July 2014 Newsletter

Pastor’s Page

“An Encouraging Word”

In writing this I have no particular church issue or event in mind that compels me to comment on the need for encouragement.  I have only my story:

This past Monday I phoned a visitor who had attended worship on Sunday.  I had never met her before, but when I called her to thank her for visiting, I received a wonderful gift: encouragement.  It came at a time of need not when I was feeling totally discouraged, but when I had some doubt about the direction or impact of my messages.  Every preacher, and I’m sure teachers also, wonders at times if they are making a difference, getting through, or being understood.  Without getting into the specifics, I will say that she showered me with affirmation that I was not seeking or expecting. I mention this because I was surprised at the depth of my emotions in hearing this.  The blessing was overwhelming, either for its timing or depth.  I didn’t know how much I needed it until someone gave it.

So for those who go through life with real challenges, instead of those presented by our self -doubts, I can only imagine how much more needed and wanted is a word of encouragement.  No greater gift comes to mind when I think of what we can give each other.  People don’t always let on that they are in need of such a gift, so give it anyway.  You never know whom you will lift at that moment and how high.

Peace, Pastor Tom

 

Sunday July Themes

           July   6                                         “Rest for the Battle Weary”                Romans 7:21-25

Military Bible Stick collection

July 13                “What’s Wrong with Your Hearing?”   Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

July 20                                     Youth Service

July 27                          “What are True Treasures”?              Matthew 13:44-52

Guest Speaker: Joe Ardy

 

MUSIC MINISTRY SEARCH UPDATE

     As you read this we are looking at/talking to a second candidate for the position of Music Director here at Faith. Both candidates are soon to retire engineers from the western US who wish to devote their lives to worship music. Both have gifts in traditional music on piano and organ as well as the ability to lead us into a blended, non-traditional worship, direct choir and chimes. One has visited already and played for the early service on June 22.  The schedule at this time for the other is being determined.

    Please direct any concerns or questions you have about this to Pastor Tom.  Pray for them, Ken Young and for Arnold Ramming, that and for your Faith leaders that we may discern the right direction. We are considering not their musical abilities alone, but also their spirit and fit for this congregation.

DCE INTERN UPDATE

    Nick Rittgers is off to a good start.  Many of you got to know him better as he shared the message on June 15.  Having spent a week at camp with 22 of our youth he knows them pretty well and is forming bonds for future leadership development.

His is not a typical internship, because he has had no time to ease into it. As usual, Faith seems to be busier in the summer than during school. Your words of encouragement and prayers are always welcome by Nick.  Concerns are to be addressed to Pastor Tom, who is the assigned mentor per our agreement with Concordia University.

His main focus this month is to help prepare and implement Vacation Bible School.

 

SERVING FAITH IN JULY
Worship

8:15 a.m. Service:

Usher: Chet Cameron & Bob Small

Greeter: Joann Schulze

Altar: Rosanne Keilers

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

10:45 a.m. Service:

Usher: Karl Easterling & Doug Hanna

Greeter: Magan Carrasco

Altar: Rosanne Keilers

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

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                 Cameron              Konz                      B. Stroebel           Febinger

13                Franz                     Gallagher             Hatton                 Keilers

20               Kimbrough        Carlson                Mitchell               Carrasco

27               Lee                       Pack                     Cubbage              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

  • Our Summer Sunday School is going great and the attendance has been growing.  Nick had seven youth in his class on June 22nd plus about 20 for the other ages, preschool through 6th grade. Nick is hoping to be able to have separate classes for the junior high and high school kids in the future.
  • We have learned about lessons for OUR life from the Bible stories about Noah, Moses and Elijah.  We have made some cool crafts and enjoyed tasty snacks that go with the lessons.  Nick is adapting the lessons to a more personal level for the FLY class on Sunday morning.
  • Our lesson for June 29 ended with a snack of Root Beer Floats as “celebration” with Elijah in the wonder of how God answers prayers!

THANKS TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS providing snack and craft items AND the wonderful folks who have been teachers in June.  God bless you all as YOU have been a blessing to our kids.

  • JULY:  Lessons:  Naaman, Jonah, John the Baptist, Wedding at Cana, and Peter, the Rock! Crafts and Snacks will continue each Sunday along with great lessons for life from the Holy Bible.

Check out our ADULT CLASSES—GO TO CLASS WHILE YOUR KIDS ARE IN SUNDAY SCHOOL!  IT IS GREAT!

  • Pastor Konz continues his class using lessons that coordinate with the Sunday School topics and meets in the narthex.
  • John Franz continues his class in Room 6 that uses video to lead the topic.
  • A new class has started for Adults!!  They are meeting currently in Magan Carrasco’s office. For July they will be studying the Fruits of the Spirit.

REMEMBER OUR SPECIAL OFFERINGS COLLECTED EACH SUNDAY TO HELP PROVIDE WATER SYSTEMS THROUGH LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF!

Faith Lutheran Youth

Camp Shiloh: Camp Shiloh was absolutely amazing. I took 22 youth with me, 3 of them was their first time, but no one shied away from being involved in their day groups or during our evening SLAB time where many youth went to fish or just sat around talking. This was a great community builder both amongst our youth and for me with the youth.

Camping items found: The following items have not been claimed from camp: 2 Fishing Poles, Medicine, a Rangers Shopping bag and a Clear Water Bottle. Please come see me to claim these items anytime during the week.

High School Deep Group: Our high school students have voiced their opinion to me about wanting to start a bible study on Wednesday night’s beginning on July 2 at 6:30. Kim is going to be providing dinner this first night and Gray Vandenberg is going to bless us with a bible study that he has prepared specifically for this event. If you’re an incoming freshman, and outgoing senior, or anything in between, please join us on Wednesday nights for fellowship, faith, and food!

Youth Worship Sunday: Mark your Calendars for July 20th. Our youth will be running both of our services this day. Any and all youth interested in helping for either or both services needs to contact me at faithdceintern@embarqmail.com or call/text me at (817)705-8157.

Faith Family Day in the Park: Also on July 20th, I am inviting Faith Families to City Park for a family day out. We are celebrating our kids with VBS and Youth Worship Sunday; now let’s celebrate our families by spending the afternoon with them. You can bring things to grill at the park, bring a picnic, or go out to lunch and come down later. There is no planned agenda for this day. You can play on the new Disc Golf course, run on the trail, play ball in the field, fish, or anything else. Just as long as you are spending time as a family.

Youthquake and Glorybound: Many of our high school youth are aware of Glorybound coming up in July of 2015. Youthquake is a smaller scale Glorybound for our middle school children. Be on the lookout in the coming months about costs, meetings, and fundraising opportunities to help our youth make it to these amazing events!

Lutheran’s Women Missionary League (LWML)

                In June, LWML members sponsored the church picnic at Bill and Marlene White’s home and had a GREAT time.   About 40 people attended.

The drawing was held for the raffle prizes for the Alaska Mission Trip.  Ronnie Tate won the Rangers basket.  James Synatzske and Javier Garza won the other two baskets.

Five women and Pastor Konz attended the Texas District LWML convention in Frisco from June 18-22.  Whitney Lee was elected to a district office and is now the VP of Communications for the whole state for LWML!  Marlene White will serve on a committee at the District level, too.

For July, our LWML will begin planning for the programs and activities that will start up again in September.  But as always, if there is a need, our LWML women will step up and help.

Motto:  Serve the Lord with Gladness!

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

     John Franz and Nick Rittgers joined our S.A.I.L. group as we celebrated the birthdays of Mildred Coker and Suzanne Stratmann with refreshments provided by Jeanette Quade, Mildred, and Lynann before we began the meeting.  Pastor Tom asked our new DCE, Nick, to introduce himself and describe his background.  Our Bible study revolved around an important study on “What the Bible says about itself and why that is important for us.”  Seven points were made about what we gain from our life-long study of God’s Word.

After some discussion about St. Pauls’ Braille Center in Ft. Worth, we set a tentative date of July 22 to spend the day learning the process and working in the Braille Center.  Watch the newsletter and bulletins for more information. Our next Bible study with Pastor Tom will be on July 3 at 10:-00amm in Room #6.

Evangelism

  • Witness WordBrent Stroebel will be sharing for our 5th Sunday brunch, June 29, 2014. These are wonderful opportunities for us to build relationships with our Faith family while enjoying some fabulous food!
  • Highway signs – Two signsHwy. 281 coming in from Hico and Hwy. 377 coming in from Dublin have been installed!
  • We will be placing “YOU ARE HERE” maps at all entrances of the church and family center.  A clearly designated Welcome Centerarea in the Narthex is in the planning stages.
  • FIT (Faith in Touch) Beginning in July birthday cards will be sent out to Faith students.  Thank you to the twelve who have volunteered to help with this!
  • Mercy in Action – Disaster Response –   Dorwin Schulze attended this seminar and said that it “is a perfect opportunity to minister”. Doug Hanna is interested in being certified.
  • Tarleton LSF Advisor– Doug Hanna is seeking to get permission to move the LSF website to a different site that will be easily accessible.

We are thankful that you give us ideas and you are eager to help implement them!

Vacation Bible School (VBS)

You have been hearing about it for weeks now.  Hopefully you have registered your children and considered inviting your kids’ friends!

 

“Gangway to Galilee”

July 13-17 evenings with meal at 5:30

You can help:

  • Contact Sarah Osterloh to help with crafts.  Watch for tags in July to bring specific items needed for crafts.
  • Sarah’s craft needs so far:   a variety of sand art AND pool noodles, rope, and nets—contact Sarah or Nick for details
  • Contact Rosanne Keilers to provide meals and/or work in the kitchen
  • Contact Magan Carrasco to volunteer
  • Contact Cheryl Konz to help decorate
  • Register online at:  www.bit.ly/1fsuDly
  • Register by calling the church office.
  • Register using the paper forms on the desk in the narthex!
  • Fish nets
  • HELP PASS OUT CANDY WITH VBS INFORMATION AT JULY 4TH PARADE!

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Church Workday: There will be a church workday on Saturday, July 19th.  A list of projects is being developed to be completed during this workday.  The day will kick off with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m.

If you see anything around the grounds or building that need repair or sprucing up, please fill out a work request form in the church office.  Based on the project requests we receive, we will ensure that supplies are available to complete these projects. Thanks in advance for your participation on this workday. The Trustees Board

THANK YOU: Thank You!  (Especially for those who may not have been in the service June 8) I truly appreciated the celebration and generous monetary gift that you had for me Sunday June 1.  I would try to list some of those who had a part in this event, but I know I would leave someone out.  I think Cheryl subscribes to the same plan I do – give them a job and we’ll have a crowd!    The food was wonderful.  All of my family enjoyed it.

For those of you in the special chime choir, I was so proud of you – especially for teaching Cheryl how to work with chimes and the music. Having my name on a plaque on the chime container is truly an honor for me.  As the adult choir got ready to sing, I loved Cheryl’s comment “See – we can do this without you.”   You all did a great job on “Borning Cry”.

I thank the instrumentalists too – Katie, Lara, and Malinda gave us a special treat.  Jordan Sparkman (trumpet) and Heather Soltau (flute) have added to our services in the past.  (Heather was a little busy with baby Ethan on that Sunday.)  Whitney Lee (clarinet) was a part of oom-pah bands.  Eric (drums) and Gaby (clarinet) Carrasco have added to a choir anthem.  Just in case you are wondering – we are not leaving, just going on more vacations.  I will be playing the organ until we hire a new musician.  Also for those who were surprised that I was a volunteer – that was a volunteer only as the director of the chime choir and adult choir.   May God continue to bless our worship.  Thanks to you all!      Mary Walter

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Meals on Wheels: 7/4: No Delivery: HOLIDAY! 7/11: West,

7/18: Walter, 7/25: Simpson

JULY BIRTHDAYS

Lindsay Hatfield           7/1                                          Kennith Latham           7/15

Bill Irick                        7/1                                          Cooper Vandenberg     7/17

John Young                  7/2                                          Karsyn Kimbrough      7/18

Emma Lou Irick           7/3                                          Keira Barksdale            7/23

Susan Myers                  7/4                                          Ernestine Maurer         7/23

Glennetta Young          7/5                                          Everett Seider               7/24

Susan Angerhofer         7/5                                          Ola Faye Howard         7/26

Duane Sparkman                   7/7                                  Rieken Douglas            7/29

Stephanie Sims             7/8                                          Betty Kirklen                7/30

Reta Beyer                     7/10                                        Carie Wright               7/31

Water and Word

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven …so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, Isaiah 55:10–11

 

Well, the rain we have been praying for has certainly been falling lately. And why have we’ve been praying for it?  We understand that water is essential to our own physical well-being.  It is the healthiest drink there is for our bodies.  We know how vital it is to our land, now and in the future, and to our crops and livestock. We delight in the flowers that brighten our world when they are well-watered. In short, we pray for rain because we experience its benefits.

I hope you can see the connection our Lord is making here to His Word. As rain gives life to the earth, so His Word gives life to our spirit. It is health for our soul and healing for our relationships. It guides our steps, lifts us from the mire of guilt and spiritual stagnation, and brightens our temporal and eternal outlook.  Would that we prayed for more of God’s Word as desperately as we long for rain.

The Word is able to do this because it creates and strengthens faith in the Word made flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives life to all through His death and resurrection.  God expands on his comparison of rain to His Word by providing the blessings of His Word through the real water of Holy Baptism.

If you ever wonder if your time in God’s Word is worthwhile, or necessary, then ask yourself, “Does the earth need rain?”  If so, you need the Word. It’s not any more complicated than that.

Pastor Tom

 

Enduring Trials

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,… Romans 5:3–4

 

“But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”  So ends the famous “Casey at the Bat” written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. Behind by two runs with two runners on base, hopes were high that he would tie or win the game with one swing of the bat.  But it was not to be so.  Often hopes are raised only to be dashed in a split second.  Those that follow the Texas Rangers know the feeling this year, as do many in baseball markets around the nation. Baseball in general is that kind of game.

And life is as well.  We never know when those close to us will suddenly be taken in an accident, when we will hear the news of cancer, or suffer a life changing injury.  Those in the battle front of wars live with that real uncertainty daily and either adjust to it or suffer long term anxiety.  Even as we live out our faith with hope and optimism, the unfortunate reality is that life will test us daily.

St. Paul understood that this was the way of life for God’s people subject to the evils of a sin infested world. We don’t control what happens, only how we respond to it.  Some days it takes immeasurable strength and courage to go on. But he states a widely applicable principle here about suffering. Unlike the citizens of Mudville, we can rejoice even in the midst of strike-outs. When we do, we are open to the positive effects of suffering. We can learn to endure. With endurance comes character that includes self-control and humility.

Ultimately, joy in suffering leads us to the source of hope that is beyond ourselves. So often we despair about life unnecessarily because we look to our own resources for strength.  Suffering leads us to the cross, where Christ erased the guilt that brings fear. It leads to the empty tomb where Christ overcame the world in victory. His ascended glory is our beacon that guides us home through uncertain and troubled waters. He is where we will be. (John 14:1-3)

I finish this meditation then, as Paul finished the sentence above. Verse 5: and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Endure trials knowing that God does indeed love you.

Pastor Tom

 

What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and grief’s to bear! What a privilege to carry Ev’rything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit; Oh, what needless pain we bear—All because we do not carry Ev’rything to God in prayer!

Is the Law Evil?

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Romans 7:7

 

Like it or not, those who govern a representative republic mirror those whom they govern. Perhaps that is most clear in our regard to laws.  We hear bad news about our government’s administration of the laws. Why are some of our laws not enforced? Why are some of our fellow citizens held accountable for violating the laws and others aren’t? Why are the penalties not applied fairly to all? Are we a nation governed by laws, or by the whims of politicians?

But God could ask the same of us.  “Are you a people governed by My holy laws, or are you a people who each make up your own rules?  Why do you ignore the laws you don’t like or change them to suit yourself? Why do you hold your brother or sister accountable to keep my commands but ignore the ones you disobey?”

What we complain about in our government, we ourselves are often guilty of doing. We put ourselves above the laws of God and government that we would rather ignore. “That speed limit is for the other drivers, not for me”. “Let others support the ministry of the church (or pay their taxes); I need MY money for what I want.” “I know I promised to serve by _____, but I don’t feel like it today. Someone else will step up if I skip out.” “Yes, I promised God I would faithfully hear His Word and take His Sacrament, and my spouse that I would be faithful, but who really keeps their promises anymore?”

So, as Paul wrote to the Romans, the law is not evil. The problem is we who don’t keep it. Thankfully, that is no surprise to God. Long before we arrived, He redeemed us from the power of the law to condemn us.  Christ died and rose again to signal that our law-breaking is forgiven.  But as parents, have we ever considered our forgiveness of a child’s selfish tantrum as permission to have another one?  God’s grace is given that we may cherish his commands and keep them more faithfully than we have.  And when we confess our lawlessness, live by God’s Word, and keep our word, then perhaps there will be a whole lot less reason to complain about our politicians. The Good News would mean good news.

Pastor Tom