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.

Prepare for Worship

Worship Schedule

March 4 – Third Sunday in Lent

Readings:  Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22.

The third covenant in the cycle of Lenten readings is the gift of the law to those God freed from slavery. The Ten Commandments are one of the central parts of Luther’s baptismal instruction, found in his catechism. Because God alone has freed us from the powers that oppressed us, we are to let nothing else claim first place in our lives. In the gospel reading from John 2:13-22, we hear the account of Jesus driving merchants out of the temple – rejecting the ways commerce and profit-making can become our gods.

Hymns:  “Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways” (772); “Canticle of the Turning” (723); “God of Grace and God of Glory” (705).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Ave Verum Corpus,” by Edward Elgar
  • Adult Handbell Choir: “Canticle of the Turning” arr. Karen Thompson

Wednesday, March 7 – Midweek Lenten Series, “Continuing in the covenant…”

Week 3:  “To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed.”

Reading:   Matthew 28:16-20.

Worship Times:

  • Noon:  Chapel (prayer, study and song).
  • 7:15 p.m.:   Sanctuary (Holden Evening Prayer).

March 11 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

Readings:  Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21.

The fourth of the Old Testament promises in the cycle of Lenten readings is the promise God makes to Moses: that those who look upon the bronze serpent will live. 1 John’s gospel, Jesus says he will be lifted up on the cross like the serpent, so that those who look to him in faith will live. Connected to the cross of Christ through baptism, we look to the cross in faith for healing, restoration and hope. 

Hymns:  “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” (335); “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” (759); “Lift High the Cross” (660).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “God So Loved the World,” by John Stainer.

Wednesday, March 14 – Midweek Lenten Series, “Continuing in the covenant…”

Week 4: "To serve all people, following the example of Jesus"

Reading:  John 13:1-5, 12-15, 34-35.

Worship Times:

  • Noon:  Chapel (prayer, study and song).
  • 7:15 p.m.:   Sanctuary (Holden Evening Prayer).

March 18 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

Readings:  Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33.

In the text from Jeremiah, God promised that a “new covenant” will be made – a covenant that will reveal the heart of God. We recognize the fulfillment of this promise in Christ, who draws all people to himself through his suffering and death upon the cross. Drawn to the heart of God through Christ by the covenant made in our own baptism, we share in the promise of resurrection. 

Hymns:  “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (803); “Restore in Us, O God” (328); “Will You Let Me Be Your Servant” (659).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Create In Me,” by Johannes Brahms; “Lamb of God Most Holy,” arranged by F.M. Christiansen.

Wednesday, March 21 – Midweek Lenten Series, “Continuing in the covenant…”

Week 5: “To strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”

Readings:  Micah 6:6-8; Luke 10:25-37.

Worship Times:

  • Noon:  Chapel (prayer, study and song).
  • 7:15 p.m.:   Sanctuary (Holden Evening Prayer).

March 25 – Sunday of the Passion – Palm Sunday

Readings:  Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47.

We begin our gathering by commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Our service begins with shouts of “Hosannas!” but quickly turns to the reading of the Passion account from Mark’s Gospel. Palm Sunday serves as a gateway to the events which follow: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Vigil of Easter, and the Day of Resurrection – Easter. 

Hymns:  “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (344); “At the Name of Jesus” (416); “There in God’s Garden” (342).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Festival Sanctus,” by John Leavitt.

March 29 – Maundy Thursday

Readings:  Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35.

As our Lenten season transitions into the Triduum, or “The Three Days,” we gather to hear Jesus’ “New Commandment,” which is to “love one another as I have loved you.” Taking on the duty of a servant, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples and urges us to do likewise. At the Lord’s Table, we witness Jesus’ sacrifice – the gift of his own life – for the life and redemption of the world.

Hymns:  “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us Here” (358); “Forgive Our Sins and We Forgive” (605); “Thee We Adore, O Savior” (476).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Sing and Ponder,” by Larry Flemming.

March 30 – Good Friday

Readings:  Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25; John 18:1-19:42.

Also named “The Triumph of the Cross,” Good Friday recalls the passion account of Jesus from John’s Gospel. While the tone of the day is indeed stark and somber, we acknowledge the great depths of God’s love for us through Christ’s death upon the cross. This self-giving love reveals the very heart and nature of our God as well as the great mystery of the cross as the “tree of life.”  
Hymns:  “Ah, Holy Jesus” (349); “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (351).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Thy Will Be Done,” by Craig Courtney; “Ave Verum Corpus,” by Edward Elgar; “Agnus Dei,” by Edward Elgar, arranged by K. Jennings; “Stabat Mater,” by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

March 31 – Resurrection of Our Lord – Vigil of Easter

Readings (Selected from the following):  Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18, 8:6-18; 9:8-13; Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Jonah 1:1-2:1; Daniel 3:1-29; Romans 6:3-11; John 20:1-18.

The celebration of the Easter Vigil is rich with connections to the Old Testament and New Testament. It is a journey with Christ from bondage (to sin and death) into freedom and new life. Our gathering begins around the pillar of fire as the ancient Easter proclamation is sung, illumined by the light of Christ’s resurrection. We gather this night to hear many of the ancient stories of our faith, welcome the newly baptized, aglow with the first light of the resurrection.

Hymns:  “The Light of Christ Surrounds Us,” (Marty Haugen); “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (367); “Be Not Afraid” (388).

April 1 – Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day

Readings:  Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Our Lord has acted! We share in the joy and promise of new life through Christ’s resurrection. In Acts 10:34-43, we hear the words of Peter’s first sermon – that everyone who believes in Christ “receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” The darkness of sin and death has been overcome by the power of the resurrection. 

Hymns:  “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” (365); “Thine Is the Glory” (376); “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (367).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir, String Scholars, Brass Ensemble:  “Christ the Lord is Risen,” by Johann Helmich Roman; “Thine Be the Glory,” arranged by J. Marty Cope.

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