February 22 the Academy Awards will once again
be presented to the best and brightest of
Hollywood’s stars. Nowadays up to ten
films may be nominated in the “Best
Picture” category. That seems like a
lot to me, and more an attempt to make a larger
number of people feel good about themselves
than a serious exercise in identifying the
best of the best. Whatever. I’ve seen
some of the movies that have been nominated.
If you can manage not to divert your eyes,
and your ears are able to withstand the onslaught
of profanity, I would recommend Whiplash and
American Sniper, both guaranteed to leave
you more than a bit unsettled.
movie that didn’t strike Oscar’s
fancy is The Good Lie. That’s a shame
as it tells the story of the Lost Boys of
Sudan, who walked nearly a thousand miles
to escape the brutal civil war that was raging
in their country. Among other things, The
Good Lie is a tale of love that ultimately
leads to personal sacrifice for the benefit
of one’s family. Eventually, everyone
gives up something important so that someone
else may experience life more fully.
we move toward the Lenten season, our hearts
turn to the One who sacrificed his life on
the cross so that we might have life, and
have it abundantly. I want to encourage you
to set aside a special time each day during
Lent to reflect on the great sacrifice of
Jesus. You may want to consider using the
devotional book composed by our own members,
or another resource that you find meaningful.
Let your hearts be open to the way Jesus engaged
others, the way he expressed love, the personal
gain he bypassed in order to make people whole,
the obedience it took to surrender to death
on a cross. And ask yourself what that really
means for your life, and what kind of response
once said, “This is my commandment,
that you love one another as I have loved
you. No one has greater love than this, to
lay down one’s life for one’s
friends.” Indeed, this is what we see
at Calvary. The greatest love of all. And
so, what kind of sacrifice might we make?
How might we lay our lives on the line? How
might we express to someone else the love
God first showed to us?
our pilgrimage through the great forty days
become completely infused by the sacrificial
love of God revealed at the cross of Jesus
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.
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 –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
gr) – Saturday, February 21, 4 -6 PM.
gr) – Sunday, February 22, 1-5 PM –
Have some delicious
soup you make and want to share? Fire up your
crock pots and come to “Soup Sunday,”
February 22, 11 AM – 1 PM in the
Fellowship Hall. All proceeds benefit the youth
going to Detroit for the National Gathering. Sign
up at the Welcome Center.
Holden Evening Prayer Services begin Tuesday,
February 24, 7:15 PM. A light supper
will be served beginning at 6 PM. Our theme this
year is “Wilderness Time.”
At 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.
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.
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.
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 table.
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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