Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

Christmas Eve
First Lutheran will have two candlelight worship services on Christmas Eve, at 7 & 10 p.m.  Both services include Holy Communion, and the choir will sing at the late service. Invite your friends and family to join us in celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Festive Parties
‘Tis the Season for celebrating.  The All-Guild Christmas party is Saturday, December 15, at 2 p.m. at the home of Beth Hunnicutt in Columbia City. Ladies are asked to bring something for the “white elephant” gift exchange and an appetizer and/or treat to share.

The quilters, crafters, and friends hold their annual Christmas potluck luncheon on Wednesday, December 19 at Noon. 

Our Giving Tree
The Advent Season upon us, and First Lutheran has a special giving opportunity to help bring a Merry Christmas to teens in need.  Our tree of joy has been assembled in the narthex. It is decorated with  tag ornaments that list gift ideas. Please bring your unwrapped item back by Sunday, December 16, and place it in the barrel by the tree. Note, if you are purchasing a gift card please bring that to the church office.  Wrapping supplies are also welcome. Thank you!

Need Gift Ideas?
If you need gift ideas, WELCA may be able to help.  There are a few items left over from the Harvest Bazaar that are available to purchase.  We have a Seahawks themed corn hole game left ($100), a few of the Yardzee dice games left ($30) and several pairs of earrings ($3 per pair).  In addition, we have several of the Christmas decorations made from picture frames and ornaments available ($1 for small and $2 for large).  See Candice in the church office.

Sharing Treats
Plates of cookies for shut-ins or other church members or friends who are unable to bake for themselves will be assembled and delivered on Wednesday, December 19, beginning at 9 a.m.  A coordinator is needed for this special ministry. The coordinator makes reminder calls and works with volunteers to ensure that all the plates are packaged and delivered. If you can coordinate this ministry, please let Candice Becker or Sandy Young know.

Bakers, please bring at least two dozen of each item to the church before 9 a.m. that Wednesday.  If left at the church prior to that day, please clearly mark them as being for the cookie plates and leave on the table in classroom Matthew.

Volunteers are needed to assemble and wrap the plates, and especially for delivery.   If you can volunteer, sign up on the list posted in the fellowship hall, or call Candice in the church office, 503-397-0090.  For several of the recipients, this is a rare contact with another church member, so those who deliver should to be prepared to visit for a time and not just drop off the plate and go.  While only one or two helpers are needed for the actual assembly, more drivers for deliveries make the project easier and faster. 

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.


2018 Quilt “Maple Ridge”

The quilt that our own quilters so lovingly stitched for their annual quilt drawing is now on display in the Fellowship Hall. The quilt measures 89” x 107.” The pattern is “Maple Ridge.”  Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.  You don’t want to miss out on your chance to win.  The drawing will be held on Sunday, December 9, in time to give away as a special Christmas gift.

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.

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

Holiday Office Hours
Pastor Joe will be on vacation beginning on Christmas day and will be returning on Wednesday, January 2.

The office will be closed on Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25. It will also be closed on Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1.

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.



2018 Quilt "Maple Ridge" Closeup of center section


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.


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



Here is your coffee hour list for September 9, 2018 to January 6, 2019

Here is your 2018 coffee hour list for September 9 through January 6. 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 date you are asked to serve and mark your calendars. If for any reason you have can’t serve, please find a substitute. Thank you. Remember, there is only one service, which is at 10 a.m.

Sept. 9
Scott & Kathy Bauska and Nancy Stutzman
Sept. 16 
Steve & Caroline DuBois and
Chuck & Katie Garman
Sept. 23
Mike & Linda McCoy and Beth Hunnicutt     
Sept. 30
Church Picnic
Oct. 7
Jessie McClintock, Penny Miller, and Sandy Young
Oct. 14
John & Jan Burdett and
Harold & Louise Gullickson   
Oct. 21
Geri Logan, Karen Olsen, and Mariel McMullen       
Oct. 28
Ellen Bailey and Sue Christophersen
Nov. 4
Don & Rose Jensen and Janet Abbott  
Nov. 11
Norris & Sharyn Sundeen and
Travis Sundeen & Michelle Worden  
Nov. 18          
Matt & Kate Freitag
Nov. 25
Tim & Donna Meyers  and
Terry & Wendy Rude
Dec. 2
Jerry & Judy Ann Johnson and Marilyn Hensley      
Dec. 9
Jon & Jackie Vingerud and
Tom & Christina Vingerud     
Dec. 16          
Joe & Karina Strandjord and Laurie Beadle
Dec. 23
Steve & Caroline DuBois and
George & Jean LeMont
Dec. 30
Margaret Booth, Patty Pribyl, and Audrey Webster
Jan. 6
Scott & Candice Becker and
Maxine Emond and Christine Trabucco