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WORDS OF FAITH - March 17, 2011

posted Apr 7, 2011, 7:53 PM by Matt Anderson
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
March 17, 2011
 
Winter Turns to Spring
Funny how the first 50-degree day in a few months instills a sense of hope.  Maybe winter won’t drag on until June after all.  The two feet of snow have given way to the hens and chicks growing next to the deck.  There is asphalt under that ice in the driveway after all. 
 
Lent, of course, is the winter of the Christian calendar.  We reflect on ourselves and our sins which leaves us cold.  But, we’re reminded of that hope of Easter each Sunday morning, and a God who loves us unconditionally, in a way we can’t even begin to fathom.  Spring returns!
 
Sunday with Pastor Smeby
We welcome Pastor Joel Smeby of Minneapolis, who joins us to lead our worship on Sunday, March 20.  Rev. Smeby currently serves a small mission church in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities, which he has done since his graduation from Luther Northwestern Seminary in 2008.  A native of Door County, Pastor Smeby and his wife Cynthia, an occupational therapist, live in south Minneapolis.
 
Lenten Worship Continues
Our Wednesday Lenten worship services based on the theme “Our Walk to the Cross” continue.  The liturgy of the services is the beautiful Holden Evening Prayer, and each service includes a brief message from a member of our congregation. 
 
Each Wednesday night Lenten Service is preceded by a meal, served between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.  The meal and Lenten Worship services will continue through April 13.  Invite a friend!
 
Call Committee Continues to Consider Candidates
The Call Committee continues to evaluate candidates who have indicated an interest in being pastor at Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  Please pray for Bob Moore, Janet Hadt, Jan Parkhurst, Matt Anderson and Dean Kallenbach as they seek to match the congregation with a spirit-filled leader.
 
By the way, Rev. Steve Thorson of Cokato, Minnesota, accepted a call to Crossroads Community Church in Cokato.  You may recall in January after Pastor Thorson preached for us that our congregation sent along some hymnals for Crossroads Community Church with members of that congregation who visited us that day.  We thank Pastor Thorson for meeting with our congregation and leading us in worship twice this winter.  God’s blessings to Pastor Thorson and Crossroads Community Church as they join together in a ministry of renewal! 
 
Church Council Meets Monday
The congregation council of Faith Lutheran Mission Church will meet Monday night, March 21 in the church basement for its regular monthly session.  All are welcome.
 
Ethiopian Christians Face Persecution
Muslim extremists in western Ethiopia attacked Christians and burned 59 churches and mission stations as well as 28 homes in several incidents over the past month. 4,000 are reported to be expelled from their homes, or being beaten. The Voice of America reports the death of two Christians and the charging of 130 suspects for inciting the violence. The area, near the city of Jimma in the western Oromia region had previously been known for peaceful interfaith relations. Mark Vander Tuig, the service coordinator for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) received this e-mail from the head of Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY)
 
Thank you very much for your prayers and concerns on the current situation
of our members in the South western of the country. Last Friday myself and
Rev. Yonas visited some of the church buildings and individual houses
burned and pulled down, people displaced; children, women, and men at different
centers. It is so sad to see them. We prayed with them and encouraged them
with the word of God. From the church side we have sent some food, blankets
and kitchen materials. The Government has already put in place security
forces to protect the displaced ones and those who are in those areas.
The cause and those who caused the conflict is under investigation.

Currently we are working on how to respond to the immediate needs. We are
also doing assessments on how we can rehabilitate them. As we finish our
assessment and know exactly what is needed to rehabilitate them we may share our
needs for your support. Until then, please keep praying for us. 
May God bless you all!

Wakseyoum Iddosa Rev. Dr, President, EECMY
 
Rev. Vander Tuig says he will let us know if there are any particular needs identified in Ethiopia that we might help with, and he asks us to keep that church, and all those devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.
 
LWR Working to Supply Japan Relief
Lutheran World Relief, one of Faith Lutheran Mission Church’s mission partners, is responding to the disaster in Japan.  In the earliest stages of any disaster, the most effective way to help is with cash gifts so that responders can meet immediate and urgent needs.  LWR will be working with and through local partner organizations in Japan while also supporting the efforts Lutheran congregations there.
 
 
LWR is assessing how Quilts and Kits may be helpful to those suffering in Japan. Please help by donating Quilts and Kits to Lutheran World Relief. Quilts and Kits provide essential items that families need to survive the days and weeks following a disaster. Please help us continue this life saving ministry. Your generous and quick response will ensure that LWR has the Quilts and Kits needed for Japan as well as several other areas of pressing need around the world.
If you would like to support the people of Japan through Lutheran World Relief, please , make a secure gift online at www.lwr.organd designate Japan Earthquake/Tsunami, or mail send your donation to:
Lutheran World Relief - Japan Earthquake/Tsunami 
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
Children of the Congregation Share Their Service
Arrian Lundquist has let mom Karla know he’s fine in Japan.  His Marine Base in Okinawa is on the opposite side of Japan from the northeast, which suffered such devastation from the earthquake and tsunami. 
 
Arrian did learn that he will be heading to Hawaii this summer for training before being deployed to Afghanistan.  Meanwhile, our other man in the military David Flaten continues schooling in San Antonio, preparing to his new assignment to South Korea.  Please pray for both men and their safety.
 
And, Jayne Kallenbach, who spent six weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Dodowa, Ghana, Africa, arrived home safely Thursday with pictures and lots of stories to share.  Mom and dad Sandy and Dean thank all for their prayers and support.  Jayne promises to set up a time to share her experience with our congregation in the near future.
 
News & Notes
·        Remember, our March mission recipients are Marty and Tin Ganong, serving in West Africa by translating the Bible into the native language of the people in that turbulent area – and the Feed My People Food Bank.
 
·         “Hannah’s Hands” will begin meeting on the first Monday of each month.  It’s a group of women who come together to study God’s word, have fellowship, and use their resources and hands to help others.  They will begin with a Bible study called “Portraits of Jesus.”  Each Hannah’s Hands gathering will take place in the Fellowship Hall at 7 p.m.  To sign up, see the sheet posted near the kitchen, or contact Elaine Moore at 777elaine[at]gmail.com.
 
·        Stanfold Lutheran Church has once again decided to host a summer picnic for the LCMC congregations of northwestern Wisconsin in its pavilion next to the church in rural Rice Lake.  Leading worship will be the LCMC Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig.  Last year, the FLMC Choir supplied music for that service, and Rev. Jerry Hibbard of Stanfold hopes congregations will again be willing to share music.
 
·        With the growing number of congregations making the decision to extract themselves from the ELCA and its humanist policies, the leaders of the denomination are proposing rule changes to make it even more difficult to leave the ELCA that it already is (with two 2/3 votes the current policy).  To read more about it, go to the Lutheran CORE Newsletter:  www.lutherancore.org/pdf/Connection-Feb-Mar-11.pdf.
 
·        A new confessional Lutheran congregation has formed in Menomonie, following the synod action which resulted in the ELCA’s extraction of prominent WordAlone leader Roy Harrisville III as pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.  The new congregation, called New Life Lutheran, has elected to affiliate with the North American Lutheran Church, which was recently developed by Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal).  Pray for their efforts to be blessed, and to be a blessing to that community.
 
·        By the way, Pastor Harrisville in now interim pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lebanon, a south-central Wisconsin congregation at takes its second vote to leave the ELCA April 3.
 
·        St. John Lutheran Church of Phillips, a long-time ELCA congregation, has now officially joined the roster of congregations in the North American Lutheran Church.
 
·        First Lutheran Church of Clear Lake takes it second vote to disaffiliate with the ELCA April 10.
 
·        Grace Lutheran Church Eau Claire will take its first vote on leaving the ELCA March 30-April 3.
 
·        This month marks the tenth anniversary of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, which started in March 2001 with a group of 25 congregations that broke away from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America because of its liberal drift.  LCMC grew steadily for its first eight-and-a-half years, and reached 226 congregations by August of 2009.  The ELCA Churchwide Assembly that month brough policy and practice decisions contrary to Scripture, which spurred the development of many more LCMC congregations, including Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  At present, there are 655 LCMC Congregations (up 189% in the past 18 months), including 587 U.S. congregations in 42 states.  Happy Birthday, LCMC!
 
 
The Last Word
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Martin Luther
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