May/June 2021

A Few Notes From Your Pastor 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As with every congregation, the hardest part of PLANNING FOR OUR FUTURE at St John’s is the recognition that it begins with an ENDING. By this, I mean that “we will not simply go back to the ‘normal’ that was there before March, 2020” – that ‘normal’ has ended. Great changes have already happened; new approaches and innovations are not only possible, but necessary.

Of course there are aspects of our worship and life together that will always be central, unchanging—there is no need for adaptations. But many conditions in people lives have become different, are changing, have changed. Take, for example, the ways that we have been able to provide leadership and opportunities to grow and worship over the past 14 months: online and hybrid (both in person and online) models for worship, Bible classes, confirmation, and leadership meetings; emphasis on ‘at home’ worship and faith formation; digital platforms for faith content and experiences. St. John’s has been effectively using all of these tools for the sake of our faith life together in difficult times.

As we transition away from pandemic chaos, let’s make sure we don’t deny that anything substantive really happened—that we can just ‘wait out’ the pandemic and simply go back to the ways we normally do things at church. “The evidence is pretty clear that our world and church have been disrupted in significant and lasting ways—and that a return to the past is not possible. The lives of every person and family in our com-munity have been disrupted and changed, and much of the change may be permanent.” (John Roberto, Life-long Faith Association)

Specifically in the realm of Faith Formation, Roberto frames the challenge of congregations at this present time:

Will churches try to return to business as usual...returning to approaches, curriculum, programming, settings and schedules they used prior to March 2020?


Will leaders listen to lives of people and their situation today; identify how their lives have been impacted by the pandemic and the issues, struggles, joys and challenges they face, discern how to respond to this new context; and then develop new and innovative faith formation—content, approaches, methods, media—that responds to people today?

I share these questions and challenges with you because you are invited into our larger work as St John’s is exploring ‘all of our life and mission together.’

1) Your Congregational Council Leaders are studying the book, Renewing Your Congregation, by Dave Daubert—a resource with the distinctive Lutheran voice for guiding our faith community. Each month, your council leaders attend to scripture, prayer and a discussion around the questions at the end of each chapter.

2) You are also invited into these conversations. Please consider reading this book with us. Contact the church office or sign up in the Fellowship Room if you would like us to order you a copy of the book. Group conversations take place after Sunday worship @ 10:15AM or Monday evenings @ 6:30PM: Chapter 1 – Sun. May 23 or Mon. May 24; Chapter 2 – Sun. June 13 or Mon. June 14.

Eventually our Congregation Council will develop a Mission Statement with new developments around our existing Guiding Principles that we believe God’s Spirit wants to take shape among St John’s. Please join us in prayer for faithful steps as we continue to listen for God’s direction.

Partners in Christ,

Pastor Tim

“We are so grateful for what we can do together!”

UNITED WAY FOOD DISTRIBUTION: May 7th & May 21st and June 4th & 18th. St. John’s is sharing our parking lot for this important distribution of food. We begin around 9:00 am. Please help if you can!  Call the church office.

HEAD START BACKPACKS-We have made our last distribution for the 2020-2021 school year. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t feel like it is enough for all of your AMAZING generosity! We will start collecting again in August.

PIECEMAKERS – The quilting ministry is back at work, “and we always have room for more helpers”  – Tuesdays, 9:00am. Coordinators are Carol Rockwell and Carol McDermott.

POVERTY TASK FORCE - Meets Wednesday, May 19th & June 16th @ 9:00AM

 SERVING AT COMMUNITY TABLE                                                                                                                          THANK YOU!! Please know that our congregation continues to serve at Community Table several times a month.  We are serving meals on Monday, May 17th & 24th and June 21st & 28th. Are you able to serve? Also, if you are able to prepare a meal with others, there are several open days. (See Alliance Community Table Facebook page.)       Contact Pastor Tim, or the church office, if you are available to help or have questions.

ST. JOHN’S PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: May 6th 6:30-7:30PM. Visit to learn more about our program. Register your child for Preschool for 2021-2022 school year, and be entered into a drawing for one free  month’s tuition!

PRESCHOOL REGISTRATION: Registration is open for the 2021-2022 school year. Please contact the church office for registration forms. Please promote our preschool to keep it thriving!                                                                  

SULLIVAN HILLS CAMP 2021 - Camp is FREE! Go to for information and registration.!

JAIL MINISTRY - an ongoing ministry addressing homelessness. We are collecting backpacks, men’s clothing items and single serve snack items. The immediate need is ‘gently used’ backpacks.

SYNOD ASSEMBLY DELEGATES-Need one male & one female delegate to represent St. John’s in an online assembly, June 5th. Wonderful learning experience of life in ELCA of Nebraska.

PASTOR DEL & PHYLLIS WIEMERS - The NE Synod will be observing Del’s 60th anniversary of Ordination. St. John’s was the first congregation Del & Phyllis served after ordination. They served St. John’s for four years. Their address is: Box 97, Diller, NE 68342

BACCALAUREATE - We will have cake and refreshments following the May 2nd service in honor of our 2021 High School graduates: Bryson Darveau, Payten Gibson, Regan Lambert, Jaxon Preble, Stephen Reid, Peittyn Johnson, Zack Tunheim and Rayne Jespersen. Baccalaureate-”God’s blessings to you students and families!” May 2nd, 2:00PM at The First Baptist Church on 10th St. and Yellowstone Ave. Graduates are encouraged to wear their gowns. Refreshments will be served.

FELLOWSHIP AFTER WORSHIP - Fellowship will resume in May. We will begin this chapter of service with a ‘sign-up’ method. Sign-up is located by the kitchen.

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR BOX BUTTE COMMUNITY: Meal & prayers: hosted by St. John’s May 6th @ noon. Please come together with us.

BRIDGES OUT OF POVERTY- June 8th: 9:00AM-3:00PM PAC Alliance NE. Register now for this excellent training.

POVERTY TASK FORCE - Meets Wednesday, May 19th & June 16th @ 9:00AM.


Anita Howard & Colleen Hashman




Joan Cornish & Bev Preble





Monte & Brenda Hankins             May 2

Dan & Judy Laursen                       May 15 

Ray & Violet Yuill                             May 25

Trent & Sue Benzel                         June 5

Gary & Nadine Schlichtemeier     June 6

Jim & Kathi Swanson                     June 9

Don & Sheila Roberts                     June 14

Lance & Reed Dye                         June 16

Buck & Molly Vergil                       June 16

Steve & Lorie Benzel                     June 19

Alan & Joan Cornish                     June 20

Jack & Kay Brock                           June 21

James & Laurie Keilwitz               June 21

Mark & Sandy Hissam                 June 22

James & Jodi Johnson                  June 23

Joel & Corrina Robbins               June 24

Jim & Deanna Darveau               June 25


Colette Johnson                     May 2

Julie Lacy                                 May 3

Lorie Benzel                             May 4

Seth Dubray                             May 4

Dora Darveau                         May 8

James Hansen                         May 8

Mason Hankins                     May 10

Cassie Jespersen                     May 10

Alicia Hansen                         May 11

Dave Fierstein                         May 14

Kathy Barth                             May 15

Kyler Thomas                         May 15

Brett Ditsch                             May 18

Marriah Miller                         May 18

Dusty Bryner                             May 21

Jaxon Preble                             May 21

Scott Henzler                             May 23

Joel Robbins                                 May 23

Dave Ylander                                 May 23

Trevor Dubray                             May 24

Jamison Spahn                             May 24

Michele Schulze                         May 25

Steve Benzel                                 May 26

Cynthia Horn                                 May 27

Jeffrey Hankins                             May 28

Melinda Ewing                             May 29

Richard Taylor                             May 30

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT:  for videos of our Sunday services, Faith  Formation for family worship ideas and MORE!

 VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AT:  St John’s Lutheran Church ELCA for daily Inspiration, Sunday service videos, Sunday School at Home links, updates and MORE



Graduate Recognition-May 2nd, 9:00am Service

 Baccalaureate-May 2nd, First Baptist Church, 2:00PM

 National Day of Prayer-May 6th, St. John’s hosting with noon meal

 St. John’s Preschool Open House-May 6th: 6:30-7:30PM

 Mother’s Day-May 9th

 Alliance High School Graduation-May 9th

 St. John’s Preschool Graduation-May 11th @ 6:00PM

 Hemingford High School Graduation-May 15th

 St. John’s Council Meeting-May 16th @ 10:15

 Poverty Task Force Meeting-May 19th

 Memorial Day-May 31st-Office closed

 Bridges Out of Poverty-June 8th, 9am-3pm at PAC

 Father’s Day-June 20th (Summer begins!)

 St. John’s Council Meeting-June 20th @ 10:15


‘IN PERSON’ WORSHIP - Sundays at 9:00am and Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.                                                    Distancing and masking is requested.

                                                                    NURTURING OUR FAITH

SUNDAY’S COOL – We continue a Children’s Message in worship each Sunday. For all of our families, we are also posting a very creative and helpful Sunday School @ Home resource on St John’s Facebook page for every Sunday. Please join your children in this helpful Bible lesson and family activity in your own home.                                                                                      

NEW STUDY GROUP: ‘Faith-Confidence and Doubt in Daily Life’ - Starting Wednesday, May 12, 10:00am. You are invited to this small group of friendship, scripture, prayer and conversation around the seasons of life. “We will examine the seasons of life...and how to get through today with faith, confidence and hope”. Come, bring a friend. We have several books; contact the church office or Jody Mischnick for your copy.


Worship Online – weekly recording; posted live at 9:00am

Sunday School @ Home – posted weekly on our Facebook

(Great Resources for families with children; actually, this is interesting for all ages. Check it out.) 



Low income people who have trouble making their utility payments can get help! The best place to start is the local office of Northwest Community Action Partnership (NCAP). NCAP has offices in Chadron, Rushville, and Alliance. For emergency assistance in Box Butte County, phone 308-762-4960 and leave a voice mail. To receive assistance, a person would have to complete an application and verify their income. NCAP can then provide vouchers from the City of Alliance Neighbors Helping Neighbors utility assistance fund or from the Salvation Army for Black Hills Energy bills.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has an energy assistance program called LIHEAP. Phone the Alliance DHHS office at 308-763-2900 or the state office at 402-471-3121 for information about how to apply.


Pastor Tim would like to encourage you to contact him if you would like someone to listen, to pray with you, to give some guidance.  As someone who has completed Spiritual Direction training through our Nebraska Synod, he will be attuned to God’s voice and guidance in your life.  Also, some of us may benefit from a professional counselor.  Pastor Tim is interested in helping anyone find that support as well.  Depression and loneliness and isolation have increased in these stressful days.  There is no shame in asking for support.  God is with you. 


‘THANK YOU!!” for the generous support of your church - our people’s faith journey and mission in God’s world. 

Christ is the Vine - We are the branches.  

These are the options for your giving:

 Mail in, or drop off at our church office.

Online Giving at our web site:

Automatic withdrawing from your Bank Account – You are able to arrange for an automatic draw from your bank account by completing the form above and returning it to the church office; our Financial Secretary, Sharron Jones, will complete the transaction according to your specifications. Please be sure to include a voided check with the form.

Finances: Budgeted Expenses for 16 weeks: $59,363.04
Actual Expenses through 4/25/2021:                  53,924.17
Giving through 4/25/2021:                                    65,535.83

Giving Above budgeted expenses:                   6,172.79
Giving Above actual expenses:                       11,611.66

VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AT: St John’s Lutheran Church ELCA for daily Inspiration, Sunday service videos, Sunday School at Home links, updates and MORE!


Please consider reaching out by phone or with a card or note with words of encouragement and friendship to someone who may still be shut in.

 Prayer Requests - You may send a message on the St John’s Lutheran Church ELCA Facebook page, or text a message to     Pastor Tim at: (970)219-2277 or email

 Please feel free to let Pastor Tim know about pastoral concerns you have for yourself, loved ones, friends, or neighbors.               Pastor Tim is also available to visit with you in person;  feel free to make an appointment.


 Randy Hiatt             June 1

Ella White                 June 1

Luayne Weisgerber   June 4

Carol Ditsch                 June 5

Jayden Fritzler             June 6

Dorothy Kirchhoff             June 6

Steven Fritzler             June 7

Beverly Preble             June 8

Lucy Gressley              June 9

Aiden Johnson             June 9

Jaiden Krug                 June 9

Kurt Lambert             June 9

Ron Meter                 June 10

Ruthe Meter               June 11

Stephen Reid             June 11

Jenny Mattox             June 12

Kaitlyn Robbins             June 13

Liam Hansen             June 14

Trever Davies             June 17

Josh Hankins             June 18

Alan Cornish             June 19

Sharron Jones             June 20

Lahramie Laursen     June 20

Brook Johnson             June 21

James Johnson             June 21

Starla Laursen             June 22

Regan Lambert           June 23

Karen Runkle             June 23

Jeff Schleicher            June 23

Kaigan McBride           June 24

Sheri Mills                 June 25

Aiden Zaro                 June 25

Earl Jones                    June 26

Lisa Thomas               June 26

Brookelyn Gibson        June 29

Chance Smith             June 29

May 2                                                                                                                                                                                                 Reader Vickie Mattox    Lay Assistant Maurine Roller 

May 9                                                                                                                                                                                                        Reader Luayne Weisgerber

May 16                                                                                                                                                                                                         Reader Jayne McConkey   Lay Assistant Melinda Ewing    

May 23                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reader Maurine Roller

May 30                                                                                                                                                                                                       Reader & Lay Assistant Dan & Michelle Kluver

June 6                                                                                                                                                                                                     Reader Melinda Ewing Lay Assistant Beth Forney

June 13                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reader Luayne Weisgerber

June 20                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reader Kevin Horn Lay Assistant Maurine Roller

June 27                                                                                                                                                                                             Reader Beth Forney