From the Pastors

From Pastor William D. Leitch…Throughout May, we will hear words such as these each week:

– Doing the right things does not guarantee that one will not experience difficulties, hardships, rejection, or even suffering.

– Jesus promises that he goes to prepare a place for his followers in his Father’s house.

– Jesus does not leave his followers orphaned.  Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation.

– Amid religious, social, and economic divisions, we seek the unity that Jesus had with his Father.  Made one in baptism, we go forth to live our faith in the world, eager for the unity that God intends for the whole human family.

It seems to me that when I hear these words, I lean toward hearing them about myself.  It seems to be all about me.  However, when I see all the others in our world, it changes me and how I must think and act.

The Good Shepherd gathers us all.  He prepares a place for everyone.  There are none left out.  Caught up in God’s generosity, we should see a change in ourselves and how we live out our faith.  “We go forth to live our faith in the world.”

As a nation, there tends to be a fear of all the “others”.  We see this in the debate about receiving refugees.  Our bishops from the ELCA went to Washington, D.C., recently to break down these fears and show them that we are in this together.  We are here to “prepare a place” for those orphaned and those left with no way to survive on their own.

In 2013, the population of Syria was almost 23 million people; I did not find a more recent census, probably because that nation is so focused on survival that it is no longer focused on its people.

I wondered if there was any place that was safe to raise your family in Syria.  There are currently about 13 million displaced people still living in Syria.  There are about 6 million refugees who have fled the country.  A little less than 5 million are registered as refugees somewhere.

Do the math.  It appears that only about 4 million people of Syria are still living some sort of a stable life (whatever that is).  I cannot imagine how these uprooted people can ever recover, even if the war stopped today.  It cannot happen unless “we go forth to live our faith in the world, eager for the unity that God intends for the whole human family”.

This is true for Syria, every nation, Ohio, and the greater Warren area.

In the words of Bishop Allende, NEOS:  “The fear of death controls our life much more than we realize, but the resurrection of Jesus takes the teeth out of death.  Easter shows us that there is life beyond the grave.  Easter declares that death does not have the last say.”

We serve a risen Savior – a living Savior.

Our resurrected Lord brings new life, rekindles hope, sustains us, and recreates us in circumstances that would seem to be the most hopeless.  That is certainly good news.

Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!
Pastor Bill

Youth Car Wash…Our Youth will have a Car Wash at Living Lord on Saturday, May 20, from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm.  They will be selling burgers and brats to folks as they wait for their car.  The proceeds will be put towards the costs of Servant Week in June and to help pay for expenses for the ELCA National Youth Gathering in June 2018.

From Pastor Ann Marie Winters…It’s Easter Season throughout the month of May…
“Go to Galilee”.

“The young man said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed.  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He is risen; he is not here.  See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you.’”  (Mark 16:6-7)

“We have just experienced the resurrection of Jesus at Easter, and we now have the question in our hearts, ‘If Jesus is risen, where is he?  The young man in Mark’s gospel says that we will find him in Galilee.  That is the place where Jesus was baptized, and where he began his ministry.  He went about healing the sick, restoring wrecked lives, and even raising the dead.  He fears nothing and shuns no one.  And if that is where Jesus can be found, that is where we find ourselves too!  We are his Body, doing the same work.”  (Fredrick Niedner)

It costs us something to be the Body of Christ in the world.  We have to roll up our sleeves and get down to business.  There are the sick to visit, the hungry to feed, the needy to clothe.  If we, as the church, are going to witness to the marks of the crucifixion on the body of Jesus, we are going toned to go out of our ordinary routines and put aside our personal agendas to carry the cross of Christ.  All around us is where Jesus can be found – wherever we find ourselves.  Let us join him in being the Good News.   Go to Galilee with him!

Alleluia, Christ is risen!  Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia!
Pastor Ann Marie Winters

From the Later Life Committee Chairperson, Karen Bandy

Easter Baskets…Lovely Easter Baskets were delivered to our homebound the week of April 3.  They had a soft little lamb, muffins (compliments of Nancy Walters), some chocolates, and of course the beautiful cards made by Lynne Walters.  Thanks to my team of Lorraine Bell, Lynne Walters, and Nancy Walters for your dedication and deliveries.

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, May 4, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  Our theme will be “Mainly Masculine 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 30.  Emmanuel and St. Paul members are welcome to join us – call Lynne Walters to get signed up!

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Donna Tompkins

Update on Easter Food Baskets…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated food for the Easter Food Baskets and to those who assisted with packing and distributing them.  We were able to assist 17 families within the three Shared Ministry Churches.

Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee will be hosting Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, May 17, 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 in need of the following Bingo prizes:  word search books, peanut butter cup candy, and stuffed animals.  If you have any questions, please contact Donna Tompkins.  Emmanuel and St. Paul members are welcome to join us – call Donna Tompkins for information.

From the Parish Education Committee Chairperson, Darlene Altiere

Families of Graduates…If there is a member of your family, who is also a member of Living Lord Lutheran Church, who will be graduating from high school or college this year, please email their name, what school they are graduating from, and their future plans (name of college or where they will be working) to secretary@lllc.org or mail the information to the church office by Friday, May 12, 2017.  Senior Recognition Sunday will be Sunday, June 4, 2017.

From the Property Committee Chairperson, Rollie Walters

Spring Planting…The flowers for the spring planting have been ordered.  Donations are needed for the flowers and the mulch.  Please make your check payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church and mark “spring planting” in the memo portion.  You may place your donation in the offering plate or mail it to the church office.  Spring Planting Day will be Saturday, May 20, beginning at 9:00 am with refreshments at 10:00 am.  Please bring your gardening tools and gloves.

From the Worship Committee Chairperson, Jan Was

In recognition of Pentecost, the Worship Committee will be decorating the worship space with red geraniums; please also remember to wear your red.  Pentecost Sunday is June 4 and these geraniums will be replanted outside.  Families/Individuals are asked to make donations to the geranium fund.  You may request a memoriam or honorarium.  There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the main hallway.  Please watch your bulletins for price and deadline to sign up.  Plants are to be paid for when ordering.  You may place your check in the offering plate or mail it to the Parish Office.  Make checks payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church and mark “Geraniums” in the memo portion.  Please help us beautify our church.

Summer Worship Schedule…We will begin our Summer Worship Schedule on Sunday, June 4.  We will have services at 8:00 and 10:00 am.

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

Scholarship Award Presentation…On Sunday, June 4, at the 10:00 am worship service, the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Award(s) will be presented.  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.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“You know, I’m really proud of my heart.  It’s been stabbed, played, cheated on, shattered, and burned.  But guess what?  It still works.”  Author unknown

Who hasn’t experienced the pain of having a broken heart at some point in their life?  And, who hasn’t heard the remark that “time will heal your heart and you will eventually survive”?  Broken heart syndrome is a condition well known as stress induced cardiomyopathy.  It is a reaction to the increase of stress hormones.  My best friend, Lourdes, suffered from this syndrome during the final months of her mother’s life.  Not long ago, I underwent a similar reaction of chest pains resulting from the emotional stress due to my father’s illness.  Lourdes was able to survive her broken heart, and I have learned to deal with my chest pains.  What triggers this condition is a stressful event, such as a romantic breakup, betrayal, news of unforeseen death of a loved one, and even an unexpected shock, such as being fired from work or even the unlikeliness of winning the lottery.  For some reason, women are more likely than men to experience physical chest pain resulting from stress.  The symptoms of broken heart syndrome may mimic the classic signs of a heart attack, which include abnormal blood work and changes in electrocardiogram.  The emergency room will probably treat you as having a heart attack.  However, once it becomes obvious that no heart attack has occurred, further investigation is necessary to discover the reason for the chest pain.  The good news is that once the pain is diagnosed as broken heart syndrome, which is usually treatable, most people make a full recovery, and as your mother often says, “tomorrow is another day”.  People who seek professional help for broken heart syndrome often stay in the hospital for a few days to a week.  Initial treatment is aimed at improving blood flow to the heart.  The ideal treatment can include medicines and lifestyle changes.  Broken heart syndrome can be life threatening in some cases as it may involve severe weakness of the heart muscles.  Changes in lifestyle are necessary, including stress management, and coping mechanisms help improve emotional and physical health.  Having a support group of friends to share your feelings will help you deal with all the uncertainties of stress in your life.  To avoid the occurrence of broken heart syndrome in your life, it is important to learn how to reduce stress and to cope with unexpected situations.

From the Pastors

From Pastor William D. Leitch…So much is happening in the greater Warren area that concerns our churches.  So much is happening that concerns the Trumbull Area Lutheran Coalition, our twelve ELCA congregations in Trumbull County.  There is so much happening that concerns our Shared Ministry with Emmanuel, Living Lord, and St. Paul.

All the churches have been invited to participate in prayer meetings concerning the city of Warren.  The mayor initiated the first prayer meeting in February.  More meetings are planned.  But how is God calling us?

There is concern for the violence, heroin, and poverty in Warren.  How is God calling us as the Church to make a difference?  It seems obvious to me that God would want the Church to be the leader in caring for the community.  Wouldn’t God want us to be the calm in the storm?  Wouldn’t God want us to welcome those who are struggling and to walk with them toward something more stable, secure, and hopeful?

Yet we tend to be turned in on ourselves and our survival.  Does that cause us to be blind to our neighbor?  How do we care for the widow, the orphan, the addict, the convict, the elderly, our children, our neighbors, our families?  How do we keep up the maintenance on our buildings and on our every relationship?  It can seem overwhelming and one might prefer to just turn in on one’s self and give up.  That would be sad because we cannot do what God is calling us to do all by ourselves.  Some are ready to follow God’s call, but they cannot do it alone.

There are people who are reaching out to us and offering a hand to help as God would call us to help.  Do you see them?  Do you hear them?

We have Lutheran churches ready to close their doors.  Who will invite and welcome them to a new family of God?  I think that Emmanuel, Living Lord, and St. Paul would delight in having more folks join us, but have you invited that neighbor?  As I write this, I wonder who even knows what I am talking about.

There are people who are ready to help, but need a space, a home, in which to carry out that ministry.  Do you see them?  There are people who want to walk through our doors.  Will you invite them?  There are widows and orphans, addicts, convicts, elderly – all who want a place to call home.  Are they welcome?  How do we show them?  How do we lead them?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

We are called God’s agents.  We are the ones who are to be calling people to us as Jesus called.

Amen,
Pastor Bill

 

Living Lord Holy Week Schedule:

April 13 – Maundy Thursday, 7:00 pm Worship w/1st Communion

April 14 – Good Friday, 7:00 pm Worship

April 16 – Easter Sunday, 8:00 & 10:30 am Worship; 9:00 am Easter Brunch

 

Special Congregation Meeting…The Council has called for a Special Congregation Meeting to be held on Sunday, April 23, at 11:45 am.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and vote to initiate a capital fund drive for a new Allen organ.  The capital funds needed are $22,000.  If we reach this goal by November 1, 2017, Memorial Funds and the Fuchs Memorial Funds will be enough to cover the remainder.

Camp Frederick Dinner Dance Fundraiser…Camp Frederick will hold a Dinner Dance Fundraiser on Saturday, April, 1, beginning at 6:00 pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 3300 Canfield Road, Youngstown, OH  44511.  The Roaring Twenties Dinner Dance will be an evening of food, dancing, auctions, and fun!  Funds raised will go to support the sending of kids to Camp.  The Dinner Dance will start at 6:00 pm with hors d’oeuvres and time to peruse the silent auction and basket raffle items.  Dinner will begin at 7:00 pm followed by the silent auction winners, raffle, and dancing.  There are many different ways to support Camp Frederick through the Dinner Dance.  You can attend the dance, be a sponsor, or donate items for the auctions.  We are also going to have a “wine pull”.  Donations of bottles of wine may be dropped off anytime at Camp Frederick or given to a board member.  Please consider helping with the ministry of Camp Frederick by participating in one of the ways listed above.  For more information, call 330-227-3633 or email info@campfrederickohio.com.  If you are interested in attending the Dinner Dance, tickets are $35.00; please see Pastor Bill to purchase your tickets.

 

From Pastor Ann Marie Winters…“…to live without him is the real death,…to die with him is the only life.”    Frederick Buechner in The Magnificent Defeat.

We do not have to look far to see people living without Christ, do we?  How many try to fill their lives with things, excitements, or substances because they do not know what to do with their emptiness?  Jesus Christ is the only one able to fill that empty space in the soul, and to bring spiritual life for which so many yearn.  Without the presence of Christ, a person is vulnerable to a great many dangerous forces, including sin and death.  As Frederick Buechner has written, “to live without him is real death.”

This Lent, the Word of God has called us to pray and fast and “give alms” to the poor.  “Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards the needy.  Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”  (Deuteronomy 15:8-11).  Sisters and brothers, it costs something of us to open our hands to the poor when we see their suffering.  But when suffering pains our hearts, we share in the pain of our Lord himself.  He calls us to pick up our cross and to follow him.  “To die with him,” says Buechner, “is the only life.”

When you read this letter, if you have not yet made a great effort to carry the cross with the Lord through prayer, fasting, and giving alms – to open your heart to the poor and needy – it is still not too late.  The world of poverty and suffering around us is our Good Friday.  “…to live without him is the real death,…to die with him is the only life.”

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”    John 11:25-26.

Pastor Ann Marie Winters

 

St. Paul Holy Week Schedule:

April 13 – Maundy Thursday, 6:00 pm Chicken Dinner, 7:15 pm Worship

April 14 – Good Friday, 8:00 pm Worship

April 15 (Saturday) – Easter Vigil, 8:00 pm Worship

April 16 – Easter Sunday, 10:30 am Worship

 

Maundy Thursday Chicken Dinner – April 13…This year St. Paul is having their traditional Chicken Dinner on Maundy Thursday, April 13, in support of the youth, who will set up, serve you, and clean up.  Of course we have Chef Tom Skoczylas and sous-chef Peggy Skoczylas and a team of catechism parents and other kitchen aids who will prepare our delicious meal of chicken breast, green beans, potatoes, salad, cake, and punch/coffee.  Tickets are available after services; adults are $10.00 and children under 12 are $5.00.  The Maundy Thursday worship service will begin at 7:15 pm to give a little extra time for eating and cleaning up before worship begins.  A big thank you (in advance) goes out to everyone involved in this effort which supports mission work by our youth!  This is also a Thrivent Financial action team project.