Our Advent Soup & Song continues this Wednesday, December 13, as we host Springfield High School Jazz Band, directed by Kelly Goldberg. On December 20, Glenwood High School Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz Group Fusion, directed by Jeff Gemar, will entertain us with songs of the season. Lunch will be served at 12 noon with musical entertainment from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. All are invited. Please bring your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear great music and enjoy delicious soup and fellowship!
December 9, 5:00p.m.
December 10, 8:00a.m.
December 10. 10:30a.m.
Join St. John’s Lutheran Church Chancel Choir and Orchestra as we present this candlelight Advent journey, celebrating the traditional themes of hope, peace, joy and love. The cantata culminates in the birth of Christ. Musical selections included in this cantata include O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; How Great Our Joy; Love Came Down at Christmas; and Silent Night. The narration relates to the wisdom of ancient scripture as well as to our 21st-century lives. These beautiful pieces have a new, contemporary verse for each Carol which adds relevance to their meaning in today’s world. Childcare will be provided.
Nativity Scene Festival Before and After the Cantatas in the AMR
Come and view the wide array of nativity scenes from all over the world, shared by members of our community. A drawing will be held for all those that attend to win a nativity scene. If you are interested in displaying your Nativity scene, an entry form is available at the Church office. Fill out the required information and return it to the Altar Guild mailbox. If you have displayed your scene in previous years, please consider displaying it again.
Ken Bradbury will be entertaining us with Songs and Storytelling. Lunch will be served at 12 noon with musical entertainment from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. This week’s lunch is your choice of sweet corn chowder or stuffed green pepper soup, served with a hot ham and cheese sandwich. All are invited. Please bring your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear great music and enjoy delicious soup and fellowship!
The King’s Brass are performing in concert on Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary here at St. John’s. We are excited to welcome back this top-notch group of musicians who have thrilled audiences for over 30 years. Tickets go on sale November 1 and can be purchased by calling the church at 217.793.3933, ext. 212. Tickets will be sold before and after worship services November 4 through November 26, while tickets last. Don’t delay as this will probably be a sold-out concert! Tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for children under 12.
Our annual Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service with our sister congregations here in Springfield—Grace Lutheran and Peace Lutheran—will take place at Grace Lutheran Church (714 E Capitol) this coming Wednesday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. Our very own Pastor Pam Mitcham will serve as the preaching minister. A combined choir will sing. A special thanksgiving offering will be gathered at the service and shared with the Grace Lutheran Food Pantry and the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. Refreshments will be served following the service. Come and join together with our sisters and brothers in Christ as we give God thanks for God’s many blessings to us
From Conflict to Communion In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Spring eld Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church and the Spring eld Cluster of our Central/Southern Illinois Synod (ELCA) will be sharing a Catholic-Lutheran Service of Common Prayer on Sunday, November 19 at 5:00 p.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church (245 N Amos Ave, Springfield). This historic service will be co-led by Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Springfield Diocese, and Bishop John Roth, Central/Southern Illinois Synod. Following the service, a catered dinner will be served in St. Agnes’ Fellowship Hall. There is no cost for the meal, however, reservations are required. To reserve your place at the table, please contact Amanda in the St. John’s church office (793.3933) or alawler@stjohns-spring- eld.org no later than November 10. All are welcome to come and celebrate the growth toward Christian unity that is taking place between Lutherans and Catholics around the world!
The annual meeting of our congregation will take place on Sunday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. in the Parish Life Center (PLC). This is a most important meeting in the life of our congregation as we vote on how to proceed with the proposed building ren- ovation and addition, adopt a budget for 2018, elect leaders to our Leadership Board, Preschool Board, and Endowment Fund Committee, and announce the recipients of over $11,000 in Endowment Fund Grant Awards! A soup and sandwich lunch will be served by the youth of St. John’s with a free-will offering being received to assist with their trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering this coming summer in Houston. Childcare will also be provided for children ages 0-7 in the church nursery.
In preparation for the annual meeting, three informational forums will be held from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in the Adult Meeting Room (AMR) on the following Sundays:
Sunday, November 5
Reports from the Five Vision Teams
Sunday, November 12
Presentation and Discussion of the Motion concerning the Proposed Building Renovation and Addition
Sunday, November 19
Reports from the Preschool Board and Endowment Fund Committee
Come and be a part of this exciting time in the life of our congregation as we continue to grow in living out our mission to be and make disciples of Christ, in response to God’s grace!
This weekend, we join with congregations across Sangamon County to support the daily meal ministry of St. John’s Breadline as we purchase loaves of bread for $4 a loaf. 100% of the proceeds of these bread sales go to provide meals to the hungry of our community. Purchasing one loaf of bread for $4 provides two complete meals!
Next weekend, November 4 and 5, is Commitment Weekend here at St. John’s as we present our commitments of Time, Talents, Treasures, and Touch for the coming year. Stewardship packets were mailed to all disciples at St. John’s two weeks ago. Please prayerfully consider how God is calling you to share your gifts for the sake of Christ’s mission and ministry in and through this place! Then, bring your completed Financial Commitment Cards and Time, Talent, and Touch Response Forms with you to worship that weekend as we present them before the altar! Come and join us in what God is doing as we BE MORE TOGETHER!
Grace Food Pantry Thanksgiving Food Collection It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than a month away. The Grace Food Pantry is helping more people than ever and is in great need. As in years past, St. John’s is collecting specific food items to make sure the Food Pantry is stocked during the holiday season. After each worship service this weekend please grab a grocery bag on your way out, fill it with the items listed, and return to St. John’s next weekend, November 4/5!
Did you know that Rick Steves, famous travel expert, is a member of the ELCA? In commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Rick Steves traveled to many different places important in the Reformation and produced a special documentary. Join us on Tuesday, October 24 from 7:00-8:30p.m. in the PLC as we watch Rick go through many of the sites that were important to Martin Luther and the reformation.
Join us as we decorate our trunks for a spooky, fun-filled family celebration! All are invited to grab dinner together, and then you can fill your bags with candy as you move from trunk to trunk. Wear your favorite costume, bring a bag for goodies, and meet us in the church parking lot for some Halloween surprises!
We need volunteers to help serve in this ministry! If you would like to help with coordinating the event, planning dinner, or helping us stock candy that evening, please contact Sam Neahring as soon as possible (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Come and hear about the amazing ministries going on at St. John’s, and how you can be part of them at the BE MORE Fall Festival and Ministry Fair Saturday, October 14 from 6-8 p.m.
It’s an event for the whole congregation to celebrate who we are as church TOGETHER, to highlight the many ministries we share, and to share our many gifts with one another, with our community, and with the world!
Food, prizes, ministry team leaders and information will be in the Parish Life Center from 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. This is your chance to meet people, ask questions and find out how you can get involved. Entertainment will be in the Parish Life Center (PLC) from 7:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Kids’ activities and childcare in the music room 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Chili cooks needed for St. John’s famous CHILI COOK-OFF! RSVP to contest coordinators Rachel and Ben Whittle at email@example.com, and bring your pot of chili on Saturday October 14. Hotdogs will also be served. Come one, come all!
Simply make your best pot of chili and bring it with you to the event to share!
As God’s church, we can BE MORE together!
For more information, contact Kristen Schmid Schurter, Coordinator of Spiritual Gifts Ministries, at 793.3933 x217 or ksschurter@ stjohns-springield.org
Interactive Ministry Fair Chili Cook-Off
Hot Dogs, Veggies, Dessert
Children’s Games and Activities
You are invited to come out again for the Annual Church Camping Trip at Camp CILCA, October 13 and 14. Come out any time after 4 p.m. on Friday. The trip is completely unstructured, meaning you and your family can do some trail hiking, fishing, canoeing, a challenge course; play frisbee, kickball, or football; and of course join in on some fireside fellowship all at your leisure. If you plan to attend, contact Chris Groth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since there are more than 2000 verses about money in the Bible, it is clear that our relationship to money is important. You are invited to learn about saving, debt and planning through nine weekly courses, beginning Wednesday, September 13. You can register for the class, based on Dave Ramsey’s curriculum, here: http://www.fpu.com/1045932. For more information, contact Kristen Schmid Schurter at email@example.com or 793-3933 x217
Our annual Rally Day Celebration as we kick-off Sunday School and all of our fall ministries is set for Saturday/Sunday, September 9/10! This year’s celebration will feature the music of renowned Lutheran musician Jonathan Rundman from Minneapolis as he leads us in a concert on Saturday, September 9 and provides musical leadership for our combined 10:30 a.m. worship celebration on Sunday, September 10. An all-church meal on the church lawn will follow. We are church together!
Sunday School Sign up will take place from 9:15am to 10:15am. Afterwards, everyone is invited to join a scavenger hunt around the church for care kit supplies. Please help us gather supplies this month! Please see the insert for supplies needed.
onathan Rundman - Jonathan Rundman, a well-known contemporary Lutheran mu- sician, will be leading worship for Rally Day on September 10 in the PLC at the 10:30 a.m. combined service. He will also present a concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Septem- ber 9 in the sanctuary. Born and raised in the isolated Finnish-American communi- ties of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Jonathan Rundman has been writing songs and performing across the country since he was 18 years old. His music is generating rave reviews in Billboard, The New York Times, Performing Songwriter, Paste, and countless regional publications. Now living in Minneapolis, he continues to tour and record.Mark your calendars to join us on September 9 and 10 for what promises to be an inspiring musical experience!
“Come to me, all you who are weary . . . and I will give you rest . . .
My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Matthew 11:28, 30
It may be summer, but St. John’s is not on vacation. After a busy spring, where are disciples to get strength and energy for ministry? Today’s Good News from Matthew gives us the answer: We go to Jesus, who invites and welcomes each of us. I picture Jesus giving this invitation with a broad smile on his face, not looking at his watch (a digital sundial, of course,) eyes sparkling with the joy of just being with us. Jesus is the very picture of hospitality. “Come to me,” he says.
I remember the congregation in which I grew up in Fayetteville, NC. Even at six years old, I thought of the church as belonging to me; not me exclusively, but belonging to me as much as any of the grown-ups. My pews. My classrooms. My hymn books. My meetings, committees, food pantry, activities – all mine (again, not exclusively.) I wouldn’t have known to phrase it this way, but it was “my” ministry. What a gift! But what a responsibility too. Overflowing trashcan in the restroom? I should empty that. Stranger looking for the pastor? I need to escort him to the office. Grass a bit too high? Where’s that lawn mower? A committee without a leader? Time to step up. No one’s here to read lessons? Here I am, Lord!
The church belongs to Jesus, and in a very real sense it belongs to each of us too, each of us together. Be the person who stands like Jesus with a broad smile inviting and welcoming others. Be the one who, like Jesus, offers yourself to others. Know that behind you stands Jesus himself, smiling, delighted to be there. Really.
Equipped for discipleship +
Our Lemonade in the Lobby series will host Three B’s on the Prairie; Music of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, part of the Boston- based Road Scholar program. Singers from across the United States and Canada are in Springfield to spend a week learning music to perform Thursday's concert. The workshop, Singing in the Heart of America, culminates in a 7 pm concert on July 13 in the Sanctuary. The event is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will follow the concert.