November 2018
Coffee & Donuts 8:30am
Adult Bible Study 8:45am
Worship w/Holy Communion 10:00am

College Lunch 11:15 

A Word from Pastor John
One of the great gifts that a person can give to another person is commitment. Jesus said, "if a marriage is going to work, a man has to leave father and mother and cleave to his wife." Love is never cheap. There is always a price that it is willing to bear for another. When God loved us, He let go of His one and only Son, and let him be born for us. Jesus, too, because of His love for us, let go of his life and willingly suffered and died on the cross. "No greater love can a man have than this, than to die for a friend. You are my friends. Jesus said." In a similar vein, Jesus said that if we loved Him, we would feed his sheep. We would pick up our cross and follow him in living our life for God and for serving others.
Our church is going to celebrate God's call to be in ministry on Sunday, November 11th. We are calling this Sunday CONSECRATION SUNDAY, a day when we consecrate ourselves and all that we have to the Lord. CONSECRATION SUNDAY will really be a celebration as we take a moment to be together and witness to our call to be in ministry. There will be a special bible study and a luncheon after 10:00am worship service.

Pastor Dennis Bartels, of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, North Miami Florida will be the preacher for the day. Please pray that God will use CONSECRATION SUNDAY to review our faith and our commitment to Him.

Prayer Thoughts 
"Watch and pray."
On the night that Jesus was betrayed, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He took 3 disciples aside to watch and pray while He went a little further to pray. Jesus said as He left them to 'watch and pray', "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. . . . . Stay here and watch with Me. Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" Matthew 26:36-41

As ones who are redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, we have the privilege to enter the Holiest of Holy, the throne room of God the Father, to present our petitions before Him personally.  "We can draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:19-23   Jesus is asking us to 'watch and pray', to use our privilege of interceding for the many issues that have risen in our nation, states, and churches.

We have many temptations in our modern lives.  One is we say we have no time to spend time with the LORD, to watch and pray; or we say let someone (pastors, elders, prayer group) else do the praying; or I don't know how.  Prayer is just talking to God the Father, Jesus His son, and Holy Spirit.  Using your scripture reading as a basis for what to say to the LORD will help you interact with Him. Having a quiet time early in the day before everything comes to distract us from that time, really helps to keep us focused on what God the Father wants in His relationship with us. 
We are called to be the watchmen for our country and peoples. We are called to be that light shinning in the darkness around us "We are the light of the world. . . . . Let your light so shine before men. . . " Matthew 5:14-16   One small area in Europe established a prayer watch based on Isaiah 62:1-7.  In their prayer watch they focused on what was happening in the cities and in the nations; they used the scriptures to help them pray the promises of God, "God is not a man, that He should lie" Numbers 23:19 and "All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." I Corinthians 1:20   Lastly, they continued with a spirit of urgent restlessness, refusing to keep silent before God. (Isaiah 62:6-7) 

"Watch and pray!" We are being called to watch and pray for the situations around us, to use the scriptures in how to pray, and to spend time with our Heavenly Father, God, who desires to have fellowship with us on a daily basis. "For those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:10  "Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches and to us. And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' and he who hears say 'Come!' and let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 3:6; 22:17

November 6 Election Day

We have been taught to be "in the world" but not "of the world." This may or may not be considered an exception, but how do Christians affect the world in a righteous way if they don't vote. As you know, the list of choices on the ballot are both large in number but also in confusion. Suggestion: do all of your studying and selecting at your leisure before you go to vote. If you don't vote absentee, certainly vote early if you can. Either way, you will save a lot of last minute anxiety and help speed up the lines.

Honoring Our Veterans
The Preamble to the Constitution states "We the people of the United States ... provide for the common defence ...", which means that we commit our citizens to serve in some capacity.  We pray each week for those church family members who are serving now. On November 11 we can acknowledge the sacrifices made of those deceased and have a chance to give a "Thank you" to those veterans still with us.

Miriam Circle
Miriam Circle will meet on Tuesday morning, November 13th from 10:00 until noon in the church library.  Our study will be "Hold on to His Promises when Overloaded" from the Summer Lutheran Woman's Quarterly.  We'd love for you to join us.  We begin with coffee and fellowship for a little while then go through the study together. 

 Thank you to all the ladies .. and gentlemen .. who helped with the Zone LWML Rally last month, stitching mite box holders for favors, at registration, making salads, baking cookies or breakfast items, making the drinks, decorating the fellowship hall, ushering at the worship service, setting up for the communion service, leading it and preaching (Pastor Glover), watching over the breakfast and lunch tables, and cleanup, and thanks to all the ladies who attended.  The room looked festive in bright fall colors. We had two great speakers ... a beautiful golden retriever Comfort Dog's handlers in the morning and a young man who was helped by Gainesville Community Ministry and now works for them, helping others, in the afternoon.  They were this rally's mission projects.   

 Zone Rallies are held each spring and fall at one of the LCMS churches in our part of Florida.  The churches take turns hosting it.  Our congregation had last hosted one four years ago, so it will be a while before it is our turn to do it again.  When we all worked together to do what needed to be done, it went smoothly and was wonderful. 

Annual Report
For those who missed service on September 30, this was the announcement.   One way to think of the LCEF program is as a 3-legged stool. When we took advantage of a Demographic Study and a Capital Campaign, that was the Ministry Support leg. When we borrowed money to purchase the Stringfellow property for the Student Center and Vicarage, and over $1 Million for Open Arms, that was the Loan leg. The third leg is the Investment leg. If that program doesn't function well, the other two won't have funds to function well either. This is where you can help.

Currently, 89 members have maintained a balance of over $2.4 Million in the pool of funds for several years. This means they are pleased with the program. If you want information about the different options or the current interest rates, check out the display in the church office or go to

Thanks Giving
    Is Thanksgiving just a November event or tradition? Or is giving thanks a yearlong activity as we live our lives in thankfulness for grace, mercy and salvation? One way to give thanks is to share your bounty through stewardship. Have you considered the Lutheran Church Extension Fund as a means toward stewardship? It is because your investment dollars can be used for low-interest loans to help other congregations while you earn interest in your account. Isn't that a nice win-win situation? It's like reusing God's gift to you. Check it out at ""

Consecrated Stewards
Dear Members and Friends of First Lutheran Church,

You are by now probably aware that Sunday, November 11, is Consecration Sunday for our congregation. Our preparations for this Sunday have included some wonderful stewardship witness stories and the opportunity for spiritual growth and Bible study.

We know you will want to be part of the culmination of this time of growth in stewardship by attending the two special events on Consecration Sunday - Sunday morning worship at 10 AM and the Celebration Luncheon at 11:45 AM. The luncheon is a complimentary meal and a wonderful time of fellowship, but it is a catered meal, so we need reservations for each person. If you have not finalized your plans to attend these two events, please do so immediately.

Our goal is to have every member present on Consecration Sunday. If you did not make a reservation using a card at church, please let us know if you will be present by calling Jean Halabrin at 352-275-7433 and let us know how many from your family will be attending. 

As part of our worship on that date, our members will be given the opportunity to take a step forward in their financial stewardship response to God's grace in Jesus Christ. Your commitment will be confidential, and will be handled in such a way that will not call attention to those who are unable to make a commitment or who choose not to make a commitment at this time.

We will seek to contact those who have not made reservations, because we want all of our members to be present for this time of growth and celebration whether they are able to make a commitment or not.  But we will follow up only on those who have not attended Consecration Sunday in order to give them the opportunity to make a commitment to God's grace.

Please make an extra special effort to be present on November 11. It will be a blessing to you and to all of us.

Your Servant in Christ,
Chuck Meyer, Chairman



Campus Ministry  
November 9th- Friendsgiving Food-4-Kids Service Event 
December 7th - Holy Jesus Child! Christmas Party 

Tuesday  Night  Bible  Studies  " Nooma" series  at  7:30pm

College Lunch, every Sunday 

Friday  Night  Chill,
Every Friday  around  7pm 
at  the  Campus House - games,  study,  snacks,'s time to hang! 

Join  us  for  the  LSF  Tailgate  in  the  Campus 
House  during  UF Home games: 11/3, 11/10,  11/17

Contact Pastor Ken Chitwood via email for more information about Campus ministry.

Tuesday tasters
Tuesday Tasters have decided to have our monthly lunch together on November 13 to avoid being only two days before Thanksgiving.  We will be at the "Red Onion Neighborhood Grill at 3885 NW 24th Blvd. (and NW 39th Ave.)  We will gather, as usual by 11:30am. 

daylight savings time ends

Daylight Savings will end Sunday November 4th. Please remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour.


Open Arms Newsflash
Trunk or Treat was a huge success and we want to Thank everyone who helped out this year.  Every year we give the church 80% of our profit and this year we were able to write a check for $32,607.49. The Evelyn Martin scholarship has made it possible for one under privileged VPK family to attend the wrap around program for the rest of the school year. Be on the lookout for our Advent Program in December. Please continue to pray for us to stay healthy during the upcoming cold and flu season. Thank you for the continued support and prayers. 
The Open Arms Team

   Peanuts and Pies
Does peanuts and pies sound strange together? Strange though it may seem, on November 15 from 5:30-7:00 we will be putting them together for you and your family.
We will be watching "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," and serving pizza and fall desserts (get it...Peanuts and pies!). All ages are welcome to attend this event.  Please sign-up after church or contact Stephanie Karolus during the week if you and your family plan on attending.

Dear Friends,
       I have given this much thought, and have decided I do not have the energy to chair a Mission Auction and Dinner this year. Things are very unsettled in Nicaragua. Four members of Basic recently returned from Nicaragua. They kept a very low profile, and were able to build 4 houses, and provide 500 food packs to families. A lot of people are out of work due to the turmoil. Basic is still able to sponsor children for school, which is a real blessing in these troubled times. I hope First Lutheran will continue to keep this Mission in the budget, so we can provide some support for these families, which have become friends. Last years event was lots of fun, so that is a good note to go out on. Thanks to all you who have helped so much in many ways to make this mission such a blessing to the people of Santa Patricia.

Barbara Hughes

In This Issue


Prayer Circle - First Sunday of each month at 9:15am
Women's Book Club - Second Saturday of each month at 10:45am
Miriam Circle - Second Tuesday of each month at 10:00am
Phoebe Circle - Third Tuesday  of each month at 7:30pm


Click  here to see the November Birthday celebrations!
Click  here to see the November Anniversaries!