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MARCH 2023

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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

Fixing Our Gaze

Prayer is a universally-accepted spiritual activity … or at least nearly so. ... Lutheran Christians have a wonderfully robust and helpful theology of prayer built very much on Martin Luther’s instruction on the Lord’s Prayer in his Small Catechism.
Fixing Our Gaze

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 Lent

March 11/12 – Third Sunday in Lent
  • 6 pm – Evening Prayer (LSB)
  • 8 am – Morning Prayer (LSB)
  • 9:30 am – Connect Word and Communion
March 15 – 19th Day of Lent
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)
March 18/19 – Fourth Sunday in Lent
  • 6 pm – Divine Service, Setting 2
  • 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 2
  • 9:30 am – Connect Word and Song
March 22 – 25th Day of Lent
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)
March 25/26 – Fifth Sunday in Lent
  • 6 pm – Prayer and Preaching
  • 8 am – Prayer and Preaching
  • 9:30 am – Connect Word and Communion
March 29 – 31st Day of Lent
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Prayer (Holden)

Looking ahead to Holy Week

Special Events in our Calendar

Guest Preacher Series Continues

Guest Preacher Series Continues
Categories: Church Events

Rev. Bill Yonker to Visit St. John's on March 25 & 26

The weekend of March 25 & 26 we will welcome Rev. Bill Yonker as Guest Preacher for worship. As a preacher, Pastor Yonker is passionately committed to preaching the gospel. “You can tell it is the Gospel,” he says, “when you are talking about what God has done rather than what we are doing.” 

As a preacher and speaker, Pr. Yonker is an engaging and fabulous storyteller and a wonderful teacher for both young and old alike. He travels regularly across the country speaking at Christian conferences, retreats, high schools, middle schools, and college campuses.

For nearly 30 years Pastor Bill Yonker has served as the Senior Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Dundee, Illinois, a large suburban congregation with a school located about halfway between Chicago and Rockford.

Pastor Yonker was named one of the 150 most influential alumni of Valparaiso University in the last 150 years. Before serving in suburban Illinois, Rev. Yonker served as Pastor in several inner city ministries: Berea Lutheran Church in Detroit, Michigan and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Chicago, Illinois

Pastor Yonker is married to Joanne, and they are parents of three grown children. He is an avid coffee drinker, lover of stories and storytelling, voracious reader, an ardent fan of the Green Bay Packers, and is enthralled with Frank Sinatra music and 60’s bubblegum music.

Church Updates

Lenten Midweek 2023

Lenten Midweek 2023

Lord teach us to pray!

Our life of prayer, both as individuals and as a congregation, is our theme this year for the season of Lent. Our midweek schedule reflects a desire to spend more intentional time learning about and practicing more intentionally this important spiritual discipline.

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

Prayer Fellowship

The WOW Bible Study will be hosting a time of fellowship each Wednesday evening, featuring a short time of teaching on prayer and spending a bit of time “practicing” together. A light soup supper at 5:15 pm or so will be followed by a short time of prayer, collecting the prayer requests of those who are gathered.  

The group will move to the sanctuary for the liturgy of Evening Prayer at 6:20 pm or so.

Midweek Evening Prayer

The liturgy of Evening Prayer begins at 6:30 pm each Wednesday evening. The liturgy includes several important opportunities for prayer:
  1. The Service of Light begins the service, drawing our attention to Jesus Christ, THE light of the world.
  2. Psalm 51 is added to worship for the season of Lent, calling God’s people to repentance while speaking a word of promise.
  3. Lessons and a homily build on the unique theme each week.
  4. A beautiful litany gathers the prayers of the people and presents them to God.
  5. An Evening Prayer, in the form of a new song, asks for the Lord’s blessing on our time of rest and sends us out for the evening.

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. A few copies are still available for your use. Pick one up the next time you are at worship.

Prayer Retreat

On Sunday, April 16, St. John’s leaders will host a brief Prayer Retreat. Following a light brunch at 11 am, 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.

Worship Livestream

Worship Livestream

Connect via Livestream when you cannot be in worship 

The effort to live stream our worship services helps to keep connected with those who are unable to be present in worship and extend our reach through digital platforms on the internet.  Our 8 am service is live-streamed each Sunday morning and then available as a video via our website, YouTube Channel, and Facebook. 

The sermon is usually posted on our Facebook page by 6 pm that same day. If you find a sermon particularly helpful or impactful, consider checking in and sharing the video with a friend or family member.

Volunteers Are Critical to the effort

St. John’s relies on numerous volunteers to make possible our use of technology to assist with our worship services. Some volunteers serve nearly every week and have become our resident “experts,” while others help out now and again focused on one aspect of this important ministry. 

Currently, helpers range in age from 15 to 60. Some help nearly every week, while others step in “in a pinch” so others are away or headed to communion. If the Pastor and church office have prepared well (without any mistakes), the task can be as simple as clicking on an arrow as the service progresses.

The best way to get involved is to volunteer as a Production Assistant for one of our Team Leaders on a Sunday morning. The work to live stream our 8 am worship service is much better with a two-person team. And as the assistant, you can get some “on-the-job” training. There is no bulletin for the Connect service at 9:30 am on Sundays, so having an assistant to help click through the numerous slides is even more important.

Speak to Pastor Albers, Dionne Lovstad-Jones, or Debra Albers to get more information.  Or call Jennifer in the church office: (219) 362-3726.

Livestream Web LinkYouTubeSt. John's Facebook Page

Ministry Opportunities!

New Weekend Worship Schedule
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.

Project Teams

Individuals and small groups are regularly working on a project to renovate a building, clean up and organize, or other improve our facilities. If you want to help, contact the church office and let Jennifer know about your skills and interests.  (219) 362-3726.


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.


Project Welcome Update

Project Welcome Update

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

The Vertical Platform Lift (VPL) has finally been installed and is awaiting a state inspection, which should be completed in time for worship the weekend of March 18/19. Now 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.

A big thanks goes out to Van Risley at P.M. Fabricating generously donated his time and labor to rehabilitate and expand the railing to accommodate the lift and its platform. Church volunteers installed the railing as part of a church workday on March 4.

We are now waiting on an updated quote from a contractor to remove the portico driveway and replace and expand it to include a parking area limited to three or four spaces for those who require accessible parking. Once the driveway is complete, 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 VP inside the door, but otherwise, our sanctuary will be fully accessible for the first time in nearly 70 years!

Repairs and other improvements

Thanks to the leadership of a couple of church members, damage to the plaster in the Chapel and front entryway has now been repaired. A contractor completed most of the work with church members assisting and providing oversight. Thanks to their generosity, both areas were also repainted.

Conversations are underway with the goal of transforming the chapel into a space that can be more effectively used for worship, study, visitations, receptions, and a host of other purposes. Working with congregational leaders, Pastor Albers is putting the final touches on a more comprehensive plan that reflects the input of dozens of church members. If you would like to be part of the conversation, be sure to give the pastor a call or just “corner” him after worship some weekend. Plans will be presented to the elders, trustees, and Governing Board at their meetings in March and April.

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 February, a total of $46,047 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.

Security and Internet Infrastructure

Security and Internet Infrastructure

Upgrades continue at our school building which will make a positive impact on both our church and school ministries.

More than a dozen workers have continued the efforts begun this last fall with the goal of completing work by the end of this school year. 

You may have noticed numerous cables running the length of the school hallway, cables that were formerly gathered neatly together in a bunch and against the wall. Phone wires, network cables, and fire alarm wires followed the walls and then up and down around other openings. The problem is that it left no room for additional upgrades.

Keyless Entry

The project was prompted mostly by the desire to make keyless entry a reality; first for the exterior entrances and, next year, for interior rooms … especially classrooms. 

TechCentric Solutions has been contracted to install a new keyless entry and monitoring system for exterior doors. Their work is scheduled for the first weeks of June, right after school has been dismissed for the current term.

The work is being funded in large part by a Secured School Safety Grant made possible through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. The grant reimburses St. John’s Lutheran School for up to two-thirds of the cost but must be completed by August 31 of this year, so our focus of attention is on the dozen or so points of entry for our school building.

TechCentric and their subcontractor are working on a bid to extend this system to interior spaces as well so that we can make an application for another grant for the 2024 Fiscal Year.

Computer Network Upgrades

A “value-added” project is helping to extend recent improvements to our campus wifi network. Since cable must be relocated for the keyless entry project, we are completing a restructuring of the entire computer network to better integrate these recent improvements.

The network “hub” which was previously located on the far south end of the building in the school library (next to the old computer “lab”) is being relocated to a more centralized location,  the corner of the teacher workroom. The move will improve network reliability and set us up for moving to the new fiber-optic network now available to us.

Qubit Networks will be on campus during spring break to complete the work they started last year. 

VOIP Phone System

The Board of Trustees has approved a move to a voice-over-internet-protocols (VOIP) phone system and an agreement has been signed with NewAge Telecom to begin this work as soon as May. The need to reconfigure the computer network provides us the opportunity to complete this upgrade since the new phone system will make use of the computer network, which must also be reconfigured to make this all possible.

Bible Studies

Join a study already underway!

There are currently three regularly-scheduled bible study opportunities at St. John’s
Join a study already underway!
Mark Jerndt

Growing in Christ:

Devotions to Strengthen Your Life with God

By Mark Jerndt

Being Still With God

Being Still With God
How much of your day do you spend letting go, and letting God be God in your life?  How often do you stop to breathe and recognize His peace?  In a world that is so rarely “still”, taking time to consistently be still and let go is not all that easy, is it?

Eagle Updates

Choice School Application Accepted

Our 2023/24 application was approved in early March, which means we can begin making a Choice application for our current and incoming students!
Choice School Application Accepted

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

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

Special Events in our School Calendar

Special Events in our School Calendar

Preschool/PreKindergarten/Kindergarten Registration & Open House

Our Preschool, Registration and Open House is March 9 from 5 - 6:30p.m. We have 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day a week afternoon options for students who will be 3-years-old and potty-trained by August 1, 2023. Pre-K meets M-F mornings while Kindergarten is a full-day program. Registration for new families will begin that evening. We encourage you to invite your friends to join us, visit our classrooms, meet our staff, and see what it means to be a St. John’s Eagle! Space is limited most especially in our kindergarten class for the 2023/24 School year.

Science Fair

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 5th-8th Grade students do. We hope you can join! 

Our School's Calendar

Some events may be linked to additional information available
by clicking on the event.

Important March Dates

March 7: Re-Enrollment Packets for current students sent home
March 9: PS, PK, and Kdg Registration Open House 5:00 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
March 10: End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
Washington D.C. Envelope Fundraiser begins
March 12: Daylight Saving Time begins
March 13: No School/Make-up day if needed
March 14: Math Team Competition (Grades 6-8) at Valparaiso University
School Board meeting 6 p.m.
March 16: Grade cards sent home for 3rd Quarter
March 17: Career Day in the afternoon for Grades 4-8
(Parents, alumni, & church members share their knowledge)
March 20: Nelson’s Port-a-Pit Sale permission slips go home to Grades 4-6
(May 2025 Washington D.C. Fundraiser)
March 22: Washington D.C. Trip Fundraiser money envelopes due
March 23: Science Fair Grades 4-8
March 24: Re-Enrollment Paperwork due
Nelson’s Port-a-pit information and tickets going home-SELL, SELL, SELL!
Lifetouch Photos ALL Students 8:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Looking ahead

    Student Stories

    Spring Student Activities

    Our teachers and other volunteers help make possible all sorts of additional activities for our school children: reading club and art club to name just a few. Check out our student activities and let the school office know if you want to help with one or more of them.
    St. John's Lutheran School

    Sports News

    Sports News
    Basketball season wraps up ... get ready for floor hockey!

    N.E.S.T. Update

    Fun Fair 2023

    Fun Fair 2023
    Thank you to everyone that helped organize, set up, work at, and clean up at the Western Round-Up Fun Fair! Everyone that attended had an amazing time.

    A special thank you to our principal, Julie Berndt, for emceeing the event!  It was wonderful to see all the smiles and hear the laughter of our St. John’s Eagles.

    Thanks especially to our event sponsors: American Licorice, Brad Hull State Farm, and Modern Woodmen. Tickets were a big hit with both church and school families. Several who bought tickets prior to the event were big winners, while others took home a prize that night. Teachers and other volunteers did a great job with the various events and NEST leadership really stepped up to get things organized. The leadership team already reviewed the event and began making plans for our next event!
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