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Words of Faith, March 2015

posted Mar 12, 2015, 9:51 PM by Faith Lutheran


The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler

 

John 12:12-13; “The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (ESV)

 

On the last Sunday of this month we will be celebrating Palm Sunday where we will ourselves be waving palms and worshipping our Lord and Savior! The huge crowd that was welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem were shouting “Hosanna!” which actually is the same word used then as it is used now from the Hebrew word which is a shout of happiness that means “save us now.”

 

Though the crowd back then was looking for a different kind of savior, Jesus was still the perfect and exact Savior that the world needed then…and still needs today. So as we wave our palm branches and sing songs of worship this Palm Sunday let’s still say “Hosanna!” as our shout for happiness that our Lord Jesus is still “He who comes in the name of the Lord” and still is perfectly able to “save us now.”                                                                                 Pr. Nick

 

 

Lent Marches toward Easter

The round-robin Lenten service schedule with the them “God’s People at Critical Moments” continues through the last Wednesday of March.  Pastor Tom Reiff of St. John Lutheran in Phillips provided the address on March 11.  On March 18, Pastor Dwight Hanson of Hope Lutheran of Ladysmith and Glen Flora will come to Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  The final Lenten service will be led by Pastor Bryan Anderson of Clear Lake.  Those services, which use the Holden Evening Prayer as a liturgy, are held Wednesday nights beginning at seven, with a meal available beforehand beginning at 5:30.  The March 25 meal will be a pot luck.

 

As indicated in the Pastor’s message, the final Sunday of the month will be the Palm Sunday service, held at 9 a.m. March 29.  Maundy Thursday service will take place at Saving Grace Lutheran Church in Eastridge Center at 7 p.m. April 2.  Good Friday service will be back at Faith Lutheran Mission Church, with a Tenebrae Service beginning at seven that evening.  The Easter Sunday worship begins at 9 a.m. April 5.

  

Young Missionary to Report on Trip to Thailand

Earlier this year, Madison Lovelien of Eau Claire traveled to Thailand to work in a safe house for victims of human trafficking as part of the work of the local anti-trafficking group Fierce Freedom.  Faith Lutheran Mission Church provided support for Madison’s journey.

 

This Sunday, March 15, Madison will return to Faith Lutheran Mission Church to report on her experience in a special missions forum during the coffee hour after church.  Please come and hear about the work she and others are doing in Jesus’ name to bring hope to the hopeless.

 

Beacon House Week Provides Opportunity for First-Hand Missions to our Neighbors

Sign-up sheets are now available in the fellowship hall for providing meals and overnight chaperones for Beacon House, the family homeless shelter of the Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network, of which Faith Lutheran Mission Church is a member.

 

Donations of portions of the evening meal are being sought for April 5, 9 and 11 – servers are also being sought for those meals.  Overnight hosts will be needed for April 5, 7, 9 and 11.  If you have questions, contact Karla Petersen.

 

IHN, Pioneer Bible Translators or Missions for March

Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network will be the local mission for the month of March.  The consortium of church in the Chippewa Valley provides 4,700 nights of shelter and 13,000 meals to 60 families in need of temporary housing each year at Beacon House in downtown Eau Claire.

 

Pioneer Bible Translators is the non-local mission for the month.  The specific ministry being supported 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 langue of the people native to that area of western Africa.

 

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

 

“Breaking Free from Fear” Study Begins in April

A new Bible study that focuses on breaking free from the fears that can assault or hearts and minds will begin in April.  Terry and George Strodthoff will lead the study.

 

A workbook detailing the study is available on the ministry opportunities table near the bulletin board in the fellowship hall.  Sign-ups will be taken through Palm Sunday in an effort to capture the time(s) and days the work best for the study.

 

Lift Project on Hold for Now

FLMC President LaMoine Parkhurst shared the following statement before the congregation before worship on February 22 regarding the planned installation of a lift that would allow people to move from all levels of the church without using stairs.

 

As the annual meeting we thought that all details were in order to begin the work of preparation and installation of the lift.  When the contracts were received and studied they did not meet our expectations and requirements.  As the church council met, the decision was made that more information and research was needed before we could proceed.

 

We remain united that God led us to this decision to pursue the lift, and now to do more to seek the best one for Faith Lutheran.  This may include other lift providers.

 

Please pray for your leaders as we seek this solution so we can be more available to all who would like to worship with us.

 

May the Lord bless our work and efforts as we seek his will.

 

Bob Moore Named Vice-President

The congregation council, at its February meeting, elected Bob Moore to serve as the vice-president of the congregation.  The council was directed by the congregation at its annual meeting to select a vice-president from among the council members.  He joins President LaMoine Parkhurst, Secretary Katie Evans and Treasurer Mary Ann Christopherson on the executive committee of the council.

 

Women’s Retreat Set for May 1-2 in Tomah

The women’s leadership of the Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) has announced the 2015 Women’s Retreat will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Tomah on May 1 and 2.

 

The theme is “God is Able.”  Please mark the date on your calendar, and plan to attend.  Watch for more details.  If you have questions, you can contact Elaine Moore or Pastor Henseler.

 

Message from Men’s Ministry Leader of LCMC

Wilson Metz, the pastor adviser for Lutheran Men’s ministry of LCMC, shared the following note for congregations throughout the country:

 

At the LCMC Gathering in Des Moines last year, we shared about the new LCMC-LM email network and the LCMC-LM website.  The team wants to give you more information about some new things going on within the Lutheran Men.  The BIG idea is to share information about what works and what does not work in our ministry to men!  I encourage you to sign up and give it a try!

 

The new website is www.lcmc-lm.net.  On that website, you can find the link to sign up for the email network.

 

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 March of 2000, the congregation continued to be blessed by teaching sermons from spirit-filled guest pastors.  Bill Christenson of Stevens Point, Mark Richardson of Dresser (now executive director of the LCMC’s Augustana District) and Emory Johnson of Siren/Grantsburg led us the first three Sundays of the month. 

 

On the final Sunday of March (which was Palm Sunday as it is in 2015), the congregation for the first time conducted a service that was not led by a pastor.  Several members took part in a reader’s theatre presentation of the Palm Sunday-to-Good Friday account “Cry of the Whole Congregation” by Walter Wangerin.

 

There was also some other news related to worship music, including the introduction of what would become a familiar face, as reported in the March 11, 2010 Words of Faith:

 

Thanks to Paul Kosower, who lifted up this new congregation with his musical talent for the first six services of our existence.  With his own busy performing schedule and family to visit throughout the world, he is handing off the accompanying duties to others.  We’re grateful to Paul for his musicianship and his enthusiasm for Faith Lutheran Mission Church.

 

We are excited that Bob LaMont will play for us at Sunday’s service.  Bob is a retired music teacher who taught for 30 years.  He plays once a month for St. Matthews, and will be helping us out occasionally as well.  The worship task force has other accompanists in mind, but if you know of someone who can lead worship music, please let the worship committee know, or reply to this note.

 

The March 2010 newsletters also reported the development of a survey to members of the congregation to seek out their direction for future emphasis of the church.  Elaine Moore started the first women’s Bible study.  And we got a report from Stanfold Lutheran Church in Rice Lake that it had joined us as an LCMC member after taking its second unanimous vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

 

And, while the congregation did not conduct midweek Lenten services that first year while worshipping Sunday evenings in the building of the Lutheran Church of St. Matthew, Lent was very much on the hearts and minds of its members, as described in this account in Words of Faith on March 18 of 2010.

 

The dead of winter seems long ago.  Snow-shrinking temperatures in the 60’s and Daylight Savings Time shoves thoughts of cold and dark to the back of our memories.  Most of us are old enough to know better than to think there will be no more cold...but winter has lost its grip on us.  We’ll cheerfully scrape frost from the windshield knowing it’s one of the last times.  Spring comes officially this weekend.  Palm Sunday the week after that.  Then Easter.

 

Faith Lutheran Mission Church was born in the dead of winter, amidst the desolation of betrayal, rejection, abandonment and deep sadness.  But, as God is wont to do to show he is in control, He has brought green shoots from desolation and fruit from frozen ground.  We are in Lent.  But we can see the empty tomb from here.

 

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.

 

The Meaning of Jesus Death will be the Focus of Saturday Workshop

Pastor Bruce Rimmereid of Christ Lutheran Church in Bloomer (LCMC) will lead a workshop on The Atonement: The Meaning of Jesus’ Death Saturday, March 14 at Saving Grace Lutheran Church in Eastridge Plaza off Hastings Way in Eau Claire. 

“While it’s common to hear this explained in a phrase like, ‘Jesus paid our penalty or debt in order to appease God’s wrath against our sin,’ such an understanding is really not very biblical and diminishes the truly good news expressed in the cross of Christ,” says Pastor Rimmereid.  “We will look at how the New Testament draws on several Old Testament passages to ‘proclaim the Lord’s death’ as Gospel.”

 

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. 

 

News and Notes 

  • The recorded services have not been telecast on Charter Cable in recent weeks.  Community Television has told us it is at the mercy of the cable company to free the channels up for the telecast, but there is no information as to when the telecasts will be resumed.  Watch this space for updates.  Meanwhile, watch for the sermons on our website:  www.faithlutheranmc.org.

     

  • The Faith Lutheran Mission Church choir, under the direction of Bob LaMont, will research after church on Sunday mornings.  Anyone interested in singing with the choir is invited to join the fun!

     

  • Church cleaning schedule includes Chuck and Kim Olson March 13 and 20, and David and Sarah Seanor March 27 and April 3. 

     

  • 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, which has 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

    “Adam was created righteous, acceptable, and without sin. He had no need from his labor in the garden to be made righteous and acceptable to God. Rather, the Lord gave Adam work in order to cultivate and protect the garden. This would have been the freest of all works because they were done simply to please God and not to obtain righteousness.

     

    The works of the person who trusts God are to be understood in a similar manner. Through faith we are restored to paradise and created anew. We have no need of works in order to be righteous; however, in order to avoid idleness and so that the body might be cared for an disciplined, works are done freely to please God.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Martin Luther

     

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