(The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
Alma, Kansas
A family united by faith in Christ gathering around God's Word and Sacraments.
To reach out in Christ-like concern and Christ-borne love to each other and to those without Christ!
Reports from Auxiliary Organizations

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.  3 John 2.
Parish nurses again served in unique ways during the Covid Pandemic year 2021.  For the first six months of the year, we served as greeters for the church services and recorded names for attendance because the attendance registers were not yet being used.  We had the opportunity to meet members and guests by serving as church greeters through the month of May.  We continued to advocate for the wearing of masks during services and church group meetings.  Blood pressure screenings were resumed on a monthly schedule on the second Sunday immediately following the church service.  Parish nurses were available to check blood pressures or to give advice for health education at other times such as after the Saturday evening services.  Monthly topics on health education and updates were offered in eleven of the published church newsletters that are mailed to members as well as posted on the church website.  Some of the articles were written by nurse educators who contribute to the Lutheran Parish Nurse International (LPNI) website, and other education articles were taken from the Center for Disease Control website for current topics. Parish nurses served as resources to connect to community services, outreach and support systems.
Covid-type illnesses seemed to surge again in the last two months of the calendar year.  New government procedures, testing requirements and quarantine guidance continued to evolve in order to meet the rise in cases of Covid illnesses.  The church policies continued to evolve around the need to maintain vigilance of the disease, yet with openness to the spiritual and emotional needs of our members while respecting the public health guidance for health and safety.
The parish nurses who served St. John in 2021 were Elaine Becker, Sandra Wertzberger, and Janet Wertzberger.  This team of registered nurses has been commissioned and is dedicated to providing health screenings with health education and nursing service to support Christ-centered wellness for church workers and laity.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:6

Janet Wertzberger, RN 
Parish Nurse


    It has been another year of challenges and changes for the Altar Guild.   Additional worship services, as well as many funeral services, have required additional time for the teams during their month of service.  There have been adaptations that had to be made to accommodate Covid protocols.  Thankfully, with Pastor Grimm’s guidance and assistance we have adapted and remained faithful to our purpose of making sure that the chancel and sacristy are always prepared and ready for all who gather around the Word and Sacraments in worship.
    Thank you to the individuals and families that have beautified the altar with the placement of flowers in memory of loved ones or in thankfulness for blessings in their lives.  A special thank you to Karen Wright for her donation of communion wine.  And thank you to Roxann Maike and Rose Debler who have resigned after many years of dedicated service as Altar Guild members.  We welcome Carla Johnston and Teresa Zerbe as new members.
      Our church has been gifted with a beautiful new set of purple paraments that will be used for the first time on our altar Ash Wednesday and during the Lenten season.  We thank the individuals that have chosen this way to honor God with this wonderful gift.

       Teams that will be serving in the coming year are:
January – Carla Johnston and Deanna Moege
February – Judy Peddicord and Cindy Smith
Lent and Holy Week – Whitney Howard and Pam Stuewe
March – Elaine Becker and Gayle Grimm
April – Teresa Zerbe and Ruth Wille
May – Carmen and Sandra Altevogt
June – Jeannie Stuewe and Janet Wertzberger
July – Melissa Theel and Cindy Zeckser
August – Barbara Theel and Helen Holenbeck
September – Kara Mayer, Heather Orton, and Janelle Schultz
October – Cheryl Buttenhoff and Becky Frank
November – Jennifer and Kaytlin Meseke
December – Kathy Cox, Debbie and Abby MacGregor

    Thank you to all for your willingness to “Serve the Lord with gladness” and remember “It is still all about Jesus”.
In His service,
                                                          Ruth Wille, Chairwoman


The mission of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) is to assist each woman of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is equipped to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world.
St. John Lutheran Church has an LWML Friendship Circle organization that meets regularly on the fourth Friday of each month throughout the calendar year. (No meeting was held in July.)  Our purpose and goal each month are to connect with fellow Christian women, study God’s Word, and use the gifts and talents He has given us to be of service to others.
Each meeting is opened by reciting the LWML pledge and the US flag pledge.  It is followed by a devotion, singing of a hymn, and participating in a Bible study that is either led by a member or Pastor.  A business meeting was held and then closed with a devotion.  Friendship Circle members participate in our Kansas District LWML activities, including the spring and fall zone rallies hosted by societies in our zone.  We support Mite box collections that support mission projects  throughout the world and we attend District and National LWML conventions.  On months that have a fifth Sunday, we participate in “Noisy Sunday” where members and the congregation give coins to support the district and national LWML mission projects.  Carol  White attended the International LWML convention.
Members of LWML organize funeral luncheons to support families who have lost loved ones.  Our group served many luncheons during this year as there were many funerals in our congregation.
The group supports community causes:  Wabaunsee High School After-Prom event, water bottles with church information on them were handed out at the Wabaunsee County Fair.
Seven quilts were made for the confirmands.  99 quilts were made, tied, and bound.  They were displayed on the back of the church pews, blessed, and donated to Lutheran World Relief.  121 Book bags filled with school supplies were donated to Lutheran World Relief.  Two quilts were donated to St. John Lutheran School auction.  Six quilts were donated to Santa Express.
The group collected towels and wash cloths for Orphan Grain Train, paid for installation of lights in Memorial Hall basement, donated $100 to VBS, provides greeting cards for purchase by congregational members, a Ft. Wayne seminary student is sponsored, (now Rev. Christian Schultz, our local member, had been supported while at the seminary,) large print Portals of Prayer are purchased for the congregation, and poinsettias were given to shut-ins and nursing home residents.
The bylaws for our local organization were revised.
Current officers were unanimously approved to continue their offices in 2022: President—Mary Reed Spencer; Vice-President—Rose Debler; Secretary—Sandra Altevogt; and Treasurer—Joyce Diehl.
It was decided to change the monthly meetings to 1:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month beginning January 2022.
All ladies of the congregation are invited to join LWML Friendship Circle and to “Serve the Lord with Gladness.”
                                                                Submitted by:  Sandra Altevogt, Secretary


The Teens for Christ started 2021 with the Super Bowl sub sandwich fundraiser.  With the coronavirus pandemic the teens used google forms to accept orders.  Karen Wright, family and Stop 2 Shop staff assembled 108 sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday.  

As March started the Lenten season and the pandemic continued the teens did not provide meals prior to Lenten service or the Sonrise Easter Breakfast. 

In August the teens organized a pancake breakfast fundraiser.

The teens were able to host Advent meals prior to the Advent Church service each Wednesday.  This event is not only a fundraiser for the teens, but a time of fellowship for our congregation.   

The teens continued with adopting-a-family, Brayden, Kaci, Karli Meseke’s family purchased the Christmas gifts and meal items for the family with Thrivent cards and Teens for Christ deposits. The Teens for Christ members wrapped the family gifts. 

The teens continued The Christmas Carol Telegram on December 19th, the teens, their families and special guests Ken & Cindy Smith visited 17 homes for the Christmas  Carol Telegram.  It was a sunny and cold December day to convoy through Wabaunsee county. 

We are thankful for the continued support of our congregation.  Thank you for the help and donations towards our fundraising for the 2022 LCMS National Youth Gathering.  We look forward to serving our congregation in 2022.  We would like to invite all teens to attend our meeting on the second Sunday each month following church service.

Teens for Christ and parents

Members:      Class of 2025:  Dalton Debler, Izzy Wright
Class of 2024:  Kaci Meseke, Karli Meseke, Jori Ruhnke, Luke Wertzberger
Class of 2023:  Jacob Meseke, Annie Wright
Class of 2022:  Brayden Meseke, Caden Yonke

Social Media

Social media and/or electronic presence is not defined well at St John. Thus, this report is not all-inclusive and focuses primarily on Facebook livestreams. In 2021, St John continued to offer livestreaming of worship services via Facebook and all services that were streamed remain available in a Facebook archive. In total, fifty-two Sunday worship services were streamed, nine Lenten and Advent midweek services, twenty-five special services (including festival services, ordination, and fourteen funerals), and forty-two Bible study sessions. At the beginning of the year, it was typical for each service to be accessed during the live stream simultaneously by more than fifty unique URLs, and, it was typical for each worship service to be accessed subsequently more than two hundred times. Since St John does not have a business/commercial Facebook account, we are unable to determine the duration of each independent access during the livestream or subsequent views. However, the stability of the number viewing during livestream suggests that most persons accessing the service during the livestream were maintaining the connection throughout the entire service. During the course of 2021, more people returned to in-person worship and online access to worship services declined. Nonetheless, at the close of 2021, it was typical for livestreams to have twenty-five active viewers and for each service to be accessed subsequently more than one hundred times. Midweek Lenten and Advent services were accessed, on average, one hundred fifty times. Special services such as the children-led Christmas worship garnered nearly four hundred views. Bible classes yielded consistent viewership of fifty to sixty. Many factors affect in person attendance at funerals and the viewership for funerals typically is substantial. A recent funeral included more than forty online URLs during the livestream and more than four hundred total views. These statistics suggest that each online worship service is valued by a group of local members that are unable to attend in person and by friends of St John that are some distance away.
Livestreaming requires the combined efforts of many persons. Notably, Pastor Grimm develops the components of the PowerPoint file and is assisted by Jim McGregor in formulating and formatting the file for presentation. James McGregor, Bruce Schultz, Ryan Theel and Tim Songs provide audio and video support during worship including audio balancing, camera control and online text presentation. Erik Grimm designed and implemented the initial setup of electronics for audio and video streaming and he continues to maintain and troubleshoot both hardware and software. Through the year, many persons have contributed to the quality of the online video and audio with their songs and responsories at microphones, advancing inhouse images, providing music (organ, piano and recorded organ) and maintaining hardware. It is noteworthy that only one service was not streamed or recorded, which occurred due to a power outage. The system has been reliable and the quality, in general has been quite good.
Bruce Schultz, media team spokesman


2021 - 2022 Officers2020-2021
PresidentAshley Seematter     Erin Debler
Vice-PresidentErin DeblerAshley Seematter
SecretaryChristy Seele    Christy Seele
TreasurerHeather Pfannanstiel       Brieanna Toney
Member-at-Large   Rachael Manor Rachael Manor

St. John Lutheran School continues to be blessed with parents, teachers, staff and families who generously give of themselves. The 2020-2021 school year was marked with our theme of "Love As I Have Loved You” John 15:12
The Lutheran Parent-Teacher League (LPTL) has historically funded many different activities during the school year, including class field trips, Spring Fling, Awards Night, and Graduation. In addition, the LPTL has continued to organize several fundraisers during the year, such as the pork chop supper, a match day event, and flower sales.  The LPTL also generously supports other needs as identified by SJ.LS teachers and staff such as art supplies, music and science supplies, playground equipment and maintenance, transportation expenses, and technology upgrades.
The LPTL also collects Coke Reward points, General Mills Box Tops, and Best Choice UPC labels. Other fundraisers include gift certificate sales (Scrip cards) and greeting card sales.
The school is looking forward to our annual National Lutheran Schools Week, which will be at the end of January.  The LPTL also sends out information packets to families in the area with children in the 0-3 year age range, and has organized a Shadow Day to give prospective families an inside look at SJLS.
We feel very blessed to have a Christian school in our community for our children. The LPTL would like to give a heartfelt thank you to St. John Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, the Board of Christian Education, the School Board, and members of our community for the generous support you give to our school.
                                                                                 Christy Seele, LPTL Secretary