Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

Transition Team
The First Lutheran Church Transition Team will be providing two reports to the congregation this month, January 12 and January 26. Both of these updates will take place during our coffee fellowship.  Please plan to attend. At the January 12 meeting, the Transition Team will be presenting narrative descriptions of our Vison for Mission.  Your input and feedback will be so important.

Annual Meeting
It’s nearing the time again to come together for our official Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Please mark your calendars for Sunday, February 9, at 11:30 a.m.  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 Assembly.

Please note: Committee Reports are due to the office by Wednesday, January 22, to be included in the annual report.  (We like to have the report done in advance of the meeting so people can read through it before the meeting date.)  Thank you.

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

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 information packets and forms to complete for First Lutheran members who plan to volunteer with this ministry. All participants need to watch a video, as well.
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. They hope to begin building this month.  There is a cabinet assembly party being planned for 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 15, at the Christian Church. Lunch will be provided for volunteers.
First Lutheran has raised over $3,000 of our $5,000 goal.

Please consider donating and/or volunteering if you are able.  Please see Edee Douglas for more information.

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.

It's a New Year with New Lessons to Explore
After some very helpful feedback from parents we have made a few adjustments and we are ready to roll with our Sunday School Program in 2020.

Toddlers through elementary school-aged children, along with parents, teens and anyone else who would love to be involved, are welcomed to join us for Sunday School on the following dates at 9:30 AM to explore Bible stories that are fundamental to understanding our faith.

January 12      The Magi         A Big Journey to See a Special Baby
January 26      The 10 Commandments -Some Rules are Easier Than Others
February 9      The Lord’s Prayer - Words that Guide Us Every Day
February 23    King David  -   Shepherd, Songwriter, Giant-slayer

The shorter format coincides with our littlest members attention span and we intend to keep them active and involved with our faith family using storytelling, arts, crafts, food & fun.

Join us!  You’d be amazed what you can learn from the youngest in our congregation! 
- Katie Garman

January Guilds
If you would like to start the new year off with a monthly Bible study group, there are three women’s groups from which to choose.  Soul Sisters meets on Tuesday, January 14, at 6 p.m. at Barbara Gordon’s       home.  Sarah Guild meets in the Fellowship Hall on Thursday, January 16, at 10 a.m.  Edee Douglas is hosting.  Mary Guild meets on Monday, January 20, at 1:30 p.m. at Avamere.  The hostess is TBA. In January, all three groups are using the Gather magazine for their studies.

Christmas Card Recycling
As you are putting away your Christmas decorations, please remember that we are collecting the fronts of Christmas cards to send to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. They use them to provide teens with life and work skills.  They cannot accept Hallmark, American Greetings, or Disney cards, due to copyright laws.  Please look for the collection box in the fellowship hall. 

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

WELCA Planning Meeting
WELCA met during coffee fellowship in December to determine what to do with the surplus funds for 2019. In addition to setting aside extra funds to carry over into 2020, the women voted to distribute the following:  $100 to the Columbia Humane Society; $100 to Sacagawea Health Center, $100 to the Warming Center, and $200 to the Columbia County Disability Dept.’s giving tree.  These are all in addition to the blessings we were already able to provide in November. Those gifts were all listed in the December newsletter.

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.

 From Our Minister of Music
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

So begins one of my favorite New Year's hymns by a 19th century writer, Frances Havergal. She penned her poem on a greeting card she was sending to a friend for the new year. It is often set to a beautiful hymn tune known as Endsleigh is by 19th century Italian hymnwriter, Salvatore Ferretti who arranged this hymn tune from a work by J. Michael Haydn (1737 – 1806), younger brother of the more well-known Joseph Haydn. 

Frances' father, an Anglican priest, nicknamed her "Little Quicksilver," recognizing her as the precocious child she was.  Developing into a prolific poet, hymnwriter and author, Frances nonetheless remained thoughtful and humble.  "If I am to write to any good, a great deal of living must go to a very little writing," she told her sister Maria on one occasion.

2020 - another year! What will we do this year and how will we spend these moments and days given to us? Last night, I picked up a book I had not read in a while and a bookmark dropped to the floor. "What will you do with a chance?" the words boldly asked as they trickled down the narrow face of the bookmark.  Another year. What will I do, what will we do with this chance? What will we do with this gift handed to us by the One who holds all Time and Eternity in His hands?

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Despite chronic illness throughout her life, Frances continued to be faithful in her writings, the work she felt she was given to do.  Her last manuscript on which she was working at her death, was entitled Starlight through the Shadows, a book of encouragement for invalids. It was completed by her sister Maria from her unpublished papers; Frances was forty-three.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

Another year! Life is short and eternity is long. No matter what it may bring, dear Father, whose love never fails and whose mercies are new every morning, grant us the strength and courage to accept Your gift of the upcoming days and weeks and months. Whether in joy or in sorrow, whether here on earth or if you call us Home, may we serve You all the moments You give to us in the new year.

Thanks be to God!
Margie Louws, Minister of Music, First Lutheran Church


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