Friday, May 16, 2014

Victory News - Confirmation Sunday!

This Sunday we mark an important milestone in the lives of 5 of our students. It is confirmation Sunday!

What is confirmation? Most importantly it is a strengthening of faith in Jesus Christ through the process of an in-depth study of the Bible. In this way confirmation instruction is also important preparation for receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Over the past three years Tyler, Jordyn, Morgan, Dawson, and Rachel have been instructed in God’s Word. The Rite of Confirmation provides them with an opportunity, relying on God's promise given them in Holy Baptism, to make a public confession of their faith and a lifelong promise of faithfulness to Christ.

So what does this mean for our service on Sunday? Mostly you can expect it to be the same as usual. However, after the sermon we will be showing you a very special video on the big screen. It’s a video montage that we put together of the confirmation students themselves telling us what they have learned over the past three years and what confirmation means to them. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait for you all to see it! Then we’ll have the confirmation rite itself followed by a special celebration of the Lord’s Supper for the first time for our confirmation students together.

I hope you can join us Sunday. We’ll get to hear God’s Word together. We’ll get to celebrate the blessings God has poured out upon our confirmation students over the past couple years. We’ll get to keep on encouraging each other along our faith journey to heaven!

Soccer Camp Registration – June 17-20 for kids ages 4-11. Jesus, soccer, friends, and fun! To cover expenses there is a $40 / person registration fee. We provide a soccer camp T-Shirt, water bottle, and daily snacks. Here’s a direct link to register. If you have any questions, please contact Cassy—our Children’s Ministry Director.

Live Streaming – Should be up and running smoothly again this Sunday. While we didn’t have it this past Sunday, I did take the time this week to record my sermon live from the parsonage living room. So if you missed church on Sunday you can check it out on our Livestream channel.

Things Moving and Shaking – Over the last couple weeks, God has opened the door for me to have some amazing conversations with generous people both inside and outside our congregation who have committed financial support in order to help us build sooner than later. I’m talking about people who love their Savior, who see our opportunities, who are inspired by our vision, who are excited about our plans, and who have pledged extraordinary gifts to help us get it done. They wish to remain anonymous because they want all the glory to go to God but have committed substantial gifts to help us to close the gap on what we need in order to make our dreams a reality and begin construction hopefully as early as next year at this time.

I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting this is for me and how amazed I am at God who prompts such cheerful and generous giving. At the same time we are also in the process of writing a number of grant requests to various foundations that we have been in contact with. I have high hopes that our ministry vision and plans will prompt them to respond with generous grants as well.

One last thing I’d like to say about this is simply THANK YOU to all of you who have been giving so generously over the last couple months! Our weekly offerings have increased in a healthy way since the beginning of 2014. One reason this is such good news is that our potential to receive a low interest construction loan from the WELS Church Extension Fund is directly connected to our regular weekly offerings. Your generous giving each Sunday in response to the Gospel over the next couple months will have an impact on the size and scope of our building project over the next year.

Expect to hear much more about all this over the next couple weeks as our building task forces continue to work and we prayerfully consider what we think can accomplish with God’s blessing. Real soon we’ll have some more of these details worked out and we’ll be able to present our plans to you so that you have multiple opportunities to give your feedback as we move forward.

On a personal note – Thanks for all your words of encouragement regarding my Grandparents who are now together in heaven. My Grandpa Nottling’s funeral is going to be this coming week. There will be one down in El Paso where they lived and another one up here in Milwaukee that I will be attending next Friday. Thanks again for your encouragement and comfort shared in Christ! It means a lot to me and my family. If you’ve ever wondered why I write “God bless” at the end of a lot of my emails or texts, it’s because that’s what my Grandpa always said instead of Good-bye. Every time I type it out I remember him saying it to me too.

God bless,

Pastor Ben

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