We will hold our Sunday worship services for now in the church parking lot at 9:00AM. You must bring your own communion elements – wine, grape juice, or another juice and bread or crackers. Please park facing the church at least 6 feet apart and do not get out of your car. We ask that you turn off your engines so that everyone can hear and you may roll down your windows. A bulletin will be provided to follow along with the service. Offerings will be collected by the council. The parish hall bathrooms will be available during the service.
Thank you to Graig & Lindsey Harrison for helping with the sound system!
Zacchaeus would do anything to get a glimpse of Jesus, even if that meant climbing a tree. Jesus sees Zacchaeus, and invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house. When was the last time you felt seen? Who do you know who is longing for a glimpse of Jesus? Welcome to worship.
A famine strikes the land and the world falls apart around Rizpah, one of Saul’s secondary or low-status wives. Her sons are murdered, offered as human sacrifices in an effort to end the famine. Instead of receiving a proper burial, they are lynched on a mountain and left there to rot. In response, Rizpah publicly laments their death, staying with the bodies at the top of the mountain for months, enduring the rainy season. When King David hears about Rizpah’s public display of grief, he retrieves the men’s bones and buries them properly with Saul in Saul’s family grave. How do we grieve in the wake of unthinkable injustice and loss? Rizpah shows us an honest, unapologetic grief and persistent strength in honoring the innocent lives of those taken from her. Her public unraveling motivates the king to amend, as best he can, some of his wrongs.
Should Peter have gotten out of the boat? Should we? Join us as we explore how Jesus meets Peter as his faith is unraveling.
Join us as we explore the story of Sarah and Abraham and their very unlikely pregnancy. Watch past the announcements and you may just see Sarah and Abraham in the flesh! Thank you to the Meyer family, Connie Rohde and Taylor Klatte for their contributions to our worship.
Greetings to the members of St. John:
I thought I would take a few moments and address all members of St. John – Prairie Hill.
As I write this message, times in our nation are really changing. These are historical times as our country continues to be crippled by COVID-19. Most of us have never witnessed the closing of so many businesses, so many people unemployed, schools and universities closed, and church buildings empty. Shucks, did you ever believe that 4 people gathered together would be a crowd? Such are the times we live in.
Now for some current information about your church. I hope each of you are aware that St. John remains a very active church. No, we do not have gatherings at the church buildings; however, the work of the church continues. Your pastor and the church office remains open and very busy. Pastor has his weekly services online and on Facebook. I hope you are listening, watching and becoming an online worshiper. Johanna is as busy as ever paying bills and completing all forms of communications that are now more important to our church family.
Your church council continues to meet with our monthly meetings, also online. We continue to monitor the work of the church and maintain all the church properties. Please do not forget to give to your church as the church mission continues as we try remain a healthy, active congregation.
Last but certainly not least, a word about the St. John food pantry. This program is really growing, especially during this epic time. We are now serving over 50 families. These families receive food twice a month and this need is greater than ever before. God continues to bless this program.
My final prayer is that all of you will remain healthy and that your lives will be restored to normal, soon. I pray that better days are ahead and that we can again have Sunday morning services in the church building.
God bless each of you.
A special thank you to Kallie Finke for providing our Prayers of Intercession and to Bishop Michael Rinehart for the message.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed, my friends. Alleluia!
I pray that you all are holding up well and that you are staying home if possible. I give thanks every day that, so far, none in our community have gotten sick. I pray that that continues and that you all stay safe.
This Easter has been a strange one, that’s for sure. But in many ways it actually mirrors the first Easter quite well. On the day of Jesus resurrection, there was no celebration. There were no parades, brass quintets, or ham dinners. There were no bunnies and colorful eggs. The day began early in the morning, while it was still dark, with weeping and grief.
Even Jesus’ appearance didn’t clear things up entirely. Back at the tomb, Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize him. She mistook him for the gardener until he said her name. The disciples spent their Easter hiding in a locked room, and it took touching Jesus hands and side for Thomas to believe.
That first Easter was marked with doubt, fear, and uncertainty. But no amount of anxiety could alter the truth that Jesus Christ was risen. This is still the truth this week, my friends. Jesus Christ is risen. Even though we can’t gather to hear that story, Jesus Christ is risen. Even though we, too, are stuck at home, possibly afraid, Jesus Christ is risen. Even though we may be depressed, Jesus Christ is risen.
We will continue to join together in worship and celebration through virtual gatherings and in letters and videos. If you are interested in helping to make masks to donate to health care workers, please call the church and let us know. Also, if you would like a list of parishioners who are in particular need of a friendly call, please let the church know. If you have internet access, but do not have an email address, please consider creating one. I would also encourage you to join Facebook, as that is the easiest and most timely place to find information from the church.
I’ll leave you with this prayer from Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver, Colorado.
As you did your son, Drag us out of our tombs.
There is no virtue in the world, no lifestyle choices, no amount of wokeness that can pull the sun up from the East each day, Lord.
So turn our heads, even if ever so slightly, toward the dawn, so that we may know that it is your grace that both raises the sun and raises the dead.
Even if we have given up, yank us out of our graves of choice. Rescue us from despairing.
When we return to tombs that are no longer meant for us—revive old resentments, pick up a drink after years of sobriety; again give pieces of our hearts to that which can never love us back—remind us that you never tire of reaching into tombs and loving us back to life.
Comfort the dying, Lord.
Revive the faltering.
Grant us joy and make our song Alleluia…not because we aren’t paying attention, but because we are.
All love and peace to you,
Pastor Shea Berbaum