2nd Quarter Newsletter – 2018

A Note from the Pastor


On May 20th we once again celebrated Pentecost…. That moment when the Holy Spirit came rushing down onto God’s people in the form of a “mighty wind” and touched them with “flaming tongues.”  We celebrate this day as the birthday of the modern church so… happy birthday!  If you were in church on Sunday, you know that Spirit is still moving in the church today.  We are a church that is blessed with the Holy Spirit.  I felt it moving, in our singing, in our prayers, and in our tears. What about you? Did you feel it?

How do I know that the Spirit is moving?  Because kids spent Sunday morning jumping and playing together, because Sunday afternoon a couple stopped by to tell me how much they loved driving by our beautiful building (and how much it has touched their lives), and because our calendar is full with activities that bring us together as a community of faith.  Pentecost also marks the movement in time from spring to summer, and we are noticing that the days are getting longer.  With the onset of summer also comes the Farmers’ Market, which is shifting into high gear and has lots of fun activities planned.  In addition to all that will be happening at the Market, we also are continuing Pajama Story Time throughout the summer, have a Twins Game planned for July, are co-sponsoring Community Grief Support meetings, and are partnering with The Quilting Grounds to sew dresses again this summer.  There are so many ways to connect and be connected to God and the community this summer.

But an even greater question might be: how do you feel the Spirit moving in your life?  Where do you see the motion of the Mighty Wind or feel the heat of the Flaming Tongue?  Know that just as God is at work in the church, so too is God at work in your life.  My prayer for each of us, as we move into the sacred Sabbath time called summer, would be that no matter where you spend these months – at the lake or the cabin or the church parking lot – that you would feel the Holy Spirit moving in your life and nudging closer to our God.

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Cathy

Sign Up Today!


Twins VS. Orioles
Sunday July 8th 1:30pm
Bus will leave from the church parking lot.
50 tickets available, sign up today
Call Pastor Cathy for details.

Note from the President

Hello all, at the 2018 annual meeting for year 2017 the new columbarium by-laws were presented. There had to be some revisions done and a second draft was made and presented on April 29th at a congregational meeting after church and was approved. The new approved by-laws for the columbarium are on the next page of the newsletter.

Carver county sent us a letter a few months ago that we need to upgrade our new septic mound system. We have a contractor, engineer and permits to get done this is all in the works. Which was approved at the annual meeting in January. By getting application done before April 15th we get a kick back from the county of $2000 to help pay for the system. The project is to be paid for from the endowment funds that are available.

Also new gutter covers are to be installed on the parsonage in the next month or so. New signs for the highway sign have been purchased which was approved at the annual meeting.

We need to shingle the east side of the parsonage roof as they are in really bad shape and expect this to happen this summer some time.

As you can image with these up keep expenses our church treasure fund is taking a hit.  So any and all donations will be greatly appreciated at this time.

One last thing have a safe and happy summer.

Mark Polzin

Columbarium by-laws in conjunction with the cemetery by-laws of St Johns UCC of Bongards

There are 24 single niche and 24 double niche compartments. You or your family will choose which side of the Columbarium your remains will be placed in and in which row; top, middle, or lower row.  

Each nameplate has a cost and is the responsibility of the family for each name. These plates come through Cold Spring Granite Company of Cold Spring, MN. Order forms are in the church office. 

The choice of which row and which side (east or west) of the columbarium is yours or your family’s choice. The row chosen starts from the south and fills in accordingly. If a double niche is first and a single niche is needed you skip over the double niche compartments to get to that single in that row. It is true if singles niches are first and a double niche is needed you skip over the single niches to get to the double niche compartments in that row. 

There will be no skipping of open niches in a row; they fill in from the south end until that row is filled.

Families have the right to remove remains to another location other than St Johns but no refund will be granted. That niche or niches will be forfeited and become property of St. Johns church of Bongards MN.

Bongards Farmers Market Update

The world is greening up after a long cold winter. Pear and apple blossoms are out and bees are beginning their job of pollinating. Minnesota gardeners are tilling the soil and planting potatoes, onions, peas, and radishes. Tomatoes and peppers are waiting to be transplanted into their permanent garden spots.  Asparagus sprouts and rhubarb are joining tulips in popping out of the warming ground. Spring has sprung and Bongards Farmers Market is preparing for another great summer.

Bongards Market will be open on Wednesdays beginning June 6 and running through September. Operating hours are 3pm to 6pm. We are located in the parking lot of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Bongards. (The market will not be open Wednesday July 4th.)

Last year we participated in the Power of Produce Club (PoP) and had excellent feedback from our vendors and from the families who participated.  We will again offer the program, which is a farmers market incentive program for children ages 4 to 12. Each week the children receive a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables and food plants.  The aim is to empower the children to make healthful food choices. An additional plus is that it encourages children and families to attend the market every week. This year the University of Minnesota Extension Service and Kwik Trip is sponsoring the program.

Our aim is to coordinate with our vendors and customers to create and grow a fun, educational, community oriented, revenue producing, sustainable market. We are delighted to have interest from a variety of vendors and want to welcome and encourage all to take part in our market this summer.

Since word of mouth is often the best way to advertise please pass the word about Bongards Market to all your relatives, friends and neighbors. We are also looking for volunteers to assist our vendors and customers and help with the PoP Club activities. A sign-up sheet is posted on the St. John’s UCC bulletin board.  Whether as a vendor, customer or volunteer join us this summer!

Contact Vicki Moteelall, Larry Bachmann, Sarah Schneewind or Pastor Cathy Kolwey for additional information.


Our choir will be taking a break during the summer and resume just prior to Labor Day. Thanks to all the people who give their time and voices to bring music to our church service.

Feed my starving Children:  8 people from our church worked at the Feed My Starving children on May 4th. Even with a smaller group that night, almost 13,000 meals were packed. We are proud to be a part of supporting this organization. Special thanks to Michelle Bachmann for organizing this.

Sunday School Updates

This Spring, we have been using worship bulletins from www.sermons4kids.com which sync with Pastor Cathy’s scripture lessons.  I also ask the children for their input on activities to keep things interesting and keep them engaged. This seems to work well with our small group.  Formal Sunday School ended for the season on May 20th.  We had a “Spring Fling” with pizza, games, and a bounce house.

During the summer month, children can attend worship with their parents.  There are activity bags in the Kids Space in the narthex, which contain crayons and coloring books.  The Kids Space is also available to be used at any time.  There are games, books, a child-sized table with chairs, and space for children to play so families can still be engaged in worship s.

Faith and Fellowship Committee Updates

I have been reading, “Get Their Name:  Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships” by Doug Farr, et al.  This passage resonated with me:

“We, the church in America, used to exist at the center of culture.  In other words, we lived in a church-centric world.  Today, we are in a secular world where the church no longer plays a central role…the church has become a generational entity.  We have passed down from one generation to the next.  We have not reached outside our families.”

In today’s world, the need to connect with one another and connect others with God is greater than ever.  We all know someone who could benefit from connecting with others and/or with God.  St. John’s is a warm and wonderful church home for us.  We don’t have to be Billy Graham, but we can just talk with others, connect with others, and when a church activity or worship service comes up that you think may interest someone, invite them to join you.  God will do the rest.

This spring, we sponsored a packing event at Feed My Starving Children, which is always a rewarding experience.  Our Game Night will be rescheduled for Fall or Winter season.  There are some fun activities planned over the summer.

  • June 13 – “Shoe Away Hunger” Shoe Collection and Shoe Bus Sale at the Bongards Market
  • July 8 – All Church Fellowship Event – Twins Game
  • July – Little Dresses “Sew In” Partnered with The Quilting Grounds
  • August – Faith and Fellowship Yearly Planning Session

Our committee loves to plan activities that are fun for all ages, and also give folks the opportunity to invite others to St. John’s to make new connections.  However, we can’t do it without you…Thank you for attending our events!

If you have an idea for an event or activity, please let us know.

–DuWayne, Shirley, Penny, Sarah, Pastor Cathy, and Michelle

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close