Weekly News

November 28/29, 2020
The Ministry of St. John Lutheran; stjohnseward.org

Please send Prayer Requests to sjcstaff@stjohnseward.org

If you know someone who is not getting emails from St. John, please contact brenda.rief@stjohnseward.org.

Worship and Communion Opportunities

Returning to Worship Update – 9-21-20

Communion Service on Tuesdays at 11am – call the church office beginning on Wednesday of each week to register for the coming Tuesday (call between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) or you can register on line – click here.

Below are some devotional questions that go with the message for this Sunday.  You are encouraged to read them before, during, or after the message.  They could be for personal reflection, but could also be used for discussion in groups.

QUESTIONS for 1 John 1:1-10

Readings for November 28/29: Psalm 80:1-7; Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 11:1-10 or Mark 13:24-37
Readings for December 5/6: Psalm 85; Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
  • The theme for our Advent sermon series is: See What Kind of Love! How would you describe the “kind of love” God has for people in comparison to the love shared between people?
  • 1 John 1:1-5 echoes John 1:1-5.  What thoughts catch your attention from both readings?
  • John uses the “Word of Life” and the “Light” to reference Jesus.  What gifts of Jesus for you come to mind with these names of Jesus?
  • John desires to give joy by writing the letter to believers (1 John 1:2).  What would make your joy complete?

Advent Midweek Services—Wednesdays: Dec. 2, 9, 16

10:00am – In-person worship
6:30pm – In-person and livestreamed worship

Advent 2020—See What Kind of Love!
It is comforting to know that you are loved, especially when you know that there are times when you are not loveable!  Join us as we walk through the first letter of John during Advent and look closer at the love God gives to us in His Son, Jesus Christ.  The sermon series, which will include the weekends and midweek services of Advent, will help us to grow in our understanding of just how loved we are in Jesus.

  • December 2—Advent Midweek 1—1 John 2:1-6(7-14)—Love Is for Us
  • December 5/6—Advent 2—1 John 2:15-27—Love in the Wrong Direction
  • December 9—Advent Midweek 2—1 John 2:28-3:10—His Love Clings to Us
  • December 12/13—Advent 3—1 John 3:11-24 (4:1-6)—Love Flows Through Us
  • December 16—Advent Midweek 3—1 John 4:7-21—True Love Makes the First Move
  • December 19/20—Advent 4—1 John 5:1-15—Love Overcomes  

Christmas Season Worship Schedule

*Making Reservations—beginning December 17
Worshipers will need to make reservations for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. You may do so by clicking here starting Dec. 17, or by calling the church office. When you make your reservation, you will need to give the number in your household group that will be worshiping together. You may make reservations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services beginning December 17.
We invite you to gather your family at home for worship around the 6 p.m. livestreamed service on Christmas Eve. This may be a new way to worship, but the message is eternal: Christ, the Savior, is born. We go to the manger with those we love, because Love came down for each of us. If you cannot personally be with friends and family, please know that you are never alone, for God is with you, and so is your church family, even in onscreen worship.

*Christmas Eve—Thursday, December 24
2 p.m. Christmas Eve Service of Carols and the Word
4 p.m. Christmas Eve Service of Carols and the Word with candlelight
6 p.m. Christmas Eve Service with communion and candlelight. Service livestreamed.
8 p.m. Christmas Eve Service with communion and candlelight
*Christmas Day—Friday, December 25
10 a.m. Christmas Day Service of Readings and Carols Service livestreamed.
December 26—Saturday
No Saturday evening service
December 27—Sunday
8:30 a.m.—Regular schedule. Service livestreamed
11 a.m.—Communion service

Special Voting Assembly Called for Sunday, December 6 at 1pm – online only

A special Voting Assembly will be held on Sunday, December 6, at 1pm for the sole purpose of extending a Divine Call for St. John’s next Deaconess.  This meeting will be held online only due to the health concerns of the pandemic.  The login information will be sent to you in the coming weeks. 

Lutheran Hour Ministry Advent Devotions – Pickup in west entrance or narthex OR Click Here


We currently have enough wreaths purchased to beautify our sanctuary for Christmas and Epiphany; however, poinsettias can still be ordered. You will find order blanks in the November monthly newsletter, in the narthex and west entrance and by clicking here.  Poinsettias are $19.  Payment will be in advance by cash or check made “payable to St. John”, and dropped off in the church office; placed in Rachel Holte’s mailbox in the lower hallway; or mailed to the church.  Poinsettias will be from Merle’s Flower Shop and Merle’s Garden Center. Your poinsettias can be in honor of or in memory of loved ones, or in thankfulness, therefore, please also complete that portion of the form. Deadline for ordering is noon on Mon., Dec. 7. Thank you!

Christmas Cash

As you shop for loved ones and friends, remember the opportunity to provide a little holiday cheer in the lives of congregation members.  You may donate money by designating extra giving on your weekly offering envelopes (Christmas Cash).  Names of individuals and families that have had a challenging year are collected by the ministry staff.  At Christmas time, the money is divided among the names collected, and those individuals/families receive a surprise cash gift from St. John members.  Many families have been blessed by this fund, and we appreciate your kind giving.

St. John Christmas Wish Book 2020 – Click Here

Live, Give, Grow, & Owe

  • An introduction to basic cash flow at all income levels
  • Biblical basis for how we handle money

Join us for a three week, virtual class, presented by
Joel Endorf starting
Sunday, Dec 6
2:00 – 3:30 pm
via ZOOM.
Click here: 
Register for Live, Give, Grow & Owe

Christ’s Cupboard Thank You

Thanks to all who donated so generously to Christ’s Cupboard at Thanksgiving. We appreciate your part in caring for those in our community who are in need especially during these challenging days. – Christ’s Cupboard Committee –

LWML Mite Box Mission Project

Keep saving your change for the LWML mite box for missions such as the LWML Mission Grant #17 “Christ for You, Anytime, Anywhere.” This grant will assist radio station KFUO to reach people far and wide with the message of Jesus Christ. The station utilizes the latest technology so it can stay connected with listeners of all ages in locations around the world. For more information, go to www.lwml.org/2019-2021-mission-grant-17.

CDC Selling Butter Braids

The Child Development Center is selling Butter Braids to raise funds for our classroom’s ever growing needs.  Orders can be placed with any CDC family or in the CDC, church or school offices until Tuesday, December 1, with pick-up on Wednesday, December 16.  Or use the online store St John CDC Butter Braids.  Just in time for Christmas!  Contact Kari Huntington at  kari.huntington@stjohnseward.org  or 402-643-3122 with any questions.    

Bible Study Reminder

Sunday morning Pastors’ Lectionary Discussion class is in person in the fellowship hall AND livestreaming at 10:00 AM.

Use of Masks when on Campus

When you come to the church office, enter through the west entrance, sign in in the lobby, and then put on a face covering as you enter into the building.  This is to be done by all who come into the church office and any other public areas of the facility for the safety of staff and students. 

Child Development Center in Need of Workers

We are in need of subs for classrooms, a maternity-leave sub for October-January, and 20 or 30 hour per week workers.  If you have interest or leads for us, please call the Child Development Center at 402-643-3122. 

Dare2B News

Dare2B will not meet this Wed. as scheduled. This fun-loving, energetic group will meet again on Wed., Jan. 20. Hope to see you at the Advent worship services! 

Parents of 7th and 8th graders: If you are not receiving Remind notices on your cell phone, please let Tim know and give him your cell phone number (Tim.Rippstein@stjohnseward.org)

Home Sunday Schoolclick here for details

Trustees Need Volunteers in Various Areas – click here for details

New Tech Team Forming

The Christian Nurture Board and Youth Board are collaborating to develop a Tech Team. Members of this team will use their gifts in technology to further the ministries of St. John in the area of Faith Formation under the guidance of the Board of Christian Nurture and Board for Youth. This Tech Team is open to 8th graders and older with skills in such areas as videography, social media, web design, communications, etc. For more information contact Cathy Miller (millerklmcjm@aol.com ) or DCE Tim Rippstein
(Tim.Rippstein@stjohnseward.org ) 402.643.2983.

Click here for Trivia Night 2021 detailsUpdated 11-23-20

Ring Bells for the Salvation Army

The Seward Ministerial Association is again coordinating volunteers to ring bells at the Salvation Army kettles at the Seward WalMart.  Ninety percent of the funds raised return to Seward County to assist individuals and families in need.  This year all sign-ups will be done on line.  Go to www.registertoring.com/default.aspk.  Enter Seward’s zip code, then enter the date range as 11/27 – 12/10.  Click on the Walmart location and the possible shifts will appear. You may pick the day/time that works for you.  Sign up for a one hour shift, bring family or a friend along to help.

Hope for the Holidays

Hope for the Holdidays, a project of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, coordinates the collection of Christmas cards which include handwritten messages of hope, and distributes them to immigrant families currently held in detention centers across the US.  Pick up a few cards and write a short note of hope.  Cards and instruction sheets are available in the church narthex.  If desiring more information contact Juanita Ebert at jmebert20@gmail.com.

The Ministry Offices of St. John Lutheran Church will be open from 8am-1:30pm, Monday through Friday – please make an appointment if you need to speak to a staff member. Phones will be staffed during this time

You may make an appointment to meet with a ministry staff member as needed.

Contacting a staff member by email is the best way to connect at this time. Please use their direct email address or you may send it to one of these:

For church: sjcstaff@stjohnseward.org

For school: school@stjohnseward.org

For CDC: lisa.aring@stjohnseward.org

West Entrance Is Open
The west entrance will be open from 8am-4pm Monday through Friday in order for individuals to drop off donations for Christ’s Cupboard and to pick up items.