ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH
(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!
ANNUAL REPORT 2019
Reports and Goals of the Church's Boards
BOARD OF ELDERS REPORT 2019

The elders generally met on the first Monday of each month.  A study of the revised catechism opened each meeting and was completed this year. Plans for the 150th anniversary celebration were discussed.  The theme is 2020 Vision – Still About Jesus. Discussion included an ongoing celebration in the spring and through the summer of 2020 including guest preachers. The church membership list has been divided among the elders. They prayed for the members throughout the year. 
The board of elders has been responsible for scheduling guest pastors to fill in during Pastor Grimm’s absences. Approval granted for Pastor Grimm to place his name on the nomination list for national LWML pastoral advisor. A grant application was submitted to be used for a Revitality workshop.

Respectfully submitted,
Brad Becker, Chairman




BOARD OF TRUSTEES REPORT 2019

The Board of Trustees continued to work to maintain & upgrade our facilities.  During the year numerous projects & repairs were made including the following highlights:
New carpet in the Church
Re-finished hardwood floors in the Church
Sealing of the asphalt parking lot
Re-seeding of the school playground
Painting in the sanctuary
New lighting in the sanctuary
The Board looks forward to the work of keeping our facilities upgraded as we prepare for the celebration of our 150th Anniversary at St. John’s.

Serving for Christ – 2019 Board of Trustees
Richard Orton, Dale Petersen, Jared Schultz




BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP 2019

The Stewardship Board prepared the budget for 2020 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, Altar 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 2019 Board of Stewardship
Tim Songs, Judy Peddicord, Paula Moege, Diana Rubottom,  Ryan Theel



BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION 2019

The board consists of five members; however it operated in 2019 with four members. It oversaw the school board, principal, Sunday School superintendent, Bible classes, Vacation Bible School, and the Youth Group.
Last fall there was a LOGOS training session available. No one from St. John was available to attend, so LOGOS was put on the back burner. Money was still allocated by the board for this program in its 2020 budget.
Vacation Bible School was a huge success in 2019 with over 80 children attending and 31 helpers including several from the youth group. The curriculum was developed by Rita Zeller who also served as the Director.
Sunday School attendance was sporadic throughout 2019.
The board welcomed a new principal, Harmon Butler, in June, 2019.

The 2019 Board of Christian Education
(Cheryl Buttenhoff, Jonathan Ringel, Nicole Savage, and Dennis Theel)



ADULT INFORMATION CLASSES

There were two adult instruction classes held this year at St. John with two souls being baptized and three being confirmed.




SUNDAY SCHOOL 2019

Sunday School is a place where you can come to read, hear, listen and talk about Jesus. It will give you a chance to talk and ask questions in a more informal way. It will help you to share and support each other in your faith.
Thanks to all who have helped – Pastor Grimm, Evelyn Schmidt, Dennis Theel, Paul Savage, Rita Zeller, Barbara Theel, Cheryl Buttenhoff, Miriam Murray. 

Come and Worship,
Phillip Theel, S.S. Superintendent 



ADULT BIBLE CLASSES AND RESOURCES 2019

This past year, three separate Sunday morning classes were offered. The Pastor’s Class met in the gymnasium, where the Gospel of Mark was completed. The New Beginnings Bible Class used Lutheran Hour Ministries Video Bible studies, led by Don Frank. They are meeting in Celebration Hall. In the Sanctuary, Rev. Jim Mayes is instructing the class from the book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew. In 2020, all three classes are beginning new themes: Pastor is teaching Luther’s Small Catechism. Mr. Frank is teaching Justification. Rev. Mayes has begun teaching the Book of Revelation.
LifeLight Bible Studies on Sundays and Thursdays have examined Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Esther and the Kings.
Paul Savage led Wednesday evening studies with The Truth Project. The Truth Project is again being taught this year, on Monday evenings. 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. Three Stephen Ministers are actively serving among us.
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.



VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL 2019

At True Avenger: Superheroes in Training VBS, 85 children from the community learned that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We discovered that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness and because we are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him, we can face the challenges that lie ahead. VBS was held on May 30th & 31st, from 9am -3pm. Parents were invited to the conclusion on Sunday, June 2nd where the children sang during our worship service. A picnic and games followed at McKnight Park. We had 17 teens and 18 adults that helped with VBS this year by leading lessons, serving lunches, preparing snacks, and creating moments the children can treasure. We truly appreciate all the children and volunteers that participated, as well as the generosity of all those that donated in one way or another to make this possible.
During Day 1 - Superhero Training : We learned about the hidden strengths we all have and how to use those powers to glorify God. In craft, we made shields with a cross at the center to signify how we can face challenges with confidence in our Lord’s protection and unconditional love. Our butterfly snack represented the transformation we endure as God works in us and through us. In Bible Connect, children identified the hidden strengths God blessed them with as we are all CHOSEN by Him and bestowed with blessings unique to each of us.
On Day 2 - Servant Leadership: We recognized that to be a hero, you must use your powers to help others. We discussed the amazing privilege we have as children of God and how we strive to get closer to Him with each step. As the hands and feet of Jesus, we should be looking for opportunities throughout our lives to bring others closer to God’s grace and truth as well. Bible Connect and Craft focused on the power of prayer and how it can change lives! Children made a personalized prayer journal to foster communication with a Heavenly Father that is always listening. We finished with fruit of the Spirit fruit pizza.
Both days kids had a blast in music with fun songs and plenty of opportunity to dance around in praise. Our games and recreation centered around opportunities to see how God’s Word is present all around us. Children of all ages worked collectively; each bringing their special strengths, and reinforcing the importance of teamwork on the best team: God’s Team! Children worked on service projects to realize the gift of giving and the opportunities we have to show and share the love of Jesus through compassion and service.
To allow the value of servant leadership to take root, we ended by taking suncatchers and cards to residents at the Alma Manor. Witnessing the heartfelt expression of appreciation is not something that can be conveyed in words, but there is no room for doubt that as the children sang “Jesus Loves Me,” the residents and all of us in attendance, felt His love to the core.
Leading up to VBS, congregation members were asked to complete a bulletin insert to share meaningful memories that have shaped their lives as Christians. Following the service on Sunday, members viewed “get to know me” posters displayed in Memorial Hall, that were created by the children. Each child received a memory from a congregation member in the “mailbox” attached to their poster.
An additional activity meant to cultivate intergenerational connections was the introduction of PrayerPals. Children completed a page that included fun information about them and a prayer request. During the Sunday Service, congregation members volunteered to be a PrayerPal to the youth present. The youth gave their page along with instructions for return correspondence to the adult volunteer. The hope is that our youth will establish connections with a congregation member they may not have developed a relationship with otherwise. PrayerPals are encouraged to correspond monthly, pray for each other regularly, and participate in quarterly intergenerational activities during Sunday School.

Submitted by Rita Zeller, 2019 VBS Director



SAINT JOHN LUTHERAN SCHOOL BOARD – CALENDAR YEAR 2019
The mission of St. John Lutheran School is to provide a foundation in Jesus Christ and to
develop the God-given talents of learning.

The beginning of the 2019 school year started with three full-time teachers (Mrs. Miriam Murray, Ms. Whitney Holle and Mrs. Angela Bonnema), one part-time principal, Mrs. Angie Messer, and one cook Mrs. Rose Debler. A BIG THANK YOU to out-going principal Messer for all her help and guidance for our school and to Mrs. Debler for serving as our cook.
In early January through March the board / search committee was filled with weekly search meetings, lots of resume perusing, phone interviews and on-site interviews for our principal/teacher position. Several months later we were blessed to have interviewed Harmon Butler and extend a call to him. He graciously accepted the call and joined our school in June.
Our fall semester started with the board setting goals for the 2019-2020 school year, which included: 1) Increase enrollment 2) Growing every child 3) Recognizing and promoting students 4) School cosmetic improvements 5) Increase advertisement. Additionally, the board reviewed and revised our pay scale for teachers. The board also set an annual budget and is looking into updating our math curriculum this year.
The board is also in the process of continuing National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA). Committees have been formed and work is underway while the NLSA Accreditation team will visit our school and review records in late April 2020.
We ended the 2019 school year with a full-time principal / teacher, Mr. Harmon Butler, two full-time teachers (Mrs. Miriam Murray and Ms. Whitney Holle), one Part-time teacher, Mrs. Angela Bonnema and three part-time cooks (Mrs. Sheila Walton, Mrs. Julie Butler & Mrs. Deb Burch).
Thank you for your prayers and support for the school board!

Perry Piper, School Board Chairman




EAGLE'S EYE VIEW FROM ST. JOHN LUTHERAN SCHOOL

2019-20 School Year Theme: “2020 Vision: God will make it clear to you!"
Philippians 3:15

New Staff: We welcomed Harmon Butler and his wife Julie into the St. John family on June 1st.  Harmon serves as Principal, 4th-7th homeroom teacher, and upper grades Math & Science.  After the retirement of Grandma Rose, Sheila Walton returned as head cook and along with Julie Butler and Deb Burch forms a three member lunch team. Mrs. Bonnema has gone to less than full time teaching upper grades Language Arts and History.

National Accreditation: Our five year accreditation renewal will be completed by June 2020.  2019 saw the majority of committee work and reviewing of supporting documentation completed. A visitation team will spend time in Alma in April to complete the process. We will receive the official approval during the summer months. 

New Students: The 2019-20 school year includes 29 (Kindergarten through 7th grade) students enrolled. New students include Brynn Anderson (K), Myka Manor (K), and Kooper Runnebaum (K).

Chapel Projects: Every Wednesday, we have Chapel in the sanctuary – please join us for any of our upcoming services.  The 2018-19 3rd quarter project was “Hearts for Jesus” project which raised $126.46 for in cooperation with the Lutheran Schools of the Kansas District. $106.19 was collected in the 4th quarter for the Chapel Fund.  2019-20 1st quarter Chapel Project raised $130.61 for Lutheran Braille Workers and $235.35 for Lead a Child as the 2nd quarter Chapel Project.

Academic Awards: Perfect church &/or Sunday school attendance – Emma Seele, Sterling Bonnema, Jacob Debler, and Elijah Seele.  Perfect School Attendance – Nora Mumaw and Ellijah Seele; Honor Roll (4 out 4 quarters) – Elijah Seele (7th), Wyatt Burch (7th), Haley McClusky (7th), Megan Piper (5th), Jacob Debler (4th), Emma Seele (4th), Summer McCart (3rd), Kameron Moege (3rd), Eli Wertzberger (3rd), Josie Mayer (3rd), Nora Mumaw (3rd)

Children’s Christmas Service: An early snow storm caused our Christmas service to be pushed back until after the Christmas break.  On January 5th, the students of our day school shared their “Who Came to Bethlehem?” worship service with their friends and families through their recitations, songs, handbells, recorders, chime bells and kinderbells. 

Thrivent Choice Dollars: For the months of January through December, 2019 – over $4,589 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.

Goals: Goals for the year 2020 include: 1) Increase enrollment from St John and Trinity congregations, the city of Alma, Wabaunsee county, and the surrounding area; 2) Continue to be a pathway for the spiritual growth of students AND their families; 3) Expend our use of technology to enhance the learning environment for all students.

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 146 years of quality Christina education reaching the lives of children from Kindergarten through 8th grade.

  Principal Angie Messer (January – May)
  Principal Harmon Butler (June – December)