Thursday, September 7, 2017

Victory News - God Cares About Islands


Dear Friends,

In the Caribbean there’s a small island called Barbuda. It’s just north of Antigua where we have a church and a school. God be praised, Antigua was just south of Hurricane Irma’s eye. Antigua was thus largely spared the most devastating winds. However, many Antiguans have relatives on Barbuda which, sadly, didn’t fare as well as Antigua. It was nearly obliterated by Hurricane Irma yesterday. The pictures from Barbuda are devastating. The losses are just beginning to be counted at this point. Please join me in praying for the people of Barbuda and all those in the hurricane’s path.

Each morning this week after reading my Bible, I’ve checked social media to see some of the 1st hand accounts and reports of places along the hurricane’s path to help shape my prayers throughout the rest of my day. Otherwise I find it’s easy not to notice sometimes, you know what I mean? On the one hand, sometimes we might feel like we are bombarded with tragic news from all over the world. It just keeps on coming. And it’s overwhelming. We weren’t meant to process it all. We can’t. We’re not God. On the other hand, sometimes it’s awfully easy and comfortable to think, “What’s one tiny island so far away among so many larger islands and countries and continents on this planet?” But if we go to this extreme we become callused. We stop being human.

And yet God notices. He cares. Even in the midst of devastation, he still cares. And he is unlimited in his capacity to keep on caring. We have this consolation because there was Jesus once, God wrapped in our very mortal human flesh and blood, and he was alone. His island was the cross where he suffered the ravages of our world’s sin and death. Our sin and death. He did that because he cared even when we didn’t. He cared so that he could accomplish sin’s ultimate undoing that will culminate one day in the undoing of death itself when Jesus makes all things new. Sin’s devastation will be undone!

And so we know that God cares about human islands too. I’m talking about when we human beings, whether intentionally or inadvertently, become isolated or alone. When we get disconnected from what’s going on in the lives of others and others don’t have a window into ours.

The thing is God didn’t design us to be little islands, each one of us unto ourselves. He made us to be connected to each other in healthy, meaningful relationships. That’s one of the blessings of the church. Jesus calls us out of the darkness of unbelief and despair into the light of a hopeful, forgiveness based relationship with God. He also brings us into a new relationship with each other as full-fledged brothers and sisters in God’s family.

This Sunday, that’s what Pastor Bill is going to be talking about as he, as our discipleship pastor, begins to lay out a basis for a vision for us to be connected and caring for each other in small groups—where we can learn, love, and live out the victory of Jesus! If you're around I hope you can join us this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 for worship. Victory Kids is also in full swing right along with the start of a new school year.

“In his teaching the islands will put their hope” (A prophecy referring to Jesus, Isaiah 42:4)

Sunday Leftovers – What does it mean to follow Jesus? It won’t be easy. It won’t always be comfortable or convenient. Jesus himself declared that it will involve taking up our own cross in life. The alternative is we could end up losing our souls in exchange for the “fool’s gold” of the world. In American culture today, we often overlook or ignore what this actually means. In the process we miss a deeper understanding of Christ’s own cross and the comfort it brings. That’s why if you missed any of the messages in our 3 part summer ending series called Take Up Your Cross, check them out online in our website archives. Here’s a link. In particular if you were out of town for Labor Day weekend, catch up with my message from this past Sunday on how to keep your soul safe even as the seasons of life change.

Please Save the Date God uses ordinary people like us to bring the hope of Jesus to others when we share our faith. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that confidently and comfortably with anybody? That’s why on Friday evening, October 13th we’ll be hosting a special weekend training event at our ministry center with that purpose. It’s called Praise and Proclaim. The next day, Saturday morning and afternoon, October 14th you’ll have an opportunity to put that training into practice. Meals will be provided. Childcare will be provided. We are praying even now that a great many of you who are our members will participate! Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead. Sign-up will begin on September 17th.

Bible 201 – A new “mix and match” opportunity begins this Saturday for anyone who has completed Bible 101 and is looking to continue their faith journey and/or work towards membership in our church. Classes will be on 3 consecutive Saturday mornings (9/9, 9/16, 9/23 from 9:30-noon) and 3 consecutive Wednesday evenings (9/13, 9/20, 9/27 from 6:30-8:30pm) so that you can choose to go to either the Saturday morning option or Wednesday evening option each week as suits your schedule. More time for discussion is allotted for the Saturday morning class. Please register online using this form to attend. Quick note: We moved the previously scheduled 9/6 class to the back end…9/27. Let me know if you have any questions.

Quest (Teen Group) – We are having our back to school night on Sunday 9/10 from 6-8pm at the ministry center. We’ll play some games and have some pizza with a short devotion and enjoy a fire around our new fire pit!

Jr High Confirmation Class (6th-8th grade) – Begins this Sunday evening from 6-8 pm at the ministry center. To register yet for confirmation class, please complete the registration form. Got questions? Please contact Pastor Bill.

Christian Aid and Relief – Pastor Bill said it well in the blog last week. There are lots of ways to donate. Here’s one you can trust. Christian Aid and Relief is our national church body’s arm that helps us show Christ’s live to those impacted by natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. Here’s a video made of phase help that Christian Aid and Relief provided to bring people together in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey. To donate please visit this link.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, August 25, 2017

Victory News - Take Up Your Cross Part 2



Dear Friends,

Last Sunday we began a three-part series to end the summer that I pray will help all of us from every generation see that we have much more in common with each other than we might think. In this series we’re getting at the heart of what Jesus meant when he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

We started by looking at what this means especially for our young people—those heading out the door for school, our teens, our college age students and young adults. We learned how none of us is in this cross-carrying struggle alone. We also learned how to lean on God and each other for strength as we live our lives under the cross. In case you missed it be sure and catch up by watching it online.

This Sunday Pastor Bill will pick up where I left off by talking about the crosses we carry from the perspective of our middle ages years. How do we stay focused on what’s most important when the business of making a living, of getting ahead, of accomplishing goals, or even just surviving from day to day can so easily turn our eyes away from the cross? And where do you find your true sense of self?

So please join us this Sunday at Victory of the Lamb at 8:30 or 10:15 as we come together as a growing family of people from all kinds of different backgrounds to grow and support each other. Come discover how your life is part of God’s bigger story, in a place where you can truly belong.

FYI - If you want to take a deep dive into the truths we’re exploring in our current series, check out this book called “Theology of the Cross” by one of my college professors. I highly recommend it for those of you who love deepening your faith by studying theology.

Please Save the Date God uses ordinary people like us to bring the hope of Jesus to others when we share our faith. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that confidently and comfortably with anybody? That’s why on Friday evening, October 13th we’ll be hosting a special weekend training event at our ministry center with that purpose. It’s called Praise and Proclaim. The next day, Saturday morning and afternoon, October 14th you’ll have an opportunity to put that training into practice. Meals will be provided. Childcare will be provided. We are praying even now that a great many of you who are our members will participate! Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead. Sign-up will begin on September 17th.

Logo Refreshed – After a summer of working with us, our resident artist Naomi Scheel has nearly finished the project of refreshing our church logo so that it resonates with our target audience of unchurched millennials and their friends, so that it works well on various social media platforms, and it communicates the vibrant, welcoming, refreshing feelings of our church. One more week and we’ll be able to share!

Bible 201 – A new “mix and match” opportunity is coming up in September for anyone who has completed Bible 101 and is looking to continue their faith journey and/or work towards membership in our church. Classes will be on 3 consecutive Wednesday evenings (9/6, 9/13, 9/20 from 6:30-8:30pm) and Saturday mornings (9/9, 9/16, 9/23 from 9:30-noon) so that you can choose to go to either the Wednesday option or the Saturday morning option each week as suits your schedule. More time for discussion is allotted for the Saturday morning class. Please register online using this form to attend.

Faith Unleashed – On Wednesday this week Pastor Bill and I were able to attend a special event put on by Faith Unleashed at Northwestern Publishing House in Milwaukee on how to engage and equip lay members like you for doing ministry. This was a timely and helpful presentation because we want to help all of you discover your God-given potential and the joy of serving others. We’re working at incorporate this more specifically into our membership path.

Attention Mothers-To-Be (and those who know a mother-to-be!): WELS Lutherans for Life is seeking pregnant women interested in a FREE limited obstetrical ultrasound. We are becoming a medical clinic to provide sonograms to clients seeking pregnancy related services. Our sonographers will be receiving training and need pregnant women to practice their sonography skills. Service hours for this activity will be from 9AM-5PM from Tuesday through Friday, September 19-22 and again September 26-29 in West Allis. Please call 414-727-8176 to ask questions and/or to schedule an appointment.

St. Paul's School of Early Learning (SOEL) is a childcare and Early Educational Ministry of St. Paul's Lutheran Church located in Muskego. We are in need of an outgoing, energetic person who loves to make a difference in the lives of young children. We are looking for a year-round Teacher’s Aide. Days and hours would be Monday thru Friday 7:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.. Experience in childcare or a related field is preferred. We offer a competitive hourly wage and a pleasant working environment. If you are interested please call Kim Neubauer at 414-422-0320 ext.200, Cell-262-470-0465 or e-mail at kneubauer@stpaulmuskego.org for more information. You can also stop by the SOEL office for an application (S66 W14325 Janesville Road, Muskego. We’re located off of the east entrance of the church)

You’re Invited! WELS Lutherans for Life will be holding 2 fundraising events on Friday, October 13 at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee. Both the luncheon and the dinner have been paid in full by generous underwriters. While there will be no cost to attend, there will be an opportunity to support the ministry financially. All funds raised will directly support life-affirming help for abortion-vulnerable mothers, people suffering post-abortion trauma, and a youth development program. Pre-registration is required and seats are limited, so don’t delay. Learn more and register at EveningForLife.org, email Contact@ALife2.com, or call 414-727-8176.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,           
      
Pastor Ben

Friday, August 18, 2017

Victory News - New Series Starting


Dear Friends,

It’s a tough, lonely thing to grow up in a world filled with high expectations and endless temptations. Young people need to understand that they are not alone—everyone faces the same struggles. How can we come up alongside our youth, our teens, let them know that we love them, we care about them, we’re ready to listen without judgement?

This Sunday we’re starting a new series that I pray will help us to do just that. It’s called “Take Up Your Cross” and it has to do with the struggles and challenges that we face as we follow Jesus in every generation. Over the next three weeks we’ll take a look at some of the crosses that are unique to different seasons of life—in youth (this Sunday), in middle age (next Sunday), and in our golden years (9/3).

At the same time we’ll all find common ground at the foot of the only, truly unique cross—Christ’s cross. There we will find what brings us all together—forgiveness and renewed strength through God’s Holy Spirit to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God.

I would be honored to have you join us this Sunday as we start this new message series. And in case you missed the grand finale to our series “Prayer is Powerful”, remember you can always catch up by watching it online. Your whole perspective on prayer will change when you understand that you are actually in your Savior’s thoughts and prayers!

If you want to take a deep dive into the truths we’ll be exploring in our new series coming up, check out this book called “Theology of the Cross” by one of my college professors. I highly recommend it.

Save the Date Our church’s mission is to share the message of Christ’s victory with today’s people. We want to help every one of you be able to do that confidently and comfortably with anybody. That’s why on Friday evening, October 13th we’ll be hosting a special weekend training event at our ministry center with that purpose. It’s called Praise and Proclaim. The next day, Saturday morning and afternoon, October 14th you’ll have an opportunity to put that training into practice. Meals will be provided. Childcare will be provided. We are praying even now that a great many of you who are our members will participate. Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead.

Logo Refreshed – After a summer of working with us, our resident artist Naomi Scheel has nearly finished the project of refreshing our church logo so that it resonates with our target audience of unchurched millennials and their friends, so that it works well on various social media platforms, and it communicates the vibrant, welcoming, refreshing feelings of our church. Look forward next week to seeing the finished results!

FY 2017 Year End Financial Communication – With sincere thanks and appreciation to our church treasurer Jim Vogel and to Jayne George and Candy Johnson our accountants who have worked together to keep the books, here is a link to a report on the tremendous generosity and blessings of you, God’s people, over this past fiscal year. Thank you for your support of our important work together of sharing Christ’s victory with today’s people! Through your gifts and giving, God is setting us up to have an even bigger impact in the future!

Attention Mothers-To-Be (and those who know a mother-to-be!): WELS Lutherans for Life is seeking pregnant women interested in a FREE limited obstetrical ultrasound. We are becoming a medical clinic to provide sonograms to clients seeking pregnancy related services. Our sonographers will be receiving training and need pregnant women to practice their sonography skills. Service hours for this activity will be from 9AM-5PM from Tuesday through Friday, September 19-22 and again September 26-29 in West Allis. Please call 414-727-8176 to ask questions and/or to schedule an appointment.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,                      

Pastor Ben

Friday, July 21, 2017

Victory News - Saturated With Prayer



Dear Friends,

To be honest, I’ve never considered myself an accomplished pray-er. I’ve always felt that other people probably pray more frequently, more naturally and more insightfully. So it’s been really healthy for me personally to spend a whole summer saturated with a sermon series on prayer. I hope you’ve felt that way too as we’ve been working through some tremendous examples of prayer in the Bible and seeing how we too can pray with the confidence that our prayers are powerful!

For example, this past Sunday we learned to confidently go to God and ask him to do in you what only God can do. We looked at how this can be as easy as using a one-liner prayer.

Cleanse…  Create…  Cultivate…

Those were a couple of my one-liners based on Psalm 51 in the Bible. What were some of yours? Did you get an opportunity to craft your own one-liner prayers for God’s unlimited power?

In case you missed last weekend’s message, be sure and catch up by watching it online. And join us this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 as Pastor Bill will continue our series Prayer Is Powerful with an amazing lesson from the life of King Hezekiah. If you’ve got a couple minutes, check out the background in 2 Kings 18 and 19 before Sunday.

Worship Planning Getaway – Pastor Bill and I will be away Sunday night through Tuesday along with the pastors from St Paul’s in Muskego to plan out our worship series for the next year. We get together to discuss culture and our congregations. We study the Christian church year calendar. We search the Scriptures. We pray. We work hard to develop series outlines, themes and Scripture lessons that then become the basis for our preaching and worship throughout the year as we dig even more deeply into God’s Word. So please feel free to send me any thoughts, suggestions, or creative ideas. Also I invite your prayers for God to bless our planning efforts!

Evening Concert – Friday evening August 11th at 7pm at our ministry center, Chris Driesbach will be sharing his faith through song by putting on a concert and sharing his story of his journey from atheism to Christianity. At 6 pm before the concert I’ll have brats and hot dogs on the grill for anyone who wants to come early and enjoy some yummy food out in the parking lot with me. Read more about Chris Driesbach’s story here on the event page.

Praise and Proclaim – helps Christians and congregations by training them on how to confidently and joyfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ with their community. I’m excited to share that we’ll be inviting Praise and Proclaim to VotL in October! You will all be invited to a training event on Friday evening, October 13th followed by a day of putting your training into practice on Saturday, October 14th. I’m sharing this now because it is my prayer that as many of you as possible would be able to attend and find joy in being equipped to share Christ’s victory! Stay tuned for more info over the next couple months.

From Another Mother Sale – St. Marcus is having a Baby Rummage Sale August 4 -from 12:00 pm to 6 pm and August 5 from 9 am. to 2 pm. We are seeking donations of clean and gently used Baby, Kid, and Maternity, Clothes & Shoes, Toys, Books, and Baby Accessories (no mattresses or car seats please.) 100% of proceeds are benefiting Lutherans for Life. We are collecting donations at St. Marcus on July 29 and 30 from 9 am to 2 pm. Have questions or need help donating? Contact Meta at 920 284-0658 or email Lutherans4LifeRummage@gmail.com.

Get Some Exercise, Love Our Neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, July 14, 2017

Victory News - Pray for God's Power


Dear Friends,

YouTube has been a game changer for me. I learned how to install a new video card in an old desktop computer by watching a video. I learned how to put new strings on my mandolin by watching a video. There is almost no limit to the number of things you can learn to do by watching a “How-to” video online. YouTube empowers me and makes me feel like I can do almost anything (so long as I can find a video of a twelve-year old showing me how via the internet!)

And yet is that true…that you can do anything you put your mind to doing?

Not exactly. This Sunday we’ll be looking at Psalm 51 in the Bible where we see that there are indeed some things, some really huge and important things!, that only God can do. And that’s why we need prayer. Prayer is acknowledged helplessness. At the same time prayer is acknowledging God’s power to do in us what we cannot do ourselves.

So please join me this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 as we continue our series Prayer Is Powerful. And in case you missed it, watch Pastor Bill’s inspiring sermon  from this past Sunday on how God still continues to give us a blank check with prayer!

Evening Concert – Friday evening August 11th at 7pm at our ministry center, Chris Driesbach will be sharing his faith through song by putting on a concert and sharing his story of his journey from atheism to Christianity. At 6 pm before the concert I’ll have brats and hot dogs on the grill for anyone who wants to come early and enjoy some yummy food out in the parking lot with me. Read more about Chris Driesbach’s story here on the event page.

Bible 101 Class – A new Bible 101 group started this past Wednesday night for 6:30-8 pm. Will continue to meet the next 3 Wednesdays. Let me know if you still want to jump on board!

Congrats! To Brett and Crystal whom I had the privilege of marrying last week and to Josh and Lauren whose wedding I’ll be officiating later this afternoon. May God’s picture perfect love continue to grow and flourish in your lives together.

Design Intern We are very blessed that our very own Naomi Scheel will be able to serve 10 hrs a week this summer as a design intern. She will be helping to refresh our logo, redesign the look of our Bible 101-301 materials, and create new publicity pieces for our church as well as continue to work on our sermon series graphics, worship folders, etc.

More Than Bricks Update Available online here. More Than Bricks (MTB) kicked off in December 2014 as a major funding campaign for our new Ministry Center, with a goal of $500,000. 80% of the money received ($400,000) is being used to reduce our mortgage debt and related expenses, and 20% ($100,000) is being used to support mission work in North Dakota, St. Lucia and Nepal.

Leadership Team Update – June update available online here.

Kingdom Workers – This week I had a meeting at the home office of Kingdom Workers here in Milwaukee exploring the potential for developing deeper relationships with mission partners such as we have in St Lucia.

Praise and Proclaim – helps Christians and congregations by training them on how to confidently and joyfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ with their community. I’m excited to share that we’ll be inviting Praise and Proclaim to VotL in October! You will all be invited to a training event on Friday evening, October 13th followed by a day of putting your training into practice on Saturday, October 14th. I’m sharing this now because it is my prayer that as many of you as possible would be able to attend and find joy in being equipped to share Christ’s victory! Stay tuned for more info over the next couple months.

Living Water Installation – This Sunday afternoon at 4 pm in a special service Pastor Aaron Voss will be installed as the new pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church just south of us on Loomis Rd. I will be attending to support Pastor Voss and our brothers and sisters in Christ at Living Water. They have been without a pastor for quite some time now and we rejoice with them that God has at last provided for them a new shepherd!

Pregnancy Counseling Center – I serve on the board of directors for WELS Lutherans For Life. The renovations and process of converting our building in West Allis to a medical clinic is moving along swiftly so that on-site ultrasound will be available by the end of the summer. This is very exciting so that we can serve more women with compassionate, quality, Christ-centered care! I serve on the board of directors and want to invite any of you who might be interested in volunteering time. Here are some of the different ways you might consider getting involved.

Get Some Exercise, Love Our Neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 30, 2017

Victory News - News Service Times This Sunday!


Dear Friends,

Don’t forget…this Sunday our new service times are 8:30 and 10:15!

I will be continuing our series “Prayer is Powerful” as we look at Abraham’s prayer to God on behalf of his nephew Lot and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:20-33. Please join me as we learn how persistent prayer is pleasing to God. And let’s take advantage of the freedom that God has blessed us with in this great nation to gather together to listen to his word, to praise him and to pray to him!

This Sunday we also will be welcoming the Branches Band as guest musicians for both our worship services. There will be a free will offering opportunity to support their music ministry after the service as well as an opportunity to purchase CD’s and other music resources in the lobby. Visit the Branches Band website or on Facebook for more info. If you’d like you can also find their music on Spotify.

(ICYMI watch Pastor Bramdeo Ramgolam’s sermon from this past Sunday. “Let’s start with prayer and go from there!” Pastor Bram serves at Trinity Lutheran Church in St Lucia and is one of our More Than Bricks mission partners whom we are privileged to support.)

New Bible 101 Class Starting in July Bible 101 is the first step at our church for anyone who has questions about God, wants to learn what we believe or teach from the Bible, or is interested in receiving the sacrament of holy communion with our church family. Choose the schedule that works best for you: Super Saturday July 8th from 10am-3:30pm. All 4 lessons in one day. Or Wednesday nights July 12th, July 19th, July 26th, and August 2nd from 6:30-8pm. One lesson each week for 4 weeks. Please register online here.

Tuition Assistance Fund – To see the tuition assistance fund guidelines or to apply for tuition assistance before June 30, 2017 visit our Christian Education page of our website. To contribute to this fund go to our online giving page. Under “Select Fund” click on Tuition Assistance.

4th of July Parade – This is a great way to let our community know about Victory of the Lamb! Walk alongside our church float. We’ll be handing out candy while our band plays music. It’s a fun thing to do as a family! The parade starts at 11 am on July 4th. Meet by our float between 10:30 and 11 am (usually located about 1/4 mile north of Walgreens on Loomis). Decorated strollers welcome! Helpful information about where to park or get dropped can be found right here on the event page on our website. And so that we’ll have plenty of candy to hand out during the parade, you may donate individually wrapped, non-chocolate candy at the ministry center anytime through July 2. Look for the bin in the lobby.

Leadership Team News – At our meeting Monday evening, Jim Kehoe was chosen to serve on the Leadership Team to replace Wes Andersen who is stepping down after serving the past 7 years as part of a normal transition. As we welcome Jim to the Leadership Team, I want especially to also thank Wes for his approachability, his patient listening ear to all who sought him out, his quiet wisdom, and his consistently sound, God-pleasing advice to me personally. Jim will be installed at an upcoming service in July. Leadership Team updates from July will be published soon.

Financial Ministry Plan Our church operates on a fiscal year budget. As such, today - June 30th, is the final day of this fiscal year. That means there’s still time to give online today to help us meet our goal for this year. FY to date we’ve received $289,386 in offerings compared to a financial ministry plan goal of $305,000 in offerings.

At the same time, July 1st begins not only a new fiscal year but is the beginning of a new phase of our ministry where we have to begin paying the mortgage on our ministry center. For this reason our financial ministry plan for the upcoming fiscal year reflects our prayerful goal of receiving $345,000 in offerings, an increase of $40,000.

While this is a substantial increase, we also recognize that God is continuing to richly bless our church with regular new guests, an increase of new members, and consistent numerical growth. We are accomplishing our mission of sharing Christ’s victory with today’s people!

Generous giving over the past decade has enabled our church to be known for our outwardly focused mission, our hospitality, our love, and our joy. We trust that the wonderful good news message of Christ’s victory will continue to motivate you and cause you to overflow as joyful givers who reflect the heart of God who gave us his Son!

A word of practical encouragement: Now would be a great time to consider regular on-line giving if you haven’t or to re-evaluate what your automated giving is if that’s been something you’ve been doing for a while. On-line giving helps provide a consistent picture of where we’re at as a church from month to month so that the Leadership Team can make adjustments to our financial ministry plan if needed.

Get Some Exercise, Love Our Neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 16, 2017

Victory News - Prayer Is Powerful!


“If God is for me, who can be…who can be against me???”

This isn’t just the chorus to the catchiest soccer camp song of all time (You’re welcome, parents😊). It’s also a promise of God recorded in the Bible (check out Romans 8:31-39)! Since God has already given us his greatest gift in Jesus who went to the cross for us and has defeated sin, death, and the devil for us, we can therefore trust God for everything else that we need in life too. Every. Single. Thing. God is for us!

This means we can talk directly to God now as our dear Father in heaven because of the victory that Jesus won for us. And that’s really what prayer is…talking to God. It’s our privilege to pray knowing that our relationship with God has been changed because of Jesus. God is now our true, heavenly Father. We are his children. He loves us. He is for us. And so he delights to hear from us – in any and every situation. In fact, God promises that our prayers have power. And that’s what we’re going to start talking about as we begin our new series this Sunday – Prayer Is Powerful!

So please join us this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 at our ministry center here in Franklin located at 11120 W Loomis Rd. At our 10:45 service all our soccer camp kids are going to be invited to come up and sing that catchy camp song that I was talking about. And if you have any prayer requests that you’d like us as pastors to be praying for you, please feel free to share them with us through our website.


(ICYMI, watch and share Pastor Bill’s sermon from this past Sunday where he helped us see that even though Gideon fell into great sin, ultimately he didn’t fall from God’s grace. What a comfort that is for us too when we struggle against the inadvertent idols in our lives!)

Soccer Camp Success! First of all…thank you, GOD, for a week of mighty fine warm weather, safety, provision, and protection! And also thank you to Cassy our dedicated camp director, all our coaches, helpers, and donors for your organization, generosity, patience, and crazy love on display…often with much perspiration! This week 220 kids got to make new friends, learn that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives, and have fun playing soccer and soccer related games like sharks and minnows. You can check it all out firsthand by visiting our church Facebook page. There are pictures and videos galore including one of my favorites moments…the day the ice cream truck arrived! And on a hot summer day – to hear that little jingle playing as it came closer and closer down the long Polonia driveway – it was like the bells of heaven chiming! (Ok, maybe that’s a sliiiiiight exaggeration. But it was close to that. Can you tell that it’s Friday evening at the end of a long week?!)

HEADS UP – Worship Time Tweaks Coming in July! – Starting Sunday, July 2nd we’re going to change our service times to 8:30 and 10:15 am.

New Bible 101 Class Starting in July – Bible 101 is the first step at our church for anyone who has questions about God, wants to learn what we believe or teach from the Bible, or is interested in receiving the sacrament of holy communion with our church family. Choose the schedule that works best for you: Super Saturday July 8th from 10am-3:30pm. All 4 lessons in one day. Or Wednesday nights July 12th, July 19th, July 26th, and August 2nd from 6:30-8pm. One lesson each week for 4 weeks. Please register online here.
Tuition Assistance Fund – To see the tuition assistance fund guidelines or to apply for tuition assistance before June 30, 2017 visit our Christian Education page of our website. To contribute to this fund go to our online giving page. Under “Select Fund” click on Tuition Assistance.

4th of July Parade – As we have in the past, our church will have a float in the Franklin parade. Band members will be playing music and you have an opportunity to walk alongside it and hand out candy to the community representing our church. Donations of candy are appreciated. You can bring bags of candy to the ministry center any of the next 3 Sundays. Thanks!

Get some exercise, Love our neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s really not hard and it’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben