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.

Building Committee Update

March 12, 2018 - St. John's Building Committee will hold its next meeting on Monday, March 26, 2018 beginning at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will provide an opportunity to meet the Nebraska District Architectural Advisor, Craig Wohlgemuth. A call for this meeting will enable the Building Committee to share concepts and congregational input, ask questions and be guided toward a focused direction when developing an Addition onto our church facility. (...Building Committee...)

From the Elders

March 1, 2018 - The Elders would like to thank the L.Y.F. for another wonderful Valentine’s dinner. They did a great job! The congregation is blessed to have this group orchestrate these activities. We are grateful to their leaders that are helping these young adults mature in their Christian faith.

Lenten services have begun and are being held every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and in the evening at 7:30 p.m., leading us to Holy week. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday evening services will be at 7:00 p.m. As March goes out like a Lamb and we welcome April on Easter Sunday, we look to the True Lamb of God who with his ultimate sacrifice has given us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. This is a good opportunity to invite friends and family on Easter Sunday to enjoy worship and the L.Y.F breakfast. God Bless, The Elders

LYF Easter Egg Hunt & Easter Breakfast

March 1, 2018 - The LYF sponsored Easter egg hunt will be held Saturday, March 31 at 10:00 a.m. here at the Church, with a cookie social to follow. We are looking for candy donations from the congregation, as in the past years. No loose candy like M&Ms and jelly's beans. Candy items should be individually wrapped/sealed. The LYF members will need to be at the church by 8:00 a.m. Saturday, March 31st in order to hide eggs and get ready for the hunt.

The LYF will also sponsor the Easter breakfast to take place after the Sunrise Easter Service on Sunday. LYF members and helpers will need to be at church at 5:30 a.m. to prepare for this. This is a busy time for these teens, but ALWAYS worth the work! The LYF thanks our members for the support; as we hope our support to the congregation is equally welcomed! Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! Indeed He is!

Evangelism Committee Update & Invitation

March 8, 2018 - The April Evangelism Committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, 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 a few more 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 Update

March 1, 2018 - Mark your calendars for another fun evening of “Adult Coloring” on Tuesday, March 20th at 7:00 PM. We will open with a devotion and then get right into coloring. We will be working on Easter cards and once completed you will be welcomed in taking your cards home to share with your family and friends. And if you don’t want to color you can opt for helping to tie quilts.

Karen’s Orphan Grain Train trip is earlier this year… they leave mid-April. So, we need to scurry and get as many quilts completed as possible to send with her and her group. Everyone is invited!! Hope to see many of you there as we join for a fun evening of fellowship.


  • The LWML has a box in the narthex labeled Crete Cares. This will be an ongoing food gathering. We ask that you contribute to this project as often as you would like. Those in need will receive this special gift.
  • WE ARE ADDING another opportunity to help with the quilts on Tuesday, March 13th. This gives us three days to make as many quilts as possible for Karen Tiedeman to take to Russia in April. Come any time between 9:30 am and 2:00 pm. Bring a scissors and something small to share at lunch. No sewing experience necessary! Mark these days on your calendar: March 1, March 13, April 5. Thank you so much! (LWML - Ladies Aid page...)

Ladies Aid Update

March 1, 2018 - St. John Ladies Aid met on February 28, 2018, with Darleen Dittmer as hostess. We opened the meeting by singing, “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed”. Pastor Toensing led us in Bible Study on “The Sermon on the Mount”. Roll call was taken with ten members present. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved and the Treasurer’s Report was given.

  • Old Business: We had more discussion on Ladies Night Out. Diane Kahle and JoAnn Renner are going to check into what would be available to us at The Brew House. We will have more discussion next month.
  • New Business: Irene Reiss is retiring from decorating our church. We thank Irene and Del for all the work they have done for our church. We are looking for volunteers or ways to continue this work. Our next Fish Boil will be held July 8, 2018. Carol Brinkmeyer has made up lists for calling for funerals. The ladies that will be calling are: JoAnn Renner, Janice Reetz, Darleen Dittmer and Carol Brinkmeyer.

JoAnn has ordered Palms for Palm Sunday. It was discussed about whether we want to do another church cookbook. We will have more discussion on this next month. Celebrating birthdays in February were: Bonnie Bleich, Shelley Toensing and Linda Eggert. Hostess for March is Irene Reiss. The meeting closed with the Lord’s Prayer and common Table Prayer. (More...)

Lambs of Christ Preschool News

March 1, 2018 - Grandparents Day The children have invited their Grandparents to a day of preschool on Monday, March 19th for the M/W/F class and Tuesday, March 20th for the T/Th class. The grandparents will gather at 9:30 a.m. for a chapel service followed by snack in the Fellowship Hall and time spent in the preschool classroom. The Young 3’s class (Tuesday afternoons) will not be participating in Grandparents Day.

We would like to thank everyone who supported our Chili Feed and Raffle Fundraiser. We would like to thank all businesses and individuals who donated prizes for raffle. Plus we would like to thank everyone who came and bought tickets and enjoyed the soup. Funds raised will be used to meet program expenses.

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...)