Saturday, June 23, 2018

This Week @ St.John

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  • 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).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bound Together in Love

Dear Friends in Christ,

"Bound Together in Love" is the theme of the District Convention oflowa District West that will be
held June 24-26 at Camp Okoboji. The theme is taken from Colossians 3:14, which says, "And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." In Colossians 3, Paul tells us to "put on" several things--compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness. But "above all," he says, "put on love."

Love binds us together. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the source of that love. He first loved us and gave
Himself for us, dying on the cross-to rescue us from our sins and rising again to give us victory over death and the grave. His love embraces us in Baptism and brings us into the family of God, where we are bound together with all other believers in one Holy Christian Church.

Christ's love has bound us together with other congregations in our District and Synod. Together
with our fellow believers we are able to accomplish God's work in a way that we could not do by
ourselves. Our support, our offerings of love to District and Synod help plant churches; provide
educational and worship resources for congregations and Lutheran schools; train pastors, deaconesses, directors of Christian education, missionaries and musicians at our colleges and seminaries; and support many other ministries that benefit the whole church.

Christ's love binds us together with fellow believers in St. John congregation. St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 describes the church as the body of Christ, and many of His words apply most directly to the local congregation. Jesus has given different gifts to the different "body parts" (congregation members), " ... that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together." (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)

It is no coincidence that 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter on love, follows the description of the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12. Love is what binds us together as a congregation, in times of joy and times of sorrow. In the past year St. John members have helped families celebrate baptisms and wedding anniversaries and have also ministered to families at the time of a funeral. Our LWML and LYF have enjoyed the fellowship of being bound together in Christ's love even as they serve the greater mission of the church through mission projects. In love our Sunday School and confirmation teachers and VBS leaders patiently assist parents in bringing their children to know the love of Jesus.

Finally, let us remember that Christ's love binds us together with fellow members of our community.
The love of Christ is meant to be shared. St. John's mission statement, "Offering with open arms the love of Jesus," fits well with our convention theme this year. Because Jesus has opened His arms to us, we open our arms in offering His love to our community. We look for projects and ministries that give us opportunity to share Jesus' love, so that those who are not part of our fellowship may be brought in. Welcoming the children who come to our playground, providing meals for families during the week the school is closed, have been examples of reaching out to our community. RAGBRAI this year is also an opportunity for St. John not only to raise funds for ministry, but also to offer the love of Jesus to the riders that come through Charter Oak.

St. Paul concludes his exhortation to the Colossians in chapter 3 by saying, "Let the Word of Christ
dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, the result of the Word of Christ dwelling in us. May that Word continue to be central in our mission, that we may be "bound together in love!"

Peace to you in Christ,
Pastor Merrill

Help Us Help You


Pastor Merrill WANTS to serve you, minister to you & your family & to pray with you. 
But he can't help if he doesn't know your needs. 

Give us a call or email...

...before going into the hospital
...birth of a new baby
...death in the family
...making wedding plans
...name change or change of address
...entering the armed services
...heading off to college
...desire to serve the Lord through the church
...any special needs or private communications

& With your Prayer Requests
...to be read in church
...to be passed on to a prayer-chain
...for pastor to pray with you
...for pastor to pray for you privately

Monday, June 18, 2018

Where ya'at? We miss you!


CAMPING THIS SUMMER?

The Children of Israel camped in the wilderness for 40 years. God went with them.
If you're camping nearby; Nelson's Park, Crawford Creak, Yellowsmoke- why not come to church anyway? 

Jesus loves you and would love to get to spend just an hour with you & His Father. 
We won't judge if you smell like campfire and bug spray.

SAT 6/23- 6:00PM Worship with Communion, Immanuel (Triple-Parish) Soldier Township
SUN 6/24-  @ St.John inn Charter Oak 8:00AM Adult Bible Class, 9:00AM Worship

This Week @ St. John


  • TUES 6/19- 10:30AM Leona Hopp Funeral
  • WED 6/20- 8:00PM Elders' Meeting
  • SAT 6/23- 6:00PM Worship with Communion, Immanuel Soldier Township
  • SUN 6/24- 8:00AM Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00AM Worship
    • Triple Parish VBS "Cook Out for the Whole Town," Ricketts
  • 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."
  • MON 6/25- THR 6/28- Triple Parish VBS; 5:50PM Supper/6:00PM VBS at Ricketts City Park
  • 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

  • June 27-30 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."
  • RAGBRAI SUN July 22- Pie & Ice Cream Concessions Stand being planned. Volunteers Needed! Please contact Eugenie Friedrichs for details.
  • We NEED YOUR HELP & we NEED plenty of willing, 'kind souls' who are prepared to make a few HOMEMADE PIES. We also need some more 'kind souls' who 'are prepared to help us out on the big way. Will you help us? All pies will need to be the type that are double crust or streusel topped with a fruit filling. Due to Food inspection Regulations we are not allowed to serve creamy or pudding pies, only fruity ones. eg. Cherry, Rhubarb, Apple, Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry Rhubarb etc. All the proceeds from our sales will go towards much needed church building repairs eg. fixing the cracks in the walls or towards new carpeting. Your help is wanted, Your help is needed, Your help is appreciated, Your help, helps our church! you can't help physically maybe you can help us financially. Donations can be made payable to St.John simply put RAGBRAI FUNDRAISING EVENT in the comments. Contact info: 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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

This Week @ St. John



MON-SAT June 10-16, 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
  • SAT 6/16- 6:00PM Worship at Immanuel, Soldier TWP
  • SUN 6/17- 8:00AM Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00 AM Worship
  • CAMP OKOBOJI- Christian Summer Camps. Registration forms available in the church office, or visit www.campokoboji.org for more information on the following camps:
    • June 10-15 Girls (Grades 4-8) Sports Camp
    • 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
    • TRIPLE PARISH VBS- June 24-28, 5:30pm-8:00pm in Ricketts City Park. 
  • June 24-26 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."
  • June 27-30 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."
  • RAGBRAI SUN July 22- Pie & Ice Cream Concessions Stand being planned. Volunteers Needed! Please contact Eugenie Friedrichs for details.
    We NEED YOUR HELP & we NEED plenty of willing, 'kind souls' who are prepared to make a few HOMEMADE PIES.  We also need some more 'kind souls' who 'are prepared to help us out on the big way. Will you help us? All pies will need to be the type that are double crust or streusel topped with a fruit filling. Due to Food inspection Regulations we are not allowed to serve creamy or pudding pies, only fruity ones. eg. Cherry, Rhubarb, Apple, Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry Rhubarb etc. All the proceeds from our sales will go towards much needed church building repairs eg. fixing the cracks in the walls or towards new carpeting. Your help is wanted, Your help is needed, Your help is appreciated, Your help, helps our church! you can't help physically maybe you can help us financially. Donations can be made payable to St.John simply put RAGBRAI FUNDRAISING EVENT in the comments. Contact info: 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





Monday, June 04, 2018

This Week @ St.John


  • TUES 6/5- 6:30AM Men's Bible Study
    • 4:00PM LWML Meeting
  • SAT 6/9- 6:00PM Worship with Communion at Immanuel, Soldier Township
  • SUN 6/10- 8:00AM Adult Bible Class
  • CAMP OKOBOJI- Christian Summer Camps. Registration forms available in the church office, or visit www.campokoboji.org for more information on the following camps:
    • June 10-15 Technology Camp
    • June 10-15 Girls (Grades 4-8) Sports Camp
    • July 8-14 Junior High Week
    • July 15-21 Concordia Cubs Week (Grades 3-5)
    • July 22-18 Youth Week (high school)
  • RAGBRAI SUN July 22- Pie & Ice Cream Concessions Stand being planned. Volunteers Needed! Please contact Eugenie Friedrichs for details.

    Wow this is getting exciting & St. John is going to be part of the action. On 22 July, Charter Oak will be all 'a-buzz' with thousands of bike riders who will be riding their bikes across Iowa in the annual RAGBRAI biking event. Charter Oak is a "Passing Through Town" & also the last town on day 1 before the 1st "Over Night town, Denison. All day Sunday, July 22 Charter Oak will be hosting; hot, sweaty & weary riders who will be looking for; food, drinks, rest & fun. St. John is setting up a vendor booth on Main street together will all the other vendors both local & from out of town. St. John will be selling homemade pies, frozen candy bars, bananas & bottled water. RAGBRAI riders LOVE homemade pie & our pies will definitely be a BIG HIT! Here's the catch.... We NEED YOUR HELP & we NEED plenty of willing, 'kind souls' who are prepared to make a few HOMEMADE PIES.  We also need some more 'kind souls' who 'are prepared to help us out on the big way. We have small jobs for Big Boys too: Can you help us? Will you help us? All pies will need to be the type that are double crust or streusel topped with a fruit filling. Due to Food inspection Regulations we are not allowed to serve creamy or pudding pies, only fruity ones. eg. Cherry, Rhubarb, Apple, Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry Rhubarb etc. All the proceeds from our sales will go towards much needed church building repairs eg. fixing the cracks in the walls or towards new carpeting. Your help is wanted, Your help is needed, Your help is appreciated, Your help, helps our church! you can't help physically maybe you can help us financially. Donations can be made payable to St.John simply put RAGBRAI FUNDRAISING EVENT in the comments. Contact info: Eugenie Friedrichs: Cell:  267 0408 e-mail:   eh.friedrichs@gmail.com

Sunday, May 27, 2018

This Week @ St.John


  • MON 5/28- Offices closed for Memorial Day
  • SAT 6/2- No worship this week at Soldier Township
    • 5:00pm-7:00pm Benefit for Derek Meyer
  • SUN 6/3- Summer Hours Begin
    • 8:00am Adult Bible Class
    • 9:00am Worship with Communion (LWML Mite Box Sunday)
  • CAMP OKOBOJI- Christian Summer Camps. Registration forms available in the church office, or visit www.campokoboji.org for more information on the following camps:
    • June 10-15 Technology Camp
    • June 10-15 Girls (Grades 4-8) Sports Camp
    • July 8-14 Junior High Week
    • July 15-21 Concordia Cubs Week (Grades 3-5)
    • July 22-18 Youth Week (high school)
  • RAGBRAI SUN July 22- Pie & Ice Cream Concessions Stand being planned. Volunteers Needed! Please contact Eugenie Friedrichs for details.
  • TRIPLE PARISH VBS- June 24-28, 5:30pm-8:00pm in Ricketts City Park. 
  • LYF- JUNE 10, 6:00pm Special Screening of the film 'I Can Only Imagine' featuring Christian recording artists Mercy Me hosted by St. Paul Lutheran, Ida Grove for GRADES 7-12. Please let Pastor Merrill know if you're interested