Thursday, February 20, 2020


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:               


February 23, 2020


O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




Today, February 23

   8:00  a.m.      Sunday School/Adult Class  

   9:00  a.m.      Divine Service (Transfiguration) (C)                              

Tuesday, February 25

   6:00 p.m.       Shrove Tuesday service and 

                          pancake supper at Trinity

Wednesday, February 26

   6:00 p.m.       Ash Wednesday Service ©

                          No Religion School

Sunday, March 1

   8:00 a.m.        Sunday School/Adult Class

   9:00 a.m.        Divine Service (Lent 1)  (C)


   February 23

    Commemoration of Polycarp of Smyrna,   

      Pastor and Martyr


  February 24

    Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle 



Organist Today:  Kitty Bierstedt                      Ushers for February:   Lucas Parsons, Terry Briggs,                                                                                                                                                & Boyd Shipler

Acolyte: none assigned                                     Elder for February:      Jerry Koestler

Greeters:  Gordon & Mary-Shipler Oleson     Greeters Next Week:   Gene and Marcia Hanna


Adult Bible Study - Our Sunday Morning Bible study is spending several weeks exploring the concept of evangelism in the Bible, as well as discussing practical strategies for sharing the Gospel in our own context. 


Ash Wednesday Service with Communion is February 26th at 6:00 p.m.


Lenten Services - All our evening services for Lent will be held at 6:00 p.m.  Note the new time!


Lenten Schedules - A copy of our full schedule of services at St. John’s for the season of Lent are in your box.  If you don’t have a box, they are on the table.  Feel free to take a schedule out of a friend’s box or off the table and give them a personal invitation to come to church with you. There are also blank schedules on the table for you to give to non-members. 


Tuesday Morning Lenten Prayer - In addition to our Wednesday evening Lenten services, you will also have the opportunity to pray and hear Scripture on several Tuesday mornings at 9:00 during Lent.  This will be a spoken Matins service and will be a time for you to bring prayer requests for us to pray together.  See the purple schedule in your box for the dates of these services. 


Lenten Resources Available - On the back table are several resources to help you grow in your Christian faith this Lenten season.  Feel free to take and share as many as you’d like.


Lutheran Witness Subscriptions  The cost of a subscription is $22.70 for the year.  If you have any changes to the Lutheran Witness subscription, please get them in to the office today. 




Shrove Tuesday Partnership Event - Our St. John's/Trinity partnership is hosting a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper again this year on Tuesday, February 25th at 6:00 p.m. at Trinity.  The event will begin in the sanctuary at 6:00 with a time of prayer and confession and absolution, and continue with a pancake supper in the Life Center at 6:15.  During the supper we will also have fliers available with suggestions for how you might pray, fast, and show mercy during the upcoming season of Lent.  This event is free and the community is welcome to attend. 


Camp Okoboji Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 18, 2020 at 11 a.m.  St. John’s is looking for a delegate to attend this meeting on our behalf.  Let the church office know if you can attend. 

Lutheran Family Service Marriage Resources - Unfortunately the LFS marriage strengthening workshop that was scheduled last week at Trinity was cancelled due to low registration numbers.  However, LFS publishes a variety of marriage strengthening resources on their website at  Also, on the table in back of church are several handouts from LFS with tips on communication, problem solving, and showing appreciation within a marriage.  As always information on marriage advice or counseling from a trained, Christian counselor is available on the LFS website.  Remember that every marriage, no  matter how seemingly successful or unsuccessful, can benefit from the Scripture-informed insight and strategies that Lutheran Family Service has to offer.   


Prayer Rally For Life - Join fellow Iowans, legislators, clergy, Lutheran Family Service and other Iowa Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders in being a Voice for Life at the Iowa Prayer Rally for Life on Monday, March 2 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Iowa State Capitol.  There is more information on the ramp bulletin board or on the handout in back.  Let Pastor Cowell know if you are interested in carpooling down to Des Moines. 


Building Healthy Families - “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18  The next time you go outside, look around. Notice the details of the world God placed around you. If you’re enjoying vacation on a sunny beach somewhere, put your toes in the sand and consider the Psalmist words. If you’re not on a beach but still here enjoying our Iowa winter, consider Isaiah 1:18. Let every bit of God’s amazing creation remind you of His amazing love! - Lutheran Family Service



Churches of Burt Volunteer Facebook Group - The Churches of Burt organization has created a Facebook group with the purpose of connecting people who need help with people who are willing to help.  It is our hope that this group will facilitate Christian mercy in our community.  You can search “Churches of Burt Volunteers/Help Wanted” to join the group.  Or, if you would like to offer a volunteer service or are in need of help but don’t have a Facebook account, contact Pastor Cowell and he will post your request for you. 


Burt Summer Celebration Silent Auction and Luncheon is today at the Burt Complex from 10:30 to 1:00 p.m. Silent auction items will be on display for you to bid on during the meal. 


Annual Men’s Soup Supper at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Titonka is Monday, March 2nd, 2020 from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. Menu: Chili and Oyster Stew with Pie. Free will donation.

Chili Dinner Fundraiser - Good Samaritan Society of Algona is hosting a luncheon on Sunday, March 15th at the Trinity Life Center, Algona from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Menu: Chili, Relish, Crackers, Cinnamon Roll & Beverage.  Proceeds go toward nursing home equipment.



LECTIONARY SUMMARY (Transfiguration Sunday)


Exodus 24:8–18; 2 Peter 1:16–21; Matthew 17:1–9


God Manifests His Glory in the Body of Christ Jesus, Transfigured for Us by His Cross

The Transfiguration confirms “the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Pet. 1:19). The divine glory of Jesus is manifested in the word of His apostles, who were “eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16). “He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun” (Matt. 17:2). Moses and Elijah witnessed the fulfillment of the Old Testament in this Lord Jesus, and the Father testified concerning Him: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 17:5). By His own blood, shed on the cross, Jesus makes and seals the new covenant with us. Hence, “the appearance of the glory of the Lord” is no longer “like a devouring fire” (Ex. 24:17), but is graciously revealed in His own body. As “Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel” went up the mountain with Moses and “beheld God, and ate and drank” (Ex. 24:9, 11), we also behold the Lord our God in Christ Jesus, and we abide with Him as we eat and drink His body and blood at the altar.



Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article V: Love and Fulfilling the Law, para. 186-189

Christ's righteousness is given to us through faith, faith is righteousness credited to us. In other words, it is that by which we are made acceptable to God on account of the credit and ordinance of God, as Paul says, "Faith is counted as righteousness" (Romans 4:3,5). Only because we grasp Christ as the Atoning Sacrifice are good works, pleasing. We do not satisfy the Law, but for Christ's sake this is forgiven us, as Paul says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). This faith gives God the honor, gives God that which is His own. By receiving the promises, it obeys Him. So the worship and divine service of the Gospel is to receive gifts from God. On the contrary, the worship of the Law is to offer and present our gifts to God. However, we can offer nothing to God unless we have first been reconciled and born again. This passage, too, brings the greatest comfort, as the chief worship of the Gospel is to desire to receive the forgiveness of sins, grace, and righteousness. Christ says of this worship, "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:40). And the Father says, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him" (Matthew 17:5).