Thursday, December 21, 2017

Intangible Christmas Gifts #BecauseofJesus


Dear Friends,

What’s on your Christmas wish list? If I were asking the kids I got to hang out with Tuesday as part of Operation Jesus Cares, I would hear answers like legos, a particular video game, or a basketball signed by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. If I were asking their parents I would hear things like having a permanent place to live, having enough money to fix the car, or wishing to be able to take a trip to see a loved one who lives far away.

How about you? Perhaps you realize that what you really wish for isn’t the kind of gift you can find wrapped up under the tree anymore. And that’s ok. Because that’s exactly why Jesus Christ came into this world for you and me—to give us the intangible, greater gifts of things like a clear conscience, credited righteousness, a justification that stands firm in the face of Satan’s accusations, a baptismal identity strong enough to overcome the world, a victorious hope that conquers the grave, and finally…lasting joy with our forever family in heaven!

What a wonderful opportunity we have on Christmas Eve this coming Sunday to unpack the gift of our Savior Jesus together! Join me at Victory of the Lamb at either 9 am or 4 pm to celebrate God’s love come down for us all. Invite a friend! It’s what the world needs. It’s what we all need! Then if you’re able please join us again on Christmas Day at 9 am for a different service where Pastor Bill will be preaching, our teen band will be playing, and we will have an opportunity to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together as a church family.

(ICYMI – This past Sunday was our Victory Kids Christmas program followed by Pastor Bill’s comforting message about the “Christmas letter” that Jesus wrote to you and me.) 

Take Note: Special Christmas Worship Schedule – On Sunday Dec 24, Christmas Eve, we will have two identical services: 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The 9:00 am service will feature a coffee and breakfast bar. Our Victory Kids program will offered during the 9:00 am service. The 4:00 pm service will have Christmas Cookies and a Hot Cocoa Bar. There will be no Victory Kids program during the 4:00 pm service. On Christmas Day we will have one service at 9:00 am with communion. There will be no Victory Kids program during the Christmas Day service.

Operation Jesus Cares Recap – Tuesday morning God blessed us with fantastic, sunny December weather as we got to help 140+ kids show the love of Jesus to their neighbors by going door to door giving gifts. In each care package was food for a spaghetti dinner, personal care items, winter hats and gloves, Christmas coloring books, and a bilingual invitation to the Christ-St Peter Kids Christmas Eve service. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and donated. And of special note…thank you for swiftly and generously kicking in the final $1,000 needed this week to cover in full all the costs for making this event successful once again!

Prayers for Peace It’s fitting this week as we celebrate Christmas that we also lift up our brothers and sisters in Nepal who are experiencing increased levels of persecution the last couple months. One dear family in particular has been under extreme pressures. Lord Jesus, watch over your people there and everywhere and give them courage to keep sharing the message of your victory. Your kingdom come. Grant them…and us…your peace. Amen.

Christmas Witnessing Tips – During Christmas worship services at your church, remember that it’s not about the numbers that come, but the connections that are made. // Mighty Warriors in Christ step out in faith to share their faith with others. Engage Christmas visitors who arrive to hear Good News. Invite neighbors… and bring a plate of Christmas cookies with you. We can say, “Christmas reminds me that God is with us... and with you. That brings me true joy and peace because it rests on what God has already done for all of us through Jesus. I would like to invite you to come and celebrate that message and what it means for us.” (From our friend Dave Malnes of Praise and Proclaim Ministries)

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, December 15, 2017

Victory News - Christmas Joy!


Dear Friends,

The Grinch is a bitter, grouchy, cave-dwelling creature with a heart “two sizes too small” that tries to steal the Christmas joy from Whoville—home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos.

What’s trying to steal your Christmas joy… Stress? Worry? Fear? Bitterness? Anger? Grief?

For the people that the prophet Isaiah was writing to long ago, all these things were threatening to rob them of “Christmas” joy too. Would they ever find deliverance from being exiled in Babylon? Would they ever experience joy again? Would the promised Savior ever come?

Of course the answer to those questions was Yes!

Even more, it’s a resounding Yes for us as well because Christ has come! God has kept his promise of sending us a Deliverer—a stress, worry, fear, bitterness, anger, grief, SIN and DEATH deliverer! And because of what Jesus accomplished for us… “No matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Take Note: Special Christmas Worship Schedule -- On Sunday Dec 24, Christmas Eve, we will have two identical services: 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The 9:00 am service will feature a coffee and breakfast bar. Our Victory Kids program will offered during the 9:00 am service. The 4:00 pm service will have Christmas Cookies and a Hot Cocoa Bar. There will be no Victory Kids program during the 4:00 pm service. On Christmas Day we will have one service at 9:00 am with communion. There will be no Victory Kids program during the Christmas Day service.

Take Note: This Sunday there will be no Victory Kids program during the 8:30 service. That’s because the 10:15 service will include our annual 20 minute Victory Kids Christmas program. Pastor Bill will be preaching a sermon at each service.

Help Needed – After the 4:00 pm service on Christmas Eve our Victory Café needs additional people to help serve at the Hot Cocoa Bar. Please let Cindy know if you can help serve. We also need a group of at least ten people to help clean up the café area, take out trash, and clean the lobby from about 5:15-6:00 pm on Christmas Eve. If you’re able, please consider staying to help us prepare the Lord’s house for Christmas Day worship and to enable us all to go home and spend Christmas Eve with our families instead of spending the evening cleaning the ministry center by ourselves.

Operation Jesus Cares – Dec 19This Coming Tuesday! To volunteer or donate, please visit the website for more information.

Just for Fun – If you still feel like something is threatening to steal your Christmas joy, watch this video for a smile :)

Hiring for Ministry Positions at Victory – In order to better support our pastors and ministry leaders in our core mission of reaching unchurched people, the Leadership Team has approved two part-time positions — Office Manager and Communications Coordinator. The Office Manager will provide administrative support. The Communications Coordinator will develop and implement effective marketing/communications strategies for both our church and community audiences.
  1. Resumes should be submitted to Jeff Guenther by December 31, 2017.  Those interviewing for the communications position and have a portfolio of work, please submit that as well.
  2. Interviews will begin early in January, 2018 so that a qualified candidate might be chosen by January 31st.
  3. If there is a candidate that is interested and has the skill set to perform both positions, we would entertain that possibility.
  4. If there is a candidate that would like to volunteer their time and meets the criteria of either of these positions, then we would love to talk with you.
Any questions regarding these positions can be directed to Jeff Guenther / 414-313-0804.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What's Your "Generostory"?


Dear Friends,

I’m going to coin a new word. Ready for it?

Generosity + Your Story = Your Generostory.

What’s yours? What’s your generostory #BecauseofJesus?

During our Thanksgiving Eve service we didn’t collect an offering. Instead we gave out 100 envelopes filled with over $2,300 cash for all of you to be able to generously bless someone else #BecauseofJesus. I hope you’ve been having fun with it and experiencing the joy of giving!

It’s certainly been pure joy this week for Pastor Bill and me as we’ve heard and seen some of your generostories (it’s got a plural!). Keep ‘em coming! So far we’ve received from you via email or seen on Facebook a number of your generestories and they’re spectacular! For example, here’s one where Linda received $5 and parlayed it into $55 to make an even bigger impact…

“I received 5.00 and thought about how I could grow that amount. During our small family Thanksgiving dinner I shared the assignment and asked each family to match the $5. A couple gave me 20s and another $10...so I had $55 to spend on hats scarves mittens and socks. Delivering to homeless shelter on Milwaukee's South Side after school today. I think we will make this an annual tradition at Thanksgiving.”


Watch the messages from our Generosity series on our website and let God transform your whole life’s perspective! And ICYMI here’s my series finale from this past Sunday, “Who can? You too can! (Give generously that is).”

Serve Generously by Volunteering – Truthfully, December is a busy month for everyone. We understand it is for you too. Because of that though what better way to show others the love of Jesus than by generously sharing your time, giving of yourself! Therefore, please consider volunteering to help with our Christmas For Kids outreach event coming up next Saturday, Dec 9. See the next paragraph about Christmas for Kids for more info and follow the link to our website to register. Also take note of the needs request email that was sent on Tue for many other opportunities you can help set up for Christmas For Kids.

Christmas For Kids – Saturday Dec 9, 11:30am-3pm. Drop your kids off to experience the Bethlehem Marketplace while you catch up on your holiday to-do list. Please let your friends know too! This free and fun event is open to kids ages 3-11. Kids are invited to join us the next day at 10:15am to sing their song during the service. Go to the website to register kids or to sign up to help. If you have any questions, please contact Cassy, the Christmas for Kids Director. And share the Facebook event online with your unchurched friends. Let them know their kids are welcome!

Christmas Toy Outreach – Help provide toys for needy children in the Milwaukee area. New, wrapped toys can be dropped off in designated bins in the lobby by Dec. 10. Pick up an information sheet with specific details in the Welcome area and sign-up to bring a toy through our needs list.

Operation Jesus Cares – Dec 19 Once again we are partnering with Christ St. Peters School in Milwaukee for assembly and delivery of care packages. This is our opportunity to have a positive impact on a struggling community. You can help provide items for the care packages by donating online. Volunteers are needed on Dec 19 at the school from 8am-12:30pm. To volunteer, sign-up online. Visit the website for more information.

New Series Starting Sunday—What the World Needs Now. Why is Christmas so loved and so dear? There is something about Christmas that draws us in, something about what it brings us, something about its message that we all need. The answer, as the theme suggests, is love. We all need love, but we also need to understand what the love we really need is. This is a love that helps us see our situation for what it really is and then not only prescribes the solution, but actually provides it.

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, November 10, 2017

Victory News - Is Your Heart Happy?


Dear Friends,

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).

Generous people are happier people! This isn’t mumbo jumbo. It’s a fact supported by modern research. The commitment to be generous actually increases both generosity and happiness.

Why is this? I believe it’s because God has wonderfully designed us as his creatures to reflect his own nature and character. The Bible reveals to us a God who is generous. He is the greatest giver. He gave his own Son for the world and provides us with everything we need. And when we reflect his character in our lives by being generous with our time and money to help others, we discover a little more of the happy heart of God who once made humanity in his own image.

Friends, how’s your heart doing? Are you happy? This Sunday we’re going to begin a new series this Thanksgiving season that will lead us to become happier people as we learn to reflect God’s generous heart. Pastor Bill will begin this weekend by exploring what Jesus meant when he said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).

ICYMI - watch my message from last Sunday where I wrapped up our Seeking Certainty series and we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation!

Connection Cards – We now have over 425 baptized members. God be praised! Because we care about each and every person in our church family it’s important to us that we stay in tune with your church attendance. So if you miss a couple weeks in a row we want to be able to check in to make sure everything’s ok and see if there’s anything we can be praying about for you. In order to help us do this it’s important for you to fill out a connection card each Sunday when you attend a worship service. Please help us pastors out and write the names of all everyone who attends so we can use our time wisely to be able to reach out to those in our church family who could use our encouragement and prayers. Thank you!

Continuous Flow Communion – This Sunday we’re going to try something new for the distribution of the Lord’s Supper. Instead of having you walk around the entire perimeter of the sanctuary and then lining up long groups of 25 people side by side, we’re going to invite you to come directly up the aisles from either side to receive the bread from either Pastor Bill or myself depending on which side you or on. Then you will be able to walk over to receive the wine from an assistant. And then you will be able to go directly back to your seat. I will then speak one blessing at the end of the distribution for everyone in attendance. This type of continuous flow communion is common in other churches. We are going to give it a try in our church so that we can better maintain a consistent service length of 70 minutes. That expectation of service length is important when inviting first time guests. It’s also important for our Victory Kids program. Thanks for your willingness to try a new approach!

Thanksgiving Service – Our Thanksgiving service will be held on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, Nov 22, at 6:30. Following our time of thanks we will celebrate with a pie social!

Christmas For Kids – Saturday Dec 9, 11:30am-3pm. Drop your kids off to experience the Bethlehem Marketplace while you catch up on your holiday to-do list. Please let your friends know too! This free and fun event is open to kids ages 3-11. Kids are invited to join us the next day at 10:15am to sing their song during the service. Go to the website to register kids or to sign up to help.
Christmas Toy Outreach – bring toys starting Nov 19. We are partnering with the Friends of Jesus organization again this year to provide toys to needy children in the Milwaukee area. New, wrapped toys can be dropped off in designated bins in the lobby by Dec. 10. Pick up an information sheet with specific details in the Welcome area and sign-up to bring a toy through our needs list.

Operation Jesus Cares – Dec 19 Once again we will partner with Christ St. Peters School in Milwaukee for assembly and delivery of care packages. This is our opportunity to have a positive impact on a struggling community. You can help provide items for the care packages by donating online. Volunteers are needed on Dec 19 at the school from 8am-12:30pm. To volunteer, sign-up online. Visit the website for more information.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Victory News - Confident? In Christ Alone!

 
Dear Friends,

“We believe in Jesus too…. I’m a Muslim” said the friendly young father as we talked a couple Saturdays ago at his front door. We weren’t able to ask any clarifying questions like, “What exactly do you believe about Jesus?” But we were able to mention that because of Jesus we can be sure of God’s love and certain that we are fully forgiven right now because of what Jesus has already done for us all. From the look on that young father’s face, this simple gospel message at the very least resonated with him as being different from what he believes about Jesus. So we planted a gospel seed. And we made sure he knew that he was always welcome to come and visit our church anytime.

How about you? What do you believe about Jesus? Does it matter? It does if you seek to be certain of where you stand with God. That’s why this Sunday as we continue our Seeking Certainty series, we’ll see how only the completed work of Jesus Christ can lead us to have such confidence. And yet we’ll talk about this with humility, exploring some of the ways we too can be tricked into taking our eyes off of what Jesus has done. We’ll see what happens when we end up making too little of Jesus and too much of ourselves; or when we end up comparing ourselves to other people to find assurance instead of looking to what Jesus has already accomplished on our behalf. In short, we’ll learn another essential, ultimately comforting Reformation truth—that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Please join us this Sunday as Pastor Bill shares a message based on a powerful story from Acts 4:1-12 about how only the victory of Jesus leads us to have certainty!

Have you been using your gospel fear swatter this week? I hope so! ICYMI Make sure you get yours by watching my message from last Sunday. Part 2 of Seeking Certainty. “Shoo, fear...don’t bother me!”

Special Guest MusicianThis Sunday at Victory of the Lamb we’ll be welcoming Stephen Bautista and his family who will be leading music during worship. We will gather a free-will door offering to support them. A merchandise table will also be set up in the lobby with their Christian music CD’s for sale. Check out this promo video introducing their music ministry.

Country Dale Says Thanks – Wanted to share this encouraging email: I'm the gym teacher at Country Dale and have received the shoes you have donated.  I just want to say how appreciative I am and more importantly how appreciative the kids are going to be.  I have a few tubs of shoes that kids can borrow if they forgot their gym shoes (or don't have any at all).  These shoes get used SO often, especially by students who don't have very much and can't afford gym shoes.  Wearing these brand new shoes will make them feel like kings and queens when they come to gym.

Praise and Proclaim Our friend Dave Malnes posted a really nice recap on his blog about our Praise and Proclaim initiative this month. Check it out for some great stories, pics, and encouragement to keep reaching out to our community with the gospel.

Tenth Avenue North Concert – Tomorrow evening, Friday, October 27 at 7:30 pm Wisconsin Lutheran College is hosting Tenth Avenue North’s “I Have This Hope” concert with Brandon Heath and Jon McLaughlin. General Admission Tickets are $17. For Tickets go to www.itickets.com or contact the college at 414-443-8800.

Taste of Ministry – This week Sarah and I were privileged to host two High School seniors from Luther Prep School in Watertown as part of their “Taste of Ministry” experience. The two young men who stayed with us are both considering being pastors one day. They were able to shadow me and Pastor Bill for two days. God-willing they both found encouragement to continue their studies at Martin Luther College next year before going on to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Reformation 500 Festival Service – Sunday, Nov 5, 3:30 pm. Celebrate the Lutheran Reformation at a special Festival Service along with thousands of other WELS Christians from all around Southeastern WI. The service will be held at the Miller High Life Theater, 500 West Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Victory News - Seeking Certainty



Dear Friends,

When we started Victory of the Lamb 11 years ago, we had many dreams. One of them was that our church might become a place where anyone could come no matter what their religious background, feel welcome, and ultimately discover the uniquely wonderful joy of knowing that Jesus Christ did everything to save them!

Before we ever held a worship service as a new church, something blew me away. As a group of us began going door to door to meet people in our Franklin community, about 80% of the people we surveyed said they didn’t think they could ever be sure they were going to “heaven”. We found this to be a fairly consistent response whether a person claimed to belong to Gesu church near the Marquette campus, the Hindu temple in Pewaukee, the Mosque on 27th St, or the local Kingdom Hall.

As we asked more questions their reasons came out. “I don’t think anyone can know for certain.” “I just hope that I’ve been a good enough person.” “Eventually if I store up enough positive karma maybe I’ll be reincarnated with better circumstances in the next life.” “I’m hoping that if I keep going to mass and keep trying to do good to others then Jesus and Mary will have mercy on me.” “We are being tested until the Day of Judgment when we will find out if we’ve been good enough to be rewarded with Paradise.” “Our salvation is a gift when we truly repent of our sins and live faithfully according to God’s moral requirements.”

Friends, what do you hear behind each of those statements? I hear uncertainty. I hear worry. I hear fear. Ultimately, that’s what you’ll always find in any human attempt to seek God’s favor until a person discovers the certainty of knowing Christ’s victory.

500 years ago, that’s what Martin Luther rediscovered when he encouraged people to dig into the Bible for themselves. He found the secret to be able to have certainty about eternal life. He found the sure source of lasting peace with God. He found the good news of Jesus Christ! He found pure, undiluted, full-strength grace. And the Reformation that began when he challenged the false religious ideas of his day, continues to be as much needed and as relevant as ever in our generation today.

That’s why we would love to have you join us at Victory of the Lamb the next four Sundays for our series called Seeking Certainty. This series is built around four key truths of the Lutheran Reformation that together provide us a sure foundation of hope on which to build our lives and our futures. In this series we will seek these truths together and then celebrate how they apply so practically to our lives today. This series is designed for anyone—whether you consider yourself a church person or not. We’re all seeking certainty. Come along for the journey! Invite a friend.

Your worldview matters. A lot. Be sure and watch the messages you may have missed in our Soul Searching series to understand why. 

Country Dale Elementary – Thank you for your swift and generous response in donating all the items needed for the Victory Kids Kit. Awesome job! I am looking forward to taking it over to the school today.

Praise and Proclaim 64 people are signed up to participate in our evangelism training tomorrow night. I get excited to think about the gospel seeds we’ll collectively be able to plant and what God is going to do through it!

Family Movie Night – SING! Friday, Oct 20 at 6 pm. Invite your friends to bring their families to the animated hit SING! Join us for a sanctuary showing complete with pop­corn, snacks and a few surprises. What a fun way to introduce your friends to Victory of the Lamb!

Tenth Avenue North Concert – On Friday, October 27 at 7:30 pm Wisconsin Lutheran College is hosting Tenth Avenue North’s “I Have This Hope” concert with Brandon Heath and Jon McLaughlin. General Admission Tickets are $17. For Tickets go to www.itickets.com or contact the college at 414-443-8800.

Rake and Run – On Saturday, October 21st our student groups, Quest (grades 9-12) and Confirmation students (grades 6-8) will join forces to help homeowners in our community with fall yard work. From 9am-noon the teens will rake leaves for homeowners who may have difficulty doing this chore on their own. This is a great opportunity to show love for our neighbors. Contact Sammi with questions.

Ministry Day – Wednesday I was privileged to speak to 4 different classrooms full of sophomores from Luther Prep School in Watertown to talk about the importance of empathy and the joy of sharing Christ’s victory. Hopefully I was also able to provide some encouragement to consider full-time ministry in the church one day for some.

More Than Bricks – 3 months to go. Thank you for overflowing with generosity and love! Read the September update posted on our website. Check out a Thank-You letter and update from Pastor Nate Walther in Minot, ND—one of our MTB mission partners.

Reformation 500 Festival Service – Sunday, Nov 5, 3:30 pm. Celebrate the Lutheran Reformation at a special Festival Service. The service will be held at the Miller High Life Theater, 500 West Kilbourn Avenue,  Milwaukee.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, September 29, 2017

Victory News - What is Good?


Dear Friends,

This week I asked somebody via email if there was anything I could be praying about for them. I received this reply: “It seems like no matter where I turn there is a lot of hate, negativity, or divisiveness around. It feels as if some people wake up in the morning just looking for something or someone to be angry with.”

Might that also be a fair assessment of how you’re feeling too? It seems to me that in an absurd kind of way this might be the one thing everyone can agree on right now: People are so mean!

But how did we get here? How did we end up in a world where we think everybody should love each other and yet we feel like everybody else is so angry and mean? Why do we find ourselves in a world where so many people want to express unity only to end up feeling like we’re more divided than ever?

These are worldview questions. More specifically, these are morality questions. That’s what we’ll be talking about this Sunday as Pastor Bill continues where I left off last week in our timely and relevant Soul Searching series. Week one of the series was about Origin—Where did we come from? Last week I talked about Meaning—Why are we here? This Sunday Pastor Bill will be exploring the topic of Morality—What is good? We hope you can join us at either 8:30 or 10:15 at Victory of the Lamb as we look at this both from a Christian worldview perspective and from a worldview perspective without God in the picture. Invite a friend!

Partnership With Country Dale Elementary – We are starting a partnership with Country Dale elementa­ry school in Franklin. Our first project will be to provide items that are often needed by kids throughout the school year. In the past, where possible, teachers and staff would purchase and provide necessary items by themselves, just out of the kindness of their hearts. We will help them by providing the needed items for what they are going to call the “Victory Kids Kit”. Please use this link to check off what you would like to purchase and then simply bring those items to be placed in a box in the lobby marked Country Dale Elementary. Items that aren’t donated by October 8th we will purchase so that we can deliver the items to the school the following week.

Outreach Initiative, October 13 and 14 Would you like to be able to share your faith confidently and comfortably with others? On Friday evening, Oct 13, we will host an outreach training at our ministry center. The next day, you can put that training into practice. Meals and childcare will be provided. Find out more on the event page on our website where you can also find a link to sign up. FYI – You can choose to do a Friday Only option where you receive the outreach training but don’t go out with us on Saturday.

Family Movie Night – Sing! Friday, Oct 20 at 6 pm. Invite your friends to bring their families to the animated hit SING! Join us for a sanctuary showing complete with pop­corn, snacks and a few surprises. What a fun way to introduce your friends to Victory of the Lamb!

The Hymns of Martin Luther — In this Reformation 500 year, three notable choirs are joining forces to celebrate Martin Luther’s legacy as poet and composer. Join the Wisconsin Lutheran College Choir, the Lutheran Chorale of Milwaukee, and the Seminary Chorus—200 voices accompanied by organist Aaron Christie and instruments–to sing and rejoice in 15 of Luther’s greatest and most enduring hymns. October 1, 2017 – 7:30 pm – Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Auditorium in Mequon.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Soul Searching - You're Invited!


Hello Friends,

It’s not as well-known as the 4th of July or Labor Day. It’s perhaps not as anticipated in stores like Halloween. But did you know? It’s National Back to Church Sunday this coming Sunday, September 17! (It’s true. You can’t make this stuff up!)

But that’s not the only reason I’m inviting you to join me at Victory of the Lamb Church this Sunday. We’re starting a new message series that I believe God’s going to use to have a big impact on our lives. It’s called Soul Searching.

We’re going to explore together some of the natural, inherent, deeply rooted, and almost irresistible longings inside human beings. After all, we all yearn to know answers to questions like: Where have I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the point and purpose of life? Does my life mean anything? What happens when I die? Is there a God out there? And if so, so what? These are some of the questions we’re going to explore in our series, Soul Searching, starting this Sunday, September 17.

So please join me this Sunday for National Back to Church Sunday! Our church, Victory of the Lamb, is a church for everyone—including those who feel like they’ve given up on church but haven’t given up on God. Maybe that’s you. We would love to meet you.

For more info about our church, please visit our website. Worship services are at 8:30 and 10:15 am at our ministry center here in Franklin located at 11120 W Loomis Rd.

Come early and enjoy some free breakfast goodies and coffee at our Victory Café in the lobby!

Wondering about the kids? You’re welcome to bring them early to register for Victory Kids—our safe, secure Sunday morning kids program for kids ages infant—fifth grade where kids can connect with God at their level while adults gather in the sanctuary. Your kids are also welcome with you in worship. It’s up to you.

Don’t feel comfortable coming in person just yet? Totally fine. Check us out Sunday morning online watching live via the internet from the comfort of your living room.

Or catch up anytime on messages from any of our previous sermon series by streaming the video from the archives.

And if you can’t make it this Sunday, no worries. You’re always welcome, any Sunday, to come back to church…or to check out church for the first time.

Sincerely,

Pastor Ben

Lead Pastor
Victory of the Lamb Lutheran Church
Services at 8:30 and 10:15
www.victoryofthelamb.com

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Victory News - God Cares About Islands


Dear Friends,

In the Caribbean there’s a small island called Barbuda. It’s just north of Antigua where we have a church and a school. God be praised, Antigua was just south of Hurricane Irma’s eye. Antigua was thus largely spared the most devastating winds. However, many Antiguans have relatives on Barbuda which, sadly, didn’t fare as well as Antigua. It was nearly obliterated by Hurricane Irma yesterday. The pictures from Barbuda are devastating. The losses are just beginning to be counted at this point. Please join me in praying for the people of Barbuda and all those in the hurricane’s path.

Each morning this week after reading my Bible, I’ve checked social media to see some of the 1st hand accounts and reports of places along the hurricane’s path to help shape my prayers throughout the rest of my day. Otherwise I find it’s easy not to notice sometimes, you know what I mean? On the one hand, sometimes we might feel like we are bombarded with tragic news from all over the world. It just keeps on coming. And it’s overwhelming. We weren’t meant to process it all. We can’t. We’re not God. On the other hand, sometimes it’s awfully easy and comfortable to think, “What’s one tiny island so far away among so many larger islands and countries and continents on this planet?” But if we go to this extreme we become callused. We stop being human.

And yet God notices. He cares. Even in the midst of devastation, he still cares. And he is unlimited in his capacity to keep on caring. We have this consolation because there was Jesus once, God wrapped in our very mortal human flesh and blood, and he was alone. His island was the cross where he suffered the ravages of our world’s sin and death. Our sin and death. He did that because he cared even when we didn’t. He cared so that he could accomplish sin’s ultimate undoing that will culminate one day in the undoing of death itself when Jesus makes all things new. Sin’s devastation will be undone!

And so we know that God cares about human islands too. I’m talking about when we human beings, whether intentionally or inadvertently, become isolated or alone. When we get disconnected from what’s going on in the lives of others and others don’t have a window into ours.

The thing is God didn’t design us to be little islands, each one of us unto ourselves. He made us to be connected to each other in healthy, meaningful relationships. That’s one of the blessings of the church. Jesus calls us out of the darkness of unbelief and despair into the light of a hopeful, forgiveness based relationship with God. He also brings us into a new relationship with each other as full-fledged brothers and sisters in God’s family.

This Sunday, that’s what Pastor Bill is going to be talking about as he, as our discipleship pastor, begins to lay out a basis for a vision for us to be connected and caring for each other in small groups—where we can learn, love, and live out the victory of Jesus! If you're around I hope you can join us this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 for worship. Victory Kids is also in full swing right along with the start of a new school year.

“In his teaching the islands will put their hope” (A prophecy referring to Jesus, Isaiah 42:4)

Sunday Leftovers – What does it mean to follow Jesus? It won’t be easy. It won’t always be comfortable or convenient. Jesus himself declared that it will involve taking up our own cross in life. The alternative is we could end up losing our souls in exchange for the “fool’s gold” of the world. In American culture today, we often overlook or ignore what this actually means. In the process we miss a deeper understanding of Christ’s own cross and the comfort it brings. That’s why if you missed any of the messages in our 3 part summer ending series called Take Up Your Cross, check them out online in our website archives. Here’s a link. In particular if you were out of town for Labor Day weekend, catch up with my message from this past Sunday on how to keep your soul safe even as the seasons of life change.

Please Save the Date God uses ordinary people like us to bring the hope of Jesus to others when we share our faith. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that confidently and comfortably with anybody? That’s why on Friday evening, October 13th we’ll be hosting a special weekend training event at our ministry center with that purpose. It’s called Praise and Proclaim. The next day, Saturday morning and afternoon, October 14th you’ll have an opportunity to put that training into practice. Meals will be provided. Childcare will be provided. We are praying even now that a great many of you who are our members will participate! Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead. Sign-up will begin on September 17th.

Bible 201 – A new “mix and match” opportunity begins this Saturday for anyone who has completed Bible 101 and is looking to continue their faith journey and/or work towards membership in our church. Classes will be on 3 consecutive Saturday mornings (9/9, 9/16, 9/23 from 9:30-noon) and 3 consecutive Wednesday evenings (9/13, 9/20, 9/27 from 6:30-8:30pm) so that you can choose to go to either the Saturday morning option or Wednesday evening option each week as suits your schedule. More time for discussion is allotted for the Saturday morning class. Please register online using this form to attend. Quick note: We moved the previously scheduled 9/6 class to the back end…9/27. Let me know if you have any questions.

Quest (Teen Group) – We are having our back to school night on Sunday 9/10 from 6-8pm at the ministry center. We’ll play some games and have some pizza with a short devotion and enjoy a fire around our new fire pit!

Jr High Confirmation Class (6th-8th grade) – Begins this Sunday evening from 6-8 pm at the ministry center. To register yet for confirmation class, please complete the registration form. Got questions? Please contact Pastor Bill.

Christian Aid and Relief – Pastor Bill said it well in the blog last week. There are lots of ways to donate. Here’s one you can trust. Christian Aid and Relief is our national church body’s arm that helps us show Christ’s live to those impacted by natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. Here’s a video made of phase help that Christian Aid and Relief provided to bring people together in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey. To donate please visit this link.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, August 25, 2017

Victory News - Take Up Your Cross Part 2



Dear Friends,

Last Sunday we began a three-part series to end the summer that I pray will help all of us from every generation see that we have much more in common with each other than we might think. In this series we’re getting at the heart of what Jesus meant when he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

We started by looking at what this means especially for our young people—those heading out the door for school, our teens, our college age students and young adults. We learned how none of us is in this cross-carrying struggle alone. We also learned how to lean on God and each other for strength as we live our lives under the cross. In case you missed it be sure and catch up by watching it online.

This Sunday Pastor Bill will pick up where I left off by talking about the crosses we carry from the perspective of our middle ages years. How do we stay focused on what’s most important when the business of making a living, of getting ahead, of accomplishing goals, or even just surviving from day to day can so easily turn our eyes away from the cross? And where do you find your true sense of self?

So please join us this Sunday at Victory of the Lamb at 8:30 or 10:15 as we come together as a growing family of people from all kinds of different backgrounds to grow and support each other. Come discover how your life is part of God’s bigger story, in a place where you can truly belong.

FYI - If you want to take a deep dive into the truths we’re exploring in our current series, check out this book called “Theology of the Cross” by one of my college professors. I highly recommend it for those of you who love deepening your faith by studying theology.

Please Save the Date God uses ordinary people like us to bring the hope of Jesus to others when we share our faith. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that confidently and comfortably with anybody? That’s why on Friday evening, October 13th we’ll be hosting a special weekend training event at our ministry center with that purpose. It’s called Praise and Proclaim. The next day, Saturday morning and afternoon, October 14th you’ll have an opportunity to put that training into practice. Meals will be provided. Childcare will be provided. We are praying even now that a great many of you who are our members will participate! Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead. Sign-up will begin on September 17th.

Logo Refreshed – After a summer of working with us, our resident artist Naomi Scheel has nearly finished the project of refreshing our church logo so that it resonates with our target audience of unchurched millennials and their friends, so that it works well on various social media platforms, and it communicates the vibrant, welcoming, refreshing feelings of our church. One more week and we’ll be able to share!

Bible 201 – A new “mix and match” opportunity is coming up in September for anyone who has completed Bible 101 and is looking to continue their faith journey and/or work towards membership in our church. Classes will be on 3 consecutive Wednesday evenings (9/6, 9/13, 9/20 from 6:30-8:30pm) and Saturday mornings (9/9, 9/16, 9/23 from 9:30-noon) so that you can choose to go to either the Wednesday option or the Saturday morning option each week as suits your schedule. More time for discussion is allotted for the Saturday morning class. Please register online using this form to attend.

Faith Unleashed – On Wednesday this week Pastor Bill and I were able to attend a special event put on by Faith Unleashed at Northwestern Publishing House in Milwaukee on how to engage and equip lay members like you for doing ministry. This was a timely and helpful presentation because we want to help all of you discover your God-given potential and the joy of serving others. We’re working at incorporate this more specifically into our membership path.

Attention Mothers-To-Be (and those who know a mother-to-be!): WELS Lutherans for Life is seeking pregnant women interested in a FREE limited obstetrical ultrasound. We are becoming a medical clinic to provide sonograms to clients seeking pregnancy related services. Our sonographers will be receiving training and need pregnant women to practice their sonography skills. Service hours for this activity will be from 9AM-5PM from Tuesday through Friday, September 19-22 and again September 26-29 in West Allis. Please call 414-727-8176 to ask questions and/or to schedule an appointment.

St. Paul's School of Early Learning (SOEL) is a childcare and Early Educational Ministry of St. Paul's Lutheran Church located in Muskego. We are in need of an outgoing, energetic person who loves to make a difference in the lives of young children. We are looking for a year-round Teacher’s Aide. Days and hours would be Monday thru Friday 7:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.. Experience in childcare or a related field is preferred. We offer a competitive hourly wage and a pleasant working environment. If you are interested please call Kim Neubauer at 414-422-0320 ext.200, Cell-262-470-0465 or e-mail at kneubauer@stpaulmuskego.org for more information. You can also stop by the SOEL office for an application (S66 W14325 Janesville Road, Muskego. We’re located off of the east entrance of the church)

You’re Invited! WELS Lutherans for Life will be holding 2 fundraising events on Friday, October 13 at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee. Both the luncheon and the dinner have been paid in full by generous underwriters. While there will be no cost to attend, there will be an opportunity to support the ministry financially. All funds raised will directly support life-affirming help for abortion-vulnerable mothers, people suffering post-abortion trauma, and a youth development program. Pre-registration is required and seats are limited, so don’t delay. Learn more and register at EveningForLife.org, email Contact@ALife2.com, or call 414-727-8176.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,           
      
Pastor Ben

Friday, August 18, 2017

Victory News - New Series Starting


Dear Friends,

It’s a tough, lonely thing to grow up in a world filled with high expectations and endless temptations. Young people need to understand that they are not alone—everyone faces the same struggles. How can we come up alongside our youth, our teens, let them know that we love them, we care about them, we’re ready to listen without judgement?

This Sunday we’re starting a new series that I pray will help us to do just that. It’s called “Take Up Your Cross” and it has to do with the struggles and challenges that we face as we follow Jesus in every generation. Over the next three weeks we’ll take a look at some of the crosses that are unique to different seasons of life—in youth (this Sunday), in middle age (next Sunday), and in our golden years (9/3).

At the same time we’ll all find common ground at the foot of the only, truly unique cross—Christ’s cross. There we will find what brings us all together—forgiveness and renewed strength through God’s Holy Spirit to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God.

I would be honored to have you join us this Sunday as we start this new message series. And in case you missed the grand finale to our series “Prayer is Powerful”, remember you can always catch up by watching it online. Your whole perspective on prayer will change when you understand that you are actually in your Savior’s thoughts and prayers!

If you want to take a deep dive into the truths we’ll be exploring in our new series coming up, check out this book called “Theology of the Cross” by one of my college professors. I highly recommend it.

Save the Date Our church’s mission is to share the message of Christ’s victory with today’s people. We want to help every one of you be able to do that confidently and comfortably with anybody. That’s why on Friday evening, October 13th we’ll be hosting a special weekend training event at our ministry center with that purpose. It’s called Praise and Proclaim. The next day, Saturday morning and afternoon, October 14th you’ll have an opportunity to put that training into practice. Meals will be provided. Childcare will be provided. We are praying even now that a great many of you who are our members will participate. Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead.

Logo Refreshed – After a summer of working with us, our resident artist Naomi Scheel has nearly finished the project of refreshing our church logo so that it resonates with our target audience of unchurched millennials and their friends, so that it works well on various social media platforms, and it communicates the vibrant, welcoming, refreshing feelings of our church. Look forward next week to seeing the finished results!

FY 2017 Year End Financial Communication – With sincere thanks and appreciation to our church treasurer Jim Vogel and to Jayne George and Candy Johnson our accountants who have worked together to keep the books, here is a link to a report on the tremendous generosity and blessings of you, God’s people, over this past fiscal year. Thank you for your support of our important work together of sharing Christ’s victory with today’s people! Through your gifts and giving, God is setting us up to have an even bigger impact in the future!

Attention Mothers-To-Be (and those who know a mother-to-be!): WELS Lutherans for Life is seeking pregnant women interested in a FREE limited obstetrical ultrasound. We are becoming a medical clinic to provide sonograms to clients seeking pregnancy related services. Our sonographers will be receiving training and need pregnant women to practice their sonography skills. Service hours for this activity will be from 9AM-5PM from Tuesday through Friday, September 19-22 and again September 26-29 in West Allis. Please call 414-727-8176 to ask questions and/or to schedule an appointment.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,                      

Pastor Ben

Friday, July 21, 2017

Victory News - Saturated With Prayer



Dear Friends,

To be honest, I’ve never considered myself an accomplished pray-er. I’ve always felt that other people probably pray more frequently, more naturally and more insightfully. So it’s been really healthy for me personally to spend a whole summer saturated with a sermon series on prayer. I hope you’ve felt that way too as we’ve been working through some tremendous examples of prayer in the Bible and seeing how we too can pray with the confidence that our prayers are powerful!

For example, this past Sunday we learned to confidently go to God and ask him to do in you what only God can do. We looked at how this can be as easy as using a one-liner prayer.

Cleanse…  Create…  Cultivate…

Those were a couple of my one-liners based on Psalm 51 in the Bible. What were some of yours? Did you get an opportunity to craft your own one-liner prayers for God’s unlimited power?

In case you missed last weekend’s message, be sure and catch up by watching it online. And join us this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 as Pastor Bill will continue our series Prayer Is Powerful with an amazing lesson from the life of King Hezekiah. If you’ve got a couple minutes, check out the background in 2 Kings 18 and 19 before Sunday.

Worship Planning Getaway – Pastor Bill and I will be away Sunday night through Tuesday along with the pastors from St Paul’s in Muskego to plan out our worship series for the next year. We get together to discuss culture and our congregations. We study the Christian church year calendar. We search the Scriptures. We pray. We work hard to develop series outlines, themes and Scripture lessons that then become the basis for our preaching and worship throughout the year as we dig even more deeply into God’s Word. So please feel free to send me any thoughts, suggestions, or creative ideas. Also I invite your prayers for God to bless our planning efforts!

Evening Concert – Friday evening August 11th at 7pm at our ministry center, Chris Driesbach will be sharing his faith through song by putting on a concert and sharing his story of his journey from atheism to Christianity. At 6 pm before the concert I’ll have brats and hot dogs on the grill for anyone who wants to come early and enjoy some yummy food out in the parking lot with me. Read more about Chris Driesbach’s story here on the event page.

Praise and Proclaim – helps Christians and congregations by training them on how to confidently and joyfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ with their community. I’m excited to share that we’ll be inviting Praise and Proclaim to VotL in October! You will all be invited to a training event on Friday evening, October 13th followed by a day of putting your training into practice on Saturday, October 14th. I’m sharing this now because it is my prayer that as many of you as possible would be able to attend and find joy in being equipped to share Christ’s victory! Stay tuned for more info over the next couple months.

From Another Mother Sale – St. Marcus is having a Baby Rummage Sale August 4 -from 12:00 pm to 6 pm and August 5 from 9 am. to 2 pm. We are seeking donations of clean and gently used Baby, Kid, and Maternity, Clothes & Shoes, Toys, Books, and Baby Accessories (no mattresses or car seats please.) 100% of proceeds are benefiting Lutherans for Life. We are collecting donations at St. Marcus on July 29 and 30 from 9 am to 2 pm. Have questions or need help donating? Contact Meta at 920 284-0658 or email Lutherans4LifeRummage@gmail.com.

Get Some Exercise, Love Our Neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, July 14, 2017

Victory News - Pray for God's Power


Dear Friends,

YouTube has been a game changer for me. I learned how to install a new video card in an old desktop computer by watching a video. I learned how to put new strings on my mandolin by watching a video. There is almost no limit to the number of things you can learn to do by watching a “How-to” video online. YouTube empowers me and makes me feel like I can do almost anything (so long as I can find a video of a twelve-year old showing me how via the internet!)

And yet is that true…that you can do anything you put your mind to doing?

Not exactly. This Sunday we’ll be looking at Psalm 51 in the Bible where we see that there are indeed some things, some really huge and important things!, that only God can do. And that’s why we need prayer. Prayer is acknowledged helplessness. At the same time prayer is acknowledging God’s power to do in us what we cannot do ourselves.

So please join me this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 as we continue our series Prayer Is Powerful. And in case you missed it, watch Pastor Bill’s inspiring sermon  from this past Sunday on how God still continues to give us a blank check with prayer!

Evening Concert – Friday evening August 11th at 7pm at our ministry center, Chris Driesbach will be sharing his faith through song by putting on a concert and sharing his story of his journey from atheism to Christianity. At 6 pm before the concert I’ll have brats and hot dogs on the grill for anyone who wants to come early and enjoy some yummy food out in the parking lot with me. Read more about Chris Driesbach’s story here on the event page.

Bible 101 Class – A new Bible 101 group started this past Wednesday night for 6:30-8 pm. Will continue to meet the next 3 Wednesdays. Let me know if you still want to jump on board!

Congrats! To Brett and Crystal whom I had the privilege of marrying last week and to Josh and Lauren whose wedding I’ll be officiating later this afternoon. May God’s picture perfect love continue to grow and flourish in your lives together.

Design Intern We are very blessed that our very own Naomi Scheel will be able to serve 10 hrs a week this summer as a design intern. She will be helping to refresh our logo, redesign the look of our Bible 101-301 materials, and create new publicity pieces for our church as well as continue to work on our sermon series graphics, worship folders, etc.

More Than Bricks Update Available online here. More Than Bricks (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.

Leadership Team Update – June update available online here.

Kingdom Workers – This week I had a meeting at the home office of Kingdom Workers here in Milwaukee exploring the potential for developing deeper relationships with mission partners such as we have in St Lucia.

Praise and Proclaim – helps Christians and congregations by training them on how to confidently and joyfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ with their community. I’m excited to share that we’ll be inviting Praise and Proclaim to VotL in October! You will all be invited to a training event on Friday evening, October 13th followed by a day of putting your training into practice on Saturday, October 14th. I’m sharing this now because it is my prayer that as many of you as possible would be able to attend and find joy in being equipped to share Christ’s victory! Stay tuned for more info over the next couple months.

Living Water Installation – This Sunday afternoon at 4 pm in a special service Pastor Aaron Voss will be installed as the new pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church just south of us on Loomis Rd. I will be attending to support Pastor Voss and our brothers and sisters in Christ at Living Water. They have been without a pastor for quite some time now and we rejoice with them that God has at last provided for them a new shepherd!

Pregnancy Counseling Center – I serve on the board of directors for WELS Lutherans For Life. The renovations and process of converting our building in West Allis to a medical clinic is moving along swiftly so that on-site ultrasound will be available by the end of the summer. This is very exciting so that we can serve more women with compassionate, quality, Christ-centered care! I serve on the board of directors and want to invite any of you who might be interested in volunteering time. Here are some of the different ways you might consider getting involved.

Get Some Exercise, Love Our Neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 30, 2017

Victory News - News Service Times This Sunday!


Dear Friends,

Don’t forget…this Sunday our new service times are 8:30 and 10:15!

I will be continuing our series “Prayer is Powerful” as we look at Abraham’s prayer to God on behalf of his nephew Lot and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:20-33. Please join me as we learn how persistent prayer is pleasing to God. And let’s take advantage of the freedom that God has blessed us with in this great nation to gather together to listen to his word, to praise him and to pray to him!

This Sunday we also will be welcoming the Branches Band as guest musicians for both our worship services. There will be a free will offering opportunity to support their music ministry after the service as well as an opportunity to purchase CD’s and other music resources in the lobby. Visit the Branches Band website or on Facebook for more info. If you’d like you can also find their music on Spotify.

(ICYMI watch Pastor Bramdeo Ramgolam’s sermon from this past Sunday. “Let’s start with prayer and go from there!” Pastor Bram serves at Trinity Lutheran Church in St Lucia and is one of our More Than Bricks mission partners whom we are privileged to support.)

New Bible 101 Class Starting in July Bible 101 is the first step at our church for anyone who has questions about God, wants to learn what we believe or teach from the Bible, or is interested in receiving the sacrament of holy communion with our church family. Choose the schedule that works best for you: Super Saturday July 8th from 10am-3:30pm. All 4 lessons in one day. Or Wednesday nights July 12th, July 19th, July 26th, and August 2nd from 6:30-8pm. One lesson each week for 4 weeks. Please register online here.

Tuition Assistance Fund – To see the tuition assistance fund guidelines or to apply for tuition assistance before June 30, 2017 visit our Christian Education page of our website. To contribute to this fund go to our online giving page. Under “Select Fund” click on Tuition Assistance.

4th of July Parade – This is a great way to let our community know about Victory of the Lamb! Walk alongside our church float. We’ll be handing out candy while our band plays music. It’s a fun thing to do as a family! The parade starts at 11 am on July 4th. Meet by our float between 10:30 and 11 am (usually located about 1/4 mile north of Walgreens on Loomis). Decorated strollers welcome! Helpful information about where to park or get dropped can be found right here on the event page on our website. And 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 2. Look for the bin in the lobby.

Leadership Team News – At our meeting Monday evening, Jim Kehoe was chosen to serve on the Leadership Team to replace Wes Andersen who is stepping down after serving the past 7 years as part of a normal transition. As we welcome Jim to the Leadership Team, I want especially to also thank Wes for his approachability, his patient listening ear to all who sought him out, his quiet wisdom, and his consistently sound, God-pleasing advice to me personally. Jim will be installed at an upcoming service in July. Leadership Team updates from July will be published soon.

Financial Ministry Plan Our church operates on a fiscal year budget. As such, today - June 30th, is the final day of this fiscal year. That means there’s still time to give online today to help us meet our goal for this year. FY to date we’ve received $289,386 in offerings compared to a financial ministry plan goal of $305,000 in offerings.

At the same time, July 1st begins not only a new fiscal year but is the beginning of a new phase of our ministry where we have to begin paying the mortgage on our ministry center. For this reason our financial ministry plan for the upcoming fiscal year reflects our prayerful goal of receiving $345,000 in offerings, an increase of $40,000.

While this is a substantial increase, we also recognize that God is continuing to richly bless our church with regular new guests, an increase of new members, and consistent numerical growth. We are accomplishing our mission of sharing Christ’s victory with today’s people!

Generous giving over the past decade has enabled our church to be known for our outwardly focused mission, our hospitality, our love, and our joy. We trust that the wonderful good news message of Christ’s victory will continue to motivate you and cause you to overflow as joyful givers who reflect the heart of God who gave us his Son!

A word of practical encouragement: Now would be a great time to consider regular on-line giving if you haven’t or to re-evaluate what your automated giving is if that’s been something you’ve been doing for a while. On-line giving helps provide a consistent picture of where we’re at as a church from month to month so that the Leadership Team can make adjustments to our financial ministry plan if needed.

Get Some Exercise, Love Our Neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 16, 2017

Victory News - Prayer Is Powerful!


“If God is for me, who can be…who can be against me???”

This isn’t just the chorus to the catchiest soccer camp song of all time (You’re welcome, parents😊). It’s also a promise of God recorded in the Bible (check out Romans 8:31-39)! Since God has already given us his greatest gift in Jesus who went to the cross for us and has defeated sin, death, and the devil for us, we can therefore trust God for everything else that we need in life too. Every. Single. Thing. God is for us!

This means we can talk directly to God now as our dear Father in heaven because of the victory that Jesus won for us. And that’s really what prayer is…talking to God. It’s our privilege to pray knowing that our relationship with God has been changed because of Jesus. God is now our true, heavenly Father. We are his children. He loves us. He is for us. And so he delights to hear from us – in any and every situation. In fact, God promises that our prayers have power. And that’s what we’re going to start talking about as we begin our new series this Sunday – Prayer Is Powerful!

So please join us this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 at our ministry center here in Franklin located at 11120 W Loomis Rd. At our 10:45 service all our soccer camp kids are going to be invited to come up and sing that catchy camp song that I was talking about. And if you have any prayer requests that you’d like us as pastors to be praying for you, please feel free to share them with us through our website.


(ICYMI, watch and share Pastor Bill’s sermon from this past Sunday where he helped us see that even though Gideon fell into great sin, ultimately he didn’t fall from God’s grace. What a comfort that is for us too when we struggle against the inadvertent idols in our lives!)

Soccer Camp Success! First of all…thank you, GOD, for a week of mighty fine warm weather, safety, provision, and protection! And also thank you to Cassy our dedicated camp director, all our coaches, helpers, and donors for your organization, generosity, patience, and crazy love on display…often with much perspiration! This week 220 kids got to make new friends, learn that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives, and have fun playing soccer and soccer related games like sharks and minnows. You can check it all out firsthand by visiting our church Facebook page. There are pictures and videos galore including one of my favorites moments…the day the ice cream truck arrived! And on a hot summer day – to hear that little jingle playing as it came closer and closer down the long Polonia driveway – it was like the bells of heaven chiming! (Ok, maybe that’s a sliiiiiight exaggeration. But it was close to that. Can you tell that it’s Friday evening at the end of a long week?!)

HEADS UP – Worship Time Tweaks Coming in July! – Starting Sunday, July 2nd we’re going to change our service times to 8:30 and 10:15 am.

New Bible 101 Class Starting in July – Bible 101 is the first step at our church for anyone who has questions about God, wants to learn what we believe or teach from the Bible, or is interested in receiving the sacrament of holy communion with our church family. Choose the schedule that works best for you: Super Saturday July 8th from 10am-3:30pm. All 4 lessons in one day. Or Wednesday nights July 12th, July 19th, July 26th, and August 2nd from 6:30-8pm. One lesson each week for 4 weeks. Please register online here.
Tuition Assistance Fund – To see the tuition assistance fund guidelines or to apply for tuition assistance before June 30, 2017 visit our Christian Education page of our website. To contribute to this fund go to our online giving page. Under “Select Fund” click on Tuition Assistance.

4th of July Parade – As we have in the past, our church will have a float in the Franklin parade. Band members will be playing music and you have an opportunity to walk alongside it and hand out candy to the community representing our church. Donations of candy are appreciated. You can bring bags of candy to the ministry center any of the next 3 Sundays. Thanks!

Get some exercise, Love our neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s really not hard and it’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, June 9, 2017

Victory News - Don't Laugh at the Gaffe

Jordan, we'll be praying for you this week! Thank you, everyone, for helping raise over $3,000 for the Moore Family!

Dear Friends,

“Oops…Sorry! I didn’t mean to do that.”

Whether Gideon thought this way or not, what we’re going to see this Sunday is that he made a huge spiritual gaffe. Something that started out seemingly kind of small spiraled into something significant and spiritually dangerous. That ever happen to you? Have you ever set up a secret idol, unintentionally? You might be surprised to find out you have. But even more surprising is to learn how God deals with us according to his grace time and time again…even when our lives are full of spiritual gaffes!

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 as Pastor Bill is going to bring home our series Ordinary People, Extraordinary God with the grand finale in part 4: Gideon’s Gaffe.

(ICYMI, watch and share my sermon from this past Sunday. God used Gideon to defeat the Midianites. See how God also wants to use you. And the good news is that Gideon’s God…is our God too! He is patient when we waver. He is powerful when we’re weak!)

Soccer Camp Is Here – Here’s How You Can Help! What a huge impact we get to make this coming week in our community by connecting with 220 kids—teaching them not only soccer skills, but also about our wonderful God who made us and redeemed us by his Son, Jesus Christ our Savior!

HELP NEEDED: 1) Donations – cash can also be donated and we will shop for you. 2) Help setting up on Sunday after church 3) Help all day Monday starting at 9 am 4) Help Tue am setting up from 8-10 am.

Please contact Cassy either via email or cell #414-899-4984. All hands on deck for Jesus! Thank you for your generosity, your prayers, and your time! For more info about the camp visit the event page on our website.

HEADS UP – Worship Time Tweaks Coming in July! – Starting Sunday, July 2nd we’re going to change our service times to 8:30 and 10:15 am. 

Peter’s Party – Sunday at the Victory Café we’ll be having a little farewell for our now former student assistant Peter Schlicht as he and his family will soon be making the transition to Madison, WI to begin serving as a pastor of Eastside Lutheran Church.

District Conference – This week Pastor Bill and I spent some time at the Seminary in Mequon attending our Southeastern WI District Conference where we got to worship with fellow WELS pastors and teachers and receive updates on our join work together as members of the synod. Highlights for me were worshiping with hundreds of fellow believers; attending a special commissioning service for new missionaries in Malawi, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mexico, Latin America and Milwaukee; also getting reports from our World Mission field such as this: there are 450 students being trained to be pastors around the world in our global Seminary programs! That’s really amazing. God is pouring out incredible blessings through the mission efforts we do together!

Get some exercise, Love our neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s really not hard and it’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

Tuition Assistance Fund – To see the tuition assistance fund guidelines or to apply for tuition assistance before June 30, 2017 visit our Christian Education page of our website. To contribute to this fund go to our online giving page. Under “Select Fund” click on Tuition Assistance.

VotL on Facebook – If you’re on it, don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook. Pictures, videos, prayers, sermons, events, and other relevant stuff are posted regularly. Also feel free to “check in,” “like”, comment, and share gospel content with your friends!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben