Friday, January 31, 2014

Join the Hunt for Buried Treasure!

X marks the spot. As a kid that’s how I first learned to think about buried treasure. There were pirate maps. Ancient curses. Dangerous traps. That sort of thing.

But this coming Sunday and throughout the month of February we’re going to discover that buried treasure is more than just folklore.

In a way we are all looking for treasure. Something that will make a difference in our lives. Something that we can get excited about. Something that will help those we care about. Something worth hunting for and having no matter what the cost.

It turns out that Jesus buried just this kind of treasure. Come this Sunday and join me in the hunt as we search for this buried treasure together!

And if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a little teaser video I made in preparation for my message this coming Sunday. Check it out!

Church and a movie. On Sunday, March 2nd we’ll have our regular Sunday service at 9:09. After the service, stick around to watch the movie Son of God at 10:30 which opens that week in theaters across the country. As a church we are buying out a whole 195 seat auditorium. This means we can get discounted tickets at $7 apiece. You can also buy a discounted popcorn and soda. You don’t need to buy your tickets in advance but you do need to let us know how many tickets you’d like us to reserve for you and your friends because quantities are limited. Please register in advance using this online registration form.

Architects and Builders. To me this sounds at first like the name of a future expansion pack for one of my favorite board games like Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne. But it’s actually just a heading to let you know that we had a lengthy 4 hour interview meeting Monday night with 2 different architects and builders. Everyone on the Leadership Team was there as well as myself, Cassy, and those who’ve been serving on the Land/Building Team for the past couple years. We’ll be meeting again this coming Monday night to evaluate where we’re at in the process of making a decision. Ultimately the Leadership Team will make a decision on what architect/builder team to work with and then they will engage our whole church in the next steps of master site planning and building design over the next couple months. Meanwhile, discussion with Kayla’s Krew continues and members of the Leadership Team continue to work behind the scenes with the WELS Church Extension Fund (CEF) to determine exactly what we can afford, what kind of grants we might be able to receive, and other really important things like that!

Sermon audio podcast from Sunday. Our student assistant Ben Reichel had a great message on "Finding the Calm in the Storm."

My apologies for the failed video stream from this past Sunday. We had an updating issue that’s now been resolved so we should be good to go again this week.

View an online version of this email on my blog.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Captain of Our Souls

It’s a little surreal. We own land—land we can build on! God is good. He has taught me a lot of about what it means to follow him with trust over the last 7 years. When my family and I didn’t have a place to live, he provided a parsonage for us through the generosity of St Paul’s in Muskego. When we didn’t have a place to worship, he opened up for us an unexpected door at the Polonia Soccer Club.

Three years later when we had outgrown the soccer club as a worship facility, God opened up the door for us at Showtime Cinema—in a way I think because of the recession (God sometimes works great blessings through tough times). God then saw us through a change of ownership there at Showtime, helped us navigate a couple different potential options for the future that didn’t pan out since then, and finally led us to discover the piece of land we now own which sure seems to have been His plan all along.

All these twists and turns have helped me to understand now so much more than when we started what it means to follow God—to work faithfully, to trust, to pray, to plan, to preach, to teach, to dream, to lead, to love… but all the while to leave the future in His hands because His plans are better and His dream is bigger than mine!

The words of the poet who said “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul” …. they don’t apply to me.

But speaking of the captain of my soul, the message in church this Sunday is going to be about how Jesus helps us find the calm in the storms of life. He’s the master of wind and wave. He’s the captain of my soul and yours. Jesus is the one who can help you get safely through the storms of life to the other side!

Friends, mark your calendars. On Sunday, March 2nd, we will be having a special “church and a movie” event. We’ll worship at our regular time of 9:09. Then following the service at a time yet to be determined (around 10:30 or 11) we’ll be having a special showing of the movie Son of God which premieres that week in theaters across the country. Consider this as a great opportunity to invite a friend. Ticket registration coming soon.

Have you been trying to read the Bible this year? How’s it going for you? It’s not too late to start reading and it’s not too late to get back on track if you’re stuck. I myself have been following the One Year Bible plan on the YouVersion Bible app. If you don’t have the YouVersion Bible app on your phone, don’t wait a moment longer. It’s slick. It’s free. It’s awesome because it’s the Bible! There are dozens of Bible reading plans that can help you go at your own pace, keep you on track, or get you get caught up. There are chronological plans, topical plans, and plans like the One Year Bible plan which gives you an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a Psalm, and a Proverb each day. That way you don’t get stuck reading in any one part of the Bible for too long. Of course you can also just get out your Bible and actually turn pages as you read too. I won’t stop you!

And while you’re at, be sure and download the new Bible app for kids which just came out too. It’s interactive and all around pretty amazing. New stories from the Bible are going to keep on being added.

Finally, if you’re having trouble understanding what you’re reading, don’t give up. Come to Bible study! We meet in theater #6 every Sunday before church at 8:09. Studying with others in a group will help you get more out of it and grow. Right now we’re reading through John’s Gospel in the New Testament together and I’m teaching. We’re taking it nice and slow and now is as good a time as any to jump in. Just show up Sunday morning at 8:09. We’ll have a Bible for you.

Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.

Recorded service video from Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, January 17, 2014

Victory News

I thought this was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. It’s what event sharing looks like without Facebook! Someone who isn’t even a member of our church got one of our 9:09 postcards in the mail at her apartment building last week and posted this on her door. It just goes to show you that there are many different ways you can invite someone to church. It doesn’t even have to be that difficult. All it takes sometimes is a little creativity and some courage, and maybe a little scotch tape.

What stories do you have this year so far about inviting someone to “check this out with me”?

This Sunday would be a great time to invite someone to check out church with you at 9:09. I’ll be talking about something that I think we all need to hear. As we continue our Supernatural series we’ll hear how God promises to provide for us and how he can take our little and turn it into much. If you’ve ever worried, Will I have enough? or you’ve ever thought, But I only have this much…. then you won’t want to miss out on hearing this message.

Jesus can take your “only” and turn it into plenty.

Our winter session of Sheep Squads, our small group ministry, is starting up. Here’s a link to a menu of options for you to find a group that works for you. If you don’t see anything that looks like a good fit, feel free to contact our groups coordinator, Daniel Tomczyk. We’re always looking to start new groups so that everyone has some friends who’ve got their back.

Monday night we had a long but productive Leadership Team meeting. By God’s grace there is a lot happening! Some official documents were signed and notarized. Closing on the Loomis Rd. land will be taking place this coming Wednesday. Look for a more detailed update about the meeting in this Sunday’s bulletin.

Mark your calendars! On Sunday, March 2nd, we will be having a special “church and a movie” event. We’ll worship at our regular time of 9:09. Then following the service at a time yet to be determined (around 10:30 or 11) we’ll be having a special showing of the movie Son of God which premieres that week in theaters across the country. Think about this as a great opportunity to invite a friend. More information to come soon.

Married folks, routine maintenance pays off. You change oil in your car and the filter in your furnace to keep them running longer. Give your marriage the attention it needs to flourish and run all the way to the end. There are a couple opportunities you might be interested in. Like this Facebook page for information and regular updates.

Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.

Recorded service video from Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, January 10, 2014

Victory News

Despite the cold and the new start time of 9:09 things went very well this past Sunday! Thank you to all of you who came early at 7 to help set-up. That was huge. I’m hoping we can continue to have volunteers show up at 7 to help us set up our Bible Quest auditoriums, the lobby, the cafĂ©, and our worship space in theater #1. There is always a lot to do and anyone who wants to help is welcome to join us at 7 am at Showtime.

This Sunday we’re continuing our series Supernatural. I’ll be talking about how it is that we can trust God’s timing in our lives even when it’s tough. I’m guessing this will be a timely sermon for many of you that you won’t want to miss.

I’m hoping that we’ll again this Sunday have a great turnout for church and that we’ll have a number of people joining us for the first time. This week we mailed out another round of 16,000 postcards informing the community of our new 9:09 start time and inviting people to come check out our church in this new year to hear the gospel of Jesus. Maybe you noticed some of our Facebook ads too.

In case you didn’t get one Sunday, here’s a link to a menu of options for our next session of Sheep Squads. I hope you can find a group that works for you. If you don’t see anything you can be a part of, please feel free to contact our groups coordinator, Daniel Tomczyk. We’re always looking for ways to start new groups.

The start of a new year is a good time for a couple reminders. Members and regular attenders, remember to keep your Church Community Builder profile up to date. It will also be helpful to everyone if you can upload a profile picture—one for your family and then also for the individuals in your family. A number of people have requested a printed membership directory. One easy and cost effective way we could do this is if everyone uploaded profile pics for their families. If you don’t have any digital photos or you’re not sure how to upload a picture please feel free to contact me and we can certainly help you with that.

This week I got to meet with our Mission Counselor, Ed Schuppe, over lunch along with Jeff G and Cassy. He was very enthusiastic about our future plans and affirmed the blessings that God has given us in land, the opportunity to help Kayla’s Krew, and the potential for our own ministry center.

Thanks for keeping our church and our community in your prayers this new year!

Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.

Recorded service video from Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year. A New Time. 9:09

Hello Friends,

Welcome to a new year of God’s grace!

This year we’re going to do something a little different. We’re starting our regular Sunday morning church service at 9:09 am. We’re letting you know because we want you to know that you’re invited!

Yes, you read that right—9:09. Sounds like an odd time for church, doesn’t it? Then again we’re the church that’s been meeting at your local movie theater—Showtime Cinema. It’s not a cathedral. But it sure is comfortable. And the chairs have cup holders.

Many people ask, “Why do you meet a movie theater?” Simply put, because Showtime Cinema has been a great place for us to meet. Seven years ago we decided to start a new church from scratch—a church designed to reach people who didn’t grow up going to church, people who stopped going to church, or people like many of you who just have questions about God, Jesus, or the Bible. So we wanted to create a safe, welcoming place for people like you to come as you are, learn about how much God loves you, and find helpful guidance for your life.

Over the last couple years we’ve been growing. After starting with just a handful of people we’ve grown into a church family of people from all different backgrounds. We’re excited about that! In fact we’re in the process of purchasing a 15 acre piece of land on Loomis Rd. here in Franklin where we hope to soon begin the process of building our own community focused ministry center. We want to keep sharing Christ’s victory and helping to make a difference in this community for many years to come.

So for now, in 2014 come check out church any Sunday at 9:09 am at Showtime Cinema. You are invited!

Got kids? Come a little early and register them for Bible Quest—our safe, fun, free kids’ ministry that takes place every Sunday morning during the regular worship service.

9:09—It’s the right time for you to get a fresh start through God’s grace.


Pastor Ben