Sunday, July 15, 2018

This Week @ St.John

Pastor @ 'Concordia Cubs Week'  @ Camp Okoboji this week; For any pastoral needs, please call the office & Linda will direct you to the appropriate resources.


  • SAT 7/21- Please deliver your RAGBRAI Pies to the Charter Oak Senior Center
    • 6:00PM Worship with communion at St. Paul, Hanover
  • SUN 7/22- 8:00AM Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00AM Worship
    • ALL DAY; Register's Annual Bike-Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) traveling through Soldier, Ute, Charter Oak and Denison. St. John selling homemade pie, bananas, iced tea, bottled water, & frozen candy bars in front of Senior Center
    • Biker Blessings at the Arboretum at 10am, Noon, 2pm & 4pm
  • HELP NEEDED- Four children need clothing for school. Boy (1); Pant size 8, Shirt size 8-10
    Boy (2); Pants size 8, Shirt size 7-8, Boy (3); Pants size 5, Shirt size 5-6, Girl; Pants size 4-5, Shirt 4-5. If you can help please leave items with Linda in the church office.
  • SCHOOL LUNCHES- For three years now, St. John has been providing free lunches for the children of Charter Oak while COU school is closed for cleaning. We have the opportunity to do it again this year. This year there are 5 days the school will not be open for lunches- July 30- August 3. The first four days are the same as St.John's VBS. We're seeking volunteers to help with meals again this year. Children are always very appreciative and sometimes we even have guests from other communities. If you'd be willing to help with a meal for a day, please sign up on the counter in the church lobby or let Linda inn the office know.


VACANCY NEWS-
Pastor Merrill continues to serve the vacancy at the Triple Parish (Immanuel, Soldier TWP/St. Luke, Ricketts/St. Paul, Hanover TWP). Voters of St. Luke, Rickets have voted to dissolve as a congregation.St. Luke will host Triple Parish services in August. The final two services as St. Luke as a congregation will be inn September.

  • SUN SEP 16 - 2:00PM Celebration Service featuring Pastor Gene Ernst preaching and Pastor Tim Frank leading music.
  • SUN SEP 30- Official Closing with Iowa District West President Rev. Steve Turner. Representatives of the Triple Parish met with St. John's Board of Elders on June 20 to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership with St. John. A report will be given at the July 12 Voter's Meeting and we will entertain the initial questions or concerns before we continue discussions with the two remaining congregations of the Triple Parish.Please keep the Triple Parish members and leadership in your prayers for God's continued guidance in this time of transition. Triple Parish services for the Summer months will be held 6:00PM on Saturday Nights.
  • JULY- St. Paul, Hanover Township
  • AUG- St. Luke Ricketts


Vacation Bible School (VBS)"Splash Canyon;
God's Promises on Life's Wild Ride" 

July 29-August 2, 6:00-8:30
All children ages preschool (potty trained) - grade 6 invited
Free brown bag snack @ 5:45 each evening
Call or text Bethany @ 269.5970 
or Linda at 678.3630


Life is full of thrills and spills! We don't know what's around the bend, but God does! As Splash Canyon VBS God's children of all ages learn the good news that God is with us and keeps His promises to us on all of life's wild ride. As staff members for Splash Canyon VBS, you have fun and share the Splash Canyon message with kids. If you can help full time or part time, we have ways to be involved that fit your schedule and gifts. Please call Bethany Mallory at 269 -5970 for more information.

We appreciate your prayers for Splash Canyon VBS! Please ask God to bring children to our program so that they can know and grow in Jesus, our Savior! Ask God to provide leaders and helpers for this important mission. Thank you!



https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKnSxRLA32sh44z5nrLgiIA
St.John has begun posting Pastor's sermons on YouTube. If you haven't visited our new YouTube Channel yet, please like, subscribe, bookmark or share it today! If you have videos at or about St.John Charter Oak, please share them with us or tag us in them so that we can link to them or include them in our playlists. Thank you.

Take a look at our NEW tabs/pages on THIS website https://stjohncharteroak.blogspot.com
If you haven't visited our church website in a while, there's been some changes, including links to our new YouTube ministry and pages base on the LCMS three emphases of "Witness, Mercy and Life Together."Please visit, bookmark it, share it, or subscribe to it. There are lots of links to resources, information about us, and of course weekly news about what's going on.

'Like,' Follow, & Share our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/StJohnLuthCOIA
We also have our own Facebook page. If you're on Facebook, please take a look and "like" our page. Consider "sharing" the page or inviting friends to take a look. Lots of friends and family who are from Charter Oak but moved away seem to like it as a way to keep in touch, But guess what? It's a great (and simple/easy) way to share with open arms the love of Jesus to your friends and neighbors in and around our area!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

This Week @ St.John


MON-SAT July 9-14, 6:25AM Pastor Merrill hosts 'Thy Strong Word' on KDSN 107.1FM/1530AM, FYI-We need funding to help pay KDSN for this program. If you would like to make a donation toward 'Thy Strong Word,' please let either the office or KDSN know. Thank You. Start your day off with this devotion on God's Word. http://www.kdsnradio.com


SUN-WED July 8-11- 70th (1948-2018) ANNUAL CHARTER OAK ACHIEVEMENT DAYS
Good luck & God Bless 4-H Achievers & Boosters & COU FFA Members participating!
  • THR JUL 12- 7:30PM Quarterly Voters' Meeting;
    Everyone welcome. If you haven't attended a voter's meeting before, become a "voting member." Participate in the Body of Christ by learning about & having a say in what we do as a congregation. 
  • SAT JUL 14- 6:00PM Worship at St. Paul, Hanover TWP
  • SUN JUL 15- 8:00AM Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00AM Worship with Communion
    • Pastor leaves for Concordia Cubs' Week at Camp Okoboji until July 21

Friday, July 06, 2018

Bound Together in Christ's Love

Dear Friends in Christ,

The following was written by Iowa District West President Steve Turner as part of his message
to the delegates of the District Convention June 24-26:

Bound Together in Christ's Love

The theme for the Fortieth Convention of Iowa District West is Bound Together in Christ's Love. It
is based on Colossians 3: 12-17. (Theme verse v. 14: ''And above all these put on love, which binds all things together in perfect harmony." --Pastor Merrill)

Paul begins with good news. You arc Chosen! We arc chosen by God to be His people. In the book
of Ephesians it says, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him (Ephesians 1 :4 ESV). Paul reminds us that from the very beginning of time, from the foundation of the world, God has chosen us to be IIis people. God sent Jesus for us! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16 ESV). Whoever believes in Him has eternal life. Christ Jesus lived, died and is risen for us! This is the good news of God's Grace. In Christ Jesus, God chose you to be one of His own sons and daughters. Our identity as the people of God is that we have been chosen by Him to be His people and to share in His glory forever.

This identity as people of God is lived out over and over in the congregations oflowa District West
(lDW). Pastors are present with their people as they faithfully visit the sick and shut-ins of their
congregations. Teachers, Deaconesses, Directors of Christian Education and other church professionals are forming and informing the next generation of Christians. Church members are volunteering to serve in their congregations and communities. Hundreds of quilts are prayerfully constructed and other projects of mercy are offered by willing servants to the Glory of God. These are acts of compassion and kindness.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies us and in doing so He gives us hearts of mercy. This is God's work in us
as He calls us to put on compassion and kindness. The Holy Spirit in Holy Baptism calls us to be the Holy people of God, to live in perfect harmony with one another. This is our identity as God's chosen people. Jesus says it like this, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35 ESV).

The congregations in Iowa West have a long history of caring for one another and sharing our
burdens with one another. We have a close relationship with Lutheran Family Service. We were very
involved in disaster relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. I thank God for congregations that are ready and willing to work with one another in this common confession and common mission. I praise God for pastors who are willing to take on the extra work of vacancies and congregations that will release
them for service. I believe we need to be pioneering in how we continue, bearing with one another, in our ministry together.

I count it a joy and a blessing to be a pastor in IDW. But times are changing. Rural Iowa is changing;
but so are our urban and suburban communities. We rejoice in the timeless blessings of Christ and the
cha.ngeless messa~e of the Gospel. This Good News brings peace and confidence in "changing times." I believe congregations throughout Iowa District West are sensing that they could fulfill their God-given mission better together than separately. Because we are "Bound Together in Christ's Love," I encourage the leaders throughout Iowa District West to explore new ways to join forces with neighbor congregations to bnng the changeless message of God's love for the world to your communities.

Always in Grace,
President Steve Turner


Thursday, July 05, 2018

Finding St.John Online

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKnSxRLA32sh44z5nrLgiIA
St.John has begun posting Pastor's sermons on YouTube. If you haven't visited our new YouTube Channel yet, please like, subscribe, bookmark or share it today! If you have videos at or about St.John Charter Oak, please share them with us or tag us in them so that we can link to them or include them in our playlists. Thank you.

https://stjohncharteroak.blogspot.com
If you haven't visited our church website in a while, there's been some changes, including links to our new YouTube ministry and pages base on the LCMS three emphases of "Witness, Mercy and Life Together." Please visit, bookmark it, share it, or subscribe to it. There are lots of links to resources, information about us, and of course weekly news about what's going on.
We also have our own Facebook page. If you're on Facebook, please take a look and "like" our page. Consider "sharing" the page or inviting friends to take a look. Lots of friends and family who are from Charter Oak but moved away seem to like it as a way to keep in touch, But guess what? It's a great (and simple/easy) way to share with open arms the love of Jesus to your friends and neighbors in and around our area! 

Sunday, July 01, 2018

This Week @ St.John


  • TUES JULY 3- 6:30AM Men's Bible Study
    • 4:00PM LWML Meeting
  •  WED JULY 4    Independence Day; Offices Closed      
  • THUR JULY 5- 7:30PM Church Council Meeting
  • SAT JULY 7- 6:00PM Worship with communion at St.Paul, Hanover TWP
  • SUN JULY 8- 800AM Adult Bible S tudy
    • 9:00AM Worship
    • 10:00AM Finance Board Mtg.
  • THUR JULY 12- 7:30PM Quarterly Voters Meeting

    PLEASE NOTE: MEETING SCHEDULE CHANGES- The July church council and voters meetings will be held on Thursdays this month due to the Fourth of July holiday and the Charter Oak Achievement Days

    SCHOOL LUNCHES- For three years now, St. John has been providing free lunches for the children of Charter Oak while COU school is closed for cleaning. We have the opportunity to do it again this year. This year there are 5 days the school will not be open for lunches- July 30- August 3. The first four days are the same as St.John's VBS. We're seeking volunteers to help with meals again this year. Children are always very appreciative and sometimes we even have guests from other communities. If you'd be willing to help with a meal for a day, please sign up on the counter in the church lobby or let Linda inn the office know.

    RAGBRAI SUN July 22- Pie & Ice Cream Concessions Stand being planned. Volunteers Needed! Please contact Eugenie Friedrichs for details.

    If you received a call from one of the St. John RAGBRAI Committee members about baking pies for our vendor booth, we want to thank you for your help. We appreciate it. We know that we will have the freshest, tastiest and most memorable pies in Crawford County on Jully 22. We also want to let everyone know who received a call but are unable to make pies, you can still help us with financial support. Please make checks payable to St. John Charter Oak and write "RAGBRAI" on the memo line and bring them to Linda in the office. Thank you.
    Eugenie Friedrichs: Cell: 267 0408 e-mail: eh.friedrichs@gmail.com
      ATTENTION ALL RAGBRAI PIE BAKERS:
    • In order to create uniform pie size & depth and to eliminate the need to wash dishes, we have purchased disposable foil pie pans for you. Please pick up yours in the church lobby as soon as possible. 
    • There is a sign up form next to the pie pans to let us know who you are and how many of what kind of pies you're baking. Thank you!

    CAMP OKOBOJI- 
    Christian Summer Camps. Registration forms available in the church office, or visit www.campokoboji.org for more information on the following camps:
    July 8-14 Junior High Week
    July 15-21 Concordia Cubs Week (Grades 3-5)
    July 22-18 Youth Week (high school)

    VACANCY NEWS- Pastor Merrill continues to serve the vacancy at the Triple Parish (Immanuel, Soldier TWP/St. Luke, Ricketts/St. Paul, Hanover TWP). Voters of St. Luke, Rickets have voted to dissolve as a congregation.St. Luke will host Triple Parish services in August. The final two services as St. Luke as a congregation will be inn September.
    • SUN SEP 16 - 2:00PM Celebration Service featuring Pastor Gene Ernst preaching and Pastor Tim Frank leading music.
    • SUN SEP 30- Official Closing with Iowa District West President Rev. Steve Turner
    Representatives of the Triple Parish met with St. John's Board of Elders on June 20 to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership with St. John. A report will be given at the July 12 Voter's Meeting and we will entertain the initial questions or concerns before we continue discussions with the two remaining congregations of the Triple Parish.
    Please keep the Triple Parish members and leadership in your prayers for God's continued guidance in this time of transition. Triple Parish services for the Summer months will be held 6:00PM on Saturday Nights.
    • JULY- St. Paul, Hanover Township
    • AUG- St. Luke Ricketts

Vacation Bible School (VBS)"Splash Canyon;
God's Promises on Life's Wild Ride" 

July 29-August 2, 6:00-8:30
All children ages preschool (potty trained) - grade 6 invited
Free brown bag snack @ 5:45 each evening
Call or text Bethany @ 269.5970 
or Linda at 678.3630

Life is full of thrills and spills! We don't know what's around the bend, but God does! As Splash Canyon VBS God's children of all ages learn the good news that God is with us and keeps His promises to us on all of life's wild ride. As staff members for Splash Canyon VBS, you have fun and share the Splash Canyon message with kids. If you can help full time or part time, we have ways to be involved that fit your schedule and gifts. Please call Bethany Mallory at 269 -5970 for more information. 

We appreciate your prayers for Splash Canyon VBS! Please ask God to bring children to our program so that they can know and grow in Jesus, our Savior! Ask God to provide leaders and helpers for this important mission. Thank you!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

This Week @ St.John

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKnSxRLA32sh44z5nrLgiIA

Visit our NEW YouTube Channel

  • SUN 6/24-TUES 6/26- 40th Convention of the Iowa District West, at Camp Okoboji.
    Theme: Colossians 3:14 "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
  • TUES 6/26- Church Office Closed
  • THUR-SAT 6/28-6/30-  LWML District Conventnion at Camp Okoboji. Theme: Colossians 3:14 "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
  • FRI 6/29- 6:00pm Wedding Rehearsal
  • SAT 6/30- 4:00pm Shelby Goslar & Shane Veasey Wedding
    • 6:00pm Worship at Immanuel, Soldier TWP
  • SUN 7/1- 8:00am  Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00am Worship with Communion (Mite Box Sunday)
    • 1:00pm Pastor Merrill preaching at Denison Care Center
    • 2:00pm Pastor at Eventide Lutheran Home
      • 2:45pm Pastor at Silveridge

  • COLLECTING FOR THE LWML CONVENTION: 
    • New Washclothes
    • Travel-size toothpaste
    • Travel size deodorant
    • $5 McDonald's gift cards- please give these to Linda or leave them in the church office.
      The sundry items go to those in need, delivered through Hope Ministries in Des Moines. The gift cards are for veterans. There will be a basket in the lobby area for donations. Thank you for your generous hearts.

    CAMP OKOBOJI- Christian Summer Camps. Registration forms available in the church office, or visit www.campokoboji.org for more information on the following camps:
    July 8-14 Junior High Week
    July 15-21 Concordia Cubs Week (Grades 3-5)
    July 22-18 Youth Week (high school)

    VACANCY NEWS- Pastor Merrill continues to serve the vacancy at the Triple Parish (Immanuel, Soldier TWP/St. Luke, Ricketts/St. Paul, Hanover TWP). St. Luke's voters assembly have elected to dissolve, this will be a gradual process including special services this upcoming September. Immanuel/St.Paul are discussing ways to continue including approaching other congregations in the Circuit such as St. John, St. Paul, Ute, St.Matthew Mapleton or Emmanuel, Schleswig. Please keep the Triple Parish members and leadership in your prayers for God's continued guidance in this time of transition. Triple Parish services for the Summer months will be held 6:00PM on Saturday Nights. Locations will rotate as follows:

    • JUNE Immanuel Soldier Township
    • JULY- St. Paul, Hanover Township
    • AUG- St. Luke Ricketts

RAGBRAI SUN July 22- Pie & Ice Cream Concessions Stand being planned. Volunteers Needed! Please contact Eugenie Friedrichs for details.

If you received a call from one of the St. John RAGBRAI Committee members about baking pies for our vendor booth, we want to thank you for your help. We appreciate it. We know that we will have the freshest, tastiest and most memorable pies in Crawford County on Jully 22. We also want to let everyone know who received a call but are unable to make pies, you can still help us with financial support. Please make checks payable to St. John Charter Oak and write "RAGBRAI" on the memo line and bring them to Linda in the office. Thank you.
Eugenie Friedrichs: Cell: 267 0408 e-mail: eh.friedrichs@gmail.com

Vacation Bible School (VBS)"Splash Canyon;
God's Promises on Life's Wild Ride" 

July 29-August 2, 6:00-8:30
All children ages preschool (potty trained) - grade 6 invited
Free brown bag snack @ 5:45 each evening
Call or text Bethany @ 269.5970 
or Linda at 678.3630

Thursday, June 21, 2018

We Miss YOU!


At last night's Elders' meeting we looked at some numbers. On paper, St. John has over 500 members. That's as big as the whole town of Charter Oak. But before you get too excited, think of this, our average Sunday attendance inn 2017 was around 130. If that still sounds good for a small rural town in Iowa, Keep in mind that that's an AVERAGE. The Sunday School Christmas program may pack them in, but there's plenty of Summer Sundays where we're lucky too break 70.

Did you know that Pastor has a list of over 130 members whom haven't received communion, or in some cases even attended worship in YEARS. Mind you, many of these are folks who've gone to college, military service or gotten married and moved away. But others have just gotten out of the habit of getting up on Sunday morning.

It's not about increasing our numbers, it's about reaching more people with the Word and love and grace of Jesus!

Can you help? If you have family members whom are far away and not likely to come back, encourage them to find a new church home or to officially transfer their memberships. If they're still members, maybe you could let the church office know their new address and let THEM know about our new YouTube ministry.

AND... if you yourself haven't attended in a while, we'd love to see you. If your neighbors, friends or family members are "lapsed" members, please encourage them to come on back. God misses them. They're fellow members miss them!

FINALLY.... Lots of folks move in and out of Charter Oak, it's not the same community it was 50 years ago. Do you even know some of your new neighbors? Introduce yourselves and invite them to come visit St.John some Sunday. Tell them about our VBS program coming up next month or our great playground. Or tell them about the Sunday School, Confirmation, and Adult Instruction programs that resume in the Fall.

If nothing else, share a link to this website, our church Facebook page or our new YouTube channel- talk about an EASY way to "offer with open arms, the love of Jesus!"

Trying Something New

We have had inquiries about posting Pastor's sermons and children's messages online. We already record worship services to DVD which are available in the church entryway.
We've created a St. John's YouTube channel (please visit & subscribe), but we're looking for volunteers with video editing expertise and time to cut just the children's message & sermons from each week's DVD and upload it to the channel.
If you're interested in helping with this new venture, please contact Ted Mallory or Pastor, or at least leave your comments below to let them know. Thank you for your help (in advance).