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.

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.

Dec. 17: Dec. 17: No Education Forum. Please attend the Sunday School Advent Program at 9 a.m. in the Sanctuary. No Education Forum on Christmas Eve nor New Year’s Eve. See you in 2018.

Children's Ministry

The Children’s Advent Program is this Sunday, Dec.  17, 9 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Warm-ups begin at 8:15 a.m. in the chapel for ALL AGES. A celebratory hot chocolate reception follows the 10 a.m. service in Fireside. All are invited!

Newly Planned for 2018! Our Whole Lives: Elementary Edition for Grades 1 & 2 will be offered beginning Sunday, Jan. 14, from 8:45-9:45. There will be an informational parent meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 8. Parents and children are encouraged to attend the first session on Jan. 14. The 8-week class will be held during the Sunday School hour. Please note: Individuals participating in this class will do so in place of Sunday School. Sunday School classes will still be offered for those who do not participate in the Our Whole Lives class. Please contact Alicia Karwal with questions.

Small Groups

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St. John’s Social Club: Meet at Ramsey Village at 3:45 p.m. for caroling Sunday, Dec. 17. We’ll proceed to Wesley Acres and end at Django for dinner. Please RSVP to Mary Miller at or call 515-971-3668.

Mah Jongg: Monday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. in Neumann. Questions? Contact Darla at

Quilting: Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 308.

Lunch Bunch II: Meets Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 12:30 p.m. If interested or with questions, contact Barbara John, 279-5089.

Lunch Bunch I: Meets Thursday, Dec. 21 at 11:30. If interested or with questions, contact Karen Schoenenberger, 276-8730.

Recreational Reading: Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 4:30 p.m. in Rose Holm. The book is Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. Contact Carol MacDonald with questions at

Photography: NOT meeting in December; join us Jan. 21. Bring ideas for themes for the year as well two favorite photos. 

St. John’s Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles Help Celebrate Epiphany


St. John’s vocal and handbell choirs and instrumental ensembles will provide music for the 5 p.m. Saturday evening worship on Jan. 6. The celebration of Epiphany provides the perfect occasion to highlight themes of light, worship, and celebration of Christ on earth. The service will begin with a lessons-and-carols format followed by traditional liturgy and Communion. A fund-raiser chili cook-off dinner, hosted by the St. John’s youth, will take place following the worship service.

Des Moines Concert Handbells to give Concert on Friday, Dec. 22, at St. John’s

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Des Moines Concert Handbells, a newly formed collaboration of 17 advanced handbell musicians (including ringers from St. John’s), will present its premiere concert at St. John’s on Friday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. The performance, led by Beth Ann Edwards, Julie Murphy, and Patrick Gagnon, will feature transcriptions of holiday favorites as well as original music composed for handbells. DMCH will be joined by guest percussionists and instrumentalists. The performance is open to the public and a free-will offering will be collected. A festive reception in the Fireside area will follow the concert.

Youth News

Saturday, Dec. 23: Christmas Preparation and Gift Exchange. Hang stars, have lunch, play games, white elephant gift exchange. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Epiphany Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale on Jan. 6. This year we have several ways to get involved! 

  • Partake in the festivities! Enjoy a variety of chili recipes and vote for your favorites. 
  • Bring a side dish to share that complements chili. I have heard several requests for corn bread & cinnamon rolls.
  • Cook up your favorite chili (or soup) to share. There will be a fun prize for the recipe with the most votes!
  • Bring a baked good to donate to the youth fundraiser bake sale! Pies are always a big hit!
  • Sign-up sheet is located in Fireside Lounge or email  

Midweek Music: Christmas at St. John’s at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20

This year’s “Christmas at St. John’s” program includes vocalists Susie Stageberg and Tyler Chen, along with oboist Sue Odem. The program is rounded out with keyboard delights from Mike Elsbernd and Pastor Rachel Mithelman. Music begins at 12:05, and the concert is free and open to the public. A light lunch, priced at $6 per person, is available following the program. No Midweek Music Series performance is scheduled for Wednesday, December 27. The Series returns on January 3 with Rob Lumbard.

Manual Can Openers Needed

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If you’ve advanced to the high-tech stage of can openers and still have the retired versions at home, we have a use for them. We are collecting them for the homeless. who often receive canned goods and need a way to open them.We will appreciate any working openers that you have and will get them to those in need. Thank you!

Mitten Tree

It’s definitely cold out and time for the Mitten Tree. Men’s, women’s and children’s mittens, gloves and winter hats are needed for shelters and schools. The winter attire is always appreciated by those who receive them. These items will be gathered through December and delivered in early January. Look for the Tree in the Fireside area.

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