ELC Summer Day Camps



The ELC will be offering three two-week Summer Day Camp sessions this year. They will help extend children’s learning over the summer months. Each camp will feature a themed and play-based curriculum that will provide the preschool child with lots of fun-filled, hands-on, sensory experiences that encourage exploration, discovery, and creativity.

Here is the schedule for each session which will run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: Zoo-riffic Summer Fun, June 4-6, 11-13; Buzzin’ Bees & Bugs, June 18-20, 25-27; I Can Paint, I Can Draw, July 9-11, 16-18.

Each camp requires a $25 deposit which will be deducted from the cost of the session. Parents are asked to provide a healthy snack and drink for their child each day.

Soccer Shots will be offering a Soccer Camp immediately following our camp sessions.

For more information on summer Day Camp, please email or call 630-969-7987.

National Day of Prayer 2013



Please join us for the National Day of Prayer Service on Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m.  The theme will be “Joyful, Joyful.”  This special worship will provide opportunities for adoration, confession, thanskgiving, and supplication to our gracious God for the joys and needs of His people.  Come and grow in your faith as you hear God’s Word and sing praises to the Lord!  Refreshments will be served following the service.  Guests are welcome so please consider inviting someone to join you.

2013 Easter Eggstravaganza

eggstravEggciting Easter Eggstravaganza

St. John Lutheran Church will continue the tradition of hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with an Egg Hunt at 10:00 a.m. In addition to looking for treat-filled plastic eggs, children and their families will have the opportunity to participate in games and to make crafts throughout the event.   There will be a puppet show at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Our K-9 Comfort Dog, Shami, will greet all who attend. It promises to be a joy-filled morning. We hope you will attend and invite others to join you.

Assistance is needed to facilitate this community outreach event. This is a great short-term service opportunity for individuals, families, and small groups. Helpers need not be adults. Many of the tasks can be done by youth over the age of 12. Volunteers are needed to:

  • Donate small, individually wrapped pieces of candy 2 to 3 of which will fit in a plastic egg. Candy is needed no later than Sunday, March 24 and may be deposited in a box in the Information Café.
  • Fill eggs with candy no later than Thursday, March 28.
  • Set up the Fellowship Hall after the 7:00 p.m. Good Friday Tenebrae Service.
  • Scatter plastic eggs outside for the Egg Hunt at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the event.
  • Supervise games and crafts from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. the day of the event.
  • Lead groups of children to their designated area at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the event for the 20-minute Egg Hunt.
  • Clean up and breakdown the Fellowship Hall for set up of the Easter Breakfast at 11:00 a.m. when this event concludes.

There is a sign-up sheet in the Activity Notebook on the Information Café Counter where you can indicate your intent to serve.

Bonnie Manikowski is coordinating the event and looks forward to your participation. Please contact her at or 630-789-3362 should you have questions.

2013 Prayer Breakfast

prayerbreakfastPrayer Breakfast                        

The annual Prayer Breakfast hosted by the LWML will be held on Saturday, March 16 in the Fellowship Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The featured speaker will be Karen Hardecopf, RN, an LCMS Parish Nurse and Lay Minister, who is associated with Bright Stars of Bethlehem. Bright Stars of Bethlehem is an outreach ministry which meets the educational, medical, professional, cultural, and spiritual needs of over 60,000 people living in the Holy Land with the goal of growing hope, peace, and harmony.

Sign up in the Activity Notebook by March 11 on the Information Café Counter to indicate your attendance and meal contribution. Invite your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to join you. A free will offering will be received to further the work of Bright Stars of Bethlehem. A Closing Community Prayer will be offered.

ELC Open House


Open House
Saturday, March 9
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The ELC will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, March 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It will provide those unfamiliar with our school the opportunity to see our facility, meet our staff, and learn about the many programs we offer. Please let your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers in the area know about this promotional event.

Soul Surfer: Feb. 2013 Movie Night


There will be a free showing of the movie “Soul Surfer” on Friday, February 8 at 6:30  P.M. in the Fellowship Hall.  The film is perfect for the entire family with its PG rating. Should you prefer, optional child care will be available for $2 per child.Complimentary popcorn and lemonade will be served. If they wish, families may bring additional snacks to share. The event will be publicized to encourage community attendance.

“Soul Surfer” is an action-packed drama based on the autobiography of Bethany Hamilton, a courageous 13-year-old surfer, who lost her arm in a shark attack. The title refers to a term coined in the 1960s to indicate someone who surfs purely for pleasure, but the word “soul” itself has a double meaning in reference to Hamilton’s Christian faith, which helped her overcome physical and emotional trauma.

The film was released in theaters in the United States and Canada in April 2011 and became the highest grossing live action surf film and top selling Sony-Affirm motion picture in history with over $43,000,000 in domestic box office. “Soul Surfer” won the “Best Film for Family Audiences” at the Movie Guide Awards.

St. John Lutheran Church hopes to inspire families through this screening of “Soul Surfer,” a film that promotes the belief that struggles are a reality of life but faith in God offers encouragement to persevere with love and unity. Mark your calendar and plan to attend with family, friends, neighbors and/or co-workers. Sign up to indicate your attendance in the Activity Notebook on the Information Cafe Counter.

Winter Train Show 2013

wintertrain show

Bundle up the family on Saturday, January 19 then head over to the Fellowship Hall between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to enjoy one of the largest Train Shows in the Midwest. Admission is $5 for adults and children under 12 are free. There will be operating layouts, vendors, food and fun for all. Proceeds will help fund our Youth Group’s trip to the 2013 National Gathering.

2012 List of Christmas Events at St. John:

Save the Dates:

Christ’s Mass Program
Sunday, December 16, 9:00 a.m.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
Monday, December 24, 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Christmas Day Service
Tuesday, December 25, 9:00 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Service
Monday, December 31, 5:00 p.m.

Don Wharton Concert!

St. John Lutheran Church at 7214 South Cass Avenue in Darien, IL will host Don Wharton in concert on Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.  General unreserved seating will begin at 6:30 p.m.  Free tickets are available by calling the church office at 630-969-7987 to arrange for pick up.  Child care will be available for $2 per child.  A free will offering for Don Wharton’s music ministry will be taken and his CDs will be on sale.

Since 1979, Christian singer, songwriter, film maker, author, and humorist Don Wharton has performed over 3,000 concerts–at least one in all 50 states. His encouraging and uplifting style has inspired thousands of people to greater service to Jesus Christ.

Don’s versatility has given him the opportunity to share his music with a wide range of audiences at churches, schools and conventions. He has opened for such Christian artists as Carman, Michael Card, Jessie Dixon, Honeytree and Don Francisco. He has also worked with 60’s recording sensations Paul and Paula and acclaimed actor Beau Bridges. Don performed the first Gospel concert at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on September 29, 1998.

On Friday, August 13, 1993, Don was one of seven people who miraculously survived a twin engine private plane crash into the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. The team was returning from a missionary/humanitarian aid trip to eastern Russia.  Don weaves the story of this experience throughout his concert.

Don has produced twenty-two albums, primarily of his own compositions. His latest three are “Rain Down Your Love,” “Abundantly,” and “Finding the Way.” Wharton also published his first Christian fiction novel titled “The Lost Principled Man,” and he has recently finished writing the second novel in the series, “No White Lies,” which will be published in 2012.

Don’s songwriting efforts have been rewarded with cuts on Southern Gospel albums by the Speer Family, The Lesters and The Northmen. Don’s song “His Mighty Hands” is also included on Mike Speck’s Word Music choral collection “I Believe It All,” which was nominated for a Dove award in 2000, and was recently sung by the choir from Thomas Road Baptist Church on their international television broadcast.

In May 2012, Don released his first film project, “Life at the Back Fence,” a two-man drama designed for church small group ministries.

Don and his wife, Leslie, were married in June, 1976. They have five children and live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Annual Craft & Vendor Fair

All are invited to the St. John Early Learning Center (ELC) Craft & Vendor Fair on Saturday, November 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.   Each year this extensive showcase of hand-made and retail items provides the perfect opportunity for patrons to get started on their holiday gift list. Admission is free. There will also be a Bake Sale and Raffle.  This event, sponsored by the ELC Parent-Teacher Group, raises funds to purchase new equipment and supplies.  If you are a crafter or vendor and would like to reserve a table, call 630-969-7987 or email  Whether you come to sell or to buy, we hope to see you there!