Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

Transition and Call Process Update!

Call Committee Update
As the First Lutheran Church Ministry Site Profile has been finished and approved, Pastor Melissa Reed, the Assistant to the Bishop at the Oregon Synod Office, is working on identifying a list of candidates for us.

The FLC Call Committee has been working on procedures for the interview process. They are planning to interview using a virtual software. They are developing a list of first interview questions, and a second set of questions for the follow-up interview.     

Council Assignments Made
Due to Covid-19, the FLC 2020 Retreat had been postponed. They were able to meet via Zoom June 13 and have made the assignments for committee liaisons.  Here is the list, including council officer positions:

Kathy Bauska, Outreach & Social Ministries, and Vice President
Caroline DuBois, Christian Education
Matt Freitag, President
Melody Long, Mission Education
Dana Marble, Finance & Stewardship
Jessie McClintock, Youth
Linda McCoy, Worship & Music
Wendy Rude, Fellowship
Norris Sundeen, Properties
Sandy Young, Secretary
Mark Hagelberg is the Liaison to the Call Committee. Kelly Broders will assist Norris with the Properties Committee. The Council had already appointed Barbara Gordon as Financial Secretary and Jon Vingerud as Treasurer.

Building on Faith

First Lutheran has reached the pledge goal for the Habitat for Humanity Faith Build project, but there is still some work to do on the duplex.  FLC member Jennifer Anderson, who is also the Director of Columbia County’s Habitat for Humanity, said that subcontractors will be installing the insulation and sheetrock. Once that is done, in about a month, Jennifer will organize some church volunteer painting parties (done in a safe manner) for the interior painting. Other future jobs will include hanging cabinets, building two sheds, and putting up the fence.  Habitat for Humanity selected the second family for the duplex. It is made up of a young single mother, her 3-year-old son, and a 16-year-old girl whom the mom took in as her own when she needed a safe space. The two partnering families will be painting the outside trim to earn sweat equity and get to know each other.  You can find out more information at:

High School Seniors
 A First Lutheran Church tradition is “Graduate Sunday,” and while we couldn’t gather in the sanctuary, a small group of quilters presented FLC member and high school senior Cora with her special graduation quilt outside of her home earlier in the week, and Pastor Randy then offered a special blessing for the graduate during our June 14 online worship service.

Electronic Giving
First Lutheran now has electronic giving. Simply text 503-714-7869, and in less time than it takes to write a check, you can now make your offering with a quick text message!

To get started, text the amount you wish to give to First Lutheran’s text giving telephone number 503-714-7869. A link will pop up to MyVanco for you to complete your donation. Once you are set up, you can easily give anytime by simply texting the amount you wish to donate!

Try it, you will like it! Feel free to track down Barbara Gordon if you need help

Calling All Crafters

THIS ACTIVITY HAS BEEN CANCELED (TEMPORARILY) DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS THREATWednesday 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.

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.

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!

Amazon Smile
Do you shop at  If you do, I would guess you spend more there than at Fred Meyers. We are asking you to join When you select 1st Lutheran Church, St. Helens, as your charity, the church will receive 0.5% of every dollar you spend.

With all of us doing this, FLC will quickly receive a lot of money. Jon, our Treasurer, has already set up the church account so that the 0.5% goes directly in to the church bank account.  If you already have an Amazon account or are Amazon Prime, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

For more information, please Google Thank you for considering this as another way to support your church at no additional cost to you.

 Ladies’ Luncheon
First Lutheran women have decided to have a picnic together, while safely staying 6 feet apart to follow CDC guidelines.  On Tuesday, July 28, they will gather at 1:00 p.m. in the grassy area near the memorial at McCormick Park.  If you plan to attend, bring your own lunch, beverage, and chair. 

Harvest of Hope 
WELCA made the decision to cancel the 2020 Harvest Bazaar due to the Corona Virus.  WELCA members are concerned for those local and global charities who benefit from the funds raised by this annual event. The women are hoping that all of us can give what we can to WELCA between now and November 7, noting “Harvest Bazaar” on your gift.  Then, we will divide up the funds between the non-profits.  For those of us with time on our hands and creating arts and crafts, we will hang on to them and build up our stock for the fall of 2021.

First Lutheran Book Club
At the WELCA meeting on July 7 the group decided to form a FLC Book Club to help us feel more connected during this time of Covid-19.  WELCA will be using Zoom to host the discussions.  The first book selected is Lies We Believe About God by William Paul Young (author of The Shack).  The online book discussion will be on Tuesday, August 25, at noon.  If you would like to join, let Candice know so you can be included on the list to receive the meeting link. 

We are also considering reading a book by Nora Gallagher called Things Seen and Unseen– A Year Lived in Faith, which is a memoir that follows the church year during the year in the life of one church, and reflects on Nora’s own spiritual journey. It begins with Advent.  We will begin reading it at the beginning of the Advent Season, and then will read each section to correspond with the church calendar.

Those present during the WELCA meeting were asked to submit some other books that would be good possibilities for future selections.  If you have some good ideas, start putting your list together to share.  We will determine the method for selecting, and other details at that August 25 meeting. 

Small Group “Gatherings”
Council members have discussed small group “gatherings” via Zoom. The hope is for these to start up after Labor Day. Each group will include a council member. The chats will provide time to check in with each other and should be valuable communication stream as we get closer to calling our new pastor.

”Clean Team”
Our church is following Synod guidelines during this Covid-19 Pandemic. We continue to have our services online.  The Council has also appointed group to look at all of the steps necessary regarding the church building. Our First Lutheran Church “Clean Team” has come up with plans for keeping the church clean and as safe as possible.  The Clean Team has developed strict guidelines that must be followed and an entrance log to be completed by those individuals who have been given Council approval for entering the building at this time. Your compliance is necessary for the safety of all. Thank you.

Small Joys & Actions
Social media has been full of ideas to keep busy and to “come together” to support each other.  Perhaps you have seen some of these. 

Here are just a few small gestures to help shine our light:

Place hearts in your windows or on your doors to show gratitude and support to healthcare workers.  (and all those essential workers out there helping) Many people are coming out of their homes every evening at 7 p.m. to stand on porches or in driveways to clap, bang pots and pans, and cheer for these individuals as well.

Place a teddy bear in your window. Families out for a drive or walk can go on a bear hunt for a fun activity.

Keep a gratitude journal for the blessings that this “stay home” period has brought us, and when you think of something you’d like to do, but can’t right now (i.e. join friends for a picnic at a park, have dinner with an aunt and uncle), jot it down on another list for when things do get back to normal.

There are a lot of free things that you can be part of online as well, like tours of museums, classes, digital or audiobooks from libraries, etc. Maybe you have a book on your shelf at home that you haven’t had time to read.

If you want to help during this time, research your local food banks or other services that might need extra financial support, and/or sew some face masks since they are in short supply.

Perhaps you can research some craft ideas for items for WELCA’s Creation Station at the Harvest Bazaar, November 7. If you have supplies at home, this might be the perfect time to work on them.

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

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.


New coffee hour duties will be posted when we are able to meet together again!