News & Recent Updates

Council & Voters Meetings

January 6, 2019 - As a reminder, the quarterly Church Council meeting will take place on Monday evening, January 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. The connected Voter's Meeting for this quarter will be held on Sunday, January 27th following the morning worship service.


Evangelism Committee Update

January 5, 2019 - The Evangelism Committee will meet again on Tuesday, February 5th at 7:00 p.m. Members of St. John are equally invited to join our topical discussions based upon the Concordia Mission Society “Good News” periodical. Our regular meeting will follow.

The Evangelism Committee will send a representative from the Evangelism Committee, along with Pastor Toensing, to one of the regional "Equip to Engage" workshops in January. (Evangelism Committee...)


Building Committee Update

January 1, 2019 - The Building Committee has organized a special meeting with the Architect(s) in the form of a round-table or breakout session with church Boards and Committees/Group representatives who function within the facility on a regular basis. It is hoped this informational meeting will provided additional data to the architect in helping to meet the current and foreseen needs of our Worship, Educational and Fellowship facility. This meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 14, 2019 beginning at 6:30 p.m. (See the Building Committee page for updated information...)


Quilters Raffle Quilt to Raise Funds for More Quilts

January 1, 2019 - The LWML Quilters of St. John recently used their time and talents to piece together a project worth sharing! Members and church visitors alike purchased $1.00 entry tickets in the chance they would take a little warmth home with them. Enough money was raised to keep the quilters on the move creating more quilts.

Each quilt assembled by these ladies are packaged together and provided to missions overseas; mostly in Russia where many young ladies are orphaned and have very little in the group homes they reside.

In the end, the winning entry pulled from the hat was Pat Benson, the great-granddaughter of Reverend Tragott Haesler who happened to be the first called pastor to St. John back in 1872 when he was a "circuit rider". Reverend Haesler's name is the first one signed on our origional church constitution in 1874.

Pat is from Marquette, NE. She bought 5 tickets from a friend at St. John to support the project.


"Equip to Engage"

January 18: Waverly

Can you imagine a day when our congregation is fully a part of the larger community around it? Do you pray for a time when our members build meaningful, Christ-centered relationships with each other and those outside the church community? Are you ready to lead your church into the community to which we live and are being sent?

There are people in every community who are hurting without the hope of Jesus Christ and many people today are disconnected from God and His Church. But Jesus gives His followers everything we need to be His witnesses to those in our community who most need to hear the loving message of Jesus Christ – the gifts of peace, hope, and love – and we have been sent to share these gifts with the world.

The St. John Evangelism Committee would invite you to this workshop as a chance to step back from everyday tasks and examine the needs of your community, the gifts of our congregation, and how God might use us to bring His peace, hope and love to a hurting community.

Contact Tim McDermott if you wish to attend this Workshop on Friday, January 18th to Peace Lutheran in Waverly, NE. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please let Tim know of your interest by the end of December, as the group registration deadline is January 5, 2019.

This workshop is being offered free of charge through a partnership of the Center for U.S. Mission, the Nebraska District LCMS, the Kearney Circuit, and Peace, Waverly. A free-will donation will be taken each day to help cover the cost of lunch, which will be provided. (You can also register on your own if you opt for the Saturday event in Kearney.)


Men's Bible Study - "Reel to Real"

January 1, 2019 - All gentlemen of St. John are again invited in January to a Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Bible study entitled, “Reel to Real”. In this chosen topic, the Men’s group look at the similarities between our adventures with the fishing reel and our real life with families and friends. This series has proven to be a fun and relaxing discussion starter. There is room on the boat for everyone on Tuesday, January 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.


Financial Planning Opportunity for 2019

January 1, 2019 - Financial Peace University is a course by Dave Ramsey that can assist you and your
family to manage your finances in God pleasing way. This course can lead to finding peace and satisfaction in managing your finances. FPU (Financial Peace University) is being offered as a 9 week course at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Crete. Class begins January 13th at 6 pm and will run for two hours each session. The cost is $100 for the course which includes the online kit. Please contact Dave or Deb Welsch at 402-826-9691 for information. Terry Dittmer is also willing to share information about this course.


News from the Elders

January 1, 2019 - “LET THEM SAY WE STOOD WHERE DUTY REQUIRED US TO STAND” This inscription may be found on the President George H. W. Bush Library and Museum Building. It caught my eye while watching the funeral services of the 41st President. This inscription may cause us to remember another familiar saying, this time from Martin Luther, “What does this mean?” So let’s examine this inscription in the same manner that we might examine one of the Commandments. - (Continued...)


LWML & Ladies Aid News

January 1, 2019 - AND THE QUILT WINNER I... Pat Benson from Marquette, NE! Pat purchased 5
tickets for the quilt and was thrilled that she won it. The drawing was held on Sunday, December 16. Six people witnessed the drawing and the winning ticket was drawn out by Morgan Wohl.

An interesting side note: Pat’s great grandfather was Traugott Haessler who was a circuit rider pastor in the 1870s and preached on occasion at the meetings of Christians in this area. In 1872, a permanent call was issued to him by the congregation of St. John, Kramer. His name was the first signed on our congregation’s initial constitution in July, 1874.

Thank you to everyone who helped support this project by buying tickets or actually working on the quilt. After expenses are paid the money will be used to purchase supplies as needed for the quilts we send to Orphan Grain Train.



Nominating Committee & Church Volunteers

January 1, 2019 - The Nominating Committee is working on putting together a slate of nominees to serve in elected offices for the coming year. Some of our congregational officers have served their term and/or their term limitations according to the By-laws.

It is not always easy for this committee to find enough people to be willing to serve. According to the By-Laws “all attempts should be made to have two or more candidates for each position.” Not just in our congregation, but in many rural congregations this is a common By-Law. But many of these congregations used to be much larger and had plenty of voting members to choose from and who were willing to serve. But with declining voting members of our congregations, there are fewer and fewer people to serve or willing to serve. Yet, the work of the congregation does need to be conducted. But sometimes we can only find one person that might be willing to serve a vacancy.

Therefore, we ask you to please do the following:

  1. Please pray for and support those who serve and are willing to serve in congregational offices. Pray that the Lord provides the leaders our congregation needs.
  2. If you are not a voter, please consider becoming one. We especially need some of our younger to mid-age members involved in a greater capacity. Thank you to those of you who are voters and willing to serve in congregational offices.
  3. Please be willing to serve if you are asked. And pray for our nominating committee members.

Lambs of Christ Preschool News

January 1, 2019 - Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our annual Christmas program. The children did a great job and it was a blessing to watch them sing about our Savior’s birth and the great gifts he has given us.

We will be holding the annual chili fundraiser on Sunday January 27th. The children will sing at
both the fundraiser and during church that morning. Please mark your calendars and spend some fellowship time enjoying the children. We will also be having raffle prizes so if you have something that you like to donate let me know.

Classes will resume on January 7th. It will be great to see everyone after the holiday! God’s Blessing, Kathy Oelschlager - 402/826-4375


Sunday Morning Bible Class

January 1, 2019 - Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study: “Love, Joy, and Peace: The Fruit of the Spirit”
Begins January 6, 2019. Only hours before Jesus was arrested, He delivered an important message to His disciples (John 14–16). At the heart of this message He describes the “fruit” His disciples would bear, the works they would do to glorify the heavenly Father. Through the gift of the Spirit, Jesus promised love (John 14:21), joy (15:11), and peace (14:27) to them and to you. This Bible Study, “Love, Joy, and Peace: The Fruit of the Spirit,” will help you produce the fruit God calls you to bear as a believer. Through biblical examples and teaching from both the Old and New Testaments, you will explore God’s goodness and blessings for you in Christ. (More...)


"Main Street Living"

September 30, 2018 - Main Street Living is a television program that has been airing throughout South Dakota for 17 years. Recently they engaged in expanding into surrounding areas. This program will begin airing in Lincoln on KLKN on Sunday morning October 7, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

The program will open with re-mastered episodes of the popular “This is the Life” television series from Lutheran Hour Ministries. The second half hour will be a modified Lutheran worship service and will feature local Pastors from the KLKN broadcast area. A different Pastor from Missouri Synod churches in the area will be featured on the program each week.

The prime goal is to offer a worship experience to the many who cannot, will not, or do not attend worship on a regular basis.


St. John Participates in the Doane University "Downtown Tour"

August 18, 2018 - The Evangelism Committee made representation of St. John today at the Doane University "Downtown Tour" event held each year for incoming freshman. Our church was able to set up a table in the City Park as students walked by visiting with various other groups also having a table or booth.

The event is designed to acclimate newly arriving students to Crete as they begin their college life away from home. Inviting these youngsters to our church is all about community, and is about as neighborly as one can be when meeting for the first time! (Evangelism Committee...)


Used Clothing: Orphan Grain Trian & People's City Mission

We can once again send GENTLY used clothing to Orphan Grain Train. When leaving clothes in the drop box outside of the church by the back door, please mark them for either OGT or PCM (People's City Mission).

Supported by the Trustees, and with help by way of a church member donation, there is now an outdoor drop-box dedicated for items in contribution to People’s City Mission and/or Orphan Grain Train. This new drop-box is found outside the back door of the church. Members are advised to begin using this box to hold donated items rather than inside the back door at the stairwell. Donations will be picked up and delivered periodically as before.


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.