Announcements for Sunday, December 2, 2018

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Advent in Narnia Small Group Study

Looking for a new way to approach Christmas that is more faith focused? Join with others from First in a small group study of Advent in Narnia, Reflections for the Season. The study focuses on Advent themes of grace, love, sacrifice, forgiveness and hope. Join a group for a once-a-week discussion starting Dec. 2, or pick up a book and use it alone as a daily devotional. There a variety of small group times to choose from; sign up at 1stlu.org/narnia. Books are available at church for $15. Questions? Contact our Director of Small Groups, Bridget Crave: bridget@firstlu.org.

Stewardship Sunday

So that we may be good stewards of our finances and to better prepare our budget, we ask all members to notify the church of their intent to give for the coming year. Members may give their pledge cards to the church in many ways: place it in the offering plate; hand it to the pastor; bring it to the office; even online at 1stlu.org/pledge. Questions? Contact the church office at office@firstlu.org / 608.783.2236.

Christmas Book Fair

THIS Sunday, Dec. 2, is your last opportunity to place an order! Take a look at the display in the narthex and order books and gifts for the special someones in your life!

Christmas Giving Tree 

Tags are available to pick from the Christmas tree in the narthex. Return gifts by Dec. 9. If you purchase gift cards, please wrap them in a box. Questions? Contact the church office:
office@firstlu.org / 608.783.2236.

Good Gifts Ornaments

Choose a Good Gifts ornament from the giving tree in the narthex, take it home, and go online to ELCA.org/GoodGifts to make your donation. Write on the back of the ornament and give as gift.

Drawing from the Well

Next retreat: Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:30-11:30am, at the house. Women of all ages are welcome to come together for food, fellowship and study. We will discuss part 2 of a 3-part study on prayer, using Let Us Pray, by Anna Madsen. Whether or not you attended the first session, you will be able to participate in part 2. You may find it helpful if you print the first four pages of the study and read through it before we meet: 1stlu.org/dftwstudy. It’s not mandatory, though. RSVP to bridget@firstlu.org to help with an accurate head count for food.

Faith Alive! U: Being Christian Amidst “Others”

A Faith Alive! U course presented by Pastor Libby Howe on Sunday, Dec. 9, 6pm. How could understanding ‘others’ — from Christians of other denominations to believers of other religions to non-believers — help us clarify our own Christian identity and purpose? Assistant to the Bishop for the La Crosse Area Synod — and one of our own members! — Pastor Libby Howe will talk about whether we can learn about ourselves by learning about ‘others’ without trying to force them into becoming more like us.

Young Youth Cookie Decorating

Meet at the church on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 4pm in the fellowship hall to decorate Christmas cookies. The cookies will be handed out as gifts to the residents that we visit when the church goes caroling on Dec. 16 at 5pm. Parents are more than welcome, even encouraged, to attend the cookie decorating event! Young Youth is a group for children in grades K-2 and grades 3-5. For information, contact Beth Miller: beth@firstlu.org.

Blessing Government Employees

We invite anyone who works for government, at any level, to join us on Sunday, Dec. 16, for worship and a special blessing for all the work you do on behalf of our government.

Sunday School Christmas Worship

It is a wonderful time of year and a great way for our kids to spread their Christmas joy! New date and time this year: Sunday, Dec. 16, between services from 9:30-10am.

Christmas Caroling

Sunday, December 16, 4–8pm. Hop on a bus and take a ride around Onalaska to visit and carol to those who need extra Christmas cheer! RSVP at 1stlu.org/caroling.

Blue Christmas

Friday, Dec. 21, 6:15pm. Please join us at First Lutheran for an hour of worship, including music, prayers, candlelight and reflection, on what God is up to amidst our blue feelings around Christmas. Before worship, starting at 5:30pm, there will be a time for a light meal and conversation.

Christmas at First

Christmas Eve worship times: 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 11pm. All will be candlelight and all will be with Holy Communion. Christmas Day worship time: 10am, with Holy Communion. 

Kettle Ringers

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is looking for bell ringers! They still have sites with many shifts that have not been filled. Please consider donating two hours of time for this worthy cause. Every dollar helps those in need in our community. Register online at SAlacrosse.org or call 608.782.6126.

Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather

If the weather ever makes you wonder whether your group is meeting for their ministry, check our website, Facebook page, or update the office with your cell number and provider so that we can text you. We’ll also notify WXOW.com, news8000.com and the La Crosse Radio Group stations: 106.3, 104.9, 102.7, 100.1, and 1490 AM. The staff and leadership of First intend to ‘make the call’ by 5pm at the latest. so everyone knows what to expect. Be safe this winter!

Synod School of Theology

Grow in faith, develop your spirituality, deepen your discipleship, discern your baptismal vocation, and learn more about the Bible, theology and the church. Courses include: Bible, Theology, Church History, Ministry Skills and Spiritual Development. The first session begins Jan. 17, 2018. Talk to our pastors if you’re interested, and find more info at 1stlu.org/theology.

‘19 Mission Trips

During the week of July 21–26 in 2019 our middle school youth will serve in Duluth, MN and our high school youth will serve in San Francisco, CA. For more info & registration go to 1stlu.org/missiontrip.

Snow Birds: Keep Us Updated

Had enough of cold weather already and about to winter in warmer climes? Keep us up-to-date by letting us know your winter address / contact info. Contact the church office with your updated information: office@firstlu.org / 608.783.2236. Thanks!

Youth GroupS

Middle & high school youth groups gather weekly on Sundays. Starting at 5:30pm in Fellowship Hall all ages will eat together, and then break off into their groups for fun, fellowship & devos. Questions? Contact Pastor Stanton, jason@firstlu.org.

Parent Share: meeting Sun & Tues

Join Carla Stanton, member of First, certified spiritual director and mom of three, in room 201 every Tuesday morning, 8:30-9:30am, or on Sunday mornings 9:15am-10:45am. At Parent Share, we pray and talk about raising our children faithfully. Childcare is available, too, during either session.

Parking Lot Ministry

This ministry needs warm and friendly faces to greet guests and worshipers who come into the parking lot, giving help if needed at the giving umbrellas to those who need one when it’s raining. Come to the Welcome Center to receive more information and sign up to help.

Companion Ministry

The gift of communion is Christ’s invitation for us all. Homebound members or those in nursing home care cannot make it to church and still would love to also receive that gift. Companion ministers help provide the service of delivering communion to them. They visit these members, usually monthly, give them communion, and have wonderful conversations. Good friendships are formed and the members receiving the communion feel grateful for that gift. If you love visiting with and helping people, consider becoming a companion minister. It is a very fulfilling job. Talk to one of the pastors for more information.