is here! The dictionary says it’s a
time of solemn religious observance in the
religious calendar. For me it is a time to
remember the road our Lord endured on His
way to the cross, a time for us to reflect
and to take inventory of our own faith and
its practice. But, what is it for you? How
is it that you will walk these 40 days and
what will you do to help with that?
Someone recently told me, “I’m
too busy to really do anything about Lent
this year.” To that I want to ask are
any of us ever really too busy to observe
Lent? If you think that you are this article
is for you; and really everyone who wants
to kick it up a notch during these next days
fast pace of your life may seem to leave little
time and energy for the traditional Lenten
practices. But you can weave moments of spiritual
awareness and service into even the busiest
of schedules. The trick is to see Lenten practices
as part of, rather than in addition to, each
activity of your ordinary hectic day.
The three foundational practices of Lent are
prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Here’s
how to think about them in a new way:
Praying Daily – If
you make a habit of saying a little prayer
whenever someone irritates you, cuts you off
in traffic, or makes life difficult; when
someone does you a favor, you experience great
and friendly service, or when something joyful
happens to you — you will soon find
yourself praying your way through the day.
You will also find that this habit makes your
life flow smoother, your self more centered,
and your Spirit more aware of God’s
A Different Type of Fasting
– There are many ways to fast. Why not
fast from criticism, gossip, judging others,
or passing on rumors? Why not abstain from
unwarranted fear and anxiety? You can also
tell that inner voice inside your head that
criticizes you to abstain from eroding your
ability to be the confident, blessed person
God calls you to be.
Give of Yourself –
Daily life also offers countless opportunities
to give of yourself to others (alms), and
most don’t involve dipping into your
wallet. Give encouragement to the doubting,
give a word of praise to the insecure, show
kindness to someone who could use a friend,
and offer a word of thanks to those whose
service of others often goes unappreciated.
Give the gift of your attention to someone
who simply wants to be noticed. Tell your
children stories about people whose values
you admire when you gather at mealtime. Don’t
be stingy with your smiles — give them
freely to everyone you meet. And, most important,
give your love to those close to you. Hug
them, hold them, and tell them what they mean
to you. In this way you open your heart to
God and others.”
no matter how busy you are in life, there
is no doubt that you can with a greater awareness
and new perspective, consciously pray, fast,
and give of yourself this Lent. Just simply
take note of the possibilities that surround
you and act on them during the course of your
day. Don’t leave any opportunity slip
by unnoticed. Make Lent a way of life, not
something that only happens 40 days out of
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.
There are lots of
dates still available on the 2015 Altar
Flower & Bulletin list in the lobby.
Sign up for your special event date today.
out Pastor Chuck’s latest blog post: Prayer
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 –A mentor is needed for
a very pleasant third grade boy who loves football.
He would benefit from having a positive adult
role model show him affection and concern, build
his self-esteem, and help him with his reading.
Will you be the one to make a difference in his
life? Contact Gloria Reichert (330.225.3922 or
the January Congregational Meeting the 2015
budget was approved. Thanks to a significant
increase in pledging we were able to create
a budget that will allow us to pursue several
aspirational ministry goals developed by our
Cabinet leaders. However, even with the pledge
increase, we were short of reaching
our budget goal by approximately $8,700. You
will be receiving a letter explaining how Council
plans on bridging this gap. We have
designated March 1, 2015 as the $60 day.
More details will be in the mailing. Thank you
all for your support.
Midweek Holden Evening Prayer
Services continue Tuesday, March 3,
7:15 PM. A light supper will be served
beginning at 6 PM. Our theme this year is “Wilderness
Time.” This week’s topic is “A
Time of Dependence.”
Night – March 6. Order a pizza
and just mention First Lutheran when ordering
and a percentage of the proceeds come back to
the church and our youth. Strongsville and Brunswick
All women of First
Lutheran are invited to attend an informative
presentation by Dr. Holly Perzy. Join
us for Women and Ultimate Wellness: Balance
of Mind, Body and Spirit on Sunday,
March 8 at 7 PM. Babysitting available
upon request. Sign up at the Welcome Center.
well-known author and Plain Dealer faith columnist
and sports writer will speak at the Strongsville
United Methodist Church (13500 Royalton Rd)
on Wednesday evening, March 18 from
7-8 pm. Freewill offering to go toward
replacing food bus.
Rev up your engines for the
First Lutheran Silent Auction Saturday,
March 21, 5:30 PM! A multitude of awesome
baskets for auction, delicious Chicken Marsala
dinner, talent show! Adults $15, children 10
and under $6. Tickets on sale now at the youth
table. All proceeds benefit youth going to Detroit
for the National Gathering.
is excited to announce that The Celestial Choir
from New Covenant Lutheran Church will be with
us on March 22 at the 9 & 11:15
AM services. Following the 11:15 AM
service will be a potluck luncheon for appreciation
and fellowship. We hope all will attend and
bring a dish to share. There will be a sign-up
sheet at the Welcome Center.
5 Below Fundraiser
– March 20-22 and March 27-29 all day
at the Strongsville location. Just
shop and 10% of our total dollars spent will
be donated back to First Lutheran Youth. It’s
that simple! Must have flyer (available at youth
Candy/Baked Goods –
place your order for homemade candy/baked goods
made by our wonderfully talented youth. Orders
need to be placed by March 29 for Easter
delivery. Order forms available at the youth
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.
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