October 2013 Newsletter

Pastor’s Page

“Meeting the World Head On”

As I type this, the news of mass murders of Christians inPakistanand non-Muslims inKenyais still sending sobering chills through my heart and mind. It is in times like this that I remember my father, the first Rev. Konz, telling me 40 years ago that these days would come. He always wanted me to know of the persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union and to realize that it could come toAmerica. Having pastored for 15 years in a once peaceful country now racked by Muslim violence against Christians, he was not naïve about the dangers of living as a Christian in a world hostile to it. It isn’t just certain sects of Islam that are at war with our Faith, but also godless secularism and philosophy that seeks to tear us apart from our moral and religious bearings.

I urge you to be aware of the enemies of the Cross all around.  When they don’t kill the body they kill faith through the repeated temptations.  Exploiting sinful human nature, they have conquered many souls already.

But we are not without defensive armor and offensive weapons.  The faithful and frequent use of the means of grace, God’s Word and sacrament, along with much prayer, can keep us strong against the enemy’s onslaught. We pray not only for personal protection, but also for the conversion of our enemies. Christ has turned many former foes, like St. Paul, from their evil to follow Him. Pray for those captured by the deceptions and demands of the devil.  We may have to pay with our own life, but victory is the Lord’s in the end. His justice will prevail. Remain faithful to the end. He will return to set things right.  Pastor Tom

 

Sunday Worship Themes in October

             October 6th                  “You Are My Witnesses”    Luke 24:44-53        LWML Sunday

October 13th                     “Faithful to the End”                            2 Timothy 2:1-13

      October 20th             “Timeless Word for Today’s World”        2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

   October 27th              “Freedom From What, For What?”                   John 8:31-36

            Reformation Sunday

BOARD OF ELDERS:

The elders regularly discuss worship related concerns, so speak to them if you have comments on that. They also confidentially address needs of members and each have a group of families that they are to care for. (To know who your elder is, call the Pastor or Church Office.) They are using a training guide titled, “Pastors and Elders: Caring for the Church and One Another.”  New with this board, they are sending birthday post cards to their care group members.    Actions taken at the meeting of September 23:

1. Revise pre-service time: a. Brief review of church-wide events b. extension of peace to those around you.  c. worship preview and prayer.

2. Voted to include a hymn during distribution, when choir is not singing. ,

3. Whole-heartedly approve use of pew Bibles, using the paperback ones used now for guests. This will start when we get enough to distribute.

4. If time permits after Voter’s Meeting on Sept 29, review with ushers and greeters their responsibilities.

5. We discussed pros and cons of having one 5th Sunday worship at a neutral hour, or have more intentionally inclusive mixer type activities during our brunch. Member input is encouraged. Call your elder.

SERVING FAITH IN OCTOBER

Worship

8:15 a.m. Service

Usher:       Leonard Kelly &Troy Kimbrough

Greeter:     Edna Tate

Altar:          Shelia Small & Sue Angerhofer

Acolyte:     6th Tara, 13th Jamee, 20th Aiden, 27th Karsyn

10:45 a.m. Service

Usher:       Franklin Wood & Lyder Quade

Greeter:     Inge Easterling

Altar:          Sheila Small & Sue Angerhofer

Acolyte:     6th Landry, 13th Ethan, 20th Karlee, 27th Kason

 

LWML SUNDAY- OCTOBER 6TH

8:15 a.m. Service

Usher/ Greeter: Ola Faye Howard & Cindy Franz

10:45 a.m. Service

Usher/ Greeter: Shirley Febinger & Rosanne Keilers

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

 

Brunch Schedule

                   Snack                  Snack                  Snack                  Drink/Server

6                  Small                    Nelson                 Cubbage              Sparkman

13                Tate                     Nehring               Wright                 Weber

20               Bills                      Cameron              Carlson                Hatton

27               Franz                  Fredrickson         Keilers                 Gallagher

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 News—Calling all Parents and Kids and Adults!

          We have had a wonderful start in September.  We are blessed with very dedicated teachers. I am so thankful to them for their preparation and their love of all of our children and adults!  Take the time to encourage them and let them know you appreciate their willingness to prepare and to teach and to love our kids, young and old!

Do you know what is in the Old Testament?  Our kid and youth lessons have been examining King David, Solomon, and the Fall of Jericho, to name a few.  The Old Testament stories and heroes show us that what is happening TODAY in the world is nothing new.  There are so many REAL lessons to learn from God’s Word that apply to our lives today.  Pastor Konz and Brent Stroebel are digging deeper into the day’s worship lessons to older and younger adults (including college students), respectively. John Franz is leading a video series for adults from Lutheran Hour Ministries that goes through books of the Bible.

We have had from 12-22 students each Sunday, plus up to 20 adults.   Of course, it is always more fun the more that are there as it encourages and helps create friendships.  But the BEST reason for being in Sunday School is that Christians need to know God’s Word.  We never stop learning!  Today’s world is getting crazier and having the foundation of God’s Word brings us a strength and faith that will be needed more than ever.

We give our kids food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and make sure they go to school.  These are all great and necessary for their physical needs and to help them grow up strong.  What about their spiritual needs and building their faith in God and their relationship with Jesus?  Sunday school is a great place to help fulfill their spiritual needs and build a strong faith.

And around the corner…preparing for our Christmas Program to be held on Sunday, December 15th. J

Blessings everyone, Cheryl Konz,    SS Superintendant …and a big believer in the power of Christian Education for our daily lives…

Faith Lutheran Youth

Schedule for October

2nd & 9th – 4:45 Confirmation                   23rd4:45 Confirmation

5:45-7 p.m. FLY                                                 5:45-7 p.m. FLY

16th – 4:45 Confirmation                              30th FLY FALL CARNIVAL

5:45-6:45 p.m. FLY                                           5:30-7:30 p.m.

7-9 p.m. Fields of Faith for

Grades 7-12

Fall Fun is on the Way!

The annual FLY Fall Carnival will be held on Wednesday, October 30th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Faith Family Center. This is a great evening to see all our Faith School friends, in costume, and join in fun and fellowship with our Faith family. Each FLY family will be in charge of one game booth. Dinner will also be served. The cost is $5 per child or $20 per family. Plan to join us!

FLY kids are Awesome and Also very hungry.  They meet Wednesday evenings. To help feed them there are many options. Sponsor a night to feed the group, or donate cash or gift cards from HEB or Wal-Mart; put a check in the offering basket with Feed FLY on the memo.  You can put any of these in Kim Mitchell orTammy Cogburn’s mailbox or give to Nichole in the office.  Thank you for supporting our Youth.  It’s a great investment :)  If you have any questions, please contactTammy Cogburn 254-967-3865 call or text is fine

 


Confirmation Retreat!!!

Lutheran Women Missionary League News

Greetings to all women of our Faith Lutheran Family!

Our new “year” has started off with the fantastically fun “Progressive Dinner” on September 15th. Thirty-seven men and women attended, plus seven children wonderfully taken care of by Landry Stroebel. Many generous donations for missions were received in our Mite Box.  There was lots of laughter at all the tables as we traveled to different places to sit and also enjoyed the conversation starters at each table. All left with smiles as well as some new friendships.

The “Promise” group of 20 enjoyed the performance in Glen Rose at the Amphitheatre on Friday, Sept. 27th.  Many rode in the church van, driven by Lyder Quade, to add to the special evening with lots of good conversation and wonderful door to door service!

We also helped with the Faith School 10 Year Anniversary and Chamber Ribbon Cutting on Sept. 25th by providing lots of cookies, punch, as well as many of us making sandwiches for the evening.  What a special time!

The Bible Study DVD Series, “Overflowing Abundance” began on Sept. 23rd and 30th in Room 6 led by Marlene White.  Those in attendance are enjoying the presentation and being fed special truths on the Holy Bible.

Next up?

  • LWML Sunday is October 6th with a new banner
  • LWML Fall Rally Oct. 13th  @ 2:00pm in Azle—we will carpool for any interested in going
  • Arts/Crafts work nights at 7:00 in Room 6 Oct. 9th, 16th, 23rd and Nov. 6th if needed—All help and craft ideas are welcome from everyone!
  • Advent by Candlelight is back!!!  Sunday evening, November 24thHOSTESSES ARE NEEDED to decorate tables and to invite guests to fill your table.  Sign-up on the narthex and/or talk to Lynann Simpson regarding what is needed.  The theme is “Joy to the World”.

Next business meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 9th @ 7:00. All are welcome

S. A. I. L.

          The question Pastor Tom asked us to begin our Bible Study in Room 9 on September 12 was, “What will happen on Saturday, Sep. 14?” The answer, that none of the nine present, could give led us to the study on Holy Cross Day. It is a reminder that God’s glory is chiefly displayed in the humility, service, suffering, and death of Jesus for our salvation.

We enjoyed delicious carrot cake refreshments served by Jeanette and Lyder Quade.  Members continued to choose months for hostess duties.  S.A.I.L. plans to take a collection on Oct. 3 for helping FLY with a meal.

Our Matter of Balance class with Tamara completed the four week course on Sep. 5 with 16 people.  All in attendance gained more confidence because of the exercises and lessons on how to age and continue to feel physically secure and enjoy every day.  Thanks to Darleene for organizing the class.

On our S.A.I.L. meeting this month, we toured the Veldhuizen Cheese Shop and had lunch at Granny Clark’s in Dublinon Thursday, Sep. 26th.

In October we will meet for Bible study on the 3rd and our S.A.I.L. meeting on 17th.  Please join us as we enjoy learning more about God, visiting with friends and tasting great refreshments.

Evangelism

          Prayer Retreat: (Room connected to Room 9 in FFC) has a fresh coat of paint and is ready for use again. The small brown lamp that was in there is missing so we’d appreciate its return.  Prayer Garden: Plans were discussed for plants in front of the bench to enclose the garden.  Website: Plan to add background pictures to indicate ongoing activity. Big appreciation to Nichole for keeping it current!

Witness Word: At the end of some worship services board members highlight pamphlets on various topics available on the track rack.  We also would like to plan an event (around food of course) at which we share witness-in-the workplace tips. Consider how you have ministered to people you encounter during the week. This event will give you a chance to share and learn. (Name suggestions: Witness Works, or Wiki Witness)

The Board wants your ideas on sustainable ministries to people in our community, for example, Operation Christmas Child that other churches in town are doing.  We are thinking something more visible and participatory for our members in addition to Breadbox.

Ideas to have Board of Elders discuss:

1. Instead of printing Scriptures in bulletin, provide pew Bibles. It will get people familiar with the whole Bible, emphasize that the readings are part of greater context. Also, first time visitors can take theirs home if they desire to, since we try to give them one anyway. (Of course it will cut down on paper.)

2. Providing one-on-one prayer beside at prayer kneeler with prayer partner available during communion.

3. Extend greeting in worship to insure that visitors are welcomed by all.

The Board also plans to set up a Welcome Station in the narthex. More information will be shared as plans develop.  We emphasized the importance of connecting our guests and new members to other members and activities. This is not a program, but an intentional process guided by the love that the Holy Spirit awakens in us. We also will seek to stay in touch with non-church VBS families throughout the year. Along with FLY and LWML and others the Board helped with the Faith School Reunion/Ribbon cutting and looks forward to helping with Faithfest as well.

The Board’s ongoing questions:

1. What would a first time visitor expect and make them want to return?

2. How else can serve our community in ways that are sustainable and invite all the members to participate?

3. How can we be distinct Christian and Lutheran witness in our community?

4. How can we improve the assimilation of new members and guests?

STEWARDSHIP NOTES

You have by now been handed (or mailed) an envelope to challenge you to grow in the grace of giving.  It is designed to encourage you to consider making a small step of faith by increasing your donations to the church at a higher percentage. Prayerfully consider what you can do, based on the material blessings God has given you, and also what you want to do joyfully, based on the incredible blessings of God’s love and forgiveness in Christ. Consider also what is needed to be done for the growing ministry opportunities ahead, and to help you remember that all things in this life belong to God.  Of those blessings, we are but stewards, and accountable to God for our stewardship.

As soon as you can, please return the commitment card in a sealed envelope to the church office (marked box is there) or you can place it in the offering plate during the service, or mail it back.  Concerning the charitable giving by the saints, St. Paulwrote:, as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. 2 Cor. 8:7

 

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

FAITH FEST is November 9th:  It is time to publicize and to get ready to sell tickets.  Pick up some Faithfest flyers today to put up at your place of business or at other places you like to DO business.  Faithfest Ticket envelopes will be distributed starting Sunday, October 6th.

ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR Nov. 8-9—Craft items will be sold by LWML at the arts and crafts fair.  This is one of two fundraisers LWML does.  Monies all go to missions and a variety of church projects. All donations welcome.

October 9, 16, 23, 30 (Weds.) will be craft work nights at 7:00 in Room 6 of Family Center.  We can work on our own things to work on and bring extras for others to work on, or just come and help with what others bring to do.

Meals on WheelsOct. 4th Walter   11th Pack 18th Quade 25th Simpson

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

THANK YOU: I wish to thank the following people who were involved in the cutting down of my large tree last month:Troy Kimbrough, Jeff Stroebel and Brent Stroebel. These men gave up a Saturday morning with their families to help me with my situation. Not only did they get the job done, but their teamwork made it more pleasant, if that’s what you call sawdust and sweat! Thanks also the Keilers and Sims families for providing food to get us through the day. My sincere appreciation goes out for everyone’s hard work.

Many blessings to you and your families.        Darlene Hufstutler

LUTHERAN WITNESS:  This monthly magazine is the official communication medium for all LCMS Lutherans.  Besides informing us of Synod events and developments, it also has includes useful features and stories to inspire faith.  Texas District information is extensively reported in the supplement inserted in the magazine. Pictures of people you know have been included in the past.   We subscribe to this on behalf of all the members and have it mailed to you directly, to encourage its use church wide, and the cost for your subscription through the church is $12.50/year. To subscribe to it on your own would cost $24.00/year, so this is the most economical way to get all the news.  Your extra donation to cover your discounted subscription is encouraged, as this is not covered in the budget.  If for any reason, you do not want to receive it, let us know, and we will remove your name.  Call or write the church office if you have questions.  Our deadline for the current mailing list adjustment is October 11th.

 

OCTOBER BIRTHDAYS

Tim Lewis                     10/1                             Sheryl Malone               10/16

Tammy Cogburn          10/2                              Temperance Espinoza 10/17

Ed Weber                     10/4                              Ralph Hymer                10/21

Dee Ann Nelson          10/7                              Sam Weber                             10/23

Evan Tarpley                10/8                              Adam Garza                 10/25

Mary Walter                  10/9                             Don Kirklen                 10/26

John Franz                    10/10                            David Beyer                  10/29

Scarlett Bills                  10/11                            Diana Wood                 10/29

Rose Kelly                    10/11                           Diana Synatzske           10/30

Marlene White              10/13

“No More Pain”

 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more,  neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former

                                              things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4

 

I received a picture of an unusual grave marker–a statue of a boy rising out of his wheelchair floating and pointing upward. It’s an eloquently succinct portrayal of the promise we receive in God’s word from the text above: No more crying or pain. What made this picture especially meaningful to me was that I saw it only minutes after reading a desperate plea from a young woman who is close to her breaking point. Life has handed her more challenges than she feels she can endure.

The Bible has good news in Revelation not only for the obviously desperate and the crippled. Many carry in themselves chronic bodily pain without a word. Others carry painful emotions hidden in secret places of their heart. They don’t even know how much, for they have been masking their pain for years with various activities, behaviors, or medication. We don’t really know what the joys of heaven will be like, because we are not fully aware of how far from it we are in this life. Paul said that the intensity of those future joys will not be able to be compared to the depth of the sorrow we experience now.

Whatever brings tears to you in this life will not be forever.  In Christ, God has redeemed not only your soul from sin, but also your body from its eternal consequences. You will have a new body one day, untouched by any pain, disease, or limitation. Meanwhile, we rely daily on God’s grace, seeking only to be faithful in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, and knowing that one day, the former things will have passed on. You will one day have no more pain, forever.   Pastor Tom

Delivered by Dependence

“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you,

 and you shall glorify me.”  Psalm 50:15

 

My 3-year friend learned to ride his bicycle this summer, without training wheels. I don’t know how often children that young can do that. It seemed surprising to me, but considering his history of determination, it makes sense. He’s has always decided that whatever he was doing, he would do it himself.  He would shun help when putting together puzzles, climbing objects in the back yard, and dressing himself. It wouldn’t surprise me to see pictures of him water skiing next summer—if he decides he wants to.  He will grow up to be a self-sufficient problem solver.

The down side to such rugged independence is the reluctance to take advice and ask for help when it would make life much easier for him, and his parents, to do so.  With improved communication skills and maturity he is beginning to figure this out.

To be honest, my own life would be much easier if I learned to ask for help more often from God and friends. That lesson doesn’t necessarily get learned with age, as it turns out. How is it with you? While I am sure you are capable of doing most things on your own, do you recognize those challenges where calling for help is the smart thing to do? Our pride can be a stubborn obstacle to calling out to God and to those whom He has put in our lives. For some reason we have believed that if we can’t fix our problems and weaknesses on our own we are deficient.

Yet God designed us for dependence, not independence. To His people he distributed varying gifts, so that they could help each other. Society is organized that way. We exchange goods and services with the understanding that others can provide what we cannot provide for ourselves. Our earthly lives depend on inter-dependence.

Our eternal lives depend on God-dependence. Stubborn pride insists that we are good enough to earn heaven. But it is a dangerous deception to believe that people born with the inability to meet God’s holy standards can enter heaven without help. We call that “sin”, which means “missing the mark”. Thank God that he gives that help. Jesus Christ, God Himself in human nature, met God’s holy standard and then died to take into himself the penalty that sin deserves. He rose from the dead, showing that His death was sufficient payment for all sin, for all sinners, for all time. Through Jesus we have access to God. So He invites us, pleads with us, not to be stubborn and stuck in our sin, but to call upon Him and He will deliver us from it, forever.

Pastor Tom

 

 

 

 

Remember

“Remember this day…” Exodus 13:3

 

This morning inNew York City, people took turns reading the names of victims of 9-11 who were killed 12 years ago.  InWashingtonthe President spoke briefly in remembrance of those who died and to encourage families that go on without them.  At the Pentagon there was remembering as well.

Remembering is a healing and sobering way to deal with past trauma.  It empowers us as we rethink the events and, with increased wisdom, how we can avoid a repeat of them..  It recalls the horror that motivates us not to let it happen again. Remembering together also lets us know we are not alone in our experiences and grief.

Remembering can also be a joyful event. Moses told the people to “remember this day”, the day in which they were set free from Pharaoh and centuries of slavery.  The remembrance would take the form of annual Passover gatherings.  These were not only a celebration of a past victory, but also a foreshadowing of a future redemption for Jew and Gentle alike, from sin, death, and the power of the devil.  It reminded them of a shared history, strengthened them for the present day, and pointed to a future hope. That future hope would be fulfilled in the Lamb of God, whose blood took away the sin of the world.

Today the church remembers this when it gathers for the new Passover, the Lord’s Supper. We take of the body and blood given on the cross which set us free.  We are draw together as people sharing not only our sinful condition, but also our Savior.  By it we look back at Good Friday, but also look forward to the blessed feast to come in heaven, which will have no end.  All this remembering and hopeful anticipation strengthens us today for the journey.  God know remembering is healthy for our spirit, and so at the altar we remember together.

Best of all we remember through the Sacrament that God remembered his covenant promises to Adam, Abraham, and Moses, and David–a promise of Jesus Christ, which He kept.   So let us not forget to remember. It helps our nation deal with the tragedy of 9-11.  It also helps Christians with the tragedy of everyday sin.  Remember, through the Word of God and through His Sacrament, that God remembers you in the midst of every trial and trouble.

Remember.  God does.

Pastor Tom

 

Engaging the Danger

Fight the good fight of the faith. 1 Timothy 6:12   Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  Ephesians 6:10-11

 

Recently I had two separate conversations with men who have combat experience in two different wars, one a veteran, the other currently enlisted. Among many topics we discussed was post traumatic distress order (PTSD).  They both told me the same thing: The effect on the soldier with this condition is not that they run from danger, but that they run to it.  A civilian might run for cover if he hears a gun shot. A soldier trained to engage danger would run toward it.  The problem would come if he over reacts to what he perceives as danger but really is not, like responding to the sound of a firecracker as if it were an enemy combatant’s rifle.

The soldier’s proper reaction of engaging danger is what he is trained to do. The Word of God teaches us Christians likewise to engage the spiritual enemy which seeks to destroy faith. In his Word God gives us not only the command to fight, but also the armor and the weapons: His Word and the cross of Jesus Christ, which give us the victory. There is no hymn that says, “Backward Christian Soldier, flee away from war.”  Rather, we sing, “Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war.” We fight the good fight with the “cross of Jesus going on before.” We are called, trained, and equipped not to retreat from danger, but rather to engage it.

As PSTD can result in an inappropriate response to a false enemy, so misunderstandings about our role in the spiritual fight cause us engage the danger in unhelpful ways. If we mistake people as the enemy, instead of the evil who that has bound and blinded them, we will criticize them instead of pray for them. When we impatiently try to force faith on others, we do not give room for the Holy Spirit to work. If we focus on converting souls at the expense of loving them, we are not using the Word in a proper way.  If we try to gain victory over our sins in our own strength, apart from God’s grace in Christ, we are not engaging the danger properly.

A well trained soldier is a blessing to his or her country and worthy of respect. Let us pray that those affected by PTSD can regain their health and balance.  Likewise a believer trained by the Spirit through the use of God’s Word is a blessing to God’s Kingdom. Let us pray that we engage spiritual dangers in the love and the power of God. In Him alone is the victory.

Pastor Tom Konz