“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples”

John 13:35

Proclaim the Gospel

Grow in Love

Serve One Another


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, 

We have one more Wednesday Lenten service at 5:30 p.m. and then we move from Lent to Holy Week.  How did your Lenten journey go?  Was it different from the many weeks before? I certainly hope so.  Our weekend services throughout Lent were different.  I am not sure if anyone who was visiting us would come back.  The music is a little slower. The responses were also.  But Lent is this way in our faith tradition.  It is a time for reflection and opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit to clean house.  We ask the Holy Spirit to remove anything that is hindering our walk with God.  I know our opening song Open Me by Shawn McDonald may not have been your favorite, but it is a great reminder during Lent and all other seasons for us to open ourselves up to God.  

Holy Week starts next weekend.  The schedule is below.  Next weekend is the Palm and Passion worship service.  To me, it feels like a Jekyll and Hide type of service.  We start out with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and end with Jesus on the cross.  It really tugs on my emotions. Sort of a mountain top and then valley experience.  I have talked about why we do this in previous letters.  This is what the National Church wants and I get the reasoning.  The National Church would like everyone to hear at least two stories during the year.  Jesus’ birth story and Jesus’ passion story.  Not everyone is able to come on Good Friday, so you receive it  a week before. 

I went to the Congregational Resource Event last Saturday.  We had a very dynamic speaker who talked about Evangelism.  He recognizes the word scares many Lutherans, but it is all about knowing your story.  How many of us know our story on how God brought us to faith?  Who were the important people who did this in your faith journey? Could you share with someone why you follow Jesus Christ?  A lot of questions.  Evangelism is not about making Lutherans. It is about sharing Christ with others.  It is about sharing your story.  

Blood drive is next Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Please sign up with Eloide. 

Pancake breakfast is April 7th. The chalkboard has been destroyed in true St. John’s fashion.  Thank you.  By the end of Sunday service, the board is now clean.  Thank you.   Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children and you can purchase them from Missy.   

Holy Week Schedule:

  • Palm/Passion Weekend – normal times for Saturday and Sunday service
  • Maundy Thursday, March 28th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Good Friday, March 29th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Easter Vigil, March 30 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Easter, March 31st, at 10:15 a.m. 

Why don’t you invite someone to any of these services?  Let the church tell its story. 

Don’t ever forget, that God calls you beloved. 

Pastor Tom
[email protected]

Readings for the March 23rd & 24th   – Palm/Passion Weekend

Mark 11:1-11              Mark 14:10-15:47

Worship News 

1)      On a different note, some of you might be wondering where I get my material for worship service?  Most of it comes from Sunday and Seasons. Most Lutheran service comes from this book. I also look at the Red Book.  If you look in the front, you will see ten settings.  Each one of them is different.  Picking appropriate settings is one of the things Music and Worship does during our meetings, besides selecting songs.  We take a look at what would be an appropriate setting for the season we are in.  The lectionary gives us the readings for the weekend.  I also look at Pastor’s Workshop, which is an online site for additional ideas.  The dialog at the beginning of our worship service usually comes from this.

2)      The next question is where do I get my material for my sermons.  A lot of prayer goes into it.  So, I would say the Holy Spirit (Just like all of us, I hope I am in tune with what the Spirit is telling me).  I also use Working Preachers, which is an online site.  Here, not only do they have current commentaries, but they also have ones used in the past. This site also includes a podcast where three Biblical Scholars discuss the readings for the week.  My favorite scholar on the podcast is Matthew Skinner.  I seem to connect a little more with what he is saying. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary is also a source I use. Then, I try to tie in my life experiences, which I hope are appropriate.  I usually get most of my research work done by Monday and then allow the Spirit to direct me. My goal is to finish my sermon by the end of Wednesday, but Eloide will tell you this doesn’t always happen.