Returning Home

July 2, 2024

I hope you have a great 4th of July. Perhaps gathering with relatives. Connie and I will be with my family on the 4th in Breckenridge, Colorado. All my siblings and most all their children and spouses will be there. We gather in memory of our mother, Myrene, who would have been 103 this year. She wanted the family to come together and would pay part for our reunions in the past. We were fortunate to always have a sense of home.

As I am writing this, Jodie Bada is transitioning Dee’s 4 -5-year-old room to make it her own. The preschool staff and members of the preschool committee celebrated Dee’s retirement as a teacher here at Faith Lutheran, last Friday. Dee made her classroom a home for over 500 preschoolers in her 26 years here. Her last graduating class was Thursday, July 27.

Now it is Jodi’s turn. Jodi’s parents are here with her helping her to make the transition. Jodi lost her brother recently. He was a child/man with many challenges, which overcame him. The family supported one another through the loss and their faith was a wonderful support. With loving parents and Jesus in her heart she moves forward. She leads her class but leads chapel with me as well.

On July 7th Shane Frieberg will be with us. Chaplin Frieberg is a Lt. Cmdr. in the Navy presently at Camp Pendleton.  As part of your 4th of July celebration we would love to present him with a gift for our sailors. He suggested: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, floss, razors, lip balm. Many of these young men come from difficult home situations and are asked to enter even more difficult situations. The military is one of the few homes they know. Pastor Frieberg is there to encourage them to see that Jesus provides a home for them as well. We want them to know they are appreciated. From our home of worship to their barracks we offer gifts in a box set up by the baptismal font. Shane can take them from there.

The next couple of Sundays the Gospel text is from the 6th chapter of Mark. After the wonderful healings in chapter 5, Jesus returns home. One might imagine that he would receive a hero’s welcome. Instead, the people back home wonder: “Where did this man get all of this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? Is not this Mary’s kid?”

Jesus answers them by saying: “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown and among their own kin, and in their own house.”

Jesus’ rejection at home reflects the experience of many in our world. Most of the unhoused, for example, are homeless because they have no home in this world. Others feel unmoored to this world through all the changes.

We work with LSS: Central City Lutheran Mission to give unhoused men a home and bring Jesus home to them as we also bring Jesus to each other each Sunday.

A friend of mine from Seminary was set to go to Annapolis and enter the Navy. He had found a home in the church and decided to go to Seminary instead. His father was not pleased and after being yelled at the son turned to leave. His father threw a knife that wedged itself in the door frame as he left. His son shared the home he found in the church with his church and with the 19 interns for ministry, he supervised. He did see his father again, when he heard of his father’s ill health. His liver had been decimated by years of alcohol abuse. At his father’s bedside his son bought Jesus’ home to him.

Jesus sent out the disciples into the world two by two. They may not find a welcoming home in the places they visited but they would have each other. If a town rejected them, they were to shake it off and move on. Not a bad image of how to deal with places in our lives that are not welcoming.  Shake it off and move on.

When I return to preach on July 14, the text concerns Herod Antipas who hears of the wonders of Jesus’ ministry and thinks it is John the Baptist that has come back to haunt him.  Herod had no real place in this world, only flailing attempts to hold onto power, which he learned from his father, Herod the Great. Antipas could not shake off the evil of his beheading of John and in the end is exiled to Gaul, truly homeless.

Prayer: Lord as we journey in this world, we thank you for places like Faith that we can call home. Watch over all who travel this week. Give us peace and calm as we remember we are never truly homeless. Amen.

Grace and Peace,       Pastor John

Support – The summer months can be tight so 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 July. Let Pastor Bunge know of your interest.


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.

 Time of Meditation –meets Thursdays @ 1 pm. Welcome back Nelson.

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

Pastor Bunge will be out of the office until Tues. July 9 and Wed. July 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.

 PRAY for:

  • Jeanne Koening was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and appreciates your prayers.
  • Dana Hadley has a broken bone in her foot.
  • 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.
  • Jacque Kottmeier and family on the death of Dennis.
  • Nancy’s son, Gabe, is doing well!
  • 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.
  • Many prayers for Dana, who broke her foot.
  • 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.

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.”



7th     WELCA

 14th — 75th Anniversary Celebration HONORING THE PANTRY –Fajatis, salad, dessert

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    

 21st   BINGO!   Casserole, salad and dessert

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


4th     WELCA

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

18th   90th Birthday Party for erwin! 

25th   FUN IN THE SUN!   Cornhole Tourney – Get your partner.  Sign up on Aug. 11


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