Senior Pastor’s Column Hopefully by the time you are reading this article, Leata and I will be out of the country, although as I am writing this (Apr.16th), the cloud of ash from the volcano in Iceland has shut down many of the European flights! We are planning to see our son and his wife and our 2 granddaughters in Ireland, and then Leata will be joining up with Brenda Almquist and Sue Siewert and 5 others Wisconsin gals in Antwerp, Belgium, as part of a missions trip. Karmi Buckley, the wife of one of the missionary families that CLF supports on a monthly basis, will work with these gals in this missions endeavor.
I, on the other hand, will have the very difficult task of playing with, entertaining, and enjoying our two granddaughters, Molly, who is now 3½, and Maeve, who is 6 months old. While there, I will have the joy of presiding over the dedication ceremony for Maeve. These are all tough jobs, but somebody has got to do them! Now, for the business at hand, I have several items I would like to talk to you about. First off, I want to thank all of you for inviting people to our Easter services. What a joy it was to be able to minister to 1150 people in our four services. So many of you pitched in and helped wherever you were needed, which made the weekend very fulfilling for all of us. The challenge now is to keep on inviting people to come and take in a weekend
service with us. There are thousands of people in our community who don’t attend anywhere, so we have a pretty significant pool in which to fish. In fact, we just received some data from our community that was very interesting. In the 4 Zip codes of our area (2 from Wisconsin Rapids, 1 from Nekoosa, and 1 from Port Edwards) there are 45,673 people, as of 2009. Amazingly, 34.4% of those people declare themselves to be conservative evangelical Christians. I can promise you that there is no where near that percentage of evangelical Christians attending church in our area on any given weekend. So, where are they all?
However, even if all those “Christians” were attending churches faithfully, that still leaves 2/3 of our population to work on. So I don’t think we are going to run out of people to invest in and invite any time soon! And I know this for a fact: when I bring someone with me to a church service, I am much more engaged in that service, because I am thinking and praying about how this is connecting with that man or woman sitting beside me. So, keep your spiritual antennae up, so that when a “divine moment” comes along, you are ready to extend an invitation. Secondly, I also want to say “thanks” to all of you who made the effort to get your picture taken for our upcoming church directory. We have lots of new faces around here, so it will be helpful to all of us to
word is getting out in our community, which is creating a (good) challenge for us. Let me explain.
have this directory to use in order to match faces with names. I am anxious to see the finished product. Thirdly, I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have been willing to take the CLF Census, whether it has been online, or in written form. We worked hard to write questions that would provide data that would be helpful to all of us in doing ministry inside and outside CLF. Our desire has been to protect your anonymity through this survey so that you would feel free to answer the questions with openness and honesty. Our staff, along with a half dozen other churches in our state, has been going through a rigorous leadership training with Dr. Mel Ming, from Washington state. One of the questions posed to us was, “How well do you know your congregation?” At first blush, we always tend to think we are very knowledgeable about who sits in the pews from week to week, but when faced with the reality that we have many new faces among us, we had to admit that we maybe don’t know as much as we think we do! Hence, the survey. Your answers will not only help us to know this church family better, but it will also help us make better ministry decisions.
Dan’s case load is increasing significantly because there is much need in our community. The down side is that it has become more difficult for Dan to keep up with all the calls and scheduling. So, we need to get him some much-needed help in scheduling appointments and following up on inquiries. We are committed to this, but we ask for your patience as we are putting this help in place. We really don’t want anybody falling through the cracks, so we are going to do all we can to insure that won’t happen. We want CLF to always be a place where help is available. That’s the kind of reputation that any good church needs to have! We will pray for you while we are away, and I hope you will pray for us, too. Be sure and pray for the Missions team in Belgium. They will be ministering in the “red light” district of Antwerp, so pray that God will give them favor with these girls, and wonderful doors of opportunity to reflect Christ through their lives.
A couple of the questions have to do with ethnicity and family incomes. Please know that the sole purpose of these questions is to help us decipher whether our church family reflects our community, or not. We have the data from our community, so obtaining this data from our church family will allow us to make accurate comparisons. Again, let me say “thank you” for your help on this survey. I have one other item, and then I will close. As you know by now, Pastor Dan Frye is a trained and licensed marriage and family therapist. His training combined with his spiritual understanding makes him a very valuable part of our team here at CLF. He has proven himself to be a very competent counselor, and that
In the fall of 2004, we as a congregation gave $12,155.28 to help get the Fire Bible translated into the Czech language. The Czech Fire Bible was launched in Prague, Czech Republic in February of 2010!! With your help we were able to help produce 1,520 Bibles for the people of the Czech Republic. This project, which began in 2002, took a long time to complete but was well worth the effort. Attending the launch in Prague were leaders from several churches including Pentecostal, Apostolic, Evangelical Free and Lutheran. Pray that God will use the Fire Bibles that have been printed and that He would help with the translation teams currently working on others. THANK YOU for your part in getting this Bible to the people of the Czech Republic! To learn more about the Fire Bible go to www.BibleAlliance.org.
Pictured Below, 2004â€“ Dave Bornbach (far left) Pastor Dean Anderson (left) and Dave Lobner (far right) present a Bible Alliance representative with the check for $12,155.28 for the Czech Fire Bible project.
Czech Fire Bible Launch: Attending the Czech Fire Bible launch were leaders from some of the major churches in the Czech Republic. Missionary Larry Art (right), Fire Bible team member, presents a Czech Fire Bible to a leader from the Lutheran church.
Czech Fire Bible Project Director: Milan Hruska, a project director for the Czech Fire Bible, receives a copy of the Bible from Missionary Jim Sabella, AG World Missons area director for Central Europe.
God is not stingy. He does not weigh out his love for us grain by grain; he doesn't squeeze out forgiveness one tiny drop at a time. Not our God. He pours out mercy in a flood. He loves us more than we know. He gives us more than we can ask or dream. He's unrestrained. Excessive. Outrageous. Over the Top. Come and experience Him!
St. Paul, MN, October 22-23, 2010, Xcel Energy Center
Total pricing packages which include your ticket, 2 Breakfasts, 2 lunches: 2 in a room = $197 each, 3 in a room = $161 each, 4 in a room = $143 each
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become “exceptional women” as we find our security in Christ. We literally made history in our community as Bethlehem Lutheran, Woodlands, St. Luke’s and CLF joined together to sponsor the event, and a huge team of volun‐ teers representing even more com‐ munity churches helped to make Volunteers preparing for the day ahead On Saturday, April 24, 430 women filled the sanctu‐ ary for the Beth Moore simulcast. Amazingly, they rep‐ resented 59 churches from our community and be‐ yond. What a joy it was to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones! Beth delivered another one of her wonderful messages, challenging each of us to
A day of connecting with friends
Feeding 430 in the gym!! the day a wonderful success. This was the first official project of WiLDfire, a network of Christian women in leadership. WiLD stands for Women in Leadership De‐ velopment, and is a newly formed organization that will help Christian women connect, grow in servant leadership, and share their time, talent and resources to impact our community. You can read more about it at www.wildfireconnection.org.
First Choice Pregnancy Resource Center, of Stevens Point, is considering expanding their ministry to Wiscon‐ sin Rapids. This would allow women and men of both Wood and Adams Counties to receive faith‐based, life‐ affirming support during a crisis pregnancy. While there are several individuals as well as churches interested in this project, and office space secured at the Shopko Plaza mall, it is necessary to determine if there is enough steadfast support from others for this expansion. If you are interested in more information, contact Alonna Hoogesteger, 715‐572‐3392.
IMPACT Kids Ministry Vacation Bible School is an event that offers so many different things to different people.
It’s no secret that during the week of VBS things get pretty lively around CLF. This year will be no exception! July 12th thru 16th Christian Life Fellowship will be turned into A High Seas Expedition. During the week kids and adults will be exploring the Mighty Love of God. Day 1 – God’s Word is True Day 2 – God’s Word is Comforting Day 3 – God’s Word is Surprising Day 4 – God’s Word is Life Changing Day 5 – God’s Word is for Everyone
Several of you have asked when volunteer sign up is for VBS. I am happy to say sign ups are out! They are located at both ends of the church. For those of you that have never been a part of all the VBS excitement, let God speak to your heart. Is he nudging you to be part of things this year? If so, we have a spot for you. After a week with these kids you will be as excited as they are about what God has done.
But really, why all the excitement? Sure the worship music is great, snacks are cool, crafts are fun and the bible stories are exciting. What really excites our kids is the fact that the week of VBS is just for them. For our kids, VBS is cool because they can have fun while spending time getting to know Jesus. They can reach out to their friends and invite them to church. They are involved in ministry and they may not even know it! Leading up to VBS, we talk about the importance of introducing our friends to Jesus. For some kids it can be a little scary, but for some reason, inviting a friend to come to VBS makes it easier. You can help us make it possible for every child in our congregation to reach out to his or her friends and invite them to come and hear about Jesus. This year Michele Iverson, our elementary VBS director, and Paula Heil, our preschool VBS director, are going to need more help than ever. Our kids are already excited and talking about friends they want to invite! More kids means more volunteers. This yearâ€™s set is going to take a lot more construction than ever before. So even if you canâ€™t help during the week of VBS, you are needed before hand. After all, what would the High Seas be without a working ship? All of this prep work and construction will be taking place in June and early July. If you can use a paint brush, hammer and maybe have a few muscles or a little creativity, your help will be a blessing. Please stop by the sign up stations and consider giving us a hand making VBS a great outreach event!
Last Night of Sunday Evening
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