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Words of Faith, December 3, 2013

posted Dec 3, 2013, 10:26 PM by Faith Lutheran

The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler


Matthew 1:23; “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son,

and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”


The season of Advent is a time when we prepare our hearts for the celebration of God coming down to this earth to be with us. And as wonderful as the time of Christmas is, so often we tend to forget that Jesus is still Immanuel and that He is still with us! The verb structure of that wondrous verse “God is with us” is such that God is with us in a present and ongoing way.


So let’s prepare our hearts this Advent season knowing that God is with us and that He will always be with us! Merry Christmas everyone!!                                                   Pr. Nick



Happy New (Church) Year


December 1 marked the first Sunday of Advent, a season of preparation.  And preparing is abundant on the church calendar in the coming weeks.


Of course, Sunday mornings during our regular 9 a.m. worship service we light the advent candles as we think ahead to the celebration of God’s decision to come to earth as the Savior, Jesus Christ. 


The choir is preparing through rehearsals December 5 and 19 at 7 p.m. to share the beautiful music of the season.


Our Sunday School kids are in preparation, too.  They’ll be presenting a program as part of the Sunday morning service December 22.


The climax of the first month of the new church year will be our Candle Light Christmas Eve Service at 4 p.m., December 24.   


The Christmas season continues Sunday, December 29 with a Carol Service.


Prepare to celebrate!  Advent is here!  Christmas is coming!


Deck the Halls, and Have some Pizza!

Anyone interested, willing and able is invited to gather at the church Wednesday, December 4 to decorate the sanctuary.  Helpers of all sizes, shapes and ages are welcome to gather at 5 p.m.


After the work is over, we’ll enjoy pizza and pop before Wednesday night worship at 7 p.m. 

(Note:  There will be no 6 p.m. text study on December 4.)


Fa La La!  Caroling Set for December 18

The Faith Lutheran Mission Church Choir is organizing a caroling night on December 18.  Interested singers should gather at the Syverson Lutheran Home at 816 Porter Avenue in Eau Claire at 6 p.m.  The carolers will entertain residents of Syverson for 30-40 minutes, and then will move on to some other places before coming to the home of Joanne and LaMoine Parkhurst at 4541 Village Oaks Circle (just south of Macy’s) for food, fun and fellowship.


Joanne says all are welcome – if you can’t come caroling, then come to the house for a time of fellowship!  Call Joanne – 715-456-5434 – if you have questions.


LCMC Wisconsin-Upper Peninsula District Considers Mission Start

A meeting exploring the possibility of starting a Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) mission congregation in Wisconsin or Upper Michigan was held Sunday, December 1 in Wausau at Cornerstone Lutheran. Twenty-three representative from eight congregations came together to talk about starting a mission congregation.


Another meeting was set to move the idea forward and to brainstorm about possible locations for the new congregation.  If you would like to be part of the next meeting it will be at Cornerstone in Wausau on January 25 at 11 am. More details will be available in the next issue of Words of Faith.


Steve Lien Named New Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry by LCMC

Pastor Steve Lien has been hired to the newly created position of Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry by Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).  The position was created this fall at the annual LCMC gathering in Dearborn, Michigan, and is designed to help congregations, pastors and leaders carry out the work of the ministry.


Here’s a self-introduction written by Pastor Lien:


Dear Friends in Christ,


I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry in LCMC!


I was born in southern Minnesota and was raised in Staten Island, New York.  I finished high school, college and seminary in Minnesota.


Along the way I attended Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) in Seattle, Washington; toured with a Youth For Christ International singing team in southeast Asia and the U.S.; and finally landed in Watertown, South Dakota, for my first call as a pastor.  Since then, I’ve served congregations—large and small—in South Dakota, Texas, Iowa and California.


I am passionate about serving Christ, loving my family, and being a faithful husband, father, and grandfather.  I met my wife, Joanne, when I was“the pastor’s kid” in New York. The Arthur Hall family, who were serving as medical missionaries in South Africa, came to visit the congregation my father served. The Lien and Hall families became friends, and many years later—after getting acquainted as adults at LBI and again at Augsburg College—Joanne and I were married in 1975.

Joanne is a Registered Nurse who has served most of her career in long-term and hospice care. She recently resigned as Director of Patient Care Services at Hospice Partners of Southern California, based in Santa Monica.

Joanne and I have three grown and married children and are the proud grandparents of seven (soon to be eight!) grandchildren.

I’m told that I’m energetic, often comical, and certainly out-of-the-box! I love telling people about a God who relentlessly loves, forgives and embraces His children.

Some of the very best and most fulfilling years of my life have been spent in ordained ministry—and some of the most painful and challenging years as well. Through it all God has proved faithful, sustained me, taught and tempered me and continued to use me in others’ lives.

I’m absolutely thrilled and humbly grateful about the opportunity to share what I’ve learned and what I’m learning through serving God by serving congregations and pastors throughout LCMC.  I look forward to meeting many of you in the years to come!

Yours in Christ,


Faith Lutheran Mission Women Invited to Contribute to Devotional

A group of LCMC congregations in northwestern Wisconsin is exploring the development of shared experiences for women and women’s groups.


An initial effort involves the development of a Lenten Devotional written by LCMC women in this area.  As part of that initiative, women from Faith Lutheran Mission Church are being asked to write seven devotional messages – one per day for the second week of Lent.


Each day has a Scripture reading that is the basis of the devotion thought.  Writers will be asked to construct a 300-400 word message.


Elaine Moore is coordinating the contributions from FLMC.  If you would like to volunteer to write one or more of the devotional messages, please contact Elaine.


Stewardship Committee Forms

At the congregation council meeting in November, council member Vern Doenier announced that Roger Flaten, Mark Strack and LaMoine Parkhurst had agreed to join him on the stewardship committee.


Under the FLMC bylaws, the Stewardship Committee’s call is to work with members to help move them to a commitment to return the first portion of their time, talents and treasure.


Praying the Scriptures Expands to Sunday Morning

Members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church who want to deepen their prayer life and come together with others to pray for our congregation and our community as well as individual needs now have two choices for “Praying the Scriptures.”


The group will gather for 45 minutes to an hour at 10:45 a.m. Sundays in the sanctuary, as well as the 4 p.m. Wednesday time that started in November.


“Praying the Scriptures” uses Bible verses to guide and direct prayer, but there are opportunities for specific prayers for individuals, families, the congregation and other institutions. 


Church Council Nominations Being Sought

The nominating committee of Faith Lutheran Mission Church is seeking individuals who feel called to serve on the congregation council for a two-year term beginning in January.


There are five council positions which are up for election at the annual meeting in January.  Council members serve for two years (though they may run for re-election at the end of their terms).  The council generally meets once per month, and members serve on at least one committee of the congregation. 


If you are interested in service, please contact nominating committee members Chuck Olson, Vern Doenier or Dean Kallenbach.


FLMC and Lutheran World Relief Respond to Super Typhoon Haiyan, Offer Resources


In a decision by the congregation council at its regular meeting in November, all of the weekly mission allocation of 21% of offerings on December 1 will be directed to Lutheran World Relief for typhoon aid to the Philippines.

Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on the morning of November 8 as one of the world’s most powerful storms on record to make landfall. The Category 5 typhoon made landfall near Leyte Province in Eastern Visayas Region causing massive destruction and loss of life. The storm hit with wind gusts up to 235 mph, nearly 16 inches of rainfall and waves up to 45 feet in some areas.

The full extent of damage across the Philippines is still difficult to determine due to disruptions in communications. Access to stormaffected areas is limited as a result of flash floods, landslides, fallen trees, damaged roads and downed power lines and telecommunications. An estimated 675,000 people are currently displaced, including nearly 400,000 people in more than 1,300 evacuation centers. Reports indicate that approximately 10,000 people may have died as a result of the storm in Tacloban municipality alone.

Lutheran World Relief’s Philippines staff is now coordinating with its partners to mobilize staff and resources to respond to the most urgent needs.

  • Shelter: LWR will provide shelter repair kits to families whose homes were damaged in the typhoon.
  • Cash programs: LWR will employ residents of three municipalities in Northern Cebu in short-term work assignments removing debris from public spaces, helping to get cash into the hands of those who need it.
  • Household supplies: LWR will provide families who have lost their belongings with essential household supplies such as cooking utensils and plates.
  • Quilts and Kits: LWR is shipping Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits, School Kits and Quilts, which will be distributed to more than 26,000 families.

Chippewa Valley Free Clinic and Global Outreach for Christ December Missions

Outside of the special gift to typhoon relief on the 1st, December’s mission targets are Global Outreach for Chris and the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic.


The free clinic offers medical examinations, tests, medications and treatment to individuals in the greater Eau Claire area who are uninsured or underinsured.


The specific ministry FLMC supports through Global Outreach for Christ is the work of Bible-translator Marty Ganong and his wife Tina, who are making the Word of God available for the first time in the language of the people native to that part of West Africa.


Chippewa Valley Free Clinic will receive 11% of offerings, while Global Outreach for Christ will get 10%.


News and Notes

·         The church council will meet Monday, December 16 at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall.  Annual committee reports are due to the church office by January 3.


·         Hannah’s Hands will meet at the church Monday, December 9 at 7 p.m.


·         Men of Faith will meet on Monday, December 9 at 8:30 a.m. at Maple Manor Restaurant.


·         FLMC serves two meals for Beacon House, the family homeless shelter downtown in December.  We’ll provide the evening meal on December 22 and December 29.  Check the sign-up sheets near the bulletin board.


·         Church cleaners for December are Laban and Sylvia Miller (13th) and David and Sarah Seanor (27th)


·         We need volunteers willing to remove snow from the church sidewalk.  If you can help other weeks this winter, please sign up on the sheet by the bulletin board.


·         LCMC’s annual Three Days for Prayer is scheduled for January 7-9.


·         The next healing service is set for January 15.


·         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.


·         Don’t forget – our worship services are now cable-cast at a new day and time.  Find the service Sundays at 6 p.m. (it will be the previous week’s service) on channels 96 and 993.  Of course, you can watch anytime online at www.faithlutheranmc.org.


General Weekly Calendar

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


9:00     Worship

10:00   Fellowship & Sunday School


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


10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.     Office Hours

6 p.m.  Text Study

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

“Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt.”                                                                                        Martin Luther