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

Midweek Lenten Services

March 13, 20, 27 and April 3, 10

Held every Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. in the Chapel (prayer, meditation, and song) and 7:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary (Holden Evening Prayer).

March 24 – Third Sunday in Lent

Readings: Isaiah 55:1-9; Psalm 63:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9

In the midst of a hard pronouncement, “Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?” (Luke 13:7), there is also good news for us. We are given one more chance – perpetually – to bear good fruit. The urgency of the need for repentance and conversion is stated in no uncertain terms. Despite this critical warning, God invites us to listen to God’s word in order that we might flourish with new and abundant life.

Hymns: “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” (335); “Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land” (333); “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” (324)

Cathedral Choir: “Like as the Hart,” Herbert Howells

March 31 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

Readings: Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32: 2; Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son invites us to enter into the joy of reconciliation and forgiveness. Psalm 32 proclaims, “Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD,” calling each of us to live the new life we received in our baptism. For Jesus’ sake, our sins are forgiven. Like the prodigal son in the text from Luke, we receive the undeserved, extraordinary grace of God.

Hymns: “What Wondrous Love Is This?” (666); “Amazing Grace” (779); “My Life Flows on in Endless Song” (763)

Cathedral Choir: “Calling My Children Home,” arranged by Joseph Jennings

April 7 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8

God makes all things new. Throughout the first and second readings, we learn about God’s power to transform God’s people. In Isaiah 43, we are reminded that God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and will act again – to bring those in exile out of Babylon in a new exodus. In our second lesson, we recall the conversion of Saul, once a persecutor of the church, into Paul, the apostle. The gospel reading anticipates Jesus’ death and burial as Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

Hymns: “Be Thou My Vision” (637); “The Word of God Is Source and Seed” (506); “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (803)

Cathedral Choir: “Drop, Drop Slow Tears,” Philip Stopford

April 14 – Sunday of the Passion – Palm Sunday

Readings: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56

Palm Sunday sets the scene for the remarkable story of our salvation through the events of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. The previous five Sundays in Lent have brought us to this poignant event: Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We open scripture to the third Servant Song in Isaiah, where the prophet speaks of obedience in the midst of persecution. Paul’s words in the second lesson remind us that we should be of the same as Christ – to whom we are joined through baptism. Luke’s account of the passion event reveals the contradiction of God’s reign: the leader is servant, arrested, tried, executed, and laid in a tomb.

Hymns: “Ride On, Jesus, Ride” (African-American Spiritual, reprinted); “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (351); “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (347)

Cathedral Choir: “Sing Hosana! Sannanina!” South African, arr. Nancy Grundahl

April 18 – 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 evening approaches and our Lenten season transitions into the “Three Days,” or the “Triduum,” Jesus calls us to a meal. Along with the gathered disciples, Jesus shares, and demonstrates, his new commandment. This new commandment, or “Mandatum,” which means “mandate,” is that we love one another as Christ loves each of us. Washing the feet of his friends, Jesus shows us how we should love one another through acts of humble service. As we share in the meal, we are called to offer ourselves in humility for the life of the world.

Hymns: “Where Charity and Love Prevail” (359); “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love” (708); “Eternal Spirit of the Living Christ” (402)

Cathedral Choir: “See What Love,” Felix Mendelssohn

April 19 – Good Friday

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

The passion according to St. John is at the heart of our gathering on this day. Our triumphant king is the one who reigns from the cruel cross. Known in the early days of the church by the name “the triumph of the cross,” we are called to observe the solemnity of this day. Christ’s passion and death offer hope and strength through another seeming contradiction: the cross has become the tree of life for us. At the close of the Good Friday liturgy, the ancient bidding prayer offers petitions for the whole world, loved and redeemed by God.

Hymns: “Sing, My Tongue” (356); “Holy God, Holy and Glorious” (637); “Ah, Holy Jesus” (349)

Cathedral Choir: “Watch With Me,” Daniel Gawthrop; “Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs,” G.F. Handel; “Ave Verum Corpus,” Philip Stopford; “Drop, Drop Slow Tears,” Philip Stopford; “Agnus Dei,” Maurice Duruflé

April 20 – Resurrection of Our Lord – Vigil of Easter

Readings: Selected readings and accompanying songs and hymns from the Old Testament; Romans 6:3-11; John 20:1-18

Gathered around the new light of the Easter flame, we hear the proclamation “This is the night!” We “pass-over” with Christ, through our baptism, from the darkness of the tombs of sin and death, to light and life. The resurrection is proclaimed in word and sign, gathered around the pillar of fire and ancient stories of our faith from the Old and New Testaments. Raised with Christ, we share this good news of the resurrection with the world.

April 21 – Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day

Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; John 20:1-18

Psalm 118 sets the tone for the Easter celebration “This is the day that the LORD has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Ps. 118:24). The alleluias, put away on the last Sunday of Epiphany (Transfiguration Sunday), reverberate against the walls of the sanctuary and within our souls. After a confusing set of events at the tomb that first Easter morning, we believe, by faith through the grace of God, that Jesus has been raised to new life. We are called to witness to this new life which we share through the gift of baptism!

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

Cathedral Choir: “He is Not Here!” Russell Nagy; “Thine Is the Glory!” arr. J. Marty Cope

April 28 – Second Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 5:22-32; Psalm 150; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31

For the disciple Thomas, and ourselves, too, perhaps, the reality of Christ’s resurrection is not always easy to believe. Over the next fifty days, or “week of weeks,” our readings will take us further into the mysteries of Christ’s glorious resurrection. In his appearance to Thomas, Jesus offers the assurance that the blessings of the resurrection are for all those who “have not seen and yet believe.” Jesus continues to come to us, revealing himself through Holy Communion – his very presence of peace through bread and wine.

Hymns: “Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain” (363); “We Walk By Faith” (635); “That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright” (384)

Cathedral Choir: “Peace I Leave With You,” Walter Pelz

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