St. John's News

November 19–December 2, 2017

Prayers and Blessings
If you are hospitalized for surgery, illness, having a baby, and would like to be included on the prayer list or have one of the pastors visit, contact the office directly or give someone in your family permission to do so on your behalf. If you are hospitalized, please make sure to list St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church as your membership and please specify:

Prayer ChainShared only with St. John’s Prayer Chain and our pastors
PastorsShared only with the pastors
Public Prayers—Shared with the pastors, Prayer Chain, and Caregivers, verbal mention in worship, listed in the St. John’s News, and printed on the Prayer Focus flyer at Welcome Centers

Hospitalized and/or Recovering this Week
Ed Cronic

Keep in Prayer
Curt Addicks, Alan Bean, Tim Beeler, Marilyn Blank, Henry Bruens, Jim Caster, Andrea Choban, Ellen Dalrymple, Ken Dohleman, Shirley Drobnak, Bob Fairbairn, Ben Goodman, Chris Goodman, Christie Goodman, Alex Haines, Betty Hines, June Kelley Hollenkamp, Sandy Irwin, David Johnson, Barb Jurgens, Janet Klinzing, Carter Knutson, Tom McAuley, Kari Mede-Frommell, Julie Megli, Deborah Moore, Pamela Sue Nelson, Bonnie Nelson, Jim Oberman, Doug Prochnow, Jessica Rathbun, Tim Reedy, John Schadler, Sylvia Sieberns, Bev Sohn, Bob Tasker, Karyn Therman, Dawn Urewicz, Weldon Walker, Jamie Wood

New Baby
Finley Marie Huff, daughter of Jared and Megan Huff and grand-daughter of Dean and Cyndee Brown.

Don and Rachel Jones and family upon the death of Rachel’s mother, Letha Seip

Prayers for those in the Military
Dustin Ahlschwede, Sara Coakley, Timothy Dobson, Michael Eack, Nicholas Fontaine, Casey Grogg, Jeremy Grogg, Mike Heuer, Kelly Jacobs, Ashley Hardwick, David Lehr, Zackery Montoya, Andrew Mueller, Richard Mutari Jr., Andrew Roberts, Jessica Sylvester, Rob Van Gilder

Altar Flowers
In honor and memory of our parents on their wedding anniversaries, given by Tim and Karen Terry

In loving memory of parents, Charles and Margaret Eaker, given by Jan Dosen

In loving memory of Bob Denny, given by Carol Denny

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Advent at St. John’s

Mark your calendars as we spend the month of December embracing and sharing the gifts God gives to each of us,
as we look to celebrating the coming of The Greatest Gift given to all of us—Jesus Christ. 

Advent Weekend Worship

 Focus on God’s gifts to us with children’s message on our gifts to God

December 2 and 3 Regular weekend worship times and locationsAdvent One
December 9 and 10Regular weekend worship times and locations • Advent Two
December 16 and 17Regular weekend worship times and locations • Advent Three
December 235 PM, Sanctuary • Advent Four, Saturday Evening Service only

Advent MidWeek Worship 

Wednesdays 7:15 PM, Sanctuary
The Holden Evening Prayer liturgy is a service of song, prayer, and Scripture. 
The Family Ministries staff will offer reflection for this season.

December 6Laura Freyman, Hope
December 13 • Steve Terry, Peace
December 20 • Rob Gieraltowski, Joy

Live Nativity 

Saturday, December 9 2–7 PM, North Lawn
An outreach to hundreds of people attending Christmas at the Mansions event at Ewing Manor. Join in the fun of serving hot chocolate, singing carols, or being part of the live nativity! Contact Dave Bollmann,, to help.

Advent Cantata

Sunday, December 10 8:30 AM, Sanctuary
The St. John’s Choir will present Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major during worship.


Sunday, December 19 2 PM, Sanctuary
This service is an opportunity to have the space and time to acknowledge sadness and know we are not alone. The service includes prayer, scripture, and music that acknowledges God’s presence is also for those who mourn and struggle. 

Christmas Eve Children’s Christmas experience

Sunday, December 24 9 AM, Parish Life Center
A time of fellowship followed by activity stations and an interactive skit, designed to teach young children about God’s gifts to us all. 

Christmas Eve Worship

Sunday, December 24

1 PM, SanctuaryTraditional Candlelight
3 PM, Parish Life Center • Community of Joy
5 PM, Parish Life Center • Community of Joy
7 PM, Sanctuary • Traditional Candlelight
9 PM, Sanctuary • Traditional Candlelight


December 30 and December 31 • Regular weekend worship times and locations

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At St. John’s we are moving forward in gratitude and boldness to keep our ministries strong and open our doors to all. For 2018 an increase of $162,000 is needed to maintain the ministries that touch lives for Christ. To encourage more people to make a commitment, several generous members have offered challenge gifts totaling $15,500 when 425 pledge cards have been returned!

You can make a difference!

Please prayerfully consider making a generous pledge for the coming year. Pledge cards are available at the Welcome Centers. Return your pledge card at worship or to the church office or you may submit your pledge online at Help us achieve our goal of $162,000 in increased pledges, and help us receive the $15,500 challenge gifts for 425 pledge cards returned!

We give in gratitude, and celebrate with gratitude.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with
songs of praise! For the Lord is a great
God and a great King above
all gods.
—Psalm 95:2-3

• • • • •


Bishop Roth will meet with the Call Committee this week to nominate several pastors for the committee to interview. Each of these pastors has reviewed St. John’s Ministry Site Profile, which is available at the Welcome Centers or on St. John’s website. Each pastor has also agreed to allow their Rostered Minister Profile to be given to our call committee. Please remember that the Call Committee must hold all this information about these nominees in confidence and cannot disclose any information about these pastors. After the interviews are complete, the Call Committee will prayerfully discern whether God may be calling one of these pastors to serve as senior pastor of St. John’s. The Call Committee will then make a recommendation to the Council. If the Council concurs, it will schedule a congregational meeting to vote on the recommended nominee. The call committee is made up of the following St. John’s members: Dean Brown, Sue Frank, Julie Holliday, John Hurliman, Todd Peterson, Alicia Whitworth, and Congregation President Chris Magnuson. Please keep the members of the committee and the St. John’s call process in your prayers during this time of discerning.

You can read the complete Profile available at the Welcome Centers or on St. John’s website.

• • • • • 

An update from Interim Senior Pastor Lanny Westphal

Exciting things are happening at St. John’s! The council, staff, and ministry team leaders have begun planning for the coming year. The Call Committee is receiving names to interview for the senior pastor position. Generous members have offered challenge gifts totalling $15,500 when 425 pledges are received in the Giving in Gratitude pledge appeal. Let’s keep our ministries strong and growing to present a positive profile to pastors who consider interviewing to serve St. John’s.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings, I invite you to read a delightful and inspiring story from ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton on how, despite their differences, her family gathered together for special meals. It reminds me of an important theme: what binds us together in Christ is far more important than anything that divides us. You can read the story at 

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Sunday Adult Study
Sundays, 9:45 AM, Fellowship Hall. Join Paul Crownhart for the continuation of the study, How Lutherans Interpret the Bible. Class will not meet November 26.

St. John’s Book Clubs
Tuesday, November 21, 9 AM. The Confession by John Grisham, Shannon’s Restaurant, 1305 South Mercer Avenue, Bloomington.

Wednesdays, 10–11:30 AM, Fellowship Hall. Help celebrate 25 years of Kaffehuset! Everyone is invited! November 22: Elizabeth Reed, Professor of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Illinois State University, will present Fix It Friday. November 29: Sharon Lawlis will present Wellness, Happiness, and Longevity.

Thanksgiving Eve Worship
Wednesday, November 22, 7 PM, Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 1510 North Main Street, Normal. All are invited to worship with our brothers and sisters at Our Saviour.

Church Building Closed
Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24. The church building will be closed and activities will not meet. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

St. John’s Quilters
Tuesday, November 28, 9:30 AM, Fellowship Hall. Members are welcome to help prepare quilts for Lutheran World Relief. For more information, contact Joyce Niemi, (309) 662-7528; Marlene Blaine, (309) 527-3032; or Susan Fischer, (309) 663-7035. 

Moms’ Bible Study
Thursdays, 9–11 AM, room 381. Join us for fellowship and study. Contact Ashley Davis,, for details or child care arrangements. 

Faith and Life Study 
Thursdays, 9:30 AM, Fellowship Hall. Everyone is welcome to this study. 

Membership Class
Wednesday, December 6, 6–7:15 PM, Room 381. Contact Melissa Drobnak,, for more information or to register.

The Apostle Paul Retreat
Friday, December 8, 5 PM–Saturday, December 9, 3 PM, King’s House Renewal and Retreat Center, Belleville. This 24-hour retreat, designed as a Spiritual retreat, will be led by Reverend S. Blake Duncan. Registration deadline is Monday, November 20. Visit to register.

Washed and Welcome Baptism Class
Wednesday, December 13, 6 PM, Chapel. A one-hour class for individuals, parents, and expectant parents with information about the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Childcare will be available in the Nursery. Please contact the church office, (309) 827-6121, if you would like to attend this class.


Blankets for the Homeless TIE Party
Sunday, November 26, 6 PM, Senior High Youth Room. Wear a fancy tie and come help make tie blankets to share with the homeless.

Jesus Gloves You
Saturday, December 2. We will spend the day on the streets of Chicago sharing prayer and gloves, hats, and blankets with the homeless. Permission forms can be found at the Welcome Centers and on the church website.


Giving Tree
Help put a smile on the face of someone in need this Christmas. The Giving Trees, located in the Atrium and Narthex, contain names and Christmas wishes of children and family in our community. Names provided are currently being served by local social agencies. For many of these people, this will be the only gift they receive this Christmas. Please select an angel, record your name and phone number on the corresponding line of the display board, and return your gifts by Sunday, December 3. Gifts should be wrapped unless otherwise specified. Thank you for your generosity this Christmas season!

Advent Decorating
Tuesday, November 28, 9 AM–7 PM. It is time to decorate the church for the holidays! You and your friends and family are invited to join the staff for a shift or two to decorate, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, and listen to Christmas music. Come for a two-hour shift or as much as you can! Contact Shari, or 309-827-6121 ext. 205, with any questions.

Join the Coffee Corps Team!
Each Sunday morning, you will find congregation members gathering on the Upper Balcony to enjoy a cup of coffee, a donut, and conversation. It is a great place to connect and meet new people! The Coffee Corps team serves on a rotating basis preparing or cleaning up the coffee service. The time commitment is minimal and training is available. To join the team or learn more, contact Gudrun, or (309) 827-6121 ext. 214.

Faith In Action Volunteer Orientation Date
Wednesday, December 13—10:30 AM–12 PM

Donations needed for Vacation Bible School
Many items are needed for decorating for the summer’s VBS. Instead of recycling the following items, please bring them to the Giving Center.

  • clear plastic bottles (any size—washed out and wrapper removed)
  • green wine bottles (washed out and wrapper removed)
  • metal bottle caps (any kind—the top will not show)
  • corrugated plastic
  • corrugated cardboard
  • small and medium cardboard boxes (broken down)

Christmas Eve Usher Opportunity
St. John’s will have five worship services on Christmas Eve with a need for additional ushers. Current ushers, anyone interested in ushering, or those with a heart for hospitality, please consider serving in one of these services. Traditional services will be held at 1 PM, 7 PM, and 9 PM in the Sanctuary, and Contemporary services will be held at 3 PM and 5 PM in the Parish Life Center. Please contact the Usher Coordinator for the service you normally attend:

  • Saturday—Jim Click,
  • Community of Joy—Melissa Drobnak,
  • Traditional—Craig Queen,


Poinsettia Memorials
If you would like to purchase a poinsettia in honor or memory of someone, please place your order by Monday, December 18, using the envelopes from the Welcome Centers. The cost of each poinsettia is $7. You may take your flower home on Christmas Eve after the last worship service in each worship space.


Thrivent Choice Dollars
If you are a Thrivent member with Choice Dollars to direct and wish to direct them to St. John’s, please do so by March 31. If your dollars are not directed to a specific organization, they will go into the national donation. St. John’s Bloomington, St. John’s Bloomington Columbarium, and Noah’s Ark Preschool are all eligible to receive these directed dollars. To direct your dollars, go to and log in. For more information, contact Chris Ayers, or (309) 824-6873.

Tax-Smart Ways to Give
Check with your tax professional for more details and specifics. 

  • Gifts of appreciated stock can be made directly to St. John’s through our 
  • account at Wells Fargo, decreasing your capital gains tax impact. 
  • A distribution made by an individual who is age 70½ or older from an IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE IRA) made DIRECTLY to a qualified charity, such as St. John’s, can satisfy all or part of a minimum distribution and is a nontaxable event. 

Please contact Fran Crownhart,, if you would like to make a year-end contribution of stock. 

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Did You Know?

A weekly communication on happenings at St. John’s

by Dave Bollmann

Nearly five months ago, St. John’s deepened its commitment to engage and equip members in learning more about their faith. Recommended by the Susan Beaumont Report of 2015, the position of Director of Adult and Family Ministries was created with the vision to develop a “cradle-to-grave” continuum of learning and spiritual development. I am blessed to work with several amazing people, including the director of Noah’s Ark and the directors of the children’s, junior high, and senior high ministries. Adult learning is also a ministry that I oversee, which includes the Thursday Faith and Life Study and Sunday Adult Study as well as small groups.

Grouping these ministries into one “department” allows the different ministries to work closer together to help more members deepen their spiritual learning. An example of cross-department learning was the Celebration of the Reformation. Senior high youth led a Reformation-themed worship service for the elementary Joy Zone children and all children participated in the 9:45 AM worship service.  

We are looking forward to the new year with learning events planned around the theme of Living Free. In January and February, the emphasis will be on financial stewardship and other ways God works in our lives to free us from financial stress. During Lent, the emphasis will be For God So Loved the World with a focus on missions and opportunities for members to serve others. A church-wide book read of When Helping Hurts will be offered on Thursday and Sunday mornings, through small groups, and individually.

We are hoping for 100% participation in some way with the learning ministries in the new year.  Please refer to upcoming St. John’s News for ongoing opportunities to get involved!