St. Paul Lutheran Church

Castle Rock, Washington


A community of faith that worships, grows, and serves




"We are one body in Christ, united in baptism, renewed through

worship and prayer, and sent by God to serve"

Good News of St. Paul

 November - December   




Pastor's Page


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”  (John 1:1-5)

As I sit here writing this, the rain has let up temporarily. The sky is getting a little lighter, but I’m not sure how long that is going to last. I am not particularly fond of this time of year. This is the time of year when I get up it’s dark, or when I get home from church it’s dark, or I have to turn on the lights in the middle of the day when a storm blows through.  The thing is we still have another 8 weeks before we reach the solstice, and the days again become longer. Some would say that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I want to sit around doing little, I want to eat more, and I have a harder time concentrating on the things I need to (like writing this article).  But I wonder if there isn’t something more profound going on here.

In the bible the word “darkness” has several metaphorical meanings. Many of us can relate to the fact that in one sense darkness represents death. It is the eternal nothingness, a place from which there is no return. This time of year represents that death. We see the leaves dropping from the trees, the grass has stopped growing, and the plants are beginning to wither.  It is a time that reminds us of our own mortality. Darkness has also been associated with the Day of the Lord, that is judgment in connection with Christ’s second coming. There has been a lot of talk about the End Times recently, and frankly there are days that sure seem like it is the end of the world (wind howling, rain coming down in buckets, etc). However, darkness can also mean ignorance of God’s will.  This is what the writer of John’s Gospel was getting at in the verses above. We live in an age, a society, and an area of the country where many live in “darkness”.  There are many who only understand God as either being a benevolent deity, not interested in the affairs of we mortals; or, the understanding runs to the other extreme of an angry, vengeful God who does nothing but wreck havoc on humanity. And yet throughout the bible we read and hear of God’s continual involvement with the people of all nations, and of God’s love for God’s creation.  This involvement is realized in the person of Jesus, the God-child, being born in a lowly manger in the middle of Palestine 2000 years ago. This is the light that the Gospel writer speaks of, the light that shines into the darkness of human mis-understanding of who God is. It is Jesus, who gives light to our lives, and to the lives around us.  

As we come into this time of holiday parties, of trying to find the right presents for our loved ones, of putting up decorations and lights, I hope and pray that we, as a community of faith, will continue to be the Jesus-light that shines in the darkness of the lives of others.  

-Pastor Bob

Parish Nurse
Have You Had Your Flu Shot?
I know I have written about this numerous times. We all need flu shots to protect ourselves and others! 
Contact your provider about getting one, or go to local pharmacies that are providing the injections. 
So if you are 6 months old or 106 you need a flu shot! And remember to wash your hands after sneezing or coughing! If in doubt always wash your hands! Those germs spread very easily! 
To your health, K.C. Babcock, R.N. 
Have You Had Your Flu Shot?
I know I have written about this numerous times. We all need flu shots to protect ourselves and others! 
Contact your provider about getting one, or go to local pharmacies that are providing the injections. 
So if you are 6 months old or 106 you need a flu shot! And remember to wash your hands after sneezing or coughing! If in doubt always wash your hands! Those germs spread very easily! 
To your health, K.C. Babcock, R.N. 


Monthly Financial Report

Figures are regarding 

the General Fund: 

Total giving:

 September:  $14,649.00

  October:  $11,619.00

Approximately $13,000 is needed each month to cover expenses.

Thank you for your faithfulness!




Volunteers Are Needed

We are asking you to seriously consider giving of your time in one or more areas listed below.  Time changes things but our need for willing people to fill in necessary positions goes on. Please give it prayerful thought.


• Altar Guild Member - two week stints setting and cleaning up after communion on Sunday.  (See Sharon Blankenship or Janet Eiden for details.)

 • Lector - Read the First and Second Lesson on Sunday morning.  With rotations, you would read  about 2 times every 6 months.  (See Geri with questions.)

• Communion Assistant - help administer the bread/wine on Sunday morning.  With rotation, you would assist on average 2 times every 3 months. (Occasionally a substitute is needed when someone is unable to serve on their assigned Sunday, so there are opportunities to fill in).  This is a ministry that is truly in need of more members.   (See Glen Agren or Earl Small for more information)



With Sympathy

Our sympathy to the Ron Sturgill Family.  Ron passed away on Sunday, October 28th.  A celebration of memories is planned for 4 p.m. Friday (11/2) at the Woodworkers Local Lodge, 536 Oregon Way, in Longview.




There will be no quilt show this year.


Trunk or Treat

Thank you to Al Black, Jacki Whittaker, Sharon Blankenship, Nick Petkovich, and Pastor Bob who handed out candy to the kids (and some parents!) at the Trunk or Treat event. Over 120 kids were served!


Pastor Bob's Shoutouts


Thank You to:

• Paul & Jackie Schwinn for cutting the tree by the fellowship door and clean up.  Also, Earl Small for removing the trunk.

• The youth and adult helpers who made the delicious apple cider!

• Al Black for organizing the Trunk or Treat event, Leann Beall for putting together the Smile, God Loves You tracts, and the volunteers who handed out candy to the kids on Halloween.

• K.C. Babcock for her faithfulness in visiting the lonely and the sick.

• Diana Rahn, Katrina Hinesley, Neal Johnson, and Glen Agren for committing to the two years of the Imagine Program.



As most of you know, we are now ‘LIVE’ with the new security system for the main door.  This door will stay locked at all times.  The only access will be with a key card, or, if you come during office hours Monday - Friday (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.), someone will let you in.

If you requested a key card, or if you didn’t and need one, see Geri.  The old key system will no longer work.  Your key can be disposed of or turned in to the office.

Craft Vendors Wanted

The Community Home Health and Hospice is seeking vendors (creators of handmade items, bakers, and volunteers) for their annual Winter Wonderland Bazaar held on Saturday, December 1st.  

If you would like to be a part of this, contact Christina at (360)703-0314.


Family Promise of Cowlitz County

See their October Newsletter (included on page 7) giving you the latest information regarding this program.

PLEASE NOTE: The next Community Family Promise Meeting will be Tuesday, November 13th at 7 p.m. at New Song Worship Center, 161 Aaron Drive inn Lexington.




Blood Drive Coming

The next Blood Drive is Monday, November 19th from noon - 6 p.m.

Please consider giving.  Remember, the blood stays  in our local area to help save lives!



Prayers for Members and Friends

Please remember these people with your prayers, phone calls, visits or cards:

Those with Health Concerns:  Laurie Ross-Aristide, Al Black, Bob Bruner, Beth Hinesley, Christine Koppert, Crystal Hummel, Angie Bouder, Angie Manfreddi, Jean Jones, Eric Smith, Darlene Jackson, Don Miller, Katie Frei, Mary Mage, Linda Titus, Katie Ogden, Peggy Droz,  Ron Sturgill, Lisa Hill, Gayle Agren, April Erdelbrock

Care Givers and Care Receivers:  Joyce LeMonds, Palma Jensen, Corrinne Kuehner, Vi Benham

Those Serving in the Armed Forces:  Hunter Whitten, Sam Gallow, Tyler Kleine, Eddie Oswalt




Thanksgiving Worship Opportunities

• On Sun., Nov. 18th, there will be a Joint Thanksgiving Service with the Lower Columbia Cluster Churches at 3 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran in Longview. A pie social will follow.

• The annual Castle  Rock Community Thanksgiving Eve Service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21st.  At the time of this writing, the location is yet to be determined.  Be watching your Friday e-mails, and, of course, the bulletin.

Christmas Festivities

• Breakfast with Santa - Sat., Dec. 8 in fellowship hall (C.R. Co-op Preschool event)

• Sunday School Christmas Program - Sun. Dec., 16 at 10:30 a.m. 

• Christmas Eve. Communion/Candlelight Services at 7 and 11 p.m.


• NO Christmas Day Service on Dec. 25. Office Closed - Dec. 25 





November Birthdays

1   Josie Foster Swim

3   Jason Koppert 

4   Denise Foster

Kristin Fowler-Foulger

5   Pr. Bob Sinclair

     Daniel Anderson

6   Brad Ness

8   Tina Smith

10  Bob Larsen

11  Seth Foster

12  Palma Jensen

13  Don McClay

15  Laura Berg

18   Jerod Vandehey

19  Anna Cunningham

21  Chris Masten

22  Lindsay Berg

   Glee Ann Erdelbrock

23   Cody Sicklovan

       Jasmine Ogden

24   Barb Lane

26   Danny Oswalt

      Linda Easterling

27  Kristin Knutson

     Elizabeth LeMonds

29  Katrina Hinesley

30  Leann Beall

November Baptismal Birthdays

9     Joe Shero

12   Anita Gallow

15   Patsy Grizzle

17   Steve Foster

19   Jim McDaniel

20   Carol Adams

       Heidi Mitchell

      Alexandra Jones

25   Jordan Jenkins

       Courtney Welty

26   Bev Crocker

30   Cory Johnson

     Mathew Schwinn


December Birthdays

2    Bill Clayton

4    Shirley Johnson

6   Ed Berndt

7    Linda Solberg

      Hannah Lyon

10  Emily Foster

      Brigitte Bontoft

11  Nicki Highlander

12   Glen Agren

       Janet Eiden

17   Amy Whitten

       Linsey Sturgill

       Sonny Smith

20   Kim Grizzle

21   Alyssa Gallow

23  Linda Diepenbrock

25   Judy Albright

28   Maggie Ashby

29   Granville Oswalt

       Justin Sicklovan

30   Andy Kotera

       Luke Rahn

       Allen Black

December Baptismal Birthdays

1     Geri Skreen

2     Emily Ashby

4     Jakob Houser

      Shaylynn Houser

6    Brad Ness

10  Linda Solberg

11  Bronteʹ Martin

      Flannery Martin

      Megan Ness

      Reed Ness

      Jared Remmers

      Kalen Remmers

15  Sandee Ness

19  Ashley Lyon

20  Sarah Bryan

      Jeanette Foster

21  Jill Lair

25 Leann Fadness-Beal

26   Ed Berndt

30   Adam Foster

31   Vineta Thomsen

        Mali Skreen


November Anniversaries

8      Steve & Jeanette Foster 

11    Tim & Katie Ogden 

18    Karen & Mike Cloke 

23    Monte & Cathy Hartshorn 

December Anniversaries

23 David & Vicki Masten 

26 Lowell & Jan Bamford 

28 Richard & Geri Skreen