Thursday, June 30, 2016

Victory News - 1st week of July

Landscaping is happening

(Click here to watch this past Sunday’s sermon on the foolishness of the cross as we began our new sermon series on 1 Corinthians.)

What an amazing week getting to see our outdoor landscape transformed! Major kudos to the hardworking crew from McKay Nursery and our member Dick Riege for planning it all and doing so much of the organizational legwork. And thank-you to everyone who provided hoses and those who’ve volunteered to water with those hoses to keep our newly planted 96 trees + shrubs + flowers alive! We’ve got some work to do!

Landscaping Help Still Needed – Members and Regular Attenders, last week you should have received two emails related to landscaping: one about watering, another about mulching on July 9th. Please click on the big green button “View Need” at the bottom of those emails to sign up to help. If you have any other questions or you’d like to know how you can help, please contact Dick Riege / 414.750.7977 who’s overseeing the project. All are invited to help.

Associate Pastor Call – In case you weren’t around Sunday to hear the fantastic news…I was able to announce that Pastor Bill Limmer has officially accepted our associate pastor call! Please keep Pastor Bill and his wife Jacky in your prayers as they look for housing and plan their move here over what’s going to be for them a very busy month of July. August 1 will be Pastor Bill’s first official day at VotL. We’ll be having his installation on August 7th during our regular Sunday morning services with a special tailgate party / cookout at noon immediately following the 2nd service! I can’t wait! Stay tuned.

Victory Kids – For the month of July, we will only have Victory Kids ministry during the 9 am service. So there will be no Victory Kids during the 10:45 service. Numbers have been lower during the 10:45 service during the summer and many of our regular volunteers are on vacation. Therefore we want to focus on having a great Victory Kids program for the 9 am service in July with the goal to go back to two services of Victory Kids in August or certainly by September when the school year picks up again.

Victory Kids Pizza Party – Coming up on Thursday evening, July 21st from 6-8 pm …all parents, volunteers…and anyone interested in our Victory Kids ministry is invited to a pizza party at the ministry center. The purpose of this pizza party is to welcome Liz Scheel, our new Victory Kids director, and to give you all an opportunity to get to meet her and other members of the Victory Kids leadership team. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about volunteering for Victory Kids with the chance to win a free iPad in a drawing on July 31st!

Soles For Jesus – clear your closet! We’ll be hauling away the huge pile of shoes we’ve received next week, which means you can still bring those shoes you forgot yet this Sunday to add to our pile!

4th of July Parade – Still time to donate individually wrapped, non-chocolate candy at the ministry center anytime through July 3. Look for the bin in the lobby.

Also looking for people to walk alongside our church float during the parade. We’ll be handing out candy while our band plays music. The parade starts at 11 am on July 4th. Meet by our float (generally located near the Walgreens on Loomis Rd, although this year I’m told we’re last in line so find us furthest back on Loomis Rd) between 10:30 and 11 am. Decorated strollers welcome!

Because we’re at the end of the parade, that means you could probably meet up with our float pretty safely around 11 am when the parade officially starts and we’ll still have a few minutes before we move out. Parking at or around the Franklin post office would be a convenient place from which to walk to where our float will begin.

Breakfast and Bible Group – Won’t meet July 4th or 11th. Will meet on July 18th and 25th in the ministry center lobby // all are welcome // free breakfast & coffee. Yippee!

New Bible 101 Class Beginning July 19thBible 101 is a 4 week class and is the next step for those who would like to know more about the basic teachings of the Bible. It is also for anyone who would like to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. // 4 consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm starting July 19th. Contact me to register for Bible 101! All materials provided.

Bible 201 – We’re on for class this coming Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the ministry center

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 24, 2016

Victory News - Soccer Camp Week!


What a great week it’s been at soccer camp! God has given us a terrific week of weather so that over 200 kids + over 30 coaches, helpers and volunteers have heard and helped to share the hope, courage, love, and power of Jesus…while also having fun playing soccer! Today is the final day of camp and afterwards our cookout which I always look forward to because it gives me an opportunity to meet so many people from our community.

This coming Sunday we also are inviting all the kids from soccer camp along with their families to join us at church as the kids will be singing their camp song at the 9 am service.

(Visit our Facebook page to check out pictures from soccer camp this week!)

Likewise this Sunday we’re kicking off a new sermon series where we’ll be taking a journey through the book of 1 Corinthians and seeing how absolutely relevant God’s Word still is to our modern world. So please join me this Sunday at 9 (when the soccer camp kids sing) or 10:45 for worship. Victory Kids during both services. One quick note: we will not have communion this Sunday as regularly scheduled.

(Click here to watch this past Sunday’s sermon from Pastor Bramdeo Ramgolam from Trinity Lutheran Church in St Lucia, one of our More Than Bricks mission partners.)

Associate Pastor Call – Our church has called Pastor Bill Limmer to serve as an associate pastor alongside me. This coming Sunday I’ll be announcing Pastor Bill’s decision. Please keep Pastor Bill and his wife Jacky in your prayers!

Soles For Jesus – month of June – clear your closet! Throughout the month of June there is 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.

Pastor Ben Communication – If you’ve been patiently trying to connect with me over the last month or two, thank you for your persistence! Life (and my calendar!) have been extremely full since moving into our new ministry center. Our church family is growing rapidly…and that’s a good thing! I’m looking forward to welcoming a second pastor on board, but in the meantime I’m doing the best I can to reply to messages and emails and setting up conversations where we can talk more. So if it seems like it’s taking me longer than usual to respond, please don’t take that as indication that I don’t care. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Breakfast and Bible Group – Will meet on June 27th in the ministry center lobby // all are welcome // free breakfast & coffee. July dates TBD.

New Bible 101 Class Beginning July 19thBible 101 is a 4 week class and is the next step for those who would like to know more about the basic teachings of the Bible. It is also for anyone who would like to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. // 4 consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm starting July 19th. Contact me to register for Bible 101! All materials provided.

Bible 201 – We’re back on track for class this coming Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the ministry center.

Bible 301 – A reminder to my Bible 301 group that we’ll be having a cookout followed by our final lesson on Tuesday evening starting at 5:30 pm at the ministry center. I’ll send you all a group email reminder also.

June Leadership Team Update – Click here to read on our website.

Landscaping Help Needed – Members and Regular Attenders, yesterday you should have received two emails related to landscaping: one about watering, another about mulching. Please click on the big green button “View Need” at the bottom of those emails to sign up to help asap, thanks!

4th of July Parade – 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 3. Look for the bin in the lobby.
Walk alongside our church float. We’ll be handing out candy while our band plays music. The parade starts at 11 am on July 4th. Meet by our float (generally located near the Walgreens on Loomis Rd) between 10:30 and 11 am. Decorated strollers welcome!

St. Jacobi School – Victory of the Lamb is extremely blessed to enjoy a partnership with St Jacobi Lutheran School in Greenfield. St Jacobi provides Christian Education from 3K-8th grade. Click here to view an updated flyer with tuition rates for Victory of the Lamb member families attending St Jacobi school.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 10, 2016

Victory News - Second Week of June

Fellowship in between services. Thank you Victory Cafe and Host Teams!
Dear Friends,

“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

How incredible it must have been to be a part of that growing Christian church family that we read about in the book of Acts!

How exciting it would be if we could also be part of a growing church family like that today!

But we can…when we become connected to God by a common faith and we become connected to each other by an uncommon love. That’s what I talked about this past Sunday in my sermon about The Church in part 3 of our series Real-ationships Make All the Difference. Visit our sermon page to watch in case you missed it.

Join me this Sunday as we wrap up this series at 9 or 10:45 for worship. Victory Kids during both services.

Quest Teen Cookout – Calling all teens…Congrats on completing another year of school! In your honor we are throwing a cookout & bonfire this Sunday, June 12th from 6-9:30pm. All teens are welcome and we are also having a competition to see if the boys or girls bring more friends. So ask your parents and bring a friend so we can celebrate you and discuss how to cast your fears on the Lord! For more about Quest please visit Facebook.com/questteens or contact Jon Brown-Schmidt via email or via phone / txt 414-531-3690.

Soccer Camp, Coming Soon! – Visit the soccer camp event page on our website for more info and registration about this fun camp for kids ages 4-11. We’re approaching 200 kids registered! There are just a few T-shirts left, so register asap if you haven’t already!

HELP Opportunities for Soccer Camp—Anyone who can help, please meet at the ministry center any of the following days / times:

Sunday, June 12th 12-3
Tuesday, June 14th 9-3
Wednesday, June 15th 9-12, 6-9
Thursday, June 16th 12-3
Saturday, June 18th 9-3
Monday, June 20th 9-9 (from 6-9, we will take items to Polonia and set-up there)
Tuesday 8-12 - set up AT POLONIA

Please let Cassy know you’re coming, or just show up to help. Thank you!

Click here to register yet for the camp and to help during the days of the camp June 21-24th.

Group Home RunRunners are invited to join us at 5:30 pm this Monday evening at a group home here in Franklin located at 8028 Coventry Lane. We’ll take turns taking the group home ladies for a casual spin around the neighborhood in our My Team Triumph racing chair. Contact Ryan Solie to let him know you’re coming. 

Look for the box!
Soles For Jesus – month of June – clear your closet! Throughout the month of June there is 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.

Awake and Alivethis coming Sunday 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.

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

More Than Bricks Update
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. We are 17 months into the 3 year campaign, and we will be including monthly status updates in the Friday blog from Pastor Ben.

Commitments                                               $416,000    (83.2% of Goal)
Donations Received in May                        $10,648
Total Received through April                     $242,116    (58.2% of Commitments)

God has blessed us richly in this campaign, and our prayer is that we are able to reach the $500,000 in commitments during the next 19 months. As a reminder, your box of donation envelopes includes a monthly MTB envelope, and you can also donate either on line or via text. If you are a new member or would like an informational packet about MTB, please ask an usher at church or contact Pastor Ben.

New Bible 101 Class Beginning July 19thBible 101 is a 4 week class and is the next step for those who would like to know more about the basic teachings of the Bible. It is also for anyone who would like to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. // 4 consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm starting July 19th. Contact me to register! All materials provided.

Victory Kids Director. God blessed us with three qualified, eager candidates who were interviewed this week for the new Victory Kids Director position. A first round of interviews took place early in the week. A second round of interviews took place yesterday. The interview team will be contacting each of the candidates over the weekend to thank them all for applying and for interviewing so well and to inform them of our decision. The goal is for the newly selected director to start July 1. Cassy, our current Children’s Ministry Director, has agreed to help out as a resource through July to make a smooth transition for the new Victory Kids Director so that there is a continuity of our kids ministry.

Associate Pastor Call – On May 25th, the Leadership Team extended a call to Pastor Bill Limmer who currently serves at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel at UW Madison. Conversations are ongoing. Please keep Pastor Bill and his wife Jacky in your prayers as they prayerfully consider where they feel they can best serve with joy to help build the Kingdom.

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, please contact me to express interest and what days/times might work well for you. 

Leadership Team Meeting – Meets this coming Monday at 6:30 pm at the ministry center. In addition to regularly occurring items like Bible study, prayer, and member care matters, items on the agenda include finalizing financial ministry plan details for the upcoming fiscal year, evaluating an employee handbook proposal, discussing church governance and structure goals, drafting facility use policies, and Victory Kids director transition. Please contact anyone on the Leadership Team with any questions, comments, or concerns related to our mission and ministry.

Landscaping – Church Mulching Day - Saturday, July 9th. Planting will take place the week of June 27th by McKay Nursery. VotL volunteers needed for mulching on July 9th. Save the date and stay tuned for details! Some volunteers will also be needed to help water plants when they’re planted at the end of June / early July.

The cross stands high above the weeds...the weeds don't stand a chance!
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 3, 2016

Victory News - First Week of June!


“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

This past Sunday we explored the context of this important verse from the book of Joshua in the Bible. We then talked about the legacy that we leave when we practice spiritual discernment, draw some important lines in our lives related to our priorities, and daily make the choice to serve the LORD our God who loves us so much that he gave his one and only Son for us.

In particular I highlighted our use of technology as a potential false god or idol in our lives—is it a tool that we use to the glory of God and to help foster healthy family relationships? Or has it become a tool that the devil uses to distract us from what’s really important…or worse?

In case you were out of town or missed last week’s message, remember that you can always check it out via our website. I pray that God might use this message to help build up and encourage the families in our church!

This Sunday as we continue our series “Real-ationships Make All the Difference”, I’ll be talking next about the relationships that we have with each other as a church family. And for the fourth Sunday in a row we’ll have a couple baptisms—God is good!

So join me this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 for worship. Victory Kids during both services.

Soccer Camp for Kids –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. Please register asap if you haven’t already!

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

Soles For Jesus – month of June – clear your closet! Throughout the month of June starting this Sunday 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.

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.

Quest Teen Ministry (7th – 12th grade) – Any and all teens, come to Quest on Sunday nights at 6 pm at Victory of the Lamb. Visit Facebook.com/questteens or contact Jon Brown-Schmidt via email or via phone / txt 414-531-3690.

Victory Kids Director. Resumes have been received. An interview team has been formed and has met to establish an interview process. The first round of interviews will take place this coming Monday June 6th at the ministry center. Further interviews will be scheduled soon afterwards with the goal for the newly selected director to start July 1. Cassy, our current Children’s Ministry Director, has chosen not to apply for the new Victory Kids Director position and will be making the transition to a full-time job elsewhere. We are thankful that she is willing to continue serving in her current role as we all transition.

Associate Pastor Call – On May 25th, the Leadership Team extended a call to Pastor Bill Limmer who currently serves at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel at UW Madison. Conversations are ongoing. Please keep Pastor Bill and his wife Jacky in your prayers as they prayerfully consider where they feel they can best serve with joy to help build the Kingdom.

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, please contact me to express interest and what days/times might work well for you.

Landscaping – Now that we have City approval of our plans, we are working to finalize details of what we can reasonably expect volunteers to be able to do and what we have to contract out to do. Details coming soon. In the meantime a display of our approved landscaping plan will be set up in the garage door room at the ministry center for you to look at this coming Sunday if you’d like.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben