July Newsletter 2021

Pastor’s Perch
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”[1]
We are about to celebrate the day we declared our independence and became a free nation. Ever since that day, we have enjoyed freedom like no other in the history of this world. We are free to work, play, and worship the way we want. But, we also are well aware that this freedom we enjoy was not free, but cost many lives, to which we are grateful.
As we recognize our freedom we have in the United Sates, let us remember a greater freedom than the one we are enjoying as United States citizens. This greater freedom did not cost many lives and it gives us greater things than anything in this world. It cost only one life. But it was no ordinary life. It was a perfect life that this world could never offer. It was the perfect life of Jesus. He offered up his perfect life in our place to free us from the slavery to the law. Slavery to the law leads only to failure, death, and hell. But God’s Son stepped up to the plate and won us our freedom from those things. Nothing this world can offer us can compare to the freedom he freely gives us from the law and its curses.
Jesus wants you to enjoy the freedom he won for you. Do not think of ways to satisfy the law! Jesus already has done that for you. Rather, live your lives in gratitude for the sacrifice Jesus has made for you, and use you lives to the fullest to honor and glorify the one who has set you free, your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Patrick Feldhus
Grace’s News
Our summer Sunday worship time will continue at 9 am through Labor Day.
The Elders will meet on July 11th at 10 am after worship.
The council will meet on July 18th at 10 am after worship.
The Voters will meet on July 25th at 10 am after worship.
There will be a congregational planning meeting on July 17th at 9 am. Everyone is encouraged to attend and give your input.
The Synod will be in Convention on July 26th through July 28th. You can watch it live on the internet. Please go to wels.net.
Our church outdoor worship and picnic will be at the Legion Park on August 15th with worship beginning at 10 am with a potluck meal to follow at 11 am.
  Synod New
Encouraging and equipping congregations and members
WELS Congregational Services’ mission is to encourage and equip WELS congregations for faithful and fruitful ministry. It does this by identifying trends and needs in local ministry and offering free resources to assist congregational ministry. WELS’ global mission of spreading the saving gospel message to all nations begins with healthy congregations.
In addition to the long-term trends the broader Christian church has seen in North America, congregations are also facing the collateral from the past year of pandemic upheaval. Doors are opening again, neighbors are gathering again, and WELS Congregational Services has released a suite of resources to help congregations seize the opportunity for outreach and growth. “These are the kinds of resources that in the coming year, or years, are going to be able to feed a congregational hunger, if congregational ministries have stalled, to get ministry up to speed again,” says Rev. Donn Dobberstein, director of the WELS Commission on Discipleship.
Already before COVID-19, some churches were utilizing video and streaming technology for worship and Bible study. The pandemic forced many more congregations to make this pivot. In much of the country, in-person worship was prohibited for months. As lockdowns lift, congregational leaders are wrestling with two key questions: How can we encourage our members to return to in-person worship? How should we think about virtual worship post-pandemic?
The first is a timely, virus-related question. That second question is timeless, something churches may be asking until Jesus returns. Dobberstein says, “How do we keep that balance between realizing that while electronic/virtual/digital ministries are definitely a blessing from God, they are not meant to replace God’s good intent for us to be gathered.”
He continues, “God’s People Gather was created to help congregations as they’re coming out of COVID. If congregations are going to make a splash, to celebrate the fact that we have the ability and we can re-gather like we once did, it’s flexible so that congregations can pick the right time to celebrate depending on where they’re at.”
God’s People Gather provides resources that help churches put together a congregation-specific plan that reaches out to the various types of members who have not yet returned. Access videos, elder encouragement, Bible study, worship plan, and event ideas at welscongregationalservices.net/gods-people-gather.
A God-Lived Life is a whole-life challenge to God’s people to live the life to which he has called them. The hope is that being challenged in specific ways will urge members to put into practice a closer walk with God and a life of love toward others.
There’s a double meaning in “God-lived.” God lived for his people. His life is now theirs. And that produces in Christians a life lived for God. When the Word touches people, it changes them forever. It changes how they view everything God gives them. Jesus talked a lot about money, but it was never far apart from a greater conversation about life and things that have a pull on hearts and minds.
The goal of A God-Lived Life is to encourage greater growth in four key areas: A life of being a disciple. A life of service for others. A life of hospitality for all. A life lived shrewdly.
“It’s not just talking about money. As we come back post-COVID, it addresses how we demonstrate what God looks like in our lives, how he lives in our lives, and how that shows God to others. I think that’s going to be huge in the coming years,” says Dobberstein.
The program is designed to last four months with a variety of resources to bolster each monthly emphasis. View and download the resources at welscongregationalservices.net/a-god-lived-life.
Synod Convention update
You’re probably aware that the synod convention is scheduled to meet at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wis., on July 26-28. What you may not know is that the convention business has already begun.
Last January, because of the many unknowns caused by COVID-19, the Conference of Presidents changed the location and the format of the convention. The location was changed to Watertown from Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Mich. (since Michigan restrictions were tighter at the time and anticipated to be tighter in July). Instead of the normal 400 delegates attending in person, the Conference of Presidents decided that about 100 delegates would attend in person, and the remaining delegates would attend virtually. A plan is in place to enable remote delegates to vote on reports and resolutions that come before the convention.
This means that floor committees, which address all of the various areas of the synod’s work, would need to do their work virtually in advance of the convention. Many of those committees have already begun their work, and all committee work will be done by July 3. The committee resolutions will then be presented to the convention in July for discussion and action.
In addition to committee work, elections for various synodical positions will also be done electronically in advance of the convention. All delegates will participate in these elections, scheduled to begin on Monday, June 21, and conclude on Tuesday, July 13.
Even though the format is different, the Conference of Presidents has worked hard to make both the election process and the convention business process as normal as possible.
You are welcome to review convention information, including the Book of Reports and Memorials, the slate of candidates for elections, and delegate information, at wels.net/2021synodconvention.
Serving together with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder
[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Ga 5:1). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
July Church Calendar
6th Sunday after Pentecost
Morning Praise pg 45
Worship 9 am
Cleaners: B & D Steinke
Online Zoom Bible Information Class 6:30 pm
7th Sunday after Pentecost
Common Service with Communion pg 15
Worship 9 am
Elders meet 10 am
Cleaners: M Lawson, D. Bergerson
Online Zoom Bible Information Class 6:30 pm
Online Jesus Cares
 “Worship at the Cross” 6 pm
Shut-in visits
Congregational planning meeting
9 am
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Service of the Word pg 38
Worship 9 am
Council meeting 10 am
Cleaners: M & M Felmlee
Online Zoom Bible Information Class 6:30 pm
JCM Coordinator Zoom Meeting
6:30 pm
9th Sunday after Pentecost
 Word and Sacrament pg 26
Worship 9 am
Voters Meeting 10 am
Online Jesus Cares
 “Worship at the Cross” 6 pm
Cleaners: G & G Brunson
WELS Synod Convention begins
Online Zoom Bible Information Class 6:30 pm
JCM Camp meeting
WELS Synod Convention Ends
Present TLHA Award in Bemidji MN

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