Yard Sale to Benefit St. John’s Lutheran

  • Who: The Disciples of Mandarin Lutheran Church
  • What: A fundraiser garage sale to support the efforts of St. Johns Lutheran Church to accomplish much-needed repairs on their building so that their Ministry may continue.
  • When: Saturday, September 11th, from 8am-2pm
  • Where: Mandarin Lutheran Church campus
  • How: Please drop off gently used items at the church during office hours, Mon.-Thurs. 9 am-2 pm, or on Sunday. Bagged or boxed, the items may be placed against the wall under the screen in the Fellowship Hall. Donated new items would be most appreciated. Please spread the word to neighbors and friends.
     “Many hands make light work!”
If you can spare some time to help with this ministry please contact Marilyn Whitford at 904-742-6088.
Our brothers and sisters at St Johns need our help…many thanks!

MLC’s Annual School Supply Drive

Mandarin Lutheran Church is holding our annual school supply collection to support local students in need. A donation box is set up in the Fellowship Hall. If you are able to participate, please drop off donations at the church on Sunday mornings or during regular office hours, Monday – Thursday 9:00AM – 2:00PM.

*Backpacks with wheels are not permitted in most schools.

Last day for the school supply collection is August 9th!

Click the image for a list of supplies needed.

Sandy Mitten: Our Woman of Valor

Last Friday, one of our family travelled to our Nation’s Capital to receive an award.

As a retired Naval Officer, I am one of several veterans we have in our MLC family. We all tease each other about the branch of the military we served in but that is in jest and we all deeply respect the service to our great Nation.

On Saturday, June 12th at the Military Women’s Memorial at the entrance to the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, United States Coast Guard Port Security Chief Petty Officer Sandy Mitten, was honored as a “Woman of Valor” and presented with a specially designed brooch.

The brooch features a hand-painted enamel “forget-me-not” flower with purple petals. Purple is a composite of all the military branch colors and symbolizes joint service. At its center, the white pearl represents not only the power of women, but also loyalty and integrity. The gold-plated center star and letter “V” on the tips of the leaves represent valor.

Chief Petty Officer Sandy Mitten was the first Coast Guard woman to serve overseas in a combat role. Her combat service was with the newly formed Port Security Units (PSUs). Sandy was a reservist who earned the nickname “Grandma Gunner” in the Persian Gulf after she manned the aft .50-caliber machine gun while on a PSU Raider boat during a routine patrol and she was also lovingly called “Gulf War Granny.” Sandy was one of ten women who received the “Woman of Valor” award yesterday. After that ceremony, Chief Petty Officer Mitten and her daughter were escorted by Chief Warrant Officer 5 Phyllis Wilson, President of the Women’s Memorial to a new display in the museum where Sandy’s Coast Guard utility uniform is on display and where she was presented with a special award as a “Woman of Significance.”

Below is a video of the “Women of Valor” Brooch presentation. You can see Sandy get her award at the 01:00:22 time mark in the Video.

When we heard about the upcoming presentation and realized that none of us could be there to share this incredibly special moment with Sandy and her daughter, one of our Congregation members arranged for a dear friend, a retired Full Colonel to represent us. His email reporting on the event and the program are attached below.

Please join me in congratulating our very own Sandy Mitten on this outstanding life achievement.


Yours in Christ,

Troy Borema

MLC Council President

Tracking the Storms

Hurricane/tornado season has officially begun. Last week we prayed in the Litany:
            As we enter upon this season of vigilance, we ask that you watch over us. Keep us alert and watchful in our days.
           Protect us from all harm. Keep us from devastation.
           Deepen our faith, that our fears disappear in our trust in you.
Physical storms are not all that we face. We also face other storms: challenges that are thrown at us as fast as a tornado can whip up debris and sling it our way. How do we deal with the storms or challenges that we face? What are the storms in our lives?
One storm is the storm of change. We have had so many coming at us lately that we may be developing “storm” fatigue. And yet, here we find ourselves at yet another moment in the life of the church, where things are different, and change is needed.
This week, I had the privilege of having lunch with Law Enforcement Agencies and other faith leaders of Jacksonville, talking about another kind of storm, the storm of violence, that seems to be rocking our nation. All the mass shootings, the hatred, the increase in crime in our communities, have community leaders reeling, looking for real answers which are long overdue.
Retired Sheriff of Jacksonville, Nat Glover, said at the luncheon, “We have been here before. We have had [many and big challenges], but we got through them. Each time we got through them, we got better. We will get through this challenge, and we will be better!”
Change, in and of itself, creates an atmosphere of fear. We lose control of how we do things, we become uncertain in the new way, not knowing what to expect or even what to do. This could easily lead to increased stress levels, and as we have seen in our country, that leads to violence, or perhaps I should say, violent outbreaks.
We, the Church, the Body of Christ, can and will get through this time of uncertainty and we will be better at the other end. As we put our trust in God, as we allow love to fill our hearts, minds, and lives, we put away fear and find the path forward that God has intended for us walk.
On June 12, your leadership will be entering into a time of discernment and planning for our future. We ask that you keep us in your prayers that we may remain vigilant to the voice of the Holy Spirit, that our faith will be certain, and that we will be bold enough to step out on the path that God sets before us.
I pray this for the council, for myself, and also for each of you as we move out of the isolation brought on by the pandemic and find our way back to fullness of life.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Anna

COVID-19 Updates and Guidelines

Dear Mandarin Disciples,
Your church council met on May 16 and discussed the implications of the new CDC COVID guidelines on our church life. You may view the updated CDC guidelines here.
We made the following decisions:
  • We will continue to have two services every Sunday. Those not vaccinated should continue to wear masks and socially distance. Two services will allow people to continue social distancing. We are going to stop the sign up for Sunday services, as this proved to be unnecessary over the last several weeks. We will remove the crepe paper blocking off pews, but ask that everyone continue to respect social distancing.
  •  We will no longer require masks inside the church for those that have been vaccinated. We do not intend to check vaccination status, but trust that people will respect the safety of others that have not been vaccinated by continuing to wear a mask indoors if not vaccinated.
  • We are making plans to resume fellowship opportunities. This will begin with an outdoor barbeque following a sweet corn gleaning event on Friday, June 4th. You don’t have to glean to enjoy fresh sweet corn, hot dogs and hamburgers with your friends. We also look forward to a 4th of July celebration at the Whitford Ranch! Many more activities to follow.
  • As always, everyone should avoid coming to church if they are ill (fever, sore throat cough, body aches, headache, etc). Those with a known exposure to COVID in the last 14 days should not attend church if you have not been vaccinated.
  • I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations are available at Publix, local pharmacies, county sites and the federal FEMA site at 5200 Norwood Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32208. The federal site is open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days a week and has no waiting. A friend of mine is helping staff the sight and told me they are capable of caring for 3,000 people a day but are only getting a few hundred.

In-Person Services Have Resumed

We are excited to announce that after careful consideration, Mandarin Lutheran Church has moved back to in-person worship services.

While we are meeting in-person once again, strict social distancing and other COVID precautionary measures will be in place to insure the safety of all.

Join us for a 9 a.m. informal service, or a more traditional service at 11 a.m.

We are asking that individuals who wish to attend in-person worship sign up here.

For those not yet ready to worship in-person, you can view weekly recorded services here.