Newsletters

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December 2011

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray this letter finds you well and happy. We have now entered the Advent season, which also marks the beginning of a new church year. Advent means ďcomingĒ and we will soon celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to us as the Christ child in Bethlehem.

Advent is intended to be a solemn time of preparation for the birth of our Savior. I must admit it does not have the same feel as Lent as we look forward to the birth rather than the death of our Lord. But in reality, the birth of Jesus is a serious event in that the incarnation of the Son of God would not be necessary if it were not for our sin and that Christ should have to suffer and die on our behalf.

So remember to keep Christ in Christmas for that is the reason for the season. And let us be ever thankful for Godís love and grace to save us by not punishing us as we deserve but rather putting the burden on his dear Son. This is a time of solemn preparation but also a time to celebrate our blessings for Godís gift of salvation and for all the blessings of the past year.

October/November The Youth Group hosted another very successful fall festival, we took the Weekday and confirmation kids skating, and hosted Rev. Dave Hanson, speaker for ďFood for the PoorĒ an interdenominational organization that works to benefit the destitute and poor especially in Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

December The Youth Group will hold their annual Service and Soup Dinner on Sunday, December 11th with a free will offering for the meal. The youth will also have honey for sale, which benefits the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch as well as the Youth and their fundraising efforts. The youth still have Christmas wreaths for sale at a discounted price of $15.00. If you are still in need of a wreath or spray please contact pastor or Lana.

St. John will once again hold an Advent service on Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00 p.m. As part of the service we will take requests for your favorite Christmas hymns. Coffee and cookies will be served following the service. I hope many of you will join us.

The choir will go caroling around town on Sunday, December 18th. We will board the bus at the church at 4:00 p.m. Pastor and Lana will also host an open house on the same day from 3:00-6:30 p.m. for holiday drinks and refreshments. Everyone is welcome to join us for caroling and to enjoy treats and fellowship at the parsonage upon our return.

Sonja continues to work with the children in preparation for the Christmas Eve program and service. The Christmas Eve Cantata will begin at 6:30 and the childrenís program at 7:00 p.m. I pray many will come to support Sonja and the kids and all our volunteers who make the program possible. What a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season.

I also want to thank those who decorated the church for Christmas and a special thank you to Larinda Meili who makes homemade candy for the childrenís Christmas sacks. May God grant you a merry and blessed Christmas. Yours in Christ, Pastor Schneider


November 2011

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

I pray this letter finds you all healthy, happy and doing well. It seems the flue bug and other illnesses have hit us early this year. I pray this is not a sign of things to come. One never knows how what winter will bring but we will worry about that another day.

Fall is definitely in the air. The leaves have turned, many have fallen, and the fall harvest is drawing to a close. For the most part it seems our harvest has been good, which we can truly be thankful for. We do not have to look far to see those who have been effected by drought as well as many who have suffered loss at the hands of natural disasters. We continue to pray that God will bring healing to those who are in need.

We will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in a few weeks and we have much to be thankful for. God has blessed us with a good year even amid the spring flooding, an extended heat streak, and the loss of our local Duckwalls department store in Lincoln. However, we are a resilient people and a couple of our local merchants stepped up and have filled the need and vacancy left by Duckwalls departure and the weather this fall has been beautiful. Much to be thankful for! And so may God bless each and every one of you as you celebrate with family this Thanksgiving.

St. John News We held our quarterly council and bi-annual voters meetings in October. Of some concern was a 19% loss in the value of our endowment fund due to the losses in the stock market. However, since that time we have recovered some of the losses and if history repeats itself we will be fine.

The voters graciously endorsed a plan to use a portion of the endowment profits to fund a monthly outing after worship for our WDS and Confirmation kids. We plan to have the children sing in worship and then take part in a planned activity each month with the exception of December and April as Christmas and Easter fall in those months. We continue to look for ways to encourage our young people and families to worship with us. In October the children held their annual congregational breakfast on October 30th. The children then sang in worship and we then went skating in Salina as well as stopping at McDonalds to eat and enjoy the play area. We are truly blessed to have so many kids who attend our Weekday School and confirmation classes.

Youth Group Our youth group once again held their annual Fall Festival with nearly 200 people attending. The weather was perfect for the various activities provided by the kids and the food provided by Sonja, Lana, and Nick and Sara Biggs, our youth group sponsors. I managed to avoid being dunked this year but donít know how long I can get away with it.

The Youth Group kids sold Christmas wreaths again this year and we thank everyone who supported the kids fund-raising efforts with their purchase. The kids mowed the cemetery for the last time in October and did a really good job again this year. The kids will hold a Honey Sunday fundraiser on November 27th.

Choir Practice/Fall Classes We continue to hold Wednesday evening classes at 8:00 pm following Confirmation. We are currently studying Leviticus everyone is encouraged to attend. Also choir practice has begun this month and we are always looking for more people both youth and adult to make a heavenly sound from on high! Let Sonja know if you are interested.

Early Risers Men's Group The Early Risers continue to meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 6:00 am. Our meetings consist of opening devotions, breakfast, and a topic. We continue to work on service events to help those in need. I thank and praise our men for stepping up and living out their faith lives without my urging. They have taken the initiative on their own.

If anyone is interested in joining the Early Risers please let Ron Buttenhoff or pastor know. You do not have to take in the early meetings to be a part of the mission project efforts. We have a wonderful time working together and welcome anyone who desires to be a part of our group.

We plan to hold a soup dinner next Sunday after worship with a program on family enrichment with an emphasis on the role of fathers in the home. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Adult Confirmation Once again we will hold Adult Confirmation Classes on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. If you know of anyone who might be interested in becoming communicant members of our church please let me know.

Trinity Lutheran Things continue to go well at Trinity in Hunter. We recently installed windows in the kitchen and office as well as steel shingles on the roof. One of the most exciting things going on at Trinity is the start of Sunday School for children following worship. Mary Hlad has volunteered to begin the program and a continental breakfast will be provided for the kids and adults alike. Again I thank God for willing volunteers, like Mary and others, who step up on their own accord. When parishoners take ownership of their church we become stronger.

St. Paul's We continue to hold worship services at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons with bible class following. Four area pastors, including myself, serve at St. Paulís. We plan to apply for a pastoral candidate in the spring and pray God will provide a pastor for us.

In closing, my family and I thank God for each and every one of you and pray God will continue to bless our mission and ministry in all three of our congregations. We encourage you to worship with us often. If you have not made your picture appointment for the directory please do so soon by going online at joansphotostudion.com, then click on church directory, or you may call Joan at 785-524-4114. God's blessings, Pastor Schneider


October 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With the start of fall we have seen some extremes in the weather patterns. We have had both cool nights combined with very warm even hot days. We continue to experience dry weather and a lot of wind this past week. Fall planting and harvesting have begun so we pray for a safe and bountiful harvest and moisture for the newly planted wheat.

School is in full swing with football and volleyball seasons well under way. We congratulate all our area students and athletes in their endeavors. We give thanks for our teachers and administrators, and school board and pray God blesses their efforts in educating our young people.

Fall is my favorite time of year for several reasons. The temperatures generally are very favorable, I love the fall harvest, and of course Iím a big football fan, even though my team, the Denver Broncos are a little down right now. I hope your teams are doing better.

As we enjoy the Autumn Season let us remember the words from Ecclesiastes 3:1, ďFor everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.Ē Let us tend to the matters at hand that God has given us to do both for our church and her mission as well as our everyday tasks. And may God bless us in our daily lives as we live in his kingdom as the light of the world.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Schneider

Stewardship Report We are running behind on our mission commitment for the year. Our commitment is $6,000.00 for the year and at the end of the third quarter we have given $3,000.00. I pray God moves us to meet our commitment by years end.

Early Risers Men's Group We resume meeting twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 6:00 a.m. We are currently planning a service event on Saturday, October 22nd. If you know of anyone in need of handyman work needing done please contact Pastor or Ron Buttenhoff. We will again hold a marriage enrichment event in November so stay tuned!

Mission Sunday Trinity, Hunter and St. John will host Rev. Dave Hansen, Executive director for ďFood for the PoorĒ an LCMS charitable organization on Sunday October 23rd. St. John will host a potluck meal after church. And after the meal the youth group kids will once again host their Fall Festival event at the church. The Fall Festival is a family event for the community where the adults and kids alike can take part in food, games and activities from 2:00-6:00 p.m. Admission is $1:00/person to cover the cost of supplies. The day will conclude with the roasting of hot dogs and smores for everyone to enjoy. Plan on spending the day with us and invite family and friends.

Congregational Breakfast Our Weekday School kids will once again host their annual congregational breakfast and program on Sunday October 30th at 9:30 a.m. The kids will also sing during the worship service and after church will eat their sack lunches in the church basement. We will then take the kids and any parents who desire to join us to Salina to skate. We are using local mission money to pay for the kidís skating. We will then eat at McDonalds before coming home. Everyone is expected to pay for their own meal. We are currently planning monthly trips for the kids and their parents after worship.

Youth Group The youth group kids will once again be selling Christmas wreaths this year. We are planning sales on the Sundays of October 16th and 30th as part of their fund-raising efforts.

Church Directory We plan to finish the new church directory this month. If you have not already made your appointment for pictures please do so by calling Joan Detmer at 785-524-4114 or go online at www.joansphotostudio.com. There is a church directory link on the left side of the web page you can follow. We will be calling anyone who has not already made their appointments.


September 2011

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

I want to wish everyone a safe and memorable Labor Day weekend. This is a time when we celebrate our working people in our great country. We want to give thanks for the great resources and blessings especially those who built this country and continue to sustain it with their hard work. Democracy depends upon not only those who own businesses and industry but also those who work within those entities. I thank and praise God we live in a land of freedom where we can enjoy those enable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let us all pause for a moment amid our many activities to remember and give thanks as we gather together as family, friends, and communities around the country.

CONCERNS: We continue to pray for rain upon our land and in all places and people who are still in need of moisture and remember those who have suffered so much loss both life and property from storms, floods and other natural disasters. We especially lift up the people of Southern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as those people on the Eastern Sea board who have suffered loss of life and property from Hurricane Irene. We pray for restoration and healing.

NEW SCHOOL YEAR: We are set to begin Week-day classes, confirmation, and evening bible studies again this year on Wednesday, September 14th. We again welcome many wonderful kids to our church and pray that God blesses our learning. We welcome new teachers this year: Marj. Aufdemberge and Brandy Krueger, as well as returning teachers Anna Marie Wolting and Sonja who will also direct the music. I will again teach the 5th and 6th graders as well as confirmation classes and the adult bible study, which begins on September 21st as we will hold our monthly youth group meeting on the evening of the 14th. If you know of anyone who might be interested in attending Week day classes please contact Sonja or myself.

ADULT SUNDAY CLASS: We thank Kylo Heller for agreeing to teach the adult bible class on Sunday mornings this fall. We will begin classes on Sunday, September 11th. At 9:30 a.m.

ST. JOHN DIRECTORY: We continue to work on the new St. John Directory with the help of Joan Detmer, Sheri Jonsson, Lana and Sonja. We are in the process of calling members for picture times. You may also make your own appointment by doing the following:

  1. Go to http://joansphotostudio.bookmonline.com/schedules/joan. Choose Church Directory & click continue
  2. Click the date you would like to schedule your photos and then click the select button next to the time that you would like to book your photos.
  3. Fill in the information fields. Starred items are required. Click reserve My Appointment. Review the details.

If any of the information is incorrect or you would like to change your appointment, please call the studio (785-524-4114) or email (joan@joansphotostudio.com) to change it. As part of the process we are updating our members list and taking this opportunity to reach out to our many members in the community.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Youth Group Car Show Bake Sale in the park on Saturday, September 10, from 7:30am-11:30. Be sure to come out and admire the autos as well as enjoy some baked goods and coffee.

LWML ZONE RALLY: will be held at St. John on Sunday on September 25th at 2:00 pm.

Finally, may God bless you and be sure to worship with us often!

Yours in Christ: Pastor Schneider


August 2011

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

I pray everyone is having a good and blessed summer and able to remain cool amid the ongoing heat. We want to wish all those who are traveling both safe and joyous adventures as this is the time of year when many choose to travel. If you are traveling and desire to worship at one of our sister LCMS congregations please contact myself and I can give you the name and location of one of our wonderful churches throughout the country. We returned from a family vacation in Colorado and thank God and the people we serve for allowing us some time off for family fun and relaxation.

CONCERNS: While we give thanks to God for the wheat harvest now complete we also continue to pray for rain upon our land and in all places and for all people who are still in need of moisture. We pray God will grant relief from the heat as well. Please remember those who may be suffering silently in the heat especially the elderly and shut-in. The elderly and small children are at great risk when the temperatures rise so think about them and contact help if help is needed.

ST. JOHN DIRECTORY: We continue to work on the new St. John Directory with the help of Joan Detmer, Sheri Jonsson, Lana and Sonja. We are in the process of calling members for picture times. You may also make your own appointment by doing the following:

  1. Go to http://joansphotostudio.bookmonline.com/schedules/joan. Choose Church Directory & click continue
  2. Click the date you would like to schedule your photos and then click the select button next to the time that you would like to book your photos.
  3. Fill in the information fields. Starred items are required. Click reserve My Appointment. Review the details.

If any of the information is incorrect or you would like to change your appointment, please call the studio (785-524-4114) or email (joan@joansphotostudio.com) to change it. As part of the process we are updating our members list and taking this opportunity to reach out to our many members in the community.

VICAR AND AMY HOLMES: Jonathan and Amy Holmes will complete their vicarage assignment at St. Paulís today. St. Paulís will hold a Potluck in their honor with a free-will offering after worship services on that Sunday. Also Saturday July 30 they are in need of volunteers to help them load their moving truck if for anyone who is willing and able. We wish Jonathan and Amy the best and Godís blessings as they return to the seminary and we thank them for their service. Their new address will be as follows: 5010 Marston Dr. Fort Wayne, IN 46825.

ST. PAUL's Four area pastors will serve St. Paulís beginning Aug. 7th. The services will be held on Sunday afternoons at 4:00pm. until the call process can be complete. Those serving will be myself along with retired Pastor Leroy Pralle of Salina, Pastor Phil Hoppe of St. Paulís Lutheran, Ellsworth, and Pastor Phil Augustine of Bethlehem Lutheran, Sylvan Grove. We will rotate each Sunday.

UPCOMING EVENTS The Tiemann family will hold their reunion in the St. John Lutheran fellowship hall next Sunday with a meal following worship next Sunday, August 7th. Also that evening the ďEarly RisersĒ menís group will hold an ice-cream/desert social for raising money to fund misc supplies needed for mission projects that arise from time to time. The Early Risers have completed numerous projects in the community to benefit both members and non-members who just need a helping hand. I hope many will come out to enjoy ice cream and desert, fun and fellowship. (PS. You do not have to join our group in order to participate in mission projects we welcome help of any king and hope to resume work in September. If you know of anyone in need please contact myself.

REACHING RURAL AMERICA FOR CHRIST RETREAT St. John Lutheran will host a retreat Saturday, August 20 from 8:30am- 3:00pm with breakfast and lunch provided. The retreat is intended to explore ways in which we might renew and revitalize ministry in rural America. One of the topics will be on how to better prepare men for ministry in rural areas as many of our pastoral candidates come from urban settings. We also will explore a worker-priest program being formulated for our seminaries by yours truly as numerous districts and congregations have requested just such men that might serve small rural parishes. Everyone is invited and I hope many will participate.

Finally, may God bless your summer and be sure to worship with us often! Godís Blessings

Pastor Schneider


July 2011

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

I want to wish everyone a safe and memorable Fourth of July weekend. This is a time when we celebrate our freedom as a nation and again honor those who have fought and died to preserve and promote freedom for this our great country and around the world. We want to also remember those men and women who continue to serve in our military forces that they might be brought safely home in time and that peace and prosperity may abound. Let us all pause for a moment amid our many activities to remember and give thanks as we gather together as family and friends.

CONCERNS: While we give thanks to God for the harvest and pray everyone is putting the finishing touches on cutting. We continue to pray for rain upon our land and in all places and people who are still in need of moisture and remember those who have suffered so much loss both life and property from storms, floods and fire. We want to especially remember Mark and Josie Roehrman (father and step-mother of Erin Suelter) who lost their home and business to a fire. The community will hold a shower for the family on Sunday, July 10th, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Ellsworth Senior Center. They are registered at True Value and Robsonís Card and Gift of Ellsworth as well as Target and Walmart in Salina. We hope many can turn out to support the family and thank those who have helped them thus far.

SUMMER PLANS: Lana and I will depart for vacation in Colorado on Friday, July 8 and return on the following Friday, July 15th. Our girls and Lanaís parents will accompany us for a few days this will mark the first time my father-in-law has seen the mountains. I canít wait to see the look on his face! We pray for safe travels for all those who are on the move this summer that they might find rest and relaxation and a safe return.

ST. JOHN DIRECTORY: We continue to work on the new St. John Directory with the help of Joan Detmer, Sheri Jonsson, Lana and Sonja. We are in the process of calling members for picture times. You may also make your own appointment by doing the following:

  1. Go to http://joansphotostudio.bookmonline.com/schedules/joan. Choose Church Directory & click continue
  2. Click the date you would like to schedule your photos and then click the select button next to the time that you would like to book your photos.
  3. Fill in the information fields. Starred items are required. Click reserve My Appointment. Review the details.

If any of the information is incorrect or you would like to change your appointment, please call the studio (785-524-4114) or email (joan@joansphotostudio.com) to change it. As part of the process we are updating our members list and taking this opportunity to reach out to our many members in the community.

ORDINATION OF TIMOTHY FRANK: Pastor-elect Timothy Frank will be ordained at St. Paul Lutheran on Sunday July 24th from 2:00-5:00pm. You may send cards to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1741 G Ave, Rural Charter Oak, Iowa, 51439.

VICAR AND AMY HOLMES: Jonathan and Amy Holmes will complete their vicarage assignment at St. Paulís on July 31st. St. Paulís will hold a Potluck in their honor after worship services on that Sunday. Also Saturday July 30 they are in need of volunteers to help them load their moving truck if for anyone who is willing and able. We wish Jonathan and Amy the best and Godís blessings as they return to the seminary and we thank them for their service.

Finally, may God bless your summer and be sure to worship with us often! Godís Blessings

Pastor Schneider


June 2011

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

I want to wish everyone a safe and memorable Memorial Day weekend. This is a time when we honor and remember our loved ones who have gone on to be with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for eternity as well as honor the fallen soldiers who fought and died to preserve and promote freedom for this our great country and around the world. Let us all pause for a moment amid our many activities to remember and give thanks.

CONCERNS: While we give thanks to God for sending rain upon our land we also want to remember those who are still in need of moisture and especially remember those who have suffered so much loss both life and property from the recent storms and flooding. One only needs to look around for a moment and be reminded there are often people who are worse off than we and in need of prayers and assistance. One of the many ways we can help is to give blood. In our bulletins for today you will find a flyer for the upcoming blood drive her in Lincoln County. Please consider giving if you are able and continue to pray for recovery for all those who have been adversely affected.

VBS: Once again our Vacation Bible School was a huge success here at St. John Lutheran. We may have had a record attendance as 142 kids graced us with their presence this year. The kids were very well behaved and attentive and we thank God for each and every one of them. Our theme this year was ďA Big Jungle AdventureĒ from CPH. And yes it was an adventure even on the bus. It seems every time I pulled up to the school at the end of the day kids came out of nowhere to exit with their lessons and wildlife (Pillow pets and great big teddy bears). I sure would like to have one of those pillow pets!

I want to also take just a moment to thank all those teachers and helpers both in the classrooms, craft room, and kitchen who did so much to make this VBS one our best ever. Thank you also to Sonja, Tyler, and Lana who worked well in advance to plan this years VBS.

HUNTER VBS: If any of our kids and parents have not had enough Vacation Bible School please take note that the Hunter Community will hold their VBS at Trinity Lutheran beginning on Monday, June 6 through Friday June 10 from 8:30am-11:15am. The program and quilt auction will then be held on Sunday June 12, at 2:00pm.

SUMMER PLANS: Lana and I will depart once again for St. Louis this coming Tuesday to paint our house for the new renters, bring back some furniture for one of our daughters, as well as take a day in that time to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We will return on Thursday or Friday depending on how long it takes to have the house ready for the new renters.

Also we will finally begin work on the new St. John Directory with the help of Joan Detmer and Sheri Jonsson. We would like to begin making appointments first with those families with college students and recently graduated seniors so that we can get family photos before they depart. Stay tuned!

Finally, may God bless your summer and be sure to worship with us often! Godís Blessings

Pastor Schneider


May 2011

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! So we raise the words of Easter that our risen Lord has indeed triumphed over death and the grave as he was raised to life on the third day. Following Easter Sunday there are then seven Sundays in Easter and so we continue to cry out, "He is risen" and continue to leave the decorated cross in the sanctuary to commemorate, celebrate, and proclaim our risen Lord and Savior. Seven, being the perfect number or number of completeness also reminds us that our salvation has been completed to perfection through the suffering and death of our Lord and through his raising to life we will have life by faith for eternity. I pray this Easter season has been a joy for you and your families and that you will be blessed throughout the year.

Concerns: While Easter brings much joy and new life as the season of winter gives way to the dawn of Spring at time when flowers begin to bloom, trees bud, and crops and pastures green up this year brings many challenges thus far. We and many others around the nation continue to suffer from the effects of drought. This years wheat crop for many has been lost our certainly ours is in doubt. Yet if we look around there are many worse of than we. A large part of the Eastern United States is under water and not only crops are lost, perhaps for the year but also lives and homes due to the devastation from excessive rain and violent weather. Continue to pray that God will send comfort and relief and a constant reminder that he alone is above creation and we are his instruments. In addition to these concerns we continue to pray for many who are suffering from cancer and other illnesses, who are remembered in our prayers.

Recent events: Confirmation was once again held on Palm Sunday this year. We confirmed four students they are: Britney Howard, Rocky Krueger, Mariah Lyne, and Casey Zachgo. We pray God will bless these young people in their confession of faith and that they and their families will be present in worship. Far too many today consider confirmation to be graduation and yet it is only a step along the way in our faith life. Sometimes I think I should put confirmation off until age 80 (just kidding, I think?). Nevertheless we pray for our young people, couples, and families that they would return to the church and remain steadfast in the faith teaching it to their children for generations to come!

Graduation is also on the slate again this year and we will graduate a number of our youth group students who are listed in the bulletin they are as follows: Alexandria Baietto, Taylor Biggs, Tyler Breneman, Brady Coover, Alexandrea Feldkamp, Megan Feldkamp, Collin Jones, Rachel Meyer, Dylan Obrermueller, Erica Rahmeier, Tryaun Richard, Tanner Wallace, Nicholas Wineinger, Courtney Wolting, Lance Wolting, Jonna Wright, Chad Osterman, and Kyle Zachgo. Again, we pray Godís blessing on these and all other graduates as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Upcoming Events: The youth group will once again mow the cemetery this year and the first mowing will be Monday, May 16th. We recently elected new youth group officers also they are as follows: Pres, Victoria Feldkamp; VP Shelby Mohler; Sec, Leah Schneider; Treas; Christina Behrens. We thank those students who served us last year.

VBS: Dates are set for May 23rd-May 27th this year. The theme this year will be ďThe Big Jungle Adventure.Ē If anyone desires to send their children, or to volunteer to help a teacher please let Sonja or Pastor know. Also if anyone has large stuffed animals that could reside in our jungle (I wander if that includes real stuffed animals? All you hunters beware!) we would like to borrow them! The VBS program will be during worship on Sunday, May 29th.

Thank you and Godís Blessings to you all! Pastor Schneider


March 2011

February: We had a busy, productive and enjoyable month at our churches. St. Paul's and Trinity Lutheran completed their directory projects. We thank all those who participated in the directories and look forward to receiving the finished products. We will now direct our attention on beginning the directory project for St. John under the direction of Joan Detmer.

Lent: Ash Wednesday will be on March 9th and the service with communion will begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran. As has been done for many years, we will continue to alternate services between St. John and St. Paul's with Vicar Jonathan Holmes assisting. Lenten is a time of preparation for the passion of our Lord who made the walk to the cross to pay for the sins of the world. We have had a very good attendance in recent years and pray this will continue despite the presence of winter weather. We will offer the bus to take people to St. Paul's if desired.

Circuit Convocation: Our area LCMS churches, which make up circuit 13 of the Kansas district, will hold the Circuit of Convocation at Bethlehem Lutheran on March 27th. This event will be open to the public and is an opportunity for Christians to gather in mass and celebrate our Christian faith. The afternoon will begin with a 3:00 worship service, followed by keynote speaker Rev. Herbert Mueller, first VP of Synod. A meal will then begin after the speaker and we will wrap up the evening with Christian Comedian David Dean. An offering will be taken for the joint seminary fund.

Early Risers: A men's group has formed and begun to meet twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 6:00 a.m. (thus the name "Early Risers"). The Early Risers recently held a marriage enrichment event following worship with a meal both prepared and provided by the men's group. We invite any of our men to join us for an enlightening morning of bible study, fellowship, coffee and breakfast. Thank you to those men who worked so hard to provide the meal and to Ron Buttenhoff for providing the marriage enrichment material.

Stewardship: Every year I have been at St. John, we have far exceeded our mission budget to Synod and District as well as supported individual missionaries throughout the year and I commend our members for their generosity. At the same time, we are projecting a $20,000 shortfall for the home fund. I took a little time to break down the needed funds for our home fund and if each family would consider giving approximately $30.00 additional dollars per month we would make budget and wean ourselves from leaning on the endowment fund. I pray God will move you to consider increasing your giving to the needs of the home fund as we are a mission as well. I will continue to increase my giving each year as your spiritual leader.

Youth Group: The youth group served the conservation Dinner this year held on Saturday, February 5th at the Grade School. The meal was prepared largely by Lana Schneider with help from Art and Terri Wagoner. We thank them for their work and for the wonderful participation by our youth in serving the supper. The youth also held their annual Valentine's Dinner/Theatre with the theme being "P.S. I Love You!" Once again the evening was a hit and the youth, with Sonja's help, even got the pastor into a dress. No, please don't worry, this was a one-time thing for me, until next year that is I suppose!

The youth will also be traveling to Monarch, Colorado to go skiing this year and to participate in a mission project at First Lutheran in Salida, Colorado. Pastor and Lana will leave early on the Friday, March 11th and the youth will depart on Sunday March 13th and return on March 17th. Rev. Rocky Meese, District Chaplain, will preach at St. John in my absence. We also want to welcome Nick and Sara Biggs as youth sponsors and thank them for their help along with Art and Terri Wagoner and Lana as well. God's blessing. Pastor Schneider.


February 2011

2011: We ushered in the New Year with a wedding at Trinity Hunter when Anton Esterl, infant son of Shawn and Audrey Esterl was brought into the faith and family of God through Holy Baptism. We have been blessed with many baptisms in the past year and several adult and adolescent confirmations. We thank God for all of our new members and pray our ministry at St. John will be a blessing to them as well.

Voters: St. John held our semi-annual voters meeting on Sunday, January 23 as well. One of the budget issues discussed was the cost of the phone bill and the need to live within our means. The voters decided to limit the phone bill in the budget to $2000.00 per year and any amount over that would then be paid by the pastor and his family. We have been careful to watch expenses, both our own and those of the church yet at the same time having a separate line for the parsonage has resulted in extra charges so we are considering going back to one line for church and parsonage and continuing to publish my (pastorís) cell phone number that people can call at any time.

Stewardship: While we spent some time analyzing and discussing expenses we also discussed our giving. Every year I have been at St. John we have far exceeded our mission budget to Synod and District as well as supported individual missionaries throughout the year and I commend our members for their generosity. At the same time we are projecting a $20,000 shortfall for the home fund. I took a little time to breakdown the needed funds for our home fund and if each family would consider giving approximately $30.00 additional dollars per month we would make budget and wean ourselves from leaning on the endowment fund. I pray God will move you to consider redirecting funds or increasing giving to the needs of the home fund as we are a mission as well. I will continue to increase my giving each year as your spiritual leader.

The Church at Large: : 2010 and the beginning of 2011 has seen the Christian church and many Christians attacked and even martyred throughout the world. We witnessed the loss of life even within the very walls of churches from terrorist attacks in Russia and Iraq and certainly Christians continue to suffer in all parts of the world. I pray God will move us in faith and ministry and that a spiritual renewal might take place in our great country and community if not this year in the near future.

Youth Group: The youth group held their annual soup dinner fundraiser on Sunday, January 23, Life Sunday where they also assisted in the worship service. Our youth group has become well known and appreciated for their community activities and have been asked to host the Conservation Dinner this year on Saturday, February 5th, 6:30pm at the Grade School. The youth will once again hold a Valentine Dinner Theatre on Sunday, February 13th, 5:30pm, with tickets on sale at $12.00/person or $20.00/couple. At this time 1/3 of the tickets have been sold so be sure to get your tickets bought before they run out. We plan to travel to Monarch Colorado on March 13th to ski and complete a mission project at First Lutheran Church in Salida. We will return on March 17th. We give thanks to God for our wonderful young people and for all those who support their efforts.

Church Directory: Joan Detmer has agreed to produce the directory at St. John. It has been nearly ten years since we last produced a directory and our membership has changed dramatically in that time. We have had some of our new members express an interest in a directory in order that they might put names to faces. I thank God for each and every one of you and pray our mission and ministry will continue for many years to come.

 

 

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