From the Pastor, William D. Leitch

We just returned from Servant Week at Camp Frederick.  This is the second year in a row that we did all our work at the Camp.  The work needed to be done in order to preserve the Camp and keep it safe for campers and others who use these facilities all year long.  Here are a couple things our youth and counselors did:

First, we pressure-washed and painted the Pavilion/Office/”Upper Room”.  Note the rust-red color on the upper eave.  That was the color before we painted.  The green tint blends the building into the beautiful wooded setting, seals it to preserve the siding, and we eliminated all wasp nests!

Chris McCrimmon and Brycen Prasky, along with our Camp Director’s son, Ben, did all the detail trim work on these stairs.  Thank you guys!!  I don’t like twisting and turning and squatting that one needed to do to get this done; consequently, my back feels just great!

West End View

East End View


Silly me!  I thought that with only eight youth, we could only do one building.  I should know better after working with these kids for nine years.  So, second, we painted the Cottage where Matt and Kristin Miller live with their three boys.

That’s not all they did!!  Ben, Makayla, and David from Prince of Peace led the improvement of  “Hemlock Trail”, a deer path that had been marked nine years ago, but never worked on to be negotiated safely.  They had three other volunteers help them and they got the entire trail done.

They painted the “Blue Bathroom” behind the “Upper Room”.  We always called it the “Blue Bathroom”, but that was going to be confusing now that it was green.  On Thursday, we voted to rename it “El Bano”.  It was a great discussion!  Seriously, ask me about it sometime.

Here are our 8 youth, plus Terry Wentworth and I

We were not alone!  We had 7 Camp Counselors helping

Finally, there was still time to do some zip lining, archery, and capture the flag.  By the way, we finished this work by the end of Thursday, before I departed for the Synod Assembly.  On Friday, they cleaned up the lodge and got everything ready for the next campers to come on Sunday.

I highly recommend sending youth to Servant Week where we get things done, build team work, and have FUN!!

Better Yet:  I highly recommend that you plan to come as an adult leader.  Our youth do not have drivers’ licenses.  They know how to work…BUT they need your help to get there.  It has been a blessing to work with these young folks.


Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly…Raymond Boothe, Nancy Walters, and I attended the 2019 Synod Assembly on June 14 and 15.  The worship was powerful and the music was awesome.  Worship music was led by “Glocal”.  We sang in several languages, and everyone put their hearts into singing.  Even though we did not know exactly what we were singing sometimes – we did know who we were singing to!!

The workshops were valuable.  I attended the Opioid Epidemic and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service workshops.  Learning how we enable folks with addiction is very important so we can stop it.  Understanding the terms like immigration, refugee, and alien are essential in caring for and prioritizing our help.  If you want to know more, ask me.  Raymond Boothe attended the Telling the Story and the Language that Speaks Volumes workshops.  Ask him any questions.  Nancy Walters attended the Advocacy workshop and has handouts that are very helpful.  We will copy them and make them available.

What is the status of ministers in the Synod?  We have 167 congregations.  Currently, there are 86 called pastors, 5 associate pastors, and 12 interim pastors.  The rest of the congregations have no called pastor.  In other words, more than 67 congregations do not have called pastors.  We had 20 pastors retire, transfer to other synods, or resign this year.   However, we received 4 pastors from other synods, and we ordained 2 new pastors.

Where are we financially?  We continue to support the church-wide ministries with over 50% of our mission support dollars from our congregations in the Synod.  The budget/cash flows are fragile.  Of the 167 congregations in the Synod, 18 do not give any mission support to the Synod.  Living Lord gave $8,285.00 to Mission Support; it is called benevolence in our budget.  Total Mission support received was $1,334,786.37.  Congregations also gave designated offerings of $206,277.51.  The average of the giving congregations was $8,395.00 toward mission support.  If we had 100% participation at that average, we would receive another $151,108.00.  That would make a huge difference.

Our Lutheran Youth hosted an intergenerational service work of packaging diapers and health items.  They received twice as many donations than they expected.  Those attending the Assembly would not quit packaging the items until they were all done.  Our youth were very grateful for the help.

Our youth also led worship and made themselves available for a Q & A.  What can we do to encourage youth to participate in church? (was the first question)  Answer: (Prefaced with a grin and an apology, “This might convict you.”) Jasmine responded with, “Treat us like adults.  We know how to do most everything in the church and are capable of being trained up like everyone else.  You must sit with us, speak to us, empower us, teach us, work side-by-side with us.  We want to belong with you!!!!  We want to be 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 Fellowship Committee Chairperson, Nancy Walters

We had two Fellowships in June.  The first one was to honor our graduates and the recipient of the Maggiano Scholarship Award.  The second was to honor all our fathers.  July’s Fellowship will be held between services on July 14 to thank all who participated in VBS.  We are looking for bakers or any item to serve.  I would like to thank my Committee for all of their help.  I couldn’t do it without them!

From the Later Life Committee Chairperson, Lorraine Bell

We still have some “I Love My Church” yard signs if anyone would like some.  Look at the ones at the front of the church.  Free to you!  Use this as an opportunity to witness to your neighbors.  Feel free to take as many as you would like; they are located by the parking lot entrance doors.


From the Later Life Committee, Member Lynne Walters…
Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, July 18, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Sum-Sum-Summertime” 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 14.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Mission Endowment Fund Committee Chairperson, Michael Taiclet

And the winner is…Greetings and Blessings to all from MEF.  I hope everybody’s summer is going well and continues to go well!  Maybe we will get lucky and see some sun.  I know, we are in Ohio.  Sun?  What is that?  Well, anyway, I would like to just update you, the congregation, on our progress since our last meeting.  I am pleased to announce that we have decided upon a 2019 MEF Award recipient.  I can tell you that the MEF Committee and myself think that this recipient is a very good and deserving choice for this award.  I am not going to announce the name of the recipient currently due to the fact that we are still in the process of notifying them and working out the details for MEF Award Sunday.  However, mark your calendars!  I can tell you that MEF Award Sunday will be on Sunday, October 13, 2019 (the second Sunday of October) at which the award will be presented, at both services, to a representative of the 2019 MEF Award recipient.  We will be meeting again in November and I am looking for names of any groups and/or organizations that could benefit from our award.  A list of possible candidates needs to be ready in time for our November meeting in order to approve them as possible candidates.  Once approved, we then can send out the necessary paperwork and applications to these groups in order for them to return the applications back in time for our meeting in April.  So, I am asking if you know of any groups and/or organizations, please let any member of the MEF Committee know – me, Missy LaRock, Ronda Leitch, Tootie Rogers, Lamar Shoemaker, and/or Pastor Bill.  You may also leave a note in the MEF mailbox at the church if you would like.  Finally, I would like to thank the MEF Committee members for their commitment and hard work that they continue to put in for the Mission Endowment Fund.  I especially would like to thank them for putting up with all the repeated date changes for our last meeting due to scheduling conflicts.  So, thanks!  I would also like to thank all those who have contributed and those who continue to contribute to the Mission Endowment Fund.  Without you, this fund would not be possible and we would not be able to help those in need.  The Mission Endowment Fund, in its 22 years of existence, just would not be thriving and continuing onward without the support of each and every one of you.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Niles Shepherd of the Valley Summer Picnic Update…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to or assisted with the Summer Picnic at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on June 26.  All had a wonderful time!


School Supply Collection…During the entire month of July, we will be collecting school supplies for Howland School students.  Items:  Backpacks, binders 1” or 2”, colored pencils, crayons, ear buds, folders (with pockets & three-pronged), glue sticks, highlighters, pencils, pens, rulers.  Please place your items on the table in the Education Wing.  Thank you for helping our Howland students!

From the Parish Education Committee Chairperson, Raymond Boothe

Vacation Bible School…This year’s Vacation Bible School is going to be held at Living Lord Lutheran Church July 7-11 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm for children up to the 6th grade.  This year’s theme will be “Moose on the Loose”.  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 Raymond Boothe or Stacey Altiere.  Please register your children by filling out a registration form located on the ledge 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 Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows…”  Ralph Marston

During the past spelling bee competition, there was a big and familiar word…hypercholesterolemia.  In other words, high levels of cholesterol in the blood.  Cholesterol is manufactured by all animal cells.  It is the precursor of vitamin D, steroid hormones, and bile acid.  We all need a little cholesterol as fuel to maintain body functions.  However, excess cholesterol can be detrimental to our health.  To maintain healthy cholesterol levels, it is necessary to follow a diet free or low in cholesterol and to increase physical activity.  During your next physical appointment, discuss with your physician the better course of action on how to control your levels.  Moreover, we all know that the pharmaceutical industry has many options of drugs that aid to reduce the cholesterol level.  In addition, a diet that emphasizes low cholesterol foods and reduced saturated fats is a must.  The internet, physicians’ offices, and health clinics usually offer good tips on how to develop good eating habits and how to cook healthy foods without compromising flavor.  Also, lifestyle changes possibly are often necessary, such as limiting alcohol intake and smoking cessation.  With careful management, we can still enjoy a desirable diet and at the same time improve our cholesterol levels.

From Pastor William D. Leitch

Tell me about a time you encountered God in your life!  Sometimes there are such unbelievable events in our lives that we think, “No one will believe this!”  Too many times, I believe that folks never share those strange events because it seems too trivial and that it really doesn’t count as an encounter with God.

Let me encourage you to tell your story because even the most bizarre stories can be conversation prompts that give you permission to speak of your faith.

Many of you have already heard my John 3:16 story, but if you have not, let me tell you how I use it:

My father bought a John Deere 316 around 1980.  He mowed three acres every week for about twenty years; then I inherited the tractor.  The bearings were worn, I was having charging problems, and I thought it would be a good idea to sell it and get a new tractor.

Then my neighbor asked me during his son’s high school graduation party, “Did you buy your tractor because you are a pastor?”  I responded, “Duh? What?”  He replied, “Because it’s a John 316!”

I never gave it a thought before.  My Dad and I never gave it a thought!  But now, I couldn’t sell my John 316.  I trouble shot the electrical problem and fixed that.  I replaced all the mower deck bearings.  This spring, it was time to clean and repaint the scratches and scuffs.

I pulled the fenders, hood, and side panels off.

I cleaned and scrubbed off all the built up dirt.  After painting the fenders, hood, and side panels with John Deere Green, I reinstalled them.  Thus, the resurrection of “John 316”!!!


So, what use is a silly story like this?  Well, I use it to start a conversation.  I call this a “Faith Flag”.  Many laugh because they know John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

Some hesitate, but give you “the look”.  You know “the look” – “Tell me more?”  Now you have permission to speak, and I tell them about the central belief of Christians, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

And that is all I do, unless they ask more or tell their faith story, then we go deeper into “Talking about Faith”.  Just to let you know how excited I am to teach people how to speak of faith, I actually finished this article 11 days before it was due.  Now I should check the AED in case Lynn Golen has a heart attack.


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.


Camp Frederick Events…Saturday, June 8, 7:30 am, Camp Frederick’s 7th Annual Wilderness 5k Trail Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk.  Every dollar raised helps send kids to camp.  Registration opens at 7:30 am, race and fun walk begin at 9:00 am.  Cost:  5k timed race (pre-register $20; at event $25), fun walk (pre-register $10; at event $15).  The first 100 people to register for either event will receive a free T-shirt.  There will be awards for both male and female participants.  Register online at  If you have any questions about either event, please contact the camp office at the 6996 Millrock Rd., Rogers, OH  44455, phone:  330-227-3633, fax:  330-227-9005, or