September 2013 Newsletter

“Back to Basics”

I’ve been reading many articles lately on health that emphasize a return to the basic principles of nutrition, exercise, posture, and the like.  My daughter recently read part of a school textbook printed about 100 years ago that emphasized the same thing. That makes sense.  While we have some techniques and medicines that can cure what could not be cured before, our bodies are basically the same as they always have been. Thus, the same rules of preventive care apply.  Good nutrition, sufficient sleep, moderate exercise, proper posture, have always been, and always will be the key to health.  We can’t change the rules on that.

There are time tested basic principles for spiritual health as well. One is regular quality time away with God. This means that we take quiet moments to meditate on His Word, repent of our sins, share our worries and desires with Him, seek His will, and give Him due thanks for  His undeserved blessings. Because God created us for community, not for solitude, it also means that we regularly seek out the support and encouragement of fellow believers in the fellowship of worship, the Sacrament, and in the mutual edification found in learning God’s Word together.  The principle of loving service to others, a result of time with God, also adds to our spiritual health.

Some people go it alone, accountable to no one.  This ignores the truth shown by Christ on the cross: We cannot make it on our own, apart from God.  What we could not do, redeem ourselves from our sin, Christ did for us, once and for all.  If we didn’t have such a persistently sinful and proud nature that forgets that we are sinners in need of grace from God and others, we could ignore these principles of spiritual growth and health.  But we do have such a nature, and we do need to maintain daily and weekly habits to counter it.

As some of our readings will suggest this month, it gets down to the basics question: Who is your God? How you answer that makes all the difference in this world and in the next.

In Christ, our one Way to God, Pastor Tom Konz

Sunday Worship Themes in September

September themes: As we are challenged this month to examine our sacrificial giving to God, some of these texts will help us answer important questions about our relationship to God and our response to his mercy.

 

September 1st                          “Sacrifices Pleasing to God”            Hebrews 13:1-17

September 8th                                    “Count the Cost”                       Luke 14:25–35

September 15th                                  “Why Angels Rejoice”                 Luke 15:1–10

September 22nd                       “Servants of God or Money”                 Luke 16:1–15

September 29th             “The Pain of Pleasure”   Luke 16:19–31, 1 Timothy 6:6–19

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Faith School Expansion Ribbon Cutting and Alumni Reunion

Please join us as we celebrate 10 years of Faith School.

Save the Date!!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Faith Family Center

Door Prizes and Giveaways!

Picnic style dinner provided by Faith Lutheran Youth.

Tour our Brand new Nursery

and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms!!

By God’s grace, Faith is the place to Believe, Belong & Be Loved.

Recycling

We have received $17 in the month of August from recycling.  This money is given to the youth group to help with their various activities.  Please continue to bring your aluminum cans to the kitchen by the sanctuary and be a good steward of the environment as well as helping the youth.  Thanks!

Lutheran Hymn Festival

We have 20 members who have signed up to go to the Lutheran Hymn Festival September 29.  By the time you read this the tickets will be all gone. This festival is always an inspirational time for me – how many times do you get sing with 1800 other Lutherans in a beautiful concert hall with a fantastic pipe organ?

MEALS ON WHEELS

September 6:      Walter

September 13:    Simpson

September 20:    Pack

September 27:    Sparkman

SERVING FAITH IN SEPTEMBER

Worship

Choirs- Mary will have practices August 28 and September 4.  Then I will be gone for 3 weeks.  Then we will have practices on October 2 and October 9.  Then I will be gone at least 2 more Wednesdays.  I will keep you informed about the practice times.

Chime choir – we started chimes August 28.  Please let me know if you have children who would like to participate. They should be in at least the third grade.  At present we are meeting at 4:15 on Wednesdays.  Other times can be arranged if it would be more convenient for you.  Let Mary Walter know.

Adult choir – we started adult choir August 28.  Anyone who is in the ninth grade or older is invited to join us on Wednesday nights at 6 PM.

 

8:15 a.m. Service

Usher: Charles Simpson & Terry West

Greeter: Lynann Simpson

Altar: Cindy Franz

Acolyte: 1 Tara, 8 Jamee, 15 Cooper, 22 Landry, 29 OPEN

 

10:45 a.m. Service

Usher: John Franz & Doug Hanna

Greeter: Cindy Franz

Altar: Cindy Franz

Acolyte: 1 Landry, 8 Rett, 15 Ethan, 22 Karlee, 29 Eric

 

If you are at a service and the scheduled server is not present, please step up to volunteer.

Brunch Schedule

                Drink/Server              Snack                   Snack                  Snack

1                  Febinger                        Garza                   Cubbage              Gallagher

8                 Keilers                           Hatton                 Konz                             Kimbrough

15                Seider                            Lee                       Espinoza             Lewis

22               Mitchell                         Carrasco              Hanna                  Schulze

29               Pack                              Simpson              Stroebel               Quade

 

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

Serving includes set up, clean up, and drinks.

SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES

SUNDAY SCHOOL

IS THE BIBLE REAL?

IS IT REALLY THE HOLY BIBLE?

HAVE YOU EVER READ IT?

Up until about 1965, the Bible was read in schools and was a prominent book in homes.  At that time, businesses were closed on Sundays, mostly, and nothing was scheduled so families could easily attend church and Sunday School with no conflicts.

Not so today.  God is only spoken about in schools if a student brings it up or, unfortunately, as a curse word, or to be ridiculed.   Many today do not see the Bible as “Holy”, much less that it is respected and that it is the inspired Word of God.  Plus, endless activities and work are scheduled on Sundays and keep us from attending regularly.

If the Christian faith is to be a strong part of our lives as adults and children, we need to be continually educated about what is in the Holy Bible, and we need the encouragement of other Christians. It takes a conscious decision to be sure God’s Word is taught to our children throughout their lives and ours, not just during confirmation years.

Guess what???  Sunday School is available for all ages every Sunday.  It is the ideal place to learn, ask questions, be inspired, and to encourage others.  Our CHILDREN are eager to learn.  Jesus said we need to have the faith of a little child and to never keep them from coming to Him.

Our new Sunday School year begins Sept. 1st with a party for the children in the Family Center and on Sept. 8th with regular classes.   Many adults have volunteered to help and they will be prepared because they BELIEVE that GOD’s WORD is so important.

Will the children come?  Will the parents bring them?  We have the potential for great classes.  Here’s the number per age levels and the adults who have volunteered to teach them

Nursery—ages under 3—Kim Pack tends to our nursery each Sunday all morning.  She will have a little book and a music CD to use for the very little ones.

Preschool—ages 3-5—Sarah Osterloh, Cindy Franz, Megan Franz, Scarlett Bills—6 potential students

Grades 1-3—Amy Jansen, Bethany Espinosa— 13 potential students

Grades 4-6—Lindsey Hatfield, Bethany Espinosa—11 potential students

Grades 7-8—Diana Synatzske—8 potential students

Grades 9-12—Diana Synatzske and Javier Garza—17 potential students

College Age—Brent Stroebel & Kim Mitchell—5 of our own church plus up to??? from TSU & community

Music and Administration—Cheryl Konz

Adult Class w/video discussion—John Franz

Adult Class on Bible lessons—Pastor Konz

Another class for parents???—need volunteer if there is interest

We look forward to sharing God’s Word with all ages, and we hope that includes you and your family as much as possible.  If you have any questions and suggestions, please let me know!  crkonz@gmail.com

Blessings to you all, Cheryl Konz

FAITH LUTHERAN YOUTH

Faith Lutheran Youth – Ready for take-off!

Confirmation Schedule” (Classes begin this week – September 4th) 5th and 6th grade confirmation students will meet on Wednesdays from 4:45-5:45 p.m. with FLY activities following each week. 5th grade will meet with Kim Mitchell and 6th grade with Pastor Konz. If you also participate in chime choir that will take place on Wednesdays afternoons as well. There is no need to purchase a Bible for confirmation instruction. We have plenty. If you do purchase one, please buy an NIV (New International Version) or ESV (English Standard Version) as it helps if we are all reading from a similar version. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you!

FLY will resume this Wednesday, September 4th from 5:45 – 7:30 p.m.  PLEASE NOTE THE NEW TIME. Dinner will be at 6 p.m. each evening.

 

You may help with meals in two ways:
1. Contact Tammy Cogburn to volunteer to provide a meal for one night. Tcogburn@embarqmail.com
2. Purchase a Wal-Mart shopping card or place a donation in the Christian Education mailbox to be used to purchase groceries.  We are always hungry and appreciate your support!

Schedule for September
1st –
           Sunday School party 9:30 a.m.
4th –
          Confirmation Classes 4:45 p.m. FLY – 5:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

11th –          Confirmation Classes 4:45 p.m. Ms. Kim is having a BIG birthday  and I am going to treat you!  Pizza Party @ 5:45 p.m. Birthday Olympics to follow.                                                    Come celebrate with me 😉
18th –
        Confirmation Classes 4:45 p.m. School Spirit Night! Wear your school   colors and come ready to learn about the GREATEST TEACHER   OF ALL TIME –                                               JESUS! 5:45 – 7:30 p.m.
25th –         No confirmation classes! Faith School Expansion Ribbon Cutting and Alumni Reunion – 4:45 p.m. for FLY. We will be serving a meal to   community                                                    and opening our FLY Time Capsule from 2008. 

FALL BLAST – FOR GRADES 5-8 ONLY!!!

Here is your opportunity to experience camp for two nights with other youth who have just finished or are in the process of confirmation. This event is September 13-15 in Wichita Falls, Texas. I will attend with our group. The cost is $70 per camper, but FLY funds will cover one-half; your cost is $35. Take a ride in the van with me and experience “Living Free” in God’s love. Let me know soon if you plan to attend so I can reserve your spot.

LUTHERAN STUDENT FELLOWSHIP

Lutheran Student Fellowship – College Life Ministry

On Saturday, August 24th, Brent Stroebel and Kim Mitchell participated in The Texan Expo in the Student Center at TSU. We had the opportunity to meet the newest members of the Stephenville community – the TSU class of 2017. Several of these students worshiped with us on the 25th. On Wednesday, August 28th, we held an evening of dinner and discussion to plan our college ministry activities for this year.

Here are just a few of the activities we have planned:

  • Bible Study each Sunday morning led by Brent Stroebel
  • Wednesday evening activities combined with FLY
  • Possible Sunday night praise

Lutheran Student Fellowship booth at Tarleton.

Questions??? Contact Kim Mitchell at faitheducation@embarqmail.com or 254-592-2632 with any questions about Confirmation, Faith Lutheran Youth, Fall Blast, or Lutheran Student Fellowship (our Tarleton group)

LUTHERAN WOMAN MISSIONARY LEAGUE NEWS

Dear Faith Lutheran Family,

We hope you are all doing well and have enjoyed the activities of summer!  It is good to be able to do different things throughout the year.  God has blessed us with the seasons.  He knew we needed the variety.  Along with that variety comes all the different activities we do in different seasons at church.  Our LWML gets kind of “quiet” during the summer but we are now ready to “hit the road running” as September arrives.

  • The DVD Bible Study on “Overflowing Abundance” is for all men and women.  Please sign up on sheet in the Narthex.  The workbook is $7.50.  The study is 6 sessions: Mondays, Sept. 23, 30, Oct. 14, 28, Nov. 11, 25.  Class time is 6:30-8:00 meeting in Room 6 of FFC.
  • PROGRESSIVE DINNER”—Sunday, September 15th following 2nd service.  ALL men, women and children are welcome.  This will be a fun way to enjoy a meal and get to mix with your Faith Family.  Babysitting and a pizza lunch will be provided for the children.  Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex to help us plan the right amount of food and tables and fun!
  • “THE PROMISE”—We are trying to get a group of at least 15 to attend on Friday, September 27th.  This may be the last season.  The play is a musical experience of the Life of Christ and is amazing as it is presented in the outdoor amphitheatre in Glen Rose. The cost is $25-27 depending on the seating area we choose.  Please sign up in the Narthex by Sept. 15th.  All are invited.
  • Another beautiful season LWML celebrates is Advent with our “Advent By Candlelight” service.  Please consider serving as a table hostess this year and let Lynann Simpson know.  The date is November 24 at 5:30pm.  More information will be shared soon.

Earlier this summer, Marlene White and her daughter Whitney Lee attended the LWML convention inPittsburgh,Pennsylvania.  The theme was “Quenched! By the Water” from John 4:1-4.  Nearly 600 voting delegates adopted LWML’s most ambitious mission goal ever:  $1.83 million–$5000 more than the previous $1.825 million goal—for the 2013-2015 biennium.  These funds, or “mites”—to be raised by the 71-year-old organization’s members nationwide over the next two years—will be used to support grants for 18 mission projects that were chosen by delegates from a total of 30 submitted for consideration.

LWML thanks so many of you for contributing to our MITE box on the 3rd Sunday of each month (or anytime).  We send all of that money to Texas District LWML.  Some stays inTexas for mission projects and another portion will go on to support the international mission projects.

Thanks so much for your support and your involvement in the mission of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League here at Faith.  As always, we follow the LWML motto, “Serving the Lord with Gladness”.  Join us for activities as often as you can.  We LOVE helping grow our friendships.

See you soon!  In His love and service,

Your LWML ladies

S.A.I.L

          On August 8th ten S.A.I.L. members gathered in the LWML room at 10:00am for Bible study.  Pastor Tom had prepared questions for discussion on Psalm 37.  As we studied reasons for the differences between the righteous and the wicked mentioned in the Psalm, we learned about God’s plans for us as members in God’s Kingdom.  At the close of the study, we also covered Psalm 73.  It was such a joyful time to have Viola Truss rejoins our group after such a long recovery time following surgery.  We also had an opportunity to meet Curly (Tamra Dugger) and review our upcoming Matter of Balance class with her.  Pastor led us in prayer at the close.  Members enjoyed doughnuts while signing up for hostess duties in the coming year.

In July we helped LWML provide a meal for VBS. and once again we were able to secure $40 for office supplies at Staples from the used printer ink cartridges we return to recycle.  In September, our Bible study will be on the 12th, and S.A.I.L. meeting will follow on the 26th.  Please join us for faith building, fellowship and food. Our first Matter of Balance class met on Aug. 13 with 17 people present, including Pastor Tom who welcomed the group to our church.  The leaders,Tamra Dugger and John, began with a super presentation on how to age and continue to feel physically secure and enjoy every day.

EVANGELISM

Believe. Belong.  & Be Loved. These posters were hung above the stage in the Family Center before Vacation Bible School. Appreciation goes to those brave ones who hung them! Some of our Board members were blessed to have participated in Vacation Bible School!

In the works: Bible verse for the wall above the entrance into the family center; website information and changing/updating pictures with captions. Touch up paint will be applied to the Prayer Retreat Room. The furniture is now back, banner will be hung, room cleaned and ready for us to have a quiet place to retreat, talk and listen to our Lord (inside or out).

May God bless each of you!

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

LFOT SUNDAY- SEPTEMBER 8, 2013– On Sunday, September 8, 2013, we will observe “Lutheran Foundation of Texas Sunday.” Since 1960 the Foundation has helped God’s people grow in their Christian stewardship by providing information and assistance in regard to Christian wills charitable trusts, endowments and estate and gift plans. Please contact LFOT at 800-880-3733 if the Foundation can be of service to you, or visit the Foundation at www.lfot.org to view helpful planned giving information.

September Birthdays

Emily Boening 9/3                                            Brandon Lee9/12

Stephanie McNeal 9/5                                       Sandy Linne 9/15

JoAnn Schulze 9/6                                             Kodi Hatfield 9/18

Edna Tate 9/6                                                    Megan Franz 9/20

                   Missy Weber 9/7                                       Gracie Strohmeyer 9/21

Ryan Wright 9/7                                                 Lillian Gallagher 9/21

Dennis Keilers9/9                                             Bernice Reese 9/24

Kim Mitchell 9/11                                              Shirley Febinger 9/24

Guide to Joyful Giving

Today, some might say it was the most humble of jobs, but life in early America would not have been the same without the town Lamplighter.  His job began shortly before dusk.  Starting at one end of the street, he would go from post to post, lighting the lamps that would show townspeople the way.

As darkness settled in, you could follow his steps until he became but a faint shadow in the distance.  Soon he would fade from sight completely, but you could tell where he had been by the lamps he had lighted.

Times have changed, but our Christian mission is like that of the Lamplighter.  With a small step toward giving more regularly, we can sustain God’s work in our church and light the way for others as well as ourselves.

Please prayerfully consider the steps suggested in this year’s stewardship literature that you will receive in the coming weeks.  This is a time for renewal and a time to seek God’s will for the work of our church.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all tings at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Cor 9:8

What’s Your Calling?

Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?  Romans 9:22-23

 

On this 50th anniversary of the “Dream” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, it is quite easy to see what he was chosen to do in this life. His non-violent persistence and inspiration moved a nation to reconsider its opinions about racial segregation and discrimination. Like his namesake of 500 years earlier, he came at the right time in the right place with the right gifts.  His calling from God was clear, as was Martin Luther’s. And that calling brought much fame.

However, your calling may not be as clear and will not bring as much attention. In fact, you may wonder why God placed you when and where He did in this world with the gifts (or seemingly lack of gifts) that you have. Such wondering may cause us to doubt our value or utility in this life. “If only I had ….” begins the chorus of regrets.

We can respond to these regrets in one of two ways.  We can protest to our Maker, “Why have you made me like this?”  Other versions of this protest are, “Why was I born into THAT family of THOSE parents?” “Why didn’t you make me stronger, prettier, smarter, faster, etc.?”  “Why did you give me such a lowly status in society?”  “Why haven’t You given me a spouse, a job, more income, greater faith, etc.?”  In other words, we are asking why things are not as our dreams expected them to be. The more years pass, the greater is the temptation to despair that what is not what we want will never change.

The second way to respond to dashed dreams is to be content with our time, place, and gifts.  Whatever value you put on yourself or you think others do, you are still God’s child for whom he came into the flesh to redeem by his death on a cross. That shows how precious you are to Him.  That He loves you enough to die for you means that your value is not found in comparing yourself to others or even to your own expectations. He has made you for the purpose that He deemed is most important.  Wherever and whoever you are, you can glorify Him with whatever gifts He has given you, large or small, noticed or not. Life is long enough for you to fulfill His purpose for and in you, but it is too short to waste with regrets.

To be content with your life is not the same a settling for mediocrity.  As faithful stewards of God’s gifts, we will honorably improve ourselves and our circumstances so that we can do more good in this world.  Contentment with our calling does mean that we live in peace with the knowledge that, having used our gifts to our best ability, it is enough for us and for God. We don’t ask God, “Why?” but thank Him for what is. God gives us all different dreams and helps us to live them: By His Grace, to His Glory, for our Good.

Pastor Tom Konz

Growth through Hardship

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  James 1:2-4

 

Jesus promised that in this world we will have trouble. So hardships are not an “if” but a “when”.  They can take several forms: loss of a loved one in death; loss of vitality and mobility through aging, injury, or illness; the breakup of a family relationship; lost income or property and insecurity about the future; any crisis of faith caused by cataclysmic events.

One of the saddest things about hardships in life is not learning from them or using them as a springboard for growth. That gives them no benefit, just pain. If we are going to endure hardship anyway, it is better to see the salutary effect of it.  Understand that it is there to test your endurance. Determine that you will not lose heart over it and in the process your heart will be strengthened.  Decide not to lose faith or give up on God, and your faith in God will grow.

As James hints at, the hardship may be the very thing that helps you to mature in areas where you are lacking. Consider asking yourself any of the following:  Is this difficulty reminding me not to become independent of God?  Can it help me be more sensitive to and willing to help others who suffer the same or similar hardship?  It is teaching me patience, discipline, balance, and not to neglect parts of my life. Is it reminding me that this world is not my home and to look heavenward?  Is it reminding me not to neglect prayer and praise, or to be more thankful for the blessings I have enjoyed?   These are just a few questions to ask yourself.

After Jesus promised that we would have hardships, he encouraged the disciples by saying that He has overcome the world and through Him we could have peace. He endured the suffering of the cross because He knew what lay ahead of Him: great joy and the end of suffering. What He endured, He endured for our salvation and forgiveness.  Now we too can endure, knowing our hardship is not punishment, but what God has allowed for our growth.

Let all of life be a series of teachable moments. God’s peace is found in such moments.  Pastor Tom