After 134 years of operation, St. John’s Lutheran School will close at the end of this school year.

After 134 years of operation, St. John’s Lutheran School will close at the end of this school year. The congregation made the decision with sadness and tears in many eyes. The love of Christian education is strong in the church, but with declining enrollments, fiscal expenditures, and an older building needing upgrades or replacement, the church family could not see a way to sustain the school.

St. John’s enjoys a network of other nearby schools in its denomination, notably St. Paul’s School in New Ulm, Prairie Lutheran School in Fairfax and Gibbon, St. John School in Redwood Falls, and St. Paul’s School in St. James. With that continuing, firm desire to give children a strong spiritual foundation, the congregation is planning ways to financially support students who want to attend those schools. Church president Bruce Beussman said, “The education of youth is still a passion. We will just do it in a different way.”

In addition, the church has been nurturing some dreams for expanding its ministries and will now focus its attention on those dreams. A major area of focus will be creating a ministry specifically for helping families become healthy, strong, and happy. The church is also looking at other programs that can be developed to respond to community needs. More information will be emerging as these focus points take shape in the congregation’s life.

“Overall,” said Pastor Chris Cordes, “the church has much to offer. We’ll continue to look for ways to make positive contributions in this community we are blessed to be part of.”