October 2014 Newsletter


Faith Lutheran Newsletter                 September 2014

3000 NW Loop, Stephenville, Texas 76401

(254)968-2710   faithlutheranchurch@embarqmail.com


Drawing everyday people to faithfully follow God’s Word

       Pastor’s Page

“Personal Reformation”

The Lutheran Reformation, observed this month on October 26, was an example of a time when our Lord’s Church underwent a major change.  Luther, following in the footsteps of reformers like Jan Huss, and followed by other reformers, was used by God to facilitate needed changes in theology and practice.  Grace and faith were emphasized.  Singing and sermons in worship were revitalized.  Theology was rooted in the Scriptures alone.  It was a needed development in the history of God’s people.

Another contribution of the Reformation is the Small Catechism’s statement on the ongoing significance of Holy Baptism. Luther wrote that it “signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”  In other words, he wrote of a personal and daily reformation, based on the grace God has already poured out on His baptized sons and daughters.

Proper observance of the Lutheran Reformation is not limited to a day of the year, but is celebrated through everyday repentance, followed by trust in the all-sufficient grace provided through the shed blood of Jesus.  In baptism we take hold of this once.  In daily repentance, we grow in that grace given in the water by the promise of God’s Word.

Pastor Tom Konz

Sunday October Themes

October 5th                “Fragrant Sacrifices and Offerings”         Ephesians 5:2

October 12th                          “Three Paths to Peace”              Philippians 4:1-13

October 19th                       “The Lord of ALL Nations”           Isaiah 45:1–7

October 26th              “When Things Fall Apart”                    Psalm 46

Reformation Sunday


8:15 a.m. Service:

Usher: Leonard Kelly & Troy Kimbrough

Greeter:  Edna Tate  Altar: Erika Barlow

Acolyte: 5: Kason Seider  12: Jamee Nelson 19: Aidan Espinosa 26: TBA


10:45 a.m. Service:

Usher: Franklin Wood & Jim Myers

Greeter: Lee Barlow            Altar: Erika Barlow

Acolyte: 5: Karlee Dupre 12: Noah Ashley 19: Ethan Nehring 26: TBA


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

Brunch Schedule

         Snack                Snack                Snack                Drink/Server

5       Small                  Nelson               Strohmeyer                 Sparkman

12     Tate                   Nehring             Vandenberg       Weber

19     Bills                   Cameron            Carlson              Hatton

26     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.



Sunday School

by Cheryl Konz


Your teachers are preparing and ready to share God’s Word with ALL AGES.   ….AND, someone is wanting to see a friend in Sunday School.  Are they waiting for YOU???

Look over the lessons titles below.  Do you think you REALLY know these stories?  You might have heard the story before, but come and learn MORE and see how it absolutely applies to your life today.  God speaks to YOU through HIS WORD.



“Growing in Christ” Sunday School Lessons

Oct. 5:  Noah and the Flood

Oct. 12:  God Calls Abram

Oct. 19:  Abram Rescues Lot

Oct. 26:  God’s Covenant with Abram

In November: Begin Christmas Program preparations during SS

Coming: Bible Bowl

“Growing in Christ” Sunday School Classes & Room Assignments

Adult Class: led by Pastor Konz – church narthex.

High School: led by Nick Rittgers – Youth Room.

7th-8th graders: led by Diana Synatzske in the church library

4th-6th grade: led by Bethany Espinosa – Room 6

1st-3rd grade: led by Amy Curtoys – FA Kindergarten room

Pre-K – Kinder:  Sarah Osterloh or Cheryl Hatton – FS Pre-K Room Children Under 3Yrs:  Cared for in Church nursery.

Lutheran Hour Ministry video & discussion adult class:

“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know that You Did Not Learn In Sunday School” led byJohn Franz in Room 9


Special Joy Notes

by Cathy Knoll

Do you recognize anyone in the photo of our Special Joy Gathering from 2005? We are beginning our 11th year of the Special Joy ministry at Faith, serving children, teens, and adults with special needs and their families & caregivers. In particular, we offer Christian fellowship and worship opportunities to individuals with challenging behaviors and/or significant physical or cognitive disabilities. When a person’s disability causes them to be unresponsive or disconnected or disruptive, it is natural to assume our friends are unable to understand the Gospel or benefit from coming to church. But scripture makes it clear that God loves EVERY person (John 3:16), that ALL of us fall short (Romans 3:23), that ALL are forgiven through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5), and that ALL have a role in the mission of God (Romans 12:4-5).

In that spirit, ALL are welcome to gather with us between 9 and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings for our snack and fellowship time in the hallway by the covered drop-off area at the church. We move into the Faith sanctuary from 9:30 to 10:30 for music, prayer, praise, and worship. Come as you are & leave blessed.

Contact Cathy Knoll with prayer requests, concerns, questions, or ideas:
<CathyKnoll@gmail.com> or leave message at 254-592-4454.

Faith Lutheran Youth

by Nick Rittgers, DCE Intern

         October is here which means a few things for our kids; Halloween, Homecoming, School Dances, and a lot of FLY stuff happening so let’s get right to it.

  • October 5th- Rigged softball has been moved to this day from 2-4. Runners, fielders and even viewers have a chance to influence this game if they’re willing to pay the price. Come on out to faith field and help us have a great time and raise some money to send our kids to camp and Glorybound.
  • October 29th- We have been asked by Kim to help out with the faith school carnival. More details will come when made available.
  • Wednesday Nights- September was the kickoff to our new FLY Schedule and things have really started strong. Our confirmation students are going through the Ten Commandments right now from 5:30-6:30 and will make it to the Sixth Commandment by the end of October, our jr. high students are learning a lot about church history with Leah Stork at the same time. Our high school has been going through Explore God with me at the end of the night and going over the 7 Big Questions that everyone has, or has had in their lifetime. It’s been great, and we hope to keep getting better.
  • Meals- The following families have signed up for meals on these dates:
    • 10/1-Stroebel & Seider
    • 10/8- Wright/Vandenberg
    • 10/15- Hanna
    • 10/22- Nelson

Plan for roughly 20 mouths to feed

  • Visitors- There will be some visitors from Concordia here from October 12-19. 2 of my best friends; Nich and Haley will be in town on fall break for a little bit of vacation, a little bit of spending time with me, and a little bit of helping out with FLY. In the middle of that week on the 15th, my Intern Supervisor; Grant Carey will be meeting with me, Pastor Tom, and a few lay leaders in the church to see how internship is going. If you would like to meet him, he will be here until midday on the 15th and would love to hear from people about the church and how internship looks to the congregation.
  • Glorybound- Information is out for Glorybound. Make sure to have your $60 deposit to the church by December 7th.
  • Youth Choir/Band- Cindy Ramming has approached me with an idea to have youth more involved with worship on Sunday mornings. If your child has musical talent, or would like to learn how to play an instrument, contact Cindy or myself expressing your interest. If enough people contact, our youth could start to have a bigger impact on our Sunday worship.


Lutheran’s Women Missionary League (LWML)

by Cheryl Konz

LWML Sunday is October 5th!

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2). Our congregation will have the opportunity to join together in worship under the theme, “Fragrant Sacrifices and Offerings” in observance of LWML Sunday October 5, 2014. The author of this service, Rev. Victor Belton, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Decatur, Georgia, was the proclaimer for the Pittsburgh LWML Convention Sunday worship service. Our LWML looks forward to a special time of sharing with you the exciting missions of the LWML – God’s ministry around the world through mites, service, prayer, and Christian fellowship.



  • Meals provided for three different families/groups in September
  • Lunch provided Sept. 14 and program by Diana Synatzske with 20 in attendance
  • Provided and served cookies and punch for Faith School Parent Orientation on Sept. 21st
  • Oct. 5th—LWML Sunday, lunch provided following, and then a group Bible Study for all women!
  • Oct. 12th—Fall Rally @ Holy Cross in Arlington—we will carpool for all who wish to go!
  • Oct. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th meet in Room 6 @ 7:00pm to work on crafts for the Arts/Crafts Fair for Nov. 7th-8th
  • Oct. 13, 27, Nov. 10, 24th four part Bible Study on Philippians 4:4-7 in Room 6
  • Nov. 12th—Next Business Meeting Nov. 12th @ 7:00pm in Room 6
  • Nov. 7th-8th –Arts/Crafts Fair Booth
  • Nov. 23rd –Advent Lights @ 5:30—sign up under a hostess’s name to sit at their table!  Bring friends!  See the Narthex Board for the sign-up and information.

Advent Lights

Sunday, Nov. 23rd @ 5:30-7:00pm

Come at 5:00 to view all the beautifully decorated tables.

Enjoy dessert, friends, and an inspiring program!

It is the perfect way to prepare for the wonderful season of Advent and Christmas.

See the Hostess Table Sign-up sheets on the Narthex Board.  Bring a friend.  Volunteer to make a dessert for the evening.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!


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

by Lynann Simpson


   Pastor Tom led the Bible study for September 4th where four members spent time looking up Bible passages.  Believing statements people make about the Bible requires study of God’s Word as it is intended.  Marlene White led member discussions about needing cookies to help serve at the Open House for Faith School on Sep. 21st at 2:00PM.

On September 18, Marlene White and Pat Weber provided delicious refreshments when we celebrated birthdays for Edna Tate, Bernice Reese, and our newest member Marlene Prettyman.  Arnold and Cindy Ramming were program presenters who shared their background and plans so we could get better acquainted. Cindy sang her beautiful new song relating to their moving from California to Texas—“Trust and Obey.”

In October, Bible study with Pastor Tom will be on the 2nd, and the program on the 16th will be by Marlene White on the Alaskan Mission Trip this past summer.  Please join us!



by Sherre West

  • When the Faith Lutheran Church brochure is updated and printed it will be distributed to the Chamber of Commerce and Certified Folder locations (Hampton Inn, etc.)
  • 5th Sunday Brunch/Witness Word – (November 30) We discussed the possibility of having our Brunch when Food for the Poor ministry attend November 23, (the last Sunday of the Church Year).  Also, brought to our attention since our meeting, Cathy Knoll and the Special Joy group is entering its 11th year! It was decided that because November 30 is Thanksgiving weekend some of the members would not be in attendance. We will schedule another date for Cathy to speak about how this ministry has impacted the participants and their families.
  • The children’s Bibles were available on a table at orientation and offered to each family as a gift. The Bibles will be available at every FS (Faith School) function to which the parents show up so that it is a standing offer. (Of course, they wouldn’t have to wait for an event, but could come to the office anytime to get their copy.) It would also then be given to new enrollees from here on. Thank you for your generosity for donations!
  • “New Community” Blackboard online LSF (Lutheran Student Fellowship) for Tarleton now has five members plus Nick Ritgers and Doug Hanna. Brady Witcher is the President.
  • Mercy in Action – (Disaster Response) Doug Hanna plans to attend a meeting about this in October or November.
  • Prayer Garden – A recent donation was made for the Prayer Garden. Thank you! We are in the process of getting an estimate for replacing dead plants. We would appreciate any volunteers who would help maintain the garden.
  • Faith Fest tickets will be sent to the people who have allowed us install our signs on their property.
  • Stephen Ministry interest was discussed.
  • All-Stars begins September 22 and is a wonderful outreach opportunity for six weeks.

A Message from “Parents of Faith School—PFS”

by Sarah Osterloh

Our Faith School is wonderfully supported by this parent organization.  Many fundraisers are held to support the school.  For past several years, one goal has been a toddler playground.  The funds have been raised and they are now awaiting bids.  A BIG thank you to all of the Faith Lutheran church members who attended the Faith School orientation event on Sunday, Sept. 21st.  It was a great way for the Faith School Family to meet many of our Faith Lutheran Family and see our support and interest.  AND, a BIG thanks to the Evangelism Committee and their provision of Children’s Bibles to each Faith School Family at the orientation.  Spreading God’s Word, one Bible at a time!


Thank you from Faith School by Lisa Ferguson: Faith School would like to thank the Evangelism committee for the wonderful children’s bible purchased for our students. The children were thrilled to have a bible of their very own!

We would also like to thank LWML for providing punch and cookies at our Parent Orientation.



I had the opportunity to speak at the Faith School Orientation and tell the parents about the Children’s Bibles. If they wanted one, they could pick one up when they went to the Family Center. It gave me a chance to meet these parents and some of their children. They were very appreciative! Some families have several children that attend Faith School and one Bible per family was given. We gave away almost 4 cases! They will continue to be available to others who enroll. Again, thank you to all who have donated for this! We anticipate giving away another 4 cases this year!

Sherre West, Evangelism Board



Tim Lewis                 10/1                           Sheryl Malone            10/16

Tammy Cogburn        10/2                  Temperance Espinoza 10/17

Ed Weber                  10/4                  Brad Hodges              10/20

Dee Ann Nelson                 10/7                  Ralph Hymer             10/21

Evan Tarpley              10/8                  Sam Weber                         10/23

Mary Walter                10/9                  Adam Garza              10/25

John Franz                 10/10                Don Kirklen              10/26

Rose Kelly                 10/11                David Beyer               10/29

Scarlett Bills                10/11                Diana Wood              10/29

Marlene White            10/13                Diana Synatzske          10/30






In the month of September we have collected $25 from aluminum can recycling for the youth.  Continue to bring your aluminum cans to the kitchen by the sanctuary.  You will be helping the youth group AND the environment.  Thank you.  –Mary Walter

All Stars League

Faith Lutheran Church will be hosting games for the All Stars League at Faith Field from Monday, September 22 through Monday, October 27, 2014.  Volunteer and player registration begins at 5:00 p.m. each Monday.  Play begins at 5:30 and wraps up around 6:30.    All Stars is open to any child who cannot participate in other community sponsored sports programs due to physical of cognitive issues.  All children, school age and below are invited to participate. Participation in All Stars is free and every child receives a T-shirt and award. Following a short game on Oct.27, there will be an awards program in the Faith Family Center. The All Stars League is sponsored by the Stephenville Optimist Club, Stephenville Lions Club and Faith Lutheran Church.

Contact Cary Strohmeyer (254)396-5018 or Cindy Stafford (254)918-1212 or (254)592-6630 if you would like additional information about ways to become involved.

Thank You,

Cary Strohmeyer


It is THAT Time of Year Again…FaithFest—Zehr Gut!  Wunderbar!!

November 8th    4:00-7:00pm

All Faith members are needed to help make this community event happen.  Please check sign-ups on the hall bulletin board to offer to make food (recipes provided for some German ones), desserts, work in the kitchen, set up, decorate, clean up, cook meat, donate silent auction items, bring items for the Heritage Room, and more…

BUT…everyone can sell/buy tickets and invite your neighbors and friends. 

October 5th –Flyers and Tickets will be available for all members. 

Check with Edna Tate with any questions and offers to help!


German Food

Bratwurst, Schnitzel, Sausage, Chicken Legs, German Potato Salad, Red Cabbage, Kraut, Crescent Rolls, Special Desserts

*The Famous Norwegian


*German Music

*German and Norwegian Heritage Display Room

*Silent Auction to Benefit the Water Well Project


Looking Out for Others

Midweek Meditation

September 24, 2014

Let each of you look not only to his own interests,

but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4


On my last travel on an interstate highway I saw again the sign in the left hand lane that read, “This lane for passing only”.  As I am watching a driver in that lane holding up others who are trying to pass, I wonder if he ever read the sign or if he thought that it didn’t apply to him. It’s not too rare to see a parked vehicle straddling a yellow parking space stripe and wonder what the driver was thinking.  Even when there are no stripes it is dismaying to see what could obviously be space for two vehicles taken up by one thoughtless driver parked in the middle of it.

Ok, now that I’ve got my pet peeves about drivers out there, let me explain my point. The grievance isn’t really about parking or driving but about the bigger issue of social apathy to others around us. It takes many forms (some of which I too am guilty), such as chronic tardiness to meetings, not cleaning up after oneself in a common area that others will also use, etc.

The attitude that only my safety, convenience, or schedule matters, or matters more than yours, is contrary to the instruction of our text above. While working with a prison ministry some years ago, the chaplain told me that the one thing all the inmates have in common was their belief that the rules of society didn’t apply to them. In making up their own rules, they looked only to their own interests, not the interests of others.  In doing so, as it turned out, their own interests were not well served either.

To motivate and exemplify the attitude that Paul prescribes, he points us to Christ, who looked to our interests to the point of dying on a cross to rescue us from sin.  An important truth Christ taught his followers is that disciple is not above his master, but rather is to follow his example. We show that we are Christ’s disciples in the world when we daily look to the needs of others. Ask Him to reveal to you where you have not been doing that and to move you by His love to do better—for His glory, by His grace, and for the good of your neighbor.

Pastor Tom Konz


The Real Joy of Worship

Midweek Meditation

September 17, 2014

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;

 tremble before him, all the earth! Psalm 96:9


     Recently, the wife of a famous preacher caused quite a stir when she said, “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.” She added that our happiness is what gives God the greatest pleasure. Her words received a thunderous applause, because that is how worship is understood by many today.

How does that fit with what the Psalmist says about worship characterized by “trembling” before the Lord in the “splendor of holiness”? When we are in the presence of God’s holiness, how can we not tremble? Our sins are such a contrast to his holiness.  Because of them, we deserve the greatest temporal and eternal punishment. Another Psalm tells us that the true offering that pleases God is a “broken and contrite” heart (51:17). That doesn’t sound like a happy experience.

She was right to imply that worship causes us and God to be happy. However, the true joy of worship comes from the repentance and forgiveness of sin. “Blessed is the one whose sin is covered” (Ps.32:1). This makes God happy, because he delights to forgive sins (Ps.103). It is why He sent Jesus to the cross and raised him on the third day.

Also, real joy is not found in whether or not we conquer the challenges of life with our attitude and affirmations.  For many sincere Christians, pain and suffering persist regardless of positive thoughts. St. Paul rejoiced in every circumstance, whether he had much or little, was in health or sickness, or was praised or persecuted.  That we feel happy is not the goal of worship. Rather, God desires to serve us His grace in Word and Sacrament and assure us that He will never leave us or forsake us. He both challenges us and empowers us to be “faithful unto death” (Rev. 2:10) in all circumstances of life.  May real joy be yours!

Pastor Tom Konz   


God’s Truth

Midweek Meditation

September 10 , 2014

6Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,

7for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Proverbs 8:6–7


A famous presidential candidate once quipped about his opponents, “They know so much that just isn’t true”. Politicians of all stripes are often regarded by the public as dishonest. The drive to win votes and hold power can entice some to twist or make up facts, or pass on myths that seem true but are not supported by evidence. But do we sometimes do the same?  Even if we don’t make up stories and have our own set of “facts”, we might still buy into and pass on myths as if they were true. We tend to believe only what we want to believe, so we don’t check out stories for their truth.

It is said that what we don’t know can hurt us.  Also true is it that what we think we do know that isn’t true can also hurt us.  How often has the “truth” about nutrition and exercise changed in the last 40 years?  One day this is good for you, the next day it isn’t.  So it is good to use caution not only in what we believe to be true, but also in what we pass on to others as true.

This especially applies when we believe and tell “facts” about other people. Reputations have been destroyed because someone “knew” something that just wasn’t true. And even if it is technically true, if it doesn’t build up another person, it doesn’t need to be repeated. The Golden Rule applies, that we say only of others what we would want said of us.

Thankfully, there is one truth about people that we can freely share.  It ruins everyone’s reputation equally.  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.  And yet it builds up everyone by praising the One who truly is praiseworthy. “And (all) are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23–24

         On the cross of Christ, God spoke a truth that hurt, but spoke a greater truth that healed. May we have grace to do likewise!   Pastor Tom

Courage Under Fire

September 3 , 2014


Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you,

as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12


It’s a strange new world we live in today.  We grew up secure that our freedom to express our faith would always be understood. The Church was so well respected that even hypocrites would join it, because it was good for business (but only if they joined the “right” church). Today it holds less value to society.  In fact, it is in many places openly attacked. The freedom even to live out one’s Christian conscience is opposed in courtrooms and legislatures.

Much more extreme and violent opposition to the church comes at the hands of those who would slaughter and terrorize Christians simply because they are Christians.  It has always happened, but now is accelerating in frequency and ferocity. In addition to that, with more sophisticated weaponry, it is no longer just a battle limited to the other side of the world.

In the civil realm, we will fight to overcome the threat as we have done in many wars. Yet, what if all such efforts fail? How do we prepare ourselves spiritually to keep the faith if we are physically overcome?  John’ writes, Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 1 John  3:13  Jesus told his disciples, If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:19   It’s hard to acknowledge that some people would actually hate us.  While we are to live in such a way that would rise above blame, we cannot entirely escape persecution–just because we belong to Christ.  Let’s not be surprised or naïve. Hatred of Christ is real—always has been—always will be.  You are not immune to it, so prepare to suffer the loss of rights, property, and perhaps even your life. Be sure that you are ready to endure whatever your faith may cost, and do so the end.  Millions of Christians before you have, and nothing exempts us.

The courage we need in whatever fire may come is to be found in faith. Such faith is nurtured in God’s Word and Sacrament, encouraged by the gathering of the saints in holy assembly, and in the mutual prayers we offer for each other. It comes to us when we remember that Christ suffered for our sins at the hands of cruel enemies, declared us acceptable to God in such sacrifice, and then conquered death and the grave by his resurrection.  If we die with him in Baptism, we will also live with him in a new life here and forever.  If we confess him before our enemies, even under the most extreme duress, he will confess us before our Father in heaven.

It is a strange new world.  Rely ever more on the familiar time-tested faith of our fathers, by which those persecuted before remained true to the end. Be brave in Christ.  Pastor Tom Konz