Visitor's Guide
  • Worship at St. John's each week on

    • Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and
    • Monday at 7:00 p.m. 

    Bible class follows each worship service.

    St John's is located at 221 Walnut St. SE in Sleepy Eye, MN on the corner of 3rd Ave. SE and Walnut St. SE, one block south of Main St. (Highway 14).  Sleepy Eye is located 13 miles west of New Ulm, MN.

    The church office phone number is 507-794-6200. Summer office hours are flexible, so please call in advance if you wish to meet with someone.

    We invite you to explore these topics to learn more about St. John's and to visit us anytime.  We'd love to meet you!

    What is worship like at St. John's?
  • Every church has its own style of worship. We think you'll enjoy the services at St. John's Lutheran Church, but as in any church you should expect to take a couple of Sundays to become accustomed to our way of praising God together.

    Each week the service is either entirely printed in the worship folder or the basic parts are printed there to provide reference to our hymnal during the service.

    Our worship services focus on readings from God's Word--the Bible. There we hear God talk to us. Music and singing are important parts of our worship as well. Loud or soft, in monotone or rich harmony, ancient or contemporary, all our praises are music to the Lord.
    I rejoice with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." ~ Psalm 122:1

    Our worship services usually include the following parts in a variety of forms:
    • The Invocation - We call on the name of our Savior Lord as we praise him with song.
    • Admitting Sins and Receiving Forgiveness - We acknowledge that we have not been or done what God asks. Then we are assured of forgiveness in Jesus.
    • Bible Readings - We read selections from God’s Old Testament prophets, Jesus’ apostles, and from Jesus himself. Our pastor also gives a brief explanation of each reading.
    • Creed - We confess our Christian faith in either the Apostles' Creed of the Nicne Creed.
    • Sermon - Our pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a Bible-based sermon for children and adults alike. Young or old, you can expect God’s guidance and grace through his Word for dealing with life's problems, as well as the promise of eternal life in heaven through our only Savior Jesus.
    • Response to the Word - We respond with offerings and prayers for the things he has promised to us and for strength to do what he has asked.
    • Parting blessing - Before we return home for the week, we hear one last assurance of the Lord’s gracious care.
    Throughout these different parts of our service, we praise our gracious God with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs from the entire history of God's Church. During some services, our members partake of the Lord's Supper. St. John's Lutheran Church (and all congregations of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) practice what is called "Close Communion". For an explanation of this practice, please contact Pastor Cordes.
    What about the offering?
  • "When will they take the offering?" "How will it be collected?" "How much am I expected to give?" "Do they want visitors to contribute too?" These are typical worries about church offerings, but God's Word teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is his gift to us. It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God.
    Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. These offering give them the opportunity to not only show love to Christ, but also to support the work of our congregation as we bring the Good News of Christ's love to more people.
    We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God and we use offering envelopes to keep our gifts a private matter known only to the Lord. Now a child may bring the quarters and dimes his parents give him. Someone older may write a check. Both, however, remember Jesus and give their gifts out of love for him.
    As our guest, we will not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so. You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church, but you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.
    What is the worst that can happen?
  • Attending a church for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:
    "I would just die if they made me stand up and say something." We can assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior.
    "I know my child is going to be too noisy." Our congregation is much like a family with infants and kids and teens and adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. If, however, at any time you feel the need, you may bring you child into the church basement where there is live television coverage of the worship service.We also have activity bags for children ages 5 and under for use during the worship service.
    "I know I will feel out of place." We hope this visitor's guide has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, "I'm new here. Can you help me?" We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!
    "I'm afraid I'll say or do something wrong." You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you'll see that the people of St. John's are ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that with a critical spirit.
    "I just want to watch at first, but I know they'll try to get me involved or sign me up for something."  It's unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a "membership drive" as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it? We believe church membership should be a voluntary matter, and the most important thing of all is to trust in our Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. This takes time. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement in a congregation. We believe we should respect that need.
    "I don’t know that much about the Bible." Worship and Bible Study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer. Don't forget...sometimes the wisest words to say say are, "I don’t know."
    How should I dress for worship?
  • You might wonder how you are expected to dress at a church you've never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility, St. John's doesn't make any rules either.
    Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. Still dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King.
    On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his or her Lord, the choice of dress, be it casual or more formal, is acceptable to God . . . and us.
    What about your church body?
  • Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)St. John's is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Our church body started in Milwaukee, WI in the 1850s...hence, the name.
    Our membership in the WELS unites us with like-minded Christians across our country and around the world, who share a common faith with us. This "synod" allows us to do jointly work we cannot do on our own. We pool our resources to do mission work at home and abroad, to train young people to serve in public ministry as pastors, teachers and staff ministers, and to put out publications such as hymnals, Bible studies, and other materials. Above all, we find comfort in knowing there are Christians throughout the world who share a common faith with us.
    Our congregation and church body are solidly based on the Bible. We believe that Jesus is our only Savior and way to heaven. Through faith we are united to him and to each other.
    If you want to know more about what we believe and practice, we invite you to visit our synod's page For a more in-depth look, you can read This We Believe.
    The name "Lutheran" comes from the great 16th Century reformer, Martin Luther. At that time in history, the Church had lost sight of its Savior and the truth of his Word. To restore that truth, the Lord used Martin Luther to boldly challenge these errors and preach Jesus Christ as Savior. For this reason, we are proud to remember his work in bringing to light the truth of God’s Word by using his name to identify ourselves.
Learn, love, live for Christ

Please join us for Live Worship
Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
Bible Class at 10:15 a.m.
Monday at 7:00 p.m.
Bible Class at 8:00 p.m.

Rev. Chris Cordes

St. John's on Facebook

St. John's is a member congregation of
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)