4th Quarter Newsletter – 2017

St John’s United Church of Christ Bongards

4th Qtr. Newsletter – December 2017

What’s Inside?

  • Consistory Notes                                                    
  • Choir Notes
  • Sunday School Notes
  • Faith & Fellowship Preview
  • Farmers Market Review
  • Women’s Guild Notes
  • Pastor’s Note
  • Greeter Schedule

Consistory Notes

This was truly a fall to remember with all the cold weather (really cold) we experienced this fall. It certainly made the harvest a thing to remember or should say one to forget for the future.

St John’s did have a wonderful fall despite the weather as the annual Pork chop dinner was a huge success and all had fun serving the dinner. We installed the new 72 vault Columbaria in our cemetery and will be discussing the dos and don’ts for usage at the annual meeting. We finally had all the trees right around the church trimmed up and this really open up the view of our church and campus. It also gave better protection from wind damage to the church and house during storms.

Speaking of the annual meeting, this will be held the third Sunday in January right after the morning church service. If for some reason the weather is bad, like a snowstorm or really cold it will move to the next Sunday. One of the things that we will be discussing is the installation of a new septic system that the county is requiring us to do. We’ll be voting on taking the funds from the endowment fund or looking for fundraisers to accomplish this requirement. We do have a plan in place with the county so we can get a grant from them for doing this improvement already. Yes a lot of things happen this last year but remember we are 150 years old and things do need to be repaired and updated to meet today’s requirements. Other issues have popped up this year that needed repairing or updating but for this letter those things will be shared at the annual meeting.

So how’s has this affected the budget and your guess is right; it has put a strain on our finical needs. Yes, we are still in the black but we have reduced our rainy day fund and need your support to bring this back to more of a acceptable level for the slower months coming up. So thank you in advance for all you can do!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year God Bless

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.  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

Sunday School Notes

This fall, we have been keeping the children busy with a variety of activities, which they seem to enjoy. It sure different when we went to Sunday school, but with a small group with various ages, our goal is keeping everyone engaged, having fun, and learning together.

We have covered stories from “13 Awesome Promises…. And How God Always Keeps Them.”  Some lessons include stories about Noah & Abraham. We have also watched Veggie Tales and Moly Holy video clips. There are also game sheets and coloring pages to go with each lesson.

In our winter quarter, we plan on having the same variety lessons and an activity, including some new video clips from whirl, the producer of the Holy Moly series. We’re also planning on a Sunday school event, which will be either a game night or movie.

Please check Facebook or the web site for Sunday School Schedule changes. Michelle and family will be on vacation for part of January, so we will be mixing it up a bit.                                                 Michelle Bachmann

Faith and Fellowship Committee Preview

The committee is busy planning fun and engaging activities. We don’t have a meeting scheduled for Dec but a list of coming events is listed below.

2017 & 2018
Dec 17th 4PM Blue Christmas Pastor Cathy Community / all ages
Dec 24, Sun. 6:30 PM Christmas Eve Service Michelle/

Pastor Cathy

Community/all ages
Feb 4th Soupier Bowl Michelle Community
March 1st to the 31st Food shelf Drive

150th Anniversary Books

Please see Sarah or Michelle to pick up your 150th Anniversary book. We have allotted 1 book per family. Due to the printing and ordering process, we have about 25 extra copies. We will charge $5 for a additional book for members if they want extra and non-members will be charge $10. An Electronic version of the book is on the website https:/stjohnsuccnya.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/memory-book-with-cover-pdf

Bongards Farmers Market Review

Bongards Farmers Market wrapped up another successful season on September 27th. We had 14 total vendors for the season with an average of 5 vendors each Wednesday. Getting help setting up and taking down the tents and displays was mentioned by vendors as a positive reason for selling at our market. Vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables also appreciated our participation in the Power of Produce (PoP) Program. This year our PoP Club was sponsored by the Carver County Public Health Department as part of its Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) activities.

In our inaugural season of participation in the Power of Produce (PoP Club) children ages 4 to 12 received a FREE $2 wooden token each Wednesday to buy their choice of fresh fruits and vegetables. 33% of the children who signed up for the program came 2 or more times to the market. It was exciting to see some of our “regulars” (adults and children) returning each week.

Participants in the PoP program (and anyone else interested) were also offered a weekly recipe featuring fresh seasonal produce. Some of the recipes were: Oven Roasted Asparagus, Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade, Garlic Spinach, Grilled Radishes, Honey Mustard Green Beans, Raspberry Blackberry Smoothie, and Watermelon Salsa. Are you hungry for some more of that fresh produce? Sorry, you will have to wait until June 6, 2018.

We send a sincere “Thank You” to all our volunteers, market vendors, visitors and guests who supported the market.

Meanwhile we are already planning for an even more successful 2018 season. More vendors, onsite food sales, fruit and vegetable sampling, musicians, and kid friendly activities such as face painting are just a few ideas. Have some suggestions or just interested in joining the fun? Contact Larry Bachmann, Sarah Schneewind or Vicki Moteelall. 

Women’s Guild Notes

Sunday Dec 10th is the Guilds Christmas party with a potluck lunch after the morning service. There is a $20 gift exchange that will take place at the event if you would like to participate. This event is open to the entire to the congregation so all are invite to partake of this annual event. (There is always way to much food to eat so come hungry). Lunch group 2 is serving the lunch.

January is vacation month so no meeting is planned.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year                        Karen Otto

A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR

LIVING ABUNDANTLY this holiday season

Dear Friends and Family of St. John’s UCC,

When my friend Ruth was visiting for worship in October, she was so very complimentary of our faith community. She absolutely gushed about how beautiful the music was, and said that we sounded like a congregation of 300 voices when we were singing! I feel it too – when we sing together it often sounds (and feels) as if we are surrounded by the heavenly voices of our ancestors, whose presence I often feel during worship. And as we were talking, what I said to Ruth was this…. This church has an abundance of blessings! And I feel so very blessed to serve here.

Visitors to the church often remarked about the abundance of blessings here — from the rich dark soil of Carver County farmland to the beauty of our sunrises and sunsets. We are blessed with a beautiful, historic church building that is in pristine condition.   We are blessed with a friendly crew of vendors at our farmer’s market. They even comment about how nice our parking lot is. The MN Conference UCC Board of Directors said that our church was an absolute “gem.” And with each comment that I hear, I am grateful for the abundance that I see while I serve this church. We are truly a blessed community.

Do you feel blessed? Do you notice the abundance that is all around us? This Advent season, as we wait for Christ to come into the world once again, we will be focusing on living abundantly. Advent is a season of preparation and waiting, and as we do, we will focus our attention on how to count our blessings and appreciate the abundance that we have.

We are a community blessed with abundance. Let us live into a mindset of gratitude for all that we have and all that we are this Advent season. Count your blessing, be grateful, and live abundantly this holiday season…. And let us journey through Advent with grateful hearts together.

Blessings & peace,

Pastor Cathy 

Greeters List for December

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 call Mark Polzin.  Thank you

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