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Gathered faithfully to love and serve

God and all others

Faith Friday Update

Sept. 15, 2023

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023

16th Sunday After Pentecost

Worship Services at 8 a.m. & 10:15 a.m.

Bulletin for 8 a.m.
Bulletin for 10:15 a.m.

Readings and Psalm

Genesis 50:15-21

Joseph reconciles with his brothers

Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13

Lord, you are full of compassion and mercy (Ps. 103:8)

Romans 14:1-12

Accepting diversity in the community of faith

Matthew 18:21-35

A parable of forgiveness in the community of faith

Remembering Isolde 'Issy' Smirnow

Isolde "Issy" Smirnow, beloved Faith member, joined the church triumphant Sept. 12. A service of resurrection and life will take place at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 16, in the sanctuary.

Our condolences and prayers are with her stepson, Harry; his wife, Evelyn; their children, Melissa and Richard; their grandchildren; and all family and friends who grieve Issy's death.

May our dear sister rest in the arms of our Lord Jesus.

'God's Work. Our Hands.' Day Focused on Service to Neighbors

Sept. 10 was "God's Work. Our Hands." day, when congregations of the ELCA join together for an annual day of service.

At Faith, we served our neighbors by fortifying our food pantry, which now provides food and other essentials to as many as 200 neighbors each week. Congregation members brought donations of paper products, personal hygiene items, diapers and feminine sanitary products — essentials that the pantry needs because they generally

aren't available from All Faith's Food Bank.

During coffee hour, current food pantry volunteers shared info about how easy and fun it is to help at the Faith Food Pantry on Thursdays. There are tasks for people of all ages and stages so come and join in service!

We donate and learn and volunteer as a way to celebrate who we are — one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

Food Pantry Needs You

The Faith Food Pantry needs your help on Thursdays! New and current tasks, which are listed below according to the time volunteers should arrive, are easy but important.

Interested? Questions? Contact Karen Naulty, or 406-334-1063. Better yet, stop by on Thursdays!

9 a.m.: Unload the delivery from All Faith's Food Bank and store it on shelves or in refrigerators/freezers.

9 a.m.: Prepare for shoppers.

1:45 p.m.: Pick up fresh bagels from Brooklyn Bagel; sort and bag them.

3:30 p.m.: Sort and bag paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, etc.

4 p.m.: Separate plastic bags, which will receive frozen foods and fresh produce.

4 p.m.: Create a welcome and information sign using markers and a dry-erase board.

4:30 p.m.: Move food to the covered entryway outside the food pantry. Replenish it, as necessary.

4:30 p.m.: Register and check in neighbors.

4:30 p.m.: Assist neighbors as they shop.

4:30 p.m.: Help in the pantry.

4:30 p.m.: Carry bags of groceries for neighbors.

4:30 p.m.: Remove trash and break down cardboard boxes.

The pantry also needs food and other items. Place donations in the barrel in fellowship hall. Thank you!

September Stewardship Message
One of the best things we can do with our time
is to spend time alone each day with God.
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Psalm 5:3

From Your Stewardship Team:

Prayer Provides Power

It’s no stretch of the imagination to think that if Jesus were alive now on earth, he would make staying in touch with his heavenly Father a priority. He would find time to pray.
Before choosing the 12, Jesus spent the night in prayer. He met alone with God regularly early in the morning right up to the time of his crucifixion. He lived out the truth of Psalm 5:3, printed above. Other Bible characters did the same thing. Moses, Paul, Daniel, Elijah and David spent significant time in prayer to seek the mind and will of God. So did Martin Luther, who once said, “I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” He had determined that both his business and busy-ness would not hinder his devotion to and relationship with God. Like us, how Luther used his time was a matter of priority. If Martin Luther, Moses, Paul, Daniel, David and Jesus all spent time alone with God, what does that say to us? Could it be that this was why they had such an impact on their world and ours?
Do you want to be effective in serving the Lord at Faith? Do you want to do more than go through the motions of Christian service? Do you want your efforts to make an impact on people for the sake of the Gospel and for eternity? Then realize that your strength and power come from the “power room” of spending time daily in the Lord’s presence so you will have all you need for the day ahead.
Thank you, Lord, for sending your Spirit, our helper and guide, to find the strength to spend time with our Lord. Amen.

Adult Forum Postponed

Due to technical difficulties, Adult Forum is postponed. Stay tuned for a new start date for classes, which will begin with Lesson 1, When the Rabbi Says Come, in the “That the World May Know” video series. 

Mary Circle Begins Season of Meetings Sept. 19

All women are invited as Mary Circle kicks off a season of meetings at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19, in fellowship hall. Jenniffer Shaffer, the new operations manager at Faith, will share her experiences and what brought her to her job at church. PLEASE NOTE: The Sept. 19 meeting begins 30 minutes earlier than usual to accommodate Jenniffer’s schedule. Please bring your own lunch; dessert will be provided!

Voices of Faith Choir Rehearsals Resume Sept. 20

Voices of Faith Choir rehearsals resume Wednesday, Sept. 20. Come join us! We have room for you!
The choir rehearses 6:30-8 p.m. two Wednesdays a month in the choir room. The singers also rehearse at 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings to prepare to lead during the 10:15 a.m. worship service. Rehearsals are energetic, educational, fun and good for your soul. Questions? Contact Music Director David V. Patrick,

Readers Club Meets Sept. 25

Readers Club will meet at 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 25, in the library to discuss Pope Joan by D.E. Cross.

Please join! To learn more, contact Kathy Schilio,

Men of Faith Bible Study on Hiatus,

Prayer Breakfasts Continue

Men of Faith Bible Studies in the chapel are on hiatus until mid October. But all men are invited to meet as usual for breakfast at Skillets at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.

Let's Pray Together

Join in prayer with Faith friends at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays in the chapel.

The group begins with brief conversation and sharing. Prayer, beginning at 10:45 a.m., is for ourselves, loved ones, those in need, our church community, the larger community that we serve, our nation and the world. The gathering concludes with Holy Communion.


If you can’t attend in person, please join via Zoom: Meeting ID  871 4720 3661, Passcode 041291

Bereavement Group Meets Wednesdays

Faith's Bereavement Group meets at 1 p.m. Wednesdays in the chapel.

If you or a friend can use help bearing the burden of grief, this group is for you. There is strength in community. Help spread the word of hope.

Stitch 'n' Chatter Takes a Break, Resumes Oct. 5

The Stitch 'n' Chatter group is taking a break for a few weeks. Gatherings resume at 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5.

Spiral Notebooks Still Needed for LWR School Kits

We still need 60-70 page spiral notebooks to complete school kits for Lutheran World Relief (LWR). Could you consider donating one or more notebooks?

Place your donations in the basket on the narthex table.
Thank you!

Pastor's Discretionary Fund Lets You Help Those in Need

Pastor Eric often speaks with congregation or community members about aid they might require. The Pastor’s Discretionary Fund provides him the means to help financially, when necessary.


The fund currently has assisted several of our brothers and sisters in Christ so, if you are able, please consider a donation so vulnerable people can continue to receive help. 

Read News in the August Council Meeting Minutes and Recent Financial Report

Click the buttons below to read:
  • Minutes from the Aug. 31 meeting of the Congregation Council.
  • The most recent Faith Lutheran Financial Report. Financial reports will be published each month to keep you informed.
Council Meeting Minutes
Financial Report

Faith Annual Meetings:

View Minutes and More

Click the buttons below to view:
  • Minutes and related documents from the 2023 Faith Lutheran Annual Meeting, which took place Feb. 12 in person and via Zoom.
  • Minutes and related documents from the 2022 Annual Meeting.
2023 Annual Meeting
2022 Annual Meeting

Consider Donating Altar Flowers

Please consider donating altar flowers in honor of a special occasion, in memory of a loved one or to glorify God.

The cost is $30 for one vase or $60 for two vases. For each week, we can have either one donor for both vases, or two donors for one vase each. Make checks payable to Faith Lutheran Church, and indicate "altar flowers" in the memo line.


Check the altar flowers donation board in fellowship hall to see if your desired date is available. If both vases for a date already are sponsored, please choose an alternate date. The next open date is Sunday, Oct. 1.


When you purchase altar flowers, your name and dedication will be published in the bulletin on your selected Sunday. To make a dedication:

  • At church, complete an Altar Flowers envelope with your payment, and place it in the offering plate. Indicate your wish to keep or donate the flowers on the donation board in fellowship hall. You also can include a note in the envelope with your donation or call the church office.
  • By mail, send payment with a note indicating your desired date and dedication, and if you want to keep the flowers or donate them.
  • By email or phone, contact the church office with your desired date and dedication, and whether you want to keep or donate the flowers. Pay through the Faith website,
Please leave the liner pots at church. The florist picks them up each week to reuse them.

Lutheran World Relief Rushes Aid to Morocco, Libya

It is heartbreaking to watch the news out of Morocco, where a powerful earthquake was unexpected and deadly, and in Libya, where a devastating flood swept lives away.

You can help Lutheran World Relief rush aid to those devastated by the disasters. Give online by clicking here, or mail a check to Lutheran World Relief, P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD, 21297-1061.

Participate During the Week Ahead at Faith

Today, Friday, Sept. 15

8:30 a.m., Jazzercize, gym

Saturday, Sept. 16

8:30 a.m., Jazzercize, gym

9 a.m., Diakonia, conference room

10:30 a.m., Funeral for Isolde "Issy" Smirnow, sanctuary

12 p.m., Funeral luncheon, fellowship hall

Sunday, Sept. 17

8 a.m., In-Person Worship, sanctuary

10:15 a.m., In-Person and Livestream Worship, sanctuary

Monday, Sept. 18

Tuesday, Sept. 19

11:30 a.m., Mary Circle, fellowship hall

6 p.m., Diversity Voices of Sarasota, sanctuary

Wednesday, Sept. 20

10:30 a.m., Prayer Group, chapel

1 p.m., Bereavement Group, chapel

6:30 p.m., Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency, fellowship hall

6:30 p.m., Voices of Faith Choir, choir room

Thursday, Sept. 21

9 a.m., Food Pantry Delivery and Prep, fellowship hall

9:30 a.m., Finance Committee, conference room

11 a.m., Executive Committee, conference room

1:30 p.m. Stewardship Committee, conference room

4:30 p.m., Food Pantry Prep, fellowship hall

5 p.m., Food Pantry open

6 p.m., Jazzercise, gym

6:30 p.m., Food Pantry Closing Operations, pantry

ELCA Offers Prayers for Inspiration, Forgiveness, Patience

Find daily ELCA Prayer Ventures at Here are prayers for today and the week ahead.

9/15 First Day of Hispanic Heritage Month: Thank God for the history, contributions and rich cultural diversity of our Latino siblings. Pray for the growth and vitality of ELCA Latino Ministries, the Latino Ministries Association (Asociación Luterana de Ministerios Latinos ELCA) and the 147 ELCA Latino ministries around the country as they work to share the gospel, encourage unity in Christ, fight racism and promote Christian values that unite Latinos of the ELCA in a “community of communities” to do God’s work in the world.

9/16 Pray for the leaders, voting members and others gathering for the assembly of the Sierra Pacific Synod, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and inspire them as they reflect on the mission of the church, elect a new bishop and encourage one another to proclaim the gospel, serve our neighbors in need and grow the church.

9/17 Reflect on what hinders us from exercising forgiveness and patience with others, including those we see as adversaries. Ask the Spirit to recenter our lives and interactions with people in the boundless and undeserved mercy that God demonstrates with us.

9/18 Pray that students and teachers in our schools will be safe and that students who suffer trauma, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns will have ready access to counselors, social workers and psychologists.

9/19 Pray for the congregations, youth and adults registering for the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans and for those who prayerfully consider participating.

9/20 “The prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea’ ” (Exodus 15:20-21). Give thanks for the wonderful variety of instruments and musicians who help us praise God, and recall God’s activity in the world throughout history.

9/21 International Day of Peace: With our global neighbors and siblings in Christ, pray for peace, reconciliation and unity wherever conflict divides our communities and the world.

Share and Experience the Peace and Comfort of Prayer

Please remember in your prayers this week:

Marsha Anderson, sister of Gail Murphy

Rev. Steve Anderson, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Jeff & Nancy Arntsen

Anna Bancroft, 6-year-old friend of Alyene Weaver

Chuck Banta

Family & Friends of Kevin Beard

Sean Brett, son of Alyene Weaver

Sandra Brinker

Charles Budreau

Dee Burlingame

Casey, friend of Faith Lutheran

Evelyn Conlon

Family & Friends of Debra Ann Cox, mother of Amanda Bright

Jordan Demers, cousin of Hannah Boyd

Eloise Dettmer

Ryan Donahue

Valerie Donahue

Elizabeth Farmer

Judy & Robert Ferguson

Carolyn & Marty Friedman, friends of Marlene Radesk

John Gallo, friend of April Shettler

Andrea Gamboa

Amanda Gerber, daughter of Sandy Gerber

Elaine Graham

Paula Haas, friend of Eloise Dettmer

Alyssa Hansen, cousin of Lisa Olsen

Jeff Hansen, nephew of Joan Searles

Patricia Head, mother of Wayne Head

Christiana Holmes

Mary Janice Holt

Kevin Hooks, son-in-law of Anita and Jon Wooton

Jesus & Rita Jimenez

Alf Kirkeeng

Lois Light

Paul & Debby Maresch

Alexis Martincek, 13-year-old friend of Heather Stuebe

Famly & Friends of Bill Masser

Family & Friends of Tom MacIver

Judi Melander

Jeremy & Yvonne Mullins

James & Virginia Pease

Fran Perkins

Wally Pina

Kristen Pizan

Doris Anne Prieur-Lucia

Marlene Radesk

Fritz Rappold

Family & Friends of Bob Rickmeyer

Gabriel Rockwell

Ted and Carol Rodi

Floyd Ryder

Rev. John Spittal

Family & Friends of Isolde "Issy" Smirnow

Dianne Stoll, friend of Dorothy Gustavson

Cathy Stubenvoll

Ron and Leigh Tarrantino

Colette Thornbloom

David Turnbull

Family & Friends of Christine Urarro

Scotty Walters, cousin of Jerry Cooper

Jeff Wardach, son of Dave and Lauren Wardach

Alyene Weaver

Jon Wooton

If you have an addition to or would like to remove a name from the prayer list, email the person's name to

Links Provide Helpful Info

If your anniversary or the anniversary of a friend or family member is missing or listed incorrectly, kindly notify

9/7 Jeffrey & Kirsten Ragan

9/9 Michael & Amanda Kulaw

9/25 David & Cheryl Cook

If your birthday or a friend's or family member's birthday is missing or listed incorrectly, kindly notify
9/2 Mike Schell
9/3 Christian Ruiz
9/4 Susan Ashby
9/6 Jerry Clancy
9/12 Beverly Anderson
9/12 Rebecca Winemiller
9/15 John Cusmano

9/25 Peter Marer

9/16 Peggy Ragan

9/16 Chloe Sweeney

9/18 Carol Campbell

9/18 Dang Quyen

9/22 Thomas Schmeling

9/25 Steve Ragan

Pastor: Rev. Eric Olaf Olsen

Assistant to the Pastor: Rev. Larry Wright

Director of Family and Children Ministries: Deborah Dornemann

Director of Music/Organist: David V. Patrick

Lead Cantor/Music Librarian: Tom Tryon

Operations Administrator: Jenniffer Shaffer

Communications Administrator: Linda Fewell

Congregation Council: Scott Rice, president; Ann Greenwood, vice president; Peggy Ragan, secretary; Anita Wooton, treasurer; Jane Sanks, assistant treasurer; Jerry Cooper; Gail Lidinsky; Mark Nelson; Joan Searles; Lauren Wardach

941-924-4664 |

Office hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday

Mission – Gathered faithfully to love and serve God and all others
Values – Mutual Respect, Honesty, Kindness, Service, Forgiveness, Commitment, Perseverance, Faithfulness, Compassion, Flexibility
CLICK HERE to view the current Constitution of Faith Lutheran Church.
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