The hours for the food pantry are the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7:00pm.  We are so blessed to have Roxy Uhlich taking care of it!  She has been managing the pantry on a volunteer basis for many, many years!  If you know someone who is in need of food and can’t get to the pantry on the designated days, please have them call the church office or Pastor Sandy. 


Why do we eat wafers or bread and wine or grape juice during worship every month?  This is a good question that deserves an answer.  Holy Communion instruction is so important for everyone, especially for young people.  In order to appreciate what this holy meal is all about, the young people of our parish are encouraged to take instruction before receiving their First Communion, thus getting a better understanding of the reason why we celebrate Holy Communion each month.  We will be having First Communion Classes for young people in the 5th grade, or for those who haven’t yet received Holy Communion instruction but would like to. 

This class will be a two-part class:
Part 1 for students will be held on Wednesday, January 18th,  at 4 p.m.
Part 2 will be held on Wednesday, January 25th, at 7pm.  PLEASE NOTE the times for each class. 

Parents and/or family members are asked to come and be a part of this class on the 25th.  We will be baking bread for the students’ First Communion on that day! Please bring a cookie sheet and a cup of flour on that evening. The students’ first communion is planned for Sunday, January 29th, but if this is a problem for some families, we can schedule a different day! We’ll talk about this on the 25th.   

First Trinity United Ministry News:

Thank you is what keeps coming to mind as I think about what I should write for this January article.  Thank you for the Christmas concerts both young and old.  Thank you for the Sunday School programs.  Thank you for the wonderful potlucks and fellowship.  But mostly I want to thank you for your willingness to participate in the mid-week family Advent gatherings.  This was a stretch for all – including Pastors Steve and Sandy.  It was one more added activity to an already busy season.  But what a wonderful way to prepare our hearts and homes for the birth of Jesus.  Through simple meals of cold sandwiches, slush burgers and hot dogs, simple crafts like paper chains, handmade Christmas cards or Christmas ornaments made from popsicle sticks stories were shared and members connected in ways a normal Sunday doesn’t allow.  Through singing silly songs and cheesy skits, we laughed and learned together across the generations.  But the most wonderful part for me was seeing people praying together during the closing devotion time.  There is something very beautiful about Advent candles and the light they shine.  There is something very beautiful in hearing the whispers of prayers being shared.  Sure, there was discomfort and embarrassment in doing something different, something that seemed childlike but perhaps that was the beauty…. We fed that inner child that never grows up within our hearts and souls.   

As we ring in the new year my hope is that this past Advent season will cause you to pause and consider what God might be calling you to do in the new year.  My hope is that as you say good bye to the guests and loved ones and begin packing up the Christmas decorations that you might set aside one ornament or decoration to help you remember that God sent his beloved Son for you and for me out of love.  Remember it.  Expect something miraculous because of it.  Invite it. Share it. 

Grace and Peace,            Deacon Jodi

Date                                                               Usher & Money Counter Assistant

January 1st -------------------------------Dean & Desiree Hanson
January 8th ------------------------------ Marlyn & Debbie Jorstad
January 15th -----------------------------Don & Sharon Zacharias
January 22nd ----------------------------4-56 Club

Council Money Counter and Communion Assistant forJanuary:  Hazel Iverson
Communion Preparation for January:  Romell Lawson

January ~ 2017

Dear Friends in Christ ~ Happy New Year!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13

“Peace” is a word that is tossed about a lot in our world, especially as we enter a new year. We desire “world” peace we seek “inner” peace; all we want is a little “peace and quiet,” etc. And as we celebrated the entry of God into the world as a tiny baby in a manger, we heard angels sing out “Peace to all people on earth!” and we heard a title for Jesus: “Prince of Peace.” So ~ what does peace really mean? Well, here’s a couple thoughts, first from Mother Teresa:

“We have a right to be happy and peaceful. We have been created for this ~ we are born to be happy ~ and we can only find true happiness and peace when we are in love with God: there is joy in loving God, great happiness in loving Him. . . Works of love are always works of peace. Whenever you share love with others, you’ll notice the peace that comes to you and to them.” 
When a group of children ages 5-11 were asked what peace is, here are just a few of their responses:  Peace is…
 ~ a wish that grows around the world; at least one hug a day
~  everyone feeling music in their hearts; having fun and being kind
~  everyone having someone to love; helping people in need
~  everyone knowing they are in a safe place; everyone having an education
~  everyone knowing they are beautiful inside and out
~  everyone playing sports instead of going to war
~  happiness for all, peace on Earth and pizza for all people
~  being kissed goodnight; every child having a family; everyone having good food.

Peace seems hard to even imagine in these days when it seems there are terrorist attacks and political upheaval and fear of some kind around every corner. Peace doesn’t just HAPPEN. But peace CAN happen. We can be part of making it happen in our world, one person, one relationship at a time. It comes with changes in attitudes and hearts. Easy? No. The world has longed for peace since Cain killed Abel (check out Genesis 4 in the Bible for the story!). But if we each work for peace in our little corner of the world, it can spread and spread and spread. As one of my favorite songs says: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!

Working for peace with you in the New Year!
Pastor Sandy

PS:    Dear Friends, thank you for the well-wishes, greetings and gifts during this Christmas season! You warmed our hearts even as the frigid temperatures lurked outside! God bless you for your kindness and love!

                   ~ Pastor Sandy & Pastor Steve 

Currently we are in the process of creating a parish webpage and will be updating our church Facebook page.  We believe that photographs are an important part of sharing the ministry of our congregations and want to include everyone as much as possible. Who knows? You or a family member may be in one of the photos as we take pictures at congregational events! If you do not want a photo of you or your children used please contact Nicole Skabo at the church office by phone(664-2824) and if no one answers please leave her a message or she can be reached at: . Thanks for letting us know your wishes. 


First Lutheran Council Meeting
December 13, 2016

First Lutheran W-ELCA
December 2016

We would like to keep in touch with your son or daughter through the newsletter!  If they are living elsewhere ~ working or going to college or whatever ~  and would like to receive the newsletter, please call the church office with their address so they can be put on the mailing list.


O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Edna Miller. Edna passed away on November 30th. Her funeral was held at First Lutheran on December 5th.

Members Present:  Candice Wenger, Richard Schmidt, Neil Olson, Pastor Sandy, Jodi Lorenz, Nancy Torgerson. Guests: Sarah and Shane Moe.
Call to Order:  Vice President Richard Schmidt called the meeting to order.  It was determined that a quorum was not present so the meeting was determined unofficial.
Pastor Sandy led us in devotions and distributed Holy Communion.
Secretary’s Report:  Report was reviewed.
Financial Report:  None
Pastor’s Report:  Pastor Sandy will be gone January 1st, 2017. Diana and Wayne  Evans to lead in worship.
Deacon’s Report:  The Advent Services that are being held on Wednesday evenings have been well attended. The 4-56 Disciples from Tioga, Ray and Epping have gotten together a couple more times. They have had a lot of fun.
Committee Reports:
Education Committee: The Sunday School program will be Sunday, December 18 during church services.
Evangelism Committee
Property Management Committee:  Property Management is checking on getting the video camera going again. They are still working on getting the heating pipes insulated also.
Stewardship Committee: The fund raising for the Feed My Starving Children is going well.
Worship Committee:  Christmas Eve Worship, 9pm Saturday, December 24th.
Old Business: The plans for the parsonage renovation are still a go as soon as the contractors can come after the first of the year.
New Business: There will be a Christmas Day Worship Service on Sunday, December 25th at 10:30am. Installation of Council members is Sunday, January 8th, 2017. The Annual Meeting Part 2 will be January 22, 2017. Please have the Committee reports in to Nicole on or before January 10th, 2017.

The next council meeting will be January 10th, 2017
There was no further business so the meeting was adjourned.

We closed by praying the Lord’s Prayer.              Nancy Torgerson, Acting Secretary

Take And Eat; Take And Drink ~
               ~ A Gift from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark your calendar for First Lutheran’s Annual Meeting Part 2, to be heldSunday, January 22nd.   We will have worship and then the Annual Meeting, followed by a great potluck!  You are encouraged to look over the Annual Report which will be mailed to you before that time so that you can bring any questions you may have to the meeting.  Of course, we have to have food at any good Lutheran event, so please bring something to share at our potluck if you are able! 

Please note:  Those of you who are preparing reports for the booklet need to get them in no later than January 9th. Thanks for your consideration!

Info for everyone! Check it out!

CONFIRMATION STUDENTS AND PARENTS/FAMILY MEMBERS should be having a lot of fun about now as they spend time together on the workbook! Please note that we will meet again on February 8th to talk about the process AND have a test on the Explanation to Article One of the Apostles’ Creed. When you meet during January, why not practice the scripture together so the student will ace the test!

“First & Trinity Lutheran Parish, ELCA”
We will be posting information about activities in and around our parish, so take a look!  We also have a “Confirmation Bulletin” group and a “First Lutheran 9-12" group!Type your paragraph here.

First Lutheran will be revising the prayer chain calling list. We need people who are willing to take part in this. Please contact the office if you would be interested in being on that list.


Congratulations to all that were baptized at First Lutheran at the end of November and December!! Ryder Dean Claycomb, son of Ryan and Taylor Claycomb;Aubrey RayAnne Vejtasa, daughter of Justin and Kaytlin Vejtasa; Scarlett Lynne Pachel, daughter of Matt and Jessie Pachel; and Crosby Clinton Gustafson, son of Steven and Christine Gustafson. God’ blessings on each of them as they start their faith journey!

Trinity’s Council has voted to have worship on the first and third Sundays of the month. Because Pastor Sandy will be gone during the first Sundays of January and February, Holy Communion will be on the third Sundays of those months. In March, Holy Communion will resume on the first Sunday. There will be no worship at our building on other Sundays during the months of January, February, and March. 

Please know that you are warmly welcome to worship at your sister congregation, First Lutheran, on those Sundays we don’t have worship at Trinity.  Worship there is at 10:30 a.m. (Coffee pot is on around 10!). 

Our God is not in a building, but can be worshiped anywhere!  It is God’s purpose that we come together in Christian community to worship God and support one another.  Come, let us worship ~ in our own building when we can, and with our brothers and sisters in Christ elsewhere when we can’t!

The meeting was called to order by President Linda Holmen.  Also attending the meeting were Diana Thomson, Kim Longie, Arlene Grubb, Jodi Lorenz, and Pastor Sandy.

  • Prayer was led by Pastor.
  • This was an unofficial meeting since a quorum was not met.
  • The minutes were read.  The Treasurer's report was reviewed briefly.
  • Notice that the spaghetti feed and pie auction went well.
  • Discussion on the Pastor's office remodel.
  • Disbursement of funds will be done next month.  A new coffee pot (100 cup) is needed in the kitchen.
  • Worship circle will serve at the potluck after the Sunday School program on Dec. 18.  There was discussion on various potlucks that are held throughout the year.
  • Discussion on TV in the fellowship hall and the speakers in the fellowship hall.
  • Upcoming dates to remember are Circle meeting Jan. 4, 2017 at 1:00 with Board meeting to follow at 2:00 p.m.
  • Messenger Deadline December 22; Folding Dec. 29 with Honor circle.
  • Meeting adjourned with the Lord's Prayer.

Arlene Grubb, Acting Secretary