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

April 2 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

Readings:  Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 11:1-45.

As the weeks of Lent draw to a close, we hear the remarkable story of the raising of Lazarus. Deeply entrenched in the Lenten season, this story along with the familiar story of the “valley of the dry bones” from Ezekiel, reveal God’s powerful victory over death. In the face of death, we hear of the promise of new life – not just after death, but the promise of life after God’s created universe has come to its end. In light of these assuring words, we have reason to believe in God’s power to bring new life where there is death.  

Hymns: “What Wondrous Love Is This?” (666); “Jesus Is a Rock in a Weary Land” (333); “Abide With Me” (629). 10 a.m. Communion hymn: “Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery” (334).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “O Taste and See,” Ralph Vaughan Williams

April 9 – Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday

Readings:  Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66.

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 Matthew’s Gospel. Palm Sunday serves as a gateway to the events that follow:  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Vigil of Easter, and the Day of Resurrection – Easter. 

Hymns:  “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (344); “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (351); “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” (338).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “My Song is Love Unknown,” Edwin Childs

April 13 – Maundy Thursday

Readings:  Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10]; 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:  “Where Charity and Love Prevail” (359); “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us Here” (358).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Kisasa Musicians:  “Ubi Caritas,” Becky Slagle Mayo; “A New Commandment,” anonymous
  • Adult Handbell Choir:  “Toccata on KINGS WESTON,” Matthew Compton
  • Cathedral Choir:  “Avoonan Dbishmaya,” Ilyas Illya. (This piece is the Lord’s Prayer, sung in Aramaic, believed to be the language most used by Jesus.)

April 14 – 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:  “Were You There” (353); “Ah, Holy Jesus” (349).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir, Soloists, Chamber Orchestra:  “Voices from the Passion,” Ronald A. Nelson

April 15 – Resurrection of Our Lord, Vigil of Easter

Readings:  Genesis 1:1-2:4a (Creation); Exodus 14:10-31, 15:20-21 (Deliverance at the Red Sea); Isaiah 55:1-11 (Salvation Freely Offered to All); Jonah 1:1-2:1 (The Deliverance of Jonah); Daniel 3:1-29 (Deliverance From the Fiery Furnace); 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:  “Let All Things Now Living” (881); “Wade in the Water” (459); “Come to Me, All Pilgrims Thirsty” (777); “Here I Am, Lord” (574); “All Creatures, Worship God Most High” (835).

April 16 – Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day

Readings:  Acts 10:34-43; Jeremiah 31:1-6; Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 28:1-10; John 20:1-18. 

“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: “He Is Not Here, He Is Risen!” Russell Nagy

April 23 – Second Sunday of Easter

Readings:  Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31.

The appointed lessons for the Second Sunday of Easter often include the story of “doubting Thomas.” In the midst of the disciples’ fear, Jesus offers the gift of peace – a benediction. We ask that our own faith be strengthened as we, like the disciples, confront our own doubts and fears. During the weeks leading up to the celebration of Pentecost, our first two readings come from Acts and 1 Peter with themes of hope in the face of difficulty and adversity. 

Hymns:  “That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright” (384); “We Walk By Faith” (635); “Rise, O Church, Like Christ Arisen” (548).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Hallelu, Let the People All Sing!” arranged by Rufo Odon

April 30 – Third Sunday of Easter

Readings:  Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35.

This Sunday we listen to the familiar story about the disciples on the road to Emmaus, too distracted by their own grief, sorrow and disappointment to see Jesus as he walked alongside them. As Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine, their eyes were opened to the reality of Jesus’ presence. Each week as we gather around the Lord’s table, we open ourselves to the hope-filled presence of Jesus.

Hymns:  “The Day of Resurrection” (361); “Alleluia! Jesus is Risen” (377); “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing” (385).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir: “Day of Arising,” arr. by David Cherwien.


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