News & Recent Updates

Trip to Mission Central

January 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.

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.

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.

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.


January 1, 2018 - PLEASE JOIN US for quilting day on Thursday, January 4, 2018, from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. Please join us any time during those hours. Please bring something to share for lunch and bring a scissors. No sewing experience necessary. The quilts are primarily donated to Orphan Grain Train and most go to the orphanages in Russia and the Baltic nations. Thank you for your help with this project.

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...)

From the Elders

January 1, 2018 - Another New Year! How time goes so quickly. The new year will bring MANY New Year’s resolutions—-some will be kept . Many will work for awhile and some will continue till 2019. Some of the big ones are to lose those extra pounds we put on, to get in better shape, quit that smoking habit, etc. Maybe something we need to look at and work on is our daily devotion with the Lord. Portals of Prayer is a good way to start your day off on the right track. Like any resolution, no one can do it for you! Have a safe New Year in 2018. God Bless.

St. John LYF News

January 1, 2018 - The LYF group will begin the new year in advanced preparation for the annual Valentine’s Dinner here at St. John. There is discussion on an alternate menu from years past, yet the teens know that much help is needed from adult sponsors and providers of contribution & help in order for this event to continue. The tentative date for the Valentine Dinner is slated for Sunday, February 11, 2018 following Sunday School & Bible Class. The LYF kids are asking that those of you with any previous involvement, and/or desire to contribute time, talent or other such donations of food preparation ingredients, to contact Adam or LaShalle Hughes,

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...)

Building Committee Update

January 1, 2018 - The Building Committee has been meeting on a monthly basis since its inception. The committee now focuses its attention on the upcoming Voters meeting to be held in late January. The committee will then use this meeting to summarize a 'bulleted outline' of the means by which a master plan could be created based upon membership feedback being collected. It is hoped much can be used by our voting members to direct the Committee further in a unified, purposeful direction. The next Building Committee meeting will then be arranged following the January, 2018 Voters Meeting – based upon direction received. (...Building Committee...)

Evangelism Committee Update & Invitation

January 1, 2018 - The January Evangelism Committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Members of St. John are 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 believers to realize what we have in Christ and to see that our witnessing is part of our daily walk in life. Witnessing is found when living out the gracious gifts God gives in our connections with others and in helping us build new relationships where we can share the love of Christ. There are several of these books still available when you join us. Books are currently $8.00.

The Evangelism Committee would also like to gauge interest expressed by members of St. John in obtaining a replacement, additional copy, or perhaps did not receive an earlier one, of the last 2015 Photo Directory. The Committee is also interested in any feedback in determining ideas for a future edition – it is learned that LifeTouch now has a process to develop an ‘updateable’ picture directory too. Please connect with any Evangelism Committee member or drop a note in the Evangelism mailbox relative to this subject.  (...see Evangelism Committee page...)

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

January 1, 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, January 9th!

LWML & Ladies Aid Meeting

January 1, 2018 - St. John Ladies Aid held their annual Christmas party on December 20, 2017. We had seven guests join us for a covered dish luncheon after the Advent Service. After the luncheon, the 2018 officers were installed. The rest of the afternoon was spent singing favorite Christmas hymns. We had a short program and then we played "bird" bingo. The prize for having a bingo was a package of bird seed. Thanks to Carol Brinkmeyer and Marilyn Nast for the entertainment. The hostess for January will be Shirley Reetz.  (LWML - Ladies Aid page...)

Lambs of Christ News - Nat'l Lutheran Schools Week

January 1, 2018 - Each year we celebrate the gifts that Lutheran Schools provide to our children, families and churches. We are asking that you remember Lambs of Christ Preschool in your prayers during the week of January 21-28; and always. We thank you for your support of the preschool and for all your generous gifts.

Young 3’s Class: Lambs of Christ will be offering a class for children who turned 3 after August 1st, 2017. The class will begin on Tuesday, January 9th. The class will meet on Tuesday afternoons 12:30 – 3:30. Tuition for the class is $50. per month with a $20. enrollment / supply fee. Children are invited to join the class any time after their third birthday. Please contact the preschool office at 402-826-4375.

Enrollment for 2018 - 2019 School year: We will begin to accept enrollment applications from members of Bethlehem and St. John’s on January 22nd. Children currently enrolled at Lambs of Christ and families who have had a child enrolled at Lambs of Christ may also submit their enrollment on January 22. We will open enrollment to all other children on February 1st. Please contact Rhonda Beethe for enrollment information.

Prizes for Chili Feed Raffle: Lambs of Christ will be hosting their annual Chili Feed and Raffle on Sunday, February 18th. We will be looking for donations to serve as raffle prizes. If you or your business would like to donate a prize please contact a Preschool Committee member. Committee members are Michelle Wittstruck, Margaret Ahola, Cindy Hoyer, Terri Kuss, Kathy Oelschlager and Rhonda Beethe.