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WORDS OF FAITH - February 4, 2010

posted Feb 14, 2010, 8:43 PM by Matt Anderson

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

February 4, 2010

 

What a start!  Ninety-eight individuals came together for the inaugural worship service of Faith Lutheran MissionChurch January 31 at 5 p.m.  We began the afternoon as strangers for the most part.  By the evening, we were church.

 

We heard and sang heartily to the majestic organ music from Paul Kosower – we listened while Kim and Chuck Olson sang about Church, Home of Faith.  We sang with gusto familiar hymns like Lift High the Cross, Built on a Rock and All Creatures of Our God and King.

 

And, of course, we were challenged and inspired by the sermon of Pastor TJ Anderson, who came with his wife Cindy and daughter Brittany to be a part of our congregation’s beginning.  Pastor Anderson’s sermon, “Following the Call of God,” reminded us that we don’t just go to church, we are the church.  For those who missed it, or for those who’d like to see it again, our web site guru Matt Anderson is working to make the video of his sermon available online!

 

Following the service, we gathered for a grand meal and lively fellowship in the beautiful fellowship hall of our hosts, The Lutheran Church of St. Matthew.  Many people stayed for two hours, visiting with old and new friends, musing about the new and exciting direction God is bringing his people.  Wow!  What a start!

 

Here’s an update on where we are, and what’s happening!

 

This Sunday’s Worship

Fortunately for us, neither the Packers nor the Vikings are in the Super Bowl this Sunday, though the Vikes came close (thanks, Brett!).  So, roll the VHS or the DVR or whatever device you have to record the commercials, and come join us for worship at 5 p.m. at The Lutheran Church of St. Matthew on February 7.

 

Though as a brand new church it seems odd to say our pastor on Sunday will be familiar to many of us, several will recognize Pastor Tony Stoutenburg, our pastor for Sunday.  Many of us met him for the first time in early November at a gathering at Grace Lutheran Church on a Sunday evening.  Others got to experience his insight into Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ at our congregation’s organizational meeting January 13.  Now, we welcome him as he comes to lead us in worship this Sunday!

 

As you can see from the news release sent earlier this week, Pastor Tony was in on the ground floor for both the WordAlone movement and for LCMC.  Some other interesting facts about Pastor Tony:

  • Graduated from Augustana College (IL)
  • Spent eight years in the international transportation industry
  • Attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul
  • Served for ten years as pastor of two Lutheran churches on the Washington state coast
  • While in Washington, served part-time as a chaplain for the state juvenile prison system.

 

For Sunday’s worship, Paul Kosower will once again provide the instrumental music to accompany our singing and set the tone for our praise and thanksgiving.

 

Looking ahead, our guest pastors in coming weeks will be Bryan Anderson of Clear Lake February 14 and Craig Nelson of Minong February 21.

 

Food and Fellowship

If the singing and the sermon didn’t prove we’re fully Lutheran, our fellowship time after the service certainly did. Our fellowship team felt it made a lot of sense to provide a meal after the service so folks don’t have to rush off to prepare their own, but can stay and get to know their fellow parishioners, while occasionally doing some business.

 

Many of you have been asking if there will be food again this week, and there certainly will.  I understand the fellowship task force is arranging for a variety of sandwiches this time around.  Pastor Tony will stick around to answer questions and tell stories about his experiences with LCMC.  And you can still make it home in time for the fourth quarter!

 

What about Lent?

With Ash Wednesday coming up February 17, it was decided by the steering committee that we should not attempt to conduct mid-week services this season.  We’ll focus on our Sunday services, and invite our members and friends to attend midweek services at a church where they are comfortable they will receive God’s word.

 

Prayer and Prayers

If you have prayer requests to bring before the congregation, you may do so in a number of ways.  You can use our web site – faithlutheranmc.org.  There’s a special spot there for prayer requests.  At this point, the requests will be sent to the steering committee, who will forward them on to that week’s pastor.  If that doesn’t work for you, just drop us a note at PO Box 1545Eau Claire, 54702.  Or, just bring your request to the service.

 

Pastor Anderson, in a note sent via e-mail last week, encouraged our congregation to get a team together to pray for the direction of where and what we are going to be as a church.  The steering committee has decided to try, as a group, to take a moment at 9 a.m. each morning – wherever we are an whatever we’re doing -- to offer prayers for our congregation.  You’re invited to do the same.  Let’s build this house on prayer!

 

Mission Giving

The mission offering for Haiti Relief from our inaugural service totaled $367!  That money will be sent to BTRA Haiti Relief Fund.  LCMC just passed along an update from BTRA – here it is:

The Lord is good - Praise be to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Yesterday and today BTRA received $2400 and zipped on to HHHO - That  makes our total over 17 thousand and counting - Praise God - it is affirming to hear of our dollars at work.

Pastor Rusty, BTRA-Treasurer & Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran, Swea CityIA 

You’ll recall we plan to use 20% of all general offerings to missions outside our congregation.  We’ve been asking for your ideas of mission targets.  Last week, we shared a few, and others have come in since.  The steering committee will use your nominations to decide where our mission offering will go for the month of February. 

 

Meanwhile, we’re asking for volunteers who have a heart for mission who would work as a group to develop the direction for our mission offerings, at least until such time we pass a constitution.  Are you called to the task? Contact any steering committee member, reply to this e-mail, or send a note to info@faithlutheranmc.org.

 

LCMC

The steering committee has decided to dedicate 2% of monthly offerings to Lutheran Congregations in Missionfor Christ as our benevolence.  Their leaders are doing a lot of traveling to existing congregations and groups like ours hoping to start a new church, and that figure should be at least representative of what our congregation should be able to provide for support.

 

Membership

At this point, 52 individuals have identified as desiring membership in the church, either through signing the original declaration on the 13th or requesting it in the meantime.  Five people indicated such on their information cards filled out Sunday. 

 

We send this newsletter to both members and folks who have simply demonstrated an interest in what we’re doing.  You’re welcome to become a member, or to continue to join us as a friend.  If you want to verify your membership, just reply to this note, or call Dean at 715-214-8498.

 

Advertising and Publicity

We’re planning to continue to advertise for a few Saturdays in the Leader Telegram.  This week, watch for our ad at the bottom of the front page!  Last week, our ad was on the front page of the second section, and they printed our news release with just a few edits (additions, not subtractions) on the Religion page.

 

Our best advertising is word of mouth.  Let your friends know about us! 

 

Official Papers

Our articles of incorporation were finalized on January 25 – see for yourself at www.wdfi.org.  We’ve also received our Wisconsin tax exempt status.  That means we have all the documents needed to provide the IRS and the state Department of Revenue satisfaction that we’re tax exempt.

 

Steering Committee

The steering committee met Wednesday night, and will meet again the next two Tuesday nights – February 9 & 16 – at 7 p.m. at the church. 

 

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 website.  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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