As we begin to reopen our church you will find the latest information here.
Worship with Us!
While we are currently pausing in-church worship, we hope you will join with us online each Sunday for regular service. We also encourage you to check in throughout the week as we update the site frequently.
Meet Faith Lutheran
Meet the staff and clergy, read about our history, and find out about ministries and other activities.
Contact and Directions
Faith Lutheran Church is located at 12449 California St. Yucaipa, CA 92399.
Worship With Us
We continue our Single Service worship now OUTSIDE on our patio area at 9 am. We share liturgy, hymns and sermon outdoors in the shade. We ask that you check your temperature before you come and wear a mask during the service.
“Knowing the Love of Jesus and Showing the Love of Jesus to God’s wondrous world.”
Faith Lutheran News Center
There are lots of stories about St. Peter at the gates of heaven. A while back I heard one about a young couple who were killed in an accident on the day before their wedding.
When they arrived at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter asked if there was anything he could do to make being in heaven even more pleasant.
They explained about dying the day before their wedding and asked if it was possible to be married in heaven.
“No problem,” said St Peter, “leave it with me.”
A hundred years or so later they met St. Peter and asked about the wedding. “Everything is being arranged,” he assured them.
Another hundred years passed, and they met St. Peter again.
They reminded him about the wedding and said, “We know that in heaven, time is of no consequence, but we have been waiting over two hundred years.”
St Peter replied, “I am sorry. All the arrangements were made the day after you arrived and there is only one thing preventing us from having the wedding is that we are waiting on a minister!”
In our gospel text for this Sunday from Matthew 16, Peter has just confessed that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (vs. 16). In verse 19, Jesus says “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The Roman Catholic Church has interpreted this text to mean that they, as a church, have the keys to the kingdom. But, what are the keys to the Kingdom?
Luther in reflecting on this text said that he believed that forgiveness of sins is the key given not to Peter alone, but to the church and that “no matter how gravely and often one may sin; and that such forgiveness continues as long as this one community exists.”
No matter how many stories you hear about St. Peter holding people back at the pearly gates, it is in fact God’s mercy that is the Key to the Kingdom. Hold fast to the truth that the Son of the Living God is the revealer of the mercy of God.
Inspired by God’s Grace we can follow Paul’s direction in Romans 12 and not to be conformed to this world, but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice for God’s mission. The great power and mercy of God, allows us to be confident that no matter what is going on around us, “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.
Grace and Peace,
Reminder, Nelson Hall continues to work with Pastor Bunge to call on our members to see if you have prayer concerns. They will be held in confidence unless you would like us to share them with the congregation for their prayers.
Carol Jenson, who was by church on Monday for a food delivery would appreciate prayers for her daughter and granddaughter, Hannah, seeking employment after college, in this difficult time.
Bonnie Strack’s son, Brendan is in a nursing facility with a serious health condition. Nelson and Karen’s friend, Mike, is disabled and on dialysis.
Also, on dialysis is a friend of Jan Wheeler and Burrel Woodring, Allen, who is just in his 50’s.
Also, continue to pray for our members: Becky Malinowski being treated for a reassurance of cancer. Bill Martin recovering from two falls and COVID, he may be home next week.
In other NEWS from FAITH
We met again outside for our 9 am worship. It was quite pleasant at that time of the morning with a gentle breeze. Thanks to all those who assisted before and after the service — Joe Koenig, Eloise Johnson, Connie Bunge, Tom Ziech, Irm Jennings and Steve and Sharon Cady, who are back in town now.
Much appreciation to Tom who fixed the watering system for the flower boxes and flower garden by the offices and the plants are springing back to life. You can see them in the background of the videos.
We would love to have you join us, but you can catch the service on our Facebook site, Website or the YouTube link I send out later on Sunday mornings. Sorry about the headless pastor last week. We will see if we can get his handsome face in the video this coming week.
Thanks to the Joe and Joel Keonig team who jumped in to continue with the painting around the church, especially in the pantry and around the bathroom and office areas.
Also, a big THANK YOU to Joe and Joel Keonig who meticulously were able to piece back together the stained-glass window that was broken in the Sanctuary. It is the alpha/omega depiction.
Again, thanks for your gracious offerings to continue the FAITH ministry.
The outside metal structure, which held the concrete lattice work and allowed access to the roof, was removed this Saturday. Hopefully, that will resolve the homeless encampment on the flat roof around the sanctuary of the church.
We continue our outreach to the community. This Saturday, we will again feed those in need and five days a week we allow the NA groups to continue to meet outside in the courtyard (in compliance with COVID regulations).
Love to you all – stay safe! Pastor John
I remember when I was growing up, we would visit my mother’s relatives in South Dakota who lived on a farm. My mother’s two brothers had farms next to my grandfather. When we would visit, there would be a dozen or more cousins and plenty of animals – cats, dogs, chickens, cows, sheep, pigs.
The Larson family made up a goodly portion of the church when we would visit. In the front of the church was a painting of Jesus rescuing Peter from the waves.
It was an interesting choice for an image for the farmers of the Langford area. There were not a lot of large bodies of water nearby. But, there were dangers posed by nature. Winter storms could bury your doorways and threaten your livestock. Droughts could destroy crops and darken skies with dust. I remember stories of my grandfather barely finding his way back to the house. He had to tie a rope to the door and follow it. During the depression, he almost lost the farm because his crops were worthless. Farming is not an occupation for the faint of heart. Families wanted to know that there was a hand to reach for when nature threatened.
The church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. My relatives were instrumental in erecting a new one, which was much more handicap accessible; Hands working together rebuild out of the ashes.
As I am writing this, fires are active in the forests above our church threatening homes, closing roads. So far, the homes of our members and the ELCA camp at Oak Glen have been spared. Please pray this continues to be the case.
What is reassuring is that we do have a hand to reach for. The same hand my relatives had and have. The same hand Peter had.
Peter was a brave man for stepping out of the boat, attempting to reach Jesus on the waves. But as he focused on the wind rather than Jesus, he began to sink and cried out: “Lord save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand. Together, they returned to the boat and the wind ceased.
As fires rage and a pandemic continues unabated, we have this reassurance that there is a hand reaching out for us when we cry out. People in the congregation reaching out together to be there for those in need.
Nelson Hall is working with Pastor Bunge to call on our members to see if you have prayer concerns. They will be held in confidence unless you would like us to share them with the congregation for their prayers.
During these calls, Jan Wheeler and Burrel Woodring, who were with us on Sunday, asked for prayers for a friend, Allen, in critical care condition in the hospital. Additionally, the mother of Vicki Rollins’ brother-in-law has passed. She did live to age 97 years old.
Also continue to pray for Becky Malinowski who is having treatments for a reassurance of cancer. Bill Martin is doing well recovering from his fall and COVID, but another month in rehab is likely. Judy who is doing well is able to visit him via Plexiglas now. Carol Jensen was with us on Sunday and took communion to Geri Witwer.
In other NEWS from FAITH
This week we again met outside for our 9 am worship. It was a pleasant morning for the 15 at worship, the spot was shaded, there was a pleasant breeze and the bushes in the background are in full bloom. This week we added yet another monitor and amplified the sermon and music. We would love to see you, but you can catch the service on our Facebook or the link I send out late Sunday mornings.
Tom Ziech, who was with us at worship is working on the watering system for the flower boxes and flower garden by the offices. An Action Team from Debi Hitter, allowed us to purchase the gravel and plant a crape myrtle tree at the end of the south parking lot.
We had wood-like laminate left over from our office area so were working our way into the pantry area. That work should be done this week. We needed to supplement what was left with tile which was kindly donated by the worker we hired – this was a plus as the tile will be under the refrigerators in that area.
Lastly, we had a homeless encampment on the flat roof around the sanctuary of the church. They used the concrete lattice work as a ladder to climb up. While on the roof, they set up a BBQ, toilet area and broke one of our second story stained glass windows. Additionally, there had been homeless sleeping behind the lattice work, which allowed them to be hidden. The council directed the property committee to make needed changes for security purposes. They decided to have the lattice work torn down from the two areas close to the church building – not the cross. We will use other features and plantings there when we begin working on the landscaping at the front of the church. Sadly, in spite of our treasured outreach to the community, some still dishonor our place of worship.
Love to you all – stay safe!