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Christmas 2017 Worship Schedule

Advent Services  Dec. 6, 13 & 20 – Worship 7pm

Sunday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Candlelight Services 5pm & 7pm
(there will be no Sunday morning services)

Monday, December 25 – Christmas Day Worship Service 10am

Sunday, December 31 – Regular Worship Services 8am & 10:30am

There will be no Sunday School, confirmation classes or youth groups between December 24 and 31.

2019 Holy Week Schedule

April 14 – Palm Sunday Worship – 8am & 10:30am
April 18 – Maundy Thursday (includes Holy Communion) – 7pm
April 19 – Good Friday Worship – 12pm & 7:30pm
April 21 – Easter Sunday
     Worship 8am & 10:30am
     Easter Breakfast served in the Fellowship Hall between 9:15-10:15am
     Easter Egg Hunt for children, meet in the Sanctuary at 9:15am

March 20 Update on Coronavirus Precautions

Dear Members of St. John’s,

As Christians in the world, it is our desire to be faithful to our Lord in every circumstance.  That of course includes respect for those He has placed in authority over us.  Since our governor has requested and encouraged churches to suspend in person services to help slow the spread of COVID-19 we will honor his direction.  

So for this Sunday, March 22, all services and Sunday school are canceled including the 10:30 service. Since we are not holding a live service, we will not be live streaming this Sunday. Instead, I will provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. Also, in addition to this message, I would also point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to still hear God’s word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

And just to remind everyone from my last update:

  • Remaining Wednesday Lenten dinners and services (March 25, April 1) – ALL CANCELED
  • St. John’s Preschool is closed and plans to reopen on Monday, April 6th until further notice.

Since the situation is very fluid, we will take this week-to-week. I will send out another update next week regarding our plans for Sunday, March 29.

Finally, while our in-person attendance has been impacted, our financial obligations and outreach support still depend on our church for financial support during these uncertain times. If you are not currently an online giver, we encourage you to visit the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/ and download the app, or you can simply mail your check directly to St. John’s.

As always, we continue to pray for one another, our community, our country, our world and all those who bear the mantle of leadership.  And we continue to trust our good and gracious Lord for all we need in body and soul.  

In Christ,
Pastor Bettermann

March 31 Update on Coronavirus Precautions

Dear Members of St. John’s,

The God we belong to is good all the time.  In the work and blessing of our Savior we know that is true.

So, we survived another week under quarantine. As I highlighted in my last update, we are seeking to stay connected to God through each other, through His Word, and through the sacrament of Holy Communion during this time of uncertainty and isolation. So let me update you again on what’s going on in each of these areas.

Staying Connected to God Through Each Other

I hope you have connected by now with our Call Team who has been calling to check on how you’re doing. If they left a message and you haven’t connected yet, feel free to call them back. It’s important as brothers and sisters in Christ that we stay connected by checking on each other, encouraging each other, and reassuring each other of our hope in Jesus during this period of uncertainty.

Another thing we can do is pray for each other. In addition to praying for those affected by the virus physically, I invite you to also pray for those affected by the business downturn. If you feel comfortable, you may submit the name of your company (big or small) to office@stjohnslexington.org so we can inform our members to pray specifically for these companies, their leaders, and their employees as they navigate these uncharted waters. 

Remember, we are the church!

Staying Connected to God Through His Word

This Sunday (March 29) is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week! On this day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey knowing what lay ahead. I will help us stay focused on the events of this next week as we are led to the cross and the empty tomb. Like the last two Sundays, since all in-person services and Sunday school are canceled, I will again provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s word through this medium to stay connected to Him. 

While most of us are spending more time at home, it’s also a great opportunity to deliberately set aside time for quietness, confession, and meditation; in other words, spend time with the Lord and His Word through prayer, daily devotionals, and other on-line resources. I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s Word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion

As you know, this last Sunday we tried a new way of distributing Holy Communion through a “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process.  Praise God for those that ventured out to receive this gift! I was so happy to see your smiling faces again. 

So we plan to offer WiFi Communion again this Palm Sunday between 9-11 a.m. We will also distribute palm crosses for those that come. To be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to partake of Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. By the time you arrive, I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from Pastor in the narthex, return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination as you partake of God’s gift of Communion.

And just to remind everyone from my last update:

  • The last remaining Wednesday Lenten dinner and service (April 1) is canceled.
  • St. John’s Preschool is closed and plans to reopen on Monday, April 20, until further notice.

I will provide another update next week regarding our plans for Maundy Thursday (April 9), Good Friday (April 10), and Easter Sunday (April 12). Stay tuned.  

Finally, as I’ve stated before, we depend on you for financial support during these uncertain times to help with our financial obligations and outreach support. If you are not currently an online giver, we encourage you to visit the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/, or you can simply mail your check directly to St. John’s. Alternatively, you may bring your offering to WiFi communion and drop it in the basket there. For those of you that have been using the Givelify app, please note that we have now changed over to a new, lower cost app (i.e. more of your offering goes to St. John’s, less to the app).  As you access the electronic giving section of our website, you will notice that change.

In this holy season we are rejoicing in God’s great love for us, praying for the abundance of His grace for every need and trusting in His care for His children as He has promised.

In Christ,
Pastor Bettermann

April 7 Update on Coronavirus Precautions

Dear Members of St. John’s,

In the shadow of the cross and the light of the empty tomb we are God’s people, by His grace joyful in all circumstances and most grateful for His love.

This week we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us and the assurance we have of heaven through His death and resurrection. Let us seek to stay connected to God through each other, through His Word, and through the sacrament of Holy Communion as we relive the events of Holy Week.

Staying Connected to God Through Each Other

I want to thank those that responded to my invitation last week to submit the name of your company or business so we can pray for those affected by the economic downturn. We have sent that information to the St. John’s prayer team so they can pray for the companies, their leaders, and their employees as they navigate through this uncertain period. We also want to say “thank you” and pray for protection for all of the front line healthcare workers including several who are members of St. John’s. They are selfless workers who are taking care of those infected by the virus. Finally, we want to pray that those working in grocery stores, gas stations, and the like are protected from the virus while they work to keep things going. 

While God is in control, He wants to hear from us! 

Staying Connected to God Through His Word

This is Holy Week, the week that Jesus gave His life to pay for our sins – what a blessing!  To help remind us of the events leading to the cross and the empty tomb, I will provide a taped message on Good Friday and Easter Sunday that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s word through this medium to stay connected to Him. 

As a reminder, I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s Word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion

For the last two Sundays, we have distributed Holy Communion using our “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process. This week, we are going to expand it to include communion on Maundy Thursday, placing of the nails in the cross on Good Friday, and communion on Easter Sunday so that we stay connected to the events of Holy Week:

Maundy Thursday (4/9)                 6-7 p.m.             WiFi Communion

Good Friday (4/10)                          6-7 p.m.             WiFi Placing of the Nails in the Cross (no Communion)

Easter Sunday (4/12)                      9-11 a.m.             WiFi Communion

Again, to be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to stay connected to the events of Holy Week one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. For communion, I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine by the time you arrive. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from me or place a nail in the cross (on Good Friday), return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination as you participate in these events. 

Finally, as I’ve stated before, we depend on you for financial support during these uncertain times to help with our financial obligations and outreach support. For those of you that plan to participate in the WiFi events above, you may bring your offering and drop it in the basket there. If you are not currently an online giver, we encourage you to visit the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/ and download the app, or you can simply mail your check directly to St. John’s. For those of you that have been using the Givelify app, please note that we have now changed over to a new, lower cost app (i.e. more of your offering goes to St. John’s, less to the app).  As you access the electronic giving section of our website, you will notice that change.

In this holiest of weeks, as we live with the realities of our world, we also live in the abundance of grace from the One who gave Himself to save us.  For us, such grace is always sufficient, assuring us that His care will cover all things needful for us.

In Christ,
Pastor Bettermann

April 11 update: In response to Governor Beshear’s announcement yesterday targeting in-person church services, this is a reminder that our Walk-In Family-Isolated (WiFi) Communion is not an in-person service or gathering. It is a drive-in process that adheres to the social distancing guidelines. So we still plan to offer WiFi communion this Easter Sunday from 9-11 a.m. as communicated by Pastor’s email earlier this week.

April 14 Update on Coronavirus Precaution

Dear Members of St. John’s,

Jesus is risen, He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

As we reflect on the miraculous resurrection of Jesus, it’s important to note that He didn’t immediately depart this world. In the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension to heaven, Jesus made several appearances to the Apostles and many others. In other words, He was focused on remaining connected to us then as He remains with us now through the Holy Spirit, His Word and Sacraments, and prayer. While we remain physically separated as a church body, we can continue to stay connected as a body of believers to God through each other, through His Word, and through the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Staying Connected to God Through Each Other

This isn’t the first time the church at large has been threatened by widespread sickness. Martin Luther talked about this in a letter he wrote back in 1527 when the bubonic plague was rampant in Europe. He encouraged followers then to remain connected to the Word and to each other despite the physical challenges they faced. Like then, we must now care for each other – husbands, wives, children, aging parents, friends, neighbors. The church survived then and the church will survive now. This is all part of His plan. So take time to “love your neighbor” with an encouraging word, a selfless act, or a thoughtful prayer for someone during this time of concern.    

Staying Connected to God Through His Word

For this Sunday, April 19, I will provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s Word through this medium to stay connected to Him. 

As a reminder, I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s Word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion

For this Sunday, we will continue to distribute Holy Communion using our “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process from 9-11 a.m. Again, to be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to receive the gift of Holy Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine by the time you arrive. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from me, return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination. 

Finally, praise God for your continued financial support! As you know, we depend on you for financial support to help with our financial obligations and outreach efforts. Those that are participating in WiFi communion have been bringing their offering and dropping it in the basket there. Others who are staying home have mailed their check directly to St. John’s. And some are now giving online through the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/ .  However you choose to give, we truly appreciate your continued offerings during this time of separation.  

As always we are committed to continuing in prayer for one another, our community, our nation and its’ leaders, and all those who are being adversely affected by this difficult time.  And as resurrection Christians we are relying upon and resting in the goodness and grace of our kind and compassionate Lord.

In Christ,
Pastor Bettermann

April 21 Update on Coronavirus Precautions

Dear Members of St. John’s,

One of the greatest blessings of our lives is that Jesus is our Savior and our resurrected Good Shepherd.

He wants all of us as His sheep, to stay connected to Him through the Holy Spirit, the Word and sacraments, and prayer. It is my privilege, along with our elders, to help you, in doing just that.

Staying Connected to God Through Each Other

Over the next week, we will be making calls again to you, our members, to check on how you are doing. It’s important that we stay connected while we are physically separated from each other. You will also see an announcement this week regarding our newly formed Care Team. The Care Team’s purpose is to connect St. John’s members who have a need with resources that are available both internal to St. John’s and external through the community. If you have questions about this, feel free to reach out to one of the Care Team members.           

Staying Connected to God Through His Word

For this Sunday, April 26, I will provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s Word through this medium to stay connected to Him. 

As a reminder, I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s Word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion

For this Sunday, we will continue to distribute Holy Communion using our “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process from 9-11 a.m. Again, to be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to receive the gift of Holy Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine by the time you arrive. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from Pastor, return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination. 

Finally, you should have recently received an email letter from Matt Ellison, our congregational President, highlighting some of the operational opportunities we are taking advantage of while worship, Sunday school, and Preschool are closed. I, along with Matt, thank you for your continued financial support. It is truly a blessing from the Lord. Whether you are dropping off your offering at WiFi communion, mailing your check directly to St. John’s, or giving online through the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/ , we truly appreciate your continued offerings to help us meet our financial obligations and outreach support during this time of separation.  

As we live through these unusual times, we also live in the abundant grace of our loving Lord. It is grace that is and will be sufficient for our every need. The certainty of His grace-filled provision gives us joy and abiding confidence. We are God’s people.

Living in Jesus with you,
Pastor Bettermann

April 28 Update on Coronavirus Precautions

Dear Members of St. John’s,

Grace, mercy and peace in Jesus, our resurrected and living Lord.

Well, it’s almost May, the weather is warming up, and I know everyone is ready to get back to a “normal” life. However, it appears normal will look a little different for a while. At St. John’s, we’re planning how we restart in-person worship when churches are allowed to reopen. While it physically may look a little different with social distancing and other precautionary measures required, the important things won’t change. Together as a body of believers, we’ll sing, we’ll pray, we’ll confess our sins and receive forgiveness, we’ll hear the Word, and we’ll receive the gift of His body and blood. 

As we approach that time, stay connected to God through the many ways He has provided for us.   

Staying Connected to God Through Each Other

Hopefully you were able to connect with members of our Call Team this last week. It’s important we stay connected while we are physically separated from each other. Regarding the Care Team announcement, we are looking for volunteers willing to visit members or handle simple shopping tasks for them. If you feel called to serve in that way, please let Lisa Walraven know at office@stjohnslexington.org. Find ways to love your neighbor as yourself.             

Staying Connected to God Through His Word

For this Sunday, May 3, I will provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s Word through this medium to stay connected to Him. 

As a reminder, I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s Word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion

For this Sunday, we will continue to distribute Holy Communion using our “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process from 9-11 a.m. Again, to be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to receive the gift of Holy Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine by the time you arrive. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from me, return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination. 

Thank you for your continuing contributions to St. John’s to meet our financial obligations and outreach support. Whether you are dropping off your offering at WiFi communion, mailing your check directly to St. John’s, or giving online through the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/, we truly appreciate your continued support through this time of separation.  

As we continue to pray for our world, our country, our community, our church, and our loved ones we do so in the certainty that our loving Lord has all things well in hand and that He is shaping them to His gracious will.  As always, He is our refuge and source of peace.

Living in Jesus with you,
Pastor B