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!
Prepare yourself to bring your best to God. Not simply your offerings, but also your heart.
Honor and worship God by Bible study, prayer, meditation and deeds of faith.

Date        Bible Text           Theme         Hymns                Order of Worship
4-1    Mark 15:1-20      Worldly Eyes  246 – 610 – 716 – 878  Evening Prayer, p. 243
4-5    Matthew 27:54    Wonder & Awe Palm Sunday  801-907-442-636-680-544-443DS 1, page 151
4-9    Mark 14:22-25     More than Meets the Eye       444 – 507 – 419 - 637 - 439 – 878  DS 4, page203
4-10  Mark 15:21-29     God’s Eyes Good Friday 451 – 651 – 449 – 440 – 431 – 878Litany, page 288
4-11  Mark 15:40ff Resting EyesEaster Vigil453 – 420 – 423 – 878   Holy Baptism, Page 268
4-12  Mark 16:1-8 Angel Eyes Sonrise433 – 470 – 480 – 477 – 463  Prayer & Preaching, 260
4-12  Colossians 3:1-4 Christ is your Life Festival       465 – 538 – 474 – 461 – 741 – 457 DS 1, page 151
4-19  I Peter 1:3-9The Resurrection of Jesus       487 – 456–633 - 468 - 464 – 490    DS1, page 151
4-26  I Peter 1:17-25    Imperishable Seed   584 – 643 – 577 – 923   DS 1 page 151
                                                                While we conduct worship online, we may not use all the hymns selected.
In This Month's
St. John Witness
APRIL WITNESS
Spiritual Growth
HOW TO CONNECT WITH GOD’S PEOPLE? While we have made changes in how we worship, we do not want to ignore those who cannot join us in worship electronically. We make DVD’s of our services. We have Live-streamed the services for the past week on FaceBook live. We are trying to do all we can to incorportate the people of God into our commuity of faith, especially when we are physically isolated from one another. Please call the church if you cannot receive the services online and desire another means to be connected or the pastor to visit you. God will not abandon His people, and this family of God wants you to be connected to Him as well as to each other.

FROM MARCH MADNESS TO CORONA CRAZINESS! Church services in April will be on our FaceBook page. Search for St. John Lutheran Church, Alma, Kansas. We intend to worship at our normal times in some manner throughout the month of April, even if restrictions limit us to being homebound. We have made some changes to the manner of recording our services, and the experience will be more like going to church as pastor and the elders learn new things in webcasting. Expect children’s sermons to be simulcast, and songs to be more easily read on screen. May God’s name be spoken, heard, trusted, and shared. In less than one week, we have had over 600 viewings of Sunday’s service. You may tell your friends to join us.

EYES ON JESUS will be our theme through Easter. This reinforces our anniversary theme of 2020 Vision: It’s still about Jesus.

COMMUNION IN APRIL:  We do not wish to shortchange anyone of the Gospel, nor the means of grace. This leaves us with some challenges during the restricted time of dealing with COVID 19. The elders have incorporated some new ideas for us to implement through this time of limited gatherings. Beside our live-streamed service on FaceBook, we intend to broadcast the service on an FM radio, so that you may hear the service live within 200 feet of our sanctuary. You will tune your car radio to listen as we worship. We are plan processional (Drive Through) communion for all our communion services in April, at least until the ban is lifted. Both individual and common cup (wiped by a highly distilled alcohol between each parishioner) will be offered by assistants wearing nitrile gloves during this epidemic. The procession will be with people in their vehicles. When we are ready to distribute communion, people will enter the driveway between church and school from the west, traveling north, and have pastor and elders distribute communion to those who wish to receive it. Along the way, people may place offerings into the offering plate to be held by an usher along this route. After communing, people shall then should drive their vehicles out the drive. You may park within range of our FM signal to receive the communion blessing and the Aaronic blessing. We will offer the Lord’s Supper on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday, the Easter festival service (9:30), and April 19. April 11 will be our Saturday service at St. John this month, the Easter Vigil.


PORTALS OF PRAYER are available – call us if you would like one mailed to you.

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER are the High Points of the Christan’s life cycle with God. By Jesus’ death, death has been defeated. We can rejoice that God has mastery over all that seeks to destroy us, including fear of the future. God will guide and protect His people from the devil, and see us through the troubles of this world and our own sinful flesh.

SUNDAY SCHOOL for the month of April is being done at home. Teachers will share packets with students. Call the church office for material for your child.

BIBLE CLASSES are postponed this month, except we will do a Live Stream of Acts on Thursday morning at 9:30, beginning April 2. We will follow the LifeLight materials, but the class will be lecture, using questions and answers from the study guides.

EASTER BREAKFAST will not be held this year, in order to comply with the restrictions imposed due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

FLOCK NOTES are text messages or emails from the church to inform members of changes in worship or sending other announcements to our members. If you have not received a flock notes message, please call the church office to tell us how we may remain connected with you.

EVENING WORSHIP will be Saturday, April 11 as part of our Holy Week services, at 6:05 pm. All are welcome to come and join God’s people in worship, especially if Sunday must be a workday.

ELECTRONIC EARPHONES, are available for use to help hearing in the sanctuary. If you need help, please see an usher before the service begins.

WORSHIP DVDS are in the church office. People may borrow them to share with those who have not been able to be with us in church.


WORSHIP CHANGES: The corona virus epidemic has changed our lives. At this writing, the United States has more cases of the virus than anywhere in the world. We Christians seek to be citizens of two kingdoms. We are citizens of heaven, with a responsibility to our Maker and Redeemer, and to our fellow creatures. We are citizens of the United States, and residents of Kansas, and we seek to be responsible to our government and fellow citizens.
   Matthew 4:10 tells us: “Worship the Lord, your God, and Him only shall you serve.” We must never consider earthly demands as more important than heavenly duties.
   Matthew 22:39 tells us: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We must never consider obligations to God as obligations without responsibilities to our neighbor.
   The COVID 19 pandemic will kill great numbers of people in the United States, if predictions are at all correct. There is an infection rate that is too high for it simply to go away, and the mortality rate has proven more than science can treat. God can stop this contagion if He chooses. But there have been plagues before, and God has said, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.” (Romans 6:23)
   So we seek to use His gifts prudently, so that His name may be honored among us! We expect those with compromised health to understand and avoid risk, so not to compromise the consciences of others. We expect those with symptoms to avoid contact with others for at least two weeks, so not to compromise the health of others. We expect those who are healthy to respect God by following guidelines set by government.
   Because God has said that we should worship Him only, the leadership of St. John affirmed last night that we intend, as long as government mandates allow us, to conduct worship services at St. John. This is in accord with our mission statement:
“St. John Lutheran Church is a family united by faith in Jesus Christ, gathering around God’s Word,
to reach out in Christ-borne love to each other and Christ-like concern for our neighbor.”
   We intend to limit the number of people according to county health policy so that we limit the amount of physical contact, and to safeguard our members. Our plan to be responsible to God and neighbor is to allow God’s people to worship and to practice hygienic practices.
“Change and decay in all around I see.
Oh, thou who changest not, Abide with me.”
We sang these words at St. John Wednesday as we concluded most recent worship service at St. John.

WORSHIP SERVICES: We will live-stream our Divine Services and our Evening Prayer and Holy Week services on Facebook Live. To view it, please view www.facebook.com/lutheran.church.1650,  either on your smartphone, iPad or computer. We will try to go live 15 minutes before our service times, and will try to maintain a sense of normal as we come before God, humbly and as supplicants, seeking His wisdom and blessing.

RADIO: We have borrowed an FM transmitter. We will broadcast in town using the Hot Alma Nights equipment. Tune in to 88.3 FM during our service times. The estimated range of the transmitter is 200-250 feet.

RECORDING: We also record the service, and we desire to post it online on Monday, in a different format. If you would like a copy for yourself, please leave a message on the answering machine before we send the service to one of our shut-ins.
{Note: I have not been able to post a recording onto YouTube, and will ask for someone to make that possible, as it is beyond my ability at this time. Pastor}

HYMNAL: If you would like to borrow a hymnal, please stop by the church office to borrow one while we wait out this self-imposed quarantine.

MANY PUBLIC ACTIVITIES at St. John will be postponed until further notice. Most Bible classes, Sunday school classes, choirs, and meetings are cancelled for the month of April.

BIBLE STUDY: Live-stream will be used for one Bible class and for confirmation class in April. See the calendar for more information. Zoom meetings remain an option for everything this month, except for our voters’ meeting which is still undetermined.
God’s Word is strong and enduring. I am glad you share hope in Him together with me at St. John Lutheran Church!

EASTER BREAKFAST and the Sunday school egg hunt have also been cancelled.

ACTION ITEMS: Pray wherever God places you. Serve Him and your neighbor. But do not fear, for God has given His Son to redeem us from the darkness of sin, and the sorrows of guilt and despair. Worship online this month. Join us in Bible study if you can.

CHANGE: I do not know when or what guidance from officials shall change, and so all plans may be rearranged. If we are ordered to remain homebound, I expect that our services will remain live-streamed, and FM broadcast in town.

CONFIRMATION is being planned for Pentecost, May 31, 2020, instead of Palm Sunday.

In the meantime, be a model citizen for God and country, respecting your neighbor, and loving your God. Jesus Christ alone is Lord and Savior! If you have questions and comments please communicate with us!

Blessings,
Pastor Grimm

SOME HELPFUL WEBSITES:

LCMS Kansas District coronavirus information. Scroll down the homepage:
https://kslcms.org/

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod homepage and links:
https://kslcms.org/

The Bible:
https://www.biblegateway.com/

Daily devotions:
https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200321
https://www.lwml.org/todays-mustard-seed-devotion
https://www1.cph.org/portals/default.aspx (to purchase for kindle)



THEOLOGICAL STUDIES have been prepared by the Commission on Theology & Church Relations (CTCR) of our Synod. Current topics may be found : http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=50