Worship every 1st and 4th Sunday and Traditional
every 2nd and 3rd Sunday at this time.
Friends in Christ,
ago my family moved to a new home. As part
of that process a large pile was created at
our curb of all the things we no longer wanted
or needed; things that couldn’t even
be donated to a charitable cause. It felt
really good to be rid of things that were
no longer useful. There probably could have
been more stuff left behind, but some things
(though not in use at the current time, and
serving no clear purpose that we could identify)
came along with us anyway. We employed the
familiar rationale of “you never know
when you’re going to need it.”
I haven’t kept an inventory of how often
we have actually used any of that stuff, but
my guess is not much.
We all probably
have a lot of things we need to let go of
on an emotional level, too. You know what
I’m talking about. Resentment, anger,
disappointment, a grudge, a lost love …
stuff like that. I know I do. Yet we’re
content to hang onto these things, and the
sad part is that the longer we hold on the
more deeply engrained in our identities these
things become. I wonder, what causes us to
hold on for so long? I suppose there are many
answers to that question, all unique to our
own situations. Sadly, these things tend to
claim too much of our time and energy until
we are often diverted from doing something
more productive with our lives.
On that first
Easter morning when Mary discovered that Jesus
was alive he told her, “Do not hold
on to me, because I have not yet ascended
to the Father.” In an article about
this passage theologian David Lose noted how
frustrating it must have been for Mary to
have seen Jesus and yet not have been able
to embrace him, to hold on to him. And then
he wondered if we sometimes feel like that.
He wrote, “Like all we want to do is
to hold onto our Jesus, or our congregation,
or our traditions, or our ideas about how
church ‘has always been’ and ‘always
should be.’ There are lots of good reasons
for us to want to hold onto these things too,
also dealing with comfort and security and
not wanting to lose something precious to
us. Yet we cannot.”
leads me to ask, what do we need to let go
of in order to live healthier lives that are
more pleasing to God? Our memories of what
First Church was like twenty years ago? The
way the Church was when there was a “Luther
League” and we sang “How Great
Thou Art” at least a dozen times every
year? Our feelings toward another brother
or sister in Christ? Whatever it is, Jesus
calls us to let go so that we can move forward,
because as long as something that we can’t
let go of is holding us back we will never
reach our ultimate destination.
Let us pray
that God will give us the courage to let go
of the things we cannot change, the things
that enslave us, so that we may find joy in
discovering the new directions God has waiting
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 email@example.com).
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.
hours have begun. Connie will be in the office this
week Monday, Tuesday & Friday, 8 AM –
are still seeking someone to serve as Council Secretary.
This is a very important position that needs to
be filled immediately. If you are willing to serve,
please see one of the pastors or Ray Treudler.
new electronic door lock system will be installed
this coming week in an effort to make it safer for
our employees and preschool students. This will
also ensure that the building is locked at the end
of each day automatically. The new system will be
programmed to have the doors open at scheduled times
for church services and other common events. Otherwise
the building doors will remain locked. There will
be an intercom with video to speak to the front
desk to open the door when needed. You will always
be able to exit the building at any time. The staff
and related personnel will be given a new key fob
next week. Please contact Len Taylor (440.653.4606)
if you have any questions or feel you need a key.
This may take some getting used to but it is
most necessary for our safety and security.
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
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.
Summer office hours
have begun. Connie will be in the office this
week Monday, Tuesday & Friday, 8 AM –
Memorial Loan Fund provides interest-free
loans to Lutheran students who are or will be
enrolled full time in a four-year undergraduate
program at any accredited college or university.
This year, the maximum interest-free loan is
$3,000 for the school year. For information,
go to www.pierstorf.org. Download the 2015/16
application from the website. The deadline
for all applications is Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
Pub Church will take
a brief summer hiatus in July and August. Look
for Pub Church to return on September 1.
Camp Bridges is
a one-day bereavement camp for children in FrontLine
Service’s child and family trauma programs
who have lost a loved one to homicide or suicide.
If you would like to volunteer on Friday,
August 7, please see the flyer above
the water fountain for more detailed information,
or speak with Pastor Chuck.
indicates "New Record" in monthly or yearly hits.
Blue Number indicates "Highest
All-time Month" in hits.