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

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