Thursday, December 12, 2019





St. John’s Lutheran Church

109 Maple St. Burt, Iowa|Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


Pastor: Rev. Thomas Cowell

Secretary: Rosann Shipler

Pastor’s Cell: 319-464-5548                

Church Office: 515-924-3344               

Pastor’s Email:         

Church Email:               


December 15, 2019


Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 



Today, December 15                                                                       

   8:00 a.m.           Bible Study/Sunday School

   9:00 a.m.           Divine Service (Advent 3)  (C)

  10:00 a.m.          Children’s Program Practice                       


Monday, December  16                   

   7 & 9:30 a.m.   Women’s Bible Study at Trinity


Wednesday, December 18  

   6:00 p.m.          Advent Midweek Service 

   6:30 p.m.          S.S./LYF Advent Party


Sunday, December 22         

   8:00 a.m.          Bible Study/Sunday School 

   9:00 a.m.          Divine Service (Advent 4)  (C)   

  10:00 a.m.         Children’s Program Practice   


  Tuesday, December 17

    Commemoration of Daniel and the Three  

      Young Men


  Thursday, December 19

    Commemoration of Adam and Eve


  Friday, December 20

    Commemoration of Katharina von Bora  



  Saturday, December 21

    Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle 




Organist Today: Marcia Hanna       Ushers for December: Tony Hatten & Joe Heyes

Acolytes Today: none-assigned        Elder for December:    Boyd Shipler

Greeters Today: Duane & Linda Peter        Greeters Next Week:   Karla & John Schutter                                              


Adult Bible Study - Our Sunday morning adult Bible study class is discussing the benefits of meditating on the six chief parts of the Catechism through Scripture and prayer.  We’ll be using the book The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism.  A copy of the book will be provided for everyone to use.


Parish Messenger Articles are due in to Linda Kerkove by Sunday, December 29th. This is for the January/February edition.


Advent Services are Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. on December 18, 2019. The Sunday School and LYF Advent party will follow at 6:30 p.m.


Annual Report:  The end of the year will be here soon! If you’re responsible for a report for the annual yearbook, it can be emailed to the church office at - or bring it to the church office.


Reminder to all Members - If you are the last one to leave the church at anytime, please be sure that all the lights are off and all doors are locked.   Trustees


St. John’s Flocknote - As a new Church Year begins now would be a good time to review your St. John’s text message and email options!  See the Flocknote information sheet on the back table for the types of communication you can receive through text or email.  You can sign up or change your options yourself from the instructions provided, or if you fill out the sheet and leave it at the church office we are happy to sign you up or make changes for you. 

- Also note that there is a new Flocknote option this year called “St. John’s Volunteers.               

  Sign up for this option if you would like to receive messages from St. John’s about 

  volunteer opportunities within our congregation, partnership, or community. 


Christmas Eve Children’s Service Practice will immediately follow the church service on the Sundays of December 15 and 22.  The program is Christmas Eve at 4:30 p.m.


Pray the O Antiphons - On December 17-23 the Church begins praying the “O” Antiphons of Advent.  Pick up a sheet on the back table which has the prayers printed as well as some history on them, and join Christians from across many nations and centuries in praying these ancient prayers. 


Christmas Lessons and Carols - Our Divine Service on Sunday, December 29, will include a selection of lessons and carols from the Christmas season.  You will get to sing some of your favorite Christmas hymns and learn a couple new ones too!  


James May Visit - Pastor James May, missionary with Lutherans in Africa, will be joining us at St. John’s on Sunday, January 5.  He will preach at our Divine Service and give a presentation on his mission work after the service.


Soup Lunch for Lutherans in Africa - Join us in the church basement for a soup lunch after Pastor May’s mission presentation on January 5th after service.  The freewill offering for the lunch will go toward the mission work of Lutherans in Africa. 


Cowell Family Epiphany Open House - You are invited to continue your holiday cheer at the Cowell house on January 12 from 2:00-5:00!  Once you’ve finished celebrating Christmas with your family, you’ll have this opportunity to celebrate Epiphany with your church family.  The Cowell’s live at 609 E Kennedy St. in Algona. 




Strengthening Marriage Workshop - The Iowa District West Education and Family Life Committee is hosting a marriage strengthening workshop for all married couples on Saturday, February 8th from 9:00-2:00 at Trinity, Algona. This workshop will benefit both those who are recently married to those who have been married for many years. Toni Larson, Licensed Counselor from Lutheran Family Service will lead us through a time to grow in communication skills, understand how God has uniquely designed man and woman, and lead you in focusing on your relationship. Morning refreshments and lunch are provided, as well as childcare if needed.  The cost is $40 per couple (paid the morning of the workshop). Register by Feb. 3rd at:   


Building Healthy Families:  Is there an “invisible” elderly person living in your neighborhood? Look around with new eyes to see someone who is lonely, unable to do for themselves or has a need. This person might live down the road, across the street or maybe in a care center in your town, just out of your eyesight. Ask God to give you not only eyes to see them, but also courage to step out of your comfort zone to help. He will give you both! Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 Lutheran Family Service is Iowa’s only Recognized Service Organization (RSO) by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) for Pregnancy Support, Adoption Services, Family Wellness, Mental Health & Marriage Counseling. Find help at



Isaiah 35:1–10; James 5:7–11; Matthew 11:2–15


The Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Brings True Rejoicing, Even under the Cross

Sometimes life requires the astonishing patience of Job. Like him, we are to rejoice in the midst of affliction, be grounded in repentance under the cross of Christ, hope relentlessly in His resurrection, that we might see “the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). In the promise of the Gospel, therefore, “be patient” and “establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7, 8). Like St. John, the Baptist, whatever your own kind of prison or suffering may be, call upon Jesus and receive the strength of His Word from those He sends to you. For as “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up,” so is the good news of Jesus preached to you, also (Matt. 11:5). He comes and restores the fortunes of Zion, His holy Church, so that “sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Is. 35:10).  




Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article IV: Good Works, paragraphs 9-12

Faith must be the mother and source of works that are truly good and well pleasing to God. St. Paul calls them true fruit of faith, also fruit of the Spirit. For, as Dr. Luther writes in the Preface to St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans:

Faith, however, is a divine work in us that changes us and makes us to be born anew of God, John 1. It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers; it brings with it the Holy Spirit. O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them, and is constantly doing them. Whoever does not do such works, however, is an unbeliever.


Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it. This knowledge of and confidence in God's grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and all creatures. And this is the work that the Holy Spirit performs in faith. Because of it, without compulsion, a person is ready and glad to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything, out of love and praise to God, who has shown him this grace. Thus it is impossible to separate works from faith.