In this day and time when the media is on information overload status, we pray with the hymn writer, "Speak, O Lord, your servant listens, Let Your Word to me come near" (LSB 589 v. 1)
As the Pastoral Care Team, we offer these Monday, Wednesday, Friday devotions as one way for God's Word to come near to us as we wait for the day when we can be together again.
For other ways that God's Word can come near to you through St. John, we offer livestream worship at 6:30pm on Wednesdays during Lent and at 8:30am on Sunday mornings with interactive Bible Study at 9:15am. Please click here to participate in those opportunities or to view previous ones: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzTd9kTcGOlDLDCTdsJ9QJg/
God bless your day!
Devotion for Monday, March 23
Psalm 31:15 "My times are in Your hand."
Whatever adjectives have been applied to these time in which we are living, our verse reminds us of the most important truth about these times. So, what is on your mind or in your life today that you are invited to put into God's hands? Is it a decision, a concern, the unknown, your health, your family, that stressful situation? With the Psalmist, commend it into the hands of God. Visualize yourself and your situation in the hands of God. You are in His hands, powerful enough to create the universe (Psalm 95:5; Psalm 102:25). You are in His open Hands that provide for every living thing. (Psalm 145:16) You are in His hands, so full of love that they were nailed to a cross for you. These are the hands that will protect you, provide for you, and carry you through the day. Count on it!
Your church is taking a survey and wants to hear you! As a member of a household, your thoughts count. Take 5-7 minutes to take this 11-question survey to help your church better serve your household as homes grow in faith together. https://forms.gle/QzGFw6so6pvkJmQA6
Then watch how your ideas get formed into ministry opportunities for your family as well as the family of faith at St. John.
Matt Talbot is a fun way to get to know people by serving them. Last year I went to Matt Talbot with some friends and we prepared and served food, drink, and gave clothing to the homeless. I gave out drinks to the people there while others served food. While they were going through the line we would talk to them and get to know them. Then we helped clean up afterwards. It was a fun experience and I’ll definitely go again this year.
Dare2B will serve at Matt Talbot Kitchen on Sun. Jan. 12th. We leave St. John at 8:30 AM, worship together at Christ Lutheran Church, go to Matt Talbot to serve, and return by 2:00 PM.
By Caden Brooks
Seeking a Youth Ministries Communicator (YMC)
This is a person who serves as the primary contact for receiving and sending messages pertaining to the promotion, planning, and implementation of youth activities and ministry events. This is a paid position. If interested contact Tim Rippstein (402) 643-2983 Tim.Rippstein@stjohnseward.org or the church office for an application.
The Youth Ministries Communicator, Nathan Miller, is updating the youth contact information. If you would like to receive emails and/or text related to youth information and activities (7th-12th grades) please make sure to send that to DCE Tim (402)643-2983 or Tim.Rippstein@stjohnseward.org.
Minecraft: Good or Bad?
Minecraft is a sandbox video game that was released by Mojang in 2011. Minecraft allows for creative thinking in the part of the player, giving you the ability to literally build anything your mind can think of. Other aspects of the game include exploring, resource gathering, crafting, and combat as well as a fully explorable villager and trading system. In Minecraft you have the choice of two different modes, survival or creative. In survival you have health and hunger bars forcing you to explore and craft different items to keep these from dropping. There is also the constant threat of attack from the games many hostile creatures. From skeletons to spiders, from tall, skinny, purple men to zombies. If you can think of it, its probably in Minecraft, and its probably trying to kill you. While many of these only spawn at night, there are still ways to get attacked. Speaking of night, at night stuff gets real. So many hostile creatures spawn and you had better be prepared. In Minecraft, every block (except for one) is mineable. By night you need to have: (in no particular order)
And this sounds like a long list, but it’s really fun. Minecraft is an incredible game with so many aspects to it I can’t talk about them all in this 300 word article. The other possible mode you can play is creative mode. In creative mode all the previous things that I've talked about don't matter. You don't have a health or hunger bar, you don't have to gather food or resources, because you have all those things at your disposal. You have infinite resources and can build whatever you want. The only limits in creative are your time and your imagination. All in all, Minecraft is a really good game and I would give it a 8.6/10.
The Visual Faith Bible Study last September and October gathered together teenagers, moms, friends, and other women of the church. Led by Susan Biel, this Bible study was about making your faith visual. Over several weeks, she showed how to use visual faith to help us grow. Some of the techniques we enjoyed were Bible journaling, making bookmarks, and creating a thankfulness garland. Mrs. Biel started off each class with a devotion that connected to the activity of the day. Making your faith visual helps you to better understand and remember the Bible verses you read by activating both your right and left brain. Constructing a tangible reminder of a lesson is helpful because you can always look back on it and remember what you learned. We recommend that you incorporate visual faith into your devotional practices as it will strengthen the influence of God’s Word in your life.
Keegan Beisel and Bethany Gebhardt
Husker Coach Comes To St John
Ron Brown, current coach of player development for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln football team, spoke to a group of young men and fathers at St. John on October 2nd. The main aspects of Coach Brown's message ranged from our responsibilities as Christians, how to be a man of faith and how to share your faith while being employed by a secular institution. Coach Brown focused on his role as "The Mailman" who was "delivering" God's word to others in the form of the Bible. While some aspects of faith and the Bible are looked down upon in today's society, Coach Brown reminded us to hold strong to God's word and beliefs. Coach Brown's passion for Christ and the salvation we have due to His sacrifice was inspiring and motivational for many. We give thanks to God for Coach Brown and his ministry not only to Husker football players and coaches, but to others who are fortunate enough to be able to hear his message. Thank you to St. John and all those involved in helping Coach Brown come to speak to us
Nathan and Gregory Miller
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 34 in Nebraska. HOPE Squad is a school based organization that was started to let kids have a peer to talk to in their school rather than an adult. This year will be the third year that St. John school will have had a HOPE Squad. The students in 7th and 8th grade have chosen 3 boys and 3 girls to be on the HOPE Squad. The students on HOPE Squad this year are Addison Opfer, Ava Fischer, Caden Brooks, Johnathan Jurchen, Sophie Matthias, and Tim Pester. These students meet with each other every other Friday during lunch and recess hour. They meet with the HOPE Squad teachers, Ms. Stahlecker, Mr. Sommerer, the school counselor Ms. Brashear, DCE Tim. During this time, they learn how to identify warning signs for suicide, and go through Q.P.R. Training. Q.P.R. stands for question, persuade, and refer. During this training we learn how to question and approach other students and get them help. I am so honored to be a part of HOPE Squad this year because it gives me a chance to help my school and remind everyone that God has a purpose for everyone and that everyone matters.
Middle School News
The Dare2B bonfire was a chance to celebrate together and initiate our new fire pit. Thank you to Nick Bloebaum for building it for us! Together we roasted hot dogs and made s’mores . After dinner we had a bit of a social time. Soon after we all gathered to play some games. The games helped introduce us to other people. Some even stayed till 9:00 PM! After playing games outside we received out tie-dye Dare2B shirts. We had made these at a prior meeting.
Brecken Grady and Addyson Rohde
High School News
This is Ellen K. reporting from the high school. The past few months at SHS have been busy for marching band members. Along with performing at home football games, we have traveled to Columbus, Grand Island, and around Lincoln for our 5 competitions. At Columbus and Harvest of Harmony the band members marched in a parade that was judged and scored before performing in competition. Our show was called Ascending. We performed four songs: Against the Light, Ascend, Into the Light, and Into the Clouds. It followed our journey as we went against the light, ascended into the light, and eventually into the clouds. The competition ratings were good, excellent or superior. We received 2 excellent and 3 superior ratings. At our final competition which was state, we received a superior and ended the season on a very good note. Now we are preparing to march in the Seward Holiday Parade on Saturday November 30th and practicing for our Holiday Concert on Monday December 16th.