Care Closet Volunteers Needed

January 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Current News, Current News

Are you able to stock shelves? Carry boxes? Sort clothes? Then the Evansville Ecumenical Care Closet needs you! We’re looking for people who can work a 2 ½ to 3 hour shift. The Care Closet serves about 160 families each month on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Vall the Care Closet at 882-4532 or stop in and talk with Dorothy. Join the team and help strengthen our community.

“All Are Welcome: Building Community”

December 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Current News, Current News

Renovations To Spur On Our Mission

By Pastor Matthew Poock

The church is the people, not the building. We are the church.

Much of our congregation’s attention this fall has been given to our building renovations. These are approximately 90% complete – praise the Lord! But let us not lose sight of what it means to be the church. All the work we have done on the building is for the sake of doing God’s work in Evansville. The building and renovations assist us in welcoming all people closer to God. Friends, God has a lot of work to do in the lives of people in our congregation and community. Through us God is bringing peace, healing, and love to each other and our neighbors.

I do hope you like the building renovations. I think they are outstanding and will help us to better do God’s work. Of course, we don’t all have the same tastes in color and design. We all had various attachments to the previous décor and function. The dedicated teams that worked so creatively and faithfully did an excellent job to appeal to modern preferences. Imagine the task of remodeling and decorating a home to appeal to 1000 people! Far more important than our personal opinions on architecture is that we work to love and appreciate each other. I am confident that, as we settle in, this building will be a strong center for our faith community and for future members and guests.

Tremendous thanks to Sue Reese, Ruby Davis, Boni Paugel, Carolyn Butts, Jim Engelkens, Anika Laube, Cheryl Hanson, Jan Schuh, Joy Olson, Carl Korfmacher, Shawn Miller, Gary Hoff, Shelley Meredith, and Noel Oscar for the work they did with and for us. These people have poured their hearts and prayers into these renovations. Thanks to the Tuesday Morning Men’s Group including Bob Johnson, Rollie Jeans, Ken Johnson, Howard Krueger, David Persons, Al Crocker, Scott Fredendall, and the late Neil Lien. These gentlemen provided good counsel and raised good questions and important concerns before and during the construction. Additional thanks to you who respectfully offered opinions and gave thoughtful feedback. How honored and grateful we all can be for those who worked on our behalf and for the work we accomplished together as a congregation. Above all, thanks be to God…to God be the glory!

Friends, let’s now re-focus our attention on doing God’s work together.


Building Work Still In Progress…

Though we are almost done, we have a few finishing touches to go. Here’s an update on progress, along with information about some new features.

  • The new glass cross will have additional lighting features installed, in both the stained glass and behind the clear glass panels.
    • Did you know? The colors of the stained glass draw on the colors of the upper stained glass windows in the sanctuary.
    • The colors also coordinate with the church seasons – blue for Advent, purple for Lent, white/gold for Easter, red for Pentecost and Festivals, and green for Ordinary Time.
    • How might we use the former sanctuary cross? With ideas, contact the church office or a member of the building team.
  • The rear glass wall of the sanctuary is set to come in January. It will feature 3 double doors and 2 folding doors.
  • New lighting for the sanctuary, lounge, and gathering area is still being installed.
  • The pew cushions and new sanctuary chairs have arrived!
    • We retained 85% of our pews and added three rows of chairs into the sanctuary. Additional new chairs will provide overflow seating in the gathering area.
    • The sanctuary chairs allow wonderful versatility. They link together to provide a bench-like row. They can be removed for special events (like the bazaar). One chair can be quickly taken out to allow a person in a wheelchair to join the row. And small groups can form them in circles for conversation.
    • Former pews will be finished in halves and re-used.
  • Designs for a new altar, pulpit, and baptismal font are being finalized. Local woodworker and artisan Scott Fredrickson has been commissioned for the work. These pieces will highlight the altar as a table where we share a meal, the pulpit as more open and approachable, and the font as a place of washing with water.
    • The former communion rail will not be returning to the sanctuary. The open access welcomes us to the cross.
    • A removable or free-standing rail is being considered.
    • The floor cushions still function well to allow many to kneel.

Generous Giving to All Are Welcome Campaign

November 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Current News, Current News

In the course of one year, St. John’s people have given $423,010 toward the All Are Welcome capital campaign. IN ONE YEAR! There is no doubt about it, we are a generous congregation! Praise the Lord for this outpouring of joyful giving! These financial contributions reveal a great deal of trust in the Lord and a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of God’s church.

As the calendar year comes to an end, would you consider an additional gift toward the “All Are Welcome” campaign? This might be a gift toward your pledge, or it might be a gift beyond your already-fulfilled pledge. Perhaps you made a one-time contribution and would make another, in joy and faith, or maybe you have yet to toss in your contribution. Designated gifts can be mailed to the office, placed in the offering plate, or made through our website. In addition to pledged gifts, we have received nearly $25,000 that we didn’t expect. It all counts!

Every financial gift made now has the potential to save us considerable money from loan interest. We are committed to wise stewardship and good financial practices. We want St. John’s to be debt-free as soon as possible. This will only be possible as we work together.


“Every time I take a step in the direction of generosity, I know I am moving from fear to love.” (Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest and author)



Strong Financial Giving For Daily Ministries in 2014

November 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Current News, Current News

Our generous giving to the All Are Welcome campaign has not diminished our financial resources for our daily ministries. All year long we have had enough income to cover all our operating expenses, including some unexpected costs of heating and snow removal last January and February. St. John’s people have not diverted their offering gifts to the capital campaign; instead, we’ve kept our ministry commitments and given above and beyond for the building. Thanks be to God for our steady commitment to God’s work every week and every day through St. John’s. Our consistent generosity of tithes and offerings gives us strength as a church to be who God is calling us to be.

Still, we are counting on strong offerings for December to finish the year well, complete our financial commitments, and start 2015 on solid footing. We keep growing our ministries, expanding our staff, and using more resources. How exciting! Praise the Lord! In this season of giving, would you thank God for the blessings in your life and make a joyful offering gift to our daily ministries? You might challenge yourself to give more to the “General Fund/Daily Ministries” this year than in 2013. Give as you feel blessed. As our generosity grows, so do our hearts for God.

Sunday School –

September 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Current News

Children’s and Family Ministry

Sunday Mornings

Families are invited to SPLASH! and B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers And Sisters In Christ) on Sunday mornings at 10:15am, following 9:00am worship. There’s something for everyone!


Bible storytelling

Intergenerational learning

Special guests

Interactive projects


is for children under age 3 and their parents and meets monthly.

Children enjoy supervised play in the nursery.

Adult caregivers join in for fellowship and conversation in the chapel.


–  features a weekly theme, camp-style opening, faith exploration, and small group relationship-building.

3-year-olds through 5th grade youth meet with their peers and group leaders in the lower level classrooms.

Parent Refuge offers camaraderie and support in the lounge.

Children’s and Family Ministry


Acceptance – Learning that God loves all and that St. John’s is an extension of God’s love

CHARACTER-BUILDING –  Developing manners and values based on the good news of Jesus

CREATIVE EXPRESSION –  Expressing faith through song, drama, projects, and games

FAITH-BUILDING – Relying on God in our daily lives

FELLOWSHIP – Enjoying fun times with peers and caring adults

FRIENDSHIP-BUILDING – Making new friends and strengthening relationships

PRAYER – Expressing our thanks and requests to God

SERVICE – Living our Christian values by serving others in our world, community, and church

Children’s Ministry starts in the family

St. John’s offers many options for children and families to grow in faith together. There is a place for all children, starting at birth, and their parents. We are your partner in teaching your children about Jesus and sharing the Christian faith. You and your whole family are invited to join in for faith exploration and fellowship!

Wednesday afternoons

St. John’s offers youth group opportunities for elementary and intermediate students on Wednesdays after school until 4:30pm.

is for kids in kindergarten-2nd grade.

Soul Troop is for

3rd – 5th grade youth.

faith corps and Soul Troop foster spiritual growth through fun activities with friends in a large-group setting.




Service projects



St. John’s Lutheran Church

Reaching Out, Reaching Up, Reaching Within… Because God Reaches Out to Us

A couple hours a week

that will make a difference for a lifetime.


Rise Up Together: ELCA Youth Gathering 2015

September 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Current News

Next summer, tens of thousands of youth currently in grades 8-12 from across the country and around the world will be meeting in Detroit, MI, July 15-19, 2015, to be part of the ELCA Youth Gathering. This incredible event includes service, worship, fun with friends, learning, and play. Plan now to attend. Registration opens in October and is open to any student currently in grades 8-12. Registration forms (available from Amy Floan) and deposit ($150) are due 10/08/2014. If you have financial concerns, please contact Amy Floan (882-4044) about payment plans and scholarships.

Soul Troop Is Off To A Great Start

September 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Current News

Over 25 kids have joined Soul Troop and are singing songs, reading the Bible, doing service projects, and having fun while praising God! Soul Troop includes 3rd-5th grade students and meets on Wednesdays from 3:15pm-4:30pm. (On early release days, Soul Troop starts at noon.)

Soul Troop’s Mission Focus: The ELCA Malaria Campaign

St. John’s is being infested with mosquitos! The Soul Troop kids added to our wall of mosquitos! You can help get rid of these mosquitos with a donation of any size. Every $10 raised buys an insecticide-treated mosquito net. St. John’s goal is to raise $8000, and we are about $2000 from this goal. Together, we can make malaria history!

Sweet Wednesdays

Dessert. Friends. Prayer. Deep topics. Games. That’s what these 90 minutes are all about, from 7:30-9:00pm on Wednesdays. This gathering is exclusively for high school youth, both St. John’s members and our guests. (Bring your friends!) These are Sweet Wednesdays because of the great time we have and the delicious treats we enjoy. Come join us every Wednesday in the Youth Room in the north basement.

2014-2015 Confirmation Launches

September 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Confirmation

Sixty-six middle school youth are jumping into a year of confirmation ministry. Twenty caring adults are their supportive companions. Our Wednesday evening sessions from 6-7:30pm and will explore the New Testament. Come learn with us! Over the course of the year, these young disciples will study the Bible, serve their community, acolyte during worship, spend time at Lutherdale Bible Camp, grow in faith, and have loads of fun doing it. Please pray for these young people and their sponsors in this important time of their lifelong faith journey.

8th Grade Youth: Abbigail Deschaine, Kaitlynn Finfrock, James Gorman, Owen Hurst, Emma Jorgensen, Nathan Koniowka, Henry Korfmacher, Aleana Krake, Ashton Miller, Keegan Olin, Emily Ott, Matthew Peckham, Grant Powell, Ben Ross, Nathan Roth, Ashley Rudser, Jedta Stadt, Marcus Steindl, Leah Wagner
8th Grade Sponsors: Kristie Finfrock, Ed Koniowka, Brad Miller, Brenda Muth, Ken Muth, Kevin Olin

7th Grade Youth: Aaron Anderson, Chase Anderson, Paige Banks, Clint Bergsma, Angela Corell, McKenzie Fillner, Matthew Forster, Seth Grover, Nolan Hammond, Kylie Hoops, Jakob Jacobson, Devin Kuqo, Sydney Miller, Kenna Noe, Benjamin Ploessl, Louka Pomplun, Hanna Roberts, Dakota Ronek, Abigail Rosonke, Hailey Rowley, Leila Schmitt, Annabelle Senn, Madison Soto, Garrett Thurman, Quinn Thurman, Mia Tortomasi, Kaylee Trawicki, Haydon Trustem, Abigail Wardwell, Emma Wardwell

7th Grade Sponsors: Dulcie Bergsma, Julie Flynn, Peter Forster, Sherri Haakenson, Rob Hammond, Laura Jacobson, Dan Millin, Jon Senn

6th Grade Youth: Taylor Acker, Lindsey Carlson, Kaitlyn Dunphy, Adrian Garcia, Elizabeth Klitzman, Zachary Moran, Sierra Muench, Zachary Ott, Grace Peterson, Nathan Popanz, Josi Rinehart, Collin Roberts, Gavin Schmidt, Liberty Schmidt, Tyr Severson, Ryan Thompson, Brody Trustem, Mekenzie Wagner

6th Grade Sponsors: Jena Acker, Jessica Carlson, Kelly Dunphy, Shawn Lynn, Eric Peterson, Jenny Schmidt

Mark your calendars now for May 16-17, 2015, for a celebration of confirmation and the Affirmation of Baptism for our 8th graders.

ELCA Embarks on First Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

September 7, 2014 by  
Filed under ELCA

CHICAGO (ELCA) — As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) seek to grow the life-changing, life-sustaining ministries of this church, they can do so through “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA.” The five-year comprehensive campaign is the first ever for the ELCA.

A goal of the campaign, overwhelmingly approved by the voting members of the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, is to raise $198 million to help sustain and grow the ministries of this church. The additional resources will provide the ELCA with opportunities to deepen relationships and expand ministries that serve communities in the United States and around the world.

“Through this campaign, ELCA members have the opportunity to share God’s love in meaningful and life-changing ways,” said Eaton. “Together we can save a child’s life, identify and prepare leaders in our church and among our global companions, start or renew congregations, and help people and communities break the cycle of hunger and poverty. That’s what this campaign can do. That’s what we can do. And, we get to do this in Jesus’ name.”

Approved during the ELCA’s 25th anniversary year, the campaign goal of nearly $200 million represents a significant increase in designated funding for existing and new ministry initiatives. Through several priorities, the campaign seeks to:

+ Renew and begin new congregations

+ End hunger and overcome malaria

+ Identify and train new leaders and engage young people in church life

+ Expand the ELCA’s disability ministries

+ Grow this church’s capacity to serve globally, support ELCA missionaries and women leaders among global companion churches.

“This campaign gives us all the chance to reach out locally and globally in new ways that will make a difference not only today but well into the future,” said MaryAnn Anderson.

Information about “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA” is available at

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