Friday, May 27, 2016

Victory News and Happenings

Don't miss out on the fun...register for this year's soccer camp!
This coming Sunday we’re continuing our series about how vital relationships are in God’s grand design for our lives. Last week we looked at the most important of all these relationships—our relationship with God. And we talked about how to have a healthy relationship with God—one based on his unconditional love, one where you can have confidence that you have God’s full approval as a child of God through faith in Jesus. If you missed last week’s message I would encourage you to make sure you check it out because everything we’re talking about now builds on that. And remember that you can always watch or share any of our sermons via our archived sermons page on our website!

If you’re not out of town this Memorial Day weekend, join me this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 for worship. Victory Kids during both services.

Soccer Camp – For 9 years now we’ve been hearing parents tell us that their kids say this is their favorite week of the summer! Visit the soccer camp event page on our website for more info and registration about this fun camp for kids ages 4-11. Scroll down and find links to volunteer as a coach or group helper, or to help with the snacks, registration, or cookout.

Baby Bottle Blessing – Still have a plastic baby bottle sitting at home? Please remember to bring it back and put it in the basket in the lobby. The funds collected in these bottles will help support pregnancy care centers operated by WELS Lutherans for Life.

Job Posting - Victory Kids Director. An interview team has been formed and interviews will be held the weeks of June 6th and 13th with the goal for the position to start July 1. All qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a resume by May 31 to Pastor Ben. A job description for the position is on the website. Questions can be directed to Pastor Ben or any Leadership Team member.

Associate Pastor Call – Pastor Josh Odell declined our associate pastor call which means that he has chosen to remain in his current position. Wednesday evening therefore the Leadership Team met again for another call meeting. After prayerful discussion, a call has been extended to Pastor Bill Limmer. Pastor Bill currently serves at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel at UW Madison—an active ministry that serves college students and internationals. Among other things, Pastor Bill heads up their Life Groups ministry which helps people build healthy Christian relationships and learn how God’s Word applies to their lives. Pastor Bill is married with two children—both in their 20s. Please keep Bill and his wife Jackie in your prayers as they prayerfully consider where they feel they can best serve with joy to help build the Kingdom!

Soles For Jesus – month of June – clear your closet! Throughout the month of June there will be a bin in the lobby to gather shoes. The mission of Soles for Jesus is to share the love of Christ with people in African countries through the gift of shoes to those who desperately need them. You can bring new and used shoes for children and adults. All sizes and types of shoes are gladly accepted. For more information about Soles for Jesus, go to their website.

Breakfast and Bible Group – Will meet in June on the 6th, 13th and 27th in the ministry center lobby // all are welcome // free breakfast & coffee

Awake and Alive - June 12, 5pm. The Christian event for the 18-25 generation kicks off its Summer group series Sunday evening June 12th in Muskego, WI. Author and Creation speaker Jay Seegert will join us. Come for a great night of community with our famous $2 dinner, special music with Mike Westendorf and the Awake and Alive band as well as great discussion and encouragement for your Christian journey. See the event page on our website for more information.

Serving Opportunity: Victory Cafe - SUMMER TREATS! The Victory Cafe is one of our Sunday morning hospitality ministries. As God is blessing us with increased attendance, our need for yummy treats is also increasing. Would you like to join our Treat Team and occasionally bring a snack to share on Sunday mornings? Remember, you’re not just bringing a snack - you’re sharing Christ’s love and providing an opportunity for people to feel welcomed! To find out more, stop by the Victory Cafe and ask for Cindy, or sign up at the information desk in the lobby this Sunday.

Pre-marriage Workshops – For anyone getting married or thinking about getting married, I have 4 pre-marriage counseling sessions that I offer to help lay a foundation for a healthy, successful marriage. If anyone is interested in taking part in this with other couples in a group, I’d like to begin a session sometime in the next couple weeks which would then take place over the summer. Contact me to express interest and what days/times might work well for you.

Landscaping – This just, plans approved! Stay tuned for requests for volunteer help!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Victory News - New Series Starts Sunday


What a wonderful way to wrap up our series on baptism last Sunday with a great message and the opportunity to witness baptisms during each service! In case you missed it, here’s Caleb’s message and the recording from second service last Sunday. And here is a link to the video for the baptisms in first service. Remember too that you can always go back and watch or share messages from any of our sermon series via the archived sermons page on our website. Thank you so much to our tech team working diligently behind the scenes in the tech booth every Sunday who help with service production and livestreaming.

Coming up this Sunday we’re starting a new series called Real-ationships Make All the Difference. Here’s the big idea:

As we read through Scripture it’s amazing to see how vital relationships are in God’s grand design. In fact, God himself exists and works exclusively in relationship—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, in a sinful world relationships are not easy. In this series we want to explore the importance of relationships in our lives as well as God’s plan for using our personal relationships to share his love with the world.

Join me this Sunday at 9 or 10:45. Victory Kids during both services.

Marriage Enrichment Weekend Recap - Our first marriage enrichment event in our new ministry center was a great success last weekend. 16 people were able to attend “The Art of Marriage.” Here were some of the comments:

“We both feel re-energized and re-focused on what is important in our marriage…a very powerful and enjoyable time.”

“It was stimulating, humbling, and affected my heart.”

“Gave us a platform to talk about things we don’t usually take the time to address.”

“It pointed us back to Christ in our marriage—how much we left him out in some things…made us realize how important Jesus is in the little things in marriage that we take for granted.”

“We’ve decided to make a stronger commitment to each other.”

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received, I hope to again host another event this Fall. Stay tuned.

Soccer Camp for Kids – For 9 years now we’ve been hearing parents tell us that their kids say this is their favorite week of the summer! Visit the soccer camp event page on our website for more info and registration about this fun camp for kids ages 4-11. Scroll down and find links to volunteer as a coach or group helper, or to help with the snacks, registration, or cookout.

Baby Bottle Blessing – Please remember to bring back your baby bottle. The funds collected in these bottles will help support pregnancy care centers operated by WELS Lutherans for Life. The money collected will go to saving lives and spreading the love of Jesus to those making pregnancy decisions. You can return the bottle to church this Sunday or any of the remaining Sundays in May. If you prefer, you may put your donation in an envelope and mark it “BABY BOTTLE BLESSING”. Please fill out and return the insert in the bottle to receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

Victory Moms Group – Thursday Morning Playgroup and Book Club – Connect with other moms. Newcomers always welcome! Meets Thursday mornings 9:30-11 am in the Victory Kids wing at our ministry center. Discussing “The Power of a Positive Mom,” by Karol Ladd. Contact Chrissy with questions.

Breakfast and Bible Group – We’ll be meeting again this Monday mornings from 5:45-6:45 am in the ministry center lobby. All are welcome! Free breakfast and coffee. We’ll have off the following week for Memorial Day. We’ll talk this coming Monday about whether to continue over the summer.

Landscaping – Still working with the City to get approval for our final landscaping plans. Stay tuned.

Leadership Team Meeting – Here’s a link to this month’s Leadership Team update. We’ll have a couple of printed copies available on the info tables at the ministry center also. And as always if you have any issues, questions, or concerns please communicate them with anyone on the Leadership Team. Contact info can be found here on our website.

Associate Pastor Call – Pastor Josh Odell will be announcing a decision on our call by this coming Sunday. Please keep him in your prayers especially that God would grant him peace in making a settled decision about where to serve in Christ’s Kingdom.

Caleb’s Call Day at the Seminary – Caleb Schultz was assigned to serve for a year as a tutor (dormitory supervisor/teacher) at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown. We give thanks to God and ask His blessings on Caleb as he makes the transition to Luther Prep over the summer. This Sunday will officially be Caleb’s last Sunday at VotL but of course that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing him again!

Pre-marriage Workshops – For anyone getting married or thinking about getting married, I have 4 pre-marriage counseling sessions that I offer to help lay a foundation for a healthy, successful marriage. If anyone is interested in taking part in this with other couples in a group, I’d like to begin a session sometime in the next 2-3 weeks which would then continue over the summer. Contact me to express interest and what days/times might work well for you.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Victory News - One Label to Wear


To remember your baptism is to reclaim your true identity as a child of God. Why? Because through the water and word of holy baptism you have exchanged the filthy old rags of your sins along with all the worn out, mis-fitting , and entirely inappropriate labels that the world has slapped on you for the brand new clothes of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ your Savior!

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27).

That’s why Sunday we passed out “Child of God” labels to illustrate the fact that your past history does not change your present identity. Did you wear yours? Where did it end up? On your closet door? On your fridge or bathroom mirror? Somewhere else? – Thank you by the way to Lexi and Josh and Sophie and Lydia for writing out all those labels!

And thank you to all of you who’ve shared pictures or stories with me about how that little label has helped you reclaim your true identity through holy baptism. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing pictures of your “Child of God” label on your fridge, on your mirror, or in one case… on the waitress who served you on Mother’s Day with a big smile on her face knowing that she too could also be called a Child of God!

If any of you have your own pictures or stories, I want to encourage you to share them with me yet. It’s so helpful for me and others to hear and see how God’s Word is making in a difference in your everyday world. And it encourages me to hear how all the hard work that goes into preaching matters in your life.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to this past Sunday’s service and sermon based on Galatians 3:26-27. Don’t miss out on re-discovering why your baptism can be considered the most important day of your life!

This Sunday Caleb will bring home our “The Most Important Day” series on baptism. We’ll also have an opportunity to witness baptisms in each of the services on Sunday. And we’ve got baptisms scheduled actually the next four Sundays in a row which is awesome!

THIS WEEKEND - The Art of Marriage – I am facilitating a marriage enrichment event at our ministry center this Friday, May 13 from 6:30-9:00 pm and this Saturday, May 14 from 9:00-4:00 pm. For more info and to register please visit our website event page. The church is providing all materials free of charge because we want to help marriages in our community thrive, not just survive! Please register asap.

NEXT MONTH – Soccer Camp for Kids – For 9 years now we’ve been hearing parents tell us that their kids say this is their favorite week of the summer! Visit the soccer camp event page on our website for more info and registration about this fun camp for kids ages 4-11. Scroll down and find links to volunteer as a coach or group helper, or to help with the snacks, registration, or cookout.

Baby Bottle Blessing – Please remember to bring back the baby bottles we passed out the last two Sunday. The funds collected in these bottles will help support pregnancy care centers operated by WELS Lutherans for Life. The money collected will go to saving lives and spreading the love of Jesus to those making pregnancy decisions. You can return the bottle to church this Sunday or any of the remaining Sundays in May. If you prefer, you may put your donation in an envelope and mark it “BABY BOTTLE BLESSING”. Please fill out and return the insert in the bottle to receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

Victory Moms Group – Thursday Morning Playgroup and Book Club – Connect with other moms. Newcomers always welcome! Meets Thursday mornings 9:30-11 am in the Victory Kids wing at our ministry center. Discussing “The Power of a Positive Mom,” by Karol Ladd. Contact Chrissy with questions.

Breakfast and Bible Group – Continues to meet on Monday mornings from 5:45-6:45 am in the ministry center lobby. All are welcome! Free breakfast and coffee. Bring a Bible or we’ll happily give you one. Let me know if you’re coming or just show up.

Landscaping – We are in the final steps of putting together our landscaping plan thanks to the help of our members Dick Riege and Tim Yenter. Stay tuned for requests for help in planting trees, grass, plants, and flowers. We are working through the approval process with the City so we can order plants and begin as soon as possible.

Leadership Team Meeting – Monday evening this week we had a Leadership Team meeting at the ministry center. Look for the monthly update at the info table in the lobby either this Sunday or next when it’s published. I will include a link to it next week in my weekly email as well. And as always if you have any issues, questions, or concerns please communicate them with anyone on the Leadership Team. Contact info can be found here on our website.

Associate Pastor Call – Please keep Pastor Josh Odell and his family in your prayers as they deliberate our call to serve alongside me as an associate pastor at our church. Pastor Josh is also weighing our call with another call he received to St Peter, MN as well as his current call serving two churches in Eagle River and Phelps, WI. It sounds like he hopes to reach a decision in the next two weeks.

Caleb’s Call Day at the Seminary – Thursday, May 19th, at 10 am seniors like Caleb will be receiving their first full-time ministry calls during a special worship service at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. It’s an incredible experience to be a part of “Call Day”. Anyone is welcome to attend to learn right along with Caleb where he and his classmates are going to be assigned to serve as pastors. If you’re unable to attend in person you can also watch live via livestream.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, May 6, 2016

Victory News - The Love of Strangers

Simultaneously super fun and scary...preaching in front of 450 high school students and staff! @Luther Prep in Wttn
Dear Friends,

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing…” do you know how this verse ends?

“…some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2

Can you even imagine? What a thought…you never know who might be coming to church this Sunday!

This past weekend I got to lead a workshop at Wisconsin Lutheran High School as part of Evangelism Day. My workshop was called “Creating a Culture of Hospitality.” Over 40 people from quite a few different churches sat with me and discussed how our congregations can cultivate the biblical core value of hospitality and put it into practice.

Did you know that the word translated “hospitality” in the Bible literally means the “love of strangers”? We openly discussed, How would I as a stranger first experience the “love of strangers” in your church?

One of the things that inspires me about our church is the consistent feedback we’ve been getting from first-time guests who express how we’ve helped make them feel welcome, safe, even loved. Our Victory Café, Host Team, Usher Team, Victory Kids Team…and really all our attitudes and actions play into this. So thank you all for helping to create a culture of hospitality at our church where guests can experience God’s love so that they can hear the message of Christ’s victory!

And if you’ve got a special heart for showing hospitality, please consider volunteering on one of our Sunday morning hospitality teams. Here’s a link to our hospitality page where you can sign up to get more info.

NEXT WEEKEND - The Art of Marriage – I am facilitating a free, weekend marriage enrichment event at our ministry center on Friday, May 13 from 6:30-9:00 pm and Saturday, May 14 from 9:00-4:00 pm. For more info and to register please visit our website event page. You don’t have to be a member of our church and you are certainly welcome to invite another couple to attend with you!

“The Most Important Day” series – This Sunday’s sermon is one you won’t want to miss. I’m going to be talking about how your past history does not impact your present identity. And in case you missed this past Sunday’s sermon, be sure and catch it! I truly believe that this series has the potential to change your perspective on life and help you find confidence for whatever the future holds. Here’s the link to this past Sunday’s service.
Soccer Camp 2016 – Parents and kids are calling it, “The best week of summer!” Visit the event page on our website for more info and registration. Scroll down and find links to volunteer as a coach or group helper, or to help with the snacks, registration, or cookout.

TOMORROW - Life-A-Thon 2016, Saturday May 7th – Does your family cherish God's gift of life? Run with team Victory of the Lamb and me to help support the life saving work of WELS Lutherans For Life Metro-Milwaukee. For info and registration go to www.life-a-thon.org Help save the life of a baby, transform a family, and share the gospel with those who are scared and hurting!

Baby Bottle Blessing – Sunday we will again be making baby bottles available for you to take home. The funds collected in these bottles will help support pregnancy care centers operated by WELS Lutherans for Life. The money collected will go to saving lives and spreading the love of Jesus to those making pregnancy decisions. Please take a bottle and fill it with cash, change, or a check and then return it to church this Sunday or any of the remaining Sundays in May. If you prefer, you may put your donation in an envelope and mark it “BABY BOTTLE BLESSING”. Please fill out and return the insert to receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

Luther Prep ChapelWednesday morning I had the privilege of preaching for morning chapel at my former High School—Luther Prep School (LPS) in Watertown. LPS is one of our synod’s two high schools that are supported by congregational mission offerings to especially help young people like me be encouraged to pursue the full-time preaching or teaching ministry. I’m quite sure without the Christian influence and encouragement that I received at Luther Prep I never would’ve decided to be a pastor. So it’s very rewarding for me to get an opportunity like this every year to try and inspire other young people to think about the ministry. And if there’s anyone in our church thinking about maybe some day being a pastor or teacher… I’d welcome the opportunity to talk more! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Victory Moms Group– Thursday Morning Playgroup and Book Club – Connect with other moms. Newcomers always welcome! Meets Thursday mornings 9:30-11 am in the Victory Kids wing at our ministry center. Discussing “The Power of a Positive Mom,” by Karol Ladd. The book discussion will be very flexible and kid friendly, so if you don’t have time to read the book each week, no worries! We’ll still have plenty to discuss. Contact Chrissy with questions.

Breakfast and Bible Group – Meets on Monday mornings from 5:45-6:45 am in the ministry center lobby. All are welcome! Free breakfast and coffee. Bring a Bible or we’ll happily give you one. Let me know if you’re coming or just show up.

Landscaping – In case you’re wondering…we are in the final steps of putting together our ministry center landscaping plan thanks to the help of our members Dick Riege and Tim Yenter. Stay tuned for requests at the end of this month and into June for help in planting trees, grass, plants, and flowers. In a month or two our campus will be transformed…with your help!

Leadership Team Meeting – Coming up this Monday evening is our next monthly Leadership Team meeting. In additional to our regular items such as Bible study and prayer, the big item on the agenda is the upcoming fiscal year’s financial ministry plan (aka budget). With many changes over the past year, rapid growth, and new opportunities and some uncertainties ahead, please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance on this process. And as always if you have any issues, questions, or concerns please communicate them with anyone on the Leadership Team. Contact info can be found here on our website.

Associate Pastor Call – Last but not least, please keep Pastor Josh Odell and his family in your prayers as they deliberate our call to serve alongside me as an associate pastor at our church. Having talked with Josh, I think he would be a great fit at our church. However Pastor Josh is also weighing our call with another call he received to St Peter, MN and his current call serving two churches in Eagle River and Phelps, WI. It will be another week or two before Pastor Josh comes to a decision.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben