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.

Artist of the Month

Artist of the Month - Reformation Posters

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, an exhibit of reformation-related posters will be featured from mid-October through the month of November. The Here I Stand poster exhibit “...shows the most important events in the history of the Reformation and its effects up to the present. Using the biography of Martin Luther as a starting point, insight is given into the time prior to the Reformation. The exhibition then directs its focus to the dynamics of the Reformation, which unfolded after Luther’s posting of his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences and deals with central questions of the history of the Reformation: What was actually new about Luther’s theology? What happened in Wittenberg in 1517? How did the new teaching spread?” More information may be found at

Sunday Morning Education Forum

St. John’s Sunday Morning Education Forum meets each Sunday in the Neumann Conference room, which is located on the first floor across from the chapel, unless otherwise noted. Coffee and snacks are provided. All are welcome.

Oct. 15: Part two of Professor Mark Mattes on “Lutheran Worship.”

Oct. 22: Professor Mattes will begin a new two-part series on “How Lutherans Read & Understand the Bible.” Have you ever wondered why there is such a diversity and even conflict, between denominations and all people of faith in how we worship? A significant factor can be found in how we read and understand Holy Scriptures. 

Children's Ministry

Sunday School: All children are invited to attend Sunday School from 8:45-9:45. Preschool children meet in Room 6; Kindergarten - Room 7; Grades 1 through 5 - Room 205 to begin and then transition to their classrooms after our opening time together. Parents, please remember to sign your child in and out of their classroom. Thank you.

Volunteers needed: We need additional volunteers to help our children grow in their faith. If you are interested in learning more about opportunities to teach or help with Sunday School, please contact Alicia Karwal at (515) 243-7691 ext. 334 or Thank you!

First Holy Communion: A class will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in Room 8. If you are interested in having your child participate, please contact either Pastor Bob or Alicia Karwal.

Annual Trick-or-Treat Night at Beloved Community on October 25 starting at 7 p.m.: Volunteers are needed to help with handing out treats. If you would like to donate items bring them to the front desk. Ideas: peanut-free candy; small, inexpensive trinkets; stickers; etc. Thank you in advance for your contributions!

Small Groups

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Mah Jongg: Will meet Monday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. in Neumann. Questions? Contact Darla at

Quilting: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 9:30 a.m. in Room 308.

EAGLES: Will travel to Winterset Friday, Oct. 20, to tour Madhaus Gallery and see a demonstration at 10 a.m. If you wish to carpool, we will leave St. John’s at 9 a.m. Lunch will be at Northside Café about 11:30 a.m. A tour of John Wayne Museum will follow lunch for those who wish. Please RSVP to Barb John at or 279-5089.

Next Adventure Group: Saturday, Oct. 21 we will hike at the Annett Nature Center and Park. It features miles of trails, fishing, prairie plantings, and a butterfly garden, including a six-acre pond and a ten-acre wetland adjacent to Lake Ahquabi State Park. Plan to meet at the nature center parking lot at 10 a.m. and we’ll decide which trails to take. We’ll have lunch at the iconic Crouse Café in Indianola. RSVP to

St. John’s Social Club: Come celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the church door. We’ll meet at the home of Ed and Mary Slattery on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 5:30 p.m. Come as your favorite Reformation character. The party will feature German style food and drinks and games with Reformation trivia. Cost $7.50/person. Please RSVP to by Oct. 23. With questions, call Kris Gregersen at 515-988-6865.

WIRED Yoga: Join us Thursdays in the Fireside Lounge at 5:45 p.m. Cost is $10 per week. If interested, contact Corinne Lambert at or 515) 556-3679.

Youth News

Theses! Get your Theses!! St. John’s Youth Group is selling the 95 Theses for the fall envelope fundraiser. 

  • Step 1: Choose your favorite thesis (or theses) #’s 1-95. (Theses can be found in Fireside Lounge)
  • Step 2: Place the correlating $ amount in the attached envelope. (example: Thesis #50 = $50)
  • Step 3: Place the envelope in the collection plate or deliver it to Pastor Bob or Maggie Evans. 

Our fundraiser kicks off Oct. 7 and runs through Nov. 1. Thank you for all you do to support the Youth of St. John’s!!

Midweek Music Series Begins Wednesday, October 4

Pablo Valladares began piano lessons at the age of four with Russian teacher Aliona Ivanenko, and is currently pursuing a BM in Piano Performance with Dr. Nicholas Roth at Drake University. As a winner of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador Young Artist Competition in Quito, Valladares appeared as concerto soloist with that orchestra at the age of 16. He has participated in piano festivals throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. Music begins at 12:05 in the Sanctuary and is free and open to the public. A light lunch, priced at $6 per person, is available in Weertz Hall at 12:35, following the performance.

The Connection Café Cabaret: John Zickefoose in “THIS IS THE LIFE!”


Sunday, Nov. 5 @ 4 p.m.  ~  The Cathedral Church of St. Paul (High Street Entrance) ~ Musical Director: Bruce Martin

Please join St. John’s Bridge Board members for an evening to benefit the Connection Café. The cabaret will feature songs by Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, and Cole Porter. John has served as Executive Assistant to the Dean at the Cathedral Church of St Paul’s since 2009, and previously performed a one-man cabaret show for 20 years in New York City. Refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets are available from the Board Members of St. John’s and are $20.

Your participation in this cabaret event allows the work of the Connection Café to continue to serve healthy meals Monday through Friday in downtown Des Moines to all who enter our doors. The Connection Café is an ecumenical effort of four downtown churches: St. John’s Lutheran Church, St. Ambrose Catholic Church, First United Methodist and the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.

Singing Heritage, Sustaining Faith

Registration is now open for the Reformation 500 Festival October 27-29. Entitled: “Singing Heritage, Sustaining Faith, Reformation Roots, Fruitful Seeds,” the weekend includes educational events, worship, and a presentation of J.S. Bach’s “Cantata 80: A Mighty Fortress” with soloists, massed choir, and orchestra. Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Mark Bangert from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago will offer insights into the “Re-forming of worship,” “singing as a mark of the church” and “pole-vaulting the Word to the heart – God, Luther, and your voice.”

Registration is available online at

Contact Michael Elsbernd for more information (  

Hunger Hike

St. John’s will once again be participating in the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike! This year’s hike will take place on Sunday, October 8th. Walk at your own pace and enjoy the beauty of a fall afternoon taking in the sights of downtown Des Moines along the Principal Riverwalk.  The hike begins at 1:30 pm at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust St. (riverside entrance). Following the hike stick around for music, snacks and a tour of the Hall of Laureates. 

All collected money can be turned in to St. John’s, Pastor Bob or Maggie Evans on, before or after hike day. Please turn in all money collected by Tuesday, October 10th. Checks should be made out to St. John’s with Hunger Hike in the memo. See you there! 

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