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Words of Faith, January 2015

posted Jan 3, 2015, 11:07 PM by Faith Lutheran

James 1:2-3; “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”


Happy New Year everyone! So…how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along? This time of year always has us looking forward to trying to make the coming year a little better in some way.


Can I make a suggestion? How about resolving yourself to make this a better year in your faith journey? You can start by joining us on Wednesday evenings at 7pm where we’ll begin a new teaching series on “How to Make Faith Work in Your Life” based upon the Book of James. January 7th will be our first evening of study which will start with a lesson talk followed by a time of discussion on how we can apply the lesson to our everyday lives. Sounds like a good way to start the year!


Have a blessed New Year everyone!                                                                    Pr. Nick



Five Years of Faith

January marks the five-year anniversary of the formation of Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  The congregation was formed at a meeting on Wednesday evening, January 13, 2010 in the fellowship hall of the Lutheran Church of St. Matthew, and the first service was held January 31 at St. Matthew’s.  Here’s an excerpt from the initial news release that went out prior to the first service:

Faith Lutheran Mission Church, Eau Claire’s newest Lutheran congregation, begins worship Sunday, January 31 at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary of The Lutheran Church of St. Matthew with a time of food and fellowship to follow. 


The congregation of nearly 50 members formed January 13 at an organizational meeting.  The church is the first in the Chippewa Valley to affiliate with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), an association of 294 congregations that has grown in number by more than 30% since the ELCA Churchwide Assembly decisions in August.  LCMC defines itself as a centrist, congregational-based Lutheran church body which recognizes Scripture as the sole source and norm of faith and life. Details about LCMC and its mission can be found at www.lcmc.net.


“Faith Lutheran Mission Church is liturgical, Bible-based, mission-focused and Christ-centered,” said Bob Moore, Eau Claire, chair of the steering committee for the church.  “Anyone who believes in the authority of the scriptures and the Lutheran confessions is invited to join as a member, but membership is certainly not required to take part in worship or other activities at Faith.”


Moore said task forces are in place within the church to develop strong programs in mission and outreach, education and fellowship.  The church plans to live up to the “Mission” in its name by dedicating  20% of all offerings to local and global ministries outside the congregation with a goal of expanding the percentage as the church moves forward. For the first service, that mission segment will be designated for earthquake relief for Haiti. 


Moore said Faith Lutheran Mission Church is designed for those who prefer a less hierarchical form, with congregation-based decision-making.


The Lutheran Church of St. Matthew has graciously given permission to use its facilities for worship and fellowship, according to Chuck Olson, Chetek, vice chair of the steering committee.


“The people of St. Matthew, including Pastor Steve Rutter and the church elders, have been warm and welcoming,” Olson said.  “It’s an incredibly beautiful worship space and we’re grateful to the people of St. Matthew for allowing us to use it. We pray that their congregation is as blessed by our presence as we are blessed to be able to worship there.”


LaMoine Parkhurst, Mondovi, another member of the steering committee, said Faith Lutheran Mission Church work is well underway to developing a constitution and other structures.


“We look forward to the positive role the congregation will play in the community,” said Parkhurst.  “It is exciting and challenging to consider the possibilities before us. If you are looking for a new beginning or continuing your life in Christ in a different setting, consider a faith life with Faith Lutheran Mission Church.”


Here’s the account of that first service as recorded in the “Words of Faith” newsletter:

What a start!  Ninety-eight individuals came together for the inaugural worship service of Faith Lutheran Mission Church January 31 at 5 p.m.  We began the afternoon as strangers for the most part.  By the evening, we were church.


We heard and sang heartily to the majestic organ music from Paul Kosower – we listened while Kim and Chuck Olson sang about Church, Home of Faith.  We sang with gusto familiar hymns like Lift High the Cross, Built on a Rock and All Creatures of Our God and King.


And, of course, we were challenged and inspired by the sermon of Pastor TJ Anderson, who came with his wife Cindy and daughter Brittany to be a part of our congregation’s beginning.  Pastor Anderson’s sermon, “Following the Call of God,” reminded us that we don’t just go to church, we are the church. 


Following the service, we gathered for a grand meal and lively fellowship in the beautiful fellowship hall of our hosts, The Lutheran Church of St. Matthew.  Many people stayed for two hours, visiting with old and new friends, musing about the new and exciting direction God is bringing his people.  Wow!  What a start!


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.


Lift Campaign Nears Completion

The campaign for contributions to support the construction of a lift designed to make Faith Lutheran Mission Church more accessible wrapped up at the end of December.  The congregation voted in October to raise funds for the lift, which will allow individuals to ride to the basement or the sanctuary from within the building or from outside.


Through December, $21,998.06 had been raised through contributions from the congregation, with an additional $5,000 provided so far from an anonymous contributor who has pledged to provide a dollar for every $2 raised by members and friends of the congregation toward the project.  Once the additional $5,000 promised from the benefactor comes in, the campaign will be very near the $32,000 needed to build the lift.


Thanks to all who contributed to the fund.  Be listening for announcements on the construction status.


Annual Meeting Date Set for 2015

The annual congregational meeting for Faith Lutheran Mission Church has been set for Sunday, January 25 after Sunday worship.  Included on the agenda will be the election of new council members and congregational officers, and action on the 2015 congregational budget.  Congregation President LaMoine Parkhurst requests that all committees turn in their annual reports to the church office by January 10.


The nominating committee continues to seek nominees for open council positions.  If you feel called to serve a two-year term on the council, or would like to learn more, please contact nominating committee members Chris Flaten, Kim Olson or Dean Kallenbach


Newest Member Stars in Sunday School Program

Just two weeks after his birth, Spencer DeVries had the lead role as Baby Jesus in the Faith Lutheran Mission Church Sunday School Christmas Program on December 21.  Spencer’s parents, Katie DeVries (as Mary) and Kyle DeVries (as Joseph) were supporting actors. 


Also featured in the pageant were Ella Traun, starring as The Star; Madelyn DeVries, Lauren Stillman and KayLee Beck as Angels; Hannah Bauer as The Sheep; Jacob Shoemaker, Logan Stillman and Joshua DeVries as Shepherds; and Tristan Beck, Caleb DeVries, and Dawson Traun as Wise Men.


Thanks to Kristine Seanor Behling and Kayla Shoemaker for leading the Sunday School and guiding our children’s ministry.


Special Music Sought for January and February

The Faith Lutheran Mission Church choir will be taking a break for a couple of months while director Bob Lamont is off.  Any members of the congregation who would be willing to provide special music as a soloist or within a small group should contact accompanist Kayla Shoemaker to practice and select a Sunday to provide the music.


Missions Set for January

The local mission outreach for January is APPLE Pregnancy Care Center, which provides teaching, healing, resources, mentoring and encouragement from a Christian perspective for young women in the Chippewa Valley.

The non-local mission of the month of January focuses on providing relief for refugees fleeing from Islamic militants in the Middle East.  The donation to Samaritan's Purse Middle East Relief will support the national Christian evangelism organization led by Franklin Graham, which is providing shelter, food and clothing to families pouring from Syria into Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

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


By the way, the congregation council decided in its December meeting to accept a recommendation by the missions committee to dedicate the missions offering from the Christmas Eve service to Feed My People’s school lunch program and to Ethiopian Relief.


FLMC to Offer Volunteers to Support Interfaith Homeless Shelter in January

Mark your calendars for Janaury 18-24 – it’s the first week of 2015 during which Faith Lutheran Mission Church will be offering volunteers and meals to support the mission of Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network at the Beacon House Homeless Shelter downtown. 


We’ll share the week with our LCMC sister congregation Saving Grace.  We’ll be looking for sign-ups for preparing or serving meals, and also looking for some overnight hosts.  Sign-up sheets will be in the church fellowship hall. 


Contact Karla Petersen if you have questions.


Un-Decoration Set for January 7

Members and friends of the congregation are invited to come Wednesday, January 7 at 6 p.m. to help take down the Christmas decorations in the church. 


With enough hands, the work should be done by 7 p.m. in time for worship, which features the beginning of Pastor Henseler’s new sermon series “How to Make Faith Work in Your Life” based on the Book of James (see the Pastors Message for more details on the series).


Volunteers Needed

The congregation is seeking members to participate in the building committee, which makes recommendations to the church council regarding the physical property of Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  If you’re interested in participating, contact Pastor Nick or congregation president LaMoine Parkhurst.


Also needed are individuals who are willing to sign up for a week or two of snow removal.  It involves following up snowfalls by clearing the sidewalks and steps.


Personal Faith Formation focus of Saturday Workshop

Pastor Jody Becker will lead a workshop on Personal Faith Formation on Saturday, January 10 at Saving Grace Lutheran Church in Eastridge Plaza off Hastings Way in Eau Claire. 


“We read the texts of the Bible and we know that stories,” said Rev. Becker, pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Hawkins, “but do we understand that these stories are our stories?  The Bible is the narrative of God’s people from the beginning of time through us here today.”


This session is designed to help participants understand how Scripture not only  forms our faith, but also us as individuals, to better know God’s call for us in our lives. 


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.


Three Days of Prayer Coming in January

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ has announced that its third annual Three Days of Prayer will take place from January 6th through 8th of 2015.


Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator for LCMC is inviting all of the congregations in LCMC including Faith Lutheran Mission Church to dedicate one day each for confession, petition and vision. 


Day One, Tuesday January 6, is a day of confession, recognizing that we have sinned against God, against each other and ourselves.  We have been caught up in big arguments about small things when there are those we love who do not know Jesus, and not connected to his church.


Day Two, Wednesday, January 7, is a day of petition.  There are so many things, people and issues to pray for and about, this day is committed to bringing our petitions to God.  We know that He hears our prayers and is at work in ways that we can see, and ways that we will never know.


Day Three, Thursday, January 8, is a day of seeking God’s vision for our church and our association.  The church belongs to Jesus and we simply ask the Lord of the church to lead, guide and direct our mission and ministry.


January 2015 is also the official start of the LCMC Prayer Chain.  Those who are interested in signing up to commit to praying for all of the congregations in LCMC each month may sign up at the website www.lcmc.net.


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, December 8 for study, prayers and breakfast.  Join them at 8:30 a.m.

  • Church cleaning schedule includes the family of Kristine Seanor Behling January 2 and 9, Orv and Pam Bystol and Lee Ann Beck January 16 and 23, and Laban and Sylvia Miller and Lila Brummond January 30 and February 6.    

  • 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)


    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

    Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?                                  Martin Luther