Church Office and Building Closed

The church office and building will be closed on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, in observance of the 4th of July holiday.

Blessings for a safe and wonderful holiday!

St. John’s Columbarium Update

The St. John’s Columbarium was created by a vote of the congregation in 2004. It was dedicated in 2006. Since then, over 40 members of St. John’s have purchased the right to use a niche in the Columbarium, located in our beautiful courtyard. Some are still asking ‘what is a columbarium and why do we have one’.

The Columbarium has been created to provide a permanent place on the church premises for the inurnment of the cremated remains of our members and their families. The word ‘columbarium’ is derived from Latin and translates as a compartmented house for doves, the gentle birds mentioned in Scripture and recognized internationally as symbols of peace. Columbarium means a consecrated area reserved for the inurnment of a deceased’s cremated remains. By placing the Columbarium in the courtyard, it allows surviving family members, friends and fellow worshippers to pay frequent respects during regular church visits.

Currently there are 80 niches divided between two bays. As we are now into the second bay, it is time to think about building the next two bays. After reviewing the cost estimates for the new construction, the committee recommended to the Church Council on June 16, 2015 that the cost of the right to use a niche be increased. The Council approved this recommendation. If you are interested in or are considering the purchase of the right to use a niche, now is a good time to do this, before the price increase. Information is available at the church office or from any of the committee members.
Char Carlson (645-9642), John Ferguson (645-4942) and Basil Mroz (645-1661)

Call for Co-Leaders for Monthly Hospitality Groups

Please let Christy Hall-Holt know if you would consider being a part of a small team to lead during your month. Co-leaders enjoy opportunities to connect with about 20 households to give a voice to our community at St. John’s and to seek volunteers to provide hospitality on Sunday Mornings. These are the “Church Chores” we see to during our month:
• Greeting and Welcome Desk
• Coffee Service
• Communion Preparing and Serving

Strawberry Sunday is this Sunday, June 28!

Everyone is welcome to enjoy strawberry confections
between services in St. John’s Hall.

If you can bring a strawberry dessert or
help with prep, serving, and clean up
please contact Christy Hall-Holt.

St. John’s Provides Food Shelf Volunteers for Month of July

Please sign-up in the Commons.  Volunteering once a week at the same time is ideal, though any volunteering is welcome!  Please contact Don Sahling, St. John’s Food Shelf Volunteer Coordinator, at or 645-9220 if you have questions.  Thank you!

Letter from Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The letter from Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton addresses the tragedy that occurred at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, SC.

Strawberry Sunday is coming up on Jun 28.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy strawberry confections between services in St. John’s Hall.  If you can bring a strawberry dessert, please sign up in the Commons starting this coming Sunday.  We will also need people to sign up to help with prep, serving, and clean up.  Questions?  Contact Christy Hall-Holt.

Building an Inclusive Church Training August 28-29

St. John’s holds high the value to extend God’s love, beauty, and welcome to all.  How do we get this message across to those who have been turned away from or felt hurt by churches in the past?  How do we let them know that they will find a welcoming church home at St. John’s?

To help us learn how to be more intentional and public in our welcome to all, and specifically to people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, St. John’s will host a Building an Inclusive Church (BIC) training on August 28-29.  How do we build community as we discuss matters of sexuality and orientation, knowing that we come to the table with different experiences and convictions?  Participants will learn ways to create dialogue, and deepen relationships throughout the congregation, rather than sparking debate and division.  The goal is to have conversations where everyone’s voice can be heard and respected. Grounded in scripture and discipleship, this training allows participants to explore their Christian call to hospitality and evangelism.

Six St. John’s members have already attended a BIC training, and found it to be educational and inspiring.  The training is interdenominational and is open to members of all churches.  Feel free to invite your friends from other communities, as well as other churches in Northfield.

Please register by going to the website.  The $45 registration fee for the first 15 St. John’s members who register will be reimbursed to them.  The training takes place from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday August 28th and 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday August 29th.  Registration includes the training, all materials, lunch on Saturday and snacks on Friday and Saturday.  The registration deadline is August 14.  Contact Jane Rinehart ( or Keith Homstad ( if you have questions.

Installation of Pastor Davis

The Installation of Pastor Jonathan Davis as the Associate Pastor will take place this Sunday at both the 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. worship services.  Our guest preacher will be Karen Gieseke, Director for Family Ministry and Assistant to the Bishop of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA.

Join us between services for coffee, cake, fellowship and to celebrate the installation of Pastor Davis.  Everyone is welcome!

St. John’s Selected for National Worship Project

June 18-25th, Pastors Fickenscher and Davis, Nathan Proctor, and Christy Hall-Holt will travel to Yale University in New Haven, CT, to attend the Congregations Project Summer Seminar. St. John’s is one of seven congregations selected from all over the United States and Canada, and from a variety of faith traditions. The seminar, sponsored by Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, asks each congregation to work on a project related to this year’s theme, From Generation to Generation. The St. John’s project, entitled “Cross-Shaped Generations,” will endeavor to create new spaces for cross-generational creativity in worship through music and arts.

During the seminar, leadership teams from the congregations will gather with selected Yale faculty and guest faculty, to form a diverse ecumenical community of ministers, musicians, scholars, and other church leaders. The time together will include daily worship, lectures and skill-building workshops, presentations from each congregational team, and a time for both structured and informal conversation exploring inter-generational implications for the larger church. The curriculum is designed to build on each congregation’s particular strengths in worship, music, and the arts; to expand their capacity to serve the surrounding community; and to nurture ecumenical partnerships.