3rd Quarter Newsletter

St John’s United Church of Christ Bongards – 3rd Qtr. Newsletter

Sept. 15th, 2017                      

Like us on FACEBOOK: St Johns UCC of Bongards    


See us on the web AT: http://www.stjohnsuccnya.org

What’s Inside?

  • Consistory Notes                                                       
  • Choir notes                                                                                              
  • Faith & Fellowship preview
  • Farmers Market review                                                                                    
  • Pastor’s Note
  • Information from synod
  • Upcoming sermons                                                                  

Consistory notes

Yes, it’s Pork Chop dinnertime already and Kathleen is working her tail off getting everything ready for Sunday’s dinner. If you have a chance, it’s time to say a Thank you to her for her many years of organizing the dinner. “See you there she says”

You notice that it looks more open around the church and that’s because we have had a tree trimmer cleaning up the trees and removing bad parts of the trees. 3 trees had to be removed due to either leaning towards the church and one by the house had somewhat died. Per some members it has been a very long time since this had been done. The consistory felt this needed to be done before a it fell on to the church or house causing damage as it did to our storage shed.

Speaking of storage shed it’s been repair and we got it done by salvaging most of the material and getting it done for material and labor for about $1200. Our tree removal project is going to cost us around $3000 which is a lot cheaper than having to pay for repairs to our church or house if they had fallen down. We tired to get the electric company to save us money by taking the tree down by the house as it was near the wires but they claimed it wasn’t close enough for them to do the job. One more project we have completed is updating the plumbing in the house and church that supplies water to our church. Some of the lines in the house & church were undersize causing flow to be slowed the flow of water. It could be notice in the bathrooms and by kitchen sinks of the church. The plumber also state as old as the pipes were they might even have been reduced in size due to rusting of the pipes. This has an estimate cost of around $600 to $800 and just done and have not received a bill yet. Again a needed repair that has been postponed long enough.

With all of this our building fund does not have the funds to support these necessary needs we are having a congregational meeting on the 24th of September after the church service. We are request funds from the endowment fund to pay for these expenses.           From the Consistory Woody Prehn 

Choir Notes

St. John’s Choir members are practicing again and will be singing at some of our church services.  Even though Thanksgiving and Christmas are a few months away, we will be starting to practice songs for those services.

We don’t practice every week (generally 2 times a month) on Wednesdays at 6 PM.   Anyone who loves to sing is welcome to join us as we try to “Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord

Penny Rolf



Faith and Fellowship Committee Update

We met in August after our summer break.  We’ve planned for the following events to finish out 2017:

Oct 1, Sun. 915am World Communion Day Pastor Cathy All ages
October Chamber of Commerce Scarecrow Michelle Community
Oct 27, Fri. 630pm Halloween Truck or Treat and Games Michelle All ages
Nov 5, Sun. 915am Veteran’s Recognition Service    
Nov 19, Sun. 1015am Pie Social-Give Thanks Sunday Consistory Open Table-Community
Dec 17, Sun. 4pm Blue Christmas Pastor Cathy Community
Dec 24, Sun. 630pm Christmas Eve Pageant and Candlelight Service Michelle/ Pastor Cathy Community

Watch the bulletin, Facebook, or online for more information.  Our next meeting will be Sunday, October 8th after worship.  Anyone is welcome to join us.  If you have an idea for an event, please contact Michelle Bachmann

Bongards Market for 2017

  • Rain or shine what a fabulous 5th season
  • Good news –some vendors will be here through September
  • We averaged 4-8 Vendors per week
  • Our attendance was between 60 to 140 each week depending on weather
  • Over 100 kids ages 4 to 10 signed up for power of Produce program
  • New friend ships occurred
  • Lots of smiles
  • Knowledge was share each week
  • And just loads of fun for all attending


This achievement of our successful market has been a team effort “Thank You”

  • To all who visited & support our local vendors
  • To Kathleen for manning our church booth each week and promoting the quilt raffle
  • To co-manager Larry Bachmann for his dedicated loyalty for setting up & taking down each week
  • To co-manager Vicki Moteelall for organizing and running the POP program and her and Sham donation of Sweet Corn and the sales to the church
  • To Michelle Bachmann for market web site updates
  • To Sam & Pastor Cathy for the live shots of the market on face book
  • Last but not least our Vendors!
  • We’ve learned so much from you and hope to see you back next year

Spread the word we have room for more vendors.  God Bless

Co-manager Sarah Schneewind



Back to school means back to routines, back to bedtimes and sports practices, back to the very basics of life. As we start to feel the Fall weather settling us into a new season, it is time to prepare our hearts for some “back to basics” reminders of what it means to lead a Christian life. Upcoming in the next few weeks, we have the annual Pork chop dinner, and Rally Day for Sunday school. We will kick off youth group, and continue the farmers market through the end of September. All of these events can remind us to get back into the routine of church as well.

In addition, our sermon series for this Fall will be “Operating Instructions: Life lessons from the gospel of Matthew” which will bring us back to the basics of what it means to live a Christian life.   Let us make these next few months a time when together we remind ourselves of the “basics” … whether it be drink lots of water, or take a walk every day, we can use these next few months to get into new routines that include reminders of the very basics of faith practices: forgive generously, live abundantly, and love one another ceaselessly. May the joy of “back to school” and the coming Fall harvest bring you God’s riches blessings and peace.

May it be so!

Pastor Cathy



About the 3 Great Loves Initiative

The United Church of Christ has a vision of a just world for all. In this world all are welcomed, everyone is loved and justice is inherent. The 3 Great Loves is the denomination’s opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world.

Beginning at Synod 2017 and ending at Synod 2019, through the lens of the 3 Great Loves, the United Church of Christ in its many settings of ministry will discern and lift up how we act upon these 3 Great Loves. As we do so, we will tell the story of how we are impacting and transforming the world, as covenantal partners united in common purpose and mission.

During these upcoming two years, there will be moments of special invitation to participate in this denomination-wide undertaking. One by one we will focus on each of the 3 Great Loves in service to our communities.

Fall Middle School Youth Event  October 6-8, 2017 at Pilgrim Point

Amid the excitement and anxiety that comes with the beginning of a new school year, we can sometimes forget to notice and be grateful for the ordinary wonders we encounter each day. Conference middle school youth (grades 6-8) and their leaders are invited to spend a weekend at beautiful Pilgrim Point Camp – a time apart to pay attention to, celebrate, and offer thanksgiving for the simple and profound gifts that surround us in each moment of our lives. As we mark the changing of the seasons, you are invited to add your presence, your voice, your story, to this bountiful harvest of gratitude. 

For more information or register, go online to uccmn.org or contact Pastor Cathy.


At our MN Conference Annual Meeting in June, Conference Minister Rev. Shari Prestemon shared an exciting new strategic plan, “2020 Vision”, developed by staff and recently adopted by the Board of Directors.  This bold set of strategic objectives will be implemented by the year 2020.   We want to be sure we communicate our 2020 Vision to as many of you as possible, and invite you to consider where you and your congregation can engage in this important work.  The 2020 Vision has 8 strategic priorities:

  1. Identify and support two or more post-modern, “3.0” communities of faith by the end of 2019.
  2. Engage at least 3 congregations in each of 2018 & 2019 in an intentional revitalization/renewal program.
  3. Engage at least 10% of our congregation in use of the UCC’s “white privilege” curriculum, 2018-2019.
  4. Launch a lay leadership development program that grows our capacity across the Conference for strong lay leadership, provides for multiple paths to authorized ministry, and invigorate/equip the Church of the future.
  5. Identify and develop resources to support and train those in governance leadership roles in congregations.
  6. Engage up to 5 congregational leadership teams in a 12-month coaching/mentoring process.
  7. Launch a 6 month leadership formation initiative for up to 25 faith formation leaders.
  8. Recruit and support a network of content creators from across the UCC of theologically progressive faith formation resources and launch an accessible distribution platform of these resources.


Lessons on how to live from the gospel of Matthew

Fall 2017 Sermon Series 


There is one thing every person must do to achieve real freedom in this world. It all comes down to one act: forgiveness. (Matthew 18: 21-35)


What causes us to get jealous of another? The idea that we don’t have enough. But we don’t need to live with a scarcity mentality, we can live from a place of abundance. (Matthew 20: 1-16)


Jesus asks the timely question, “by what authority do you do this?” It is with God’s sustaining presence that we thrive and live in community. (Matthew 21: 23-32)


In God’s kingdom, it is the stone that the builders have rejected that becomes the cornerstone of the church. The Pharisees are threatened by this idea… are you? (Matthew 21: 33-46)


Like guests invited to a wedding banquet, we must remember that the invitation to the Christian life is both a privilege and a sacrifice. (Matthew 22: 1-14)


Jesus reminds us to separate what is earthly and what is Godly, and then challenges us to lead a Godly and compassionate life. (Matthew 22: 15-22)


When challenged with a question of what is most important, Jesus reminds us that love conquers all. (Matthew 22:34-46)


Jesus reminds us that those who are exalted will be humbled, but those who are humble will be exalted. In doing so, he gives us the recipe for servant leadership. (Matthew 23: 1-12)


When God comes, will you be ready? Part of living a life of faith is being attentive and waiting on God. This parable will challenge us to think: do you have enough oil in your lamp to get you through the night? (Matthew 25: 1-13)


Whether we are blessed with a little or blessed with a lot, we have a responsibility as people of faith to be good stewards of God’s resources, multiplying the gifts for others. (Matthew 25:14-30)


In the end, we will be judged by how we have lived a life of faith. Have we lived in community, protected others, shared our resources, and forgiven freely? These are the keys to a life of faith (Matthew 25: 31-46)

Greeters List for the rest of 2017

Sept 9/3/17 Robert & Judy Schneewind
  9/10/17 Orlin & Kathleen Schneewind
  9/17/17 Brain Schneewind Isabel Moffat
  9/24/17 Geoff & Chrissy Moffat
Oct 10/1/17 Consistory
  10/8/17 Bradley & Angela Erickson
  10/15/17 Sarah Shneewind & Andrew
  10/22/17 Duane & Betty Schneewind
  10/29/17 David & Julie Scott
Nov 11/5/17 Donald Scott & Mark Polzin
  11/12/17 Jan Olson & JoAnn Wolter
  11/19/17 Neil & Rayna Mellgren
  11/26/17 Kevin & Jean Kohls
Dec 12/3/17 Wesley & LaVonne Koepp
  12/10/17 Woody & Sandy Prehn
  12/17/17 Neil & Rayna Mellgren
  12/24/17 Brant & David Moteelall
  12/31/17 Consistory

Greeters list for remainder of 2017 and if you’re unable to do that Sunday please contact Mark Polzin.  Thank you

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