April 2013 Newsletter
(from the 4/1/2013 newsletter).
FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH
Dear First Family: “Christ is risen!”
“He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”
How often we have spoken those words in celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. Can you truly imagine what it would be like if Christ had not been raised from the dead? Paul wrote: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins”
(1 Corinthians 15:17). I can’t imagine anything worse than a futile faith or being locked in sin forever.
Before the Communists seized control of Russia, it had been a long-established custom for relatives and friends to exchange verbal Easter greetings. The Bolshevik commissar for popular education, Lunatscharsky, delivered a public lecture in a large auditorium in Moscow at which he asserted that the Christian religion was now completely overthrown and that the Bible could be easily disproved. He felt so sure of himself that he challenged anyone in the audience to counter him.
A young priest came forward, turned to the audience, and said, “Brethren, Christos woskresse—Christ is risen!” (This was the usual Easter greeting.) With one accord, the large audience cried out, “Woistinu woskresse—He is risen indeed!” (the customary reply). “I have finished,” said the priest. “I have no more to say.” The meeting was closed at once. Lunatscharsky’s eloquence and flowery language had availed him nothing.
No, faith is not futile, because Christ is risen. We are not left to wallow in our sin forever, because the door to Eden has been opened by our risen Savior: “O, where is your sting, death? We fear you no more;
Christ rose, and now open is fair Eden’s door. For all our transgressions His blood does atone; Redeemed and forgiven, we now are His own” (LSB 480:4).
An older pastor who had conducted Easter services for 50 consecutive years was asked, “Which of the 50 Easter seasons gave you the biggest thrill?” The pastor said with a smile, “My first.” When asked, “Why the first?” he said, “Because it was all so new to me.” He continued, “It is regrettably sad but unfortunately true that with the years we are inclined to miss much of the terror and triumph of those momentous days in Jerusalem because we know the end before we begin to read the story.”
As you hear the resurrection story read and proclaimed yet again this Easter, may you receive it in a new way with joy and anticipation, for:
“Christ is risen!”
“He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”
I have finished. I have no more to say (1 Corinthians 2:1–5).
Yours, in Christ,
Pastor Dave Renfro
The pastors and staff of First Lutheran Church and our families wish you and your family a most blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter! We’re honored to serve you and to serve our risen Lord with you!
First Lutheran Church
2808 South Ave. West
Missoula, MT 59804
Pastor David W. Renfro
SMP Pastor Mark Christensen
Melissa J. Johns, Parish Worker
Worship Service Schedule:
8:30 a.m. - Traditional Worship Service
9:45 a.m. - Bible Study/Sunday School
11:00 a.m. - Blended Contemporary Worship Service
The sacrament of the Lord's Supper is celebrated on the first and third Sundays of each month.
Thursday - March 28th
7:00 p.m. - Maundy Thursday Worship Service/Communion
Friday - March 29th
7:00 p.m. - Good Friday Worship Service
Sunday - March 31st
7:30 a.m. - Easter Sunrise Service
8:30 a.m. - Easter Breakfast
10:00 a.m. - Easter Festival Service
April will be busy with preparations for the joint Western/Flathead LWML Spring Rally to be held here at First Lutheran on Saturday, April 13th. You are all encouraged to attend as it promises to be an interesting day with lots of fellowship with our sisters in Christ from around western Montana. The theme for the rally is "Salt is Good, Savor the Flavor". Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. with a $7.00 registration fee. Family Promise will be the recipient of the ingathering donations and suggestions include: toilet tissue, paper towels, hand soap, cleaning supplies, reams of paper and other office supplies.
Lunch will be served and the highlight of the afternoon session will be a presentation by the three women who attended an informational conference in St. Louis, one of which is our very own Sonja Reeves! We need to have an idea on attendance numbers so please RSVP at the church office - 549-3311 - by April 1 if you haven't already been counted. We would love to see lots of you there!
The April general meeting takes place on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship room. If you have questions, please call Char Klofstad at 543-7345.
It is time once again to begin our collection of items for the Personal Care Kits that are prepared each year for Lutheran World Relief. If you would like to contribute, you may EITHER make a financial contribution and the ladies of LWML will do the shopping (Contact Jetta Moon or Phyllis Nelson). OR you may contribute any of the following items: Dark colored light or medium weight bath towels, bath-sized bars of soap, toothbrushes, sturdy combs or metal nail clippers. There will be a collection box in the Narthex and thank you so much for your help!
I was once young and now I am old, but not once have I been witness to God’s failure to supply my need when first I had given for the furtherance of his work. He has never failed in his promise, so I cannot fail in my service to him.
- William Carey
Junior Bells - Mondays 3:15 p.m. at the church
GraceNotes Bells - Mondays 5:30 p.m. at the church
Praise Team - Mondays 6:00 p.m. at the church
Miller Boys - Wednesdays - 8:00 a.m.
meet at Paradise Falls
Men’s Discipleship - Thursdays - 7:00 a.m.
meet at Paradise Falls
Women’s Bible Study -
Tuesdays - 6:30 a.m.
meet at Paul’s Pancake Parlor
Women’s Bible Study - Tuesdays - 6:00 p.m. at the church
LWML - 2nd Tuesday of every month 7:00 p.m.
Thursdays - 11:00 a.m.
Women’s Bible Study @ Stevensville
1st and 3rd Friday of every month - 1:00 p.m.
Bible Study at Missoula Manor
1st and 3rd Thursday of every month - 12:00 p.m.
Quilting - at the church
Tuesdays - 5:30 p.m. - at the church
Sunday, May 19th, 2013
Mark that date on your calendar as a time of spiritual growth, fellowship, and commitment here at First Lutheran Church. Sunday, May 19th, will be “Consecration Sunday,” the culmination of a biblically based stewardship education and commitment emphasis called Consecrated Stewards that focuses on raising people in Christian discipleship, not just raising money for the work of the church.
To understand the Consecrated Stewards approach, you need to know that it is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. It is not based on the budgetary needs of the church, but on the desire to have each person grow in discipleship. Opportunity for growth in discipleship will take place during the Sundays April 28th through May 12th.
† The personal witness of some of our members.
† Encouragement and resources for prayer.
† Celebration of the various ministries of our congregation.
† A series of Bible studies on Sunday morning, including a special Bible study on Sunday, May 19th, led by Rev. Roger Krause. Rev. Roger Krause will also be our guest proclaimer on Consecration Sunday.
† Consecration Sunday activities on May 19th including:
- Opportunity to make a faith-based commitment during the worship service.
- A special fellowship and Celebration Luncheon for all the First Lutheran Church family.
The encouragement to commitment on Consecration Sunday takes place within the context of the morning worship service. Our Guest Leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, and then ask our attendees and members to respond to God’s leading through a financial commitment that will enable our church’s missionary, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.
Every attendee and member who completes a response card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We also urge people to attend who feel strongly opposed to completing a card. The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card. Consecrated Stewards works with people where they are and when they are ready. Members make their commitments as a confidential act of worship.
We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.
Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in our Consecrated Stewards events.
Officers and Boards
Assistant Executive Director
vacant - Chair
vacant - Chair
Bob Lehmann - Chair
Jim Hanson - Chair
Ruth Lee Thompson
Board of Lay Ministry:
Ken Madden - Chair
THE GIFT OF FAITH
by Sonja Reeves
Faith is a gift from our Savior and not something to be taken lightly. For, it is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that will ultimately grant us eternal righteousness. As Apostle Paul reminds the Romans: “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:22)
Believe. Can it be that simple? Simple, maybe, but not easy for some. I have good news for those of you that struggle with faith. Faith is, as C.S. Lewis puts it in Mere Christianity, a habit that must be formed. It isn’t something that if you don’t have it, well, too bad, you are never going to get it. No. Faith is something that requires training and something that we all have to practice in order to defend it against the daily attacks the enemy mounts.
How does one battle ready his/her faith? Maybe it is best to hear it from Lewis himself: “…if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious readings and church going are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.”
You are your own worst enemy if you do not feed your faith. Irrational fears and feelings can infiltrate even the strongest defenses. The courage and strength it takes to bring the light of Christ into the world is something that only the Holy Spirit can provide. It is by truly relying on His saving grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, which provides the protective cover necessary for the Spirit to go to battle.
A parting thought from Apostle Paul:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” - Ephesians 2:8
The youth have scheduled a garage sale for Friday May 9th and Saturday May 10th. Start your spring cleaning now and collect items that can be donated for this sale. They ask that you not include adult clothing or computers.
TRINITY CAMP CLEAN-UP
Trinity Camp needs your help in preparing for summer. Annual "Camp Clean-up" is Saturday May 18th. Bring your rakes, shovels, weed eaters, wheelbarrows, leaf blowers, gloves and a servant heart and join us for "Camp Clean up 2013". Please contact Bob Schied or Jim Hanson for more information.
Public Relations Board:
Matt Reeves - Chair
Chip Johnson - Chair
John Mandler - Chair
Jo Anne Renfro
Jon Langland - Chair
The children are glad spring is here and they are anxious to have some nice
weather. We are watching for signs of spring; the trees budding out, flowers
growing, and birds returning to Montana from their winter homes. Soon we
will be waking up our friend Bubba Bear from his winter hibernation. During
the month of March we danced an Irish jig and went on a treasure hunt. We
learned that Jesus is our special treasure. In our science center we had cool
rocks to look at and we even got to take one home. We brought the seashore
inside and had fun with sand and seashells for our letter Ss. We have been
hearing lots of Easter stories and making Easter crafts. On Easter morning
we will remember to say He has risen! We ended our special month with
an Easter egg hunt.
CHECK THIS OUT!!!!
Want to see an amazing performance? Ring Praise Handbell Concert on Wednesday, April 24th at 7:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 235 South 5th Street West, Missoula. The concert will feature Phyllis Tincher, a solo handbell ringer on 3 octaves of handbells (that’s 24 bells, exluding all flats and sharps. All played by ONE person!!!) accompanied by Sean Rogers on the piano. Their music includes hymns, contemporary praise songs and reflective pieces focusing on praising God. There is no charge for this concert.
IT’S GARDEN TIME AGAIN
With the coming of Spring we look forward to beautiful flowers. We have a couple of areas up for adoption and some where extra help is needed. They are available by month or for the full season. If you have a little extra time and energy and would like to be one of the First Lutheran Flower Gardeners please contact Melissa (549-3311) for more information.
A BIBLICAL TOUR OF ISRAEL & JORDAN
(October 14-24, 2013) An Experience of a Lifetime! A deluxe tour of ‘Israel & Jordan’ plus many extras such as a cruise on the Sea of Galilee, meditating in the Garden of Gethsemane, seeing the Jesus boat, driving to Petra, Jordan through the desert that the Israelites wandered in and much more! Arrangements can be made for departure from Kalispell or any airport.
Rev Darold Reiner, presently serving the Church at Creston-Lutheran, in Kalispell, is leading this tour. Contact him at 406-890-1149 or email@example.com for a brochure.
If you are interested in receiving the newsletter electronically and IN COLOR
as a PDF document, please let the church office know.
PLEASE GIVE US A CALL
In order to minister effectively to our member's needs please call one of the pastors or the church office ...
Before going to the hospital
The birth of your baby
A death in the family
When you wish private counseling or to be included in the prayers of the church
As you make wedding plans
Change of address, phone number and/or name change
When you desire private communion
Upon entering the armed services
Your desire to serve your Lord through the church
You need to transfer your church membership
DID YOU KNOW?
The church has a couple of wheelchairs, walkers and crutches to borrow on a first come basis. All we ask is that you check them out through the office so we can keep track of where each item is.
PRAY FOR OUR MILITARY
If you have a friend or relative currently serving in the armed forces, please notify the church office and we will include them in our prayers. This month we ask you to continue praying for: Anthony Hampe - godson of Teresa and Clarence Miller, Dean Ward, son-in-law of Jack and Marlene Sundt, Christopher Milo - grandson of Freda Hall, Pastor George Shaffer - Josh Randash - son of Rodney and Linda Randash, Luke Snaric - nephew of the Rhoades family, Patrick Gargan - cousin of Helen Christensen, Tim Schwanke - godson of Dede Lienau, Ryan Ocampo - nephew of Bob & Lu Lehman, Aleana Hooper - niece of Bob Schied, Dusty Starman - nephew of Rick and Pam Shaw, Erica Coburn - daughter of Donna Coburn, Kenneth Barrett - son of Janet Renz McMaster, Leslie Moody - daughter-in-law of Chuck and Sylvia Moody, Adam Moody - son of Chuck and Sylvia Moody, Matthew Bejcek - brother/brother-in-law of Krista and Gregg Neibauer, Jim Cameron - brother-in-law of Krista and Gregg Neibauer and Aislynn Evans - great niece of Jetta Moon.
Thank you for your willingness to serve the Lord and our church family by serving His altar as an acolyte. This is a very important ministry. Please be at the church 15 minutes before the service for which you are scheduled to acolyte. If you are not able to serve at the service for which you are scheduled, it is your responsibility to secure a substitute. Please call Pastor Renfro and inform him of the name of your substitute so he knows whom to look for.
8:30 service 11:00 service
April 7 Maddy Hanich Bailey Renfro
April 14 Kyle Pollack Gabe Christensen
April 21 Sarah Sriraman Jett Steen
April 28 Aly Druyvestein Payton Schild
IN HIS SERVICE
What a blessing "In His Service" is to our congregation! This program strives to provide opportunities for all members to share in and be a part of the various ministries of the First family. Through this program, all members contribute with hospitality and service to our church. The membership is divided into twelve sections for each month of the year.
Balko, Norm and Dori
Becker, Tony and Pam
Domako, Tom and Vicki
Jarrett, Glenn and Peggy
Kellough, CJ and Donna
Lake, Lincoln and Sierra
Zimmermann, Mike and Bernice
Due to some schedule conflicts CONFIRMATION has been rescheduled to Sunday, June 2nd. Please note this change.
CHOIR IS TAKING A BREAK
Choir will not be practicing for the month of April. We will have practice again on Monday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. We will practice the songs for Mother’s Day and Confirmation and then break for the summer months.
Three men were tried for crimes against humanity. Two committed crimes. One didn’t.
Three men were given government trials. Two were given fair trials. One wasn’t.
Three men were whipped and beaten. Two had it coming. One didn’t.
Three men were given crosses to carry. Two earned their crosses. One didn’t.
Three men were mocked and spit at along the way. Two cursed and spit back. One didn’t.
Three men were nailed to crosses. Two deserved it. One didn’t.
Three men agonized over their abandonment. Two had reason to be abandoned. One didn’t.
Three men knew death was coming. Two resisted. One didn’t.
One, two, three men died on three crosses. Three days later, two remained in their graves. One didn’t.
- Author unknown
HOW MANY MILLER BOYS DOES IT TAKE ....
With all sincerity, we love you Miller Boys.
We love your hard work, your warm smiles and your
willingness .... you’re the best!
CPR/FIRST AID CLASS
12 people took the CPR/First Aid
class that was offered in March.
We spent 4 hours learning CPR and
what to do in an emergency. And
we all are now certified!!
MEMBERSHIP CHANGES AND OFFICIAL ACTS
First Lutheran Church, Missoula, MT
THE MEASURE OF OUR LOVE
March 8:30 11:00 Communion
Attendance Total Offerings
3 117 102 165 219
6 - Lent 86 86
10 119 124 243 $7,910.35
13 - Lent 85 85
17 107 120 187 227 $8,001.85
20 - Lent 93 93
24 - Palm Sunday 160 118 278 $5,636.60
28 - Maundy Thursday tbd tbd
29 - Good
Friday tbd tbd
31 - Easter tbd tbd tbd tbd
Simply Giving $800.00
March Sunday School High School Adult Bible Class
3 13 4 66
10 21 5 76
17 19 6 58
24 13 150
Membership as of 3/31/13 (tentative)
Baptized Members: 765
Communicant Members: 613
U.S. Postage PAID
Permit No. 160
Missoula MT 59801
First Lutheran Church
2808 South Avenue West
Missoula, MT 59804
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
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