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WORDS OF FAITH - June 10, 2010

posted Jun 10, 2010, 9:46 PM by Matt Anderson
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
June 10, 2010
Our Christian life is full of landmarks
.  Our baptism is the first of course.  First communion.  Confirmation.  Marriage, for some. 
Congregations have landmarks as well, and Faith Lutheran Mission Church has experienced several this year.  Our formation January 13th.  First service January 31st.  And, of course, this past Sunday, Faith Lutheran Mission Church held its chartering service, passed its constitution and bylaws, and elected its first council and officers.
Personal and congregational landmarks are times of celebration and reflection.  They have something else in common. They demonstrate God’s power, love and grace.  As our new congregational president LaMoine Parkhurst said at Sunday’s congregational meeting, we move forward “relying on our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The chartering happened at the end of the worship service in which we heard Pastor Greg Lenz teach us about “Great Faith.”  Steering committee chair Bob Moore led the congregation in a special litany for chartering, and the members declared their membership by signing a special document at the altar as the congregation sang “A Mighty Fortress,” “Amazing Grace,” and “How Great Thou Art.”
After a potluck fellowship time, the congregation held a special meeting and passed the budget, then elected its new council and officers.  Along with LaMoine, the executive committee will consist of Chuck Olson (Vice-President), Trista Anderson (Secretary) and Rollie Larson (Treasurer).  The remainder of the council is Gene Fischer, Jean Anderson, Bob Flaten, Roger Flaten, Jack Daniel and Dale Johnson.
By The Numbers
Thought you might enjoy a few facts from Sunday’s chartering service and congregational meeting by the numbers.
144            Number of days from our formation to our chartering
96            Age of our oldest charter member
58      Avereage attendance for our first 19 worship services
49            Number of names on our charter member roster by the end of the night.
17            Number of chapters in the constitution passed unanimously.
10      Number of council members elected.
6      Number of sections in the bylaws passed by the congregation.
2      Age of our youngest charter member (his mom signed for him!)
1      The one God we serve
Did you miss last Sunday?  It’s not too late!
LaMoine says the charter roster will remain available for the next few weeks to allow those who wish to be charter members to add their names to the document, which will then become a part of our congregation’s history.
Sunday was also the day we collected commitment cards.  If  you didn’t get a chance to do that last week, please do so Sunday, or let a member of the council know what your giving will be.  The council will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, June 15th.  Among its first duties will be to develop a budget for the remainder of the year, with revenue estimates based on the commitments made during last Sunday’s worship.  That budget will suggest whether or not we can call a full-time pastor. 
Budget Meeting postponed
The strategic planning timetable established by the steering committee will be altered somewhat.  LaMoine has announced that the congregational meeting to pass a budget that had been announced for this Sunday will be postponed until after worship on June 27.  That will give the council time to meet and make decisions on the line items it will propose for the rest of the year.
Sunday’s Service
Pastor Bill Rice of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Tomah joins us as our guest pastor on Sunday.  You’ll recall Pastor Rice served us on Easter Sunday as well.  We’ve provided occasional updates on his congregation’s efforts to be faithful in its interpretation of Scripture, and we look forward to hearing how things are going there.
Pastor Rice’s sermon will be titled “An Exclusive Church – Only Sinners are Welcome!”  Pastor Rice will also install our new council members at Sunday’s service.  As always, join us following the service for foot and fellowship.
Our summer plan of featuring a different mission each week to receive our 20% offering began last week with Leah Jensen, the 22-year-old former Menomonie resident who engages in women’s ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.  Upon hearing of the congregation’s check to her, here’s the note Leah shared:
WOW! Oh wow! That's amazing! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your service and for the financial blessing! But I think I am more excited on what you and your church is doing (honest)! I'm praying for you all, and all at Faith, and thanks again for letting me be a part of your service! Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Blessings!!
This Sunday, the focus of our offerings and our prayers will be Blessman Ministries.  It’s especially timely, with the focus the world is giving to South Africa due to the World Cup Soccer Tournament being held there.  Blessman Ministries serves the children of South Africa.  The train lay missionaries to serve on short-term mission trips.  In the last five years, the ministry has supplied more than 25,000 eyeglasses to children.  In addition to the vision work, they are able to pray with the children and teach them Christian values.
Dr. Jim Blessman, who founded the ministry with his wife Beth, says “it is a joy to be able to offer physical sight and spiritual enlightenment to these children.  We see an average of 150 children per day on these outreaches.  We are continually recruiting churches and team members to help with this program.”
Dr. Blessman says the ministry has recently expanded to building homes for AIDS orphans in South Africa.  Please pray for this ministry, and consider getting involved in it personally.  You can learn more by going to their web site:www.blessmanministries.org.
Prayer Chain
The prayer chain is up and rolling, thanks to the coordination of Katie Evans.  If you have a prayer concern, contact Katie or any prayer chain participant to begin moving the request along the network.  Watch for further details in the future.
Pitching In!
There is much to be done in our congregation over the next several weeks and months as we move forward in God’s service.  The bylaws passed Sunday specify seven committees through which the work of the congregation will channel. Are you called to serve on one?  The committees are:  Education, Mission & Outreach, Member Care and Services, Stewardship, Worship, Property, and Fellowship.  Pray for discernment regarding your role.
Pray!  Pray!  Pray!
Don’t forget, a prayer group meets before each service in the sanctuary at 4:45 to pray for God’s blessing of the coming worship and of our congregation.  If you’d like to join in, just come to the north wing of the sanctuary.  If the service is held in the fellowship call due to heat, the prayer group has been meeting in the back of the sanctuary.
And, as LaMoine urged as he closed Sunday night’s congregational meeting, remember to pray at 9 a.m. each day…wherever you are…for the mission and faithfulness of Faith Lutheran Mission Church.