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  • Firs Things February 2014

    A monthly publication of First Evangelical Lutheran Church

    First Lutheran Church 100 Peace Ridge

    Lake City, Minnesota 55041

    Phone: 651-345-5003

    Pastor Darren Paulson: 651-380-0473

    Catie Levenick: 651-345-5003

    Pastor Duane Holst: 651-448-0506

    Coleen Fowler: 651-345-5003

    Karyn Moechnig: 651-345-5003

    Maureen Spano: Faith Community Nurse

    Office Hours: 11am-2pm Tuesdays

    First Lutheran Website:

    Regular Worship Schedule

    5:30 pm Saturday

    8:30 am Sunday

    11:00 am Sunday

    TV Worship Times

    Sun. 5:30 pm, Mon. 11 am,

    Tues. 9:30 am, Thurs. 4 pm & Fri. 8 pm

    Adult Forum Schedule P. 3

    Souper Bowl P. 4

    February Calendar P. 5

    Mission Weekend P. 7

    Youth & Family Events P. 9

    Tai Chi P. 10

    Ministry Duties P. 10-


    Inside This Issue

    The mission of our congregation shall be to motivate,

    equip and support our members for the ministry of Jesus

    Christ in our congregation, our community and our world.

    Lent 2014 Daily Devotional

    This year, Lent begins late… with Ash Wednesday on March 5th. To

    accompany us through this season, our congregation will be

    developing our own Daily Devotional based on the theme “Come Grow with Us!” Lent is about “growth” as we strengthen our spiritual roots and participate in the disciplines that provide for a

    renewed faith and outward discipleship.

    You are invited to provide a brief devotional thought for the

    congregation on a selected scripture passage. If you are willing to

    open yourself to God’s work in your heart as you encourage others in

    their faith life, please sign up at the Welcome Center and receive a

    simple instruction sheet. Cover art for the devotional is provided by

    Kate Halverson. It will be compiled and edited by Boyd Olson.

    Mission Sunday—February 16

    Lutheran Campus Ministry

    Winona State University

    Our guest preacher on Sunday, Feb. 16 is Pastor Corrine Denis with the Lutheran Campus Center plus college students providing leadership and special music. This vital ministry engages young adults at a formative time in their lives as they discover where God is leading them in their careers, choices, and identity of being claimed by baptism and sent into the world by a gracious God. Come prepared for a noisy offering in support of the Campus Ministry. Food and fellowship between the services as we hear more about the work of campus ministry!







    In the month of February, the Gospel lessons during worship are all based on Matthew’s version of the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon which spans 3 chapters (5-7), Jesus uses a series of short images to address important matters of faith and life. He brings hope to those who are discouraged; challenges religious legalism; discloses the consequences of anger and resentment; confronts poverty and oppression; compassionately deals with sexual ethics; gives a healthy perspective on wealth and generosity; teaches about humility, forgiveness, and trust. The brilliance of Jesus’ lessons is in the simplicity – yet there are profound implications to our daily living. They endure as timely lessons to reveal a gracious God who calls us all into the Kingdom.

    The Sermon on the Mount follows the invitation of Jesus to his would-be disciples to “Come and follow me.” It all points back to the declaration that “The kingdom of God has come near!” as he discloses what that kingdom looks like – in images and metaphors we can comprehend. Salt. Light. The body. Birds of the air and flowers of the field. Trees and fruit. All in addition to bluntly addressing anger, loyalty, enemies and judgment. The Sermon on the Mount is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago!

    We can provide our own “Sermon on the Slightly-elevated Field” and answer that question right here in this place of First Lutheran Church.

    The Kingdom of God is like… + a child who is invited to Sunday school to learn about God, but discovers deepened friendships so that

    she knows that God’s love is for her. + a single parent who has felt ashamed to come to church because he feels judged for his life’s

    circumstances, and in the liturgy and fellowship with others, discovers he isn’t condemned for his past, but rather is welcomed by a word of forgiveness so that he may have a new beginning.

    + a church who understands their building as a resource for the community, so opens the doors to provide meeting space for various organizations: support groups, Scouting programs, food shelf board, exercise groups – all for the purpose of serving the greater needs of our community.

    + a new widow who dreads returning to worship because she knows she will cry during a favorite hymn, or at the sharing of the peace, or at the thought of returning to a quite home – and finds the grace of a person sitting at their side to weep with them, or to sing the song of faith when they cannot.

    + a dream of a playground that starts with a few children and families which ignites into an enthusiastic response by the congregation to symbolize that “All are welcome in this place.”

    + a church with a financial budget that commits over $27,000 to ministries beyond our walls: world hunger, missionary support, social services, Bible camp, and support of our church-wide ministries.

    + a family that has finally had enough of the hectic schedules which have pulled them in separate directions seven days a week, and make the commitment of setting aside time to be together for worship, prayer and fellowship with others – and discover the joyous gift of saying “no” in order to have Sabbath rest.

    You could probably come up with your own stories which reveal the Kingdom of God in and through this place of First Lutheran. And it is your participation and support of this ministry which all makes that happen.

    Thank you for responding to Jesus’ invitation to “come and follow me.”

  • February 2014 PAGE 3


    Greetings, Our Annual meeting is upon us and the Council is busy preparing for 2014. First I want to thank everyone for sharing your time and talents, and making 2013 a very good year here at First Lutheran. We continue to grow and prosper as we continue on our faith journey.

    On the financial side, one of our Council goals was to complete 2013 with a balanced budget. We don’t have final numbers yet, but we should be close to our goal for the year. Thank you to everyone for so generously supporting our mission here. The Council is finalizing the budget for 2014, which we will share with you at the Annual Meeting.

    Our Lenten theme this year is “Come Grow with Us” and as I complete my fourth year on Council and look back at what we have accomplished over that period, it’s really amazing. We’ve added to our Youth programs, added to our Music programs, added to our Worship, added to our Service and Outreach, and we continue adding new members at a substantial rate. We are truly living our Mission at First Lutheran, of helping more and more people grow and enhance their relationship with Christ.

    I’m very excited about all the opportunities 2014 will bring, and looking forward to the New Year. Blessings, Joe Kjelland


    The Scholarship Committee will con- tinue efforts to raise funds by offering Kwik Trip Gas Cards on an ongoing basis. These cards are good for gas and merchandise in all stores/stations. If you regularly purchase gas at Kwik Trip consider purchasing these cards and support our students at the same time! The Scholarship Fund will receive 10% of the value of the card purchased. They make great gifts also throughout the year. $50 and $100 cards will be available for purchase periodically on Sat Eves and Sundays during the fellow- ship time next to the Welcome Center. Contact Bonnie Conway at (345-3926) or with questions, pre-sales or special or- ders. Your support is appreciated very much!


    Feb. 2 No FORUM: Congregation Annual Meeting in Sanctuary

    Feb. 9 Tim Schlagenhaft with Audubon Minnesota. The National Audubon Society recently initiated their

    Upper Mississippi River habitat restoration program. This program focuses on the most pervasive

    threats to birds and other wildlife along the Mississippi River by implementing conservation projects

    and policies that protect and restore bird habitat. Tim will talk about these actions and why they are

    necessary to maintain the quality wetlands, forests, and bluff prairies that provide unique habitat for

    many species of wildlife along the Mississippi River, including rare birds like cerulean warbler and red-

    shouldered hawk. From the beginning, humanity has been given the task of caring for God’s creation,

    and this presentation may provide insight and c