Preparation for First Communion – Fourth graders and anyone not yet communing who desires to begin receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion is invited to begin a series of study.  St. John’s follows the ELCA guidance that:

There is no set age at which a young person may be ready and interested in preparing to receive the sacrament – this is best determined by the family of young ones.

It is encouraged that students be able to read well so that they can participate most meaningfully in discussion and study.

Don Anderson will lead classes to prepare fourth graders to receive their First Communion at this year’s Maundy Thursday worship service. Adults and older youth are encouraged to speak with Pastor about opportunities for instruction.


The Spring Fling Breakfast hosted by CSLE will be on Sunday, March 31st. To help defray costs, donations are needed.  Please sign up on the sheets in the narthex.  Thank you for your continued support to St. John’s Sunday School. 


St. John’s Public Reception of New Members – February 24th.  All those wishing to become new members of St. John’s are encouraged to come to worship that Sunday to affirm their membership.  Pastor will meet with you briefly before service that day.  Please meet in the Liefeld Lounge, next to the office, at 10:00am.  Please call the church office if you plan to join our congregation, so we can be properly prepared.


Have you wanted to try a Trivia Night, but couldn’t get a team together.  Well, here is your opportunity.  A member of St. John’s is generously donating the cost of as many table as St. John’s can fill (10 people to a table).  The trivia night is hosted by Peru Education Foundation and will be held on Saturday, March 9, at Celebrations 150 in Utica.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and trivia starts at 7 p.m.  A sign up sheet is on the table in the narthex.  Sign up by February 17 as tables go fast.  Please only sign up if you are committed to going.  It would not be fair to others at your table if you did not show up. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time and get to know others from the congregation and in the community.


Refresh & Impress - Calling all worship volunteers and would-be volunteers!  We will begin a series of short meetings following worship on Sundays to bring worship volunteers, and those interested in getting involved, together for a 15 - 20 minute refresher "course".  This will also serve as training to new volunteers.  To those already serving as greeters, ushers, readers, communion servers, acolytes and on Altar Guild, it is a joyful experience.  We invite those already serving to attend and hope to see many new faces at the sessions offered.  A brief outline of the role and responsibilities will be shared as well as comments from Pastor William.  If you are unable to attend, but would like to learn more, contact the church office.  Please consider assisting in any way you are able.  To accommodate our Saturday volunteers, these short meetings will also be held following the Saturday evening worship on the respective weekends.  We apologize for the over sight.

                              February 16/17 - Ushers

                              March 2/3 - Communion Servers

                              March 9/10 - Greeters

                              March 16/17 – Acolytes

                              March 23/24 - Readers 

                              Sat.,   April 6 – Altar Guild



Children’s Spiritual Life & Education Committee meets Sunday Feb 17th following worship in the Liefeld Lounge.   All members are encouraged to attend.



Name Tags

What’s up with having to use name tags every week? Everyone knows my name, don’t they?

 Well, we wear them because…

  • …it’s an easy way to learn names of those with whom you worship, sing, and eat (communion.)
  • …it’s a good way to show a welcoming attitude to all who come here; including guests.
  • …it’s healthy to get to know everyone.
  • …it’s fun to be called by name.
  • …it’s a painless way of participating.
  • …it’s amusing to the wait staff when we leave them on when we go out to a meal afterward. They’ll know you went to church and watch your behavior towards them and others – that’s called evangelism.

 So, please give it a try, as pastor likes to say; “As long as no one gets hurt, it’s OK.”


Council members were recognized and newly elected members installed at services this past weekend (Feb 2/3). We are grateful that they each accepted this call to serve Christ in positions of leadership in the church.  Let us support them in our prayers and assist them as they give care and direction to the ministries here at St. John’s.

Steve Ferguson -  Jeff Hickey - Tom Iossi - Gerlyn Koehler - Kelly McCurry - Stacy Newell - Lorie Scarpaci - Jacob Theesfeld - Molly Thrasher -  Greg Yuvan



Group Mission Trips

St. John's Youth are planning their 2019 mission trip to the Covered Bridge Workcamp in Princeton, IL for a week of fun and serving.  The dates are July 28 to August 3, 2019. The operational partner is Workcamps which is a mission of Group Cares.  At Workcamps, teenagers come together to serve individuals and communities while building strong, long-lasting relationships with their friends and youth leaders.  In six short days, hundreds of teenagers from across the county repair and transform homes. Click here for information about 2019 Covered Bridge Workcamp Mission Trip


Register now! Webinar: Legal Checklist for Congregations

Congregations can be vulnerable to legal issues and liabilities related to corporate status, taxes, property, insurance and abuse prevention. Many of these problems can be avoided by using an ELCA-prepared checklist of key items for congregations to address.

Register now for a free webinar in which the ELCA legal staff will present and discuss the checklist and best legal practices for congregations. This webinar should be of interest to rostered ministers and lay congregational leaders and staff, including congregation council members and officers, church administrators, and pastors and deacons. Find more information and tips for webinar participants here.

When: Feb. 21, at 12 p.m. (CST)
Hosts: Thomas Cunniff, general counsel, ELCA
Aja M. Favors, associate general counsel, ELCA 
Cost: Free 
Registration deadline: Feb. 15 

We hope you can attend!



During Church Service on March 31st, students will be participating in a hand bell choir.  If your child is interested, please contact the church office at 815-223-1144.  Practices will be on Sundays.  More information will be available at a later date.

Also, during the March 31st church service, students from the younger Sunday School classes (Pre-k/k-4th grade) will be performing a song or two.  The students will practice during Sunday School leading up to the church service.



We are exploring the possibility of video recording Pastor Weidenbach’s sermon every week.  If you would be willing to volunteer your knowledge and skills to help make that happen, please contact the church office at 815-223-1144.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share this part of the worship service with our shut-ins and place it on our website!  

The Adult Spiritual Life and Education Committee/Diane Podolak and Jan Delvallee.



The annual NISynod “Congregational Resourcing Event” will again be held at Kishwaukee Community College, Malta, on Saturday, March 9.  Registration/coffee begins at 8:30 a.m. with events concluding  at 3:30 p.m.

This year’s keynote presenter will be the Rev. Dr. Dave Daubert. His keynote is titled Being Disciples Comes First. Dr. Daubert will also lead two workshops, Making Disciples: Core Practices That Change Lives and The Invitational Christian.

Everyone in a congregation – can take advantage of this learning event to strengthen skills, gather resources, network with others, and discover new ways to enhance congregational and individual ministries. Come, experience and bring home new ministry tools.



We would like our youth to provide music during offertory.  It only takes about three minutes of music to fill the time it takes.  Please pray and think about offering up God given talents for our church family.  It is important that our young people realize how important they are in our church family.  It doesn’t matter if you (they) have performed before.  We are family and will encourage and delight in their musical talent.  Contact Max McQueen at 815-224-2118 with your choice of instrument and song.



Good news! Our new Lifetouch mobile directory is ready!

Our mobile directory contains contact information for all the families of St. John’s Lutheran Church and is an easy-to-use tool to help you stay connected. PLUS, you will see portraits of all our families that participated in our recent photography event. What a great way to connect names and faces!

To access the mobile directory, call  or email the church office for more information: 815-223-1144 or



The Blessing Box

In the fall of 2017, Children’s Spiritual Life & Education Committee recommended to Council the idea of a Blessing Box outside the Sunday school entrance which would have food for the needy that could be accessed at all times.  Council approved and the Blessing Box was placed in September 2017.

Since that time the Blessing Box has had multiple visitors.:

An elderly woman who comes about once a week. Shortly after the box was installed, a note was put in the box asking those using it what types of food would be most beneficial to them.  This  little lady said she would like Spam.  When Don Anderson’s 4th grade class heard this they decided to bring Spam for the Blessing Box.

Dennis, a regular to St. John’s who in the past has asked for a few dollars to cover his prescriptions, now calls to see if he can take food from the box.  No matter how often we tell him to just stop by and take what he needs, he always calls first.

A gentleman that uses a cane stops by a couple times a month

Two younger women have become frequent visitors to the box

Another woman stops about once a week and adds some items to the box.

We have a sign asking that they take only what they need and leave some for the next person, but occasionally one person will empty the box.  We do our best to keep it filled.

The fourth Sunday of each month has been designates as “Blessing Box Sunday” and any donations you could bring would be greatly appreciated.  We try to keep it filled with soups, canned meals, instant meals, etc., but are grateful for whatever you can bring.

Some suggestions for donations are individual pasta meals, soup, applesauce, fruit cups, jello, tuna kits, instant potatoes, snack crackers.  Donations may be placed directly into the Blessing Box, in the box near the Sunday school entrance or left in the church office.  Monetary donations are also accepted. 





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