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First Evangelical Lutheran Church

400 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI  54601


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People are the strength of our congregation. Our members represent a diverse segment of society from poor to wealthy, young to old, and everyone in between. While we look to our called workers as leaders, we share the work with them, and we support them in their tasks. For God did not tell us to stand on the sidelines and watch, but to "work while it is day". Therefore, while some of our groups are more focused on service, and others on fellowship, there is both in all of them, and our members take great joy from the times spent together. True, there is always more to be done, and always room for improvement, but again, our people are the greatest asset we have. Below is an introduction to some of the people and groups you will find at First Lutheran.

The Pastors

Pastor Sachs
Pastor Schmudlach
Email: pastorsch@firstlacrosse.org
Pastor Pamperin


Our Day School Teachers


Mrs. Laureen Lehman

Email: prek@firstlacrosse.org


Mrs. Kristin Handy

Email: kinder@firstlacrosse.org

First Grade

Mrs. Vicki Riness

Email: grade1@firstlacrosse.org

Second Grade

Mr. Ken Lehman

Email: grade2@firstlacrosse.org

Third Grade

Ms. Mykayla Jensen

Email: grade3@firstlacrosse.org

Fourth Grade

Ms. Mykayla Jensen

Email: grade4@firstlacrosse.org

Fifth Grade

Mr. John Byus

Email: grade5@firstlacrosse.org

Sixth Grade

Mr. John Byus

Email: grade6@firstlacrosse.org

Seventh Grade

Mr. Matt Meitner

Email: grade7@firstlacrosse.org

Eighth Grade

Mr. Matt Meitner

Email: grade8@firstlacrosse.org


School Secretary

Mrs. Courtney McCollough

Email: school@firstlacrosse.org

Church Secretary

Mrs. Angie Ries

Email: church@firstlacrosse.org

School Librarian

Mrs. Vivian Norris

Email: library@firstlacrosse.org

School Custodian

Mr. Matthew Las

Email: custodian@firstlacrosse.org

Church Custodian


Service and Fellowship Groups
(click on a link for more information)

Church Council Instrumental Ensemble
Elders Committee Recorded Services Committee
Education Committee Mailing Committee
Outreach Committee Technology Committee
Buildings and Grounds Committee Christmas Decorating Committee
Youth Committee Archive Committee
Stewardship Committee Ladies Aid
Worship Committee Reception Committee
Christmas Diorama Mother's Club
Prayer Chain Men's Club
Ushers Handbell Choir
Senior Choir OWLS

- Church Council
The Church Council, elected by the voters of the congregation, is responsible for carrying out the affairs of the congregation and setting an example of a life of faith. The pastors and the grade school principal are ex-officio members of the church council, but do not vote on council decisions. The council meets monthly, but there is often a great deal of informal information exchange and sub-meetings. The six committees described immediately below are all chaired by members of the church council, and report monthly to the council for needed actions or approvals.

 - Elders Committee
The Elders Committee works for the spiritual care and growth of our members. They ensure that worship services are held regularly and in a God-pleasing fashion, they promote and plan opportunities for spiritual growth, and they call on members who are straying in their faith.

 - Education Committee
The Education Committee oversees the operation of our Christian day school, setting policy, determining fees and financial matters, and working with the staff to set the curriculum, school year calendar, etc. The committee also directs the Sunday School program and supervises several subcommittees.

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 - Outreach Committee
The Outreach Committee plans and coordinates activities that introduce our congregation to the community, such as the Christmas Diorama, marching in the torchlight parade, and the church picnic. They also coordinate the welcoming and assimilation of new members into congregation.

 - Buildings and Grounds Committee
The Buildings and Grounds committee ensures proper maintenanace and upkeep of the facilities the Lord has blessed our congregation with, including the church building, the school building, and all parsonages, teacherages, or other property holdings of the congregation.

- Youth Committee
The Youth Committee promotes the youth groups of our congregation and serves as a liason between them and the church council. This committee reviews and coordinates youth activities, and assists with providing the resources these groups need to operate.

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- Stewardship Committee
The Stewardship Committee works to assist congregation members in serving God with their time, talents, and treasure. Annual stewardship programs highlight various ways members can give back to God from the blessings He has provided.

- Worship Committee
The Worship Committee is a small group of people, including the pastors, who meet several times each year to discuss and plan ways to enhance and enrich our worship services, making sure that all things are done to the glory of God. The order of services, special music, organist schedules, hymn selections, and related topics are among those determined by this commottee.

- Christmas Diorama
In the early 1990's our congregation began an event known as the "Living Christmas Card". Members of our congregation dressed in constumes and enacted scenes from the nativity on our school program, as members of the community drove through to witness the event. This was a very large event that brought the congregation together and enlisted hundreds of volunteers in a multitude of tasks. The event lives on today as part of the Rotary Lights display, and has now moved to Riverside Park. Other WELS congregation now join us in participating in this important opportunity to witness the true story of Christmas to the world around us. Beyond the actors and choir members, many support staff are involved, and during the off-season, repair and maintenance of costumes and equipment are also needed.

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- Prayer Chain
A volunteer network of congregation members serves as a comfort to members in times of need, as well as in times of joy, by offering to pray for requests that come in. Service on the prayer chain also builds the faith of those who serve by allowing them to witness God's answers to prayer and by allowing them to approach their Lord often with these requests. The requested prayers are kept confidential, except to forward them along to the next person in line.

- Ushers
Usher crews greet worshipers as they enter church, hand out bulletins, and assist with seating people, as needed. During services, they collect offerings, escort communicants to the Lord's Table, and dismiss worshipers at the end of service. Ushers also assist in dealing with emergencies or difficulties experienced during a worship service.

 - Senior Choir
The Senior Choir provides an opportunity for high school-aged and older members to praise God and beautify our worship services through singing. The choir is a tradional, four voice choir. The group rehearses weekly from September to May, and sings during worship services one to several times per month.

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- Handbell Choir
The Handbell Choir of our congregation provides beautiful music for regular worship services and special occasions from September to May, and participate in various festivals on a regional and national scale.

- Instrumental Ensemble
Members who play musical instuments have the opportunity to play in our congregations Instrumental Ensemble, which plays for worship services several times during the year. The ensemble welcomes brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion musicians. You do not need to be an "expert" to join this group, but only have the desire to serve the Lord by playing music to His glory.

- Recorded Services Committee
The Recorded Services Committee assists those members who cannot attend worship services at church by delivering DVD's of recorded services to them. The committee also maintains several DVD players available for those who do not have their own, and these are loaned without cost to members who need them.

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- Mailing Committee
This group of volunteers meets monthly to prepare the church newsletter and monthly calendar for mailing. The Mailing Committee also organizes and oversees the distribution of "Meditation" booklets, annual member giving statements, collegiate announcements, offering envelopes, and any other mass-mailed products distributed by the congregation.

- Technology Committee
The Technology Committee meets as needed to plan, coordinate, acquire, install, and maintain computing and other electronic resources for our church and school. The committee maintains the school computer network and computers, makes recommendations on software purchases and printing devices, and maintains the church and school internet web pages.

- Christmas Decorating Committee
The Christmas Committee decorates the interior and exterior of the church building for the Christmas season, and also sees to the proper maintenance and storage of these decorations. Decorations are often chosen to match the theme of the children's song service on Christmas Eve, and can be fairly elaborate.

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- Archive Committee
The purpose of the Archive Committee is to gather, catalog, and display historical material about First Ev. Lutheran Church. The committee seeks information and material from the recent and historic past of the congregation. A display case in the church basement is maintained by the committee and changed monthly.

- Ladies Aid
The Ladies Aid is an orgainzation dedicated to promoting the welfare of our congregation and synodical schools. Included under this mission are a variety of service, fellowship, devotional, and educational activities. The Altar committee is a subcommittee that prepares the altar for worship services, including the altar cloths and flowers. The Sick and Visiting Committee visits members in nursing homes and shut-ins. The Guest Committee sends cards to visitors who worship with us. Volunteers from the Ladies Aid also help deliver Meals on Wheels and assist with the operation of the Church Library. Members of the Ladies Aid are also active in Lutherans for Life and the Lutheran Womens' Missionary Society.

- Reception Committee
Our church's Reception Committee serves meals for funerals, weddings, OWLS, and other requested dinners. They also assist with the church picnic and the Ladies Aid annual Christmas Tea. The ladies on this committee work hard to make every meal special.

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- Mothers' Club
Mother's Club is an organization of mothers and other caring women who help with the needs and activities of our Christian Day School. Again, it is a group that mixes a variety of service, fellowship, devotional, and educational activities. Service events include helping with vision and hearing screening for students, height and weight measurements, decoratiing bulletin boards, hosting graduation receptions and the school play, helping in the school library, serving hot lunch, helping with reading and tutoring programs, providing drivers for field trips, and delivering crafts the students make for shut-ins. Mother's Club also hosts the annual Mother-Daughter Banquet and serves at the church picnic. Mother's Club provides and wraps candy for Christmas Eve distribution and makes treats for the school children at Easter and Thanksgiving. The club also administers the soup label, box top, grocery receipt collections that can be redeemed for useful items for our school.

- Men's Club
First Lutheran Men's Club is an organization which encourages Christian fellowship among the men of our congregation. Monthly meetings are usually held on Saturday mornings and consist of a breakfast and presentation or topic. The Men's Club provides helpful service such as helping with the church picnic, hosting a breakfast on Easter and Mother's Day, helping with the Mother-Daughter Banquet and Christmas Diorama, hosting a wild game supper, and helping our members by snow shoveling, raking leaves, and washing windows.

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OWLS, or the Organization of Wisconsin Lutheran Seniors, is a national WELS senior citizen group. The La Crosse chapter of OWLS meets monthly at First Lutheran. Meetings consist of a devotion, potluck meal, and a presentation on a timely and interesting topic. The OWLS group is also active in promoting mission work, synod schools, and Luther High School.


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