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Words of Faith, April 6, 2015

posted Apr 6, 2015, 10:41 PM by Faith Lutheran

The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler


Mark 16:2-4; “Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.”


This first Sunday in April we celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord. And what an awesome promise of eternal life that gives to all believers in what Jesus accomplished by dying on the Cross for our sins!


And yet, sometimes we miss the little things we should also be celebrating for Easter. Notice what the concerns were of the women as they were approaching the tomb where Jesus’s body had been placed very early on that first Easter Sunday morning; “Who will roll away the stone for us from the tomb?”


This brings up a question; what large stone may for some of us also be a main concern as we approach Jesus? Is there something going on in your life that you think “blocks” any kind of access to your Lord and Savior?


If you feel that way, hold tight to that promise Scripture gives in v.4! “But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.” Friend, there is no stone or anything at all in this world which Jesus cannot “roll away” to be with you! Trust in that!


So if during this season you feel as though you may be far away from the Lord because of something that is going on in your life, pray for your Lord and Savior to “roll away” whatever is blocking you from being with Him and let His Holy Spirit power fill You and your life with whatever it is that you need to walk with Jesus and conquer the “very large stones” of this world!


Have a blessed Easter everyone!                                                                                Pr. Nick




Madison Lovelien Shares Stories of Human Trafficking in Thailand

Sex slavery is a huge problem in Thailand.  And American tourists are a big part of the problem, according to a young Eau Claire woman who spent part of the winter working in safe house for victims of human trafficking.


Madison Lovelien of Eau Claire represented the local anti-trafficking group Fierce Freedom on her trip that was in part financially supported by Faith Lutheran Mission Church as part of our mission giving.  In her report to the congregation March 15, Madison described the “Walking Street,” a quarter-mile strip composed of 100 brothels, strip clubs and taverns.  She said an estimated 1,500 women and children are part of the sex industry on that strip.


Madison said the sex industry is fueled by “sex tourism,” mostly American, German and Russian men paying for sex with girls as young as 13.  Some of the girls are kidnapped, but many of the teen girls come to the city with the hopes of finding work to help support their families, and fall to the charms of pimps who keep them hostage as they work on Walking Street.


Madison plans to work this summer in Wisconsin Dells while getting evangelism training from the Navigators organization.


Bible Camp, Bible Providers Targets for Proposed April Missions

Faith Lutheran Mission Church contributes 11 percent of weekly offerings to local missions and 10 percent to non-local missions.


The Missions Committee has proposed that the local mission offering for April go to support mission training for the young people of our congregation.  The money will be used to fund scholarships for any FLMC kids (and friends) to attend Bible camp this summer.  Any additional money could be directed to Lake Wapogasset Bible Camp in Amery.


For the non-local mission for April, the committee is recommending the recipient be the Gideon Society, which distributes Bibles and New Testaments to people throughout the world.


The recommendations of the committee will come before the Church Council at its meeting April 20.  Families interested in exploring a scholarship may contact mission committee chair Dean Kallenbach or Pastor Nick.


“Breaking Free from Fear” Study Begins in This Week

The new Bible study that focuses on breaking free from the fears that can assault or hearts and minds begins this week.  Terry and George Strodthoff will lead the study.


Participants have their choice of two times to participate in the weekly study.  One group will meet at the church at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, while another will meet at George and Terry’s home Thursdays at 6:30.  For more information, contact the Strodthoffs.


Service and Fun on County II!

Saturday, April 18 we get a chance to work together to help our community, and it should be a lot of fun!  We’ll clean up a two mile stretch of County Highway II west from Highway 93 to Balsam Road.  Faith Lutheran Mission Church has “adopted” that highway, and that means we commit to having a crew to clean the ditches two or three times a year.  That date is April 18, and we plan to meet at 10 a.m. at the Corner Store at Double-I and Highway 93. 


Stylish yellow vests and garbage bags will be provided but bring your own gloves, pick-up sticks, water bottles and anything else to keep you efficient and energetic while getting a little jump on “Earth Day.”  Thanks to Jack Daniel for once again organizing the pickup.


Spring Fling Planned

Spring is just around the corner (we hope)!  The events committee is planning a Spring Fling dinner and fun filled evening on Saturday April 25th at 5:30 p.m.  There will be a sign up in the Fellowship Hall.  Watch the bulletin for more information!


Rev. Orv to Preach

Pastor Nick Henseler is on vacation for two weeks after Easter.  Faith Lutheran Mission Church member Rev. Orv Bystol will lead worship and provide the message on Sundays April 12 and 19.


That means there will be no Wednesday evening worship on April 8 and 15.  However, on April 22, Pastor Henseler will start a new Wednesday evening series “Faith Filled Fruit of the Spirit.”


Women’s Retreat Set for May 1-2 in Tomah

The women’s leadership of the Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) has announced the 2015 Women’s Retreat will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Tomah on May 1 and 2.


The theme is “God is Able.”  Please mark the date on your calendar, and plan to attend.  Watch for more details.  If you have questions, you can contact Elaine Moore or Pastor Henseler.


Five Years of Faith

Each month of 2015 Words of Faith will feature a look back at documents from that same month in 2010 to help us remember God’s faithfulness as this congregation served as a landing spot for Lutherans abandoned by their former congregations and denomination as we look ahead to evangelizing to our community and the world in the months and years to come.


April of 2010 was a very busy time in the life of our congregation.  Pastor Bill Rice of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Tomah joined us for our first Easter Sunday service, just days before his congregation took an unsuccessful vote to remove itself from the ELCA.  Pastor Bill Christianson of Stevens Point preached the second Sunday of the month, and then used his skills as an experienced mission developer to lead a forum on the findings of a congregational survey we conducted, as details in this passage from the April 15 newsletter:


Strong preaching.  Warm fellowship.  New friendships.  In many ways, it feels like our church has been around for a long time.  Truth be told, though, we just celebrated our eleventh weekly worship service.


So it was very interesting to hear Pastor Bill Christiansen share his ideas and thoughts about possible next steps for our congregation during his address at our fellowship period after Sunday’s service.  Pastor Christiansen, who is a trained mission church developer, had a number of observations and ideas to share, many based on the comments provided in the March survey of members and friends. 


He was asked what we should focus on first, a church building of our own, or a pastor.  Pastor Christiansen said we should get a pastor first, and then think about a building.  Pastor Christiansen says pastoral leadership provides a foundation that sets the tone for a congregation.  A pastor who is a true servant helps the congregation find and express its mission and leads it in those ministries.  He suggested that even calling a part-time pastor at first would accelerate Faith Lutheran Mission Church’s move forward in service to its members, to the community, and to the work of God.


Other interesting happenings in the month of April 2010 included:

·         The first draft of a congregational constitution, an effort spearheaded by a constitution task force comprised of Rollie Larson and Dick Buck.

·         Our first highway cleanup day, with 14 members and friends banding together on April 17, 2010 to clean up the two mile-stretch of County II south of town.  Jack Daniel spearheaded that effort (as he continues to today).

·         Betty and Vern Donier and Janet and LaMoine Parkhurt attended the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ Leadership Conference in Omaha, Nebraska as delegates from our congregation.

·         Elaine Moore hosted the first session of a women’s Bible study “In Harmoney with the Word” at her home.  Meanwhile, Bob Moore began a general study on Wednesday evenings at St. Matthew’s.

·         The Steering Committee, based on the congregational survey, agreed that efforts should be made to find a way to move to a Sunday morning worship service and education hour by fall if possible.  That would likely mean worshipping in a different location than the Lutheran Church of St. Matthew, where we used the sanctuary at 5 p.m. in the first several months of the congregation’s existence.

·         Meanwhile, the St. Matthew board of elders voted to reduce our rent from $100 per week to $300 per month as an act of support for our congregation.  Pastor Greg Lenze of Chanhassen, Minnesota – who preached the final Sunday of April, 2010, reported that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has encouraged its congregations to offer aid whenever possible to LCMC congregations like ours.

·         The Steering Committee asked the Worship Task Force to consider inaugurating the “sharing of the peace” as a regular part of worship, and to consider whether to begin including the Psalm of the day on Sundays.  Both practices were initiated, and remain in place today.


LCMC Prayer Chain Now Active

A prayer ministry team has been formed, and the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ now has over fifty people who are praying each week for LCMC congregations like Faith Lutheran Mission Church. 


Cheryl Coffman is the leader of the team and she is looking for others who may also be interested in joining.  If you would like to be part of praying for our congregations and any specific concerns they might have, contact Cheryl at heartsandhands3@gmail.com.


Luther on Scripture will be the Focus of Saturday Workshop

Pastor Dwight Hanson of Hope Lutheran Church in Ladysmith (NALC) will lead a workshop “Luther on Scripture” Saturday, April 11at Saving Grace Lutheran Church in Eastridge Plaza off Hastings Way in Eau Claire. 


“When the great reformer and those who stood with him 500 years ago proclaimed ‘Scripture Alone’ as the Church’s highest authority, it was a bold statement, a rejection of the abuse of power hat was running rampant at the time, based as it was in human tradition,” said Pastor Hanson.  The session will explore Dr. Martin Luther’s fascinating insights into matters of Scriptural authority. 


Anyone wishing to attend should check in at 9:30 a.m.  The session runs from 10 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.  Cost of the session is $5. 


Conflict Management Seminar Set in Duluth

The Lake Superior Fellowship Group of LCMC/NALC will sponsor a seminar on conflict management.  Pastor Kevin McClure will present on “Unity and Conflict” to help church leaders build and maintain a healthy church culture.  Attendees will learn practical skills that help people learn to disagree without being disagreeable.


The event will take place at New Life Lutheran Church, 4424 Venture Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Cost is $10 per person for lunch.  Registration or questions may go to Pastor Paul Mattson at 218-546-6010 or pauljm@immanuaelcrosby.org.


News and Notes 

·         The recorded services have not been telecast on Charter Cable in recent weeks.  Community Television has told us it is at the mercy of the cable company to free the channels up for the telecast, but there is no information as to when the telecasts will be resumed.  Watch this space for updates.  Meanwhile, watch for the sermons on our website:  www.faithlutheranmc.org.


·         The Faith Lutheran Mission Church choir, under the direction of Bob LaMont, will rehearse after church on Sunday mornings.  Anyone interested in singing with the choir is invited to join the fun!


·         Church cleaning schedule includes Roy and Mary Ann Christopherson April 10 & 17 and Clarence and Janet Hadt April 24 and May 1.  


·         We’re seeing visitors at the church every week.  Please remember to wear your name tags to help them feel welcome.


·         When disposing of recyclable containers and bottles, please rinse them out before placing them in the bin.  That makes it easier and less messy for the DeVries family, which has volunteered to take or trash.


·         Are you on Facebook?  Don’t forget to “Like” Faith Lutheran Mission Church’s page!  And our Facebook page editor, Katie DeVries, is asking for some feedback on the page.


·         If you have prayer request you would like to have made known to the prayer chain, please contact Sylvia Miller at 715-874-5080 or Katie Evans at 715-831-8797.


General Weekly Calendar

(Schedule may vary due to member visitations, evening meetings and special services)


9:00     Worship

10:00   Fellowship


9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Office Hours


10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.     Office Hours

7 p.m. Worship


10 a.m.-4 p.m. Office Hours


Feel free to check before you stop in by calling Pastor Nick at the Church (715-514-2021) or on his cell (952-484-5101).  You can also email pastornickhenseler@gmail.com.


The Last Word

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.”                                                                                                               Martin Luther