St. John Lutheran Church December 2016


Church Office: 563-242-5588

Pastor Dan Pool: 321-6757, home


Web Site:


Advent and Christmas Services

December 4 – Second Sunday in Advent, Holy Communion

December 7 @ 1:30 & 7:00 p.m. – Advent Service

refreshments after the service

December 11 – Third Sunday in Advent

December 14 @ 1:30 & 7:00 p.m. – Advent Service

refreshments after the service

December 18 – Fourth Sunday in Advent, Holy Communion

December 21 @ 1:30 & 7:00 p.m. – Advent Service

refreshments after the service

December 24 @ 6:30 p.m. – Christmas Eve Children’s Service

December 24@ 11:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve Candlelight Serv.

December 25@ 9:00 a.m. – Christmas Day Divine Service,

Holy Communion

Pastor Pool’s Sunday Bible Study

James: Mandate & Mission

Sundays at 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall

In the tradition of Proverbs, James, the brother of our Lord, writes this early epistle to explain the life of faith that follows the saving work of Christ. This study will be very practical. There is no cost. Bring your Bible or grab one off the shelf. No previous Bible class experience is necessary. We should all be in a regular Bible study. This is a great time to jump in with us!

December 4: James 4:1-12: Against Worldliness

December 11: James 4:13-17; 5:1-6: Against Pride

December 18: James 5:7-20: Patience, Prayer, Praise

December 25: No Bible Classes

New Altar Flower Chart

The 2017 Altar Flower Chart is on the bulletin board in the church entryway. You may reserve a Sunday to place flowers on the altar by signing the chart. This may be done in memory of someone; in celebration of a birthday, wedding or anniversary; or as a gift of love. If you would like information on cost and how to go about ordering flowers for church, please call Angie at the church office.

John 1 and Luke 1

In the Divine Service on Christmas Day, we read the Nativity account from John 1. This text might seem out of place. It doesn’t really record our Lord’s birth. Instead John begins his gospel with Jesus as the Word, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Luke 2, our reading on Christmas Eve, famously begins, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” The reading from Luke gives us the details of the story of our Lord’s virgin birth.

But here is my point, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day belong together. Luke 2 and John 1 need each other. We don’t want to miss the meaning of these holy days. Christmas Eve gives us the facts. It nails the virgin birth of Christ down into human history. But Christmas Day announces the meaning. Christmas is about the incarnation. God has taken up our human nature. He is Immanuel, God with us. And He plans to bring us grace upon grace.

John expects you to know the Bethlehem story. He expects your Christmas Eve attendance. But he goes into what the story means. His theology is deep and rich. His treasures are new and profound. And as usual, we will sing about them, “Joy to the world. The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King.”

If you are looking for a unique gift to give your loved ones this year, give them the Christ Mass. Give them the incarnation. Give them grace upon grace. Not just Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day as well. This is why Jesus was born. This is why He came into the world.

“He rules the world with truth and grace.”


From Kurt’s Desk

A blessed Advent and a Merry CHRISTmas to you. In these days leading up to Christmas Day, and the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, I ask you to stop and ponder on what Christmas truly is. It is our God, loving us so much, that though we are fallen in sin, he sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem us under the Law. It was a promise that he gave as soon as Adam and Eve sinned. It was a promise he kept on giving, and then gave in the Babe of Bethlehem. With the Incarnation, we have been shown God coming to us. We see further, in Good Friday and Easter, the sacrifice made, the blood poured out and the life taken back up, so that we are redeemed and forgiven. We are God’s children, and heirs of eternal life and His kingdom. Because of this, I challenge you. Spend time hearing His Word, that became flesh and dwelt among us. Sing his praises, both in advent hymns and Christmas carols. Join fellow members of St. John on Wednesday afternoons and evenings in Advent Services, Sunday mornings in the Divine Service and Bible Study, and on Christmas Eve for the Sunday School Program and Candlelight Service. But most joyously, join us in the highlight of it all, the CHRISTmas, the Divine Service on Christmas Day, where we see the full plan of salvation come into being and given and shed for us in His Body and Blood in Sacrament. Come and join us in worshipping the new-born King!

Kurt Flathers

Director of the Board of Elders

Advent Serving Schedule

Each year the congregation is divided into groups according to the church directory for Lent and Advent Services with one group serving after each service. Each family serving is asked to bring a plate or two of sandwiches, two dozen cookies, or a pan of bars. Otherwise a donation to purchase punch and coffee may be left in the marked container in the church kitchen. If you are not on the list to serve this Advent season look for your name on the Lent serving schedule in the spring.

The serving schedule is divided by those in the church directory as follows:

November 30 Services – Harlan Dell to Sue Ingwersen

December 7 Services – Darrell Jackson to Jody Lueders

December 14 Services – David Martinez to Dave Reynolds

December 21 Services – Patty Richter to Wes Stuedemann

Christmas Poinsettias

You may sign up and pay for a poinsettia plant after service on November 27 or December 4 in the fellowship hall. The poinsettia plants will be used in the church as part of the Ladies Aid Christmas decorations. The cost is $12.00, and checks may be made out to St. JohnLutheranChurch.

Preschool News

It's Advent! Our preschool class will be preparing our hearts and minds by learning all about the Christmas Story this month. We will explore the wonder of Jesus' birth through story, drama, art, and song. We will conclude the month with our Christmas Program where we will share the story of Jesus’ birth with the families of our students and a Happy Birthday Jesus party. Please venture down tothe Education Hall to see some of the things we have been learning about!

Ladies Evening Bible Study

Ladies Evening Bible Study will meet for the last time this year on December 6 at 6:00 p.m. for dinner at Rastrelli’s.Please RSVP to Sallie Pool if you plan to attend. This Bible Study will resume again in the spring.

Thursday Evening Bible Study

There will be no Thursday Evening Bible Study during the month of December.

Ladies Bible Study

Ladies Bible Study will meet on Tuesday, December 13 at 9:30 a.m., but will not meet on December 27.

Fellowship Club Potluck

The St. John Fellowship Club will meet on Tuesday, December 6at 6:00 p.m. for a potluck supper at the church. Please bring food to share and a gift or two for the U of I Hospital patients. The beverages and table service will be furnished. Everyone is invited to attend.

Ladies Aid Christmas Luncheon

The Ladies Aid Christmas Luncheon will be in the fellowship hall on Friday, Dec.2 at 12:00 Noon. There will be a hot catered meal at a cost of $10.00 each. Call Claudia, 259-0901, to sign up, if you haven’t already done so. You may bring a guest but please include the number attending in your reservation. We will have a short business meeting and will play “dirty bingo” so remember a white elephant gift.

Please bring two dozen cookies, without nuts, to share with shut-ins.

Mary Martha Christmas Potluck

The Mary Martha Christmas Potluck will be December 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the church fellowship hall for members and guests. The meat and beverages will be furnished. Members are asked to bring a dish to share and a table decoration.A mission donation will be received, and canned goods and paper products may be brought for the Victory Center. A musical program will be presented by the Community Kids Choir.

Christmas Caroling and Party

On Friday, December 16, all who enjoy singing are invited to go Christmas Caroling at the nursing homes with the members of the Adult Choir. We will meet at the church at 5:00 p.m. The group will bring appetizers and desserts for a party after Caroling.

Fellowship Club Project

A boxis in education building until Dec.9 for gifts for the U of I Hospital patients. Packages should be gift wrapped with a note attached as to what age or gender person the gift is suitable. The gifts will be taken to our Lutheran chaplains in Iowa City for distribution. This project is sponsored by the St. John Fellowship Club. Everyone in the congregation is invited to participate.


RiverChor will have a sing-along performance of the Messiah at St. John on Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Check It Out

In Our Church Library


By Robert H. Bennett

“Afraid”, is a fascinating book about demon possession and spiritual warfare in America. Drawing on Luther, Lutheran hymns, and Lutheran pastoral experiences, Bennett addresses the reality of dark spiritual forces. Most important, however, is that he reminds us that we should “tremble not” for the devil. Christ is victor: we need not be afraid.

The Photograph

By Beverly Lewis


He studied the picture more closely, finding it curious that the young woman looked so boldly into the camera while wearing a white prayer kapp, the head covering for the Lancaster County Old Order Amish.

Finding Me

By Kathryn Cushman


What would you do if you learned your life was a lie? How far would you go to discover the truth?


This year we are asking for our Jr. High and High School students to help set up the Christmas tree. Join us Saturday, December 17 at 9:00 a.m. Hot chocolate to follow!

Covenant Box

Extra faith promise cards are available on the guest book stand. These may be placed in the Covenant Box in the church entryway.

Offering Envelopes

Offering envelopes will be on the table in the fellowship hall beginning December 11. A sign-up sheet will be available for anyone who did not receive envelopes and would like them.

Current Fund

Please consider an extra gift to our Current Fund in this Advent Season. Our Building Fund is doing quite well, but the Current Fund could use your help to end our year in good condition. Thank you for your faithfulness.

- The Board of Stewardship

Christmas Eve Children’s Service

All Sunday School students from preschool through the Youth Bible Class who will be participating in the St. John Christmas Eve service are asked to attend rehearsal sessions.

The rehearsals will be held during the Sunday School hour from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. on Dec. 4, 11, and 18.

Sunday School in December

For those students not participating in the Christmas Eve Children’s Service we will be holding a combined Sunday School class in room 4 that will be led by Janice Wheelock.


Did you know the Church has a Facebook page? You can like us on Facebook at St. John Lutheran Church, Clinton.

Do you shop at

Shopping at Amazon for Christmas? AmazonSmile will make a donation to St. John each time you make a purchase. Go to to register your account. After registering your Amazon account, start each purchase at

December Birthdays & Anniversaries

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

Happy Birthday to:

JeanettaSchepler, who will be 92on Dec. 3.

Lucille Bethel, who will be 93 on Dec.5.

James Kophamer, who will be 88 on Dec.31.

Happy Anniversary to:

Scott & Lindsay Davis, 5thwedding anniversary on December 31.

We list birthdays 80 and above and anniversaries for year one and every five years thereafter unless we receive a request not to do so.

Private Communion Calls

Pastor Pool makes his visits to those in nursing homes throughout the month. Those at home who would like to receive a communion visit are asked to call Pastor at the church office, 242-5588, to schedule a convenient time.



Elders:Jim Schnitzmeyer

Kurt Flathers

Ushers: Jay Mueller

Brian Wall

Calvin Lange

Wesley Melchin

Nursery Attendants (Late)

4– Sandy Bovis

Moriah Stewart

11 – Natalie & Molly Jackson

18 – Jaime Echebarria

Jennifer Kammerer

25 – No Nursery – Christmas


4– Paul Wenzel

11 – Darlene Paysen

18 – Paul Wenzel

25 – Darlene Paysen


Elders:David Becker

Jim Kophamer

Ushers: Wayne Becker

Keith Doucette

Rod Simpson

Acolyte Schedule

4-Early – Elder

4-Late –Christine Frett

7-Advent – William Schemers

11-Early – Elder

11-Late – Elder

14-Advent – Kaleb Bovis

18-Early – Elder

18-Late – Nicholas Frett

21-Advent – Maya Martha

25-Christmas Day – Elder