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

December 31 – First Sunday of Christmas

Readings: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40

The appointed readings for the first Sunday of Christmas take us to Jerusalem, where Mary and Joseph, according to the Law of Moses, take their son, Jesus, to the temple for the ritual of purification. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ identity is revealed to a devout and righteous man named Simeon. Known as the “Nunc dimittis,” Simeon’s song of praise to God ascends along with the witness of the 84-year-old Anna, of the tribe of Asher. Like Simeon and Anna, we rejoice in the presence of Jesus – our salvation – promised by God for the healing of the world. 

Hymns: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (288); “O Lord, Now Let Your Servant” (313); “The Bells of Christmas” (298)

JanUary 6 – Epiphany of Our Lord

5 p.m. Service of Lessons & Carols

Readings:  Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12.
Epiphany, which means manifestation, is the day we celebrate the revelation of Christ to all nations. The church often recognizes three major events in the life of Christ in the first few weeks after the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord: The adoration of the child Jesus by the magi; Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River by John; Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana where he changes water into wine. As we celebrate Holy Communion, we experience the manifestation of grace and mercy, which strengthens us to testify to the light of Christ.

Hymns:  “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright!” (308); “Brightest and Best of the Stars” (303); “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” (815).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” arranged by Howard Helvey; “Arise, Shine, for Thy Light Is Come,” by Healey Willan; “Lamb of the Light,” Garry Cornell.

January 7 – Baptism of Our Lord

Readings:  Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11.

The baptism of Jesus is a powerful reminder that God has fully entered this world – flesh and blood – and understands our struggles and our need for new life and salvation. This re-creation is brought about by the Spirit as we hear in the Genesis text for today – as wind moved over the waters. Jesus’ baptism is marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit as the readings from Mark’s Gospel as well as Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Through baptism, we are called into Jesus’ mission to bring about God’s vision of justice and peace. 

Hymns:  “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” (310); “Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized” (304); “Go, My Children, With My Blessing” (543).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Epiphany Carol,” by Bruce Neswick

JanUary 14 – Second Sunday after Epiphany

Readings:  1 Samuel 3:1-10; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51.

At a time when visions were “rare and unexpected,” the Lord comes to Samuel. Eli, the priest, urges Samuel to respond in obedience to God. In John’s Gospel, we hear the familiar words of invitation: “Come and see.” The story of the calling of Nathanael shows us that where we come from is not as important as where we go to. Jesus is the place where we go to meet God.

Hymns:  “Lord, Speak to Us, That We May Speak” (676); “Here I Am, Lord” (574); “Will You Come and Follow Me?” (798).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “I Believe This Is Jesus,” by Undine Smith Moore, arranged by Jennings.

JanUary 21 – Third Sunday after Epiphany

Readings:  Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:5-12; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20.

Throughout the weeks of Epiphany, we hear stories about the call to discipleship. Jonah, the reluctant prophet, delivers a one-sentence message: Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days. John the Baptist, preaching repentance, faced the high cost of discipleship with his very life. In Mark’s gospel, we hear the story of the fisherman brothers who leave everything they have to follow Jesus. 

Hymns:  “Jesus Calls Us, O’er the Tumult” (696); “You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore” (817); “We Are Called” (720).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “The Glory of the Father,” by Egil Hovland.

January 28 – Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Readings:  Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28.

The authority of God’s Word frees us to follow in the path of discipleship with Jesus. In Deuteronomy, God promises to rise up a prophet like Moses, who will speak for God. Psalm 111 speaks of the power of God’s works. Throughout the New Testament we hear and recognize the authority in Jesus’ words and actions. 

Hymns:  “Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (886); “Rise, Shine, You People!” (665); “The Lord Now Sends Us Forth” (538).

Assisting with Worship:    

  • Cathedral Choir:  “How Lovely Are the Messengers,” from St. Paul, Felix Mendelssohn.

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