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WORDS OF FAITH - September 29, 2011

posted Sep 29, 2011, 9:22 PM by Matt Anderson   [ updated Sep 29, 2011, 9:32 PM ]
An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire
September 29, 2011
 
Henseler to Become First Pastor of Faith Lutheran Mission Church
“I will be happy and excited to accept the Call to be the pastor at Faith Lutheran Mission Church!”
 
That was the response from Pastor Nick Henseler on September 21, after receiving a letter of call from the church after that call was authorized in a congregational meeting September 18.
 
Pastor Henseler, while moving into a new role, is certainly no stranger to the congregation.  Over the past several months, he has often served as a supply pastor on Sunday mornings. 
 
“The name of the church itself stands for so much; Faith Lutheran Mission Church,” said Pastor Henseler in a letter sent to the call committee as part of the application communications.  “This is a congregation basing itself in Faith upon the grace of God through is Son Jesus Christ, believing in the Confessional statements that mark us a Lutherans, with a focus on Mission (locally, regionally and internationally) and being a Church which is a gathering of people with an intention of building that Church to the glory of God with a worship environment that is welcoming to all kinds of people of all ages.  Now THAT’S something to build upon!”
 
In dismissing the call committee, chair Bob Moore said regarding the call of Pastor Henseler, “I believe this is the will of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.  Please continue to pray for Pastor Henseler and our congregation.”
 
In addition to Bob Moore, the call committee consisted of Janet Hadt, Jan Parkhurst, Matt Anderson and Dean Kallenbach.  Over the 15 months that the call committee was convened, it reviewed more than 40 resumes and interviewed nine candidates.
 
Nick Lawrence Henseler graduated with a Masters of Divinity degree from The Master’s Institute Seminary in Roseville, Minnesota in 2007, after having earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the University of Arizona 16 years earlier. 
 
After internships at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville, Rejoice Lutheran Church in Northfield and Community of Hope Lutheran Church in Rosemount (all Minnesota), Pastor Henseler served as co-pastor at Trinity Hospital Care Center and Nursing Home in Farmington, Minnesota, then was called to be solo pastor at a Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ church in Davenport, Iowa, Prince of Peace Lutheran, where he served until November of last year.
 
Pastor Henseler lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota with his wife Lori.  He has five adult children, and enjoys motorcycling, walking, reading and cooking.  He plans to begin his ministry at Faith Lutheran Mission Church in with the October 16 worship service.  A special installation service is being planned for later in the fall.
 
Audio-Video Changes Promise Enhanced Education and Worship Experiences
A number of generous donors have contributed to a special media fund that has allowed Faith Lutheran Mission Church to purchase several audio-visual items designed to enhance worship and aid in Christian education.  Through that fund, the congregation has purchased a new Lenevo laptop computer, a Canon high-definition camcorder, a directional microphone for the camcorder, “i Worship” software, Nero editing software, a wireless router and some miscellaneous items and cables needed for the hookup. According to congregation Vice-President Chuck Olson, Chris Flaten donated a very nice Panasonic PTL-735U front projector.
 
Chuck reports work is in progress to hook up and tweak the new media center so it will do what we want it to do.  The plan is to record our services and have them played back on Community TV channel 96 on Charter Cable, also eventually uploading video of our services and programs onto our internet web site, www.faithlutheranmc.org.  The media center will also allow the congregation to access the internet feed live streams of different types of church services or a live webinars. 
 
“We will be able to use the media center for movies, youth education, sermon outlines, lesson-readings and so many other things, “said Chuck.  “It is exciting and I hope everyone will take a look sometime.”
 
Anyone with some computer experience who would like to learn and help maintain and operate the media center should contact Chuck.
 
“How God Builds Churches” Course Begins October 9
The new media center and the cable internet connection that has been installed in the church building will be put to good use right away, as Faith Lutheran Mission Church will gather for a four-week course developed by the Institute of Lutheran Theology called “How God Builds Churches"
 
The four-session course will be taught by Dr. Frederick W. Baltz, president of ILT and author of As of First Importance: A Theology and Practice of Evangelism for Mainline Churches. 
 
“How God Grows Churches” will explore what evangelism is and what it is not, as well as the importance of knowing the difference. It will address many relevant questions:
·         What to the Scriptures say about evangelism?
·         How do the Confessions and our Lutheran heritage inform our work as evangelists?
·         Are Lutheran churches doomed to fail in this?
·         Why are we so often evangelism-resistant, and what can we do about that?
·         How can we work toward a culture of evangelism in the churches so that everyone wants to help reach, win, and involve those who are presently lost to Christ?
·         What does a specifically Lutheran way of evangelism look like?
·         How can we use the strengths of our heritage to make disciples in ways other Christians don’t share? 
·         What can we learn from other denominations and movements that will help us make disciples?
 
The class will begin Sunday, October 9 at 7 p.m. and will continue at that same time on four-consecutive Sundays.  Tell your friends, and join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking and heart-challenging course.
 
LCMC Gathering Nears
Six members of Faith Lutheran Mission Church plan to take part in the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ Annual Gathering in Des Moines, Iowa October 2-5.  Vern and Betty Doenier, Bob and Elaine Moore, and LaMoine and Jan Parkhurst will attend the event, with LaMoine and Elaine serving as voting delegates.  LaMoine also plans to attend the extended New Ministry Workshop following the gathering.  Pray for safe travel and great blessings to them.  Watch for their report on the gathering in our next newsletter!
 
Ruth House, LCMC Seminarian Fund Chosen as October Mission Targets
The Church Council voted this month to accept the Mission Committee’s recommendation that the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ Seminarian Fund and the Ruth House homeless shelter for women will split FLMC’s mission offerings for October.
 
Ten percent of the regular worship offerings will be given to Ruth House, Hope Gospel Mission’s homeless shelter for women.  The mission of the house is to allow its residents to heal in a Christian surrounding, while allowing them to take part in Hope Gospel Mission’s services which are designed to rescue, renew and rebuild their lives.
 
Another ten percent of offerings will go to the LCMC Seminarian Fund, in honor of Pastor Henseler beginning his ministry with us.  Recent seminary graduates serving LCMC congregations can submit an application for a grant each year for the first five years after they finish their training.
 
Since its inception, Faith Lutheran Mission Church has dedicated 20% of its weekly offerings to missions outside the congregation.
 
News and Notes:
·         “God Speaks through the Holy Spirit” is the theme for the midweek services, which have resumed at Faith Lutheran Mission Church at 7 p.m. Wednesday nights.  Join us!
·         Six hardy souls spend a couple of hours cleaning up the two-mile section of County II south of Eau Claire which Faith Lutheran Mission Church has “adopted.”  Thanks to Jack Daniel for continuing to coordinate that ministry.
·         Thank you to Eldora and Howard Johnson (Dale’s parents), who have given a memorial gift to Faith Lutheran Mission Church in the memory of her brother Elsmore Indgjer, who died September 6th.
·         The Congregation Council, in its September meeting, voted to purchase a new water heater, which will allow the bathrooms and the sink in the back room to have warm water at the tap.  The existing water heater fed only the kitchen.
·         The Council has also ordered handrails for the step in front of the church, and they will be installed once they arrive.
·         Hannah’s Hands Women’s Bible Study will be held on Monday, October 10th at the church beginning at 7 p.m.
·         Thanks to Pastor Don Lindner of New Richmond, who provided inspiring worship leadership for two Sundays in September, and who will be preaching October 2nd and 9th as well.  Pastor Lindner formerly served Our Savior’s Lutheran in Eau Claire and Christ Lutheran in Somerset.
·         The Member Care and Services Committee is putting together Care Baskets that are delivered to members or others who may be in need of spiritual and caring support.  Those interested in donating items for the baskets may contact Sylvia Miller or Katie Evans for more information.
·         Welcome Toni Cavanaugh, Kristine Seanor-Behling, Kayla Shoemaker, Patrick Shoemaker and Jacob Shoemaker, who joined Faith Lutheran Mission Church during our September 18 worship service!
·         Take the 9 a.m. Prayer Challenge.  Stop what you’re doing at 9 a.m. and pray for our congregation, its members and friends, our community, our nation and our world.
·         Over the past few weeks, religious researcher George Barna released his latest findings regarding faith and religion in America.  Barna has studied religious practice and behavior in America every year for the past twenty.  Among the findings:
o   84% of Americans define themselves as Christians in 2011, virtually unchanged from 1991.
o   56% say their religious faith is very important in their life today.
o   56% believe that Satan is not a living entity, but merely a symbol of evil.
o   38% of adults strongly affirmed that “the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches,” down from 46% in 1991.
o   37% of American adults are un-churched, up more than 50% from 1991.  This includes 31% of self-described Christians.
o   25% strongly believe that they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others who believe differently.
More details can be found at the Barna Research Group website – www.barna.org.
 
The Last Word
“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!”          Martin Luther
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