First Lutheran will be collecting hygiene products and clothing donation drive for the Le Sueur County Back to School Fair. A box for collecting items
"This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here. We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as whole person - questions, complexities and all.” www.ELCA.org/lgbtqia
Social Ministry team has created (in accordance with the ELCA's Social Statements) and installed a temporary display for the month of June to intentionally welcome people who historically have been marginalized in the church — especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & people of color), people with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual.) Be Loved.
Jesus calls each and everyone of us to love God and one another, to practice radical hospitality, and to serve all people without exception. We welcome everyone to join us, no matter race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities, socioeconomic position, family status, background, or where you are in your faith journey. Each of us are a unique and beloved child of God. We want you to know each of us are accepted and affirmed just as we are - with all our differences and all our gifts. We commit ourselves to embracing the work of anti-racism, social and economic justice, and environmental care. We invite you to join with us, as through Christ, we joyfully and in-clusively love and serve our community.
An inviting and welcoming church is one of the stated goals for the ELCA, expressed in its strategic document Future Directions 2025. Through the stated priorities of this goal, the ELCA will address discrimination and oppression by equipping and supporting church members to understand, speak out and act against discrimination based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and social status. The ELCA has many social statements, these are teaching documents that assist members in forming judgements on social issues. They also set policy for the ELCA and guide its advocacy and work as a public church. You can find more information on the ELCA’s website: www.elca.org
Please share in this prayer: Eternal Savior, we have formed cliques and identities that differentiate us from one another. But Living God, in Your eyes there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. Lord, I pray that we see things like You do, I pray that we see past race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, physical and men-tal abilities, socioeconomic position, family status, and past all of the labels which we use to divide ourself, one from another. Because our Lord taught us that such labels are unimportant in Your kingdom. Christ shows us that all are God's beloved children, and we declare inclusivity in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
One of the ways that First Lutheran shares God’s Love with the world is through the quilt ministry. It begins with donations of fabric and funds. Dedicated volunteers sew at home turning the donated fabric into multi-colored quilt tops and backs. The donated funds are used to pur-chase batting and other supplies. Once a month, starting at about 9:00 a.m. the church comes alive with the sound of scissors snipping, sewing machines humming and lively conversation. This is when quilt tops, batting and backs are sandwiched together, lovingly tied, then pinned for final sewing at church or at home. Once a year completed quilts are delivered to Lutheran World Relief. From there the quilts are sent somewhere in the world where there are people in need of a warm cover and a reminder of God’s love.
If you are interested in quilting or curious to see how the quilts are made, stop by the church when the quilters are there (fourth Tuesday of each month) and check it out. The quilters would love to show you what they are working on and tell you about the quilts and what they are used for.
Tied in Faith. Sent in Hope. Wrapped in Love.
Our tradition offers many glimpses of hope triumphant over despair… When Martin Luther was asked what he would do if the world were to end tomorrow, he reportedly answered, “I would plant an apple tree today.” When we face today’s crisis, we do not despair. We act. - ELCA Social Statement: Caring for Creation: Vision. Hope. and Justice
April 22nd is Earth Day – a day that many ELCA congregations and communities throughout the U.S. celebrate the gift of God’s Creation. This month, learn how you can make action and advocacy a part of your Earth Day celebration by reading the ELCA’s suggested activities below.
To celebrate the Social Ministry/Outreach Team will be handing out packets of pollinator seeds to everyone in worship on Sunday, April 17th. The seeds in these packets are all native MN plants curated specifically to attract and sustain native pollinators and will cover a 10 square feet plot of garden. Contains a mix of 18 species, perfect for accenting existing garden spaces or a new native planting. By planting native plants for pollinators you are doing your part to heal our earth!
Visit the ELCA.org webpage to learn more about the ELCA Advocacy work related to the environment. Navigate to these two recommended places on the ELCA website:
Surf to learn more about what these organizations associated or partnered with the ELCA are doing.
A prayer for the Earth: Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation. Give us wisdom and reverence to use the resources of nature, so that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (LBW, p. 49)
The Social/Outreach Team has designated the First Lutheran Church Scholarship Program as its focus for the month of February. The purpose of the Scholarship Ministry of FLC is to provide financial support and opportunities to graduating high school seniors desiring to further their academic development by attending an institution of higher learning. As in previous years, the FLC Scholarship Team will coordinate the acceptance of donations and the selection of scholarship recipients. One of the selection criteria for the scholarships is that the student has been active at FLC during their high school years. Since 2009, students have been awarded FLC Scholarships. The team goal for the coming years is to be able to give scholarships of larger amounts to deserving students.
You will find an envelope enclosed with the newsletter specifically for your convenience in contributing. Envelopes will also be available in the media area at the entrance of the church. Donations can be placed in the offering plate, left in the church office or mailed to the church.
Every year generous donations have helped fund the First Lutheran Scholarship Program. In February, a former scholarship recipient will give a Temple Talk at both services to explain the benefits of the program. We thank members for their generous support in the past and ask for your prayers and support that God may continue to bless this program. The team also coordinates the application process for the Johnson Family Scholarship, generously established by the family of Wayne Johnson in honor of the late Donna Johnson.
Scholarship application information and materials for both scholarship opportunities will be mailed to all eligible high school seniors in March.
January - Bible Camp Campership Fund
A week at Bible Camp makes a life-long impression on the lives of girls and boys as they learn about God’s love in an outdoor context. At camp youth form new relationships with kids from other congregations under the guidance of trained college-age camp counselors, they learn new songs and engage in holy play in God’s creation.
We at First Lutheran are pleased that we have been able to provide financial assistance in the form of a "campership" to young people in our congregation who attend various summer Bible camps and other youth leadership events. Last year we had several youths attending.
The fund used for the "Campership" financial assistance has been almost depleted and the special giving in the month of January has been assigned to this need. Thank you for your investment in the faith formation of our youth at First Lutheran!