Dear Members and Friends of St. John,
The Leonardo da Vinci painting, “Mona Lisa,” does not sit in a private home where only the owners can enjoy its intrigue and beauty. This famous masterpiece is prominently displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, where any who visit the museum can consider the famous smile of the woman in the picture. In other words, the beauty of a great painting is not to be hidden, but to be shared.
Jesus told His disciples something similar in His “Sermon on the Mount.” He instructs His disciples that because of their relationship with Him, they have something to share, not to hide. “14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
The light which followers of Jesus have to share is Jesus Himself. He is the “light of men . . . [that] shines in darkness.” (John 1:4-5) Jesus is “THE Light of the world” (John 8:12) which shines in this dark world of sin and of evil. In the face of evil, Jesus is holy and righteous. In this world of selfishness and hatred, Jesus is sacrificial love. In this world of guilt, Jesus brings forgiveness. In this world of death, Jesus brings life. He is “The Life.” (John 14:6)
So, like the Mona Lisa is not hidden but displayed, Christians naturally want to share Jesus and His love and His affect on our lives. How to share the Light of the World is the question we ask ourselves. There are some examples of large numbers of people coming to faith at one time. In the book of Jonah the whole city of Ninevah came to repentance and acknowledged God. In Acts 2, 3000 people came to faith and were baptized on Pentecost Day as the Holy Spirit powerfully filled God’s people. But, most often the good news of Jesus, the Light of the World, is shared on a personal, one-to-one basis.
So, family members have brought family members to know and believe in Jesus as their Savior from sin for eternal life. Friends have shared their faith and hope in Jesus with friends, and allowed God’s Spirit to work faith. Sometimes a “random act of kindness” becomes an opportunity to witness to a stranger the reason for that kindness, the underserved love a Christian believer receives in Jesus.
For a Christian, sharing Jesus is not like selling a product. That would be using friendships and relationships as a vehicle to accomplish a purpose we desire, but others may not want. But, when we love someone, when we are friends with someone, we share ourselves, and in turn others share themselves with us. A Christian is a person who is changed by the love and the power and the grace of Jesus. So, when we share who we are, we are also sharing with others the person whom Jesus made us to be. When a Christian shares themselves, they naturally also share Jesus.
This is a long introduction to talk about some sharing of Jesus I did last week. Somehow, I have discovered that I really enjoy fishing. Catching is even better, but just being outdoors, by the water, looking for fish, and seeing the other wonders of nature which God created, all this brings a peace and a joy to my heart.
From August 6 to August 13 I got to go fishing 5 times! Once, on Wednesday before work, I had been asked to take someone fishing, but then they couldn’t go. I went fishing anyway. However, the other four times I went fishing I took someone who had indicated they were interested in a fishing trip. When I take people fishing I get to share a part of me that I enjoy, but I also get to create or build relationships. And when I share, I hope and pray and believe that Jesus who loves me and saves me is also shared with my family and friends.
My doctoral dissertation in 2008 was entitled, “Fishing for Men While Fishing With Men.” This dissertation was not so much a theory to be tested, but more so a lesson I had learned. When I share the things I love with others, I can also share with others the grace and love Jesus has given me.
Fishing is not the only way to build relationships. My wife likes to sew and to quilt, and enjoys sharing her gifts and her talents with others. But, when she teaches another person to sew, or when she works with someone on a quilt, Kathy is also sharing herself. And the person Kathy is has been greatly influenced by God’s love for her in Jesus. So when Kathy teaches sewing, she also shares Jesus.
Has Jesus changed your life for the good? Would you like to “let your light shine” before others? What are the joys of your life? Think of how you can share your passions with others. As you share, may Jesus shine through you!
A Child of God, Letting the Light of Jesus Shine Through Me While Fishing,
P.S. It was a really good week for fishing. In fact, last week may have been the best week I ever had in the Mat-Su for catching salmon. Here are some pictures.
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you do not want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.
SPECIAL VOTERS’ MEETING - A Voters Meeting is planned for THIS Sunday, August 19. We will vote on calling Ethan Mirly as full-time DCE for St. John. (Ethan then will pray about his response to this call through St. John). Copies of the job description and salary package are available on the counter in the back of the church.
We will not convene a meeting. Confirmed / Commuicant members of St. John will have the opportunity to vote between services in the cry Room. President Karl Kopperud will be there. We ask that those voting sign in that they are voting, and then fill out a “Yes or No” ballot.
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH EXTESION FUND (LCEF) is a bank run by our denomination that exists for the purpose of growing God’s Church. This bank takes deposits from church members and then makes loans to churches for buildings, and to church workers for homes. The rates paid to member investors, and the rates charged churches and church workers are better than commercial rates.
St. John’s loan is with LCEF. Our current rate is 3.75%. However, we could lower the rate by 1/8 % if we have 15% of communicant members as investors. We would need 90 new investors for this break. We can lower our rate by ¼% if we have 25% of our communicant members, or 167 individuals as investors.
On Sunday, August 12, the Church Council voted to try to at least reach the goal of 100 investors in LCEF. This doesn’t have to be 100 families, but 100 indididual accounts. So, for example, grandparents can start accounts for grandchildren. We will hear more about this opportunity in worship in the coming weeks.
A SUNDAY SCHOOL MEETING WILL BE HELD this coming Sunday, August 19, between worship services. If you are on the Board of Education, or if you would like to help with Sunday School, please see Lara Stanley or Ethan Mirly.
NATIONAL YOUTH GATHERING MEETING SUNDAY EVENING, AUGUST 26, 7:00 P.M. – If your children would like to attend this July 2019 opportunity to grow in faith, or if you have any questions, plan to attend this meeting. If you have more questions call Ethan Mirly at (573) 270-3956.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
HELP NEEDED!! – Mark and Nicole Ford will be moving to Minnesota for Mark’s new job with the FAA which starts August 19. The Ford’s are very active at St. John. We will need folks to fill their place.
· Treasurer – Mark works with Garnet Robertson on the job of treasurer for St. John. They have the treasurer job down to a regular routine. If someone can help in this area or is interested in serving please talk to Mark, or Garnet, or congregational president, Karl Kopperud, or Pastor Rockey.
· Nursery – Nicole Ford staffs the nursery on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. THANK YOU to Kristine Neslund who has agreed to take Nicole’s place. If you want to help Kristine, please talk with Cathy Glaser, or Karl Kopperud, or Pastor Rockey.
ST. JOHN ACTIVITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES
During Summer months our schedule changes. However, we still have many regular activities for growth in faith and Christian Fellowship, . . . IN ADDITION TO regular summer worship.
Please note our schedule below for your personal growth in Jesus.
SUNDAY EDUCATIONAL AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
· The Book of Acts is being taught by Jim Summers in the fellowship hall. There is nursery care offered during the class.
· Prayer Ministry Opportunity – There are Elders in Pastor Allen’s former office between worship who are available for prayer each Sunday between services.
· Summer Sunday School – Summer Sunday School is is concluded. Regular Sunday School starts the Sunday after Labor Day, September 9.
REGULAR SUMMER ACTITIVIES DURING THE WEEK
o WEDNESDAY WORSHIP – Wednesday worship is offered each week at 6:30 p.m. at St. John. This service gives another worship opportunity to God’s family in addition to Sunday worship services. If a person cannot worship on Sunday, the same readings from Sunday are used on Wednesdays, with a different sermon from the Sunday morning sermon. In addition, if someone wants an additional opportunity for growth and fellowship and praise, Wednesday worship can provide that opportunity. Come and join us on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
o YOUTH ACTIVITIES
o Middle School Youth meet at St. John from 5-6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.
o High School Youth meet at St. John on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
· FRIDAY - NEW ORIGINAL BIBLE STUDY – Twenty and thirty something’s meet at the home of Hunter and Elizabeth Richard, 340 North Bonanza, on Friday nights for Food, Fellowship, and Bible Study.
· SATURDAY ST. JOHN MEN’S BREAKFAST - The St. John men’s group, Promise Keepers, is meeting on Saturday mornings this summer at the Noisy Goose at 7:30 a.m. for food and fellowship. ALL MEN are invited to join us. “Fathers, feel free to bring your sons too!
I pray that these activities provide you with opportunities for growth in your relationship with Jesus and times of service.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH AND FELLOWSHIP
“CHRISTMAS MARKET, MUSIC, AND LUTHER TRIP” TO AUSTRIA AND GERMANY AT THE END OF 2019
(Meeting coming SOON!)
Pastor Jonathan and Kathy Rockey will be leading a trip to Germany November 26-December 10, 2019. We will start in Vienna and end in Berlin. The focus of this trip will be Christmas markets, music, and Martin Luther. Information about the itinerary, cost, and registration can be found at this link from Luther Tours. -
Already, even before publicity, about 18 people have indicated an interest in attending. If you want to know more about this trip talk to Pastor Rockey or Kathy.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT ST. JOHN is available on our church website? On our web page you can find sermons, newsletters, and these weekly devotions. The link is:
In fact, IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE YOUR MONTHLY CHURCH NEWSLETTER BY E-MAIL please e-mail Judy Stahancyk and let her know. You can call at 745-3338, or e-mail Judy at. If you receive the newsletter by e-mail it saves printing, postage, and time compiling the newsletter. Also, you receive the monthly newsletter more quickly!!