(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 and Goals of the Church's Boards

The Elders usually meet on the first Monday of the month. We began in January with the electing of Chairman Don Frank and Secretary Luke Schultz. We continue to go through the field test edition of the Small Catechism.
We discussed having a Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) in our congregation to aid and assist our members and community in the case of a natural disaster. It was decided it would be a great thing if we have the volunteer manpower.  We also reviewed three goals that were brought up at the church council leaders retreat. 1 - Building a solid family night, 2 - Small group ministry, 3 – To live as God’s children and spread the Gospel in worship, service and teaching.
We visited with Circuit representatives on Reformation events throughout the year. Events were as follows: Clarks Creek in March; Mt. Calvary in June; St. Lukes’, Manhattan in August; Trinity McFarland in September, Immanuel Junction City in October.
Mr. Dehning brought for a proposal for a new policy that would require the parents of students in our school to attend church regularly to maintain membership discounts on school tuition. We agreed and it will be implemented. We continue to pray for and encourage our brothers and sisters that have not worshiped with us in the past year.
In July, we were told that our organist of many, many years was retiring in September. With regrets on Evelyn’s announcement we were happy for her to get to enjoy retirement. But now the search was on for someone to fill in. By God’s Grace in October we had found someone to play the organ. He is Joel Brejda, a student at Kansas State University.
At the December meeting, we said farewell to Luke Schultz as his term was up. It was a very busy year with many things going on and also a fruitful time with many accomplishments. We pray for God’s continued guidance and forgiveness this upcoming year, for our congregation, our school, and our country.
Nun Danke Alle Gott,
Don Frank, Chairman


Throughout 2017 the Board of Trustees worked to maintain our church, school, parsonage and cemetery to a high standard of safety, comfort and beauty to the glory of our Lord. In addition to many routine repairs and upgrades, we completed the following in 2017:
  • Correct defects that were discovered during the County Nurse’s school inspection
  • Install additional fill dirt at the parsonage
  • Remodel a bathroom at the parsonage
  • Conducted a School Work Day on August 5
  • Changed insurance providers at a significant savings to our congregation
  • Painting of the sanctuary after the new ceiling was installed
The Board of Trustees generally meets on the second Sunday of each month at 8:30 am. We welcome the input of all church members.
We sincerely thank all of the members of the congregation who assisted our efforts during 2017.

2017 Board of Trustees
Larry Garrison
Jason Evans
Richard Orton


In review the Board oversaw the School Board, Principal, Sunday School, VBS, Bible Classes and the Youth group. You can see these reports in this publication.
The Board also continued with the Family Sunday schools which will be three to four times a year. The Board sponsored the annual VBS picnic which was well attended. For the children of the church we supplied busy bags which are available at the back of the church. To further the safety of our children we have established a Protection screening/background check for our volunteers. Screening is required for all paid staff, ministry leaders and volunteers 18 years and older who serve children, youth and vulnerable adults. This would include but not limited to; Teacher aides, Sunday school teachers, VBS teachers and Youth leaders. This would not be for day school parents volunteering for their child’s
The Board is also researching the possibility of adding a mid-week activity called Logos. This is in the early stages of research and more will be reported in 2018.

Respectively submitted, Linda Orton Chairman


The Stewardship board prepared the budget for 2018 and presented it at the October voters meeting, it was then approved at the special voters meeting in November. We also prepared the next year’s contribution envelopes.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to prayerfully consider what gifts you can give to the Lord’s work this year.  There are many opportunities available where your talents can be used, such as, serving on  the Ushers staff, Alter Guild, serving on a Board, joining LWML, Hand Bells, Choir,  help with cleaning the facilities, pushing snow, or various other things, and yes, also with monetary gifts. 
We give thanks to the Lord for all the blessings he has bestowed on our congregation this past year and pray that he continues to bless us in the years to come.

The 2017 Board of Stewardship
(Ryan Theel, Dave Savage, Tim Songs, Judy Peddicord, Diana Rubottom)

I am happy to report that the attendance was little better this year than last year, but we still have room for you.
We had several family Sunday activities that were well attended. Thank you parents for coming. We intend to continue this in the coming yer.
A special Thanks to all those who help with Sunday School, Pastor Grimm, Don Frank, Tim Swicegood, Dennis Theel, Jean Kartman, Cheryl Buttenhoff, Miriam Murray, Barbara Theel, Richard & Linda Orton, Tom Mussmann, Rita Zeller and Heather Orton.
May the Holy Spirit guide you to come and worship with us.

God’s Blessings,
Phillip Theel, S.S. Superintendent 


There were two adult instruction classes held this year at St. John. One ended in February and the other in November resulting in 3 souls being confirmed. 


This past year, two separate Sunday morning classes were offered.  The Pastor’s Class met in the gymnasium, where the study of the Gospel of John was completed. Prayer was the Lifelight study which was completed. Peter is the video study now being used. The New Beginnings Bible Class used Lutheran Hour Ministries Video Bible studies, led by Don Frank. One of topics covered this year has been Martin Luther, another is the Large Catechism. They are meeting in Celebration Hall. Everyone joined in a Reformation Bible Study in October.  
Two Crossways! Bible studies have continued. This study of the books and themes of the Bible gets people to read all of the holy Scripture within two years. Classes were held Thursday mornings & Sunday evenings. These will continue through April of 2018.
Breakfast Bible Class continued Tuesday mornings at Frank’s Plumbing and studies the appointed Scripture Readings for the next Sunday.
Stephen Ministry continues at St. John. 6 Stephen Ministers are actively serving among us. We seek to train Stephen Leaders to build this ministry and increase our service to those who are hurting.
Large print hymnals have been given to the church, and are available for worship. Lutheran Hour sermons are sent to the church, and are in the bookcase in Memorial Hall. Please feel free to use these resources.
There is a sharing library in the music/study room (the pastor’s old office). Members may browse the shelves and borrow books. The library works on the honor system, and new books are available.


AT MIGHTY FORTRESS VBS, fifty children learned that in Jesus, the victory is won! We confidently celebrated that Jesus, our champion, has won the victory over sin, death, and Satan and that He acts through His Word and keeps His promises. Because the victory is won, every day is a day to celebrate! Twenty-nine volunteers helped kids look into the Bible, God’s Holy Word, and discover that God is our Mighty Fortress, our Shield, and our Deliverer.  We discovered God’s victory in five Bible accounts.
We shared God’s blessings with other children through our mission project. Through offerings the children gave $145.35 to Concordia Gospel Outreach to send free Bibles, Bible story books, and teaching materials to individuals and organizations who are struggling to connect people with the Gospel. 
Here’s what happened in Lesson 1 of our VBS: We learned that GOD IS MIGHTY! THE VICTORY IS WON! Our Stronghold Bible Story was “God’s Might Tumbles Jericho’s Walls” in Joshua 6:1–20. Our enemies of sin, Satan, and death are stronger than we are. In our sin, we don’t see or admit our physical and spiritual weaknesses. When we try to knock them down on our own, there is one sure thing: defeat. Our mighty God, our Mighty Fortress, defeated sin, Satan, and death. This victory has been accomplished once and for all in our Savior, Jesus Christ. In Jesus, the victory is won! Like Joshua and his people, we put our faith in our mighty God. He directs us in His Word and sustains us in His Sacraments. We confess our sin, and He forgives us. Living victoriously in His love, we serve our neighbors and share the good news of His victory with others. Bible Memory Verse: Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Here’s what happened in Lesson 2 of our VBS: We learned to FEAR NOT! THE VICTORY IS WON! Our Stronghold Bible Story was “God Delivers King Hezekiah’s Kingdom” in 2 Kings 18–19. When we are attacked by the devil, sin, and the brokenness of the world we live in, it makes us afraid. If we try to handle our troubles ourselves, we will fail. Fear not! The victory is won! Our mighty and gracious God is our refuge, our strength, and our help. He sent Jesus to defeat our biggest enemies: sin, death, and the devil. He strengthens us in faith through His Word and Sacraments. He hears our prayers. He defends and protects us from all evil with His mighty power. Like Hezekiah, when we are under attack, we turn to God. He helps us with every trouble we face. He gives us strength as we live, serving our neighbor and giving Him glory through the things we do and say.  Bible Memory Verse: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Here’s what happened in Lesson 3 of our VBS: We learned that GOD’S WORD IS TRUE AND POWERFUL! THE VICTORY IS WON! Our Stronghold Bible Story was “God’s Word Reforms King Josiah” in 2 Kings 22:1–23:30. God’s true and powerful Word shows us our sin. We don’t do what God says to do. When we neglect or ignore God’s Word, we won’t recognize our sin and we will not know God’s will and ways. God’s Word is true and powerful! The victory is won! God’s Word shows us our Savior, Jesus, through whom we are forgiven. When we hear God’s Word read, we, like King Josiah, learn what God expects and see how we have turned away from God’s ways. God’s Word leads us to repentance. God forgives us, turns us from sin, and gives us faith to live victoriously. We glorify God and serve our neighbor in this life, trusting in His promise of life forever.  Bible Memory Verse: Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30:5
Here’s what happened in Lesson 4 of our VBS: We learned that JESUS COMES TO SAVE! THE VICTORY IS WON! Our Stronghold Bible Story was “King Jesus Enters Jerusalem” in Luke 19:28–40. Like the crowd who welcomed Jesus, we praise Jesus on Sunday, but forget about Him during the week. We think He should give us what we want, but then we doubt His love when things don’t go as we hoped. We reject Him by our words and actions. We sin. On our own, we are lost. Jesus comes to save! The victory is won! Jesus rode into Jerusalem so He could die on the cross to pay for our sins and rise again. Jesus, our Savior, came and defeated our enemies of sin, death, and the devil. Through Jesus, we have forgiveness, life, and salvation. God, our Mighty Fortress, provides for all our needs and gives us more than we ever expected—life with Him! Through His Word and Sacraments, God, our Mighty Fortress, gives us faith and renews our whole life. God works through us as we serve others and share the good news of Jesus, our Savior!  Bible Memory Verse: Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He. Zechariah 9:9
Here’s what happened in Lesson 5 of our VBS: We learned that JESUS IS OUR SAVIOR KING! THE VICTORY IS WON! Our Stronghold Bible Story was “Jesus Wins the Victory” in Luke 23:1–24:12. For my sin, I deserve to be forsaken and condemned by God. My sin defeats me every day. Jesus is our Savior King! The victory is won! Willingly, Jesus came to earth, suffered, died, and rose again to save us. Now, as King, Jesus rules with His almighty power over all creation. He governs and protects His Church on earth, and He will bring all believers to glory in heaven where they “will receive the crown of life” (James 1:12). In Baptism, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, our King, comes to us defeated sinners through God’s Word. We are declared righteous because of Jesus and live in victory, serving Him and our family, friends, and neighbors.  Bible Memory Verse: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Revelation 4:8
VBS concluded on Sunday with the children singing during the worship service followed by a picnic and games at the ballfield for the families of the VBS children and all members.  We thank God for the opportunity to share His Word with all of the kids who came.  God truly works in the hearts and lives of the students and teachers.  It is our prayer that God’s work will continue in the future.  

In Jesus the victory is won!  
Pastor Grimm, Whitney Holle, and Lisa Ochs

The mission of St. John Lutheran School is to provide a foundation in Jesus Christ and to
develop the God-given talents of learning.

Faculty:Volunteer Instructors:
Mervin Dehning, Principal,    4th – 5th, Math, Science  Sheila Walton  Technology
Angela Bonnema, 4th – 8th, Language Arts  Deb BurchP.E. 4th – 8th
Whitney Holle,      2nd – 3rd Paul Savage     Room Help
Miriam Murray      K – 1st    Linda Orton      Room Help
    Sandra Wertzberger Room Help

Adjunct Faculty:   Support Staff:
Rev. Robert Grimm      St. John    Rose Debler, Cook
Rev. Chris VosslerTrinity       Gayle Grimm, AIDE
    Phillip & Barbara Theel, Custodians

The School Board would like to sincerely thank everyone who has graciously given of their time, talents, and/or financial support.  The 2016/2017 school year was bathed in the light of the theme of Shine Mathew 5:16 and that bright idea came through in all the school gatherings and projects.  This school year’s theme is Love the Lord.  Anyone that attends a school program or fieldtrip can plainly see the love shine from these students and they exhibit such a great example to fallow.       

Some of the highlights for the last year have been watching Principal Dehning kiss a cow, celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week including a community-oriented School Carnival, attending Gathering of Talents, showcasing many individual and group talents at Spring Fling, and hosting Field Day, and on the last day of school turning Principal Dehning into a human ice cream sundae.  Once school resumed in the fall, the kids enjoyed Harvest Parties, and presented “Sola Christmas” for the annual Christmas program, which is a special evening highlighting what our school is all about. 

Randall Debler,
SJLS Board President     


New Theme:  The 2017-18 school year started with a new theme of “Love the Lord!” based on Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

New Staff: We welcomed Mr. Andrew Kudray from Detroit, Michigan as our new Middle School teacher. We also welcomed Mrs. Angela Bonnema as our new Language Arts Middle School teacher for 2nd semester.

National Accreditation: St. John Lutheran School continues to receive national accreditation from the NLSA (National Lutheran School Accreditation) commission. 2017 saw us also receive national accreditation from Advanced Ed.

New students: The 2017-18 school year includes 29 (Kindergarten through 8th grade) students enrolled.  New students include: Sterling Bonnema (K). Aidan Doak (3rd), Taegan Doak (K), Yvo Ebert (K), Alexander Glotzbach (K), Joseph Holding (3rd), Bennett Noriega (K),Theodore Walton (K), and Brexton White (1st).

Chapel projects: Every Wednesday, we have Chapel in the sanctuary – please join us for any of our upcoming ones.  Trinity Lutheran School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was the recipient of $204.82 for their flood damage as part of the Kansas District “Hearts for Jesus” 3rd quarter project. Our fourth quarter project collected $134.42 for St. John Lutheran Church chapel expenses. Our first quarter saw $136.35 for LAMP (Lutheran Association of Missionary Pilots. The Ghana Mission project of the Rev. Mark Moss brought in $200.77.

Academic awards for 2016-2017: Perfect church &/or Sunday school attendance – Elijah Seele (4th) and Emma Seele (1st); Perfect School Attendance – Harley Ridder (4th), Hunter Ridder (5th), Hannah Sievers (5th), and Rose Walton (7th); Honor Roll (4 out of 4 quarters) – Kendra Conrad (3rd), Dalton Debler (4th), Evie Dye (5th), Jacie Hurla (6th), Brayden Meseke (7th), Kaci Meseke (5th), Karli Meseke (5th), Tucker Murray (3rd), Gesna Pearson (3rd), and Kate Wilt (3rd); and Presidential Physical Fitness Award – Karli Meseke.

Children Christmas service: The students of our dayschool shared their “Sola Christmas” worship service with their friends and families through their recitations, songs, organ/piano solos, handbells, recorders, chime bells and kinder bells.

Thrivent Choice Dollars: For the months of January through December, 2017 - $6,077 was donated to our school through the “Choice Dollars” program sponsored by Thrivent.  Thank you very much for remembering, helping with, and blessing the ministry of St. John Lutheran School.

Good Byes!: Graduation was held on May 25th. God’s Blessings were given to Ciara Crews and Matthew McClusky when they received their diplomas.

THANK YOU! Thank you for your prayers!  Thank you for your comments and suggestions!  Thank you for your financial support!  Thank you for allowing us to be a ministry of St. John Lutheran Church of Alma!  Thank you for the blessing of 144 years of quality Christian education reaching the lives of children from Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Finally, the mission of St. John Lutheran School is to “provide a  foundation in Jesus Christ and develop the God given talents of learning.”

"Love the Lord!" 
Principal Merv Dehning