Thursday, March 26, 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:           


March 29, 2020


Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.





All services and activities at St. John’s are cancelled this week. 


Our next service will potentially be Sunday, April 5th. 

We will provide you with more details as they come. 



  March 31

    Commemoration of Joseph, Patriarch



Stay connected during our time away - During our time away please be sure that the church has your current phone, cell phone, and email.  Also be sure that your Flocknote communication preferences are up to date.  You can call Pastor Cowell at 319-464-5548 if you need help with this.  Flocknote will be our means of communicating the most important details about our schedule in the weeks to come. 


Pastoral Care Available - Pastor Cowell continues to be available for pastoral care.  He is happy to hear your confession and absolve your sins or to give you Holy Communion at home or at church at any time.  If you are not comfortable visiting or being visited, he is happy to talk with you on the phone.  His cell phone is 319-464-5548.  If you have any bodily need in these next few weeks (like needing someone to pick you up groceries or medication, etc.) he is happy to help or to find you help. 


Resources for your faith at home - St. John’s is offering a variety of resources to feed your faith during our time away.  Here is a list of some of them:

  • There is a table in the back of church full of devotions, prayer services, Bible studies, and Lutheran magazines. Feel free to stop in at church any time and grab some.


  • Randy is doing a great job of keeping our website,, up to date these next few weeks.  Click the microphone on the homepage to listen to Scripture and sermons which will continue to be updated each Wednesday and Sunday.  Also click on the Youtube icon on the homepage to see live-streamed services from Trinity, Algona Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. and Sundays at 9:00 a.m. as well as previously recorded sermons.


  • You can also click on the Youtube icon on the homepage to access daily video devotions from the partnership pastors. 


  • Follow @stjohnsburt on Facebook to receive daily online resources spanning many areas of your Christian faith. 


Offerings and Alms during our time away - If it is within your financial means during this quarantine, consider continuing your regular pattern of giving your offering to the church - either by saving your offerings for when you return or by dropping it off at church.  Also consider planning for giving special offerings in the future for others in need as a result of this health emergency.  If this emergency has put your family in financial need, you should feel no shame in reducing your offering to the church during this time.  If your need becomes great, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Cowell to see if our congregation can help in any way. 


Easter Lilies - If you would like to purchase an Easter Lily for the church to use on Easter Sunday, there is a sign-up sheet on the table at the back of the church. You may take your lily home after Easter services if you choose to. Please, pay Cheryl Batt $16 per lily. 

The Giving Pew - This is a reminder that the season of Lent would be a great time to take a quilt or stuffed bear from the TLC Quilter’s giving pew by the east doors at St. John’s and deliver them to a friend in need of comfort or support. 


Birthday greetings for Ruth Nerem - Ruth Nerem turns 98 on April 1st!  You can send her a birthday card at: 

Ruth Nerem

Accura Healthcare

546 Ramsey St. E

Bancroft, IA 50517




Trinity, Algona Schedule - All congregational activities at Trinity, Algona have been suspended effective immediately until further notice.  You can receive updates and resources from Trinity at:  


The TLC Quilters will again have a silent auction during Lent to benefit Camp Okoboji.  Bidding on the quilts will continue at a later date yet to be announced.     


Thrivent Choice Dollars for 2019 will be expiring on March 31! If you are a Thrivent member, you may be eligible to direct Thrivent Choice Dollars to St. John’s. Go to or call 800-847-4836 before March 31 and say “Thrivent Choice.”  Reminder: $250 Community Impact Gift Cards are also available (2 per member per year). 


Building Healthy Families: “We didn’t realize we were making memories; we just knew we were having fun.”-- Winnie the Pooh  It’s true! Simple activities create lasting memories for families. Consider a family devotion, a game night, or going for a walk together. Take a clue from the Pooh and carve out time for some fun with your family this week! 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. 



LECTIONARY SUMMARY (Fifth Sunday in Lent)


Ezekiel 37:1–14; Romans 8:1–11; John 11:1–45 


Jesus Christ is the Resurrection & the Life

The illness and death of Lazarus happened “that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). Jesus’ miracle of raising Lazarus prompted His arrest and crucifixion, whereby He would die “for the nation” and gather “into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:51–52). As He called Lazarus from the tomb and commanded others to “unbind him, and let him go” (John 11:44), Jesus also calls us and releases us from the bondage of sin and death. We would not “submit to God’s law,” nor could we “please God” (Rom. 8:7–8), but “He condemned sin” in His own flesh, so “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” (Rom. 8:3–4). Now, through the Gospel, “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells” in us (Rom. 8:11). His Word breathes His Spirit into our mortal flesh, animating us with His own life.  As His ministers preach according to His divine command, the Lord Jesus calls us from the grave into the good land that He gives us (Ezek. 37:12, 14).




Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article I: Original Sin, paragraphs 2, 4-6

We believe, teach, and confess that there is a distinction between man's nature and original sin. This applied not only when he was originally created by God pure and holy and without sin, but it also applies to [our] nature now after the fall. In other words, we distinguish between the nature itself and original sin. This distinction is as great as the distinction between God's work and the devil's work.


God created the body and soul of Adam and Eve before the fall. But He also created our bodies and souls after the fall. Even though they are corrupt, God still acknowledges them as His work, as it is written in Job 10:8, "Your hands fashioned and made me."


Furthermore, God's Son has received this human nature, but without sin. Therefore, He did not receive a foreign nature, but our own flesh in the unity of His person. In this way He has become our true Brother. Hebrews 2:14,17; 4:15 says, "Since the children share in flesh and blood,… He had to be made like His brothers in every respect,… yet without sin". In the same way, Christ redeemed human nature as His work, sanctifies it, raises it from the dead, and gloriously adorns it as His work. But original sin He has not created, redeemed, or sanctified. He will not raise it, or save it in the elect. In the (blessed) resurrection original sin will be entirely destroyed [1 Cor. 15:51-57].