First Lutheran Church

Building A Neighborhood For Christ

542 S. 31st Street, Omaha, NE 68105, 402-345-7506

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Pastor Judith


              As of September 1, 2007, four years have passed since I was called to First Lutheran Church (FLC).  Consistent with my whole life, I at times wonder, where has the time gone?

              On my last day on earth, may I realize, it was spent for Christ.  What does that mean to me?  It means that I hope that my words and actions reflect my   being both saint and sinner.  Knowing that each day I try to do my best as pastor, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, or whatever role I am about on any particular day.  It means that on those many occasions wherein I have not acted or thought as a servant of God that I am forgiven just as others are forgiven by God’s everlasting love and sacrifice in his son, Jesus.

I pray that as a baptized believer I embrace the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a way that leads others to know love.  I strive for an inclusive ministry that holds all creation in awe.  Treating others with dignity and respect regardless of their belief is my daily goal.

Being part of an inter-city ministry is both challenging and rewarding.  At this time of my life there is no where else I would rather be.  Each day I find   reason to rejoice in this place that God has called me into.  We are growing     spiritually and in numbers.

We agree to walk the walk in this neighborhood in a way that reflects our mission statement of “Building a Neighborhood for Christ.”  I joyously celebrate another anniversary at FLC because I do embrace this mission. 

Thanks to all of you for the beautiful bouquet of lovely flowers in           recognition of the four years we have served together.  Please accept my bouquet of gratitude for helping me grow in this journey we are all on.


           astor Judith





Vicar Kristina H. Blanchek


                  It is so hard to believe that it is fall already.  Where did the summer go?  As I look out the window I am starting to see signs of fall.  This fall is definitely going to be busy here at First Lutheran with some new activities and making a change with others.

              One of the new and exciting events that will be going on at First Lutheran this month will be a Pet Blessing on Friday, October 5 at 6 p.m.    Pet Blessings are commonly done in observance either on or near the commemoration of Francis of Assisi.  This service will be held outside, so if you have a dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, etc. and would like to have them blessed come over to the church on Friday, October 5.   Martin, Katie, and Paco will also be at the service waiting to greet their fellow animal friends.  If you can’t bring your pet, bring a photo and join us.

Hopefully, beginning in October and continuing throughout the year, Sunday School will be changing its look.  We are going to be changing from the weekly curriculum to a rotational program.  Rotational Sunday School is a format where for 5 – 6 weeks the children will be taught the same lesson but in different ways.  Some of the ways might be drama, movies, science, cooking, art, and computers.  As we prepare for the start of this new curriculum you might notice some changes.  This is definitely an exciting time for Sunday School.

We invite all to come and hear the gift of music on December 7.  This event will have both Christmas music and some of Lost and Found’s classic songs.   As they say in one of their songs, Do Not Be Afraid; “Do not be afraid for the love of God is displayed in this place, at this hour, by God's grace, and God's power.”

I look forward to seeing you at these events and sharing the energy and enthusiasm with you all.

 May God’s Peace and Grace be with you all,

 Vicar Kristina Blanchek







Simone Weber

Director of Music Ministry


We are getting into a new rhythm.  Hope is adjusting well and so are we little by little.  The golden

 moments abound in our precious family!  Life is good.  God is good.

           Take note below of the opportunities that are coming your way.   We had an excellent Music

 Ministry Kick Off event and if you were unable to make it, I wanted you to know we missed you. 

 Sometimes people hear the word “music” and think, “Oh, I can’t sing or I can’t….”  I want to extend the

 invitation to you again to become a part of the music ministry.  Yes, we do need singers and

 instrumentalists, but in addition to that we also need willing hearts and hands to assist with promotion

 (phone calls, fliers), sound system (moving and listening), drivers (to transport musicians who don’t have

 wheels), decision makers (worship committee), pray-ers (to lift up the music ministry in prayer)… and the

 list could continue endlessly.  If you see yourself or someone else in one of those roles, please contact

 me.  We would love to have you join our team.

Make a joyful noise!

Simone Weber, Director of Music Ministry







Ruth Ann Barth

Office Manager

October Greetings,

              Last weekend my daughter and I met the world’s best friend and her daughter in Minneapolis for a “girl event.”  These three women are among those at the top of my   blessings list and we had a wonderful weekend together.   Refreshing, relaxing, rejoicing.

              Two very unrelated events on the trip reminded me of the saying that when God paints he uses ALL of his colors.  The first is the fact that the colors of the trees along the freeway actually changed noticeably between Friday as we drove up and Sunday as we drove home.  What a striking reminder of how quickly things around us change and our need to keep up and adjust.  The times they are a-changing’ indeed.

The second is color oriented also but in a much different manner.  A while back I sent away for some purple Complaint Free Living bracelets not knowing what I would ever do with them.  I was intrigued with and curious about the Complaint Free Living program.  This trip seemed like an interesting time to give them a try.  Four women with varied lifestyles and interests together for forty-eight hours. 

The suggestions for the Complaint Free program are that you put the bracelets on and agree to set your goal to not complain for 21 days (which is how long studies have shown it takes to change a habit).  Once the bracelet is on, if you complain you must take the bracelet off and change it to the other wrist.  If someone else wearing a purple bracelet complains you may ask them to change the bracelet but then you must change yours also.  If you can keep the bracelet on the same wrist for 21 days you have earned and can obtain a Complaint Free certificate.  It sounds so simple.  Yet….

I had to change mine before I got it all of the way on because I complained about how hard it was to get on.  By three o’clock in the afternoon I was complaining two complaints at a time so I didn’t have to go to the trouble.  One of our catch phases became “in a good way.”  My feet are killing me… in a good way.  I am exhausted… in a good way. 

We enjoyed many good laughs and more than many groans sharing this experience.  At a very late dinner, after a long day at the mall, I just threw my bracelet on the table and surrendered.  The purple bracelet challenge.  Try it with your family or a couple of friends.  For me it has served as a reminder that life is too short to spend much of it   whining and whying as much as we do and that with or without a purple bracelet God has given us a marvelous life to live on this planet created by His hand.  Let us love and appreciate each and every day.                                             







Jeff Hagelstein


At last the floors have been stripped, cleaned and waxed.  Almost the entire lower level is done and then I’ll work my way up!!!  It was  important to have the Centennial Hall looking good for all of our guests at the Harvest Dinner.  As the seasons begin to change it is a good time to look back on all of the activities and projects of the summer and to start plans to get as much done as possible before the weather turns too cold.  Laying sod, trimming trees, parking lot upkeep, and on and on.  One major project that will be done soon is the repair and painting of the chapel wall.  Keeping the building in good repair and looking well kept is my goal.  As fall and winter approach I will do all that I can to keep every person who comes and goes to FLC as safe and as comfortable as           possible.   Let me know if there are things I can do for you. 

God’s blessings to all ,  Jeff