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Youth and Family

Notes from Deacon Lindsay Stertzbach
Director of Youth and Family Ministry

June 18, 2024


Summer is a time where, for most, the pace seems to slow down, schedules aren’t as full, and there’s more time to breathe, and, if we’re lucky – find rest. For this particular deacon, that has not been the case! While the switch in worship schedule from two services to one has changed the pace of Sunday mornings, my schedule has remained full and will continue to have me quite busy as we approach VBS, a middle school camping trip, and the ELCA National Youth Gathering. It’s crunch time! I am extra grateful that the energy I was lacking during the first trimester of my pregnancy has returned…just in time to use it all up again! In addition to the updates provided below, I attended meetings for VBS, Evangelism & Communication, finance, LGL Samaritan Fund, the Ohio Candidacy committee, and served as a voting member for the Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly. 


Luther Middles Bake Sale

On Sunday, June 2, the Luther Middles held their annual bake sale to raise money for future fellowship activities. By having this fundraiser, we are able to do fun activities without being entirely dependent on a line item in our congregation’s budget. This year, they raised over $350! Thank you to all who helped make this fundraiser a success!


Vacation Bible School

We have 19 youth registered to participate in a week-long VBS experience at St. Matthew from June 24-28. As you may have seen in recent Shout-outs, Facebook posts, and bulletin announcements, this year’s theme is “God’s New Creation.” We will be learning about and exploring how animals and the rest of creation are vital for helping to end hunger around the world. This curriculum comes to us (free) from ELCA World Hunger. We will be taking up two collections during VBS for different service projects:


Cups Cafe Collection

To help support a local feeding ministry in our neighborhood, we are collecting the following items to be donated to Cups Cafe: small deodorants, granola/breakfast bars, small packaged protein snacks (i.e. nuts, trail mix), socks, small boxes of bandaids, travel size first-aid creams, antiseptic wipes, bottled water, hard candy, gum, small boxes of candy (that won't melt), shampoo, body wash, bars of soap, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets. Items can be placed in the VBS donations box in the Narthex. 


ELCA Good Gifts Campaign

We are collecting monetary donations to purchase farm animals through the ELCA Good Gifts Campaign, which will go to families in various countries to support their need for sustainable and renewable food sources. 


The congregation will be invited to participate in these collections from June 23-July 7. We will also be sharing a video of the showcase from the last day of VBS during worship on Sunday, June 30 as a highlight/visual for the congregation. 


Luther Middles Camping/Canoe Trip

We currently have 8 confirmation youth (6th-8th grade) and 4 adults signed up to attend the Luther Middles Camping/Canoe trip.  Our time together will include worship, fellowship, camping in tents, and a 3-mile canoe trip.


Youth Gathering

We are officially less than 30 days away from attending the Gathering. Our final Gathering prep session is this Sunday, June 23. Over the next few weeks, I will be finalizing any remaining plans/details and making sure our youth are well-prepared for the experience. There will be a commissioning/send-off during worship on Sunday, July 14 to pray for and ask for God’s blessing for those who will be attending. 



Thanks to Amanda Kotick’s faithful leadership, a shoe collection/fundraiser has been taking place for the last week or so to help raise funds for the Luther League and provide shoes to people in need around the globe. There will be a shoe-drive after worship on Sunday, July 14 from 11AM-1PM in the parking lot and the community will be invited to participate.


Mutual Ministry

I will be meeting with my Mutual Ministry committee later this month for our Quarter 2 meeting. As a part of our time together, we will begin discussing and brainstorming items pertaining to my maternity leave (i.e. securing volunteer coverage, healthy boundaries, etc.) and how they can be of support as I prepare for that time. I have invited Pastor Steve to attend this particular meeting since his ministry will be affected, to some extent, by my absence. 


As a reminder, the members of my Mutual Ministry committee are: Kristine Neate, Amanda Kotick, Tom Kotick, Bob Maas, Mike Holthouse, and Barb Woodard.



Peace be with you,


Deacon Lindsay

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