November 12 is the second Confirmation here at Faith since I have been with you.
Russell Koger and Elisha Mkanza will be affirming their faith. During our years in
class we had good times. I look forward to their next phase in the life of our
congregation as they carry on their faith here at Faith.
I asked them both to write an essay about their faith. They will be affirming their
faith in the Apostle’s creed along with the rest of the congregation, but beneath
that general creed, there is our personal take on the creed. I wanted to share
with you a summary of Elisha’s essay this week and Russell’s next week.
Elisha has always been a caring brother to his siblings and a caring presence in
class. His essay describes the people who followed Jesus: Some for the miracles,
others for his answers to the questions of life. I would say Elisha, like the
disciples, follows Jesus for the assurance it offers of a life well lived. As he
reflected on a life well lived, he referred to the seven last words of Jesus.
The first word he remembered was spoken by Jesus to the thief next to him. In
the darkness of that moment, the thief saw something powerful in Jesus. He
asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus assured him that “This day you will be with
me in Paradise.” What a powerful assurance this is for us when we experience
dark times. Perhaps we even suffer for our mistakes. Whatever the cause of the
darkness, we can turn to Jesus and ask him to remember us, and he will. Even
better he offers us paradise as well.
Elisha also highlighted the words of Jesus who nearing his end yet proclaims “it is
finished.” Not in the sense that he was done for. More in the sense of his mission
is “finished” – completed, fulfilled.
Elisha would hope that at the end of his days, he likewise could likewise sense the
accomplishment of a life well lived. As a “Christian filled with faith, a student of
his teachings, a brother to my brothers and sisters in Christ”, he looks forward to
his life’s journey with “Christ beside me”. In the end he wants to join Jesus in
commending his spirit into the Father’s hands.
He ends with a prayer for those who are in need, for those learning of Jesus, for
the people who are with God.
On Sunday we remembered those who had passed away over this last year. Sadly,
a long list. There were long-time members, pillars of the church like George
Motschall, Norma Burwell and Bill Martin. Relatives of members like Tim Strack,
Richard Kuerzinger, Lee Morgan, Mrero Mkanza, and my mother, Myrene Bunge,
and former faithful members Ken Sweitzer and Norma Scanlon.
They were examples for Elisha and for us all. They were people who live life well,
filled with the assurance of Paradise. People who could commend themselves into
the hands of the Father.
It has been wonderful to see how Rachel and Charlotte stepped forward to lead
our Sunday children’s time over the past year. I look forward to finding areas that
Elisha and Russell can add to the life of Faith.
As Elisha and Russell take a step forward on their own journey, may we join them
in commending ourselves and all we do into the hands of the Father.
Bishop David Nagler will be able to join again this year for confirmation. He is a
man who has lived life well. You might remember that he worked for many years
for the Central City Lutheran Mission. He will be here ahead of the service if you
want to greet him.
Lord, bless Russell and Elisha as they take this step of faith. Continue to
strengthen them in wisdom, guiding them to places of service, joy, and peace. We
commend them into your hands. May we join them in reaffirming our own faith
as we walk together with you and them.
Grace & Peace,
No Confirmation Class this Sunday in honor of Russell and Elisha. We will begin
again @ 11:15 on November 19th then take a break till after the first of the year.
Courtney Koger will be joining us then.
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th.
Next Week Pastor will be in Monday and Wednesday November 13 and 16. Then
November 20 and 21.
New Members – Interested in joining Faith? We will have a new member
orientation Dec 10 after church. New Members will be received on Dec. 17. Let
Pastor Bunge know if you are interested.
Next Pantry – November 11 and December 9 We are looking for grocery bags
(Stater Bros. best) and boxes of cereal, bags of rice, macaroni & cheese and
canned fruit, also Thanksgiving items. Carol used her Action Team to supplement
the cupboard and St. Alban’s brought groceries and a donation, and several items
were donated by Aldi.
Choir – We are singing this Sunday. Join us for practice at 9:00 am ahead of
Bells – We meet on Thursday nights. Let Irm know about your interest.
Adult Class – Thanks to all who participated in our Wednesday afternoon class.
We had some wonderful discussions. Thanks, Steve, for your leadership.
WELCA – Next Women’s Bible Study will be Saturday November 4 at 9:30 a.m. in
the Fireside Room.
QUILTING – Each Tuesday beginning at 9 am. 15 quilts were presented to CCLM’s
homeless men. 19 were given to Lutheran World Relief. They are working on
more. We do have lap quilts for purchase one, let Emily Smith know,
909.255.2452. They will be displayed on November 19. Help this ministry and get
an early start on your Christmas list.
Joe and Jeanne Koenig were with us in church. Jeanne went through her surgery.
Kyle Hadley who had a quadruple bypass on Tuesday October 3, likewise, is
Jacque Kottmeier is continuing to do well.
• Eric and Krissy Koger’s neighbor Shaun Grainger was hit by a motorist after an
argument. The driver was arrested.
• Cady’s daughter’s friend, Brooke, was taken off nutritional support. Pray for the
• erwin appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda.
• Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law,
Lisa, suffering from cancer.
• The Koenig Family –
Joe went through the removal of his cancerous kidney, but stage 4 cancer was
Jeanne – a stint was put in Jeanne’s skull to drain the accumulating spinal fluid
which is affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills. She is also in
considerable pain from the swelling in her head.
Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves her tired. We are also
praying for Lucas.
• Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle. Cesar’s
Sister Maria also had a lump removed from her neck and the biopsy came back
• 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.
FALL FELLOWSHIP: Focus on Faith Family
NOV. 12 – Confirmation Celebration for Elisha Mkanza & Russell Koger. Bishop Nagler will join us.
NOV. 19 – Cookies, Coffee & Conversation
Thanks to Pat Teeters for helping.
Nov. 26. It’s TIME TO DECORATE THE CHURCH FOR ADVENT AND
11:10 – 12:30. Help us put up and decorate the tree, wreaths,
nativity scenes, and advent wreath. Thanks for planning to help.
We will serve pizza and drinks.
NOTE THESE DATES: Dec. 10 – A Fun Bible Trivia Game led by
Steve Cady. Please make plans to stay for this fun game.
DEC. 17 – COOKIE EXCHANGE. Bring 2 dozen cookies. We are trying to secure an
Action Team to provide containers—will update. Members have said, “What a great idea” to
exchange cookies and take to someone to cheer them in the holidays.
November 16 – 11 am Preschool Thanksgiving Feast
November 19 – Baptism of Aiden Winters
December 8 – Preschool Christmas Program 6 p.m.
December 9 – Faith Lutheran hosts the Christmas Concert of the Inland Valley
Chorale. Invite a Friend. Please volunteer to usher.
December 24 – Advent Four Service @ 10 am.
December 24 – Christmas Eve Service @ 7 pm.