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WORDS OF FAITH - April 30, 2011

posted Apr 30, 2011, 10:38 AM by Matt Anderson   [ updated Apr 30, 2011, 10:51 AM ]

An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire

April 30, 2011

Lent and Easter Blessings

Despite winter weather that would not let go, Faith Lutheran Mission Church’s first attempt at Lenten services was a blessing for those who attended.  The Holden Prayer Service was a beautiful anchor as we heard members of our congregation contemplate the path to the cross.  Holy week began with Walter Wangerin’s “Cry of the Whole Congregation,” involving those assembled in the retelling of the passion story.  Rev. Fred Sauder led our Maundy Thursday service.  Our Tenebrae Good Friday services, with the candles slowly being snuffed one by one as the lessons and prayers were read by lay people, offered a remembrance of that great price Christ paid for our sins.

And then came much anticipated Easter Sunday, a rare beautiful sunny morning that included celebrations in song (from the congregation and beautiful works from the choir), décor (including a cross of lilies and big butterfly balloons) and the words from Rev. Joe Schultz that He Has Risen!   

It comes every year, and yet, Easter always gives us an element of surprise – a very pleasant, eternal surprise.

Attached is a photo (courtesy of Elaine Moore) from Easter Worship.

Coming Up May Day and Mothers’ Day…

Pastor Mark Henseler joins us once again this Sunday (May 1) to lead our 9 a.m. worship.  Pastor Henseler comes to us from the Twin Cities area.  As usual, coffee and light breakfast fare will be part of the post-worship fellowship time downstairs.

On May 8, we’re joined once more by Pastor Mark Richardson of Dresser, the Service Coordinator of the Augustana District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. Pastor Richardson has preached often at Faith Lutheran Mission Church, and he will most certainly be able to give us updates and news from around his district and the LCMC during our fellowship time.

By the way, Pastor Richardson will be taking part in a forum about LCMC and what it means to be affiliated with the organization later that day at 2 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.  As mentioned in the last Words of Faith, the Grace council decided earlier this month to join LCMC, and is hosting information meetings to help its members and anyone else in the community understand the benefits and opportunities such membership provides.  Grace president Anne Carter has extended her invitation to any member of our congregation to attend that forum.

Hannah’s Hands Meets Again Monday Night

The Faith Lutheran Mission Church women’s Bible study group Hannah’s Hands will be meeting at the church Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m.  All women are welcome to attend any time.  The faith focus is a series titled Portraits of Jesus from Sola Publishing, learning more about Jesus from his “I am” statements in scripture. 

The group is also working on Personal Care Kits for Lutheran World Relief.  These kits are provided to people when disaster strikes, giving them the opportunity to clean up and remember that someone, somewhere is concerned about their plight.  Each kit includes:
A bath towel (52”x27”), dark color recommended
Two bath sized bars of soap in the original wrapping
One adult sized toothbrush in its original packing
A sturdy comb
A metal nail clippers

If you would like to help with this project, bring any of the items above to the church and place them in the box labeled “Personal Care Kits.”

Men Won’t Be Left Out!

Also on Monday night, a men’s group will gather at the church for study and activity.  Details of the future activities of the group will be developed by the participants, so come be a part of it May 2 at 7 p.m.

May Missions Named

Also at the April 18 meeting the congregation council approved the Mission Committee’s recommendation that the mission offering for May (20% of the Sunday offerings) be split between Ethiopian relief and the Grace Lutheran Church television ministry.

The Ethiopian Church Relief Fund has been established by Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and other organizations to help Christians in Ethiopia who have suffered persecution at the hands of Islamic radicals, resulting in the destruction of 57 churches and the displacement of 3,600 people from their homes.  The fund is managed by the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.

For many of our members and friends, the televised sermons of Pastors Nestingen and Irgens of Grace Lutheran Church were a lifeline many of us relied upon when our old churches failed to deliver reliable teaching.  They provide messages based on God’s Word with a confessional Lutheran understanding each week on WQOW-TV.  In honor of those pastors and the Grace congregation for its faithfulness in the face of strong opposition, and to welcome them to LCMC, we contribute to this ministry.

Christian Comes to the Creed

At the suggestion of congregation members, the church council in April voted unanimously to use the version of the Apostles Creed that had been in place as standard practice in Lutheran congregations prior to the development of the Lutheran Book of Worship.  That is, the third article of the creed (remember your confirmation lessons!) will now begin, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church…” re-inserting the word “Christian” where the LBW used the word “catholic.”  To avoid confusion during worship, the creed will be printed in the bulletin.

Spring Clean Up on our Adopted Highway, Then at Church

Saturday, May 7 will be clean-up day.  All available will gather at 10 a.m. at the Corner Store at the intersection of Wisconsin 93 and County II.  From there, the troops will move out to clean up our “adopted” stretch of County II.  Vests will be provided.  Bring your own gloves and a poker if you don’t want to bend down.

Later that day, beginning at 1:30, there will be a church cleanup day, inside and out.  Plan to join the fun!

Council News and Notes

Other decisions and announcements to come out of the April 18 council meeting include:

·         Bids are being gathered on a new roof and on painting or siding the church.

·         A gift certificate will be awarded to our neighbors who were kind enough to snow-blow the church’s sidewalks this winter.

Happenings in Other Communities

·         Welcome to Bethel (Hawkins) and Bethany (Catawba) Lutheran Churches, who successfully extracted their congregations from the ELCA on Palm Sunday with unanimous votes in both churches.  The congregations both affiliated with the North American Lutheran Church and also with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.

·         In the last issue we reported that Peace Lutheran Church in Glenwood City has successfully taken its first vote to leave the ELCA.  Right church, wrong town.  Peace is in Baldwin.

Anna Johnson to Perform in Chippewa Falls tonight (April 30)

Singer-songwriter Anna Johnson, daughter of Bob and Esther Johnson, has come home to Chippewa Falls from Nashville to perform several concerts in the area, including one tonight at Chippewa Falls High School.  She brings her band, which includes sister Julia, to perform a family-friendly concert that begins at 7 p.m., Saturday April 30.  Tickets will be available at the door.  Read the Chippewa Herald’s article at about the concert at http://chippewa.com/entertainment/article_a32437d4-710b-11e0-88a4-001cc4c03286.html, and to hear an interview Anna did on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Spectrum West, try http://www.wpr.org/regions/eau/spw/spw_archives_2011.cfm.

The Last Word

“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”                                                                             Martin Luther