3rd Quarter Newsletter

Oct 20, 2018

Like us on FACEBOOK: St Johns UCC of Bongards   

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

A Note from the Pastor

What brings you JOY?

I ask that question because the theologian Frederick Buechner says: “The place God calls you to – is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

So then, what brings you deep gladness? What brings you JOY? Because joy is an indicator of what God is calling you to do in your life.   Deciding what your joy is begins the first step to knowing what God wants for your life. The next step is to figure out how your joy can be matched to a place where the world is hungry. For example, if you love to cook, then you would probably love to prepare meals for a homeless shelter or Meals on Wheels. If you love to sing, you should probably find a choir to join (ours is hungry for new members, hint hint). Finding God’s calling for our life helps us to find happiness, peace, and contentment in your personal faith journey. Connecting into a good volunteer experience helps us to feel connected into our spiritual walk.

Why are we talking about connecting and calling though? Because there is so much going on a church lately, we really need to find more people to help out! When you look through the newsletter you will see just all the things we have going on.

  • The farmer’s market had a record-breaking year, both with the number of customers, and the amount of money we raised. (A huge thank you to the Market Committee!)
  • Pajama Story time continues to have 12+ kids each month, and needs more adult helpers.
  • Book Club continues to draw new faces interested in going deeper with lively discussions.
  • We continue to reach out to our community with the Pork Chop dinner, the Veterans Program, and our donations to Central schools.

So, I will ask again, what brings you joy? And I wonder how you could share your joy with St. John’s UCC? Maybe you would be willing to cook dinner for PJ Story time? Or donate some time to do building repairs? Maybe you want to sing in choir or volunteer with Sunday school? God doesn’t expect you to do everything…. Only to find what brings you joy, and then to offer your deep gladness to help meet the church’s needs. How might you do that in the year to come? Maybe it’s accounting or secretarial work, maybe it’s supporting our technology needs, maybe it’s having a dance party with the young kids as they learn new music.

If you are looking to find a way to connect on a deeper level with our church community, let’s find a way for you to bring your JOY to share with us.

Blessings and peace, (especially to our farmers this harvest season!)

Pastor Cathy

Note from the President

From the President   Hello Everybody!

It has been a busy year for up keep project’s, gutter cover’s for the house in April.  Waxed basement floor in March, wood chip’s around the house and church in May.  A new inside panel installed on the east side on the 212 sign, we also purchased a spare for the west side when that get’s too bad in June. The parsonage east side roof, was Shingled as well the south dome area on the church in August. RO system and water softener drained cleaned and new filter’s installed in late September.

And last but not lest, the county is making us put in a new mound system for our wastewater. I am hoping the contractor starts this week yet. Now you can see for yourself when this is all itemized it takes a lot of money maintain a church and parsonage. Anyway enough about work, this last Sunday we Welcomed two new members Kay and Joe Clay we are glad to have you both.  Finally we will need 3 new consistory member’s for the year’s 2019,2020,2021 if you want to join the fun. Let myself know.

Mark Polzin

Something new from Kay Clay

Wanted: You to Usher/Greet at worship in January or February. Yes that is several months away but time seems to slip away quickly! In December we will post a sign up sheet in the narthex area. Pick a Sunday you are available to serve.
Kay Clay


Choir has started practicing again and will be singing several times each month.  If you would like to join us, we always need more members.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas not too far away, we will be concentrating our practices on those events in church.  Please watch the bulletin for practice times

Penny Rolf 

 ST. JOHN’S UCC Fall Program Calendar 2018

6th — Consistory Meeting, 4:30pm
7th – Pajama Story Time, 5-8pm
9th – Sunday school Kick-off
10th – Women’s Guild, 6:00 pm
16th – Pork Chop Dinner 10:30 am – 1:30pm
27th – Book Club, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
30th – Coffee Hour + Faith and Fellowship Committee Meeting

3rd – Consistory Meeting, 4:30 pm
5th – Pajama Story time, 5-8 pm
7th – World Communion Sunday
8th—Women’s Guild, 6:00 pm
14th – New Member Sunday
21st – Baptism Sunday
25th – Book Club, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
27th – Little Dresses for Africa 10 am — 2 pm
28th — Coffee Hour + Faith & Fellowship Committee Meeting

2nd – Pajama Story time, 5-8pm
7th – Consistory Meeting, 4:30 pm
11th – Veterans Day Luncheon, 11:30 am
12th – Women’s Guild, 6:00 pm
18th – Pie Social, following worship
29th – Book Club, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

1st – Hanging of the Greens, 9:00 am
5th – Consistory 4:30 pm
7th – Pajama Story time 5- 8 pm
9th – Guild Christmas Party, following worship
18th — Blue Christmas service, 4 pm
24th – Christmas Eve Pageant & Worship
27th – Book Club
30th – Coffee Hour


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2018, 11:30 AM at St. John’s UCC



Through a series of 12 short profiles and a feature-length documentary, Twin Cities PBS producer Luke Heikkila unpacks the personal narratives of family members and Minnesota veterans who endured one of the most unsettling chapters in American history: the Vietnam War.

These stories reveal the unexpected ways that war forever changes someone.  Please join us as we view segments of this important work, and discuss with the producer how this project has changed him as well.



This event is co-sponsored by the St. John’s UCC Women’s Guild and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary

Women’s Guild

Sewing dresses for Africa is set for Saturday Oct 27th we need to iron, sew, and put patterns together. This is a great get together!

Watch for information about possibly getting a bus and going to Mankato to see the Christmas lights.

Sunday Nov. 11th – Veterans Day Program-Speaker at 11:00 AM with a pop luck to follow.

Farmers Market

Bongards Farmers Market 2018

In our 6th season, we hosted a total of 16 different vendors with an average of 7-8 vendors each week. Vendors offered a variety of products. Locally grown fruits (strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, melons, apples, plums, etc.) and a variety of vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, cabbage, okra, squash, sweet corn, asparagus, pumpkins, etc.) were available each week. Gladiolas, honey, maple syrup, mushrooms, herbs, perennials, jams and jellies, pickles and relishes, fresh baked cookies, cupcakes and pies made their appearance. Food vendors included Fireman’s BBQ and Nestor’s Authentic Mexican burritos and tamales. Clothing, paintings, rugs, and jewelry were available for the style and art enthusiasts. Additionally the Carver County Park Systems demonstrated some activities (solar cooking and archery).

An average of 150 shoppers visited each week with a high of 227 (when the fabric sale was going on in the church basement).

The second year of the Power of Produce Club Program was a success. Total child participants increased from 70 in 2017 to 109 this summer. Total visits increased from 212 to 289 with a weekly average increasing from 13 to 21. Thanks to Kwik Trip, the University of Minnesota and Carver County Health and Human Services who helped to sponsor the PoP Club this year.

Our first year of participating in the Shoe Away Hunger Program was also a success with many shoes collected and many happy shoppers when the Shoe Bus visited the Market.

Thank you to our volunteers, vendors, sponsors, and shoppers. You are all essential to making this community market thrive. The market is growing. This year we took in over $1800 between the market stall fees and the donated product sales.

There are a variety of ways our church members can get involved to support the market: volunteering to help on market day, donating excess garden produce, becoming a Cottage Food Producer and contributing baked or canned goods, getting the work out to neighbors and friends, or just coming by on market day to shop local products.

Pork chop Report

What a wonderful Sunday for our pork chop dinner on September 16. The attendence was down due to 5 other functions on the same day in our communities. Even though those other functions had been going on we served 255 dinners. Some of the tickets have yet to be turned in or just forgot to bring them back.

The day went wonderful and thanks to all worked 1st or 2nd shift, it seemed everyone knew what they were doing, so again thank you to all. All the pork chops were served and very little of the other food was left as well. We must have had a good group of eaters!

The quilt was won by Baylor Kohl’s, Bernice Kohl’s great grandchild, she is about 6 or 7 years old. What a gift at that age, She will always remember that gift from Great Grandma.

Thank You to all again with out your help it would not be possible.

Orlin and Kathleen

Sunday School Updates

It’s hard to believe it’s October already!  Sunday School kicked-off in September with Bless of the Backpacks.  This year, we’ve made some changes based on feedback from families.  We’ve also added more teachers.  Thank you Sarah and Kay!

1st Sunday – No Sunday school.  Attend worship together.

2nd Sunday – Michelle

3rd Sunday – Sarah

4th Sunday – Kay

5th Sunday – Toss up

Mark your calendar for Sunday, December 9th.  We will have a Sunday School Christmas party in lieu of Sunday school.  Please RSVP to Michelle by December 2nd.

Dear Parents With Young Children in Church

By Jamie Bruesehoff

“You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring.

I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant car seat and the diaper bag as you find a seat. I see you wince as your child cries. I see you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks to try to quiet them

And I see you with your toddler and your preschooler. I watch you cringe when your little girl asks an innocent question in a voice that might not be an inside voice let alone a church whisper. I hear the exasperation in your voice as you beg your child to just sit, to be quiet as you feel everyone’s eyes on you. Not everyone is looking, but I know it feels that way.

I know you’re wondering, is this worth it? Why do I bother? I know you often leave church more exhausted than fulfilled. But what you are doing is so important.

When you are here, the church is filled with a joyful noise. When you are here, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are here, we are reminded that this worship thing we do isn’t about bible study or personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome, where we share in the Word and Sacrament together. When you are here, I have hope that these pews won’t be empty in 10 years when your kids are old enough to sit quietly and behave in worship. I know that they are learning how and why we worship now, before it’s too late. They are learning that worship is important.

I see them learning. In the midst of the cries, whines, and giggles, in the midst of the crinkling of pretzel bags and the growing pile of crumbs, I see a little girl who insists on going two pews up to share peace with someone she’s never met. I hear a little boy slurping (quite loudly) every last drop of his communion wine out of the cup, determined not to miss a drop of Jesus. I watch a child excitedly color a cross and point to the one in the front of the sanctuary. I hear the echoes of “Amens” just a few seconds after the rest of the community says it together. I watch a boy just learning to read try to sound out the words in the worship book or count his way to Hymn 672. Even on weeks when I can’t see my own children learning because, well, it’s one of those mornings, I can see your children learning.

I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing, but I want you to know it matters. It matters to me. It matters to my children to not be alone in the pew. It matters to the congregation to know that families care about faith, to see young people… and even on those weeks when you can’t see the little moments; it matters to your children.

It matters that they learn that worship is what we do as a community of faith, that everyone is welcome, that their worship matters. When we teach children that their worship matters, we teach them that they are enough right here and right now as members of the church community. They don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome here, and I know adults who are still looking to be shown that. It matters that children learn that they are an integral part of this church, that their prayers, their songs, and even their badly (or perfectly-timed, depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.

I know it’s hard, but thank you for what you do when you bring your children to church. Please know that your family — with all of its noise, struggle, commotion, and joy — are not simply tolerated, you are a vital part of the community gathered in worship.”



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