From Pastor William D. Leitch

The month of March is the season of Lent this year.  Then the first Sunday in April is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.  Here is what this journey will look like:

First, Jesus meets Satan in the wilderness, and Satan learns who the “Boss” is.  Second, we meet Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a teacher in the temple.  Nicodemus wants to learn from Jesus, but this is a huge transition from how he got his teaching to become a Pharisee.  He wants to keep a low profile to gain confidence first.   Sound a bit like us sometimes?

Third, we meet the Samaritan woman at the well.  Totally opposite of Nicodemus!  She must avoid her own people in order to survive.  He eyes are opened, and she understands who this Jesus is.  Her fear of her own people goes away immediately, and she delivers the “Good News” without hesitation.  Nicodemus will eventually deliver the “Good News”, but he is burdened by his status and it slows him down.  The Samaritan woman has nothing to lose.  One thing she does have is a loving heart full of grace and mercy.  Without a doubt, she never loses that!

Fourth, Jesus gives sight to a blind man who immediately spreads the “Good News”.  What?  “Who gave him authority to preach?” asks the Temple leaders.  In the simple words of this man, “He touched me!  He told me to see!  It worked!  I am thankful!  And I’m not keeping this to myself!  Get over it!” or words and body language to that effect.  Sometimes we must be firm in our conviction.  I always worry that I need to be more graceful.

The message during the Wednesday Lenten Services will be about sharing our faith throughout our community, the world, and in every circumstance we might find ourselves.  We are not just going to talk about it!  I am encouraging every one of us to practice it.  Like our brothers and sisters in Scripture, we have “Good News” to share.  We are all called to share it.  Not just a select few!

 

Lenten Evening Worship Service & Soup Supper…Beginning on Wednesday, March 4, we will have Soup Suppers at 5:30 pm followed by Lenten Evening Worship Service at 6:30 pm at Living Lord Lutheran Church.  We will need two crocks of soup each Wednesday.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board if you can volunteer to bring soup.

 

Town Hall Meetings…The entire congregation is invited and encouraged to attend one or both of the Town Hall Meetings scheduled on Sundays, March 15, at 11:45 am and March 22, at 9:00 am.

Purpose:  To develop the Strategic Ministry Plan for Living Lord Lutheran Church.

Why:  Each congregation must have a vision and a plan for their ministry within their community.  Plans must be current and relevant, therefore, they must be updated regularly.  At the transition of leadership and before a search is made for a new pastor, the “Ministry Profile” must be updated in order to call the leader with the gifts to support that vision and plan.  This is the vision and desires of our congregation, YOU!

Our Congregation Council has been working at updating our “Ministry Profile” since May 2019.  The demographics have been completed with the most current census and our 2019 Parochial Report.  This tells us who Living Lord is and who our community is.

Next, we must decide how we will minister to this community.

The Council has been looking at how we will navigate this journey, i.e. Where are we?  Where do we want to go?

We cannot get from here to there without the entire team participating and owning the vision and plan that we develop.  The Council needs to hear your voice in order to formulate a realistic plan.

There will be a brief presentation of how the Town Hall Meeting will proceed, but we desire that most of the meeting will be brainstorming with you.  We will wrap up the session by prioritizing the ideas by your votes.

After both meetings are complete, the Council will create a draft “Strategic Plan” based on your input.  This will be published for the congregation to review and make comments.  Based on these comments, the Council can clarify the plan.

Finally, the Council will schedule a Special Congregation Meeting to approve the “Ministry Profile” and the members of the Call Committee.  So far, the following members have requested to be on the Call Committee and have been accepted by the Council:  Randall Beckley, Raymond Boothe, Neal L’Amoureaux, Brycen Prasky, Warner  Taiclet, Nancy Walters, and Barb Wright.

Again, please plan to join us as we need to hear everyone’s voice.

 

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.

 

From the In-Reach Committee, Member Lynne Walters

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, March 5, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Fun Folds” 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, March 1.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

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

Scholarship Fund Challenge…Due to a generous gift by the family of Larry L. Maggiano, the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund was created.  In order for a named fund to be created, a gift of at least $20,000.00 must be received.  That gift is invested, administered by the Scholarship Board, and proceeds from that fund are used each year to award scholarships.  In order to grow the principal of the fund, you are asked to help.  Envelopes are available for donations to the fund in the basket on the shelf under the bulletin board in the main hallway.  Your donation will be invested with the principal.  You may place your check in the offering plate or mail it to the church office made payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church with the notation “Maggiano Scholarship Fund” in the memo portion.  The generosity of the Maggiano family and your generosity in making this opportunity available for the young people of our congregation are greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your support.  If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Committee:  Lorraine Bell, Ronda Leitch, and Jo Maggiano.

 

Scholarship Applications…Attention High School seniors and current college students:  Applications and stipulations for the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship are available in the Parish Office.  Completed forms must be returned by Sunday, April 26, 2020.  Please direct any questions that you may have to Lorraine Bell.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee will be hosting Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, March 18, at 1:30 pm.  We will meet at 1:00 pm to set up.  Men and women both are invited to assist.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the main bulletin board if you are able to help.  We are asking for donations of large print word search and crossword puzzle books, snack cracker packs, and pastel bags with a wide bottom.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

 

Easter Food Baskets…We will begin collecting food for the Easter Food Baskets on Sunday, March 22.  The last day to bring in items will be Sunday, March 29Please do not bring in any food items until after Election Day.  A chart will be in the hallway for items to bring.  If you know anyone in the church or anyone in need, please call or email the Parish Office (330-856-5302 or secretary@lllc.org) to order your food basket by Friday, March 27.  We will pack and distribute the baskets on Wednesday, April 8, beginning at 9:00 am.  Pickup will be from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon.  No deliveries.  There will be envelopes to donate for the purchase of hams available at the food chart in the hallway.  Please mark “Easter Food Baskets” in the memo portion of your check made payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church.  You may also place your check in the collection plate.  If you have any questions, please contact the Parish Office.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller…“But the real secret to lifelong good health is the opposite:  Let your body take care of you.”  Deepak Chopra

In the past couple of days, the new cases of coronavirus have made headlines and it affected the economy, especially the travel industry.  The image of people wearing face masks and the Chinese government taking the urgent task of building hospitals almost overnight is enough to increase a worldwide fear.  The outbreak started in central China and rapidly spread to other locations.  What is coronavirus and what are the chances that it will show up in Trumbull County?  In the past, virus outbreaks were mostly geographically confine, which in today’s world is not possible.  We are a society on the move.  Transportation has allowed us to be flexible and reach places that long ago would take months.  Coronavirus is an upper respiratory infection that can be spread by contact (person to person).  Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, all of which are the classic symptoms of colds or flu.  The severity of the illness has ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.  In extreme cases, panic often results and everyday life is disturbed as children do not got to school, factories stop production, and access to food is decreased.  The best prevention available is to avoid visiting the center of the outbreak and contacting persons who have had possible exposure to the virus.  Personal protective barriers are essential to prevent being infected and transmitting the virus to others.  A drastic measure to monitor the spread of the disease into the United States has been to implement isolation up to 14 days to U.S. residents and family members that had visited the epicenter of the outbreak.  In the case of any respiratory infection, prevention is the best venue with purposely hand washing with soap and water, avoiding the touching of the mouth and eyes, and keeping your distance from suspected infected individuals.  Let’s employ the same precautions as we do for any type of flue, i.e. avoid unnecessary physical contact.

From Pastor William D. Leitch

During February we are in the season of Epiphany.  Some synonyms for epiphany are flash, insight, inspiration, oracle, realization, vision, sign, surprise.  The scriptures from Matthew are teachings of Jesus.  They are short – a flash.  They give us some focus as to what is important from Jesus – an insight.  They certainly make sense and present how the world should behave in a safe way – inspiring.  They tell us how the world could be – a realization and a vision.  They catch us off guard perhaps when we want to judge others – a surprise.

In 37 short verses you can fill up three weeks in February pondering these verses and how these verses, lived out by you, can change the world.  (Matthew 5:1-37).

Next, we observe the Transfiguration of Jesus on February 23.  Just as God spoke at the baptism of Jesus, God speaks again to those with Jesus.  If they didn’t get it the first time, maybe they will understand this time – A SURPRISE – “This is my Son!  Listen to Him!”  Yes, another epiphany, but this time we are on the road to complete the mission Jesus was sent to do.  We are on our way to Jerusalem and Calvary.

Finally, we will observe Ash Wednesday on February 26 and begin our journey through the season of Lent in March.  Please join together and prepare for the journey.

Come and see!  Come and learn!  Come see God’s vision!

Pastor Bill

 

Ash Wednesday… Ash Wednesday is on February 26.  We will have worship services at 12:00 noon and 7:00 pm.

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.

 

From the Later Life Committee, Member Lynne Walters

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, February 6, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Frilly and Feminine” 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, February 2.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Angel Tree Update…Thank you to all who took an angel from the Angel Tree and shopped for these children in our community.  Thanks to your generosity, we were able to make Christmas a special time for our area children.  Tootie Rogers and Missy LaRock

Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee will be hosting Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, February 12, at 1:30 pm.  We will meet at 1:00 pm to set up.  Men and women both are invited to assist.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the main bulletin board if you are able to help.  We are asking for donations of square tissue boxes, dry skin lotion, and medium gift bags to hold these two items.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“The reason one vitamin can cure so many illnesses is because a deficiency of one vitamin can cause many illnesses.”  Andrew Saul

Vitamin A is the first letter in all one-a-day vitamin supplements.  What is Vitamin A and what role does in play in our health?  This question reminds me of my college days when we were told to memorize how vitamins are absorbed by the body.  Vitamin A is a fat-soluble organic compound that is vital for cell growth and development starting in the womb, and is essential to maintain healthy vision, immune system, and prevent early aging.  Vitamin A is found in cod liver oil, eggs, yellow and dark green vegetables, and fruits.  By following a diverse and healthful diet, one is supplied with the daily requirement of Vitamin A.  Also, Vitamin A is widely used in the cosmetic industry with compounds that include retinol, retinal, and retinoic acids.  The same principle that Vitamin A aids the maintenance of proper cell health and regeneration also provides healthier and younger skin.  Regarding skin care products based on Vitamin A which promise slowly aging or forever young, I am not sure, but I confess that every time I stop to buy a moisturize cream, I check the ingredients for retinol and retinoic acid.  For our daily diet, let’s plan to incorporate more green and yellow foods to help maintain a well-functioning body.  For many people, it can be challenging to acquire all nutrients from food alone.  Thus, a daily supplement of Vitamin A might be appropriate.

From Pastor William D. Leitch

We are in Year A of the church years.  Really?  What’s that you say?  We have three church liturgical years that we follow.  Year A is the year we read primarily from the Gospel of Matthew.  Year B we read primarily from the Gospel of Mark.  Year C we read primarily from the Gospel of Luke.

In Year A, we will progress through Matthew more so than we would read from Mark in Year B.  Why?  Because Mark does not have the birth story, the three magi, or going to Egypt to avoid Herod.

Mark starts at the Epiphany of our Lord – at Jesus’ baptism.  That is where Jesus is identified by God as God’s son.  Reading through Matthew is interesting and inspiring as we see Mary, Joseph, and many others knit into the identity of Jesus.

We become one with Jesus and we become a voice of God as we share in our identity with Jesus.  We will read from the Gospel of John one time during the Season of Epiphany.  The reason for this reading from John, rather than Matthew, is to illustrate how many others (who “had an Epiphany” of who this Jesus was) continued to share their story and introduce them to Jesus and how they were the catalyst that created many relationships with our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ!

On January 19, Rev. Karl Biermann, the assistant to the Bishop, will visit us and preach.  Rev. Biermann will work with the Council and the Call Committee in the transition this year.

In April, Bishop Abraham Allende will meet with our Council to give instructions for the call process.  Meanwhile, the Council has been working on updating our Ministry Profile.  A Ministry Profile tells who we are, who our community is and their needs, and our plan to minister to the community and our members.  It will be very important for us, as an entire congregation, to develop and OWN that plan.  We must come together and immerse ourselves in this endeavor, just like those we will read about in the Scriptures this month.

It is my prayer that you select a Call Committee before Bishop Allende visits so that those members can ask questions.  It is my prayer that the entire congregation have a strong image of what our ministry strategy is and immerse ourselves in that ministry.

The Call Committee must have seven members.  Only two of those members can be from the Council.  We need men and women, young and old.  Please prayerfully consider saying yes to this call.  Better yet, tell the Council you would like to be included in the Call Committee.

 

Annual Congregation Meeting…The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 11:45 am in the Worship Space – mark your calendar! At this meeting, reports will be received from Standing Committees, Congregation Council Members will be elected, and the 2020 Budget will be approved. Also at this meeting, we will vote on changes to the Constitution/By-Laws.  Your Annual Report will be on the table in the hall the week prior to the meeting; be sure to stop and pick it up.

 

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.