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

Oct. 29 – Reformation Sunday 

Readings:  Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; Matthew 22:34-46.

Today we celebrate a milestone commemoration in our heritage of faith, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation. Paul’s words in the book of Romans are central to Martin Luther’s teaching and preaching – that no one can make themselves right with God through works of the law. It is through Christ’s death that we are brought into a right relationship with God. On this, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to unite the church in proclamation and witness.

Hymns:  “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (504); “Open Your Ears, O Faithful People” (519); “The Church of Christ, In Every Age” (729); “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” (414).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Kisasa Musicians
  • Adult Handbell Choir
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Cathedral Choir:  Cantata 80: “A Mighty Fortress” (First movement), J.S. Bach

Nov. 5 – All Saints Day

Readings:  Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12.

With words of assurance and comfort from the book of Revelation, we are given a glorious vision of the body of Christ throughout space and time. The ensuing hymn of praise resonates with our voices as we join in the refrain, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen” (Revelation 7:12). It is appropriate that we begin our worship recalling all of those who have been baptized during the previous year (and in so doing, we remember our own baptism), just as we name those who now live into the fullness of their baptismal identity, who now rest from their labors.  

Hymns:  “For All the Saints” (422); “Shall We Gather at the River” (423); “Holy God, We Praise Your Name” (414).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir: “One Thing,” by Craig Courtney; “Unclouded Day,” arranged by Shawn Kirchner.

Nov. 12 – Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 32

Readings:  Amos 5:18-24; Psalm 70; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13.

As our liturgical calendar draws us closer to the end of the church year, we hear the familiar themes of Christ’s return. Amos describes the “day of the Lord” not as a time of great victory but a time of darkness. With a stern warning, Amos reminds us that the Lord demands justice and righteousness within the community. In Matthew’s Gospel, we hear the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids, emphasizing the need to be watchful and ready at all times.

Hymns:  “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” (244); “Blessed Assurance” (638); “Let Streams of Living Justice” (710).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “When the Trumpet Sounds,” by André Thomas.

Nov. 19 – Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 33

Readings:  Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11], 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30.

Like the Old Testament reading last week from Amos, Zephaniah describes “the day of the Lord” as one of wrath and judgment. The psalmist urges us to be mindful of how we live our lives – that we “apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Paul describes the day of Christ’s return like “a thief in the night.” In the parable of the talents, Jesus urges us to make good use of our talents for the good of the community, while we still have the time to do so. 

Hymns:  “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” (632); “Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us” (707); “Christ, Be Our Light” (715).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “A Song of Thanksgiving” (Psalm 90), by John Ferguson.

Nov. 22 – Service of Evening Prayer on the Eve of Thanksgiving

Readings:  Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Psalm 65; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Luke 17:11-19.

A Service of Evening Prayer on the eve of the national holiday, Thanksgiving, will be held in the Sanctuary at 7 p.m. With thanksgiving to God, we offer our prayer and praise as we gather around God’s Word. We echo the words of the psalmist, “You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty” (Psalm 65:11). The Order for Evening Prayer (Evensong) will be led by the Cathedral Choir. (The service of Evening Prayer does not include Holy Communion.)

Hymns:  “We Praise You, O God” (870); “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (693); “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” (885).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “The Eyes of All,” by Jean Berger.

Nov. 26 – Christ the King

Readings:  Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 95:1-7a; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46.

Today marks the end of the church year. With imagery of the Good Shepherd, Ezekiel describes the Lord as a “shepherd-messiah,” one who will tend and care for the needs of his people. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus compares himself to a king who moves among his people to see how they are treated. Jesus says, “And the king will answer them, ‘Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:40). Those who are faithful to God will follow Christ’s example by ministering to those in need.  

Hymns:  “Crown Him With Many Crowns” (855); “Jesus Shall Reign” (434); “Soon and Very Soon” (439).

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir:  “Jubilate Deo,” by Dale Wood; “Thine the Amen,” by Carl Schalk.

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