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Words of Faith, February 2015

posted Feb 1, 2015, 10:58 PM by Faith Lutheran

 

1 John 4:11-12; “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

 

Well, try as I might to find a Scripture passage that would pertain to Ground Hog Day (though Isaiah 38 and 2 Kings 20 come to mind!) it looks like I will have to just find something about love in the Bible with Valentine’s Day this month…And there is plenty of reference to love in Scripture that’s for sure!

 

Throughout God’s Holy Word we see an outpouring of God’s love for His people; even when they didn’t deserve it. And that’s the big difference between God’s love and a human love; most of the time the love people have for each other is a “give and take” kind of love.

 

However with God it’s quite different; God’s love for us is a love that He gives…and gives…and gives…and gives some more. A love so great that John 3:16 tells us that God gave the world the ultimate Valentine’s Day present to us; “…he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” That beats a ground hog sticking his head out of a hole by a long shot!!

 

Instead of a supposed promise of six more weeks until Spring we have a God-guaranteed promise of the forgiveness of all of our sins and a promise of eternal life in heaven with Him!

 

Have a love-filled and blessed February everyone!                                          Pr. Nick

                                   

 

Lenten Services Include Pastoral Round Robin

Five different pastors will lead worship during the 2015 Wednesday evening Lenten services at Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  The round-robin exchange of pastors among five Lutheran congregations in northwestern Wisconsin will allow members of those congregations to hear the Lenten story from fresh voices.

 

Lent begins February 18 with our Ash Wednesday service.  Pastor Henseler will be here to lead that worship.  The following week, February 25, we will be joined by Pastor Roy Harrisville III from New Life Lutheran Church in Menomonie. 

 

Pastor Henseler returns March 4.  On March 11, Pastor Tom Reiff from St. John Lutheran in Phillips will preach.  Either Pastor Dwight Hanson or Pastor Bert Schultz from Hope Lutheran in Ladysmith and Glen Flora Lutheran will provide the message on March 18.  The final Wednesday night service on March 25 will have Pastor Bryan Anderson – son of Faith Lutheran Mission Church member Jean Anderson – from First Lutheran in Clear Lake giving the sermon.

 

The Holden Prayer of Worship will be the order of service for the Wednesday evening Lenten worship services.  On those evenings with visiting Pastors, members of the congregation will led the worship.  Anyone interested in volunteering to help, please contact Pastor Henseler or members of the worship committee.

 

Budget and Council Set at Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Faith Lutheran Mission Church congregation was held Sunday, January 25.  Here are the highlights from the meeting and from the annual report:

 

Financial Report and Budget

Treasurer Mary Ann Christopherson reported that the congregation’s finances are in good shape.  The primary reason for the improvement was strong giving, combined with savings that included a refinancing of the church building’s mortgage that reduced expenses by more than $100 per month.

 

For 2015, the council approved a budget of $115,312.

 

Mission Committee Written Report

Mission committee chair Dean Kallenbach reported that mission contributions from offerings in 2014 totaled $24,729.22, bringing the congregation’s five-year total mission giving to $109,875.  The giving went to 22 different missions including local and worldwide organizations and efforts.  In addition, our congregation served meals and staffed overnights at Beacon House, the homeless shelter for families operated by Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network.

 

Fellowship & Member Care Services Committee Written Reports

Katie Evans, who chairs both the Member Care Services and Fellowship Committees, reported the prayer chain continues to be active.  Many Love Baskets have been distributed to members and friends of the congregation, and many prayer shawls have been distributed as well.  The four fellowship teams arrange for food during the post-worship fellowship gatherings and Sundays.

 

Worship Committee Written Report

Chuck Olson, chair of the Worship Committee, reflected on the many worship experiences provided in 2014, including joint worship services at Saving Grace on Maundy Thursday and Thanksgiving Eve.  He recognized the third anniversary of Pastor Nick Henseler’s leadership in October, and previewed the round-robin pastoral exchange during Lent.

 

Stewardship Committee Written Report

Mark Strack of the Stewardship Committee reported that the committee is nearly finished with a Time and Talents questionnaire designed to help the connect members and friends of Faith with tasks and missions available in the congregation and the community.  Watch for that soon.

 

Education Committee Written Report

Education continues to be a hallmark of Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  The Sunday School ministry led by Kristine Seanor-Behling continues to grow.  Hannah’s Hands Women’s Ministry met for several months in 2014, and is restructuring for 2015.  Men of Faith continues to meet the second Monday of each month at Maple Manor Café for prayer and study.  Wednesday evening programming has evolved into a time of worship, teaching and discussion.

 

Council Election and Election of Officers

The congregation thanked outgoing council members Jack Daniel and Elaine Moore for concluding their terms on the body.  Both have served since the council was formed in the summer of 2010, and served before that on the task force that managed the congregation prior to the passage of the constitution.  Elected to new terms were incumbents LeeAnn Beck, Orvin Bystol and Vern Doenier as well as new council members Mark Strack and Bob Moore. 

 

LaMoine Parkhurst was re-elected president of the congregation.  Secretary Katie Evans and Treasurer Mary Ann Christopherson were returned to their positions as well.  The position of Vice-President, which was vacated by the term expiration of Jack Daniel, will be selected by the church council.

 

Lift Campaign

The capital campaign for the lift was successful.  $21,998.06 has been raised in the congregation to combine with a $10,000 match from an anonymous benefactor.  It’s expected that funding will cover the cost of the lift.  Work on the lift is expected to begin in mid-February, and the lift is expected to be operational in part by the end of March.  Care, maintenance and service for the lift will be covered in the first year.  Parts will be covered in years two and three, and after that maintenance of the lift is expected to take about $300 per year.

 

Spencer DeVries Baptized

The year’s first baptism at Faith Lutheran Mission Church happened four days into the year.  Spencer Malachai DeVries was baptized during Sunday worship January 4, wearing a baptismal gown that has been used by members of his family since 1910. 

 

Spencer is the son of Kyle and Katie DeVries, and brother to Madeline, Caleb and Joshua. 

 

 

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.

 

In February of 2010, we were worshipping on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of St. Matthew.  Our visiting pastors that month were Tony Stoutenburg of Grace Lutheran Church in Hayward, Bryan Anderson of First Lutheran Church of Clear Lake and Craig Nelson of Calvary Lutheran Church in Minong.  In fact, because they preached at our service, both Pastors Anderson and Nelson were reprimanded by the local bishop of the ELCA, and Pastor Nelson was released from his role as a pastor at Calvary, an ELCA congregation. 

 

A steering committee of about a dozen individuals met two-to-four times per month to manage the needs of the congregation in those early weeks, and a February edition of “Words of Faith” shared the following report that nicely summarized the focus of the congregation in those days:

 

At our steering committee meeting this week, chair Bob Moore passed out an article by John MacArthur, “Church as It Was Meant To Be.”  You can find it at http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A128_Church-As-It-Was-Meant-To-Be.  It’s a short article – I recommend you read it.

 

It looks at the first Christian church...here’s a key paragraph from the article:

Acts 2:42 gives the blueprint they followed:  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”  Those are the vital elements that make up the actual function and life of the church – and all of that in just one verse!”

 

Our new church has now managed to hold four Sunday services.  Where do we stand on the essentials mentioned above?

 

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostle’s teaching....

We have heard scripture read from the Holy Bible, and proclaimed from the pulpit by pastors TJ Anderson, Tony Stoutenburg, Bryan Anderson and Craig Nelson...strong proclamations that challenge us to be a church that makes a difference in our community and our world by following the Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations.  Meanwhile, plans are underway to develop Bible Studies and other educational opportunities that will begin after Easter.

 

They were continually devoting themselves to fellowship, to the breaking of bread....Thanks to some great planning by our fellowship committee and a reliance on the Holy Spirit to bring us together as a new congregation, we have enthusiastically embraced the fellowship we are called to develop as a Christian body.  We must continue to be intentional in our welcoming and our relationship-building with one another.  Satan will certainly make an effort to find petty things to set us apart as we bring our varied church experiences together to make one new church.

 

They were continually devoting themselves to prayer... Many individual prayers have been lifted up – by people in this community, but also be people throughout the country and the world as we begin this new congregation.  I’ve heard from many of you who have taken on LaMoine Parkhurst’s challenge to pray for this congregation each morning at

9 a.m., and we trust God is answering those prayers.

 

Missions for February Aimed to Help Local Abused Women and Mexican Congregation

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

 

The local mission for February will be Bolton Refuge House, which provides safe shelter, support groups, economic and legal advocacy, children’s programs and transitional living for abused women and children in the Eau Claire community.

 

Mexico Mission International will be the non-local mission.  The money will specifically go to support Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, a mission congregation in a poor section of Rio Bravo.  Pastor Victor Barbosa and his wife Lucy reach into that community to provide food and teach sewing, while the church building is one of the few safe places for children and youth to gather.

 

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.

 

Connecting Sunday with the Rest of the Week focus of Saturday Workshop

Pastor Tony Stoutenburg will lead a workshop on Connecting Sunday with the Rest of the Week on Saturday, February 14 at Saving Grace Lutheran Church in Eastridge Plaza off Hastings Way in Eau Claire. 

 

“You go to church on Sunday.  You go to work Monday through Friday,” said Rev. Stoutenburg, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church of Hayward and one of the founders of LCMC.  “Martin Luther reclaimed the idea that working for God is not something that is limited to pastors of church workers.”

 

Pastor Stoutenburg will take participants through Luther’s understanding of everyday work for God.

 

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, with an additional $3 for a box lunch.  Those wishing a lunch should reserve by January 5 by calling Saving Grace at 715-514-3552.

 

News and Notes 

·         Charter Cable has moved the broadcast of the recorded services of Faith Lutheran Mission Church back to channel 993.

 

·         Men of Faith gather and the Maple Manor Monday, February 9 for study, prayers and breakfast.  Join them at 8:30 a.m.

 

 

·         Church cleaning schedule includes Laban and Sylvia Miller and Lila Brummond February 6, Jim and Marie Cristallo February 13 and 20, and Gene Fischer and Donna Blum February 27.    

 

·         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, who have 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)

Sundays

9:00     Worship

10:00   Fellowship

Monday-Tuesday

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

Wednesday

10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.     Office Hours

7 p.m. Worship

Thursday

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

“True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.”                                                                                    Martin Luther

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