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WORDS OF FAITH - June 2, 2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 8:45 PM by Matt Anderson
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
June 2, 2011
A Year Since Chartering
Faith Lutheran Mission Church is coming up on the one-year anniversary of our Chartering Service (which occurred June 6, 2010) and the congregational meeting in which we passed our constitution and bylaws, elected our first council and officers and signed our charter.
Obviously, a lot has happened in that year.  We’re in our own building (with fragrant lilacs blooming on its lawn), and we’re in the process of calling a pastor. 
At the congregational meeting held Sunday, May 22nd, the congregation unanimously voted to issue a letter of call to Pastor Mark Ziemann of Brookfield, Wisconsin.  Pastor Ziemann and his family visited Eau Claire last weekend, and he continues to discuss the terms of the call with the call committee and council leadership.  Signs are that the discussions have been positive.  Continue to pray for Pastor Ziemann as he discerns whether to accept the call, and of course, pray for the congregation and its leadership as we work through this process.
Pastors Venberg, Henseler to Preach in Early June
Pastor Rodney Venberg, the Pastor of Community Care at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, will preach and administer communion at our service this Sunday, June 5. Pastor Venberg served for 31 years in the mission fields of Africa, and has spent the past 15 years at Bethesda.  It is his first opportunity to preach at Faith, and we look forward to his message.
On June 12, we once again welcome Pastor Nick Henseler of Apple Valley, Minnesota, who has taken the pulpit several times this spring.  Pastor Henseler’s enthusiastic leadership of the liturgy and teaching sermons have made him a most welcome guest.
Graduation Season is Upon Us
Following the June 5 service, there will be a reception in the church parlors in honor of Kayla Shoemaker and Josie Kallenbach and their graduation from high school.  Both will march on June 8 at Memorial High School in Eau Claire.  The reception will include coffee, goodies and a graduation cake, and a gift will be given to both from the congregation.  Please join us for that fellowship time, prayers for Kayla and Josie and a chance to congratulate them.
Speaking of graduations, congregation member Cindy Buckli has received her degree in the Medical Assistant program at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Congratulations to Cindy, and to her daughter Christina Buckli, who graduated in May from UW-Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s degree in History.
WORSCA Orphanage Presentation Set for June 12
The fellowship time after the June 12 worship service will include a presentation by Jayne Kallenbach, who spent six weeks this past winter as a volunteer at the WORSCA (Women’s Refuge and Survival for Children in Africa) Orphanage in Dodowa, Ghana.  She’ll share pictures and stories about the children and the founder of the orphanage, “Mama Jane,” and describe how she was able to use contributions from friends (including several members of Faith) to make life better for those kids. 
Jayne hopes to return to the orphanage later this year, and is raising funds to contribute to the work there.  The church council has approved the mission committee’s recommendation that part of July’s mission offerings go to support the orphanage through Jayne.
Missions for June
The designated missions for the month of June are New Hope Lutheran Church in Minong and the Good News Jail Ministry of Eau Claire.  Both ministries will get 10% of the regular weekly offerings during June.
New Hope split from Calvary Lutheran in Minong when it fell short in its vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the fall of 2009.  They joined Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) early in 2010.  They are hoping to find, and eventually acquire, a regular worship space.  Our contribution to their ministry would be dedicated to moving that congregation forward, and to encourage their continued faithfulness in the Minong area.
Good News Jail Ministry provides support to chaplains who serve jails and prisons in our area, bringing the Word of God to inmates. 
Thanks from Past Mission Recipients
We’ve received some correspondence from ministries and organizations that have benefited from our past mission giving.  Time to check in with a few of those folks to see what they have to say.
Michele Steinmetz, treasurer for Global Outreach for Christ, shared the following letter regarding our support for the work being done in West Africa by Marty and Tina Ganong.
Christ’s resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday was the beginning that leads us into the opening chapters of the Book of Acts.  This is the book that Marty and Tina and their co-translators are working so hard to finish this year so that it may be published and in the hands of the people in their language group.  Please keep this in your prayers.  Thank you for your continued support.
Rev. Neal Xiong of The Hmong Lutheran Mission of Eau Claire wrote to say thanks for our recent gift to that ministry.
Every week I have contact with my people in this area as I visit with them and pray with them.  The message of Jesus is shared with over 30 of our mission members who attend worship services on Sundays at 2 p.m.  Several of these people also study God’s Word with me every week.  Our mission continues to look for new ways to reach out to those who have not yet come to faith in Jesus.  Please keep this mission in your prayers as we share the Good News of Jesus with your neighbors.
Pastor Daniel Baker shared a card of thanks for our gift to ReClaim Resources.
Your gift…allows us to continue this valuable Lutheran ministry to equip congregations in making Christians.  We thank you for your financial support of ReClaim Resources.
We also heard this spring from Michelle Dingwall, Assistant Director of Feed My People Food Bank, another mission recipient.
More than four million pounds of food will be distributed through Feed My People’s ninety member food pantries and community kitchens this year. Together, we are not only feeding people who are going through tough times, we are helping them get back on their feet.  Whether it’s a parent who was laid off, or a hungry child unable to learn in school – your gift helps provide nourishment when people need it most.  Thank you for making this important work possible.
Last month, we dedicated the full 20% of one week’s offering to support the tornado relief work being done by Christ the King Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Birmingham, Alabama.  Pastor Scott Hawkins shared this note of thanks and update via email earlier this week.
Thank you to all the churches who have been so gracious in serving us by your prayers, letters, time, and funds. 

It has been incredible to see what God has been doing in the midst of tragedy. I have never experienced such a clear vision of how God sees the world. God has given us all that we need in the midst of His church. We are not a people who live with the fear of scarcity, but the overflow of abundance. People pouring themselves out to serve one another. People sending items, food and money to help somebody. The church being the church in liturgy and service is one of the most powerful witnesses to a world hurting from the effects of sin and chaos. 

God has been putting the people in our way who we are called to serve. We are continuing to walk by faith and being confronted with what we have to do. There is a Methodist church in our neighborhood who has been serving the survivors of the storm as well. They have been led through a variety of ways to a small town of 500 people called Sipsey. This is the same town that we have been led to, but through different people and connections. Two churches less than a mile apart being led to a town over an hour away with less than 500 people. This must be what God has in store for us. So we have decided to partner together to rebuild Sipsey. It is in an unincorporated area which means that we can rebuild with a lot less restrictions. We are researching building Katrina Cottages for the people who lost their homes in the storm. I cannot help but think of the day when Sipsey remembers the tragedy of the storm, while also remembering the blessings that the church rained down upon them after the storm. 

Thank you for your support during this time and, although I hope it doesn't happen, we hope to be able to walk with you during whatever storm rages in your church, state or community. 
Hannah’s Hands Bible Study meets Monday Night
Women of the congregation are invited to take part in the Hannah’s Hands gathering Monday night, June 6 at 7 p.m. at the church.  The women’s group is studying “Portraits of Jesus.”  In addition to the study and fellowship, the group will continue to develop Personal Care Kits for Lutheran World Relief.  Here’s what is needed:
      One bath-size towel (approx. 52” x 27”) dark color recommended
      Two bath-size bars of soap – any brand in original wrapping
      One adult-size toothbrush in its original packaging
      One sturdy comb
      One metal nail clippers
If you would like to help with this project you may do so by contributing any of these items. Please bring them to church placing them in a box labeled “Personal Care Kits”.
Prayer for Samantha
Pastor Fred Sauder, in his May 22 sermon, told the story about his great niece’s family in Texas, in which their long-awaited child developed a serious bacterial infection. Pastor Fred and Alice share this follow-up: 
God’s answer to prayer seems to be that Stephanie and Travis take little Samantha home and keep her comfortable until the Lord Jesus comes to take her to the mansions of heaven where there is no more suffering, illness or death.  We appreciate your prayers.  God holds us all in His hands.
News and Notes
·         Steve Flaten, son of Joann and Roger and brother of Chris, will provide a Temple Talk on June 19 as part of our regular worship service.
·         Christ Lutheran Church, the new Bloomer LCMC congregation which held its first service May 22, will resume worship Sunday, June 12 at the Senior Civic Center. 
·         Remember in your prayers Peter Rimmereid, who led worship at Faith Lutheran Mission Church as a supply pastor this winter, as he is ordained this Sunday at his home congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomer.  Peter will become pastor of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Dresser later this month.  The ordination marks the last Sunday in St. John’s pulpit for its longtime pastor, Peter’s father Bruce Rimmereid.  Bruce is leaving the ELCA to become an LCMC pastor.
The Last Word
“The New Testament is nothing but a revelation of the Old Testament, as if one were in possession of a sealed letter and then later on opened it.” 
                                                                                    Martin Luther