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WORDS OF FAITH - July 15, 2010

posted Jul 15, 2010, 10:28 PM by Matt Anderson

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

July 15, 2010


Thirty-one members of Faith Lutheran Mission Church ventured to rural Rice Lake on Sunday, July 11 to join with our brothers and sisters from the host LCMC congregation – Stanfold Lutheran – as well as members from New Hope Lutheran Church in Minong (like us, less than a year old but full of mature Christians) and from Grace Lutheran Church in Minong.


The cool breeze that ran through Stanfold’s outdoor pavilion was not the only movement of the morning...the Holy Spirit was blowing through the gathering as it worshiped and sang together, and heard a message by Rev. Paul Spaulding of Minneapolis, the interim service coordinator of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.


Pastor Spaulding preached on Galatians 5, and used the sermon to share news and excitement about the fastest-growing Christian movement in America.  Some highlights from the sermon included:

·        With only two full-time and two part-time staff, LCMC relies on networking among the congregations to maximize ministry, much like the four churches were beginning that morning.  “We are our brother’s keeper.”

·        While it is refreshing to be free of the yoke of bureaucracy and bishops, Pastor Spaulding quoted Luther regarding freedom:  “The Christian person is the most free, bound by none.  The Christian person is the most bound, slave to all.”

·        God’s Word and Law are like the rumble-strips that warn you when you’re getting too close the edge of a highway.  It helps us remember that our freedom in Christ is to live in service to others, not to indulge ourselves.

·        LCMC is working to help congregations “keep the main thing the main thing.”  That is, bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.”

·        Rev. Spaulding took over as interim service coordinator from Bill Sullivan in March, after Rev. Sullivan resigned for health reasons.  The LCMC trustees (a member of that board, Sue McKenzie from Grace in Hayward, was present) are meeting this week to interview candidates for the permanent service coordinator.

·        Rev. Spaulding’s permanent position with LCMC involves the certification of pastors.  He reports that there are 173 certified LCMC pastors, with 20 more who are in process of certification.  Forty-one of those pastors are out for interviews at this time.

·        We must remember that “mission” is our middle name at LCMC...meaning we should be reaching out to anyone within a 25 mile radius of our church to tell them the Gospel story.


Pastor Jerry Hibbard of Stanfold led us in worship.  Pastor Tony Stoutenburg of Grace also shared a greeting.  The Faith Lutheran Mission Church choir sang the anthem “Great is the Lord,” and the Stanfold Men’s Chorus shared it’s selection “Go Now in Peace” after the benediction.


The undesignated offering went to The Crux, a ministry in downtown Minneapolis supported by Rev. Spaulding.  It seeks to offer the Good News of Jesus to several thousand “new urbanites” that have moved into the downtown area in the last 15 years or so.  Pastor Spaulding says, “these people represent a segment of American culture that is very resistant to ‘church,’ at are spiritually curious.  We hope to be missionaries among them, answering questions and pointing them to Christ.  We do this, among our other outreach efforts, through short term Bible and book studies in various coffee shops.  Eventually, we hope to have a shop selling goods obtained through missionaries’ contacts.”


The sun broke out just in time for a fellowship picnic, hosted by the men of Stanfold.  An abundance of food and lively conversation was the course of the gathering, as folks made a point of sitting with someone from another church and sharing stories.  Ideas were shared about possible future joint efforts, such as mission trips and youth activities.  There were some visitors from congregations outside of the four involved in the joint worship.  They were curious about LCMC and wanted to hear Rev. Spaulding speak.


While the weather was cool, the fellowship was warm in a way that those of us who attended are still feeling.  We left with the strong feeling that we need to do this again!


Later in the afternoon, our regular Faith Lutheran Mission Church service drew a good group, and our very own Bob Moore offered a message based on the story of the Prodigal Son.


Pastor Lenz Returns Sunday

Rev. Gregory Lenz from Chanhassen, Minnesota will be our pastor on Sunday, July 18.  He will preach on Luke 9, with a sermon titled, “Following Jesus Can Be Expensive, but It’s Worth It!”


Sunday’s mission offering, and the mission for July 25, will be the Gulf Shores, Alabama LCMC congregation, Peace Lutheran Church.  We’ve received another communication from Pastor Michael Bonham there, and that is attached to this newsletter.


Beginning in August, we’ll once more resume the practice of having two missions splitting the 20% mission offering for one-month periods.


Prayer Chain

Add your requests, petitions and concerns to the prayer chain.  If you have a prayer request, leave it with Katie at 715-831-8797.  She’ll then pray for your request and pass it along by phone to the next person on the chain.  That person will do the same, and so on until the last link has prayed.