Weekly News & Updates: Friday, July 22, 2022
Note: anything that is underlined is a link you can click on!
ELC’s Re-Opening Team guides decisions for our congregation based on guidance from our local and national health experts, and upon Jesus’ instruction to love our neighbors. Because of rapidly changing conditions and updates from the CDC and WI Department of Health being released on Thursdays, it’s difficult to get communication out to our congregation in time for worship. Therefore, we ask that you check our current COVID risk level before attending church.
Current Risk: MEDIUM
updated 07/22/22 8:43am
  • High risk: masks are required for anyone in our building over the age of 2
  • Medium risk: masks are not required, but encouraged especially for those at high risk for severe illness, or around someone who is at high risk for severe illness
  • Low risk: it is not necessary to wear a mask unless you choose

Please remember that if you are serving communion, working directly with children under age five, or volunteering in the kitchen, that masks are required no matter the risk level.
Presiding ELCA Bishop Eaton released a pastoral statement following the Supreme Court ruling on abortion overturning Roe v. Wade. The following is a brief summary of her statement followed by links to both the Bishop's full statement and the ELCA Churchwide Social Statement on abortion from 1991. Whatever your personal perspective, we encourage you to read both statements to be both informed and to reflect and pray over this difficult issue.
Dear Church,
Whatever personal perspective one might take on the June 24 abortion ruling from the Supreme Court, it is the legal framework in which we now minister, and I wish to speak a pastoral word at this time.
The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, removing federal constitutional protection for safe and legal abortion and leaving decisions about abortion law largely to the states. As a result, safe and legal abortion will likely not be accessible in every state. This church’s 1991 social statement Abortion argues that “the number of induced abortions is a source of deep concern” but teaches that the practice should be legal (pp. 3, 9-10). In other words, “Laws should be enacted and enforced justly for the preservation and enhancement of life, and should avoid unduly encumbering or endangering the lives of women” (p. 9). Overturning Roe v. Wade and placing decisions about abortion regulation at the state level encumbers and endangers the lives of all persons who need to make decisions about unexpected pregnancies. . .

. . . Let us be instruments for peace where there is none. Let us listen to one another. Let us serve the needs of neighbors in all the complexities life presents. God calls us to be for others, just as God in Christ is for us. Full message: Bishop Eaton's Message (June 24, 2022)

ELCA Social Statement (adopted by the 1991 ELCA Churchwide Assembly)
The ELCA’s social statement entitled Abortion is grounded in the conviction that “Christians are united in Christ through faith with both the freedom and obligation to engage in serious moral deliberation.”
Calling all green thumbs! Through August, any members willing and able to help on Wednesday afternoons from 3-6pm, please just show up (weather permitting) and there will be light-duty tasks in stewardship of our little corner of God’s Green Earth. Bring some work gloves and maybe a hand pruner/trimmer for fellowship, poking, prodding, sprucing, trimming, weeding and all the good stuff that feeds the soul! There will be opportunities to work on both the pollinator and vegetable gardens. Produce from the vegetable garden will be shared with congregation members and our neighbors when it's ready to harvest! Questions? Contact Irene TenEyck or Dane Melby.
Thank you to Julie for coming by on July 20!
Scrip Cards are still available during the summer! Stop by the sales table on Sundays, or visit the church office to purchase during the week. Proceeds help ELC families with costs for camp, mission trips, National Youth Gathering, and more!

We're excited to announce that Laura Eber is taking over the reigns as coordinator for the Scrip program. If you'd like to place an order for specific cards, or have questions about your family's account balance, you can contact her via email.

A huge thank you goes out to Sarah Herath for her many years of coordinating this special fundraising program!
Don't forget we still need volunteers for worship! Click the buttons at the very top of this email to sign up yourself, or contact Carol at the church office to be added to our list of volunteers to contact.
Have you checked out our online giving page lately? It's been updated to include Communion Fund and Special Gifts for LWR - Ukraine Relief in addition to regular offering gifts.

Our Communion Fund is used to help anyone needing a hand in our congregation and community. Funds are used to purchase fuel only Kwik Trip cards, pay energy bills, and help with food and housing in our community.

Click here to give online today! You can set up a recurring or a one-time only gift. Contact Jennifer Jones at 784-8876 x201 with any questions.
Over the past six years, ELC has collected enough school items to fill 3,328 backpacks!! Our goal this year for the LWR School Kit Project is to fill at least 750 backpacks. Our current needs include:
  • 2,108 notebooks (70 page, college or wide)
  • 723 rulers (12"/metric)
  • 227 pencil sharpeners
  • 614 scissors (blunt tip)
  • 2,865 pencils (unsharpened)
  • 2,745 pens (black or blue)
  • 259 boxes of crayons (24 count)
  • 190 erasers (2.5" pink)
Bins are available in the narthex for you to drop off donated items for the School Kits. Remember - ONLY the specific listed items can be included in the backpacks. You may purchase items on your own or donate money and let us do the shopping. Information sheets are available on the display table in the narthex. Please contact Bob & Kathy Weeks if you are interested in purchasing bulk items or if you can donate a Thrivent Action Grant. These were a big help last year!

Our pack-out event is scheduled for Sunday, August 21st after the 9:30 church service. A sign-up sheet is available at the display in the narthex. Please sign up early and one person per space - due to Covid, we may have to limit our numbers! We are also looking for about 8 people to help set up Friday, August 19 from 9:00-10:30 (also signup at the display). And finally, we could use a couple of people to transport the kits to St. Paul after the Pack-out on the 21st. If you are willing to help with this, please contact Bob and Kathy Weeks.
Do you "Noah" person who would be willing to occasionally give our elderly members a ride to worship services? If you are willing and able to assist in this way, please contact Carol Robertson in the office at 608-784-9335. Thank you!
It is with faith in God, faith in the future, and certainly some sadness, that I leave my position as Director of Caring Ministries at English Lutheran Church. I cannot find the words to express the love and grace I have felt from the staff and the congregation over the past years, and how much I will truly miss serving alongside my colleagues as they continue to carry out the mission and ministry of the church. My intention is to remain an active member of the ELC community and serve God in whichever way God leads me.

I will always give praise and thanks to God for this opportunity, and continue to pray for the staff, the Vision Board, and my fellow congregation members as we move forward in our mission of service to others.

In God’s grace and peace, Irene TenEyck
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area is looking for FIVE future homeowners for upcoming projects in La Crosse, West Salem, Tomah, and Eitzen (MN). We will be accepting applications through September 2, and we are reaching out to our partners to spread the word!

Anyone interested in applying can download the full application at www.habitatlacrosse.org/how-to-apply or contact Jenny Sanders at 608-785-2373, ext. 104 to request an application. Application packets are also available Wednesday-Saturdays from 10am-6pm at the Habitat ReStore located at 3181 Berlin Drive, La Crosse.

Completing an application is the first step to become a Habitat homeowner. The individuals or families chosen will partner with Habitat to build or rehabilitate their future home. They will then purchase their home from Habitat for Humanity using a 0% interest mortgage, with a primary mortgage that is affordable to each family.