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Inside this issue: Willing Workers 2 Altar Guild 2 Thrivent 2 Oktoberfest 2 Sunday School 3 Pastor’s Corner 4 Bible Bucks 4
A Message from Jerry Brock Dear Friends, January is a good time for each of us to take a spiritual inventory of our lives. Last year we counted our blessings on Thanksgiving Day; walked through Advent with hope, love, joy, and peace; and knelt at the manger to celebrate Christmas and the nativity of Jesus, our Lord and Savior! Now, in 2014 through Epiphany, we, like the wise men on a mission, continue to go forward to see God in all His glory! Martin Luther encouraged Christians to consider their places in life according to the Ten Commandments and the 5th Petition of The Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Luke 11:4) Have your words and actions been blessings to others or a stumbling block? How are you doing in your love for God and for your neighbors? All of this will lead you and me to join the man in the Temple, who prayed: “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13) Our worship regularly includes an opportunity to confess sins and receive God’s merciful forgiveness. In God’s Word, we hear both Law and Gospel, they are proclaimed for the encouragement of our faith. We are regularly reminded of God’s grace given to us personally in our Baptism. As Luther reminds us to daily remember our own Baptism… it is a “daily garment which he is to wear all the time.” Communion is served regularly that we may receive God’s grace through the Body and Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ! In addition to worship services and Bible Studies with fellow believers, there are many resources available for one’s personal devotional life. A daily walk in God’s Word, and a personal time of prayer are beneficial! May your inventory lead you to say with us: “We have come to worship Him!” “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
Final Directives 5 Ladies Guild 5 Adult Bible 6 Remember the 6 Sabbath Faith Family 7 Why Lent? 7 Dates to 8 remember
A message from your office staff 2013 was a year of many changes. We have had changes in pastors, as well as changes in personnel. We are learning how to work smarter, not just harder. We are also learning we can’t do everything, and so we have brought in some wonderful volunteers. Laura Schmidt is our resident expert “proof reader”; Melodi Kasberg and Sandi Leenhouts are filling in at the front desk in the mornings; Ardys Schoebel helps with putting inserts in the bulletins; Marian Barvinski helps as needed; and Renell Book and Christina Cook have also offered to help. Sandi Leenhouts also takes care of getting the finished bulletins distributed where they need to be. And through all the changes you have been very patient and understanding, and most of all kind when we needed compassion. We continue to pray with you for God’s shepherd for Faith. We believe that 2014 is going to be a great year for all of us.
Carole and Sandy
Willing Workers WILLING WORKERS have been busy workers this past year of 2013 they turned out 1 large Quilt, 31 Lap Robes, 30 Bibs, 30 Afghans, 24 Walker Bags, and 2 Shawls. All these were made and given to 5 different Nursing Homes. Also given to "SOLVE" for Babies were 23 Small Quilts, 3 Afghans, 3 Crib Sheets and 9 Bibs. THANK YOU, ladies for all your work you have done and your faithfulness. Please, ladies I know Willing Workers are always in dire need of help in this line of volunteer work and could really use help; and I know it can be very rewarding. Everything made is helping nursing homes, etc. in need of these items, so please think about it; and if you have the time and the talent, or can just sew a straight line just call Jackie Christopher at 846-8898. She can really use the help; and Thank You!!
Not only do the Altar flowers add to the beauty of our altar, they also bring pleasure to our shut-ins and members in the hospital as our “Flower Angels” deliver them each week after service.
Altar Guild It’s time to sign up to place flowers on the altar for this New Year. You may use the envelope near the front of your box of envelopes, a pew envelope, or pick up an envelope from the flower chart in Narthex I. Be sure to include the date you would like to place the flowers on the altar and, if you would like, the reason for placing the flowers. Thank you for beautifying our altar and enhancing our worship experience by donating flowers in celebration of a special person, or event. In addition to bringing color and beauty to our altar, the flowers are delivered to our shut-ins and members in the hospital which is a double blessing for them: not only do they get lovely flowers for their room, but they enjoy a visit from our very own “flower angels”. Freda Steinke
Thrivent News Do you have a mission project or idea that would help our community? Need money to get your mission project started? The Pasco County Chapter 30749 of Thrivent Financial for Lutheran funding is available NOW for the FIRST QUARTER of 2014. Care Abounds in Communities applications for funds can be submitted NOW. Contact Rose Ann Verheyen, Barbara Hahn or Kathy Butler for the applications. So easy, and so rewarding.
Oktoberfest Wrap Wrap--up The members of Faith Lutheran Church and friends enjoyed a fun Oktoberfest this past Fall. Around 100 people attended and enjoyed homemade German food and desserts. The Deutschmeister Blass Band played for everyone’s enjoyment. We sang along and danced to the peppy music. Dessert Contest winners were chosen by our judges Meta Gerken and Sandy Leenhouts. The winners were as follows: Best German Dessert: Helen Friedrichs: Best Cake: Jo Lidbom; Best Fruit Dessert: Anneleasa Stemmenmann; Grand Prize: Cathy Hurff. A great time was enjoyed by everyone. Submited by Pastor Steinke
Sunday School news from Superintendant Sharon Rubia We hope that you all had a very blessed Christmas. The Sunday School has been very busy the past few months. In October we had our first of many (hopefully) “trunk or treat”. It was a great success.
We still have 2 confirmands
In November we collected food for our food pantry and put a lot of feathers on Tom the turkey. Thank you all for your support. Our food pantry is always in need and helps many of families.
In December we had our Angel tree. As always you made it a very special time for all the children, and their families were especially appreciative of your overwhelming generosity.
waiting to be
This year Misty Wuest, Richeal Sokolowski, and Joey Peyton were on charge of the Christmas program, and they did a great job. The children did an awesome job singing, and reading their parts. We had hot chocolate and cookies afterwards. The Sunday School staff hosted the first Advent dinner.
adopted. Is God calling you to this ministry?
Then we had our Happy Birthday Jesus Party. We had a special guest. It was St. Nick (aka Gary Miller). He did his annual story for the children. He and Linda passed out the gifts from the Sunday School. Krysta Rimos was honored with blowing out the candle on the cake this year. In February the Sunday School staff will be sponsoring the first dinner of the Lenten season. We hope that you are able to come to the dinners. They are on Wednesday evenings at 6:30, with a service to follow in the CLC. Come meet some new friends and bring a friend. On Sunday, February 9th, we will have our “Jesus Loves You” Sunday. We will be offering “all you can eat pancakes” from 8:45—10:45. In addition, the “Faith Family Fellowship” (sponsored by our Human Care Ministry) will be joining us in the CLC. Austin Logan and Cassy Perkins have joined our confirmation class. Cassy is looking for someone to adopt her in our adopt-a–confirmand program. If you are that special person who is willing to encourage and give her your support through this program please call Sandy Thompson at 727848-2530 . You can make a difference in a child's life as well as in yours. Our newest Sunday School members are Indiana and Calvin in our Little Lambs and Second Grade class. We are so glad to have them in our program. January Birthdays: Aiden Thompson, Autum Verheyen, Jace Crider, Brandon Malcolm and Meredith Malcolm. January Baptismal Birthdays: Savannah Champlin. February Birthdays: Cassy Perkins, and Colene Brock. February Baptismal Birthdays: Aiden Thompson. March Birthdays: Campbell Fowler, Beth Butler. March Baptismal Birthdays: Brandon Malcolm, Campbell Fowler, Anderson Fowler, Mindy McLarty and Luke McLarty. Well, I think that pretty well covers the last few months, so until next time take care, and God Bless you all.
Don’t forget to check out our website. Not only will you find a copy of this Messenger there, but you will also find copies of our Sunday bulletins, other news and notes, reading resources … lots of stuff! Lewis Fowler is our “web-master” and he has done an amazing job on designing a website that we can all be proud of. Check it out at www.faithnpr.org
PASTOR’S CORNER “Happy Valentine’s Day” Someone once said: “The more love you give away, the more love you have.” This month our nation celebrates Valentine’s Day. No one knows for sure who St. Valentine was. Tradition has three persons in the early church who were put to death because of their faith. In ancient Rome, there used to be a big festival about the middle of February. Boys would pick a special girlfriend for a whole year from names drawn from a box. They would give each other gifts. It is thought that this became converted into St. Valentine’s Day by the early Christians. Charles, Duke of Orleans, is the one that many believe sent the first love poem while he was in prison in the Tower of London in 1415. He sent this to his wife. John McLouglin, a printer in New York City, printed the first humorous valentine in 1870. It was called “penny dreadfuls.” The religious message in all of this is the very quote we had in the beginning: “The more love you give away, the more love you have.” The very fact that you give your love away demonstrates the kind of love you have. It is not a self-centered or romantic or emotional love, but a sacrificial love. This is the love God has for all mankind. When John 3:16 tells us “God so loved he world,” it then goes on to say what God gave because of His love: “He gave His only begotten Son.” We call Him Jesus. This is what Valentine’s Day can be. It is a day to do something for someone because you love them. It is a day to “give away” your love. And the wonderful thing is, the more we “give away” our love, the more and more we seem to have. Share Valentine’s Day with someone you love. Be reminded of the love your Savior, Jesus, has for you. Pastor Kuehn
Bible Bucks Store needs your help! The Sunday School has a wonderful program set up for the kids, BIBLE BUCKS! The Children earn "Bible Bucks" by doing various things; i.e. Coming to Sunday School, reciting Bible Verse’s, The Lord’s Prayer, The Creeds, or answering questions about the Bible. With the "Bible Bucks" earned, the children can purchase items for themselves or gifts for Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or other special occasions. Why do we need your help?? The store is in need of money to purchase items for the children to buy. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. This is a wonderful program that the children love, let’s keep it going!!! If you have any questions, or want to learn more about the Bible Bucks store please contact Kathy Butler. Thank you
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Our Family of Faith There are some things that we just don’t like to think about. Death and taxes are at the top of that list. But I want to encourage you to think about that last stage of your life. This will be one of the most difficult times that your family has to face, and they will be confronted with many decisions that they will most likely not be comfortable making. You can make it much less painful for them by taking some time to leave them very specific directions as to how you would like to have things done. Who knows better than you what you would like to be wearing; what songs you want sung; what is your favorite Scripture verse; what your favorite flower is; who you would like to officiate; who might speak on your behalf? So many details. Do you recall making all those decisions for a loved one? Do you remember feeling overwhelmed? I would like to encourage you to pick up one of the “End of Life” directive booklets and fill it out as soon as you can. You can find these in Narthex II near the coffee pot. Once you have filled it out, give a copy to the church to be kept on file for when the time is appropriate. And make sure that you let your family know where your copy is, as well as letting them know that Faith has a copy. That way they will know how to proceed when God calls you home. Bob and I have completed ours, and it is probably one of the best gifts that we could give our children. Not only do we have peace of mind, but our children will be able to honor our wishes one last time. Love, Bea Schurkus
Have you seen the Dobie funeral home billboard that says “if you wouldn't be caught dead in that dress, you better tell your family now”? We can laugh at it, but this booklet can make sure your family DOES know what your final wishes are.
Ladies Guild news! Our annual Christmas luncheon and program are always a highlight of the year, and 2013 was no exception. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Spartan Manor. Several of our members that are not always able to attend our monthly meetings were able to join us for the festivities. This was well attended and as usual, we had a delicious luncheon, with beautiful poinsettias as our center pieces donated by Clarine Greenlee (thank you Clarine). Our entertainment was given by "The Genesis Singers and Hand Chimes" directed by Dawn Sequin. So many of you commented on what a blessing these young people were. Thank you all for your compliments . February 5th we are privileged to have for our program Alex Onishenko, Fire Chief of New Port Richey, and also a member of our church. Fire safety is always a special concern during the winter months, so this should be a very informative presentation. And it’s always nice to have a man at our meeting! Bring along a friend, or neighbor, or relative and enjoy an afternoon with your "Sisters in Christ. Refreshments will be served by our lovely hostesses starting at 1:00 pm followed by program at 1:30, and then our business meeting. Saturday, February 15th is going to be our "Annual" Fashion Show. Hospice is going to be sponsoring our fashion show so we are in need of ladies to be models. If you can/want to be one, please contact our President Rose Ann Verheyen, and she can give you the information. We will also have our “baskets” to be thinking about making up of different categories like Kitchen, Bath, Chocolate, Wine, Food, Italian, Pastry, Spices, Spa, etc. Last request is volunteers for ladies to make up a salad of one of these choices: Pasta, Veggie, Protein or Fruit. Make only enough for 6 cups. So Ladies, please think about these opportunities for helping us out it will so greatly appreciated!! The theme for our Fashion Show will be "Let Freedom Ring." Tickets will be on sale in Narthex 2 starting Jan 19th, 26th, Feb 2nd & 9th. Cost will be $10.00 per ticket. "Opportunity Tickets" for the baskets will also be on sale at the luncheon when the door opens at 11:00 AM. Lunch will be at 11:30 AM. We'll be looking for you! REMINDER: Ash Wednesday will be March 5th and the Lenten suppers will be coming up. Ladies Guild will be serving Lenten Supper on April 9th, and on April 26th our we will be sponsoring the Spring LWML Rally here at Faith. Be thinking about how you can help out with these events. They will be discussed at our March and April meetings. Please attend and get involved. See you then! Rose Wegner, Program Chairwoman
GROWTH THROUGH LEARNING
Faith Church offers many opportunities for our member and their friends to grow in their understanding of the Word of God. While we offer the traditional Sunday School and Confirmation classes that many of us remember as children we also offer courses geared to adults. Pastor Kuehn is offering an adult Bible Study on Sunday morning during the Sunday School hour entitled “The Jesus Creed.” By the time you read this John Schaerffer will have completed his courses on Amos and Hosea. Beth Moore’s study on the Life and Ministry of St. Paul entitled “To Live Is Christ” is continuing on Sunday morning at 9:30. In addition, the same course is being offered on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 PM. For those who may have missed segments on Sunday morning the schedule for the Tuesday night class is as follows: January 21 January 28 February 4 February 11 February 18 February 25 March 4 March 11 March 18 March 25
The First Footprints Finding the Way Miles & Missions Wider Paths An Unfamiliar Road Travel Ties & Goodbyes Walk of Faith Pathway to Rome Letters cross the Miles Going Home
Background Acts 6 - 11 Acts 13-15 Acts 16-17 Acts 17-19 Acts 19-21 Acts 22-26 Acts 27-28 Letters & Epistles Writings
The regular Tuesday night Women’s Bible Study led by Tami Musgrave will be resuming this Tuesday, February 4th. It was cancelled in January due to some health problems encountered by Tami Musgrave. God has been gracious and given Tami a speedy recovery so that she can once again lead the group in their study of the Twelve Apostles. Submitted by Phyllis Miller, Director of Christian Education
Remember The Sabbath Day When studying Luther’s Small Catechism I came to the Third Commandment which states “REMEMBER” the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Thou shalt sanctify the holy day”. He explains by saying, “We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it”. I, as many of us have not honored this Commandment, and worship on the first day of the week rather than the Sabbath day. Genesis 2:2-3 states “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done”. (NIV) There many reasons why we do not worship on the Sabbath day and if you are interested in the facts you can go to the website sabbathtruth.com This is a 5 part study with Hal Holbrook as the narrator where he goes into detail about the history of the church and the Sabbath Day. Jesus stated in Matt 5:17-18 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”. The Sabbath Day was not just for the Jews but for all man. As Jesus was Jewish we are all part Jewish because our faith in Him. We are also decedents of Abraham as stated in Genesis 13:16 which says “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted”. (NIV) I hope you find interest in this article and visit the website listed above. I can give you a copy on a DVD if requested. Hope to see you in church this Saturday, Richard Jensen!
FAITH FAMILY FELLOWSHIP There is nothing like a cup of coffee and something tasty! Once a month (the second Sunday), there is a special Faith Family Fellowship in Narthex II, sponsored by various groups.
The schedule through May 2014 will be as follows:
It is an ideal time to visit for a few minutes and meet new friends.
February 9th will be a very special Fellowship, as we join our Sunday School classes in the CLC for juice and coffee with our cakes, pies, coffee cakes, and PANCAKES.
It starts at 9:00 am, following the early service and ends at 10:45 am before the late service.
Be sure to attend these monthly Faith Family Fellowship gatherings!
Date February 9 March 9 April 13 May 11
Sponsor Human Care Ministry Altar Guild Confirmation / CIA Bible Classes
Someone has had a little too much coffee!
WHY LENT? WHY LENT? For hundreds of years the Christian Church has set aside the six weeks before Easter and designated them “the Lenten season”. THE PURPOSE: of this special season is to give Christians an opportunity to recall the consequences of sin and the assurance of being loved by God in Jesus Christ. It also gives Christian churches another opportunity to tell people in their communities about this central fact of the Christian faith – the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God to atone for the sins of the world. THE MESSAGE: of Lent is to Christianity what a spring is to a watch, what a motor is to a boat or to the family car. Take the message of Christ’s life, death and resurrection out of the Christian religion and you have only a shell. The message of Lent is the message of Saint Paul: “Christ dies for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.” And mark the words of Christ: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” COME: During the weeks of Lent thousands of churches throughout the nation bring this Bible message into sharp focus: COME, WORSHIP, BELIEVE. This year Lent begins on March 5th with a 10:00 am Communion Service, and a 7:15 pm Communion Service in the church. We will offer the imposition of ashes at both service for those who so desire. The Lenten Fellowship Meals will again be sponsored by various groups and will start in the CLC at 6:30 pm. The Lenten theme this year is “Prayers of the Passion”. As we look at various prayer requests given during Jesus’ Crucifixion.
OUR PURPOSE The love of Christ compels us to reach out and make disciples who seek the lost, strengthen the weak, and serve those in need while giving glory to God.
Dates to remember remember::
February 2 - 12:15 Call Service in the CLC February 9 - 8:45-10:45 Faith Family Fellowship/Sweetheart Breakfast in the CLC February 15 - 11:00 Ladies Guild Luncheon and Fashion Show February 22 - 3:00 Pastorâ€™s Information Class March 5 - Ash Wednesday March 9 - First Sunday in Lent April 13 - Palm Sunday April 17 - Maundy Thursday April 18 - Good Friday April 20 - Easter Sunday
Just a reminder that our Food Pantry is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 - 11:30 to help serve the needs of our community.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 8 for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.