choose the New Year as the time to turn over
a new leaf. Smokers vow to kick the habit;
some decide to change to a new and improved
lifestyle; habitual spendthrifts decide to
mend their ways; and most of us, who enjoy
eating unhealthy food, latch on to the latest
dieting fad. But that’s easy to do when
the air is filled with the aroma of potential
change and the opportunity to begin anew.
For many there is an unmistaken hope that
comes from the heart as they think about the
start of another year and the opportunity
for renewal. It’s as if permission has
been granted for people to dream and reach
high once again.
with that being said, I would like to encourage
you to think a little bit about the year that
lies ahead of you. What will 2015 be about?
How different will things be, and what will
be the motto you live by?
are a few New Year quotes, inspirational enough
to send all of us in a healthy direction as
we look onto the start of this exciting and
potential-filled year. I hope you find them
as thought provoking as I have.
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning
but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience
can instill in us.
The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury
its own dead. The New Year has taken possession
of the clock of time. All hail the duties
and possibilities of the coming twelve months!
The merry year is born like the bright berry
from the naked thorn.
One resolution I have made, and try always
to keep, is this: To rise above the little
Cheers to a New Year and another chance for
us to get it right.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn’t do than
by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the
trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Be always at war with your vices, at peace
with your neighbors, and let each New Year
find you a better person.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first
chapter is New Year's Day.
We spend January 1 walking through our lives,
room by room, drawing up a list of work to
be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this
year, to balance the list, we ought to walk
through the rooms of our lives ... not looking
for flaws, but for potential.
if you are super-charged about making a glorious
new beginning this New Year, now is a great
time to consider how you will approach this
coming year. Go ahead and pick that which
bothers you the most and resolve to deal with
it this year. Give up seeing the glass half
empty, and instead take charge of your life.
Every day is an opportunity and
a chance for a new beginning, so what are
you waiting for?
you have a prayer request?
Please use the bulletin
board over the water fountain to make your prayer
concerns known, or Click
Here to submit one for inclusion
during our next service.
Your Talents with
do I get involved?
on the “Share Your Spiritual Gifts
Volunteer Form” link below if you
know the gifts you have been given, and
let us know how you would like to share
them with First Church this coming 2013-2014
on the “Discover Your Spiritual
Gifts” link below. The survey is
simply a list of questions that help identify
what gifts, skills and interests you have
been given. Once you submit the completed
survey, we will score it and email you
with the results. We will also include
a few suggestions regarding volunteer
opportunities that are a good fit for
your gifts. If you would like to share
your gifts, please take the “Share
Your Spiritual Gifts” survey and
we will get you connected!
and donuts are available in the Fellowship Hall
on Sunday mornings. This is a service project
of our Confirmation students and their families.
The donuts are purchased at a cost of
$.50 per donut. All other
items are donated. Please help us cover the cost
of the donuts.
Prayer & Care Group prepares and sends
cards to those of us, young and old alike, who are
lonely, suffering from illness or injury, or those
with on-going issues. Join us the first Friday of
every month at 10 AM. Questions? Contact Sue Ludwig
(440.238.5164 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lutheran Busy Bags contain quiet items,
crayons, and books for children to use during the
service. They can be found under the table at the
back of the church. Just ask an usher if you would
like one of these bags for your little one.
The Street Ministry
continues to collect men’s socks for the homeless.
Please place your donation in the marked box by
the Fellowship Hall entrance. Questions? Contact
Steve Gall (440.238.3019).
ELCA Malaria Campaign intends to contain
malaria on the African continent by 2015.
To help, make a donation using the special envelope
in the pews. Make checks payable to First Lutheran
Church, and place envelopes in the offering
plate. Our goal is to raise $5,100.
you have a prayer request? Please use the bulletin
board over the water fountain to make your prayer
get rid of your old cell phone? Recycle
the old one! Please drop off old cell phones
and used ink cartridges – boxes located
on the table under the youth bulletin board
by the Fellowship Hall entrance. Questions?
Contact Debbie Brighter (440.572.2627).
by the Welcome Center, in the
lobby, for additional information on our activities
for a Reason - If you know any woman
currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the
word to her that there is a cleaning service
that provides FREE housecleaning – 1 time
per month for 4 months while she is in treatment.
All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor
fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning
for a Reason will have a participating maid
service in her zip code area arrange for the
Emergency Food Bank - The Food Bank
is open to Strongsville residents year-round:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:30 –
11:30 AM and including the 2nd Saturday of every
month. Call 440/846-0197 for more information.
Nonperishable food items can be placed in the
shopping carts by the side and Fellowship Hall
entrances. This is taken to the Strongsville
Both pastors offer open office hours
for anyone who wants to stop by to share &
concerns. It is helpful to call in advance for
an appointment. Drop-in visitors are received
on a first come, first served basis. Pastor Chuck’s hours are 10
- noon on Tuesday.
Pastor Kathy’s hours are 10 – noon
WOW will continue
to collect women’s full-size personal
hygiene items and diapers for Laura’s
Home. Donations may be placed in the container
on the Welcome Center.
following are church events and fellowship opportunities
at First Church. A complete listing of all of the
Church Events can be downloaded by clicking on the
"Weekly Revelations" located in the box
to the left.
Chuck has launched a blog at www.pcspincycle.com.
Check it out as a way of staying connected and having
dialog about a variety of topics related to the
giving easy with Simply Giving! Did you
know you can automate your church offerings and
eliminate the need to write checks? By “setting
it and forgetting it,” you don’t have
to remember to search for your offering envelope
and write that check. The Simply Giving program
allows you to establish a recurring offering that
is automatically deducted from your checking or
savings account. And, you can set the frequency
and amount of the offering to be deducted. The
Simply Giving enrollment/authorization form can
be found in the information center outside the
church office. For those who are already enrolled
in Simply Giving and need to make a change to
the amount and/or frequency, you can submit another
form with the needed changes. Call Brenda Jacob
with any questions.
HOPE USA –One, possibly two more
mentors (either male or female) are needed for
the children waiting at Drake. Several prayer
partners and substitute mentors are also needed.
If you would like to volunteer for this amazing
ministry, please contact Gloria Reichert (330.225.3922
… helps thousands
of people in Northeast Ohio every year to stay
out of prison, access counseling and support,
obtain job skills, gain employment and secure
stable housing. Come and learn more about LMM
at the Adult Sunday School Hour on Sunday,
January 25, 10 AM in the Fellowship Hall.
Our discussion will be led by Deb Yandala, an
LMM board member.
instruction, for those in 5th grade or above,
begins next Saturday, January 31, 10 AM.
If you haven’t registered, please see Pastor
Class begins February 1. Using the movie
“God’s Not Dead” we will explore
ways to bear witness to the Christian faith in
our daily lives, with friends and neighbors. All
– Join the fun as our Sunday school classes
work to challenge each other to a “Penny
Challenge” Sundays, February 1 &
8. Put in a penny and it counts as a
one, put in a dime and it counts as a minus 10
in the Penny Challenge. Let’s see which
class wins the challenge as we raise money for
with the Men of New Covenant, Friday, February
20 & Saturday, February 21 at the Doubletree
Inn in Independence. Led by Reverend
Terrance Jacob, Assistant to the Bishop/Director
for Evangelical Mission of the Northeastern Ohio
Synod of the ELCA. The room rate at the Doubletree
will be $89 plus tax based on
double occupancy. You may reserve a room by calling
the Doubletree (216.447.1300). We are also asking
for an additional $15 per person for the
retreat to cover the cost of our meeting room.
Please contact Bruce Holderead (email@example.com
or 440.655.1523) if interested.
Mission Trip Opportunity
you ever wondered how life-changing a mission trip
can be? If so, we are looking for 12
volunteers who may be interested in going on a mission
trip to Honduras, June 13 – 20, 2015. The
trip, organized through Living Water International,
will provide the practical service of digging a
new well or repairing an existing well for an impoverished
community that desperately needs clean water and
sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those
we are serving.
No experience is required and training will be provided.
The team should consist of 8 drillers and 4 hygiene
facilitators. Both women and men are welcome to
be a part of the drill team. However, due to cultural
differences and sensitive health content, only women
are allowed to be part of the hygiene team. The
minimum age requirement is 14 by the date the trip
leaves. Under the age of 18 must be accompanied
by a parent or legal guardian. There is no maximum
Endowment has set aside funding to subsidize the
cost of the trip; and with the subsidy, the expected
contribution per volunteer will be $950 to $1,000.
If interested, please contact Reiner Mueller (440.846.0532
There will be an informational meeting planned for
late summer for those who are interested.
indicates "New Record" in monthly or yearly hits.
Blue Number indicates "Highest
All-time Month" in hits.