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

Members of our congregation represented First Lutheran Church at the September 29 groundbreaking ceremony for Habitat for Humanity’s Building on Faith 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. If you want to get involved with this project, please see Edee Douglas, who is our church representative for this ministry.

You can help raise funds for Habitat for Humanity at a fun, fundraising event hosted by First Lutheran.  Join us in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, October 12, 4:30-6:30 p.m. for a 5-Church Chili Cook-Off.  In addition to sampling chili, there will also be cornbread and cookies.  The servers will be in costume, and costumed guests will receive candy.  Cost is $4.00 for children and $8.00 for adults.


Harvest Bazaar News!
The annual Harvest Bazaar at First Lutheran is set for Saturday, November 2,  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This is THE main fundraiser that WELCA organizes to bring in funds to its treasury.  Last year the bazaar took in a little over $7,200. Some of the money went to First Lutheran general fund,  as well as supporting part of VBS – Growing with God!.  In addition, donations were made to several community, national, and global charities.  Thank you to everyone who supports the bazaar. 

There are plenty of opportunities to take part in projects leading up to the day of the bazaar:  Lefse-making work parties, the cardamom bread baking work party, creating and/or helping with crafts for the Creation Station, baking for the always popular bake sale and Scandinavian table bakery, and many more things.  Please check out the sign-up sheets on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall and prayerfully consider how you might help.

One of the more popular tables every year at the bazaar is the Grab “Package” table  Thank you to everyone who donates items, and a special thank you to Emma Riley and Penny Miller for wrapping all the items and to Penny Miller for collecting and delivering the items to Emma.  As you can imagine, this is a big project!!!  As of now, it appears we have plenty of packages and no more donations are needed.   

Of course, we are always happy to see what our vendors bring  to sell.  Jean LeMont and Linda McCoy do a great job finding vendors who offer a variety of items.  Be sure and stop by their tables in the sanctuary. 

The Silent Auction table always holds some wonderful items to bid on.  It’s fun to watch the end of the bidding time to see who walks away with their “must have” item.  Caroline DuBois has been collecting items since the last bazaar, so it’s going to be another popular auction.  If you have anything you would like to donate for the silent auction, please contact Caroline. 

For those of you with a sweet tooth, the ever famous “Harvest Bakery” with homemade goodies will be available, and the “Scandinavian Bakery” will have the popular lefse, cardamom bread, and krumkake, etc.  If you are planning to provide something for the bake sales, please bring them pre-packaged, if possible, and have them to the church on Friday, November 1, or before 9:00 a.m. on the day of the Bazaar.  Please label your items, also.

The “Harvest Café” will be serving their homemade soups and pies for lunch.  You don’t want to miss that. 

One more way to help is to distribute the flyers around towns at various businesses.  Please watch for the flyers to be available and take some.
Various people are coordinating different aspects of the bazaar.  If you have questions about something, please contact Sandy Young, and she will direct you to the proper person. 

The sign-up sheets will be available on the bulletin board  beginning Sunday, October 6.  There are many areas where help will be needed, so if we all figure out how we can use our time and talents, we can make this event a success! 

And, don’t forget our treasure!!  There are many ways to open our wallets and help raise funds.  Shop for that one-of-a-kind Christmas gift, have lunch, and take home some goodies.  And feel good, knowing you are helping so many worthwhile causes.       

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


Come paint a festive snowman at WELCA;s "Paint Party"
 We are gathering in the Fellowship Hall on Monday, October 21, at 6 p.m. The featured painting is a happy snowman. Artist and instructor Crystal Heil will lead us through the project.  Cost is $35.00 per person and covers all the needed materials. If you haven’t yet signed up and want to participate, please let Candice know by Sunday, October 13.

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.

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!

October Guild Meetings
First Lutheran Church has three guilds offering opportunities for organized Bible study and fellowship.

They are once-a-month gatherings, and each group meets at different times throughout the day, so hopefully you can find one to fit your schedule.

The morning group, Sarah Guild, meets in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 17. Sandy Young is hosting.

The afternoon group, Mary Guild, meets at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, October 21, at Avamere. Judy Ann Johnson is hosting.

The evening group, Soul Sisters, meets on Tuesday, October 8, This month, they have chosen to meet a bit early at the church at 5:30 p.m. for dinner at Community Meals. After dinner and fellowship, they will begin the study at 7 p.m. Soul Sisters is working through the book, Pew Sisters, and will read Chapter 8 together. Each chapter of the book stands on its own, so if you’d like to come and visit to see if you’d like to join the group, you wouldn’t be behind in the their study.

Mary Guild and Sarah Guild use studies and topics found in the Gather magazine, and they welcome new members, as well.

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

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.

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.

"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