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Worship & Music

Worship with us at st. john's

We love the Bible! We include four Bible readings in each service and read the psalm together responsively, following the regular Christian church Bible reading schedule. Listen to Pastor Karen’s deep take on the readings as she offers lively and refreshing new perspectives.

We celebrate Communion in every regular worship service, and Communion is open to everyone who is baptized or feels called by Christ to participate.

We welcome children to worship! Pastor Karen offers a Young People’s Sermon in every worship service.

In the summers we worship outdoors on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings in our beautiful pavilion, nestled among our tall pine trees, in a simple, traditional service, featuring the best of our grand Lutheran hymns.

We celebrate God’s amazing creations at our Riverside Service, the first Sunday in June every year. Join us for this special worship service right next to the church property along the peaceful and beautiful Oconomowoc River.

We also bless houses, bees, and pets! Pastor Karen will come to bless anyone’s new house, or new beehives—as we have recently—just check out our pictures! Every other summer or so, we also have a Pet Blessing as part of our outdoor worship service—this summer that’s Sunday, July 30, 2023.

Music

Music is the very heart of worship at St. John’s and an important priority for our leaders.

We follow the Lutheran liturgy but sing it in a variety of musical traditions and enjoy five or six different worship plans during the church year, so that no one gets bored.

We begin fall with drums! The first Sunday after Labor Day is One in Christ Sunday when we celebrate our return to a single congregation on Sunday mornings with a Spanish inspired contemporary liturgy full of syncopation and swing and plenty of percussion! With each new season of the church year, we sing God’s story in different ways.

Our choir rocks! They are a small, but dedicated group of joyful singers who sing twice a month with rehearsals after church, offering different types of music carefully chosen to amplify the day’s gospel.

Most years the choir also presents a major work. Last Reformation, for example, they sang portions of Bach’s cantata #80 (A Mighty Fortress is our God) joined by guest singers and instrumentalists. Other years they sing major contemporary works. Our choir welcomes anyone who loves to worship God in song.

We are blessed to have as our Music Minister Jim Edgar, who also sings with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. He directs our small and excellent choir, works closely with Lauren Genthe our fine piano accompanist, gathers and coaches the instrumentalists and guest singers we hire for special occasions, and collaborates on worship services with Pastor Karen and our Worship and Music Ministry.

St. John’s Music Fund: Making Extraordinary Music Possible

St. John’s Music Fund supports our special music offerings like our choir’s recent unforgettable presentation of Bach’s Cantata 112: “The Lord is My Shepherd” for worship on Good Shepherd Sunday, with a string quartet, harpsichord, oboe and trumpet players, and guest singers. The Music Fund also provided the percussion accompaniment for Easter’s “Holy Holy Holy” from The Robert Ray Gospel Mass, and guest organists for Reformation and other festival Sundays.

We welcome contributions! If you feel touched by our music, just drop a check made out to St. John’s Music Fund into the Offering plate at the entrance to the church, or designate “Music Fund” on any check made out to St. John’s Lutheran at Stone Bank. Together we can provide extraordinary music for the next generation of St. John’s worship community!

St. John’s Choir in Action
Jim Edgar (Music Minister)
Choir – Nancy Barr, Oscar Kraft,
Shirley Kraft, Judy Runt, Bennett Shebesta

Meet Our Music Staff
Jim Edgar, Music Minister
Lauren Genthe, Piano Accompanist

Our outstanding Hospitality and Coffee Hour rounds out every Sunday service. After the worship service each week, parishioners and guests gather in the fellowship hall for coffee, juice, treats and conversation. Our wonderful bakers often provide very delicious homemade treats to go with Mt. Meru coffee which is exclusively used here at St. John’s. This fellowship is lively, informative and heartwarming offering a wonderful way to close out the weekly worship and begin a new week. All are invited, so please join us.