Check out our full version of our November 2019 Newsletter here!

November 15, 2019

15 Give thanks that God is attentive to our prayers, acting as our refuge, strength and guide throughout life and in every situation.

REMINDER: FALL WORSHIP TIMES are at 8:00 and 11:00AM with Sunday’s Cool for ages 4 – adult at 9:29AM!

WORSHIP, WORSHIP EVERYWHERE! Well, not everywhere.  But First Lutheran hosts a communion service at the Rouse Suites on the 4th Tuesday of each month beginning at 2:00 p.m.  Pastor Jeff always welcomes members to join him for these services.  First Lutheran also hosts a worship service at Warren Manor on the 1st Monday of the month beginning at 1:15 p.m. and at the Watson Home on the 4th Sunday of the month beginning at 4:00 p.m.  Your pastor also presides at Hospice Services at Kinzua Health Care, and memorial services at the Watson Home.  This is just one example of our congregation’s outreach into the community.  These worship services are able to be provided because of the generous stewardship of each and every one you!  Thank you!

STEWARDSHIP: Make It a Habit! Our Stewardship Drive is coming to a close, but there is always time for you to make your commitment to First Lutheran for 2020. As Pastor Jeff has noted in his sermons, our church provides outreach not only for our members, but also for our community, country and the world. All of your offerings go toward furthering our mission: “Friends Loving Christ, Friends Loving Community”. Please join us in this incredible opportunity. If you need information on a pledge card, online giving, automatic bank withdrawals, or any other financial question, please call the church office. Our Financial Secretary Tom Schultz can give you all the options. Thank you for your prayerful response to our Stewardship Drive.


WORSHIP CELEBRATIONS: November 4: All Saints Sunday – the day we celebrate all the faithful who have died within the last year: Gerry Tassone, George Means, Janet Hansen, Jerry Nelson, Elnora Franklin, George “Skip” Boyer Jr., Carolyn Jacobson, and Bob Uhr.  We remember their witness in our lives and the promises they are fully living into while we await our day of promises fulfilled.  We also celebrate those who have joined us in our journey of faith through their baptism: Jaclyn Hecei, Dorothy Backhus, Evelyn Keller, Eva Labowski, Joseph Trubic, and Thomas Rader.

NOVEMBER 24: CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY – the culmination of the church year!  We worship Christ crucified and Christ risen.  We worship the King of Glory!  We worship the one Resurrected One!  We worship Christ, our King!

FIRST LUTHERAN IS ALWAYS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS to help in the office, serve on our TAP staff, participate in the Quilters Workshop, help with fundraiser dinners, Produce Express, Senior Fellowship, Sunday’s Cool, Social Ministry activities, Holiday Meals, Trunk n’ Treat, etc… If you are ready to jump in to serve (or serve in an increased or different capacity), contact the church office and ask for Pastor Jeff, Alayna or Cheri!  We look forward to hearing from you!

FRIDAY NIGHT OUT will be on November 15 at Liberty Street Lunch in the Liberty Street Marketplace at 6PM. They will offer additional dinner specials for us this evening. Chef Curtis has a varied and interesting menu with something for everyone. Sign-up sheet will be in the Narthex!

NEW WAYS TO GIVE TO FIRST LUTHERAN: ONLINE AND THROUGH A MOBILE APP! The Give Plus app gives those who enjoy on-line banking as a way to give their offering.  Remember this new option is just that: an option.  If you are comfortable with your current giving practices, great!  Keep it up!  And if you would like to explore a new way in giving, then download the app on your phone or head over to our new website and go for it! 

AFTER “TURKEY DAY” CAME AND WENT LAST YEAR, a pastor challenged church members to ask one another not “How was your Thanksgiving?” but “How is your Thanksgiving?” After all, giving thanks should be an ongoing act.  That doesn’t always need to be profoundly deep, either. A.J. Jacobs, author of “Thanks a Thousand”, once asked a philosophy-professor friend what he was grateful for. The shockingly simple reply? “Sometimes I’m just grateful I have arms.” That odd but spot-on answer shows the importance, Jacobs says, of being “thankful for things so omnipresent that they can escape our notice.”  So … how is your Thanksgiving?

RECONCILING IN CHRIST TASKFORCE UPDATE: Thank you to everyone we have spoken with regarding this process.  If you haven’t spoken with a taskforce member yet about concerns, celebrations, suggestions or questions, please feel free to draw one of us aside and let us know your thoughts.  Taskforce members include: Sally Hawkinson, Pastor Jeff, Don Reed, Randy Swanson, John Schwone, Jack Hemink, Kris Whitaker and Sandy Wachter.  One question that has been coming up is: “We are already a welcoming church, why do we need to go through this process?”  The simple answer is that WE know we are a welcoming church, but the LGBTQI+ community does not (and has not throughout their history been welcomed by the Christian church in general) know that.  This is a simple way for us to be sure that the community – the entire community – knows we do welcome everyone and that First Lutheran is a safe place.  Please take a look at the kiosk in the narthex for more information and education.  And, as always, your feedback is always appreciated!

If you have anything to be put in the January Lantern, please feel free to email Alayna at the church office ( The deadline for January is going to be December 9th! With the busy advent season and end of the year coming, we are trying to get it finished as soon as we can. Thank you for your help!

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HYGIENE KITS  The distribution of our hygiene kits continues to be one of First Lutheran’s most “successful” outreach venues, especially now that we are working with Love Inc.   Social Ministry is looking for your help once again to “re-stock the cupboard” so that we can continue with this valuable program.

We are looking for donations of the following:  Hand towels, washcloths, shampoo, deodorant, bar soap, Kleenex (in boxes), toothbrushes (singles or 2-packs), toothpaste (regular-size tubes) and combs.  If you can help, please bring these items in and place them in the box Social Ministry has placed in the narthex.   Thanks so much for your help!

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT! As you do your shopping this holiday season, please remember to visit the SERVV website (  There are catalogs to browse through in the narthex also.  There are so many different gift ideas from all around the world.  SERVV offers unique and handcrafted fair trade items from all around the world.  You can shop in the comfort of your own home all year long for items such as authentic décor, handmade dishware, handcrafted baskets, gorgeous fair trade jewelry, scarves, & bags, delicious Divine Chocolate, fair trade snacks and gourmet coffee.  The items are ordered on-line and delivered directly to your home – what could be easier!  Please help support this incredible ministry by giving special fair trade gifts that improve the lives of artisans and farmers worldwide– especially during this holiday season. 

GOOD MORNING!  With that simple greeting & a handshake (or a hug) we let everyone who comes to worship know just how welcome they are in this place!  Want to be a part of this ministry?  Or have questions about it?  Call Colleen (726-2663) or the church office (723-6450) and we’ll make sure you are on the next schedule, which starts the first of next year.  Thanks!

FIFTH GRADE COMMUNION CLASS SET FOR NOVEMBER Students (and families) will be learning more about the faith in which they are being raised in by attending our 5th grade communion classes on Tuesday, November 12, 19, 26th from 3:30-4:30 p.m.  On the 26th, class will go until 5:00 due to acolyte training and bread baking.  Letters will be sent to all parents reminding them of the classes.  First Communion will be celebrated on the First Sunday of Advent (which,by the way, is the First Sunday of the new church year) on December 1st.

PLEASE HELP PROVIDE FOOD FOR THIS YEAR’S THANKSGIVING BASKETS. First Lutheran will be supplying the following items: JELLO, CANNED FRUIT, CANNED VEGETABLES. We will be collecting food items for approximately 30 families for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Collection Dates:  Oct. 27 – Nov. 17, 2019!

OUR ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1st AT 9:30 A.M. (No Sunday’s Cool that day).  All confirmed members of First Lutheran are encouraged to be here.  We will be voting on our annual budget along with new council members, special gifts and other matters vital to our work and ministry in this place!


Volunteers Needed for Thanksgiving Meal Deliveries: Once again the Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church has invited us along with other churches to join them in preparing, packaging and distributing holiday dinners. The meal preparation will take place at First Lutheran Church.

Thanksgiving dinners will be delivered on Thursday November 28th.  Help is needed with the preparation of the dinners as well as delivering and cleaning up. You can also help by donating pies. Pies can be dropped off at First Lutheran Church no later than 5:00 Wednesday evening (Nov 27th).  The  sign-up sheet will be on the table in the FLC narthex.

Children and teens can accompany drivers as there must be at least two individuals in each car.   This involvement for teens can be counted for students’ Service Projects. Look for more info in the bulletin!

Love INC of Warren County Are you looking for a way to volunteer or help our community?  Love INC has a need for the following positions:

  1. Drivers to help people in the community get to their appointments
  2. Clearinghouse Coordinator (currently volunteer but could turn into paid with funding)
  3. Call Center intake workers for client phone line (Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10am-1pm)

For more information, contact Heidi Kafferlin, Executive Director at the Love INC office located at 308 Market Street Warren or call 563-3394.

 SUNDAY’S COOL UPDATES!  God’s calling us to Sunday’s Cool, to tell the good news!  Will you answer?  On Nov. 3, we will be making a thanksgiving craft to go with our holiday meals.  The follow week we will start putting together our Christmas pageant. 

 T.A.P. UPDATES! TAP children have been learning about God’s Love.  We are always looking for baked goods for desserts every Wednesdays.  If you can bring in a dessert, let Cheri know or bring them in with a label them “TAP.”   Our themes this month are on Nov. 6th bring a can(s) of soup in for donation, Nov. 13th we will go visit the firefighters and police with thank you cards and tray of cookies, Nov 20th Thanksgiving family dinner, and on Nov 27th there were be NO TAP,  Happy Thanksgiving. If any questions, call Cheri at 688-0640. 

$504.30 was raised by our loving congregation for the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Thank Offering!

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Once again, First Lutheran Church is PROUD to be a part of the Operation Christmas Child.  Shoebox gifts are a great way to start or continue children’s faith for millions of boys and girls. So get a shoe box and follow the directions in the pamphlet (on the narthex table). Last day to return them is November 17th. Operation Christmas Child is a great project.  Just imagine the smiles on the boys and girls faces when they receive their shoe boxes of gifts.  Thank you to all the prayers and love that were put in the gifts! Any questions, please call Cheri @ 723-6470 or 688-0640  ***On November 9rd, at 9am Pleasant Community Church is having a Packing Party. There will be a sign-up sheet in the Narthex or call Cheri if you would like to help out.  It’s such a great way to service in the community.

Worship with communion begins at 11:00 a.m., and lunch at noon.  If you are not on a call list, please contact Alayna at the church and we will be sure to get you on one for a friendly reminder each month!  On November 12th we will have our Thanksgiving-themed meal – YUM!!

ALTAR FLOWERS for 2019! These are dates you can still purchase flowers for this year:

November 3, 10

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Call Kris Whitaker (726-2843) or email at to place an order.

DID YOU KNOW…First Lutheran’s Free Little Middle School Library has given away over 100 books?  Although the intention is for the books to be borrowed and returned, we know that they are serving their purpose for the students who need them!  Thank you for your generous support of this outreach into the community


  • Reviewed:  Second Motion and Voted to accept the 2020 Budget.
  • Sydney Ewing sent council a letter asking if she could start a Young Ministry (High Schoolers-30’s), meeting once a month.  Second Motion and Voted to accept.
  • Shane Flannery has given Pastor Jeff, Alayna, Tom, Jack, and Cheri new emails.  (Ex.