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WORDS OF FAITH - February 10, 2011

posted Feb 26, 2011, 9:17 PM by Matt Anderson
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
February 10, 2011
Lenten Season Begins March 9
It’s another first for Faith Lutheran Mission Church, as we begin mid-week Lenten Services at 7 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, March 9. The Ash Wednesday service will include the Imposition of Ashes and Communion, with a short message by Lyle Ness. 
The worship services will be based on the theme “Our Walk to the Cross.”  The liturgy of the services will be the beautiful Holden Evening Prayer, and each service will include a brief message from a member of our congregation. 
By the way, the Worship Committee is seeking one more woman to share a message, preferably on March 16.  Each speaker is asked to share a message they feel is important to get across as we share Jesus’ walk to the cross during this Lenten Season.  You can contact Chuck Olson (chuffy[at]charter.net) if you would like to do this.
Each Wednesday night Lenten Service, including the one Ash Wednesday, will be preceded by a meal, served between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.  The meal and Lenten Worship services will continue through April 13. 
Note…on Wednesday, March 2, the series of evening services with a focus on prayer will conclude.  The service is 7 p.m., preceded by a time of mediation at 6:30.
Out in the Neighborhood
A group of hearty volunteers used miniature scrolls to spread the word about Faith Lutheran Mission Church in the neighborhood of the church.  The scrolls, which were distributed by volunteers Saturday, February 19, were hung on doorknobs of houses on the East Side Hill.  The scrolls invited the reader to our worship services, and announced the Lenten services.  Please watch for visitors, and take extra effort to welcome them!
Ethiopian Conference Draws 10,000!
Here’s a note from Rev. Martha Uecker Nelson, pastor of Hosanna! Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Illinois, and a member of the LCMC Board of Trustees who was part of the Theological and Mission Conference in Ethiopia earlier this month:
I just want to thank you for your prayers and support as we traveled to Ethiopia to attend the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) Theological & Mission Conference.  It was an amazing event- 3,000 pastors at the conference.  The worship over the weekend was incredible with 10,000 people under one roof!  The worship was 3  1/2 hours and no one was looking at their watches!
On Monday, we met with the leaders of the EECMY church to discuss what a partnership would look like, followed up by a meeting Thursday with the General Secretary about the details.  This is following the resolution at the October 2010 Gathering to explore partnership with the EECMY.  The Board of Trustees will be discussing this & our trip when we meet at the Leadership Conference (Phoenix) this weekend.  I am sure there will be some resolution or at least some reporting at the next Gathering, in Des Moines.
I just want to say that I thought it was important that we attended this event in Addis Ababa.  The NALC (North American Lutheran Church) was there in force (about 35 people) and wanting to establish relations.  For us to be a presence was good.  We also have the same structure as EECMY.  They have 4 times rejected the idea of having a bishop.  What will come out of all of this will probably be some type of partnership that will include both LCMC & NALC.  It would appear that they (EECMY) will take action when they meet in July, to break relations with the ELCA.
I will keep you informed as to what actions will be taken by the Board to bring to the church body for a decision.  In the meantime, if you are looking for global mission partnership, this might be an area that you and your church might consider.  I would be glad to talk with you more about opportunities.
Hope you are all doing very well in your ministry and in your personal lives.
Peace, Martha
Missions for March Set
Faith Lutheran Mission Church sets aside the first 20% of weekly offerings to go to missions outside our congregation.  Lately, we’ve been picking two missions and having them each get 10% for a full month.
In February, our giving has been going to the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, and to the ReClaim Hymnal Development Fund.  Our March Missions will be split between the Feed My People Food Bank, based in Eau Claire but fighting hunger in a multi-county region of western Wisconsin; and Marty and Tina Ganong, who are translating the Bible into the language of an African people (more details on this ministry are available from LaMoine or Jan Parkhurst).
Christar Mission in Chicago Asks for Prayers
One of our 2010 mission recipients was Christar ministries, particularly in support of the work of Doug and Margaret Grenawalt, who manage the South Asian Friendship Cetner, a Christian mission in North Chicago. 
Pray for Doug as he leads the weekly Friday worship service in the Urdu language, that believers would attend and be encouraged by the fellowship and worship.  Pray for Margaret in her duties as Director of English as a Second Language, particularly as she mentors volunteer teachers and arranges for student classes – the severe winter has hurt attendance, so ask that those who had been studying regularly in the fall return soon.
Pray also for the following believers who are struggling:
  • William, who cannot attend worship due to his work schedule; his wife Sarah is still set against him and his faith.
  • Adil, who cares for his elderly mother; pray that he would find time to visit with Doug for fellowship and encouragement
  • Jaan, who has been out of touch for a long time, but recently came into the center to ask for prayer.
  • Alexander, a new believer, who is learning to understand his new faith.
  • Martina, whose mother in Pakistan is extremely ill with cancer.
News and Notes:
·        On Sunday, February 27 we will be led in worship by Rev. James Folz of Stevens Point.  Please welcome him on Sunday!
·        Grace Lutheran Church, at its council meeting this week, changed the date of its first vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and become a member of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) to April 3.  An advisory vote taken at the annual meeting earlier this month had recommended a May 15 vote, but the council, working with the congregation, has moved the date of the vote up.  If at least two-thirds of the congregation votes to leave ELCA and join LCMC, they must do so again no sooner than 90 days after the original vote to become Eau Claire’s second LCMC congregation!  Pray for that congregation to unify behind their confessional pastors.
·        It seems like a ways off, but beginning in April, “Hannah’s Hands” will begin meeting on the first Monday of each month.  It’s a group of women who come together to study God’s word, have fellowship, and use their resources and hands to help others. They will begin with a Bible study called “Portraits of Jesus.”  Each Hannah’s Hands gathering will take place in the Fellowship Hall at 7 p.m.  To sign up, see the sheet posted near the kitchen, or contact Elaine Moore at 777elaine[at]gmail.com.
·        Leah Jensen, the young woman we supported last year who is doing women’s ministry at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado through Master Plan Ministries, has announced her engagement.  Husband-to-be Malcolm Hillewaert graduates this spring from Fort Lewis, and he plans to join Leah as a master plan missionary in the fall.  The date is June 17!
·        Jayne Kallenbach continues her six-week adventure volunteering at an orphanage in Ghana, West Africa.  More than seventy children now live at the orphanage.  Jayne tells her parents Sandy and Dean Kallenbach that the children have little more than the clothes on their backs and their school uniforms.  Meals for the children generally consist of rice and porridge.  There is a single well (no running water) and a single generator powers the entire village (meaning frequent power outages).  Jayne has developed a list of things she can buy in the village or a nearby (one hour away) town that can, at least in the short term, improve the children’s lives a bit.  If you would like a copy of the list, write to Dean at deankallenbach[at]aol.com.  Sandy and Dean will bring the list to church as well, if you would like to see it.  She promises a report, with photos, after she returns in late March. 
·        Thanks to Mildred Krause for her contribution to the building fund in honor of the birthday of her brother, DeLos Stoike.  Our oldest member (unless someone thinks they can beat him for that honor) turns 97 on February 28.  Happy Birthday, DeLos!
The Last Word
“It is characteristic of the Christian to have the greatest strength in the greatest weakness, and the greatest wisdom in the greatest foolishness.”                                                                                                                                      Martin Luther