From Pastor William D. Leitch

This is a long story.  Please be patient and read it through.  This is a story about our youth from the Eastern Conference, including Madeline Goussios, Hanna Hunt, Christopher and Corinne McCrimmon, Brycen Prasky, and Alexis and Taylor Stredney.

We have just returned from our Camp Frederick Servant Week.  There were thirty of us.  I and three other adult leaders planned and prepared the projects that we completed throughout the week.  A few of our youth took charge of those projects and the rest of the youth responded as a well-disciplined team to get as much work done as possible.

It was a challenging week for me as three of our key adult leaders were not available to come and lead this year.  Due to the lack of experience and the lack of transportation to move our youth to sites in Rogers and Youngstown, we decided to do work only at Camp Frederick.  Initially, this was disappointing to our experienced youth because we want to make a difference in our communities.  However, the work that needed to be done at the camp was crucial for sustaining a safe and beautiful place for the campers who come after us.  Our youth understood the purpose of our tasks and they adopted that purpose as their own.

We scraped, primed, and painted the two foot bridges that are constructed of steel pipe.  Because they bridge streams of water, we had to be vigilant to not pollute the streams with paint flakes and paint.  It would have cost thousands of dollars to set up proper tarps to catch these elements if we were to sandblast the pipe then spray paint the pipe.  However, by hand scraping and painting the pipe we could suspend tarps under our project and limit the area that the flakes would fly.

Think about this:  scraping and painting two bridges, the constant transitions in laborers needed, skill sets required, changes in weather, and tools to be supplied.  This required forethought and it required constant anticipation of changes.  Seth Ackwright, from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, took charge of the larger foot bridge.  Seth just completed his sophomore year in high school.  Camp Frederick staff and Board did not believe that we would even start this bridge.  It is now 80% scraped to bare steel, 75% primed, and 20% painted.  The first foot bridge, which is only half the length of the larger bridge, is completely done.  One bridge is 62 feet long; the second bridge is 132 feet long.

Although my focus was on the first bridge, because it has the most traffic, I had to constantly assess all other projects, coordinate shifting the youth from project to project, and ensure the leaders had the right tools and products.  So Seth’s brother, David, and his friend, Ben (both also from Prince of Peace), co-led the first bridge.  They just completed eighth grade.  Lexi Stredney painted half this bridge.  I highly recommend Lexi for paint jobs if you have them.  She is amazing.  I never saw anyone get paint all over themselves but never get it on something else but the bridge!  Her green fingernails were done at no extra cost.  In contrast, Taylor Stredney was our priming expert and she only got a few spots on herself and no spots on anything but the bridge.  Taylor painted her own bedroom a year or so ago.

Meanwhile, a team of four led by Terry Wentworth from Emmanuel Lutheran Church painted the new cabin.  Madeline Goussios and Hanna Hunt worked to complete this in the first two days.  They were clearing trails the third day.  Clearing trails is very physically demanding.  Just ask them!

Pastor Paul Bailie from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Conneaut, Ohio, led a group that pressure washed and stained 24 picnic tables plus the deck of the Nature Center.  This required the muscles of about 12 youth to carry the tables to the basketball court, flip them over, set them up, paint them the next day, flip them again to stain the underside, and finally carry them back to the various locations at the camp.  Brycen Prasky, Christopher and Corinne McCrimmon did their fair share of getting this done as they bounced between several projects.  Christopher and Brycen also learned how to dig with a pickmatix and to rake with the pickmatix.  Oh yes, and they cleaned gutters on three buildings with their bare hands!  ☺

In between the big jobs, we repaired the roof on the Adult Center, cleaned up debris, helped the counselors practice and prepare their devotions, skits, worship, and games for the summer.

So, did anyone notice what our youth accomplished?  The answer is YES!  The little children at Day Camp were ecstatic as they walked across the freshly painted cedar green foot bridge.  They shouted, “This bridge is AWESOME!”  Parents came to pick up their children and were amazed.  Visitors stopped by the camp to see what Camp Frederick was and discovered our youth making a difference in the lives of everyone who would come to this camp.

For me, I witnessed our young people take risks to do things they never did before because they care about others.  I witnessed youth dedicated to complete a job as a team, informed by their faith, faithful to one another, and faithful to God.  They started this work a bit skeptical that anyone would notice, but trusted that God needed them and was using them to do His will.  I witnessed God reveal to them the joy they bring to others.

And this changes everything!
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 (, 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.

From the President, Bob McKinney

Pastor Bill, Karin, and myself attended the Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly in Akron on June 8 and 9.  The theme this year was “Ambassadors for Christ”.  We, as Christians, are all Ambassadors for Christ.  God wants us to go out in the world and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.  Many of us are uncomfortable doing this, as I am, but as one of our speakers said, “Let’s not just step outside of the box, let’s break the box!”  It was so inspiring to be with 400 lay people and clergy praising our Lord God.  Bishop Allende was uplifting with his words to the assembly and receiving the sacraments from the Bishop was a nice blessing.  Both young female speakers, Ms. Mikka McCracken, Director of Planning and Engagement ELCA World Hunger, and Rev. Julianne Smith, were inspiring with their messages.  I think the ELCA future is in good hands with young folks like these.  In closing, Karin and I would like to thank Living Lord and Pastor Bill for sending us to our second Synod Assembly.

I would like to thank the Property Committee for the great work on the outside of the church.  I would also like to thank Pat and Jan Was for the upkeep of the front sign area.  I would like to thank Pastor Bill for tending to the back beds along the parking area.  But there is a story with Pastor Bill and the mulch for his beds.  We had mulch delivered for the church to spread and I might add to the story that Pastor Bill drove by and yelled from his car, “I just wanted to see if you were working” and he kept driving.  We had enough mulch for the courtyard area, so Rollie Walters, with his tractor, put about a yard on the patio.  Well, it took me a little while before I could get to it.  So, Pastor Bill asked if he could use some of it for his beds and of course I said yes.  Well, then he calls my wife, not me, to say he used a little more than what he thought.  So, I go out to start spreading the mulch in my area and to my surprise there were about two pieces of mulch left.  Well, this story is not over yet…

I know I say this a lot, but it is a joy for me to be working with such dedicated people on Council and all the Committees.  I thank the congregation for their help and advice.  This does me good more than you know.


From the Later Life Committee Chairperson, Lorraine Bell

The “I Love My Church” yard signs are in.  Look at the ones at the front of the church.  Thanks to the Thrivent Action and Thrivent Choice Dollars, the cost was completely covered.  Free to you!  Use this as an opportunity to witness to your neighbors.  See Lorraine Bell to get your sign.


Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, July 5, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Vellum Variety” (all occasion cards).  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, July 1.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

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.


Niles Shepherd of the Valley Summer Picnic…Join us for some summer fun on Wednesday, July 11, at Niles Shepherd of the Valley.  We will gather at 11:00 am to begin setup and start the grill.  We are looking for helpers, food donations, and two grill masters (it is a gas grill).  There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board.  We need donations of cantaloupes, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and cupcakes.  Melons need to be cut up and strawberries need to be cleaned.  Please join us for a good time and help make the day a bright one for our friends at Niles Shepherd of the Valley.  For more information, please contact Judy Shaffer.

From the Parish Education Committee Chairperson, Darlene Altiere

Joint Vacation Bible School…This year’s Joint Vacation Bible School is going to be held at Living Lord Lutheran Church July 15-19 for children up to the 6th grade.  This year’s theme will be “Hero Central”.  Please join us for an exciting week of crafts and games.  If you would be interested in volunteering to teach, lead crafts, lead games, set up and serve snacks, and lead the opening and closing, please contact Darlene Altiere or Pastor Bill.  Please register your children by filling out a registration form located on the table under the main bulletin board and return it to the church office by July 1.  Invite your friends and neighbors.  This is FREE!

From the Youth & Family Committee Chairperson, Stacey Altiere

July 1:  Bowling for Bears…Our elementary kids are inviting any bowlers from St. Paul and Living Lord to join them on Sunday, July 1, at 1:00 pm 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.  Sign up in the narthex or call Lyda Vigorito (St. Paul) or Stacey Altiere (Living Lord).


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!

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 (, 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.

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.