Sunday, July 30, 2017

This Week @ St. John | VBS2017

  • SUN JULY 30- THRS AUG 3-  5:45pm VBS Snack
    • 6:00pm Vacation Bible School (VBS) 'A Mighty Fortress'
  • MON JULY 31- FRI AUG 4- 11:30am Free Summer School Lunch Program (at St. John this week, while COU is being cleaned)
  • TUES AUG 1- 6:30am Men's Bible Study
    • 4:00pm LWML Meeting
  • THRS AUG 3- 8:00pm VBS Closing Program; parents, community & congregation welcome
  • FRI AUG 4- Church Office closes at Noon
  • SAT AUG 5- 11:00am Memorial Service for Helen Berens
    • 6:00pm Triple Parish Worship at Immanuel, Soldier Township
  • SUN AUG 6- 9:00am Worship, "LWML Mite-Box Sunday" (First Sun of every month)
  • AUGUST Worship Schedule: No Sun Adult Bible Study in August, Sun worship at St. John at 9am Sundays, Triple Parish at 6pm Saturdays. No Sat service on Aug 12 while Pastor is on vacation, please worship with St. John or another area LCMS congregation on that day.
  • Pastor Merrill will be on vacation Aug 7-17. Pastor John Shauer from Carrol will be guest preaching on Aug 13. Pastor Loeschen from Denison will be available for any emergency pastoral needs. Any of the Elders will also be available.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

This Week @ St. John

Pastor Merrill will be at Camp Okoboji's Concordia Cub's Week this week. For any pastoral needs, call Linda in the office & she will put you in touch with Pastor Manly of St. Paul's in Ute.
  • SAT 7/22- No Worship at St. Luke's, Ricketts, "Visitation Sunday" for Triple Parish as Pastor Merrill will be at camp
  • SUN 7/23- Guest preacher from Food For the Poor ministries
    • 8:00am Adult Bible Study
    • 9:00am Worship
  • Good Luck 4-H & FFA members at Crawford & Monona County Fairs!

July 17Psalm 18-19, Acts 20:17-38
July 18Psalm 20-22, Acts 21:1-17
July 19Psalm 23-25, Acts 21:18-40
July 20Psalm 26-28, Acts 22
July 21Psalm 29-30, Acts 23:1-15
July 22Psalm 31-32, Acts 23:16-35
July 23Psalm 33-34, Acts 24
July 24Psalm 35-36, Acts 25

Sunday, July 09, 2017

This Week @ St.John | Week of the Charter Oak Achievement Days

Good Luck this week to all the members of the Charter Oak 4-H Boosters & Achievers & COU FFA, & other area 4-H & FFA groups participating in the annual Achievement Days! Welcome home alumni participating in class reunions!
  • TUES JUL 11- 6:30am Men's Bible Study
    • 4:00pm LWML Meeting
  • THRS JUL 13- 4:00pm Reformation Walk Meeting
    • 7:30pm Quarterly Voters' Meeting
  • SAT JUL 15- 6:00pm Worship with Communion at St. Luke's, Ricketts
  • SUN JUL 16- 8:00am Adult Bible Study
    • 9:00am Worship with Communion

July 9Job 38-40, Acts 16:1-21
July 10Job 41-42, Acts 16:22-40
July 11Psalm 1-3, Acts 17:1-15
July 12Psalm 4-6, Acts 17:16-34
July 13Psalm 7-9, Acts 18
July 14Psalm 10-12, Acts 19:1-20
July 15Psalm 13-15, Acts 19:21-41
July 16Psalm 16-17, Acts 20:1-16

Sunday, July 02, 2017

VBS; "What can I do?"

Dear Friends in Christ,

July is a busy month for Summer activities in Western Iowa. The high school softball and baseball seasons are wrapping up. The Fourth of July is upon us, and many will probably take a four-day weekend this year. Then comes Achievement Days, followed by the Monona and Crawford County Fairs. For those going to Camp Okoboji, Cub Week and Youth Week also take place in July, It seems like we are going from one thing right to the next.

At St. John the last several years, the last Sunday in July means Vacation Bible School! Out VBS has been a huge opportunity the last few years to reach out to children and families of our community and to tell them the saving message of Jesus and His gift of eternal life. Two years ago over 100 children participated; last year we served over 90, and this year we're hoping to bring the good news of Jesus to even more!

The theme of our Vacation Bible School this year is "Mighty Fortress." It's an appropriate title for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, but the Reformation anniversary is not really the emphasis. VBS, as always is all about Jesus. The theme statement is "In Jesus, the Victory is Won!" The key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 15:57: "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." The goal, according to the pastor's overview, is that , "At Mighty Fortress, children learn that God is our sure defense who strengthens us and is our refuge in trouble. Let's show kids we can joyfully celebrate Jesus, our champion, who has won the battle over our enemies, By faith, God gives us that victory in Jesus. Let the celebration begin!"

Of course, it requires a lot of work from many different people to put on a VBS, but it really is the congregation's ministry. Every member of St John has an important role to play in this outreach.

 "What can I do?" Glad you asked! Here are some things we need:

  1. PRAY. Even if you can't help with an of the activities, every member of St. John can pray for this event. Pray that God would lead many children from our community to participate. Pray for wisdom and strength for our volunteers. Pray that children who come, especially those without a church home, would be led to faith and strengthened in their faith in Jesus.
  2. BRING or SEND YOUR CHILDREN. Member children are still the core of VBS. Ans what an opportunity for them to share the love of Jesus with their friends!
  3. INVITE. Whom can you invite to VBS this year? Your grandchildren? Your neighbor children? The kids on your child's ball team or in their 4H club? Help us get the word out- VBS at St.John is a fun way to celebrate Jesus!
  4. DONATE. We will need donations of food and supplies for each day of VBS. Check the bulletin or in the monthly newsletter for a list of items needed.
  5. VOLUNTEER. We need group leaders, snack helpers, craft helpers, recreation helpers, and kitchen help. Or maybe you have a talent for publicity or set construction. Let Bethany know. We have a place for you!
Vacation Bible School is truly one of the best outreach tools we have for unchurched families in our 

community. Let's pray ans work to make this year's VBS a place where the children of Charter Oak can celebrate as they learn that God is their refuge in trouble because Jesus has won the battle over all our enemies. In Jesus, the victory is won!

Peace to you in Christ,
Pastor Merrill


  • Head Elder: Ralph Dorale
  • Head Usher: Kevin Clausen
  • Ushers*: Josh Meseck, Carlos Castillo, Keith Stoltze, Trey Kunze, Allan Kuhlmann, Nolan Neddermeyer, Tanner Hoffman
  • Greeters: Ralph & Becky Dorale
    • Betty Henschen (July 9 & 23)
    • Deb Kuhlmann (July 2 & 23)
    • Frances Nemitz (July 2 & 16)
    • Joann Maack (July 16 & 30)
    • Marilyn Pirwitz (July 9 & 30)
  • Altar Committee: Mona Pithan & Dee Kruse
  • Acolytes*:
    • July 2; Keely Kuhlman & Gaige Elwell
    • July 9 & 16; Taryn Funnkhouser & Adam Castillo
    • July 23 & 30; Hailey Meseck & MaKia Smith
*Ushers & Acolytes- If you are unable to serve on your days, please find a substitute for your day and let either the office or head usher know who your sub will be. Thank you for your help.

This Week @ St.John

  • TUES JULY 4- Office closed;  Happy Independence Day  
  • WED JUL 5- 9:00AM Reformation Walk Committee Meeting
    • 7:30PM Church Council Meeting
  • SAT JUL 8- 6:00PM Worship with Communion at St. Luke's, Ricketts
  • SUN JUL 9- 8:00AM Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00AM Worship
    • 10:00AM Finance Board Meeting
  • SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM- Interested in filling a need in our community? Last year St.John provided lunches for the children of Charter Oak while the school was closed for cleaning. We have the opportunity to do it again. This year there are five days the school will not be open for the lunches- July 31- August 4. The first four days correspond with St.John's VBS. If we can get enough volunteers, we can help out again. If you would be willing to help with a meal for a day, sign up in the counter in the walkway or talk to Linda in the office.
  • VACANCY NEWS- At their meeting June 24 the Triple Parish congregations voted not to extend a call to a new pastor at this time due to financial concerns. They will be evaluating their position in another month or so. Pastor Merrill continues to serve their vacancy in the meantime. Worship services are on Saturday nights at 6:00PM. The service schedule for the Summer is: July at St. Luke, August at Immanuel. There will be no service on July 22 as Pastor will be returning from Cub Week and there will be no services on August 12 since Pastor will be on vacation. Triple Parish members are encouraged to attend St.John or visit another congregation that weekend.