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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

God’s Time

God’s Time
"Time is the most valuable thing a person can spend." Theophrastus, ancient Greek philosopher, circa 300 BC

I was visiting with another Lutheran pastor the other day and something he said didn’t really sound right to me. “I really don’t have time to…”  (The particular activity is really not important. For the record, he didn’t have time to take charge of leading a congregation’s Vacation Bible School.) 

As we continued I realized we were conflating two ideas … “having time” and “taking time.” One is an issue with the provision of time. The other is a matter of the stewardship of time.

Here’s the bottom line: each of us has plenty of time. In fact, when it comes to God’s provision, time is provided in equal amounts to each person. Well, maybe not in terms of the span of our life. Some will be provided more years of life than others (Psalm 90:10). But TODAY each of us will be provided the same number of hours. The question, therefore, has to do with the way we choose to use the time provided to us.

I encouraged the pastor to adjust the way he spoke about his use of time. “(A particular activity) is not a priority for me.” Instead, “I choose to use my time working on (a particular activity).”   And even as I heard myself offering this bit of wisdom, I began to review my own priorities and how I choose to use the time provided me by our Lord.

As pastor I have intentionally prioritized work to support our school ministry as well as further development of our music and worship ministries. I love working on “projects” that others find tedious. But I enjoy the work of project management, especially as all sorts of plans are “coming together.” Financial management and grant writing will take plenty of my time this month since the next round of safety and security grants were being submitted as I prepared this edition of our online newsletter..

But here’s the mistake I just made … this is not MY time at all! This time … all of it … is God’s time. And God’s design INCLUDES time for rest and renewal, each evening (usually) and over a period of days (i.e. “vacation”). God has provided you and me a unique set of skills, experiences and preferences and then directs us to use the time provided to make use of them.

There is “sacred” time, time set aside for worship and praise, thanksgiving and prayer. The scriptures remind us that this purpose is indeed not only God-pleasing, but commanded by God. So we use an hour or two of God’s time each week together in worship.

I … we … have all the time we need, no more or less than others. The critical question is how we use this precious gift of God.

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 Pentecost (Summer)

    July 29/30 – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 4
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    August 5/6 – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 4
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    August 12/13 – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm – Evening Prayer
    • 8 am – Morning Prayer
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    August 19/20 – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 4
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    August 26/27 – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm – Prayer & Preaching
    • 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 4
    • 10 am Outdoor Worship with Installation/Re-Dedication of Teachers
    September 2/3 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 4
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    September 9/10 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm – Evening Prayer
    • 8 am – Morning Prayer
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion

    Looking Ahead to the fall

    October 29/30 – Reformation Sunday
    November 4/5 – All Saints' Sunday
    November 22 – Thanksgiving Service (in the newly renovated chapel)

    Special Events in our Calendar

    St. John's Family Reunion Plans Take Shape

    Our 2nd Annual St. John’s Family Reunion will be on Sunday, August 27, this year. Plenty of activities are beginning to take shape. We could use some help in getting this organized, both in advance and on the day.


    Reunions are designed to bring the entire family together, at least once a year. Same thing with the St. John’s family.  
    • Many congregation members have little ongoing relationship with the school. They may be an alumnus/a of the school, or maybe their children attended St. John’s, but otherwise they aren’t involved in any activity of our school ministry. These persons are critical to our life together.
    • Many school families are not active in worship at St. John’s and may be part of another Christian congregation. They appreciate our school ministry and the spiritual foundation provided to their students, and are certainly a part of the St. John’s “family.”
    • Several teachers and other staff persons are active in worship at St. John’s each weekend, while others are usually in worship at another church. Each of these are valued members of the St. John’s family.
    Our Family Reunion Sunday is designed to get the entire family together for worship, prayer, and fellowship.


    Several activities will highlight the various ministries we undertake to extend the mission of God’s kingdom. 
    • Outdoor Worship (weather permitting) @ 10 am. We will gather under the grove of trees behind the church building for worship.
    • Teacher & Staff Installation/Dedication/Re-Dedication. Two of our teachers will have received a Divine Call to serve as a teacher in our school, at least three new teachers will be recognized and those continuing their service through our school.
    • Blood Drive. The American Red Cross will be on-site for a blood drive.
    • Classroom Open House. Teachers will be ready to receive a host of parents and friends into their classrooms, answer questions and otherwise get to know newcomers.
    • Picnic @ 11:30 am. A picnic lunch will be served complete with a Corn Roast provided for by Pastor and Debra Albers (who arranged for the roaster) and a generous SJLC member (who is donating 25 dozen ears of corn).
    St. John's Family Reunion Plans Take Shape

    Summer Blood Drive 2.0!

    Summer Blood Drive 2.0!
    Be sure to help us make an impact on our community. Plan now to give blood at our SUMMER BLOOD DRIVE 2.0 on Sunday, August 27, beginning at 10 am. There are 30 slots available.

    Our school's cafeteria will become the temporary home for Red Cross Blood Services with appointments throughout the family Reunion (until 2pm).

    Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and enter: "stjohnslaporte" to schedule an appointment..

    Be part of something big. Make an appointment today.

    Church Updates

    New VOIP Phone System

    New VOIP Phone System
    NEW PHONE SYSTEM for our church and school.

    VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phone systems have been a "thing" for decades. Our phone system, especially the voicemail features, have been unreliable for several years and the manufacturer no longer provided ongoing support for our old analog system. With recent upgrades to the computer network and other systems on our campus, it was a perfect time to make the move.

    Some details:
    • Our phone numbers remain the same: dial (219) 362-3627 to easily reach the church or school. (219) 362-6692 for the school. (219) 362-2237 to send a fax to the school office.
    • Some phone extensions have changed. (See the list.)
    • Voicemail is delivered more reliably to everyone who has an extension, so do NOT hesitate to leave a message!
    A team of volunteers led by Pastor Albers has been working throughout the school year to upgrade our computer network to prepare for the changes. We have now removed all of the old Cat3 phone wire and replaced it with Cat6 computer network cable, providing for a variety of configurations in our classrooms. The school office, preschool and Eagle Care have been provided with cordless units that can be used from the library through the north end of the building.

    • Our new phone system was installed by NewAge Telecom here in La Porte using Spectrum VOIP as the provider. Instead of paying for the system upfront, we are leasing the equipment on a long-term, 60-month lease.
    • Our fire alarm system will now be monitored through a cell phone repeater installed in the control panel, eliminating the need for an analog phone connection.
    • We are currently working with Surf Internet to upgrade our internet service which is currently provided by Comcast.
    • Our total cost for phone and internet service will increase by only $35 per month, once our current Frontier and Comcast services have been cancelled.
    If you have any difficulty navigating the new phone menu or reaching the person you need to speak to, please reach out to Jennifer in our church office ( or speak with Pastor Albers the next time you are at church.

    Livestream Links Repaired

    Livestream Links Repaired

    Livestream links broken should now be repaired 

    Several who have relied on connecting with St. John's via our livestream feed were disappointed for several weeks this summer when the sound feed was disrupted leaving a video with no sound. The links should now be repaired. More importantly, the production crew can easily see if the same problem has re-appeared and fix it before going live on Sunday mornings.

    We have chosen to broadcast our 8am service each Sunday morning via Livestream. The equipment is already located in the sanctuary and worship slides are produced for use by worshippers in the sanctuary, making Livestream a bit easier to manage.  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.

    We could still use additional production "assistants" for this ministry. At present only two persons are helping regularly, making it difficult when one or both of them must be away from St. John's on a Sunday morning. The "basics" are relatively easy, and an assistant can help improve this ministry by either sharing comments via live "chat" or adjusting the cameras. The best way to learn is to help one of our "regulars" for a week or two until you are more confident. Speak with Dionne or Debra some Sunday morning at worship!

    Remember, "Choose Live" When Possible

    Being in worship IN PERSON at St. John's each weekend is the most helpful and beneficial, not only to you but to your sisters and brothers in Christ who are in worship each weekend. Your voice and your presence help to build the body of Christ. 

    TRAVELLING? Find a sister congregation via or do a quick internet search when you know your destination. Make note: some congregations have a different schedule in the summer months. With a family member or friend? Join them in worship at their church on Sunday! Bring back a "report" of a new idea or song.  Or, if the experience was something "less" than salutary, bring that report as well. Pastor Albers and our leaders can always learn from your experience!

    AT WORK? There are those who must be in the field or work that "shift." As you are able to adjust your schedule to be in worship on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. But when that is NOT possible, check out these links: Livestream Web LinkYouTubeSt. John's Facebook Page

    Donated Supplies Help School Families

    Donated Supplies Help School Families
    Dozens of church members and friends provide double the school supplies from 2022! 

    Last summer Pastor Albers and Debra were looking for a way to help our school families begin the new year. At the last minute, in mid-July, they spread the word about buying school supplies and making them available to school families at the Back to the Nest Info Night held annually at the end of July. People responded and many children received school supplies for last school year.

    This year, St. John's members responded with even more generosity, so much so that piles of school supplies were gathered on tables in the cafeteria as families came to our Back to the Next Info Night on Tuesday, July 25. Dozens of boxes of Crayons, dozens and dozens of erasers, piles of pencils, and several dozen backpacks meant that the start of a new school year will be easier on many families.

    Next year Pastor and Debra hope once again to DOUBLE the number of supplies provided, so that even more families can get assistance with making a strong beginning to their school year.

    We did have an addition $300 or so of cash donations that Pastor Albers will make available to the school office and teachers who may require some additional supplies for their classrooms and provide for items that may be missing once the school year gets underway.


    Project Welcome 2.0 Making Strides

    Progress on the next set of projects is underway. The new porcelain tile is a fabulous upgrade, but in the words of several "Looks like it has always been there!" (Which is the goal, by the way.)
    Project Welcome 2.0 Making Strides

    Bible Studies

    Regular Study Opportunities Return

    Regular Study Opportunities Return
    After a brief summer "hiatus," bible study opportunities at St. John’s return in the coming weeks

    Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study

    After a "summer break" our Sunday morning studies begin again on September 3. Pastor Albers is still reviewing several possibilities, including a study of St. Paul's letter to the Philippians from which we will take our New Testament readings for several weeks in a row this fall.

    Women of the Word

    Planning for Women of the Word this fall is currently underway. Check the website and Facebook page for details on a study currently slated to begin on Wednesday, August 30.

    Men’s Bible Study

    The Prodigal God will be the topic for the Men’s Bible Study beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, September 9, in the church basement. The subtitle is “Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith;” based on the book by Timothy Keller. It will be a challenging--and fascinating--study based on the parable of the prodigal son. So, men, bring your coffee and join us. (Here’s your homework: look up the definition of a "prodigal.")
    Mark Jerndt

    Growing in Christ:

    Devotions to Strengthen Your Life with God

    By Mark Jerndt

    I Shall Not Want

    I Shall Not Want
    “I shall not want,” is the second part of the 1st verse of the 23rd Psalm.  These are two separate statements, and the second statement is an extension of the first, a “magnifier” of sorts. When the Lord is our Shepherd, and He is, then we lack nothing.

    Eagle Updates

    Security Upgrades at SJLS

    The Secured School Safety Grant (SSSG) program through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is making an impact on our school and the security of our children.
    Security Upgrades at SJLS

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

    Don’t miss this latest news from St. John’s School
    The faculty and staff of St. John's Lutheran School are busy preparing for another great year. Be sure to read how you can get more involved with our school ministry: as a part of NEST or as a volunteer in a classroom.

    Student Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

    For some this is old news; for others this is an orientation on this part of our Eagle Way; and others need a gentle reminder/correction.
    Student Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

    Our School's Calendar

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

    Important Dates

    August 14 – Welcome Back Teachers!
    August 17 – Welcome Back Students!
    August 18 – Advanced Ticket Sales Begin Port-a-Pit Chicken Fundraiser
    August 27 – St. John's Family Reunion
    • Outdoor Worship at 10:00 am with Teacher Installation and Re-Dedication
    • A Blood Drive begins at 11 am and a Family Meal at 11:30 am (approximately)
    • Classroom Open House
    September 4 – No School-Happy Labor Day!
    September 9 – Port-a-Pit Chicken Fundraiser for Washington DC Trip
    September 11 – Picture Day
    September 11-15 – Scholastic Book Fair

    Looking ahead

    September 25 - Parent/Teacher Conferences
    October 20-23 - Fall Break
    October 27 - Trunk-or-Treat

    Student Stories

    Lots of New Faces!

    St. John's Lutheran School of La Porte
    There will be more than few new faces at St. John's this year!

    New Students

    There will be nearly two dozen new students from more than a dozen families who will be new to St. John's in the coming school year. Nearly every classroom will see one or more new students. The kindergarten classroom includes six new students and the 6th grade includes four! This means that our existing students and teachers will have their work cut out for them as they welcome newcomers.

    Staffing Changes

    Three "new" faces are really not all that new to St. John's. Dr. Tammy Lipscomb, La Porte, will become Director of Student Success. Dr. Lipscomb was previously a part of the St. John's family and now returns to this expanded role. Emilie Gross, La Porte, will move from the 5th grade classroom to be our school's reading intervention teacher, after teaching fifth grade for the past three years.

    Kristen Watkins was a substitute for St. John’s in the 2022-2023 school year. At the end of April, Kristin was a long-term substitute for Preschool Director, Lindsey Cowgill who was on maternity leave. Now that Mrs. Cowgill has decided to remain at home to care, Kristin will be joining us as our full-time Preschool Director. Kristin has experience teaching Preschool at Discovery Cottage, Door Prairie School, and the YMCA. Kristin’s four children attend St. John’s.

    Jaelyn Gaunt will be the Eagle Care Manager this coming school year. Jaelyn has experience as a nanny for young children and currently is a Training Team member and server at Wings Etc. Jaelyn’s mother is a preschool aide here at St. John’s and her sister attends St. John’s.

    N.E.S.T. Update

    NEST News

    N.E.S.T. Plans for September ...

    Our N.E.S.T. group met in June and began making plans for the fall. First on the agenda, will be our annual mum sale. The BIG NEWS is that we are signed up as a participant in the Annual Sunflower Festival on September 16 in downtown La Porte where we will be extending our mum sale and also distributing information on our church and school ministries, meeting plenty of folks along the way.  If you would like to help "staff" this table, please speak up on the first day of school.

    Regular N.E.S.T. events include Donuts with Dads, Muffins with Moms, Fun Fair, and other fundraising and appreciation opportunities.  All church members are welcome to attend and actively participate in our events and/or in our N.E.S.T. group as a whole.  We love having folks who are passionate about St. John's and our positive impact on the lives of our students and families!  Our next meeting is on Tuesday, June 13 at 5:00 pm in the Ladies Lounge.
    NEST News
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