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Announcement:

We currently have worship in-person at 8:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s and 10:00 at St. John’s. Social distancing practices, including face masks, are required.  The 10:00 service each week is streamed live on the church Facebook page, as well. You can find the bulletin for that service  here. 

Please join us for worship on Facebook

 

Sunday Service Times (June 2020-May 2021)

8:30 A.M. at St. Paul’s
10:00 A.M. at St. John’s
 

St. John’s and St. Paul’s are two churches in St. Donatus and La Motte, Iowa. We are a committed group of people celebrating our lives in God’s grace and never ending love. Please come join us for worship and become a part of something wonderful!

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Worship

 

 

Sunday Worship Times
St. John’s: 8:30 AM.
St. Paul’s: 10:00 AM.

St. John’s and St. Paul’s follow the order of service set out in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, using a variety of musical settings throughout the year. Worship is accompanied by organ or piano.

Holy Communion is celebrated on the first, third, and fifth Sundays of the month, and on festivals (like Christmas, Easter,  Pentecost, etc.) or special occasions in the life of the congregation.

Lutheran Christians believe and teach that Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, is truly present in the Lord’s Supper, and that in this meal of the baptized children of God, our Lord gives forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation.

 

Education

Both congregations host a variety of educational opportunities throughout the year, including Sunday School, Intergenerational Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Confirmation Classes, and Adult Education.

Sunday School happens at both congregations at 9:30 AM. Sunday School will begin this year on September 10th at St. John’s and September 17th at St. Paul’s.

Confirmation Classes will happen Thursday evenings, beginning September 14th. Find more information on Confirmation here.

About

St. John’s and St. Paul’s are congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Address
St. John’s Lutheran Church:
32101 370th St.
Bellevue, Iowa 52031

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
909 Park Avenue
LaMotte, Iowa

Sunday Worship Times
St. John’s: 8:30 AM
St. Paul’s: 10:00 AM

History

The story of St. John’s Lutheran in St. Donatus, Iowa, is closely connected to the history of Wartburg Seminary, the Iowa Synod, and the mission work of Sigmund Fritschel. Before there were ever Lutheran clergy in the area, there were Lutherans who were committed to the proclamation of the Gospel. In 1854 Dr. Fritschel is said to have heard about some German Lutherans living in what was then called Tete des Mortes, now better known as St. Donatus. Albert Llewellyn Hock’s The Pilgrim Colony: The History of Saint Sebald Congregation, the Two Wartburgs, and the Synods of Iowa and Missouri, carries an anecdote translated from George Fritschel’s Aus den Tagen der Väter:

One Saturday in October, Sigmund Fritschel with his robe and Löhe’s Agenda set out on foot for Tete des Mortes (Death’s Head), now known as St. Donatus. Word of mouth had it that Lutherans there were reluctantly listening to a Reformed pastor and wished for a Lutheran. But the seminary had also received a letter from a certain Mr.Felderman telling them to stay away. Fritschel took with him student Christian Bauer as his companion and cantor. They found Felderman’s house. A stately old man answered the door and bade them enter. When they told him who they were, he asked, “Didn’t you get my letter?”
“Yes, that is exactly why we came. We have heard that there are Lutherans in this area who wish for Lutheran worship services. So, we do not understand why we are not wanted. We want to find out why we should not come.”
The old man explained that he and his Lutheran neighbors had been afflicted with three pastors in succession who failed to preach and teach the gospel as the Lutherans had come to know it. One was Methodist, one tried to “convert” them, and the last claimed to be Lutheran but was such in name only. Felderman proceeded to examine Fritschel’s knowledge of the Lutheran catechism, his belief concerning the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion and salvation by God’s grace. He rejoiced over what he heard and welcomed his guests to conduct services at his home the next day. He had served in Napoleon’s campaign into Russia. Late into the night he told of his war time experiences. Early the next day Felderman rode from farm to farm inviting people to gather at his home for a 10:00 worship service.

The farmer in whose house that first worship service was held was presumably John Diedrich Felderman, who came to the area in 1845. The account goes on to describe that first worship service, how the home was set up for it, and how the people sang so enthusiastically that the seminarian who was supposed to be cantor stopped trying to lead them! Since that time, St. John’s has been home to a community of faithful Christians eager to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through the study of scripture and through vibrant worship.

St. Paul’s in La Motte has origins in the mission work of pastors starting in 1910. Services began in the (then) Methodist church in 1912, and in 1914, the Lutherans purchased the church building from the Methodists. This building has been the congregation’s home to this day.

Contact

Church Phone: (563)773-2313
Email: stjohnlutheran@netins.net

Pastor Will Layton: pastorwill@stjohnsandstpauls.org