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WORDS OF FAITH - January 27, 2011

posted Feb 1, 2011, 6:54 PM by Matt Anderson
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
January 27, 2011
The Spirit-Filled Annual Meeting
One year ago, a group of “misfits and malcontents,” as defined by the synod bishop,  brought forth a resolution at the annual meeting of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Eau Claire that the congregation stand against the new sexual statements and policies adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at its 2009 Churchwide Assembly.  Opponents of the resolution equated the group that proposed the resolution to Nazis, and were invited to leave if they didn’t like what the ELCA stood for.  The resolution was soundly defeated.  Some of those malcontents took the hint, and joined Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  In doing so, they joined with a number of fellow Lutherans who couldn’t even get a discussion, much less a vote, on the issues of Biblical authority.
What a difference a year makes!  Faith Lutheran Mission Church held its first annual meeting on Sunday, January 16.  The event included the normal trappings of an annual meeting – reports and budgets – but played like a celebration of a blossoming ministry.  Congregation president LaMoine Parkhurst pulled from Rev. Mark Richardson’s sermon a few minutes earlier from the Gospel lesson in which Jesus asks, “Whom are you seeking?” 
“What are we seeking,” LaMoine asked.  “Is our goal the same as it was when we began, or have we broadened those goals?”
He hearkened back to the meetings at Grace Lutheran Church in the fall of 2009, to a steering committee meeting at the Blue Moon Café to explore whether a congregation might come together, to that incredible organizational meeting January 13, then that first service January 31 “in a borrowed stable.”
On June 6, our constitution and bylaws were passed so that we could charter the church.  “53 signed that we could make it work, with the Lord’s help.  Then the building popped up, and the Lord led us into this space,” said LaMoine.  On November 5, the paperwork was signed, and our congregation took possession of what had been Victory Baptist Church.
LaMoine pointed out that this first annual meeting was yet another landmark in the life of this church. 
2011 Ministry Plan Includes – A Minister!
The Congregation Council presented the congregation a budget recommendation.  The budget included funding for a full-time pastor.  Up until the annual meeting, the congregation had been advertising for a 60% pastor, but the council felt the finances of the congregation can now manage a full-time minister.  After a period of discussion, the budget passed unanimously, followed by a round of applause.
Bob Moore of the call committee indicated that we would immediately begin advertising for a full-time minister with LCMC and other sources, and the committee will begin working through resumes of call candidates once again.  He asked for the congregation’s prayers as the committee works through the call process, that its members might have wisdom and knowledge.
Laban Miller named to Council
The congregation elected Laban Miller to the vacant seat on the congregation council.  He joins president LaMoine Parkhurst, vice-president Chuck Olson, secretary Trista Anderson, treasurer Dale Johnson and fellow council members Roger Flaten, Bob Flaten, Gene Fischer, Jean Anderson, Elaine Moore and Jack Daniel.
Upcoming Worship Services Feature Experience and Youth
Pastor Joe Schultz of Eau Claire, the retired Lutheran Church –Missouri Synod pastor who served a congregation in Fall Creek for many years, returns to lead our worship this Sunday at 9 a.m.
The following week, February 6, we’ll be joined by Peter Rimmereid, a student at Luther Northwestern Seminary who is a candidate for LCMC ministry.  Peter is a native of Bloomer, and did his internship at Peace Lutheran Church in Palm Bay, Florida.  He and his wife Janelle live in campus housing in St. Paul.  Please welcome him.
Mission Partners Change in February
Each month, Faith Lutheran Mission Church splits its 20% mission commitment between two ministries.  In January, those ministries have been St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Luck and Salvation Army Care Link.  For February, our local support will go to the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, with our global support going to ReClaim Hymnal Development.
Despite recent health care initiatives by state and federal government, the difficult economy and the prevalence of jobs without health benefits has caused continued pressure on the Free Clinic, which averages more than 200 patient visits each month.  Again, this is a chance to make our mark in Jesus’ name on an organization that meets people’s most basic needs.
ReClaim has been developing a hymnal to offset the erosion of Martin Luther’s clear understanding of worship that has been gradually lost to ecumenism and relativism in modern society.  The hymnal is designed to be used by confessional Lutheran churches.  Our worship committee has indicated a desire to purchase this hymnal for our congregation once it’s finished.  Most of the content is ready, but they need finances to complete the editing, the design work and the printing.
Evening Prayer Service Continues
Our evening prayer services have proven to be a valued opportunity to gather.  Bob Moore led worship and offered devotions the first two weeks, and Chuck Olson took the lectern this week.  In the coming two weeks, Jan Parkhurst will be sharing her thoughts on prayer.
The prayer service begins at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, but those wishing to come early may take advantage of a time of meditation in the church sanctuary.  Beautiful, soothing, contemplative music is piped over the speaker system beginning at 6:30, and will continue until 6:55.  Thanks to Roger Flaten for his development of the musical presentation.
This week’s service also included a short presentation by Jayne Kallenbach, the daughter of Dean and Sandy Kallenbach.  She leaves Saturday for Ghana, Africa to volunteer in an orphanage there for six weeks.  The group prayed for her safe travel, protection and that she bring blessings to the children she’ll be serving.  Jayne promises to return with pictures and stories from her experience!
Sign-up for Clean-Up and Snow Removal
Sign-up sheets remain available at the church to sign up for two weeks of church cleanup or two weeks of snow removal from the sidewalks.  For the immediate future, here are the crews:
Janitorial (Cleaning floors, supplying bathrooms, garbage removal and dusting once per week)
January 17-30:  Bob and Elaine Moore
January 31-February 13:  Chuck, Kim and Bev Olson
February 14-27:  Katie Evans
February 28-March 13:  Parkhursts and Doeniers
March 14-27:  Sarah & Dave Seanor
Snow Removal (Clear sidewalks and ramp within 24 hours of measurable snowfall.  Salt and sand as needed.)
January 17-30:  Bob and Elaine Moore
January 31-February 13:  Dean Kallenbach
Other Notes:
·         Two Luther Seminary students who are hoping to be called to LCMC churches, Chip Reynolds and Jody Becker, attended worship with us last Sunday as Rev. Aaron Albrecht led worship.  It was good to visit with them, and to once again welcome Pastor Albrecht and his wife Lynette to Faith Lutheran Mission Church.
·         Mark Vander Tuig, LCMC Services Coordinator, asks our prayers as the LCMC Board of Trustees and Ministry Board meet this week in Minneapolis.  “My prayer is that our conversations would be encouraging, that our decisions would honor the Lord and show us to be faithful stewards of what God has given, and that Truth would be our foundation,” said Rev. Vander Tuig.  May that be our prayer, too.
·         Many of our friends at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire have asked for prayers as that congregation continues its series of forums on the ELCA’s sexual ethics statements and policies and as it prepares for its annual meeting February 6.
·         A group of confessional Lutherans has begun gathering in Menomonie.  While the group formed in reaction to the ouster of confessional pastor Roy Harrisville III from the pulpit of Our Savior’s Lutheran in Menomonie, it is hoping to draw other disenfranchised parishioners.  Pray for them as they seek a place to gather and look into pastoral leadership.
·         St. John’s Lutheran in Phillips has taken its first vote to leave the ELCA.  St. John’s takes its second vote in February.  Because St. John’s is a former LCA congregation, it will need approval of the ELCA Synod Council in order to withdraw from the Synod.
·         Bethel Lutheran in Hawkins and Bethany Lutheran in Catawba have both unanimously voted to leave the ELCA, and have scheduled a second vote for Palm Sunday.
The Last Word (as quoted by Rev. Albrecht in his January 23 sermon)
“You have as much laughter as you have faith.”                                Martin Luther