St. John's Lutheran Church

In the City for Good!

St. John's Lutheran Church participates in God's mission to bless, save, restore and reconcile the world through meaningful worship and faithful witness in the city of Des Moines and around the world.

St. John's Lutheran Church invites and welcomes all people to experience the Good News of God's grace, forgiveness and unfailing love. The Good News calls and empowers us to share God's love in word and deed throughout our city, nation and world.

What's Happening at St. John's

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You can now make a contribution with a text message! 

Simply send a text message to 515-305-3227 with the amount you would like to contribute in the body of the text message (example: 25). Within a few minutes, you’ll be sent a text with a link to register. Click on the link and enter your cardholder name and credit or debit card information (do not include the slash “/” when putting in the expiration date). Once your registration is complete, you will receive a text verification and a receipt of your donation via email. 

For future giving from the same phone, send a text with the amount you wish to give, and it will process automatically! You can even text “repeat” to make it a recurring donation. 

For now all contributions through text are automatically directed to the General Operating Fund. Throughout the year we will introduce keywords that will allow you to focus your contribuation to a particular ministry or need.

Giving by Text is supported by Vanco Payment Solutions, the company that processes contributations given through St. John’s website. It is secure, quick and convenient. All contributions given through text will appear on your St. John’s financial statement. 

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Capital Campaign Update

Thank you for returning your Bless This House capital campaign Commitment Cards! If you have not returned your pledge, please return it to the office as soon as possible!

Campaign update as of March 14:
Pledged to Date: $1,726,569.16  /  % of Goal 95.92%  /  Pledges Received: 252  /  Households Pledging: 71.79%

Children’s Ministry

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March 18 Sunday School classes DO NOT meet. We’ll meet on Mar. 25. Additionally, on Easter Sunday, April 1, Sunday School classes will not be held. Classes resume April 8 and will be held each Sunday through May 13.

Let’s stock the pantry!  Please remember that you are invited to contribute to our Sunday School service project by adding something non-perishable to The Little Pantry located in Fireside. Thank you for your support!

Small Groups

  • Mah Jongg: Mar. 19, at 6 p.m. in Neumann at church. Questions? Contact Darla at 
  • Quilting: Tuesday, Mar. 20, 9:30 a.m. in Room 308.
  • Lunch Bunch II: Join us Mar. 21, at 12:30 p.m. Contact Barbara John at 515-279-5089 if you are interested in joining.
  • Scrapbooking: Saturday, Mar.  24, 9:30–noon in Room 8. Bring scrapbooking or other materials and enjoy the camaraderie. 
  • St. John’s Social Club: Saturday, Mar. 24, join us at 2:30 p.m. for a private tour of the Des Moines Art Center. The group will then go out for dinner, place TBA. RSVP to Judy Latessa at The Club’s April planned activity is a to attend the Mainframe Studios Open House on April 6 at 5 p.m. Dinner will follow at The Walnut. Please contact Deb Donald at or 515-707-3712 for a reservation or details.
  • WIRED Yoga: Classes on Tuesdays continue through May 31, 5:45 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge (except Maundy Thursday, Mar. 29). Cost is $10/class or $100 for 11 classes. If interested or questions, contact Corinne Lambert at (515)556-3679, or by e-mail:
  • WIRED Book Discussion: Join us Tuesday, Mar. 20, at 6 p.m. at the home of Darla Stiles. The book to read and discuss is What is the What by Dave Eggers. Please bring an hors d’oeuvre if you have time. RSVP to Darla at if you plan to attend.

We are Starting a New Small Group

“Celebrating Katy” - a monthly visit to a local microbrewery to celebrate the hospitality of Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther and a home brewer. These are the dates to put in your calendar:

  • April 19, Thursday, 7 p.m. - Exile Brewing Company, Des Moines
  • May 10, Thursday, 7 p.m. - Firetrucker Brewery, Ankeny
  • June 6, Wednesday, 7 p.m. - Confluence Brewing Company, Des Moines
  • July 11, Wednesday, 7 p.m. - Peace Tree, Des Moines
  • August 9, Thursday, 7 p.m. - Iowa State Fair, Iowa Craft Beer Tent, Des Moines

With questions contact Rod Snavely at (515) 494-3178.

Sunday Morning Adult Education Forum

  • Mar. 18: The second class of this three part series will focus on Waldensians and other sects labeled heretical by the medieval Catholic Church.
  • Mar. 25: Dr. Callan will concludes her three part series presentation by addressing Religious Diversity in Iowa Today

Sacred Harp All Day Singing Saturday, March 24

Sacred Harp, Iowa’s 17th annual all-day singing, will take place in St. John’s Chapel on Saturday, Mar. 24. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Singing begins about10 a.m. with a noon break for a potluck lunch. Afternoon singing begins at 1 p.m. and will finish up around 3:15 or 3:30. Participants and observers are encouraged to stay for the day, but are welcome to come and go as schedules permit. For more information, please contact Beth Ann Edwards (

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Stations of the Cross Invitational Exhibit (February 14 through April 1)

Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 14, an invitational exhibit entitled “Stations of the Cross,” will be displayed in Weertz Hall. Each station has been created by artists from the St. John’s community. These works of art will be photographed and projected in the Sanctuary on the afternoon of Sunday, March 18, and at 4 p.m. organists from the Central Iowa Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will perform the 14-movement, “Stations of the Cross,” by Marcel Dupre. An artists’ reception will take place at 3 p.m. that day prior to the organ recital. Participating artists include: Julie Lowe, Becky and John Eckstrand, Beth Hirst, Joan Broek, St. John’s youth, Kisasa artists, Beth Ann Edwards, Erin Hill, Tommy Madden and Kat Lunde.

Youth News

Please note no 6th grade class Sunday, Mar. 18.  Class resumes Sunday Mar. 25. Confirmation class resumes Wednesday, Mar. 21 at 6:15. Confirmation Capstone project proposals for third year students are due the week of Mar. 18. Please get your proposal to Maggie on Sunday, Mar. 18 or Wednesday, Mar. 21.

BIG NEWS!! St John’s Lutheran Church plant sale is back! A variety of wonderful items are available at great prices. Please return the form with your check made out to St. John’s Lutheran Church,marked “plant sale”, by Wednesday, March 28th. Plant pick up date is Wednesday, May 2nd. Order forms are available in Fireside and Weertz. All proceeds from the plant sale will go toward the Youth Handbells service trip to St. Louis in July.

Attention all Quilters!

If you are ready to start sewing 2018 Lutheran World Relief Quilts, we have quilt block packets ready for you!  Please sign out packets and return the quilt tops to the table in the Fireside Lounge when completed. Watch your email, bulletin and Eagle Call for upcoming Quilting Bee dates. We have plenty of donated fabric that needs to be cut, sorted and packaged for sewing. To help, please contact Melody Pontious 556-7148 or Nancy Budrevich 255-4030. Thank you again to all who helped reach our 2017 goal. Looking forward to quilting with you again!

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The Journey Through Grief

Navigating life after loss can be difficult. Over six sessions, join us to learn about how you grieve, discover coping tools for dealing with loss and change, and develop a new support network. We will meet the third Thursday of the month (March 15 – August 16) at 6 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church. A light supper will be provided at each session. For pre-registration and questions, contact Anne Alesch at / (515) 557-3169 (

Organ Recital, Lecture, and Artists’ Reception on Sunday, March 18

3:00 p.m. - Artists’ Reception in Weertz Hall: Meet the artists and learn about the importance of a visual connection with spiritual devotion.

3:15 p.m. - Pre-Concert Lecture in the Chapel: Dr. Michael Elsbernd will share insight on the connection between devotional writings, music, and visual art as they connect with the Stations of the Cross.

4:00 p.m. - Concert in the Sanctuary: Members of the Central Iowa Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, including our own Michael Elsbernd, will perform Marcel Marcel Dupré’s Stations of the Cross. Projections of the St. John’s art exhibit, Paul Claudell’s poetry, and spoken reflections will reinforce Marcel Dupré’s virtuousic, impressionistic interpretation of Jesus’s journey to the cross.

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Easter Breakfast at St. John’s!

This year’s proceeds will benefit the Most Vulnerable Children’s Club in our Companion Parish, Mramba Lutheran Parish in Tanzania. In addition to cinnamon rolls and fruit, there will be hard-boiled eggs (a breakfast staple in host homes in Mramba), and porridge such as the children in the Club receive every Saturday morning. Breakfast will be served in Weertz Hall from 8:30 - 10 a.m. on Easter morning, April 1. Suggested donation is $5.


 600 6th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa  50309 - 515.243.7691 - a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America