JULY 9, 2024

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. Connie and I were up Breckenridge, Colorado, with my extended family. We biked, hiked, rode the rapids, ate together, played a variety of games, and enjoyed the cooler weather.  But it is good to be back.

The theme for our lessons this week is lining up your life with the power of God. Amos, John the Baptist, Paul produced some major fireworks in their time. The question for us is does our life shine in the night with the Light of God?

The prophet Amos spoke out against the government of his day. There was too much corruption and too little care for the poor. He had a mission from God. He would follow that plumb line. God called him a sheep herder and a sycamore fig tree farmer who lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah to speak to the rulers of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In Israel, it was a time of period of peace and prosperity, but their corruption and neglect had crossed a plumb line set by God.

What are some plumb lines in your life? Here at Faith, we have a mission to aid those in need through our pantry. We raise up children in our preschool. We house groups like NA, OA, AA, AL-Anon, whose members lost their way and are trying to find their way back home. We preach about home that all of us have through the “Glorious grace freely bestowed on us through the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). We sing and pray “to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:14).

Time with family is a good time to reflect on life and the plumb lines that we set for ourselves. Lines are set within families, within church communities and within nations. I marvel at what we have accomplished as Faith Church.

There is a warning to us in the life of Amos, Paul and of John the Baptist. You might imagine that efforts to move in sync with the power of God would be universally well received. These men had a faithful following, yet there were also those who opposed them.

Amos’ words were not well received. Other prophets were making good money reassuring people that everything would be fine. Their motto: Let your plumb line be your own personal satisfaction. Get it while you can. Amos was forced to return home, where he continued to write down his warnings. They were unheeded. In the end, the Northern Kingdom fell.

Paul was often opposed in his preaching, yet he kept moving forward. As he writes to the Ephesians: we are blessed with “Every spiritual blessing”, we were “destined for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ.” I recently read a motto which Paul could use: “A set back is nothing more than a setup for a comeback.”

John the Baptist had a large following in his lifetime. However, when he critiqued Herod, the ruler of his area for his lack of ethics, he was arrested. In many areas of the world there are rulers who can arrest their citizens at will. Vladimir Putin recently had his critic, Alexei Navalny, arrested, he later died in prison. There are citizens in our country who think it would be a good idea for our president to have such power.

Herod had John the Baptist arrested and, on a whim, offered his stepdaughter whatever she wanted. After consulting with her mother, she asks for the head of John the Baptist. Herod compiles with her request. Thus ended the ministry of this great man of God. Jesus said of him: “Among those born of women ho one has arisen greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11)

Amos, Paul and John the Baptist discovered that, our best efforts may not always be celebrated. We are called instead to seek an inner joy as we follow the plumb line of God. As Paul writes, we are: “destined according to the purpose of him, who accomplishes all things according to his council and well.” (Ephesians 1:16).

Prayer: Lord help us this day to follow your plumb line for our lives and know the deep joy of serving You through our service to others.  Let the righteousness of living the right relationship with God and our neighbors fill our minds, hearts and actions.    Amen

Grace and Peace,     Pastor John Bunge

Support – The summer months can be tight so please keep up your financial support as you are able. Barbara Kuerzinger took over as Treasurer July 1, with Richard’s assistance. Make it easy on her in writing checks by keeping up your support. MANY MANY THANKS to Richard for his many years of service as we make the transition.

The BELLS – are back for the summer; practice on Sunday morning at 9:00 am. They will play this Sunday during communion.

WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study is August 3, part of a 3-part Bible series on living in faith.

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

PANTRY

Thanks for the great response for Stater Bros. grocery bags for the pantry.  Pantry is 8 to 10:30 every 2nd & 4th Saturday, so July 13 and 27.   We serve largely an older group in need of our assistance. We will be celebrating that ministry on Sunday. Bring an item with you to church that day.

Time of Meditation –meets Thursdays @ 1 pm. Welcome back Nelson. Our prayers were answered.

LAUREN SCHAFER is back Monday through Thursday 12:30 to 3 p.

Pastor Bunge is back in the office on July 9 and 10; then Mondays and Tuesdays.

Confirmation Classes start again September 8.

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 2 quilts to graduating Seniors Charlotte and Evan.

Celebrations:

  • Jeanne Koening got good news. Her pancreatic cancer biopsy came back benign. Additional good news, they were able to sell their house and will be moving to 12367 4th Street space 8. They appreciate prayers for their daughter Jesse.

 

PRAY for:

  • Please pray for Robyn Blue, her mother died last Sunday just after noon. She had been recovering from a fall and while recovering contracted COVID. There will be a grave site service for the family.
  • The family of Steve Cady will be using the fireside room August 10th for a family remembrance time for his mother. She requested no memorial service.
  • Dana Hadley injured her foot, but a blessing that she has no broken bones. She is recovering.
  • Bonnie appreciates continued prayer for her son Brendan Simms, who has suffered from a series of strokes. She herself is recovering from an injury to her foot. We pray for a speedy recovery.
  • Delores McDaniel, the Grandmother of Wendy Finucan Montgomery is recovering from a stroke.
  • Nelson continues his recovery and was back in church.
  • erwin has been back in church, birthday celebration for him August 18.
  • Nancy’s son, Gabe, is recovering.
  • 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 who had a setback this past week.
  • 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.

 

Thanks to all you have given shoes for Soles 4 Souls place your shoes in the boxes inside the Narthex and Fireside Room labeled “Soles 4 Souls.”

Thanks to Pat Teeters and her neighbor for the gift of 5 bags of shoes.

JOIN US – FUN & FELLOWSHIP @ FAITH after the WORSHIP SERVICE

JULY

14th — 75th Anniversary Celebration HONORING THE PANTRY – Feeding the 5,000 theme. Bring a item for that day. Fajatis, salad – thank you Karen, dessert – thank you Paula

       
CURRENT VOLUNTEERS   PAST MAINSTAYS
Carol Jensen, Organizer erwin Buschauer
Barbara Kuerzinger, Assisting Organizer Pat Kilday
Leisa Alvarado Mike Shea
Brenda Batt & Bronson David Strack
Antoinette Brenion Jan Wheeler
Debbie & Pete Gerlach  
Bruce Goloski  
Eloise & Fred Johnson  
Joseph Koenig & Lucas  
David Lund  
Pat Teeters    
         

21       BINGO!   Casserole, salad and dessert

28       “OH! HAPPY DAY” – Chicken Noodle Casserole, Salad and dessert

AUGUST

4          WELCA

11       75th Anniversary Celebration HONORING THE YOUTH & EDUCATION with Back-to-School games for young at heart. 

 18       90th Birthday Party for erwin! 

25       FUN IN THE SUN!   Cornhole Tourney

 THANK YOU TO PAT TEETERS FOR THE BINGO PRIZE DONATIONS!

Reminder:  Please bring Bingo Prizes and if you want to help with food for any date, please let Connie know, 951.514.1214