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Introducing a new era of communication: St. John's digital newsletter.

Each month, you'll receive the latest updates from St. John's, right in your inbox. This new format will allow us to communicate and share information with one another in a more efficient fashion.

Pastor John Albers, Rev. John M. Albers

Ministry With God’s People

By Pastor John Albers

Is Our God too Big?

“Soar like eagles!” (Isaiah 40:31, The Message)

Those who are in need of assistance can often be demoralized by the size and scope of the very organization or unit of government designed to help them. “Larger” can mean impersonal, one-size-fits-all assistance where a personal, caring interaction is required. “I’m just a number,” some may complain when interacting with something larger and overwhelming. 

“Soar like eagles!” taken from Isaiah 40:31, is our theme this year as we look to expand our current enrollment at St. John’s Lutheran School. But Isaiah spends most of the time in this chapter proclaiming the expansive and amazing scale of God’s glory and power, especially as compared to humanity’s insignificance. 

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of (God’s) hand? … Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord?” (Is. 40:12) and then, “The nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales. … All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by (God) as less than nothing and emptiness.” (Is. 40:15)

God is indeed, as the old praise refrain reminds us, an awesome God. And it should not surprise us, then, that many will determine that God is too big; too big to notice and too big to care for those who are insignificant by comparison. If even a nation is like the dust on the scales, too insignificant to even be counted, then one person is even more so.

“To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.” (Is. 40:25) … Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” (Is. 40:28)

But that is when the prophet throws in a bit of a punchline, as it were. While we could see ourselves as too insignificant for God – we could conclude that it is rather easy to hide from God’s presence or that God must not care, the prophet reminds us that God’s power and significance are actually DESIGNED for the benefit of those who otherwise may seem insignificant.

“(God) does not faint or grow weary;” the prophet declares, “(God) gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might (God) increases strength.” (Is. 40:28-29)

The secret is patient waiting, trusting that indeed God has designs for God’s people that ARE for our good. While we may be highlighting only a few words in our community outreach and designs to expand the impact of our school, soaring on the wings of eagles is only a small piece of the equation:

“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Peace and joy,


Worship Calendar

Several event names will be linked to additional information available
by clicking on the name of the event.

Worship for the Season of Epiphany

February 11/12 – Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
  • 6pm – Evening Prayer
  • 8am – Morning Prayer
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Communion
February 18/19 – Transfiguration of Our Lord
  • 6pm – Divine Service, Setting 1
  • 8am – Divine Service, Now the Feast
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Communion
February 21 – Shrove Tuesday

Worship for the Season of Lent

February 22 – Ash Wednesday
February 25/26 – First Sunday in Lent
GUEST PREACHER: Rev. Phil Krupski, LCMS Foundation
  • 6pm – Prayer and Preaching
  • 8am – Prayer and Preaching
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Communion
March 1 – 7th Day of Lent
  • 6:30pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)
March 4/5 – Second Sunday in Lent
  • 6pm – Divine Service, Setting 2
  • 8am – Divine Service, Setting 2
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Song
March 8 – 13th Day of Lent
  • 6:30pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)
March 11/12 – Third Sunday in Lent
  • 6pm – Evening Prayer (LSB)
  • 8am – Morning Prayer (LSB)
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Communion
March 15 – 19th Day of Lent
  • 6:30pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)
March 18/19 – Fourth Sunday in Lent
  • 6pm – Divine Service, Setting 2
  • 8am – Divine Service, Setting 2
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Song
March 22 – 25th Day of Lent
  • 6:30pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)
March 25/26 – Fifth Sunday in Lent
  • 6pm – Prayer and Preaching
  • 8am – Prayer and Preaching
  • 9:30am – Connect Word and Communion
March 29 – 31st Day of Lent
  • 6:30pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)

Looking ahead to Holy Week

  • April 2, Passion Sunday, 6pm, 8am & 9:30am, Divine Service with Procession with Palms
  • April 6, Maundy Thursday, 6:30pm, Divine Service with Individual Absolution
  • April 7, Good Friday, Noon, Liturgy of the Cross; 6:30pm, Tenebrae

Church Updates

Ministry Opportunities!

Ministry Opportunities!
Ministry opportunities at St. John’s. Take a look at how you can be engaged:

Altar Guild

A team of volunteers work individually and as a team to prepare the sanctuary for worship. Newcomers work with those who have served for many years.


Individuals are needed for each worship service and tasks vary from gathering offerings to ringing the bells to helping guide worshippers to communion.

Thrift Shop

The Thrift Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Call Mary Jo Uebele, (317) 650-6771 or Linda Peters, (219) 393-3496.  Newcomers are trained by a more experienced staff person.

Livestream Production Team

Some technology is used at each of our church services, both in the Sanctuary and School Cafeteria. New workers are mentored by experienced ones. If you would like to get your name on the schedule or get more information, call Debra Albers, (219) 241-9763.


Jill Blair, one of our school parents and school board members, is leading our Nurturing Eagle Support Team (N.E.S.T.) and could use additional assistance from anyone with St. John’s connections (church or school). Give the school office a call, (219) 362-6692.

Lenten Theme for 2023

Lent 2023 Theme

Lord teach us to pray!

Pastor Albers has announced the theme for Lent this year will be prayer, most specifically two specific ideas:
  1. learning how to pray and
  2. recognizing God’s gracious provision even without our prayer.
Weekly themes will explore the overall theme for the season:

Week 1, Feb. 22, Lord, Teach us to Pray: God’s Good and Gracious Will be Done

Week 2, Mar. 1, Lord, Teach us to Pray: for the Church

Week 3, Mar. 8, Lord, Teach us to Pray: for the world

Week 4, Mar. 15, Lord, Teach us to Pray: for those in need

Week 5, Mar. 22, Lord, Teach us to Pray: in thanksgiving

Week 6, Mary 29, Lord, Teach us to Pray: in remembrance

As before, several activities will help focus our attention on the theme for the season. 

Midweek Evening Prayer

Each Lent we add a midweek worship service to our usual schedule: Wednesdays at 6:30pm. We will gather on Ash Wednesday, the First Day of Lent, for the Divine Service including the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. An additional service is added at 10am and will include many students from our school.  

On each successive Wednesday evening, a service of Evening Prayer is then added to our usual schedule throughout the season of Lent (the Wednesdays in March this year).

Prayer Fellowship

The WOW Bible Study will be hosting a Prayer Fellowship each Wednesday evening.  A light soup supper will be followed by a short time of prayer, collecting the prayer requests of those who are gathered.  

A Soup Supper will be provided beginning at 5:30pm followed by a short time of prayer beginning at 6:00pm.  The group will move to the sanctuary for the liturgy of Evening Prayer at 6:20pm or so.

Prayer Journal

During the season everyone, including worshippers and school students, will be encouraged to keep a Prayer Journal, recording that for which they are praying and a bit of how they see God’s good and gracious will being accomplished.

To help with this, a St. John’s Prayer Journal will be distributed in worship beginning the weekend of February 18 & 19, and then on Ash Wednesday, February 22.

Prayer Retreat

One Sunday, April 16, St. John’s leaders will host a brief Prayer Retreat. Following a light brunch at 11am, participants will take 90 minutes or so to reflect on what they have learned throughout the season and once again pray together as God’s people.

Plans for the retreat are developing and may include presentations by special guests and SJLC members and leaders.

Plan now to join us!

Lifetime Plan for Giving

Lifetime Plan for Giving
At baptism the Lord placed in your heart the desire to be generous with the blessings He shares.

Lifetime Plan for Giving™ is a process offered by the LCMS Foundation to assist you in transferring the blessings God has given you to the family you love and the ministries you care about.

The workshop will cover:
  • Important documents everyone should have before going to heaven.
  • How the LCMS Foundation can assist you with preparing, or reviewing, a will or trust.
  • Ensuring your estate is being transferred as you intended, in a tax-wise manner.
  • How giving plans are for everyone.
SJLC leader Dionne Lovstad-Jones, a Gift Planning Counselor with the LCMS Foundation, will co-lead the seminar with Rev. Phil Krupski, Senior Vice-President for Gift Planning Services at the Foundation.

Register Today

The seminar on Sunday, February 19, will immediately follow the Connect service on that day in the School Cafeteria. Worship will wrap up about 10:35am and brunch will be served by 10:45am. The seminar will conclude no later than 12:30pm.

Register NOW!

About the LCMS Foundation

The LCMS Foundation was established in 1958 as a stewardship ministry of the church and dedicated to the belief that the Foundation would, “be a vehicle which can, and under the blessing of God’s will, usher in a completely new era for our church.”

Since that awe-filled beginning, thousands of inspired stewards, joyful in their thanks to God—people like you—have used the LCMS Foundation to plan and manage gifts that benefit their families, congregations and ministries worldwide.

At the same time hundreds of LCMS congregations, as well as dozens of schools, RSOs, our two seminaries and many of the Concordia universities have trusted the LCMS Foundation to be their dedicated investment resource.

Their purpose and mission

The Foundation has four primary purposes:
  • Providing planned giving services to LCMS members for the benefit of all ministries of the Synod.
  • Providing investment management services for ministry funds and endowments held by congregations and other LCMS ministries and institutions.
  • Providing training to others in the LCMS on how to do charitable gift planning.
  • Receiving non-cash gifts, like land and securities, on behalf of any LCMS organization, so that they can convert those gifts into liquid assets.
When the Foundation does its job well, both donors and ministries are blessed. Specifically, donors are assisted in using their God-given spirit of generosity to make the most effective gifts to ministries and their families. While ministries are blessed through the creation of long-term funding sources, as well as by having the Foundation as a trusted steward to invest and grow those sources. To learn more, click here to view the Foundation's annual Ministry Report.


Project Welcome Update

Project Welcome Update

The new family restroom is complete and the Vertical Platform Lift is awaiting state inspection!

The restroom is complete.  The Vertical Platform Lift (VPL) should be installed the first full week of February. When these two projects are completed only one small step at the door will present an impediment to those with limited mobility. And plans are already in the works to eliminate this step.

Later this spring, a contractor will remove the portico driveway and replace it with a new driveway and parking area limited to three or four spaces for those who require accessible parking. The driveway at the portico will be raised to eliminate the step at the door, creating a full-accessible entrance. Some using devices to assist (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) may still need some help with the door and an usher may be necessary to operate the new VPL inside the door, but otherwise our sanctuary will be fully accessible for the first time in nearly 70 years!

Value-added Projects

A whole list of “value-added” projects have also been completed, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers that kept the cost of renovations to a minimum. The “savings” have been invested in these other projects:
  • A new pedestal sink has been installed in the existing women’s restroom replacing a failing lavatory cabinet and sink.
  • A new utility sink has been installed in the old bride’s room (next to this restroom).
  • New tile has been installed in the basement hallway (since a big hole was needed to access the drain, waste and vent (DWV) lines.
  • Several drop ceilings have (or will be) installed in the narthex alcove, in this old bride’s room, and in the hallway (improving lighting and reducing echo).
  • The entire narthex and entryways have been repainted, for the first time in many decades.
  • Some new stair nosing has replaced pieces that required replacement, especially in the entrances most used by worshippers.
  • New conduit for low-voltage wiring (speakers, microphones, computer network) were installed, creating access for future projects.

Fundraising continues!

Your financial support of this project will be CRITICAL. The total budget for these projects was $55,000, and through the end of January a total of $43,095 has been donated for this purpose, including a $20,000 gift from St. John’s Thrift Shop to cover the cost of the VPL. While we have sufficient funds on hand to complete the driveway project, we must “pay” for these projects (through additional gifts) before beginning other projects.

More Technology Upgrades!

Technology upgrades

Each week, it seems, another update helps improve our ability to communicate and for our students to learn well!

Digital Signage

A new sign has now been installed at the School Entrance, one that will also provide some helpful updates when worshippers arrive for the Connect service on Sunday.

If you would like an Announcement or other information included on one of the two digital signs:
  1. Contact Jennifer Martinez at for more information and/or
  2. Prepare an image (16:9 presentation) and forward it to the above email.
Slides can be added to either or both signs and be scheduled for a certain period of time, so be sure to let Jennifer know how long you want the announcement to remain in the sign loop. 

Security and Internet Infrastructure

At the workday on January 21, volunteers were able to extend a new raceway near the middle of the school building and begin to relocate fire alarm components (like detectors and strobes). And the week following the “home run” to the church workroom was completed! Before long workers will be able to install new network cable and/or relocate existing cable. 

Qubit Networks, the contractor that improved and expanded our school network this past summer is ready to complete the project by installing additional access points at key locations in the school, both in classrooms and places where groups of students and guests gather (e.g. cafeteria & gymnasium). They are scheduled to be on campus during spring break to complete their work.

Contact Pastor Albers if you would like to help with the project. A couple of volunteers working two or three hours at a time can accomplish lots! Skills needed include: measuring and cutting using a miter saw, and using an impact driver. A “gopher” working with a worker with more skills is extremely helpful!

The contract with TechCentric Solutions has been finalized and SJLS is on their schedule to complete the keyless entry project in June of 2023 (as soon as the school year ends).

VOIP Phone System

A representative with New Age Telecom has presented a contract for review by the Board of Trustees for a new voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) phone system. Since this new phone system requires additional ethernet ports in each location (to connect to the internet in place of the phone company), additional low-voltage internet cable must be installed before the system can be installed, hopefully before the end of the school year.

Bible Studies

Join a study already underway!

Bible Study
There are currently three regularly-scheduled bible study opportunities at St. John’s:

Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study

Pastor Albers leads this study that meets each week on Sunday mornings at 10:45 am in the Ladies’ Lounge.  The group continues a survey of Matthew's gospel through the month of February and in the weeks of March.

Women of the Word

This group usually meets weekly on Wednesday evenings, 6:00 - 7:30 pm in the Ladies’ Lounge.  However, Women of the Word will be helping to facilitate our Lenten contemplation of prayer, hosting a Prayer Fellowship each Wednesday evening in March beginning at 5:30pm.  A light soup supper will include some intentional time for prayer followed by the liturgy of Evening Prayer in the Sanctuary. 

Men’s Bible Study

The final session of our “We the People” Bible study challenges us: Do we obey God or man?  Certainly a question that should raise thoughtful discussion about our political system. We will meet at 8am on Saturday, Feb. 11 in the church basement. (Bring your coffee.) Since Roland Lovstad will not be attending, another volunteer will show the video and provide study sheets and maybe ask the first question to get discussion going.  If you would like to help for a future study, please contact Roland (573-768-1401).

 ALSO: Pastor Albers and Roland have briefly discussed weekly Men’s Bible Study on the Saturdays during Lent (Feb. 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25 and Apr. 1). The topic would be prayer and coordinate with the Lenten emphasis. If you have thoughts, email Roland at or call 573-768-1401. The study concludes by 9:30am.
Mark Jerndt

Growing in Christ:

Devotions to Strengthen Your Life with God

By Mark Jerndt


Sign Posts
Stop signs, yield signs, exit signs, and the list could go on.  One thing they have in common is that they are directional in nature.

Eagle Updates

Don’t miss this latest news from St. John’s School

Contributed by: Julie Berndt

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate at St. John's Lutheran School: Kids Heart Challenge, improved assessment results, Spelling Bee, and more!
Don’t miss this latest news from St. John’s School

Student Stories

Honor Roll 2nd Quarter

Contributed by: Julie Berndt

All A’s

5th Grade:  Ian Roule, Sophi Salka

8th Grade: Martin Pham

Principal’s Honor Roll (3.7 or higher GPA)

7th Grade:  Ben Aquino, Addy Crostreet, Ken Martinez

Honorable Mention Honor Roll (3.0 or higher GPA)

5th Grade:  Lilly Aquino, Tyler Benson, Lydia Grott, Tayghen McCoy, Kaylee Ritter

6th Grade:  Aurora Campell, Ben Cowgill, Katie Jedrysek, Miranda Pham, Eden Riley, Xander Watkins

7th Grade:  Leah Fischer, Elaine Fuller, Nolan Roule

8th Grade:  Ben Fischer
Honor Roll

Middle School Science Fair

Science Fair
Contributed by: Julie Berndt

The middle school science fair is an opportunity for students in grades 4-8 to complete an independent science project following either the scientific method or the engineering design process. Students conduct their research, complete an experiment, track data, summarize the information in a report, then present their findings at the science fair. 

The 2023 St. John’s Science Fair will take place on Thursday, March 23, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm in the gymnasium. We can’t wait to see the experiments our Middle School students do. We hope you can join us! 
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