St. John's Lutheran Church | 391 Mount Hope Road, Middletown, NY 10940 | 845.342.1963 | stjohnsmiddletown@gmail.com

Pastor's Page



October 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Here is a familiar tune:

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy birthday St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Happy Birthday to you!

Yes, we all have birthdays.  After having had so many birthdays, I would prefer to forget mine and not be reminded of how old I have become.  Yet my birthday is remembered. Every year my wife makes me a home-made ice cream cake (with chocolate chip mint, my favorite ice cream flavor).  Now that my sons all live in other states, they always call me, or even “FaceTime” me on my special day. Many wonderful folks send me cards and other greetings.  Yes, in spite of our age, a birthday is a good thing to remember. The same is true for your church as well.

We are having a birthday celebration to mark the 120th Anniversary of our founding in November 1898.  Here are the details that you need to know:

St. John’s Lutheran Church
120th Anniversary
1898-2018
Sunday, November 4th


FESTIVAL  WORSHIP
10:00 AM
(no Sunday School)
Special Music
Interim Bishop Donald McCoid, preacher

SPECIAL  COFFEE HOUR
11:30 AM
Wagner Hall
120th Birthday Cake

120th ANNIVERSARY  BANQUET
2:00 PM
Kuhl’s Highland House
512 Highland Avenue Ext, Middletown
Cocktail Hour
Buffet Dinner
Ice Cream Bar Dessert
Door Prizes
Special Surprise Program
2018 Distinguished Disciple Award
Tickets required:  $25 adult, $15 children
Cash Bar


It has been our tradition at St. John’s to recognize our congregation’s anniversary every year with a church dinner and celebration.  On the anniversaries that end in “5” or “0” we step it up, and celebrate in style. We have a 120th Anniversary Committee chaired by Hazel Goldstein.  They are hard at work planning a great day for all of us.  I hope that all of you will be able to attend. We are very thankful to the Kuhl Family that prices the dinner well below their regular price so that many are able to attend.  We do not want cost to keep anyone away, so if there are special financial concerns, please speak to me privately and I will make arrangements to help you out. Cost should never be a reason to stay away.

Our congregation has an amazing and fascinating history.  From the 59 German-Americans who founded St. John’s as a German language congregation in 1898, to the building of the first church building at 1 Linden Avenue in 1914, to the 1985 move to 391 Mount Hope Road, to the building of our new worship space in 2009, our God has led and guided us along the way.  Through good days and tough days, through successes and failures, God’s work has always come first for this congregation. Over these 120 years there have been thirteen different pastors called to lead the congregation, and hundreds of dedicated leaders who have helped to guide this church for 120 years.  That much has never changed.

A congregation’s future is never guaranteed, and neither is ours.  No matter how many members a church may have, and no matter how much money might be in the bank, the future is always uncertain.  The future of St. John’s Lutheran Church is no different. What we do have are members who love this congregation and give of themselves generously in love and service.  Most of all, we have a faithful God who has guided our congregation for 120 years, and if we remain faithful to Him, He will continue to guide our paths.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

Happy Birthday to Us!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Rustico +