Family Dynamics

May 29, 2024

I hope you had a refreshing and reflective Memorial Day Weekend. Connie and I had a great time with our family. We celebrated our son’s birthday coupling it with a baby shower for our daughter. My time with family will continue as I travel to Germany to meet my sister Marcia for a week. Later in June Connie and I travel to Coronado.

Families can be such a blessing, in working on the memorial service for Dennis Kottmeier, which will be June 8 at 11 am. I have gotten to know his family.

I will not have a message next week as George Crisp will be preaching on the 2nd. Looking ahead to our service on the 9th when we will read about Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden and Jesus’s family as they attempt to bring him home away from the negative reception some are giving his ministry.

The moral of the lessons is that life is difficult to navigate, but we can be part of receiving an eternal house in the heavens.

HGTV highlights all types of homes, from fixer-uppers to amazing remodels. Adam and Eve had a nice place for themselves in the Garden of Eden. But we read in Genesis 3 about how they lost it.

Adam and Eve are confronted by God for their disobedience in eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The response of Adam is to make matters worse by blaming Eve. Eve blames the snake. This blaming is not helpful. Adam is told that he will have to toil for his food. Eve learns that she will have pain in childbirth and the snake is condemned to crawling. The new household falls further into dysfunction when their son Cain turns on Abel in deadly anger.

Paul suggests a better way to his congregation in Corinth (2 Corinthians 4:15). How about looking to Jesus as our example? He lived a life of grace for the sake of others. He did not participate in the blame game, though he of all people could have. Instead, he reveals how we can experience our heavenly home even now.

This was a hard concept for most. Jesus’ earthly family did not “get it” right away. We read in Mark 3:21 that they came to take him home. His message of grace was just too much for some people to handle. Most thought they could build “heavenly” homes themselves by leading pious lives. Jesus must be out of his mind or of the devil if he thinks God is building houses for dysfunctional people. Jesus family wants to keep him safe so they encourage him to come home.

Sometimes well-meaning family members can try to contain us, hoping to save us from the trials of the world. The message to Adam and Eve and to us is the same. Life is full of hardship and pain, and trying to avoid it is not possible. What is possible in the words of Paul is to “not lose heart” (2 Cor 4:16). Our outer nature may waste away but inwardly we can be renewed, day by day.

Jesus will be challenged again and again to forsake the way of the cross, but he will not abandon his mission. His life’s mission brings him daily renewal. Jesus invites the crowd around him to join him as brothers and sisters of faith. Happily, his mother, Mary, and brother James will later accept that invitation and be there at the birth of the church on Pentecost.

How were and are your family dynamics? Is there a lot of blaming going around? Anger? Did your family encourage you to abandon your life’s aspirations? Were they well-meaning and encouraging? Do they still stand with or against you? Are they still around?

What a blessing solid, supportive family dynamics are. They reflect the type of home of grace God is building for us. But Paul reminds the Corinthians and us that no matter our family dynamics we have a “building from God, a house not made with hands but eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1) We can accept the invitation of Jesus to join God’s family in doing the will of God and build houses that reflect our heavenly home.

PRAYER – Jesus thank you for inviting us into your family. May we build homes that reflect our eternal home in heaven. Fill earthly homes with respect, joy, laughter, and prayer. Bless parents that they may reflect your unconditional love embodying grace and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ your son, our Lord.  Amen.

Grace and Peace,    Pastor John

WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study is June 1. They will begin a 3-part Bible series on living in faith after certainty. They will also be helping with the funeral for Dennis Kottmeier.

The funeral for Dennis Kottmeier will be on June 8 at 11 pm.

 Interested in joining Faith?  We are planning a new member orientation in June. Let Pastor Bunge know of your interest.


Please save Stater Bros. grocery bags for the pantry.  All bags are welcome, but Stater Bros. bags fit the paper bags used for distribution.   Desperately needed. Pantry is 8 to 10:30 every 2nd & 4th Saturday, so June 8 and 22.

Our Synod Azoombly (assembly online Zoom) will be on June 15 – want to be a delegate? Let Pastor Bunge know. Thanks Paula for saying yes.

Grief Support – There is a GriefShare program available in our community. Char Lampe helps in leading it her number is 951-218-8590.  It was recommended highly by one of our Faith Family.

 Support – Bless you for all the ways you support Faith Lutheran. The summer months can be tight so keep up your financial support as you are able.

Time of Meditation –meets Thursdays @ 1 pm.

 LAUREN SCHAFER is back Monday through Thursday from 12:15 to 2:45 pm.

Pastor Bunge will be out of the office until June 17 then on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Confirmation Classes start again in August.

Upstairs Thanks Tim Drum, Connie, and Bonnie S. for looking into the equipment and uses for the upstairs.

BELLS – We hope to be back this summer on Thursday nights.  Let Irm know about your interest.

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:

  • The family of Jacque Kottmeier. Dennis died rather suddenly on Sunday, May 12. The funeral is scheduled for June 8 at 11 pm.
  • The family of Carol Jensen who lost her brother Merlin “Bumps”.
  • The family of Carol Jean (Farias) DeAmbra who died on April 5. She was a resident of Calimesa and member of Faith for 25 years and a quilter here before moving to Arizona.
  • Nelson is doing well recovering from hip surgery, and walking outside now.
  • Nancy’s son, Gabe, is recovering after being attacked in the Riverside area.
  • erwin has been back in church, which is great.
  • The Watsons would appreciate prayers for Bud who is at home.
  • Eloise appreciates your prayers.
  • Jan Wheeler appreciates our prayers for Andrew Gentry, a co-worker of her son Brian.
  • The Koening’s appreciate your prayers.
  • Kyle and Dana’s son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, cancer was found even after surgery.
  • Cesar and Kim appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle. Her brother Jim is back in a critical state.
  • 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.

If you have shoes that are “just taking up room” in your closet or garage, please bring them to the boxes inside the Narthex and Fireside Room and place them in the box labeled “Soles 4 Souls.”



26        MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATION & Celebrating Very, Very, Merry UnBirthdays of Jan – Jun

Thanks to Bonnie, Nancy, Jennifer, and Connie for providing the food & cleanup.  Thanks to Charlotte, Evan, Nell, and all for helping to clean up.   You are appreciated greatly!


2          WELCA

9          In The Garden Theme – Meatballs. Salad, Cheesecake, Brownies

16       LOVE TO DADs & GRADS – Root Beer FLOATS! in Fireside Room

23       BINGO!!!!    Please bring your bingo prizes. (We will be playing 2 times during the summer; by popular demand. Label BINGO & place on pew in office.  THX!) 


JULY 14th — 75th Anniversary Celebration HONORING THE PANTRY

August 11 — 90th Birthday party for erwin.

August 18 –75th Anniversary Celebration HONORING THE YOUTH &  EDUCATION with Back-to-School games.