October 2014



Our Old Testament reads like a history of faithfulness to faithlessness over and over again as God’s chosen people forget how God rescued them from the flood, from slavery, and from their enemies.  The Prophets’ words then come as a constant reminder that if the people repent and return to worship the One and Only God, He will redeem them.  So it is for Christians in America today.  We’ve been invited to join Christians across this nation to pray for our country for 31 days — from October 1st through October 31st. Will you be a part of this 31 day discipline of prayer, asking God to anoint our national leaders to seek God’s heart for vision, wisdom and direction (Jeremiah 33:3)?
Prayer makes an extraordinary difference in the world because God in His infinite compassion responds to prayers offered in Jesus’ name.  Prayer can affect the course of history as we see with Israel in the scriptures.  As you pray day by day throughout the month, you can be assured that your intercession is making a transformational difference.
In our system of government, we the people have the responsibility of electing our leaders.  Please pray for the candidates for public office, that they will be moved by God to seek what is honorable, just, and moral.
(Sponsored by the Wednesday morning Chapel Prayer Team of St. John’s.)

(Ephesians 6:7 paraphrase)

The theme “Give It All You’ve Got!” describes the attitude God’s people are to have and the effort that we are to make as faithful stewards who serve the Lord in all we do. As we hear lay leaders each Sunday during the Stewardship emphasis, you’ll hear time and again that it is only with God’s power at work within us, that we can give God our best everyday.  In Christ we become new creations because “the old has gone, and the new has come!”

Here are the weekly themes:
“Giving God our Best”
“Go and Make Disciples”
“Using Our Spiritual Gifts”
“Making the Most of our Time”
“Growing a Grateful and Generous Heart”
“The Old is Gone, the New Has Come!”

St. John’s is a church that rolls up her sleeves and gets to work.  The ELCA theme “God’s Work, Our Hands” fits St. John’s so well.  This time of planning for 2015 — who will and who won’t step up to do God’s work — is perfectly timed this year. Thanks for your participation!

Pastor's Column
Eagle Sightings by Pastor Dale

**What a wonderful sacramental season we’re having at St. John’s!  Our worship services will be enhanced on September 27th, October 5th, 12th, and 25th with multiple baptisms, and on October 11th and 25th our Second Graders will be in class for their First Communion instruction. These young Christians will be given their first experience in receiving Holy Communion on Reformation Sunday. It’s a great time of the year, and aren’t we privileged to have both sacraments highlighted in our worship services?

**Marjorie Fassig and Ruth Becker were transferred to the Church Triumphant recently, and we express our sincere sympathy to their families as they suffer grief for these two loved ones.  If you would like to express your concern for these families, or simply add them to your daily prayer list, please call the church office for names, addresses & phone numbers.  Your efforts are proof of God’s Work done by Our Hands!

**September 28th to November 2nd is the Stewardship emphasis timetable with Heaven’s Kitchen on All Saints’ Sunday, November 2nd, to cap the program.  Lay leaders will be at the lectern giving their testimonies at the beginning of each worship, and on October 18/19 and October 25/26 we will each receive a Time, Talent and Treasure Sheet to sign up for participatory ministries in 2015. Please prayerfully consider how you can be more than a spectator in God’s Work, and come to place your commitment on the altar, November 2nd, All Saints’ Sunday.

**The first Northern Illinois Synod Worship Workshop was held here in our buildings on September 20th with musicians, worship team members, organists, and accompanists from all around northern Illinois participating.  Mary Preus from Minneapolis, Minnesota was the special leader of the day.  She is considered by most Lutherans to be the most outstanding worship leader in the ELCA.  Our volunteers that day were also outstanding and deserve special recognition.

**Tamra and I will be on vacation in Minnesota from September 30th to October 4th. If you need Pastoral assistance, please call the Church Office.

**Irene Mealy is celebrating her 100th birthday on October 5th with a party from 2pm to 4pm at Liberty Village in Princeton. You are invited to attend. Cards may be sent to Irene at:
Liberty Village
140 N. 6th Street
Princeton, IL 61356

St. John’s celebrated ELCA Sunday

St. John’s celebrated ELCA Sunday at all services on September 6th and 7th by collecting boxes of breakfast cereal that were donated to the Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry and by trimming trees and bushes, and working in the flowerbeds in the courtyard gardens at the Mendota Lutheran Home. We hope you will stop by the Home and enjoy the beautiful gardens!

Thank You…

The family of Luann Peasley Schmidt wishes to thank everyone who has been praying for Luann and also for the generosity and support of the recent benefit. The evening was a great success thanks to several folks from St. John’s. We cannot express our gratitude enough! Thanks again!

2014 Quilt In-Gathering

On September 20th and 21st, we celebrated our annual Quilt In-Gathering. Two hundred quilts were displayed on the pews in the Sanctuary and Chapel.  What an awesome sight!  The quilts were then packed in boxes which are transported to Zion Lutheran Church in Rockford.  From there, they will be taken to a warehouse on the East Coast where Lutheran World Relief (LWR) will distribute the quilts wherever there is a need.
Thank you to all who have participated in and supported our Mission Work for LWR during the year - whether by providing material and sewing supplies, by sewing at home, by working at the church on our work days, or by helping fold the quilts after the In-Gathering.  Thank you for your prayers for our continuing efforts for Lutheran World Relief.
God's Work, Our Hands at St. John's!

St. John’s Youth News

"Growing Together in our Faith as We Serve Others"

Congratulations to all our Confirmation Youth
Congratulations to all our confirmation youth for completing their acolyte training.  We will plan to meet every other Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm for review, a service activity, fellowship time, and fun. Our October dates are Thursday, October 2nd (due to Youth Huddle meeting) and Wednesday, October 15th and 29th.  Please let Maria know if you have a conflict and are unable to attend.

YOUTH Huddle Team
Due to a conflict, the Youth Huddle Team will not be meeting on All Teams night. Instead, we will meet for dinner at Waterfalls on Wednesday, October 1st at 6:30pm.  If any adults or students are interested in joining our team please see Maria.

MHS Homecoming
We hope that our high school students enjoyed all of the recent Homecoming activities. Congratulations to Jared Fritz on being named to the 2014 Homecoming Court! Congratulations also to MHS Homecoming Mini King Cole Tillman!

First Communion
First Communion will take place on the weekend of Reformation Sunday (October 25th and 26th). Pastor will be leading instructional classes on October 11th and 25th at 9am in the Library for our 2nd grade students and any older students who have not yet had First Communion instruction.

The next meeting for any 8th grade through high school students interested in the 2015 Mission Trip is scheduled for Sunday, October 19th at 11:30am. It has been decided that we will look into a “closer” site for this trip (since our trip to the Bayou last summer was a farther distance away). We are considering the following sites which are all within 500 miles: Appalachian Mountains - Mingo County (West Virginia), Cairo (Illinois), Chicago - Site Two (Illinois), Cincinnati (Ohio), Logan (West Virginia), Marvell (Arkansas), Minneapolis (Minnesota), and St. Louis (Missouri). Please take a few minutes to check out the Youthworks website at www.youthworks.com and learn more about these destinations.

2014-2015 Sunday School “Rally Day”
The 2014-2015 Sunday School “Rally Day” activities started our year off in a big way! We are blessed to have classrooms full of eager students… even more than we had anticipated! We say “Thank You!” to this year’s teachers and staff members: Preschool — Gary & Sheila Duttlinger; PreK and Kindergarten — Sarah Coss, Sammye Schumacher & Angie Sparks; 1st and 2nd — Tara Champlin, Jennifer Hartt & Jeni Holland; 3rd and 4th — Barb Anderson, Melissa Nosalik & Mel Schroeder; 5th and 6th — Stina Grenter, Troy Holland & Shirley Pierson; 7th and 8th (Confirmation) — Pastor Dale Peterson & Maria Bonine; High School — Don Goy; Superintendents — Dennis & Kathy Politsch; Opening and Music — James Younger; and Librarians — Aimee Holland & Laurie Zimmerman.

© St. John's Lutheran Church, Mendota, Illinois  (815) 539-5626