Page 1



GOOD NEWS! J U N E 2 0 15 All of this and more on the web at SEE ALSO...

    


Summer Schedule Blood Drive

s we make our way into summer at First Lutheran, the garden has been planted, which will eventually provide fresh produce for the local food basket. A robust veterans’ ministry is underway among us, which had its first success story in May when a veteran in need came for a handout but received far more support than he could have hoped for: a new ID was arranged, his food supply was secured, his debts were organized and his benefits were confirmed. Our Teen Clothes Closet is preparing to relaunch as posters, leaflets and lots of other publicity will invite area teens in need to worry about one less thing as they can come to our house and see what clothes they like.

In July our middle schoolers will be sent on a mission trip to Louisville, KY, while the high schoolers make their way to Detroit for the National Youth Gathering. Our parents will continue sharing stories and wisdom through ParentShare as their kids will take a break from regular Sunday School, but still have the opportunity to learn about God through VeggieTales. In August we will recognize our volunteers, and we’ll explore Everest for Vacation Bible School. And yet with all that we are planning for and with all that God has in store for us throughout the summer, I feel it is necessary to offer attention and further explanation to the decision our Vision & Leadership Team made in May to permit same-gender weddings at First Lutheran. In

the process of the team’s discernment, we read every response to the survey and gave thoughtful consideration to how members answered “why is your response yes/no/ undecided”, “What questions do you have for God pertaining to this decision?” and “What additional thoughts or questions do you have for the V&L Team at this time?” Continues on page 2

With all that we are planning for and with all that God has in store for us throughout the summer, I feel it is necessary to offer attention and further explanation to the decision our Vision & Leadership Team made in May.



ast month I shared with you some reflections on one of my favorite paintings: Jackson Pollock’s Greyed Rainbow. What at first glance looks like a violent mess of black and white actually hides the colors of the rainbow. This particular painting has become incredibly meaningful to me as I make my way through this life, endeavoring to be faithful to my God because it speaks a truth about this life that is sometimes hard to admit. Here is the connection then that I make to my God as I prayed through my reactions to this particular painting that compels me to visit it each time I am at the Art Institute: life is chaotic and barely in our control, even when we do everything

right and there is no way to get through it without pain. That is the truth of it. Always. However, God sent Jesus. Not to make everything squeaky clean and miraculously make sense, but to assure us of his love. To be light to the world of darkness. To shine through the chaos and remind us that we are loved and never alone. It may seem like most of us have it together, that we don’t struggle: it is an easy image to project, but we know that we each carry our own darkness, our own struggle with us. God through Christ reminds us that he is present with us in those moments even if we can’t see the light in the midst of the darkness.


7 Finance Committee Report 8 Announcements

5 6 7

La Crosse Area Synod: Lost & Found Christian Concert, The Best Sunday School Ever

Continues on page 3

Preschool Looking for Assistant Teacher

Holy Land Trip

Small Group Ministry

First Lutheran Foundation Report



New Veterans Ministry

Handahl & Levinger Recital

10 Serve & Give 11 Preschool Update 12 Vacation Bible School

VeggieTales Summer

13 Young Youth 14 Quick Add Events / QR Codes

FROM PASTOR STANTON, We weighed the wisdom of studying the question further vs. making a decision now. It was a difficult conclusion to a challenging process that has come to unfortunately dominate the faith life of our congregation. Many factors contributed to the process, our individual discernments and the timing of our decision. Below, I’ve included a number of the most common questions and comments we read which, when answered, I hope will clarify the Vision and Leadership Team’s actions.

FIRST, A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE SURVEY RESPONSES We received 137 responses. Yes: 92 (67%), No: 37 (27%), Undecided: 8 (6%). You may remember the congregation was invited to offer their response to a similar question in February… “Regarding the subject of same-gender marriage, I consider myself to be… welcoming and affirming (61%), welcoming but uncertain (15%), welcoming but not affirming (11%), not welcoming and not affirming (12%).” Those numbers were based on 249 responses. In preparation for our May retreat, the V&L Team contacted every single ‘no’ responder who signed their response in an effort to gain as much insight into their viewpoint as possible. NOW, FOR A FEW OF THE COMMENTS WE READ “Yes. The Church should be a welcoming and nurturing place for all people regardless of … their sexual orientation.” “No. Marriage is between one man and one woman.” “Yes. Jesus teaches about love. If I am wrong, I would like to be making an error for the sake of love, acceptance and inclusion.” “No. If the Bible condemns homosexuality, why would it condone same-gender marriage?”



“Yes. If we do not do [these weddings] I will go to another church.” “No. I will have to leave this church if you let this take place.” “Yes. This shouldn’t be a question.” “No. This shouldn’t be a question.” AS FOR SOME OF THE QUESTIONS… Why are we rushing this process? The Vision and Leadership Team have been studying and praying about this decision for a year. The congregation has been invited to participate in learning opportunities since February. We recognize that some people feel like we rushed this decision but there are more in our congregation who feel like we have been dragging our feet. Vision and Leadership decided that now was a fair time to vote based on all the information at hand. Why aren’t we voting as a congregation? We learned from studying other congregations in their processes that congregational votes have a greater potential for dividing members against members and one of our greatest concerns as a leadership team is to have the least amount of division. Calling a vote is the fastest way to end the discussion. The Vision and Leadership Team wanted to encourage as much discussion as possible so they could discern whether the congregation was ready to move in one direction or the other. Since the responses were overwhelmingly in favor of doing same-gender weddings, we felt confident now is the time to vote as a Vision and Leadership Team, which saved the congregation from the burden of being forced to vote on a topic many feel illequipped and unwilling to answer. How can you consider this when the Bible says marriage is between a man and woman? For most of the Vision and Leadership Team members, the definition of marriage did not contribute toward our discernment as much as whether or not homosexuality is a sin. If homosexuals are born that way, what else

First Lutheran Church + Good News

June 2015

would God want them to do with their gift of sexuality than to share it in a Christ-like way in the highest form of relationship there is: marriage. We also do not believe the Bible defines marriage by the gender of the two individuals but instead defines it by the level of commitment two individuals make to each other. Marriage, in my opinion, is defined by the vows, not body parts. Does this decision include non member weddings? We have found that requiring membership for weddings simply makes some people become members of First Lutheran in a less than genuine way so that they can simply get married. Once they’re married, we never see them again. So this requirement has been counterproductive in the past and wouldn’t help in this circumstance either. Do we have to call this “marriage”? Marriage is the most accountable way of two people living out a mutual monogamous consensual lifelong relationship. We believe it is appropriate to call the same-gender union a marriage. Are these weddings going to take place at the altar? We do not want to create two classes of Christians with one who is allowed to be married at the altar and another who is not. If we are going to do same-gender weddings, they need to be done in front of the altar. Will same sex couples have the same premarital requirements? Yes. How should we help and support those who disagree with the final decision? This was my favorite question. As I write this, we are just five days out from announcing the decision, and I have already met with or talked to dozens of people who are either 1) really mad or 2) really excited. And yet, in the midst of all the emotions that inevitably accompany a decision like this, I have seen our members care for each other. I saw no smugness on the faces of those who agree with the decision, and those

who are upset are bringing their anger to the appropriate places (me and the V&L Team rather than simply complaining behind our backs). The greatest help and support that can be offered to those who disagree— which is a substantial percentage!—is to keep inviting and including everyone to your small group, your committee or team. If you notice someone has been absent from worship for a while, give them a call. If you sense disappointment in someone you know, ask to hear them out. Genuine Christ-centered relationships will survive this episode of our life together. But it may require some awkward or difficult moments. I know I’ve already had a few of these moments. I invite you to share!

Pastor Jason Stanton


In the messy, gray, violent world we live in we are the voice of hope to those who have no hope. We are the embodiment of Christ, loving the unloved.

There is the hope. The hope that we cling to: that there is light, always. Paul reminds us in Romans that not a single one of us is worthy to be called righteous in front of God. Not a single one of us. Except for the actions of Jesus. It is through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we are brought into the love and hope and grace and mercy of God and finally able to be called righteous. Our faith in Jesus, a beautiful gift of God, grounds us and gives us peace. It also brings us into community with all the faithful. Together we make our way through this life. That is what is also so compelling about Greyed Rainbow. Not only does it speak the truth about the human condition and God’s response to it in our individual lives, but it speaks the truth of the body of Christ. We, together, as the baptized, loved and claimed children of God are then made a part of the story of God’s love in the world. We carry with us the light of the world, we shine this light so that the “God colors” of the world are seen.

In the messy, gray, violent world we live in we are the voice of hope to those who have no hope. We are the embodiment of Christ, loving the unloved. The body of Christ, the community of the faithful, is more than a group of people who worship together occasionally. It is the lost and lonely walking with the other lost and lonely remind each other that we are not either of those things because of the actions of Jesus. Together we weep with one another and celebrate with one another and grow with one another and pray with one another and study with one another and laugh and cry and play and rejoice and struggle and live. No one left alone, no one left unsure of their worth. It is a powerful thing we do together. I’m not sure that all of this was what Jackson had in mind when he was slinging paint all over this particular canvas but that isn’t what art is about. It is about a coming together of the artist’s gift and the observer’s soul and mind to bring about emotion and greater understanding. Not all paintings will evoke such powerful emotions or understanding; there is one just around the corner from Greyed Rainbow that I am boggled by and consider quite silly, but that is a reaction too, isn’t it? However, art offers to us another way to encounter God and to encounter ourselves in a way that we maybe hadn’t considered before. I would like to invite you once again to explore a piece of art that evokes a response for you (you don’t have to like it at first) and sit with it for a while, consider why you are having the response you are having and pray through it. See what you and God come up with and then share it with us so that we may grow too. Blessings on your journey.

Pastor Karyn Bodenschatz

Pin this to your fridge, near your calendar, or wherever you need reminders!

WEDNESDAY WORSHIP CONTINUES! Busy summer and difficult to make it to worship on Sunday? Or just want an additional opportunity to worship midweek? “Meet us in the middle!” On Wednesdays at 6:30pm we will meet for worship, with fellowship & dessert after each service.


Blood Drive, Thur., July 9, 12:30–5:30 pm Come for Supper, Tues., July 28 at Our Savior’s Lutheran, La Crosse WI For more opportunities visit



Courageous Men’s Group Wednesdays, 6am, at the house

Middle School Mission Trip to Louisville Sun. July 26–Fri. August 1

Coffee with Pastor Karyn Wednesdays, 6:30am, Onalaska Perkins

Sugar Creek Golf Tournament Fundraiser Mon., July 27, Drugan’s Castle Mound

Baptismal Prep Sat., June 6, 10am

Baptismal Prep Sat., August 1, 10am

Lost & Found Christian Concert Fri., June 12, 7pm, Riverside Park

Vacation Bible School Sun.–Thur., August 2–6

Confirmation Camp Sun.–Fri., June 14–19

Volunteer Appreciation Picnic Sunday, August 16, noon–2pm

Young Youth Trip to Wisconsin Dells Fri., June 19

Confirmation Kick-off Sat., September 12

Sugar Creek Golf Tournament Fundraiser Mon., June 22, Viroqua Hills Golf Course

Sugar Creek Quilt Auction Sat., September 12

Young Youth’s Sugar Creek Explorer Day Mon., June 29

Dakota Road in Concert! Sat., September 12

OWLs Fly to Taliesin Wed., July 1, 8am–4:30pm

First Fest / Rally Sunday Sun., September 13

National Youth Gathering Wed. July 15–Sun. July 19

410 Main St, Onalaska WI 54650 • 608.783.2236 Up-to-date information on the web



Imagine the LIVES touched by yours. Without blood donation, Greg would not be able to see his kids grow up. He received eight units of blood and 10 units of platelets to treat his acute lymphocytic leukemia. Without the transfusions, Greg wouldn’t have been able to complete the chemotherapy needed for a bone marrow transplant. Now in remission, Greg and his wife, Roberta, are enjoying quality time with their children and look forward to growing old together.

Blood Drive First Lutheran Church - Onalaska Barbecue sandwiches and dessert will be served.

Thursday, July 9, 2015 Thursday, November 8, 2012 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.p.m. 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 Fellowship Hall - 410 Main St.

To schedule your appointment, please call Sara Larkin at 781-0745 or go online to Appointments encouraged. Walk-ins welcome. Please bring a photo ID

1-877-BE-A-HERO |

Friday evening and Sunday morning open to ALL MEMBERS of the synod!

Come “Walk the Word” with us! FRIDAY, JUNE 12 Riverside Park, downtown La Crosse 6 pm - Come early, bring a picnic — Follow the “Walk the Word” trail to encounter our assembly theme. 7 pm - “Lost and Found” concert; have your blanket or chairs set up near the bandshell for this FREE, opento-the-public concert (free-will offering taken to cover event expenses) Request list of parking sites—608.788.5000. Rain Venue—La Crosse Central High School, 1801 Losey Blvd, auditorium

SUNDAY, JUNE 14 Lunda Center, Western Technical College 319 7th St N, - parking available in ramp along La Crosse St, entrance off 8th St. 8:15 am — Opening message, ELCA Rep., Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman 9 & 10 am — The Best Sunday School Ever! (each workshop session offered twice)

Festival Sending Worship — done by 1 pm “SUNDAY SCHOOL” WORKSHOPS will focus on How Congregations Do Advocacy — ”Walking the Word” in your unique setting Presentations include doing food truck ministry, environmental advocacy, the politics of water, how to have civil conversations, how the church does political advocacy, how to have conversations w/ community leaders, immigration reform, how to take these issues back to your congregation and more!


partners such as The Lutheran Devastating images and stories are World Federation (LWF), Lutheran coming out of Nepal following a World Relief, and the ACT Alliance 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April who are already on the ground. 25. Sections of Kathmandu, the LWF’s office in Kathmandu escaped nation’s capital, and surrounding areas lie in rubble. More than 3,500 the worst of the impact of the quake people have lost their lives, and the and has already launched a largenumber continues to rise as officials scale emergency response. make their way through rural communities. Historic buildings and Your gifts are needed now. Every houses have been leveled; roads are gift designated to the “Nepal Area destroyed. The need for food, water, Earthquake” through Lutheran In this eye-opening alternative tour Disaster Response willofbeIsrael used medical care, blankets and shelter and the West Bank, discover the powerful entirely – 100 percent – to help is great. thosefaith impacted the quake rebuild connection between and by practice while their livesBible. and livelihoods. Lutheran Disaster Response is the land exploring of the From the already actively networking glitteringwith gold domes and contested holy

Registration Deadline: Friday, June 5


sites of Jerusalem to the stark natural beauty of the Negev’s endangered ecosystems, join Yes, I want to help! two guides, one Arab and one Jewish, for a o Lutheran Disaster Response: Nepal Area Earthquake $__________ IDG0092 prayerful look at the religious, political and o Lutheran Disaster Response: Where Needed Mostthe region. $__________ economic issues facing This trip IDG0016 explores the Biblical themes of reconciliation Name and justice. Share in fellowship with local Address Christians, meditate on mountaintop outlooks, and build with City State relationships ZIP code families from the country’s Jewish, Muslim Email Address and Christian communities, in a tour that tackles the diffi questions of faith in a Make your check payable tocult Lutheran Disaster Response broken When: October 8–20, 2015. and give through your world. congregation or send your check directly to: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA Gifts Processing Center, Approximate cost: $3,500. P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009 and write “Nepal Area Earthquake” Forneeded moremost” information contact or “Where on your check’s memo line.

Pastor Karyn:




NEPAL AREA EARTHQUAKE APRIL 2015 Devastating images and stories are coming out of Nepal following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25. Sections of Kathmandu, the nation’s capital, and surrounding areas lie in rubble. More than 3,500 people have lost their lives, and the number continues to rise as officials make their way through rural communities. Historic buildings and houses have been leveled; roads are destroyed. The need for food, water, medical care, blankets and shelter is great. Lutheran Disaster Response is already actively networking with partners such as The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Lutheran World Relief, and the ACT Alliance who are already on the ground. LWF’s office in Kathmandu escaped the worst of the impact of the quake and has already launched a largescale emergency response. Your gifts are needed now. Every gift designated to the “Nepal Area Earthquake” through Lutheran Disaster Response will be used entirely – 100 percent – to help those impacted by the quake rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

Yes, I want to help! o Lutheran Disaster Response: Nepal Area Earthquake



o Lutheran Disaster Response: Where Needed Most



Name Address City


ZIP code

Email Address Make your check payable to Lutheran Disaster Response and give through your congregation or send your check directly to:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA Gifts Processing Center, P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009 and write “Nepal Area Earthquake” or “Where needed most” on your check’s memo line.

In the June issue In-home delivery begins Thursday, May 21

Taking charge. In The Lutheran’s June

Coming up ... • July cover story: Do adages such as “confession is good for the soul” still hold true?

SMALL GROUP MINISTRY “I could never be in a small group. I don’t know the Bible well enough.” ~ Anonymous multitudes


o you remember back when you were in confirmation? No, really. Think back. If you are like me, you have a few vague memories. Maybe you remember the retreat when the smoke from the fireplace backed up into the cabin and you had to evacuate, or you remember being nervous trying to memorize the Apostles Creed, quite sure you would never remember it all. Then you were confirmed and that was the end of your religious education. It’s not surprising then if you’ve forgotten most of what you learned about the Bible. You are not alone. I’m hoping that knowing you are not alone will help encourage you to take that step to join with a group of other congregation members to share your faith, grow your knowledge, have a group of people with whom you can share your doubts and frustrations. We all have doubts and questions. Being in a group of people that you’ve gotten to know is a great, safe place to share those doubts and be listened to and encouraged.


What does a small group look like? It is a group of usually 5-10 people who gather for 60-90 minutes. Depending on the group, the time spent together includes prayer, some sort of study or learning, discussion and a time to check in and talk about what is happening in each member’s life. The learning time can be a Bible study on a topic, such as letting go of stress, which incorporates scripture from the Bible. It can be a straight study on a particular book of the Bible. Or you can study ab event or topic that is in the news. There are many options. If you, or you and a friend are interested in starting a group, I can help you invite others, find a study resource and get you started. I am happy to help.

• Being nice: For Lutherans, it’s not enough. • Headed to Denver: What’s new at this year’s ELCA Youth Gathering? • No flamigos here: Gathering fundraiser uses toilets. • Assemblies: Report from the synod gatherings. • Sun power: Women of the ELCA helps Liberian hospital go solar.

Bridget Crave Director of Small Group Ministry

First Lutheran Church + Good News

• Guardian angel: Support for children in immigration court.

• August cover story: What’s the effect of declining worship attendance on congregational life and mission?

June 2015

issue, meet “10 under 40,” the young adults who are leading the church and changing the world. To help your discussion of the June cover story, visit www. for a study guide (click on “study guides” on the left-hand side).

The church & change. In her June column for The Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton reminds us that we aren’t “called to be the church of the past nor the church of the future, but to be the church right now.” We may not get it right all the time, but we don’t have to fret—that’s the freedom we have with God.

God’s work. Our hands. In the June issue of The Lutheran, see how congregations are at work in their communities: travel to California, where a church is “showering” blessings on the homeless … learn how soup brings together a diverse neighborhood … see how a congregation encourages people to retire with a purpose … and visit Texas, where a prison mission offers study, worship and a second chance.

Online. Visit The Lutheran’s website at for your research and study needs. Find more than 11,000 archived articles and over 400 study guides.

Subscribe today: Start a group plan to The Lutheran for as little as $8.95 per subscriber. Visit or call 800-328-4648.


We awarded the scholarships on April 27. The recipients are: Lexi Carl, Brandon Christnovich, Cody Hougom, Claire Lofold, Dakota Marcon, Kori Melby, Kalli Rasmussen, Mackenzie Robison, and Michael Ryan. They received $330 each. Two of our board members presented the awards at the local high school award nights. The Foundation Fund was established with gifts to enable further growth of our church, its ministries and stewardship. A maximum of 5% of the Fund’s assets may be spent in any year. Gifts of any size are welcome. Committee members: Glen Vilim, Allan Ohm, Patty Shephard, Angie Mutch, Christine Sander, Steve Thinnes, Michele Burton




$288,503.31 $261,410.21 $247,975.01


$200,000.00 Receipts Expenses



May got us off to good warm weather start with our trip to Winona on the trolley and a fun potluck showing old photographs and telling stories of summers past. A good time and great food was had by all. We will kick off June with the potluck one week earlier than usual. Out potluck will be on Wednesday, June 10, at noon in the fellowship hall. Our speaker for the program will be Gerald (Jerry) Bonsack a well-known photographer and environmental engineer in our area. Jerry recently returned from a cruise to Alaska, where he used some exciting new photographic techniques to capture the glaciers and landscapes. If you are a photographer you will be interested in the techniques Jerry uses to capture the images in his program. If you are a travel enthusiast, you can just sit back and enjoy the view with Jerry’s interesting insights. We will meet in the fellowship hall so we can view the presentation on the large screen. By popular request we will return to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin for our July outing. Many of you requested a return visit to tour the house. Among the most famous residences in the United States, Taliesin embodies Wright’s energy, technique and creative vision. The house stands as the

longest on going project of Wright’s career. The house tour guides you through rooms that Wright imagined and built, exploring the rich canvas he worked on every day of his life. You’ll experience the landscaped grounds, furnishings, collected objects and, of course, the building itself. To give us time to sign up the trip is scheduled for Wednesday, July 1. The cost of the tour is $45 for seniors. We will leave the church at 8am on July 1. After arriving in Spring Green, we will have an early lunch at a local establishment before taking our tour at noon. Lunch is on your own. We should be back at the church by 4:30. Please let Brian Narveson know as soon as you can if you plan to attend. He can be contacted at owls@ or 608-526-9700. Once our tour is sold out, no additions will be possible. Brian will buy tickets as soon as you commit. You can pay him the day of the trip. Just a reminder there will be no OWLs gathering in July. Our first event after June will be a potluck on Wednesday, August 5th. Please save the date. The OWLs are a group at First that welcomes anyone, First Lutheran members or not, who are 55+. For information or to ask questions, contact Brian Narveson at



$0.00 2015 Budgeted

The following is a financial summary through the end of April: Actual Receipts—$261,410.21 Budgeted Receipts—$282,373.32 Actual Expenses—$247,975.01 Budgeted Expenses—$288,503.31 Our total Receipts through the end of April fell short of the current year budgeted amount by $20,963.11. Our total Giving (Envelope Giving, Debt Reduction and other miscellaneous offerings) is down from last year’s total through this same period by $18,050.32 or 7.8% and falls short of our current year budgeted amount by $28,228.54 or 11.8%.

June 2015

2015 Actual

As noted above, our expenses are less than budgeted through the end of April by $40,528.30. A significant portion of this is a result of not filling positions that are currently in the budget. The remainder is due to the timing of certain expenses. In summary, we budgeted for a deficit of $6,129.99 through the end of April and have realized an actual surplus of $13,435.20. As always, full details of this report are available by request in the church office. Also, everyone is welcome to attend a finance committee meeting—we meet every month, on the second Wednesday at noon in the Thomas Room. Respectfully, Finance Committee

First Lutheran Church + Good News



ASSISTANT TEACHER Do you love kids? Do you want to work during the school district calendar and have summers and holidays off? Are you a stay at-home mom who wants to get out of the house for a couple of hours a day? First Lutheran Preschool is accepting applications for a Morning Assistant Teacher. 21 hours a week for the 2015-2016 school year. Deadline June 10th. Send resumes to: First Lutheran Preschool 410 Main Street Onalaska, WI 54650

NEW VETERANS MINISTRY First Lutheran has partnered with Wesley United Methodist Church in La Crosse to provide outreach of all types to veterans and their caregivers. This ministry will be led by Sharon (Shaz) Kjos, RN, BSN. More information will be provided in the July newsletter. For more information or to contact Shaz, leave a message in her mailbox in the church office or call 608.790.2752.


A baptism preparation session will be Saturday, June 6, at 10am in the narthex for anyone who is considering or has scheduled a baptism. To register or ask questions, call the church office, 608.783.3326.






• Declan Mark Gilberts, son of Bradley Gilberts & Lindsey Korth • Blaine Carl Storandt, son of Joshua & Kathy Storandt • Charles Jeffery Greiner, son of Michael & Lori Greiner • Kayla Marie Tutlewski, daughter of John & Marie Tutlewski

God’s blessings to... • Sarah Lawrence & Lucas Halberg

CHRISTIAN SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILY & FRIENDS OF: • Willard Pulkrabek, father of Becky Runde • Carol Johnson, mother of Lori Lunney


Thank you for the following memorials: In memory of Jackie Hanson • Undesignated: Kathleen EarleyAnderson, Christine Graham, Diane Schumacher, Geva Thole, Susan Trulson, Jeanette Wright


For Gundersen: be sure to alert the hospital of your church affiliation when they ask, and they will release your name to us when we call. For Mayo/Franciscan Healthcare: it is important that you or a family member contact us at the church office: 608.783.2236. Mayo no longer lets churches know who is a patient at their hospital.

First Lutheran Church + Good News

June 2015

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” We extend a warm welcome to the following new members of First Lutheran: • Bruce & Cindy Mathew • Dylan Chandler & Melissa Coleman We formally received these new members on Sunday, May 3.

To have your announcement in the monthly newsletter, send it to, or give it to Andy in the office. Deadline for the newsletter is always noon on the 15th of the each month. To have your announcement in the weekly announcements pages handed out each weekend, send it to, or give it to Andy in the office. Deadline for the weekly announcements is always noon each Wednesday.


We offer two e-mail lists for subscribing: • First Lutheran Publications: which includes e-mails links to our e-newsletter, so if you request to stop receiving this paper in your hands, this will save natural resources, and helps First save money on supplies and postage. • First Lutheran Updates & Publications: all of the above plus several updates from our website. To subscribe to either one and to cancel the deliver of this paper copy, simply visit and fill out the online form, or contact the office at

THANK YOU SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS! To all of the volunteers who made Sunday school possible! It’s you who made this ministry happen, and we hope to see you again next year! Sheri & Tawni


Lake Superior North Shore/Duluth Tour September 14-18 Tour includes: North Shore Scenic Railroad & Luncheon, Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Glensheen Mansion Tour, Vista Star Cruise, Great Lake Aquarium, Duluth Guided City Tour, St. Croix Valley Boat cruise and Luncheon, Knoke Chocolates, Old Log Theater Dinner and Show, Mall of America, Daytrippers Theatre Luncheon & Show and much, much more! Call camp for a detailed flyer and to sign up!



Monday, June 22, Viroqua Hills Golf Course. Monday, July 27, Drugan’s Castle Mound.

First Lutheran will be forming a team for the fundraiser in June. Contact Pastor Stanton with questions & to RSVP: For more info about either date, contact the camp directly (info below).

Our ministry survives by the sweat of our volunteers. From painting to splitting wood, to carpentry and grounds care, or office work and special cleaning projects, our volunteers keep this place running. Throughout the year, volunteers gather at Sugar Creek every Tuesday from 9:00-3:00 to help with various tasks like painting, wood splitting, mowing, office work, mailings, and general maintenance. Sugar Creek could not operate successfully without the tremendous efforts of our many volunteers – THANK YOU! Come on down this Tuesday! We’ll feed you a great lunch, and you’ll enjoy fellowship with fellow volunteers. Help us keep Sugar Creek beautiful and join our team! Call 608.734.3113 for information.

13141 Sugar Creek Bible Camp Rd, Ferryville, WI 54628 608-734-3113 • •

June 2015

First Lutheran Church + Good News






y daughter, Sarah and I served food at the Salvation Army; we had a wonderful time, and I left feeling as if I had been in church worshiping. As we serve others, our serving becomes worship when it’s done with gladness. As we serve, we come into God’s presence. Serving and worshiping are intertwined When you do one, you are doing the other. When we serve by ushering, reading, serving communion, teaching, playing music and singing, we are really worshiping our God at the same time.

We cannot have the mindset that the only way to worship is to sit in a pew during church. Wherever we serve, we are worshiping God. We cannot have the mindset that the only way to worship is to sit in a pew during church. Wherever we serve, we are worshiping God. Our world and church would be so different if we took this to heart. When we are serving, our attitude should be one of worshiping God because of all He has done for us. “Worship the LORD with gladness, come into his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2, in the New Revised Standard Version while “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing” in the King James Version. In Psalm 100:2, the word “worship” and “serve” are used interchangeable in the same verse. “Worship” is found in the New


Revised Standard Version and the New International Version. “Serve” is found in the King James Version, Revised Standard Version and the Amplified Version. Serve is found in more versions than worship. This doesn’t surprise me because that is what we are called to do; serve. Since God is always with us, each act of service to others is an act of worship to Him. What joy there is in serving others and knowing that God accepts our service as worship. I believe that God wants our service much more than he wants our sitting in church. God wants us to be his hands and feet to those around us. Please never think that you are not needed; your help is always needed here at church and wherever you may be. I love it when our ushers are singing as they help with doors or handing out bulletins. When younger ones help usher, they even dance in the aisle or sway to the music it makes me smile. When communion servers beam as they hand out communion, or our coffee servers laugh and smile making sure everyone is served, I am sure God is smiling. When I hear how the small group guides have been faithfully impacted by these young people, my heart soars knowing God is at work in these young lives. When a hug, a smile, a touch, a listening ear was so greatly appreciated, this is when you see God’s hands and feet. Be a part of this great worship/service of God. Begin serving in some way at church. Training is always available for all areas. Just ask; I would love to help you get started. Talk to me after worship, e-mail me at, or call me at church.

Kathryn Pedretti Director of Servant Ministries

First Lutheran Church + Good News

June 2015

SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES Sign-up for the following & more at the Connecting Point and on your phone or computer at STILL NEEDED FOR JUNE: • Acolytes • Coffee servers • Communion servers • Nursery attendants • Ushers



Companion ministers serve nearly 30 people who cannot make it to church. These companion ministers, in tandem with the pastors, visit members monthly to give communion. There will be a Companion Ministry informational meeting on June 3, at 7:15pm for all who are interested in being a Companion Minister.


The Sunshine Boys meet at First Lutheran on the first Thursday of the month at 9am to help with outdoor or indoor projects. Rolls and coffee are supplied to replenish your reserves! Dues are free!


TRAINING A new Stephen Ministry class is starting Thursday, June 4, from 6–8pm, for 20 weeks. A Stephen Minister is a good listener to a person in crisis, bringing Christ into the relationship. Come join us and see how Stephen Ministers make a difference in the church. If you want to be a Stephen Minister, or want to learn what Stephen Ministry is, contact Pastor Karyn (karyn@, Randy Nedrelo (608.406.0542), or Gloria Kubiak (608.498.2762).

NEWSLETTER ASSEMBLY It’s a relaxing way to volunteer! Monday, June 29, at 10am, to assemble the July newsletter. See you there!



Sun., Aug 16, noon–2pm
 at shelter #1 in Rowe Park We have so many people to thank for all that happens at First! Please sign up at the Connecting Point so we know how many to plan for!

First Lutheran Update What parents are saying about First Lutheran Preschool...

FLP is a fantastic sc hool that ha s taught my child so mu ch in the last 2 years . The structu re of the day very reward ing and hel is pful to child young age. re n of a We love the teachers, the the crafts, th s o n gs, e field trips and just the everyday lo ok and feel of this awesome pre school!

me o s l l i t es r a e r e Th the r o f s opening chool year! s 6 1 0 2 2015

First Lutheran Preschool

410 Main Street, Onalaska, WI 54650 608.779.4504 • Preschool Director: Melissa Rolbiecki 4K Teacher: Megan Colgan Preschool Assistant Teachers: Marci Leppert, Stephanie Brunkow

June 2015

First Lutheran Church + Good News


from 5–8pm each night! For 3 years old and potty trained through 6th grade in the fall. Register at


V r o B f S p U A l l r a summer lon! g Between ser vices!


©2014 Big Idea Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday,August 2 through Thursday,August 6

Permission to photocopy this resource from Group’s Everest VBS granted for local church use. Copyright © 2015 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO.

Permission to photocopy this resource from Group’s Everest VBS granted for local church use. Copyright © 2015 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO.



r VBS! o f p U ar

From June–Augu

st, join us in the For all kids aged 3 Fel low shi p Ha ll every Sunday (and potty trained) through between services, 9:15–10:15am, 6th grade First Lutheran Church + Good News

June 2015

for a fun Bible story told by some popular, talking veggies!



June 19th: YOUNG The Young Youth will go to Noah’s Ark YOUTH as a family event. This event is $18.50 GROUP a person and includes a hot dog lunch. RSVP to Katie at

If you are in 2nd–5th grade then this is your club! Contact Katie Everson at, 608.786.4826 for information or with questions! All are welcome!

June 29th: The Young Youth will go to Explorer Camp at Sugar Creek Bible Camp. This event runs from 9-3 at the camp. The cost is $20 a camper and includes a lunch and a snack. We will meet at the church at 7:40 and return between 4:30 and 5. This event will act as our July activity. All of our upcoming events are posted to the church’s website & Facebook page. Please check for updates and information. Also feel free to contact me at any time:! Blessings, Katie Everson J

June 2015

First Lutheran Church + Good News


June Events at First

Baptismal Prep Sat, June 6 10am

Blood Drive Thur, July 9 12:30–5:30pm

Handahl & Levinger Recital Sun, June 7 5pm

Young Youth to WI Dells Fri, Jun 19

Young Youth Explorer Days at Sugar Creek Mon, Jun 29 7:40am–4:30pm

Sugar Creek Golf Vacation Bible School Volunteer Appreciation Picnic Fundraiser at Drugan’s Sun, Aug 2– Sun, Aug 16 Mon, July 27 Thur, Aug 6 noon–2pm


Use these QR Codes to quickly add our upcoming events to the calendar of your smart phone or tablet. TIPS: focus the code, hold the device still, try various distances, & use good lighting. Need a scanning app? Try

STAFF DIRECTORY Jason Stanton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Senior Pastor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608.386.6431. . . . . . . . . . . . Karyn Bodenschatz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Associate Pastor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608.433.6002 . . . . . . . . . . . 410 Main St. Onalaska, Wisconsin 54650 608.783.2236 Fax: 608.783.3741

WORSHIP SCHEDULE Sunday 8:00 & 10:30 AM Wednesday 6:30 PM SUBMITTING NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS To have your announcement in the monthly newsletter, send it to, or give it to Andy in the office. Deadline for the newsletter is always noon on the 15th of the month. To have your announcement in the weekly announcements pages handed out each weekend, send it to, or give it to Andy in the office. Deadline for the weekly announcements is always noon each Wednesday. First Lutheran is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)

Kathryn Pedretti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Director of Servant Ministries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bridget Crave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Director of Small Group Ministry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

YOUTH/EDUCATION STAFF Sheri Betz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tawni O’Rourke. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Katie Everson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sara Larkin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Tamara Schonsberg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andy Stutesman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Peper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Koenig. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mary Meier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Jim Knutson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aliyah Richling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gabriel Hicks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Todd Saner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dick Daleki. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Melissa Rolbiecki. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Megan Colgan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marci Leppert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephanie Brunkow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday School Superintendent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sunday School Superintendent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Young Youth Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Confirmation Administrative Assistant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Office Assistant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608.783.2236. . . . . . . . . . . . Communications & Marketing Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Head Custodian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assistant Custodian Assistant Custodian Assistant Custodian Bell Choir Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Children’s Choir Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Organist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Senior Choir Director & Contemporary Music Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Youth Praise Band Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Preschool Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608.779.4504. . . . . . . . . 4K Teacher Preschool Assistant Teacher Preschool Assistant Teacher


Todd Lofald. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President Paula Skoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President Kelly Utesch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary Aaron McDonald Mary Ann Redfearn Brian Zach

June 2015

First Lutheran Church + Good News


edition: June 2015

Go green! Scan to subscribe to the newsletter online

Scan to download this newsletter to your smart phone or tablet

WORSHIP SCHEDULE Sunday 8:00 AM 10:30 AM Wednesday 6:30 PM

410 Main Street Onalaska, WI 54650 608.783.2236

To stop delivery: email or call office at 608.783.2236





JUNE 2015






Profile for First Lutheran

Good News for June 2015  

INSIDE: Lost & Found Christian Concert at Riverside Park, The La Crosse Area Synod and the "Best Sunday School Ever", Handahl & Levinger Rec...

Good News for June 2015  

INSIDE: Lost & Found Christian Concert at Riverside Park, The La Crosse Area Synod and the "Best Sunday School Ever", Handahl & Levinger Rec...

Profile for firstlu