Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

Welcome Pastor Randy
Pastor Randy Sinn has joined First Lutheran Church as our Interim Pastor. He has been ordained as a rostered ELCA pastor for almost 38 years and has served as a transitional/interim pastor for almost 5 years now. He will be leading us through this time of transition and then helping us as we go through the process to call our next pastor.

Building on Faith

The Habitat for Humanity Chili Cookoff & Costumes event last month drew a large, hungry crowd of costumed guests.  They sampled from over twenty kinds of delicious chili and voted for their favorite.  There were a few categories, and our very own Katie Garman got first place in the beef and bean category.  The fundraiser brought in over $1,200  for Habitat for Humanity’s Faith Build project.

First Lutheran has joined four other local churches to help build the ADA accessible, 1-story duplex to house two families. As part of this partnership, First Lutheran has pledged $5,000 and volunteers to provide labor.

Recently First Lutheran received a Creative Ministry grant from the Oregon Synod Endowment Team to purchase a water heater for one of the units. Edee Douglas is our church representative for this ministry.

Edee has arranged a meeting for First Lutheran Church members who want to volunteer to help with the construction of the duplex. It is Sunday, November 17, at 11:30 a.m.  Part of the meeting will include completing the volunteer paperwork. In the meanwhile, if you want to help, please see the NEW sign up sheet in the Fellowship Hall.

According to Jennifer Anderson, the Director of the local Habitat for Humanity, we now have power at the build site! The electrician installed a temporary power pole, and PUD connected it.

The Faith Build project also includes the Christian Church, Christ Episcopal, Plymouth Presbyterian, and First United Methodist.

2019 Quilt
The prize quilt is on display in the Fellowship Hall. The quilt is based on a log cabin pattern and contains batik fabrics with a beautiful mix of colors, including purple and blue. It will fit on a queen-size bed. 

Judy Ann Johnson noted that tickets are on sale for a chance at winning the quilt.  They are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00 and may be purchased from a quilter.  Funds go into the WELCA account, which ultimately helps the church and community.

The drawing will be on Sunday, December 8. The photois above, but you definitely need to see this treasure in person to fully appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship.  Thank you to our talented quilters!

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

Musical Changes
Council has approved the Worship and Music Committee’s change for our worship musician position. 

We thank Erin Steven for her service and welcome Margie Louws as our new First Lutheran Minister of Music.

Margie has many years of experience in positions such as church music minister, organist, pianist, and music director. In addition to providing our music for worship services, Margie will also soon be recruiting for and leading our choir. 

We look forward to raising our voices together in song to joyfully praise our Lord!

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.

November Guild Meetings
This month, all three of the First Lutheran Guilds are using the Gather magazine for their Bible studies.  Soul Sisters has changed the time of their meetings to 6 p.m. In November, they will meet at Barbara Gordon’s home on Tuesday, November 12.  Kathy Bauska hosts Mary Guild at Avamere on Monday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m. Sarah Guild gathers at the church at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 21, with Mariel McMullen hosting.

Advent Gathering
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 4.   We will be having an Advent potluck beginning at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Holden Evening Prayer service at 7:00 p.m.  Please come and bring a favorite food to share with everyone. 

This will be a wonderful beginning to the Advent season that culminates in the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Song leaders are needed to help with this special Advent service. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday School Fall Schedule
This year the pre-school through elementary program is going to focus on important stories from the Bible – both Old and New Testament – that every child (and adult) should know.  Can you think of a better way to start than the Creation story?  Our goal is to bring the stories alive with a variety of activities including crafts, art, acts of service, skits and – in the creation story we intend to utilize Jello.  Now do we have your attention? 

This school year we will host Sunday School for the younger children twice a month, and our plan is to post the dates and theme at least a month in advance. Although the Sunday School is aimed for our pre-school through elementary children, ALL ages are welcome.  You might be amazed what you can learn when we take a fresh look at some of our favorite Bible stories.

October 20        Story of the Good Samaritan
November 3 - Moses and Pharoah
November 17 - Feeding of the 5,000

Thanksgiving Service

The Community Thanksgiving Service is Sunday, November 24, at 6 p.m.  This year, Plymouth Presbyterian is hosting the worship service, and Pastor Randy is providing the message.  Come and reflect on al of the blessings the Lord has provided us.

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, is preparing 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, they are holding their volunteer orientations on Wednesday, November 6, at 6:30 p.m. or on Saturday, November 16, at 10:30 a.m. at the Community Action Team office, located at 125 N. 17th Street in St. Helens. 

Adult Forum
Attention Adults and Teens:  Yes! Sunday School is for you, too.
Who was this guy, Luke, whose words we've been reading every Sunday? Does he have anything to say to us, now, in 2019?

The program we use looks at Luke's message in four different contexts: literary, historical, Lutheran, and devotional. 

, it does not matter if you haven't been with the class before.

, we can get you a study book.  

, it isn't difficult.

, you don't have to read aloud or talk unless you want to. 

 believe it or not, you have a lot in common with us older students. We're all children of God, and you will be made welcome. 

Come on Rally Sunday. We meet in the room next to the youth room. 

Then, come every Sunday except when our class decides not to meet.

Your Facilitator at this time, Beth Hunnicutt 

Pastor Randy will be leading confirmation classes this fall. They will be on Tuesday evenings, beginning on September 10. Students will gather in the youth room from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  See Pastor Randy for more information.


Photos for PowerPoint
We’ve now had the new visual system up and running for a few months. Thank you to Kitty Heide for being our regular volunteer for this duty!  Do you notice the different picture slides that separate hymns and parts of our worship?  Most of these are just some stock photos from our clipart subscription.  Recently, Caroline DuBois inquired about the photos and offered to send in a few photographs that she had taken.  Candice incorporated them into the February 24 PowerPoint presentation.  If you are interested in sharing photographs for our worship, please email them to Candice at  We look forward to a variety of scenic pictures.

"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.




Coffee Hour Duties September 8 – January 5

Here is your coffee hour list for September 8 through January 5. 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

   September 8
Rally Sunday at McCormick Park. No Coffee Hour.
September 15
Harold & Louise Gullickson and Mariel McMullen
September 22
Ellen Bailey and Sue Christophersen
September 29
Matt & Kate Freitag
October 6
John & Jan Burdett and Tim & Donna Meyers
October 13
Beth Hunnicutt and Mike & Linda McCoy       
October 20
Diane Dillard, Edee Douglas, and Geri Logan            
October 27
Jon & Jackie Vingerud and Tom & Christina Vingerud         
November 3
Scott & Kathy Bauska and Jessie McClintock
November 10
Margaret Booth and Audrey Webster
November 17
John & Jan Burdett and Steve & Caroline DuBois
 November 24
Terry & Wendy Rude and Michelle Worden
December 1
Marilyn Hensley and Jerry & Judy Ann Johnson
December 8
Candice Becker and Norris & Sharyn Sundeen
December 15
Chuck & Katie Garman and Sandy Young
December 22
Kristol Cohn and Penny Miller
December 29
Jean LeMont, Laura McDonough, and Laurie Wilson
January 5, 2020
Janet Abbott and Don & Rose Jensen