November 2014


Jesus and His Early Retirement

Did you know Jesus took early retirement?  So, if the Lord Jesus can retire, why not follow Him there, too.  And I will as of noon on November 2nd. Actually, Jesus retired early when He put His carpenter career to rest and began a new chapter in His life.  His transition into retirement has been studied, copied, and admired by countless millions of followers in every generation since.  The record of His retirement years are written in the New Testament, of course.  You can read it for yourself! So now I plan to follow His example, hoping and praying that God will find a way for me to continue to serve Him in this next exciting chapter of my discipleship.
How appropriate it is that these last weeks of parish ministry before retirement have been focused on the Stewardship theme “Giving It All You’ve Got” to God.  Tamra and I want to do just that as we move to Minnesota, closer to family to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle together.  We are still excited about the unseen future, even though for the first time in my life and in our marriage, we’re not working towards, engaged in, or doing the daily duties of Parish Ministry.  We know we will miss old friends while we make new ones. We will become supportive lay-members in mission with another church-family. We will continue to offer our prayers for you whenever you ask.  And we will look forward to hearing the good news about your renewed, vibrant ministry here in Mendota.
The rumor is true.  St. John’s is entering an exciting period of time searching for a Pastor who will lead with freshly trained skills and God-gifted devotion.  I hope you will offer her/him your full cooperation. That cooperation will seal the promise that this vacancy period will go well for everyone. God’s right hand will bless your spiritual unity in this process as you pray and support the Church Council and Call Team.
Tamra and I thank God that we were allowed to complete our Chapter 2 of life here, and for the opportunities we have shared with you for nearly nine years.  As I follow Jesus into these retirement years, I want to ask for your forgiveness for any and all the ways I may have offended or sinned against you.  And for those who feel liked-spirited, you have my forgiveness, too.  We serve a great God and I have confidence we’ll meet again in His kingdom!
Thank you and God’s best to you.

Beginning in November, the church office hours will change.

Monday - Thursday    8:30am to 4:30pm
Friday & Saturday    Office Closed
Our office manager, Susan Garner, will also be available after 8am worship on Sunday mornings if you need assistance.

Pastor's Column
Eagle Sightings by Pastor Dale

**Is the Bible pertinent and worth reading?  Look at Revelation 20:4 “Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge.  I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the Word of God.  They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.  They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  The Bible is pertinent, isn’t it?  It’s worth reading daily.

**Could I make my last Eagle Sightings complete without referring to America’s greatest living, retired clergy, Rev. Billy Graham.  He and his son, Franklin, have both claimed that the Prince of this World, the devil, is having a field day spreading darkness around the world.  So Rev. Graham advises us to pray and be alert to the wiles of the Devil in our own lives.

**November 2nd is All Saints Sunday with a special conclusion to our Stewardship program “Give It All You’ve Got.”  At the conclusion of the service you will be asked to bring your Time and Talent, as well as your Treasury pledge for 2015 to the altar to be dedicated.  Afterwards, the annual Heaven’s Kitchen will be conducted in the Fellowship Hall with a meal to share among us, and carry-outs to give to neighbors, friends and/or family as a caring gift to them from St. John’s.  Our thanks to all who are involved.

**November 4th is election day. Please cast an informed vote for the persons of your own choice, but prayerfully approach the voting booth as a representative of the Church.

**As I write this I have the sense that the Potluck Dinner on October 26th will be great fun, and apparently a surprise is coming.  Thank you for your send off and the many kind letters and cards, dinners and visits that complete this tour of our duty in the King’s service.  We feel extremely honored to have been a part of St. John’s.  Thank you for your discipleship to Jesus, and for allowing us to share in this ministry with you.

We want to extend our best wishes to Pastor Dale and Tamra Peterson as they enter this new chapter of their lives… Retirement!

We pray God’s blessings for their future in “paradise” — Minnesota! Please join us in celebrating with Pastor and Tamra at a Farewell Potluck on Sunday, October 26th following the 10:30am service. Ham, buns, cake and beverages will be provided. Please bring your favorite dish to pass. There is also a “Card Shower” to offer your personal and special thoughts of appreciation and well wishes. Card boxes will be available on October 26th and at Heaven’s Kitchen on November 2nd.


Please join us on Sunday, November 2nd immediately following the 10:30am worship service for our annual Heaven’s Kitchen event. Enjoy homemade chili, home-cooked soups, bread, dessert, beverages at absolutely no cost — no donations accepted. Your family, friends, and neighbors are welcome to join us too! Carry-outs are available.

Assistant to the Bishop Visits With Council

Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Tim Kenyon, met with the Church Council at their last meeting to discuss the Call process. You will receive further information once the Council has appointed the Call Team and once the Bishop assigns our Interim Pastor. Please pray for our church leadership and staff during this time of transition. If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.

“Give It All You’ve Got!”
Stewardship 2015

Please remember to bring your Time, Talent and Treasury pledge form for 2015 to worship with you at the 10:30am combined service on Sunday, November 2nd. If you are unable to attend on November 2nd, please bring your pledge form to the office. When filling out your Time and Talent sheet, remember that the office will assign volunteers based on the 2015 Time and Talent sheet. Even if you’ve been a faithful volunteer in the past, please fill out this year’s form with your preferences.

St. John’s Youth News

"Growing Together in our Faith as We Serve Others"

The 7th and 8th grade Confirmation class has started meeting several times a month (every other Wednesday evening) for a time of Bible study, fellowship, food and fun! Our next get together is planned for Wednesday, October 29th beginning at 4pm in “Norma’s Kitchen”. We will prepare the meal for the PADS Homeless Shelter in Peru. We plan to leave St. John’s at 6pm to deliver and serve the meal to the PADS clients. We will then enjoy a meal together before returning to Mendota. See Maria if you have any questions.
Please mark your calendars now for the November meeting dates: Wednesday, November 5th and Wednesday, November 19th. Details of the activities planned for these dates will be shared during your Confirmation class and in the weekly bulletins.

The Confirmation class is planning an afternoon of fun at Sky High Sports in Naperville on Sunday, November 9th. We will leave from church at 12:15pm. The cost is $20.00 per person. Well-behaved friends are welcome to join us. Please see Maria for the required permission slips and waiver form which must be filled out by a parent/guardian. Depending on the number of students who participate, Maria may need to recruit another driver/chaperone. If any parents are interested, please speak to Maria.

Confirmation camp at Lutherdale is scheduled for June 14th through June 19th. All current 7th and 8th grade Confirmation students are encouraged to attend. Please sign up with Maria as soon as possible. (Registrations received before March 15th qualify for $15.00 canteen credit and a free t-shirt.)

Several of our 8th grade through high school students met after worship recently to cast their vote for the 2015 Mission Trip destination. We are very excited to announce that we will be working in St. Louis, Missouri from July 19th to July 24th. Our youth will have the unique opportunity to serve the city of St. Louis and its people in a variety of ways, often crossing lines of race and geography. YouthWorks partners with a number of organizations to serve St. Louis's homeless population, local children, and the elderly. We may spend time playing Bingo, cooking meals, painting a house, shooting hoops, sorting clothes, or spending time with any number of community residents. The evenings activities will include visiting the Gateway Arch and Westward Expansion Museum, enjoying live music and gorgeous natural beauty at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and participating in a popular and well-attended community cookout. If you are interested in participating in this trip, a non-refundable deposit of $50.00 is due by November 18th. The remaining $50.00 participation fee is due by June 19th. (If there is a financial concern, please speak to Maria.) This will secure your seat in one of the vans that will be heading south for what promises to be a spirit-filling week of service to the less fortunate in St. Louis. If you have any questions, please see Maria.

Our annual Spaghetti Dinner will be held on Sunday, December 7th from 4pm to 7pm. We will be serving you a delicious dinner of spaghetti with meat sauce, breadsticks, salad, and dessert. Our junior high and high school students are looking forward to serving you at your table again this year. Please invite your family and friends to join you for this freewill offering meal. All proceeds will go to support our 2015 Mission Trip to St. Louis. The MHS Madrigals will be unable to perform for us this year. However, tickets for their performances on December 5th, 6th and 7th will be available for purchase at Sports & Stuff.

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