Worship every 1st and 4th Sunday and Traditional
every 2nd and 3rd Sunday at this time.
seems hard to believe that Detroit and the
2015 National Youth Gathering is already behind
us. For three years we worked and waited for
the opportunity to travel to that nearby city
that was known for its problems and poverty.
Some excited and some feeling it was a little
close to home, nevertheless, we put our best
foot forward as we continued the long, grueling
work of raising funds and doing all that needs
to be done in an effort to prepare oneself
and a group for a National Youth Gathering.
Church was prepared to attend this gathering.
We had raised the money needed, we studied
and did all of the educational pieces that
were required, and we spent a lot of time
talking about diversity and the unbelievable
history of Detroit. But nothing we read or
worked on prepared us for the actual reality
of what it would be like to interface with
a city that was waiting and eager to have
30,000 Lutheran youth and adults hit its pavements
and the reality of its needs.
the representation of this gathering was able
to accomplish the collection of 1 million
diapers, 1,847 mural boards painted, work
in some 600 neighborhoods, 319 vacant homes
boarded up, 3,200 vacant lots cleared of debris,
1,425 backpacks distributed, 36 urban gardens
installed, 99 picnic tables built, 26 dumpsters
filled, 78.8 gallons of blood – 607
pints collected and the list goes on.
First Church, our service experience outside
of donating blood and hair was spent at Spirit
of Hope Church, a multi-denominational
congregation at the daunting vehicular intersection
of Trumbull and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
This church was formed in 2006 when two congregations
merged: Trinity Episcopal Church, which was
at the current location of Spirit of Hope,
and Faith Memorial, formerly across the street
on Alexandrine and Trumbull.
of Hope’s work is relevant and interesting,
predominately more like social programs as
it addresses the community’s needs.
Every Wednesday and Saturday at noon, Spirit
of Hope operates a community kitchen, feeding
the homeless and hungry. On Sundays, just
before the morning service, the food pantry
is open. There is a popular farm, Spirit Farm,
on a lot adjacent to the church, growing a
variety of produce with a chicken coop that
provides a bounty of fresh eggs, and an opportunity
for the community to volunteer.
of Hope’s more recreational ministries
are its 'Pray and Play' youth basketball and
mentoring program and 'Spirit Spit,' an open
mic event hosted on the premises. These programs
serve to bring the community together around
less serious issues while still promoting
the Church’s core value of 'love and
justice.' In addition, Spirit of Hope also
runs an HIV prevention ministry, which includes
HIV testing and the distribution of safer
sex kits. It runs this ministry in conjunction
with Gospel Against Aids. This is the important
work of the Church, which, with an official
member count of 145, is amazingly leveraged,
serving about 15,000 community members annually
through these six ministries.
at Spirit of Hope we did a number of different
things. Some spent their time varnishing a
wooden play area that will be used for a newly
approved child care ministry, others weeded
the gardens, walk areas, and flower beds,
while still more cleaned up water damage inside
was with the group that dealt with the water
damage. Some months back Spirit of Hope had
a roof leak that caused some heavy damage
in their Sacristy. The extent of the damage
was unbelievable and the mold unlike anything
I had ever experienced before. As a pastor,
I quickly began to realize that none of that
stuff – candles, communion elements,
chalices, stoles, paraments, altar Bibles
– were really that important to the
work they did. At Spirit of Hope the people
are the priority – giving them a place
to eat, growing food for them, housing children,
welcoming the unwelcomed, and loving anyone
who comes through their doors.
am grateful for the opportunity that we had
at Spirit of Hope Church. It’s an unbelievable
place doing ministry unlike anything I have
ever witnessed in my life. To be honest,
it was a great reality check to not only appreciate
what we have been given here, but a strong
reminder that often the most important thing
we can do is simply love and welcome one another.
At the end of the day, how we care for
each other and how we define community within
and outside of these walls is what maters
the most when it comes to the gospel and living
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.
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
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
Summer office hours
have begun. Connie will be in the office this
week Monday, Tuesday & Friday, 8 AM –
Church returns Tuesday, September 1, 6:30 PM
at Bilo’s Bar & Grill in Strongsville.
Come for great food and fellowship, stimulating
conversation about an important topic and how
it connects to our Christian faith, prayer and
communion. If you haven’t tried Pub Church,
now is the time to hop on board. It’s
church … just in a different way.
Prayer & Care will
meet Friday, August 7, 10 AM.
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
Strongsville Food Bank will be open Saturday,
August 8, 9:30 – 11:30 AM. Photo ID and
proof of Strongsville residency required.
meets again on Tuesday, August 11
at noon in the Fellowship Hall. No need to bring
your brown-bag lunch. Your entire lunch, beverage
and dessert will be provided by Bob & June
Beck (440.281.8997) and Eleanor Preston (440.309.4653).
See you then!
Work. Our Hands.
will again be part of our Rally Day
festivities on Sunday, September 13.
We will be joining thousands of ELCA congregations
across the country, and together we will express
our faith in the form of service projects in
the community. This year we will be serving
our own members who are in need of work done
around their homes. Watch for more details as
the date draws close. GWOH will be open to people
of all ages and generations.
indicates "New Record" in monthly or yearly hits.
Blue Number indicates "Highest
All-time Month" in hits.