Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Blessings!

BethEaster2011 003 by Mal Dog
BethEaster2011 003, a photo by Mal Dog on Flickr.

This Week at St. John

  • Tues Apr 26- Pastor at Cub Week programs in Boone & Des Moines
  • Wed Apr 27- 9:00AM Ladies Bible Study
    • 6:00PM Confirmation Banquet
    • 7:00PM Questioning Service
    • 8:00PM Elders' Meeting
  • Thurs Apr 28- 9:00AM LWML Spring Rally in Correctionville
  • Sat Apr 30- 10:00AM Confirmation Rehearsal & Pictures
  • Sun May 1- 8:45AM Christian Education Hour
    • 10:00AM Confirmation Sunday with Holy Communion

Monday, April 18, 2011

Building Project to be Decided

Voters Meeting on Wed., April 20th at 8pm
Voters will make a decision about proceeding with the building of an addition.

  • Phase 1 of the proposed building project for St. John has now been completed with the school auction on April 9th. Many thanks again to everyone who helped clean out and sort through items, to those who carried items outside for the sale, to our auctioneers, to the LYF for serving lunch, & to all who supported the auction in every way. With your support & the Lord's blessing we had a very successful sale. The next steps in the proposed building project would be…. 
  • Phase 2 .. tear down the Lutheran School building & the Sunday School house, level the ground to the south of the church and use the dirt to fill in where the school building stood.
  • Phase 3 .. Remodel the basement to house the Sunday School rooms.   
  • Phase 4 .. Begin construction on the new fellowship hall/education wing to the south of the existing building. The building proposal is on the agenda for the Voters Meeting on Wed. evening. We want to make a decision that night on whether to proceed with at least Phases 2 & 3 this summer

Do you support this project? Would you be willing to contribute financially?
We encourage all members of St. John to come to the voters' meeting, listen to the facts & figures & make your views known. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This week at St. John

  • Mon. Apr. 18- 9:00-11:00AM St. John Appreciation Coffee
  • Wed. Apr. 20- 9:00AM Ladies Lenten Retreat
    • 3:30PM 5th, 6th, & 8th Confirmation
    • 8:00PM Voter's Meeting
  • Thu. Apr. 21- 7:00PM Maundy Thursday Communion Service
    • Contemporary Choir practice, after worship
  • Fri. Apr. 22- 7:00PM Good Friday Tenebrae Service
  • Sat. Apr. 23- 9:00AM LYF set-up for Breakfast & practice for service
    • 11:00AM Contemporary Choir practice
  • Sun. Apr. 24- 6:30AM Sunrise Worship with Communion
    • 7:30AM LYF Easter Breakfast
    • 8:45AM Christian Education Hour
    • 10:00AM Easter Festival Worship with Communion
EASTER LILIES … It is time to sign up for Easter lilies, anyone wishing to purchase a lily for the beautification of the Easter Services may do so by signing up in the office. The cost is $7 per lily.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mapleton Tornado Update

Reports about last weekend's tornadoes have come in from several Iowa District West congregations. 
Pastor Chuck Bettin reports that the members of Faith Lutheran, Early, and the people of the community are doing well. Pastor Michael Harman, St. Peter Lutheran, Newell reports that there are members who have lost everything and members at First Lutheran, Fonda have also been severely impacted by the storm. At this time people in those communities seem to be able to provide for one another.

St. Matthew, Mapleton has been a beacon of hope in a part of the community that was hardest hit. Although it was first thought that the building had received little damage, it now appears that there may be more extensive structural damage.

IOWAY Director, Ellie Menz has been working with Vacancy Pastor Klaus Raab and members of St. Matthew to organize the relief effort. Every member of the congregation has been contacted to assess their needs. At this point, it appears eight families lost everything. In the community approximately 100 houses were destroyed. In the short term no one is homeless, but there will be long term housing issues in the community.

Pastor Raab and members of St. Matthew have been offering spiritual comfort and physical help to those whose lives have been impacted. Jamie Nutt, Lutheran Family Service, has been offering counseling and a listening ear.

The churches in Mapleton are working together. The Roman Catholic church is the collection site for non perishable food items, bedding, health items and cleaning supplies. The Methodist Church is the center for items that people find as they clean up…photos, jewelry, documents, etc. St. Matthew is the hub for furniture and appliances that are needed.

LCMS World Relief and Human Care has offered grant money to assist the congregation and individuals in need.

Offers to help have also come from the Southern District, the Kansas District, and the Nebraska District of The LCMS.


Pray: Pray for those who have been impacted by the storms and for our congregations that they might proclaim the love of God in word and deed in the midst of this tragedy.

Donate: A door offering in your congregation can help our sister congregations help those in need. Please, make checks payable to the congregation with 'tornado relief' on the memo and mail directly to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 504 Walnut St., Mapleton, IA 51034

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed to help with the cleanup. Call Kathy Jo at St. Matthew (712) 881-2243 to see how you can help. She will coordinate a work project and give you a bright yellow “Lutheran Servant” t-shirt to identify you as one of our volunteers.

Items Needed: 
  • Non perishable food items
  • Bedding
  • Health care items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Large stackable plastic tubs: for dry, pest-resistant storage
  • RV's/Campers: to rent for a short time
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Empty semi trailers: for temporary storage
(Storage is an issue. People who need items and people who have items to donate are asked to call St. Matthew at 712-881-2243)

Thank you for your prayers and gifts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How to Help Mapleton

Many families have been devastated by the recent tornadoes in Mapleton. Residents have lost homes, cars, and possessions. Some were uninsured. Hundreds of volunteers have already committed hours of labor to help with clean-up. 
Coordinators have collected lots of food and clothing, the main need they say is for money.

If you are already volunteering in Mapleton, serving meals, delivering water, or cleaning up, be sure to stop by St. Matthew Lutheran church for a free yellow volunteer's tee-shirt from Thrivent. 

504 Walnut Street
Mapleton, IA 51034-1123
(712) 881-2243
Talk to Pastor Merrill, he's the Mapleton Circuit Counselor, or Leetha Goslar or Lisa Kuhlman, our local Thrivent delegates for more information.

If you have any questions about what is needed most and how to help, please call Mapleton City Hall (712) 881-1351. MV/AO School Superintendent Steve Oberg is helping to direct the coordination of relief efforts.

You can send donations directly to American Red Cross, but their emergency shelter is only temporary.
4200 War Eagle Drive, Sioux City, IA 51109 and note the money is for tornado relief. Donations may also be made online at

SUPPORT MV/AO at the Orpheum
According to the Sioux City Journal, the Orpheum Theatre will host a benefit for the Maple Valley - Anthon Oto School District.MV/AO students will perform "Taming the Wild, Wild West in a Dress", which was interrupted by storm sirens Friday April 8.
The event is scheduled for Monday, April 25, at 7 p.m. The MV/AL HS Jazz Choir will also perform.
$10 for adults, $5 for students and free for children under 3.
All proceeds from this event will benefit the school.
Call Tyson Events Center Box Office, or Ticketmaster at  800-745-3000.

The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that donation coordinators explained that construction materials and volunteer labor are things that will be needed to help rebuild after the tornado disaster in Mapleton last week.
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS: Anyone looking to donate construction labor should call Dave Hoaglund, construction foreman, at (712) 880-0112.

- Rolls of plastic and tarps to cover homes in case of expected rain
- Garbage bags
- Rain ponchos
- Rubber gloves
- Cleaning buckets
- Battery-powered drills and batteries
- Gift cards to building supply stores
- 2x4s and 8x12s
- Scoop shovels

Iowa District West, LCMS
409 Kenyon Road, Suite B
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

515.576.7666 Phone
515.576.2323 Fax

Orphan Grain Train gets record donation from Thrivent - KTIV NewsChannel 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Orphan Grain Train gets record donation from Thrivent - KTIV NewsChannel 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Exciting News for Nearby Lutheran Charity.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pastor's Letter; April 2011

Dear Friends in Christ,
      Easter Sunrise services are always joyful.  For some of our younger members, however, it can be a bit much to ask them to show that joy at 6:30 in the morning.  I remember my first Easter Sunrise service as a pastor, in Humboldt, Iowa.  Much like Easter here, the Sunrise service and Easter Breakfast were the duties of the LYF.  Service time was 6:30, just as it is here.  That particular year the LYF kids were participating in a drama during the service, and the youth leader had told them to be there by 5:30 a.m. so they could practice one more time before the service.  It may have also been the week Daylight Savings Time began—that happened more than once when I was in Humboldt.
      Anyway, the bleary-eyed high school students began trudging in, their hair wet from a quick shower.  I, on the other hand, was wide awake, having been up for an hour already.  I greeted one freshman boy with the traditional cheery Easter greeting, “He is risen!”
      Without skipping a beat the tired teenager replied, “Barely.”
      It’s just hard to get some people excited about anything at 5:30 in the morning—even the resurrection!  But even if we aren’t altogether risen at that hour of the morning, Jesus is!  Matthew reports the facts.  “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb…The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here;  He has risen, just as He said.’”  (Matthew 28:1, 5-6a)
      My folks, too, were a little leery of getting three kids up for a 6 a.m. service, which is probably why we didn’t go to sunrise service when I was younger.  But the Easter Sunrise service has become one of my favorites.  There is just something about coming to church early on Easter morning, after the sadness of Good Friday, and seeing the processional with the redecorating of the altar, the Easter lilies being set out, singing the joyful strains of “Jesus Christ is Risen Today!  Alleluia!” and getting to shout that joyful news again:  “He is risen!”  We get to live that joy that the women had that first Easter morning when the truth finally dawned on them—Jesus was indeed risen, just as He had said.  That is exciting!
      He is risen!—sin did not defeat Him.  Our sins nailed Jesus to the cross.  They had Him dead and buried.  But not any more.  He is risen!  Our sins are gone.  We are free from them.  They are fully and forever—forgiven!
      He is risen!—death could not hold Him.  Death had been the great enemy of the human race ever since the Fall.  But death is no match for the Son of God!  Our victorious Savior is stronger than death.  In the struggle between life and death, life wins!
      He is risen!—the grave is not our final resting place.  For all of you who have stood at the graveside of a loved one, for all of you who have placed flowers on the grave of a loved one at the cemetery, the good news is that your loved ones are not there!  Their souls are already with Jesus, and you will see them again—alive!  “Because I live,” Jesus says, “you also will live.”  (John 14:19)
      I want to personally invite all members of St. John to get up early on Easter morning for Sunrise service and journey with us to the tomb—you will find it empty!  I extend a special invitation to those of you who haven’t been to church in a while, maybe for too long.  Come and hear the joy of those words again:  “He is risen!  He is risen indeed!”  If you can’t get up that early, that’s okay—come join us for worship and Holy Communion at 10 a.m.  The risen Christ comes to meet you in Word and Sacrament.
      And that’s something worth getting up for, even if it’s 5:30 a.m.!

                                    Easter joy and peace in our risen Savior,
                                                         Pastor Merrill

Sunday, April 10, 2011

St. John Lutheran School Auction

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St. John member Ted Mallory took his camera along to the auction of the Sunday School Building, Saturday, April 9. He was asked to record both the event and the building for posterity by a former Sunday School Superintendent. Follow this link to his photo "set" on Flickr, which has around a hundred different shots of the brick building and the people who attended the auction.

This week at St. John

  • Tues Apr.12- 8:45 AM Pastor's Conference in Hanover
  • Wed Apr. 13- 9:00 AM Ladies Lenten Retreat
    • 1:30 PM Confirmation
    • 7:00 PM Lenten Worship, followed by refreshments served by the LYF
    • 8:00 PM Church Council Meeting
  • Thurs Apr. 14- 2:00 PM Eventide Appreciation Tea at Cronk's in Denison
    • 6:00  PM Cub Scouts
  • Sun Apr. 17- 8:45 AM Christian Education Hour
    • 10:00 AM Worship
Thank You to all the volunteers, helpers, workers, auctioneers, LYF servers, Board of Education members, Trustees, Sunday School Superintendents, etc. AND to all the bidders and buyers who all helped to make last Saturday's auction of St. John Lutheran's school building a success.

Car Needed- Missionary John Thomas would like to purchase a used car to drive while in the U.S. If you have a car for sale or knnow someone who does, please contact John at 712-267-0979 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Holy Week Schedule

  • April 21- Maundy Thursday
    7:00PM Worship with Communion
    Theme: "Crossed" Exodus 24:3
  • April 22- Good Friday Tenebrae Service
    7:00PM Service based on the 7 words from the cross
    Meditation on "Silence" Luke 23:46-49
  • April 24- Easter Sunday
    • Easter Sunrise Service 6:30AM Worship with Communion
      (LYF & Contemporary Choir)
    • Easter Breakfast served by LYF, 7:30 AM
    • Easter Festival Service- 10:00AM Worship with Communion
      Theme: "Dance" Jeremiah 31:4

This week at St. John

  • Mon Apr 4- Linda gone
  • Tue Apr 5- 6:30AM Men's Bible Breakfast at the Dugout in Ute
  • Wed Apr 6- 9:00AM Ladies' Lenten Retreat
    • 3:30PM Confirmation
    • 7:00PM Lenten Worship Service, followed by refreshments served by the Sunday School
    • 7:00PM, Don Gries will be honored at the 84th General Assembly of the Iowa House of Representatives at a Memorial Service honoring former legislators who have passed away. This service will be held in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol in Des Moines.
  • Thur Apr 7- 1:30PM LWML Meeting
    • 7:00PM Board of Education meeting
    • 6:00PM Cub Scouts
  • Sat Apr 9- 10:30AM Lutheran School Auction
  • Sun Apr 10- 8:45AM Christian Education Hour
    • 10:00AM Worship Service
    • 11:00AM Finance Board Meeting
    • 2:00PM Cub Scout Pinewood Derby
Delegate Needed to attend the annual meeting at Camp Okoboji and the Okoboji Auxiliary meeting- both at the Camp Okoboji's Christian Life Center on Sat. April 30 at 11:00AM. Please let Pastor know if you'd be interested.

Readers Needed to help with the Gospel lesson for Palm Sunday, April 17. Please let Pastor know if you'd be interested.

LWML collecting children's books until Sun. April 17 for theHope Family Center in Des Moines. Hope is a long-term recovery center for homeless mothers & children.
Need Heating Assistance?West Central Community Actionis taking applications for heating assistance Monday-Friday, 9:00AM-3:00PM through Sat. April 30
  • Crawford County Outreach Center
    145 N. 7th St.
    Denison, IA 51442
    HOURS: M - F, 9:00 - 3:00
    Coordinator: Connie McGee

Friday, April 01, 2011


About 10 minutes before worship service begins on your Sunday to acolyte please go to the sacristy. First check the taper to be sure there is enough wick to light the candles.
      Select a white gown of appropriate length.
Check the bulletin board to review the order of lighting the candles (inside to outside).
      Wait for the Elder to light your taper before going out. Do not walk to closely to the person in front of you to avoid burning the person or their hair. Stop at the foot of the bottom step together, make an act of reverence (bow) to the altar. Use your left foot first to step up together. When lighting the candles move from one to the next slowly.
      If the Christ candle is out it is to be lit, the acolyte not lighting the Christ candle is to remain facing the altar at the top step. The one lighting the Christ candle – when finished – joins the waiting acolyte, you make an act of reverence (bow) at the top step. Extinguish your taper by pulling the wick inside the tube. When it is extinguished push the wick out about 1” beyond the tube. Descend to the pew. Place tapers under the pew carefully.
      To extinguish the candles following worship wait until Pastor has recessed. Then together go to the bottom step making an act of reverence (bow). Extinguish candles slowly and carefully so as not to force wicks down into an unlightable position. Step to the center at the base of the top step when all are extinguished and give an act of reverence (bow). Recess to the left to the sacristy.
      In the sacristy take the polishing cloth and wipe off the finger prints on the brass tapers so they keep their shine. Check the wick to make sure there is enough to light candles with next time (about 3”). If not, please replace the wick. Replace the tapers in the closet. Hang up your gown.
      If for any reason you can not acolyte on your Sunday PLEASE either call the Elder in charge or trade with someone.
Thank you so much.