Dealing with Conflicts
Ezekiel 33:7-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20
Is not being a part of the Church a Joyful experience?
This past week, our daughter and her husband and my son and his wife joined Connie and I
down at Carlsbad where we enjoyed time together. We went biking along the beach, boogie
boarding, my daughter surfed, discussed some books, went out for meals and cooked meals
together and played code names. I hope to make this an annual Labor Day event. Enjoying
family together is a rich blessing.
Our Faith community has a lot of things coming up this week: A Luau, Choir starts, the Camp
Director’s home dedication. Jesus loves communities of faith. He did not call students to study
with him for a season on a private spiritual journey. He called followers to create community.
Matthew records that the assurance of Jesus continues to be with his followers wherever two
or three are gathered.
Jesus is realistic. Community is not always harmonious. Last Sunday readings had Peter
winning kudos from Jesus as he boldly proclaimed him as the Messiah, the Son of the Living
God. But in the next breath Jesus begins to fill out the picture of the Messiah. God’s Messiah
will “suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the
third day be raised.” Good News in the end but Peter does not want to go through the bad
Peter “rebukes” Jesus. Jesus rebukes him back. Jesus says Peter is channeling Satan. He is a
hindrance. Peter eventually understands, takes up his cross and follows Jesus.
Peter learns from this conflict how to respond to others when they “mess up”, “do not get it”.
In fact, on September 24, we will see Peter suggesting that people forgive each other at least
seven times, which is more than recommended in his reading of scripture. Jesus will push that
figure out further in a wonderful parable.
This week Jesus has recommendations to help communities “get along”.
Jesus’ recommendations are as follows:
1. Step One: Recognize that people will NOT always “get along”. The disciples did not. The
church throughout history has not. One of the features I love about the Bible and the
Christian church is how “real” it is about human nature. In communities there will
always be disagreements. We are not in heaven yet.
2. When conflicts do occur, go to the person when you are alone to point out the
disagreement or hurt. I know most people would rather not. It is much easier to talk to a
good friend “about” someone rather than talk to that someone. But that does not lead
to resolution.
We see that in our politics. Politicians would rather talk to their favorite media outlet
rather than to each other. There is little progress until people talk to each other rather
than past each other. I have seen how wonderful it is when people are brave enough to
go to the person that they feel has harmed them rather than talking about them.
3. If that step does not work, take two or more people with you to confirm that what you
are saying is true. This can be helpful in two ways. First perhaps we are the ones who
are off base. Our fellow Christians may be able to point out the “log” we have in our
own eye, versus the spec in our neighbor’s eye. If on the other hand, they see our point,
they can help confirm our concerns to the other person and help mediate the situation.
This often helps in marriages when a counselor is called in to clarify concerns.
4. Step four is to involve a larger group, in this case the whole church intervening. I have
been a part of interventions sometimes they work, other times not. We see in our time
that Russia has not change course regarding it invasion of Ukraine despite the
condemnation of most of the world. My younger sister was not up for changing her
course in life despite our intervention, but it is worth a try.
5. Jesus says the final step is to “Treat them as a Gentile or tax collector”. The normal
response to Gentiles and tax collectors in Jesus’ day would be to push them out to the
edges of community. There seems to be a point where the community needs to
preserve itself from contamination by a malevolent few. In our own time we see the
Proud Boys who would disrupt our government being given prison sentences so as not
to contaminate our national unity. Jesus himself would always reach out to Gentiles and
tax collectors and others on the periphery of society. We are to keep our hearts open as
well, though we may also need to create some distance.
Prayer: Lord we pray for peace and understanding in our world. So much suffering is caused by
conflict, misunderstanding and disregard of others. Bless the peacemakers. Thank you for
being with us when we gather in your name. Be with Faith and the faithful here.
Grace and Peace,

Pastor John

Choir – We are starting our choir this Sunday. We hope to sing every other week. Practice will
be at 9:00 am ahead of worship. Interested – give it a try.
Adult Class – We are hoping to offer a weekly adult class this fall. Interested? Let Pastor John
know at
Central City Lutheran Mission – We raised $2,500 with a matching grant. You might also think
about joining Connie and I and others from Faith to attend the LSS Gala at the Mission Inn in
Riverside, Oct 7 starting @ 5 pm. Interested? Let Pastor John know at We are hoping to get a table full. Cost: $175/person.
Next Pantry – September 9 and 23. Good News with the help of a Thrivent Action Team Joe
and Carol will be going out refrigerator shopping for the Pantry. The old power-eater freezer
will be replaced. $350 came in and a Thrivent matching grant added $500. Still want to make
donation to the pantry? Make your check payable to Faith Lutheran and marked “Pantry
WELCA – Women’s Bible Study, seven were there on September 2. The next study will be
Saturday October 7 at 9:30 a.m. Join us in the Fireside Room.
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours this week. 12:30-3:00 M – Th.
Pastor will be in the office Wednesday and Thursday September 6 and 7. Then Monday and
Tuesday of the following week.
QUILTING – Each Tuesday beginning at 9 am. THANKS for the 15 quilts presented to CCLM’s
homeless men on Sunday.
Confirmation classes We will skip Labor Day weekend and Luau day September 10. Then meet
September 17 and skip a couple of weeks for Pastor’s vacation then resume October 8, 15, 22
and 29. Confirmation service for Elisha and Russell will November 12 so we can have Bishop
Nagler with us.
• Kim’s brother Jim has had his spinal tap and is able to move forward with stem cell treatment
for his cancer once another round of treatments is over.
• erwin has been with us in church and appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda. He is from
mud in the driveway.
• Ken Sweitzer who moved to Missouri died on August 8. The funeral will be there Sept. 9.
• Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, suffering
from cancer.
• The Koenig Family – Jeanne who is undergoing diagnosis and treatments for complications
from accumulating spinal fluid which is affecting her eyesight, speech and motor skills. She
is also in considerable pain from the swelling in her head. Joe is awaiting kidney surgery, which
will be on October 16. Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves her tired.
Lucas is in need of special care.
• 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 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She starts radiation soon.
• The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for
themselves and the twins.
• The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a stroke
and is still unresponsive.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.
FELLOWSHIP: Our Focus on Faith Family will begin now through January.
1st Sun. – WELCA (except Oct. will be 2nd Sun)
2nd Sun. – GAMES (Oct. will be 1st Sun)
3rd Sun. – COOKIES & CONVERSATION – We hope you participate. It will be fun! And maybe we will
learn something interesting you never knew about one of your Faith Family.
4th Sun. – POTLUCK
Sept. 10 10:00 – Church Service at Faith
REDLANDS; 31433 Alta Vista Drive, Redlands, CA. Noon to 3 pm.
Complete with BBQ, swimming, singing, games, FUN!
Please call or text Connie, 951-514-1214, if have questions or want to sign up
3:00 pm The dedication of the Camp Director’s Home in Oak Glen will follow.
Sept. 17 – COOKIES & CONVERSATION. Want to bring cookies? Let Connie know. Thx.
Sept. 24 – POT LUCK – Last Names ending in A-G
Oct. 1 – GAME DAY – Bunco
Oct. 8 – WELCA