From the Pastor, William D. Leitch

We start the month of November with All Saints Sunday.  We remember all the saints who have gone before us.  But let’s take a moment to ponder, what is a saint?

In the Lutheran church, we understand that we are all “saints” and “sinners”.  We are not all good and we are not all bad; however, we know that we are made worthy by what Christ has already done.  We focus on what God calls us to be and to do.  We lift up the example that each and every one of us has been that would inspire others to live faithfully.

We just celebrated and recognized over a dozen saints at the Valley Legacy Awards Banquet in October.  All of them were inspiring.  When we focus on the light of Christ that shines from each of us, I find that we tend to focus more on Christ and less on those things that would distract us.

I caution you all, again, do not think that the little things you do are not worth much.  Remember the “young girl”, a slave, who showed mercy, shared a vision that would actually work, and resulted in the cure of her master’s leprosy.  That powerful, wealthy, egotistical commander was more than healed.  He was transformed like a “young boy” with a vision to care for others and to see God, like the “young girl”.  That is what the light of Christ is.  It is transforming, and you hold that light.

As we work together with St. Paul and Prince of Peace to build up our youth, we have witnessed very powerful moments and witnessed God’s presence in this effort.  A group of young children from the neighborhood were invited to come in and eat supper before the older kids started their program and lesson that night.  Some would not have had supper at their home.  They were thankful.  Still, some were so energetic that their thankfulness was not apparent, and they needed to go home so we could start working with the older youth.  It was getting dark and one boy, who was a bit more mature than the others, wanted to stay and learn with the others.  Darlene sat outside with him for an hour and she taught him stories from the Bible.  She empowered him to share what stories he knew a bit about.  He will soon turn 12 years old, and Pr. Ann Marie officially invited him to join us starting the very next class.  This young boy had the courage to persist and we were all joyfully changed.  Thank you, Darlene!

At the end of the month, we will again remember who this Christ is.  Christ is the King!  And Christ will change 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 (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church

 

 

 

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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, November 7, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Put a Little Sparkle in Your Holidays” 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, November 3.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Bingo at NSOV Update…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to and/or assisted with the Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on October 23.  The residents thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

 

Thanksgiving Food Baskets…The Outreach Committee will again be giving out Thanksgiving Food Baskets.  If you know of someone in need of a Thanksgiving Food Basket, please call the church office to get signed up as soon as possible.  The Outreach Committee is asking for monetary donations to purchase turkeys and grocery shopping lists are posted on the Outreach Bulletin Board.  We will also need 30 brown grocery bags, if you happen to have any you would like to donate.  Please turn in your monetary and grocery donations no later than Sunday, November 10.  Please make your checks payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church and mark “Food Baskets” in the memo portion.  You may put your check in the offering plate or mail it to the church office.  Distribution of the Thanksgiving Food Baskets will be on Friday, November 22, from 9:00 am until noon.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

 

Angel Tree…We can help make Christmas a special time for area children.  Our Angel Tree will be up on Sunday, December 8.  Stop by the tree, choose an angel, sign them out, and have fun shopping!  We will have 20 children to buy for.  All gifts must be returned UNWRAPPED by Sunday, December 15, with the angel tag attached.  If you have any questions, please contact Tootie Rogers.  If you are unable to be in church on December 8 and would like to participate, please call Tootie and she will mail you an angel.

 

Christmas Caroling…Council would like to have the choir and congregation members engage in Christmas caroling.  Before we decide where we will be caroling and on what date, we would like to see how many are interested.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the main bulletin board or speak with Judy Shaffer.

From the Worship Committee Chairperson, Meghan Miller

Hanging of the Greens…Hanging of the Greens will take place on Saturday, November 23, at 9:00 am.  All are welcome to attend!

Worship Assistants…I want to thank everyone for their continued assistance in worship duties and I look forward to 2020.  I am working on the worship duties for 2020 and want to continue to work with members of the church to ensure worship duties are fulfilled.  Any member who is currently assisting in worship I will continue to utilize unless otherwise specified.  We also welcome new worship assistants at any time.  Please contact Meghan Miller if you are interested in assisting in any of the worship duties.

From Pastor William D. Leitch

Through the month of October, we will hear encouragement from our Scriptures to have faith, pray, be connected with God, examine ourselves to ensure we don’t block out God’s response to us, and to open our eyes and see how God always keeps his word to us.

First, we will reflect on how powerful faith is.  It might not seem like much, but it keeps us focused and alert to God’s calling and presence in our lives

Second, the forgiveness we receive in the waters of Baptism and in the Body and Blood of Christ are so healing and empowering.  Again, it may seem impossible in our current situations, or we may be impatient and just want God to fix us so we can continue doing what we do.  If we continue doing our thing and fail to get our focus back to God, we might find our journey a bit rough.  However, adjust your azimuth according to what God commands and things might get better sooner.  Yes, when we are off target, it might seem that God is asking us to come the long way back.  Uh, no, God is giving us the shortcut; we are the ones who made the journey long and hard.

Third, repentance is not just a formality that we say and go back to our old ways.  True repentance requires some work and change.  At our first Youth Group session this fall, we had the youth pair up and pass a ping-pong ball on the paddle to their partner without “dropping the ball”.  Needless to say, no one could do it that night.  I asked them whose fault it was, and one of them always accepted the blame.  I asked the other why they didn’t speak up to blame their partner?  They said they didn’t want to shame or hurt the other and that they probably would have failed also.  They realized that they didn’t know everything, and they needed to learn more together with their partner.  Wow!  They made that lesson easy for me.  The challenge:  practice this with your brothers and sisters, husband and wife, parents and children.

I pray that through Bible Studies, worship, and working together that we will all grow in faith and be empowered to share the Good News.

 

From the Northeastern Ohio Synod – Bishop Allende’s Retirement Announcement…

September 9, 2019

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”  So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.  Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.   [Genesis 12:1, 4]

Dear People of God of the Northeastern Ohio Synod,

Greetings in the name of our crucified and risen Savior Jesus Christ!

I write to announce that I will retire as Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod at the end of my current term on August 31, 2020.  I will not stand for re-election at the 2020 synod assembly.

I am making this announcement now to allow adequate time for preparation for the process of electing a bishop, to allow me to discuss it openly as I travel around the synod, and so that you will have sufficient time to pray, to engage in open conversation together, and then to discern whom God is preparing to be your next bishop.

Five years ago, the Holy Spirit spoke and called me as your bishop.

The memory of that day will forever be indelibly etched in my brain.  I vividly recall when the election results were announced.  The assembly stood, the thunderous applause rang like cannon blasts in my ears, and I sat there among you, stunned and rendered nearly speechless.

Words cannot sufficiently express the joy, honor, and gratitude I feel for having had the opportunity to lead and guide you on Christ’s behalf, to pray for you, and to learn from you for the past five years.

However, in the rapidly-changing mission field around us, I believe that it is time for a fresh perspective and new leadership and imagination to carry this work forward in the face of never-ending challenges.

I have often read the words of God’s call to Abram in the above passage as if it were my story.  But every story has a conclusion and I believe it is time to begin writing the final chapter of this blessed call.

In the meantime, we still have nearly a year to continue the work we have begun.  I pray that this may be a time of joy and hope as we live toward living out our common mission into God’s future.

We end our Vespers (Evening Prayer) with the following prayer, which is fitting for this occasion:

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Peace and blessings,
Bishop Abraham Allende

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, October 3, in the Activity Room. We will be making 4 cards. The theme is “Wet and Wonderful Fall” 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, September 29. If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Mission Endowment Fund Committee Chairperson, Michael Taiclet

Greetings from the Mission Endowment Fund Committee.  I apologize for not making this announcement sooner.  It was to be in last month’s newsletter, however due to my busy schedule between work, home, and here at church, plus being on vacation, I completely forgot to submit an article for last month.  What a summer!  It was tiring, but great!  I recommend anyone who hasn’t seen Mt. Rushmore to go and see it.  It is breathtaking!  Well, not only because of its spectacular views, but because of all the stairs you must climb from the parking garage to get to the entrance of the memorial and from all the stairs you must climb on the Presidential Trail.  Ha ha!  If anyone would like to see pictures or a video of the lighting ceremony, please let me know.  I would be glad to share.  And don’t get me started about the ice cream.  It is unbelievable!  I would go back just to get some more.  It is made from the original recipe for ice cream created by Thomas Jefferson.  Now I am sounding like my Dad because I am giving out a history lesson.  Sorry!  Anyway, I hope everyone had a great summer like I did!  Now, to the reason for this article.  I am pleased to announce this year’s 2019 MEF Award winner.  And the winner is…the Howland Backpack Program.  The date is set!  The 23rd Annual MEF Sunday will take place on October 13, 2019, the second Sunday in October.  The award presentation will take place during both services.  There will also be a time for Fellowship in between services.  Come and see the special display presented by the Howland Backpack Program that will showcase the Howland Backpack Program and what they do.  Come and learn about what they do, why they do it, and how our contribution will be utilized.  To find out more information on this program, you can check out their website at www.howlandumc.com/grow-serve/tiger-food.  Again, here is the itinerary for the 23rd Annual MEF Sunday (October 13):  8:00 am – Early Service with Award Presentation and Holy Communion; 9:00 am – Adult Forum & Sunday School; 9:15 am – Fellowship with a special feature on display; 9:45 am – Choir Practice; 10:30 am – Late Service with Award Presentation and Holy Communion. And in other news, I am also still looking for names for our next award.  If you know of any group/organization that may benefit from our award, please notify me or any member of the MEF Committee (Michael Taiclet, Missy LaRock, Ronda Leitch, Tootie Rogers, Lamar Shoemaker, or Pastor Bill).  We are looking for names to have by our next meeting in late November.  I look forward to seeing you all on MEF Sunday, October 13!  If you have any questions, you may contact me via email at computergeek752@gmail.com or leave a message in my mailbox at the church.

 

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Community Meal Update…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who assisted with the Community Meal at Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Friday, September 20.  We served approximately 125 people in our community.

 

Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee will be hosting Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, October 23, 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.  The Outreach Committee has received funding from the Fuchs Fund to purchase Bingo prizes.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

 

Thanksgiving Food Baskets…The Outreach Committee will again be giving out Thanksgiving Food Baskets.  If you know of someone in need of a Thanksgiving Food Basket, please call the church office to get signed up as soon as possible (before Sunday, November 3).  The Outreach Committee is asking for monetary donations to purchase turkeys and grocery shopping lists are posted on the Outreach Bulletin Board.  We will also need 30 brown grocery bags, if you happen to have any you would like to donate.  Please turn in your monetary and grocery donations no later than Sunday, November 10.  Please make your checks payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church and mark “Food Baskets” in the memo portion.  You may put your check in the offering plate or mail it to the church office.  Distribution of the Thanksgiving Food Baskets will be on Friday, November 22, from 9:00 am until noon.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.