News & Recent Updates

Meetings Upcoming

Elder's Meeting Monday, Feb 8th, 6:30 p.m.
Evangelism Board TBD
Voters Meeting Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Quilting Group February 9th, 9:30a to 2:00p
LWML February 16th at 7:00 p.m.
Ladies Aid TBA

LCMS Life Conference  

February 10, 2021 - LCMS Life Ministry will host its first-ever virtual life conference March 19–20, under the theme “Making Disciples: Valuing Life.” Registration is open now at Join us!

  • Be equipped to speak up for the sanctity of life within your community and our society
  • Gain ideas on how to care for all human life
  • Interact with fellow Lutherans on Life Ministry topics
  • Be a part of the LCMS Life Ministry community

Dozens of experts in Life Ministry will present throughout the conference with multiple video presentations available for immediate on-demand viewing as soon as you login. Engage in live Question and Answer sessions with experts in Life Ministry.

Save the Date for VBS 2021!

February 1, 2021 - Mark your calendars for July 18-22 as we begin an exciting start to the planning of an in-person 2021 Vacation Bible School (all things considered)!

This year we will explore "God's Wonder Lab" and learn how Jesus does the impossible. We're looking for group leaders and dinner volunteers. If you find yourself interested in helping our children with this event, please call, text or email Kaylie Brethouwer, 402.826.9432.

Message from the Elders

February 1, 2021 - Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: The elders would like to extend thanks to the nominating committee and to all those who've volunteered to help with elected positions in the church. Keep in mind there are lots of other ways to serve without being in an elected role as well. It takes a lot of people to keep the church running smoothly. And remember that even if you feel incapable of serving, for health or other reasons, you can still fill an important role in the church, you can pray. Pray for our pastor and members, our government officials, Christians around the world, and those in need. We also often fail to pray for the unconverted. It is those who really need our prayers the most. (More...)

Concordia University News - Seward, NE

February 1, 2021 - For all high school students and their families, Concordia is holding a series of virtual open houses throughout February to learn more about the university’s academic and co-curricular programs and the college admissions process. The free sessions begin at 7pm Central and registration is required.

  • Monday, Feb. 1 Luke Scholars, Concordia's Honors Program
  • Monday, Feb. 8 Art Thursday, Feb. 11 Early Childhood Education
  • Monday, Feb. 15 Director of Christian Education (DCE) Program
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16 Elementary Education
  • Thursday, Feb. 18 English as a Second Language
  • Monday, Feb. 22 Biology/Nursing
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 Special Education

Go to to find the registration links.

A university of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Concordia University, Nebraska offers degrees in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, is recognized as a Top 40 and Best Value university in the Midwest by US News & World Report, and is the leading provider of church workers in the LCMS. Learn more at

Church Mission Outreach Update

November 1, 2020 - As of September 29, 2020, we at St. John Lutheran have adopted the Rev. Dr. Gerald and Heidi Paul in their career mission work in the Cayman Islands. As a pastor and church planter, Gerald works with local church leaders at Safe Harbour Lutheran Church to reach out to the people of the Cayman Islands with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Gerald also seeks to serve the Cuban refugee population of Grand Cayman, and he supports Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic as an adjunct professor. In her role, Heidi supports the mission efforts and is exploring the possibility of starting a preschool for local children.

Gerald’s birthday is April 19 and Heidi’s is November 28. Their Wedding Anniversary is July 4. The Official Adoption Agreement for the Direct Support of our Missionaries in the Cayman Islands is located on the bulletin board in the Narthex.

Please pray for Gerald and Heidi as they serve the Lord in the Cayman Islands and throughout the Caribbean. Let us give thanks that they are ministering to God’s children in this part of the world. ( Mission Central Letter...)

St. John Harvest Donation Information

October 1, 2020 - Farmers can make donations of grain to the church at either AGP or Farmer's Cooperative. When making such donations, verify the correct St John Lutheran church is receiving the donation. Farmer's Cooperative account number for our church is 111690. At AGP, make sure the church address is 11400 West Panama Rd Crete NE. There are several St John churches at AGP. Please notify the Treasurer, Finance Secretary or President of grain transferred to the Church account so timely sales can be made.

LYF Roadside Cleanup - Thank you!

October 1, 2020 - THANK YOU to the LYF Group for Roadside Cleanup on Sunday September 27. Also a HUGE thanks goes out to Adam and Lashalle Hughes-hardt and several other adult volunteers! And, from the way I heard it, thanks to Pastor Toensing and Shelley as they watched Natalie and got the lunch ready for the hungry workers! A great team effort for this project.  (LYF News...)

Support University Lutheran Chapel – See Your Gift Doubled

September 1, 2020 - The Lienemann Foundation is the latest to add its support by matching new gifts and pledges to the University Lutheran Chapel in Lincoln up to $200,000. “We are most grateful for the support that the Lienemann Foundation trustees have placed in us and we encourage anyone who has been touched by the important ministry at University Chapel to give their support,” said the Rev. Richard Snow, Nebraska District president.

The District launched the Building Together, In Christ. For Mission. Capital Campaign in 2017 to support renovation of the District Office in Seward and the University Chapel in Lincoln. Security and accessibility were key issues behind both renovation projects. Both had gone decades without any substantial improvements.

Thanks to the support of 76 district congregations, 605 individuals and 6 foundations, the campaign has reached nearly $3 million in gifts and pledges. The cost for both renovation projects, which were completed last year, was over $6.0 million.

To make a donation by check, please note chapel renovation on the memo line and mail your check to:

Nebraska District LCMS Campaign
PO Box 407
Seward, NE 68434

You can also donate online at, or contact Joyce Bruha at with questions.

Orphan Grain Train

September 1, 2020 - Orphan Grain Train is rolling into Lincoln, NE this September at our new location, 4817 N. 56th Street Suite #10. We are looking for support in many ways including volunteers, leaders, and donations. During the month of August, we are training volunteers and setting up this facility with a grand opening in September. If you would like more information please contact Grant Schmidt at or Bruce Sutherland at or call OGT toll free 877-371-7393. We are excited for this new location and thank you for supporting OGT!

And did you know: 98.2% of all donations go toward OGT’s mission, only 1.8% goes toward administrative and marketing costs. Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator, ranked OGT #6 out of approximately 9,000 rated charities in the US for relying solely on private contributions. OGT does not accept government grants or federal funding!

Scholarship Fund

A scholarship is available for any St. John member/student who will be attending a Synodical college and plans to enter fulltime church work find that new funds are available. A Scholarship application with relative information is available from the church office. Those wanting additional information are directed to Pastor Toensing.

Mission Field in Our own Back Yard

There remains a variety of ways in which members of the St. John congregation can join with other local community members to assist those who are struggling with basic necessities and provide God's comforting Word along with those creature comforts that are often lived without. Here are but a few ongoing efforts you may wish to be involved:

  • Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska is celebrating their 125th Anniversary this year. This means the annual Christmas appeal is even more special. Flyers and envelopes are located in our church entryway. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
  • Calendars for Prisoners - The LWML is collecting 2018 calendars for prisoners in Lincoln. Your donated calendars should not include metal, spiral binders. A box is available in the church narthex for these donations.
  • Food Collections continue with your donations to a local food pantry who will distribute this to a needy, hungry people in our area. The collection box is located in the church narthex.
  • Orphan Grain Train or People's City Mission contributions can be made at any time; either with contributions of clothing left within the back door of the church, or monetary gifts so indicated; separated from other giving.
  • Mite Boxes - Lutheran Women in Mission remind members to use those Mite Boxes you received back in October on LWML Sunday. If you would like a box of your own, please contact any member of the LWML to obtain one. This is a very easy way to lend a helping hand throughout the year.