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APRIL 2024

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ST. JOHN'S REPORTER

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

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Pastor John Albers, Rev. John M. Albers

Ministry With God’s People

By Pastor John Albers

From Ashes to Fire

From Ashes to Fire
Years ago (more than 30!) I received a worship planning resource from my predecessor. It was a journal published by the Liturgical Conference, an ecumenical group of church leaders seeking excellence in liturgical expression.  But that’s beside the point …

“From Ashes to Fire” was a resource designed to aid pastors and others in planning for worship beginning with Ash Wednesday and continuing through Pentecost. We are now in the middle of that time, approximately 100 days from the beginning of Lent to the end/beginning of another.

I didn’t often connect Ash Wednesday … a day focused on confession and repentance … to the Day of Pentecost … a day focused on the renewal that comes through the Holy Spirit. Now I cannot think of them as separate events. And in the middle … almost exactly in the middle of counting days … is the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord.

It’s not a bad model for our living as God’s people:
  • We confess our sins and intentionally work to amend our sinful ways 
  • As we look forward to the promise of resurrection and
  • Eagerly seek the gifts of the Spirit through which we live.
Here’s the point: none of these can stand alone. They must all be seen as they stand in their relationship with one another.
  • Confession … on its own … without the joy that is Easter and the power of the Spirit to amend our sinful living would be at least improbable, if not impossible. If there was no hope or help why would we confess?
  • Resurrection … without confession and the power to live as God’s people, also makes little sense. It’s good news without the companion of the horror that is: sin, death, and the devil. It can result in what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “Cheap grace.”
  • The Spirit … without confession or resurrection can easily become a means to an end, getting something for ourselves without recognizing from whence the gift comes. The Spirit is a gift from a holy and righteous God who has raised us to new life and now provides the means to truly live!
Join me, please, at the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord!  If you missed the opportunity on Ash Wednesday, set aside Maundy Thursday and Good Friday most especially to be in worship.  If you have rarely been in worship outside of Easter Sunday, make this the year you resolve to be in worship throughout the celebration of Easter, a whole week of weeks beginning with Easter Sunday morning.

Worship Calendar

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

    Worship for Holy Week

    HOLY WEEK & EASTER: All services in the church sanctuary.

    March 23/24 - Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord
    • 6 pm/8 am/9:30am - Divine Service with Procession with Palms
    March 28 - Maundy Thursday
    • 10 am - Divine Service with Reconciliation of the Penitents
    • 6:30 pm - Divine Service with Reconciliation of the Penitents and Stripping of the Altar
    March 29 - Good Friday
    • Noon - Liturgy of the Cross
    • 6:30 pm - Way of the Cross
    March 31 - Easter - The Resurrection of Our Lord
    • 6:30 am - Easter Sunrise Celebration
    • 10 am - Easter Festival Service

    Worship for the Season of Easter

    April 6/7 - The Second Sunday of Easter
    • 6 pm/8 am - Divine Service
    • 9:30 am - Connect Word and Song
    April 13/14 - The Third Sunday of Easter
    • 6 pm/8 am - Prayer and Preaching
    • 9:30 am - Connect Word and Communion
    April 20/21 - The Fourth Sunday of Easter
    • 6 pm/8 am - Divine Service
    • 9:30 am - Connect Word and Song
    April 27/28 - The Fifth Sunday of Easter
    • 6 pm/8 am - Evening Prayer/Morning Prayer
    • 9:30 am - Connect Word and Communion
    May 4/5 - The Sixth Sunday of Easter
    • 6 pm/8 am - Divine Service
    • 9:30 am - Connect Word and Song

    Looking Ahead to Ascension and Pentecost

    May 9 - The Ascension of Our Lord - 6:30 pm
    May 18/19 – The Day of Pentecost - 6 pm, 8 am, 9:30 am
    May 25/26 - The Holy Trinity - 6 pm, 8 am, 9:30 am
    June 1 - Eighth Grade Graduation - 6 pm

    Special Events in our Calendar

    Resurrection of Our Lord

    Before long our sanctuary will ring out with the joy of the Easter proclamation. Be sure to join us for worship and use this as an opportunity to invite friends or family to join you.
    Resurrection of Our Lord

    Sunday Brunch @ the Hangar

    Sunday Brunch @ the Hangar
    On Sunday, April 7, Pastor and Debra Albers are inviting 30 of their closest friends to join them for Brunch!

    Church Updates

    Easter Lilies

    Last chance!  Turn in your Easter lily donations this weekend, March 23 & 24, just in time for Easter lily memorials and honorariums.
    Easter Lilies

    St. John's Finances Benefit From Choice Scholarships

    Tuition
    The big news: for the first time in memory (at least 25 years), we did not need to draw on our investments to help "make payroll" in the early months of the year. There are plenty of reasons this has happened, but the details are really not as important as the news that our income, both for church and school, has increased to help meet the needs of a growing ministry.

    Projects

    A/V & Computer Network Upgrades

    Over a period of years, and especially in the last six months or so, we’ve adjusted how we “produce” our worship services which meant a need to upgrade our “infrastructure.”
    A/V & Computer Network Upgrades

    HVAC Replacement Update

    HVAC Replacement Update
    Over the last 18 months, St. John’s has invested more than $50,000 in new, rooftop HVAC units for our school building. It should not have been a surprise. The existing units were installed nearly 20 years ago with a life expectancy of 15 years.

    Bible Studies

    WOW Leads SJLC Family for Fellowship and Prayer

    WOW Leads SJLC Family for Fellowship and Prayer
    Women of the Word (WOW) group leads well through Lent


    After traveling for a ‘Back Roads’ Bible study of John, Women of the Word (WOW) were ready for a Lenten Meditation Journey: A Walk Through the Book of John, complete with daily scripture reading and scribing, devotional, meditative prayer page and reflection questions which take us through Easter.

    Lent also provided an opportunity to bring our St. John’s family together for prayer and fellowship. Fellowship took place with homemade soups (and chili!) and desserts each Wednesday as we paused during busy schedules to feed our bellies before feeding our souls during worship.

    Each week, prayers were lifted for people outside our St. John’s family too. WOW volunteers made and assembled ‘thank you for your service’ cards which were prayed over, and laid out each week for SJLCS members to sign. Over 150 cards were delivered to SLJS teachers and staff, La Porte firefighters & police officers, La Porte City, La Porte County, State, and Nationally elected officials. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who cooked, prepared, cleaned up, made, signed, mailed, and delivered cards!

    Intrigued by the cards you sign each Wednesday evening?  Check out the source for the cards and so many other visual resources: https://www.visualfaithmin.org/visual-faith-resources?Category=Prayer%2520Note%2520Cards%252FPostcards&page=4

    WOW Suits Up for Spring

    WOW Suits Up for Spring
    Women of the Word (WOW) Plans New Study for the Spring


    All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you. A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you. But the enemy always fails miserably when he meets a woman dressed for the occasion. The Armor of God, more than merely a biblical description of the believer’s inventory, is an action plan for putting it on, equipping us, and developing a personalized strategy to secure victory.

    Join us for this seven-session video-based Bible study hosted by Priscilla Shirer and facilitated by WOW leaders. Ladies of all ages are welcomed for study, fellowship, and prayer together each Wednesday evening, 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the chapel. Check it out and get excited by watching the trailer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbTMSRLbw0E

    The study session will begin on April 3rd. Study guides are $25 each. Those interested in joining us may let us know they’re attending and reserve a book through the link below (by March 29th), or purchase a book on their own at Lifeway's website or on Amazon. Have questions? Want additional information? Call or text Dionne at 219-380-1034.
    Mark Jerndt

    Growing in Christ:

    Devotions to Strengthen Your Life with God

    By Mark Jerndt

    Thou Anointest My Head with Oil

    Thou Anointest My Head with Oil
    An ancient custom of hospitality and respect shown to esteemed dinner guests was for the host to anoint his invitee’s head with oil.  The oil was mixed with fragrant perfumes to refresh and soothe weary travelers.  David said to the Lord “You anoint my head with oil'' because he regarded himself as the Lord’s special guest.

    Eagle Updates

    2024-25 School Year Enrollment

    Re-enrollment for current St. John’s students is in progress.  Re-Enrollment Packet information has been sent home with current students. 
    2024-25 School Year Enrollment

    Save the Date. Plan Now to Attend.

    Save the Date. Plan Now to Attend.
    Project Night, Spring Spectacular, and Graduations begin to fill up the school calendar this May. Plan now to be a part of the fun!

    Eagle Sports Report

    After starting our season with a couple of cancellations due to weather, the season was off and running with two or three games a week.
    Eagle Sports Report

    Our School's Calendar

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

    Important Dates

    March 22: Third Quarter Report Cards Sent Home
    March 25-April 1: Spring Break - School Offices closed
    April 2: School Resumes after Spring Break

    Looking ahead

    April 5: Classroom Easter Parties
    April 8: No School
    April 9: School Board Meeting 6 pm
    April 15: NEST Meeting 4 pm
    April 26: Middle School Dance
    May 1: Fourth Quarter Midterms Sent Home
    May 2: Project Night
    May 22: Spring Spectacular in Gym

    Student Stories

    Eagle Student Spelling Bee Champion

    There is wonderful news from the recent LaPorte County Regional Spelling Bee that took place on March 14, 2024. Our own Nolan Roule emerged as the LaPorte County Spelling Bee champion. 


    As a result, Nolan and one guardian will be receiving an all-expense-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. Bee Week is from May 26 to June 1, 2024. Additionally, all students who took part in the Regional Spelling Bee will be receiving a $20.00 Amazon gift card as a token of appreciation.

    St. John’s congratulates Nolan and all the participants for their hard work and dedication. Thank you for your continued support in nurturing our students' talents and fostering a love for learning.

    Sponsored by Kankakee Valley REMC, the event featured 21 participants from LaPorte County Elementary and Middle Schools.
    Eagle Student Spelling Bee Champion

    Accelerated Reader Challenge

    Accelerated Reader Challenge
    St. John's students in grades 1-8 participated in an AR Reading Challenge! Any elementary LCMS school in the US and Canada was able to enter the contest. Thirty-four schools were competing. Each grade level competed against the same grade level from the other schools for average points read per student.

    The contest ran from January 22 until the beginning of March. Students' independent reading and quiz-taking contributed to their overall class scores. Competition was tough amongst all of the other LCMS schools. Overall, St. John's placed 29th in the competition. Each class was also ranked in its own grade level division.
    • 1st grade: 22nd place
    • 2nd grade: 33rd place 
    • 3rd grade: 29th place
    • 4th grade: 28th place 
    • 5th Grade: 30th place
    • 6th Grade: 25th place
    • 7th Grade: 19th place
    • 8th Grade: 13th place
    Although we may not have been placed towards the front of the pack, this competition motivated our students to read more than they have in the past. Most classes had a much higher total point value than they had in previous quarters. Our 7th and 8th-grade classes will receive a class prize for ending in the top 20 of their respective divisions.

    Great job Eagles! You all showed the other Lutheran schools that we have some competitive readers!

    Student Council News

    Student council has been busy this past month. After missing some meetings in January due to the snow, the student council was finally able to meet again at the beginning of February. At this meeting members made Valentines. The Valentines were later delivered by the Vice President of the Student Council to Miller’s Merry Manor for the residents to enjoy. Students also decided that at the next meeting, they would be collecting stuffed animals “gently used” or new to take to the police station to give out to children in stressful situations. Students are also planning for future fundraisers and service projects.
    Student Council News

    Kid's Heart Challenge

    Kid's Heart Challenge
    The Kids Heart Challenge is not only a way to raise funds to help kids — and all people through the American Heart Association — with special hearts but students also learn about their heart health. Activities and interactive technologies made it fun to learn how to keep your heart and brain strong and emphasize both physical and emotional wellness. 

    St. John’s students participated from February 9th through February 29th. This year’s participation was the biggest yet! St. John’s students raised a total of $2,554.29!  We exceeded our $2,500 goal! A huge thank you to our top-earning student, Tristan McCoy for raising over $500.00! St. John’s helped many children across the country with heart issues, and we also earned free PE equipment! 

    Our school set a record on registering and fundraising for the American Heart Association. Way to go Eagles! 

    Preparing Students for Success

    St. John’s is working to prepare our students for success once they leave St. John’s Lutheran School and move on to the next steps in their education.


    Dr. Lipscomb arranged for St. John’s 7th and 8th-grade students to visit A. K. Smith Career Center, located in Michigan City. Dr. Lipscomb wants to extend her deepest gratitude to Ms. Urban and her team of instructors and students at A.K. Smith Career Center. Their collaborative efforts did not go unnoticed, and Dr. Lipscomb is grateful for the impact this field trip had on our students' educational journey.

    Dr. Lipscomb also wants to thank Miss Stelter and Mrs. Satkoski for attending the field trip; their ongoing support and dedication to our 7th and 8th-grade students does not go unnoticed.

    Our Eagles learned that A.K. Smith Career Center offers programs for juniors and seniors in high school, providing opportunities to earn college credit in select classes. These programs cover a variety of fields, including cosmetology, criminal justice and law, culinary arts academy, welding, fire science, energy academy, health career academy, and more. It's incredible to see the range of options available to students across all public schools in La Porte County.

    Dr. Tammy Lipscomb serves as our Director of Student Success leading our efforts in social and emotional learning (SEL), attendance, behavior management, and transitions after graduation.
    Preparing Students for Success

    N.E.S.T. News

    Middle School Dance

    NEST Leadership is bringing back the Middle School Dance!  

    On Friday, April 26th from 6 pm-8 pm, the 6th - 8th grade students will be having a dance in the gymnasium. The theme colors will be black and purple to go along with our graduating 8th graders. The theme will be a surprise to the Eagle students and families. Please join us in the parking lot to watch the students walk the red carpet like superstars!  (They will walk through door 2.) The doors will open at 6 pm. 

    The NEST will be providing food, music, corsages, boutonnieres, and some other secret surprises!

      
    Middle School Dance
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