What is the Annual Report?

This is a look back at highlights from July 2021 to June 2022 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Algonquin, IL. The full report has been formatted to fit this webpage: to view the print document, click the button.

A Message from the Church Council

Last year at this time we were bidding farewell to our pastor and beginning the call process to find our next spiritual leader. Praise God that we have now discovered who God intended to be our next pastor as we begin our 145th church year. We look forward to installing Pastor Latzke and are excited to begin this next chapter in our illustrious history.

 

As I mentioned at the most recent congregational voters meeting, I continue to be lifted by the faith, service, perseverance, and commitment of you the members of St John’s during this time of vacancy. It can be an anxious time for sure, and in many places during a vacancy, ministries slowly fade, and people become disengaged from the church. But your tremendous response was to do the opposite … rather than become complacent you rededicated yourself to this church and the loving and merciful God we all serve. Rather than see ministries fade we saw the resumption of ministries like Bible, Brothers, and Brews as well as the creation of a brand-new women's ministry Wine, Women, and the Word. You provided support to Sam Gatz and her ministry in Hungary; you continued to support the great work being done through our Perry partnership and you not only kept Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township going, but you are also expanding the partnership to provide needed family counseling and engagement right here in downtown Algonquin.

 

I would also like to thank and acknowledge the service of our interim pastor, Pastor Stewart Schulz. He provided much needed guidance, preaching, and member visitation throughout the year. We also recognize the many guest preachers we had during the year, especially Pastor Schalk, Pastor Kittel, Pastor Borhart, Pastor Whitby, and others who faithfully preached the Good News.

Our mission focus continues to be spreading the love of Jesus as a “catalyst in the community” and the community is starting to notice. The Village of Algonquin is holding its annual Founders Days at the end of July and St. John’s will be recognized as the Founders' Honoree. The Founders' Honoree is a group or resident of the village who has made contributions to the community through the years, helping make Algonquin a better community to live. We are certainly grateful for the recognition, but we know that we are just a catalyst for sharing the love of our risen Savior with the community.

 

In Him,

Bill Yocius, Chairman

Church Council Members:

Tim Zillman, Tom Brantner, Linda Muscat, Dean Banwart, Kari Bentley, Bill Yocius, Craig Poegel, Bob Priegnitz, Millie Banwart, Don Peters, Danae Zaitz

The St. John's Family

122 Weekly Attendance

427 Members

8 Baptisms

2 Weddings

7 Funerals

2021-2022 was a year filled with challenges and blessings. By God's grace we had enough people step forward and fill the needs that came up. Between the Boards, the Call Committee, Council, and Church Staff we didn't miss much. Weekend services went well with the help of some great guest pastors. We are working on an even closer relationship with the Boys & Girls Club. Sunday School happened weekly. We raised money with the Golf Outing and had a fun Christmas Party. All in all, not bad for a congregation with a vacancy. It will be fun to see what our gracious God has in store for us in the coming year!"

 

- Tim Zillman, Chairman of the Elders

Navigating the Vacancy

In July 2021, St. John's entered into a vacancy and began to search for a new spiritual shepherd. The congregation remained strong while the Call Committee faithfully met, prayed, researched, and interviewed candidates. Special thanks is owed to the Call  Committee and the many pastors who served the congregation these past 12 months.

The Call Process…I praise God that I have been able to serve the congregation of St John’s. Over the last year, I got to watch as our congregation pulled together around Jesus. We strengthened personal relationships, brought back many of our small group opportunities and even created new ones, all while searching for our next Pastor. It reinforces my belief that God has a plan for us. May we continue as a church, to grow in our love for Christ and continue to serve and support for each other!

 

- JD Wagner, Call Committee Chairman

Interested in serving or joining a group?

View a listing of all Bible studies, fellowship groups, elected boards, and volunteer opportunities!

Thoughts from the Congregation

Sunday Mornings

I love Sundays at St. John's. Coming in, coffee in hand, seeing friends and meeting new people. Always feels like home.

 

- Kari Bentley, Church Council Secretary

Small Groups
Becoming Members during a Vacancy
Baptism Banner

It is my honor to make a personalized baptism banner for each child to serve as a remembrance of this special gift from God.

 

- Carol Yocius, Baptism Banners

Launching Wine, Women & The Word
Serving on Sundays

Through The Year

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Philippians 4:7

7th Annual All Saints Golf Outing

Over 100 attendees visited Blackstone Golf Club on August 29, 2021. Based on the storm clouds and predicted inclement weather, everyone expected to be out on the course for 5 minutes at most. But thankfully the intense rain that hit every part of McHenry County stayed away from the course, making for a wonderful afternoon.

Hawaiian Christmas Party

It was wonderful to be able to gather together again for the Christmas party. All the boards and clubs contributed to this event so the work load didn't fall on a small group of people. Everyone's willingness to help reflects the spirit of St. John's.

 

- Linda Homuth, Board of Inreach & Discipleship

Fat Tuesday at Short Stacks

Holy Week & Easter

Catalyst In Our Community

The mission of St. John's is to be a catalyst in the community; this happens within the church facility as well as in the Algonquin community and the world.

Blood Drives

2 blood drives were hosted during the year which helped save nearly 40 lives.

Interfaith Food Pantry

3 food pantry drives throughout the year with over 1,000 items and $2,900 donated.

Orphan Grain Train

In Fall 2021, St. John's hosted a Hygiene Kit drive for Orphan Grain Train. Materials for 66 hygiene kits were collected and assembled to be sent to disaster areas around the world.

Perry Elementary

St. John's continued to support Perry Elementary School in Carpentersville with a Back To School Drive, providing dinners for Parent/Teacher Conferences, Valentine's Treats, Teacher Appreciation Week gifts, and the Annual Giving Tree. 

Refuge for Women Presentation

In April 2022, Meredith Hodge, Executive Director of Refuge for Women Chicago, visited St. John's and presented on human trafficking. 

"I am blessed to be a member of the Perry Partnership team for in-person outreach. In doing so, we are an active arm of St. John's mission as a catalyst in our community. We can directly provide PTL type, year round support to the staff and students at this District 300 elementary school, where there is otherwise none. As a Christian church family member, I can put God's love into action for some of "the least of these" and to lead each of our congregants in enthusiastically wanting to join such efforts."

 

- Sue Stroup, Perry Partnership Coordinator

Algonquin Argonauts

In 2021, the Algonquin Argonauts Cheer and Dance began utilizing the facility for practices 5 nights a week. They offer both competitive and non competitive teams for boys and girls ages 5-13 and an Inspire team for anyone with disabilities to join.

Sam Gatz

After serving in Hungary for 3 years, Sam Gatz visited St. John's during a near year-long stay in the US. She shared about the work she has been doing in Budapest and what she is looking forward to returning. In May 2022, she returned to Budapest as a full time missionary.

Trick or Treat Trail

St. John's had a presence at the Downtown Trick or Treat Trail on Main Street in Algonquin where over 1000 children attended!

Boys & Girls Club 

From remote learning centers to summer camps to afternoon sports, the Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township has been partnering with St. John's for nearly 2 years. This year included field hockey and other after school sports at St. John's in the winter and the return of day camp in the summer.

Online Presence & Stewardship

Online Presence

St. John's digital presence has continued to grow beyond the pandemic. From Sunday morning livestreams to midweek sermon reminders to highlighting ministries supported within and outside the church building, St. John's has continued to keep its members up to date and plugged in about all the exciting things happening. Main online communication platforms include the website, social media, weekly email updates, and Church Center, the church app. While online engagement has not grown in the same way that it did in the early days of the pandemic, it has not fallen off.

 

One way that St. John's maintains its online presence is through the weekly livestream of the worship services. Additional improvements were made to livestream this past year making it an improved experience for those watching online and those operating the equipment.

Website

-  Top Visited Pages: Home, Events, About Us, New Here, Mission Resale Shop

-  Continued growth across all metrics

 

Facebook

-  44,410 minutes viewed

-  22,068 people reached

 

Instagram

-  22% increase in followers

-  86 accounts reached monthly

 

YouTube

- 22% increase in followers

- 76.9% of watch time from non-subscribers

 

Emails

-  529 subscribers

-  Over 50% weekly opens

Stewardship

Stewardship remained strong throughout the year. Even in the midst of a vacancy, giving exceeded the needed weekly average. Despite the high increased cost of utilities, St. John's was able to end the fiscal year under budget. The gratitude that St. John's has for its supporters cannot be overstated.

 

Through the generosity of the congregation, funds were sent to two international mission partners: Torkild Masvie of Concordia Israel and Sam Gatz in Hungary. Funds from the Mission Resale Shop were given to missions of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and its Northern Illinois District.

$8,474

Weekly Average Giving

18.69% 

Increase in Funds Available

23.34%

Decrease in Expenses

Looking Forward

The upcoming fiscal year presents exciting new opportunities for St. John's. The Trustees have a plethora of projects: replacing the Chancel floor with hard wood, painting the activity center, replacing windows, and hydraulic water crack sealing at the Mission Resale Shop. These refurbishments will take place along with updates throughout the facility as St. John's welcomes the Boys & Girls Club into a larger role within the facility.

At St. John's, we believe we are called by God to be a catalyst in our community. As we look ahead to the coming year, we have a tremendous opportunity to partner with Boys & Girls Club of Dundee township. St. John's will be working collaboratively with BGCDT and will dedicate a portion of our facility to enable a new Boys & Girls Club presence in Algonquin focused on families. Look for some creative and energizing changes to the facility! We are thankful that God continues to bless us with opportunities such as this to be a catalyst in the community and ask God's blessings on these new endeavors!

 

- Dean Banwart, Vice-Chairman

Welcome Pastor Latzke

After a year of searching and praying, Pastor Jeremy Latzke accepted the call to serve as the next pastor of St. John's.

Pastor Jeremy grew up in a family full of church workers. His dream, however, was to work for ESPN and work in sports broadcasting or journalism. As it turned out, God had other plans. Despite insisting for years he would never attend the “family school,” the Holy Spirit led him to enroll at Concordia University River Forest (now Chicago), following in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents. After fairly quickly coming to the realization that being a full-time high school teacher wasn’t for him, he joined the pre-seminary program and eventually made his way to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Upon graduation he took his first call to the Lutheran Church of St. John in Quincy, IL.

 

While he was serving in Quincy he met his wife, Ruth, and became dad to Isaac. In March of 2015 Pastor Jeremy took a call to serve St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chenoa, IL. It was during their time in Chenoa that Ethan was born.

 

Outside of church Pastor Jeremy is a fan of the Chicago White Sox, Green Bay Packers, and Liverpool soccer. He also counts baking amongst his primary hobbies, particularly cookies. Pastor and his family are excited to be coming and serving alongside the people of St. John’s. They look forward to getting to know the members of this congregation and working together to find ways to show the love and share the good news of Jesus with the community.