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WORDS OF FAITH - October 21, 2010

posted Oct 27, 2010, 8:35 PM by Matt Anderson

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

October 21, 2010


Faithful Waiting

Our little congregation has been traveling at warp speed (c’mon, you remember Star Trek) since forming in January.  In ten months we’ve:

  • established weekly services featuring faithful preachers who bring home God’s word each and every Sunday
  • pulled together all the legal work needed to become a non profit corporation
  • established an incredible fellowship and food program that has molded this body into one
  • made our presence known to the community through advertising and news articles
  • been faithful to our 20% to missions pledge
  • drafted and passed a strong constitution and by-laws
  • selected a church council
  • developed the financial commitments needed to buy and building and call a pastor
  • enjoyed Bible studies led by members of our congregation
  • developed policies and practices designed to assure that prayer, reliance on God’s Word and outreach to others are trademarks of our church


In other words, with God’s help, we’ve really been busy, and effective!


As of this writing, we’re doing something that we haven’t been doing much of up until now – waiting. 


In this world’s model of go-go-go, waiting can feel like a waste of time.  We get uncomfortable, and look around for busyness to distract us from our impatience.


But, God has a word for us (doesn’t he always?) when it comes to waiting:

Psalm 27:13-14 (New International Version)

 13 I am still confident of this: 
       I will see the goodness of the LORD 
       in the land of the living.

 14 Wait for the LORD; 
       be strong and take heart 
       and wait for the LORD.

We trust God that our waiting time will be fruitful.  We pray for patience and faithfulness, and anticipate the great things yet to come.


So, while you wait in God’s love, here’s an update on what we're waiting on!


The Building

We have not been able to close on the church building at 1704 Hogeboom Street, as our brothers at the former Victory Baptist Church need to do some legal paperwork in order to sell the building.  Once their articles of incorporation are posted on the State web page, congregation president LaMoine Parkhurst says “it will go fast.”


We wait in faithfulness.


The Pastor

On October 10, we agreed as one to place a call to Gregory Lenz to serve as this congregation’s pastor.  The call letter has been sent.  Pastor Lenz remains in prayer, seeking the Lord’s will regarding this critical decision, and we pray with him.


We wait in prayerfulness.


The Planning

The church council, at its meeting Monday night, made some preparations for when the waiting is over for the building and pastor.  As soon as everything is in place, the decision was that our Sunday morning worship service would be at 9 a.m.  Special evening services (Thanksgiving Eve, Lent, etc.) would be held at 7 p.m.  At this point, the plan for the Christmas Eve service is that it take place at 10 p.m.


We wait in thoughtfulness.


Worship Notes

Thanks to Rev. Tom Herro of Good News Jail and Prison Ministry and Rev. Tim Duesenberg of Gift of Grace Lutheran Church in Onalaska for offering their messages over the past two weeks.  We received a note from Pastor Herro dated October 11, with the following message:


Dear friends at Faith Lutheran Mission Church,  It was a real delight to be with you last night for your worship service, and be able to preach the sermon on the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, and to share about our jail ministry.  Thank you for the special gift you will be sending for our jail ministry. Blessings in Christ!  Chaplain Tom Herro


Good News Jail Ministry and Lutheran World Relief are sharing the mission offerings for the month of October, which totals 20% of our plate offerings each week.


Next week, Rev. Bill Rice of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Tomah will lead our worship this Sunday (October 24).  Rev. Jerry Hibbard of Stanfold Lutheran Church of Rice Lake joins us October 31.


For All The Saints!

All Saints Sunday is November 7th, and the Worship Committee is planning a special way to remember those saints we’ve encountered in our lives who are now in Jesus’ arms.  Each of the next two Sundays, you’ll be invited to write down the names of loved ones who have passed away of the past few years.  Then, on All Saints Sunday, those names will be read in a special ceremony during the service.  The ushers will hand the cards out before each of the next two services, and you can either place them in the offering plate or hand them to the ushers on the way out.


A Generous Gift, and a Call for Your Help

Monte Bygd, a friend of our congregation, was using his skills as a metal sculptor to construct a new piece of art that would double as a mailbox stand.  As he was building it, Monte sensed God telling him to donate the work to our congregation.  He doesn’t know why, but was faithful to the message, and has offered the piece to Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  Monte, whose work has been sold throughout the world, expects we may wish to sell it to raise funds for our church.


Here’s where we need your help.  The statue is that of a waving, smiling cowboy with a shiny stainless steel hat.  But, Monte is leaving for his winter home in Arizona in about a month, and the statue needs to be moved out of his garage.  It’s 8’3” tall, and weighs 335 pounds!  Can you store it?  Let a member of the council know, and we’ll get a group to help move it (good news, it’s on wheels!).


Once we find a place to keep our Faithful Cowboy, we need someone who knows how to sell on e-bay or another appropriate site to list the item for sale, and do the computer work necessary to sell it.  This would be a great short-term ministry project that would make a big difference to the congregation.  Don’t be shy!  Let a council member know if you can help.



Cheerful, ain’t he?

Can You Help with Rides?

The Member Care and Services Committee is seeking members of the congregation who would be interested in becoming volunteers for providing rides to church for those without transportation, as well as rides to medical appointments, etc. and visiting members in their homes.  The Committee would like to make a list of the volunteers so we may better care for others in our church family.  Contact Katie Evans (715) 831-8797 to learn more, or to sign up!


Choir Practice Set

Our golden-voiced choir is rehearsing Thursday, October 28th at 7 p.m., and will sing October 31.  November rehearsals are set for Thursday, November 11 and Wednesday, November 17, with plans to offer those songs during the worship services November 14 and 28.  Come sing!


Augsburg Centennial Singers Come to Town

The “Augsburg Centennial Singers,” a group of 52 men directed by Al Reesnes, will pass on the faith through songs of praise in concert on Friday, October 29th at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.  Formed in 1933, the Augsburg Centennial Singers have traveled throughout the US and Norway.  The concert starts at 7 p.m., and all are welcome. A free will offering will be taken.


A Gift From our Generous Landlords

The Lutheran Church of St. Matthew has defined hospitality since allowing us to worship in their building.  They required only $100 per week at the outset, then voted to reduce our charge to $300 per month, seeing it as a ministry to have us worship there.  Everytime we think they’ve done all they can do, they come back with something more.


Here’s how Chuck Olson described the latest incident:


We found out that St. Matthew’s would be willing to sell their electronic piano in the living room of the former parsonage.  It is a very nice electronic piano...the perfect size for our new sanctuary-to-be.  It would also be the perfect piano for Bob (Lamont) and the choir to be able to see each other while he plays and directs the choir.


I talked to Pastor Rutter and he said he was going to bring it up at their quarterly congregational meeting.  He did, and the WONDERFUL congregation of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church has decided to give the piano as a gift to Faith Lutheran Mission Church.


God continues to move the Holy Spirit and show us the love and support from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.


The Last Word

You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.  Martin Luther