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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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 May 23:
Pledged to Date: $1,726,569.16  /  % of Goal 96.08%  /  Pledges Received: 254  /  Households Pledging: 72.36%

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Children's Ministry

VBS Day Camp at St. John’s will be held July 16-19! Registration is now available. Please note there are two forms for registration. Please fill out both forms completely. Forms due to Alicia Karwal by June 1. And, if you are interested in volunteering your time or hosting a camp counselor (or know someone who would), please contact Alicia!

Pride Parade is Sunday, June 10! 

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In keeping with our commitment to be a safe, welcoming community for all of God’s children to worship, learn and serve, we will once again be part of the Des Moines Pride Parade. Parade begins at noon. Please meet at the parking lot east of the Capitol between 11:30 – noon. Look for the St. John’s banner and rainbow sashes!

    Small Groups

    • Mah Jongg: Due to Memorial Day, there will be no Mah Jongg on Monday, May 28th. We will resume Monday, June 3rd.
    • Quilting: Tuesday, May 29, 9:30 a.m., in Room 308.\
    • WIRED Book Discussion: We are reading We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. Mary Giese will host the group on Tuesday, May 29. Mary lives in Marshalltown and has offered to do a sightseeing tour of special places in the area. For those who are available for the tour, meet in the church parking lot at 1:30 to car pool. Those needing to go later meet in the church lot at 5 p.m. to car pool to Marshalltown. Please bring $5 to cover expenses of the caterer that Mary is arranging for the group. RSVP to Mary at or Deb Donald at if you have questions.
    • WIRED Yoga: Concludes May 31 at 5:45 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge. Cost: $10 per class. 
    • WIRED Cooking: Wine tasting meets on Friday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. at Karen Zaabel’s. RSVP (required) to Carol Lunde at She will provide additional details of what to bring when you respond.

    Save the Date of June 10 - All Congregational Event

    “Picnic at the Beach” – an all-congregational, all-generational event will be held Sunday, June 10, at 1 p.m. at Big Creek State Park just north of the city. Put the date on your calendar and plan to attend. Christian Involvement Team will provide BBQ pork, beverages, and table service.  Everyone else should bring a side dish to share. There will be lawn games, sand sculpture construction, and an opportunity to rent kayaks, canoes, pontoons, paddle boats, etc. You may go to their website to reserve a rental item. You won’t want to miss this!


    May Artist of the Month: ASAP Celebrates 10 Years

    Begun in the fall of 2007 as an outreach ministry here at St. John’s, ASAP offers quality after-school enrichment programming in visual, musical/performing, literary, dramatic, culinary and other applied arts for select 1st through 8th graders attending Des Moines Public Schools. ASAP works to ensure that its students’ arts education is both deeply and broadly enriched through their participation in the program. Art studios and learning opportunities are now held in schools, public parks, libraries, and community centers. ASAP provides quality instruction in a broad range of arts, all supplies, exhibition/performance experience, and one-on-one attention from caring adults.

    The Artist of the Month schedule for 2018-19 is in the process of being developed. If you, or an artist you would like to recommend, might be interested in exhibiting in the Weertz Fellowship Hall gallery, please contact Beth Ann Edwards (

    ASAP Summer Arts Camp

    ASAP Summer Arts Camp relies on dozens of volunteers who enjoy (or at least can tolerate) good messy fun outdoors. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday, June 18-22, 2018, at Evelyn K. Davis Park on Forest Avenue at 15th Street in Des Moines. The Park features ample on-site parking in a shared lot with the Forest Avenue Library, and while all camp activities take place outdoors, plenty of shade is available under Park shelters and trees. In case of severe weather (lightning or dangerous wind), camp will be canceled, but a little rain doesn’t deter ASAP artists…

    As a camp volunteer, you can work just one day, or any number up to all five. No prior experience is necessary — just a willingness to help children explore the arts. The camp’s theme this year is Take Flight, with six different studios exploring activities ranging from painting to drumming to dance. Specific volunteer roles and requirements:

    Studio Assistants (ages 14–104):  Support your assigned studio by following the Teaching Artist’s instructions, assisting young campers (often by working alongside them), helping maintain control of supplies, and keeping the studio environment as clean and productive as possible. Studio assistants arrive on site 12:30–45 and are finished 3:00–15 each day. A brief orientation/training is provided when you sign up. Contact Jacqueline Poole at to get started!

    Registration Helpers: Greet campers, sign them up on provided studio clipboards, and create a nametag for each person. Kids start lining up around 12:30, so Registration helpers should be on site by about 12:25, and may leave as early as 1:15. Contact Jacqueline Poole at to get started!

    Load-In / Load-Out Helpers: ASAP staff transport tubs full of all the supplies and equipment needed for the entire week of camp. Volunteer help is always appreciated to  pack, lift, tote, hold doors, load vehicles, use rolling carts to transport tubs from vehicles to Park shelters, etc. Help is especially appreciated for Load-out, which takes place 3:00–5:00 on Friday, June 22. All supplies need to be transported back to St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown and opened to air. Contact Jacqueline Poole at if you are able to help with this physical task or if you have a truck suitable for this work.

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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 (

    Bake Sale and Cookbook Swap on Sunday, June 24, before and after Worship

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    The St. John’s youth musicians have a received a grant from Thrivent, and as part of the grant requirements, we are asked to hold a fund-raiser. Baked goods will be available for purchase before and after worship on Sunday, June 24, in the Fireside Lounge. In addition, we will auction off a few pies and cakes. Youth musicians and families will provide the baked goods, and we are asking congregation members to provide baked items, as well. 

    An added feature to our fund-raiser is a cookbook swap. Bring your no-longer-used cookbooks and food magazines to St. John’s by June 24. They will be available for purchase at the Bake Sale. For more information, please contact Beth Ann Edwards ( A portion of the funds collected will be donated to ministries at Webster Gardens Lutheran Church, the host church in St. Louis for the St. John’s Youth Handbell Ringers.

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