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Gathered faithfully to love and serve

God and all others

Faith Friday Update

Nov. 17, 2023

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023

25th Sunday After Pentecost

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

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

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

The day of the Lord

Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12

So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom (Ps. 90:12)

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Be alert for the day of the Lord

Matthew 25:14-30

The story of the slaves entrusted with talents

New! QR Code Directs You to Faith Lutheran Online Giving

Scan this QR Code to be directed to the Faith website, where you can make online contributions to the church's general fund and other special ministries. Thank you for your generosity.

Faith Members Learn Life-Saving Skills

Faith now has a crew of members who are trained in CPR and basic life-saving skills. In honor of the deep desire of Faith member Isolde Smirnow, who has joined the church triumphant, each trainee now is better prepared to respond in the event of a cardiac or respiratory emergency.

Faith Welcomes Charlotte Elizabeth Paul through Baptism

Charlotte Elizabeth Paul was baptized during the 10:15 a.m. service Sunday, Nov. 12.

She is the daughter of Michael Paul and Kathryne Perrine, and her sponsors are William Davis III and Christine Perrine.

We welcome Charlotte into the mission we share!

Adult Forum Meets Between Worship Services

Adult Forum meets Sunday mornings between the two services, 9:10-9:50 a.m., in the conference room. This coming Sunday, the group will focus on Lesson 4, "Why Christians Suffer - The Weight of Gethsemane,” of Volume 7, “Walk As Jesus Walked,” in the “That the World May Know” video series.  All are welcome!

Reminder: Complete the Time & Talent Survey Promptly

Dear People of Faith,

To help all in the Faith family discern their gifts and Christian vocation, your stewardship committee has put together a very brief survey. If you have not yet completed it, please do so promptly. It should require only a few minutes, but it is extremely important for you and our church.

Saint Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Rome that we are uniquely gifted for ministry:

We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)

The stewardship committee will use the information you provide to connect you with other members, ministry teams and leadership groups at Faith.

To begin the brief survey, click here.

Thank you for your time and attention, and for completing the survey promptly.

Peace and Joy in Christ,

Pastor Eric+

November Stewardship Message

Using our time in ministering to others for Christ’s sake is just as important as using our finances.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.”  

Romans 15:5

From Your Stewardship Ministry Team:

We Offer ... God Brings

This is a special time of year, a time when the world around us is transforming into beautiful fall colors. And yet those colors — as beautiful as they are — are the shades of dying. Another season is drawing to a close. Another chapter in the memory book of life is concluding.


What we are about here at Faith Lutheran is just the opposite. We are about living; specifically, about living eternally. That’s why we do what we do. Through the proclamation of the good news of the gospel, this ministry offers eternal life to a dying world. We offer the water of grace to thirsty souls as God brings forgiveness, cleansing, peace and a whole new perspective to life.


Notice the process: We offer . . . God brings. We are God’s messengers of hope to those who are what the Apostle Paul calls “aliens” and “strangers.” Through this ministry, we are fulfilling our role as ambassadors of the King of Kings in proclaiming the gospel. And God — who really needs no help from anyone — allows us to have this privilege and makes us part of the process of bringing eternal life to needy people through faith in Jesus Christ.


At this special time of year, consider a special Thanksgiving offering to help us continue to serve as spiritual sentinels here and elsewhere. As we come to the final days of the year, there are many needs. Please ask God what you should do in response to this opportunity, and then give as he leads in your life.


Thanks for being part of this fellowship and for your faithfulness in the past months. And thanks for being sensitive to the Lord’s leading concerning your special Thanksgiving offering.

Join New Men's Bible Study Nov. 21

The Men's Bible Study group invites all men to join at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 21 in fellowship hall for an introduction to a study based on the crowd-sourced production of "The Chosen" by Angel Studios. The group, convened by Scott Rice, will watch and examine the production, and discuss its relevance to today's walk of faith. Join for a new kind of Bible study for such a time as this!

Women's Bible Study Meets Tuesdays

G.I.F.T.S (Growing in Faith Through Scripture) Women's Bible Study meets 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesdays in the conference room. The group is delving into "Be Still and Know -- A Study of Rest and Refuge" by Deb Burma. Questions? Contact Peggy Ragan, or 941-302-7722. All women are welcome.

Let's Pray Together

Pastor Marianne Powrie will lead prayer with Faith friends at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the chapel -- note the new time for Thanksgiving week only.

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, led by Pastor John Spittal next week, will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday 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.

Faith Office Closes Nov. 23-24 for Thanksgiving

No Stitch 'n' Chatter This Coming Thursday

Stitch 'n' Chatter will take a Thanksgiving Day break next week. The fun with hooks and needles resumes 1-2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in room 212. For info, contact Doris Anne Prieur-Lucia, 941-266-8101.

Confirmation Class Takes a Thanksgiving Break

Confirmation Class will not meet on Thanksgiving Day. Class will resume at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, via Zoom.

Here's the log-in information:

Meeting ID: 830 5412 4705

Passcode: 688400

Contact Pastor Eric with questions. 

Faith Food Pantry Distributes Turkey Dinners Tomorrow, Closes Thanksgiving Day

Tomorrow, the Faith Food Pantry will take delivery of turkeys and sides at 9 a.m., and will distribute them noon-4 p.m. or while supplies last. The young and young-at-heart are invited to help. And if you have one or more coolers, please bring them to help store the turkeys.

The pantry will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but will need your help on upcoming Thursdays. To sign up:

  • Click here, or
  • Indicate your interest on the sheet on the narthex table or
  • Contact Karen Naulty, or 406-334-1063.


Especially as we approach Thanksgiving, remember BOGO – Buy One Give Onefor food and paper products (toilet paper, facial tissues, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, etc.), then leave them in the car so you don’t forget to bring them to church. Place donations in the barrel in fellowship hall. Thanks!

Nov. 26 Pancake Breakfast Supports Youth Activities

The Faith Youth Group will host a pancake breakfast between services, 9-10 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 26, to raise funds for upcoming activities. A gluten-free option will be available. Mark your calendar!

Readers Club Meets Nov. 27

Readers Club will meet at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, in the library to discuss The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe.

To learn more, contact Kathy Schilio, Please join!

Stay to Decorate the Sanctuary After

10:15 a.m. Worship Dec. 3

You are invited to stay following the 10:15 a.m. worship service Dec. 3 to help decorate the sanctuary for Christmas. Let us know that you can join in this joyous task by clicking here or signing the sheet on the narthex table. 

‘Worship to Go’ at Elancé Touches Hearts,

Will Continue with Your Help

There were 21 worshipers at the Nov. 7 “Worship to Go” service at Elancé, some of whom were overcome with emotion and hugged Pastor Eric, thanking Faith for the first opportunity they have had to worship in years.

Seven of the participants also served as worship leaders, including a volunteer who accompanied the hymns on the flute and played a beautiful anthem during communion.

It is not too late to be part of this rewarding ministry! The next service will begin at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 in the second-floor gathering space of Elancé’s assisted living building next door to Faith.

“Worship to Go” volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 in the Faith chapel to review the service and leadership roles. Please contact Pastor Eric if you can be there. No experience necessary!

Dec. 5 Celebration Will Honor Endowment Donors

A luncheon honoring donors to the Faith Mission Endowment Fund is set for 11:30 a.m., Dec. 5, at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. "Celebrating Generosity" is for all givers, regardless of the size of the donation, who help to fund grants to support new and developing ministries through Endowment Fund donations. You are invited to be a part of that perpetual giving fund that supports God's ministries at Faith.

We have a list of donations, but some seem to be missing. If you have donated to the Endowment Fund or would like to, contact Ann Greenwood, 262-490-9917 or; or Scott Rice, 412-551-4549 or

Midweek Advent Services Begin at Noon Dec. 6, Followed by Lunch

Enrich your Advent time of waiting and hope with brief Midweek Advent Services at noon Dec. 6, 13 and 20, followed by simple lunches at 12:30 p.m. Pastor Marianne Powrie will preside during worship. Karen Naulty will coordinate the lunches, which will be open to the community.

Dedicate a Christmas Poinsettia to Adorn the Sanctuary

Help adorn the Faith sanctuary for Christmas while honoring a loved one or special occasion by dedicating one or more Christmas poinsettias. You will be welcome to take your plant(s) home after the Christmas Eve service.

The cost is $15 per plant. Orders and dedications are due by Dec. 7. Special red-bordered giving envelopes for Christmas poinsettias are available in the narthex and in pew racks. Or you can pay and record your dedication through the Faith website,

Donate Altar Flowers in Honor or In Memory

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 not, please choose an alternate date. The next open date is Sunday, Jan. 7.


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,

If you have specific requests about who or what facility should receive donated flowers, contact Judi Melander or 941-927-2502.

Sunday School Welcomes All Young People

Following the Children’s Sermon at the beginning of the 10:15 a.m. service, Director of Family and Child Ministry Deborah Dornemann shows children to the classroom, where they learn about the gospel of the day through age-appropriate lessons and fun activities. The children rejoin the congregation for Holy Communion.

Help spread the word about Sunday School! All children are welcome!

Coffee Hour: Volunteer to Set Up, Clean Up

Coffee hour is an important fellowship ministry at Faith that needs additional volunteers. All you have to do is put out snacks and clean up afterward.

Please sign up to help on the sheet beside the coffee pot in fellowship hall. Questions? Contact Karen Naulty, or 406-334-1063; or Denise Kirkeeng, or 941-468-6668.

Your Gifts Help Those in Crisis in the Holy Land

Dear friends,

Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and generosity for our siblings impacted by the conflict in the Holy Land. The humanitarian crisis continues to worsen -- almost 70 percent of Gazan residents are displaced, and resources such as food, water and medical supplies are in short supply. The death toll has far surpassed that of previous conflicts in the region in recent decades.

Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) have equipped us to respond to this and other disasters whenever and wherever they strike. Gifts designated for "Middle East Crisis" will be restricted to and used in full (100 percent) for those affected by this crisis and others in the region.

LDR already accompanies our partners in the Holy Land by supporting:

  • Augusta Victoria Hospital. The hospital procures medical supplies, and provides accommodations for patients and staff unable to return to their homes in Gaza.
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. The church provides emergency education support for families that have lost income due to the war and are unable to pay school fees.
  • ACT Alliance. Through implementing partners Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, ACT Alliance responds to immediate needs for psychosocial support, shelter, household items, public health centers and direct cash assistance, focusing on the Palestinian communities in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

These are just the first steps of what will be a long-term response. Our accompaniment of and solidarity with our partners endures, and we will work together to address other emerging needs. We continue to pray for peace with justice in the region.

I encourage you to visit the ELCA's "Conflict in the Holy Land" resource page, where you'll find worship resources, advocacy opportunities, statements from the ELCA and our partners, and more.


With gratitude,

Rev. Daniel Rift

Director, ELCA World Hunger

and Lutheran Disaster Response Fund

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Are You Artistically Inclined? The Stewardship Committee Needs Your Help

The Faith Stewardship Committee needs a volunteer to design and produce visuals for Faith’s upcoming stewardship campaign. If you can help, please call or email the church office. Thank you!

You Can Help Needy Neighbors Through Pastor's Discretionary Fund

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. If you are able, please consider a donation so vulnerable people can continue to receive help. 

Safety Committee Seeks Volunteers

Members of a soon-to-be-created safety committee will review Faith’s building and grounds for possible hazards that could cause tripping or slipping -- raised sidewalks, rugs that don’t lay flat, water on the floor, parking-lot bumpers with rebar that should be pounded back to ground level, etc. They will report concerns to the property committee. Interested? Please contact the church office.

S.U.R.E. Justice Team Needs Volunteers

Pastor Eric recently attended a congregational assembly for S.U.R.E. (Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity), a faith-based community organizing entity of which Faith is a covenant member. All congregations at the assembly voted to focus on a single issue: affordable and accessible housing.

Several Faith Food Pantry volunteers have heard of hardships our neighbors endure regarding skyrocketing rents and being priced out of the real estate market. While this problem might not affect every member of our parish, we are compelled by the gospel of Jesus Christ to care deeply about our neighbors’ needs. This is how we love our neighbor!


If you are interested in getting involved, contact Pastor Eric. He soon will invite the lead organizer of S.U.R.E. to lead a workshop that could help Faith launch its own justice ministry team. In the meantime, visit to learn more.

Read News in the Council Meeting Minutes and Recent Financial Report

Click the buttons below to read:

  • Minutes from the Oct. 24 meeting of the Congregation Council.
  • The most recent financial report.
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

Join in Service and Worship at Faith

Today, Friday, Nov. 17

8:30 a.m., Jazzercize, gym

Saturday, Nov. 18

8:30 a.m., Jazzercize, gym

9 a.m., Diakonia, conference room

9 a.m., Receive Thanksgiving Turkeys and Sides, food pantry

12 p.m., Distribute Turkeys and Sides, food pantry

Sunday, Nov. 19

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

9:10 a.m., Adult Forum, conference room

9:30 a.m., Voices of Faith Choir Rehearsal, choir room

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

10:25 a.m., Sunday School, classroom

Monday, Nov. 20

Tuesday, Nov. 21

9:30 a.m., Men of Faith Bible Study, fellowship hall

9:30 a.m., Women's Bible Study, conference room

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

Wednesday, Nov. 22

9:30 a.m., Prayer Group, chapel

1 p.m., Bereavement Group, chapel

Thursday, Nov. 23

Thanksgiving Day, Church Office Closed

ELCA Offers Prayers of Praise and Thanks

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

11/17 Pray for the 800-plus rostered ministers who have responded to God’s call to provide specialized pastoral care in ministries across the ELCA and in our communities, including in hospice, counseling, corrections, long-term care, and police and fire chaplaincy.

11/18 Thank God for the ELCA’s special relationship with The Episcopal Church, a full communion partner since 1999. Pray for the church, its members and its leaders, that together we will find strength and resources for the work of sharing the gospel and serving our neighbor.

11/19 Thank God for the example of Jesus Christ, who guides our understanding of generosity for the sake of the world and our neighbors at the margins of society.

11/20 Pray for the success of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s Preferred Refugee Employer Program, which helps employers offer support and services of particular benefit to refugees in their communities.

11/21 Pray for youth, parents, youth leaders and congregations registering for the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering. Ask the Spirit to stir their enthusiasm, guide their preparation for their experience in New Orleans, and help those who are discerning whether to participate.

11/22 Pray that our acts of generosity will come from a place of gratefulness to God and concern for our neighbor and will “produce thanksgiving to God through us” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

11/23 Thanksgiving Day: “We lift our voices, we lift our hands, we lift our lives up to you: we are an offering, we are an offering” (ELW 692). Pray that we will see every aspect of our lives as an offering for the sake of our neighbor and the wellbeing of the world — an expression of thanksgiving for the blessings and resources that God has generously given to us.

24 Native American Heritage Day: Praise God for the rich and diverse legacies of Native American neighbors and siblings in Christ. Give thanks for the continuing influence of Indigenous cultures, traditions, spirituality, arts and concepts of community.

Pray for Those in Need

Please remember in your prayers this week:

Marsha Anderson, sister of Gail Murphy

Rev. Steve Anderson, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

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

Chuck Banta

Sean Brett, son of Alyene Weaver

Sandra Brinker

Charles Budreau

Family & Friends of John Burns

Elise Carmona

Casey, friend of Faith Lutheran

Priscilla Chansky, sister of Linda Burton

Evelyn Conlon

Jordan Demers, cousin of Hannah Boyd

Eloise Dettmer

Ken Dixon

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

Jon Hale

Alyssa Hansen, cousin of Lisa Olsen

Jeff Hansen, nephew of Joan Searles

Patricia Head, mother of Wayne Head

Michael Helpin, friend of Marlene Radesk

Christiana Holmes

Mary Janice Holt

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

Family & Friends of Nancy Iverson

Jesus & Rita Jimenez

Alf Kirkeeng

Lois Light

Paul & Debby Maresch

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

Kathleen McBride

Judi Melander

Family & Friends of Rob Morris

Jeremy & Yvonne Mullins

Beverly Novak, cousin of Patty McKee

Judy Osborn, sister of Peggy Ragan

James & Virginia Pease

Fran Perkins

Wally Pina

Kristen Pizan

Doris Anne Prieur-Lucia

Marlene Radesk

Fritz Rappold

Gabriel Rockwell

Ted and Carol Rodi

Floyd Ryder

Ralph Searles

Rev. John Spittal

Dianne Stoll, friend of Dorothy Gustavson

Cathy Stubenvoll

John Stuemke, brother of Terry Copper

Ron and Leigh Tarrantino

Colette Thornbloom

David Turnbull

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

11/11 Deene & Shannon Patterson

11/18 William & Gail Brown

11/22 Sergio & Andrea Gamboa

If your anniversary or a friend's or family member's anniversary is missing or listed incorrectly, kindly notify

11/01 Max Powrie

11/01 Thomas Soukup

11/02 Gail Lidinsky

11/07 Wendy Meier

11/10 Nancy Windish

11/11 Kathleen Denning

11/15 Greg Larson

11/17 Jane Sanks

11/19 Allan Dandino

11/20 Kara Ashby

11/20 Kaye Kempson

11/22 Cheryl Cook

11/23 Susan Yosco

11/24 Bill Ordman

11/24 Barbara Suprina

11/26 Erica Davis

If your birthday or a friend's or family member's birthday is missing or listed incorrectly, kindly notify

Pastor: Rev. Eric Olaf Olsen

Assistant to the Pastor: Rev. Larry Wright

Director of Family and Child 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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