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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

Our Extravagantly Generous God

Our Extravagantly Generous God
"Or do you begrudge my generosity?" Matthew 20:15b

The notion of a God who is extravagantly generous in the dispensation of saving grace can be a difficult pill for many of us to swallow. In theory, a God who loves the entire world the same as God loves me is a great thing. But in practice, I admit to preferring a God who gives to me in proportion to my relative faithfulness.

I am better than others, right? I'm often in church three times each weekend. I commune at least once each Sunday. I give generously in support of the work of the church and the extension of God's work in the world (I have the receipts to prove it). While I may have disagreements with members of my family, I'm better than many others who either never speak with their spouse (or ex) and barely have a relationship with their kids. I study the bible regularly. I pray before each of my meals ... oh, except when I get something in the drive-thru (I mean, who prays before eating fast food while driving down the road?) I (mostly) go the speed limit and obey (most) of the traffic laws ... not like the others who pass me rather aggressively.

Two Bible passages come to mind (among many others):
  • Philippians 3:4-8a: "If anyone thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. ... I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."  Paul also uses the word "rubbish," the worthless stuff, to describe his righteousness.
  • Matthew 5:20: "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Our point of comparison is most often God's perfect righteousness, comparing even our best efforts to God's expectations, recognizing that we always fall short of that expectation. In theological terms, it is called the 2nd use of the Law. That is, while the law is good (see Romans 7:7-12), it will always serve to condemn those who fall short of its expectations (namely, me). And while this comparison is appropriate and maybe even helpful, I think there is a better point of comparison.


I would propose that the better point of comparison is God's overwhelming and extravagant grace, since I, regardless of my relative righteousness (or unrighteousness depending on the day) stand in need of God's grace. Consider the following:
  • A comparison to God's expectations sends many folks running away from God. God's grace, however, always welcomes, always encourages, always forgives.  At those times in my life when I am most aware of God's love, I am also all the more aware of my need for that love.
  • A comparison to others will always focus on me ... the good and the bad. A comparison to God's grace always focuses my gaze on our loving and gracious God.
  • A comparison to my work with always pushing against the limits of what is possible given my own abilities, time, and willingness. A comparison to God's love in Christ will reveal again and again God's unlimited love.

My life and yours? Sure! There are all sorts of benefits that can be derived from being in worship each week, receiving forgiveness at the Lord's table, asking the Lord's blessing for a meal, and all the rest. Yes, working on creating and sustaining a loving relationship with the family God has given me pays all sorts of dividends. I highly recommend a life of faithful discipleship and insist that it is WAY better than the alternative.  Why? We are called by God's grace to seek God where God may be found, to live according to the desires of God's heart, and to love God and neighbor.

Why live as God's child?  Because doing so gives me even more opportunity to know firsthand the extravagantly generous love 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 (Autumn)

    October 7/8 – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Prayer & Preaching
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    October 14/15 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    October 21/22 – Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm – Evening Prayer
    • 8 am – Morning Prayer
    • 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
    November 4/5 – All Saints' Day (Observed)
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    with Remembrance of the Faithful Departed at each service

    November 11/12 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Prayer & Preaching
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion
    November 18/19 – Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Song
    November 22 - Thanksgiving Eve (Chapel)
    • 6:30 pm – Divine Service, Spoken
    November 25/26 – Christ the King (Last Sunday of the Church Year)
    • 6 pm & 8 am – Divine Service, Setting 1
    • 9:30 am Connect Word and Communion

    Looking Ahead to Advent

    December 2/3 – First Sunday of Advent
    December 6, 13, & 20 – Midweek Evening Prayer (6:30 pm, led from the piano)
    December 23/24 - Fourth Sunday of Advent (One Sunday service at 10am)
    December 24 (eve) – Christmas Eve (Evening Services at 4pm & 9pm)
    December 25 - Christmas Day (One Sunday service at 10am)

    Special Events in our Calendar

    Singspiration 2023

    Singspiration 2023
    On Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 3:30 pm, the La Porte Civic Auditorium will once again be filled with the sounds of God’s people joining together in song. Singspiration, a community hymn sing, was a success last fall and leaders are planning for an even more successful event this fall.

    Faith and Community United (FCU), a group of local church leaders working together to increase the positive impact the church can have on their community is sponsoring this second annual event in the hope that making music together can not only bring together people from various faith traditions, but also encourage and inspire those who join together for the event.

    The Rev. Jane Anabe of The Presbyterian Church of La Porte is one of those who calls together FCU leaders for meetings each month. “This year’s Singspiration promises to be a wonderful and uplifting event,” said Pastor Jane. “It's exciting to see our community come together for the simple purpose of singing uplifting songs of the faith.”

    The program will include a diverse selection of familiar hymns and songs presented by area music groups as well as those in attendance. The Singing Company of La Porte will present several musical selections including the familiar Gospel song, “I’ll Fly Away.” They will also lead the assembly in several familiar hymns and songs such as “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “Because He Lives.”

    Returning this year are a diverse mix of groups that represent some of the best from our community. The North American Brass Company Quintet (from the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra) will help set the stage for the event. The La Porte Singing Company will present and lead many of the hymns and songs. Groups will also include the Hispanic Choir from La Porte’s Holy Family Parish and the Revival Center Music Ministry Choir from Michigan City.

    Gifts from Sauers Buick GMC and area churches, individuals, and organizations make it possible for the event to be open to everyone and without an admission charge.  A freewill offering supporting LaPorte Habitat for Humanity (especially their recent projects at the site of the former Tibma Bakery) will provide an opportunity for participants to extend the positive impact on our community.

    Faith and Community United is a group of local church leaders working to make sure the churches of our community make a positive impact on enhancing the quality of life for everyone in the community. Pastors and other leaders from diverse groups of local churches meet together and work to not only better understand and appreciate one another’s ministry, but share information and ideas on how to improve our community.

    For more information contact Rev. John Albers, or 219-362-3726, ext. 102.

    Trunk Or Treat 2023

    Trunk Or Treat 2023
    Plan now to be a part of 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 pm.
    • While this free event will be open to the public beginning at 6 pm, a “St. John’s Friends and Family” hour will begin at 5 pm. Unlimited passes to this Friends and Family hour will be distributed to anyone from St. John’s, who can then use them to invite their friends and family.
    • Volunteers are required!
      • Traffic control is critical, especially as our event grows in popularity. 
      • Parking is being moved to the ball field on the south side of the school. Entry for those with limited mobility is limited to Monroe Street, with traffic exiting on Kingsbury Ave. 
      • The Grott family is providing a Hay Wagon Shuttle Service to and from the ball field beginning at 5 pm and continuing until about 7:30 pm.
    • Donations needed!
      • FOOD AND SUPPLIES: We’ll be cooking up a storm beginning at 5:00 pm.
      • CANDY: We want anyone to help host a trunk, including those who cannot afford 500+ pieces of candy!  

    NEW ADMISSION FEE! Actually, there is no cost for the event, but participants are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for our new partners at the Pax Center of La Porte. Most needed items include:
    • Individual boxes of mashed, scalloped, or au gratin potatoes
    • Individual boxes of macaroni and cheese
    • Individual beef, tuna, or stroganoff pasta skillet dinners
    • Canned vegetables or fruit
    If you would like to help with the ingathering “indirectly,” Pastor Albers and Debra will be making a trip to a warehouse store to pick up cases of items available to “purchase” that evening by those who may not see the publicity for the ingathering. Our ultimate goal is to raise awareness of the mission of the Pax Center and its valuable work in our community.

    Church Updates

    Pax Center Partnership

    Pax Center Partnership

    Plans for a New Partnership announced

    Pastor Albers has announced his intention to form a new and vibrant partnership with the Pax Center of La Porte. Its mission of making sure La Porte County, Indiana, is well-loved and well-fed through a network of community gardens, food pantries and community meals fit well into Pastor’s vision for St. John’s future.

     “There is no need for us to do what others are already doing well,” Pastor Albers commented. While St. John’s previously had a food pantry designed to help those facing food insecurity, the Pax Center can serve our neighbors more effectively with the food and other donations we provide them.

    Our first step in this new partnership will be a FOOD INGATHERING that will be connected to our annual Trunk or Treat event at the end of October (See the post on “Trunk or Treat” plans). But there is also a need at the Pax Center for volunteers to provide and serve food for their weekly community meals. The Brighton Street Green Space and the Jackson Street Community Garden will need cleanup both this fall and again in the spring.

    Nate Loucks, pastor of State Street Church, also serves as President and CEO of the Pax Center. He and Pastor Albers share a mutual respect and admiration for their respective congregation’s “signature ministries” (for St. John’s our school ministry and for State Street, the work on food insecurity).

    Check out the work of the Pax Center on their website, Mark your additional gift “Pax Center Partnership”.

    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.


    School HVAC Upgrades Require Financial Resources

    Nearly 20 years ago a thoughtful group of congregational leaders decided to add rooftop HVAC units to replace an aging boiler system that would be outrageously expensive to repair.  And, as an extra bonus, classrooms were outfitted with air conditioning!
    School HVAC Upgrades Require Financial Resources

    Church Clean-up Day

    Church Clean-up Day
    Leaders are preparing for a church cleanup day Saturday, October 21.  They are planning for three dozen workers (or more), so they are counting on your participation. The more workers, the cleaning can be completed! 

    Chapel Renovations Continue

    Workers have moved their efforts to workshops off site. Currently the new altar platforms are getting the most attention and by the end of October lumber for the new doors will be cut, sanded, and assembled into door panels.
    Chapel Renovations Continue

    Bible Studies

    Three Study Opportunities Each Week

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

    Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study

    Pastor Albers will be leads 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, before moving to Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians.

    Women of the Word

    Women of the Word are learning how to read the Bible?  Actually, yes, a video series from The Bible Project, "How to Read the Bible" will form a fabulous foundation for conversation and study each Wednesday at 6pm.

    Men’s Bible Study

    The Prodigal God is the topic for the Men’s Bible Study this fall. The next gathering is at 8 a.m. Saturday, October 14, 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 Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters

    He Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters
    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

    Don't Miss This Latest News from St. John's School

    We really do rely on your ongoing support and communication.  Together we are a team for the success of all our school children!
    Don't Miss This Latest News from St. John's School

    Plan Now to Be a Part of These Coming Events

    Plan Now to Be a Part of These Coming Events
    Fall Room Parties, photo retakes, and plenty of other events fill the school calendar in the coming weeks.

    Chapel is a Critical Part of our School Ministry

    Consider joining us for chapel on Wednesday mornings!
    First Chapel of the Winter Term

    Tax Credit Opportunities Expand Their Reach

    Tax Credit Opportunities Expand Their Reach
    Consider a gift to the St. John's Scholarship Fund at the Lutheran SGO of Indiana. Support our school ministry while receiving one of the most generous tax credits offered by the State of Indiana.

    Our School's Calendar

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

    Important Dates

    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

    Looking ahead

    November 22-24 - Thanksgiving Break
    December 11 - Children's Christmas Program (in the sanctuary)
    December 21-January 3 - Trunk-or-Treat

    Student Stories

    Student Council Elections

    Student Council Elections

    Student Council Elections Held

    This past week Student Council elections were held.  Student Council is for grades 5-8 students who meet academic and behavioral standards.  They must also be leaders and ready to serve their fellow classmates, the church, or the community through their service.  The members get the opportunity to plan some of the schoolwide events, hold student council fundraisers, and plan their service projects.

    What does it take to become a Student Council member, you ask?  To apply, students had to get permission from their parents, complete an essay of 100 words or more, and make a campaign poster.  Students then had to get three other students to sponsor them and remark why they should be on the student council.  They also had to get two teacher signatures confirming that they would be a valuable member of the team.  Finally, they have to attend two after-school meetings a month.

    Eagle Fall Sports Report

    Eagle Fall Sports Report

    Eagle Sports

    October is for Volleyball!

    Our girls 2023 Volleyball season kicked off on Wednesday, September 27, at Discovery Charter School in Porter, Indiana. While the results from these first games were disappointing, the girls have been practicing hard and preparing for upcoming contests.

    Home Game Schedule:

    Thursday, Oct. 5       5th/6th Grade vs. St. Stan’s at 5:30 pm, 7th/8th Grade Immediately following

    Tuesday, Oct. 10        5th/6th Grade vs. Discovery at 5:00 pm, 7th/8th Grade Immediately following

    Monday, Oct. 16         5th/6th Grade vs. Notre Dame 5:30 pm, 7th/8th Immediately following

    Tuesday, Oct. 17        5th/6th Grade vs. Renaissance Academy 5:00 pm, 7th/8th Grade Immediately following

    Wednesday, Oct. 25  5th/6th Grade vs. St. Stan’s 5:30 pm, 7th/8th Grade Immediately following

    Be sure to come out and cheer the Lady Eagles on! Entrance Fees are $3.00 per adult, and $1.00 per Student (K-8) with a maximum of $5.00 (for immediate family). Pre-K and under are FREE. Limited concessions are available; water and a small variety of candy/snacks.

    New this year is the use of our keyless access system. Each of our opponents has been provided with their own 4-digit PIN, and Eagles Fans should use 2023# at the keypad. These shared access codes can be shared with your family and friends, and are only available 30 minutes prior to and after the games. Door attendants will be placed at the south gymnasium entrance to monitor access.

    Student Success

    Student Success

    Student Success

    Our new Director of Student Success, Dr. Tammy Lipscomb, is working to ensure that each of our Eagle students is successful now and in the future.

    College Go Week!

    College Go Week, the week of September 25, began with students dressed for success, the next day, students brought in shoes to represent their future jobs, and we finished off the week by dressing in their favorite college jerseys.

    Middle School students learned through Indiana Career Explorer that there is more than one way to reach their career goals. Families can use the Indiana Career Explorer website to find out more information.

    Why Attendance Matters
    • When a student misses two days a month, they will have missed a whole school year by graduation.
    • When a student misses two days a month, they will have missed 30 hours of math for that school year.
    • When a student misses four days a month, they will have missed 120 hours of reading and writing for that school year.

    N.E.S.T. News

    NEST News

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

    NEST meetings are held monthly in the Ladies Lounge at 4 pm.

    October 16th

    November 20th

    December 18th

    January 22nd

    February 26th

    March 18th

    April 15th

    May 20th

    Anyone connected to St. John’s Lutheran Church and School can join NEST (Nurturing Eagles Support Team). We could use several alumni or parents of alumni to join the team of parents and teachers currently involved.

    NEST plans many activities for our students and staff throughout the year. Volunteers will be needed for these activities. If you are not able to attend meetings, please let us know if you can help out with any of our events.
    NEST News
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