Sharing Good News

 Do you have Good News to share?

Connie and I do. Our daughter shared her joy about being with child. She and her husband, Ying, learned that it is a girl, due in September. Exciting Times for us. She wanted us to wait a bit to clear the first tests before sharing the Wonderful News. Now we have the go-ahead to share it.

We are looking forward to meeting this new life. The world could use another inquiring, energetic, embracing person, like our daughter, Brie. And, another whiz kid like her husband, Ying. For now, we pray for her as she enters this time filled with expectation, joy, discomfort, and anticipation.

Our Gospel for Sunday is John 12: 20-33. Jesus has just made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem the crowds are stirred up. We will celebrate the Hosannas of Palm Sunday on the 24th.

In the crowd were Greeks who were interested in Jesus. They approach Philip, first. We read in the book of Acts, that he will become quite an evangelist for the church first in Samaria and then to an Ethiopian who was a member of the royal court of Queen Candace. Philip decides that it would be good to have Andrew go along with him.

In John’s Gospel, Andrew was the first evangelist. He recruited his brother Peter to follow Jesus. Philip in turn recruits Nathanael. So, these two evangelists approach Jesus who welcomes the Greeks and talks to them about the need for a seed to die for a plant to grow.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:22 that Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom.

Last week Nicodemus, the Jew, was asking about the signs of Jesus’ ministry. Signs were the reason he came to him.

When Jesus speaks to the Greeks he focuses on wisdom. For many Greeks, wisdom amounted to strategizing how to maximize one’s personal pleasure. The problem here is the fleeting nature of pleasures and the lack of concern for others.

I remember talking to a New Yorker who recalled his first day in the city. He had just come up from the South and was not used to escalators. He tripped as he disembarked. The people behind him This is what happens when self-interest rules.

The Greek philosopher, Epicurus, is falsely linked to a total focus on self-interest. In the Middle Ages, he was made the patron of drunkards, deviants, and gluttons. We still use the phrase, Epicurean delights to define indulging in expensive food and drink. But Epicurus himself did not encourage the pursuit of happiness to the exclusion of others. For him, the pinnacle of joy was to live a tranquil life, free from fear, absent from pain, surrounded by friends. He loved teaching and built up a community of friends. In the end, however, he did not escape pain but died of a urinary tract blockage.

Jesus pushes Epicurus’ wisdom a step further. For Jesus ultimate happiness is found in blessing the world. A seed alone is ok but plant it in the ground and a rich harvest is possible.

His goal was not to avoid pain or flee from fearful places. He would embrace the agony of the fearful cross if it meant that others would know peace and hope. The prospect of the pain to comes troubles his heart but a voice from Heaven comes in that moment to reassure him that God will glorify his name. He assured that when he is lifted from the earth “all people will be drawn to him.”

What is there about Jesus that draws us to him? Is he right about the giving of oneself as being the highest joy? Is partaking in some Epicurean delight better? Andrew and Nathan shared the Good News because they found Jesus to be the True Light. Connie and I found joy in bringing life and sharing life with our daughter though it meant sacrifices at times. Now is the time for her and her husband to find that joy.

Jesus called on those Greeks to let go of their focus on self and willingly love God and our neighbor. In so doing the seed of this life can give birth to a rich harvest. Heavenly voices concur that: In blessing the world we experience Light and Fullness of Life.

We do not know what the Greeks took away from this encounter. The Greek Orthodox Church is still strong. This is a Greek Orthodox image of Jesus. A scholarly sort, wondrously glorified.

We do know that the conversation with Nicodemus resulted in a lifelong dedication to Jesus. He is there to help bury the body of Jesus with the help of Joseph and Amaranthus.

What draws us to Jesus? What do we take away? For many of you, your encounter with Jesus has resulted in a lifetime of dedication to the love of God and neighbor. The seed planted within you has brought a wonderful harvest. Is not that the best?


Lord may we be open to heavenly voices calling on us to plant ourselves in your Love and allow a harvest to grow. May continue to be drawn to you.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor John Bunge

Thrivent Choice Dollars – We received nearly $1,000 in Thrivent Choice dollars thus far. You can designate your dollars to Faith but need to do so before March 31. Call 1-800- Thrivent or 800-847-4836 for more information.

Souper Studies on the Life of Peter in the Fireside room @ 5 pm. We are using Adam Hamilton’s book Simon Peter, Flawed but Faithful Disciple. Final study March 20.

HOLY WEEK schedule:

March 24 – Palm Sunday we meet outside the church, palms in hand. If you have live palm branches to share let us know in the office.

March 29 – Good Friday Service 7 pm. The Seven Last Words of Jesus.

March 31 – Easter – invite a friend – a special day – sermon, flowers, music, breakfast.

Time of Meditation –Nelson Hall continues leading 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 will be in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays through March.

Confirmation Classes meet each week at 11:15 am. No class on Easter, March 31.

Next Pantry – Next Saturday, March 23.  Special Offerings during Lent will go to support this ministry, which last time served 60-plus families, many elderly.

Pick up – Thanks to Joe Koenig, our current saintly man of Faith, who picks up the food from Feeding America on Thursday mornings at 6 am. We could use a backup just in case. Let Carol know if you are interested.

MUSIC   Choir – We practice at 9:00 am before services.

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

Each 2nd Sunday, we highlight the committees of the church to celebrate 75 Years at Faith.  On MARCH 10, we honored SOCIAL CONCERNS/OUTREACH – QUILTING & FELLOWSHIP.   THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR OUTREACH!


Dona Whitt     **  19 quilts to Lutheran World Relief
Dana Hadley     **  30 quilts to CCLM
Paula Winters     **  24 lap quilts to SMILES for Seniors


Jennifer Beal Kim & Cesar Guevara
Karen Hall
Connie Bunge, Organizer CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT
Kyle & Dana Hadley
Brenda Batt Setup:  Elisha Mkanza & Russell Koger
Dana Hadley Dana Hadley         Brenda Batt
Heather Lewis Bennie Mkanza    Pastor Bunge
Connie Bunge, Organizer Charlotte Beal & Evan
FOOD HELPERS Bonnie & Dave Strack
1st Sunday – WELCA Pastor Bunge
       Karen Hall           Carol Jensen Prizes:  Jan Wheeler, Karen Hall,
Jennifer & Richard Beal Pat Teeters, and Anonymous Others
Diane Watson
Jerry & Bonnie Mills COOKIE EXCHANGE
Dona Whitt Karen Hall              Dona Whitt
Pat Motschall Robyn Blue            Charlotte Beal
Michelle & Yvette Mureaux Pat Teeters             Barbara Kuerzinger
Paula & Aiden Winters Steve & Sharon Cady
Sharon & Steve Cady
Robyn Blue Jenny Beal              Pastor Bunge
Pat Teeters Jerry Mills               Paula Winters
Brenda Batt Pat Motschall
Heather Lewis
Dana Hadley PICTURES
Jacque Kottmeier Debi Hitter



Brie Bunge and husband Ying look forward to the birth of a girl in September.

Brenda Batt’s grandson Bronson has not had a headache for a few weeks. Thanks for the prayers.


  • Pray for the Cady family. Steve’s mother Donna passed away in her sleep on Monday, February 26 at 6 am. She requested no funeral or memorial service so there are no plans yet.
  • Erwin needs back surgery which was postponed. Erwin also appreciates our continued prayers for Lynda.
  • Eloise is still home recovering. Thanks, Carol, for your visit to her.
  • The Koenig Family –Jeanne was with us on Sunday but needs our continued prayers. We are also praying for their daughter, Jessica, as her leukemia leaves her tired. Lucas is in our prayers.
  • 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, who need housing for themselves and the twins.
  • Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.
  • Jacque & Dennis Kottmeier appreciate your prayers. She has recovered from her mini-stroke, but strength is needed for Dennis.


Connie and Debi put up a larger bulletin board in the Fireside Room so we can display lots of pictures of Faith in action.  We will also be putting together a photo album.

If you have any that you have taken, please forward via email to Debi Hitter, She will print them for the bulletin board and pass them on to Lauren for the website.


MARCH 10 – 75 Anniversary Thanks Recognition to our OUTREACH committee- Fellowship Team and Quilters Paula and Aiden will provide their fabulous Ramon Soup. Karen will provide the Chocolate Cake.

MARCH 17 – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY – Please wear your green.

Reuben Sandwiches, Sauerkraut, Jerry Mill’s fabulous potato salad, Karen Hall’s luscious chocolate cake.

 March 24 – Palm Sunday – Quiche, scones & Fruit

March 31 – Easter – Waffles, Sausages, Fruit          COME CELEBRATE WITH US!