From the President, Nancy Walters

Hi everyone!  Another month has gone by and we are still in shut-down mode.  The Council met on September 13 and, after a long discussion on the safety of returning, has decided to wait until the first Sunday in November to reopen for in-person worship services.  You of course are welcome to come to the recording on Tuesdays at 10:00 am.  We will meet again in October to revisit the subject.  This subject has been brought up every month since we closed again in July.  The Council feels that it would not yet be safe even though we all want to return.  Schools have just opened, and the news shows many new cases with deaths over 200,000!  When we return, we will really need to follow the protocols put in place.  The church has purchased a forehead thermometer for use in the doorway as you come in and face masks and social distancing will be required.  Pastor Larry Klinker will start as the interim pastor on the first Sunday in November.  That Sunday is All Saints Sunday.  If you have lost a loved one this past year, please let Lynn Golen know in early October.  Pastor Klinker has also suggested that we bring pictures of those loved ones so that we can see who they were.  Please stay safe and wear a mask so that we can return soon!

St. Paul Lutheran Church…Dear Friends, I am writing with some bittersweet news.  I will no longer be your pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church.  My last Sunday will be October 18.  The Lutheran Bishop of Southern Ohio, Rev. Susanne Dillahunt, and the Episcopal Bishop of Southern Ohio, Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, have asked me to start a joint Lutheran-Episcopal congregation in the city of Troy, Ohio.  I have received a call and am very excited to accept this challenge.  This has come about because the priest of Trinity Episcopal Church (Troy, Ohio) has just retired.  There is a large, modern facility at Trinity Episcopal Church, which has been a parish in Troy for 189 years.  The ELCA church was disbanded some years ago when a NALC church took its place.  For some time, Bishops Dillahunt and Breidenthal have been looking for a Lutheran pastor to take on this innovative call.  Troy, Ohio, is the place where my daughter lives with her husband and my two grandsons.  I am filled with joy at the chance to live near them in the same hometown!  Family is such a blessing!  During the time that I have served in Warren, we have been travelling 2 hours to a halfway point to see each other about every 6 weeks.  My move will put us just 2 miles apart!  I can hardly believe that I have served St. Paul Lutheran Church for just about 10 years!  The time has flown by, and while I can no longer be your pastor, please continue to count me as your friend.  May God bless you richly as you continue to do ministry in Warren.  Peace and health, Rev. Ann Marie Winters

New Northeastern Ohio Synod Bishop…The Rev. Dr. Laura Barbins, Mentor, Ohio, was elected September 12, 2020, to serve a six-year term as the fifth bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Celebration Lutheran Church in Chardon since 2001 and adjunct faculty at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, since 2018.  Trinity is one of seven ELCA seminaries.  Barbins served as interim pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park, Ohio, from 1999 to 2000 and associate pastor for youth at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Nashville, TN, from 1995 to 1997.  The Rev. Dr. Barbins received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Roanoke College in Salem, VA, in 1990 and a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary) in Gettysburg, PA, in 1994.  United is one of seven ELCA seminaries.  She received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, in 2004.  Bishop-Elect Barbins is married to the Rev. Dr. Paul Barbins, pastor of the Latvian Baptist Church of Cleveland and Program Coordinator of the Spiritual Program for Adults at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Rev. Barbins have four daughters and live in Mentor, Ohio.

Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (, on Facebook (, and postings on the church bulletin board.  Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant Contact.  We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church.  If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.