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WORDS OF FAITH - July 7, 2010

posted Jul 7, 2010, 8:35 PM by Matt Anderson

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

July 7, 2010


Sunday, July 11 brings a first-ever opportunity to gather with our fellow LCMC congregations along US 53.  Our congregation is invited to a joint worship service at Stanfold Lutheran Church near Rice Lake.  Also invited are fellow LCMC congregations Grace Lutheran Church of Hayward (their pastor Tony Stoutenburg has preached regularly at Faith Lutheran Mission Church) and New Hope Lutheran Church of Minong.


The Interim Service Coordinator of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, Rev. Paul Spaulding, will deliver the message at the service, which begins at 11 a.m. in the outdoor pavilion at Stanfold.  It’s the first appearance by Rev. Spaulding in the region since his appointment to LCMC’s top spot in March.


From Eau Claire, give yourself about 70 minutes to get to Stanfold.  Take US 53 north to the 2nd Rice Lake exit (be ready for some road construction between Cameron and Rice Lake).  Go left (west) on Wisconsin 48 four miles (if you get to the Stanfold town hall, you’ve gone too far). 


Need a ride?  Have room for riders?  Reply to this e-mail, or call Dean at 715-214-8498.


Following the service, we are invited to stay to enjoy a meal prepared by the Men of Stanfold.  It will be a great opportunity to get to know some of our fellow LCMC members in northwestern Wisconsin, and perhaps set the stage for some ideas of collaboration and cooperation for the future. 


Wondering how those other congregations came to the LCMC? 

·        Grace Lutheran Church of Hayward formed around seven years ago after the ELCA church in town held a vote relating to the authority of Scripture, much like the vote taken by the ELCA at its churchwide assembly in August.  Scripture lost 150-151.  Most of the 150, with no pre-planning (they never expected to lose the vote) started worshiping together at a local day care the following weekend.  They functioned as a church without a pastor, practicing Luther’s understanding of the priesthood of all believers for 20 months before calling their first pastor, Tony Stoutenburg.  During the congregation’s early months, they investigated a variety of Lutheran denominations, and chose LCMC, which gave them the collegial association they sought and the freedom and independence they sought.


·        New Hope Lutheran Church formed in a similar fashion, but more recently.  The ELCA church in Minong, Calvary Lutheran, responded to the August assembly vote by first withholding funding from ELCA, then formed a committee to explore other affiliations.  Several church forums were held, and it was looking like Calvary would be able to leave the ELCA with the required 2/3 majority on two votes.  Then, a member of the congregation who happened to be a very liberal retired pastor led an effort to keep Calvary in ELCA.  With help from the Bishop’s office, several mass mailings funded by a local company were sent to members, trying to prevent a vote.  However, a vote was scheduled.  The pro-ELCA forces rallied inactives and brought students back from college, but still Calvary voted 57-43% to leave ELCA.  Virtually all the members of the church council resigned and walked away convinced they would be unable to leave a s a church.  A significant group of the former Calvary members began conducting worship at a public location and taking turns preaching.  They called themselves New Hope Lutheran Church, and affiliated with LCMC in February.


·        Stanfold Lutheran Church has been a beacon on the hill west of Rice Lake for more than a century, serving as the social and spiritual touchpoint in that rural farming community.  The congregation thrived and prospered under the recent leadership of confessional pastor Mike Pancoast, who made it a point to keep the members educated regarding the liberal movements within the leadership of ELCA.  Pastor Mike accepted a call to a congregation in North Dakota last summer, and was replaced by an interim pastor.  After the August vote, the leadership at Stanfold was clear that it must work toward leaving the ELCA.  Despite open hostility and lack of cooperation from the interim pastor, the congregation voted in December to leave the ELCA, without a single “no” vote, then repeated that unanimous vote to leave in March, simultaneously affiliating with LCMC.  Jerry Hibbard, a retired pastor who was familiar with Stanfold through an earlier interim appointment, offered to serve as pastor, and has been in the pulpit since.


The Faith Lutheran Mission Church choir will contribute to the service at Stanfold, singing “Great is the Lord.” Choir members are encouraged to arrive by 10:30 in the hopes of running through it with Stanfold’s accompanist Brittny Kempfer before the service (Stanfold will actually be holding its regular worship service at 9:30, so don’t be alarmed if they’re still going when you arrive).


By the way, Faith Lutheran Mission Church will hold its regular 5 p.m. worship at the Lutheran Church of St. Matthew in Eau Claire on Sunday as well.  Bob Moore will lead worship and offer a message titled “What is a Good Samaritan?”  As usual, the worship will be followed with food and fellowship.


Come to either...better yet, come to both!


Mission of the Week

The mission of the week for July 11 is Lutheran Vietnamese Ministries.  John Dovinh, the missionary to Vietnam, is working to train and equip leaders in nearly fifty churches there in Bible study and leadership.   For more information about Lutheran Vietnamese Ministries, you can check out their website at www.ltvnmn.org.


Many of you were moved by the work being done by Peace Lutheran Church in Gulf Shores as it relates to the impact of the oil spill among the people of that area.  For that reason, the mission committee has proposed that the full 20% mission offering be designated for Peace on both July 18 and July 25.


Guest Pastors

Thanks to Pastor Tim Duesenberg, who joined us for worship on July 4th.  Coming up, Pastor Greg Lenz of Chanhassen, Minnesota joins us again July 18 to lead our worship.  The following week, our pastor will be Craig Nelson of Minong.


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.