We all need help from time to time. First Lutheran Church strives to provide help for people. It is our goal that when people are "under fire" they will reach out to the church. It is in the community of church that friendships are formed and relationships are grown. It is in this context that we also receive prodding for spiritual growth and care during difficult times.  It is in this context we establish an environment to heal, forgive, laugh and grow.

We hope when you are feeling the pressures of life you will trust that we can help.

Fargo/Moorhead is also a city that cares. There are hundreds of resources for those in need of assistance.  Check out below for needed assistance:

Abuse can take place in many relationships. Parents can abuse their children, children can abuse their parents, boyfriends can abuse girlfriends, girlfriends can abuse boyfriends, and friends can abuse friends. Many forms of abuse exist as well. A person can abuse another emotionally, physically, and/or sexually. Here are some examples of the different kinds of abuse.

  • Emotional - name calling, humiliating someone in front of others, threatening, harassing, and ridiculing. 
  • Physical - hitting, kicking, burning, choking, pushing, and hair pulling. 
  • Sexual - forcing any sexual act unwanted by the other party, raping, and molesting. 

If you or someone you know is being abused, they need some help. The person abusing them also needs some help learning ways to control anger and stress. If you or a friend is in immediate danger, get to a safe place and call 911.

  • Rape and Abuse Crisis Center    
  • Rape and Abuse Incest National Hotline  
  • Cass County Social Services    
      • (701) 241-5765
  • Cass County Social Services     
      • (701) 241-5765
  • Clay County Government/State of Minnesota    
      • (218) 299-5065
  • Firstlink's 24-Hour Hotline    
  • Help-Line (Statewide)    

When we talk about diversity, the hope is that we can begin to accept people who are different from ourselves. This includes accepting those of different ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, religion, etc. Those people who are different from the mainstream are often excluded. Really, any two people who get together and talk are more similar than they are different - regardless of their backgrounds. By getting to know people whose backgrounds are different than yours, you can learn a lot about the world and yourself.  To learn more about diversity:

 

  • Cultural Diversity Resources
    701-526-3000
    303 Roberts St. N.
    Fargo, ND 58102
  • Freedom Resource Center

Eating Disorders are disturbances in eating habits caused by emotional problems that result in physical consequences. Definitions of different eating disorders are as follows:

  • Anorexia Nervosa - is self-starvation. A person is afraid of gaining weight and believes he/she is fat even though he/she may be grossly underweight.
  • Bulimia Nervosa - is characterized by binge eating followed by purging. During a binge a person feels as if they cannot control eating and will purge the food by vomiting, exercising, or taking laxatives.
  • Compulsive Eating - is impulsive or continuous eating.  Many people who develop eating disorders have irrational thoughts about their bodies - they believe they are too fat, too short, too tall, and really want to be perfect. These thoughts make them obsess about their eating habits. Depression, loneliness and family problems can also lead to eating disorders.

TO learn more about eating disorders:

  • Fargo Cass Public Health    
  • Lutheran Social Services Lutheran Social Services-MN    
  • Overeater's Anonymous    
  • Southeast Human Service Center    
  • Village Family Service Center Village Family Service Center  
  • Lakeland Mental Health Center, Inc.    
      • (218) 233-7524

Teens join gangs to belong. Unfortunately, once you are in a gang, it is hard to get out. Gang membership is often tied to drug use, sexual activity, violence, and crime. Some signs of gang involvement include:

  • change in type of friends
  • change in dress habits
  • secretiveness about activities
  • new-found affluence from unknown source
  • changes in behavior
  • diminished interest in family and school
  • increased difficulty with police

To learn more about gangs:

  • Metropolitan Gang Resistance Network
    City Commission/Fargo
    (701) 241-1310

Not only is it important to take care of our physical health by eating nutritiously and exercising, it is important to take care of our mental health. Everyone needs time for fun and relaxation. If you continuously push yourself without taking a break, you are at risk for burnout. How do you know when you have pushed yourself too far? Some signs of burnout include irritability, fatigue, lack of concentration, and lack of desire to do things you usually enjoy.

Learning to recognize your individual signs that your are on your way to burnout is important. What's even more important is knowing what to do when you need a break. Make a list of activities that are relaxing and enjoyable. Then make sure you take time to do those things. Talking things over with friends and family is also helpful in preventing burnout and maintaining mental health.

To learn more about mental health:

In order to receive proper nutrition, you must eat foods from the four basic food groups - dairy, breads, fruit and vegetables, and meats. If you do not take in foods in the four basic food groups on a regular basis, it will affect the way you feel and the way you look. In order to keep your body functioning at its best, balance the different kinds of foods you consume.

To learn more about nutrition:

Rape/sexual assault is any sexual act done to another without consent. It is a criminal act of violence that can be perpetrated by a stranger, a friend, or a family member. Victims of rape/sexual assault experience many feelings including fear, guilt, embarrassment, and anxiety. They may also believe they are at fault. Regardless of the situation, the victim is not at fault and the victim will need people to talk with about their feelings.

To learn more about rape and/or sexual assault:

  • Rape and Abuse Crisis Center
  • Cass County Social Services 
      • (701) 241-5765
  • Clay County Social Services
      • (218) 299-5220
  • Rape and Abuse Incest National Hotline

Being a youth today is pretty stressful. Balancing school, work, extracurricular activities, friends, and family is difficult. It is important to make sure you have time for fun. Getting involved in school or community activities can help you meet new people, learn new skills, and have fun.

To learn more about recreation activities:

With family - Relationships with family can become strained. At this point in your life, you want to spend more time with friends and are looking for more independence. At the same time, your parents may feel like you are not spending enough time at home and may be concerned about giving you too much freedom.

These difficulties along with other family dynamics may cause chaos in your family at times. It may actually seem like anytime you have contact with your family, an argument follows. Some conflict with family can be expected at this point in your life. However, family counseling may be helpful if relationships become really strained.

With friends - Relationships with friends are extremely important. Friends can help us through tough times and are around to celebrate the good times. As youth, finding a group of friends to hang out with through the good and bad is important. However, sometimes it can be too important and we make negative decisions just to fit in.

Remember, you have a mind of your own. You are the only one responsible for your actions. If you are uneasy about doing something your friends are pressuring you to do, you can always make the decision to say no.

To learn more about relationships:

  • Cass County Social Services   
      • (701) 241-5765
  • Clay County Social Services  
      • (218) 299-5220
  • Firstlink's 24-Hour Hotline  
      • (701) 235-7335,  Help-Line (Statewide),  1-800-472-2911
  • Lutheran Social Services  
  • Southeast Human Service Center 
  • Village Family Service Center  
  • YouthWorks  
      • (701) 232-8558

When you are at your wits end about handling family conflict, running away from home may seem like a good way to solve the problem. However, making it on your own is difficult. If you or a friend is thinking about running away, you do have options even though the situation may seem complicated. With help, you may be able to work things out with your family or find somewhere else to stay temporarily. Many places are willing to help you.

To learn more about running away:

  • YouthWorks Fargo Office   
      • (701) 232-8558 

Youth are at a time in your life when you have to make choices about relationships, love and maybe even sex. Many different opinions exist on this topic, especially when it comes to sex. Your family, the community, your church and your friends may send you conflicting messages about the decisions you should make in regards to your sexuality.

You need to sort through the facts and your feelings since you will be the one living with the consequences, good or bad. It is important to make sure you are not pressured into doing anything too soon or too fast. Talking with your parents or other adults your can trust can help you through this process.

To learn more about pregnancy issues:

Sometimes life can be stressful. As teens, you are struggling with many issues - family, friends, school, your future, relationships, etc. Any, you are busy! It is important to find a way to deal with stress - do something that is relaxing and enjoyable like reading, exercising, journaling, or talking with friends. Some how, you need to take care of yourself. Too much stress can result in headaches, stomachaches, body aches, burn out, depression, exhaustion and physical illness. In addition to stress, anxiety is a common feeling with the variety of things going on in your life. Some signs of anxiety include:

  • - excessive worry and apprehension
  • - feelings of restlessness
  • - difficulty concentrating
  • - irritability
  • - tense muscles


To learn more about stress and/or anxiety:

  • Help-Line (Statewide)
      • 1-800-472-2911
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Southeast Human Service Center
  • Village Family Service Center
  • Lakeland Mental Health Center, Inc.
      • (218) 233-7524

Many people use alcohol and drugs in today's society. As a teen, you may try alcohol or other drugs because you want to fit in or are curious. You may also use alcohol or drugs as a way to let loose and forget about your problems for awhile. This sounds intriguing but your problems will still exist after the "high." You also can get yourself in a great deal of trouble legally. Most importantly, alcohol and drug use can begin to control your life and may result in serious damage to yourself or someone else. So if your friends want you to use drugs or alcohol, remember that you have to live with the consequences of using alcohol/drugs.\ Alcohol/drugs are also addictive. Listed below are several statements. You may have a problem with alcohol or drugs if you agree with any of them:

  • - When I have problems, I drink/do drugs
  • - When I am feeling bad, I drink/do drugs
  • - When I am mad at others, I drink/do drugs
  • - My grades are falling and my work habits are slipping because of my drinking/drug use.
  • - I try to drink/do drugs less, but I can't do it.
  • - Before I go to school or work, I drink/do drugs.
  • - Even when I don't intend to drink/do drugs, I do it anyway
  • - Sometimes I have blackouts and can't remember
  • - I lie about my drinking/drug use
  • - I have gotten in trouble because of my drinking/drug use
  • - I feel cool when I drink or get high.


To learn more about alcohol/drug use:

  • Alateen/Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous
  • Firstlink's 24-Hour Hotline
      • (701) 235-7335
  • Help-Line (Statewide)
      • 1-800-472-2911
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Southeast Human Service Center
  • Village Family Service Center
  • Lost and Found Ministry
      • (218) 287-2089

Suicide is a scary subject. Some people are in so much pain that they do not want to continue living. If you are thinking about suicide or you are concerned about a friend, it is important to get help right away. Some warning signs that someone may be thinking about suicide are: talking about suicide - saying things like, "I would be better off dead" or "I can't handle this anymore."

  • - significant changes in behavior and appearance
  • - signs of depression
  • - giving away possession

If you are concerned about a friend, it is a good idea to ask them how they have been doing and whether they have thought about suicide. They are going to get the idea to kill themselves just by you asking. They actually may be thankful that they have someone to talk to about their feelings. The next step is to help your friend get help. With help, things can get better.

Do not ever promise your friend that you will keep this a secret. Suicide is not something to talk lightly and keep a secret. Find someone you can trust like a teacher, pastor, parent, or counselor and talk with them about your concerns.

To learn more about suicide:

  • FirstLink's 24-hr Hotline
      • (701) 235-7335
  • FirstLink's 24-hr Suicide Line
      • (800) 273-TALK
  • Southeast Human Service Center
  • Help-Line (Statewide)
      • (800) 472-2911
  • Ready, Click, Grow! Your Family.
    www.readyclickgrowyourfamily.com/index.php
    Here you will find activities that bring the Bible to life, ideas to grow your family’s relationship with God, intriguing ways to get your family talking, ideas to create strong family memories, and information on special topics. 
  • Ready, Click, Grow! Your Faith.
    www.readyclickgrowyourfaith.com/index.php
    Parents also need to grow in their faith! This site is designed by the Youth and Family Institute and includes outreach and evangelism opportunities, opportunities for renewal through devotion and prayer, and it promotes spiritual practices for everyday life. 
  • Parent Resources from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
    www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Education/Pre-12/Resources/Parents.aspx
    The ELCA provides parent resources for children in preschool through senior high. You can find weekly devotions, suggestions on how to celebrate holidays in the church with your family, and there are also resources on specific topics for children.
  • Christian Parenting
    www.christianitytoday.com/momsense
    Information to help you build a faith-filled family.
  • BOZ the Bear
    www.bozthebear.com/home.asp
    BOZ the bear is a parenting tool the whole family will enjoy! The website (and BOZ) helps to create a strong foundation for preschoolers. It incorporates important elements of faith, fun, and family!
  • Children’s Ministry
    www.childrensministry.com
    This website has great resources for families and children. You can find information on child development, current updates and stories about parenting and child behaviors, and fun faith-filled ideas for you and your children.
  • Family Fun!
    www.familyfun.go.com