From the Pastor, William D. Leitch

We begin the seven Sundays of Easter.  Again, I challenge you to examine yourselves, but you say Lent is over!  Why would we examine ourselves during the Easter season?  Self-examination is for the season of Lent.

Because, after all the preparation Jesus gave the disciples before his arrest and crucifixion, the disciples still found it too hard to believe.  Yes, they came to believe, but it took some getting used to.

How do you explain this “Risen Lord” to others?  Or do you avoid talking about such matters?  The guards at the tomb went to the chief priests and gave their testimony to everything they witnessed.  They had to be excited and amazed.  However, the chief priests “gave a sum of money” to the guards to say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.”  They did this to keep out of trouble.  Why don’t we talk much about it to others?

The guards were paid off to tell a lie to stay out of trouble for an offense punishable by death.  What are we afraid of?  Or do we simply not have a testimony?

Jesus commanded the disciples in Matthew 28:19-20:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

This command is in the imperative not the interrogative.  In other words, it is an “Order” not a question about “would we consider this”.  The disciples were commanded to make more disciples and those disciples more disciples.  When we “affirm our baptism”, we have committed ourselves to following all the commands that Jesus gave us.  This is our covenant with God!  And a “covenant” means that we will risk our very lives rather than break this covenant.  Our commitment to Christ is more important than our lives, our reputations, our status, our power, our financial wealth, our comfort, our stress level, and you fill in any other excuses we might fabricate.

OK, has your jaw dropped yet?  Because that is where I wanted to bring you.  Now that I have your attention, let’s examine ourselves and the opportunities we might be missing to share the good news of Jesus.  If you are not sure how to enter into the conversation about faith, then we need a Sunday School class to train us up.  I am ready and practiced to lead that class.

Just let me know when you are ready,
Pr. Bill

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.

From the President, Bob McKinney

I want to start off by thanking Jan Was and her committee and everyone else who helped with the Organ Concert.  It was a joy to listen to and we had about 90 people from several area churches in attendance.  Also, the fellowship afterwards was again top notch thanks to Nancy Walters and her crew.  We have so many dedicated people in our church and it is great to watch them put things together.

Again, I will mention our information highway between you and your church.  If for any reason you feel you are not getting information involving your church, please check with the secretary, myself, or any Council member and we will check it out for you.

Someone in our congregation mentioned to me that we have not updated our time and talent survey for some time.  I did some checking and we have not updated this information for almost 10 years.  So I think it is time to have our congregation fill out new surveys.  I have revised the form because many of the questions are not really pertinent any longer and it was so long you had to take a nap before finishing it.  I will be passing them out in church sometime over the next few weeks and I ask you to please complete the forms and return them to the church office.  You can put them in the offering tray or in the box on the ledge under the bulletin board.  And you know me, I will be hounding you over the next few weeks to complete these forms.

My next comments concern missing church members.  Now that I have your attention, what I mean by this is members who attend on a regular basis but for some reason have not been in church for 3 weeks or more.  Now there can be many reasons for this that can be normal.  But we would like to follow through with a contact to check up on our members.  Is everything OK, have you been sick, has something upset you at church?  I think sometimes we wait too long to reach out and then it can be difficult to bring them back in.  What I am going to do is put a form in the clipboards at the end of each pew.  If you notice that someone has not been in church for a while and don’t know the reason or think that the person should be contacted, please fill out the form and we will make a contact.  Arlene Barkan and her committee will handle the contacts.  If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know.

One final comment on our Shared Ministry with St. Paul.  Because of decisions made at our Annual Meeting, we will no longer be involved in any way with consolidation talks with our sister church, St. Paul.  But I would hope that there are ways we can work together with our youth groups to make a stronger viable program for both churches and countywide with other Lutheran churches.  These types of programs can only make our church stronger and viable.

From the Fellowship Committee Chairperson, Nancy Walters

The Fellowship Committee has been busy!  Living Lord was responsible for hosting two Lenten Soup Suppers at St. Paul.  We had some delicious soups, salads, and desserts brought and eaten from several church members.  Thanks to all who helped in setting up, serving, and cleaning up the mess.  The St. Paul ladies were also on hand to let us know what needed done and where to find everything.

The month of March also featured an Organ Concert by Dylan Sanzenbacher and Chase Castle.  A reception followed the concert.  Thanks to Lynne Walters for the beautifully decorated tables and to Bonnie Sanzenbacher, Donna Tompkins, Lynne Walters, and Jan Was for providing the refreshments.  Thank you Patty Butts for helping with the cleaning up.

Thanks also goes out to Kitty Thompson for donating money for new table linens.  The old ones were just that – really old – and had numerous stains that just wouldn’t come out.  Plus, they needed ironed after being washed!  The new ones are permanent press!  Thanks Kitty!

The kitchen has a new resident – a brand new refrigerator!  The old refrigerator (purchased maybe when the old linens were?) was starting to have some problems.  Thank you to LeRoy Morgan for this great addition to the kitchen.  It has several shelves for so much more room for much more food!  Be sure to visit the kitchen and check it out!

At the time of this writing, I am in the middle of planning an Easter Breakfast between the services on April 1.  Please sign up on the main bulletin board so I can get a head count.  Thank you!

From the Later Life Committee, Member Lynne Walters

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, April 12, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 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, April 8.

From the Mission Endowment Fund Committee Chairperson, Michael Taiclet

He is risen!  Greetings and blessings to everyone from the MEF Committee and myself!  I hope everyone has had a great Easer!  I know I did!  It was great to see everyone in worship and hear all the music from the choir and bell choir.  Let us always remember why Jesus died for us and continue to celebrate his resurrection.  He is risen!  This past October, the MEF Committee was pleased to award Camp Frederick with $1,500.00 to help them continue their mission.  This way, they can continue to do all the things they do that has helped so many and continue to help those who are still in need.  Well, it is that time of year again.  This month, we will be choosing our MEF award winner for 2018.  This year, I am proud to announce that the MEF has three candidates from which to choose from.  Even though our candidates have been selected for this year, it is never too late to nominate a group or organization

 

 

 

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whom you think would be a good candidate for our annual award.  We are always looking ahead for the next year, so please let us know.  I think this year’s candidates are all good and well deserving organizations.  The MEF will have a tough task ahead of us.  This will be a tough choice, but I believe the MEF Committee and I will choose the right candidate.  The MEF Award will be presented to the winner later this year in October.  The MEF Sunday, yet to be determined, will be announced at a later date.  I look forward to seeing you all there.  I will keep everyone posted and I can’t wait to reveal our next winner!  May God continue to bless you now and forever!

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Easter Food Baskets Update…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to or assisted with the Easter Food Baskets.  Due to your generosity, we were able to give out 14 food baskets.

Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee will be hosting Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, April 11, at 2:00 pm.  We will meet at 1:30 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 or bake cookies.  We are asking for donations of square tissue boxes, hand lotion, and medium size gift bags to hold these two items (plain colors like red, green, blue, yellow, purple, etc.).  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

From the Youth & Family Committee Chairperson, Stacey Altiere

Happy Spring!  We are planning several events over the next few months and are very excited!  Please mark your calendars with the following dates:

April 22:  “Bake-Off” after worship…Have a tried and true family recipe or maybe a go-to for family events?  Put it to the test at the Living Lord 1st Annual Bake-off!  There will be a sign-up sheet posted on the Youth & Family bulletin board in the Education Wing during the month of April to enter your baked good.  Admission will be $5.00 to sample the treats!

May 6:  Living Lord & St. Paul Family Day…Sunday, May 6, St. Paul will be hosting a Family Day to kick off the summer!  All families and youth are welcome to attend the Opening Worship Music at 12:15 pm followed by lunch at 1:00 pm.  There will be hotdogs, chips, potato salad, dessert, and drinks provided.  There will then be a corn hole tournament on the front lawn.  Rain or shine it promises to be a fun, light-hearted day bringing people together in the spirit of Christ.

May 12:  Mother’s Day Flower Sale…Don’t forget Mom!  Saturday, May 12, our youth will be selling flats of flowers to the public in front of Living Lord Lutheran Church in honor of all the special women in our lives.  Sales to begin at noon and run until every last flower has a new home!  Stop by and support our children.

May 20:  Pentecost…We are very excited to announce that there will be one Affirmation of Baptism during our 10:30 am service and at the 7:00 pm Eastern Conference Joint Affirmation Service at Zion Lutheran Church on Sunday, May 20.

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 8-12:  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

“Breathing is about staying alive on one level, but it’s also connected to emotional life.”   Christopher Del Negro

Breathing is the automatic reflex managed by brain signals that allows our bodies to maintain life.  However, the simple exercise of breathing in and out is more complex.  Many of us may have experienced hyperventilation during moments of stress, anxiety, or during an infamous panic attack.  Learning how to breathe properly can help maintain focus and remain calm in stressful situations.  Slowing down respiration by adopting specific exercises have multiple benefits.  What couple does not recall the special breathing exercises during labor?  And, let’s not forget those afflicted with respiratory diseases who learn how important it is to inhale and exhale properly.  Respiration techniques play a major role in many of the now popular mindfulness practices.  During crazy days at work, I usually take a few seconds to close my eyes, think about the warm breeze of the ocean, and slowly breathe in and out.  This simple exercise helps me to calm my mind, increases my focus, and restores my energy.  During devotion or meditation sessions, respiration plays a major role in learning how to control breathing that helps bring harmony to the body.  Daily prayers, bible study, and devotion usually provide us with a sense of well-being.  However, often we pay little attention to our bodies when praying.  Before starting meditation, find a comfortable position so that your body creates a connection with your breathing.  Sit still and concentrate on breathing slowly in and out so that your prayers seem to reach out of your body and you will receive benefits from the quiet air exchange.  After a few minutes, your energy level will increase and your priorities for the day will become clearer.  Using respiration to calm your mind and your body will bring positive health benefits such as lower blood pressure, reduced stress, and increased harmony with your environment.  Through prayer and meditation, our spirit will be renewed.  However, do not forget, discipline is required to breathe properly in and out during devotions so that our bodies and minds can function as one.