Congregational Life

I want to Live Like That (like Christ) – Love. Feed. Serve.

It can be hard being new in any setting, including walking into a church
where many people already know one another. Even if an invitation has been extended, there are often questions: Will I feel comfortable? What will this church be like? What is this community of faith all about? Is there a place for me to grow in faith and live the faith?

Marty, despite asking at least some of these questions did indeed show up.
All of the questions weren’t answered right away, but he did discover that St. Philip might be a place to grow in faith and live the faith. “Pastor, this congregation seems to really have a strong sense of truly living through faith. Sometimes that means with each other but a lot of times that means with people all around us. I really want to be a part of sharing God’s love, whether that’s by sharing food, or sharing care, or even trying to share that love with the kids on the school bus I drive.”

Well that sure feels like you want to Live Like That (like Christ). That first
courageous step into St. Philip has grown faith. Faith enough for Marty to
invite friends he knows to see if they might discover how to live out God’s at St. Philip too. “Pastors, I want you to meet my friends – I want them to feel the grace and love here at St. Phillip and meet some of my new friends.” St. Philip is a community that is called by God to be God’s love in the world. People want to share in the mission – so we together continue with faith to Live Like That.

Congregational Life

What Does It Mean To Be Lutheran?

A letter from Bishop Eaton

Dear friends in Christ,

Grace and peace to you during this season of Lent. It is a time when we, as Christians, reflect on our life together in Christ and the ways in which our identity in Christ is reflected in the world. Being able to articulate that identity can help guide us to a better understanding of ourselves and each other as God continues to call us to respond to the needs of the world.

There are many ways to reflect on our identity as Christians and Lutherans, one of which is by engaging each other across our global Lutheran family. As part of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), we seek to contribute our North American Lutheran perspectives to the larger Lutheran tapestry, made up of 77 million members across 99 countries! And like the ELCA, the LWF has a rich history of theological study processes that can help us better understand ourselves and what it means to be church.

In 2019, the LWF launched a study process to explore the ways our global Lutheran identities are lived out through biblical interpretation, worship and the work of justice, peace and reconciliation. As a member of the LWF, the ELCA is taking part in this unique study process in a number of ways as we examine our Lutheran identity in our own context here in North America. We hope this process will allow us to experience the diverse ways our Lutheran tradition is being lived out. This is an opportunity to discern the ways in which we, in our own contexts, express law and gospel, faith and works, nature and grace, justification and sanctification, freedom and vocation – all parts of our common theological identity.

This Lent, I invite you to reflect on your Christian and Lutheran identities by participating in the Global Survey on Being Lutheran/Encuesta Mundial Sobre lo Que Significa Ser Luteran. We also ask that you invite others in your churches to participate. The survey will be open through March 31, and responses gathered will help to shape the 13th LWF Assembly in 2023.

In addition, between now and June you are invited to take part in a larger conversation that will transpire across the LWF communion. The LWF has produced a discussion guide titled We Believe in the Holy Spirit: Welcome to a Global Conversation on Being Lutheran/Creemos en el Espíritu Santo: Bienvenido/a a una Encuesta Mundial Sobre lo Que Significa Ser Luterano/a. This guide will help lead your congregation’s Christian education and/or youth group on a journey of mutual discovery and learning.

Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. They will contribute to furthering our understanding of what being Lutheran means in this time and place as we continue to journey together in Christ through these next 500 years of reformation.

With peace and gratitude,
Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Congregational Life News

Holy Week 2021 Schedule

All online worship services
Christian Education

Cross Generational Faith Formation

Mark your calendars for another Cross-Generational Faith Formation event on Palm Sunday, April 5! Gather at 10am in the Fellowship Hall for an interactive time of learning, faith conversation, and creativity! Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to grow in faith as we journey to the cross. Disciples aged 0 to 100 are invited, make plans to join in the fun!

Congregational Life Uncategorized


This event has been cancelled.

Does your family enjoy camping?

Camp Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center is revving up for the 2020 season, and you are invited to an informational event to learn about the Camp Caroline Furnace camping experience.

On Sunday, March 22 at 5:00pm, College Lutheran Church in Salem will be hosting a Family Night event. Join in the fun – dinner, games, and a campfire for s’mores. Bring your questions about summer camp and retreats. All are welcome.


An RSVP is requested to or respond to the Facebook event, found at the College Lutheran Church Facebook page at

Congregational Life

CANCELLED – Celebrate Life Seminars

PLEASE NOTE: All in-person gatherings have been all-in person events have been suspended until April 1. Please see this note from the pastors regarding the response to COVID 19.

Have you ever had questions about end of life care, legal options, funeral planning, or legacy giving? These are hugely important topics that often bring up a lot of questions. St. Philip is hosting a three-part event to learn more about how we can celebrate life as aging adults. This month there will be three sessions covering many important aspects of caring for elderly adults, including hospice care, legal processes, funeral planning, and legacy gift giving.

These sessions will be held on March 1, March 15, and March 29. Each session will follow the 11:00 service on Sundays and include a light lunch. Please RSVP to the church office by February 24 if you would like to attend these informative sessions! If you have questions, please see Pastor Laura.

Congregational Life

Mid-Week Lenten Worship Services

Fear is a formidable force. It has power to shape responses, to color conversations, to create barriers, and to form not only individuals but whole communities. Fear is formidable yet not ultimate. Fear left solely in the hands of humanity may actually have enough power to make a world defined by itself.

BUT God, God in Christ Jesus of the cross demonstrates and gifts love in such a perfect way that fear can be relegated to a place of inconsequence. Love then, and particularly God’s love then is the defining character of response, conversation, people, and communities. Fear is formidable, God’s perfect love is ultimate.

Explore on each Wednesday of Lent how this promise comes to be with a soup/salad meal at 6:00pm and worship at 7:00pm (except for Ash Wednesday). See below for the location each week.

February 26, 2020, Ash Wednesday Worship, St. Philip Lutheran Church

March 4, 2020, Trinity Lutheran Church, Rev. James Davis

March 11, 2020, Glade Creek Lutheran Church, Rev. Laura Dunklin

March 18, 2020, St. Philip Lutheran Church, Rev. John McCandlish

March 25, 2020, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Rev. James Armentrout

April 1, 2020, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Rev. Ken Lane

Congregational Life Youth Ministry

Fat Tuesday Steak Dinner Tuesday, February 25, 5:30-7:30pm

Come enjoy a steak dinner with baked potato, green beans, fresh bread, and fine desserts. You can even choose to begin with a bowl of gumbo. But the best part is gracious pampering and service provided by our youth. Our youth will greet you at the front door, hang up your coat, seat you in the dining area, get your drink order, and find out how you want your steak fixed – all while you relax.

This event is not only a great time to catch up with members of St. Philip, but it is also a great time to invite someone to enjoy some great hospitality at your church (then be sure to invite them back for Ash Wednesday services the next evening). Tickets are available from any St. Philip youth.

This is an important fundraiser for the youth group so they can attend youth retreats for all ages. Tickets are available from Eventbrite and are $15 in advance/$18 the night of for adults, and $3 in advance/$6 the night of, for a kids hot dog meal. Add a bowl of gumbo to your meal for an extra $2. Yum!

Christian Education

Open Book Small Group

Mark your calendars for January 25 from 6-8PM for a new small group called “Open Book.” Come to the church for fellowship, a potluck dinner, and book discussion over dessert.. Childcare can be provided, if requested. We will be discussing Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. The church will purchase the books by way of a Thrivent Action Team. If you have questions or an interest in this group, please contact Sue Huntington or Pastor Laura.

Congregational Life

Celebrate Life Seminar

Life is a beautiful gift, one that we treasure deeply. Join in for a three-part event to learn more about how to celebrate life as aging adults. In March, St. Philip will have three sessions covering many important aspects of caring for elderly adults, including hospice care, legal processes, funeral planning, and legacy gift giving. Each session will follow the 11:00 service on Sundays and include a lunch. If you have questions, please see Pastor Laura.