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 November 14:
Pledged to Date: $1,734,983.01  /  % of Goal 96.39%  /  Pledges Received: 268  /  Households Pledging: 76.35%

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Children's Ministry

Preschool age children meet in Room 6 and Kindergarten in Room 7. Grades 1 - 6 meet in Room 307 through Dec. 9 for rehearsal for the Children’s Advent Program during the Sunday School hour. Parents, please remember to sign your child in and out of their classroom. Thank you!

Preschool and Kindergarten classes will begin rehearsing during their regular music time with Miss Amy.

The Children’s Advent Program is Sunday, Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary. Warm-ups that morning will begin in the chapel at 8:15 a.m. We will have a rehearsal for Grades 1-6 on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9-10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.

Sunday School Giving Tree: This year, we are adding some new components to our existing Sunday School curriculum. Sunday School teachers will have access to “Making Connections” activities and games right at their fingertips! To do this, we are seeking some additional materials. These materials can be newly purchased or gently used! If you are interested in donating one or more items for our Sunday School classrooms (3 years-5th grade), please use the following link to sign up through our Giving Tree! The link will continually be updated as we need new supplies. Thank you in advance! If you have any questions, please contact Alicia at

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Sunday Morning Education Forum

Nov. 18: Join us as Amanda Adam, with Lutheran Lakeside Bible Camp, provides an update and overview of their ministry. St. John’s has been a member congregation for many years and we look forward to continued collaboration.

Nov. 25: United Way 2-1-1 Program with Melissa McCoy, Program Director. Melissa, a member of St. John’s, will provide an in-depth look at the resources and advocacy offered by the 2-1-1 Program. Job training, affordable housing, crisis intervention and rent assistance are several areas in which they provide information or direct assistance for people in need.

Small Groups

Photography: Sunday, Nov. 18, following the 10 a.m. service. The theme is “Into the Woods.” Please bring several photos. Contact Rod Snavely at and/or 515.494.3178. It’s okay to text.

Mah Jongg: Nov. 19, 6 p.m. We will meet through the fall and winter in Neumann.

Quilting: Nov. 20, 9:30 a.m. in Room 308.

Lunch Bunch II: Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 12:30 p.m. If interested in joining, contact Ann Moeller at or 515-274-7339.

Recreational Book Club: Nov. 28, 4:30 p.m. in Rose Holm. We’ll discuss Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi, and on Dec. 27 we’ll discuss Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. We usually meet the fourth Wednesday of the month. December is different due to the office being closed December 26.

Scrapbooking/Card Making: Saturday, Dec. 1, 10-2, Room 8. All are welcome to join. Please bring your project, supplies, and ideas you want to share with the group. Contact Delaine Marker with any questions at or 515-238-0094.

EAGLES: Save the date, Friday, Dec. 7. We will visit Mainframe (Artists at Work) in Des Moines. For additional information please contact Margaret Townsend at

WIRED Yoga: Next session to be determined. For questions, contact Corrine Lambert at

WIRED Book Club: Monday, Decc. 3, 6 p.m. We’re reading Educated by Tara Westover at the home of Karen Zaabel, 1102 S. 50th Pl., WDM.

Vespers on the Eve of Thanksgiving
Wednesday, November 21st, 7 PM: Prayer & Pie!


As the daylight begins to fade and the lamplights cast their glow on the sidewalks and streets, the St. John’s community will gather together for Vespers – a service of evening prayer – on the eve of the National Holiday, Thanksgiving. Vespers comes from the Latin word for “evening.” Lucernarium, or lamp-lighting time came from the Jewish custom of prayer when daylight transitioned to evening, a practice continued by early Christians. This third annual service of light, prayer, scripture, and song, will be led by the St. John’s Cathedral Choir. This is a non-communion service followed by a pie reception held in the Fireside area and Neumann. Donations of pie and toppings are welcomed!

Midweek Music Series

Please join us each Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. for a 30-minute concert by world-class vocal and instrumental musicians. A light lunch, priced at $6 each, is available in Weertz Hall, following the concert. The full season’s schedule may be found on the Arts page on the St. John’s website.

November 21: Bruch Trio (Susan Odem, oboe and English Horn; Dan Stevenson, clarinet; Bruce Martin, piano.

November 28: Grand View University Choir.

Pop-Up Concert on December 2nd at 11:15 a.m. with String Scholars & Friends!

String Scholars Adrienne Stratton, Katie Schulz, Vaughn Hommerding, and David Ryu, will be teaming up with fellow string students from Drake University and local oboists Aimee Beilgard and Sue Odem in a presentation of G.F. Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op. 3, No. 2 in B-Flat. A popular type of instrumental piece of the baroque period in music (roughly 1685-1750), a concerto grosso is a composition for a group of solo instruments accompanied by an orchestra. The Concerto Grosso, Op. 3, No. 2, is a lively work which unfolds in contrasting shorter movements which make up the whole – all the while showing off the dazzling technique of the violin and cello soloists within the orchestra.

December Arts Events

These events take place in the St. John’s Sanctuary. They are free and open to all. For more information about these events, please contact Beth Ann Edwards (

  • Saturday, December 1, 7:30 pm - Julefest: a Grand View University Christmas Concert (please contact Grand View University for ticket information)

  • Friday, December 14, 7:00 pm - Des Moines Concert Handbells Concert

  • Saturday, December 15, 2:00 pm - TubaChristmas Concert featuring tuba and euphonium players from Central Iowa

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October Artist of the Month
St. John’s Photography Group

The St. John’s Photography Group presents for the November exhibit a collaborative collection of photos from members and friends. The theme chosen for this exhibit is “reflections.” The photography group welcomes all who like to talk about photos and enjoy capturing images. We meet at church once a month and sometimes at other locations. Feel free to bring prints or electronic versions, whatever meets your needs.

Collaborative Art Exhibit: The Church Year

This collaborative art exhibit will be hung in the Fireside Lounge starting in December. Each week of the church year will be represented by a narrow piece of wood, painted and decorated in the color of the liturgical season. The pieces of wood will be lined up and give a visual representation of the church year, starting with the first Sunday of Advent. Participants may take the wood home to paint and/or decorate with the appropriate liturgical color. Participantscan also paint at St. John’s, at one or more painting sessions in Room 208: Sunday, Oct. 14, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (with Kisasa) • Sunday, Oct. 28, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a federally-funded program operated in Iowa through the Department of Insurance. The program’s mission is to provide trained volunteer counselors to assist seniors, disabled persons on Medicare, and those about to turn 65 navigate through the complex world of Medicare. Counselors assist, on a no-fee basis, those about to enroll in Medicare, helping them select Medigap plans, choosing between regular Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as aiding them in selecting and enrolling in a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D). Four downtown Des Moines congregations are members of The Bridge, which is a sponsor organization for SHIIP. If you are a member of one of these congregations and would like assistance, you can call SHIIP directly at 800-351-4664. A volunteer counselor will then contact you to help make appropriate Medicare decisions.

Most Vulnerable Children’s Club

Annual Sponsorship Renewal for 2018–2019 begins November 10th & 11th. Again this year, support is $85 per year for each child and $30 for a primary or secondary school uniform. Total for support and a uniform is $115. With questions, please contact Carol Fisher at or 515-779-9216.

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