A Letter from Sarah

Hi there, First Lutheran! My name is Sarah Groh (Correa). This fall, I will be joining you as the new Associate of Music and Handbell Director. I began my service to the Church when I was very young by accompanying my mother, an organist, into the choir loft each Sunday. I see service to the church and its people as a way to use my gifts and follow God’s will.

I have a Bachelor of Music from the University of Kansas, a Master of Music from Arizona State University, and a Master in Lay Leadership from Fuller Seminary. I also have a twenty-five-year career in music ministry. My gifts include directing choirs, supporting lay volunteers, writing programs, building collaborations, organizing, training, and singing. In addition to ministry, I teach voice lessons in my studio, Groh Music, and lead the Sarah Groh Jazz Quartet. 

I am very excited to join the First Lutheran community and partner with the leadership and members to continue the ministry and legacy of the handbell program. My vision for the bell choirs is to spend the year Connecting, Building, Elevating, and Retreating. Let’s celebrate the amazing legacy of the handbell program, by signing up new and returning members, elevating skills and ringing into the community of Colorado Springs and beyond! 

 For me, ministry is about the whole person, including our gifts, stories, understanding of God, faith, and who we are becoming. The handbell program is more than a ministry, it is community and formation. With your help, I plan to strengthen and develop that, especially with the middle and high school players. 

For five years, I have taught a life & study skills class at Pikes Peak State College. I teach advanced tap dancing, cheer for the Kansas Jayhawks during basketball season, and enjoy visiting my family’s farm in northeast Kansas. Stop by to schedule a cup of coffee and chat any time. Also, consider signing up to play a handbell this fall. We welcome all who want to participate. 


A Letter from Macy

Hello First Lutheran Church! My name is Macy Kennedy, and I am very excited to intern with your congregation starting this fall. I am a Word and Service candidate from the Florida-Bahamas Synod, and I just graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. This internship is my final step in the candidacy process. I was endorsed in the fall of 2021 and will be up for approval in the summer of 2023. I will also be spending time interning at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp. My hope for the future is to be an ordained ELCA Deacon serving as a Program Director at a Lutheran camp; however, I am open to wherever the Spirit leads me. I am looking forward to bridging the “camp world” and “church world” together and witnessing how the Spirit moves through diverse avenues of ministry.

I love spending my time outdoors. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Studies, so I am eager to learn about and explore Colorado’s natural environment. I am very close with my family so I know being physically far from them will be a challenge for me. The snow will also be a challenge as I am used to the year-round Florida heat! I would define myself as an extrovert with a joyful demeanor and optimistic outlook on life. I enjoy challenging myself and trying new things. After I graduated from undergrad, I volunteered with Young Adults in Global Mission where I served at a school in Geelong, Australia. This program taught me the beauty of accompaniment and hospitality as I witnessed the peace and welcome of God through cups of coffee, camping trips, and long beach walks with people in my Australian community. I am excited to continue noticing the revealing of Christ through community with my internship at First Lutheran and Rainbow Trail. I look forward to meeting the community at First Lutheran and walking alongside its members as I continue to be shaped as a leader for my call to ministry.

High School Trip to San Fransisco!

We had an incredible trip to San Francisco with 18 high school students and four incredible youth leaders (well three anyway- Shelly Schmidt, Michaela Eskew and Marcus Kochis.) The youth spent their days doing service projects, seeing the sights and learning from the scriptures. They will share this Sunday at 8:00 and 9:30 more of their experiences, but I want to share some of the highlights with you too.  

Service Projects: We painted blessings on wooden planks for Youth Spirit Artworks. In the hot sun, the youth thought through messages they want to share with underprivileged youth and painted them on wooden planks to adorn the center’s courtyard. One of them read “It’s ok to not be ok,” and other one read “U deserve the World.” Some painted scripture and crosses and art to bless the center. The youth also spent time at a Crisis Center, a Food Bank, Cleaning up garbage at a Skate Park and helping a local church decorate for Vacation Bible School.  

Experiences: We spent one evening with an ELCA ministry called San Francisco Night ministries. They have what’s called an Open Cathedral, an outdoor liturgical service with hymns and contemporary music on the streets. We worshiped with homeless people and were surrounded with the noise and smells of the busy city. It was powerful to receive communion and hear familiar words in such a different setting. 

Faith Formation: Each evening we gathered for a large group teaching. We learned that we are a “thread in God’s tapestry.” WE even had a loom and weaved thread by thread to think about how we are part of what God is doing in the world. We had individual quiet time, the best of which was when we went to Muir woods and communed with God under 1,000 year old trees. One of our faith formation times was on a beach at sunset and concluded with kids coming forward and reaffirming their baptism and receiving a blessing. 

Community: This is the biggest thing that happened on this trip and why I think they are so valuable. The kids came together as a Christian community. Shy kids came out of their shells and everyone made new friends. They also messed up and got mad at each other and had to confess their sin and ask for forgiveness. They were being made into disciples. They grew in loving each other and I hope that love for one another keeps them coming together for worship, learning and fellowship in the coming year. 

We saw all the sights of course and that was good, but the best part was the work God did in the lives of our youth. Thank you again for supporting this trip and even giving above and beyond when we got delayed for a day and had a full day of extra expenses. This congregation has proven that it cares about youth and is willing to invest in their faith.  

I’m really tired and am going to take a long nap now. 😊 

-Pastor Travis 

The Peel House at First Lutheran Church Grand Opening!

It started with a parade with Pastor Peel and Louis Peel in a horse-drawn carriage, while Pastor Travis was driven around in a vintage 1959 Mercedes!

We then had a ribbon cutting ceremony, which you can watch below!

After the ribbon was cut around the Peel House, everyone was invited to go inside a take a tour! We had amazing food, friendship and fun! Take a look at the photos below. More will be added as they come in!

OWLs Are Back!

The Owl’s (Older Wiser Lutheran’s) met again for the first time in over a year! They went to the US Olympic & Paralympic Museum just in time for the Olympics! A few photos of their trip are below!

Want to attend the event on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 to the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum? We will meet at the church at 9:30 a.m for a 10:00 a.m. tour.
Here are the details!
Colorado Springs is turning 150 years old this year! The Pioneer Museum is having a special COS@150 exhibit. We will have an introduction in their Division 1 Courtroom then take a self-guided tour through the COS@150 -Exploring Colorado Springs Story Through Objects exhibit. The museum has chosen to examine 150 objects, illuminating 150 stories, exploring 150 years. The stories in the gallery are organized ten per decade. Bring your phone as you are invited to open the QR codes to explore more information at each story.
Where will we have lunch? It is FOOD TRUCK TUESDAY at the museum; take your pick! Please bring your own camping/beach type chair which will be stored in the van during the tour. If you do not have a chair, a folding chair will be provided by FLC on the east side of the museum.
Space is limited. We can take 45 in our buses and 60 total visitors if some drive on their own. The tour is free, but please bring a $5 per person donation to the museum. You can sign up by clicking here as well as an iPad sign up at all Sunday services. You can, of course, call the church at 719.632.8836 to sign up as well. The deadline to sign up is August 11!

VBS 2021 – That’s a Wrap!

This year Vacation Bible School (VBS) was done completely different, and it was SO much fun. First, this was done at night, so we had dinner and live entertainment. You ate with your family, while meeting new families! After dinner was over, the kids broke out into groups. The older kids got to pick an elective (tech/photography, kitchen/cooking/baking, stage set up/art and acting for the skit) while the younger kids did arts and crafts based on Daniel. All went to bible study and attended the skit at the end of each night based on Daniel. While the kids where learning and playing, the adults went to bible study with Pastor Travis!

Here are a few photos of our week at VBS. We can’t wait for this to return next year. It was so much fun for everyone! Big thank you to all of our families and volunteers who made this possible!

Coming Soon: Middle and High School Summer Trips!

Middle School – June 7-9

High School – July 18-23

This trip is for rising 7th -9th graders and will be here at First Lutheran. It will include service opportunities and KICK team training for those interested as well formational experiences and time just for fellowship and fun.
Click here to sign up!

Rising Sophomores -Graduating Seniors
Say a prayer and mark your calendars! If it is safe and prudent to do so we are heading to New Mexico to do the trip we planned for 2020. We’ll spend three days doing service work in Albuquerque with Service Learning Camps, then head to Las Vegas NM for three days of fun at Storrie Lake State Park.It’s going to be a week of fun activities, meaningful work, and most importantly… connection! Sign up here!

Epiphany greetings, friends!

Mark and Cynthia in Tanzania

We write, deep into the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year. Our classes are humming along and other projects are progressing as well. We write here of two: an Intensive Student Reading Group on Race and Christian Theology, and an experiment in training for congregations in Mission Engagement.


In mid-2020 when we were still in the US and watching the news of protests and movement in race relations, we started discussing how university students were engaging—and sometimes initiating—national and international conversations about race. This led to dialogue with Cynthia’s brother R. Ward Holder, who teaches at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, and to two grant applications to develop a joint student learning initiative on Race and Christian Theology, bringing students from Saint Anselm’s and Makumira together in learning about key African and African American thought about race and theology—a combining of topics…

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