Message from Pastor Karyn for August 2019

Then Jesus stepped in. I wrote these words as part of my sermon on Sunday and after I wrote them, I just sat back. The truth of this statement, the power it contains, for my life and for the life of church, stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t help but consider the ramifications of this moment when Jesus steps into the argument between the disciples about who would have places of honor, places of power. Like in that story, Jesus steps in and stops all the fighting and power struggles and reminds us of what really matters. We are servants and we will be at our best, our greatest when we serve one another. Period. There are no qualifications to this. There are no boxes to check off, no check list to refer to, no secret handshake or words to say that signifies to followers of Jesus that the one in front of us is the one we are to serve and not that one over there. We are simply to be servants of all, extending the love and grace we have received from God to each and every person we encounter.

Clothes Closet Update for August 2019

The First Teen Clothes Closet is again partnering with the Children’s Clothes Closet at Trinity Lutheran Church to provide back-to-school shoes for children and teens during Trinity’s annual block party in August. For the last two years, we have provided approximately 130 pairs of new athletic shoes in adult sizes 7 through 13 to help ensure teens have the shoes they need for school (including PE classes). If you would like to support this effort, you can purchase NEW athletic shoes, men’s or women’s, in the sizes mentioned, or make a monetary donation to the effort.

Welcome Bags

This month, my oldest daughter, LeAnn, will have two bridal showers given for her. One given by her fiance’s side of the family, and one by her side of the family. I’m almost certain that at one, if not both, each of us in attendance will receive a gift or a small party favor. It’s always fun to receive these small gift bags when attending a party and being excited to see what each one has inside. I remember giving out goody bags at the girl’s birthday parties when they were much younger, and the children loved them. Most of us are still children at heart and love to receive gift bags. 

Back-to-school Deals for LWR School Kit Items, as of July 30

Here are some current back-to-school deals on items for the Lutheran World Relief school kits. Help use reach our goal of 500 kits! Learn more at

Office Depot


Message from Pastor Karyn for June 2019

So what does that have to do with us at First? Well, in my opinion, it will be the church, the followers of Jesus that will turn this ship we call society as we seek ways to be kind and to care for one another. A great way to do that is to seek out the great thinkers of our time, to seek ways to expand our own learning and understanding of the world around us, so that we may better serve the world. To that end, I have set for myself an ambitious reading list for the summer months, comprised of books that have been on my “to be read” list for at least a year. I am inviting you to read along with me and then join me in a discussion of the book of the month on the last Saturday of the month at my home. Perhaps we will learn something new about ourselves or our world, perhaps we will grow in our understanding of each other or at the very least, we will enjoy a morning in the sunshine talking about an interesting topic. I hope you consider joining me for one of these reads.

Thank You Volunteers!

Summer is a wonderful time of year; there are so many ways to connect with people. We can go to outdoor music festivals, parades, music events in the park, farmers markets, area festivals, fairs and the list goes on and on. It’s so much fun to look ahead, plan and then attend these events locally or far away. I’ve always enjoyed going to events, and I also like to plan events, like the volunteer appreciation picnic, where we can connect and say thank you to each other.

Help save a life: Blood Drive TODAY! 12:30–4:30pm!

Blood Drive TODAY in the narthex, 12:30–4:30pm!

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.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Course

Sat., June 1, 8:45am–5:30pm, at Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran. Rostered leaders, youth leaders and volunteers, or anyone who is working with youth in our churches are invited and encouraged to receive this certified training. Learn strategies to help support youth who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Cost: $10. Contact Elise Hynek at to register.