News & Recent Updates

The Season of Lent - Join Us in Worship

February 1, 2018 - Lent will begin this month. Ash Wednesday is February 14th. This season we will consider the wisdom and help we have in suffering from "The Book of Job: Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!"

One of the Bible’s greatest wisdom books is the book of Job. This Lent we will explore this magnificent composition that is numbered among the greatest literature of all time. The sermon themes will help us dig deeply into Job’s central message and supporting truths. We all suffer—personally and privately. We also suffer in more public ways. A husband loses a job. A child gets divorced. A parent dies. And now, thanks to the media, we are able to see and experience more and more of the world’s catastrophes and suffering. We need the book of Job, now, more than ever.

Martin Luther asserted that “Job is magnificent and sublime as no book of Scripture.” Others have called Job “the Shakespeare of the Bible.” The early Christian scholar Jerome perhaps put it best when he called the book of Job an “eel,” since the more one tries to contain it, the slipperier it becomes!

The purpose of our Lenten emphasis is to learn how to apply Job to our lives so that the book becomes less like an eel and more like a loving companion through life’s dark valleys. Preaching plans are as follows:

  • Ash Wednesday Flying Blind (Job 1:1–12)
  • Lent 1 Sweet Surrender (Job 1:13–21)
  • Lent 2 Learning to Lament (Job 3:1–26)
  • Lent 3 It Is Enough (Job 14:1–14)
  • Lent 4 Understanding How It All Works Together (Job 23:1–17)
  • Lent 5 God Speaks in the Storm (Job 38:1–11)
  • Maundy Thursday On Earth Is Not His Equal! (Job 41:20–34)
  • Good Friday Tearing Down the Spite House (Job 42:7–9)
  • The Resurrection of Our Lord I Know That My Redeemer Lives! (Job 19:23–26) Job’s most famous statement appears in 19:25, “I know that my Redeemer lives.”

Christ is alive. He has conquered death and the grave. His word is sufficient. His grace is enough. His love brings comfort and healing.

And this Lent these gifts come to us through the book of Job.

Trip to Mission Central

February 1, 2018 - On February 17, 2018 Missionaries Rev. Joe and Jennie Asher, who we support through Mission Central, will be speaking at the Mission Central location in Iowa on February 17. We would like to see if there is interest in a group trip that day to travel to Mapleton, Iowa, and hear and meet our supported missionaries. Mission Central is also assembling items in a Creation Theater. The Ashers are serving in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Please let the church office know if you are interested in this group trip. And please keep Rev. Joe and Jennie Asher in your prayers.

From the Elders

February 1, 2018 - Thank you to all of the newly elected officers that will be serving and to those that are done with their terms. We appreciate your dedication and service. Please show your support for our LYF by signing up for the Valentine’s dinner being held on Sunday, February 11.

Also remember, everyone is invited to Bible study on Sundays following the worship service. Please come enjoy treats, conversation with friends and the study of God’s Word. Lent is upon us and the Ash Wednesday service will begin the season on February 14 at 7:30 p.m. Let us come together and be strengthened by the gifts of the Word and Sacrament. God Bless you all.

St. John LYF News - Valentine Dinner

February 1, 2018 - The LYF will host their Valentine's Dinner on Sunday, February 11 at 11:30 a.m. after Bible Class and Sunday School. The main dishes are lasagna with bread and a chicken dinner with steamed vegetables and a baked potato. A salad and desert is provided with both meals. The cost is $10 per person. The sign up sheet is on the table in the narthex. The last day to sign up is Sunday, February 4. **LYF set up for the Valentine's Dinner will be on Saturday, February 10 at 9am.**

The LYF also ask that church members keep our youngsters in “heartfelt” prayer, providing them with support and encouragement – thus keeping them engaged in church life and in the study of God's Word. (...see LYF page...)

Evangelism Committee Update & Invitation

February 7, 2018 - The February Evangelism Committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Members of St. John continue to be invited to attend as we continue working through the book, “5 Things You Can Do to Witness Christ”, with reading and open discussion. This book encourages each of us to realize what we have in Christ and to see that our witnessing is part of our daily walk in life – as we each have ‘evangelism’ to do. We find “witnessing” when living out the gracious gifts God gives in our connections with others and in helping build new relationships where we can share the love of Christ. There are several of these $8.00 books still available when you join us. (...see Evangelism Committee page...)


February 18, 2018 - PLEASE JOIN US for quilting, as we need your help, for the Russian and Baltic orphanages. Karen Tiedeman is making her yearly trip in April this year which gives us just two workdays to get quilts made for her to take on the trip. Please come on Thursday, March 1st & Thursday, April 5th to work on these quilts. We are hoping to get two tying stations going at the same time to double our output. Stop by anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to help. Bring something small to share for lunch and bring a pair of scissors. No sewing experience necessary. See you then!

Men's Bible Study - "A Man Named Martin - The Man"

February 18, 2018 - The St. John Men’s Bible Study group continues with a Martin Luther based video series, “A Man Named Martin”. The men will begin the second part of this historical, interesting series: “Part II - The Moment”.

Martin Luther’s Spirit-inspired grasp of justification through faith was the cornerstone of the Reformation. This second part of the series examines the errant teachings and wayward traditions of the Late Medieval Church that eventually sparked the Protestant Reformation, a theological overhaul set in motion most notably by Martin Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg.

As a follow-up Bible study to the first, “A Man Named Martin-Part 1: The Man”, this three-session Bible study takes a close look at the widespread teachings of the late Medieval Church that were superfluous to the Bible or not scripturally grounded. Among them were purgatory, penance, celibacy, prayers for the dead, transubstantiation, the treasury of merits of Christ, devotion to Mary and the rosary, the institution of the papacy, and the one most often linked to the Reformation: the sale of indulgences.

The men’s group meets at 7:00 p.m. each 2nd Tuesday of the month. Our door is always open to new members, with guests equally welcomed. See you guys on Tuesday, March 13th!

LWML & Ladies Aid Meeting

February 18, 2018 - The next LWML meeting will be held on Tuesday evening, February 20th beginning at 7:00 p.m. Don't forget to bring your purple folder and mite box as we plan for the year ahead. All ladies of the congregation are invited and welcome to join the LWML.

The Ladies Aid Meeting Minutes for January 31, 2018 meeting will be published in the March Newsletter. We will post them here on our website as soon as they become available. (LWML - Ladies Aid page...)

Lambs of Christ News - Annual Chili Feed Fundraiser

February 1, 2018 - Lambs of Christ Preschool, as in years past, will be holding a Chili Feed and Raffle, which will take place in the fellowship hall of Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Sunday, February 18 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. This is an event for the entire community and we extend an invitation for you to attend. Please join us for lunch followed by the drawings. The menu includes Chili, Chicken Noodle, Hotdogs, Cinnamon Rolls, etc.

The Preschool Board is currently collecting items for the raffle. If you have an item you would like to donate for the raffle, please contact Cindy Hoyer (Preschool Board Member contact person). We ask that all gifts/donations be ready for pickup on or before February 14. All monies raised from your tax deductible donation will go directly to the preschool to benefit the boys and girls. Thank you for your continued support and hope to see you on February 18!

Building Committee Update

February 18, 2018 - The next Building Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, 2018 beginning at 6:30 p.m. (...Building Committee...)

Haiti Mission Trip

January 1, 2018 - St. John member Terry Dittmer will again be a part of the annual mission trip to Haiti leaving on January 29, 2018. Members are encouraged to learn more about this endeavor when looking through the information found in the Narthex. Free-will offerings are being accepted to assist with this trip.

St. John Message to Members - "Greeters"

January 1, 2018 - Greeters and Welcoming Guests—EVERYONE! We thank everyone who has served as a greeter in these past years. Now we are looking to update and increase our opportunity for serving as a greeter. We are going to add in those of you who indicated your desire to serve as a greeter on the Time and Talent survey. And in conjunction with the Evangelism Board and the Board of Elders, we are going to increase the roll of our greeters.

We are going to start assigning four greeters on Sunday mornings and special festival days. We would like two greeters as usual handing out bulletins and welcoming guests. The other two greeters would be near the south entrance door to welcome and look for guests and visitors. In that area greeters would invite our guests to sign the guest book and see if they would be interested in receiving our guest packet. We would also encourage our greeters (and anyone, really) to look for guests and greet visitors even in the parking lot—especially in warmer weather. There is also an idea to get some nice umbrellas with which we could assist guests and members from their vehicles to the entry way.

If you have not signed up as a greeter, would you please consider doing so? It would be wonderful to have many members taking turns in looking to welcome guests, as well as fellow members. It would be awesome if St. John had a reputation of being a warm and welcoming congregation showing care to those who attend our worship services. Please pray about this and consider this opportunity of service to your church.

Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study

January 1, 2018 - In January and February we will be taking a quick look through the Gospel of Mark. The current plan will be to use three Sundays for this study and interrupt one week a month with a one session topic of interest. January 7, 14, and 21 we will look at Mark. Then, on the 28th we will look at a requested topic: Cremation. Please join us for all these studies. Read up on Mark and come with your questions. And if you have any suggestions for topics of study or interest please let Pastor Toensing know.

Mission Field in Our own Back Yard

December 10, 2017 - 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.

Time & Talent Survey

October 1, 2017 - The St. John Evangelism Committee would like to invite each member of our congregation to fill out the available “Time & Talent Survey” found here, or received along with an earlier newsletter. Members are asked to return them to the Evangelism Committee mailbox in the church narthex. If you missed the opportunity following the Worship Service on September 24th in which to complete and submit them, please pick one up and return it as soon as possible. The hope is to reach as many members as possible during the next couple months and collect as much information about your desire and ability to assist in congregational functions in the future. Please help make this endeavor a success. –Board of Evangelism ( Time & Talent Survey...)