From Pastor William D. Leitch

I write this letter the day after our Trumbull Area Lutheran Coalition meeting.  Last night, Rev. Todd Mills from Trinity Lutheran Seminary presented the state of the seminary.  I reminded all 12 congregations several times that Pr. Todd would be present and that he had a request of all our congregations to help revive the mission of the Seminary and how we could make a difference if we worked together.  RESULT:  7 of our 12 congregations were represented.  MY INTERPRETATION:  I am very poor at communicating, but I am not giving up.

At our last Living Lord Mission Endowment Fund meeting, we considered sending funds to Trinity Lutheran Seminary to help lower the cost for seminary candidates.  It was agreed that we needed to make a plea to all churches to get full participation in order to make a real difference.  By the way, the idea of doing things together is one of the stewardship principals that Paul addresses with the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 8:12-13 and 2 Corinthians 9:1-8).  Working together brings hope where there was fear.  It also brings joy and builds a strong community where we were once divided and thought we were “in it by ourselves”.

Yes, last night I hoped that we would all be there together, make a commitment to share a plan to turn our situation around, and be able to get started more quickly.  OK, I am NOT going to slow down, but do pray for patience for me. ☺

Now, what did we hear from Pr. Todd?  Here are a few of the facts and ideas that we discussed:  Thirty years ago, when a seminary candidate attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary, our churches were all sending benevolence funds to our synods.  Those funds supported our candidates and significantly reduced the tuition loan on our students.  For some, tuition was completely paid for.  Now our churches have reduced their benevolence and many churches give zero.  Therefore, the tuition for our students is now $16,000.00 per year for the first two years and $8,000.00 per year for the last two years.  (During the last two years, our candidates are on internship, but still do “online classes”, plus short concentrated courses at Trinity.)  So, for young candidates with undergraduate debt and for second career candidates who must quit their jobs and pay $48,000 to start a new career, well, you can see the dilemma.

Luther Seminary in Chicago has raised up their funding program to where they can now provide instruction – tuition free.  This has opened the door for more candidates to attend.  So we know that funding makes a difference.

So what can we do?  If every congregation would budget and provide funding to our seminaries again, we could retain more candidates.  But that’s not all.  We must also raise up candidates.  We need to be intentional about recognizing and encouraging folks to go to seminary.  And above all, we need to pray for our seminary candidates, our seminary staff, the congregations who host our interns, and for all our congregations to rise up together.  We are the Body of Christ and we need every member to participate or we will proceed as if we have had a hand or foot amputated.

Even though the Macedonians in Paul’s time struggled with adversity, they were encouraged by what the Corinthians had promised to do.  So they rose up and participated even beyond what Paul expected.  Their hope was contagious.  So contagious that the people of Achaia made a commitment and provided what was needed a year before the rest even got started.  Yes, it would be nice to wait until we saw everyone else follow through, but maybe they need to see us step up and show them the hope we have.

Pr. Bill

Finance Chairperson Vacancy…If you would be interested in or willing to fill the Finance Chairperson vacancy, please contact Pastor Bill and he can discuss the position with you.

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 (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), 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.

Strawberry Social…St. Paul is having their annual Strawberry Social on Sunday, June 24, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm.  Menu:  Sloppy Joes, Hot Dogs, Potato & Macaroni Salads, Baked Beans, Ice Cream, Cake, Strawberries, Hot & Cold Beverages.  Come and bring a friend!

From the President, Bob McKinney

First, I would like to make a comment about Mother’s Day.  I thought it would be a nice idea to present the mothers with a little something to show our appreciation.  The cost was covered by myself – it cost the church nothing.  I enjoy doing things to make people happy and I think it brings us closer as a congregation.  Also, I want to thank Nancy Walters and the Fellowship Committee for the nice spread between services.  Next, a big thanks to Leroy Morgan for offering to pay for a new floor in the kitchen.  It will make a great improvement to the kitchen.  Also, we will be painting the trim and walls this summer and this will also be donated.  LADIES, WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT PAINTING YOUR BATHROOM.  IT IS STILL IN THE WORKS AND WILL BE DONE SHORTLY!  I want to thank the Fuchs Committee for their continued support in helping make Living Lord Lutheran Church a more viable church.  A very well thought out presentation was made to the Fuchs Committee by Stacey Altiere, Youth & Family Committee Chairperson.  After questions, suggestions, and comments from the Fuchs Committee and Stacey, the request was approved.  This will provide seed money for Stacey to continue her work on our Growing Young project.  The church grounds are starting to look good.  The front of the church has been planted and mulched.  We have filled many holes in the ground with topsoil and planted grass seed.  This makes for an easier mow and not falling off the mower when you hit one of these holes.  The courtyard will soon come alive with flowers, pots, mulch, and more.  The beds in front of the new cross will be transformed in the near future.  Karen and I are looking forward to attending the Northeast Ohio Synod Assembly in Akron on June 8 and 9.

From the Later Life Committee, Member Lynne Walters

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, June 7, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Special Occasion” (wedding, baby, graduation, and birthday).  Classes will be at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  The cost is $12.00.  Please bring adhesives like double-stick tape and liquid glue.  There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board.  The deadline for signing up is Sunday, June 3.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Update on Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee would like to thank all who assisted with the Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, May 23.  The residents thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

School Supplies for Emmanuel’s Clothes Closet…We will be collecting school supplies for Emmanuel’s Clothes Closet for the Warren City Schools through the month of July.  All types of school supply items will be accepted (paper, pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.).  Please drop off your items on the table in the Education Wing.

From the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee Chairperson, Lorraine Bell

Scholarship Award Presentation…Due to Pastor’s vacation and then Servant Week, the Maggiano Scholarship Award Presentation has been moved to Sunday, June 17, at the 10:00 am worship service.  The scholarship is a grant from the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund.  The scholarship goes to eligible college or trade school students as determined by the Scholarship Fund Board.  This year Zachary Blythe is the recipient of the Maggiano Scholarship Award.

From the Youth & Family Committee Chairperson, Stacey Altiere

June 10-15:  Servant Week at Camp Frederick…Please contact Stacey Altiere if you have little ones that may be interested in attending.  The more the merrier!

July:  Bowling for Bears…Living Lord and St. Paul are inviting elementary kids, parents, and all members to come out to bowl in early July (date to be determined) at Echo Lanes on Elm Road.  Bring a NEW teddy bear as your entry “ticket” and we will pay for your bowling (shoes and games).  Refreshments will be provided, too.  The bears will be given to the children of the Solace Center program which meets at St. Paul.  See the sign-up sheet on the main bulletin board or call Stacey Altiere.

July 15-19:  Vacation Bible School…VBS will have a Super Hero theme this year complete with capes, singing, and fun for all!  More information to follow!

Please contact Stacey Altiere if you would like to volunteer for any of the above dates or have any questions or concerns.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“This summer I want to see as many sun rises and sun sets as possible with the people I cherish the most.”  Dora Muller

Summer is here, and the energy of the season flows around us.  It is time to renew and invest time in our health.  The Nurse’s Notes will take the summer off to recharge.  We will return in the Fall.  Every week, reserve a little time to improve your health and connect your mind and spirit with the environment around you.  Find a reason to smile.  See you in September!  If there is a topic that you would like to be showcased, please drop me a line or give me a call.

From the Pastor, William D. Leitch

On the first Sunday in May, we see that the image of the life the risen Christ shares with us is the image of friendship.  We are called to serve as Jesus came to serve.  Friendship captures the love, the joy, the deep mutuality of the relationship into which Christ invites us.  The Greeks believed that true friends are willing to die for each other.  This is the mutual love of Christian community commanded by Christ and enabled by the Spirit.

The second Sunday in May, Easter’s seventh Sunday, is always taken from the long prayer Jesus prays for his followers in John’s gospel on the night before his death, and always includes Jesus’ desire that his followers will be one as he and the Father are one.  This oneness is not mere doctrinal agreement or institutional unity, but mutual abiding, interpenetrating life, mutual love, and joy.  This oneness is the work of the Spirit whom we have received but also await.  Come, Holy Spirit!

On May 20, Pentecost, we celebrate the Spirit, through whom and in whom the people of God are created and re-created.  Pentecost is sometimes called the church’s birthday, but might more appropriately be called its baptism day since the gift of the Spirit is the fullness of baptism.  The Spirit is at work in the most intimate and personal way, praying in us “with sighs too deep for words” when we do not know how to pray.

Also on May 20, Alexis “Lexi” Stredney will affirm her Baptism.  What does this mean?  It means that she is giving her testimony of faith in Jesus as the Son of God and that she understands that she is made new every day because of what Jesus has done for her.  It has given her freedom from the burden of sin and without that burden she is ready to capture the love, the joy, and the deep mutuality of the relationship into which Christ invites us.

Lexi was a bit uneasy in her first catechism class.  I asked her why?  She said, “I am an extrovert who brings shy people out of their “shells” – my word – I was afraid to act for fear that I might interrupt the class.”  I immediately commissioned her as a “junior leader”.  My instructions to Lexi were simply, “You do your thing, but keep the class on topic.”  Lexi did exactly that.  When asked a question she did not understand – and of course the rest of the class did not understand – she responded immediately with her honest “statement of confusion”.  No one else had the courage to express their confusion, but Lexi now gave everyone the permission to ask questions.  Her leadership opened up the discussions and helped us go deeper.  And oh, by the way, it was fun!

We will celebrate Lexi’s Affirmation together, but more importantly, we want to empower Lexi to continue to “do her thing” and serve the Lord.

Pr. Bill

Finance Chairperson Vacancy…If you would be interested in or willing to fill the Finance Chairperson vacancy, please contact Pastor Bill and he can discuss the position with you.

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 (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), 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.

Camp Frederick Wood Cutting Day…Saturday, May 5, is Wood Cutting Day at Camp Frederick from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon at 6996 Millrock Road, Rogers, OH   44455.  Bring out your inner lumberjack and join us for a great day of fellowship, all the while helping the Camp!  Coffee and donuts are provided with lunch at 12:00 noon.  Bring your chainsaw and log splitter.  For any questions, please all the camp office at 330-227-3633.