. Her family moved to St. Paul’s east side during the Great Depression. During WWII Bev worked at 3M in place of her husband Ed who was serving overseas.  She also worked for 14 years as a dental assistant.

Bev and Ed Collyard were married while he was on leave on March 16, 1944.  They were blessed with three sons and a daughter. Throughout her life, Bev was a loving wife and dedicated mother. She always had a positive attitude (“Count your blessings” “Put a smile on your face”).  She taught her children the blessings of a strong Christian faith.

 She was active at St. John’s Lutheran Church (WELS) in St. Paul for over 65 years.
Bev actively volunteered to help others.  In 2002 she was awarded the “Governor’s Act of Kindness Award” from the state of Minnesota for her work as a Braille transcriber.  Bev used this skill for over 30 years, particularly as a volunteer for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s Ministry to the Visually Disabled,
headquartered in St. Paul.

 Bev loved music and was a skilled ballroom dancer.
In these last days of her life, she anticipated her departure with peace and was made a member of the Church Triumphant on April 24, 2021. 

Bev was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Edward; her mother and father; brothers, Leslie, Wayne, and Robert; and sisters, Mildred, Bernice, Jeanine, Bess, and Margie. Three other siblings died as young children.  

She is survived by her children,
Len (Kathy), Larry (Fran), Karen, and Gerry (Sandy); eight grandchildren;
and 21 great-grandchildren.
Funeral at 11:00am on Monday, May 3rd at St. John Lutheran Church, 765 E. Margaret St., on St. Paul's Eastside, with Visitation at the church at 10:00am. Private burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery following the funeral.

 Bev's family sends special thanks to the caretakers at New Perspectives in Highland Park
 Memorials requested for St. John Lutheran Church or
the WELS Mission for the Visually Impaired.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

COVID Vaccines available at CLUES

CLUES (Nextdoor neighbor to church) notified St. John that on Wednesday, April 28, from 
1:00 pm-5:00 pm, they will offer COVID vaccines at no cost. They will have the 
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Feel free if you would like to get the vaccine just stop by, 
no appointment needed. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

In-Person Worship-April 18, 2021

If you were unable to worship in-person on Sunday, you may go to the link below and watch. 

In Person Worship-April 18, 2021

New Bible Reading Challenge begins May 1

Our next Bible Reading Challenge will go throughout the month of May. We'll look at the topic of growing faith, especially looking at examples from the early church, spinning off of our "I Witness" sermon series. Sign up if you haven't done so for a previous challenge, and grow in your faith through these short daily Bible readings

A Note from Pastor Al - Change of Mind

The link below will take you to this week's Note From Pastor Al.

Note from Pastor

This Weeks Encouragement from Pastor Al

 "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” // John 10:28-30

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Camp Croix - Strive Teen Camp

Camp Croix — We have received information on a teen camp that Camp Croix will be hosting this summer. The dates are June 13-17, 2021. It’s being offered to teens ages 14-19 and you are encouraged to bring a friend. Get more information and register at Camper Registration.


A Note from Pastor Al - Peace In Doubt


The link below will take you to the Note from Pastor Al.

A Note from Pastor Al

Journey Charter School Update

 Last week, we met with the Journey School to discuss the opening of the Charter School at St John.  They would like to delay the opening at St John until the fall of 2023.  Their reason is to get a better idea of how the enrollment at their Lexington school will be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Pastor Returns Call

Pastor Al has returned the call he received to Christ Lutheran Church in Marshall, MN. This call was received on March 8, 2021. Pastor formally announcement that he had returned the call on Sunday April 11, 2021 to both Mt. Olive and St. John.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

In-Person Worship-April 11, 2021

 If you were unable to worship in person on Sunday, April 11th, 
you may view the service on the link below. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

SCLA - Thank You for a Successful Gala!

 Dear Friends of St. Croix: 

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

The mission of St. Croix Lutheran Academy, Educating the total student: spiritually, intellectually, and physically, is only possible through the grace of God and your support.  

The 2021 Gala was a huge success from a number of perspectives. Here are a few noteworthy ones:

  • Over 200 packages were donated. When our gala committee felt we needed more or different items, they showed up. Every time!
  • Of the 200+ packages, nearly 30% were hand-made items or experiences.
  • On average, each package received 8 bids.
  • Student-created ceramics collectively raised $960.
  • The collective creations of faculty and staff yielded $13,175.
  • The total raised to date is nearly $58,000. God is good!

Thank you to all of you! Through this year’s gala, you supported this ministry with your time, talents, and treasures. God poured his blessings on us; to him be the glory!

A special thank you is appropriate for our gala committee. Staff members John Dvorak, Kristina Lewerenz, and Lisa Streckert worked many extra hours to put this year’s event together. Parent volunteers on the committee, Kelly Burkart and Jessica Kelm, brought energy, insight, and hours of work to make the gala memorable and successful.

On behalf of SCLA, the Mission Advancement team, and the gala committee, we appreciate all you do to support our ministry. You are a blessing!

If you missed the gala and would like to offer your support, you can still contribute to Make a Difference, our tuition assistance program, by giving here.

See you in person next year!

Brian Shult
Director of Mission Advancement
St. Croix Lutheran Academy

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April 2021 Good NewsLetter - Our God is Almighty


Our God is…Almighty

How strong are you?

If you want to see incredible physical strength, watch “The World’s Strongest Man” competition. To win, the competitors have to do such demanding feats as lift 300-pound, round stones onto a pedestal, flip huge tires over and over, and pull large buses—in the least amount of time.

Such strength pales in comparison to the almighty power of the one true God.

God’s power isn’t limited to a competition, and he doesn’t use it to win prizes for himself. God uses his power for our benefit.

The greatest proof of God’s almighty power is when Jesus was raised to life after being crucified.

Jesus had the weight of the world on his back in the form of every sin of every person for all time. We rejoice because he was willing to lift the heavy weight of sin off us and endure the excruciating pain of dying on the cross in our place.

Jesus was humbled, but only temporarily. Three days later, God showed his almighty power when Jesus became the only person to overcome sin, death, and hell.

The Apostle Paul writes, “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also” (1 Corinthians 6:14).

Jesus won the victory of eternal life. He gives the hope of heaven to all people. Now that is a feat of strength!

God is not done revealing his almighty power. On the Last Day, Jesus will return to earth to raise our bodies back to life and to reunite them with our souls. We may be weak, but God uses his strength for us. Trust in the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection.


Worship with us during the Easter season. Together we can rejoice in God’s almighty power.

Upcoming Events at St. John:

Worship Services: Sunday 8:30 AM.

Adult Bible Study 9:40 AM.

Visit our website at

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

SCLA - Summer 2021 Homestays Needed


Can you host a student this summer?

St. Croix’s international families and international staff are currently working to help students return to their home countries for the summer. Due to border closings and the unavailability of flights, there are a few students who may need to stay in the U.S.

Will you consider hosting an international student or two from June 7 to August 14? As a host, you will receive a stipend of $800 per month, $2000 for the summer. Currently, homestays are needed for male students, some of whom are in athletics and would need transportation to summer practices.
If your family is moved to be a host this summer, you are invited to fill out the homestay application on our website.
Please contact me if you have questions. Thank you for considering!
Tamara Julian
Dormitory Student Advisor
St. Croix Lutheran Academy
Office - (651) 455-1521 ext. 1118
Boys' On-Duty Cell - (651) 998-4019
Girls' On-Duty Cell - (651) 998-9241

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge April 10


April 10

Matthew 28:11-20
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Psalm 71
In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD,
    my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
7 I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendor all day long.

9 Do not cast me away when I am old;
    do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
    those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him;
    pursue him and seize him,
    for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
    come quickly, God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
    may those who want to harm me
    be covered with scorn and disgrace.

14 As for me, I will always have hope;
    I will praise you more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
    of your saving acts all day long—
    though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD;
    I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
    and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come.

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
    you who have done great things.
    Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
    many and bitter,
    you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
    you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor
    and comfort me once more.

22 I will praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
    Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
    when I sing praise to you—
    I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
    all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
    have been put to shame and confusion.


Return from Captivity

“Indeed, whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that, through patient endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we would have hope.” [Romans 15:4]

During the COVID crisis, many have described a feeling of being held captive in their own houses. Get this: Children are even eager to get back to school! When was the last time that happened? With God’s blessing of the development of vaccines, most are looking forward to a return from “captivity.”

About two and a half millennia ago, God’s people experienced a return from captivity. After seventy years of Babylonian captivity, God moved the heart of Cyrus to decree this return. Did all the Israelites pack their bags and head for the camel port? (Well, no, there wasn’t a camel port but…) We are told that about 50,000 returned and that this was a small portion of God’s Chosen People. That might surprise you, but consider this: It was a long difficult journey back to the Promised Land. After seventy years, many had become too old and feeble to return. You might compare them to our homebound who cannot travel. Then there were those who had been born in Babylon and had never seen their homeland. Then there were others as well.

When the people had been rounded up to be taken to Babylon, Jeremiah had told them to build houses and settle down. They did. Many grew very comfortable, even prosperous. Why should they give up all that and make the trek back to Jerusalem which lay in a heap of rubble, where a new start would present hardship and hard work, where infrastructure was non-existent?

The simple answer is that it was God’s will that his people return to rebuild the Temple and re-establish the worship of the True God in Jerusalem. As God’s Chosen People, they were the bearers of the Promise of a Savior. How important was that? Thank God that he moved the hearts of a remnant to make the sacrifice, to give up their comfort, and to return for the fulfillment of God’s promise!

How about our return from “captivity”? We may have settled in and we may have grown comfortable with what some have labeled “couch church.” We don’t have to go out in the cold, we don’t have to drive, we don’t even have to get dressed for church. Many a Hebrew in Babylon had lost sight of God’s plan for them and had lost heart. God’s plan for us is that we gather for worship, that we make whatever effort necessary to sit at the feet of the pastor (“shepherd”) he has trained and called to feed us with the pure Word and sacrament. May we always remember and consider God’s plan for our lives more important than our own comfort. You are part of God’s house. Let’s put it back together as fast as we can!

“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.” [Hebrews 10:25]

Friday, April 9, 2021

In-Person Worship - Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

If you were unable to worship in person on Easter Sunday, use the link below to view the service. 

In-Person Worship-Easter

A Note from Pastor Al - I Witness

                                The link below will take you to the Note from Pastor Al for this week. 

A Note From Pastor Al

Encouragement from Pastor Al

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. // Galatians 2:20

Bible Reading Challenge April 9

Matthew 28:1-10
 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Psalm 70
For the director of music. Of David. A petition.
1 Hasten, O God, to save me;
    come quickly, LORD, to help me.
2 May those who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    turn back because of their shame.
4 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The LORD is great!”
5 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    LORD, do not delay.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

SCLA Gala 2days away

Escape to Florida!

This vacation home sleeps up to 12, has a heated pool, and is just over a mile from the Gulf Coast.

Browse more auction items you could win on April 10 at the SCLA gala!

Have You Signed in to Your Gala Account?

No tickets are needed for the virtual gala, but if you sign in or create an account, you won't miss any gala communications on Saturday! You'll hear about special videos, auction items, and how you can Make a Difference!

Visit for more information.

Zoom Trivia Extravaganza

Sign up by tomorrow for Trivia! The Zoom Trivia Extravaganza is hosted by the professional team at Sunset Trivia on April 10 starting at 5:30 p.m. This fun (and FREE) opportunity allows everyone to participate in a trivia contest on Zoom. Each member of the winning team (up to 8 players) gets a $25 Kwik Trip gift card!

Bible Reading Challenge April 8

April 8

Matthew 27:57-66
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.


Psalm 69:19-36
You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
    all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart
    and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
    for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food
    and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

22 May the table set before them become a snare;
    may it become retribution and a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
    and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them;
    let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted;
    let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound
    and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime;
    do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life
    and not be listed with the righteous.

29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.

30 I will praise God’s name in song
    and glorify him with thanksgiving.
31 This will please the LORD more than an ox,
    more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The poor will see and be glad—
    you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The LORD hears the needy
    and does not despise his captive people.

34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and all that move in them,
35 for God will save Zion
    and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
36     the children of his servants will inherit it,
    and those who love his name will dwell there.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge April 7


April 7

Matthew 27:45-56
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.


Psalm 69:1-18
For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David.

1 Save me, O God,
    for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
    the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
    looking for my God.
4 Those who hate me without reason
    outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
    those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
    what I did not steal.

5 You, God, know my folly;
    my guilt is not hidden from you.

6 LORD, the Lord Almighty,
    may those who hope in you
    not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
    may those who seek you
    not be put to shame because of me.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake,
    and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family,
    a stranger to my own mother’s children;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me,
    and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
    I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth,
    people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me,
    and I am the song of the drunkards.

13 But I pray to you, LORD,
    in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
    answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,
    do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
    from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
    or the depths swallow me up
    or the pit close its mouth over me.

16 Answer me, LORD, out of the goodness of your love;
    in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant;
    answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me;
    deliver me because of my foes.