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Words of Faith, May 11, 2015

posted May 11, 2015, 8:25 PM by Faith Lutheran

The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler

 

Luke 24:51-52; “While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.”

 

On Sunday May 17th we will be celebrating the Ascension of Our Lord and taking a look at these last verses from the last Chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Verse 51 tells us that while Jesus was blessing the disciples He was “taken up to heaven.”

 

What a sight that must have been! And what was the disciple’s response? “So they worshipped him.” Those disciples knew exactly what was happening and that everything that Jesus had promised them had come true, and so it was celebration time!

 

But was that it? Was that all the disciples needed to do? Take a look at just a few verses earlier in vs.46-48; “And he said, ‘Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent. You are witnesses of all these things.”

 

Yes, it was worship and celebration time for the One who overcame death. But now it was also time to spread the Good News of what that meant. Acts Chapter 1, which is essentially the Gospel of Luke Pt. 2, then tells of the amazing growth of the early Church as the disciples who were just a few days earlier huddled scared in a locked room “then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy” empowered with the Holy Spirit.

 

And that’s what we need to do. After we hear the Good News preached on Sunday and our time of worship, we also then, empowered by the Holy Spirit, need to return to our homes neighborhoods, and work places “with great joy.”

 

Have a blessed May everyone!                                                                         Pr. Nick

 

 

Summer Shifts Schedules and Events

Longer and warmer days mark changes in our church calendar.  In addition to being Ascension Sunday, November 17 also marks the last Sunday of our Sunday School until fall.  Thank you to Kristine Seanor-Behling for once again leading the youth education program.  The May 17 service will also feature the final scheduled anthem by the choir until September.

 

Something new planned for summer is a special alternative worship service on the fourth Sunday in June, July and August.  The service will include more music and a varied liturgy.  Watch for more details next month.

 

New Member Sunday Set

Sunday, May 31 will be a day in which new members are welcomed to Faith Lutheran Mission Church.  Anyone interested in becoming a member of the congregation should contact Pastor Henseler before Memorial Day.

 

Wednesday Teachings Focus on Fruits

“Faith Filled Fruit of the Spirit” is the topic of the Wednesday night services.  Pastor Henseler leads a study of Galatians 5:22-23, teaching on how the Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our lives.  The services begin at 7 p.m. each Wednesday.

 

Thrift Sale to Raise Funds for Lift

The church council decided at its April meeting to participate once more in the East Hill Thrift Sale on Saturday, May 16, with the proceeds of the sale going toward the handicapped lift project.  Those wishing to donate items are asked to do so Friday, May 15 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the church. 

 

Helpers are needed on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to set up and organize tables, price items and cashier once the sale opens at 8 a.m. through the time the sale ends at 4:00.  Anyone wishing to help should contact Mary Ann Christopherson.  If you are interested in baking items for sale, please give your name to Lee Ann Beck.

 

Scholarships Awarded for Bible Camp

The council approved the awarding of two scholarships for summer Bible camp.  Madeline and Caleb DeVries were both given $150 toward their tuition at Lake Wapogasset Bible Camp near Amery.  The money came from the local mission portion of the April offerings.  The council voted that the remainder of the local mission offering for April will go to the Feed My People School Lunch Program.

 

May Missions Focus on Syrian Refugees, Local Jails

Hand of Hope Refugee Relief and Good News Jail Ministries are the missions-of-the-month for May.

 

Hand of Hope provides relief in the form of food, blankes, water and other essentials to Christians and Muslims who have fled Syria and Iraq to avoid civil war and terrorism.  The outpost in Lebanon is part of the mission arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries.

 

The local mission supported by offerings of Faith Lutheran Mission Church for the month of May is the Good News Jail Ministry, which provides support to chaplains serving local jails and prisons, to bring the word of God to inmates.

 

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

 

LCMC Posts Survey, Photo Submission Opportunities for Annual Gathering in Fall

The 15th Annual Gathering of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) is set for October in Dallas, Texas.  The theme for the 2015 gathering is “Our DNA.”  In anticipation of that, LCMC is asking its members this question:  “What does being a part of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ mean to you?”  All responses submitted by pastors or members of LCMC congregations by July 1 will be considered for publication in the Annual Gathering Book.  The survey can be found at http://sendstudio.lcmc.net/surveys.php?id=8.

The LCMC is also inviting members to show in a photograph how their congregation exemplifies what it means to be an LCMC congregation.  Special consideration will be given to all photos submitted on or before Tuesday, June 30th, however all photos received by Friday, July 31st will be considered for publication in the 2015 Annual Gathering Book and on the website.   More details can be found there at www.lcmc.net.

Thrivent, LCMC Team Up for Community Outreach Grant

To celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation, LCMC and the Thrivent Financial Foundation will be awarding $5,000 grants to 15 LCMC congregations for use in planning a project to benefit their local community. 

The purpose of the Reformation Anniversary Grant Program is to encourage missional service activities—that is, to encourage congregations and individuals to reach out to their neighbors in Christian service and love, and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This connects serving others in Christian love with Lutheran Theology.

Projects should benefit the local community and may NOT to be used for internal congregational-focused purposes.  Project applications should consist of some or all of the following aspects:

  • Future looking. (new ministry efforts)
  • Outward facing. (serving those beyond the congregation)
  • Member engaging. (the more congregation members involved the better)
  • Collaborative. (Involving others in the work as well, like other congregations or schools or service groups, etc.)

Those wishing to apply must submit an online application of 250 words or less answering the question, “How would your congregation use $5,000?”  The application will need to include the name, phone number and e-mail address of a key contact person for the congregation.  This can be anyone; it does not have to be submitted by the pastor or congregational staff.

The application period opens January 1, 2015 and closes August 15, 2015

Martin Luther Reading Challenge Underway

Christians around the world will observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Oct. 31, 1517 — the date that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in

Wittenberg, Germany — is often considered the beginning of the Reformation.

 

The Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, has launched the Luther Reading Challenge — a free online community where people can sign up to read and discuss Luther’s writings for free from now until October 2017. The website will feature various writings from Luther — starting with the 95 Theses and including his pastoral and spiritual writings, his Biblical commentaries, his Catechisms, his will, and his hymns.

 

“While it is impossible to avoid polemical or controversial elements, our focus is on Luther as a

teacher and preacher of the Christian faith. Too often theology is taught with reference to enemies; our hope is to present here a Luther for the whole church,” organizers explained.

 

To participate in the Luther Reading Challenge, simply visit the site: lutherreadingchallenge.org and sign up for a free account. Each text begins with a brief introduction, explaining the context and the key points. Readers can add their comments and questions on the side of the page.

 

Since 2009, the Institute has offered a two-week “Studying Luther in Wittenberg” program every

November. “It has been an eye-opening and inspiring experience to see how the writings of a

16th-century reformer can still speak so powerfully to people half a millennium later — and not just in the old territory of Christendom but all around the world. More than once we have asked ourselves how to carry this amazing experience of careful reading of Luther’s theology in a global setting to a bigger audience,” organizers explained.

 

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.

 

Pastor Craig Nelson of Minong opened the worship month in May of 2010 with the Four Foundations of Faith.  Those simple but profound ideas are:

1.      God loves us dearly

2.      Obey God’s commands

3.      Confess your sins and receive forgiveness

4.      Forgive.

 

Pastor Emory Johnson of Siren shared a Mother’s Day message “Women of Faith.”  Also joining us as supply pastors in May were Jerry Hibbard of Rice Lake and TJ Anderson of Dresser.   Here’s an excerpt from the May 20, 2010 edition of Words of Faith:

 

Crazy.

 

That’s what Pastor Anderson called us on Sunday.  It’s crazy to start a new church with no building … no pastor.  But, as Pastor Anderson also told us, it’s just the kind of crazy God calls for when he sends us into the world to tell the story of a God who would send his own son to die, so that we might live.

 

Our craziness moves to new levels in the coming weeks and months as we move forward in church-building.  The steering committee has announced a strategic planning timetable designed to lay the groundwork for the future ministry of the church and its members.

 

It was a big month of planning for the congregation.  The steering committee set an aggressive timetable with a goal of setting a congregational chartering, passage of the initial constitution and bylaws, election of the first congregational council, development of a budget and establishment of a call committee, and posting of a pastoral opening by the first day of summer, with a pastor in place by fall.  The timetable for each of those items, except the last, was met.  It would be another fall before a pastor was called.

 

Several individuals in the congregation were investigating possible locations for a Sunday morning worship time, as the church had been meeting at the Lutheran Church of St. Matthew Sunday nights at 5 p.m. since its inception in January.  Members and friends were urged to share ideas of locations in the community that would support Sunday morning worship, fellowship and education.  Brainstorming included vacant storefront and rentals of school auditoriums.  But God had other things in mind as a home for Faith Lutheran Mission Church.

 

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.

 

News and Notes

·        The Bible Study “Breaking Free from Fear” continues.  It meets twice per week.  Tuesdays, the gathering is at The Meadows apartments at 1 p.m.  On Thursdays, the study meets at the home of its leaders Teri and George Strodthoff.

 

·        Church cleaning schedule includes Vern and Betty Doenier May 15, Katie Evans with Elaine and Bob Moore May 22 and 29, and Mark Strack with LaMoine Parkhurst on June 5 and 12.

 

·        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 our 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

“There are only two days on my calendar…today, and the day of judgment.”     Martin Luther

 

 

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