~ Important News! ~
Although "in-person" worship in the Sanctuary has been suspended until further notice, we hope you will join us online each Sunday morning at 9am via Zoom, Facebook Live, and here on the website.
From the Pastor...
In this time of transition …
After over 30 months of uncertainty, St. John’s will receive a new pastor soon. Exact dates for the transition are to be determined, but my last days with you will probably be the end of September.
I hope that you all know how much Kelley and I have enjoyed our time with you. Fourteen months have passed very quickly. We have felt like members of the family from the very beginning. My only regret is how the COVID precautions have got in the way of our fellowship. On Sundays, presiding in an empty church, I have done my best to imagine you gathered around your computer screens, praying and singing along with me and our musicians and readers.
I know you will be as supportive loving toward the new pastoral family as you were to us. I will do whatever I can to make the transition easy for everyone. By God’s grace and in the power of the Spirit I expect to hear great things about St. John’s as you go forward.
~ Pastor Steve Mindrup
"A Transition Out of the Holding Tank"
The last information I provided for the Eagle, I shared about being in “the holding tank.” Well, I still find myself there. However, this time I have a clear sense of when and where I will venture to next. I have been in conversation with a STAR (small town and rural) congregation since my initial interview with them in April. It was obvious to the call committee, and to me, that we were a great match. This was a sigh of relief for me, as I had already decided (in my mind) that the location of this congregation was too far “from home.” After a visit to Altamont in May and a return visit in August, I felt we could make Altamont our new faith community and home.
It brings me great joy to share that after a unanimous vote on August 23rd, I have accepted a call to begin my ministry as pastor at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Altamont, IL. As a first call pastor, I will first need to be ordained before I start at St. Paul’s. I am excited to announce that ordination is slated to take place in Mendota, at St. John’s, most likely in mid-October. What does this mean? (borrowing this line from Martin Luther 😊). This means that with Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines this event will not be what any of us had hoped it would be. However, being in Mendota also means that on ordination day I will be closely surrounded by the community that has raised me up to be a leader and servant in the church. Details will be shared as plans are being made with Bishop John Roth of Central-Southern Illinois Synod, to which I am now a part of.
In the meantime, I have begun to pack with a tentative move date of Sept. 26th. (How many boxes of books can a pastor have? If you have boxes to share, I will take them!) Brent has submitted his transfer paperwork with the State of Illinois Department of Corrections (there are four facilities within decent driving distance of Altamont). I have been riding the waves of grief that come in times of transition, tears of sadness and joy combined in big bouts of hope. Brent and I marvel at how God has blessed us through a wonderful faith community; your prayers and support have sustained us all along this journey. We are forever grateful for your love and faithfulness to our family.
Thank you for being a part of this journey of discipleship with us! We love you dearly and will miss you all immensely. As the days ahead unfold, we trust that God will continue to guide, direct, and bless us no matter the distance we travel.
God’s Blessings and love,
Maria and Brent Bonine
Special Congregational Meeting
The voting members of St. John’s congregation met via Zoom on Sunday, August 30th and voted unanimously to extend a Letter of Call to Pastor Ken Gibson. His tentative start date is October 1, 2020.
Pastor Ken, his wife Yvonne, and their dog Bob will be moving into the parsonage later this month. They are coming to us after serving at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock, IL. More information about Pastor Ken and Yvonne will be shared with everyone in the October Eagle newsletter.
We are very excited to welcome them into our St. John’s family!