Netflix Watch Party – The Social Dilemma (2020)

January 22 at 9 p.m.

If you haven’t seen this documentary already, it is a must-see for anyone with a nine-year-old or older! This documentary addresses the way technology is behind the unprecedented levels of self-harm, suicide, technology addiction, depression, and rising intolerance in society today. With technology taking over more of our lives now that it ever has, it is important to know the ethics (or lack-there-of) behind some of the biggest technology companies in America. This is a critical expose that features former executives from Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and more exposing the gloomy underside of social media. It’s not all dark though, this eye-opening documentary shows us the ways that social media can be used for good and were ultimately created with good intentions. This documentary helps us to regulate social media when it has been known to not regulate itself. How do we use social media as the tool it is meant to be rather than being played by it? 

Join me on a late Friday night (after bedtime) for a Netflix Watch Party. There will be a chat box next to the movie that will allow us to interact and discuss while we watch. **You will need to have a Netflix subscription to join and add the Teleparty extension to your Google Chrome browser. More information can be found here: https://www.netflixparty.com

If you are interested in this event, please email michaela@flccs.net. The link to the watch party can only be shared at the start of the event, so to receive the link you will need to RSVP via email before the event date and time.

Welcome Back to Sunday School!

Sunday School will resume on January 10. We are so excited to see you! For 2021 we will be practicing tighter security on all our Zoom Sunday School gatherings. This means that we will no longer be publishing the zoom links in our newsletters or on our website, despite the increased security of a waiting room. Zoom links will now be sent only through emails from Shelly. We are going to be as careful as possible to make sure that all families are safe while meeting online at First Lutheran. Please see the schedule below for our Sunday School offerings. If you have not received previous emails from Shelly, our Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry, or are interested in these gatherings and would like the zoom links, please email her at shelly@flccs.net.

Preschool Zoom 11 a.m. on Sundays
Kinder-1st Grade Zoom 7 p.m. on Mondays
2nd-3rd Grade Zoom 7 p.m. on Saturdays
4th-5th Grade Zoom 7 p.m. on Tuesdays
6th-7th Grade Zoom 7 p.m. on Wednesdays

Children’s Christmas Program – ZOOM Style

Another opportunity for being creative! We are planning to put on our traditional Christmas program via Zoom – if kids are interested. Please ask your kids if they want to participate and explain that they will need to commit to doing it. They also have to be pretty good readers and good with doing it via Zoom.

If so, ask them to provide their first and second choice for a part (the part of Mary always goes to a 5th grade girl). We will edit the script to shorten and accommodate whoever is interested and mail a printed version. It is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3:30 p.m. and will be available for our members and your families to watch live. The point of doing it is for the kids to maintain this tradition of learning the story and being a part of the Sunday school community. As for costumes – the kids are charged with making one from whatever they can find at home! Let Shelly know by November 23 via email – shelly@flccs.net.

Coping in a Pandemic: Three Strategies for Setting Mental Health Boundaries on Technology

By Michaela Eskew

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many children and youth to experience mental health problems including anxiety, stress, and depression. This 3-part podcast series includes three coping strategies for combating the technology overload we have all experienced in this pandemic.  Connection, Focus, and Rest are three things we may feel like we were always lacking but this pandemic has only put a greater spotlight on their necessity for proper mental health. Using the book The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction by Christine Carter, PhD, this series helps with practical strategies for giving ourselves grace and proper mental health boundaries in this pandemic.

Start the series by clicking below for Coping in a Pandemic – Connection
https://flccs.net/media/712625-3943678-2764845/coping-in-a-pandemic-connection

For those parents out there, there is a special fourth podcast just for you! If you are wondering, “How do I possibly get my kids to listen to these podcasts or even implement these strategies?” this podcast is for you! It’s a bit longer than the strategy podcasts, but it uses Christine Carter’s amazing book to provide solid research for what is stressing teens today (trust me its more than you handled as a teenager) and how to work with them to alleviate those stressors.
https://flccs.net/media/712625-3943678-2764763/coping-in-a-pandemic-the-new-adolescence-podcast

I hope these podcasts will be a resource for all that feel fatigued by technology and it is something you can come back to again and again as you need.

A Word of Encouragement for American Youth

Hi Youth of First Lutheran,

Please read this – it is very important.

As I write this we are 5 days from Election Day and it feels like America is the farthest it has ever been from being united. Many of us are triggered by the things we hear from social media and news outlets and are feeling upset. If you are feeling that way too, I want you to know that I care so much for kids living in this time and I hope these next few words will be of help for you.


Many of you might be feeling anxious, you have a voice and opinions about the country and yet you are not yet allowed to vote. That can feel very discouraging, but right now we need your voices more than ever. Regardless of where you would have voted in this election, our loyalty to Christ always comes first. Just as Jesus walked with the children, the sick, and the outcasts of his society, he walks with those that feel invisible and silenced in this society and calls his followers to do the same. Jesus taught us that no one is to be overlooked and the care of the entire community is in our hands.


Christians (and even Old Testament Jewish believers) have long struggled with governments and leaderships. I’m not talking about the Egyptians holding the Israelites as slaves before they were taken out into the wilderness and the promised land by Moses, although that was a hard time for the Jewish people. I’m instead talking about the kings of the Old Testament, people that were flawed and made mistakes just like us. Even in a kingdom that should have been ruled by good kings and queens following God, they still messed up. Why? Because they forgot that God was supposed to be the ultimate king. Then zoom many many many years later and you have Jesus saying the same thing. Anytime he is tested about how to be good citizens in Israel, he responds with something along the lines of “do what you have to do: pay taxes, follow civil laws, but don’t forget who your real leader is.” Then in the early church, after Jesus had died, his disciples tried to follow those same rules. They didn’t focus on government leadership, they instead focused on feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and telling people about Jesus.


Throughout history Christians have been trying to follow the rules of separation of church and state, to help them to remain both good citizens and good Christians no matter who was ruling the kingdoms and countries they lived in. And remember most of these people never got to choose their rulers at all, they just had to obey them! We are so lucky that when we do reach 18 years old, we get a vote in how our country is run! Our Christian faith doesn’t change after this election, we are still called to Love God with all our soul, with all our heart, and with all our strength and Love Our Neighbor as ourselves. We are also called to care for God’s creation. Jesus doesn’t want us divided, God wants us united working toward God’s kingdom.


So, if you are feeling anxious about the upcoming election, like I am, then try to rest in the idea that God is not surprised by this election or any election for that matter. Please hear that: you can rest and be at peace. There is a larger plan at work for God and God’s kingdom on earth. In the midst of that plan we are given free will and we must actively pursue the care of all creatures and people. These thoughts give me some peace in this conflict-ridden time, but what really helps is to walk away from the
craziness of social media and news outlets and be with real people that I care for and need me in this pandemic. Who can you reach out to?
I hope this letter helps you to see that you are only the most recent generation that has felt fear about changes in power, felt longing for a better world, and tried to walk the fine line between being a good citizen and being a good Christian. Just like Christians before you, I encourage you to seek out fellow believers and keep working toward God’s Kingdom because that’s the only power that matters.

May God be with all our elected officials, both recently elected and those returning for another term. May we always remember who is really in power and the world that God called us to create. Remind us always to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, look after our sick and visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25: 31-46). Calm our fears and return us to right community with one another. It is in Jesus’s power and name that we pray, AMEN!

Faithfully,
Michaela Eskew
Minister of Faith Formation

Post-Confirmation High School Small Groups

Are you missing the small group that you went through confirmation with? Are you interested in getting back together once a week for some time to chat and re-connect? Wednesday night LIGHT, our new 7 pm worship service on the lawn, features large group breakouts after worship. We want to create a group that is just for you, 10th-12th graders. If you are interested, please let Michaela know. Click here to email her!

Family Movie Night on the Lawn – Starts Friday August 28th

Everyone is invited! This week we’re showing a fun movie for all ages. We will start the movie on the lawn at 8pm. Bring a blanket or chairs and a mask or face shield.  Kids under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent.  Youth between 13 – 18 are welcome to come alone if their guardian has submitted the Youth Permission Form on site or online 

https://flccs.net/ministries/youth-group-permission-form

Kids are welcome to bring friends as long as their parents have submitted the same form. Hope to see you there!

High School Youth are going to Pueblo Reservoir!

Please join us on August 15th for a day at Pueblo Reservoir!  We will meet there at 9:00 am and weather permitting, spend the day swimming and relaxing.  Bring $5 for lunch; drinks and snacks will be provided.  We ask that you bring a mask to be worn when not in the water. We will do our best to keep socially distanced, so please come based on your own comfort level. Bring your rafts and tubes – we can stay distanced as long as there is one person per floatie!

Permission slips are required (even if kids are 18)  and can be found here. Details will be emailed to you once your permission slip is uploaded.

Adopt a High School Senior!

Lets shower our high school seniors with extra love! They continue to have so many disappointments this year, no senior breakfast, prom, yearbook signing day, last day of school out in the parking lot, graduation, parties, just to mention a few. We can do a lot to cheer them up!

Fill out the form here if you’d like to ‘adopt’ one or even two of them. You will be provided a name, short bio, and address and the rest is up to you. You can send cards, gifts, lunch, etc. Please make sure you include some words of wisdom to pass on to this amazing group of kids!

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