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Words of Faith, January 1, 2014

posted Jan 1, 2014, 6:48 PM by Faith Lutheran

The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler


Matthew 2:2; “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”


What I find amazing about these verses speaking of the journey and events surrounding the wise men, is the tenacity in their search for the “newborn king of the Jews.” Today, our Christmas search goes as far as the church right around the corner and usually lasts an hour at best. For the Wise Guys this journey took well over a year and they traveled close to a thousand miles!


And what was their reason for this search? Verse 2 tells us their tenacious search for the king of the Jews was because “we have come to worship him.” That’s amazing! How many of us search each Christmas for the King of kings with such exuberance? And when we search for Jesus each Christmas do we search for the purpose to “come to worship him” or do we come to just tick the box of going to church on Christmas and doing our religious duty?


Folks, let’s not stop searching and worshipping for our Lord Jesus in our lives just because December 25th has come and gone! Let’s keep asking ourselves each and every day; “Where is the newborn king of the Jews” in our lives? And then we need to remember the reason why we are searching…because “we have come to worship him.”


Have a blessed New Year’s everyone!                                                                         Pr. Nick



Christ’s Birth Celebrated


Based on activities the past two weeks, there is no doubt that Christ is at the root of Christmas at Faith Lutheran Mission Church!


On Sunday, December 22, our Sunday School was featured in its first Christmas Program.  Eleven young people, a few adults and even a couple of canine “sheep” helped a church full of people remember once again the story of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, resplendent with shepherds, angels and wise men.  Later, the kids joined the choir for a beautiful song!


Our new 4 p.m. candlelight service Christmas Eve proved to be a popular time, as a number of visitors joined us to get Christmas festivities started with the Word of God.  The Christmas worship continued with a special Carol service December 29. 


We’ll even celebrate the end of the Christmas season as a congregation with a “Help Take the Christmas Decorations Down” event on Wednesday, January 8 at 5 p.m., with pizza to follow before worship at 7 p.m. (and text study before if time allows).


Annual Meeting Set for January 26

The annual meeting of Faith Lutheran Mission Church will take place after morning worship on Sunday, January 26, beginning at about 10:30 a.m.  The business will include the election of members to the church council and officers of the congregation as well as consideration of the 2014 congregational budget and ministry plan.  All members of the congregation have a vote and are invited to take part.


Committee chairs are reminded to have their annual reports in to Congregation President Chris Flaten by Friday, January 3.


Are You Called?  Members Invited to Take Part in Mission Trip to Mexico!

Members of Faith Lutheran Mission Church are invited to take part in an Easter-week mission trip to Rio Bravo Mexico.


Larry Seever, a member of Stanfold Lutheran Church in Rice Lake is leading a group of adults and teens from Stanfold and Faith Lutheran Mission Church for a week of ministry to Mission Mexico International, LCMC in Rio Bravo, Mexico during Easter week, 2014.


The Mission Committee proposes that FLMC dedicates our non-local mission offerings (10% of total weekly offerings) for January, and possibly for February and/or March to support this venture, using the first money to fund the airfare of any FLMC members wishing to go on the trip, with the remainder donated to the mission.  In the event we have so many traveling that we don’t have enough to fund all airfare, we can split the offerings equally among all travelers.  The maximum number of missionaries who can go on the trip from both churches is 15.


Karla Petersen and Luke Lundquist accompanied Larry several years ago when he brought a group of youth from Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, where his daughter Shelly Christopherson was youth director.  They found it to be a good trip, and would be a good resource for details about the mission there.


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is a mission congregation of Mission Mexico International in a poor section of Rio Bravo.  MMI is overseen by Pastor Enrique Estrada, a member of the LCMC board of trustees, and Larry is a member of the MMI board.  Pastor Victor Barbosa leads the Rio Bravo ministry with his wife Lucy, and they have done outreach in the community which includes providing food and teaching sewing.  Children’s ministry is a very important element of Good Shepherd’s work in Rio Bravo, providing food and a safe place for youngsters to gather.



Those going on the trip in April will specifically be combining physical labor to support the church facilities in the morning (perhaps laying ceramic tile in the sanctuary or painting the walls) and spiritual training to support the evangelistic work of Good Shepherd in Rio Bravo by helping with Vacation Bible School during the weekday afternoons.  No special skills or training are required – you just need a valid passport.


Travelers will fly out of Minneapolis the weekend of Palm Sunday.  They will be met at Harlington, Texas airport by Pastor Enrique (with the church van) and Larry (in his camper) to be transported to Rio Bravo.  In addition to the work on and for the church, there will be opportunities to worship with the congregation on Good Friday, and perhaps excursions to the beach or shopping.  Return will be Easter Sunday or the following day.


If you wish to learn more or sign up, please contact Pastor Henseler or Mission Committee Chair Dean Kallenbach soon.


Missionaries to Turkey Come to Faith Sunday, January 5

Paul and Leah Eldred from Eastern European Missionary Network will be here at our January 5th service and will give us a presentation of their ministries that they are involved with in Turkey during our forum time after the service.


Faith Lutheran Mission Church has provided mission funds to EEMN in the past.  Please join us to hear about the exciting work the Eldreds are doing in Turkey.


Potter’s Village Gift will Help Purchase Land for Orphanage

Faith Lutheran Mission Church has raised $4,685 to Potter’s Village Orphanage in Ghana to help purchase land to allow the orphanage to move from its overcrowded location.


Mama Jane Adu, the author and Methodist pastor who oversees Potter’s Village, says the down payment for the land has been placed, and our donation will leave the orphanage with less than $2,000 to go to complete payment.  While buildings have yet to be erected on the acreage, she reports they are already beginning to sow crops on the farmland included in the purchase.  She reports they have harvested the first corn, and are looking forward to bringing in plantings of plantain, cassava, oranges and mangoes.


“Kindly send my love to Pastor Nick and the entire church,” said Mama Jane, “and tell them how we love and appreciate them.”


Ruth House to Receive Local Missions for January

Eleven percent of weekly offerings in January will go to support Ruth House in Eau Claire, 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.


Wisconsin Mission Start Conversation Continues

A meeting to continue exploring the possibility of starting a mission Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) church somewhere in Wisconsin continues Saturday, January 25 at Cornerstone Lutheran Church in Wausau.  It follows an initial meeting in December at which about two dozen individuals from eight congregations started the conversation.


The mission committee will be developing a proposal regarding the amount of support Faith Lutheran Mission Church wishes to commit to such a startup.  Stay tuned!


From the Bulletin to the Screen

Watch for some changes coming this month relating to following the liturgy on Sunday mornings during worship.  In a move designed to make our services easier for visitors to follow while saving paper and printing costs, we’ll start moving more of the order of service to the screen in the front of the church.  The bulletin will still be available, but more of the service will be projected.


While this adjustment is hopefully seen as a step forward, let church leaders know if the changes present any challenges, or if you have other ideas to make our services welcoming and easy to participate in!


Leaning on Ourselves for Cleaning

At the December council meeting it was decided that we will cancel our cleaning service for 2014.  The decision was in part a move to ease our budget burdens, but several volunteers have also indicated they wouldn’t mind cleaning a little more often, so it seemed like a good option. 


The job entails cleaning on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.  Cleaning involves straightening pews (hymnals, adding envelopes when needed), cleaning bathrooms, sweeping and/or mopping the basement floors, vacuuming carpets in the sanctuary, stairs and entryway, and dusting.  Elaine Moore, who manages the cleaning schedule, says the work generally takes about 90 minutes to complete.


Under the new schedule, volunteers will clean for two consecutive weeks.  For January 3 and 10, the cleaners are Katie Evans and Bob and Elaine Moore.  For January 17 & 24, it’s Kyle and Katie DeVries and family.  For January 31 and February 4, cleaners are Roy and Mary Ann Christopherson. 


Thanks to the current list of volunteers which includes those listed above, plus Karla Petersen, Luke Lundquist, Chuck and Kim Olson, LaMoine Parkhurst, Vern and Betty Doenier, Laban and Sylvia Miller, David and Sarah Seanor, Clarence and Janet Hadt, Gene Fisher, Donny Blum, Orv and Pam Bystol, Lee Ann Beck, and Kristine Seanor-Behling and family.


If you would like to add your name to the list of cleaning volunteers, contact Elaine at 715-834-6735.


LCMC to Host Three Days of Prayer

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ has scheduled its second annual Three Days of Prayer for January 7-9.


“Prayer is a great gift that the Lord gives to His people,” said Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator of LCMC.  “He calls us to lay every care and concern at the throne of grace, because He cares for us and loves us.  We too often see prayers as the last option, but it is not!  It is the greatest and most effective thing we can do.”


Pastor Vander Tuig says no matter how you structure this time of prayer, we should come together as an association of congregations around the world to pray.


“I believe that The Church will never rise up until we first get down on our knees!” said Rev. Vander Tuig.


News and Notes

·        The church council will meet Monday, January 20 at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall. 


·        Annual committee reports are due to the church office by January 3.


·        The Mission Committee will meet Tuesday, January 14 at 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall.


·        Hannah’s Hands will meet at the church Monday, January 13 at 7 p.m.


·        Men of Faith will meet on Monday, January 13 at 8:30 a.m. at Maple Manor Restaurant.


·        FLMC serves two meals for Beacon House, the family homeless shelter downtown in January.  We’ll provide the evening meal on January 5 and 11.  Check the sign-up sheets near the bulletin board.


·        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.


·        The next healing service is set for January 15.


·        Any member or friend of the congregation who would like to join together for an period of “Praying the Scriptures” is invited to do so at 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 10:45 Sundays at the church.


·        Are you on Facebook?  Don’t forget to “Like” Faith Lutheran Mission Church’s page!


·        The next New Member Sunday is set for February 16.  If you or someone you know would like to become a member, please contact Pastor Nick.


·        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

“Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church.  It is a goodly Christian weapon.”

                                                                                                                        Martin Luther