Statement: To live in the powerful example of Jesus, and to discover
new pathways for spiritual growth.
Kathy 25 Years of Service
here to see
a presentation on YouTube by Amy Kuntz.
to First Lutheran Church
Come and explore
your deepest spiritual desires with us!
desire for you!
We invite you
to discover our dynamic Christian Community
dedicated to sharing the awesome love of God
that is revealed in Jesus Christ.
are just beginning your spiritual journey or
have traveled the Christian road for some time....
are welcome here!
Strongsville, Ohio 44149
in joining First Church? A “mega-class”
will be held next Sunday, May 4, 6-8? PM.
Child care will be provided, if necessary. To register,
call the church office or speak with one of the
Services (to September 7th)
Worship every Sunday at this time.
on the 1st and 4th Sundays of each month; Traditional
on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of each month
While Bishop Eaton
was still our synodical bishop she challenged
every congregation in Northeastern Ohio to participate
in a spiritual discernment process she dubbed
“On the Journey Forward.” Even though
Bishop Eaton is now serving as the Presiding Bishop
of the ELCA the Journey Forward continues.
First Church has
a Journey Forward team consisting of Ray Treudler,
Darden Blake, John Brinzo, Kurt Blankenship, Connie
Nielsen, and the pastors. We are part of a cluster
of nine congregations who will meet together regularly
to participate in this process. Our team will
also meet on its own, in between cluster meetings,
to work on a variety of assignments designed to
help us understand our identity and what God has
called us to do and be in the Strongsville community.
The Journey Forward
process involves four general phases. Discovery
is the data gathering phase, designed to give
us an accurate picture of our congregation and
community. Diagnosis is the analysis
phase where we will attempt to interpret the data
and what it reveals about our mission and ministry.
Decision is the planning phase
where we will design a mission plan with measurable
goals. Because we are working within a cluster
we may discover that a partnership with another
congregation in some particular area of ministry
may be beneficial. Do is the
implementation phase, and well … it’s
where we will actually start DOING something.
As this process
continues the congregation will be updated and,
at times, invited into the process to provide
valuable information and insight. In the meantime
the team invites the prayers of the congregation
for clear insight and understanding of God’s
intentions for us.
hard-working mother was brought to
tears of thankfulness when the woman
behind her in the grocery store check-out
gave her a helping hand through a
devastating situation. If it wasn’t
for this kind woman, this mom’s
precious kids would have gone hungry.
This is what she wrote to her grocery
store guardian angel:
Dear woman behind me in line at
the grocery store,
You don't know me. You have no clue
what my life has been like since last
year. You have no clue that my family
has gone through the wringer. You
have no clue that we have faced unbelievable
hardship. You have no clue we have
been humiliated, humbled, destitute.
You have no clue I have cried more
days than not; that I fight against
bitterness taking control of my heart.
You have no clue that my husband's
pride was shattered. You have no clue
my kids have had the worries of an
adult on their shoulders. You have
no clue their innocence was snatched
from them for no good reason. You
know none of this. What you do know
is I tried to buy my kids some food
and that the EBT machine was down
so I couldn't buy that food. I didn't
have any cash or my debit card with
me. I only had my SNAP card. All you
heard was me saying "No, don't
hold it for me. My kids are hungry
now and I have no other way of paying
for this." You didn't judge me.
You didn't snarl "Maybe you should
have less kids." You didn't say
"Well, get a job and learn to
support yourself." You didn't
look away in embarrassment or shame
for me. You didn't make any assumptions
What you did was you paid that $17.38
grocery bill for us. You gave my kids
bananas, yogurt, apple juice, cheese
sticks, and a peach ice tea for me;
a rare treat and splurge. You let
me hug you and promise through my
tears that I WILL pay this forward.
I WILL pay someone's grocery bill
for them. That $17.38 may not have
been a lot for you, but it was priceless
to us. In the car my kids couldn't
stop gushing about you; our "angel
in disguise." They prayed for
you. They prayed you would be blessed.
You restored some of our lost faith.
One simple and small action changed
our lives. You probably have forgotten
about us by now, but we haven't forgotten
about you. You will forever be a part
of us even though we don't even know
To the woman behind me at the grocery
store, you have no idea how much we
appreciate you. You have no idea the
impact you had on my kids. You have
no idea how incredibly thankful I
am for you. Your action may have been
small, but to us it was monumental.
Thank you for not judging us. Thank
you for giving my kids a snack when
they were quite hungry. Thank you.
Just thank you.
letter was recently shared with me
and immediately I thought about this
year’s Sunday school food drive.
I wonder how many people we made the
difference for? You all gave so unbelievably;
item after item was placed on the
shelves of donation. It was overwhelming
to see your loving response.
I would like to say thank you! Together
we collected a couple thousand dollars
of food and for that I am very grateful.
Thank you for all of your efforts
and for the support that you offered
to our Sunday school’s outreach
efforts. Thank you for putting food
on the tables of people who are in
as proud of that as I am, I also realize
there is still a hunger issue in Strongsville,
and so I would like to encourage you
to continue your efforts of donation.
Please remember that items can be
dropped off at the church; or, at
the new food bank location once it
is up and running. This year’s
VBS program revealed to me that we
still have hungry kids in our city
to feed. So, let’s continue
to make the difference!
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!
regarding the surveys, or opportunities
to share your gifts with First Church,
can be directed to Connie at (440)238-7890
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News, Photos, etc..
- Important Dates - Stuff.....
Thank you all for
your thoughts and prayers as we embarked on our
adventure. You can reach us at email@example.com
or 8700 Southside Blvd #2202, Jacksonville, FL 32256-0720.
If you’re ever vacationing down here, you
have somewhere to stay!
Thompson & Tom Serdar
You One and All …
Thank you to everyone who participated
in our Sunday School Spring Service Project, the
Strongsville Emergency Food Bank. We took over the
last 552 food items, which we collected for this
project. In total, through everyone’s generous
donations, we collected well over 1500 food items
to help those in need in our community. All donations
were of course greatly appreciated at the Food Bank,
which sees a slowdown of donations during the summer
months. We also want to say a special thank you
to Sandy & Maria Treudler, Connie Nielsen and
Brenda Jacob, who all helped count, box, and take
over the food items.
You! Thank You!
We trustees of the Strongsville
Emergency Food Bank thank the youth of First Evangelical
Lutheran Church for their weekly food donations
during the months of April, May and June. You young
people are to be commended for collecting over 1500
items of needed food supplies. The monetary donations
you collected, which totaled over $350, will be
used for distributing refrigerated items and paper
Construction of a new Food Bank
facility on Zverina Lane, behind the Communications
Center on Pearl Road, will be completed this summer.
Please feel free to visit and “check out”
the Food Bank during the hours of operation from
9:30 to 11:30 AM every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
and the second Saturday of each month.
Again, thank you for aiding those
in our community who are in need of assistance.
Strongsville Emergency Food Bank, Inc., Trustees
click on a link below to view the current
newsletters published by First Lutheran Church.
community Food Bank is running low on food.
Donations may be dropped off in the shopping carts
located near the doors. Items needed most: canned
soup, canned tuna, canned vegetables, peanut butter,
offerings thru the end of the program year will
go to Providence House, one of the oldest
child care organizations in the country to house
newborns to children age 10 for an extended period
of time. They are voluntarily placed there when
there is fear of abuse or neglect within the family.
The family also receives needed help and support
to change the home environment. Watch for more details
on this service project.
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.
Service, formerly MHS, has several families
who were recently homeless and are now in need of
beds and living room furniture. They also need TV’s
and a microwave. If you have donations, please call
Tammy Widdows (216.548.2761).
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).
the Red, White, and Blue Team!
new Mission Ministry is being kicked
off to help military families within
our congregation and community that
have a parent or loved one currently
deployed overseas. We are looking for
volunteers to provide meals, home handyman,
and babysitting services for military
families that could use a little extra
help and support.
fulfill your patriotic duty while doing
the work our Lord has called us to do!
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
your altar flowers to local nursing
homes or our own church shut-ins. Please contact
the church office if you are interested in donating
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:
Monday thru Friday, 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 Food Bank.
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
parties, or just everyday living ... if you
shop at GFS - don’t
forget to mention First Lutheran when checking
out and help First earn credit to supply future
clients need women’s size 16 jeans or
pants and XL solid color tops. Also, men’s
size large and size 18 boy’s shorts for
a 15-yr-old. Please place donations in the church
office. Questions? Please call Tammy Widdows
The PATH Program
(serving those living under bridges and in the
woods) needs canned food to hand out to people
they find. Please put your donations in the
shopping carts. Questions? Please contact Tammy
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.
Church has a program to provide CD recordings,
currently of the lesson readings, Gospel
reading, and sermon, for members who are
unable to attend regular services.
shut-in will be provided with a CD player,
on loan from the church, with which to listen
to the service recording mailed or delivered
to them each week. Plans are to expand the
recording capability to the entire service
in the future.
you know of any or our members, or nonmembers,
who may be interested in participating in
this program, please contact the church
office or click
now have a special page on this Web site
devoted to the prior sermons from each week
here to view the sermons you
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.
we will be welcoming Shane Brandes and Zachary Richards
to our music ministry staff! Thank you for your
prayers and support during the search process.
volunteers needed to help the Funeral Reception
Committee by making a dessert or salad,
set-up, serve or clean-up. Call Sue Ludwig (440.238.5164)
or Barb Krueger (440.238.9072).
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
you a generous giver? Do you have joy in knowing
that everything comes from God? Then your gifts
are needed on the Stewardship Committee.
Contact Pastor Chuck if you would like to join
this important team.
Property Management Position
– Our property management team is looking
for a coordinator of the teams. This person will
be a point of contact and coordinator for maintenance
and repair activities for the church property.
This position does not require monthly meetings
and has a very experienced committee in place
as resources to handle the repairs. For more information,
please contact Len Taylor (440.653.4606).
First Church is looking for volunteers
to help operate the video projector for the contemporary
services. Basic PC skills helpful (PowerPoint
a plus), but will offer training to all interested
individuals. Please contact Justin Lauschin (email@example.com)
for more information.
Opportunity at New Covenant Lutheran Church
– One Saturday per month the members of New
Covenant Lutheran Church in East Cleveland provide
fresh produce to needy families in their neighborhood.
We have assisted with the packing and distribution
of produce several times in recent months and are
planning to do it again Saturday, August
23. If you are interested in assisting,
please contact Bruce Holderead (firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Wine … and Those Who Don’t
annual social event will be held Friday,
September 5, 7 PM. Come on out to catch
up with your church friends and make some new ones!
This year we will gather at the home of Maureen
Shorts (146 Kensington Ct, Broadview Heights). Donation
of $10 requested to cover food and beverage costs.
Sign up on the sheet at the Welcome Center or by
contacting Jeanine Kowalewski (440.391.2823 or email@example.com).
God’s work. Our hands. Rally
Day, September 7
On Sunday, September 7, 2014, we
will join the nearly 10,000 congregations of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as
they put their faith into action by serving their
communities in ways that share the love of God with
all of God’s people. Through unique congregational
service projects, we celebrate that we are a church
that boldly does God’s work of restoring and
Our congregation will participate
in a service project that will have a significant
impact on our community. On Rally Day, September
7, we will conduct a special community food collection
for the Strongsville Emergency Food Bank. Following
our special Rally Day service at 10:00 a.m., we
will gather together as a family of all ages for
a light lunch. We will then be sent out into the
neighborhoods of Strongsville to collect food, which
will be delivered to The Strongsville Food Bank.
This is a project that EVERYONE
can participate in. Our participants will be easily
identified in local neighborhoods by our bright
yellow “God’s work. Our hands.”
T-shirts. In addition to collecting food from Strongsville
neighborhoods on Rally Day, volunteers are needed
a few days prior to the event to distribute notices
about the food collection in local neighborhoods.
Assistance is also needed for preparing and serving
the lunch. Everyone is encouraged to gather for
lunch, regardless of participation in the food collection.
We hope you will participate in this special project.
work. Our hands. Sunday reminds us that we are church
together for the sake of the world. Our lives have
been changed by our relationship with God through
Jesus Christ, and it’s that encounter with
Jesus that frees us to make a difference.”
- ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Retreat with the Men of
New Covenant – Please join us for
a Men’s Retreat with the men of New Covenant
Lutheran Church of East Cleveland on Friday,
September 26 & Saturday, September 27 at Camp
Mowana near Mansfield. We will be carpooling
down to the camp from the church on Friday evening
and returning on Saturday afternoon. The cost of
the retreat is $67, which includes lodging plus
breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Camp Mowana requires
a 25% down payment within 30 days, with the remainder
due the week prior to the retreat. Please contact
Bruce Holderead (firstname.lastname@example.org
or 440.655.1523) if you are interested in attending
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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