St John Evangelical Lutheran Church

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TWENTY MONTHS AGO, I submitted a proposal to the Congregation Council requesting a sabbatical for the summer of 2020. My intent was to spend time with my husband  and our three kids, read, rest, reflect and write a book for women to find spiritual renewal amid the  intensity of family and work life.


mar1Fast forward to 2021, after exactly nothing any of us planned for 2020 went as planned! I am grateful to the Council and to Pastor Joe for working with me to delay my sabbatical to this summer, from May 3 through August 3. These three months will resemble my original plan, although I finished the book I mentioned. I will begin to work on another book with a similar theme for women who are clergy.


I am more grateful than I can tell you to enter a season of sabbatical. Like you, I have been exhausted by the volume of decisions both at home and in my work in the past year. Each decision, shaped by my love for you and for my family, have accumulated to the point that even made my voice sound tired, I’ve noticed. My sabbatical will commence with a silent retreat at Pacem en Terris Hermitage near Isanti, Minnesota, giving my voice and introverted self a great rest! I will spend those days in uninterrupted conversation with God (except when I’m napping).


A sabbatical is a generous gift you give to your pastors.

Here are a few things to know…

  • Because my intent is largely to reconnect with my family, most of my sabbatical will be spent at home.     However, you will not see me at worship. I hope to worship at churches both in-person and online to learn and to be spiritually fed. My family’s favorite church is this one, so it is likely you will periodically see them in their usual pew!
  • Just as I will not be present at worship, I will not be present at other pastoral moments. Baptisms, weddings and funerals will all be presided over by Pastor Joe. To be consistent, I won’t respond to any pastoral care needs or emergencies during that time.
  • It is important to me that Pastor Joe has a couple of weeks away this summer. At that time, Pastor Mike   Pretzer from Peace Lutheran Church will respond to any pastoral care emergencies.
  • While sabbatical is a great gift for a pastor, it is meant to be a time of renewal for a congregation, too.  I am excited for you to hear a variety of preachers who care deeply about your spirituality. You will see a few familiar faces in the pulpit in the months ahead!

This sabbatical is also possible because I am gifted with a supportive colleague. Pastor Joe likes dark coffee and it wouldn’t hurt to drop one off for him every now and then, to remind him he is your favorite pastor (at least while I’m gone)!


Pastor Lisa Lewton



End of Year Celebration! Wednesday, May 18 @ 5:00 PM
Confirmation Wednesday, May 18 @ 7:00 PM
Handbell Choir rehearsal Thursday, May 19 @ 5:15 PM
Vocal Choir rehearsal Thursday, May 19 @ 6:30 PM
WORSHIP Thursday, May 19 @ 7:00 PM

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SUNDAYS 8:00 am & 9:30 am

9:30 am is also available on

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broadcast on KDIX radio


WEDNESDAYS:  6:00 pm 

Church School worship


THURSDAYS: 7:00 pm









St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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