Announcements for Sunday, September 30, 2018

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Great Time to Join Sunday Morning with Coffee Small Group!

It’s a great time to join this group, which 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. This Sunday, Sept. 30, they will meet in the Thomas room; after that they will resume meeting in the Mary room.

Sugar Creek Listening Session

Attention: All who love Sugar Creek Bible Camp! On Monday, Oct. 1, at 6pm come to a listening session hosted by Jeff Barrow, interim executive director, as he and the board consider the camp’s strengths and growing edges. What new programs could be offered? What old programs need new life? Bring your ideas, critique and your hopes for what Sugar Creek may do in its next chapter!

Confronting Islamophobia

The Church in Society Committee, in partnership with Shoulder to Shoulder of La Crosse, has arranged 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 youths. 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.

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. For more info and registration go to


On Friday, Oct. 5, the OWLs, a group for those 55+, 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

Middle School Sugar Creek retreat

From 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5., to 1 p.m. Sunday, 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:

Baptismal Preparation

A baptism preparation session will be Saturday, Oct. 6, at 10am in the narthex for anyone who is considering or has scheduled a baptism. To register or ask questions, contact the church office: 608.783.2236 /

Sabbatical Together: Photo Walk

On Sunday, Oct. 7, from noon-4pm, take a walk in nature and learn to really see God’s amazing creation through photographing beauty found in humility and imperfection in nature. Bring your cell phone (or an actual camera if you have one). No expertise required, but this experience will be about TAKING a better photo, NOT ABOUT HOW to use your camera. If you know how to press the button on your phone to take a picture, then you have all the expertise you need for this class! We will start at First in Fellowship Hall for pizza and a discussion on pointers and tips for taking better photos, and then off to Perrot State Park for some time outside. Led by Brian Narveson. RSVP at so we have a head count for pizza. Thanks!


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, call the church office at 608.783.2236 or email

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.”

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

Blessing Health Care Workers

We invite all staff of our area clinics and hospitals to join us on Sunday, Oct. 21, for worship and a special blessing for all of the care the provide to our community.

Sabbatical Together: Geneology 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.