Thursday, December 19, 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 22, 2019


Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 




Today, December 22                                                                       

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

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

  10:00 a.m.          Children’s Dress Rehearsal                       


Tuesday, December 24

  4:30 p.m.           Christmas Eve Children’s  



Wednesday, December 25  

   9:00 a.m.          Christmas Day  Service (C)


Sunday, December 29         

   8:00 a.m.         Adult Class (No Sunday School)

   9:00 a.m.         Lessons and Carols Service  

                                  (Christmas 1)  (C)   



  Wednesday, December 25

    Feast of the Nativity 


  Thursday, December 26

    Feast of St. Stephen, Martyr


   Friday, December 27

     Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist


   Saturday, December 28

    Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs 




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

Acolyte Christmas Day: Tysen Wickman   Elder for December:    Boyd Shipler

Greeters Today: John & Karla Schutter      Greeters Next Week:   Roger and Harold Lavrenz                                              


Services this Week - Christmas Eve Children’s Program: Tuesday, December 24 at 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day Divine  Service: Wednesday, December 25 at 9:00 a.m. with Communion.


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.


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


Usher, Greeter, Acolyte Sign-Ups - On the back table are sign-up sheets for greeters, ushers, and acolytes to give you an opportunity to sign up for a spot that works for you.  Feel free to sign your name on more than one line! 


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 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. 


Soup Luncheon Sign-Up - There are sign up sheets on the back table for buns and bars/cookies that are needed for the Soup Luncheon when Pastor May is here on January 5.  Please have them at the church that morning.  Thank you - Mission Board


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. 



New Year’s Eve Service - Trinity, Algona invites you to their New Year’s Eve Divine Service (with Communion) on January 31 at 7:00 p.m.


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 - How has Christ’s birth changed your life? How would your life be different if Jesus hadn’t come? As a family, take time to read aloud the Christmas story found in Luke 2, and engage in a discussion around these questions. From the silly answer of a preschooler, to the shoulder shrug of a teenager, to the wise words shared by an older person, it will be interesting to see how each individual family member answers. Remember, even those who don’t answer are still listening, and will remember this conversation for years to come! “She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 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 7:10–17; Romans 1:1–7; Matthew 1:18–25


God’s Word Is Fulfilled for Us in the Flesh and Blood of Christ Jesus, the Son of Mary

The Fourth Sunday in Advent turns our attention toward the Nativity of Our Lord. With the Blessed Virgin Mary we await the coming of the Christ, her Son, conceived in her womb by the Word and Spirit of God. This fulfillment of the sign once given to the House of David, that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Is. 7:14), is now given to us in the Gospel. It declares that salvation is by His grace alone, entirely His work and a free gift. It is also the way and means by which the Lord our God is “Immanuel,” God-with-us. The almighty and eternal Son of God is conceived and born of St. Mary, and is thus “descended from David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3–4).  He comes in this way to save us with His own flesh and blood; wherefore He is called “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). As St. Joseph received this sign in faith and immediately “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Matt. 1:24), we also live by faith in this Holy Gospel.




Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article VIII: The Person of Christ, paragraphs 34-37

What kind of communion of the divine nature must that be of which the apostle says, "in [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" so that God and man are one person? It is important that this doctrine about the communion of the properties of both natures be treated and explained with proper discrimination. There are many ways of speaking about the person of Christ and of its natures and properties. When these are used without proper distinction, the doctrine becomes confused and the simple reader is easily led astray. The following explanation should be carefully noted:


In Christ two distinct natures exist and remain unchanged and unconfused in their natural essence and properties. Yet there is only one person consisting of both natures. Therefore, that which is an attribute of only one nature is attributed not to that nature alone, as separate. It is attributed to the entire person, who is at the same time God and man (whether the person is called God or man).


In this way of speaking, it does not make sense that what is attributed to the person is at the same time a property of both natures. But its nature is distinctively explained by what is ascribed to the person. So "His Son … was descended from David according to the flesh" (Romans 1:3). Also: Christ was "put to death in the flesh" (1 Peter 3:18) and "suffered in the flesh" (1 Peter 4:1).