Friday, September 23, 2016

Victory News - Love Is Everything



Dear Friends,

Love. It’s not just wistful thoughts. It’s not just wishy-washy feelings. It’s not mere sentimental words.

It’s everything. Without it, Paul says, we are nothing.

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).

Join me this Sunday as we dig into 1 Corinthians 13, a chapter of the Bible that God wants to use to recalibrate our hearts and lives and relationships. What do this have to do with you and me? What does this have to do with spiritual gifts and our church? In a word…everything. Love makes all the difference.

Do you have a case of HDD (“Honor-Deficiency-Disorder") or EH (“Extra-honor-itis”)? Watch Vicar Peter's message based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 from this past Sunday to get the cure!

Weeding Pullers Needed Tomorrow! Help pulling weeds around the ministry center this Saturday morning at 9 am. Just show up. Bring some buckets if you've got them, maybe some gloves, perhaps a trowel or spade. Boots might be nice too. The ground is soft and the weeds pull out pretty easily, but some are getting quite large! There is quite a bit of work to do and we could use your help. If you have any questions please contact Ron Takacs at 414-510-4805. This will help prepare for sodding and seeding this Fall. 

Sod Party Next Saturday – Volunteers needed at the ministry center on October 1st, beginning at 8:00 am. We have 12 pallets of sod coming, so it would be great if we could get 15-20 people there to help, as we'll be able to get 6-7 teams of 3 people or so working around the building. If anyone has sod cutters that they could bring, that would be great. Any questions please contact Jim Guenther / 414-659-3648.

Victory Kids – Victory Kids is back to both services again after the summer. If you have any questions about our Victory Kids program, or wish to learn more about volunteering, please contact our Victory Kids Director, Liz Scheel.

Breakfast and Bible Group – Will meet again this Monday, September 26th @5:45 am in the ministry center lobby // all are welcome // free breakfast & coffee. Studying Bible.

New 101 Class – continues Thursday evening from 6:30-8:00. Lesson on Grace.

Sanctuary Art and Furnishings – Next week I am meeting with Paul Mattek of Design Fugitives to discuss extending the stage as part of the overall project. Jeff Tredo, one of our original building architects, has generously volunteered to work with us to cover the costs.

September Leadership Team Update – Printed copies of this month’s update from our September 12th meeting will be available at the info tables in the lobby. It will also be available online soon on the page where all of Leadership Team updates are made available.

Symposium on Hermeneutics This week Monday and Tuesday, Pastor Bill and I attended a gathering with 350 other pastors at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary for a symposium on Biblical Interpretation (aka Hermeneutics). For those of you who might be interested in digging or experiencing this too, the papers that were studied as well as archived video that was live streamed is available on the Seminary website here.

An Army For Jackson – John and Ashley Poulos' son Jackson (age 4) is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Please continue to pray for this family! If you would like to help in a tangible way, you can purchase food/grocery/gas gift cards and place them in the box marked "Support for Poulos Family" in the welcome area at church. A GoFundMe page has also been set up online where you can donate. You can also sign up to bring a meal to the family through Care Calendar. To sign up, go to www.carecalendar.org. The Calendar ID is 237748, and the security code is 4799. Any dates that have "Dinner" in red are open for you to bring a meal! Due to a nut allergy in the family, please be sure to prepare all meals nut-free. Any questions? Feel free also to email Sammi Goodger.

Fall Women’s RetreatA one day Women’s Retreat filled with worship, prayer and God’s Word designed to renew and strengthen your faith. Learn how to count trials and sufferings as joy. We will hear how this is possible through God’s promises and learn how we can keep joy in our hearts every day. Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Divine Peace Lutheran Church (3203 S. 76th St. – Milwaukee). For more information and registration visit their event page.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Victory News - September Body Building


Dear Friends,

I remember the first time I walked into a weight room with the rest of my freshman football team. Yikes.  I was tall, skinny, wimpy (not much has changed there!) and totally clueless. I felt like a fish out of water. Like I didn’t belong.

But our coaches took the time to show us how to use the equipment. Upperclassmen helped to teach me proper form. Together we set some reachable goals and as teammates we gave each other encouragement. Then I started to see some progress, started to have fun, and started to feel like I belonged on the team. Eventually enjoying success on the field only increased that feeling of getting to be part of something special.

This, I think, is how a lot of people feel when they start coming to church. It can be nerve wracking at first, super intimidating even. They’re sizing themselves up. They’re looking around. They’re wondering, “Do I belong here?” “Where do I fit?” “Is this for me?” But if we find our place, if we grow in using our gifts, if we encourage each other and work together…there is great joy to be had in belonging to something special!

This is what we’ll be talking about Sunday as we study 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 in the Bible. Peter Schlicht, our new student assistant from the Seminary, is going to talking about “Body Building.”

What’s this all about? It’s about how each one of us is part of the Body of Christ! We’re here to encourage each other, to honor each other, and to work together using our spiritual gifts as members of one body to share the message of our common Savior.

Click here to watch my message from this past Sunday, "The Holy Spirit Loves Diversity.” This was part one of another mini-series within 1 Corinthians based on chapters 12-14. Its sets the stage for what Peter will be sharing this coming Sunday.
 
Breakfast and Bible Group – Will meet again this Monday, September 19th @5:45 am in the ministry center lobby // all are welcome // free breakfast & coffee. We’ll be starting a new book of the Bible so this would be a great time to jump in!

New Bible 101 Class Beginning September 22nd – Bible 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 Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm starting September 22nd. Please RSVP online by filling out this brief form. All materials provided.

Small Groups– Opportunities to connect with other people and grow together. Visit our web page to see if there's a group for you. Stay tuned for more opportunities as this is one of the major areas that Pastor Bill will be working on and communicating as we work together as a team.

Victory Kids – Victory Kids is back to both services again after the summer. If you have any questions about our Victory Kids program, or wish to learn more about volunteering, please contact our Victory Kids Director, Liz Scheel.

Wedding – Congratulations and God’s blessings to Nate and Olivia who were united in marriage this week Tuesday evening at our ministry center. It was a privilege to officiate for the ceremony and to see all the Victory of the Lamb volunteers serving. Thank you all! Please keep the Grunds in your prayers as they head off soon to North Carolina where Nate will be stationed until possible deployment early next year.

Sanctuary Art and Furnishings – Currently coordinating next steps with Paul from Design Fugitives. Stay tuned for more info including an FAQ document. We’ll do our best as we move forward to keep the website page updated.

An Army For Jackson -- John and Ashley Poulos' son Jackson (age 4) is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Please continue to pray for this family! If you would like to help in a tangible way, you can purchase food/grocery/gas gift cards and place them in the box marked "Support for Poulos Family" in the welcome area at church. A GoFundMe page has also been set up online where you can donate. You can also sign up to bring a meal to the family through Care Calendar. To sign up, go to www.carecalendar.org. The Calendar ID is 237748, and the security code is 4799. Any dates that have "Dinner" in red are open for you to bring a meal! Due to a nut allergy in the family, please be sure to prepare all meals nut-free. Any questions? Feel free also to email Sammi Goodger.

Fall Women’s RetreatA one day Women’s Retreat filled with worship, prayer and God’s Word designed to renew and strengthen your faith. Learn how to count trials and sufferings as joy. We will hear how this is possible through God’s promises and learn how we can keep joy in our hearts every day. Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Divine Peace Lutheran Church (3203 S. 76th St. – Milwaukee). For more information and registration visit their event page.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, September 9, 2016

Victory News - Back to Church Sunday!

Truck, van, bike...or trike...come back to church this Sunday! Victory Kids is also back to two services.

Dear Friends,

15 years ago. September 11, 2001. It was a Tuesday. I was in college coming out from a class when I heard the news. “We’re under attack.”

That following Sunday, church attendance spiked in churches all across our country.

I’m praying that church attendance once again trends upward in churches all across the country this Sunday, September 11, 2016, as we reflect on what took place 15 years ago and what’s taken place in the 15 years since. We have so many blessings to thank God for, yet at the same time so many reasons to continue to turn to God’s Word and ask in prayer for God’s divine protection and peace.

So please join me this “Back to Church Sunday” coming up this Sunday, September 11th. We’re beginning a new section of 1 Corinthians that looks at spiritual gifts, how each of us has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit, and how we can use our gifts together to make a difference in our world for time… and for eternity!

Click here to watch Pastor Bill’s message from this past Sunday, "Single Lives Matter.” Part 4 of our mini series--Intimacy and Purity—based on 1 Corinthians 5-7.
Breakfast and Bible Group – Will meet on this Monday, September 12th @5:45 am in the ministry center lobby // all are welcome // free breakfast & coffee.

New Bible 101 Class Beginning September 22nd – Bible 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 Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm starting September 22nd. Contact me to register for Bible 101! All materials provided.

Victory Kids – Victory Kids will continue with regular children’s programming at both services again this Sunday, September 11. If you have any questions, contact our Victory Kids Director, Liz Scheel.

Sanctuary Art and Furnishings – Thank you for the feedback—in person, at our open forums, or via the online form. Paul Mattek from Design Fugitives and I met again Thursday this week to discuss the feedback, design details, timeline, and next steps. Paul will be making some design tweaks and putting together a list of options. Stay tuned for more info including an FAQ document.

Confirmation Class (6th-8th Grade) Starting This Sunday, September 11thThe class will meet twice each month on Sunday mornings during the school year. Currently we will be meeting during the 10:45am service. The lessons are presented in a 3-year revolving curriculum, so regardless of when a student joins, they receive the entire instruction. If you have any questions or would like to enroll your child, please contact Pastor Bill or Jon Brown-Schmidt.

An Army For Jackson -- John and Ashley Poulos' son Jackson (age 4) is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Please continue to pray for this family! If you would like to help in a tangible way, you can purchase food/grocery/gas gift cards and place them in the box marked "Support for Poulos Family" in the welcome area at church. A GoFundMe page has also been set up online where you can donate. You can also sign up to bring a meal to the family through Care Calendar. To sign up, go to www.carecalendar.org. The Calendar ID is 237748, and the security code is 4799. Any dates that have "Dinner" in red are open for you to bring a meal! Due to a nut allergy in the family, please be sure to prepare all meals nut-free. Any questions? Feel free also to email Sammi Goodger.

Next Monthly Leadership Team Meeting – Coming up this Monday evening, September 12th. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out to anyone on the Leadership Team individually or to email the Leadership Team as a group.

Volunteer Request for Victory Moms Group – Looking for someone to help as a volunteer by being the second person in the room on Thursday mornings to hang out with kids (no more than 2 hrs) so moms can be strengthened fully in their devotion time. For more info or to express interest please contact Chrissy or Lara.

Quest Teens (7th-12th grade) – Welcome back! All teens are invited to a kickoff party this Sunday evening from 6-8 pm at the ministry center. Pizza, fun, and time discussing God’s Word together.

Fall Women’s RetreatA one day Women’s Retreat filled with worship, prayer and God’s Word designed to renew and strengthen your faith. Learn how to count trials and sufferings as joy. We will hear how this is possible through God’s promises and learn how we can keep joy in our hearts every day. Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Divine Peace Lutheran Church (3203 S. 76th St. – Milwaukee). For more information and registration visit their event page.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, September 2, 2016

Victory News - 1st Week of September


Paul Mattek from Design Fugitives presenting his design for sanctuary art / furnishings between services last Sunday. See below for update.
Dear Friends,

It was good to be back with you all this past Sunday after getting to spend a week away with my family on vacation in Branson, MO! Two quick highlights of our trip (among many):

First was worshiping together as a family at Table Rock Lake at a picnic table as we read a Psalm, discussed it, prayed, and sang in a beautiful place surrounded by God’s creation. Second was taking in a production about Moses and getting a tour backstage at the Sight and Sound Theatre which is an absolutely incredible facility in the Ozarks. They did an incredible job making the Bible come alive. And what impressed me very much was how clearly the message of Jesus rang out during and at the end of that production! Taking in the whole scene with the Passover meal as they portrayed it was powerful.

This coming Sunday at Victory of the Lamb, Pastor Bill will wrap up our section on Intimacy and Purity by talking about the blessings of a single life. I appreciate the positive feedback you’ve given about this part of our journey through 1 Corinthians. It hasn’t been easy putting together these messages but it’s helpful to hear that many of you have appreciated them and found them to be timely, tactful, and truthful.

Click here to watch my message from this past Sunday, "What's love got to do with it?" Part 3 of our mini series--Intimacy and Purity--as we've been going through 1 Corinthians 5-7.
During Sunday’s sermon I shared that I put together a list of resources related to some of the topics we’ve been unpacking in this “Intimacy and Purity” section of 1 Corinthians. Here’s a link to those resources.

Series Q and A This Sunday – If you have any questions from our current series topic, go ahead and email them to me ahead of this Sunday. Or you can text me your questions Sunday after Pastor Bill’s sermon on singleness. I’ve built into our service for Sunday a Q and A opportunity where Pastor Bill and I will address a couple of your questions. If we end up having more good questions than time allows this could open up the door for another conversation too at a different time.

Victory Kids – Victory Kids will continue with regular children’s programming at both services again starting on Sunday, September 11. If you have any questions, contact our Victory Kids Director, Liz Scheel.

Welcome Peter!
Student Assistant Peter Schlicht – Sunday we installed our new student assistant from the Seminary for the next 9 months. Along with Peter we also welcomed his wife, Rachel. Last year Peter lived and served as a vicar in Rockford, MI. Peter’s position at VotL has been crafted with his gifts in mind along with where those gifts can best be used now that Pastor Bill is on the team too. Therefore, Peter will be doing some preaching but less than Caleb Schultz did last year. Peter will serve often as a teacher in Victory Kids. Also in coordination with Liz, our Victory Kids director, Peter will lead and develop a youth band made up of some of our church’s teens to help lead the Victory kids in a song that they would then sing in church every other month with the teen musicians leading the music. Peter will also work with Sarah Kuerth, our Music Team leader, to integrate with our worship band playing guitar, worship leading, and mentoring especially a couple of our young guitarists. As time permits Peter may also teach a Teen Bible 101 class and fill in wherever else it might be mutually agreeable.

Sanctuary Art and Furnishings – Paul Mattek from Design Fugitives presented his design for sanctuary art and furnishings this past Sunday, August 28. He described the design process and the meaning behind the art elements. Thank you to the many of you who participated and gave feedback! Visit our web page for more details to yet give feedback via a web form. The form will remain active throughout this Labor Day Weekend until Tuesday, 9/6. Paul and I will be meeting soon to discuss feedback and what our next steps are. We may be in a position for the Leadership Team to make some decisions at our next Leadership Team meeting coming up on September 12th. We will continue to update the web page with details as we move forward.

August Leadership Team Update—Printed copies of this month’s update from our August 8th meeting will be available at the info tables in the lobby. It will also be available online soon on the page where all of Leadership Team updates are made available.

Confirmation Class (6th-8th Grade) Starting September 11thConfirmation Class is a place where our Jr High students (6th-8th grade) make a transition from child geared Bible stories of Victory Kids towards a more adult understanding of the faith they are living.

The Class will meet twice monthly on Sunday mornings during the school year. Currently we will be meeting during the 10:45am service. The first class this year will be on September 11th. Classes will be taught by Pastor Bill Limmer and Jon Brown-Schmidt.

The lessons are presented in a 3-year revolving curriculum, so regardless of when a student joins, they receive the entire instruction. If you have any questions or would like to enroll your child, please contact Pastor Bill or Jon Brown-Schmidt.

Staff Meeting Cookout (Update) – Every 4th Thursday of the month, I meet with our staff (called, hired, and volunteer team leaders). We pray about our highs and lows, celebrate stories of what God is doing in and through our church, talk through a book to help us grow as leaders, and evaluate what we can do better especially as far as our Sunday experience. This past Thursday we had a cookout on our new church Weber grill and we welcomed Pastor Bill and Peter to the team!

Breakfast and Bible Group – No class next Monday for Labor Day (September 5th). Will resume on September 12th.

An Army For Jackson -- John and Ashley Poulos' son Jackson (age 4) is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Please continue to pray for this family! If you would like to help in a tangible way, you can purchase food/grocery/gas gift cards and place them in the box marked "Support for Poulos Family" in the welcome area at church. A GoFundMe page has also been set up online where you can donate. You can also sign up to bring a meal to the family through Care Calendar. To sign up, go to www.carecalendar.org. The Calendar ID is 237748, and the security code is 4799. Any dates that have "Dinner" in red are open for you to bring a meal! Due to a nut allergy in the family, please be sure to prepare all meals nut-free. Any questions? Feel free also to email Sammi Goodger.
Fall Women’s Retreat - A one day Women’s Retreat filled with worship, prayer and God’s Word designed to renew and strengthen your faith. Learn how to count trials and sufferings as joy. We will hear how this is possible through God’s promises and learn how we can keep joy in our hearts every day. Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Divine Peace Lutheran Church (3203 S. 76th St. – Milwaukee). For more information and registration visit their event page.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben