Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Week At St. John

Thank You Pastor Brandt and Cretea Teut for serving us this Sunday (6/26) while Pastor Merrill & Marge are at the LWML convention in Peoria.

This week at St. John:
  • Tues 6/28- 7:00pm Dr. Lo, missionary to Cambodia to speak at St. John
  • Thur 6/30- 7:30pm Board of Education Meeting
  • Sat 7/1- 7:00pm Pastor Merrill preaching at St. Paul, Hanover Township
  • Sun 7/2- 8:00am Adult Bible Class
    9:00am Worship with communion
URGENT- Needed VBS teachers, especially for pre-school and a food chairperson and kitchen crew. Please contact Bethany Mallory (3397) or call the church office (3630)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Greetings from Peoria, IL

 St. John members Karen Weiss (above) and Marge Neddermeyer (below- scroll down) went, along with Pastor Merrill to attend the Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) National Convention in Peoria, Illinois this week, June 23-26. Weiss is the President of St. John's LWML chapter and Neddermeyer is currently serving a term as the IDW-LWML Treasurer. The convention's theme this year is "Being With Jesus — Living on the Edge" their official verse is "They realized that they had been with Jesus. 'For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.'" ~ Acts 4:13b and 20

LWML is sometimes also known as "Ladie's Aid" and "Lutheran Women in Mission." LWML serves funeral meals for grieving families at St. John and raises money and awareness for world missions. Any women of the congregation are welcome to join.

You can see what the convention is up to at their official website:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Last School Picnic

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Last School Picnic, a set on Flickr.

Here are some pictures from the big Praise, Prayer, and Progress "Old Fashioned School Picnic," this Sunday.

One Last School Picnic

This Trinity Sunday, Pastor Merrill preached about how we praise the Father, pray in the name of the Son, and are inspired by the Holy Spirit to step out in faith to make progress toward our future, a future in which God has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). 

The last part of our worship service included a decommissioning ceremony for the 92 year old St. John School Building, which will be taken down soon as we begin raising funds to build a new handicap-accessible Fellowship Hall South of the church and remodel the church basement to accommodate classrooms for Sunday School and Confirmation. 

Then we all sat down for an old fashioned picnic outside on a bright, beautiful day. Members and former members laughed and told stories about the old days in the old building.

 Former student os St. John Lutheran School

 Former students of Noah's Ark Preschool

 Dads doing what dads do on Father's Day; grilling!

Volunteers on the Picnic Committee man the serving line. 

This Week at St. John

  • Mon. 6/20- 7pm Pastor Merrill at Immanuel Men's Club
  • Tues. 6/21- 5pm Cub Scouts
    • 5:30pm Thrivent Financial Fitness Day, Boulders in Denison
  • Wed. 6/22- Lutheran Family Day at Adventureland
  • Thurs-Sun. 6/23-6/26- Pastor Merrill at LWML National Convention in Peoria, IL
  • Sat 6/25- Triple Parish Visitation Weekend
  • Sun 6/26- No Adult Bible Classes this week
    • 9am Worship, Rev. Brandt from St. Paul, Ute guest pastor

St. John Education Building retired after years of service to church & community

Balloons marked the celebration
of the 50th anniversary
of the Sunday School
program in 1987
Martin Luther wasn’t just a pastor, he was a college professor. Luther emphasized the importance of education, saying that “where schools flourish, all flourish.”

When St. John Lutheran Church in Charter Oak was first organized in the 1880’s, they met and worshiped in a local schoolhouse. In 1902 they built their own school building since the schoolroom in the rear of the church had become too small to accommodate the large number of children.

In 1912, after Rev. Amstein had taught school for twenty-two years, he was given assistance: H. Ansorge, who received his education and training at our College at Addison, Illinois (now Concordia University, River Forest), accepted the call extended to him. Rev. Ansorge was installed September 1, 1912.

In 1914, it was necessary to engage the services of a second teacher, Miss Helen Amstein.

During World War I (1917-1919), German immigrants faced a great deal of scrutiny and discrimination. It was during these years that St. John’s Lutheran school was condemned.

Eventually this resulted in the erection of our beautiful school, measuring 50 by 50 feet, at a cost of $43,000.00. It contained two large classrooms on the first floor, a smaller classroom on the second floor, which was used by the pastor for confirmation instructions, and served often as a meeting place. This large brick building has been a landmark in Charter Oak, ever since.

The large auditorium was used especially by the young people and the ladies of the congregation and served also as the assembly for the Sunday School. The basement contained the modern rest rooms, and electrically equipped kitchen, a large playroom, and the heating plant.

“The building has served the community well through the years,” said Charter Oak Historical Society member Nancy Rosburg. “Unfortunately, like an old barn, it has become obsolete and now has more sentimental value than practical purpose.”

The over 90 year old building is now being retired from service as a school, preschool, Sunday school and site for Vacation Bible School and various other meetings. This past April an auction was held to sell the contents and interior architectural features of the school. On Father’s Day, June 19, 2011 St. John will have an “Old Fashioned School Picnic” to say farewell to the building.

They will hold a “Decommissioning” ceremony after church that day and hope to take group pictures of as many alumni of the school and of Noah’s Ark Preschool that attend the picnic. Later this summer, the building will be demolished and removed. There are plans to build a small memorial to the school on the property. The Church Council also hopes to sell bricks from the school with plaques on them as mementos.

The church is beginning work to renovate their basement so accommodate Sunday School classrooms. Pending a congregational vote, they may also build on a new handicap accessible fellowship hall and kitchen South of the Church itself.

In 1978, the congregation voted to close St. John Lutheran School, but in March 1981, Noah’s Ark Pre-school began with Sandra Bramley and Lynn Hoffman as teachers. In 1982 the “Christian Education Building” was also renovated with new windows, insulated and lowered the ceilings, and 5 additional classrooms at a cost of $22,743.82.

Lynn Hoffman filled the position of Christian Education Coordinator and a successful memory work program was begun for the entire Sunday School & Confirmation curriculum. Eventually Bramley took over duties at the Pre School and Marge Neddermeyer became Sunday School Superintendent. Ultimately the Hoffmans moved to Denison.
Neddermeyer remembers Hoffman’s great leadership and wonderful opening devotion with imaginative devotionals given by the teachers when she taught Sunday School in the building.

“I have very fond memories of being the Sunday school superintendent in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I worked at getting fathers involved in religious education and there were many dads teaching and listening to memory work,” said Neddermeyer.

In 1987, the 50th Anniversary of St. John Sunday School was celebrated. In 1996 - Noah’s Ark met in the church basement for a while, as there was a great amount of rain damage done to the school from top to bottom, as a result of the roof blowing off. Much work and many hands helped to clean up the mess.

Many children still have fond memories of Bramley as a preschool teacher. COU Seventh grader, Grace Mallory doesn’t want them to tear down the building, “because of all the wonderful memories of going to Noah’s Ark there.”

In 2004, the same year that St. John’s pastor L.C.Gebhardt retired, Sandy Bramley retired from teaching at Noah’s Ark after 23 years. Many avenues were explored in an attempt to keep Noah’s Ark open, but it was sadly decided to close Noah’s Ark Preschool in 2005. Those items purchased with government grants were given to other preschools in the area and all other items were put on a garage sale.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Be sure to join us this Sunday, June 19th, Father's Day 
as we say farewell to the St. John Education Building.
There will be grilled burgers & hot dogs, drinks, chips, ice cream, and HOMEMADE PIE!!! 
Come join the fun as we complete our month of 
Praise, Prayer, and Progress!

Are You Ready for VBS 2011

Amazing Bible Stories.
Cool Craft Creations.
Go Wild Games.
Jammin' Jungle Tunes.

St.John Vacation Bible School
July 31-August 4

Grab your friends and swing on over!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

130 Years of Praise, Prayer, & Progress; Founding St. John Lutheran School

St. John Members in front of the church 1907

 In 1902, a school was built since the schoolroom in the rear of the church had become too small to accommodate the large number of children. The dimensions of the school were 22 by 36 feet with a hall 8 by 8 feet and was built under the direction of members of the School Board: Messrs. H. Schroeder and Christian Neddermeyer, and a committee of 2 elected by the congregation: Messrs. G. Schelm and Wm. Noxel.

In 1912, after Rev. Amstein had taught school for twenty-two years, he was given assistance: Candidate H. Ansorge, who received his education and training at our College at Addison, Illinois (now River Forest), accepted the call extended to him. Rev. Ansorge was installed on the 13th Sunday after Trinity, September 1, 1912. His brother, J. Ansorge of Manning, Iowa delivered the sermon. In 1914, it was necessary to engage the services of a second teacher, Miss Helen Amstein.
Group picture of St. John Lutheran School students and teachers in 1915

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This Week at St. John

  • Mon-Sat. June 13-18- 6:25AM Pastor Merill hosts 'Thy Strong Word' on KDSN 107.1FM/1530AM
  • Wed June 15- 8:00PM Elder's Meeting
  • Sat June 18- 7:00PM Worship at St. Paul, Hanover
  • Sun June 19- 8:00AM Adult/HS Bible Class
    • 9:00AM Worship with Communion & "Decommissioning" of Education Building
    • 10:00AM Pictures of St. John Luth. School Alumni, Noah's Ark Alumni followed by one last, 
    • "Old Fashioned School Picnic"
OLD FASHIONED SCHOOL PICNIC- Be sure to join us this Sunday, June 19th, Father's Day as we say farewell to the St. John Education Building. There will be grilled burgers & hot dogs, drinks, chips, ice cream, and HOMEMADE PIE!!! Come join the fun as we complete our month of Praise, Prayer, and Progress!

NEEDED - VBS Teachers and Food Crew. Please contact Bethany Mallory, bethany.mallory @ at 3397 or the church office at 678-3630

HOUSING NEEDED- Dr. Lo and his daughter Gaozong, missionaries to Cambodia will be here June 28th for an evening presentation. They will need housing for that night. Please call pastor or the church office if you can welcome them into your home

CARE KITS- St. John's LWML is collecting items for "Care Kits" for Mapleton families who lost their homes to the tornado. There are sheets with lists of items needed for each kit in our church lobby. Please bring items to the church office as soon as possible. They will be delivering them to Mapleton on June 27. Lists are also on the back of the weekly bulletin, or you can call the office.

LUTHERAN FAMILY DAY AT ADVENTURELAND- The Iowa District East Youth Committee has arranged a special day at Adventureland in Des Moines. June 22 for $20/ticket. Contact Rev. Dean Rothchild at (319) 373-2112 or click here to open/download a PDF with details

Special Voter's Meeting; Yes on Building Project

 Special Voters’ Meeting
10:15 AM June 12, 2011

Call to Order- The meeting was called to order by President Bill Magill

New Members-  Bethany Mallory, Rod and Becky  Kunze, Bob and Lana Schrieber, Ron Schau, Linda Nepper, Ted Butler- moved by Bob Kunze, seconded by Ralph Dorale to accept the new members- new members accepted.

Phase IV- It was moved by Otto Kunze and seconded by Joel Kuhlman to vote on Phase IV of the building project, the construction of new fellowship hall with handicap accessible restrooms & a fundraising campaign to pay for the building project.
·          Discussion: President William Magill and Building  Project Research Committee Chairman Byron Weiss explained some of the of proposed plans, dimensions & locations, etc. as well as fundraising plans discussed by the Church Council. It is hoped that pledge commitments will be in by the end of 2011, while givers will have three years to fulfill their pledges. Some additional decisions will be brought before the voters later. Marge Neddermeyer asked Pastor Merrill to explain how a fellowship hall instrumental in St. John's ministry because the majority of the church’s contact with the surrounding community is made there.
·          Voting: Voters used secret, written ballots which we collected and counted by Secretary Ted Mallory, Vice President Bob Stolze Jr. and Dwight Goslar.
Motion carried 45 yes, 4 no (49 total votes, including absentee ballots)
·          Picnic: There was discussion about the “School picnic,” next Sunday, June 19.  Committeewoman Karen Weiss offered details about the food and that there would be a free will offering. Pastor noted that as part of that Sunday’s worship service, there will be a “decommissioning ceremony” for the old school building. Immediately following there will be pictures taken of as many Lutheran School and Noah’s Ark Preschool alumni as are in attendance just before the picnic itself.

Adjournment- Bob Stoltze Jr motioned for adjournment, seconded by Don Friedrichs

Respectfully submitted by,
Secretary Ted Mallory

Open/Download a PDF of these minutes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Prayer, Praise, & Progress Next Two Weekends

This Summer St. John Lutheran, Charter Oak will be celebrating how God has used them to bless His people, asking Him to show them how they can share the love of Jesus with open arms today, and looking to how they can better serve the needs of their congregation and community in the future.

Several events will be happening at St. John that will help people to praise, pray, and make progress.

A number of members will be speaking about how God works in our lives at the beginning of services. These short talks are mean to draw attention to St. John's past, present, and future.

On Saturday, June 11, St. John will be holding a day of prayer. The day will begin with a Prayer & Praise service in the sanctuary at 9:00 a.m., followed by a Prayer-Walk beginning at 10:00 a.m. Prayer-walkers will begin inside the church and walk around the church property, making stops along the way to pray for various ministries of the St. John, for Charter Oak and surrounding communities, other churches in the area, the Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod and Iowa District-West, the nation and the world.

After the Prayer-Walk, a Prayer-Vigil will be held from Noon till 5:00 p.m. Volunteers can sign up ahead of time to pray in 15-minute shifts during the day at the Church. Members are encouraged to commit to pray on June 11, whether it be at the service, on the walk, during the vigil, on their own at home, work, or wherever they are- or some combination of any of these.

Sunday, June 12, Byron Weiss will give the third talk at the beginning of the service on progress. After worship this day there will be a special voter's meeting to decide whether or not to move ahead with the final phases of the building projects. The first phases included an auction of the contents and interior of the old Lutheran school building on the corner of First Street and Birch Avenue in Charter Oak, demolition and removal of the school and remodeling of the church basement to accommodate Sunday School class rooms. If approved, the final phase would add a new fellowship hall to the South side of the church building.

On Sunday, June 19 (Father's Day) St. John will say farewell to the old school building with an old fashioned School Picnic after church. It will be a great way to kick off the summer by remembering the past and looking forward to the future. Immediately after church, members will gather in front of the old school building for a “Decommissioning” Ceremony. Then former students of St. John Lutheran School and of Noah’s Ark Preschool will gather for pictures. The picnic will begin around 11:00 AM.

Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs will be served with chips and drinks. LWML members have been baking homemade pies which will be served with ice cream at the picnic.

If the voters approve the building project, St. John expects to undertake a capital campaign to raise funding to defray the costs of the project. St. John voters offered to donate the Sunday School house located at 108 Birch Ave. to a family that lost their home in to the tornado in Mapleton. If there is a recipient family that will accept the house, Habitat for Humanity will assess the structure for the feasibility of a move.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Council Minutes; Special Mtg. June 8

Click here to open/download a PDF of the Minutes from the Church Council's Special Meeting, Wednesday June 8, 2011

Praise, Prayer, & Progress; Offering with Open Arms,
the love of Jesus

"The arms of love encompass you with your present, your past, your future; the arms of love gather you together."
 ~Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

Take the opportunity to both be welcomed by that warm embrace, and to offer it to others.

Come joint St. John as we praise God for our past, pray together here in the present, and seek God's direction for our future- all while keeping in mind why we're here, to offer with open arms, Jesus' love.

  • Saturday June 11- Day of Prayer
  • Sunday June 12- Pentecost Sunday & J.O.Y in Ministry Sunday, Special Voter's Meeting after church on Phase IV of our building project 
  • Sunday June 19- Old fashioned School Picnic to say goodbye to the old Lutheran School building

130 Years of Praise, Prayer, & Progress; Building St. John

The members had extreme difficulty agreeing on the exact location for their church (remember the town of Charter Oak was not yet in existence). Acres were bought here and acres were bought there, only to be resold again. The problem was finally settled when the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad built a line to Sioux City and established the village of Charter Oak in 1887. Several members immediately purchased 2 lots for the congregation. A third lot was presented to the congregation by the Railroad Company with the condition that a church be erected thereon within one year. Soon the members were in full agreement. 

A church was built in 1888; it was 30 by 50 feet. On October 21, 1888 the 21st Sunday after Trinity, the church was dedicated to the service of the Lord. Rev. W.T. Strobel of Denison conducted the German service in the forenoon, and Rev. M. Herrmann of Grant Township, preached the sermon in the afternoon in the language of the country. Already at this early date the English language was used by St. John Lutheran Church making known the grace of God in Christ Jesus. The church was erected at a total cost of $1,399.00! During this same year the cemetery, one mile north of Charter Oak, was purchased and laid out in lots.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Wanted: Volunteers to help with VBS

St. John Vacation Bible School is scheduled for Sunday, July 31- Thursday, August 4.

VBS Director Bethany Mallory ugently needs volunteers to help. Many people are unavailable this year.
If you think that you could help with Preschool through Sixth grades, with crafts, or with meals, please call her or the church office to let her know. Thank You.

Pray for your pastors and leaders

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should." ~Colossions 4:2-4

Have you been praying for Pastor Merrill? Did you know that he's not just pastor at St. John? He's also the Mapleton Circuit Counselor for Iowa-District West of the LC/MS? Did you know that as Circuit Counselor, he's been serving as the vacancy-pastor for the Ricketts Triple-Parish churches? Or that he's on the Board of Concordia Cub Week at Camp Okaboji? God's kept him pretty busy lately. Recently, Rev. Brandt at St. Paul, Ute announced he's retiring July 17, so Pastor Merrill will have more on his plate, even if he's not asked to fill their vacancy too.

There's no slow season for a pastor. Sure, he here to pray for the members of St. John, but we can pray for him too. Even Moses needed someone to help hold up his arms (Exodus 17:8-13). 

Calling all Alumni!

Did you attend St. John Lutheran School or Noah's Ark Preschool? We'd like to take group pictures! Right after church, in front of the old school building before the decommissioning ceremony and "old time school picnic" on Father's Day, June 19!

Come Pray with us and for us!

Please pray for/with my church. Next Sunday, June 12, Pentecost, our voters will decide whether to take on a major building project. The day before, partly to seek God's guidance and blessing, we are hosting a day of prayer.

Everyone is welcome to attend & participate at St.John Lutheran in Charter Oak, IA. It's not just for or about our church. We want to pray for our, neighbors, communities, area, state, nation, churches & world. Prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, &supplication. Prayers for health, for families, for needs, and for spiritual growth.

If you'd like to join us on Saturday:
  • 9AM- Prayer Service
  • 10AM- Prayer Walk around property
  • Noon-5PM- Prayer Vigil 
  • OR- Pray with/for us anytime during the day, wherever you are.

My own personal prayer for St. John (this from Ted Mallory, webmaster) is that as a congregation we are Christ-centered, that love permeate everything we do, that prayer and Bible study become priorities, that we become Spirit-filled and purpose-driven. God has blessed us for 130 years. Please pray with me that He will use us to bless others, both in and around Charter Oak.

What an awesome way to spend the day before Pentecost?! Come, Holy Spirit, come! Burn in us & through us!

St.John Lutheran, Charter Oak, IA mission statement: "Offering with open arms, the love of Jesus."

Sunday, June 05, 2011

This week at St.John

  • Tues 6/7- 6:30am Men's Bible Breakfast @ St.John
  • Wed 6/8- 7:00pm Church Council Mtg.
  • Sat 6/11- Day of prayer: 
    • 9am Prayer Service
    • 10am Prayer Walk
    • Noon-5pm Prayer Vigil
    • 7pm Worship at St.Luke's, Ricketts
  • Sun 6/12- 8am Bible Class
    • 9am Worship, Communion, Joy in Ministry Sunday, Pentecost
    • 10am Special Voter's Mtg.
      • Finance Board Mtg.
    • 1pm Pastor Merrill preaches at Denison Care Center
    • 2pm Pastor Merrill preaches at Eventide

Thursday, June 02, 2011

130 Years of Praise, Prayer, & Progress; Early Lutheran Pioneers

Rev. G. Haar
The very first settlers of what was soon to be known as Hanover Township, Crawford County, Iowa were Lutherans hailing from the Province of Hanover, Germany. Five families settled there in the fall of 1873. Before the first winter came, they had made arrangements with Rev. G. Haar of Denison, Iowa to minister to them spiritually. Services were conducted in their homes and later in the district schoolhouses. In that same decade a number of Lutheran families moved into this territory from Chicago, Illinois. Many of them had emigrated originally from Prussia, Germany. Until 1880 these families had common worship with the original pioneers.

As a result of a controversy over the location of the contemplated church and cemetery, this group decided it was advisable and best to divide into two separate congregations. This was done with the hopes of building two separate churches in locations that the ever-increasing number of Lutheran families coming would be within easy access of a church. So, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, comprised of the Lutherans living on the south side of Soldier Creek, was organized on March 13, 1881 under the direction of Rev. G. Haar of Denison. 

St. John's Lutheran, Charter Oak in the 1880's
Charter members were: Georg Neddermeyer, Christian Neddermeyer, Friedrich Bockelmann, Georg Schelm, Heinrich Kuhlmann, Georg Kuhlmann and Dietrich Vanier. Two months later the following joined the congregation: Gottfried Henning, Carl Jahn and Heinrich Schroeder. Results of the first election were Christian Neddermeyer and Gottfried Henning – Elders; Christian Neddermeyer –Treasurer; the Rev. G. Haar – Chairman and Secretary.

Services were conducted every second Sunday in the Timm schoolhouse and later in Charter Oak by Rev. C. Bretacher from Hanover Township.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Prayer, Praise & Progress

Dear Friends in Christ,

      “Praise, Prayer, and Progress” is the theme that has been chosen for our month-long celebration of God’s grace at St. John.  We are going through a time of transition at St. John.  The Lutheran School auction (Phase 1 of the transition) has already taken place, and this past month there has been a steady stream of items being removed from the building in preparation for its removal.  The voters have approved Phases 2 and 3 of the remodeling project which involves the removal of the old school building and the Sunday School house to the south of the church and the construction of new Sunday School rooms in the church basement.  We are still awaiting approval of Phase 4, which would be the addition of a Fellowship Hall onto the south end of the current church building.
      At the quarterly meeting in April the voters directed the church council to study and make recommendations on raising funds for the new addition.  The Council believes that the time is right for proceeding with the project.  They have determined that around $200,000 is available for the project from the current Building Fund, from an existing LCEF note, and from undesignated anonymous gifts. They have set a goal of raising $300,000 for the construction of a new addition.
      The Church Council believes, in the words of Esther 4:14, that we as God’s family have been brought together at St. John “for such a time as this.”  We invite you to join us on a journey of Praise, Prayer and Progress beginning this month:
      --Praise for the countless blessings that God has granted to St. John Lutheran Church in the 130 years of its existence.  Especially this month we remember the many individuals, current and former members, who were blessed through St. John Lutheran School and Noah’s Ark Preschool.  Many children growing up in Charter Oak received their elementary education at St. John Lutheran School, and learned of Jesus daily in worship, devotions, and religion classes.  Many of those children have grown up to be leaders in our congregation or in other congregations in the communities in which they settled as adults.  Some of our current junior high and high school students still remember their days at Noah’s Ark Preschool.  The Lutheran School building has been a blessing to us all.  We give glory to God as weretire the building on Sunday, June 19,  and celebrate one last “school picnic” that day.
      --Prayer for the present needs and challenges facing our congregation and community.  The Church Council believes very strongly that a project like this must be undertaken with prayer.  We hope all members will participate in the Day of Prayer scheduled for Saturday, June 11.  Options include a more liturgical prayer service at 9 a.m., a “prayer walk” around the church property beginning at 10 a.m., and a “prayer vigil” from noon-5 p.m. where members can sign up to pray quietly in the church for 15-minute intervals.  Even if you are unable to participate in any of these events, we encourage you to set aside time that day to pray for the needs of our congregation and community.
      --Progress as we ask, “What is the future of St. John here in Charter Oak?”  The Council firmly believes that St. John Lutheran Church is called to be a beacon of hope in our community, offering with open arms the love of Jesus, nurturing our own members and reaching out to those who do not know Him.  The question before us is, what facility improvements are necessary to continue and expand the Lord’s work here at St. John?  A special voters’ meeting has been scheduled for after church on Sunday, June 12.  The purpose is to discuss the approval of Phase 4, the construction of a new addition.  If approved, the fund-raising process will need to begin.
      As we give Praise to God for His blessings of the past and seek His will for our future in Prayer, we remember that Progress is in the hands of the Lord, whose word to us in Christ is, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”  (Jeremiah 29:11)  May the Lord continue to bless St. John congregation and guide us through this transition, to the glory of His name.

                                                Peace to you in Christ,
                                                      Pastor Merrill