Latest News

February 13, 2018

At the 1/22/18 Voters Meeting, we explained to our members the reason for the unexpected cost increases in the project.  We presented options to move forward in pieces with the goal still being the completion of the Master Plan.  A vote of confidence was registered and recorded by those in attendance, and we move forward towards a groundbreaking this year.  That is our goal and we are working hard as a committee, with the support of St. John members, to begin construction in May or June.  

On February 2, we hosted our 2nd Annual Branching Out Chili Cook Off & Dessert Competition.  We had a great turn out!  18 chili's were submitted and plenty of desserts. Winners were chosen and won a trophy and a gift card.  Winner for Best Chili was Valerie Elliott and winner for Best Dessert was Angela Hoehner. Congratulations Ladies!   There was live music from PBM and plenty of food, fun and fellowship. Another successful Branching Out event!  

The Events Committee is underway planning remaining events, including our Golf Outing and Auction. If you are interested in helping in any of our upcoming events (see the Events tab), especially our Golf Outing and our Auction/Dinner, please contact a committee member. We need your help!

January 22, 2018

There is a Voters Meeting tonight to discuss changes to the Master Plan.  As announced in church over the last 2 weeks, there have been unforseen circumstances that have significantly increased the cost of Phase 1. The Branching Out Committee and Building Sub-Committee have been working over the past month to develop a strategy to address these new developments. Every voter should make every effort to be in attendance for this meeting.

October 25, 2017

Please visit our Events page for the upcoming Silent Auction & Formal Dinner event!  You are cordially invited! We cannot wait to share this event with you.  This will be a great event to bring us all together for an evening of fellowship and fun. Details on the Events page!

The Committee presented updates at all services during the October 22/23 weekend.  Members were given an updated time line (see below) on what our committee has been doing since May and an updated financial status.  If all goes well, we would like to break ground in the Spring of 2018 (approx. March).

As always, we appreciate your continued support and feedback, and most importantly, your continued prayers.

To God Be The Glory!

October 20, 2017

The Branching Out Team has been very busy since May!  We've been working on big fundraiser events, but also a lot of updates to overal building portion of Phase One.  Here is a time line of what we've been working on since May 2017:

  • May ‚Äď Established and expanded subcommittees (Building, Finance, Events, Communication)
  • June, July, August ‚Äď Meetings with Architect to finalize the building plans
  • August ‚Äď Organ rebuild approved and begun
  • September ‚Äď Investigated fixed rate options ‚Äď there are none¬†available at this point. We are still exploring options. ¬†It is standard practice that construction loans are variable rates
  • September ‚Äď Building subcommittee interviewed three contractors and selected The Dailey Company
  • September ‚Äď Architect began working on final drawings

We will be presenting updated schematics to Phase One to the congregation on Sunday 10/22 and Monday Night 10/23..  Over the course of developing Phase One, we've noticed areas where modifcations or changes neede to be made.  These updates fulfill these needs:

North Hall Rooms:

  • 4th-8th Grade classrooms extended for additional space for older students
  • Library moved to new North hall
  • Added Boys, Girls and Staff restrooms in new North hallway
  • Storage room in new North hallway

Early Childhood Center (East Hall)

  • Pre-school administrative office added to Early Childhood Center
  • Restrooms and storage areas added to Preschool Rooms
  • Teacher‚Äôs workroom with Restroom added near Early Childhood Center

Renovated Administrative Area (South Hall)

  • SACC area expanded to increase capacity
  • School offices flipped to west side of main entrance
  • Second level of secure entry added
  • Current Library converted to Parlor/Multi-Use Room with restroom and kitchenette

Thank you for your support and prayers!

 IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Branching Out Committee will be presenting a modified version of Phase One at the next Voter's Meeting on Sunday Sept 24th following the late service.  We will also be going over the year in review We are excited with some of the changes we've made and are excited to share them with our members.  Also, tickets for the event of the year--The Branching Out Formal Dinner and Auction--go on sale 9/24.  Please consider purchasing your tickets as soon as possible as this event will be marketed on Fraser Public TV and other outlets.  This is sure to be an amazing event and we look forward to having you as our guest for what will certainly be a wonderful evening for food, fellowship and fun!

September 13, 2017

We will be announcing details about the Nov. 4th Silent Auction & Dinner very soon.  Tickets will go on sale Sept 24th.  Stay tuned.  We anticipate this to be our finest event and are looking forward to a large turnout!  More to follow.....

September 8, 2017

On August 18, Branching Out held our very first Concert.  The event was held at the beautiful new Infinity banquet center, formerly the Hofbrau House. Our member Jim Walsh and his staff did a marvelous job renovating the old bar into a beautiful new banquet hall with a nice stage and sound system.   The food was outstanding, the decor is gorgeous and there was a lot of energy and excitement in the atmosphere. 

St. John alumnus Mike Sugg headlined this exciting concert and performed his act as one of the nations top Toby Keith tribute performers.   The opening band was PBM, a horn-powered pop-rock band from Warren with local ties to St. John.  They got the crowd started with and turned it over to Mike Sugg and his spot on Toby Keith performance.  The event was a tremendous success as members were able to mix and mingle over dinner and music.  There was even a surprise visit from our former president, Abraham Lincoln. 

We also want to thank all the committee members and volunteers who worked tirelessly to pull off this very successful first Branching Out Concert Fundraiser.   Here are some photos from our wonderful event, courtesy of Jim Shields Photography.


May 15, 2017

Our 1st ever Branching Out Golf Outing was Saturday May 13th, and it was a tremendous success. We had 115 golfers and raised significantly more than our goal.   We are so blessed and thankful for all those who came out and participated in this event, and to those businesses who sponsored a hole or a prize.  Without all of your engagement and support, this event would not have been a success.   We also thank our Branching Out Events Committee for working tirelessly on this event since we announced it.  They have put in many hours meeting, gathering prizes, working out the logistics with the golf course, and much more.  Overall, this was an outstanding event and we are so happy to hear people still talking about it the next morning.   We look forward to next year's outing and getting even MORE golfers! 

May 8, 2017



April 21, 2017




Our 1st Annual Branching Out Golf Outing is almost upon us.  The deadline to submit your payment for golfing or sponsorship is Sunday, April 23. If there is an extinuating circumstance,  we may be able to accomodate you. Please contact any of the committee members.  

All of our Branching Out events have been successful and we've learned so much. We want this event to be a great success so please,  head to Cracklewood Golf Course Saturday May 13th and golf, or if you don't golf, come to our banquet. Details about this great new event can be found on the Events link under the Branching Out tab.

January 25, 2017

The Branching Out Committee has set dates for some very exciting upcoming events.  There will be more details forthcoming for the Golf Outing and Silent Auction.  Please continue to check our EVENTS page for more specifics.

  • 2.24.17¬†¬†¬† Euchre Night in the cafeteria (see poster below!)
  • 5.13.17¬†¬†¬† 1st Annual Golf Outing at Cracklewood Golf Course
  • 11.4.17¬†¬†¬†¬† Silent Auction & Black Tie Dinner in the gym¬†

If you are interested in donating an item, a service or a gift basket for the silent auction, please contact Michelle Heitz at 

For more details on the financial progress of the project, please make sure you attend a Voters Meeting. We will provide updates at each Voters Meeting.

As always, we ask that you PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY for our church, our ministries and that God's will be done on this project, as He sees fit.  We appreciate all the support and feedback and we look forward to seeing you at these exciting events!

January 24, 2017

You are cordially invited to bring yourself, your friends, your family (no kids below 9th grade though!) to our adult Euchre Night.  There will be prizes for the TOP 3 finishers! Please plan on spending some fun, fellowship and meeting new people at our event.  We look forward to having you spend your Friday evening with us!


January 12, 2017

Happy New Year!  We are so blessed to have had another full year of fundraising, fellowship, and service to this project.  Let's kick off 2017 with some fun.!  Stand by for further details....


December 13, 2016


2016 is almost over! Please consider an end of the year charitable donation to the St. John Branching Out building campaign. Visit the links on the Branching Out tab for more details! Gifts by check should note "Branching Out" on the memo line. We thank you for your donation!

November 15, 2016

We had a tremendous turnout for our first ever Chili Cook Off.  We had 18 chili's and 14 desserts submitted.  Over 150 people attended and sampled the amazing chilis and desserts prepared by our members.  We had groups playing euchre tournaments, the gym was open for families and children to play and have fun and there was tons of food, family and fellowship at this event.   Next year will be even better!

Winner for the Most Popular Chili was Stacey Garrett.  Stacey prepared an amazing white bean chicken chili. Angela Hoehner and Kim Hengy (Branching Out Events Committee members) presented Stacey with a $50 Chili's gift card and 1st place trophy.

Winner for the Most Popular Dessert was Michelle Heitz. Michelle whipped up some homemade candy bars!  Ang and Kim presented her with a $50 Chili's gift card and 1st place trophy.

Octobert 17, 2016

Branching Out is excited to announce our first big chili cook off!  We hope you enter your chili and/or a dessert and come on out! This will be a night of fun, food, fellowship and friendly rivalry!   The chili and the dessert with the most votes gets a prize!  The gym will be open so kids and families can play in the gym. 

Also, we are looking for volunteers for a lot of different areas. We have refined our list and it is posted here.  Please look at this list and see if there is a way you can use your time, talents or treasure to help us with this exciting project. 

September 27, 2016

There is a Volunteer Meeting tonight!  If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please attend tonight's meeting.  We are in need of more help and more ideas.  This is an informal meeting that should last about 1 hour.  We look forward to you stopping by, meeting our committee and working together on this very important project!

August 9, 2016

The Committee has begun making phone calls to all members who have not submitted their committment forms.  We are aksing all forms be turned in as soon as possible, wether they are in support of the project or not, or for members who are uncertain if they support the project.  Every form contains valuable information and feedback that helps our committee shape how and when we  proceed with our Branching Out initiative--from timelines to financing to congregational support and moral.   We will be reviewing all forms, all pledges, and all commitments and providing a report at the September 25, 2016 Voters Meeting.  We welcome your comments, questions and concerns on the form, as well as any financial or prayerful support you may offer.  Thank you for considering this project. We ask that you please continue to keep our committee, our congregation and the Branching Out project in your prayers. 

ATTENTION SCHOOL PARENTS:  Branching Out will have a table at the official School Registration on Wed. August 17th from 10am to 12pm and 6pm to 8pm.  Please stop by and grab any information you may be interested in and please consider volunteering. Sign up sheets will be available!

July 20, 2016

As our pledges and committments roll in, we are getting very excited, but there is much work to do!  The Committee is currently enlisting volunteers to help make calls to our members who have not committed or pledged.  All feedback is valuable and useful and we look forward to making more connections with our members!  If you would like to volunteer to help us make calls, please talk with a committee member or our Pastors. 

June 18, 2016

Committments and pledges have been collected and results so far will be presented at the June 27th meeting.  Your attendance is requested as this is a very important meeting. 

May 24, 2016

Committment Sunday was June 22.   Pastor Richert preached a wonderful sermon.  You can read it here.  (link to follow soon)


May 24, 2016

We had a great turnout for our Potluck.  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Branching Out and what we hope is a very exciting time!  We had a lot of ministries in the church with tables and booths set up.  It was truly a great day for fellowship among our St. John family!  A big thank you goes out to our Events Team for planning the event and setting it up.  We also thank Chris Nader for making the pulled pork main course! 

May 5, 2016

  • Next Sunday is our Kickoff and Ministry Fair!¬†THIS IS A POTLUCK! ¬†Please read the poster, as well as the flyer that was put in your mailbox, so you know what to bring!¬†The main dish will be pulled pork! ¬†We look forward to seeing you there!

April 29, 2016

  • Starting Sunday May 1, the Branching Out Committee will have a table near the mailboxes. Over the coming days and weeks leading up to our Kickoff, there will be information and materials for you to explore.¬† There will be Official Branching Out Informational Magazines available.¬† Please only take one per family.¬† This booklet was put together for the benefit of educating our members on the project and the reasons why Branching Out believes now is the time to begin this project.¬†¬† There will also be a folder containing statistical data, geographic and census data, building data and more for those who want to look at some of the materials and information ¬†we as a committee have been using as a source and guide for this project.¬† From¬†¬† the beginnings of the Future State Committee to the current Branching Out Committee, we value transparency and actively seek your involvement in this project as we move forward TOGETHER as one united St. John!¬† Therefore, we strongly encourage you to take a magazine for your family and explore the informational binder we have available on our table.¬†

April 27, 2016

  • So far, we have had over 150 members attend the townhalls.¬† We still have 2 more town halls!¬† Tonight and May 6th.¬† The May 6th Town Hall will have childcare available. We will also have games and pizza for everyone. If you have not been to a town hall, please make sure you attend. New information is being presented.¬† Members are asking great questions and providing ideas and feedback.¬† As a reminder, our congregation approved this project so we enourage every member to come out and learn about where we are at with our project and where we need to be.¬† We continue to ask for your prayers for our committee and our church and school as a whole.¬† Thank you and we hope to see you at an upcoming town hall.

April 26, 2016

  • Beginning May 2, a new 16' long Control Booth will be constructed in the back corner of the church (near the lighting panel and CD Recorder).¬† This booth will provide a secure space that will house the control equipment for our church lighting (an upgrade included in our planned remodeling), the control equipment for our sound system, and all the equipment used to create videos of our services for online and DVD use.¬† Currently much of this equipment is taking up valuable space in our balcony.¬† The new booth will have enough room for up to 4 people to work with equipment at once which will be handy for the Boar's Head performances and special services.¬† The booth along with the upgrade to the church sound system that is occurring over the next month are components included in our Master Plan that will be completed prior to the official start of our Branching Out Initiative, thanks to a couple generous donations from members who regularly view our service videos.¬† Watch for the upgraded videos during the summer months!

March 29, 2016

  • Town Halls have been scheduled and your presence as a member of the school and/or church is requested!¬† This is an excellent opportunity to get all of the updates, voice your feedback/questions/concerns, and learn more about Commitment Sunday and ways in which you can set up your commitment to the Branching Out initiative.¬† You can sign up for a townhall inside the church narthex near the church mailboxes or by registering online to one of the events posted on¬†our Branching Out Facebook Page.¬† Dates are available on the Events link on the Branching Out tab above.

March 1, 2016

  • The St. John Banner Committee through their God-given talents and time, created our beautiful banner for the Branching Out project.¬† The work on the banner is detailed and beautiful.¬† We thank God for the blessing that is each and every member of our committee who worked on this banner and all of our banners.¬† To God be the glory!


February 29, 2016

  • UPDATE:¬† The Event Planning Sub-Committee has been formed! If you are interested in working with this outstanding group of people, please contact any committee member, Denise Nader or Vicki Macer!

January 27, 2016

  • The proposed timeline for the project has been added to ¬†the website. Click here to view it.

January 19, 2016

  • VOLUNTEERS FOR EVENT PLANNING¬†NEEDED FOR BRANCHING OUT COMMITTEE!¬†¬† The Branching Out committee is seeking an individual or individuals to create¬† quarterly events throughout the Branching Out campaign.¬† We are looking to create¬†and/or book fun,¬†unique events that can¬†appeal to all segments of our church body, especially family friendly events.¬†If you are interested in helping us¬†set up events, please contact any committee member or contact the church office.¬† Please prayerfully consider donating your time and talent to this exciting adventure. ¬†¬†

January 13, 2016

  • Our Public Relations & Marketing committee members, Jeff Davis and Jeremiah Hoehner, will be addressing the congregation with an update on the progress of the Branching Out project before both services this Sunday, January 17th and on Monday night, January 18th.

January 12, 2016

  • REMINDER: There is a voters meeting January 25th at 8pm.¬† We look forward to seeing you there!¬†

January 12, 2016

  • We thank Bill Burmeister from the Michigan Church Extension Fund (CEF) for addressing our members¬†and providing very solid and worthwhile information about wills, trusts, charitable giving and estate planning. We had a great turnout and a lot of interest generated. There will be more opportunites like this coming and we look forward to seeing you at them!¬† If you missed the event,¬† and you are interested in getting more information about wills, trusts and estate planning in general, please call Bill at 734-213-4251.¬† More information can be found online at Michigan Church Extension Fund.

January 5, 2016

  • The Branching Out committee will be meeting with boards and groups within our church.¬† Over the coming month or so, someone from our committee will be stopping by to give you a brief update on where we stand and the behind-the-scenes work we are doing.¬†¬† Thank you for your continued prayers as we move forward!