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WORDS OF FAITH - February 26, 2010

posted Feb 28, 2010, 12:07 PM by Matt Anderson

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

February 26, 2010

 

At our steering committee meeting this week, chair Bob Moore passed out an article by John MacArthur, “Church As It Was Meant To Be.”  You can find it at http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A128_Church-As-It-Was-Meant-To-Be.  It’s a short article – I recommend you read it.

 

It looks at the first Christian church...here’s a key paragraph from the article:

Acts 2:42 gives the blueprint they followed:  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”  Those are the vital elements that make up the actual function and life of the church – and all of that in just one verse!”

 

Our new church has now managed to hold four Sunday services.  Where do we stand on the essentials mentioned above?

 

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostle’s teaching....

We have heard scripture read from the Holy Bible, and proclaimed from the pulpit by pastors TJ Anderson, Tony Stoutenburg, Bryan Anderson and Craig Nelson...strong proclamations that challenge us to be a church that makes a difference in our community and our world by following the Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations.  Meanwhile, plans are underway to develop Bible Studies and other educational opportunities that will begin after Easter.

 

They were continually devoting themselves to fellowship, to the breaking of bread....Thanks to some great planning by our fellowship committee and a reliance on the Holy Spirit to bring us together as a new congregation, we have enthusiastically embraced the fellowship we are called to develop as a Christian body.  We must continue to be intentional in our welcoming and our relationship-building with one another.  Satan will certainly make an effort to find petty things to set us apart as we bring our varied church experiences together to make one new church.

 

They were continually devoting themselves to prayer... Many individual prayers have been lifted up – by people in this community, but also be people throughout the country and the world as we begin this new congregation.  I’ve heard from many of you who have taken on LaMoine Parkhurst’s challenge to pray for this congregation each morning at 9 a.m., and we trust God is answering those prayers.

 

We hope to step up the presence of collective prayer by announcing the opportunity to join a prayer team prior to each service.  For now, the group will gather in the sanctuary at 4:45 p.m. – 15 minutes prior to the start of the service.  It will meet in the north wing of the sanctuary...that is, to the right as you walk in.  If you would like to join us, just ask the ushers where to go if you’re not sure. 

 

We will pray God’s blessings on our congregation, for triumph over Satan, for those who have asked for their needs to be met.  We'll also pray for other Christian ministries and ministers that the whole church of God is advanced.  For now, the plan is to pray together for ten minutes until 4:55, allowing the prayer warriors to move into their seats in plenty of time for the service.

 

If you feel led to be a part of this vital prayer ministry, just show up and join in...no reservation required.  Prayer is a critical leg of a healthy church.  Let us join together to claim the abundance promised “when two or three are gathered” in His name.

 

By the way, if you have a prayer request – you may submit it online via the www.faithlutheranmc.org web site, or reply to this note.

 

Worship

 

Seventy-one believers gathered at Faith Lutheran Mission Church to hear Pastor Craig Nelson deliver his sermon, “God is in Control.”  We heard a strong word about the need to defend scripture, even when it’s not comfortable, and heard Pastor Nelson’s first-hand experience of taking a stand for truth.

 

This Sunday, Pastor Tony Stoutenburg re-joins us to lead our worship.  You'll recall Pastor Tony serves Grace Lutheran in Hayward, the first LCMC church in northwestern Wisconsin.  During the fellowship period (at which the main course will be hot beef sandwiches), we hope to have Pastor Tony give us a bit of an update on what’s going on with LCMC nationally and worldwide.

 

Looking ahead to March, we welcome Pastor Bill Christiansen of Stevens Point March 7, Pastor Mark Richardson of Dresser March 14 and Pastor Nelson again March 21.

 

March 28th is Palm Sunday, and we're planning a special service that will involve the entire congregation in a dramatic reading of the Passion story with some special music.  If you are interested in doing some reading for this service, please contact any member of the worship task force, or simply reply to this note.  It will likely involve a rehearsal or two.

 

For the past two weeks, we've had special music from an ensemble of singers during the offering, and we hope to continue that regularly.  No auditions necessary!  If you'd like to sing, just join the group in the church balcony for rehearsal at 4:15 prior to the service.

 

We’ve been blessed since our first worship service to have Paul Kosower leading our singing at the organ.  As well as an acclaimed organist, Paul is also a brilliant cellist, and there will be a free opportunity to hear him play Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m. at UW-Eau Claire’s Haas Fine Arts Center in the Phillips Recital Hall.  He’ll play three movements from Bach’s Six Suites for Cello.  To read more about it, go online to http://www.uwec.edu/newsreleases/10/feb/0224KosowerRecital.htm.

 

Mission

 

This Sunday, as has been the case throughout the month of February, 10% of our offering will go to the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, while another 10% will go to Feed My People.  The missions task force met Wednesday, and determined that the March missions for Faith Lutheran Mission Church will go to Bolton Refuge House’s capital campaign and Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) Seminarian Fund, which supports recent seminarians with loan repayments. 

 

The committee is also researching several other possible mission opportunities, and plans to present some details to the congregation at some point.  If you have suggestions, please forward them on to any committee member (Sylvia Miller, Katie Evans, Susan Kaul or Dean Kallenbach) or simply reply to this note.

 

By the way, the door offering collected last Sunday for the victims of the Valentine’s Day fire on Lake Street amounted to $196.  It was deposited in the “310 Lake Street Fund” for those young people who lost all their worldly possessions in the fire.

 

Outreach

 

Our efforts at outreach continue to be fruitful.  Our advertisements in the Eau Claire Leader Telegram, articles in the paper about our new church, and our dynamic web site continue result in communications with people interested in our congregation.  If you have friends or acquaintances who to may be interested in learning more about us, easy access to learning more about us is available at www.faithlutheranmc.org.

 

Jack Daniel has been directed by the steering committee to work with the county to assign a two-mile stretch of highway to Faith Lutheran Mission Church to “adopt.”  Once the deal is done, we’ll get our congregation’s name on a couple signs, and will put together a crew to pick up roadside trash three times a year.  Which road will we get? You'll read it here first!

 

Steering Committee Update

 

Our current fiscal balance as of Tuesday was $2,959.77, according to treasurer Elaine Moore.  offers nice access for anyone in the community who wants to learn more about us.  Remember the URL – www.faithlutheranmc.org.

 

LaMoine and Janet Parkhurst offered to attend the LCMC Leadership Conference in Omaha April 25-27 on behalf of the congregation. 

 

Work continued on a draft constitution.  If you're interested in talking about the constitution and helping the steering committee craft the wording, join the committee at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday night in the Fellowship Hall of St. Matthew’s when we'll deal with it for another 30 minutes or so.

 

Got a meeting?

If you’re serving on one of the task forces to get us started, and you're planning a meeting, let Todd Lundquist (midnitebass@gmail.com) know – he'll make sure it gets added to the calendar on the web site.  Check it out!

 

Suggestions?

Do you have ideas?  Wanna serve on a task force?  Have a skill or talent you're willing to share.  We want to hear from you.  You can reply to this e-mail, or use the contact form on the web -- http://www.faithlutheranmc.org/contact-us.

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