March Newsletter 2013

“I HOPE YOU DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY!

          A church member once said that to me in reference to why that member was not currently regular in worship attendance. I appreciated the assurance that nothing was held against me personally as a reason for not being in church. Yet such assurance is not really needed. I don’t take it personally. There are several reasons why I don’t.

     This is not my church. It belongs to the Lord. We come to hear, sing, read, and study God’s Word, not my word. We take the Lord’s Supper, not my supper. Nor is it my works we are commanded to praise and revere. It’s not my strength or providence or mercy which we are commanded to invoke in prayer. It’s not my house we are invited to enter with thanksgiving. I didn’t save anyone from hell, and I don’t answer prayers. So if on a given Sunday a member chooses to do none of the above, it’s not me who is offended. I don’t take it personally. But I hope you do.

      And by the same token, when a church member, says “good sermon, Pastor”, or some other such thing I like to hear, I don’t take that personally either. I am blessed that you were blessed and happy that the Lord spoke to you. But more than anything I am amazed and humbled that God can use such a simple-minded man to communicate the greatest truth of the universe–and that he would graciously channel his mercy through a servant who is so greatly in need of it himself. Such is our God, whose knack for using the foolish things of this world brings praise from our lips. All good done in and through the ministry of the church is to His credit alone as He uses us together.

Pastor Tom

(Note: I originally wrote this for a church newsletter almost 21 years ago. It also went to a pastor in that circuit, who saved it, and sent it me last fall.  It seems to me to be as relevant now as it did in 1992. )  

 

Midweek Lent: (Fellowship meal at 5:45 p.m. and Service at 6:45 p.m.)

Midweek of Lent 3     Amos 6:6           “Grieving for Joseph”

Midweek of Lent 4     Amos 7:1–6        “Locust Here, Locusts There,

                                                        Locusts Seem to Be Everywhere”

Midweek of Lent 5     Amos 7:10–17     “Lion Alert!”

Holy Thursday           Amos 8:11–14    “The Taste Test”

Good Friday              Amos 9:1–6        “Buried!”

Easter                      Amos 9:11–15    “Come to the Feast”

Sunday Worship Themes in March

                             March 3    “God is Faithful” 1 Corinthians 10:1–13

                             March 10   “Reconciled”    Luke 15:1–3, 11–32

                             March 17   “The Priceless Prize”     Philippians 3:8–14

                             March 24   “What Was God Thinking?”  Philippians 2:5–11

                             March 31    “Come to the Feast” Amos 9:11–15

 

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS 

Meals on Wheels

                                                March 1    Walter

                                                March 8     Quade

                                                March 15   Simpson

                                                March 22   Pack

                                                March 29   Holiday- No meals  

Community World Day of Prayer is being held at the Presbyterian Church this year on Friday, March 1st at 6:00 p.m. The theme for this year is “I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”. Everyone in the congregation is invited. Please contact Lynann Simpson for more information.

About the Worship: The Christian women of France invite us to join them Friday, March 1, 2013 for World Day of Prayer. The theme “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” was developed out of their experience of life as Christian women within a multicultural society. Within one single generation, migration will become the sole growth factor for the French population, yet political restrictions and suspicion of immigrant people are increasing.

 

Cross Timbers Pregnancy Care Center & Choices Clinic 

Thank you for returning the change for life baby bottles!  We are fortunate to have a local facility that cares for women & men!

Bottles are all due back Sunday, March 3, 2013.

You might be surprised to see these 2012 statistics:

Choices Clinic: Pregnancy Tests 285, Total Positive Test 182, Ultrasounds 157, Abortion Vulnerable 97, Mothers that chose life after counsel 142

Care Classes Details:

Care Classes Held 1,510 (Boutique Bucks are earned & can be spent in Baby Boutique). Diapers Purchased 20,766 (an important thing to purchase along with clothes & other supplies!)

TRUTH Program:

Participating Students 2,076, Sexually Active Students 19%, Desire to commit to abstinence until marriage 68%. Thank you again for your support and prayers!

Serving in the Month of March        

8:15 Service

Usher:               Terry West & Mark Gallagher  

Greeter:           Sue Angerhofer                       

Altar:                 Marilyn Pack

Acolyte:           3rd Tara, 10th Alex, 17th Karsyn, 24th, 31st Jamee

     10:45 Service

 Usher:             Karl Easterling & Jeff Stroebel

Greeter:          Magan Carrasco                 

Altar:                 Marilyn Pack            

Acolyte:           3rd Rett, 10th Landry, 17th Eric, 24th Kylie, 31st Karlee 

Due to uncertain schedules, if you are at a service and the scheduled server is not here, please step up to volunteer.

 Brunch Schedule

                       Snack         Snack          Snack        Drink Serve/Cleanup

        3             Febinger     Garza             Gallagher     Franz

       10           Keilers        Hatton            Konz                 Kimbrough

       17            Seider           Lee               Espinoza           Lewis

       24            Mitchell     Carrasco       Hanna            Schulze

       31            Easter Brunch

If you are unable to serve on a Sunday, please find a replacement and let the office know.

**** Please remember if you are on the schedule to “Serve” this includes: setting up & making coffee and after, put things away, wash dishes, wipe off tables, sweep and mop if necessary.

A Special Thanks to Mary and Rueben Walter for keeping our grounds looking so well groomed.

March Birthdays

Moises Espinoza                3/2

Voila Truss                       3/3

Rosanne Keilers               3/5

Lucy Espinoza                  3/6

Doug Hanna                    3/7

Karl Easterling                 3/9

Chet Cameron                3/10

Mason Hatton                 3/10

Jacob Lopez                   3/11

Kathryn Cameron           3/11

Justin Nehring                3/12

Troy Kimbrough             3/12

Ashley Lopez                 3/14

Eric Curtoys                  3/15

Inge Easterling              3/20

Whitney Lee                 3/21

Eli Symm                     3/23

Rueben Walter             3/23

Elizabeth Cameron        3/23

ChadEvans                  3/24

Sarah Osterloh             3/25

Shane Hatfield             3/31

Kerrie Keilers               3/31

SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

  Spring has sprung and is a busy time for Christian Education and Faith         Lutheran Youth activities. Please keep all the dates on the next page in mind as you schedule your family activities. Thank you!

March Calendar for FLY

Sunday – March 3rd -CampShiloh deposits are due! Please give them to Ms. Kim or place them in the Christian Education mailbox in the office.

Wednesdays – March 6th, 20 & 27th – FLY will meet from 5-5:45 p.m. during Lent. We will eat with the congregation at 5:45 and worship at 6:45 each week.

Wednesday- March 13thTHERE WILL BE NO CONFIRMATION OR FLY ACTIVITIES DUE TO SPRING BREAK!!

Wednesday – March 20th – Sunday School teachers and students will provide the final Lent Meal. You will receive additional info closer to this date.

Sunday – March 31st – Easter Egg Hunt during brunch! Please begin bringing small wrapped candies for our eggs. Thank you!

A HUGE Thank You to Sherre West, Brent Stroebel, Cathy Knoll, Joanne Schulze & Zelda Dawson for sharing their Faith Stories with us. You have impacted our lives and deepened our understanding of how with God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 If you have a faith story you would like to share with our youth please contact Kim Mitchell.

Following Lent only a few meals will be needed to finish out our FLY year. If you would like to help with a meal or just send money please letTammy Cogburn know. Our hungry youth really enjoy this time of food and fellowship!

Camp Shiloh – June 16-21, 2013 on the shores of Lake Bob Sandlin inPittsburg,TX. Youth ages 8-18 are eligible to attend. Your $50 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is due March 3rd. Please give to Kim Mitchell or place in the Christian Education mailbox in the church office. Thank you!

$$$ Money Earned $$$- Christian Education received $193 from the Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper. These funds will go toward our 2013 VBS.  The National Youth Gathering families received $250 from Thrivent for the meal they prepared and served on February 17th. The LWML helped out with desserts. We appreciate your support.     

                                              

                                                    

                      

 NOTICE:  Faith Lutheran Women Keep Serving

(aka LWML)

Meals, showers, desserts, donations, missions, devotions, Bible studies, cookies, helping others, and on and on…our women truly live by the LWML Motto, “Serve the Lord with Gladness”.  J

On February 9th six women and two girls attend the LWML Prayer Service inHurst.  It was a dreary day outside but a warm and inspiring time atPeaceLutheranChurch with women from all over the zone. 

On February 11th nineteen attended the wedding shower forAlicia Schermerhorn at the home of Marlene White.  Following the fun of the shower, some of the attendees went to another room at Marlene’s home and viewed Chapter 6 of the “Strong Suit Bible Study”. 

On February 17th our women provided desserts for the Thrivent dinner to help our youth with this fundraiser project for their summer activities.  Several also helped serve and clean-up.

February 24th brought the “Muffins for Missions” project.  All of our LWML women baked and brought yummy food for a wonderful brunch time between services.  Donations were accepted and all of the monies went to support the Mites Mission Projects all overTexas and the world.  Our people are always so generous and supportive and we appreciate that so much.

The” Strong Suit” Bible Study continued on Monday, Feb. 25th.  That was to be the last lesson but there may be a follow-up/catch-up gathering in March.  It was excellent and so meaningful for today’s life!

          A community prayer service will be held on March 1st.  Several of our ladies will participate in the readings and sharing of the mission focus of France.  We will be providing French bread and sliced cheeses to contribute to the light meal that follows the prayer service.  Lynann Simpson will have more details soon.  All are welcome. To plan for many upcoming events a business meeting will be held in Room 6 on March 7th @ 6:00pm. We hope you will plan to attend the next program for all women on Sunday, March 17th when we will enjoy hearing Shirley Febinger speak about her trip to Ireland last year.  She will share pictures and stories.  This will include a lunch provided immediately following 2nd service and then the program will follow.  Babysitting will be provided.

          Finally…PLAN AHEAD for the annual Church Garage Sale for April 6th.  Save your items now and plan to bring them and help set up on Friday night, April 5th. Please come join us.  All women from teens and up are invited to be a part of our time of service and fellowship.  Contact any of the officers for more information:  Lynann Simpson, president;Whitney Lee, vice-president; Shirley Febinger, treasurer; Rachel Moravec, secretary; Marlene White, Christian Growth; Cindy Franz, hospitality; Cheryl Konz, publicity. 

S.A.I.L. NEWS OF INTEREST

    When S.A.I.L. met on Feb. 7th, they celebrated in a big way by recognizing Cindy Franz for her many years of loving service to the congregation as church secretary.  In appreciation, S.A.I.L. honored Cindy by donating to a cute money tree designed by Edna Tate.  After refreshments we entered a discussion with Pastor Tom about the Transfiguration of Jesus.  Matthew 17:1-13 was the background for the questions in the study.  Pastor led us in comparing a mountain top experience of Moses with Christ’s Transfiguration.  Each of the Gospels shed light on this event.  Members signed get-well cards to send to Ola Merck and Betty Kirklen.  Following the meeting, members who wished had lunch at Pastafina to continue celebration with Cindy Franz.

    At our Feb. 21st S.A.I.L. program, Pastor Tom had invited us to think of issues we wanted to discuss.  If the Bible did not expound or resolve the question, we had to leave that to God’s will and understanding, but members brought up interesting subjects.  Irene Spitz served delicious refreshments.

    March 7th at 10:00am in Room 9 will be our next Bible study with Pastor and our S.A.I.L. program on March 21 will be a work day to assemble Human Health Care Kits for Lutheran World Relief for shipping.  Faith School classes have gathered the supplies like toothbrushes, nail clippers, combs, soap and towels. 

    Thanks to Jeanette Quade, our children’s activity bags stay up to date in the sanctuary and ready for use in Sunday services.  We also appreciate members in our congregation helping with collecting ink cartridges.  On a monthly basis, we can contribute $40 for use in office supplies for church and Faith School.

Board of Evangelism

How Do I Pray for Others?

  • Be thankful for them… God made them.
  • Ask God to help them know God’s will.
  • Ask God to give them spiritual wisdom and understanding when they read the Bible.
  • Ask God to help them live to honor and please Him.
  • Ask God to give them strength for endurance and patience in their problems.
  • Ask God to give them more knowledge of Him.
  • Ask God to fill them with joy and thankfulness.

How many people in your life could be touched if you prayed these things for them?

I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that I have been praying for President Obama. Even though I didn’t vote for him, I feel the need to pray for him, and anyone else who serves in a political office.

Remember that God is in control. And He loves to hear our prayers. So just do it.

Written by: Georgia Scott

The Prayer Garden has new plants and mulch and will be blooming soon.
Please stop by and see the progress that is being made.

                      

Dear Faith Family,

   Thank you for the wonderful and yummy brunch.  I am overwhelmed by the love, cards, and words of encouragement from my Faith Family.  The plaque is so pretty and thoughtful too. It has been my pleasure to work/serve and get to know so many of you personally. How blessed am I that I do not have to say “Good Bye” but continue to worship and work along side you in Our Lord’s Mission.

God’s Blessings and Love to all of you,

          Cindy Franz

 

 

A Biblical Tour of Israel & Jordan:  (October 14-24, 2013) An Experience of a Lifetime!  A deluxe tour of ‘Israel & Jordan’ plus many extras such as a cruise on the Sea of Galilee, meditating in the Garden of Gethsemane, seeing the Jesus boat, driving to Petra, Jordan through the desert that the Israelites wandered in and much more! Arrangements can be made for departure from any airport in Texas.  Rev Darold Reiner, retired LCMS Pastor (Former LWML International Counselor), is leading this tour. Contact him at 406-890-1149 or reiner@centurytel.net for a brochure.

All-Stars will begin on Monday, March 25th and will continue every Monday through April. The last game/party and awards is scheduled to be on April 29th. If you have any questions please contact Cary Strohmeyer.

Faith School 

Willow Osterloh and Eli Espinoza had a great time at their
class’ Valentine Party.

 

Thank you to Ann Soltau, Sheree West, Pat Weber and Vicky Sparkman for volunteering to hold babies during the day at Faith School.  We have so many newborn that need hugged and loved all day long.  Come in and get some baby lovin yourself!!  It makes your day as much as it makes theirs J Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

 

Put Yourself in Time-Out

Parenthood is a job with no quitting time.  We all start early and end late.  There are no days off; we are always on the clock.  Even when you fall into bed at night, you can still be called into action at 2:00 a.m.  A schedule like this needs the healthy balance of some time-out. I came across a quote this month from Vance Havner that I wanted to share.  Jesus knows we must come apart and rest awhile, or else we may just plain come apart.  This is so true!!

A time-out needs to be more than just five minutes alone with the bathroom door closed.  We all know how it feels to be demanded of from the crack at the bottom of the door.  Time-outs for mom and dad’s need to be a full morning, afternoon or even twenty-four hours of doing something you truly enjoy.  Scrapbook.  Paint. Fish. Hunt.  Have a BBQ with friends just because.  Take a sack lunch and a good book to the park-without visiting the playground.  Relax, journal, nap.  Both you and your children will be glad you did.

This month being the Lent Season and Spring Break, I challenge you all to sit down with your spouses and schedule a time-out for EACH OF YOU.  If we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t fully take care of others.  Serve your kids the best way you can…after a much needed, self inflicted time-out!

Serving Him,

Magan Carrasco

By God’s Grace, Faith is a place to Believe, Belong and Be Loved

 PASSOVER MEAL

    Palm Sunday, March 24, 6pm

  Faith Lutheran Church

    Faith Family Center

          The Last Supper was a Jewish Passover, a “Seder,” a solemn sacrificial meal carried out according to ancient Jewish ritual by Our Lord and His apostles.  The ceremony we will celebrate is an attempt to reconstruct the events of that solemn meal from the Gospel narrative and from what scholars tell us about the Passover in the time of Christ.

          The Last Supper was the final celebration of the paschal rites of the Old Law before their fulfillment in the New, the Christian pasech.  The Last Supper is the decisive moment when the figures and foreshadowing’s of the Old Testament is replaced for all time by the substance and fulfillment of the New. 

          The ceremony we celebrate is not merely a reconstruction of the Jewish paschal meal of the year 33; it is a dramatization of the specific meal which Christ ate with His disciples before going out to thegardenofGethsemane.  For us Christians, the paschal meal is a dramatic presentation of the events of the Upper Room. 

          We re-enact it to bring more vividly to our minds the Lord’s last hours upon earth and to deepen our understanding of the Gospels, making the gospel accounts of the Last Supper come to life for us.  The paschal meal will also deepen our understanding of all the liturgical ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter.

          Our celebration of the Passover Meal will be held on Sunday, March 24, 6pm. Please use the sign-up sheets in the narthex of the main building to indicate your involvement and attendance. If you would like to take an active role in preparing for the meal or desire additional information, please callCindy Stafford at 968-4337 (h) or 918-1212 (o) or 592-6630 (c).

The Lord’s Watchmen

So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel.

Say to them, “As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,

but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”   Ezekiel 33:7,11 

To a pastor, upon whom the prophetic role falls by way of ordination, being a watchman can be the most unpleasant part of the calling. Like Ezekiel, the pastor vows not only to comfort the afflicted, but also to afflict the comfortable.  Pointing out spiritual danger, while unpleasant, is necessary, whether done through sermons that “step on toes” or confidential conversation. The goal is not judgment, but repentance and restoration. Personally, I do confess to falling short there in that task and ask for God’s grace and courage.

There are other “watchmen” whom the Lord provides. The one that speaks to all Christians, with or without the pastor’s voice, is of course, God’s Word. Don’t just read the parts that make you feel all warm and fuzzy.  Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)  We can’t keep them if we don’t know them.  But the commandments are not there to lead us to salvation. Instead, they lead us to our Savior. When we read what we are supposed to do, but can’t do, we see our sin and long for deliverance. That’s the Law doing its job.  When Ezekiel’s audience despaired over their failure to keep God’s law, he comforted them with the promise that God did not desire their death, but their life, through repentance. His greatest command is that we believe in Him for salvation.

Jesus is the source of that salvation because He the Watchman, the Son of Man, and Son of God, who spoke through all the prophets.  His perfect life by contrast convicts us of our imperfect life. Yet because of God’s mercy, He keeps no record of sins when those sins are brought to Him in humble repentance.  He still desires not our death, but our life. The Watchman spoke of and gave us this life through His own death and resurrection.

Other “watchmen” include all Christians, who are to gently and humbly hold each other accountable to Godly living and growth in faith. Your God-given conscience is another one. Another watchman is the death of a fellow saint. It starkly reminds of our ultimate accountability to God, and gives us an opportunity to reflect on the promises of the Resurrection. 

When feeling the conviction of any of these watchmen, let it be an invitation to inventory your life. Is there sin to repent? “Return to the Lord your God”, Joel tells us, “for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Joel 2:13) His mercy is awaiting your return. This “watchman/pastor” loves to tell you that. It’s what God most loves for you to know.        

Pastor Tom Konz

False Choices of our Faith

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” James 2:18

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  James 1:27

     Lent invites us to evaluate our faith and life before God. The filter through which we see ourselves must be God’s Word, for our own standard of what pleases God is influenced by a fallen world and our fallen human nature.  When seeking to justify ourselves we are tempted by false choices. That is, we falsely assume we can make a choice of either/or, when God says both/and. We like to choose that which puts us in the best light and discount that which puts us in a bad light.

      The apostle James challenges us not to think falsely that we have true saving faith in Christ’s work of redemption on the cross when such faith produces nothing.  Faith comes by the work of the Holy Spirit through God’s Word. It’s hard to imagine that the same Spirit would not also work in us the desire to show that faith with good works that God’s Word commands. Thus James continues, “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

      Martin Luther, a fierce defender of the doctrine of “salvation by grace alone, through faith alone”, nevertheless did not discount good works in his commentary on Romans: “Thus faith is a divine work in us, that changes us and regenerates us of God, and puts to death the old Adam, makes us entirely different men in heart, spirit, mind, and all powers, and brings with it the Holy Ghost. Oh, it is a living, busy, active, powerful thing that we have in faith, so that it is impossible for it not to do good without ceasing. Nor does it ask whether good works are to be done; but before the question is asked, it has wrought them, and is always engaged in doing them.” He concludes, “It is impossible to separate works from faith, yea, just as impossible as it is for heat and light to be separated from fire.”

     Once we understand that we cannot choose between faith and works, it is important that we not make a false choice of one kind of work over another. James also challenges us to consider not only our works of charity, but also our personal morality (doing good and being good.)  Both of these are known to God, who sees all that we do and knows the thoughts of our hearts.

    Most importantly, just as faith without works is dead, so works without faith is not acceptable to God. No work of ours, no matter how praiseworthy, can cleanse us of our sin or reconcile us to God. The work of Christ alone–his perfect obedience, atoning death, and victorious resurrection– makes us right with God. Our faith in His Good Work will then produce good works in us. Faith is the proverbial ox; good works are the cart that follows. James’ fellow apostle, John, put it most succinctly.  “We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 

May your Lenten meditations first direct you to His love, that you may reflect His love.

Pastor Tom Konz

 

Valentine Ashes

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners,

Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

At first it seems like some kind of cruel joke by the calendar—Chocolate Day (I mean Valentine’s Day) the day after Lent starts?  Many people take a break from the usual pleasures for a time—not because the pleasures are sinful, but for the sake of growing in self-discipline.  Such self-denials, while not mandatory, can help us focus better on spiritual growth. So to start off Lent the day before candy, flowers, and other delights can seem ill-timed.

Yet, looking at it through the words of our verse above, it couldn’t be any better timed. If you really want to observe the day of love properly, reflect on the greatest love there ever was.  God’s love is most gloriously manifest in the suffering and death of Christ, and is the main focus of Lent. Our salvation comes through the Divine Substitute who kept God’s law perfectly and then took the punishment for those who don’t and can’t. That makes His love toward us unmerited—totally. 

Ash Wednesday is the church’s time to remember that our personal sins would separate us from God, were it not for His sacrificial love. The ashes symbolize our repentance and a heart broken over our sin.  Yet even as sinners, we can receive Christ’s love reaching out to us—not by merit, but by faith.

As you consider who is on your love radar for Valentine’s Day you might include everyone that needs kindness, compassion, and practical assistance. (Just about everyone.) Don’t stop to ask yourself whether they deserve it or can possibly repay you.  Certainly, Jesus didn’t stop to evaluate our worthiness before He took our place on the cross.  As John the Apostle puts it, “we love because He first loved us”.  Valentine and Ashes: a perfect pair.

Pastor Tom Konz

You’re Invited

‘Come, for everything is now ready.’   Luke 14:17

The context of the verse above is a story Jesus told about a man who hosted a banquet. Many whom He invited made excuses not to attend.

Probably just about everyone has had an invitation rejected at least once. It hurts when your best efforts are not good enough to please the people who rejected you. It hurts when they make transparently flimsy excuses why they didn’t want to be with you. The hurt is greater when you’ve made considerable sacrifices to please them and get nothing in return.

Rejection can foster questions of self-doubt:  Did I offend people and they just don’t want to tell me? Am I really not pleasant to be around? Are they with other people who are more enjoyable company?

Do so many reject God’s invitation for similar reasons? I suppose he has offended many people who don’t think they need Him. They probably blame Him for the evil in the world, because He gave people freedom of choice. Surely, they would rather hang with their friends, who won’t whisper conviction to their conscience about their secret sins. In addition, if they stay away from hearing and studying God’s Word, and away from God’s people, they won’t be held accountable for their behavior or challenged in their false beliefs. Yes, I can see why many people reject God’s invitation to be with Him. So they won’t appear to actually be rejecting Him, though, they make excuses not to be in His company.

That’s their loss. What wisdom and peace they forfeit!  Could there be any practical wisdom for dealing with people from the One who designed people in the first place?  How could we compare the uncertainty of the chaotic world to the rock steady tranquility of knowing that God is in control? Would it offer any peace of mind to know that our past errors will not be held against us by the Holy Judge on the Last Day?  

He invites us to come to him for peace the world cannot give. This invitation is offered at no small cost or effort to Himself. It comes to us through Jesus, His Son. He took the punishment for our sins to give us peace. At His cross our consciences are clear. He invites us to receive his reconciliation through faith.

If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that we need what He is offering.  Whether or not we ever come to Him, we do have a standing invitation. Since we don’t know how long we will have to accept it, He urges us to do so today. It won’t be God’s fault if we don’t.    What excuse could we possibly offer?   Pastor Tom Konz

 

February Newsletter 2013

 Pastor’s Page
Sometime around the year 762 BC, Amos, a herdsman from the small Judean town of Tekoa, heard the voice of God and compared it to hearing the roaring of a lion, a roaring that causes pastures to mourn and forests to wither (Amos 1:2). That is some kind of roar! The prophet then personally encounters the Lord as a Lion (3:12), and this propels him to confrontIsrael’s movers and shakers who were deaf to God’s call of justice and righteousness (e.g., 5:24; 7:1–17).

What set off this divine roaring that sent Amos into the fray? People were busy with religion, but they were not heartbroken over what was happening to the little people on the fringes of society (e.g., 6:1–7).Samaria,Israel’s capital, was a place of affluence and power that was indifferent to the poor. So the Lord roared, and Amos preached.

There are biblical images of God as a caring Shepherd (e.g., Psalm 23) and a mighty redeemer (e.g., Job 19:25). But we dare not let these images remove the claws and teeth of the Lion who roars fromZion. Throughout the Book of Amos, the Lion sends fires and earthquakes, locusts and droughts, famines, diseases, and an army bent on the complete annihilation ofIsrael. His wrath and anger are real. Amos declares thatIsrael’s most sacred institutions—its temple and systems of worship, priesthood, covenant, land entitlement, election tradition, and kingship—will not avert disaster. Long-standing institutions associated with God’s blessings, cherished belief systems, and a social structure that appeared invincible will come to a cataclysmic end (Amos 8:1–3). The prophet insists that the kings, priests, and leaders are engaging in an enormous deception, a huge lie.

The message of his book is singular—Restore the Roar!

This Lent, we will listen to the Lion as He rumbles in His jungle, pointing out our complacency, duplicity, and sin. But, and thank God for this, the ferocious Lion is also the bleeding Lamb. Our Lord’s mighty power is made most perfect in the weakness of the cross (2 Corinthians 12:9). And gathering under the cross, we will all the more be amazed when the roaring Lion defeats His greatest enemies, the devil, hell, and the power of death. Then with resurrection joy we will say of Jesus, “The Lion of the tribe ofJudah, He has triumphed” (Revelation 5:5). 

On Easter, the roar of God’s saving love is restored forevermore!

Ash Wednesday  Amos 1:1–2       “Rescued from the Rubble”

Midweek of Lent 1  Amos 3:1–8  “Upside Down”

Midweek of Lent 2  Amos 5:18 “This Is the Night the Lord Has Made”

Midweek of Lent 3  Amos 6:6         “Grieving for Joseph”

Midweek of Lent 4  Amos 7:1–6  “Locust Here, Locusts There, Locusts Seem to Be Everywhere”

Midweek of Lent 5  Amos 7:10–17       “Lion Alert!”

Holy Thursday Amos 8:11–14     “The Taste Test”

Good Friday Amos 9:1–6 “Buried!”

Easter Vigil Amos 9:7          “Exodus for All”

Easter    Amos 9:11–15       “Come to the Feast”

 Sunday Worship Themes in February

  3rd    “More than Words”           1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13

10th    “Previews of Power”  Luke 9:28–36

17th    “Never Alone”         Luke 4:1–13

24th    “Weeping for the World” Luke 13:31–35

 

Dear Friends at Faith, 

        It will be my joy and privilege to share with you some of the thoughts and insights of one of the leading scholars of our church, Dr. R. Reed Lessing, professor of exegetics (Biblical interpretation) and director of the graduate school at Concordia Seminary,St. Louis. He takes us through the book of Amos for Lenten services, as described on the previous page under the title, “Restore the Roar”. 

         Also, on Sundays we will mine some of the most dramatic texts of the New Testament, which will challenge us to grow in faith and love.  Lutherans have always cherished the Word as powerful and meaningful in our lives.  That is, we say we do.  If we really do, then let us be eager to hear what the Lord will tell us this coming month.  As I examine each text for preaching I learn things I had not thought of before or see old truths in a new way. Come, let us grow alongside each other in God’s Word.      Pastor Tom Konz

 Check out  http://www.poblotexas.org/content/islam_in_america

To review what we learned last week in Sunday School from Pastor Karim Baidaoui of the POBLO ministry.

 Financial Peace – a new Sunday school class for adults begins – Feb. 3rd

See Magan Carrasco or Kim Mitchell for more information.

 

 

Serving in the Month of February

          8:15 Service

Usher:            Jimmy Pack & Larry Angerhofer  

Greeter:                 Lynann Simpson                      

Altar:             Sue Angerhofer & Sheila Small

Acolyte:    3rd Alex, 10th Karsyn, 17th Tara, 24th Jamee

      

     10:45 Service

 Usher:            Neal Lovin andRueben Walter

Greeter:                       Lee Barlow                 

Altar:              Sue Angerhofer & Sheila Small           

Acolyte:    3rd Rett, 10th Kylie, 17th Eric, 24th Landry

 

Due to uncertain schedules, if you are at a service and the scheduled server is not here, please step up to volunteer.

 

                   Brunch Schedule

              Snack         Snack          Snack        Drink Serve/Cleanup

3          Simpson        Small            Nelson                   Pack

10      Strohmeyer  Sparkman      Nehring                   Tate

17     Van-Wright     Weber         Fredrickson              Hanna

24         Bills          Angerhofer    Carlson                   Cameron

 If you are unable to serve on a Sunday, please find a replacement and let the office know.

**** Please remember if you are on the schedule to “Serve” this includes: setting up & making coffee and after,  put things away, wash dishes, wipe off tables, sweep and mop if necessary

 

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

 

 

 

 COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Meals on Wheels

         February 1     Andrea Morris

February 8          Walter

   February 15        Simpson

  February 22        Stafford

Recycling

We received $20 from aluminum can recycling in January.  That adds to the youth group fund for their trips to camp and conventions.  Thanks for bringing your aluminum cans to the kitchen by the sanctuary – keep up the good work.

A Special Thanks to Mary and Rueben Walter for keeping our grounds looking so well groomed.

February Birthdays

Fulton, Charles         2/3

Bills, Kaleb               2/4

Schulze, Dorwin       2/5

Schermerhorn, Alicia 2/6

Osterloh, Willow      2/7

Swiggum, Lloyd       2/8

Carrasco, Gabriella  2/10

Stroebel, Landry       2/12

Hamaker, Valerie     2/14

Vandenberg, Gray     2/14

Mitchell, Ryan 2/15

Knoll, Ed                  2/17

Hymer, Paula            2/19

Hymer, Viki              2/19

Spitz, Irene                2/20

White, Bill                2/24

Hanna, Logan            2/25

SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES

 CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

 We love because HE first loved us!  1 John 4:19

Faith Lutheran Young People are selling Heart shaped fudge and Sweet Nuts to help us earn our way to camp. The Fudge is available in 3 sizes & flavors along with 2 kinds of nuts. Be sure to let you special someone know how “sweet” they are this year! There is an order form in the Narthex. Items will be delivered on Feb. 12th and 13th.

 February Calendar for FLY

 February 3rd – Fudge/Nut Orders are due

February 6th – FLY 5:30 – 7 p.m.

February 8th – 9th – Lock-in – Group Dynamix w/ churches from

                                Fort Worth & Granbury
February 12th – Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – more info. to follow
February 13th – Ash Wednesday & Distribute fudge & nuts

February 17th – FLY will cater Thrivent Meal – 4 p.m.

February 20th & 27th 
               FLY – 5 p.m.

               Lent Supper – 5:45 p.m.

               Lent Worship – 6:45 p.m.

 PLEASE NOTE – CAMP DEPOSITS WILL BE DUE Sunday, March 3rd

The week forCampShilohis June 16-21st. Youngsters ages 8-18 may attend.

Deposit is $50. The total for camp is $400. You have had and will have more

opportunities this Spring to earn money toward your camp balance.

   LWML NEWS FOR EVERYONE J

    We are rejoicing the love that is shared in this congregation so freely!  It was again shown in the donations of sewing materials, sewing machines, and love offering money for POBLO on January 20th.  We all were blessed by the message from Pastor Karim and the wonderful women he brought who are helping with the ministry for Muslim women through “Sewing Seeds of Faith” and ESL classes and the Magdalena Movie Project.  The morning services, Bible Class, lunch, and afternoon program were well attended by men, women, and children and we learned a great deal about the urgency of sharing the Gospel of Jesus to the Muslims. The Sunday School presentation that was shared by Pastor Karim can be found at http://www.poblotexas.org/content/islam_in_america                                                                                                                                                                                                   

We are also rejoicing in the love shown  by someone who has donated the extra funds needed to purchase new red paraments for the altar in memory of Nelda Eggen.

Coming up in February:

February 9th –Prayer service inHurst@ 10:00am

February 11th—Wedding shower forAlicia Schermerhornat 6:00-7:00 at the home

                           of Marlene White all women are invited.

February 11th—Strong Suit Bible Study follows the wedding shower at Marlene’s                            home 7:00-8:30pm.

February 24th—Muffins for Missions where LWML will provide all the yummy brunch items and everyone makes donations which will go towards the LWML Mites mission projects.

February 28th—Last Strong Suit Bible Study at church in Room 6 @ 6:30pm.

April 6th—plan ahead for church garage sale organized by LWML ladies

 Women of Peace LWML invite you to the Trinity Zone Prayer service on Saturday, February 9th, 2013.  Registration at Peace,941 Bedford-Euless Rd.,Hurst,TX begins at 9:30 a.m., and the prayer service begins at 10:00 a.m. followed by brunch at 11.  Please get in touch with Lynann if you plan to attend.  We will carpool.

 S.A.I.L. NEWS OF INTEREST

      It is hard to realize we are already 1/12 of our way through a new calendar year, and God’s blessings continue to flow freely.  On Jan. 10th fifteen S.A.I.L. members met in Room 9 where Pastor Tom led us in a short but interesting devotion and followed with prayer, including our joys and concerns.  In the remainder of the morning, we enjoyed the delicious pineapple upside down cake and cookies provided by Doris Stanley and a variety of donuts from Pat Weber.  Some fruit and veggies added to the snacks and a party ensued.  It was especially exciting to hear from Jane Sweeny about her new job as the music director/organist in Breckenridge.  We were sad to see her leave our midst but happy for her position.  Also, we celebrated December birthdays of Lyder Quade and Leonard Kelly and January birthdays for Darleene Hufstutler and Lynann Simpson.  It gladdened our hearts to see Pat Webber back at our meetings after her recovery from surgery and to get a good report on Viola Truss following back surgery.

  On January 24 we gathered to celebrate Helen Brehmer’s birthday with special refreshments provided by Cheryl Konz before watching the movie titled Magdalena, Released From Shame.  This is a movie project of POBLO where they wish to place the movie about Jesus as our Savior in the homes of Muslim refugees in the Dallas area.

 All are welcome to attend Bible study on Feb. 7th and a program on Feb. 21st.

 Board of Evangelism    The Prayer Garden has new plants and mulch and soon will be blooming!  Stop by and meditate for awhile!

 Changes in the Office

     Cindy Franz has announced her intent to resign her position effective February 8. Cindy has shared her gift of warm and generous service with the congregation in this capacity for over 7 years, serving in many ways as the face of the church to visitors seeking a place to worship, a helping hand, or an answer to a question. Since we’ll still be seeing her on Sundays, please take a moment to express to her your heartfelt thanks the next time you see her.   Javier Garza, church president

Welcome Nichole

Nichole Monroe will be filling the role of church secretary in absence of Cindy, who will be sadly missed.  She is a 2009 graduate ofEastlandHigh Schooland 2012 graduate ofTarletonState.  She has a Bachelor of Science with a focus in child and family studies.  Nichole married her husband Tyler in June and they are active members ofRockyPointBaptistChurch.  She comes from a loving family that has been dedicated to the work of the Lord.  Being raised a pastor’s daughter, she has an intimate understanding of the dynamic relations of a church. 

Nichole has served as Assistant Director ofFaithSchoolsince her graduation from Tarleton in May.  She began working in the office atFaithSchoolas an intern in January 2012 and has proven to be a dedicated, hard worker.  Nichole will perform all aspect of our current secretary job description, but will also be charged with some duties of the school, such as answering the phones.  This job will evolve over the next year as she works in this new position and our church continues to grow.  We have not set new office hours yet, but she will be working 30 hours a week.  Office hours will be published once the optimum schedule can be determined.

   Adapting for Church Growth: Administration Changes

    In the January meeting of the church council, the council voted unanimously to establish the position of Church Business Administrator. Magan Carrasco has agreed to serve the church in this capacity, generally providing oversight of the day-to-day operations of the church and supervision of non-ministerial (facility coordination, office and janitorial) staff, in addition to her current role as executive director ofFaithSchool. This action will result in no additional cost to the church. As always, please keep the church staff in your prayers as they continue to support Faith in its mission.   Javier Garza, church president

From our new CNA

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Many of you have heard, or may have just read in this newsletter, that our Church has added the position of Church Business Administrator and that I will serve in this role.  Taking on this responsibility will fall in line very easily with my role of Executive Director ofFaithSchooland I look forward to the opportunity to serve our congregation in this way. 

    I came across a scripture this morning in a book I enjoy called Divine Moments for Leaders:  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  1 Corinthians 12:4-7.  (I learned later that Pastor opened the Church Council meeting with this same reading before I arrived from staff training.)  I share this with you because I feel the Council has given me this responsibility in recognition of the management and organizational leadership gifts God has given me.  I will strive to honor God with integrity, excellence and hard work through my service.  

    As Church Business Administrator I will be responsible for supervision of non-ministerial staff.  This includes the janitorial, office and facility coordinating staff (Shirley, Moises, Nichole and Brandon).  As school director I have always been involved with these staff members.  Now that I am charged with this responsibility the church and school can be on the same page operationally.  We will together serve at our best, and I will be responsible if we don’t. 

     It is a blessing to be part of a congregation that continues to grow His Kingdom in a way that honors Him and is pleasing to Him.   Please know I am here to serve you as fellow church members and I ask for you to see me when you have comments, questions, praises or concerns about our church and school staff. 

Serving Him Joyfully,

Magan Carrasco