St. John's Lutheran Church Logo

MARCH 2023

Share This Newsletter:
facebook linkedin twitter email 


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

It is “good, right and salutary …”

Those who have been an active participant in Lutheran worship for any significant amount of time will likely recognize this phrase and especially the three adjectives that begin the Proper Preface in the Divine Service.
It is “good, right and salutary …”

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

Additional Opportunities for Worship Abound

Additional Opportunities for Worship Abound
Categories: Church Events

The months of May and June provide several additional opportunities for worship and prayer.

Mother’s Day Weekend, May 13/14

Like last year we included a Prayer of Thanksgiving For Mother’s Day in our worship services the weekend of Mother’s Day. While it is not a church holiday, it is a day of thanksgiving that helps us remember a unique and precious gift of God! The prayer includes opportunities to light a candle for our mothers; those with us in worship, those still living but separated from us by distance, or those who have died. Don’t MISS IT!

Ascension Worship, May 18

Thursday, May 18, is the fortieth day of Easter, the day on which the church observes the Feast of the Ascension. We will gather for worship twice on that day. Our school chapel service will be moved to that morning. Congregation members are invited to this prayer service beginning at 8:10 am. The Divine Service for the Feast of the Ascension will begin at 6:30 pm.

Armed Forces Sunday, May 20/21

Scheduled as it is so close to Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day often doesn’t get the attention it requires. While Memorial Day focuses on those who made the ultimate sacrifice while in service to our country (e.g. died in battle) and Veteran’s Day focuses on any who have served, Armed Forces Day is focused on those who are ACTIVELY SERVING in one of the branches of the armed forces.

While Pastor Albers would like to include additional events in the future, currently we will be including the names and information of any family member who is actively serving. Be sure to call the church office to update any information on your loved one who is serving.

Day of Pentecost

Our celebration of Easter comes to an end with the Festival of the Holy Spirit, the Day of Pentecost (May 28 this year). This is one of several baptism festivals in the church year in which worshippers will make an affirmation of their own baptism. While we do not have any young persons ready this year, the day will regularly include the Affirmation of Baptism (Confirmation).

Church Updates

Voter’s Assembly Approves Chapel Project

Project Welcome 2.0
At its meeting on April 23, the Voter’s Assembly approved plans to further update and renovate spaces in the church building, most especially in the chapel. The goal is to provide a space that can better serve the ministry of the church consistent with our current architecture and purposes.

A multi-purpose space

The chapel is rarely used, save for a funeral visitation and, in the past, a small wedding. Pastor Albers’ vision is a space that is more regularly used for worship and for numerous other purposes. Once the renovations are completed:
  • Special worship services that will likely include fewer worshippers such as Ascension Thursday, Thanksgiving Eve, or Christmas Day. Or if there is a snow emergency that will keep most folks at home, a service in the chapel for two dozen worshippers will be a perfect solution.
  • Funeral visitations and other gatherings for fellowship and prayer will be easier to host in the chapel. The current configuration is extremely limiting and not very hospitable for visitation and fellowship. Funeral visitations often “leak out” into the aisles of the Sanctuary. The new configuration will create a space that improves opportunities for human interaction.
  • Bible studies and meetings can be more easily hosted at tables that will often be set up in the back of the chapel, moving more and more meetings out of the school building where the use of space is limited.
  • Outside groups (such as a pastor’s conference, regional principal’s meeting, or community group) can more easily access the chapel for a gathering that often includes time for a prayer service.

There are four (4) components to the currently planned renovations:
  • Repairs: Some of these repairs especially to the plaster have already been completed. But others can only be completed after other things are moved out of the way such as a large crack in the plaster behind the altar and new tubes for the lights. ($4,000)
  • Flooring: The current plan is to have a contractor remove and dispose of the old floor tile and then church volunteers will install new porcelain tile that matches the tile installed in the new narthex restroom. The total budget for this component is $17,500 but will provide a “50-year” solution that requires much less maintenance.
  • Seating: The pews will be removed and replaced with high-quality, permanent church chairs manufactured by New Holland Church Furniture (Holland, PA). This significant cost ($15,000) will provide furniture that “fits” the space and architecture while also providing much more flexibility in the way we use the space. There are two “sample” chairs in the chapel to “try out.” We will make our own fabric selection and the color and wood would match our existing pews. 
  • New Doors: A couple of church volunteers have a vision for some moveable oak panels to replace the current accordion doors. The goal is to create a new panel that looks like it could have always been in place. ($4,500)
The total budget of $45,000 includes a “miscellaneous” category since a 70-year-old building is likely to present us with a few “surprises” along the way. 

Providing for the Ministry we Share

Providing for the Ministry we Share
You can ditch the offering plate in favor of several other options in supporting the ministry we share.

Everyone wants to help provide for the ministry we share with offerings or donations to help cover the cost of a particular thing. These days there are several ways to help provide these gifts:
  • A check in an offering envelope
The “standard” is still a GREAT way to provide your financial support for the ministry we share. Most place their gift in an offering plate at worship and others use the postal service to send their offerings to the church.  If you don't have an offering envelope, be sure to contact the church office.

There is a button on the homepage of our website you can use to make a one-time or recurring gift using PayPal. Simply visit and scroll down to the button near the bottom of the page. 

  • Bill Pay (Pastor’s favorite)
Most banks now offer online Bill Pay as a standard benefit with your checking or savings account. If you do most of your banking online, you can set up “St. John’s Lutheran Church” as a recurring (or one-time) payee and your offering will arrive at the church office in the mail (once a week or once a month, whatever is most helpful for you).

  • Electronic Transfer
Many folks ... especially those who make other “non-traditional” gifts ... may find it easier to set up an electronic transfer of funds. If so, please contact the church office to get account information or to have your financial manager set up the transfer. This is especially attractive to folks who are making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) in place of their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). Speak to Pastor Albers if you would like more information about making this kind of gift.

Cash gifts placed in the offering plate with no other designation (like any other gift received with no additional instructions) will always be placed in the General Fund and used to support ministry through St. John's. 

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week and Easter

"This is the center of our story, the source from which everything else flows."

Worship for Holy Week and Easter will be even more memorable this year. Beginning the weekend of April 2nd (with Saturday evening worship on April 1), the most holy of weeks will be filled with ten (10) services and events. Be sure to make plans to be at church all week! All of the services will be in the church sanctuary.

Sunday of the Passion with Procession with Palms

April 2 at 8am & 9:30am (April 1 @ 6pm)

April 2nd is Palm Sunday and with that comes an opportunity to not only celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry, but also hear the entire story of the Passion from Matthew's gospel. We begin with the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and within moments our thoughts will turn to His betrayal by Judas, his trials before the Sanhedrin and Pilate, and his crucifixion. A homily will bring some things into clearer focus before we once again gather at the Lord's altar.  

Maundy Thursday, the Paschal Day of the Lord's Supper

April 6 at 10am & 6:30pm

Maundy Thursday takes its name from the Lord's command (maundatum) to love one another, demonstrated most clearly in Jesus' washing the disciples' feet. Our worship on that day includes several critical pieces that both bring an end to the season of Lent, and then begin the Paschal Triduum, the three holy days. 

The Reconciliation of the Penitents begins our worship service. On Ash Wednesday we made corporate confession of our sins and then individually approached the altar to receive a cross of ashes as a reminder of our sinfulness and the promise of redemption (it's a cross, not just a smudge of ashes). On Maundy Thursday we are confess our sins and then are invited to come forward individually to receive absolution.  We once again gather at the altar to celebrate the supper our Lord institute on "the night when he was betrayed."

The evening service concludes with the Stripping of the Altar as all hints of celebration our removed, leaving the sanctuary as bare as possible in advance of services on Good Friday.

Good Friday, the Paschal Day of our Lord's Death

April 7 at Noon & 6:30pm

The tone for Good Friday is somber and reflective. We gather for the Liturgy of the Cross at noon, the hour our Lord was crucified to focus our attention on the punishment our Lord receives in our place. The day will end with the Way of the Cross liturgy at 6:30pm, drawing even more attention to the horror of the cross itself.

The Celebration of Easter, the Paschal Day of our Lord's Resurrection

April 9 at 6:30am & 10:00am

A Sunrise Celebration begins our day. While the sanctuary remains dark and the tone is rather somber at the very beginning of the service, the Easter Proclamation makes clear that the day is focused on the joy of resurrection! Our processions and hymns of praise will focus on the news the women receive and bring to the disciples early in the morning on that first day of the week.

The Festival Service at 10:00am on that day is the chief celebration of our Lord's Resurrection. The hymns and readings continue to proclaim that Christ has, indeed, been risen.

Five persons will be receiving the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on Easter morning! Young adults and older children who have been receiving instruction through this past year and especially in the month of March will be received into the fellowship of God's people, one at the Sunrise Celebration and the other four at the Festival Service.


Project Welcome Update

Project Welcome Update
By the time you read this a pile of dirt will once again grace the grounds at church and, within the week, contractors should be on site to work on the last big piece of the Project Welcome “puzzle.”

The narthex restroom has been completed and functioning for several months. A couple of small tasks still need to be completed (i.e. paper towel dispenser, new vacant/in-use lockset, a new shelf). The vertical platform lift is in use. As many as four worshippers make use of the lift each weekend; more when we host a funeral or other big event. The last “step” to improving accessibility is to remove the remaining step at the portico entrance.

The Board of Trustees approved the contracts with a vendor who has completed work at St. John’s in the past (including a review by a trustee with expertise in asphalt maintenance and paving). Two other church members are using their personal equipment to complete a critical drainage project at the church (see note below).  Our hope is that by Memorial Day all of the steps into the sanctuary will be functionally eliminated.

We still need your financial support to complete this project. Additional donations should be marked “Project Welcome” and either placed in the offering or sent to St. John’s in the same way you currently provide offerings.


Every time it rains, a large pool of water collected on the driveway and in the corner of the building near the existing men’s restroom. In the worst circumstances, water enters the building in that restroom and the counter’s room on the lower level.

GOOD NEWS!  The excavation now underway will provide for a “french drain” with stone and attached to a storm water system.  It will also improve the grade away from the building, moving any water at the surface away from the building. Any water that does find its way into the soil will then have a place to not only collect away from the building, but eventually drain away. This SHOULD eliminate the water that has often flooded the lower level of the church building.

Project Welcome Update

Project Welcome Update

Our new Vertical Platform Lift is fully functional!  More upgrades are on tap for May.

Several of our regular worshippers are already making themselves "comfortable" with the ability to move into our sanctuary with relative ease. Combined with the new restroom on the main floor, worshippers no longer need to be concerned that they may be trapped by their limited abilities. Please spread the word to your family and friends, especially as we get ready for worship on Easter weekend.

Driveway and Expanded Parking Area

Next is eliminating the final step up into the doorway at the portico and providing for better parking for those with limited mobility. We have a quote from Asphalt Maintenance and Construction out of Elkhart to grind down the current driveway then resurface and expand the driveway to include four or five additional "handicap" parking spaces to the north side of the driveway.

As with the rest of the Project Welcome effort, a "value-added" project completed by congregational volunteers will be to improve drainage and eliminate water seepage. For decades water sits on top of the driveway and then finds its way through cracks in the foundation and into the men's restroom, counting room, and Sunday School rooms. Workers have already removed the bushes and work to replace the window wells (while adding some foundation waterproofing and more stone) will get underway in the weeks after Easter.

Your Financial Support is more important than ever!

Your financial support of this project has been CRITICAL. The total budget for these projects was $55,000, and through the end of March, a total of $47,742 has been donated for this purpose leaving a balance of just over $7,000. 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.

Project Welcome 2.0

Speaking of "other projects," several leaders continue to make plans for additional upgrades at the church building, including the transformation of our chapel. Our current plan is to remove the pews and replace them with stackable church chairs, replace the flooring with high-quality, maintenance-free porcelain tile, and create a space that will support ministry now and into the future. The space will be more easily used for worship, bible study, meetings and fellowship.

The trustees have reviewed the plans and Pastor Albers is gathering quotes from vendors and finalizing a budget in advance of the April Governing Board meeting. A presentation is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, following the Voter's Assembly on that day.

Bible Studies

WOW Spring Bible Study Underway

The W.O.W. study group is looking to expand and include even more women from St. John's, including our school, our friends, and our neighbors.
WOW Spring Bible Study Underway
Mark Jerndt

Growing in Christ:

Devotions to Strengthen Your Life with God

By Mark Jerndt

What is Essential to You

What is Essential to You
Our lives tend to resemble that tuna casserole dish that the wife lovingly prepared for her husband, but missing the essential element: tuna!  If Jesus Christ is not first in our lives – at the very top of the list of ingredients, we are missing the essential.

Eagle Updates

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

The faculty and staff of St. John's Lutheran School are busy leading students into a great future: Math Competition, improved assessment results, Career Day, and more!
Don’t miss this latest news from St. John’s School

Breaking News from Indianapolis

Breaking News from Indianapolis
The faculty and staff of St. John's Lutheran School are busy leading students into a great future: Math Competition, improved assessment results, Career Day, 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

    Student Council and Code Club

    Thanks to numerous parent and teacher volunteers, our students have several opportunities for after-school activities.
    Student Council and Code Club

    Honor Roll 3rd Quarter

    Honor Roll
    Check out the number of our Eagle Students who achieved academic honors!

    N.E.S.T. Update

    NEST News

    NEST News

    Volunteers needed for our End-of-Year Celebration!

    NEST has planned an End of Year (EOY) Celebration for students on Wednesday, May 31st.  We will have a picnic-style lunch with NEST Volunteers assisting.  NEST members will be grilling hot dogs and leading fun "field day" styled events that will start at 12:30 pm.  Families are welcome! There will be a final planning meeting at 3:30 pm on May 15th for all who would like to assist in our festivities.  VOLUNTEERS are welcome to attend.  More information will be coming on a date for the planning meeting.
    St. John's Lutheran Church Logo
    facebook twitter linkedin 
    Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Manage your subscription
    111 Kingsbury Ave, La Porte, IN 46350
    Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet