CONNECT...in Worship
Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:05 PM (The 505)
Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 9:00 AM (Traditional)

"The End! The Beginning of Greater Vision"

Preaching: Senior Pastor Ben Roberts
Worship Leader: Associate Pastor Mark Stapleton
Old Testament Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus ends His teaching about the Last Day by painting two portraits. One is about the future, with Jesus separating out believers and unbelievers from each other as a shepherd would separate sheep from goats. The other one is about the present, when Jesus details to everyone how they ministered directly to Him when He was thirsty, sick, in prison…or did NOT minister to Him. The sheep are astonished! Jesus had opened up their eyes, not only to this, but to the great “distance” they had between their faith and their works as “entrance” into the kingdom of heaven. As we conclude our series, “The End!...Or The Beginning?”, we will see ourselves in these portraits. Could the Lord be calling us to greater “vision”, to see that our eternal life is by God’s grace alone and that truly serving Jesus is serving “the least of these my brothers”?
SERMON SERIES CONTINUES

The End!...Or The Beginning?
What Our Lord Calls Us To Focus On Before He Comes Again

If there is one thing the year 2020 has taught us, it’s this: be prepared. Were we prepared for a pandemic? Were we prepared for unrest in our nation? Were we prepared to go back to school? Were we prepared to live a “new normal”? In more ways than one, 2020 has felt like the end of the world! But what about “THE END”, when Jesus comes back in the same way He came, to judge, to resurrect, to save? Will you be prepared? This series, “The End!...Or The Beginning?”, will focus on three sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew as He tells His disciples about “The End”. But in each one, Jesus is not only speaking of the Last Day. He is telling His disciples what to focus on to prepare for His arrival. We will look at three areas we can “begin” to engage in today, so that “The End” will be a “beginning” of eternal bliss in the presence of our coming Lord!

11/21-22: The End! The Beginning of Greater Vision (Matthew 25:31-46)
New Sermon Series!

He Comes Among Us:
The Incarnation Of Jesus According To Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
At the beginning of each Gospel, the coming of the Son of God in the flesh is described in each author’s varied way. For them, the “incarnation” (literally “in the flesh”) meant something different to them, all while they are describing the same Jesus. Why did the authors of the Gospels speak of the coming Jesus in their particular way? What did it matter to them? Why does it matter to us? During the season of Advent, we will be going through a series called “He Comes Among Us”. During this series, we will be looking at the various ways that the incarnation of the Son of God is described in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We will be unpacking why this description was so meaningful to the Evangelists, and why it continues to be meaningful to His people today…and for the whole world. As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, this series will help us prepare, focus and celebrate just who this baby is as “He comes among us.”

  • 11/28-29: He Comes Among Us...as God With Us (Matthew 1:18-25)
  • 12/5-6: He Comes Among Us...as The Mighty One (Mark 1:1-8)
  • 12/12-13: He Comes Among Us...as The Promised King (Luke 1:26-38)
  • 12/19-20: He Comes Among Us...as Light in the Darkness (John 1:1-5, 9-13)
WORSHIP SCHEDULE & SUNDAY MORNING EDUCATION
November 21 - 22, 2020
 
Saturday Schedule
"The 505" - Contemporary Worship Service at 5:05 PM
(In-Person and Livestreamed)
 
Sunday Schedule
Traditional Worship Service at 9:00 AM
(In-Person and Livestreamed)

Congregational Assembly
10:15 in the Sanctuary
(also via Zoom and YouTube)
 
Sunday Education Opportunities

MORE THAN THE MESSAGE will return next week!
Sundays, 10:15-11:15am
Join Pastor Ben, either in-person at St. John's or online on Zoom, for a study of the passage that his message is based upon. Gain more insights and teachings than can be packed into a 15 minute message! Strengthen your faith in Jesus and the life He has for you!
In-person: St. John's Sanctuary
Online: Zoom

10:15 - 11:15 AM - Sunday School Education Hour
(Due to the Congregational Assembly, Sunday School will be digital only this week. E-Lesson materials will be sent. See the article below for details.)
Everyone should have received an e-mail titled "In-Person / Livestreamed Worship Services" that was sent on Wednesday, November 18. Click "HERE" to view that e-mail and obtain additional information about our In-Person and Livestreamed Worship Services being this weekend.)
There will be a Congregational Assembly on Sunday, November 22, 2020, immediately following our Worship service. Here is a link to the announcement email that went out on Wednesday, November 18, with the Agenda, Minutes, Finance Update, Election Ballot, and Board of Worship Questionnaire Survey update information.

PLEASE NOTE: There are two updates to the email that was sent on Wednesday evening. Your Council members are working hard to give you the latest information and the material presented on Sunday will reflect the most accurate information. The current updates are as follows:


More Than the Message
will return next week
with a new series!
E-SUNDAY SCHOOL AT ST. JOHN'S
is digital only this week!
JESUS IS COMING!
AND THE PROPHETS ARE TALKING ABOUT IT!

Preparing for Christmas is exciting! We buy gifts for our family and friends, we decorate our Christmas tree, we bake cookies, and our list of things to do is a long one. The most important item on our list is to remember why we celebrate Christmas – this special day is all because of Jesus!
The Bible tells us about Jesus many times in the Old Testament, hundreds of years before he came to earth. God’s people heard about Jesus because special messengers called prophets spoke and wrote about God’s plan and what would happen when Jesus arrived. We’re going to meet some of the prophets in our Sunday School lesson and listen to what these messengers said about Jesus.
We’ll finish our lesson with a Christmas craft that will remind us of God’s plan as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!  E-Lesson materials will be sent to all Sunday School and Wednesday Bible School families. If you do not receive your package, contact Dalyne Shinneman at dalyne.shinneman@gmail.com or call 630.772.1688.
ST. JOHN'S SUNDAY SCHOOL 
  OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD PROJECT
Our Packing Party in Sunday School, November 8th, was lots of fun! We packed 41 boxes and included our photos and a personal greeting from our Sunday School in each box. Now we'll be following our boxes to find out where they are delivered so we can learn more about that country. We're excited because we know that the children who receive our boxes will be able to attend a special Operation Christmas Child Bible School and learn about Jesus for the first time!
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP

Attention All High School Youth!

Tree Decorating at the Zoo
Our next event is decorating a Christmas tree at Brookfield Zoo on Sunday, November 22nd from 1 -3pm. Once we are done, we can walk around and enjoy the zoo.
If you have any questions about our youth group, please email: v.wykert@sjlagrange.com.
Note: If your Mission gets clipped in your email, click your "view entire message" link to go on reading about opportunities at St. John's.

CHURCH NEWS!
Christmas Concert:
"A Ceremony of Carols"
Sunday, December 13, 2020
at 6:30 p.m.
St. John’s will host a virtual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 6:30 PM. The concert will feature a choral piece by Benjamin Britten called “A Ceremony of Carols”. The piece is scored for treble chorus and harp. Written for Christmas, it consists of eleven movements, with text from The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems, edited by Gerald Bullett. We will also have a variety of instrumental music and familiar carols everyone can sing along on. Watch future “Mission” newsletters for additional information.
Do you enjoy fresh flowers? Each week the altar is beautified with fresh flowers given by individuals  of St. John’s congregation.   Flowers may be given in memory or in honor of someone or some occasion, in thanksgiving of something or to the Glory of God.   The flowers may be taken home after the Sunday services for you to enjoy at home or perhaps share with a loved one or someone you wish to share an invitation to worship at St. John’s.   The Flower Chart for 2021 is posted in the narthex on the left brick pillar as you walk into the sanctuary.   Flowers are $42 for two arrangements.  If you wish to sign up for a particular Sunday and someone else has already signed up, we invite you to sign up in addition to another person giving flowers – you can split the $42 cost with the person signed up or purchase an additional two arrangements for $42.  Multiple floral arrangements to beautify the altar are always welcome!  A member of the Altar Guild will contact you in advance for your dedication. 
Church Directories are here!

If you had a photo taken for the church directory the directories have arrived and are available for pick up at the church. They are in the grey pick up bin outside Door A. Please take the one labeled with your name.
If you did not have a photo taken for the directory please see the Church Office Manager about acquiring a church directory.

LUTHERAN WOMEN IN MISSION - NEWS AND EVENTS!
Hello, LWML members,
 
We are now four months into our new biennium We definitely need to continue contributing to the Mites, either by dropping them off at church or by going to the lwmlnid.org website and clicking on "donate" to give instantly. Please include the name of St. John's Lutheran Church in La Grange when you donate online. You can also click on to the links to view the poster and download the sign-up form for the upcoming LWML Convention in Lexington, Kentucky this coming summer.
Fall and Winter LWML Quarterly magazines are available for pickup at the church. They are in the grey pickup bin outside Door A. Please pick one up at your convenience.
Welcome to our new Church Office Manager!
Mari's contact information:
708-354-1690, ext.210
Mari Smith became our new, part-time Church Office Manager back in mid-October, but this is a chance to have you welcome her to the position!

Since Mari will be part-time, her office hours are limited. She will be in the office on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, as well as Wednesday and Thursday mornings. She will be available for some remote work on Fridays.

Mari brings dedication and skill to this position. We are blessed to have her!
"Thank You All!" from the Board of Stewardship. During these tough times, for those who have been financially able to donate money to St. John's normally spent on things like gas, dry cleaning, auto maintenance, car washes, haircuts and restaurants/entertainment...the church thanks you greatly! Your generosity is appreciated.
CONNECT...in Bible Study and Small Groups
Click "HERE" for additional information on these opportunities!
ST. JOHN'S MINISTRIES (Inreach and Outreach)
 
Everyone should have received our "St. John's Ministries" e-mail that was sent on Monday, November 9. Click "HERE" to view that e-mail and obtain additional information about these wonderful outreach events. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONDAY EMAIL THAT WAS SENT ARE BELOW!

Thank you to everyone who dropped off boxes for
Operation Christmas Child!
The boxes gathered at church will soon be delivered to a local drop off location. You can still drop off your box at Hope Church, 5707 Wolf Road in La Grange. See the Ministries email for more information.
Meals To Go

There will be a Thanksgiving Meal provided by Meals to Go for people in need. Also a food pantry collection is scheduled for November 24 from 11:30 - 1:30 during the pie pick up. The final Meals to Go is scheduled for December 6th.

6th Grade
Eagles in Action
Get Prepared to Help!
Please plan to help St. John's 6th graders with their coming Eagles in Action project which starts on the first day of Advent, Sunday, November 29th. Next week in the Mission, the Ministries, and the Wings newsletters, a link will be provided so you can join our sixth grade class in helping provide food for local food pantries. The link will lead you to St. John's Food Pantry Advent Calendar. Follow the calendar from days 1-24 and learn how you can help by adding an item to a designated box or bag each day. 
BLOOD DRIVE PARTNERSHIP

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH
THE LA GRANGE PUBLIC LIBRARY AND VERSITI WORK TOGETHER!
St. John's will be hosting a blood drive along with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois on Wednesday December 2nd from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.  It will be held at the LA GRANGE PUBLIC LIBRARY. The library has graciously agreed to partner with us and Versiti to have the blood drive so that we can maintain a safe environment for the children, teachers and staff who are in our building daily. Versiti has opened up the "SIGN UP" for our members until Wednesday, November 25th, at which time the "SIGN UP" will be opened to the public.
Note: If your Mission gets clipped in your email, click your "view entire message" link to go on reading about opportunities at St. John's.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS: November's featured item is BARS OF SOAP
  • Please deposit featured item in the box in the narthex.

PIE FUNDRAISER:
  • Pie pickup is November 24, from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

FOOD PANTRY AND BEDS COLLECTION DAY: Nov. 24, from 11:30-1:30
  • Please bring food donations for the Food Pantry and/or coats for BEDS when you come for your pie pickup.

TREE TRIM AT BROOKFIELD ZOO: Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 1:00 PM

ADVENT CALENDAR FOOD PANTRY DONATIONS
  • Sixth grade Eagles in Action project
  • More information next week

BLOOD DRIVE:
  • December 2 at La Grange Public Library


(Click "HERE" to obtain additional information about these wonderful events.) 
SCHOOL OFFICE
Click on the TRIP logo above for more information on
how to donate gift cards to families in need during COVID-19
Purchase gift cards through our school’s fundraiser for essential goods such as groceries, gas, restaurants, and cleaning supplies, to donate to those in our community.

As COVID-19 widens and families are impacted by hardships related to closed schools, limited access to childcare, work limitations, and more, we have a unique opportunity to help support our community and families.
Click on the TRIP logo above for more information!
November is here!
Time to start holiday shopping and get ready for cooler weather clothing or for anything – start with TRIP cards. See attached article for regular order dates.

Our next order date is November 30th,
 7:45 am at Door A.
Please email Amy Buonassisi at amybuonassisi@gmail.com
if you are placing an order.


Saturday Worship
505 Contemporary
Worship Service at 5:05 p.m.
(Click "here" for the song playlist)
 
Sunday Worship
Traditional Worship Service
at 9:00 a.m.


PLEASE NOTE: All Worship Services will be available on our Livestream YouTube Page shortly after they are Livestreamed.
Office: (708) 354-1690 x210