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The worship style St. John is known for with biblically-sound real life messages, band and vocal music that enhance worship and the message while maintaining a focus on the sacred and encouraging you on your LIFEjourney with Christ.

9:00am* and 10:45am*|Sanctuary

 

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Showing items filed under “February 2013”

Principal's Blog

Dear St. John Families,

February generated renewed excitement about learning.  The adults in the building are life-long learners, and this month offered several chances for us to be students as well as teachers.

At the faculty meeting on February 6, we all spent a couple of hours watching emergency preparedness training videos, learning updated safety procedures and discussing appropriate lesson plans to be developed and implemented by the teachers prior to any form of whole-school drills.  This is essential, as we do not want to create anxiety as we practice how to follow instructions during emergencies.  So for instance, for younger friends we will not put any emphasis on the why but rather make the how as fun and functional as possible.  “It’s time to make a train” can be a signal for the practiced evacuation protocol.  “Let’s put our heads together under the table” can be a signal for little ones to take the protective posture during an earthquake drill.  It is important to note that we put time and energy toward the more likely emergencies, such as an earthquake, in addition to coming up to speed on expert advice surrounding the less likely occurrences.

Subsequent to training the lead teachers at all grade levels, I provided interactive instructional sessions for the Centered Care staff members, teaching aides, and guest teachers (subs) as well as St. John Church staff.  We will continue to operate from a firm foundation of faith rather than fear, and I am committed to keeping all who care for children in the know about the role they play in keeping those kiddos safe.  We may not always be able to prevent an emergency from having an impact on our community.  We can, however, be ready to respond effectively.

As you are likely aware, the faculty also spent a couple of days involved in intensive professional development pursuits related to educational technology integration.  This included attending various sessions at the Midwest Education Technology Conference.  Teachers also spent time in teams to implement some of the tools and techniques from that conference.  Some even spent time observing other schools’ strategies by visiting classrooms in action on other campuses.  Providing teachers time to share and reflect is invaluable to their continued growth and enthusiasm.  Thanks for being flexible about taking a couple days off as a family so we could take advantage of these opportunities.

The Learning Center is a significant component of our service to students.  We will continue equipping our Learning Specialist, Brooke Otto, with resources so she can maintain consultation with our teachers on appropriate differentiation to maximize students’ potential.  As the Administrative Team made the budgetary decision to discontinue Fast ForWord, which has been a separate offering from our Learning Center, Brooke has been gathering information and recommendations regarding quality reading fluency programs.  Providing effective tools for strengthening students’ skills across age levels and subject areas is part of our commitment to educational excellence.

Students are excited about sharing their learning.  After observing the middle school students as excellent role models and practicing in class, several third and fourth graders participated in a spelling bee with their middle school friends listening intently in the sanctuary.  The whole school was involved in exhibiting student projects during our Science and Learning Fair.  Anytime students have an authentic audience to show their conceptual and skill attainment, it elevates the learning experience.  Thanks to all who came to campus to be part of that audience.  Several of our middle school students will move on to the Science Fair competition held at Queeny.  Many students in grades 1-8 will also have the opportunity to represent St. John at the Lutheran Schools Academic Fair hosted on the campus of Lutheran South High School. 

Students are also happily anticipating a couple of celebrations related to our Annual Fund Campaign.  As we surpassed the 25% mark, students will have a carnival-themed lunch on Monday, March 4.  If you regularly participate in our hot lunch program or if you elect to pay for hot lunch that day, your child will choose a tray with a selection of fun foods such as corndogs, burgers, veggie sticks with dip and soft pretzels.  Even if your child brings a sack lunch from home, we want them to feel included and will provide for all students a sweet treat such as an apple with caramel or snow cone.  Two generous gifts recently propelled us very close to the 50% mark, so students are psyched about the teacher swap where a different St. John teacher will execute one lesson designed by that regular teacher.  This will be a fun way for students to gain exposure to other educators on our campus and for teachers to know those students in a new setting.  Remember, all annual fund gifts go directly to the school budget to finance teacher salaries and purchase educational materials.  We are grateful for your generous support, and we look forward to celebrating with you as we reach 100% of our goal.  Together we can do it!

As the third quarter of our school year comes to a close, encourage your child to finish strong.  The remaining three months of school will go quickly.  As we keep our hearts and minds on things above, we are able to make the most of each moment while bringing our best selves to each of those moments.

Peace and Joy!

Heidi Hays

Principal, St. John School

Posted by Heidi Hays with

Endless Appetites

I’m eager to engage the new teaching series called “Consumed.” Materialism may be the biggest moral challenge of our generation; destroying more lives than drug abuse, gun violence, and drunk driving; all of which grab more headlines. And just like any other compulsive disorder, there is no such thing as a “former addict.” We are only one shopping binge and an overloaded credit card away from relapse. We must fight this fight until we die.

Anything that takes our eyes off Jesus poses a threat to our spiritual well-being. You’ve no doubt heard Jesus talked about money and possessions more than any other subject in the gospels. That’s true. Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Eleven of 39 parables talk about money. One of every seven verses in the Gospel of Luke talks about money! So a faithful teacher in a faithful congregation can’t “afford” (pun intended) to ignore the issue.

Does it bother you that Jesus talked so much about materialism? Aren’t there other important issues like compassion, faith, and truth, more worthy of ink? But Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There is nothing more important to Him than your heart. Because your heart follows your money, Jesus was left with no choice. We must emphasize the same. In our worship experience the “gathering of the offering” is considered a significant moment worthy of discussion. Gone are the days when we “snuck the offering plates” down the rows while the choir sang an anthem. In order to emphasize Jesus’ priority and the Old Testament concept: Worship = Sacrifice; we stop in our worship to tell a story, quote a Scripture or share a statistic about what God is accomplishing through the faithful tithes and offerings of His people.

Every day is a new opportunity to practice appetite control. It’s no secret, I love to read. I’m just beginning to discover the value of digital books and magazines. It’s not an easy adjustment. Digital books lack that tactile nature of holding the printed page in my hands, pen at the ready to underline a phrase or write a remark in the margin. I’m trying to embrace the new reality, but so far I prefer going “old school.” That doesn’t mean I willingly lay down big bucks for a great read. I should have a bumper sticker that says, “This car makes sudden stops at used book stores.” I also book swap – but only with people who don’t mind if I obliterate their book with notes and highlighters!

Last week, before our pastors imposed a two-week ban on discretionary spending, I stopped by one of my favorite used-book stores. I was nearly giddy to find a copy of William Bennett’s, “The Book of Virtues,” on their shelf in perfect condition. Even the dust cover showed no signs of wear! I remembered looking at that book when it was first released nearly 20 years ago, even holding it in my hands, but the price tag made me shiver. That was then, this is now! It was on sale for $3! What a deal! Bennett’s book is a concise collection of many of the best poems, fables, and stories of all time... including some from the Bible.

Here’s a famous story on the subject at hand – one of Aesop’s Fables:

A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose that laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough and, imagining the bird must be made of gold inside, they decide to kill it in order to secure the whole store of precious metal at once. But when they cut it open they found it was just like any other goose. Thus, they neither got rich all at once, as they had hoped, nor enjoyed any longer the daily addition to their wealth.

The moral of story: “Much wants more and loses all.”

An appetite is a good thing, even a God thing. But appetites were never meant by God to be completely assuaged. Appetites motivate us to work, to achieve, to succeed, to accomplish things both personal and professional. Those who attempt to completely satisfy their appetite are like the man and his wife who killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us TODAY our DAILY bread.” In the Old Testament, during their 40 years in the wilderness, the Israelites could gather only enough manna for one day at a time. If they gathered more it would turn to worms. God never intended us to be self-reliant, or completely satisfied in life. He wants us to live by faith, trusting Him each day to provide all we need for our body and life.

Certainly God wants us to make plans and work diligently to provide for our future, but at the same time we must say, “If God wills we will live and do this or that. You boast in your arrogance,” the Bible says, “and all such boasting is evil.” (James 4) God has made the world and all that is in it for us to enjoy! But there is a fine line between consuming the things God has made and allowing them to consume you. The Bible says:

“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with much grief.”

Contentment is the key to achieving God-pleasing balance. Are you enjoying the present while planning for the future? If not, something is askew. Remember: “Much wants more and loses all.” Or, as Jesus said it “Do not be worried about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day should keep you sufficiently occupied.” (The Sermon on the Mount)


The Scripture

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:10,11

  • Explain the term, “Curiosity killed the cat.” How does that apply to this issue?
  • What is Solomon admitting?
  • Explain the phrase, “The best things in life are not things.”

Survey

How would you describe your present situation?

A. I have more than enough.
B. A day late and a dollar short.
C. One step forward and three steps back.

Click here to take the survey and take a moment to leave an idea, a thought or suggestion for those who are interested in your opinion.


Online

If you were unable to attend services last week or would like to hear a message based on Matthew’s account of Jesus birth, visit our website at www.stjstl.net and click on a teaching link. A Bible study is also available for you to download.


LIVEstreaming

St. John Church is now live streaming Sunday service at 9:15am and 11:00am.
Join us at http://www.stjstl.net/media/live-stream/


A Prayer

(From Proverbs 30) “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (A prayer of Solomon.)


Prayer Requests

In need of prayer? E-mail your prayer request to and our staff, our prayer partners, and the people of St. John will pray for you. Or consider joining our Prayer Ministry by either being on a team that meets once a month, or by receiving prayer requests through our email prayer chain.


Brief Notes

Click on the links below to find out more about these events on our campus:

Journey Interrupted: Midweek Lent Service

Getting Started

Consumed Challenge


Stephen Hower, Pastor

Challenging the status quo to awaken an appreciation for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Phil. 3:13,14
(and to lower my golf score)

   

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Posted by Stephen Hower with 1 Comments

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