News

February Special Offerings

The special offerings for February have been designated by the Congregation Council to be donated to the Rock River Hospice and Home. The in-patient facility that also houses the administrative offices for the organization was built in 2017 and is a gift to our community that was sorely needed. Rock River Hospice & Home is a free-standing, community-based, non-profit hospice serving five counties in Northern Illinois, including Whiteside, Lee, Carroll, Ogle, and Bureau counties. For more than 38 years, Rock River Hospice & Home (formerly Hospice of the Rock River Valley) has provided compassionate quality hospice care regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. The focus of the organization includes:

  • Keeping the patient comfortable in his/her own home or place of residence.
  • Helping the patient and family gain a sense of control and competence.
  • Promoting the patient’s and family’s dignity, autonomy, and right to privacy.
  • Enhancing the time the patient and family share.

None of us know when our family may need the services provided by this organization. Consider a generous donation to help others receive compassionate care in their time of need.

Moving Beyond the Page

Join us for faith, fellowship, and book study on February 8 & 22 at 6:30 pm in the church library. We’ll be discussing Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances. Copies will be available upon request. Please speak with Pastor Jacob.

Join us for Mid-Week Lenten Worship!

Throughout Lent we will be teaming up with Tri Church congregations and utilizing a synod-wide Lent series entitled Promises at the Crossroads of History and Hope written by the Rev. Dr. Charlene Rauchy Cox for mid-week worship services. This resource is provided free for congregations to use through the Northern Illinois Synod. The season of Lent affords a unique opportunity to prayerfully consider this crossroads of history and hope. We are invited to reflect upon who and what we have been while also pointing to Christ – promise fulfilled, love incarnate, and hope embodied for the sake of the whole world. Throughout Lent, we will be immersed in the history and hope of the Abrahamic family. We will remember we are a people and a story with a past and future with innumerable experiences, both life-giving and life denying. Our series invites us to proclaim and embody a sure and certain hope.

Please join us for mid-week Lenten Worship Midweek at 12:15 pm at Immanuel and at 6:30 pm at St. John’s with Tri Church Congregations. Food will be available prior to each worship beginning at 11:30 am and 5:30 pm respectively. You are welcome to sign up to assist in providing food outside the church office. All are welcome!

February 21: Abraham—God Calls and Covenants
February 28: Hagar—God Sees and Sets Free
March 6: Sarah—God Declares and Delivers
March 13: Ishmael—God Hears and Helps
March 20: Isaac—God Protects and Provides

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 twincitiespads.org/donate-to-homeless-shelter.html To sign up to help, you can call the shelter, or go to signup.com/go/hxKPAqq. 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.

Altar Flowers

We have recently had questions concerning altar flowers. Many of our members choose to designate altar flowers in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one. Arrangements and payment for the arrangement are made by the donor. Liners for the oblong brass vase and the two tall brass vases are available for the florist of choice to use. The Donald Duhn Memorial designated for altar flowers is used when flowers have not been contributed by a member. As always, Nina is a great resource for any questions regarding this process.

Worship Live Streaming

Please share with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors etc. the following options available to watch or listen to weekly worship with St. John, St. Paul, or Immanuel.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

https://www.youtube.com/@StJohnsSterlingIL/streams is where you can find the livestream every Sunday. There will also be links on the St. John’s website (https://stjohnssterling.org/worship-services/) and on the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SterlingStJohns).

St. Paul Lutheran Church

You can access the St. Paul livestream worship through their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@stpaullutheransterling721/streams

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Is offering toll free phone-in worship at 1-888-975-5536 that is a recording of the worship from the prior Sunday.

Kroger Rewards

St. John’s is a member of the Kroger Community Rewards Program. If you have a Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card, you can earn rewards for the St. John’s Building Fund every time you use it. Just about everything you purchase qualifies, with the exception of alcohol, tobacco, and postage stamps. There is no cost to participate and you’ll still earn fuel points on eligible purchases every time you shop. Signing up is free and easy.

  1. Visit kroger.com/communityrewards.
  2. Sign in to your digital account or create an account.
  3. Choose “I’m a Customer” and click on “View Details.”
  4. Be sure your card is linked to your account.
  5. Select St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (MU937).
  6. Receive a confirmation, and you’re ready! If you have questions, please contact Nancy Breed at (815) 441-4007. Thanks for your continued support of St. John’s.
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