Holy Communion and stripping of the altar
Good Friday, April 3, 7:30 PM
Tenebrae Service of the Seven Last Words
Easter Sunday, April 5
8:00 AM – planting of the Easter Cross
8:15 AM – Traditional Festival of the
9:45 AM – Contemporary Celebration Service
11:15 AM – Traditional Festival of the
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.
bears in the pews are there to share God’s
love. You may take one to anyone you know
who is hurting for any reason. Donations may be
given in a pew envelope marked “Teddy Bear
Ministry” or new bears may be placed in the
bear den behind the Welcome Center in the lobby.
For more information or an opportunity to donate
a new bear, please take an informational sheet at
the Welcome Center. This ministry is in memory of
John Gray. Questions? Please contact Marj Gray (440.572.3158
and Resurrection Cross order forms are
available at the youth table in the lobby. Help
brighten First Church for Easter.Easter Garden and
Resurrection Cross order forms are available at
the youth table in the lobby. Help brighten First
Church for Easter.
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
Sunday donations totaled $5,241! Thank you for
your faithful stewardship and generous giving
to help us meet our budget and ministry commitments.
Special purple envelopes remain in the pews for
those who still desire to make a donation.
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
5 Below Fundraiser
– 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 table).
Zion Lutheran Church
(2233 Abbeyville Rd, Valley City) 7th annual
Passion Walk Saturday, March 28 and Sunday,
March 29. 30-minute walks begin at 6:30
and continue every 15 minutes until 8 PM. Handicapped
accessible. Free admission.
Readers are needed
at all services for the Palm Sunday Passion
Narrative on March 29. Please use the
sign-up sheet on the office window.
Barnyard (SCS Spring Project) launched
last Sunday with banks being sent home with
our students to help purchase an animal or three
for people in need through Lutheran World Relief.
All banks to be returned by March 29.
If you are interested in participating, see
Jennifer Paine or Mary Carrossellia.
CWWV needs Easter baskets
and supplies. We are collecting baskets,
art supplies, hand sanitizer, tissues, socks
and books for CWWV in the marked box in the
lobby. Deadline is Sunday, March 29.
Join Prayer & Care
Friday, April 3, 10 AM.
5th Annual Eggstravaganza
for the Homeless: Please bring a dozen
(or more) hard-boiled eggs to church between
Palm Sunday and Easter. They do not have to
be dyed. A table will be provided outside the
church office. Eggs will be delivered on
April 7. Thanks! Questions to Yvonne
Church returns Tuesday, April 7, 6:30 PM at
Bilo’s. All are welcome!
Two delegates (one
male, one female) are needed to represent First
Church at the Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly
on May 15. Featured: ELCA Presiding
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will present the report
of the ELCA and preach at worship. See Pastor
Chuck if you are interested in attending. The
cost is covered by our church.
indicates "New Record" in monthly or yearly hits.
Blue Number indicates "Highest
All-time Month" in hits.