Whose Servant?

Whose Servant?

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. for he is God’s servant for your good….Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Romans 13:7

I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for … kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1–2

The local politics are heating up, as will national elections later this year. Voters get riled up about who hasn’t done what they think they should have done. Anti-incumbent fever can run high. “Throw the bums out” is the slogan that some believe is the simple solution to all the problems—unless, of course, that “bum” is doing what you want. Those holding public office are indeed to be held accountable for the responsibility the voters gave them. They are our servants, after all.

Or are they really “our” servants? The apostle Paul calls the governing authorities “God’s servant for your good.”  The term public refers to what is done on behalf of someone else. We assume our elected officials serve on our behalf. Perhaps we might have a more civil attitude toward our civil servants if we remembered that they are primarily acting on God’s behalf. They are His delegated authority in society to keep order and peace.  If we remember that, we will more willingly pay the taxes and fees we owe. We will respect and honor those holding the office that God has put in place for our good.

That is hard to do if the people in office are, according to you, governing dishonorably or in a way that you believe is harmful. Yet the office is there by God’s ordination, and the office holder by His permission.  Unfortunately, those through whom God rules are sinners too–fallible, mortal, and not omniscient–just like the voters.  Therefore, they need our prayers, patience and respect. There is no telling how far that could go in helping our civil servants truly govern for our good. This we can do, knowing that God is the ultimate ruler to whom both the governor and the governed will one day give account.

A thought for National Day of Prayer, May 1

Pastor Tom

 

May 2014 Newsletter

Faith Lutheran Newsletter                   May 2014

3000 NW Loop, Stephenville, Texas 76401

(254)968-2710   faithlutheranchurch@embarqmail.com

faithlutheranstephenville.com

Drawing everyday people to faithfully follow God’s Word

                            Pastor’s Page

Now What? 

Remember Peter? He was a lot like us. He would so often over-estimate the strength of his faith, the wisdom of his judgment, and his understanding of Jesus’ mission. During the three years of an incredible journey with Jesus he might have thought that life would always be full of miracles and joy. What could go wrong being with the Son of God?

Plenty! His master was arrested and crucified. Peter fled from Jesus, and then denied Him.  But plenty went right as well. Peter was the first of the twelve to see the empty tomb of Jesus.  Later, he was forgiven and installed into leadership by the very Master he denied. After Jesus ascended, and after he was Spirit-filled at Pentecost, Peter understood so much more about the realities and challenges of following Jesus.

His epistles share some of that reality with us. In the Sundays between Easter, May and the Sunday before and after, we will meditate on the first epistle of Peter. Now that Easter has come and gone, we can study to apply its meaning to our lives. I invite and encourage you to be part of the learning and growing with your fellow believers in Christ.  The following are the themes.

Pastor Tom

Sunday Worship Themes in May

April 27                                  Called to Faith                                   1 Peter 1:3–9

May 4                                Called for Eternity                          1 Peter 1:17–25

May 11                                  Called to Suffer                            1 Peter 2:19–25

May 18                                     Called to Grow                               1 Peter 2:2–10

May 25                          Called to Witness                           1 Peter 3:13–22

June 1                                     Called to Vigilance           1 Peter 4:12–19; 5:6–11

SERVING FAITH IN May
Worship

8:15 a.m. Service:

Usher: Duane Sparkman & Troy Kimbrough

Greeter: Dorwin and JoAnn Schulze

Altar: Erika Barlow

Acolyte: 4: Tara Garza, 11: Kason Seider, 18: Jamee Nelson,

25: Cooper Vandenberg

 

10:45 a.m. Service:

Usher: Lyder Quade & Cary Strohmeyer

Greeter: Rueben Walter

Altar: Erika Barlow

Acolyte: 4: Tristan Hanna, 11: Landry Stroebel, 18: Rett Douglas,

25: Ethan Nehring 

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

4              Angerhofer             Cameron                       Bills                      Carlson

11                Garza                   Febinger                         Franz                  Gallagher

18                Konz                             Keilers                    Kimbrough         Hatton

25               Schulze                Lee                                Lewis                    Espinoza

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

We live in America where freedom of religion guarantees us the right to worship God as we so choose.  The Bible used to be a main textbook in early American schools and was openly spoken of and read from, along with prayers, until the early 1960’s.

Since then, any Bible teaching fell on the parents and churches.  Sunday school and Confirmation classes and Christian Education have always been a big part of the Lutheran Church.  Martin Luther developed the Small Catechism for the heads of households to use to teach their children of God’s Word.

Check out a class on Sunday morning.  We will have classes May 4, 11, 18, 25.  Then a new format will begin on June 1st for the summer so our regular teachers can attend adult classes for the summer.

SOOOOOO….VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED FOR SUMMER SUNDAY SCHOOL.  J  Check out the Narthex Board for a sheet to sign up for a Sunday.  I would like to get at least 2 people per Sunday and you are welcome to sign up for more than one!  Thanks!  I believe our Director of Christian Education intern, Nick Rittgers, will be a big part of the summer program.

God’s Word—it is Holy and Precious.  We can NEVER know enough at any age.  Come and share and learn together.

      

      

         

 

Faith Lutheran Youth

Schedule
Wednesdays, May 7th, 14th and 21st
Confirmation – 4:45 p.m.
FLY – 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 28th

Final FLY Party and Welcome Shower for Nick Rittgers – New DCE Intern!5:30 p.m. Eat, Fish and Swim at the Mitchell’s – 698 CR 514 Bring your gear, lawn chairs and a dish to share. We will provide Hamburgers, Hot dogs, buns, condiments and drinks.

WELCOME BASKET FOR NICK RITTGERS – our new DCE Intern!
Please bring an item needed when moving into a new apartment (air freshener, bath mat, batteries/flashlight, broom, dustpan and mop, candles, cleansers, condiments, detergent, extension cord, extra pillows, fire extinguisher, gift cards, hangers, hooks, small tools, surge protector, Swiffer, toiletries, trash bags/can, etc.) We will gather these in a brand new laundry basket and present them to Nick on Wednesday, May 28th. If you/d prefer to give cash you may pass that along to Kim Mitchell, Magan Carrasco, Nichole Monroe or Pastor.

FLY FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITY!!! Once again, The Yellowbook Company is offering us a way to earn from $200 to $900 by hand delivering Yellow books beginning May 26, 2014. The Cogburn and Mitchell families have headed this up for the past several years. With two seniors graduating that is not possible for us this year. I need to know if there is a family, or two, who would like to continue this fundraiser for FLY. The money raised goes to pay for summer fuel costs and FLY trips throughout the year. Let Kim or Tammy know if you are willing to handle this fundraiser. Thank you!

Camp Shiloh – June 15-20, 2014: Camp forms are in your mailbox. I will be out of town Sunday, April 27th. If you need help completing the online registration, I will be available on Sunday, May 4th during the Sunday school hour. You may email me as well. Your final camp payment is due Wednesday, May 28th.

VBS – Gangway to Galilee – July 13th-17th. Youth be ready to serve and earn community service hours along the way!

Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML)

Our LWML is a group of dedicated women who “Serve the Lord with Gladness” and have done so for many, many years.

Other groups in our zone have noticed how much is accomplished at Faith Lutheran.  Marlene White is serving as the Zone President.  Whitney Lee has been the young women rep and is about to become a Texas District LWML officer.  Cheryl Konz and Sarah Weaver are zone representatives as Communications and Young Woman Rep respectively.  These women are carrying on what was begun by our charter members: Nelda Eggen, Bernice Reese, Lavinia Lohrman and others.

At our business meetings, we often discuss how to make LWML attractive, relevant, and doable for our younger Faith women.  If you have any ideas or suggestions please talk to any LWML officer: Lynann Simpson, Marlene White, Whitney Lee, Cindy Franz, Rachel Moravec, Shirley Febinger, Rosanne Keilers, & Cheryl Konz

Here’s what April provided:

  • Had a very fun Bunco party on the 6thth!
  • Delivered 24 Health Kits made by Faith School kids and SAIL to the Lutheran World Relief collection point in Dallas.
  • Are planning upgrades to the Women’s and Men’s bathrooms in the church and Family Center
  • Gathered and delivered 164.3 pounds of food to HOPE.
  • Sent $156.30 to Mites (missions)
  • Gave FLY $700 from the Garage Sale proceeds
  • Gave $60 to Lutheran World Relief to help with shipping costs of the 24 Health Kits

Coming in May and June:

  • May 4th @ 2:00 Spring LWML workshop at St. Paul’s in Fort Worth
  • May 14: Business Meeting in Room 6 of FFC @ 7:00
  • May 18th: All You Can Eat Spaghetti Supper following 2nd service. For the Alaskan Mission Trip Fundraiser. Donations and Silent Auction items.
  • May 25th: graduation brunch reception for our 5 high school graduates!  Bring cards/gifts for:  Bamma Strohmeyer, Tyler Mitchell, Hannah Bruce, Jacob Lewis, Billy Cogburn
  • June 1: LWML women will help with Faith School graduation
  • June 8: The annual Church Picnic at Bill & Marlene White’s Home at 4:00pm-7:00pm.  Bring dish to share, games, chairs, kids, swim stuff if desired.  Meat and drinks provided.
  • June 19-22: LWML Texas District Convention in Frisco, Texas.

Seniors Alive In the Lord (S.A.I.L)

On April 10 seven SAIL members met in Room 9 at 10:00am where we began with a birthday celebration for Pat Weber.  Pastor Tom’s Bible study/devotion concentrated on being a servant as Jesus would have us do. Knowing when we have “done enough” is a question many people might wonder, but we found answers, using Matt. 25:34-40 and James 1:27.  Pastor led us in a discussion about looking after anyone we see in need and trying, selflessly, to fill that need—the orphan, widow, prisoner, stranger, etc.   Following the devotion, Pastor Tom began a prayer time, and members added petitions.

Packing the items collected by Faith School and LWML for Lutheran World Relief completed the morning.  We prepared 24 Personal Care Kits. The SAIL meeting on April 24 will be a program led by Pastor Tom.

Twelve people attended the Noah movie on March 30 with a follow-up discussion at church.  Plans were made to travel to Clark Gardens on May 1st and enjoy lunch at Garner Café in Cool, TX.

Each month our continuing project of recycling printer cartridges gains $20.00 for church office supplies, so continue to drop those used cartridges in the collection box on the desk in the Narthex.  Thanks to Jeanette Quade’s consistent help with the children’s bags in church, we keep seven activity pouches current with coloring sheets, books and activities related to the church year.  The children really enjoyed all the Easter activities in bags.

Evangelism

Adding larger rocks for the children and adults to sit on during Faith school and other times, plus moving the bench, has made the Prayer Garden more appealing. A fountain addition is being considered, as well as the walkway.

Javier Garcia presented a message March 30, 2014 about the group that he started at TSU. It was interesting and appreciated!  On June 29, 2014, the next 5th Sunday, Brent Stroebel will present a Witness Word.

Another case of Pew Bibles was placed in the pews before the Easter Services.

We are working on finding the last of the four locations for the Highway signs.

We discussed an article about “Assimilation”, which detailed suggestions for first time and second time visitor follow-up and regular church attendees. We will review this again and possibly make some changes or additions to the things we have in place.

Choir

Adult choir:  6 PM Wednesday May 7, 14, 28.

Chime choir:  4 PM Wednesday May 7

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Voter’s Meeting: on Sunday, May 18 to be held at 9:30 a.m. (between services).

Church yard: You may have noticed that we have some poppies, irises, verbena, prairie larkspur, winecups, sweet Williams, and columbine blooming.  We also have a crop of weeds coming up.  Talk to Mary Walter if you can help with weed control.  Thanks!

Thank You Javier: A huge thank you to Javier for sharing at the 5th Sunday brunch in March!!!  He talked about a Bible study/discussion he started with fellow collogues on the Tarleton campus.  They have been meeting weekly over lunch for about a year.  Hearing him share prompted questions from the audience like, “Did you have any issues meeting on campus?  and Did issues arise over the topics you were discussing?”.  He explained how every hurdle was overcome with the help of God.  Javier’s group is an example of how our walk with Him extends beyond the church walls to places like work.  Many times it can be difficult, but every situation and place can be an opportunity to share what God has done for us and continues to do for us.  An opportunity to show that He loves us.  Be encouraged to act on those opportunities when presented.

Faith School Employee: Kaitlin Stevens is a Faith School employee that is going on a mission trip India, Nepal, Tibet and China. She is doing different fundraisers to help raise money. Her mission trip group is having a garage sale on Saturday May 3rd from 7am-3pm at 555 W. Washington St. They are also raffling off a homemade quilt. 1 ticket is $5 or 5 tickets for $20. Below is a picture of the quilt. If you would just like to help her go on this mission trip you may call or email Kaitlin to ask her how else you may help her or if you have any questions please contact Kaitlin on her cell phone: 1-682-667-6059 or email here at kaitlinstevens2011@yahoo.com

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL JULY 13-17 EVENINGS

“GANGWAY TO GALILEE”

We have our staff and we have the date.  Do we have your children?  Please sign up early and plan other vacations and camps for other weeks as YOUR children are important to us and to their friends who want to see them at VBS, too.  It’s even more fun with our friends there.

Registration forms are in the Narthex on the desk and you can also go online to register.  Grades 6 and up are helpers.

Go to:  www.bit.ly/1fsuDly

AND…Cash donations always help plus you can donate any of the following supplies…this is a start; anyway J Put them in the box by the piano in the narthex. Thanks!

1.  crayons                                                                       

2.  markers

3.  scissors (kid types)

4.  pencils

5.  fish nets

6.  captain’s hats

7.  plastic tablecloths

8.  scotch tape

9.  glue

10. sandwich size zipper bags

Contact Magan Carrasco or Cheryl Konz for more information or to ask how you can help!  J

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Meals on Wheels: 5/2: Walter, 5/9: Quade, 5/16: West, 5/23: Pack,

5/30: Stafford

MAY BIRTHDAYS

Bob Small                     5/4                                          Tim Childress               5/21

Karlee Easterling          5/7                                          Seth Curtoys                 5/23

Jocelyn Lewis                5/8                                          Luke Weber                  5/23

Karl Fredrickson          5/11                                        Daniel Carrasco            5/26

Kerstin Fredrickson     5/11                                        Josie Ellis                      5/26

Izabella Manlapaz        5/13                                        Hannah Lee                  5/26

Rachel Moravec            5/13                                        Tracy Rudel                  5/26

Bethany Espinoza        5/19                                        Jeanette Quade             5/27

James Soltau                 5/19                                        Linda Fulton                 5/31

2014 GRADUATING SENIORS

All our seniors are graduating from Stephenville High School

May 31, 2014, 8:00 p.m., at Tarleton Memorial Stadium

Bamma Lee Strohmeyer

Bamma plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall majoring in Financial Planning.

Tyler Gene Mitchell
Celebration: Friday, May 30th – 6-9 p.m. – 698 CR 514

Tyler will attend the Central Texas School of Taxidermy this summer and Texas A&M Kingsville in the fall. His major is Wildlife Biology & Range Management.

Hannah Rose Bruce

Hannah plans to attend Tarleton State in the fall with degree in Human Resource

Management             

Jacob Timothy Lewis
Jacob will attend Tarleton State University on a Rodeo Scholarship and pursue a Business degree.

Billy Mark Cogburn, Jr

Billy plans to attend Tarleton State University in the fall. Where he will major in political science and also business administration with a minor in foreign language. Upon completion of his bachelor’s degrees, he plans to attend law school.

 

VOTER’S ASSEMBLY   May 18 @ 9:30.

Agenda will include election of new and returning council and board members.

There will also be reports about

–our incoming DCE intern

–new measures to secure public access to our building

–a new sign proposal

–the purchase of two AED units

–debt reduction campaign

–preview plans for the new toddler playground

–other news of interest.

 

Lutheran Early Response Training

In the event of a disaster, since January 2010, federal guidelines require any volunteer responding to disaster to be trained and certified. On May 3rd, beginning at 9:00 A.M., the Disaster Care Ministry at Beautiful Savior working with LCMS Disaster Response will be providing Lutheran Early Response Training. The cost of this training will be $15.00 (Which will help pay for lunch and materials). After complete this training you will receive a LERT Training Certificate and Disaster Credentials from LCMS Disaster Response.

Please join us for a day of training. It is a great opportunity to see how you and your congregation might work with others to help those in need.

We will also be discussing how you can prepare your church in case disasters were to strike.

 

Training will be held at:

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

5851 New York Ave.

Arlington, TX 76018

Please RSVP to disaster_care@sbcglobal.net

or call David Ricks at 214-563-5928 No later than

April 26, 2014

“Got It?”

       What would your orthodox Jewish friend say if you told him that you celebrated the Passover by enjoying ham sandwiches at a picnic with the family? What would a pious Muslim think if you shared that you observed the week of Ramadan with much feasting and wine tasting. In case you don’t know, those activities are inconsistent with those holidays. If not outright insulted, they would at least be annoyed that you “just don’t get it”.

       Many self-identified Christians “just don’t get it” either. As with secular holidays, so too is it even with some religious holidays: the history that the days were to commemorate has been forgotten. The term “cultural Christians” applies to those who observe the secular trappings of the holiday but not its spiritual meaning. They are Christians in name only.

While I don’t imagine this describes most who are reading this, there is a warning for us too.  The tendency to water down the connection between our religious holidays and their original significance can affect the everyday practice of our faith. If we can adopt the worldly commercialization of our faith’s holy days, then we can also more easily be tempted to adapt worldly values and morals to our faith. Our confusion and compromise might make our Jewish and Muslim friend think we “just don’t get it” even about our own faith.

There is much cultural clutter that surrounds days like Christmas and Easter. Understandably so, since even in Christian homes we have taken on traditions that don’t add to the spiritual observance, but are joyful nonetheless. These traditions are not harmful to add to the holiday, unless they somehow cause Christ to be the secondary “reason for the season”, especially for our children.

The observance of religious festivals is to revive our faith, not to exhaust it with endless distractions. If for instance, Easter becomes just another holiday to check off, with relief that all the obligations of its observance are done for another year, and then maybe we “don’t get it”.  Resolve to let the reminder of Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life matter every day in every way.  Let it inspire you to grow in faith, hope, and love. If Christ has an impact on your life, then He will also impact others through you, including your Jewish and Muslim friend, who will then know, “You got it!”

Blessed Easter, and beyond.  Pastor Tom Konz

Reading Minds

But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said,

“Why do you think evil in your hearts? Matthew 9:4

 

There is a subtle idolatry that we practice without even realizing it: We read minds. Clearly, no one can do that flawlessly but God.  For example, Jesus was not fooled by the Pharisees’ attempts to trap him, because He always knew their minds and motives. Yet, often we are tempted to think we can read other peoples’ minds, and then we attribute evil motives to their words.

Our motive for doing so is self-serving. It’s more comforting to believe that people would constructively criticize us because they are mean, rather than because what they say is true. To impugn the motives of others is a way of dismissing out of hand what they say. That way, we can justify not giving their words any clear and reflective thought. Politicians often “read” the minds of their opponents to avoid debate over policies. But to be honest, we all have a tendency to deflect criticism by “reading minds.”

Just because this is common doesn’t make it harmless.  First, we don’t keep our criticism of other peoples’ motives to ourselves. We harm reputations by saying things like, “Did you hear what he said to me? He must be a (racist, bigot, sexist, or jealous, etc.).”  There’s a pretty good chance he is none of the above, but maybe is just honestly trying to be helpful. Secondly, by “reading minds” and assuming uncharitable motives, we don’t take criticism that would help us grow. We keep making the same mistakes, because we dismiss words we don’t like to hear.

Thank God that the One who really can read minds, does that for our sake. He knows our thoughts, and that we are often motivated by fears, doubts, jealousy, and selfishness.  Knowing all this, He came to endure all the suffering that results from our sinful motives. He died for Judas, who out of selfish ambition betrayed Him; for Peter, who out of fear denied Him; and for all the disciples who abandoned Him in His time of need. Knowing their fear at the news of His death, the disciples’ risen Lord appeared to them to reassure, forgive, and to commission them to forgive others.

Today, Jesus still reads our minds, and knowing us, He still forgives us for the sake of his death and resurrection. He still sends us out, not to criticize or demean others, but to forgive them as He has forgiven us.

 

Blessed Holy Week

Pastor Tom Konz

 

Life’s Not Fair: Blame Someone

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  Genesis 3:13

 

The notion that life is stacked against you has long provided a wedge for those who would exploit you for their own power. If life is not fair, then there must be someone to blame.  Satan suggested to Eve that God was unfairly cheating her and Adam out of wisdom and knowledge by prohibiting her and Adam from eating the fruit of a certain tree.  They bought the lie and bit the fruit. The rest is the sordid history of the human race.

Satan’s lies to them were not well-intentioned. He cared nothing for them, but used them to gain power for himself. His voice is still whispered in our ears, exploiting our natural tendency toward selfish self-pity. We don’t recognize it as his voice, because it sounds just like ours. “God made me like this, so therefore I am justified to do that.” “God brought me into this kind of family (environment, race, nation, etc), so therefore no one can blame me if I ….” The voice is also heard from power seekers who foster discontent for their own advantage. They will tell you not that God is unfair, but that the world is.  Trust them to fix it, at a price. This is the blame-and-victimization game Satan used in Eden. It never actually solves any problems. It just punishes others and creates strife.

The good news is that there is an alternative to playing the victim of life’s unfairness. It is God’s justice. Whether we see the justice played out here or in the hereafter, we can trust that God will not abandon us to the capricious injustice of this world’s system.  Having already sent His Son to die for us, He is not about to abandon us in the valley of life’s unfairness. He will not forsake that for which He has already poured out His life to redeem. His resurrection is proof that we too will conquer in the end. Instead of taking out life’s unfairness on others, or justifying our own selfish behavior because of it, trust the goodness of God to keep you firm. All the wisdom and knowledge we need is found in Him and what He has already revealed. Life is not fair, but God is good.

Pastor Tom Konz

 

April 2014 Newsletter

Pastor’s Page

CHURCH CHANGES

As you may know, we will face some personnel changes over the next few months. After three decades as music director and organist, Mary Walter is going to focus more on other ways to serve her Lord, beginning this summer.  We will call on her from time to time to use her excellent skills on the organ. Her long term ministry of directing choir and chimes and playing every Sunday and for other services is greatly appreciated and will be sorely missed.

Secondly, about the same time, our faithful education director and youth leader Kim Mitchell will also be using her gifts in different ways. A Director of Christian Education intern from Concordia University, Nick Rittgers, will begin in June to serve God’s church in the areas from which Kim is retiring.

We are so grateful for the gifts that God has blessed us with in these two faithful women.  They are not “replaceable” in the sense that someone will come in and do exactly what they do. They serve (d) according to their gifts, and those that follow will serve according to theirs. We don’t compare gifts from God with each other, but receive them all with thanks.

However, this will present a change for us, which may come with some degree of anxiety and even mourning. Let us acknowledge that, as we adjust to the changes, we may look back from time to time and wish things had stayed the same. That’s normal and even healthy. It means that we were very blessed by the way things were before. It doesn’t mean that the change is not good, just that we need time to adjust.

Though all of that is ahead of us, there is another kind of change in our church that has already been happening for years. We are becoming, and will be more so with the changes just mentioned, a more staff oriented congregation. That means that the nuts and bolts of the “church” work will be more in the hands of those you have brought on with the skills and aptitudes to manage the business of ministry.

That doesn’t mean that congregation volunteers are not needed. But it does mean that they (you) will be freer to be concerned less with the everyday minutiae and more with your ministry.  Yes, I said, “your” ministry.  Part of that ministry will be the works of service you do for the church by yourself, with other members, and alongside the staff. Another part of your ministry will be using your gifts to build relationships and extend God’s love into the lives of those who are currently outside of the church, as well as those inside of it.

One model of a church gathering, though not the only one, is that it is a filling station where you get your tank full of encouragement and instruction in God’s Word. From there you re-enter your everyday world ready to minister to others.

One of my favorite songs about the church has this verse and chorus:

The Church is not a building, The church is not a steeple,

The church is not a resting place, the church is a people!

I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together!

All who follow Jesus  All around the world!

Yes, we’re the church together!

By the grace of God that is what we will remain, even in the midst of all the changes and challenges ahead.

Pastor Tom Konz

Sunday Worship Themes in April

April 6                              “The Power of the Spoken Word”            John 11:43-45

April 13                    “Servant, Sufferer, Savior”    Philippians 2:5–11   Palm Sunday

April 20                  “Earthshaking News!”        Matthew 28:1–10    Easter Day

April 27                                  “Faith in the Unseen”                    1 Peter 1:3–9

Lenten Midweek Series:  The Lord’s Prayer   All services at 6:45.

April 2nd                  “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”    

April 9th                      “Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . .”                          

April 17th: Maundy Thursday:     “Lead Us Not into Temptation”       

April 18th: Good Friday:                 “Deliver Us from Evil”

SERVING FAITH IN APRIL
Worship

8:15 a.m. Service:

Usher: Leonard Kelly & Bob Small

Greeter: Edna Tate

Altar: Rosanne Keilers

Acolyte: 6:         Jamee Nelson, 13:                  20: Aidan Espinoza, 27: Kason Seider

10:45 a.m. Service:

Usher: Franklin Wood & Lee Barlow

Greeter: Inge Easterling

Altar: Rosanne Keilers

Acolyte: 6: Rett Douglas, 13: Landry Stroebel,         20: Karlee Easterling, 27: Noah Ashley

Maundy Thursday: 17: Eric Carrasco

Good Friday Service: 18: Ethan Nehring

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                  Strohmeyer                      Sparkman

13                  Tate                           Nehring                  VanWright                        Weber

                                                 20                                                      Easter Brunch

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

***Great lessons are happening EVERY Sunday.  There is SO much to know about God and we never stop learning.  Come and be an encouragement for other kids and adults just because YOU are there.  J

  • April 16th: Sunday school provides the Wednesday Meal—Mexican Fiesta!

Pre-K class: Bag shredded cheese & some cut up apples

1st-3rd class:  Bag shredded lettuce & cut up fruit of some kind

4th-6th class: 16oz. sour cream & 2 tomatoes diced

7th-12th class: Lg. pack soft tortillas and Lg. box hard shells

Teachers: Desserts—cake or bars or cookies and help Magan in kitchen

  • Palm Sunday!—April 13th  with the Seder meal that evening that really helps us all appreciate God’s plan for His death and resurrection
  • Easter!—April 20th –wonderful church potluck brunch from 8:45-10:30 with the Egg hunt right in the middle plus our Easter Hymn Sing.
  • Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday morning, April 20th @ 9:30

Needed: Congregation members to bring wrapped candy ASAP so FLY can “stuff” the eggs.  The sooner the better! J Put on the narthex desk by piano.

Faith Lutheran Youth

Thank you to all the FLY families who assisted with the garage sale. Your hard work is appreciated!

PLEASE bring small, wrapped candies by Wed. April 2nd. FLY members will prepare them for our annual Easter egg hunt.

Schedule:

April 2nd, 9th & 16th-Confirmation 4:30 PM/ Lent Meal 6 PM/ Lent Service 6:45 PM

PLEASE note: no service on April 16th. Confirmation & FLY will meet.

April 23rd- Confirmation 4:30 PM/ FLY 5:39 PM

April 30th – Possible Field Trip More details to come.

Camp Shiloh paperwork will be in your mailboxes by April 2nd. Please complete your registration ONLINE by April 30th. If you need help, please ask. Final camp payments will be due Wed. May 28th. Thank you!

Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML)

  • Thanks to our loving and giving Faith Lutheran Family for your donations of $155.30 for Muffins for Missions Sunday, March 16.  All of it goes to Mites and that means you have helped support missions.
  • Thanks to FLY and many church members for your great help for the Garage Sale set up and clean up on March 21st and 22nd .  A total of $1500+ was collected plus $300 from Thrivent.
  • Thanks to Faith School for collecting Health Kit supplies for Lutheran World Relief.  A total of 21 kits were put together with the help of Faith School, SAIL, and LWML.
  • April 6th—Everyone Invited to our BUNCO PARTY and POTLUCK LUNCH right after 2nd service.  Men and Women invited and babysitting provided.  Bring food to share and be ready for some fun and game prizes.  Christian Fellowship galore!
  • May 4th LWML Spring Workshop at St. Paul’s in Fort Worth @ 2:00.  Phoebe the Comfort Dog, Braille work, and Stamp trimming, making fleece shrugs for nursing homes, plus a meal.
  • Plan ahead…coming in May…Mother/Daughter Tea…in June…Church Picnic/Swim party.
  • ALWAYS…pray for our missionaries and thanks for donating to the MITES when our BIG Box is on display every 3rd Sunday.
  • This summer, Marlene White, Whitney Lee, Sarah Weaver, Lynann Simpson, Rosanne Keilers, and Pastor Konz will be attending the Texas District LWML Convention in Frisco for part or all of June 19-22.

Come join as we follow the LMWL motto to “Serve the Lord with Gladness”.

Seniors Alive In The Lord (S.A.I.L)

  S.A.I.L. met on February 20th. Darlene Hufstutler served a delicious birthday cake in honor of Irene Spitz, who was ill.  We added a little cheer to her day when we sang to her by a phone call. Nine members were present to hear Larry Ohl share information about Lutheran Foundation of Texas that can help church growth even after death with a percentage estate gift.  Mr. Ohl had great examples as well as contact information.  Lyder Quade led us in a closing prayer of thanksgivings and petitions.

In March, our Bible Study on the 6th with Pastor Tom centered on the purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord. With Cheryl’s accompaniment on the newly donated piano in Room 9, the 10 people present sang hymns, read a psalm and studied with Pastor Tom.  Donuts and a card helped Viola Truss celebrate her birthday.

On Mar. 20th in Room 6, 8 members gathered with Pastor Tom who opened the meeting with a prayer of thanksgivings and concerns by the members. After refreshments served by Lynann, Jennifer Grandpre from the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce presented a very interesting program about all the Volunteer Opportunities in Stephenville to help youth and to work in non-profit organizations.  There are many different avenues of interest and needs for volunteers.

A sign-up sheet is in the Narthex for the Noah movie on March 30 at 2:30pm.  For the Son of God movie on March 2, we had 30 people attend, and following the movie several returned to the Faith Center for a discussion.

On April 10, SAIL will meet for a Bible study/devotion with Pastor Tom and work to pack Health Kits for Lutheran World Relief collected by Faith School. The SAIL meeting program agenda on April 24th has yet to be announced.

Each month our continuing project of recycling printer cartridges gains $20.00 for church office supplies, so continue to drop those used cartridges in the collection box on the desk in the Narthex.  Thanks to Jeanette Quade’s consistent help with the children’s bags in church, we keep seven activity pouches current with coloring sheets, books and activities related to the church year.

Faith School

Faith School currently serves 135 families which represent 179 children; this number includes holiday only, after school drop-ins and babies not yet born, but guaranteed a spot.  We average 110 students a day.  Currently we have 86 children on our waiting list.  Our ministry currently employs 62 people.  Most of our staff only work 20 hours a week and we have two shifts of employees each day.

The 2014 calendar has started strong in regards to financials.  Last month’s financials are noted in the treasurer’s report.  February $4,140 worth of scholarships was given.  We also waived $2,396 for the ice date we had on the 11th.

Our state inspection was conducted February 10th.  During the onsite visit the following areas were inspected:  daily activity schedules, infant, toddlers, pre-k and school-aged care, guidance and discipline practices, naptime procedures, nutrition and food services, health and safety practice, physical facilities, outdoor safety and our fire safety policy and procedures.  There were two findings:  a cord from a CD player was hanging from shelf and a pack and play was too close to emergency exit door.  Both were corrected during inspection.  No other areas of concern were discussed.

Evangelism

We are moving forward to a new phase in the Prayer Garden! Brent Stroebel and Bob Small are working on a design which will include the placement of: walkway, sprinkler system, fence, rocks, plant/tree to create more privacy between the parking lot and Prayer Garden. A discussion about the congregation participating in purchasing bricks/stones for the walkway was a favorable one. There also has been an interest in having a fountain.

The script “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” has been added to the wall in the Prayer Retreat.

Witness Word – Javier Garza will talk about the small group that he started at TSU during brunch March 30, 2014. Come learn about ways to share God’s Word and how the group has evolved.

An additional case of Pew Bibles will be in the pews by Easter! We also are working toward having some, if not all, the highway signs installed by Easter! We are working on updating the hallway signs as well.

Stewardship

In its first report to the congregation, on March 16, the board of Stewardship presented the following:

1. The meaning of the LAMPLIGHTER theme seen in the posters around the

church:   “In the 1800’s a Lamplighter would begin lighting street lamps at dusk for the townspeople.  As night came, the lamplighter would be gone, but his path was clear.  How does this relate to stewardship?  As followers of Christ we should be lighting the path for others and our path be seen from the lights we’ve lit.  ALSO, the lamplighter would not be seen as a very glamorous occupation, but was still important.  Likewise, God sees no jobs more important than others … he has given us all gifts to use in various ways.”

2. Report on PLEDGE RESPONSES -Thirty percent of those with cards have

made pledges. If members have not done so, or need a card, please ask Melissa

Weber. A commitment is not absolutely needed by the church, but it can help you

set a goal for what the Lord is leading you to give and help you to stay committed

to that goal.

3. FAITH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP – The combined Church/School budget

subsidized about $32,000 in Unpaid tuition so that struggling families could keep

their children in the school.

(Note: The board of Education is formulating new guidelines on this.  Note also in the next article a special challenge to contribute aid directly to the school on behalf of these families.)

4. MEALS ON WHEELS FLC– Church members, through the church’s route or

individual member routes run six different routes each week.  That comes to

approximately 4,966 miles, 286 hours, and 4,500 meals per year!

A DO-GOOD OPPORTUNITY

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  Galatians 6:9-10

Those whom God has blessed have an opportunity to bless and a need to meet among those in the “household of faith” (fellow Faith members).   There are a few young families in our church who are facing special challenges in their finances, but whose children do or would benefit greatly from the ministry of Faith School.  If you are able, an ongoing donation on their behalf would be a tremendous blessing at this time.  You may recall in your years as a young parent, receiving financial blessings from others.  This would be a great way to pay it forward.  Faith School has been allowing students to attend tuition free because of inability to pay, but that lessens the school’s ability to keep up with growing costs and expanding the ministry.  If you are so moved to respond to this need, please talk to Magan Carrasco about specific amounts that you could give.

St.  Paul puts the opportunity before us to do good to those whom we consider brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus gives us the motivation for “taking care of our own”:  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.   This kind of love attracts people to Christ and to His Church.

Choir

Chime choir – 4:15pm Wed April 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30

Adult choir – 7:30 Wed, April 2 and 9; Sunday, April 6; Wed, April 16, 23, 30

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Meals on Wheels: April 4: Walter, April 11: Simpson, April 18: Holiday,

 April 25: Pack

Recycling: In the month of March we have received $15 from aluminum can recycling.  Thank you for helping our youth as they plan their excursions for the summer.   Please keep bringing your aluminum cans to the kitchen by the sanctuary and we will see that they are redeemed for cash at the recycling place.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES

2014 SENIORS: Attention 2014 Senior’s and Parents, next month I would like to get everyone’s graduation announcement in the May Newsletter. This will help church members see who is graduating May 2014. If you have any questions please let Nichole know by emailing or calling her at any time.

Vacation Bible School “Gangway to Galilee” July 13-17th

We are well underway with plans.  We pray your kids and your kids’ friends will come.  Please check out the online registration or pick up a sheet in the narthex on the desk.

Here’s the online website:

www.bit.ly/1fsuDly

AND…Cash donations always help plus you can donate any of the following supplies…this is a start; anyway J Put them in the box by the piano in the narthex. Thanks!

1.  crayons

2.  markers

3.  scissors (kid types)

4.  pencils

5.  fish nets

6.  captain’s hats

7.  plastic tablecloths

8.  scotch tape

9.  glue

10. sandwich size zipper bags

Contact Magan Carrasco or Cheryl Konz for more information or to ask how you can help!  J

 

APRIL BIRTHDAYS

Jessica Evans               4/3                                       Kameron Seider           4/19

Patricia Weber             4/4                                       Noah Ashley                4/20

Tyler Mitchell              4/6                                       Doris Stanley               4/22

Cindy Franz                 4/7                                       Hannah Bruce             4/23

Janie Latham               4/9                                       Eric Carrasco               4/23

Sheila Small                 4/11                                     James Myers                4/24

Ken Van Matre            4/11                                     Sarah Weaver              4/24

Mark Gallagher            4/14                                     Julian Barksdale           4/25
Kaci Hatfield               4/14                                     Ann Calahan                4/25

Jan Swiggum                4/15                                     Justin Pack                           4/26

Donna Kirklen            4/16                                     Victoria Cameron        4/29

Rett Douglas               4/17                                     Tyler Lee                     4/30

Chase Hamaker           4/17                                     Jamee Nelson              4/30

Cindy Stafford             4/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Paul – LWML – Ft. Worth

Invites you to the

TRINITY ZONE SPRING WORKSHOP

Sunday – May 4, 2014 – 2:30 p.m.

► Registration begins at 2:00 p.m.

► Dinner begins at 5:00 p.m.

~~~~~~~

We look forward to seeing you at

St. Paul Lutheran Church – Fellowship Hall – Sanctuary level

1800 W Freeway (I-30 near downtown) Fort Worth

Summit Avenue exit

Our primary activity will be Lutheran Braille Workers and the Braille Ministry here at St. Paul.  There will be an introduction to Braille ministry followed by workshop activity in small groups in our Braille center.

Secondly, we’ll be making no-sew, fleece buttoned shawls for shut-ins.  Fleece will be furnished; ladies should bring scissors, large buttons (1”–1½”), a needle and embroidery floss.

Also, bring your cancelled postage stamps to be collected.

 

RSVP by April 15, 2014

Ann Ziehe – 817-249-2529 – akziehe@gmail.com

PASSOVER MEAL

Palm Sunday, April 13, 6pm

Faith Family Center
Faith Lutheran Church

 

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 Pasch.  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 the garden of Gethsemane.  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, April 13, 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 call Cindy Stafford at 968-4337 (h) or 918-1212 (o) or 592-6630 (c).

Chew On This

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:8

     One of the simple things I finally have learned about eating is something my mother probably told me to do many years ago: Eat more slowly. Chew each bite longer.  For some reason I had been in the habit of eating quickly, as if that were a good thing. Little did I know how much of the flavor of the food I never tasted.  Nor did I realize the extra digestive burden I was putting on my body.  Now, when I have the time (and now I make the time) I chew my food many more times, putting the fork/sandwich down between bites.  Digestion is better, which means the food is doing more for my body. As a bonus, I eat less of what I don’t need because the brain has had time to register that I’m full. What an amazing positive difference slowing down can make.

That benefit should not be surprising since the same blessing happens when we slow down to slowly feed on God’s Word. When we take in smaller portions of Scripture, not hurriedly, but slowly, deliberately, chewing on each verse with our mind and spirit, we get much more out of it. As we meditate on each morsel, we have time to pray over those words, giving time for the Holy Spirit to speak more clearly to our Spirit.  How much healthier our faith can become when we taste each word, rather than swallow it whole without understanding.

Jesus demonstrated the value of meditation by the way He trained His disciples. Night and day for three years He prepared them for His cross, resurrection, and ascension. He did not hurry His instruction, but gave them what they could take in when they could take it in. And even after He died and rose and ascended to save His disciples and us from our sin, they still did not get it. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit closed the loop of understanding for them and they got it.

What is so fantastic is that the same Spirit speaks to us, increasing our understanding, every time we meditate on God’s Word.  So chew on that Word, so that your soul may prosper.

Pastor Tom