Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

Annual Meeting of the Congregation

It’s nearing the time again to come together for our official Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Please mark your calendars for Sunday, February 10, at 11:30 a.m.  At this meeting we will be reviewing and approving the budget, voting on new council members, and choosing our representatives to attend the Oregon Synod Assembly.

The Fellowship Committee is organizing a baked potato bar to provide sustenance prior to the meeting.

Soup Suppers
 Lent doesn’t begin until Ash Wednesday, March 6, but it’s not too soon to start planning for the soup  suppers.  During Lent, First Lutheran holds Holden Evening Prayer services on Wednesdays. Before worship, we gather for a simple meal of soup and bread.  If you would like to provide a meal, watch for the sign-up sheet, which will be posted this month.

World Day of Prayer
 World Day of Prayer takes place internationally on the first Friday of March every year.  In 2019 that will be March 1.  It’s a day to celebrate in symbolic solidarity with women around the world!

This year, The Methodist Church will host the service.  It is at noon, followed by a luncheon.

The host country for WDP 2019 is Slovenia. The focus is on Jesus’ parable of the Great Dinner (in Lk. 14:15–24) with the theme “Come – Everything is Ready”.  One phrase in the worship service especially captures the ideas we will explore: “Welcoming God, in your love, you have prepared a table for all, and you inspire us to open our hearts and our homes to offer a place to the ones who are not yet at the table.” Who isn’t at your table yet? Who isn’t at your World Day of Prayer service . . . yet? The women of Slovenia challenge us all to widen our circles, to expand our communities.

New Directory Needed

It’s time to replace our blue church directory.  We’ve had some changes to our congregation, and it’s time for some updates. 

If you have no changes, and you are fine with the current photo, you don’t need to do anything.

If you have never been in the directory or if you have changes, get the information to Candice by Sunday, February 17. You have options for how you do this.  You can do it in person; there is a copy of the blue directory on the counter in the office that is the designated one for making changes. Or you can call or email Candice with your information/changes.  If you want a new photo (non-copyrighted, please), you can email a digital copy, give Candice a photo to scan, or ask Candice to take your photo. She will be available to do this on Sunday, February 10 during the luncheon prior to the annual meeting.

We are hoping to have the new directories available by Sunday, March 3.

Schedule for Sunday changes
We now have Sunday School, Confirmation, and Adult Forum at 9 a.m. Worship is at 10 a.m. (One service.

Helping those in need
We continue to help those in our local community who are in need by providing items through our “Collection Center,” which is housed in the Fellowship Hall closets. The collection boxes for this project are in the closet on the far left as you face the three double doors on the east wall. The blue and tan colored bins are on the end wall of that closet. You can donate personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioners, razors and shave gel, facial tissue, nail clippers, combs, soaps, toilet paper, sanitizers and wipes.  When we get a good supply, they will be taken to the Community Action Team for distribution.

The closets store many other items:

Market Fresh receipts (we get 1% return)
White sheets for bandages
Personal care items for Lutheran World Relief
Flav-r-pac & Santiam labels
Labels for Education (Campbell’s, etc.)
Eyeglasses for the Lions’ Program
Postage stamps (please cut or tear the stamps
from the envelope, leaving at least 1/4” border.

"Christ in our home" devotionals available

The current church budget includes funding for several copies of the "Christ in our home" devotional.

Each page includes a scripture reading, a devotional message, and a prayer.  It is a useful tool to help us slow down and spend a bit of time with our Bible and with Christ during our busy days. They are available in the church narthex. 

We have regular and large print versions available.  We hope you can take advantage of this thoughtful gift.

Calling All Crafters

Wednesday at First Lutheran is typically called quilting day.  However, the quilters also welcome knitters and other crafters. Since everyone is not a quilter, it provides a fun and productive way for people to join in the Wednesday fellowship.  We even have a few cribbage players added to the mix.

The official start of the activity is 10 a.m., but people come throughout the morning and early afternoon.  It wraps up at 3 p.m.  Note:  The quilters are always looking for additional help with both tying and stitching and are willing to train.

Welcome on Wednesdays!
No compensation is offered, just the satisfaction of knowing you are helping spread the mission of Christ into the world. Our amazing team of quilters need some help with both tying and stitching. Whether experienced or not, if you have an interest in this ministry, bring a sack lunch and come join the group on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Quilts are tied for Lutheran World Relief. If you can tie a good knot, you can start right in on this one. And if you know how to put simple squares together into a quilt top, they are needed too. Especially needed are hand stitchers, aka needlers. If you don’t think you are good enough, there are baby quilts for practice before you work on the consignment quilts. With practice, you might “graduate” sooner than you think!

Funds raised by consignment quilts go into the WELCA treasury and are used to help support a whole list of local agencies and worldwide efforts.

Sunday School "Faith Exploration Adventures"

Sunday School – Faith Exploration Adventures
Please join us at 9 a.m. on Sundays for our faith exploration adventures.  There will be three programs offered  — Adult Education, Confirmation, and Sunday School.  There is something here for EVERYONE, and we hope to encourage everyone to attend!

The Sunday School program is not just for kids – the intent is for all who are interested in strengthening and growing in our faith to join and be a part of this community.  Call it multi-generational, or life long learning  - we want our children to know beyond a shadow of a doubt about the love of Jesus, how it impacts our lives, and joins us together to face all of the joys and low points in our lives.

We understand that some parents may choose to drop off kids and attend the Adult Education Class.  We would love to invite parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teens, sisters, brothers – really everyone not attending the Adult Education or Confirmation Classes – to consider joining us at the Sunday School Class – every Sunday.  Pretty much everyone from birth to 110 is invited to participate!
- Katie Garman

February Guild Gatherings

The women’s groups continue to meet for Bible study and fellowship, and, as always, welcome new members. 
Soul Sisters meets on Tuesday, February 12, at 7 p.m.  Susie Tolleshaug is hosting at her home.  They are covering chapter 6 of Pew Sisters. Mary Guild meets at Avamere on Monday, February 18, at 1:30 p.m. Kathy Bauska is hosting.  Sarah Guild is on Thursday, February 21, at 10 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  Jean LeMont is hosting.  Both Mary and Sarah Guilds use the Gather magazine for their studies.

First Lutheran Church Endowment Fund
Do you want to build upon our legacy of generosity for the future? — One way to achieve that includes contributing on a regular basis to the Endowment Fund.

If you want to leave a living gift the ELCA has a professional gift-planning staff, who can assist you with planning your legacy to First Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Contact any member of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church St. Helens Endowment Committee for more information.

Committee members are Barbra Gordon, Norris Sundeen, Karina Strandjord , Audrey Webster, Bob Clore, and Mike McCoy.                 – Mike McCoy

Cards for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
First Lutheran is collecting greeting card fronts (Christmas and All Occasion) for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  The Ranch provides counseling and opportunities for troubled youth.  The kids operate a business taking used greeting cards, creating new ones, and selling the results.  The kids earn money, experience, and a sense of purpose through this program.  

Only the card fronts are used.  Please check to be sure the back side is clear of any writing.  They are not able to accept Hallmark, Disney, or American Greeting cards.  5" x 7" size or smaller is preferred.

Mike and Linda McCoy will deliver what we have collected in mid-February, which will save the cost of mailing them this year.
We will continue collecting card fronts in our Collection Center throughout the year. 

Changes to First Lutheran WELCA Group
At the WELCA annual planning meeting last month the women voted on a couple of changes.  First of all, they will be holding their business meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at noon in the Fellowship Hall.  Programs will be held at a different day and time.  They also voted to not hold a Mother’s Day brunch this year.

Bring Your Angels to WELCA on February 2Ladies, please join us for fun!

Our ladies are changing some things.  Yes, we are willing to change, believe it or not!

In an effort to be more inclusive of our younger, working ladies especially, we are having our February general meeting split into two times.  Our business meeting will be held the first Wednesday of the month at noon, but the program and devotion parts will be held on Saturday, February 23, at 2 p.m. with light refreshments.
Last year we enjoyed a program where we all brought crosses that we had in our homes.  We then shared stories about where and when we got them and special meanings they have for us.  It was a fun evening and a good way to learn a little more about each other.  So this year we decided at our planning meeting that we would bring angels we have in our homes and share our stories about them.  We encourage everyone to join us and bring as many angels as you have.  Even if you don't have a particular story to tell about them, it will be fun to see them all displayed.  You might be surprised how many you have--probably ranging from jewelry to yard decor and including Christmas decorations.
The devotions for the afternoon will be about angels, of course, and we are asking some angels we know to provide the refreshments.

Please take a break during the afternoon of the  23rd, pack up your angels, and bring them to join us.  We would welcome you to bring a friend who might be an angel to you as well!  

Choir Changes
This year the choir rehearsal schedule is going to look a little different!  We will be rehearsing on only  1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7 p.m.  

Any and all are welcome!  Come and help us make a joyful noise to the Lord!



Helping Fire Victims
The California wildfires have left many victims in its path of destruction.

The Camp Fire is the most devastating wildfire in California’s history.  The ELCA’s Lutheran Disaster Response is working with Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, Lutheran Social Services of Northern California, and the California Synods to respond to this fire.

If you would like to help, make your check out to Lutheran Disaster Response, designating it for “U.S. wildfires” or “Where needed most” on the check’s memo line, and mail your contribution to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA Gift Processing Center, PO Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 2211608009.

Community Rewards
First Lutheran Church participates in the Fred Meyer Community Rewards program.  If shoppers who use the rewards card actually link their card to the church, then  Kroger, who owns Fred Meyer,  makes a donation to the church. It does NOT cost you your rewards points. For the second quarter of 2018, 14 households used their Fred Meyer Rewards cards to bring in a total of $36.61  for First Lutheran.

Please note that they have upgraded their system, and as a result our non-profit organization (NPO) has a new account number. It is JJ283. So, if you haven’t yet enrolled in the Community Rewards program and plan to do so, use that new number. If you have any questions, you can talk to Audrey Webster.



Here is your coffee hour list forJanuary 13 through May 5, 2019

Coffee Hour Schedule for January 13 through May 5, 2019
Jan. 13            Harold & Louise Gullickson
And John & Jan Burdett

Jan. 20            Mike & Linda McCoy
And Beth Hunnicutt

Jan. 27            Scott & Kathy Bauska
And Nancy Stutzman

February 3      Chuck & Katie Garman

February 10    Norris & Sharyn Sundeen And
Travis Sundeen, Michelle Worden

February 17    Enid Schantz-Hagelberg & Mark
Hagelberg and Sandy Young

February 24    Matt & Kate Freitag

March 3           Ken & Jennifer Anderson
And Penny Miller

March 10         Tim & Donna Meyers
And Terry & Wendy Rude

March 17         Jerry & Judy Ann Johnson
And Marilyn Hensley

March 24         Dan & Lynn Green
And Jessie McClintock

March 31         Jean LeMont
And Laura McDonough

April 7              Don & Rose Jensen
And Janet Abbott

April 14            Diane Dillard, Edee Douglas,
Geri Logan, and Karen Olsen

April 21            Easter Breakfast

April 28            Andrew & Kristin Niemi
And Candice Becker

May 5              Margaret Booth and
Audrey Webster

If you cannot serve on your assigned date, please find a replacement.  Thank you.