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What are Your Views on Faith's Next Step?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Please read this letter from our church president, Michael Shoup. He includes our plan for this time of vacancy as well as desiring input into whether Pastor Sam should serve as our next Senior Pastor. You can contact Michael or any Elder with your feedback (phone numbers are included in the letter).
CategoriesNews

A Word on the Equality Act

Friday, April 2, 2021

A Word on the Equality Act

To the Pastors, Called Workers and Members
of the 6,000 Congregations of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


The words of the apostle Peter apply to us now:


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (1 Peter 1:3–8)


The church’s task is not political. It is the proclamation of the Gospel of free salvation in the cross and resurrection of Jesus for all (1 Cor. 1:23; John 18:36). “The Church is the congregation of saints in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered” (AC VII 1).1

God rules His church by His infallible Word, the Holy Scriptures (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15–16). God rules the state by His eternal law, reason and reasonable laws for the common welfare. “Our churches teach that lawful civil regulations are good works of God” (AC XVI 1; see Rom. 13:1–7). The church should not meddle in government affairs, especially in matters upon which the Word of God is silent. It is also wrong when governments act against God’s eternal law, reason and the basic civil rights of all people. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrines this truth. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Throughout history, governments have acted unjustly — sometimes in the name of race, atheism, communism, religion and even Christianity — and curtailed or denied the rights of conscience and the free exercise of religion. And governments continue to do so. Our Lutheran and biblical confession is that “it is necessary for Christians to be obedient to their rulers and laws. The only exception is when they are commanded to sin. Then they ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)” (AC XVI 6–7; see 1 Peter 2:13–14).

St. Paul made use of his legal right as a Roman citizen (“I appeal to Caesar” Acts 25:11). “Christ’s kingdom allows us outwardly to use legitimate political ordinances of every nation in which we live, just as it allows us to use medicine or the art of building, or food, drink, and air” (Ap XVI 54). Our Lutheran Confessions commend the seeking of public remedy for injustice. “Public remedy, made through the office of the public official, is not condemned, but is commanded and is God’s work, according to Paul (Romans 13)” (Ap XVI 59). Our God-given right to act as citizens is very important, especially now.

The Equality Act is before Congress.2  It sounds innocent. All Americans should enjoy equality and the protections of the U.S. Constitution. But in elevating sexual orientation to a protected class, the Equality Act will bring sweeping changes to current laws, to the great detriment of the religious and constitutional freedoms of biblically faithful churches, institutions, Christian schools and individuals.

Jesus referred to Genesis 2:24, when He stated:


“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt. 19:4–6)


In fact, those churches and institutions that are bound by the Word of God to the truth of marriage between a man and a woman, and that sex outside of that institution is contrary to the word of Christ and the apostles in the New Testament (1 Cor. 7:2), could be punished for simply standing on our consistent, ancient Christian beliefs. The Equality Act effectively outlaws the words of Christ, the sublime doctrine of Creation, the First Article of the Creed, and our “free exercise of religion” based upon the Bible and Apostles’ Creed. The biblical teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman is to be labeled forever a mere “sex-based stereotype.”3

The Equality Act expands the definition of “public accommodation” and puts an ultimatum to individuals, religious non-profits, food banks, schools, charities, adoption agencies and others: “Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment.”4

Religious schools (K-12 and universities) are a prime target of the Equality Act, which will make it difficult to maintain standards for admission and codes of Christian conduct for students, faculty and staff.5  The Equality Act will forbid college students from using federal tuition assistance at schools that maintain standards of conduct on the basis of the Bible regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sex-specific facilities and female-only spaces could be eliminated. Biological males will have the right to participate in female sports, unjustly denying female athletes at our schools a fair competition and the due rewards of accomplishment.6

The Equality Act will eliminate the significant protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in 1993.7  This law has provided strong protections for “free exercise of religion” in the face of overzealous officials.

The Equality Act contains no conscience protections for medical staff who choose not to perform abortions, even if they have religious objections. Because of its broad definition of “health” services, the Equality Act threatens the Hyde Amendment, which limits public funding for abortion. It also threatens Christian hospitals with elimination of funding for not performing “health” services, including abortion or genital mutilation.

The Equality Act was recently passed by the House and is currently pending in the Senate. The margin is razor thin. If it does not become law now, we can be assured that it will be pressed again. We encourage all LCMS people to:

1. Treat all people with kindness and respect (“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31), while holding firmly to “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

2. Become informed about the Equality Act and the issues of gender dysphoria. (See “Additional Resources” below.)

3. Consider your role as Christian citizens and make your voice known to your elected officials, particularly in the U.S. House (house.gov/representatives) and Senate (senate.gov/senators/index.htm).

4. Pray for our officials, government and the church in these challenging days.

Martin Luther once said, “Christ dwells only in sinners.” We recognize ourselves as sinners constantly in need of Christ’s forgiveness. We recognize the truth of the apostle Peter’s words, “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). We know that Jesus’ opponents grumbled against Him by saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:2). This comforting verse applies to us sinners, and we welcome all others to join us at the feet of Jesus, the sole Savior of all (John 3:16). As Christians, we believe that God has created all people, and all are infinitely valuable and accountable to Him. As Christian citizens, we recognize and demand basic God-given civil rights for all people, even as we insist on the First Amendment rights of Christians.

No matter the course of this or any legislation, Christ will sustain His church. Our hope is not in laws, Congress or courts. Our hope is Christ. “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).


Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:8–9, 13–17)


Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


CategoriesNews

Covid-19 Vaccine

Monday, January 25, 2021

Click to read President Harrison's discussion regarding the Covid-19 Vaccine.

 

 


CategoriesNews

Changed Worship Times and Other News

Monday, June 15, 2020
Please read about our new worship times...
CategoriesNews

Changes Due To Covid-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Streaming Service

Our worship services are online only. We are live on Sundays at 8:20AM and Wednesdays at 11:00AM. You can access the livestream from our website: https:/faithluth.com/livestream/

If you miss these services, you can view them on our Youtube page: https:/www.youtube.com/channel/UCbJJn6AJWPxl9GUr-0insOg

Church on the Phone

We have a new opportunity to access our church service on the phone. You can call into our custom phone number: 1-888-502-3453. You can choose to receive a phone call right before we start service. If you miss the service, it will play back our latest worship (it doesn't have a service to play right now, not until Sunday). Please pass this phone number along to someone who may not have a computer.

Children's Message and Sunday School Video

On Sunday morning, head over to the Youtube page for both a children's message on Esther and a Sunday School video about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (the videos will be live on Sunday morning).

Communion Opportunities

We are offering two "office hours" for communion: Sundays from 9:30-11:30AM, and Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00PM. You may come at any time during those hours to receive communion. We will keep group size under 10, so if the sanctuary is full, please wait in the narthex. You may always call us to set up a personal appointment to receive communion.

7th and 8th Grade Confirmation

8th Graders - please continue to send your essays to Pastor Rajek. We are discussing Confirmation Day - please look for a email soon.

7th Graders - Pastor Sam has made video lessons. You can watch them on the Youtube page: https:/www.youtube.com/channel/UCbJJn6AJWPxl9GUr-0insOg


CategoriesEvents, News

Daycare Employment Opportunity

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Employment Application

Please click this LINK to download the Employment Application for a daycare position.


CategoriesEvents, News

News and Events Blast - April 20

Friday, April 20, 2018

Greetings in Christ Jesus, Who Leads Me Beside Still Waters and Restores My Soul!

Here are a few brief reminders and announcements to call to your attention to as you head into the weekend: 

Tuesday is a big day for our seminarians: Call Day 

In February, we made a call for a seminarian candidate from St. Louis Concordia Seminary as our Associate Pastor. Watch live as these faithful men and women learn of their Assignment of Calls and Vicarages (via web streaming).

Assignment of Calls is April 24, 2018, at 7 p.m. (CDT). The link for the St. Louis live stream call service is: callday.csl.edu

Pancake & Sausage Breakfast/Brunch - This Sunday

Sunday, April 22 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM – Come enjoy delicious pancakes along with Forbes, North Dakota's Famous German Sausage.This meal is a way for you to help support the Mexico Mission Trip. Come enjoy good food and great fellowship. Sponsored by the Board of Missions and Evangelism. 

LWML Bake Sale

Also, Sunday, April 22 – Before and after both services there will be an LWML sponsored Bake Sale to support the Mexico Mission Trip! This is a free will event for the whole congregation. If you are unable able to attend, please label your donated items and bring them to the kitchen. No need to price your items as this will be a free will offering. Thank you for your generous support of these volunteers! 

Confirmation News

Night of 8th Grade Questioning—All are invited to attend the evening of questioning for our 8th grade confirmation students. The rite of questioning is a major moment for our 8th grade Midweek students and they would be so appreciative of your support. Join us Wednesday, April 25th at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Confirmation group picture will be taken at 6:00pm. Students who are getting individual pictures taken should be at church at 5:30pm. 

Good Shepherd Sunday

This Sunday is “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The appointed Psalm for the day is Psalm 23, which is among the most well-known psalms. The Gospel from John 10 records Jesus revealing Himself as the Good Shepherd. While fewer and fewer people are familiar with what it is like to take care of sheep, this metaphor of God’s protection and provision has become a great source of comfort and hope. May God grant that you find such blessed comfort as you dwell securely here in the house of the Lord. Pastor Rajek's sermon for this Sunday is titled "No Other Name" based on Acts 4:1-12. See you Sunday!

Sandal Funeral

It is Christian joy and hope mixed with sadness as funeral services were held Wednesday for Evelyn Sandal. She was 104 years old and was a member of our congregation. One of her daughters was Marlene Young. Thank you for your continued prayers for the Sandal family.

Voter's Meeting

We will be having a VOTER'S MEETING on May 6, 2018 at noon. On the agenda will be the election of officers. Lunch will be served. Please plan on attending. Thank you.

Church Softball Team

Faith Lutheran is again planning to have a men’s softball team. We need a few more players to fill the roster. If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Dennis Ryckman as soon as possible. Must have parent’s permission if under 18. The team plays on Friday nights during the summer months of May to early August. Practices are starting now. Also, would you or your business be interested in helping co-sponsor the team registration fee? Contact Dennis Ryckman, 222-7713.

 


CategoriesEvents, News

Sunday Morning Worship - 4/22/2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

This Sunday in the Church Year is often called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The appointed Psalm for the day is Psalm 23, which is among the most well-known psalms. The Gospel from John 10 records Jesus revealing Himself as the Good Shepherd. While fewer and fewer people are familiar with what it is like to take care of sheep, this metaphor of God’s protection and provision has become a great source of comfort and hope. God grant that you find such blessed comfort as you dwell securely here in the house of the Lord.

Please join us for Sunday worship at 8:20 AM or 11:00 AM.  Pastor Cory J. Rajek's message is titled “No Other Name” based on Acts 4:1-12.

Sunday's bulletin can be found at this Bulletins Link.


CategoriesNews

Sunday Morning Worship - 4/15/2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

We may have a tendency to think of repentance as a painful thing, as something to dread and avoid at all costs. After all, repentance means admitting we were wrong. It may be embarrassment, guilt, shame, or pride that makes repentance difficult. Yet you have probably experienced the joy of repentance as well, the relief of confessing your sins, the wonder of grace that flows to us in forgiveness. You may be holding on to a dark secret or a stubborn grudge. Bring your heavy burdens to the Lord today. He has forgiven you and has called you His beloved child.

Please join us for Sunday worship at 8:20 AM or 11:00 AM.  Pastor Cory J. Rajek's message is titled “Touch and See” based on Luke 24:36-49.

Sunday's bulletin can be found at this Bulletins Link.


CategoriesNews

Sunday Morning Worship - 4/8/2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Thomas is seldom remembered for anything other than his doubt. In our quest to find relatable biblical characters, we often leave Thomas as a man who needed evidence—proof. We may miss his bold confession: “My Lord and my God!” While the other ten disciples had seen Jesus eight days earlier, none of them confessed as Thomas did. And none of them believed until Jesus appeared to them and spoke His Word to them. Focus today not on Thomas’s doubt but rather on his confession of faith.

Please join us for Sunday worship at 8:20 AM or 11:00 AM.  Pastor Cory J. Rajek's message is titled “Time To Work” based on John 20:19-31.

Sunday's bulletin can be found at this Bulletins Link.



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