St. John's News

May 26/27, 2018

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

HIPAA guidelines do not allow hospitals to release names of patients without their permission. Your pastors and St. John’s BeFrienders do not want to miss you. If you are hospitalized or are scheduled for a medical procedure, please contact Gudrun Dunt, Member Care Coordinator, (309) 827-6121 ext. 214 or

Hospitalized, recovering, or in need of healing
Marilyn Blank, Deborah Moore

Keep in prayer
Curt Addicks, Tim Beeler, Marilyn Blank, Henry Bruens, Jim Caster, Andrea Choban, Ed Cronic, Ellen Dalrymple, Mary Diesel, Ken Dohleman, Shirley Drobnak, Bill Dunbar, Ben Goodman, Chris Goodman, Christie Goodman, Alex Haines, Betty Hines, Sandy Irwin, Barb Jurgens, Janet Klinzing, Carter Knutson, Kari Mede-Frommell, Julie Megli, Deborah Moore, Doug Prochnow, Jessica Rathbun, Bev Sohn, Margene Taylor, Karyn Therman, Dawn Urewicz, Weldon Walker, Jamie Wood

Alice McAuley and family upon the death of her husband, Tom McAuley

For those in job transitions at State Farm and elsewhere

Congregations in pastoral transition including St. John’s Lutheran, Bloomington, St. John Lutheran, Reedsburg, Wisconsin and Christ Lutheran, University Park, Texas

2018 Partners in Healing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
Palliative Care—patients, their families, and staff

Prayers for those in the Military
Dustin Ahlschwede, Sara Coakley, Michael Eack, Casey Grogg, Jeremy Grogg, Mike Heuer, David Lehr, Jason Lenz, Andrew Mueller, Richard Mutari Jr., Andrew Roberts, Jessica Sylvester

Altar Flowers
In loving memory of my husband John, given by Shirley Moriarity

Synod Assembly Representatives
The following individuals will be representing St. John’s Lutheran Church at the Central/Southern Illinois Synod Assembly in Champaign, June 7-9: Pastor Lanny Westphal, Pastor Patsy Koeneke, Todd Peterson, Roger Hellman, Lyn Ahearn, Vern Veal, David Johnson, Tim Kelly. Please keep all of our delegates in your prayers at they represent our congregation.    

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Interim Senior Pastor Lanny Westphal

When I arrived at St. John’s last August, I was impressed with your beautiful building. Much of it has been renovated in recent years, and I was told that the next step was to renovate the “1964 addition,” which includes the Sanctuary, offices and lower level classrooms. Although plans for this renovation have been under consideration for about ten years, they were put on pause last summer.  Working here on a daily basis, it was clear that, at the minimum, some facility repairs need to happen. After listening to a great number of our members, last winter I asked that the process be restarted... slowly. I wanted to make sure important plans weren’t delayed so you can keep preparing for the future.

The Long Range Facilities Team, including members of the council and staff, has begun meeting again. On April 3, we met with two representatives from the ELCA Mission Investment Fund, Dick Wehrs of Peoria and ELCA Building Consultant Anne Gerrietts. Anne assists congregations across the ELCA with their ministry strategies and building planning at no cost. Anne liked our building and offered many valuable insights into renovation. When I met your next senior pastor, David Glesne, he confirmed that he is supportive of this process and is looking forward to working with the Long Range Facilities Team to keep it moving forward.

The most important insight so far is this: ministry plans come first—before building plans. Buildings support Christ’s ministry, not the other way around. Your most important goal is to build up the congregation, rather than just construct a building. So stay informed, get involved, and pray for God’s guidance!

• • • • •


Saturday Evening Service  5 PM, Parish Life Center
Sunday Traditional Worship   8:30 AM, Sanctuary
Sunday Community of Joy Worship  10 AM, Parish Life Center

I Don’t Understand /  Pastor Patsy Koeneke
Isaiah 6:1–8Psalm 29  /  Romans 8:12–17  /  John 3:1–7

Coffee and Refreshments  8–11 AM, Upper Balcony

• • • • •

St. John’s 2018/19 Strategic Plan

To be relevant to, and in relationship with members and nonmembers so that together we grow in number, grow in faith, and grow in our involvement; experiencing the hope, love, and joy in knowing Jesus Christ. Specifically, we challenge ourselves to invite more guests, involve more members, encourage more young people in worship, and re-engage our inactive members.  

As plans are made for new or enhanced ministries or initiatives that are in response to this goal
we will highlight them in the St. John’s News, on the website, and on social media. 

One of the first initiatives is the Lord’s Prayer Pew Project. This is an exciting, new initiative in response to our challenge to encourage more young families to attend worship this summer while Joy Zone takes a break. Each week, worship services will center around a different petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Special litanies, music, and children’s sermons will walk us through the prayer our Lord taught us. During the children’s sermon, kids will receive a related project to take back to their seat. During the 10 AM service, children will have the option of leaving the service to complete the project with adult volunteers, and returning during the offering. Each child’s artwork will become a special part of a common art project that will be on display this summer. 

• • • • •


Send Greetings with Pastor Westphal
Pastor Westphal will take our greetings with him to the people of Christ Lutheran Church of University Park in Dallas, Texas, where he will serve next. Please stop by one of the Welcome Centers or the Balcony to sign a letter and add your thoughts or greetings. This is one way we can show that we are united in the body of Christ.

Farewell Thoughts and Blessing for Pastor Westphal
Pastor Westphal will share some thoughts and reflections about our past year together as we offer prayers and blessings for him during his final worship services with us on June 9/10.

Farewell Gathering for Pastor Westphal
Sunday, June 3, 4–7 PM, Destihl Brewery, 1200 Greenbriar Drive, Normal
All are welcome to this get-together to say thank you, good luck, and goodbye! Food and beverages will be available to order. Please RSVP to host Barb Haab, (309) 662-3041, by Friday, June 1, 12 PM.

Columbarium News
The dead Japanese maple trees in the Columbarium/Memorial Garden have been replaced with new, thriving hydrangea trees! This project was funded by the Memorial Fund. 

Ministry Retirement Reception for Pastor Blake Duncan
Sunday, June 3, 12 PM, Peace Lutheran Church, 303 North Mulberry Street, Steeleville, Illinois
You are invited to former St. John’s Pastor Blake Duncan’s retirement celebration. A potluck meal will be served with main dish and drinks provided. Please bring a dish to share.

Next Steps: Find Your PLACE
Sunday, June 24, 11:15 AM–1 PM, Fellowship Hall
Are you a newer member or someone that’s been at St. John’s for years, but you’re still looking to find your place and get more connected in the life of the church? Join us for a fun and interactive time of connecting—connect with other members over lunch, connect with staff, connect to a ministry that matches your passion! Everyone is welcome, and childcare is available upon request. Please RSVP to Melissa Drobnak,, by June 17.

Position available

Noah’s Ark Position Opening
Noah’s Ark is looking for a DCFS teacher qualified candidate to teach in our two-year-old classroom. If you are interested, please contact Sherri Lewis,, before June 1.

Can you help?

Vacation Bible School Volunteers
Monday, June 11–Friday, June 15
Each year, VBS hosts more 250 kids for a week of learning about Jesus! And that means we need many, many volunteers! This year we already have 136 volunteers signed up to help by guiding groups of 5-8 kids from station to station, preparing snacks for hungry children, decorating the church, and leading interactive stations! We are still looking for 16 crew leaders. Crew leaders are responsible to shepherd a group of preschool or elementary kids through various stations, and must be available from 8:30 AM–12 PM each day of VBS. Please contact Laura,, if you are interested in helping or have questions!

Local Missions
Visit the church website’s Local Missions page to sign up to help prepare and serve a meal at Safe Harbor, help with the next Midwest Food Bank work day, or volunteer at Center for Hope Food Pantry. These are great opportunities to help people in need in our own community and beyond!

Adults, children, and youth

2 years–5th grade  /  /

6th–7th grade  /

9th–12th grade  /  /

All adults  /  / 

Operating Fund Results

May offerings goal$140,000.00
May offerings (through May 21)—$112,997.59

Additional information for all funds is available in the monthly Stewardship News on the church website or by contacting Shari Buckellew,