All Members, Winter Residents, Family and Friends, 

          Greetings on this Wednesday afternoon/evening!  I just got off the phone with Arlene Clouston as she had sent me an email telling me that TODAY is Bob and Arlene’s 

70th Wedding Anniversary!  That is amazing!!!  Here is there address; 

          Robert and Arlene Clouston

          22 Belle Tower Ave.

          Lake Placid, Fl. 33852

Perhaps you can drop them a belated anniversary card or note of encouragement.  Bob has had some health set backs in recent weeks.  But they faithfully try to make church every Sunday.  

          Ok this weekend in Father’s Day!  And my sermon focuses on the perfect Father, Our Father in Heaven.  Now keep in mind that the church is decorated for Vacation Bible School next week.  It will be very different than you are used to!  So please be understanding!  We will try to do Communion somehow!  


          Well as most of you know by now the county desires to go to paid fire firefighters throughout Highlands County.  The plan is to initially man 4 stations throughout the county with 36 Firefighters.  Each dwelling unit has been assessed a fee of 106.00 a flat rate.  Everyone pays the same amount.  The reason that I am bringing this up is that there has been quite a uproar from the churches of our county because of the tremendous increase seen in our assessments.  

Now I have to say that I have spoken with two different commissioners this past two days and the general sentiment seems to be to go back and review the proposed rates because they are not equitable across the board.  To give you a simple example this is the proposed assessment for Trinity Lutheran Church

We currently pay an assessment of                                                      $209.00

The propose rate is as follows;

          1,450 Square Feet of Commercial Building Space                     $261.00 ($0.18 per square foot)

          8,450 Square Feet of Institutional Building Space                      $1,775.55 ($0.21 per square foot)

          1 Parcel of land                                                                        $30.00

Total of                                                                                              $2,036.55

Definitely a sharp increase.  

          Another prominent Church in Town has an assessment that has gone from $245.00@ to over $10,000.00. 

          As Churches we are not against the assessment we feel however that there should be a more equitable way of assessing us.  They are assessing us at different rates but mostly at the highest rate of .21 Cents a Square foot.  And some of us what to know what is considered commercial on a church property.  We are going to propose that they establish a special category for churches and phase this entire process in over several maybe even five years.  

          Thanks to Norm Church our new Park Benches are installed out in front of the Reformation/Luther Mural.  Thanks Norm for you dedication to this project!!!!


          Worship begins at 10AM!!!

Have a great remainder of your week!!!