Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

Worship services canceled, including Lenten gatherings until March 31

The First Lutheran Church Council had a video meeting this morning to discuss what to do to keep everyone safe and healthy from the corona virus (COVID-19). They have decided to cancel all worship services, including the Lenten gatherings, and close the building to the public through March 31. They will assess the situation again at that time.

The phone and email messages at the church will be checked daily. You may leave a message at 503-397-0090 or 1stlutheransh@comcast. net. Please do your best to stay healthy and keep this virus from spreading.

As Pastor Randy has advised us, please keep the families of those who have died, our public health workers, our government leaders, and each other in your prayers. Do not be afraid. Stay calm, and let the Peace of God surround you.

The church building may be closed, but God is always open. Keep Praying.

Lastest news as of Friday, March 20 ---Online service

"And remember, I am with you always." - Matthew 28:20a
Although First Lutheran Church cannot have our regular worship in our sanctuary, we are going to try to worship separately "together" this Sunday, March 22, at 10 a.m. Pastor Randy will be leading us in a 10-15 minute worship with sermon. If you want to join in on this, mark your calendar. Then on Sunday morning, click on this link --
As Pastor Randy says, Stay calm and let the Peace of God surround you.


Building on Faith

Edee Douglas, our church representative on the Habitat for Humanity Faith Build, has created a bulletin board display of information about the duplex, including a wish list of items needed. The display also has a “monetary monitor” to chart our movement toward the goal we pledged to the project. She noted that 55 volunteers from the various churches assembled 34 cabinets in 2 1/2 hours at last month’s work party.

On March 21, there will be a wall-raising celebration. There will be more opportunities to help on the build soon.  In addition, there will be a bake sale to benefit Habitat. Details TBA. Watch for the sign-up sheet.

For more information, please see Edee. You may also follow Habitat for Humanity on Facebook at:


Note to High School Seniors
 Attention High School Seniors:  Please be sure to let the quilters know that you are a graduating member of First Lutheran Church. The quilters want to honor you with a quilt. Just call or email the church office, 503-397-0090 or or talk to a quilter or Candice. 

Also, we have a tradition of featuring our graduating senior FLC members in the newsletter.  We plan to highlight graduates in the June issue.  Typically, the information includes high school activities and accomplishments, interests, and plans for the future.  You are also welcome to include a non-copyrighted photo.  This information is due by May 20.

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

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.

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!

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.

The Season of Lent at First Lutheran
 During this Season of Lent, we will have five (5) Wednesday evening worship services, March 4 - April 1. We will begin with a simple soup & bread shared meal at 6:00 p.m., participate in a video presentation of the Small Catechism at 6:30 p.m., and end the day with a short, reflective prayer service.
We will be using the study, By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. If you want your own copy of the book, they are available on Amazon. Here’s the schedule: 3/4, Story of the Small Catechism and Daily Prayer; 3/11, Ten Commandments; 3/18, The Apostles’ Creed; 3/25, The Lord’s Prayer; and 4/1, Sacraments. This would also be a wonderful opportunity for those who are thinking of joining our congregation to learn more about the Lutheran faith denomination. 
Note:  The regular Tuesday confirmation classes will be put on hold during Lent, as the students will be attending these evening lessons and worship services instead.
 Please update the Save the Date for World Day of Prayer to simply World Day of Prayer, and if possible, include the attached flyer.


Special Meeting of the Congregation
Please mark your calendar for Sunday, March 15. We are having a formal Meeting of the Congregation at 11:30 a.m. to review and vote to approve the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) that has been developed by the Transition Team, based on input from the congregation. There are copies of the MSP available in the office for you to review prior to that meeting.

Information Booklet
For years First Lutheran’s WELCA group has published a “Yearbook & Program Guide.”  Candice is expanding/re-creating this publication to become a First Lutheran Church Guide. It will be available in April. In addition to information that has historically been included, it will have committee listings, calendar information, and programs and activities of the church. If you are a leader of a group or committee here at FLC, this is a great opportunity to provide information for the congregation. If you have items you think would be good to include, please provide Candice with the information by Sunday, March 15. 

World Day of Prayer
First Lutheran will host our community’s worship service for the World Day of Prayer on Friday, March 6, at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon. The following is from the WDP website:

The host country for WDP 2020 is Zimbabwe.  The WDP 2020 program is based on Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, had not acted upon the opportunities given (John 5:2-9a). Jesus asked –“Do you want to be made well?" with the theme “Rise!  Take Your Mat and Walk”.  You are faced with this life-changing question. What are you going to do? Use this opportunity to reflect with your WDP group, community and ecumenical partners. Prayer and action are what link us together around the globe.

Please see Judy Ann Johnson for more information.

Collecting Corks
 Attention, wine enthusiasts: Our FLC Collection Closets have a new bin for wine corks. Crafty volunteers have a variety of projects for the Harvest Bazaar Creation Station that requires wine corks for supplies. Thank you for your assistance in helping gather these needed materials.

March Sunday School
A big thank you to all of the parents, adults, teens, tweens and younger kids joining us for the Sunday School Program.  Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. Here are the topics for March:

March 8           23rd Psalm
March 22         Lord’s Prayer


March Guilds
All three of the guilds here at First Lutheran welcome new members. If you would like to join one of the Bible study and fellowship groups, here is the information for this month: Soul Sisters meets on Tuesday, March 10, at 6 p.m. at Candice Becker’s home (dinner provided).  Mary Guild meets at Avamere in St. Helens at 1:30 p.m.  on Monday, March 16. The host is TBA.  Sarah Guild meets at the church at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March  19.  Beth Hunnicutt is hosting. 


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.

Warming Center
The Columbia County Warming Center, located at and managed by the Community Action Team, needs help for the winter season. When it is below freezing, they offer shelter to the homeless December 1 through March 1. It can’t happen without a team of volunteers and they are now recruiting for help. According to the website, they need six volunteers each night in order to open the doors. If you are interested in helping, contact Community Action Team, 503-369-4889 or

"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.

 From Our Minister of Music

Answers to Minister of Music Hymnal Quiz:            
1. b - Peace is not a section in ELW
2. a - Toward the beginning
3. a - Yes
4. a - Yes
5. a - Psalm Tones
6. b - There are 10 hymns by Watts
7. c - There are 84 global songs
8. c - 10 Settings
9. a - National Songs
10. d - 34 Easter hymns in ELW


Coffee Hour Duties January 12 -  May 3, 2020  Coffee Hour Schedule

Here is your coffee hour list for January 12 through May 3, 2020. If you can’t serve on your assigned date, please find a replacement.  Thank you, and thank you to Sharyn Sundeen and Sandy Young for finalizing the list.

Jan. 12
John & Jan Burdett and Harold & Louise Gullickson
Jan. 19           
Ellen Bailey and Sue Christophersen
Jan. 26
Matt & Kate Freitag
February 2    
Beth Hunnicutt and Mike & Linda McCoy
February 9
February 16  
Diane Dillard, Edee Douglas, and Geri Logan
February 23  
Penny Miller and Mariel McMullen
March 1
March 8         
Jon & Jackie Vingerud and Tom & Christina Vingerud
March 15
Jerry & Judy Ann Johnson and Marilyn Hensley
March 22       
Sharyn & Norris Sundeen  and Sandy Young
March 29       
Steve & Caroline DuBois
April 5            
Scott & Kathy Bauska and Jessie McClintock
April 12         
April 19
Candice Becker and Mark Hagelberg & Enid Schantz-Hagelberg
April 26         
Terry & Wendy Rude and Michelle Worden
May 3 
Margaret Booth andAudrey Webster