June 24-30, 2013

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Good morning! Good morning to all of my dear friends!

 

I would like to apologize to the church’s readers for not posting for the past two weeks, but I was away on a Mouse-Study! I was working my little tail to the bone trying to learn how to be a better Church Mouse, and how to serve God in His plans for me.  It was a difficult and busy trip, but I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to grow in knowledge and faith! Now, I have returned to you, my First family, a better mouse!

While I was away, I heard that the “Concert in the Park” on the 12th of June was a huge success! I am sorry that I had to miss it. What a blessing that these youth were able to share their talents and love of God with us! The WELCA also had their annual picnic at Bogg’s Pavilion on the 19th and we began planting in the Park as well!

This week is a rather slow week here at First.

On Wednesday, the Property committee will be meeting at 6:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall. The Executive Committee will be meeting on Wednesday as well, at 7:15 PM in the Conference Room.

We are currently accepting applications for the position of Full-Time Custodian. For details, or to apply for the position, please stop in the office to pick up an application. You can also apply online, here.

The youth will be traveling to the nation’s capital, Washington DC, this Saturday! While there, they will be taking in the sights, visiting museums and monuments, learning about our nation’s rich history, as well as feeding their faith through study and worship, and learning how to impact the world through service. They will leave from the church on Saturday morning, June 29th, at 6:00 AM. They will return on July 2nd at about 8:00 PM.

The Church’s trip to PNC Park for the Pirates Game and fireworks night will be this Saturday, June 29th. If you purchased tickets and plan on attending, please be at the church by 4:45 PM on Saturday, where we will meet and board the bus to Pittsburgh.  If you are still interested in going, there are currently 5 tickets left for purchase.

We are currently following the summer schedule for worship and have services at 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. There is NO Sunday School during the summer months.

I hope that everyone has a very blessed week, and I am SO glad to be back!

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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June 3-9

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Welcome to June!

This month we will welcome summer, and it will be a well-accepted treat after this long, cold winter.

This Sunday, we moved to our summer schedule and our worship times will now be at 8:15 AM and 10:00 AM. Sunday School will not be meeting again until September 8th, 2013.

We have a pretty quiet week ahead here at First!

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 4th, there will be a Congregational Council meeting at 7:00 PM in the conference room.

Wednesday, June 5th, we will host Food from the Heart, our weekly free lunch. This lunch is open to the community, so please come and bring a friend!

A look at the month ahead brings us lots of exciting goodies!

We have a concert coming up on June 12th that will take place in our Park and will be presented by “Eagle’s Wings”, a 50 youth choir from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, Illinois. We are also sending 6 of our congregation members to the Synod assembly next weekend.

The social ministry committee is taking donations to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Each donation will go toward the purchase of mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria. These nets can be dedicated to dad in honor of Father’s day! Speaking of Father’s day, our men’s choir will be singing on Father’s Day, June 16th, and all the men of the congregation are invited to meet in the choir room at 9:45 that morning to learn an easy anthem.

The women of the church will be taking part in the annual WELCA picnic at The Bogg’s family pavilion in Greensburg at 6:00 PM on the 19th.

The Congregational Council will be hosting a bus trip to PNC Park for a Pirates game and firework’s night in Pittsburgh on the 29th. There are still 9 seats left if you are interested in attending the trip! Please contact the office to reserve your seat. Also on the 29th, the youth will be leaving on a journey to the nation’s capital and will be gone until July 2nd.

Wonderful things are happening in the month of June! Check out the bulletin board in the lobby for more details!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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May 27-June 2

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Good morning to you all!

This week I am writing to you on Tuesday, because yesterday was Memorial Day, where we celebrate and remember all those who fought for our country and our nation’s freedom.

On Wednesday, we will host our weekly Food from the Heart lunch from noon until 1:00 PM. This week’s menus will be Tuna Salad on a Croissant, Waldorf Salad and a Brownie with ice cream and chocolate syrup, yum yum!… There will be a Property Committee meeting at 6:00 PM and an Executive Committee meeting at 7:15 PM.

Thursday, there will be an IT Committee meeting at 6:00 PM

This Sunday will be the FIRST Sunday of our Summer Schedule! Our worship services will now be held at 8:15 AM and 10:00 AM.  Also, Sunday School is on its Summer Break, so there will be NO Sunday School classes until September.

Some upcoming events to look forward to:

Our Social Ministry Committee will be collecting donations for Malaria Prevention nets to benefit the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Donations can be made in honor of or in memory of your father or a special man in your life as a tribute to Father’s Day. The last donations will be taken on Father’s Day, June 16, 2013 and the tributes will be printed in the bulletin the following Sunday.

Our Church Council is planning a trip to PNC Park for a Pirates baseball game and fireworks night on June 29, 2013. There are still 9 seats left at $43 per person, which covers the cost of the ticket, plus the bus. If you are interested in going, please contact the office! Boy, I wish I could go…it would be a great place to find some delicious morsels to nibble on. On second thought, with all those people around, I might get stepped on…yipes! I think I will watch the game from home, much safer for a mouse! I wonder if Pastor Marleen would let me borrow her big screen TV (she insists on calling it a cell phone).

On June 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM, we will be hosting a youth choir all the way from Naperville, Illinois. “Eagle’s Wings”, a high school choir of about 50 students from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Naperville Illinois will be returning home from a ministry tour and mission trip in New York City and will be stopping here to rest and put on a concert in our Park! We will be having a hot dog feast as well! I can’t wait to hear the joyful noise coming from our lovely Park!

The Women of the ELCA will be hosting their annual picnic on June 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM at Bogg’s Pavilion in Greensburg.  This event will be hosted by the Priscilla and Mary-Martha Circles. There will be good food and great fellowship! Don’t forget your white elephant gift! This event is open to all women of the church. Please bring your favorite casserole or dessert to share!

The youth group will be taking a trip to Washington DC from June 29 – July 2. They will be visiting museums, learning about our country’s history, participating in worship opportunities, and learning about poverty in the city. This is a wonderful opportunity for the youth to grow in their faith and have some fun too! Another opportunity for the youth is Mission on the Mon, which will be held in July! The registration deadline for this week-long local mission event is June 10, so sign up in the office if you are interested!

Looking ahead, July 8-12 will be our Vacation Bible School! “Kingdom Rock: Kids Standing Strong for God” will be held from 9:00 AM – noon each day. We will have snacks, games, bible lesson and tons of fun for kids ages 4 years – fifth grade. I will be making appearances as well…I just hope I can avoid being spotted by that lion I’ve heard rumors about!

That’s all I have for this week, so I hope everyone has a nice week! Keep your eyes open for all the upcoming events which will be posted on our bulletin board this week!

 

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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May 20-26…2013

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Good Monday morning to everyone!

We had a lovely reception yesterday following our 10:45 AM worship service to honor our newest confirmed members: Laura Miller, Brett Schugt and Sawyer Rehak. Congratulations!!!

We also held our last Java Table until September.

Our Monday evening Bible Studies are on summer break and will return in September with a brand new study topic!

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 21st, Rebekah Circle will be meeting at 10:30 AM in the Conference Room.  There will also be a Finance Committee meeting at 6:30 PM and a Christian Education meeting at 7:00 PM.

Our weekly free lunch, Food from the Heart, will be served on Wednesday from noon- 1:00 PM. This lunch is open to the community and all are welcome to join us! This week’s menu will be: Pizza Burger

My little mouse whiskers are twitching with excitement for our Preschool class, which will be graduating this Thursday with flying colors! We have 17 wonderful graduates moving on to Kindergarten! Hip-Hip-Hurray! Please come join us to celebrate with our “little graduates” and their families at 6:30 PM in the sanctuary!

This Sunday, May 26th, we will honor the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our worship services will be at 8:15 and 10:45 AM. At 9:30 AM, we will hold the LAST Sunday School meeting until September! We will be closing our Sunday School doors for summer break and will end the year with a bang by having an intergenerational event…in our PARK! This will also be the LAST Sunday before beginning our summer worship hours, so all you 10:45’ers, relish that extra 45 minutes of sleep Sunday morning!

As a general announcement, there are still 9 seats left for the Pirates baseball game and fireworks night on June 29th! If you are interested in going, please contact the office!

I also have to say a big thank you to our custodian, Dennis Hall, for installing the air conditioner in the office. It jumped from winter to summer pretty quick around here and the humidity in that room made me want to cut all my fur off! Now I can go and visit my office friends without melting like a block of Velveeta cheese! (Hmmmm….now I’m hungry!)

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

God’s Grace and “Squeaks”,

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May 13-17

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Good afternoon friends!

I hope that you were able to join us for worship yesterday, May 12th, Mother’s Day Sunday! We celebrated all the mother’s in the congregation by giving our lovely pink carnations! Also, we welcomed yet another child into the family of God through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Welcome to the Body of Christ, Maria Catherine Gacek!

This has already been a busy Monday here at First! Our Mary-Martha Women’s Circle met this morning at 10:00 AM for sewing projects and lunch. They are making some beautiful quilts! Tonight at 7:00 PM, Pastor Marleen will be ending the Bible Study topic discussion on the Devil and all his empty promises. Tonight will be the final Monday Evening Bible Study until September.

On Wednesday, we will continue our weekly lunch ministry, Food from the Heart, from noon – 1:00 PM. It is free and everyone is welcome so come join us in the fellowship hall for food and friendship. This week’s menu will be baked ham, baked potatoes, and peach crisp….YUMMY! Wednesday is also the newsletter deadline, so make sure you have your articles to Joanie by 3:00 PM!

Thursday is Westmoreland County Food Bank distribution day. If you receive food from our food pantry, please arrive between 9:30-10:30 AM. For more information about our connection to Westmoreland country Food Bank and Food bank distribution, click here!

This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and we have several important things happening! First, we would like to say CONGRATULATIONS to our confirmands on their confirmation:

Laura Miller

Brett Schugt

Sawyer Rehak

We will be hosting a dinner in their honor following the 10:45 Am service. The congregation is invited to celebrate with them! We will also be remembering our baptisms. The baptismal font will be open and the congregation is invited to touch the baptismal waters when they come up for communion, in remembrance of their own baptisms. Sunday will also be the last Java Table until September, so if you would like to purchase any products from Fair Trade, please be sure to stop by the java Table in between worship services. Finally, this Sunday will be the last time Sunday School Classes will meet in te classrooms until September.

Have a wonderful week and prepare for the beautiful weather that is supposed to meet up with us this week!

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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May 6-12

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Dearest friends, how was your weekend?

I dare say, I think I saw some of you at worship on Sunday morning, and it was wonderful worshipping with you! Also, a big “Congratulations!” is in order for the newest member of God’s family, Aubrey Elyse Hoyle, who received the Sacrament of  Holy Baptism yesterday!

Tonight, we will have Bible study with Pastor Marleen. We will continue our study of the Devil and all his empty promises.

Tuesday evening, Congregational Council will be meeting at 7:00 PM in the conference room.

Wednesday, our weekly Food from the Heart lunch will be served from noon until 1:00 PM in the fellowship hall. Come join us and share some food and friendship. We serve the entire community of Greensburg, and everyone is welcome!

Thursday, Adult choirs will practice at 7:00 PM. There will also be a Ruth Circle meeting held at 7:30 PM.

Sunday, as always, we will have worship services at 8:15 and 10:45 AM. This week, Kip Boggs, our Stewardship Committee chairperson will be speaking briefly in order to kick off our big stewardship “Plan of Thanks”. I think this year; I will show my thankfulness by donating some of my cheese to our hunger outreach programs! Our weekly Sunday School will be held in between worship services, beginning at 9:30 AM, and is for all ages. There will be another baptism this week as well! Hallelujah!

I sure hope everyone has a wonderful week! Maybe I will see you if you stop into the office around lunchtime. The office ladies are so nice and sometimes they offer me some leftover nibbles from their lunches!

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”

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April 29 – May 3

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Hello Friends!

First, I want to send my apologies…I was busier than a bee this Monday and as I was writing this week’s blog, I feel asleep!

Second, let me just say that Sundays service was lovely! Pastor Jerry, three young ladies in the congregation (Rachel Krunszyinsky, Ginger Shultz & Elise Etelamaki), and our very own Teresa Graziotto presented a musical sermon entitled “No Folly in Zarephath”, highlighting the story of the Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. It went beautifully and had everyone swaying in their seats, as they learned about God’s greatness.

We had a lovely Bible Study last night!

This evening, Tuesday April 30, there will be a Christian Education Committee meeting at 7:00 PM.

Tomorrow, Wednesday May 1, we will be hosting our weekly luncheon, Food from the Heart, from 12:00-1:00 PM. This is a free lunch that is open to all! There will also be an Executive Committee Meeting at 6:00 Pm and a Fellowship Committee Meeting at 7:00 PM.

Choirs will meet on Thursday: Bell Choir at 6:15 PM and Adult Choir at 7:00 PM. Also, Thursday May 2, 2013 is the National Day of Prayer! Take some extra time to pray today, to thank God for all his blessings!

Saturday will be the annual Social Ministry Roadway Clean-up! Everyone will be meeting at 9:00 AM in the parking lot of Lynch field, across from the Dairy Queen on Route 119. Help us to keep our community beautiful!

Sunday, we will have Worship at 8:15 and 10:45 Am, and Sunday school for all ages will be at 9:30 AM.

 

Just a quick overview of all the exciting things

 that are going to be happening this During the month of May!

 

  • Stewardship is planning a “Plan of Thankfulness” stewardship drive, focusing on Giving Thankfully and Living Thankfully. As part of the series, Pastor Blair Morgan, as well as members of the Stewardship Committee, will be speaking on various Sundays throughout May. The Plan of Thankfulness series will end on May 26, when the “pledge” envelopes will be burnt, unopened, in the Park as an offering of thanks.
  • Mother’s Day is may 12th! This year, we are hosting a blanket “sale”. For a $10.00 Donation, you may “purchase” a Disaster Relief Blanket in honor of or in memory of your mother or a special woman in your life. Each $10.00 donation will go toward providing Disaster Relief Blankets for those affected by disaster events around the world.
  • Confimation will be held on Pentecost Sunday, May 19th. Our Confirmands this year are:

Laura Miller

Sawyer Rehak

Brett Schugt

We will be hosting a dinner in their honor following the 10:45 service on May 19th and invite the congregation to celebrate with the Confirmands and their families. We will also honor the reaffirmation of baptisms on this day.

  • Sunday School will come to a close for the year on May 26th. We will have an intergeneration park day (weather permitting) for the last class.
  • Preschool graduation will be held on May 23rd at 6:30 PM. The class will present “God Made the World”. There will be 9 three year old students being promoted into the four year old class, and there will be 17 graduates! There will be a reception with cake and punch following the ceremony.
  • Mary-Martha Circle is having there meeting on May 13th. Ruth Circle will meet on May 9th. Rebekah Circle will meet on May 21st.
  • The last Fair Trade sale for the year will be held at the Java Table on May 19th in between church services.
  • We will be honoring high school graduates on May 26th.

 

My! That update was a workout, (especially considering I have to hop from key to key)!

I guess I can have that extra piece of cheese at dinner tonight!

 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

 

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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April 22-28

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Good afternoon friends!

It’s Monday again…how quickly a week flies by when you are a busy mouse!

 

Here’s what’s happening this week:

 

Tonight, Pastor Marleen will be having Bible Study at 7:00 PM in the conference room. She will be continuing the discussion about the Devil and all his empty promises.

Tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 PM, the Stewardship Committee will be meeting to discuss the upcoming spring pledge and the thankfulness that we have for all God’s gifts!

On Wednesday, the church will host its weekly free luncheon, Food from the Heart. As always, it will be held from 12:00 – 1:00 and all are welcome to attend! There will also be a 6:00 PM meeting of the Property Committee.

On an exciting (and delicious!) note, The Women of the ELCA will be hosting a “Chocolate Fantasy” event on Wednesday at 7:00 PM and all the women of the church are invited. I sure hope I’m invited! They will be eating all kinds of delicious chocolate, and will have a guest speaker, June Bennet, who will be talking about hymns: the tunes, the lyrics and the stories behind them. It is sure to be a fun event!!!

On Thursday, choirs will be held as usual: Bell Choir at 6:15 PM and Adult Choir at 7:00 PM in the choir room.

Another exciting event will be taking place this week: YOUTH SUNDAY! This Sunday during both worship services (8:15am & 10:45am), the youth and young adults in the congregation will be running the show! During sermon time, Pastor Jerry and a few of the young adults in the congregation will be singing a musical, written by Pastor Jerry himself, about Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath! I have gotten the chance to listen in during their weekly practice and it is a snappy little number! It certainly gets my little mouse toes a-tappin’ and my tail swaying! Besides that, it is a beautiful story of God’s providence, mercy and trusting in His all-encompassing love and faithfulness. I encourage you to come and hear the story, and bring some friends too! I might call up Mickey and Minnie to see if they are available…we go way back.

Sunday School will be at the regular time: 9:30am and as always, we will have a continental breakfast between our services. Java table will also be set up this Sunday in between worship services. Each month, the Social Ministry Committee sells Fair Trade Certified products from Equal Exchange such as coffee, teas, and chocolates, and all profits go toward the provision of funds for small scale farms/farmers, business and artisans. Click the links in this paragraph for more information about Equal Exchange and Fair Trade!

On that note, I am going to take my leave for the day. I may go out in the park and enjoy some of the sunshine!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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April 15 – April 21

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Good Monday morning to you! I hope that you had a blessed Sunday, and that you were able to join us for worship yesterday morning!

As I was visiting with Pastor Marleen this morning, scurrying across her desk in search of new curtains for my Mouse House (I have found that post-its work nicely and are very colorful!) she informed me that it is going to be a busy week here at First!

First of all, the May newsletter deadline is today, so anyone that has information to put in the newsletter should make sure to email Joanie as soon as you can to submit your articles!

Monday evening will be Bible Study @ 7:00. Pastor Marleen will be leading an interesting topic discussion about the Devil and all his empty promises.

On Tuesday, the Rebekah Circle will be meeting at 10:30 AM in the conference room. There will also be a Finance Committee Meeting at 6:30 PM and a Christian Education Meeting at 7:00 PM.

On Wednesday, we will be serving a free lunch through our Food from the Heart ministry. Food from the Heart serves meals every Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 PM in our fellowship hall. There is always wonderful food! Everyone is welcome, so please join us!

Also, on Wednesday evening the Personnel Committee will be meeting at 6:30 PM.

Thursday is Food Pantry Day: our distribution date for the Westmoreland County Food Bank. This is a wonderful opportunity to help others through compassionate ministry, and each month over 100 families are provided with food through the Westmoreland County Food Bank! We are always looking for people to help out with food distribution, so if you are an individual or are representing a group that would like to help out, please contact us at office@felchurch.org .

There will be NO choir rehearsals this week!

I hope to see you on Sunday morning at one of our worship services! I usually hang out in the rafters of the balcony…it’s the only way a little mouse like me can see anything! We have services at 8:15 and 10:45 AM and hold Sunday school for all ages between worship services at 9:30 AM. We also have a Continental Breakfast every Sunday morning between the worship services, serving coffee, teas, rolls, fruit and pastries. I am excited to join the church in welcoming Kaleb into the Body of Christ through the sacrament of Holy Baptism this Sunday!

I have also heard that Pastor Jerry will be working with the Young Adults and High School Youth on a musical about the Bible story “The Widow of Zarephath” to be presented on Youth Sunday, April 28th! Practice will be held at the church for the next two Sundays from 6-7:30 PM, and pizza is on Pastor Jerry! If you are a young adult (age 18-35) or a high school youth (grades 9-12) and you would like to be a part of the musical, please contact Pastor Jerry for more details!

Have you “liked” us on Facebook? Are you “following” us on Twitter? You can find us on social media and catch up on all the happenings around the church!

Have a wonderful week!

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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April 8-April14

 

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What a beautiful Monday Afternoon!

The sun is certainly shining and creating a glorious spring day here in Greensburg!

It just so happened that I was searching for an early afternoon snack, and I ran into some of the women from the Mary-Martha Circle! They were holding their monthly meeting today at 10:00 AM.

Later in the day, I overheard Pastor Marleen talking about the new topic for Bible Study; “The Devil and All His Empty Promises”. Sounds like an interesting topic! If you would like to join us, Bible Study begins tonight and every Monday at 7:00 PM in the Conference room.

As always, we will host our weekly free luncheon, Food From the Heart, which is open to the public from 12:00 – 1:00 PM every Wednesday.

Marvin Huls, our fantastic music director, will be having Bell Choir and Adult Choir practice on Thursday, April 11. Bell Choir practice will begin at 6:15 PM and Adult Choir will begin at 7:00 PM in the choir room.

Thursday is a busy day this week! Ruth Circle will meet this Thursday,April 11 at 7:30 PM.

The Worship & Music Committee will also meet on Thursday April 11 at 7:45 PM.

Of course, we will also have our weekly Worship services at 8:15 AM and 10:45 AM on Sunday, April 14. Sunday School will be held from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM, in between services.  Following the service, the Youth Committee will have a meeting at 12:15 PM.

Don’t forget to have a look at the new April bulletin board in the lobby, to catch up on all the great upcoming events at First!

This is the Church Mouse signing off and wishing you a wonderfully blessed week! I think I am going to find a nice quite spot on a windowsill and enjoy some of the warm breeze on this lovely spring day!

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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