St. John's News

January 14, 2018

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 or Recovering this Week
Kathy Crabtree, Kathy Freyman

Keep in Prayer
Curt Addicks, Alan Bean, Tim Beeler, Marilyn Blank, Henry Bruens, Jim Caster, Andrea Choban, Ed Cronic, Ellen Dalrymple, Ken Dohleman, Shirley Drobnak, Bob Fairbairn, Ben Goodman, Chris Goodman, Christie Goodman, Alex Haines, Betty Hines, June Kelley Hollenkamp, Sandy Irwin, 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

Ruth Gordon upon the death of her brother, Harold Bartels

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 memory of parents and in honor of grandchildren, given by Don and Carol Fox
In loving memory of Dag and Norm Nelson from daughter Pam Nelson

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2017 Annual Report

The report can be found at the Welcome Centers or save paper and read it on the church website!

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We’re off to a good beginning in our pledge appeal! Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge! If you haven’t yet, there is still time! Pledge cards are available at the Welcome Centers, or you may submit your pledge electronically at

As of January 2

Total number of pledges: 339 toward our goal of 425—Once we reach this goal we will receive $15,500 in challenge gifts from generous members.  

Total amount of new giving: $99,000 toward our goal of $162,000

Total Giving in Gratitude pledges: $1,280,612

Making a pledge helps us grow in faith and joy. We become more invested,
involved, and interested in Christ’s ministry. No gift is too large or too small.

  • Can you consider giving an additional $5 a week, or $500 a month?
  • Can you consider increasing your giving by 1% of your income?
  • Can you consider moving toward and beyond a tithe of 10% of your income?

Start where you are and grow from there!—Pastor Lanny Westphal

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Farewell, Pastor Christine McNeal

During worship services on January 20/21, we will say goodbye to Pastor Christine as she prepares to end her service at St. John’s at the end of January to work full-time in her new call at Advocate BroMenn. She will also be in the Upper Balcony Sunday morning for all who wish to greet her. Please join us all in thanking her for her years of service at St. John’s!

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The call committee is in the midst of initial interviews with four pastoral candidates. When the interviews are completed, references will be checked, and next steps will be determined. In the Ministry Site Profile which has been given to all the candidates, this sentence describes recent trends within our congregation: “Trends in the past five years are a greater emphasis on youth programming, more passionate caring for one another and a more professional organizational structure better aligned with our mission, vision, and values.” You can read the complete Profile available at the Welcome Centers or on St. John’s website. Please keep the call process in your prayers!

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An update from Interim Senior Pastor Lanny Westphal

I am so proud of the people of St. John’s! When I arrived here I read a list of core values of this congregation. You can pick up your own copy of these core values at the Welcome Centers. As I got to know you I saw these were not just words on a piece of paper. You really live out your core values! As our New Year’s resolution in church, last weekend in worship we recommitted to these congregational core values, and each week we will recommit to one of the values we share with all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It is a good time to embrace our identity and affirm our mission in Christ. See you in church!

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Annual Meeting

Sunday, January 28, 12 PM, Parish Life Center

Congregational Forums

Plan to attend one of these forums prior to the Annual Meeting:

  • Sunday, January 14, 9:30 AM, Sanctuary
  • Saturday, January 20, 6 PM, Parish Life Center
  • Sunday, January 21, 10:45 AM, Sanctuary

Topics and handouts will include: 2018 proposed budget, update on the call process for pastors, update from the  Facilities Committee regarding plans for the 1964 building, proposed bylaws for renaming the Charitable Trust, and an update on staffing matters.

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Noah’s Ark Preschool Registration for the 2018/19 School Year is Saturday, January 20, 10-11 AM, for St. John’s members and alumni. Registration is open to everyone else 11 AM-12 PM. Please use the Noah’s Ark entrance on the south side of the church building. Doors will open at 8:30 AM. Contact Noah's Ark, (309) 828-1974, with questions.
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Adult Bible Study 
Sunday, January 14, 9:45 AM, Fellowship Hall. Everyone is welcome to join in the study, Mark: The Beginning of the Good News. 

Interfaith Meditation and Worship
Sunday, January 14, 3 PM, Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 1510 North Main Street, Normal. This service will feature readings from The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From The Birmingham City Jail

Prayer Shawl Ministry
Monday, January 15, 1:30-3 PM, room 421. Join us to work on prayer shawls while enjoying good fellowship. Completed pieces can also be put in the Giving Center. Crochet and knitting patterns/instructions are available. For more information, please contact Lynda Bogue, or (309) 532-2083.

St. John’s Book Club
Tuesday, January 16, 9 AM, Shannon’s Five Star Restaurant, 1305 South Mercer Avenue, Bloomington. We will discuss The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs.

Wednesday, January 17, 10–11:30 AM, Fellowship Hall. This week meet Pastor Patsy Koeneke, St. John’s Interim Associate Pastor.

Wednesday, January 17, 5:30 PM, Parish Life Center. Save 50% by signing up now for the entire semester of DinnerTime. To sign up for this time of food, fun, and fellowship, visit or contact Lisa,, or you can pay at the door. Cost for a semester is $30 per person with a maximum $100 per family. If you don’t want to sign up for the entire semester, you can join us when you can and pay $5/person each week at the door. Everyone is welcome!

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 invited to join in the study of Mark: The Beginning of the Good News. 

The St. John’s Bible Opportunities
The St. John’s Bible is the first hand-painted, handwritten, illuminated Bible in 500 years. It was commissioned by St. John’s University in Minnesota, and represents the work of artists and Bible scholars from around the world. Illinois Wesleyan will take possession for the coming year of five books of the Bible—the four gospels and Acts of the Apostles. If you have never seen images of the St. John’s Bible, it is a work of art of major proportions. These events are free and open to the public.

  • The Interfaith Power of the St. John’s Bible—Thursday, January 18, 4–5 PM, Evenlyn Chapel, lower level, 1301 North Park Street, Bloomington. Tim Ternes of St. John’s University will discuss the ways the Bible was informed by multi-faith conversation.
  • A Revolution in Illumination and Imagination: Introducing the St. John’s Bible—Thursday, January 18, 6:30–8 PM, Westbrook Auditorium, 1210 Park Street, Bloomington. Public lecture by Tim Ternes of St. John’s University.

Mardi Gras for Madagascar—SAVE THE DATE
Tuesday, February 13, 5–8 PM, Parish Life Center. This event is a fundraiser to support Pastor Kirsten Laderach, our missionary in Madagascar. This will be a fun event for all ages and an opportunity to join together with our ELCA brothers and sisters from Our Saviour and Resurrection Churches. Plans include a meal, entertainment, and activities offered this day before Ash Wednesday, also known around the world as Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, or Carnival. Dress in costume if you wish! The menu will include pancakes, sausage, fruit, and beverage. Activities will include pancake relays, Pastor pancake race, mark making, and a shoebox float competition. More information will be coming soon from coordinators Ashley Davis and Susan Mohr. Mark your calendar for this festive evening!


St. John’s Blood Drive
Saturday, January 27, 8 AM–12 PM, Fellowship Hall. There is an urgent need for all eligible blood donors. Busy holiday schedules, winter weather, and illness have led to winter blood donation shortage. Patients are counting on us to help meet their needs! All blood types are needed! Please make an appointment today—contact Lynn Carpenter, (309) 830-2588, or visit using the code 040677. Save time on your donation day by using RapidPass. Complete pre-donation reading and health history online at

Community of Joy Volunteers
The Worship Arts Ministry Team is looking for volunteers and coordinators to help with the following areas: sound technicians, slide operators, musicians (drummer/percussionist). If you would like to help in one of these areas, please contact Michael Schneider,

Faith In Action Volunteer Orientation
You can make a difference in the lives of more than 500 seniors in our community with transportation needs. The next volunteer orientations will take place Tuesday, February 27, 1:30–3 PM. For more information, contact Terri,

Local Missions Sign-ups
Visit the church website to sign up to help prepare and serve a meal at Safe Harbor or to help with the next Midwest Food Bank work day. These are great opportunities to help people in need in our own community and beyond!


Donations of good, clean sheets and lengths of cotton fabric are appreciated. Religious or patriotic patterns can not be used. The quilters use the fabric to make quilts to be sent to Lutheran World Relief. Recipients use their quilts to shield against cold and rain and for warm bedding. The versatility of the quilts also make them useful as simple tents, floor coverings, or a wrap to hold a baby on a mother’s back.

Faith in Action 2018 Auction and Dinner
Faith in Action is seeking items for the February 10 Auction. If you have any of the following that you would like to donate, please contact Jessica in the Faith In Action office, (309) 827-7780 or Current needs are: gift cards, gift certificates, service certificates (car wash, hair cut, meal, technical support, etc.), cash donations to help purchase live auction items, live auction items (trips, game tickets, or unique experiences). All donations need to be submitted by January 26.