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Words of Faith, February

posted Feb 2, 2012, 9:47 PM by Faith Lutheran


A monthly newsletter for members and friends

Faith Lutheran Mission Church

1704 Hogeboom Ave

Eau Claire, WI  54701

(715) 514-2021


Februrary 2, 2012


The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler


Mark 1:35; “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”


Here in Mark’s Gospel in the first chapter between some amazing miracles of Jesus healing and casting out demons we find this verse which we could so easily just glide over so we can find out about the next miracle.


What we need to understand is that all those wondrous miracles happened because Jesus took that time to be in prayer with His Father; Jesus ONLY did what was the will of His Father. And so, each and every step of Jesus’ ministry was first discerned in prayer with guidance from His loving Father.


The Bible has often been called the “Driver’s Manual of Life.” If we are to truly take the Word of God as the guide for our decisions in life, then we should follow the example of our Lord Jesus and take time in prayer to find the guidance God wishes to bestow upon us. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says this; “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”


So let’s take that time as we draw closer to the Lenten season “to a solitary place” to pray so we also can discover and discern the will of God in our lives.  

Pr. Nick





























Survey of Congregation Designed to Kick-Start Strategic Ministry Efforts

Pastor Henseler and the church council is planning to hold a forum after worship on Sunday, February 12 to take a broad look at the current ministries of Faith Lutheran Mission Church, and dream of what God has in store for us in the future. 


The discussion, led by Pastor Nick, will seek to draw input from members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church to help solidify the mission, vision and goals of the congregation, which will eventually serve as a blueprint for ministry, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 


In order to get some sense of what individuals who worship at FLMC value and feel inspired about, Pastor Nick asks that we take part in a brief survey in advance of the February 12 meeting.  To answer the questions, which are listed below, you may reply to this newsletter via email (if that’s how you receive it) or you may write the answers out and deliver it to the Pastor.


So, here are the questions:

  1. What are the three most important characteristics of Faith Lutheran Mission Church?
  2. If you could look ahead three to five years from now, what would you hope the ministry of FLMC looks like?
  3. What are the congregation’s three greatest assets?
  4. What is this congregation’s greatest need?
  5. What does the word “Mission” mean to you?


Individual answers will be kept confidential, though the overall findings may be shared as part of the meeting on the 12th.  Thanks for responding!


Lenten Season Begins

The service for Ash Wednesday will be held at 7 p.m. February 22.  The choir will be singing, and the service will include imposition of ashes.  Lenten services will then continue February 29th and each Wednesday through March at 7 p.m., using the Holden Evening Prayer service, with a message each night from Pastor Nick.  A joint Maundy Thursday service with Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire is being planned.  Watch for more details on that.


A light meal will precede each service between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout the Lenten Season.


Annual Meeting Celebrates Second Year of Ministry

The Annual Meeting of Faith Lutheran Mission Church January 15th included a look back at 2011, but also a look ahead to 2012 and beyond.


The 2011 budget report by Treasurer Dale Johnson showed expenses of just over $86,000.  The largest outlay was missions at just under $20,000, with about $18,000 going to building and improvements.  For the year, the congregation finished with a positive balance of nearly $20,000.


The budget for 2012 is more ambitious, considering that it includes having a pastor for the entire year.  Budget expenses for 2012 are expected to be around $114,000.


Four new members were elected to the church council.  They are Katie Evans, Chris Flaten, Dean Kallenbach and Sarah Seanor.  Dale Johnson was also elected to a second term.  The new executive committee is made up of Chuck Olson as president, Chris Flaten as vice-president, Katie Evans and secretary and Dale Johnson as treasurer.  The other returning council members are Jack Daniel, Gene Fischer, Roger Flaten, Laban Miller and Elaine Moore.


Thanks to departing council members, including outgoing President LaMoine Parkhurst, outgoing Secretary Trista Anderson, Jean Anderson and Bob Flaten.


A nominating committee was also selected for drafting council members for next January.  That committee consists of Laban Miller, Joann Flaten and Elaine Moore.  And audit committee of Bob Moore, LaMoine Parkhurst and Kim Olson was also named.


February Missions Look to Eau Claire and Nicaragua

Half of February’s mission offerings will go to a ministry that Faith Lutheran Mission Church is supporting for the first time, Child Outreach International.  Fred and Wanda Garcia are missionaries serving LCMC churches in Nicaragua, and the people in that country have been hard-hit by flooding.  Here’s the description shared by Wanda in the group’s last newsletter:

We received an email in October from Pastor Juan Bonito Espinal in Nicaragua.  It was about flooding in the remote rural areas that we serve there.  Nicaragua is second only to Haiti in poverty in our hemisphere, and this is one of the poorest regions in the country.  We have seven humble and determined congregations and communities that we work with there; most are farmers.  He informed us that after two weeks of rain, most had a total loss of their crops.  You need to know that these people annually experience two periods when there is little food or work.  They were just about to come to the end of one of those periods because they harvest crops in November and December.  The loss of those crops is not only an immediate food crisis; they now do not have seed for next year’s crops or the money to buy new seed.


The offering will be used for food relief for the 140 families served by the LCMC churches in that flooded area.


The other half of February’s mission giving will also be dedicated to food issues, but closer to home.  It will go to support the Grace Lutheran Food Pantry.


Faith Lutheran Mission Church has always dedicated 20% of its weekly offerings to missions outside the congregation.


One of January’s mission recipients was Zion Lutheran Church of Bone Lake, near Frederic.  Zion just joined Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ in the fall, and the congregation is in search of a pastor.  Here’s a note from June Hendricks, the congregation’s president:


 I am so touched that you care! What a wonderful God we have. He loves us so much, for you to know that we need encouragement! What a blessing you are.


Zion is 100+ years old started by faithful Norwegians.  It was an ALC when I came here 40 years ago and we have always had a sister church, Clam Falls Lutheran. When the ALC and ELC merged our then-Pastor John Baxter recommended we not join, knowing that it would be too liberal for us and that there would be issues with the church building ownership. Instead we joined the newly formed AALC and that worked well for 20 yrs. The AALC has changed and come alongside the Missouri Synod. This has caused some problems with our people, a division among our members and loss of several members, especially young families.


It came to a head this spring when we could no longer make our budget, our pews were empty and some were talking about closing. After much prayer and soul searching, this fall we voted to leave the AALC and our sister church with a vote 22 to 1. Clam Falls will stay with the AALC and keep the Pastor and we joined the LCMC. Pastor Roger Kastelle has agreed to work with us part time after his interim is over at Birchwood and we will use pulpit supply until then.


Zion has always been a mission church. After making several cuts in our budget this year we finished off the year with our bills paid and able to give to Interfaith caregivers in our county, Latin American Lutheran Missions and Lutheran Mid-East Development. We also give to Serenity House-Salvation Army and our local food shelf. Our ladies make quilts for Operation Christmas in our county and our children make shoe boxes for Samaritan's purse.     


The largest challenge we face is our small numbers. This is a rural church with another ELCA church 6 miles away. But Zion wants to be a light for the world to see Jesus, a place where neighbors can come and worship and work together. Where we can study God's word and let the Holy Spirit change our hearts.      


I've been our council President for 4 yrs. It's been the hardest thing I've ever done but I know God put me here and is guiding us. Our people have learned to work together and keep doing what needs to be done. Presently our church secretary is at Regions Hospital very sick. We are praying for her and another lady is doing the bulletins etc. Without a Pastor, our ladies. decide music and plan and write the bulletins. I find pulpit supply and lead the Sunday school. Everyone has a job and we all have to work together. These are challenges but the Lord is blessing us!


You’re a blessing to us, encouraging us that this is the direction God wants us to go. We are excited and happy, after a very long difficult struggle. May the Lord bless you and hold you in His Hand,

June Hendricks, Zion's Council President


Our other January mission recipient was Jayne Kallenbach for her work at The Potter’s Village Orphanage in Dodowa, Ghana.  She remains there through early March, and shares her stories through her blog www.gettingtoghana.blogspot.com.

Worship in the Basement, Work Upstairs

The congregation has worshipped in the church basement for the past few weeks while the ceiling in the sanctuary is repaired and new insulation is put in place.  The work done so far looks great!  Congregation President Chuck Olson says it will probably be another three weeks before we can resume worship upstairs 


“There will be a need for as many people to come and help clean the sanctuary when the repair workers are done,” said Chuck.  “We will announce that cleanup date down the road when that day is clearer.”


Hannah’s Hands Wraps Up “Portraits of Jesus,” Prepares for New Study

Hannah’s Hands women’s Bible study will meet Monday, February 6th at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall.  It’s the last segment of the study titled “Portraits of Jesus” with this segment being “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” All women are invited to attend. 


Next month, on March 5th, Hannah’s Hands will begin a new study.  Members have chosen “In Harmony with the Word,” an eight-session Bible study on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount authored by Rev. Steven E. King.  Sign-up for the new session, let by Jan Parkhurst, will take place at the February 6th meeting and in church the two Sundays following.  Cost for the study book is $5.00.


Churches Form Wisconsin & Upper Peninsula of Michigan District of LCMC

More than 100 Lutherans, including several from Faith Lutheran Mission Church, gathered in Wausau Saturday, January 7 to witness the formation of the Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).

Delegates from many of the 56 LCMC congregations in the region were on hand at Cornerstone Lutheran Church in Wausau to pass a mission statement and constituting by-laws, and to elect a leadership team.  The gathering also worshipped together, and held brainstorming discussions regarding how the district should serve congregations.  Those in attendance from Faith Lutheran included delegates Bob Moore and LaMoine Parkhurst.  Also attending from our congregation were Elaine Morre, Vern and Betty Donier, Jan Parkhurst and Dean Kallenbach.

The mission passed by the new district states, “The Wisconsin & Upper Peninsula of Michigan District exists for the glory of God to support, guide and expand the congregations of LCMC.”

A seven member leadership team was elected by the delegates.  They include Dave Gunderson of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Baileys Harbor WI; Kurt Haebig of Cornerstone Lutheran Church, Wausau WI; Scott McKenzie of Grace Lutheran Church, Hayward WI;  Rev. Carole Neitzel of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Champion MI; Jayme Silber of Grace Lutheran Church, Eau Claire WI; Daniel Wright of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Gillett WI; and Dean Kallenbach from our congregation.  

The leadership team was charged with developing communication systems that will allow the congregations of the district to network on such issues as missions, youth activities, and training of pastors and lay members.  The bylaws passed at the January gathering also direct the leadership team to develop a Congregational Service Team which will be available to help congregations with such things as calling pastors or dealing with conflict issues.


News and Notes

·        The property committee is seeking bids for painting the church, and is at the same time soliciting bids for siding.  No decision has yet been made on which of the two will be done, if either, in the coming year.

·        New first aid kits have been purchased – one each for upstairs and downstairs – as well as new fire extinguishers for upstairs and down. 

·        We’re in need of someone to sign up for snow removal after Februray 4th.  Sign-up sheet is in the fellowship hall.

·        If you get a chance, take a look at the work that’s been done in the back room to get it ready for ministry purposes (classes, etc.).

·        Don’t forget—if you miss a service, you now have two choices to catch it.  Video version of past services are now available at www.faithlutheranmc.org – and are also cablecast each Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on channels 96 or 993.

·        A reminder that there are lists of suggested items on the table near the bulletin board for our “Gifts of Love” baskets that are provided to encourage and support members and friends of our congregation.  Take one, and help keep the baskets going!


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 (563-676-1853).  You can also email pastornickhenseler@gmail.com.



The Last Word

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”
Martin Luther