St. John's Youth Group

Members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in 6th-12th grades are members of the St. John’s Youth Group. Nothing to join; they automatically are members!  Our meeting times are as follows:

Sunday 9:30-10:30am

We gather as a group this summer to attend Pastor’s Bible Class. 

Why not as our own?  Mistakenly, many say that the youth are “the future of the Church.”  Wrong.  Youth already are the Church!  No need to simplify the Scriptures for teens.  Youth can think deeply and ask great questions – even being helpful to some of the older minds in the class, stimulating them with the questions, comments and perspectives of younger people!

1st and 3rd Wednesday 6:00pm-7:30pm

St. John’s youth usually meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 6:00-7:30pm where we will hang out, play various sports or games (like Fear Factor, Minute to Win It, and more), plan service projects, and discuss God’s Word.


LCMS Youth Events

We have a privilege in belonging to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod!  One of the blessings is opportunities for our youth to gather with youth from sister congregations across the U.S. and Canada!  At St. John’s, we support the two major choices for such youth gatherings.

Higher Things is a Recognized Service Organization of Synod.  HT endeavors to assist parents, congregations, and pastors in cultivating, encouraging and promoting a distinctively Lutheran identity among their youth and young adults.  Every summer, several conferences of several hundred to a thousand youth, pastors, and leaders come together for four days of worship, the Word, and fun!  These annual conferences are held on college campuses, with campus housing and food, to keep costs down.

The LCMS National Youth Gathering is a larger event that occurs every three years.  Over 25,000 youth and chaperones gather for five days of celebration, service, and worship.  Participants stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, and meet for events in large convention centers/sports domes.  With the greater costs and the more complicated logistics of the larger crowd, the NYG is a triennial event.


What Else?

Various retreats, lock-ins, service projects, and more, are always “in the works.”  Of course, the youth board is open to hearing your ideas and discussing them.

Contact Us

Please contact any of the Youth Board with any questions. You can email us or connect with us on Facebook.  The St. John’s Chicago Youth group page is closed, for the privacy and protection of our youth.  Introduce yourself and your interest, and we can talk about adding you to that group page.

Matthew Pahnke

Tiffany Pahnke

We look forward to constantly being fed by Christ and growing as a group, gathering for worship, hearing His Word, and having fun!


St. John's Acolyte Corps: Not Just For "Kids" Anymore

Serving at the Lord’s altar should never be done grudgingly, or as an obligation, but is a joy to help your fellow worshipers in receiving Christ in His Gifts.    If you end up serving at the altar, and the entire time is spent wishing you were somewhere else, or not participating in singing, praying, etc., then you are sinning against God and the others in the service.  (We certainly don’t want to encourage you to sin!)  For this reason, acolyting is no longer mandatory.


Acolyting carries a sacred responsibility.  You are assisting people in focusing on Jesus and His Word.  You are agreeing not only to light candles, but to be faithful in singing, praying, and listening, along with the entire Church.  As you are in the chancel, the others see and hear you joining them in receiving Christ’s Word and Sacrament, and responding with thanks and praise.


So, we are asking for those who wish to serve in this way, with a glad heart, to apply to be an acolyte.  (Don’t worry about the term “apply,” if you want to serve, you may!)  Anyone in 6th grade through high school may serve as an acolyte.  You may also be called on to carry the Book of Scriptures, the cross, and other items in processions, etc.


When you apply, you are promising to serve.  If you cannot serve on an assigned date, please try to find a substitute to trade with.  If you cannot, let Pastor know as soon as possible!


Please print off and fill out the following form, and help us know how to best schedule you. You can return it to Pastor or the office.


If you have questions, please ask!  Email, call, or text!


Yours in His service,


Pastor Richard Heinz


St. John’s Acolyte Corps

Servants at the Altar








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Which service do you most often attend?

(Circle one)


8 AM


11 AM


6 PM


4:30 PM




Which Christmas services do you attend?

(Circle all that apply)

Christmas Eve

4:30 PM

Christmas Eve

11 PM

Christmas Day

10:15 AM





Which Holy Week services do you attend?

(Circle all that apply)

Maundy Thursday

7 PM

Good Friday

4:30 PM

Good Friday

7 PM







Which Easter services do you attend?

(Circle all that apply)



6 PM

Sunday Sunrise

6:30 AM


8 AM


11 AM


Super Bowl Subs


-The Youth will be making delicious subs (like the one to the left) on Super Bowl Sunday.  They come in 6-inch, foot-long and 2 foot party subs!

-You can create your own by filling out the form on the home page of this site or by asking a member of the youth board for a form!  

-This is a big fundraiser for our trip to the National Youth Gathering, and we appreciate your orders!