Red Geraniums Wanted!

St. John’s Lutheran Church has a loving tradition of adorning our altar area with geraniums for Pentecost, which this year is May 19th. You are invited to participate in this ministry to beautify our Sanctuary and our Church Grounds! Plants will be planted outside after Pentecost. The cost is $7 each. Geraniums can be ordered in honor of or in memory of a loved one or a special event. Plants will be coming from Selmi’s in Rock Falls. Orders must be received by Sunday, May 12th. Download a PDF of the order form here.

God’s Work Our Hands Workday

Tri Church will be participating in a workday at LOMC (Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center) near Oregon, IL on Saturday, May 11. Work will begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 4:00 pm–any help you can give that day will be appreciated! Lunch will be provided at noon (freewill donation).
The project list includes mulch spreading and garden bed work, tree trimming, deck board replacement and staining, trail maintenance, window washing and spring cleaning, small carpentry repairs and toilet repairs. Rob Foelski, LOMC Property Manager, will be present to provide instruction and guidance. It is recommended that participants bring work gloves, a water bottle, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Optional items include tools for landscaping and basic repairs.
There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin table for those able to help; include if you plan to attend lunch. Please sign-up no later than Sunday, May 5th. In addition, LOMC is a volunteer partner with Sauk Valley Community College’s Impact Program.

May Special Offerings

The special offerings for May have been designated by the Congregation Council to be donated to ELCA Disaster Response. Lutheran Disaster Response shares God’s hope, healing and renewal with people whose lives have been disrupted in the United States and around the world. This organization collaborates with other disaster response organizations and religious entities. This enables the greatest stewardship of resources and maximum impact of response. They continue to be a welcome partner because they respect the perspectives and strengths of other organizations. When the dust settles and the headlines change, they stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need.
Lutheran Disaster Response strives to help the church continue to be church in the midst of disaster — following Christ’s call to share hope and healing with our neighbor in need. Please consider a generous donation to the Special Offerings during the month of May. There are many areas of our nation and the world who are experiencing events that are supported by the ELCA Lutheran Disaster Response initiative.

Community Garage Sales

St. John’s will be participating in the Sterling and Rock Falls Community Garage Sales on May 18th from 9:30 am-3:00 pm. Please bring any donations to the church between April 19th and May 10th. There will be a collection area set up in the Luther Chapel. All monies raised will help support youth events like the Quake and National Youth Gathering.

Moving Beyond the Page

Join us for faith, fellowship, and book study on May 9 & 23 at 6:30 pm in the church library. We’ll be discussing Short Stories by Jesus. Copies will be available upon request. Please speak with Pastor Jacob.

Personal Care Kits

The Social Ministry Committee will once again collect personal care kits beginning April 7th. Last year we collected kits as prescribed by Lutheran World Relief and donated them at the Synod Assembly in June. This year we are making a couple of minor changes to the items included in the kits and they will be donated to the First United Methodist Church for distribution at their Food Bank and in conjunction with their Free Breakfast Program. The folks at First Methodist were very excited by our offer of these items! Please include these items in each of the kits. If you would prefer that the committee shop and assemble on your behalf, donations for this purpose are absolutely welcome!

  • One light-weight bath-size towel (we recommend a dark color)
  • One wash cloth (again, we recommend a dark color)
  • Two bath-size bars of soap in the original wrapping
  • One adult size toothbrush in its original packaging*
  • One sturdy comb (remove packaging)
  • One metal nail clipper (remove packaging)
  • One full-size tube of toothpaste

*Toothbrush multi-packs may be used by sealing individual toothbrushes in a business-size envelope.

Fold the towel in half. Place the rest of the items in the towel, fold and roll so nothing falls out and secure with yarn, ribbon, string or rubber bands.

Food Pantry Sunday!

The Congregation Council has once again designated the first Sunday of each month as Food Pantry Sunday. A receptacle will be available for donations. We stopped focusing on this during the pandemic and have not resurrected the practice of intentionally making donations. Considering the increasing need in our community we would like to increase our community involvement once again. All non-perishable food items are acceptable and welcome.

A Message from PADS Homeless Shelter

Dear Friends of Pads,

It seems like just yesterday my time began here at the PADS shelter, 12 years ago I started, and we have come a long way and helped hundreds of people. I wish I could say that this is my accomplishment, but it’s not just my accomplishment but all of you as well! I have noticed that among our churches, businesses, and individuals around 300 people regularly support the shelter.

Normally we reach out only during the holidays, which is a very important time for us because a quarter of our funding comes in at that time. This last year in the aftermath of COVID-19 we have seen a huge change and in our last 3 months of the shelter year to go we have already seen more people than any year prior. The shelter used to shut down in the summer because we didn’t have the demand to stay open. This last month we have averaged 15 people a night which is more than any night during the entire winter season.

Because of the changes in demand the shelter has made some changes with the addition of a full time Client Advocate to help with our residents. We still need help with COVID-19 not the issue it once was. We hope all our church will consider coming back to help at the shelter. We no longer need help for the whole night, just help with 6-11 shift and nightly meals. The increase in homelessness has also put a strain on our resources such as paper towels, toiler paper, laundry detergent, tea, sugar, personal items, and funds.

Any help would be greatly appreciated to help with the growing number of homeless individuals in our area. You can donate items directly to the shelter, send a donation in the mail, or donate online at To sign up to help, you can call the shelter, or go to The shelter continues to be humbled and grateful for all your support.

Sincerely, Myles Newberry | Administrative Director

Policy Updates

At the recommendation of the Personnel Committee, the Congregation Council has approved updates to five policies over the course of several months. Most of the updates were necessary due to the elimination of the treasurer’s position in our congregation. This also completes the required biennial review of the complete St. John’s Policy Manual. The updated policies included: Disbursements of Funds; Investment Policy; Memorials, Bequests, Thrivent Choice Dollars, and Non-Monetary Gifts; Offering Counting Procedure; and Organizational Accounts.

A complete policy manual, in the form of a three-ring binder, can be found in the East Room and the Library. A copy may also be obtained from the Office Manager. Please familiarize yourself with these updates. Questions may be directed to any member of the Personnel Committee or Congregation Council.

Building Community…Piece by Piece

St. John’s is participating in an opportunity for community building and fellowship! Stop by Monday through Friday during normal church office hours or on Sundays before or after worship and help complete the puzzle in the church library. When we work together, all the pieces come together.

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