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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

Fully Present God

Fully Present God
"You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11

Virtual meetings, classrooms, worship services ... we live at a time where technology can allow us to be "virtually present," while not being "fully present." I can attend a meeting with colleagues who are located across the state or even in another country. I can listen to a sermon a colleague posted years ago. I could probably even "attend" a church somewhere else while leading church at St. John's.  All I need is a cell phone or tablet and an internet connection.

I'm not sure the benefits are worth the cost. That is, the same technology that enables my "virtual presence" also prevents me from being "fully present" with others. The new reality of "working remotely" has emptied office suites in urban centers across the country and left managers working to adapt. Corporations have added "engagement" and "collaboration" officers who work to help create an environment that used to be accomplished "around the water cooler," as it were.

The challenge is that God created us to be in "community." Adam required a helper. God's people were gathered together into families and tribes. While God is omnipresent (present everywhere and always); in Jesus, God chooses to be fully present with humanity: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Incarnation = fully present. Not that God was without options. The scriptures include many stories of God's various means of "presence."  A burning bush (Moses in the wilderness, Exodus 3), clouds on top of a mountain (Mt. Sinai, Exodus 19), and even a whisper (Elijah, 1 Kings 19). The good news of God's love in Jesus Christ does not come in the myriad of possibilities concerning God's work. The good news arrives in the person and work of Jesus the Christ.


We are similarly called by God to be fully present. The church does not accomplish its mission through a myriad of possibilities. The good news of God's love arrives through the waters of Holy Baptism, in a visit with someone in need, in a conversation with a sister in Christ about the challenges they face, through the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper

The real presence is a foundational idea Lutheran theology, especially with regard to the Lord's Supper. I propose that we need to apply that also to our life together as God's people. We must be "really present" with one another. While we can watch a worship service online, sisters and brothers in Christ work to be in worship together. While we can help others with our gifts, Christians are called to live in community with others, to be present for others.

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 (Autumn)

    September 9/10 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Prayer & Preaching
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    September 16/17 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    September 23/24 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm – Evening Prayer
    • 8 am - Morning Prayer
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    September 30/October 1 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    October 7/8 – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    October 14/15 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Prayer & Preaching
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    October 21/22 – Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    October 28/29 – The Sunday of the Reformation
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion

    Looking Ahead to Late Autumn

    November 4/5 – All Saints' Sunday
    November 22 – Thanksgiving Eve Service (6:30 pm in the newly renovated chapel)
    November 25/26 - Last Sunday of the Church Year/Christ the King Sunday

    Special Events in our Calendar

    Trunk Or Treat: Save the Date!

    Trunk Or Treat: Save the Date!
    Mark your calendars for this year's Trunk-or-Treat, on Friday, October 27

    Trunk-or-Treat has easily become one of our congregation’s “signature” events, connecting with hundreds of church members, school families, and neighbors from the community. Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, October 27, and make plans to be a part of the fun.

    The “basics” will stay the same as in previous years, but a few “upgrades” are designed to help encourage both friends and newcomers alike.
    • Church and school families are encouraged to set up a “trunk” in the church parking lot (located on the east side of the property). As before, set up can begin as early as 4 p.m.
    • The “V.I.P.” event will begin for school and church families at 4:30 p.m. The event will officially open to the public at 5:30 p.m. (Online publicity and signage will also show a start time of 5:30 p.m..)
    • Volunteers are required!
      • Traffic control is critical, especially as our event grows in popularity. Entry is limited to Monroe Street, so traffic can exit on Kingsbury. 
      • Help distribute donated candy to those hosting the trunks. 
    • Donations needed!
      • FOOD AND SUPPLIES: We can use donations of bagged CANDY, hot dogs, and hot dog buns.
      • CANDY: We want anyone to help host a trunk, including those who cannot afford 400-500 pieces of candy!
    NEW ADMISSION FEE! Bring a non-perishable food item for our new partners at the Pax Center!  Pastor Albers is looking for monetary donations to cover the cost of a large number of items available to “purchase” that evening for those who may not see publicity for this new “admission fee.” The goal is to raise awareness of the mission of the Pax Center and its valuable work in our community.

    Second Annual Reunion a Success!

    Second Annual Reunion a Success!
    Nearly 250 members, students, parents, teachers, and friends participated!

    The fourth Sunday in August is quickly becoming one of St. John's "signature" events, pulling together individuals from across our ministry, both church and school. It also helps newcomers get a glimpse of what it means to be a part of the St. John's "family."

    Last year we noticed that several events overlapped, making it difficult to include everyone, which is when the idea of a family reunion began to take shape. The church has often held a worship service outside and combined it with a picnic. Each year we wanted to include teachers and staff in worship for a "re-dedication." Classroom open houses were scheduled separately, a couple of weeks into the new year. Our "reunion" combines each of these ... and other opportunities ... together into a single event.

    This year featured an outdoor worship event, under the grove of trees behind the sanctuary, providing some shade for worshippers while a tent provided a backdrop for worship. After some introductions by Principal Berndt, and while teachers moved into the school building and down the hall to their classrooms, everyone had an opportunity to take a look at the classrooms. The American Red Cross set up a blood drive in the cafeteria. We had only a few appointments made prior to that day, but numerous walk-ins.  Church volunteers cooked up hotdogs (Josh, Kami, Mark, and Lesa) while freshly roasted corn (thanks to Sue, Pastor, Debra, Zach, and Jennie) was ready for a great picnic back under the trees.

    Put Sunday, August 25, on your calendar for our 3rd Annual St. John's Family Reunion.  Want to help plan a part of the event or have an idea of something to add, be sure to speak with Pastor Albers or Principal Berndt so they can sign you up to help!

    Church Updates

    Supporting the Ministry We Share

    Supporting the Ministry We Share

    Your Financial Support has never been more important! 

    Whether you are making a recurring, weekly gift or considering an extra "one-time" gift, your financial support of the ministry of St. John's has never been more important. Our ability to expand this ministry ... both church and school ... will be dependent on the financial resources to do so.


    The "life blood" of our ongoing ministry are the unrestricted offerings that church members and friends provide. Your regularly, ongoing gifts for this purpose help "pay the bills" ... everything from utilities to salaries, from worship supplies to repairs and maintenance. You can provide a gift in many ways: by means of check or cash placed in an envelope, or by using a bill pay service provided by your bank. We even have a PayPal link on the website if you would like to make an online gift. EVERY part of our ministry is impacted by your offerings.


    Project Welcome 2.0 is just one example of the ongoing capital investments we must make to sustain our ministry. Church members from years past have provided us some wonderful facilities, but they need regular maintenance and periodic upgrades. Infrastructure "wears out," and needs change. There is an important project to meet any donor's expectation for supporting the ministry we share! We have gathered information on projects from equipment to flooring to roofing to landscaping and more.

    We are pursuing more and more grant funding from local and state sources, all of which require a "match," often as much as 50%. While the recent Secured School Safety Grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland security is great, we need to match the state's $50,000 with $25,000 of our own.


    St. John's provides $120,000 annually in scholarships for our SJLS students. Through the Lutheran Scholarship Granting Organization of Indiana ( donors can provide for these scholarships AND receive a 50% tax credit good towards their Indiana state tax liability (both individuals and corporations).

    If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor Albers. The Governing Board and other leaders are always seeking an opportunity to better sustain our important ministry.

    Live Stream Production Assistant Wanted

    Live Stream Production Assistant Wanted

    Live Stream Production Assistant needed to supplement volunteer efforts 

    Over a period of years, St. John's has entered the "live stream" universe by making our 8 a.m. service available via several online platforms each Sunday morning. Volunteers have been instrumental in making sure everything works as designed, and those receiving the live stream feed receive more than just a video with some automatically generated close captions to assist. Limited volunteers and the need to "up our technology game" mean that a paid assistant is needed. 

    We have chosen to broadcast our 8 a.m. 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 p.m. 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.

    Our ideal candidate for the position of Livestream Production Assistant will be on-site each Sunday morning (at least 42 each year) and be able to work independently after some initial training. While some background in the software and hardware we use to make our live stream feed possible, being committed to delivering the highest-quality video feed using our current configuration is even more critical. The assistant would be paid for two hours of work each week, arriving on Sunday morning no later than 7:30 a.m. and working through the service until all the tasks are completed (no later than 9:30 a.m.). The assistant will be paid between $15-$25 per hour ($30-$50 per service), commensurate with experience and ability.

    We are hopeful that the assistant will SUPPLEMENT the efforts of our current volunteers (rather than replacing them), so additional volunteers are still necessary. The best livestream video requires two persons, one at the computer and the other working the cameras. (Right now we're kind of "low-tech" with our cameras, an operator is needed to re-orient the camera or zoom in on the pastor or other assisting minister.)  Since the live stream uses a feed from our presentation software, the assistant or other volunteer must also be at the computer monitor advancing the slides for worshippers.

    Be sure to download the Job Description and make an application yourself or share it with a friend or family member.


    Project Welcome 2.0 Steps Forward

    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 Steps Forward

    Trustees Move Forward with Capital Investments

    Trustees Move Forward with Capital Investments
    Our school building is showing its age, requiring more investment to replace aging infrastructure. Significant investments were required this summer and more will be necessary in the coming year.

    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 10. Pastor Albers will be leading 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 that will begin later this month.

    Men’s Bible Study

    The Prodigal God will be the topic for the Men’s Bible Study beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, September 16, 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

    He Makes Me Lie Down in Green Pastures

    He Makes Me Lie Down in Green Pastures
    We can rest and relax knowing that God is taking care of us... We, like sheep, need a Shepherd to guide us to safety and provisions for our lives.

    Eagle Updates

    Enrollment Increases Bring Challenges and Opportunities

    Although our classes are increasing in size, they remain rather small at an average of fewer than 14 students per classroom. Smaller classes increase the feeling of family and community at St. John’s, increase teacher effectiveness, and allow us to respond to the diverse needs of students.
    Enrollment Increases Bring Challenges and Opportunities

    Dr. Lipscomb Rejoins St. John's Family

    Dr. Lipscomb Rejoins St. John's Family
    Dr. Tammy Lipscomb, who previously introduced St. John's social-emotional learning curriculum has re-joined our team as the Director of Student Success. Dr. Lipscomb will have a series of responsibilities, in addition to handling counseling duties. She will once again lead students in the Second Step® curriculum, administer attendance policies,  and assist on-going efforts to meet and exceed state and local academic requirements.

    2024 Security Grant Fully Funded

    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.
    2024 Security Grant Fully Funded

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

    Don’t miss this latest news from St. John’s School
    A new school year is underway. Be sure to follow all the latest news for our school via social media. But in the meantime, check out the latest news of what's next this year.

    Our School's Calendar

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

    Important Dates

    September 9 – Port-a-Pit Chicken Fundraiser for Washington DC Trip
    September 11 – Picture Day
    September 11-15 – Scholastic Book Fair
    September 12 - School Board Meeting @ 6 pm
    September 15 - Grandparent's Day
    September 15 - NEST Mum Sale - St. John's Parking Lot
    September 16 - Sunflower Festival - Mum Sale
    September 18 - NEST Meeting in Ladies Lounge @ 4 pm
    September 20 - Mid-term Reports Sent Home for the First Quarter
    September 25 - Parent/Teacher Conferences - No School

    Looking ahead

    October 16 - NEST Meeting in Ladies Lounge @ 4 pm
    October 19 - End of First Quarter Grading Period
    October 20-23 - Fall Break
    October 26 - Report Cards Sent Home
    October 27 - Trunk-or-Treat

    N.E.S.T. Update

    NEST News

    N.E.S.T. (Nurturing Eagles Support Team) Update ...

    At its meeting on August 28, the N.E.S.T. (Nurturing Eagles Support Team) made plans for the new year with activities planned for nearly every month.

    The Annual Mum sale, which is taking place now, kicks off the year’s activities. Mums will be available for pick up on Friday, September 15th.  NEST will have a tent stand at the Sunflower Fair on Saturday, September 16th, as well. 

    Other events include:
    • Grandparent’s Day on Sept. 15
    • Donuts with Dads on Nov. 8
    • Family Movie Night on Dec. 1
    • Muffins with Moms on Jan. 17
    • Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10
    Other events are still in the “mix” depending, in large part, on the number of parent and “friend” volunteers. MANY helpers will be needed for a Christmas Craft Day in December and Field Day in May.

    Our NEST parents also help in the classrooms with class parties.  NEST helps to provide our snacks for our Family Movie Night, our Movie License to show movies, Kona Ice in May, refreshments for events, and Teacher Appreciation gifts. ANYONE can be a part of our NEST group, so be sure to attend the next meeting on Monday, September 18 at 4 p.m. in the Ladies Lounge.
    NEST News
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