July 2014

Divorce Shocker

For years we have heard the reports that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. But recent research proves otherwise. After eight years of researching marriage longevity, Harvard trained Shaunti Feldhahn can testify that divorce is not 50% at all, but in the general world it is closer to 31%. And in the church that percentage is more nearly 15% and for people who attend worship regularly, the percentage is lower.

Christian psychologist, Angel Davis said the belief that half of all marriages end in divorce was news that gives marriages going through tough times permission to give up. Shaunti Feldhahn followed 143 couples involved with regular worship practices and found less than 10% divorce rate. The facts are encouraging, that believers have an edge in life and living because of Faith in God's partnership in holy matrimony.

This summer and fall we have three weddings being planned. Meredith Eich and Brett Crawley will repeat vows July 11th; Bethany Abrams and Aaron Lijewski on August 16th; and Alyssa Bulfer and Nick Jackson on October 25th.

Marriage turns to Holy Matrimony when God is the only third party in their relationship!

AN OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER

Are you looking for a way to use your blessings to bless others? Again this year, St. John’s will be organizing a collection for the orphaned and poverty-stricken Roma children and families ministered to through Another Child Foundation in Romania. As a part of PROJECT RESPOND, we will be collecting pairs of new shoes, blankets, and new or gently used (good condition) jeans for children aged 3-18.
Collection boxes will be placed outside the church office and in the narthex until July 14th. Monetary donations can be dropped off at the church office. Items will be turned in to Tim Olaffson in Princeton by August 1st to be shipped for distribution through mission teams. Perhaps you would consider being “one of the ones” that: helps make others in the community aware of this opportunity; that shops the clearance racks for bargain shoes or jeans; that donates money for others to shop; that gets a group of friends together to sew or tie blankets for donation; that puts an encouraging “God message” in each pair of shoes or jean pocket.
If you have any questions, please contact Karen Goy at (815) 538-2391.



Pastor's Column
Eagle Sightings

**Bibles are available in the narthex of the sanctuary as you enter for worship, or in the pews of the Chapel for Saturday night worship.  The printed bulletin has the lessons that are read, but by opening the Bible itself, you can see the context for those scriptures and understand the passage more clearly. Our thanks to Alice Sharp for the purchase of these bibles in memory of her late husband, Paul

**Services on the weekends of June 1st and 8th will begin with a brief explanation of an impending change in the Fellowship Hall pertaining to the moveable wall. It has become a hazard, but the expense is large enough that the Council wants to share the tentative plans for replacement with the congregation

**Marlo Thomas, on behalf of St. Jude’s, has sent a special “thank you” to our Sunday School department for sending another offering to them to help fight childhood diseases.  Can you imagine bigger hearts than a whole Sunday School voting to help children who are fighting for their lives. If you have one of our kids in your home, please hug them an extra time and say “thanks” from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

**Are your heads swollen as I share another “thank you” for your financial gifts? The ELCA World Hunger Fund has written a special letter of appreciation for your support.  New congregations are being started, leaders are being prepared for ministry, malaria is being fought in Africa, and the fight to end hunger is overcoming great obstacles because of the reach of our ELCA wider church arms of compassion.  The Executive of Mission Advancement, Christina Jackson-Skelton personally sent this “thank you” to St. John’s members.

**The soul needs a person/place where it is centered.  Gordon MacDonald wrote about a common problem of people who are not centered in Christ.  He calls it the “Sinkhole Syndrome”.  Without Christ they have no one to turn to when the times are tough and the earth beneath them feels like it has given way.  That’s why believers grieve when we see our Christian values and standards ignored or rejected.  Such centerless people lack a reliable inner world to draw upon.  Is there someone you can lead to Christ in your circle of influence?  What are you waiting for?

A note to our ushers…

Please don’t forget to count attendance at each service and write it on calendar on the bulletin board in the Narthex. Thank you!



All veterans will be recognized during worship on Sunday, July 6th. We are grateful for your service to our great nation. God bless you.

BABY SHOWER

The Outreach Team would like to say “Thanks!” to all who donated to the Baby Shower Blessings during the month of May here at St. John’s. All donated items were taken to Abigail Women’s Clinic and the Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry. You might like to know that we donated 675 diapers, 490 wipes, 12 blankets, 35 onesies and sleepers, a cradle, a swing, and a highchair along with other baby necessities.

Summer Offerings

We know the summer months are hectic and that we only have one worship on Sunday morning, but a lot of ministry is still happening during the summer months.  Weather related expenses are running much higher that anyone could have projected.  Our projected current offerings for the year are running behind, and we are asking that, if possible, you give some extra attention to the resources needed for the ministries here at St. John’s.  Thank you.

Upcoming New Members Class

Pastor Peterson is planning to offer a New Members Class in July for anyone who is interested in learning more about our ministry here at St. John’s. Please speak to Pastor and/or watch the bulletins for more information.

Ice Cream Social

St. John’s annual Ice Cream Social will take place on Sunday, August 24th, from 2pm to 4pm. There will be fun for all ages including yard games, bingo, and several other activities. And we can’t forget about the delicious cupcakes and ice cream! Please join us… and bring a friend!



St. John’s Youth News

"Growing Together in our Faith as we Serve Others"

MISSION TRIP YOUTH!
Our Junior High Mission Trip was a great success and we can’t wait to participate again next summer!
Thank you to Aaron Brandner, Cole Zimmerman, Hannah Ambler, Shashawna Reger-Kendall, Matthew Grenter, and our two sponsors, Karen Goy and Lauren Anderson, for spending a weekend “POURING OUT” Christ’s love to those in need in the Belvidere area.

Confirmation Campers —
Our ten confirmation campers returned from a week at Lutherdale Bible Camp in Elkhorn, Wisconsin physically exhausted, yet spiritually refreshed. It was a week full of excitement with many opportunities to nurture a deeper relationship with Christ.

Junior High Mission Trip —
We ask for your prayers for our High School Mission Trip Team as they travel to Alabama on June 28th and spend the following week serving in the community of Bayou La Batre. Our group will return home in the afternoon of July 4th, and they plan to share their experiences with the congregation at 9am worship on Sunday, July 6th.



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