At The Family of Faith Lutheran Church we do not host a Thanksgiving Eve service; instead we dedicate the entire month of November to observing a month of thanksgiving. This year is different in that we have so much to thank God about as a congregation.

For example, last Sunday we held our biannual Congregational Forum. During this meeting the business of the church was addressed by the members of the church. The list of blessings was very long. I especially am thankful for all the volunteer church leaders who guide our ministry efforts. Such leaders include the members of the Board of Directors, the elders, and those who serve on one of the Ministry Teams, sing with the Praise Team, assist with the Tech Team, and/or prepare the altar with the Altar Guild. Please join me in thanking God for our volunteer church leaders.

While we have been generously blessed by the Lord over the last six months since our last Congregational Forum, God also has called us to continue our service to Him. Jana Strange has prepared a simple form that will help us coordinate who would like to serve and in what capacity. Please see Jana after church to offer your time and talents to the Lord. Or, you can always send me an email outlining your areas of interest at pastordoug.tfof.org.

 

-Pastor Doug

 

Pastor to a child at church: “What are you thankful for?” Child: “All the candy I got for Halloween!” At least this child was honest.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped handout candy at this year’s Trunk-or-Treat. Thank you to all of those who donated candy for this fun event. And a BIG THANK YOU to Jake Navarro for coordinating this year’s activities.

There are so many things around The Family of Faith for which we ought to give thanks. This Sunday, November 4, we will be thanking God for over a dozen new members who are making The Family of Faith Lutheran Church their church home. If you and your family do not have a church home, we would be so glad to have you join us at The Family of Faith.

Instead of having one special Thanksgiving Day service, we at The Family are celebrating A Month of Thanksgiving. No need to wait for Thursday, November 22.  God has blessed us so generously. May we respond to all of His goodness with sincere gratitude.

 

-Pastor Doug

Last Sunday, October 21, we enjoyed a wonderful blessing from God. We gathered as a family of faith at The Family of Faith – Miramesa. Many of you reading this blog joined us for the worship service and the afternoon’s activities. Thank you for joining us for this very special occasion.

After worship, many families picked up a “passport” and traveled room to room to see all the blessings we have been gifted with at the new Miramesa ministry location. Others enjoyed a snack and a time to visit with their neighbor.  Later in the afternoon dozens of children enjoyed the Tricycle Parade around the new Tricycle Track. Decorative balloons added to the festivities. Thank you all for making the Open House such a success.

While it is a joy to serve your families as a staff member at The Family of Faith, it is also a joy to meet you and your children at one of our special events. The next special event is the Trunk or Treat on October 31. See the announcement included in this enews for more information.

While October 31 is when we dress-up in costumes, and hand out candy, it is also a special day in the church. Reformation Day recalls October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther posted 95 Theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This posting called for the church to reform its less than biblical ways. To use modern terms, this posting went “viral”. The first Protestant church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, resulted. The whole idea of the Reformation was, and is, to celebrate the central truth of the Bible: we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

While I hope we have lots of fun at this year’s Trunk or Treat, I also pray that we will all take time to observe Reformation Day and all its great spiritual blessings. This Sunday, we will observe Reformation Day at Copperfield at 9:30 AM and at Miramesa at 11 AM. All are welcome to join us for more celebrating.

-Pastor Doug

 

October, Here We Come!

God has blessed us abundantly since the new academic year started on August 27, 2018. Many new students joined our learning community. In addition to opening preschool at two locations, many preschool families generously brought their children to sing on September 11 at The Family of Faith – Miramesa. Thank you, parents! Thank you, children! While August and September held many blessings, many exciting events await us in October.

For example, Sunday, October 21, 2018, you are invited to the Open House at The Family of Faith – Miramesa (9230 Fry Road). Starting at 11 AM we will gather for a service of celebration of dedication. From noon to 2 PM there will be fun family-oriented activities in each of the nine classrooms. In addition, there will be a Tricycle Parade. Each preschool age child is invited to bring their own right-sized mode of transportation to The Family of Faith – Miramesa where we have a special paved track just the right size for young children.

On Wednesday, October 31, from 6-8 PM, all are invited to the annual Trunk-or-Treat. This is a family-friendly event at The Family of Faith – Copperfield. In addition to fun costumes, we are looking for families who are willing to sponsor a trunk (of a car, that is). We are also in need of families who are willing to donate candy. Place these activities on your families calendar and why not bring a friend.

The faith family that gathers around The Family of Faith Lutheran Church is filled with talented people. For example, Mrs. Michelle Overaitis is one of our talented preschool teachers. She also is an exercise instructor at the local YMCA. Michelle has had two children attend The Family of Faith Preschool and now she is helping children in other families learn about the love of the Lord.

However, Michelle is not the only talented person in her family. Her husband, Jamie, enjoys woodworking.  When we needed a cross for The Family of Faith – Miramesa, we called on Jamie to help. He generously adopted the project. Today, after months of effort, and some delays, the cross was hung Commons Room. This room will soon serve as our sanctuary for the 11 AM service we offer at Miramesa every Sunday.

While the cross was one of the last items installed at Miramesa, it would also be accurate to say that the cross was the items around which the whole church is built. The new cross is supported on the wall by bolts and rods and two-by-fours. On the other hand, it is the cross which supports The Family of Faith Lutheran Church because it is by means of the cross that Jesus paid for all of our sins. Because of the cross we have free forgiveness and forgiveness by grace is the truth upon which The Family of Faith Lutheran Church is built.

“…who for the joy before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

How might a church show that the families and children in its care that God loves them so very much?  A congregation could pray for these families and children. It could invite and encourage them to join in regular worship. It could also decorate its building with inspiring art work.

In the past, our member, David Mann, has produced wonderful photographs that are presented in the sanctuary during various seasons of the Church Year. Other artists from within the congregation have painted inspiring works which also are placed on display in support of the worship life of the congregation.

Most recently, the art collection at The Family of Faith has expanded. Recently, The Family of Faith – Miramesa, received several custom-made paintings to decorate the preschool rooms at the new location. These paintings are intended to correspond to the themes which in turn correspond to age groups and rooms. For example, a painting of Joseph and his multi-colored coat hangs in the room with the theme of the “Dreamers”.  The Bible teaches us that Joseph was gifted by God with the ability to interpret dreams in addition to having his own inspired dreams.

Look at these fine paintings. Which one would you choose for your theme painting? Would you pick Joseph the dreamer? Or Jonah on his missionary trip? Or the wise Magi as they visit the infant Christ? Whatever your choice might be, we pray that the Lord will inspire you and your family to live a beautiful life in the name, and for the sake, of Jesus.

– Pastor Doug

 

 

 

The Bible is very clear that we are all invited to join together in worshiping God. This teaching is found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament the Lord provided the nation of Israel, and the world, with the Ten Commandments. The Third Commandment calls for us to “remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.” In other words, we are called by God to worship together on a regular basis.

In the New Testament the Lord continued to encourage and invite us to celebrate his love, grace, and mercy on a regular basis. For example, when the risen Lord Jesus visited the disciples after that first Easter day the Bible says that the disciples worshiped him. Jesus is our God therefore we worship him today just list the disciples did years ago.

For the last eight years The Family of Faith has offered one worship service per Sunday. However, now that we have been blessed with two ministry locations we will begin offering two worship services every Sunday. At Copperfield the service will continue to be at 9:30 AM. At Miramesa the worship service will be at 11 AM. This new expanded schedule will begin this Sunday, September 9, and will continue thereafter.

Please remember that the preschool children are invited to sing a few songs at the 9:30 AM worship service this Sunday at Copperfield. It is always a great joy to see the preschool children offer their praise to God. May we all join in with them that God may be praised.

– Pastor Doug

Thanks be to God. This last week The Family of Faith Lutheran Church was blessed with numerous new gifts from the Lord. On Monday, August 27, The Family of Faith Preschool – Copperfield and The Family of Faith Preschool – Miramesa both opened and began to serve families and children from our community.

In addition to this new multi-site approach to ministry, The Family of Faith Lutheran Church received a new Director of Music Ministry, Joey Lizotte. Joey is an extremely talented musician and vocalist with many years of experience in leading congregations in worship. Please join me in welcoming Joey to our staff. Joey will be leading us in worship at both the Copperfield and Miramesa locations. We will begin offering two worship services each Sunday on September 9, 2018. Holy Communion will continue to be provided at Copperfield on the first, third, and fifth Sundays. The Eucharist will also be offered at Miramesa on the second and fourth Sundays.

In addition to starting a multi-site ministry, and receiving a talented new Director of Music Ministry, we also want to thank the members of the preschool staff. Many of the staff members have been called upon to serve in a new position this year: the Preschool Director became the Director of Preschool Operations; the Assistant Directors are now Site Directors at Copperfield; some aids became teachers; some parents are now serving as aids. Thank you all for you generosity and flexibility during this time of new starts.

 

Welcome to the family – The Family of Faith. We are so glad you have chosen to be part of our “small town” in the big city. Whether your child is starting preschool for the very first time, or you are joining us in worship for the very first time, we hope you find our facilities and services to be a great blessing from God.

I recall serving as a pastor in a small town in rural Michigan. People in that church knew each other well. They shared their joys and sorrows. Life was lived together in a very real way. For example, people knew who made the rhubarb pie for the church potluck without a name plate to identify its creator. Everyone just knew Barbara was the one who enjoyed preparing such a pie and regularly brought such a pie to the church’s potluck dinners. This is just one example of how people tend to get to know each other in a small town.

In order to create a similar atmosphere of warmth and support here at The Family of Faith, I encourage you to take time to meet each other. If your child is attending one to The Family of Faith Preschool locations, I hope you will greet the other parents as you walk through the halls. If you are attending one of our worship services, I pray you will reach out to that person in the pew next to you who you have not yet met. By all of us taking some time and making an effort to meet each other we will continue to enjoy the positive social environment for which The Family of Faith is known. God’s richest blessings be yours as we begin a new academic year and as we find joy in meeting each other.

-Pastor Doug

 

 

 

The definition of the word “verge” is as follows: “the limit or point beyond which something begins or occurs.”  During this time of the year many of us find ourselves on the verge of something. The 2018 graduating class from The Family of Faith Preschool are on the verge of entering Kindergarten. Many of those middle school students who were confirmed in May of 2018 are on the verge of entering high school.  The Family of Faith Preschool is on the verge of starting the 2018-2019 academic year.

In the life of our faith family we are on the verge of starting to be a multi-site ministry as The Family of Faith – Copperfied will soon have a sister campus, namely, The Family of Faith – Miramesa. The Fire Marshall, the licensing representative, the water inspector, among others, have all visited our new location leaving us with precious permits.

In the Bible the children of Israel were on the verge when they had wondered through the wilderness for forty years and were finally ready to enter the Promised Land. The Virgin Mary was on the verge when the Angel Gabriel announced to her that she would be the Mother of God. During such times God reached out to his people to give them extra assurance as they transitioned from what was a familiar situation into a new situation.

May the Lord Jesus Christ provide you his blessed assurance as you and your family live on the verge of a new school year. May the risen and reigning King of kings and Lord of lords, give The Family of Faith Lutheran ministries blessed assurance as we are on the verge of a new multi-site era. No matter what situation you are on the verge of, may you enjoy the peace that surpasses all human understanding as found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Pastor Doug