Blessed Beyond a Doubt
Are there times in life that you feel blessed? As humans we are not geared to focus on the Good Times in life. We are geared to be careful and cautious. We focus on the threats, which were especially helpful when dangers in jungles and forests were abundant.

The media is well aware of this basis and accommodates that focus by bringing us troubling images from around the world. Only at the end do they sometimes throw in a heart warming story. Car chases, collapsing bridges, corrupt politicians are simpler stories than the daily efforts of good people to improve our world. The saying “If it bleeds, it leads” summaries the priority to given to tales of woe, for those are the tales that evoke strong emotions.

The consequence of this is that we think dangers and threats are more plentiful, more real than they are. Last Sunday we read from the Gospel of John chapter 20 about Mary Magdalene being the first to the tomb on Easter morning. She had followed Jesus “providing for his ministry” (Luke 8:3). She was there with Mary, the mother of Jesus beneath the cross (John 19:25). Now she goes to the tomb early in the morning “while it is still dark”, a brave and courageous outing. The stone was rolled away and her first reaction is that “they” had taken the body of Jesus. She tells Peter and the disciple Jesus loved of the theft and they run to the tomb but they “did not understand the Scripture about rising from the dead.”

Mary looks inside the tomb and sees two angels in white and tells them of the theft as well. Turning, she sees Jesus but thinks he is the gardener, until Jesus calls her by name.

Finally, it all comes together for her. The Teacher has returned. She goes to the disciples to announce the news to them. Luke tells us that for the disciples “these words seemed to be an idle tale.” It is not until Jesus appears to them that evening that “they were glad to see the Lord.”

Now is was the disciples turn to be questioned about their experience. Thomas does believe their story and demands physical proof of Jesus resurrection. He is specific. He
wants to touch the wounds of Jesus.

Have you ever had good news to share and your audience not believe you?
We live in a time when people do not seem to have a lot of patience with people who do not believe as they do.

The reaction of the disciples to Good News of Jesus’ Resurrection is helpful. First – though Good News is hard to believe, we have a caring Rabbi who brought it to us. The Resurrection is the ultimate Good News story, and it teaches us that other Good News we hear might be true as well. We certainly had a lot of wonderful experiences to reflect on during Holy Week. I want to express my thanks to the many who made the week so full of Good News.
Palm Sunday, started a bit too cold to be outside but we had room in the narthex to remember Jesus entry into Jerusalem. Palms from the Koenigs and the Stracks and the efforts of Dave & Bonnie and Connie
made the sanctuary, entry and Fireside Room festive. Then there were all the readers who came forward for the passion reading, Jennifer, Barbara, Paula, Dave, and Elisha.
Good Friday the somber tone of the Seven Last Words were enhanced by black clothes draping the sanctuary done by Dave & Bonnie. Thanks also to Connie who pitched in for the powerpoint that night.
Easter was marvelous!
THE SETTING – with Irm decorating the altar and pews with beautiful flowers! Dave, Bonnie and Connie draping the cross and adding lilies! To Angie for bringing eight lilies, to Bonnie who purchased lilies and thank you to so many
who contributed lillies. Thank you as well for contrinbuting toward the musicians.Thanks to the altar guild for the extra trays we needed!
THE MUSIC! – to Irm and the instrumentalists which included Mike Shea on timpani drum, Ann Shea on flute, Andrew Shea on trombone and Aurnob Khan on trumpet! The choir sang Alleluia! It has been great to be a part of this group!
THE KIDS CHURCH – I am especially happy to see the youth involved. Thanks to Rachael and Charlotte for caring for the extra children!
THE BREAKFAST! – Thanks also to those who assisted with Easter Breakfast. Thanks to Richard and Jennifer – the best waffles I have ever had! Connie setting the decorations, Karen for the fruit, Bonnie, Michelle, Nancy for assisting!
Second – though the disciples did not believe the women, though Thomas did not believe the disciples, they stayed together. Relationships were more important than agreement on all things.

I was talking to a member of Zion Reformed Church. This group that has been renting our space on the second level of our fellowship area for nearly two years. They voted this Sunday to disband as a congregation. They were a break off of another congregation and started off well enough but slowly divisions grew among them and now they will no longer be meeting. Sad to see. But we do live in a time when people’s patience with disagreements grows slim. As members of Faith the glue that holds us together in the Good News of the Gospel that we are saved by Grace through Christ. We need not agree on all things theological or societal. The universe is full of the amazing variety of God creation. Jesus reached out to all sorts of people. Peter would learn of God’s embracing love more and more throughout the Book of Acts. God loves us all and is no fan of sameness.

Lord thank you for the boundless tapestry of creation. May we be inspired by your disciples to embrace the mosaic of people who journey with us in this your world.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor John Bunge

Next Pantry – Every 2nd & 4th Saturday. We are blessed that Aldi is providing food through our connection there. We could especially use Pasta sauce and Canned Soup

Thanks to everyone who supported our Musicians and Flowers appeal. The names will be sent out in a separate email and are available at the rear of the church. Bless you for all the ways you support Faith Lutheran. Your financial support has been amazing.

Time of Meditation –Nelson Hall continues to lead a time of prayer and meditation on Thursdays @ 1 pm. Join this group in unity of prayer and meditation.


LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th.

The Pastor is in the office Monday and Tuesdays.


Confirmation Classes We are back in action through April and May at 11:15 am, until Memorial Day.

CHOIR – We practice at 9:00 am before services.

WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study will be April 6. at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room.

QUILTING – Emily Smith’s Group (909.255.2452) has completed 16 for Central City Lutheran Mission and 6 for Lutheran World Relief. They also gave 23 lap quilts to Smiles Seniors of Yucaipa, who sent a nice Thank you note.

 Pray for erwin as he mourns the death of Lynda who passed away March 19. He appreciates being contacted by mail or email: The memorial service will likely be in April.
 Pray for the family of Glen Egerstrom the service for his mother will be April 6 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks @ 2 pm.
 Eloise was with us Good Friday. Nice to see Benet. Thanks for your prayers.
 Great to see Jacque and Dennis Kottmeier.
 The Koenig Family – Jeanne had gall bladder surgery and is recovering well. Jessica, and the boys were with us on Sunday after their accident. Jeanne & Joe will be moving back to Yucaipa in April.
 Kyle and Dana’s son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, cancer was found even after surgery.
 Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle.
 The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for themselves and the twins.
 Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.

Stop by and find yourself among the ministries we do. Our aim is to include a picture of everyone. If you have any pictures, please forward to Debi Hitter, We will be taking follow-up pictures of friends and members to update the directory and the bulletin board in the Narthex.


We look forward to having you join us in April in the Fireside Room following the worship service.

14 FIESTA DAY with Chefs Richard & Jennifer, taco bar and cookies
21 SERVING YOUR FAVORITES DAY – with meatballs, salad, brownies, fruit
28 BINGO! – Kim’s Famous Taco Soup, salad and Karen’s awesome dessert