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WORDS OF FAITH - February 10, 2011

posted Feb 26, 2011, 9:14 PM by Matt Anderson
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
February 10, 2011
 
Staying Salty
“You are the salt of the earth.”  Matthew 5:13a
 
That familiar phrase opened our Gospel lesson this past Sunday, and was the theme of an excellent sermon delivered by Peter Rimmereid, a Bloomer native who is in his last semester at Luther Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, and who joined us for worship with his wife Janelle.
 
Peter reminded us that, in Jesus’ day, salt had three primary characteristics.  First, it was used as we most tend to think of it being used – as a flavor enhancer.  Secondly, it was used as a preservative, especially for meat.  Thirdly it was used to melt snow off sidewalks – no, that’s not right.  Its third use was as a fertilizer.  While we are to add flavor to the world, and preserve the works God does here, the concept of the church as fertilizer is a powerful picture.  When we plant ourselves in the good soil of faith in Jesus Christ, we grow into a people who can spread that faith to others – into missionaries.
 
This issue of Words of Faith, we look back some of the missionary work we supported in 2010, with some descriptions of each ministry:
 
Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network-Beacon House - $1,638.90:  This consortium of churches provides 4,700 nights of shelter and 13,000 meals to 60 homeless families each year.
 
Good News Jail Ministry - $1,279.50:  Provides support to chaplains serving local jails and prisons, to bring the word of God to inmates.
 
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ:  $1,275.09: Supports our association of congregations, its leadership, and the work it is doing in the US and throughout the world.
 
Lutheran World Relief - $1,188.90:  A ministry of international relief, development, advocacy and social responsibility supported by a number of Lutheran church bodies, helping families and communities around the world who are living in poverty.
 
Feed My People Food Bank - $1,136.12:  Feed My People serves a multi-county area based in Eau Claire to provide nourishment –and hope – to our thousands of our hungry neighbors each month.
 
LCMC Seminarian Loan Fund - $1,060.55:  This fund provides grants to seminary graduates that are serving LCMC congregations.  Graduates are eligible for grants for each of the first five years they are out of seminary.
 
Global Outreach for Christ - $679.70:  The specific ministry being supported is the work of a Bible-translator, who is making the Word of God available for the first time in the language of the people native to that area.  Because of the sensitive nature of the work in a politically volatile area, we don’t publish specifics, but ask at church if you’d like to learn more!
 
APPLE Pregnancy Care Center - $679.70:  This organization is about prevention, teaching, healing, resources, mentoring and encouragement from a Christian perspective for young women in the Chippewa Valley.
 
Eastern European Missions Network - $612.40:  A Biblically-based, evangelical inter-Lutheran mission agency what supports missionaries in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.
 
World Mission Prayer League - $610.42:  A Lutheran community in the mission of God, committed to prayer and evangelizing throughout the world, with some 6,000 member and 120 full-time workers serving 19 countries.
 
WordAlone Ministries - $558.70:  Has grown from the conscience of the ELCA to a full-fledged ministry, including its Sola Publishing curriculum for reliable Christian teaching materials and it’s new SALT (Salvation, Life And Truth) evangelism ministry.
 
Chippewa Valley Free Clinic - $525.70:  This medical examinations, tests, medications and treatment to individuals in the greater Eau Claire area who are uninsured or underinsured.
 
Bolton Refuge House - $502.15:  Provides safe shelter, support groups, economic and legal advocacy, children’s programs and transitional living for abused women and children in the Eau Claire community. 
 
Master Plan Ministries - $496.00: Specifically, we supported Leah Jensen, a dynamic young woman who spent part of her childhood in Menomonie, who engages in women’s ministry at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
 
Beyond the River Academy Haiti Relief Fund - $367:  BTRA, chaired by Pastor Warren Baker of LCMC Congregation Redeemer Lutheran Church in Iowa, worked with missionaries they already had on the ground in Haiti to provide relief after the earthquakes in Haiti.
 
Christar - $266:  Doug and Margaret Grenawalt work to share Christ with Urdu-speaking South Asians through the ministry of the South Asian Friendship Center in Chicago.
 
Lutheran Vietnamese Ministries - $265:  Missionary John Dovinh trains and equips leaders in 24 LCMC churches in Vietnam, and has begun a pastoral training program which has fifteen students in this, its first year.
 
Blessman Ministries - $236: Serves children in South Africa.  They train lay missionaries to serve on short-term mission trips.  In the past five years, the ministry has supplied 25,000 eyeglasses to children while praying with the children and teaching Christian values.
 
Peace Lutheran Church, Gulf Shores, AL - $196.20:  We provided contributions to this LCMC congregation to help them provide relief for individuals and families directly affected by the Gulf Oil Spill.
 
Institute of Lutheran Theology - $177.60:  ILT is an independent, autonomous Lutheran seminary training orthodox, confessional pastors and theologians through online courses.
 
The 20% mission commitment for February will be split between Feed My People and the development of the ReClaim Hymnal.
 
Do you have a heart for missions?  Do you have ideas for ministries we should consider supporting as a congregation?  Please contact the Mission Committee -- Trista Anderson, Katie Evans, Sylvia Miller or Dean Kallenbach.
 
Pastor Bittner Joins us Sunday
Rev. Paul Bittner, the retired Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor who preached at our first Sunday service in the building in November, returns to bring us God’s Word this Sunday, February 13.  We look forward to the service, and the fellowship and food to follow.
 
Wednesday Evening Prayer Focus Continues
Don’t forget to get your mid-week recharge by attending our service of devotion and prayer in the Fellowship Hall at 7 p.m.  It consists of confession of sin, Psalm reading, a short study on prayer and prayers of the people.  Come early for  prayer and meditation in the sanctuary beginning at 6:30 p.m. and continuing until just before the service begins.
 
Lent Approaches
Ash Wednesday service March 9 will kick off our Lenten services.  Lenten Services will be held Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., preceded by a meal served between 5:30 and 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall.  The service will be the Holden Evening Prayer, with a homily by a member of the congregation.  Please plan to join us as we approach this solemn and meaningful time in the church year.
 
Reminder for Shovelers and Cleaners
The sign-up sheet for custodians is set through the next month and more.  Bev, Kim and Chuck Olson will clean the church through February 13.  Katie Evans has volunteered for the February 14-27 shift.  February 28-March 13, Verne and Betty Doenier and Jan and LaMoine Parkhurst are signed up, and the March 14-27 weeks go to Sarah and Dave Seanor.
 
Dean Kallenbach will take on shoveling duties thorugh February 13, with Chuck Olson keeping our sidewalks clean from February 14 through 27.  We need folks to sign up after the 27th and into March…please watch for the sheets in the Fellowship Hall.
 
News and Notes:
·         Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig and two members of the LCMC Board of Trustees, Anne Gran and Martha Nelson, are bound for Ethiopia through February 18 to explore and discover how LCMC and the Evangelical Ethiopian Mekane Yesus Church might partner for the sake of the Gospel.  Pray for wisdom, discernment and vision.
 
·         Grace Lutheran Church, at its annual meeting last Sunday, set May 15 as the date for its first vote to leave the ELCA. Leaders there ask for continued prayers.
 
·         Pastor Mark Richardson, service coordinator for the Augustana District of LCMC and frequent preacher at Faith Lutheran Mission Church, says he has enjoyed sharing news about our congregation with Abounding Joy Lutheran Church in St. Cloud and Resurrection Lutheran in Mankato.  He feels our congregations have much in common, having been born in small university communities with lots of big ELCA churches that apparently plan to remain in the ELCA.  Pastor Richardson recently installed pastors at both congregations, with Tom Wright at St. Cloud a couple of weeks ago, and Greg Lenz, a frequent supply pastor here at Faith Lutheran Mission Church, at Mankato this past Sunday
 
·         Call Committee met Thursday evening, and continues to sift through resumes and make decisions on interviews for potential pastoral candidates.  Pray hard for discernment and that we find the appropriate match of pastor with our congregation.
 
·         Jayne Kallenbach, daughter of Sandy and Dean, arrived safely in Ghana, West Africa on Sunday, January 30.  After training, she began her work as a volunteer as the WORSCA (Women’s Refuge and Survival for Children in Africa) Orphanage.  She and her fellow volunteers get the 65 children ready for school on weekdays, and help them with their homework and read to them upon their return from school.  Jayne says the weather is warm (highs in the low 90’s), but not much worse than a Wisconsin summer, and the mosquitoes aren’t as bad as they are here.   She returns in mid-March.  Pray for continued protection, and for her ministry to the children.
 
The Last Word
“God divided the hand into fingers so that money would slip through.”                                                                                                                               Martin Luther
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