Learning

Sunday Learning Place: During the school year, following the 9:30 worship service, the Sunday Learning Place involves the children and youth of the congregation in Christian education and growth. Each session of Sunday Learning Place involves an opening music time, followed by small group reflection on a theme for the day from the lessons, and  a concluding period devoted to art or projects.

Confirmation Ministry and High School Youth: Confirmation or affirmation of baptism, for 6th, 7th and 8th graders also takes place at this time as well as a gathering of high school young people. The rite of confirmation is celebrated in the 9th grade on Reformation Sunday in the fall.

Family Retreating: Occasionally using the confirmation ministry as a planning group, families of the congregation gather for a weekend retreat. The most recent retreat was at Bethel Horizons in November, 2011, and a retreat is currently being planned for May 10-12 at Bethel Horizons.

Adult Forums: From late September through mid-May, adult forums are held on a variety of topics during the Sunday Learning Place and Confirmation time. During the summer Pastor Ken also leads an adult forum series.

Women’s Group and Bible Study: The first Tuesday of the month a group of women meet for fellowship and study, usually in the home of one of the members. In the summer, the women of the church hold a retreat focused on a theme from the WELCA Bible studies.

Senior Engagement Team: At regular intervals the Senior Engagement Team which visits the shut-ins of the congregation meets for mutual support, study and reflection.

Guest Theologians: St Johns occasionally brings in quest theologians to deepen our reflections. Since 2004 we have hosted Dr. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner with her husband David, both from the U. of Dubuque Seminary.Their work with us was on the problem of suffering, Dr. Boris Matthews, a Jungian therapist in Madison, who worked with us on Peter Richardson’s Four Spiritualities, a look at the different spiritual approaches individuals, groups, and congregations take in their relationship with God, and Dr. Craig Nessan, the Academic Dean of Wartburg Seminary, who worked with us on the theme of congregational mission and theology. Dr. Richard Davidson from the University of Wisconsin spoke recently here on the impact of meditation on brain activity. In February of 2009, our guest theologian was Dr. Norma Cook Everist, from Wartburg Seminary.

Various Groups: At various times, groups have formed to focus on different issues including simple living, gender issues facing the church, a summer men’s group, a youth group, and book studies.