Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

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

Sarah Guild meets at the church on Thursday, February 15, at 10 a.m.  Jan Burdett is hosting.  Mary Guild continues to meet at Avamere on the third Monday of the month, February 19, at 1:30 p.m. Florence Eidem is hosting. Soul Sisters, the evening guild, has gone back to meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. They will meet at the home of Barbara Gordon in Columbia City on Tuesday, February 13, at 7 p.m.  They are covering the final chapter of Living a Chocolate Life by Deb Burma.

  There is an extra copy of this book, as well as extra copies of Gather magazine, available in the church office.  Note: After Soul Sisters is done with the Burma book, a few copies will be available in the church library in case anyone would like to do an individual study.

Season of Lent Begins

Ash Wednesday is on February 14, Valentine’s Day, this year.  We will mark the beginning of Lent with our 7 p.m. service, including the dispensation of ashes.

Following our FLC tradition, the next Wednesday, February 21, will mark the first of the five weeks of  Lenten season prayer services. We will again follow the Holden Evening Prayer. 

Before worship, we will gather for fellowship and a simple meal of soup and bread.  The sign-up sheet is posted on the sign-up bulletin board. Thank you to those people who have already signed up to provide meals. There are a few slots still available. Volunteers prepare soup and bread for approximately 30 people for each supper.  Everyone will help clean up.

Please sign up if you are able to share with your church family in this way. Here is the information for February:

February 21
Soup: Terri Pullen, Judy Ann Johnson
Bread:  Chelsea Pullen, Christina Vingerud
February 28
Soup: Scott & Kathy Bauska, Edee Douglas
Bread: Scott Bauska, Edee Douglas

WELCA Celebrates the Symbol of the Cross
Mark your calendars for February 8, 2018.  This will be our first WELCA business meeting and program for the year.  It will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. 

For the program, we are going to be displaying crosses and encourage anyone who has a favorite cross or crosses to bring them for everyone to enjoy.  If you have a story that goes along with the cross, we would love to have you share that story, too, but it is not necessary. 

Jean LeMont will be facilitating this program.  Candice Becker is hosting, and devotions will be given by Linda McCoy.  Also, please remember to invite new members or attendees to our meetings.  The more the merrier!  

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.


Visit the FLC library

First Lutheran Church has been blessed with a new librarian. Thank you to Wendy Rude for sharing her talents to get the church library cleaned up and organized again. She encourages the congregation to stop by the library, which is located between the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall, and take a look at the titles available to borrow.

In addition to a wide selection of general theology, Lutheranism, Christian education and Bibles, the library holds devotionals, a children’s section, self-help books, and books with topics like dealing with aging parents or loss. There is a good representation of fiction as well. You can find titles by Jan Karon, Penelope Stokes and others. The shelf contains The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. There is even a section on quilting, in case you wanted to learn a new hobby and come join the quilters on Wednesdays. There is also a small section of DVDs and games.

In addition to lending books, the church welcomes additions. You can leave the donations in the library with a note for Wendy, and she can get them processed and put on the shelves. If you have any questions, you can reach Wendy at 503-397-5683 or

Sunday, February 11, First Lutheran Church Annual Meeting of the Congregation

Please plan to attend the First Lutheran Church Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, February 11, at 12:30.  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 gatherings. The FLC Annual Report, which includes the reports  covering 2017 and the budget to be presented for 2018, will be available on Sunday, February 4, for those who want to review the material prior to the meeting.
Before we get to work on the meeting, we will share in a meal at noon.  We will have the standard baked potato bar with all the fixings!  Thank you to Matt Freitag, Andrew Niemi and the rest of the Fellowship Committee for arranging for this luncheon.  Andrew said that the group doesn’t need help.  All the congregation members need to know is “SHOW UP HUNGRY!!”

World Day of Prayer
This year’s World Day of Prayer service will be held at Bethany Lutheran on Friday, March 2 at 11 a.m., with a light lunch following.  The service, “All God’s Creation is Very Good,” was written by women in Suriname.  All are welcome.


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.

Mark Your Calendars for Vacation Bible School
First Lutheran’s Vacation Bible School is set for August 6-10.  We’re happy to announce that three counselors from Camp Lutherwood Oregon will lead the program.  They refer to this ministry as “Lutherwood on Location.” The theme of this year’s program is “This Changes Everything.”  Karon Beaston will be our main First Lutheran Church VBS leader.  Please consider how you can help with this ministry, both with hands-on help and with spreading the word about this learning opportunity for children.

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


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.



Here is your 2018 coffee hour list forJanuary 7 through April 29

Here is your 2018 coffee hour list for January through April. 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.

January 7
8:30 a.m.  TBA
11:00 a.m.  Janet Abbott and Candice Becker   
January 14
8:30 a.m.  Mike & Linda McCoy
11:00 a.m.  Matt & Kate Freitag  
January 21 
8:30 a.m.  Beth Hunnicutt and Nancy Stutzman
11:00 a.m.  Tom & Christina Vingerud    
January 28
8:30 a.m.  Jessie McClintock and Sandy Young
11:00 a.m.  Scott & Kathy Bauska
February 4
8:30 a.m.  Kristol Cohn and Penny Miller          
11:00 a.m.  Terry & Wendy Rude
February 11
8:30 a.m.  John & Jan Burdett   
11:00 a.m.   Annual Meeting
February 18
8:30 a.m.  Harold & Louise Gullickson  
11:00 a.m.  Norris & Sharyn Sundeen     
February 25
8:30 a.m.  Kevin & Kristi Zmolek           
11:00 a.m.  Maxine Emond and Christine Trabucco
March 4
8:30 a.m.  Jerry & Judy Ann Johnson   
11:00 a.m.  Steve & Lindsay Monteleone
March 11
8:30 a.m.  Ellen Bailey and Sue Christophersen
11:00 a.m.  Dan & Lynn Green   
March 18
8:30 a.m.  Don & Rose Jensen 
11:00 a.m.  Andrew & Kristin Niemi         
March 25
8:30 a.m.  Scott & Candice Becker
11:00 a.m.  Marilyn Hensley and Patty Pribyl     
April 1
Easter Breakfast 
April 8
8:30 a.m.   Margaret Booth and Audrey Webster
11:00 a.m.  Tim & Donna Meyers
April 15  
8:30 a.m.  Steve & Caroline DuBois        
11:00 a.m.  Diane Dillard and Edee Douglas
April 22          
8:30 a.m.  Geri Logan and Karen Olsen 
11:00 a.m.  George & Jean LeMont
April 29          
8:30 a.m.  Ken & Jennifer Anderson      
11:00 a.m.  Joe & Karina Strandjord