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.
Did you know???? In 1993 the ELCA passed a social statement entitled “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope & Leadership”. In it, it’s explains…
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.
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.
First is collecting school supplies for Lutheran World Relief school kits, which we will assemble as part of the ELCA’s God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday and First Fest on Sept. 8. Our goal is to assemble 500 kits before school starts. Bring donations to the altar before/after worship or during offering. For more information contact Bridget Crave.
Vacation Bible School starts THIS Sunday, August 4, and goes through Thursday, August 8, from 6–8pm each day. Come join in the fun!
For 4K through Grade 5 in the fall (3 year olds are welcome to attend in the nursery).
We are on the search for faithful adults who are willing to spend an hour each week with our confirmation youth. You don’t need to know the Bible backwards and forwards and you don’t need a seminary degree! All you need is a heart for the youth of our church!
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.
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.
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.
The final day to turn in funds raised to cover Sugar Creek registration expenses for summer 2019 is Sunday, June 2. Thanks!
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: 1stlu.org/blooddrive
Please bring a photo ID.
At First Lutheran Church, 410 Main St, Onalaska WI
It’s a relaxing way to volunteer! Tuesday, May 28, 9am, to assemble the June/July newsletter. See you there!
Numerous times a week the Bethany Riverside residents play Bingo. Many of you help with Bingo on a regular basis, and it is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. In case you didn't know, once a month Bethany Riverside opens its "Bingo Bucks Store." The residents can spend their Bingo Bucks from winning Bingo during the month. Bethany Riverside tries to have a good assortment of small items and snacks, but has a very limited budget for these items. If you are able to help out, know that the residents would be very grateful!
The synod needs volunteers for the Synod Assembly, June 14-16, held in La Crosse this year. In addition to 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 608.799.2796 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Looking for people available during the week to help staff the nursery for a few hours, in particular Tuesday mornings and on other days on an as-needed basis. Contact the church office: email@example.com.
There are opportunities to serve as a Sunday School teacher and a leader in VBS:
A Sunday School teacher is a 1-2 weekend a month commitment in which you connect with our congregations children! It is super easy with the curriculum!
VBS is another way to connect, this is so fun and is high energy! If you like to play games or would like to help organize or help in anyway please consider!