St. John's
news & updates
From the Pastor
They will Know We Are Christians By Our Love
Over the past week, Paul’s words in his first letter to the Corinthians keep coming to my mind. The believers in Corinth were having a disagreement about something. For some of them, the issue was no big deal but for others it was causing them great stress and anxiety and the conflict was becoming divisive. In his letter, Paul’s response is that what is most important is how we care for others in the church and that we allow our love for others to strengthen the church and be a witness to the world around us. Paul cautions: “you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble”. (1 Cor. 8:9)

I wonder if Paul’s words might be helpful for us in the church today? One conflict I’m seeing and hearing the most about is about face masks. On the one side, there are those who think face masks are worthless and the whole Covid-19 situation is no big deal and blown out of proportion and they refuse to wear them. On the other side, are those who are concerned about getting the virus, or being asymptomatic and unknowingly sharing the virus with others, or the long term health impact on those who contract the virus, and all of the unknown about Covid-19.

What is the most concerning to me is the way in which people are speaking about their point of view and responding to others who may have a different point of view. Now, I don’t begin to think that we will find agreement on this issue or any of the many issues surrounding Covid-19. But, I do know that as children of God, we are called to be people who love because God has first loved us.

I’ve been able to have a couple of conversations with people who have a different point of view from me. Some of these have been good conversations. They have been opportunities to talk about our differing viewpoints and truly listen to the other’s point of view. These have been loving conversations and I am richer for the opportunity to learn. But I’ve also had encounters that were anything but loving. They have ranged from eye-rolling, to yelling, to belittling, to shaming and just not even allowing for anything that didn’t fit their point of view. These encounters just make me sad especially when they are fellow church members.

When Jesus was asked "what is the greatest commandment?" “ Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39) I think that’s exactly what Paul was getting at in his letter to the Corinthians, we in the church ought to do the most loving thing for your neighbor.

So Church, how can we be more loving towards each other? How can we show love to those who have a different opinion or point of view? How can we be more loving in our social media postings and responses? Where do we need to humble ourselves so that we don’t cause others harm? Where do we need to set aside our pride, confess our shortcomings, and make things right with others? How can we act more like Jesus?

Pastor Rebekah
Worship in August
Worship Opportunities
  • Online worship @
  • Facebook Live 9 am each Sunday.
  • Spencer in-person worship 9 am Sunday
  • Riplinger in-person worship 11 am Sunday
  • Paper copies of the sermon mailed to those who've requested them
Serving in Worship
Spencer - For the month of August we are in need of door openers/greeters, ushers, sound/tech and a communion assistant each week. If you are available and willing to serve, please sign up here. Or call Pastor Rebekah at715/897-5393.

Riplinger - A new serving schedule of those who are willing to serve right now has been made for August and September. Copies have been put in your church mailboxes.
Faith Formation
Bible Study - Why Did God Let this Happen?
Reality often ends up so very far from the life we long for, doesn't it? Bible teacher Lysa TerKeurst deeply understands daily disappointments and life-altering loss. By walking through her own valley, she's discovered that in God we can find unexpected strength as we wrestle well between our faith and feelings.

In this six-session video Bible study, Lysa offers a safe place to share your disappointments, fresh biblical insight to get you through painful situations, and life-giving perspectives for living in between Eden and eternity.

Wednesday's at 6:30 pm
August 5 to September 9
Study guides can be purchased on Amazon
Need more info? Contact Pam at 715-507-0549
Plans for the Fall - still up in the air
Normally the August newsletter brings a lot of information about plans for the fall including JAM, Cross Training, LIVE, and upcoming adult study opportunities. We would be recruiting teachers for JAM, and small group leaders for Cross Training and LIVE. However, at this point in time, with all the uncertainty around COVID-19, school plans and our church staffing still up in the air, we do not have plans in place. We are monitoring the public health recommendations, surveying our families, and exploring options for how best to connect with our kids, and families safely. If you have suggestions, concerns or recommendations, please please please communicate those with Pastor Rebekah.
Beyond Our Doors
St. John's scrip program has been going strong throughout the past few months. To practice social distancing we will not be setting up a scrip table, however individuals may still order scrip cards. Paper order forms may be found in the brochure rack. Orders will be collected on the first and third Sundays.

On hand I have Amazon ($25), Bath & Body Works ($10), Claire's ($10), Dunhams ($25), Festival Foods ($25, $50, $100) Fleet Farm ($25), iTunes ($15), JoAnn Fabric ($25), Kohl's ($25), Menards ($25), Target ($10, $25) Walgreeens ($25), Walmart ($25), Applebees ($25), Arby's ($10), Buffalo Wild Wings ($25), Burger King ($10), Dairy Queen ($10), Dunkin Donuts ($10), Hardees ($10), Papa Murphy's ($10), Pizza Hut ($10), Pizza Ranch ($10), Red Robin ($25), Subway ($10), Starbucks ($5), Taco Bell ($10), Texas Roadhouse ($25), Cenex ($100), Kwik Trip ($25, $50, $100).

You are more than welcome to call Pam at 715-5-07-0549 for immediate pick up at my home, 213462 State Highway 13, Spencer. Thank-you for your continued support of the Scrip program. If you know of someone who could use a financial helping hand, contact Pastor Rebekah.  
ARK: Loving our Neighbors
We have not officially hosted any ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) this year. But what if we each individually did something for someone else in our community? Maybe a neighbor needs their gutters cleaned out? Or maybe you could provide a meal(s) for someone? What if you paid it forward when shopping at Kwik Trip and bought someone’s coffee? Maybe there is a larger need and you could find a couple other people to help you? We are still the church. What can we do to be the hands and feet of Christ serving others in our community so that we can “Share Christ will all?” I’d love to hear how you are doing Acts of Random Kindness.
This month is the 16 th anniversary of COME. The Community Outreach Meal for Everyone began back in August of 2006. The original purpose of the meal is “to serve nutritious, hot meals to anyone who chooses to attend. The meals are intended to feed bodies with good food and souls with hospitality and community.” This summer, for the safety of our guests and volunteers, the meals are being served as take out meals.

Financial donations are not taken at the meal so that those who can’t afford it do not feel obligated to pay. If someone wants to make a financial contribution it may be mailed to the church office attention COME. The meal is supported primarily by the members of St. John’s Lutheran Church with donations from the Spencer United Methodist Church, the Spencer Fire Department, the Lions Club as well as other individuals and organizations. A huge thank you to everyone who helps make this ministry possible!
Birthdays and Anniversaries
1   Wayne Hempel
2   Dorene Matter
Rachel Wash
3   Cindy Weiler
Jasmine Ertl
Andrew Hendrickson
4   John Meacham
Caden Schillinger
Jim Schmutzler
7   Josie Tremelling
Abigail Wilke
9   Lauren Ponter
10 Trevor Ertl
Inez Fosberg
Devyn Schmidt
11 Paige Lawrence
12 Amanda Schjoneman
Daniel Wilke
14 Mary Ott-Kilty
Rhonda McBride
Bobbi Suckow
15 Brody Hendrickson
16 Gail Jicinsky
Jenny Leonhardt
17 Alec Cook
Jaylee Kohl
Gerald Neumann
18 Frank Hendrickson
19 Jacob Sandley
20 Larry Hamus
Eliza Hendrickson
Ramsey Schjoneman
Amy Schmidt
21 Lois Block
23 Nancy Dietsche
24 Jace Cattanach
Scott Shupe
25 Ryan Griepentrog
Corrine Kettleborough
28 Donna Hendrickson
Rachel Nieman
Aaric Spencer
Rhonda Weix
31 Leroy Burns
Jordan Bonnar
Kyler Hardrath
1 Rod &April Smazal – 11 years
2  Jeremy & Ashley Vogel - 12 years
7  James & Audrey Hopfensperger – 49 10 David & Maria Seefeld – 2 years
    Mary & David Gaetz – 57 years
13 Travis & Ashley Stroetz - 4 years
14  David Kilty & Mary Ott-Kilty – 2 years
18  Carmin & Craig Elsinger – 30 years
19 Clark & Suzanne Reynolds – 42 yrs
20 Jeff & Holly Weyer – 15 years
21 Daniel & Michelle Foth – 39 years
24  Penny & Thomas Vinnedge – 18 yrs
26  James & Peggy Christopherson – 31
26 Julie & Larry VanArk – 14 years
27 Randal & Dorene Matter – 32 years
31 Terry & Cheryl Gallion – 35 years
31 Amy & Matthew Schmidt – 18 years
Lifting Up in Prayer
Debbie Roth (Jesse Klement’s mom) continued healing from knee surgery and spirits lifted
Those under hospice care:
Woody Schmutlzer
Evelyn Lynn
Those with cancer including:
Herman Ackman, Judi Andrew, Linda Bauer, Keith Borchardt, Steve Dawson, Dean Hanson, Amanda Hatton, Sue Johnson, Mark Kilty, Michelle Oelke, Kathy Pieper, Brian Reise, Tom Steiner, Barb Wachsmuth, Mark Zimmerman,
Those who are homebound or in care facilities including:
Cyndi Ackerman, Alice Brandt, Darlene Dommer, Grace Maines, Linda Marchinek, Jean Mellenthin, Pat Miller, Dorothy Neuman, LaVilla Schilling, Earl Schiszik, Dennis Seefeld
Ongoing Health Concerns: Lois Block, Dick Berger, Todd Frahm, Audrey Heldt, Audrey Helsten, Michael Howe, Jodi Krause, Betty Muehlbauer, Phyllis Premau, Dylan Rottscheit, Tammi Schiferl, Joanne Seefeld, Jon Soderberg, Jean Steiner, Darin Thompson, Francis Wash, Michael Weigel, Lenore Williams, Richard Zugier,
Military: Tyler Klement, Leah Nieman, Travis Weiler
If you have any updates on these prayer requests or any additional prayer concerns, please email Pastor Rebekah
Sometimes we don't know the impact we have

We received the following note at the church office along with a generous donation from someone who lives outside our area but has been watching the online worship services.

Hello Pastor Rebekah,
I have enjoyed listening to your video presentations each week and hope they continue for a long time to come (though hopefully not due to a pandemic). Please see that this donation is directed toward any expenses associated with your online ministry.
Membership Notes
Marriage: Kaleb and Alicia (Endreas) Herman, July 11

Death: Duane Meacham, June 12
Bible Camp News
Date Change - Heart for Luther Park
Spencer Council Minutes