It’s a relaxing way to volunteer! Friday, June 28, at 9am, to assemble the August newsletter. See you there!
Blood Drive TODAY in the narthex, 12:30–5:30pm!
Every day ordinary people are saved by some pretty extraordinary people. People who give blood. Your donation could be the most valuable gift you ever give. Just ask anyone who’s ever received. Walk-ins welcome! Please bring a photo ID.
Blood Drive Thursday, July 25, 12:30-5:30pm
First Lutheran Church, 410 Main St, Onalaska WI
Every day ordinary people are saved by some pretty extraordinary people. People who give blood. Your donation could be the most valuable gift you ever give. Just ask anyone who’s ever received. Schedule your appointment now: www.bcw.edu/firstluthona
Please bring a photo ID.
The following items are needed for this year’s VBS program:
- Gallon jugs with lids
- Empty coffee cans or baby formula containers (metal or plastic cylinder without sharp edges)
- Large cardboard boxes or pieces
Other items needed, to be borrowed and returned:
- Garden cart / wheelbarrow
- Blue and black tarp
Kitchen help is needed for the program:
Helpers are needed to…
- prepare food beforehand (around 3pm)
- serve the meals (5-5:45 pm)
- cleanup (5:45-6:30)
Helpers are needed each night; so help one or more days, whatever you are able! Please contact Becky Runde at 507.259.0295 / email@example.com to let her know what help you can give. Thanks!
In 2014 First did a lot of work in creating a comprehensive strategic plan for youth discipleship, adult discipleship, worship, stewardship, community service, hospitality, evangelism, facilities and more. What do we want our staff to look like? How do we hope to grow our budget? What ministries are we feeling most called to grow and for whom? Why? It was through this process that we identified our greatest priorities. The first and foremost priority then and now continues to be our congregation’s commitment to providing kids, birth through college aged, with faith formation opportunities. In response to our plan, we hired Tina Nelson as a full-time youth director. Katie Everson continued as our Young Youth events coordinator. We also continued to prioritize Sunday School by paying a stipend to the superintendent. And First has enjoyed nothing but faithful leadership from our Sunday School leaders over the years.
Later in this newsletter you’ll see that Katie Everson is moving on from serving the Young Youth, which I’ve known was her plan since last fall. And after the last mission trip this summer, Tina Nelson will be moving on from serving as our youth director so that she may become the program director at Sugar Creek Bible Camp. So, there is a lot of transition within the youth ministries at First, but fear not! We have plans!
Currently, we are in the process of interviewing a candidate for the youth director position and have already received multiple applications. We remain committed to keeping a full time youth director on staff who primarily works with middle, high school and post-high school kids/young adults. In addition, we are considering enlarging the scope of a young youth director who would definitely continue to organize monthly events, but may also do a bit more with parents and families. Sunday School is in VERY good shape with Beth and Joel Miller leading. And Carla Stanton plans to return to her role as birth–3 guru by leading a Frolic class once a month.
First Lutheran has lots of goals, feeling called by the Spirit to be thoughtful and faithful as we live our lives in Christ, serving our neighbors in need and growing in knowledge and wisdom. But as much as we want to become more generous, worship well and serve the community, perhaps the greatest desire among us is to pass our faith on from one generation to the next. Know that despite the current vacancies in our youth ministry, I am working diligently to provide a robust experience full of opportunities for our kids! Fortunately, I do not have to do that work alone, as so many of you offer your wisdom and knowledge by teaching on Sundays, ‘guide’ing on Wednesdays and in so many other ways.
I look forward to announcing our new staff whenever the Holy Spirit does her work. In the meantime, I ask for your prayers that the right candidates hear God’s call to serve us at First!
I was bagging up my groceries the other day, when I overheard a conversation between a mom and her son. The son kept asking “why?” with every answer the mom gave. Parents have all been in that situation. I tried to encourage her and let her know that it is exhausting answering all their questions and trying to come up with answers that the child can understand. I hope that she knew I was sympathetic toward her and that just knowing someone had listened and understood what she was going through was helpful.
Leading the young youth of our congregation has been an amazing experience and a continuous string of blessings since I started. Thus, it is with a very sad heart and mixed feelings that I am leaving this ministry.
The OWLs got into some serious summer fun in June. On a beautiful night, we had a wonderful dinner at Huck Finns by the water with a fun view of all the boats at the Marina. The special treat for our anniversary outing was attending the La Crosse Community Band Concert for “Circus Night”. We were entertained by many magnificent clowns while listening to some great circus music.
Layout your best red outfit right now and join us for worship tomorrow at 8am or 10:30am!
“For some families here, Onalaska might as well be on the other side of the state.” These were the words of one of the county social workers housed in Trinity Lutheran Church on the North Side and assigned specifically to serve residents of the area around La Crosse’s Northside Elementary.
It’s so much fun to gather together for a celebration, whether it’s a graduation, a wedding, a birthday, an anniversary, or just for no reason at all. I love people gathering together to talk, eat and play games. Graduation parties are the best: seeing family and the graduate’s friends together, each party reflecting the graduates personality. Gathering family and friends for a wedding is especially fun with dancing, eating and, of course, the cake. Each gathering is unique but meaningful in many ways.
May was an excellent month for the OWLs. 23 of us Hooted our way to Norskedalen, where we were greeted with warm hospitality and a warm spring day. The Scandinavian lunch in Westby was a delicious delight. Our potluck the following week included the usual delicious lunch and a very interesting presentation by Paw’s for Independence.
Here at church, we can help make it easier when a new neighbor moves in. Welcome baskets are available to give to someone who has moved into your neighborhood. We are all called to be good neighbors, as Romans 15:2 says, “Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.” Think of how much you will build up your neighbor by taking them a welcome basket, making them feel welcomed to their new area. Our welcome baskets contain useful things like hand cream, dishcloths made by our members, microwave popcorn from First, business cards from local businesses, among other things. We hope these items will be helpful to those new to our area or who have moved into a new neighborhood. It’s not too churchy; there is just an invitation to pop into church to visit us on the popcorn packet. If you don’t want to say it’s from our church, that is fine to do. Giving them out is the important thing; building up your new neighbor is what we are called to do.
The welcome baskets are available at the resource center across from the office. Please use the binder to sign out a basket so that only one basket is given out to that one neighbor. If you don’t know the entire address that is okay, just put down the street and the 100 or 200 etc. block of the street. This is such an easy way to welcome someone new into your neighborhood.
Questions regarding the welcome baskets? Click here to contact Kathryn Pedretti.
The synod needs volunteers for the Synod Assembly, June 9-11, held in La Crosse this year. Aside from wearing red vests, volunteers play an important role in making the assembly run smoothly, starting with registration on Friday evening and throughout the Saturday and Sunday sessions. This a great opportunity to meet members and clergy from other ELCA congregations in our synod, participate in worship and prayer throughout the three days and feel the satisfaction of helping the mission of our church.
To volunteer or to learn more, contact Betty Sacia at 608.526.3506 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who made Sunday school possible! It’s you who made this ministry happen, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
A reminder to all First Lutheran Sunday School families that this Sunday, May 21, is the last day of Sunday School. A reminder to all First Lutheran Sunday School families that this Sunday, May 21, is the last day of Sunday School. It is truly a blessing to have the kids involved in Sunday School this past year, and we look forward to having them back in Sunday School when we start up again in September. Save the date for registration at First Fest on September 10!
And just because Sunday School is done doesn't mean our events and ministries are! See our Summer Events Insert for a full list of summer opportunities, and join us for worship throughout the summer on Sundays at 8am and 10:30am, or on Wednesdays at 6:15pm if your weekends are busy! See you then!