Announcements for Sunday, September 16, 2018

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Middle School Milestone

At First Lutheran we are committed to bringing the presence of God into the lives of children everywhere they go. This life milestone is for sixth-graders and their parents/guardians as they transition from elementary to middle school, and celebrates that each child is made in the image of God. We spend our time in four weeks talking about being created in the image of God, how God is in the midst of change and ways that we can feel connected with God through spiritual practices. Week one starts THIS Sunday, Sept. 16, 9:15am in the fellowship hall.

Sabbatical Together: Pottery Night

As part of the Lily Grant’s support of Pastor Karyn’s sabbatical, members of First are offered some of the same sabbatical experiences. Our first opportunity is getting creative with ceramics on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6-9pm, at All Glazed Up in downtown La Crosse. You can work on a pottery wheel (limit 8) or pick an already made piece to paint and decorate (no limit). RSVP at

Great Time to Join Sunday Morning with Coffee Small Group!

Our small group Sunday Morning with Coffee restarts TODAY, Sunday, Sept. 16. It’s a great time to join this group that is open to all and meets weekly between services. They will watch a short DVD and discuss How to Read the Bible, by The Bible Project. The series is an introduction on how to read the Bible more wisely and with greater understanding. The group meets in the Mary Room, with some upcoming exceptions: On Sept. 23 & 30, they will meet in room 209.


On Wednesday, Sept. 19, the OWLs, a group for those 55+, will have their potluck at noon in the narthex. The program will be our very own Pastor Stanton, who will conduct a session of “Ask the Pastor.” On Friday, Oct. 5, the OWLs will fly to the Villa Louis mansion in Prairie Du Chien, and on Monday, Oct. 15, the OWLs will return to the Winona Boat Tour for a fall color cruise. To reserve your spot for these events or to ask questions, contact Brian Narveson at

Grief Support Group

Carrying on after the death of a loved one can be difficult and lonely. Join with others who have experienced loss, and listen and care for each other. Meeting the third Thursday of the month, 1pm in the Upper Room. Led by Nancy Beguin.

Questions? Contact Director of Small Group Ministry, Bridget Crave: More info at

Listening for God —Walking with Jesus 

Synod-wide Women’s Fall Retreat on Sept. 22, at New Life Lutheran, 7564 Cottage Grove Rd, Madison, WI. For women of all ages. Find renewal in this daylong retreat dedicated to listening for the voice of the Holy One in our lives. Explore what might be when we walk through life with that voice as the core of all we are and do. Led by Carla Stanton, member of First and certified spiritual director from the Franciscan Spirituality Center. Free childcare provided during the event. Registration and more info:


First Lutheran is assisting with Come for Supper on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Our Savior’s in La Crosse. First will help with food donations and volunteering to serve and clean up. The sign-up sheets are at the Welcome Center. Call Gloria Kubiak if you have questions, 608.498.2762. 

Closet Needs

In just 2 weeks in our new location, the Clothes Closet has hosted more than 40 teens — we knew the need was there and are so glad we can meet it! But that means our needs are great, also. Here’s how you can help — drop off the following, gently-used teen items in the church entry donation bins: Purses, wallets (men’s and women’s), hoodies, socks (new), leggings (new), sports bras (new), body wash and other toiletries. Ask at the office about volunteering to assist in hosting the Monday night shopping hours.

Looking for Games, etc.

Our middle & high school youth groups (which gather weekly on Sundays at 5:30pm) are looking for donations of board games, yard games, bean-bag chairs, a mini-fridge, gaming consoles, and a large, flat-screen TV. Bring donations to the office. Questions? Contact Pastor Stanton,

La Crosse Area Synod Flood Relief Efforts

Widespread flooding has affected the southern and eastern counties of the synod. To make a donation online go to With “flood relief” in memo, checks can be mailed to: La Crosse Area Synod, ELCA, 2301 South Ave, La Crosse WI 54601. To learn mor about what supplies are needed, how to volunteer, and to find out how to best assist local areas go to the synod’s flood relief page on their website at

Intro Bible Class

Thursday, Sept. 27, 5:30-9pm, at Peace Lutheran in Tomah, sponsored by the La Crosse Area Synod. Learn the Bible story as you follow the narrative from Genesis through the New Testament. Pastor Len Liptack guides the journey with energy, insight and wit! Available to anyone, this evening also meets the expectation for the Bible introduction for School of Theology students. There is no obligation in taking the class. Just come and learn! Registration not required, but an RSVP is helpful. To RSVP, contact Peace at 608.343.7322 (leave a message) or email Pastor Dawn Lindberg at

School of Theology in La Crosse

The fall 2018 session of the Synod School of Theology will run from Oct. 4-Nov. 8 (all classes on Thursday evenings, 5:30pm) with Bible Intro class for new students on Sept. 27 (see above). For more info and registration go to

Confronting Islamophobia

The Church in Society Committee, in partnership with Shoulder to Shoulder of La Crosse, has arraigned for Pastor Mandy France and Dr. Ayaz Virji to share their story of confronting Islamophobia in rural Minnesota. Hear their story at the following events:

  • Wed., Oct. 3, 7pm at Trinity Lutheran Sparta. This event is designed for confirmation and high school youth. Of course, others are welcome. 

  • Thur., Oct. 4, 7pm at Westby Fine Arts Center. This community event is open to the public; no registration necessary.

Middle School Sugar Creek retreat

Fri., 7pm, Oct 5–Sun., 1pm, Oct 7. Come hang out with your favorite camp friends and Sugar Creek Counselors for 3 days of games, hiking, Bible study, worship, campfires, and loads of other FUN camp activities! Cost: $85. RSVP to Pastor Stanton:

Faith Alive! U: Political Jesus?

A Faith Alive! U course presented by Bishop Arends on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 6pm: People of faith are called to be faithful citizens. Yet, when we speak to political issues, we are often cautioned to be silent due to the separation of church and state. Join La Crosse Area Synod Bishop Jim Arends as he explores the call to faithfulness and action that comes to Christians from Jesus. We will look at the need to speak and act as well as the worries and fears of “going public.”


We offer several new-member sessions each year to acquaint new members with First and a small group of other newcomers. People who would like to become members of First Lutheran are invited to a 3-session introduction to the church, presented in a small-group setting. The group will meet in the evening on Sunday, Oct. 14, Sunday, Oct. 21, and Thursday, Oct. 25. To register your family or ask questions please call our church office at 608.783.2236 or email

Sabbatical Together: Geneology 101

Genealogy 101, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 6:30–7:30pm. Get started on researching your genealogy. Bill O’Driscoll from the La Crosse Historical Society will present a workshop to help you get started and learn about the resources available for learning more about your family roots. For those interested, you will be encouraged to stay connected and meet occasionally to share successes and struggles and support each other in your genealogy search. 

Family Photos… a Cloud of Witnesses

Help us create a visual cloud of witnesses this All Saint’s Day, Nov. 1. We are looking for pictures of loved ones who have died, not just this past year. If you had a loved one die this past year (November 1, 2017–October 31, 2018) and they were a member of our congregation, a letter will be sent to you with a special request. We are also looking for pictures of those who have been baptized this past year. Pictures should be 4x6 and copies that you don’t need back. You can either email pictures to or drop them off at the church office. Thanks for your help in creating our cloud of witnesses.

Faith Alive! U: Listening As a Spiritual Discipline

A Faith Alive! U course presented by Steve Spilde on Sunday, Nov. 11. Explore practices that allow us to better listen and connect with our children, our spouses, our loved ones and our friends. Steve Spilde is the associate director of the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse and a certified spiritual director who will help us consider our own emotions and desires so we can be more compassionate and gentle with ourselves.