Your online version of the First Lutheran Church newsletter

The Skylight

Zoom proves effective for Sunday School

Our talented and determined Sunday School Teacher Katie Garman is carrying on our

program despite the Covid-19 pandemic.  She is leading the program through Zoom.

The class meets each Sunday at 11:15 a.m., after our worship service.  Katie arranged

to get  Sparkhouse Digital for our online Sunday School with our FLC families.  In

addition, each family will get a Sparkhouse Story Bible.  Special boxes of supplies will

be delivered to homes as needed for lessons.  If anyone is interested in helping with

virtual Sunday School, please give Katie your name and preferred email address so she can add you as a user of the Sparkhouse Digital. You will then be able to access the content as “leaders,” with a unique password and access to the material for download.  Contact Katie for the Sunday School Zoom link and pass code. If you are a potential visitor to Sunday School, contact the church office via phone or email to request the information.

Hymnals for Home

 

The Evangelical Book of Worship, also known as the “red book,” is available to use at home. It is especially

hard when there is a song that doesn’t fall under our licensing for duplication. You can pick them up from the

church office on Mondays or Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. As, with the local library, when you get to the

church, call to let Candice know you are there, and she will bring one outside and place on a table from which

you can pick up the hymnal. We also have some copies of With One Voice available.

Blessing of the Animals


First Lutheran has an annual tradition that involves our furry, feathered, and scaled friends. Each

October we hold a short service to bless our pets. It’s fun to gather in the FLC Fellowship Hall to

share in the joy of pet ownership and meet each other’s cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters, etc.


While the current pandemic doesn’t allow for us to bring our pets to the church building, we can

still bring them together via Zoom for this event. This would be a great year to include those

animals who usually miss out on the blessing – horses, goats, pigs, cows, alpacas, sheep.

The blessing will take place on Sunday, October 4, which celebrates the Feast Day of St. Francis of

Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Please join us for an extended virtual coffee fellowship,
beginning at 9 a.m.

 

Book Club formed by FLC women


This summer, our FLC Women of the Evangelical Church of America (WELCA) group
decided to form a FLC Book Club to help us feel more connected during this time of
Covid-19. WELCA will be using Zoom to host the discussions, which will be on the
last Tuesday of the month at noon.

 

At the September 29 meeting, the group will discuss One Long River of Song - Notes of Wonder by Brian Doyle.

 

The group is putting together the reading list for future months, and this will be posted by that September 29 meeting.

Small Group "Gatherings"

This month, we will have the opportunity to have small group fellowship.  Pastor Randy stated,  "small group get-togethers will give all of us a chance to stay connected and to hear from one another concerning our struggles and joys during this pandemic time.”

 

Soon, a Council member will be contacting you to invite you to join a meeting.

See the schedule below.

DECLARATION OF THE ELCA TO PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT


On June 27, 2019, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted the

following declaration as a statement addressed to people of African descent.
 

“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female;

for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
 

Pastor Randy has arranged for a small group meeting to discuss this document.  It is Tuesday, October 6, at 10 a.m. via Zoom.  If you would like to take part in this, please contact Pastor Randy. The document is 12 pages and can be emailed to you as a PDF file, or you can download it yourself at the following link:
 

https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf
 

If you would like to join this small group, please email Pastor Randy.  Thanks.

Picnics at the Park

 

The weekly gatherings at McCormick Park offer an opportunity for all of us who want to visit in
person to do so in an outdoor setting. They are on Thursdays at 11 a.m. Bring your own food,
beverage, and chair to set up in the grassy area near the gazebo. We must continue to follow all

of the safety guidelines, which means staying six feet apart or wearing masks. If you plan to attend, please follow

these requirements.  Thank you.

Clean Team
 

Our church is following Synod guidelines during this Covid-19 Pandemic. We continue to have our services online.  The Council has also appointed group to look at all of the steps necessary regarding the church building.

 

Our First Lutheran Church Clean Team has come up with plans for keeping the church clean and as safe as possible.  The Clean Team has developed strict guidelines that must be followed and an entrance log to be completed by those individuals who have been given Council approval for entering the building at this time. Your compliance is necessary for the safety of all. Thank you.

WELCA made the decision to cancel the 2020 Harvest Bazaar due to the Corona Virus.  WELCA members are concerned for those local and global charities who benefit from the funds raised by this annual event. The women are hoping that all of us can give what we can to WELCA between now and November 7, noting “Harvest Bazaar” on your gift.  Then, we will divide up the funds between the non-profits.  For those of us with time on our hands and creating arts and crafts, we will hang on to them and build up our stock for the fall of 2021.

A Harvest of Hope

WELCA members have recently talked about the possibility of having some people bake or create things for

special orders as a fall fundraiser.

Right now, we would like to know if anyone is interested in helping with this? Then, if we have enough volunteers, we can take orders.

If you are willing to bake/create something (for example- cardamom bread, lefse, pies, pickled beets, maybe even a specially crafted item?), please let Sandy Young know.

Small Joys & Actions

Social media has been full of ideas to keep busy and to “come together” to support each

other.  Perhaps you have seen some of these. 

Here are just a few small gestures to help shine our light:

Place hearts in your windows or on your doors to show gratitude and support to healthcare

workers.  (and all those essential workers out there helping.)


Place a teddy bear in your window. Families out for a drive or walk can go on a bear hunt for

a fun activity.

Keep a gratitude journal for the blessings that this “stay home” period has brought us, and when you think of something you’d like to do, but can’t right now (i.e. join friends for a picnic at a park, have dinner with an aunt and uncle), jot it down on another list for when things do get back to normal.

There are a lot of free things that you can be part of online as well, like tours of museums, classes, digital or audiobooks from libraries, etc. Maybe you have a book on your shelf at home that you haven’t had time to read. Consider joining First Lutheran’s newly organized book club.

If you want to help during this time, research your local food banks or other services that might need extra financial support, and/or sew some face masks to give away.

Perhaps you can research some craft ideas for items for WELCA’s Creation Station at the 2021 Harvest Bazaar. If you have supplies at home, this might be the perfect time to work on them.

First Lutheran Church Endowment Fund

Do you want to build upon our legacy of generosity for the future? — One way to achieve that includes contributing on a regular basis to the Endowment Fund.

If you want to leave a living gift the ELCA has a professional gift-planning staff, who can assist you with planning your legacy to First Evangelical Lutheran Church. Contact any member of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church St. Helens Endowment Committee for more information. Committee members are Barbra Gordon, Norris Sundeen, Audrey Webster, Bob Clore, and Mike McCoy.   

 

Community Rewards
 

First Lutheran Church participates in the Fred Meyer Community Rewards program.  If shoppers who use the rewards card actually link their card to the church, then  Kroger, who owns Fred Meyer,  makes a donation to the church. It does NOT cost you your rewards points

 

Please note our non-profit organization (NPO) account number is JJ283. If you have any questions, you can talk to Audrey Webster.

 

Amazon Smile

Do you shop at Amazon.com?  If you do, I would guess you spend more there than at Fred Meyers. We are asking you to join smile.amazon.com. When you select 1st Lutheran Church, St. Helens, as your charity, the church will receive 0.5% of every dollar you spend.

With all of us doing this, FLC will quickly receive a lot of money. Jon, our Treasurer, has already set up the church account so that the 0.5% goes directly to the church bank account.  If you already have an Amazon account or are Amazon Prime, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

For more information, please Google smile.amazon.com. Thank you for considering this as another way to support your church at no additional cost to you.

Call Committee
 

The First Lutheran Church Call Committee is continuing to move forward in its role in selecting a new pastor for our congregation.  Thank you for your continuing prayers.

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2020 First Lutheran Church, St. Helens, Oregon