September 2014



St. John’s is more than a single congregation located in the northern sphere of Illinois. We are contributing members of the Northern Illinois Synod (100,000+ believers) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (4,000,000+).  As such, each congregation has its own Mission to accomplish, while simultaneously being partners with all others in these larger-church expressions in ministries across the nation and around the world!

September 7, 2014 is a Sunday designated as ELCA SUNDAY in which every congregation is encouraged to provide a project(s) in their local community to increase awareness of the caring ministry provided by Lutherans in our country. St. John’s will be collecting food items for the Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry. Members are invited to bring breakfast cereal (Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes) breakfast bars, individually packaged oatmeal, canned fruit, and/or spaghetti sauce which will be given with government provided whole wheat spaghetti. There will be collection boxes in the Narthex and Fellowship Hall.

On that same weekend, we will host our annual “Blessing of the Backpacks” for our returning students.  We ask our children to bring their backpack to Sunday School on Rally Day and there will be an appropriate time during the Sunday School opening for the backpacks to be blessed.

If you have one of the gold “God’s Work, Our Hands” t-shirts (or any other gold shirt), please wear it to worship on Sunday, September 7th to celebrate our world-wide, synodical, and local ministries in a grand fashion. 


PARENTS:  Please plan to attend Sunday School with your child/children on Rally Day, September 7th at 9:15am.   You can sign children in at the North Parish Hall door area.  Find your child's name on the correct class list or add your child's name to a list if we have not included it.  Children ages 3 through 6th grade will sit in the front pews or the choir area for the Sunday School opening.  Please assist your child in finding his/her teacher and place to sit.  Parents should sit behind the children in the sanctuary pews.  Mr. Younger will be leading us in music. Pastor Peterson and Maria Bonine will offer a blessing of our children’s backpacks; and an offering will be collected.  We will learn what mission project these offerings will support this SS year.  Please go with your children to their classroom.  Get acquainted with the teachers and observe some typical lessons/activities.  If you have more than one child, divide your time and spend time in each classroom.  Please fill out a registration form for each child and leave them with a teacher.  If your child's teacher provides a snack, it will be served in the classroom.  There will be NO snacks served to children from the kitchen window this year.  You can spend the entire time in the classrooms or wait for your child's dismissal in the South Parish Hall area. Teachers will bring classes to that area weekly at 10:15am so the designated "person picking up" can make eye contact with the teacher and leave with their child.   We are looking forward to seeing all parents (and children) at 9:15am Sunday School on September 7th.

Pastor's Column
Eagle Sightings by Pastor Dale

**There’s something wonderful happening at the Heidi and John Peterson household.  (Heidi is our former Youth Director.)  The Petersons are expecting a new arrival in their household, and big-brother-to-be, Kory is excited.

**Marjorie Fassig and Ruth Becker were transferred to the Church Triumphant recently, and we express our sincere sympathy to their families as they suffer grief for these two loved ones.  If you would like to express your concern for these families, or simply add them to your daily prayer list, please call the church office for names, addresses & phone numbers.  Your efforts are proof of God’s Work done by Our Hands!

**Members who attend worship regularly know that their expressions of friendship to the family at the time of death – prayers, visits, cards, calls, etc. – are part of God’s healing process for those who are experiencing grief.  Our ladies continue to offer funeral lunches at St. John’s for members, but in a two-paycheck-family-world, it becomes increasingly challenging to provide volunteers for 4-6 hours in kitchen ministry.  Our volunteers (men are welcome to participate) are wonderful and they certainly are not complaining.  But they deserve recognition for their faithful caring ministry in these changing times!

**Did you know that St. John’s and a dozen other Lutheran congregations are the founding principals behind the Mendota Lutheran Home?  If you would like to serve on the Nominating Team or have your name submitted to run for the MLH Board this winter, please talk with Pastor Dale or call Jon Ragsdale at MLH.  What an honor to be a part of a faith community that honors and respects our aging members!

**Ekana Nurseries, by contract, has recently worked in the church yard and flower beds to maintain them. If you would like to help our Buildings and Property Team keep the outside speaking graciously about our Lord’s House, please speak with Ron Rose, Leo Quick, Brian Eich or Russ Mungor.  The first evangelist a visitor encounters when they drive by or come to our facilities, is the outdoor picture we paint that says we love the Lord. 

**Reserve September 20th from 9am to 3:30pm for the synodical Worship Conference being held here at St. John’s. Come and enjoy the best of the best in worship music!

**As we return to the school options of congregational ministry we especially want to thank Aimee Holland for her tremendous work on improving our facilities.   The Library has been remodeled exquisitely, the entry narthex has been beautified and soon the new mats will be laid, and the upstairs Children’s Library is an inviting, inspirational space, all because of Aimee’s talented work.  Please remember to give her a belated “thank you” for making our church facilities so much better.  

~ Join us at Lulupalooza ~
a benefit for
Luann Peasley Schmidt

(Norma Peasley’s daughter)

Luann is experiencing a recovery from a series of serious physical difficulties and the bills for her medical care are exorbitant. Your help is appreciated. Your prayers are requested. Join us on Friday, September 5th beginning at 5pm at the Mendota Elks Lodge for food, music and fun! Please see Carrie Delhotal if you have any questions.

Setting Two of the liturgy during worship.

This is a very familiar setting that many will recognize. Even though the words remain basically the same, it is refreshing to change melodies. We will also return to our fall worship schedule on this weekend. Saturday worship remains at 5pm. Sunday traditional worship is at 8am; contemporary worship is at 10:30am.

Sunday School registration

Sunday School registration forms for the upcoming 2014-2015 year are available in the church office if you would like one prior to Rally Day. Pick up a form and invite a friend to register and attend Sunday School with you this year. Forms will also be handed out and collected on Rally Day, September 7th at 9:15am. Don’t forget to bring your backpack with you on Rally Day for a special “Blessing of the Backpacks.”

St. John’s Youth News

"Growing Together in our Faith as We Serve Others"

Confirmation Class for the 2014-2015
Confirmation Class for the 2014-2015 school year will kick-off on Sunday, September 7th at 9:15am with Rally Day. We will first gather in the sanctuary for a “Backpack Blessing” then dismiss to the tables in the north end of the fellowship hall where Pastor will give you your copy of The Story which we will use each week in class. Please bring The Story and your study Bible to class each week along with a notebook, something to write with, and a positive learning attitude. Our 7th grade students will receive their Study Bible (a gift from the congregation) on Sunday, September 14th. Your parents or another adult sponsor are encouraged to attend classes with you. Part of your confirmation responsibilities include acolyting at both 8am and 10:30am services. We will have acolyte training on Wednesday, September 17th at 6pm. We will have several service opportunities and fun activities to share throughout the year. Be sure to watch the weekend bulletin announcements and the St. John’s Youth Facebook page for details. We will cover all of the Confirmation Class details and expectations when we meet for class. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to Pastor Dale or Maria.

Several students who are interested in next summer’s mission trip met after worship on August 17th to enjoy lunch and begin discussing the 2015 trip. If you weren’t able to attend this meeting, please speak to Maria — it’s not too late to get your name on the list! It has been decided that our group will serve with Youthworks during the week of July 19, 2015. Our next planning meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 21 at 11:30am. In the meantime, please take a few minutes to check out the Youthworks website ( for all of the destinations available for “High School” or “Beyond” groups and share your ideas with Maria.

Congratulations to Gillian Brown who represented the Mendota Lions Club in the recent Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant. You did a great job and were just beautiful onstage!

Congratulations to one of our younger members, Collin Coss, who was named Sweet Corn Festival Mini King. He is pictured here with Mini Queen Alyna Guerra. We are very proud of you, Collin! Enjoy your reign!

Raging Waves
Thank you to Tammy Landgraf and Jill Wohrley for agreeing to drive our crew to the waterpark. We were disappointed that the weather didn’t cooperate, but we still had a great time together playing board games and enjoying lunch in the fellowship hall. What an awesome group of kids!

© St. John's Lutheran Church, Mendota, Illinois  (815) 539-5626