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.

Nov. 19: Pastor Sarah Trone-Garriott is the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s new Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement. She is an ordained ELCA Pastor and will be working with the diverse faith community of Greater Des Moines. Join us for an interesting presentation.

Nov. 26: “Musical Story-Telling” with Chaplain Dale Dorrell - Iowa Lutheran Hospital. He presently works with the general medical population, as well as mental health units. Through song, he reflects on his own spiritual journey. His inspiration began when creating stories/songs for his children while missionaries in Uganda. 

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.

Grades 1 - 6: Rehearsals for the Children’s Advent Program are Nov. 19 through Dec. 10 in Room 307. Preschool and Kindergarten classes will rehearse during music time with Miss Amy. 

The Children’s Advent Program is Sunday, Dec. 17 at 9 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Warm-ups that morning will begin in the chapel at 8:15 a.m. We will also have a rehearsal for all 1st-6th graders on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 9 - 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary.  

Small Groups

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Mah Jongg: Will meet Monday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. in Neumann. Questions? Contact Darla at

Quilting: Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 308.

Photography: Meeting Sunday, Nov. 19, 11:15 a.m. in Neumann. We’re combining themes for October and November so bring photos of old barns as well as rocks or rock formations, or simply bring some of your favorite photos.

Next Adventure Group: Our next outing is Saturday, Nov. 25. We’ll hike around Greenwood Park followed by a tour of the Art Center exhibit: Drawing in Space. If you have family in town for Thanksgiving, invite them to join us. Meet at the Center’s east parking lot at 4700 Grand Ave. at 10 a.m. RSVP to

Recreational Reading: Will meet Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 4:30 p.m. in Rose Holm. The book is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

Scrapbooking: Meeting Dec. 2, 9:30 - noon, in Room 8. This will be a combined November/December gathering.

EAGLES: Will attend the lessons and carols of the Simpson Choir on Sunday, Dec. 10, for the 2 p.m. performance. For more information contact Karen VanHoever,
St. John’s Social Club: We’ll meet at Ramsey Village at 3:45 p.m. for caroling on 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.

WIRED Book Discussion: Will meet Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m. at the home of Jacque Warming. The book to read is The Whip by Karen Kondazian. Please bring an appetizer. RSVP to Jacque at

WIRED Night Out: We will meet Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in Neumann to view photos and hear the experiences of Lorraine Wilbur, Sarah Thorn and Lisa Ossian who recently returned from a trip to Germany for the 500th Reformation of Martin Luther. Come enjoy some German traditions of soup, cheeses, smoked meats and breads as we hear about their trip. RSVP to Darla at if you are able to join us.

Youth News

2018 Youth Auction - Friday, March 2nd, 6:30 to 9:00 PM - Windsor Heights Community Center
The St. John’s Youth Ministry Team is excited to announce plans for the 2017 Youth Auction and Dinner Gala. Please join us for a night of celebration, games, fundraising, good food, fellowship, and much more! 

Invite family, friends and neighbors. All are welcome to attend! Tickets will go on sale beginning in January, but save the date on your calendars now. Your generosity not only keeps our week-to-week ministry vibrant, it creates opportunities for our young people to participate in service learning trips that are truly life-changing. 

We also ask that you consider donating items or services to be auctioned during the evening. Large and small donations alike add interest and excitement to the evening. Donations may be brought to the church office anytime during normal business hours beginning in December. Please contact Maggie Evans – – 515-243-7691 with questions. Thank you for your support with this annual event!! 

Wilderness Canoe Base 
Dates have been set for the annual youth trip to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. This year we will leave Des Moines on the evening of Wednesday July 18th and return the evening of Wednesday July 25th. This trip is open to all students who are currently in grades 7 and up. The registration deadline for this event is January 8th. This trip is an incredible journey that provides an opportunity for us to learn about and reflect on God’s creation, strengthen our faith, and build teamwork and confidence. 

Dates to Remember

  • December 23rd: Christmas Preparation. We will be hanging stars, having lunch and playing games. 11:00AM - 3:00PM.
  • January 6th: Chili Cook-Off Dinner and Bake Sale. 6:15 to 9:00 PM
  • January 8th: Wilderness Canoe Base registrations due.
  • March 2nd: Annual Youth Auction - Windsor Heights Community Center. 6:30 to 9:00 PM

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.

Midweek Music Series Wednesday, November 22

The Bruch Trio was organized in 1999 to explore music for piano, clarinet and English horn. The trio performs adaptations of works by Bach, Grieg, Brahms, Bernstein, Ellington, and the German composer Max C. F. Bruch, whose Eight Trio Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano formed the genesis of the group’s repertoire. The trio includes Bruce Martin, piano; Dan Stevenson, clarinet; and Sue Odem, oboe and English horn. Music begins at 12:05 in the Sanctuary. A light lunch, priced at $6 per person, is available following the performance.

Fair Trade Market November 18-19

Do your Christmas shopping at the Fair Trade Market in the West Lounge after worship on Saturday, Nov. 18, or from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, the 19th. When you buy Fair Trade items not only are you purchasing a gift for family, friends or yourself, but you are also helping the low-income artisan who crafted the product. Doing so gives you the opportunity to change lives for the better, help someone physically or emotionally or help send children to school. The merchandise, from Worldly Goods in Ames, includes jewelry, scarves, hand bags, ornaments, baskets, wooden boxes and trays. Each handcrafted item is guaranteed authentic. A percentage of every purchase is returned to St. John’s for Global Mission projects.

Artist of the Month

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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

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