Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

May Guild Meetings
The women’s groups continue to meet for Bible study and fellowship, and, as always, welcome new members. 

Soul Sisters, the evening guild meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, at the home of Barbara Gordon in Columbia City. They are following the study in the book Pew Sisters by Kate Schuermann and will be covering chapter two. There is an extra copy of the book in the church office. Linda McCoy will bring refreshments. Sarah Guild meets at the church on Thursday, May 17, at 10 a.m. Karen Olsen is hosting.   Mary Guild meets at Avamere on Monday, May 21 at 1:30 p.m. Kathy Bauska is hosting. These groups use the Gather magazine for their meetings.  Extra copies are in the church office.

Summer Schedule Begins May 20

On Pentecost Sunday, May 20, we will officially change to our summer schedule.  We will have one service at 9:30 a.m. 

Quilters and Friends Treated to a “Cruise”
Kathy Bauska and Katie Garman served as cruise directors for the 2018 Quilters Appreciation Luncheon on April 11.  The galley chef Chuck Garman served up delicious sous vide arctic cod to go along with the other yummy side dishes and dessert that Kathy and Katie prepared. 

The attendees enjoyed looking through samples of daily cruise line activity schedules, playing cruise-themed games, and visiting. Thank you to Kathy, Katie, and Chuck, and thank you to the quilters and friends for their service. 


Thankoffering Sunday
September 16 has been chosen as our Thankoffering Sunday.  Beginning in the late 19th century, Lutheran women kept small Thankoffering containers in a special location in their homes as a visible reminder of blessings received. Women would add coins to those boxes almost daily as particular blessings were noted. The tradition continues. We have several months to practice this reflection of gratitude. Our coins, when gathered together in September, can make a huge impact on the work of women in the church. If you have any questions, please see Judy Ann Johnson or Sandy Young.

Special Delivery
When we baptize children here, we congregation members promise to teach them about our faith. We promise to support them.

One of the ways we do that is through the confirmation process.
This year, Pastor Joe is working with three young women who are trying to understand more about our faith. They are Abby, Rachel, and Reagan.

Please help these confirmands to understand that confirmation isn't just something to get through, but also to see that we individual members do care about them. We're not just bystanders; we work to support our church facilities, our programs, and all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, including them!

A yellow mailbox is on the table in the narthex. It is just for Rachel, Reagan, and Abby.

Please drop them a note or a little treat. You could:
- tell them what your favorite Bible verse or story is, and why
- write the words from one of your favorite hymns
- explain a little about your own faith and how it has helped you in your life
- jot down a little phrase of encouragement
- tell them how proud of them you are or how glad you are for their efforts
- drop in a little treat for each girl
- cut out a funny cartoon or joke for them
- let them understand that you support them in any way you can

You can sign your note or not, as you choose.

Please do this for the rest of the year. Our kids need us, even if they don't realize it right now.
- Beth Hunnicutt

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.

WELCA’s Mother's Day Celebration Will Honor a Church Treasure
 All women of our church are invited to attend our annual Mother’s Day Brunch on Saturday, May 12, (one day before the official Mother’s Day), beginning at 11:00 a.m., in the First Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. We also extend our invitation to out-of-town family and friends, and especially those from Bethany Lutheran Church in Warren.

Following our brunch, we will present our program honoring one of our church’s treasures, 102-year-old Lillian Mickelson.   We will be showing a recent video interview with Lillian about her memories of growing up in the area, her long-time participation in our church, and her outlook on life in general and what have been her life lessons, presented with humor along the way.

The program will also include a presentation on our church heritage. In addition, we will be entertained with a duet by  Kevin and Vanessa Zmolek and another selection by a trio made up of Vanessa and Pastor Joe and Sofia Strandjord.

The brunch menu will include a variety of sandwiches, fresh fruit, and birthday cakes. Invite the special women in your life and join in the delicious brunch and celebration.

Visiting Choir from Cathedral of the Rockies

On Friday, June 15, First Lutheran Church will host the Epworth Chorale, a youth choir from the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise Idaho. They are directed by Paul Aitken, director of music at COTR.  Paul and his wife MacKenzie sing in Chor Anno with Pastor Joe. 

The choir will sing a concert here at First Lutheran at 7 p.m., and we will gather in the Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m. for a potluck dinner prior to the concert.  The kids will stay with host families that night.  We need to line up overnight lodging for 13 girls and 10 boys!  Please let Pastor Joe know if you’re able to host some kids! 

For a beautiful poster to help promote the concert, please look HERE. You may want to print this to put up around the church or at your place of business.


Keep Harvest Bazaar in Mind
While the 2018 Harvest Bazaar, Saturday, November 3, may seem far away at this time, it is never too early to think about how you can help. You can work on craft projects to donate to the WELCA Creation Station throughout the year. Also, we are in need of someone to organize the bakery (Sharyn Sundeen and Sandy Young concentrate on providing Scandinavian goodies).  There is a complete “job description” available for this opportunity.  If you are interested, contact Sandy or call the church office.

As spring begins this month, if you start on your spring cleaning please remember that WELCA is accepting items throughout the year for the popular grab bag packages.  Emma Riley volunteers her time to wrap the gifts, and would love to wrap things ahead of time. So, if you are cleaning out closets, drawers, and cupboards, and come across items that would make good grab bag filler, please put it in the box in the Collection Closet. If you need someone to pick up your items, contact the church office.

Mark your Calendar for Vacation Bible School: August 6-10
Once again this year we are hosting counselors from Camp Lutherwood to lead our week of Vacation Bible School!  Mark your calendars for an exciting week at church, August  6-10.  The theme is “This Changes Everything.” There are LOTS of ways for YOU to help! 

Invite kids to come and participate. All kids entering 1st thru 6th grade are welcome. Think about volunteering to help out during that week.  We’ll need group leaders, craft helpers,  and kitchen help for sure! Gather supplies as we post the list of needed items. Help with publicity and organizing. Host some counselors at your home for the week. 

Many thanks to Christina Vingerud and Geri Logan for being our Co-Coordinators this year.  Let them know how you want to help!
However you help out, you’ll be part of our congregation living out its call to share the good news!

Adult Forum
You are invited to our Adult Sunday Forum, led by Mariel McMullen.  We’re exploring our faith, using a book called A Tree Full of Angels.  We meet at 9:45 a.m. in Deuteronomy, the room across from the women’s restroom in the old Sunday School wing.  Drop in! No preparation is necessary. 

Sunday School changes
First Lutheran is blessed to be an active force in our community – we serve the hungry every week by hosting Community Meals; our quilters provide warmth and comfort to people in our congregation, community and all over the world with handmade quilts; members work in the community garden, tending to God’s creation; the music program under the direction of Kevin and Pastor Joe is always a source of inspiration and joy; members use their skills to craft amazing items for Harvest Bazaar – the list goes on and on.  

Our congregation is pretty amazing, but if you look around you can’t help but notice a fair amount of silver hair - I keep telling myself it’s a sign of accumulated wisdom and joyful life experiences!  Our young families are incredibly busy and we need to revamp the Sunday School experience to make it meaningful, accessible and reflective of our values; giving our kids the faith and tools they need to shine Christ’s love when they are at home, school and in the big wide world. 

We are discussing the possibility of an intergenerational program, meeting once or twice a month, focused on a specific theme or project.  For instance – Rally Sunday coincides with the Lutheran Churches initiative – God’s Work, Our Hands.  We will have a service project where anyone who is interested can participate – from our youngest to our most mature member.

Communication will continue with the parents to find interests and concerns we should address, I will try my best to update the congregation.  We welcome your participation!  Some of our best lessons have been when we integrated a project – fixing meals for the homebound, planting bulbs around the church, making soup packets.  These projects correspond with lessons and values described in the Bible – making that connection between the lessons and our daily life.

Following is an example of a fun Sunday School session last year where all of the kids – from the youngest through Confirmation class spent time discussing the Psalms.  We talked about the author of many of the Psalms, the various types of Psalms and how Psalms are poems, songs and prayers all wrapped up together. 

To illustrate, we tried to sing Psalm 121 to a favorite song – Sweet Caroline, and sadly we were not successful.  We had much better luck using Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  We learned a lot about Psalms.  Shortest Psalm?  Psalm 117.  Longest Psalm? Psalm 119.  Most “popular” Psalms?  Psalm 23, followed by Psalm 121, which happened to be part of the readings for the day.

During the discussion the group learned about the acrostic Psalms.  An acrostic is a poem in which the initial letters of each successive line form a word, phrase, or pattern. It was hard to understand the concept; because of course we don’t read the Psalms in Hebrew.  The group took the challenge and created an acrostic Psalm of our own – and now we would like to share it with all of you.  For extra credit, try singing it to any Neil Diamond or Peter, Paul & Mary tune.

Alleluia! God is good!
Be present at our table Lord.
Care for us when we pray.
Deliver us to your holy world.
Enter our hearts and stay,
For we need peace.
God be with us always,
Hold our hands.
In your presence we find wholeness,
Journey with us.
Kindness is the key,
Love us always
Many people are suffering,
Never forsake us.
Open our hearts to you,
Prepare the table
Quell our fears.
Remove the barriers between us,
Sit with us,
Turn us toward You.
Under Your wings we are safe.
Value life,
Welcome us home.
X-cite us to spread your word.
You make us feel comfortable
Zat’s the end – Amen!
Please keep the Sunday School in your prayers this year.   Respectfully, Katie Garman




Here is your 2018 coffee hour list for May 6 through September 2

Here is your 2018 coffee hour list for May 6 through September 2. Folks had a few months to choose a service that worked best for them. Thank you to Sharyn Sundeen and Sandy Young, who volunteer to put this schedule together for the church. They had to assign people to the empty slots. Please take a moment to find the dates you are asked to serve and mark your calendars. If for any reason you have problems with the dates that you are assigned, please find a substitute. Thank you.

May – Sep, 2018 Coffee Hour Schedule

May 6    8:30 a.m.   Harold & Louise Gullickson       
11:00 a.m.  Scott & Kathy Bauska   
May 13  8:30 a.m.   Mike & Linda McCoy
11:00 a.m.  Beth Hunnicutt & Nancy
May 20  8:30 a.m.   Ken & Jennifer Anderson          
11:00 a.m.   Tom & Christina Vingerud         
May 27  9:30 a.m.   Mike & Jessie McClintock and
Sandy Young     
June 3  9:30 a.m.    John & Jan Burdett
June 10  9:30 a.m.  Chuck & Katie Garman
June 17  9:30 a.m.  Tim & Donna Meyers and
Terry & Wendy Rude
June 24  9:30 a.m.  Kristol Cohn and Penny Miller
July 1  9:30 a.m.     Maxine Emond and
Christine Trabucco        
July 8   9:30 a.m.     Chuck & Katie Garman            
July 15  9:30 a.m.    Matt & Kate Freitag      
July  22  9:30 a.m.   Janet Abbott and Don & Rose
July 29  9:30 a.m.    Dan & Lynn Green and
George & Jean LeMont
Aug. 5   9:30 a.m.    Jerry & Judy Ann Johnson and
Scott & Candice Becker
Aug. 12  9:30 a.m.   Marilyn Hensley and
Jon & Jackie Vingerud
Aug. 19  9:30 a.m.   Sue Christophersen, Ellen
Bailey, and Patty Pribyl
Aug. 26  9:30 a.m.   Diane Dillard and Edee Douglas
Sept. 2   9:30 a.m.   Margaret Booth and Audrey