Thursday, May 27, 2021

A Note from Pastor Al - Converted by Love

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

A Note From Pastor Al 

Encouragement from Pastor Al

 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. // 
 John 3:17

Thursday, May 20, 2021

A Note From Pastor Al


Please use the link below to read this week's note.

Encouragement from Pastor Al

 The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. // Psalm 121:7-8

SCLA Event Update-Revision regarding mask requirements.


Congregational Forum-June 6th

Notice of Congregational Open Forum on June 6th
Please make every effort to attend
As the next step of the Mission / Vision Setting phase in our Crossroads Consulting program,
you are encouraged to join the upcoming open forum discussion on Sunday, June 6th at
9:45AM following the worship service in the Fellowship Hall.
The forum will explore the second option determined in phase two of the Crossroads Consulting
Program: Stay and, with the help of a partner, pursue a future together.
Specifically, we will explore a potential merger of Immanuel Hmong Lutheran Church and St.
John Ev. Lutheran Church. In February, the senior leadership of both congregations met to
discuss a potential merger. It was agreed there that both congregations would carry this idea to
their respective members for feedback. Immanuel Hmong has done this and returned positive
feedback to the idea, so now it is our turn to further explore this idea among the St. John
The open forum is set for Sunday, June 6 at 9:45AM following the worship service to discuss
what a potential merger might look like and to gather your thoughts and questions going
• How does this happen?
• When would this happen?
• Would we still call a pastor?
• What would the name of the congregation be?
• Will this strengthen outreach programs?
• Would this bring additional souls to God’s Kingdom?
• Would this strengthen our presence in the community?
• How can I help?
• Along with any other questions you may present.
This is simply a conversation to develop additional questions as well as work to provide
answers to the congregation. No official votes will take place during the forum.
Your input is vital to the future of St. John, we need as much feedback as possible, and
sincerely encourage your participation in whatever form is most comfortable for you.
If you are unable to attend, we still very much welcome your comments to Vice President, Jeff
Abrahamson at or 612-616-9050. If you prefer to mail written
comments, please send them to the church office: 765 Margaret St., Saint Paul, MN 55106
Additionally, if you feel more comfortable speaking with another member of the Council, please
reach out to them.
We, the Council, look forward to hearing from you and/or seeing you on Sunday, June 6th

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

In-Person Worship May 16, 2021

If you were not able to worship in person on Sunday, you may view it on the link below. 

In-Person Worship- May 16

SCLA Events Update

HS Spring Concerts OPEN to the Public
The HS spring band concert is Thursday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. The HS spring choir concert is Friday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. Seating is now open to the public! Masks are required inside the building. Both will be live-streamed

HS Graduation OPEN to the Public
The high school graduation service for the class of 2021 is Sunday, June 6, 2021, in the SCLA gymnasium. 112 graduates including 38 international students will graduate. Seating is now open to the public! Masks are required inside the building. The service will be streamed live at

SCLA Summer Camps
Registration is open for SCLA’s academic and sports camps for students entering grades K- 9. Find out more and register at

Job Opening - Maintenance/Custodian
Immediate opening for afternoon/evening full-time custodial/general maintenance position with either a full-time position or two part time positions. More info and application at

Thank you for your continued partnership in Christian education. Please contact me if there is anything I can help with!

Kristina Lewerenz
Communications Director
St. Croix Lutheran Academy

Visit our website

LWMS 2021 Virtual National Convention Information


Convention Registration
Just a reminder to REGISTER for FREE by June 7. While you register you will be able to sign up for the Annual Business Meeting, our interactive IGNITE session, and virtual chat rooms to bring us together for some virtual fellowship. We look forward to seeing you online June 24-27, 2021!
Speaker Information
Home Missions:
Rev. Allen Kirschbaum, Spirit of Life, Caledonia, Michigan    
Rev. Ryan Kolander, Palabra de Vida, Detroit, Michigan   
Rev. Bradley Wright, Risen Savior, Mansfield, Ohio
World Missions:
Gary and Beth Evans, Central Africa Medical Mission   
Stephen Wiesenauer, East Asia  
Abram Degner, Paraguay
Matthew Doebler, East Asia
Rev. Joel R. Voss, Resurrection, Centerville, Ohio
Rev. Troy Jacobs, Abiding Word, Maineville, Ohio
Rev. Robert J. Krueger, Immanuel, Findlay, Ohio
Rev. Alex Groth, Beautiful Savior, Cincinnati, Ohio
Rev. Paul Schulz, LWMS Pastoral Advisor, Grace, Safford, Arizona
Rev. Jonathan Zietlow, LWMS Pastoral Advisor, Grace, Critvitz, Wisconsin
Rev. Snowden Sims, Michigan District President, St. Paul, Columbus, Ohio

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge 15/31 - Music Video



2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; 3:1-5
13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.


Sara Groves

Friday, May 14, 2021

May 2021 Good Newsletter


Our God is…GOOD

Have you ever felt like the guy in the cartoon with a rain cloud over his head? Wherever he goes, the rain cloud follows, but he’s the only one getting wet.

When your relationships are stressed, your 401(k) tanks or your job is on the line, it feels like that rain cloud is following wherever you go. You see your friends or neighbors and you wonder, “Why am I the only one getting wet?”

At times like that, it’s easy to wonder if God is good. It may feel as if God is good to some people, but right now he’s skipping you. Sometimes it seems as if God plays favorites.

We can learn about God when we look at the way this world works. Aside from cartoons, the rain never falls on just one person. If God really played favorites, only the people of his choosing would be blessed with sun, rain, and the bounty of the earth.

Look outside. It is spring! Good people and those not so good can enjoy the freshness.
God doesn’t play favorites with sunshine and rain. That gives us insight into the way that he acts. The Bible says, “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9).

Just as God sends rain and sunshine on people who believe in him and on people who don’t, he sent his Son, Jesus, for every man, woman, and child on this earth. It doesn’t matter whether people believe in him or not, he still sent Jesus here to save them.

Look outside again. Whether you know it or not, spring has come. The sunshine and rain tell us that God is good.

Whether you know it or not, God cares for you. Jesus’ life and death tell us that God is good.

Come and hear about it. Through faith, you will learn that no matter what rainstorms come your way, the Son will still shine in your life.Join us as we worship our Lord.  Together we can rejoice in God’s almighty power.

Upcoming Events at St. John:
Worship Services: Sunday 8:30 AM.
Adult Bible Study 9:45 AM.
Visit our website at
For more information or to unsubscribe go to or call us at 651-771-6406

Bible Reading Challenge 14/31



2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
1 Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge 13/31


Day 13/31


Romans 5:1-11
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


An ancient prayer by Augustine (354 - 430 AD)

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

COVID Update

At our last council meeting, we addressed the loosening of our covid practices.  It was decided to stop cleaning the pews after church, but maintain mask wearing and social distancing during church services.  We don't want members who are uncomfortable about attending church to stop coming again.  We will resume normal operations when the Governor's guidelines change.  We will continue using the individually packaged communion servings for the time being.  The comfort level of our members is our main concern and we should keep encouraging them to attend worship in person.  
God's blessings,

A Note From Pastor Al

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

A Note From Pastor Al 

Encouragement from Pastor Al

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. // Ephesians 4:32

In Person Worship May 9, 2021

If you were unable to worship in person last week you   may view it on the link below,

In Person Worship 

Bible Reading Challenge 12/31

Day 12/31


Romans 4:18-24
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

*Read more about Abraham's faith in Hebrews 11:17-19.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge 11/31

Day 11/31


Romans 3:5-8; 19-31
5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.


Bible Reading Challenge 10/31

Day 10/31


Colossians 1:1-14
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.



1. Come to your King with empty hands.
Bow low before his holy throne.
There’s nothing you can bring to him
to win his favor on your own.
Count everything you have as loss.
Cling to your King! Cling to his cross!

2. You King extends his hands to you.
Come trace the scars, those lines of love.
They mark the price he paid on earth
to earn your place with him above.
Count everything you have as loss.
Cling to your King! Cling to his cross!

3. Hold fast to him with hands of faith
and press ahead to heaven’s door.
Forget your past, your only aim
to know and love him more and more.
Count everything you have as loss.
Cling to your King! Cling to his cross!

4. And if your grip of faith grows weak,
if peace departs and prayers are few,
if you cannot hold onto him,
then know your King holds onto you
Count everything you have as loss.
Cling to your King! Cling to his cross!

Bible Reading Challenge 9/31

Day 9/31


John 12:37-50
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

“Lord, who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

40 “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn—and I would heal them.”

41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
"Don't shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him.” 

 -- C.S. Lewis

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge 8/31


Day 8/31


Hebrews 12:1-12
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

A Note From Pastor Al

        To read this weeks Note from Pastor Al use the link below.


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

SCLA Update on Night of Jazz

After further consideration, the administration decided not to open the Night of Jazz even to the public (outside of SCLA). Please remove that invitation. 

Bible Reading Challenge 6/31

Day 6/31



1 Corinthians 2
2 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge 5/31



1 Timothy 6:12-21
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.


Sara Groves

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Bible Reading Challenge 3/31 and Music Video



Matthew 14:19-33
And [Jesus] directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were leftover. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”