It is an exciting time at Faith Lutheran Church! We had an incredible Lent, a deeply-moving Holy Week, and an Easter celebration that felt like a foretaste of heaven. We had record attendance at our Lenten soup suppers and Vespers services. So many families decided to make our Lenten journey toward Holy Week a priority, preparing their children to receive the full experience of our Lord’s death and resurrection for us!
On Palm Sunday we celebrated our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem and welcomed the newly conﬁrmed to our Lord’s Table. On Maundy Thursday we recalled the Passover and how it enriches our experience of the Lord’s Supper. On Good Friday we took in the Seven Words that our Savior spoke from the cross, pondering them in our hearts. At the Easter Vigil we heard how the entire Old Testament points us to the coming of Jesus. At the Easter Services we experienced huge crowds and incredible music as we gathered to celebrate the fact that Jesus is risen!
By the way, if you missed the Holy Week services and sermons, you can ﬁnd them on Faith Capo’s Facebook page – they are well-worth your time!
Jesus is risen and He has been active at Faith! Through His word, through His sacraments, and through – you – His people He has been feeding His sheep and tending to their needs, searching out the lost, and drawing a beautiful ﬂock to Himself.
We are indeed a ﬂock of sinners – of sheep who have gone, each one, in our own ways – but Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Pastor and Bishop of our souls. “Whoever comes to Me,” He says, “I will never cast out.” By His death, He has put our sins away forever. By His resurrection, He lives to call us to repentance, to forgive us, to create in us clean hearts, to renew in us right spirits, and to send us out with His gospel to those He has put into our lives.
Christ Jesus did not rise from the dead simply to disappear quietly into heaven. He promises to be with us even to the end of the age. He lives to be our Pastor, and He likewise calls pastors to feed His sheep. At the congregational voter’s meeting on April 7th Faith chose to call me (Pastor Rhode) to serve as Sole Pastor. This means two things. First, this is the work of Jesus, who calls pastors through His congregation. Second, this means that Faith is poised to receive a vicar in the summer of 2019.
What’s a vicar? In short, a vicar is a seminarian, a man who is preparing himself so that the Lord may one day call him to serve as a pastor. As I write this article, I have just learned that our new vicar’s name is Josef Muench. He is coming from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and will serve at Faith from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2020 (probably from late-June to late-June). God be praised!
This, too, is the work of Christ in our midst. Not only will the vicar serve in our congregation, but he will also be shaped and formed by our congregation for future service in Christ’s church. With your prayers, your encouragement, and your hospitality you will play a big part in this. Please do keep Vicar Muench in your prayers. May God bless him as he learns, grows, and serves among us!
These are exciting times at Faith and our Easter joy is in full bloom! A new men’s study has formed and meets on Monday evenings. A new comfort care ministry has launched. We look forward to a bursting-at-the-seams Vacation Bible School, to Faith Academy (stay tuned!), to the always fun and relaxing Church Picnic, and to new and exciting fellowship events – chances for you to get connected, and opportunities for you to invite friends and introduce them to your church.
May our Lord Jesus continue to bless us with His presence and with His gifts, even as He leads unto life eternal.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my ﬂesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me! – Job 19:25-27
In Christ, Pastor Rhode