December 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Thank you,
Faith Family for all the ways you have been present this year.  It is a special thing to watch your faith grow and your connection with Jesus find more depth.
 
I am also thankful for your care and concern in these last months. It has been a challenging 2 years and my family, and I would not have made it without you.
 
We have much ahead of us, much for which to anticipate and be excited!
 
May God bless you all at Christmas and in the New Year!
 

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November 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

One Sunday, not too long ago, several of us stood at the altar of our church and prayed for God’s continued presence and direction. As we now do every Sunday, we ended this time of prayer with a very obvious and dedicated “AMEN!” It was then that some of us looked to
the back of our church and saw the fellowship, laughter, talking and connection that was happening. We felt blessed!
 
For those of you who enjoy research, you may be able to find reports that most church members would describe their church as friendly. But once you go deeper in that research, the guests would typically find those same experiences as unfriendly. In doing some checking into the same kind of research within our church, one would find many of the opposite things to be true. Most guests and new members would tell you that our church is of the warmest.
 
In Acts 2:42-44, God’s Word says,
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
 
Notice that when Luke wrote this account of the early church, he didn’t write, “See what great buildings they built.” He said, “See how
they love one another.” A recent author wrote that this is “a crucial mark of a world-changing church. A church that makes a difference in
its community is one that truly loves one another.”
 
Rick Warren writes, “when God has a bunch of baby Christians and soon-to-be baby Christians, he looks for the warmest incubator he can
find. God blesses a warm church with new believers because he doesn’t want them in the church of the Frigid-Air. He wants them in a warm environment where they can grow.”
 
In the beginning chapters of Acts, we keep hearing how the early church was unified…and we know the scripture that speaks about God
adding to their numbers everyday. Luke talks about heart and purpose and spirit….unity, and being united in thought throughout those
chapters….It is love and caring and concern that holds relationships together.
 
In spite of the more common concerns that most churches have, (concerns we will certainly take care of, thanks to the presence of God),
one thing we can hold up and embrace, is the relationships and love that is growing in our faith family. More than ever there is a unified
spirit among us…a spirit that strives to work together to bring us even closer to a God who loves us so…..Let’s keep celebrating the ways the Spirit is moving and how God is working among us…..
 
Way to go church….keep it up!
 
                                             Hugs,
                                                       

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October 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

 
The Old Testament tells us God’s people followed the law of tithing. To accomplish this commandment, Church members give one-tenth of their income to the Lord through His Church. These funds are used to grow the Church and promote the truth of the Lord throughout the world. We are called to live by this principal throughout our lives. We also promise to do so when we are confirmed or profess our faith in the United Methodist Church.
 
A five-year study that culminated a few years ago, revealed that “only 10-25 percent of the families in the church tithe.” If we would try to put a picture to that, we learn that out of the 247 million US citizens who claim Christianity as their religion, only 1.5 million tithes. The math tells us this is less than 1%.
 
We talk continually of what it takes to support our church and not only through money, but also in way of service, presence, prayers and witness, just like it says in our membership promises. But for some reason, we find ourselves cringing when it comes to talking about our finances. It is a real piece of this church and what we are doing.
 
Let’s think about this study and put our own words and pictures to this…We have approximately 175 active members, let’s say they average about $15,000 in an annual income and multiply that by 10%, which is the tithe that God calls us to, our church would receive $262,500 annually for their yearly budget. Say instead, there is an average annual income of $25,000 and they decide they can only give 5%, that gives us $218,750 for our annual budget. While the first amount offers money on top of our budget, both scenarios would support our current ministry, but you see the difference….and though the point is not so much about having enough, its more about the idea of giving back to God, who then works at providing ways for us to share his love in more ways.
 
Besides that, we know that often we fall below tithing. And often, we look at our giving to church differently than what the Bible tells us.
 
What if every member of our church tithed? Would we be able to make an even greater difference in our church, community and/or world if we were to give as God called us to? How many more people could be reached with the gospel if we had the means to share it even more? We already touch many, many people through the things in place now. We have added regularly to our membership for a bit now and this is not the norm in the United Methodist Churches, and we can thank Jesus for bringing people to us. Can you imagine if we were to continue to add to our membership? What a blessing that would be!
 
Many of you have all kinds of stories about how God has provided amazing moments of clarity and presence. This letter is written to try and prompt a thought process and call all of us to a deeper sense of prayer about how we support our church. There is not a doubt that we can raise a great deal more than the numbers provided here. Throughout the next three months, you are going to hear lots about giving and supporting your church, so please be prepared. We will also do several things to try to raise the money we need to meet our budget for the end of the year:
 
  1. The Bison Feed, please come, as this is one way a family uses their resources to helps us raise dollars for our budget. We are thankful for that opportunity and we need to be a part of it.
  2. Our Dessert Auction at the end of the month, another wonderful way to support our Church and receive in return.
  3. In November we will be putting up a “Thanks” giving board with 100 envelopes on it. You will have the opportunity to choose an envelope and give the corresponding dollars written on it. Another painless, but simple way to support your church.
  4. Our annual Holiday Letter will go out mid-November/December.
 
We are also going to collect notes and letters from people who are a part of this Faith Family in varieties of ways, in order to hear from others how they feel about what happens here. Please read this note and those to come in the manner they are written. Giving and supporting your church is one of the most difficult yet fulfilling and meaningful pieces of church life, and something very important to our ministry to all of God’s people. It is also important to note that many churches are struggling right now.
 
We have made a difference in many lives and we can make a difference in even more people’s lives with your help. And remember, that is more than just dollars and cents! We need you as well! You are sometimes the only Bible some people will meet.
We need to continue building our strength to do so…
isn’t that a great thing!?
 
 

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September 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

I love the word EMPOWER!
 
               It’s soooo, well, empowering
 
Even though we know this world makes almost anything possible, I think we have a tendency to hold ourselves back in one way or another. Maybe we tell ourselves that some things are impossible, or no one would ever
possibly get behind that, or I don’t have time…. Possibly, whatever dreams we may have had while growing up have gotten lost in other endeavors or adventures, the creation of a new path before us, with family, career choices…

As we have been studying the Holy Spirit these last few weeks, the word empower seems a fitting word to describe how the third circle in the Trinity can be a part of our lives. The Holy Spirit is often described as an invisible, powerful energy, working in us to help us to
spread God’s goodness in the world. In the Book of John, Jesus tells his followers,
 
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper
(Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby),
to be with you forever-“
 
That helper is to be our friend who helps us make decisions, encourages us to live our faith, energizes us and guides us.
 
The crux of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to understand that the Holy Spirit works for those things which fit into God’s plans. We can’t use the Spirit in order to accomplish our wants. It is by surrender do we experience His power. It is through the Spirit we are blessed to be able to show love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, which all serve to empower us to do the will of God.

Remember how we talked of listening to the Spirit in our life walk and by doing so we will grow in love and knowledge of Christ? When we encourage each other and ourselves to learn and grow in Christ with the help of the Spirit, we are empowered to live life to its fullest
and as close to the path God has for us as possible. The power of the Spirit, through us, feeds us and helps us to carry out the word of Christ, which is for the good of all.

As we continue this study, just through September, let us be continually empowered to do the will of God. Spirit, fill us to walk in God’s love, strengthen us to follow you more closely, give us the courage to trust in you more deeply…. AMEN.
 
 

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August 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings everyone,
We are swiftly moving through the summer and it has really been a special season! It has been busy and fun and filled with so many
blessings!
 
We have had baptisms and special events and worship! Our time at The Lake was great! What a beautiful day!
 
 
At the end of June some of us traveled to Kentucky and took in the Ark Encounter! What an experience! It was great for several reasons! It’s size alone was awe inspiring! But after stepping inside…whoa…the lessons, the history, the depth to which it explained some of the science that went behind
it! And guys…there were dinosaurs on the ark!
 
Oh, I know, there is still this struggle to let yourself go there, isn’t there? But, I promise you, allow yourself to walk along the decks of The Ark, read the information, take it all in….and it’s hard to not see how we can validate much of the things we know that exist in the Bible…it is so great!
 
We saw displays which reflected just how much detail had to go into the building of this massive boat. It took Noah about 75 years and he not only built the ark, but he also studied animals and their habits, experimented with various ways of storage, ways of caring for animals, how do you bring light into the ark, provide for waste, etc. Noah’s wife and the other wives offered diversity in several ways, including bringing a mixture of DNA to the world following the flood.
 
Which one of our attendees finds very interesting as we all have DNA of the different ethnicities in our bodies, meaning we need not argue about racism as we are all of the same race…interesting thought, isn’t it. We read details about how science theories vary on the age of the earth, in reference to fossils and the different ways we view the layers….how the Tower of Babel caused us to view each other as different, but yet the same….it really does go on and on…..
 
We didn’t get to spend half the amount of time we could have there.. It was awesome! I will go back there again! And I will get more information in a way we can share some of this with all of you! But the highlight, we continued to bond as a faith family and realize the significance and depth it brings to what we do and who we are! We will continue to plan more events such as these and pray that you will feel lead to join us in this special time together. In fact, we are already at work planning our next gathering!
 
Most importantly, Jesus is our Lord and Savior! And he wants to walk with us in this path of life and help us understand just how much he loves us! I encourage you to talk with those who went along and hear from them the impact that was made on each of them…they all have special things that touched them!
As we continue to move forward and surround ourselves with the Spirit for nourishment and guidance, I pray all of you will come to know more deeply this Savior who strives to walk with you. I also pray you will be touched through the growth and love of our faith family.
 
                         Blessings,
                                                  

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July 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings Dear Ones,
Has someone ever asked you how you know there is a God?
 
I love the story of the little boy who was out flying a kite. It was a fine day to go kite-flying, the wind was brisk, and large billowy clouds were blowing across the sky. The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds.
 
“What are you doing?” a man asked the little boy.
“I’m flying a kite,” he replied.
“Flying a kite, are you?” the man said, “How can you be sure? You can’t see your kite.” 
“No,” said the little boy, “I can’t see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it’s there!
 
Don’t take anyone else’s word for God. Find Him for yourself, and then you too will know by the wonderful, warm tug on your heartstring, that He is there, for sure.
 
What’s important for us to know, not everyone has some of the same knowledge and/or experiences of God as you do! If you look around, sometimes it is really difficult to see God. For me, it has been a common thought for me. Our family has gone through so much over the last 19 months or so and even though I have faith in knowing God is there, I still cry out for God to make himself known. And the best part of all, is that God does make himself known. (Sorry for the pronouns.) Someone might have the perfect words for me at the most awesome time, an obvious and needed answer to prayer makes itself known, a wall comes crashing down in a relationship, a hug is offered, you now what I’m talking about and what those things do to your spirit. I share this because we are all called to be the hands and feet of God.
 
To provide those moments of making God visible in the most appropriate and important moments. And often, we don’t take those moments seriously enough…God is always nudging and encouraging us to step out of our comfort zone and share, uplift and care for each other.
 
In the midst of some of this journey of the last months, someone shared this picture with me…..at a time when I really needed to know that God was present in the midst of all that was happening around us and that it was going to be okay. We don’t always know what okay is going to look like, but seeing God at least gives us peace in knowing he’s close enough to care. In a world that doesn’t offer a lot of hope sometimes, our ability to share God is soooo important…how are you able to share when the need arises?…maybe it’s time to think about that…
 
God’s love,
 
                                  

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June 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy June, everyone!
So, it seems like the world around us is out of whack, doesn’t it?  People aren’t making a lot of sense, there’s unrest, things aren’t as they are supposed to be…For lack of a better way to say it, I suppose!  We are learning that for the disciples, to go back to life as normal was far from possible!
 
This “We Make the Road by Walking” study we’ve been in the middle of currently, has us walking with the disciples in the weeks, months, years after his death….and encouraging us to join them in the Uprising!
 
Remember, uprising means revolt, rebellion, mutiny, the disruption of the status quo…and if that doesn’t describe what is happening in the world after Jesus was crucified, I don’t know what does! The disciples were charged with the building of God’s Church, of feeding his sheep, of filling the atmosphere with love and peace and the Holy Spirit. We are listening to messages of worship, discipleship, fellowship, partnership, stewardship and all the ways to be the Body of Christ, of bringing Christ back to life.
 
Some might say in this world right now, we need to get something started; just as the disciples were moved to do a couple of thousand years ago. That something, as we are hearing, starts with each of us, right now, in the same way it began with the disciples. Scripture teaches us that it began with that handful of men and women and it grew…the more they shared the message, the more they grew in numbers and in strength, and the stronger the message became…
 
Uprising seems the perfect word. The knowledge that it begins with us is a fitting message. It isn’t surprising, is it, that the world needs more love and care and Jesus? And wouldn’t it seem to be logical that we would be the ones destined to bring the message?
 
But surely you jest, Pastor Dorie!
 
I promise you, dear Christians, surely, I do not. The world needs Jesus! And as the disciples teach us, we are reminded how important our role in the world has become! It’s time to deepen our faith, to be bold in faith! it’s time to build relationships and family, to strengthen our ability to witness, to understand the significance of fellowship with each other and to understand how God’s teachings apply to our faith!
 
And it’s time to join the uprising and become the missionary in our own backyard who reaches out to all people, displaying and showing the love of Christ in ways we have not seen before!
 
How’s your Spirit….is it coming to life? Hope so, the world needs us….
 
                              Praise be to God…AMEN!
 
                                                       
 
 

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May 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

 
Easter Blessings and thanks!!
Luther and I appreciate all of the ways you support and encourage our ministry together!
 
This year’s FUEL Auction went very well!
We raised just over $4,000! Special thanks go out to Stretch, Joyce, Cindy and Jim for being the professionals.
 
A huge thanks to Jack, who is always great at coordinating our items and working with the kids.
 
To our ALIVE parents…the lunch was the bestever!!
Heidi and Manny – WOW!!! Keep it up! Our Children’s and Youth Ministry continues to be blessed!
To All Parents – This does not happen without your support, encouragement and involvement!
 
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!
I thank any and everyone who helped make this day great!
 

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April 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy Easter Month Everyone,
 
It is April and at the time of this writing, weather has been gorgeous! The snow is melting and we just might make it through without too
much flooding.  Blessings, prayers and Gods’ presence for those who have suffered consequences with Mother Nature.
 
We have a very full month in April, and I wanted to spend more time talking about some of the things happening, which really touches on our spiritual health and the atmosphere of our Faith Family. It is soon to be a full year of moving to one service and from listening to you, it sounds like a great majority of you feel the change has been successful and a great idea!
 
I have to agree and I gauge that success on the atmosphere which surrounds us every Sunday morning, the energy felt among us, the warm and the welcome our visitors have felt and shared, the care and concern we consistently share with each other and the smiles…that is only a small piece of the positives that have come along with all that is happening!
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus was really centered on this very thing. His walk with the people was to encourage care and concern for each other, He shared how to develop deep faith and taught us about how one day, we, too would return to God, just like Him. As we spend time together, we are embracing all Jesus wanted us to know and to be in the world. This gives us the energy and support to go and share God’s love all around today and everyday!
 
During this month, we are going to provide several opportunities for all of you to grow closer to Jesus and to really celebrate this being who gave us so much. I want to particularly point out that on Palm Sunday we are going to experience an important living Last Supper, where each of the men who have met our children will come to life once again during our worship service. We will be there during their last official moment together and experience what that must have been like. Please don’t miss it….
 
Following that service, we will continue the celebration of our children and hold our FUEL auction and ALIVE Hotdish Dinner….Full Day….but oh so important, especially in the life of our children and young people.
 
 
The next week, of course, is important as well, with all the Easter Activities and Worship. Our youth will share at 8 am, breakfast will be at 9, fun with kids after that and then our Easter Worship at 10:30am.
 
April is full for us, but its full for all kinds of good reasons…we are growing closer to Christ, our faith is continuing to grow deeper and things are taking on new meaning…..God is Good! We are truly living out all that God intends for his people and it is exciting….We pray we will see all of you during this holiday season….may you be blessed in ways yet to be discovered!
Peace,
 
                                                   

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March 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Our third topic in the study of this faith family foundation comes to us in the form and subject of music. The bible is full of references to Music…a few to meditate on…
 
Psalm 104:33
“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”
 
Psalm 95:1
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”
 
Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,
singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
 
James 5:13
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”
 
Psalm 71:23
“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”
 
Psalm 100:1-5
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us,
and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; 
his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

I can go back a long time in my life and connect music to a great deal of moments. A certain song will come on the radio or I’ll walk into a store and music will be playing, in a short second it takes me back to a memory of a time in my life…I think as you read this you can reminisce of a time in your own life, as well.
 
Music and worship have gone hand in hand almost from the beginning; in fact, the first mention of a musical instrument is in Genesis, Chapter 4:21. Jubal was given credit for playing the harp, and we see that the bible is full of the references, King David was well known for his musical talent, too, and don’t forget Moses. The Bible’s own song book is the Psalms.
 
As you read various passages, it’s almost like music ignites something in our souls. One of God’s greatest joys is watching his people lift their thoughts in praise, making a joyful noise!! All of it is tied to life. Certain songs or types of music can move something very strong in our hearts.
 
Music can be very a very powerful instrument in our faith walk. In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul reminded the congregation to,
 
“let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16).
 
I so love that statement, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, using music… I think there is some wisdom for us to chew on a bit….or hum to, or whistle. Can our hearts be open to allow the word of Christ to be sung there? Can we see how God talks with us through the melodies, the words….the singing?
 
Praise be to God, AMEN.
 
 

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