St. John/Norrona News

 May 2024

Please have any reports or information to be included in the newsletter, submitted by the 24th of each month to stjohn.norrona@sasktel.net.  Thank you.

If you would like to receive your newsletter by email, please send a message to: stjohn.norrona@sasktel.net

Pastor Rick Schulz

Parish Phone (306) 725-3113

Email – stjohn.norrona_pastor@sasktel.net

Mailing Address:      Box 505

                                    Strasbourg, Sk. S0G 4V0

Website: stjohnnorrona.com

Scripture Lessons

May 5, 2024:

Acts 10:44-48                                Psalm 98

1 John 5:1-6                                  John 15:9-17

May 12, 2024:

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26                      Psalm 1

1 John 5:9-13                                John 17:6-19

May 19, 2024:

Acts 2:1-21                                    Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Romans 8:22-27                         John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

May 26, 2024:

Isaiah 6:1-8                                    Psalm 29

Romans 8:12-17                           John 3:1-17

A NEW MINISTRY

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:

Everything old has passed away; behold, everything has become new!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

            I had ‘officially’ retired August 31, 2022, and Jan and I could not think of a better place to retire than to Strasbourg. Jan fit into the community quickly even though she was extremely adamant when we first met that she would never live in Saskatchewan. So you can understand my amazement when I told her that I had dreamt that I had retired, and we moved to Strasbourg when she said, ‘let’s do it!’ The transition for Jan went so smoothly and we quickly fell in love with our new home and new community. We now can not imagine living anywhere else.

            Moving to Strasbourg also allowed me the opportunity to return to my roots. I had always thought that I would be a farmer, but God had other plans for me, so farming was not in my future. Now I finally had the chance to return to the farm. I have been able to ‘do’ farming and not have to have any of the headaches, fix any machinery or have to pay the bills. I have been blessed to help with seeding and harvest while feeding my spirit and soul. Farming and being out in nature are still in my blood and I am blessed to be able to enjoy it now.

            So you can understand my amazement once again when I realized that God had other plans for me. As the conversation moved forward concerning new possibilities for the St. John – Norrona Parish, I was approached to see if I would consider a half-time position. At first, I was uncertain. Doing ministry during Covid took a real toll on me. So much so that I had not even realized how dangerously close I was to burnout when we first arrived in Strasbourg. Through the love and acceptance that Jan and I received upon arriving here, how numerous friendships were re-kindled, and being able to be involved on the farm again, I slowly came back to health. All these factors led me to believe that God was not finished with me yet and maybe I still had something to offer the church. That is what brought us to this new ministry, in this new parish, in this new creation that God is shaping and molding.

            So where do we go with this new ministry? I have some ideas and I hope and pray that you all have some ideas. I do know that God has not given up on our Parish, but I do wonder if God is calling us to explore new ways of being church. How do we welcome new people without making them feel uncomfortable? How are we able to engage with people who might be finding their way back to the church after a period of being away without making them feel guilty for being absent for a period? The easiest way to do all of this is by loving them and telling them we are pleased to see them! We need to be about building relationships.

            So where do we go with this new ministry? I am very pleased that you are willing to allow me to continue doing my farm work during seeding and harvest. This is a spiritual time for me where I can be renewed, and I so look forward to it. Other than this, I am not sure what half-time ministry looks like. I have had many questions about what my hours will be. First, I am viewing this as a Call and as such I am responsible for the ministry that will take place. That does not mean I will be doing all the ministry, but I do hope to be the primary person giving it direction. I will preside at worship on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. I am going to try and maintain regular office hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I plan on working Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for three weeks out of the month. With this I plan to have an entire week off every month. There is a possibility that from mid-October till the end of April I could preside at three services a month. I do hope to be able to strengthen our Lay leadership so that they will be empowered to lead worship in my absence.

            So where do we go with this new ministry? Our hope is to re-structure our committees so that they might be a bit more focused. Parish Council has begun working on these definitions. Our hope is that we will be able to encourage more people to be involved with building this new ministry. We are also beginning to look at a new Communication strategy so that we might be able to reach out to former members, new members and to be able to inform our community about this new ministry that we are creating. All this will take time. My hope is that we will all be open to new possibilities, new creations, new relationships as we work together to build this new ministry.

God’s blessings on this new journey,

Pastor Rick

St. John-Norrona Parish Council Report

Council continues to move forward aligning to the new Parish format and direct our efforts  that will best support our parttime pastor. Efforts continue to assess and restructure committees to best serve the membership and our ministry. The emphasis is to involve as many people as possible. This will accomplish lightening the load by spreading the work around, and strengthening our family group through participation.

At our meeting of April 10 an executive was nominated. The 2024/25 Parish Council will be as follows:

– Chair – Peter Barry  

– Vice-Chair – Brenda Small

            – Secretary – Rhonda Dehoop

– Treasurer – Bev Decker

It was defined as a priority of council to ensure strong and effective communication to the membership and in a timely manner. If we are to maintain a strong and effective ministry with the changes that are necessary, effective communication is vital.

Council is quite pleased to hear the benefits of the local input by the pastor is already proving to be beneficial to our ministry.

A discussion took place by council regarding property maintenance. We will be coordinating a list of volunteers for grass cutting, watering, fertilizing, weed control etc. A property work bee will be occurring shortly. Please watch for it.  Should you wish to volunteer time to this area please contact Property Manager Margot Biller.

We continue to be an organization experiencing substantial change to what we are used to, but this situation also provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen and grow our ministry. Please ensure our greetings at service to either new or re-newed attendance make people feel comforted, wanted and loved.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Peter Barry – on behalf of Council

St. John Lutheran Church

Monthly Financial Summary

March 2024

Revenue

Total regular offering (includes for our

church, CLWR, Benevolence, Kinasao

and pre-authorized monthly giving)          9,567.50

Total other revenue (e.g. rental property,

donations, interest, etc.)                             1,202.20

Total revenue                                     $10,769.70

Expenses

Pastor Payroll (e.g. salary, benefits, EI,

mileage, etc.)                                         

Missions (e.g. Benevolence, Sask. Synod,

etc.)  Fundraising                                          804.00

Worship and services (e.g. Pulpit Supply,

travel time, mileage, worship and office

supplies, Organist, Secretary, Treasurer,

Envelope Secretary, etc.)                        3,936.46

Church properties (e.g. power, telephone,

natural gas, bank service charges, line of

credit, insurance, church maintenance,

 etc.)                                                         ­1,574.13

Total expenses                                      $6,314.59

Net Income                                           $4,455.11

NOTE: On line donations for this month   $500.00

Norrona Lutheran Church

Financial Report – March 2024

Norrona Revenue

*Regular Sunday Offering (envelopes,

benevolence/missions (including CLWR),

loose, and other Norrona regular offering)    $1,539.00

*Other revenue (e.g. bank interest, Norrona

fundraising, and other Norrona-specific

revenue)                                                        $     67.06

Total Revenue                   $1,606.06

Norrona Expenses

Paid to St. John

*Norrona portion of Parish Expenses (e.g.

Pastor salary, benefits, EI, mileage, Pulpit

Supply, office & worship supplies, telephone

office secretary)                                          $2,235.10

*Norrona Congregational Expenses (e.g.

maintenance, insurance, utilities, fundraising,

worship & office supplies, organist)             $2,016.87

*Missions of the Church (e.g. Sask. Synod,

CLWR, and other Norrona specific mission

projects)                                                     $   145.00

Total Expenses                  $4,396.97

Net Income                     (-$2,790.91)

Norrona congregational expense includes repairs to furnace.

Shared Ministry Report (meeting held April 10)

Food Hamper Program – we are asking each church to continue to advertise this program in their weekly announcements emphasizing not only the availability of the program but also the need for food and cash donations.

Community Easter Celebration – was very well attended, with approximately 200 in attendance.  There was $340.00 raised from the free will offering for the food hampers.  Each church brought 4 dozen cookies/dainties which seemed to be just the right amount.  One thing we neglected to do when asking for donations to the lunch was to ask for help with putting out the lunch and clean up afterwards.  Due to availability and size, we are hoping to host this event, moving forward, by alternating between the Lutheran and Alliance churches. 

Interfaith Worship Service – June 30, 2024 – 10:30 a.m.

Each church is asked to provide 3 dozen sandwiches and 5 dozen dainties for the lunch.  The Food Grains Bank members will look after getting workers to serve the lunch.  Free will offering at the worship service will go to the local food hamper program and donations to the lunch will go to support the Food Grains Bank.  When advertising in your churches, please remind everyone to NOT use their church offering envelopes. 

2024 Interfaith Service duties:

Preacher – Alliance Church

Worship Leader – Lutheran Church*

Music – United Church

Scripture Readings – Catholic Church

Offering/Ushers – Calvary Fellowship

*duties of the worship leader are: puts the bulletin together and makes copies (Andria does this after getting the information from the other churches on hymns and scripture readings); leads the service which includes the welcome and announcements, introduces the hymns, delivers the benediction.  This does not have to be Pastor Rick unless he is free and wants to.  Any church member can perform this duty. 

Special Events Committee

The Music Festival was held at the church on April 15 and 16.  Many thanks to all who donated their time and food for the lunch counter for those two days. A big thank you to the Strasbourg Coop for donating the juice boxes. After expenses the lunch counter made $514.96. Good job everyone.

On May 13 we will be making cabbage rolls.  We will have a table at the community garage on May 18 to sell these. Get in touch with the committee if are able to help out. 

Committee members are Orva, Anne, Marilyn, Margot,

Rhonda, Linda, Carol.


Anne Switzer Chairperson

Lamp

If anyone would like to donate to LAMP (LAMP is a cross-cultural ministry sharing Jesus Christ with God’s people in remote areas of Canada), this can be done by mailing cheques payable to LAMP to 4966-92 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6B 2V4 or visit www.lampministry.org.

Worship Service at the Last Mountain Pioneer Home

Pastor Rick leading worship at the Last Mountain Pioneer Home on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. on the following days:

May 1st                                           September 18th

May 29th                                       October 16th

June 26th                                      November 13th

July 24th                                        December 11th

August 21st                                    

Worship Committee Report

Thank you to James Hoffman for a great job leading the Palm Sunday service. He also taught us how to make crosses from palm leaves! 

Thank you to Orva Kelln, Brenda Small and Peter Barry for leading the Lenten Services in March.

Holy Week Services: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We were thankful Pastor Rick, our interim pastor for the month of March, was able to lead all of these services. On Easter Sunday at St. John it was fun watching everything come to life while people scurried around putting everything back into place, and the explanation that followed was also very good. Many enjoyed breakfast after Norrona’s Easter service and hot cross buns before St. John’s.

We were pleased to have Bishop Sid Haugen preside over Pastor Rick’s installation service on April 7.  Thank you to all who participated and attended this wonderful celebration!  This was also the perfect day to resume use of the common cup during communion.  

You may have noticed a few changes to the church service power points:

A preamble has been added to the lessons and a new response at the end of each reading.  It is thankfulness for the word just heard and a conclusion to the reading.

-Music has been added to the liturgy which should also be helpful for visitors.

-If  there is music for “The Great Thanksgiving” on the power point it will be chanted, otherwise it will just be spoken.
-The Eucharist Prayer has also been added as some petitions have responses.

-White printing on black will mainly be used for the power points as previous feedback indicated yellow is harder to see on the video.  Red will be instructional eg.sit/stand. 

A Worship Workshop will be held on Sat June 8 at 10:00 am as an opportunity to learn, review and gain more confidence with procedures ie. how to prepare and serve communion, especially now that the common cup will be used again, ushering/greeter duties, how to adjust the mike when reading, and possibly a worship leadership component.  If you cannot make it to this one, there will be more sessions offered.

Some “quick pointers” will also be added to the newsletters on an ongoing basis eg. Did you know?.… 

Pastor Rick would like to know who is reading lessons each Sunday, who communion assistants and ushers are, etc, so if possible, convenors please let him know ahead of time, and/or please identify yourself before the service starts if you are assisting.

We are looking for ways to make services special? eg. flowers on Mother’s Day, etc. What are your ideas??

Do you know someone who could play or sing some special music before the service or during offering?.  Let Carol Schultz know if you have suggestions.

Pulpit Supply:

May  5   Pastor Rick     – Communion service

May 12  Marvin Kelln  – Mother’s Day lay service
May 19  Pastor Rick     – Communion service
May 26  __TBD_____  – Lay service

Please note:  Communion will be offered the 2nd and 4th Sundays in June as most pastors will be away at Synod Convention June 2 in Saskatoon.
 

June  2   __TBD_____ – Lay service; no communion June  9   Pastor Rick             – Communion service 
June 16  __TBD_____ – Father’s Day lay service
June 23  Pastor Rick    – Communion service
June 30  Ecumenical Service at Strasbourg Hall, at 10:00 am followed by lunch

Names are still being added to the list for lay service leaders.  If you are interested or want to know more about it, please speak to Pastor Rick.

This committee usually meets the first Wednesday of the month.  Anyone is welcome to attend any or all of the meetings anytime.  The next meeting is Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 1:30 pm at St. John. 

Submitted by Rhonda de Hoop