“Faith Lutheran Church exists to gather the people to worship and praise God, to equip them in faith, and to send them into the world to make a difference in His name.”

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Faith Lutheran Church is located at 1187 County Road 128 Fremont, OH 43420. 

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Faith Lutheran Church exists to gather the people to worship and praise God, to equip them in faith, and to send them into the world to make a difference in His name.

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From the Pastor’s Desk…

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Greetings children of God.

I don’t know about y’all but there are times when some of the scriptures I read really seem to give me a moment of pause and Philippians 1:27 is one of them. It says, “Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Wow. That’s quite a statement the Apostle Paul made to the church at Philippi, and to us for that matter.

For the Apostle Paul, Jesus Christ was a big deal and in his letter to the Philippians, Jesus Christ is at the center. The same should be said for all Christians. Jesus Christ should be at the center of everything we do, every choice we make. The lives we live should be done with an unwavering focus on Jesus Christ. Paul alludes to this in verse 21, “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” We are called to live our lives here on this earth for Jesus Christ and the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven.

So what does it mean to, “Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ?” What does this look like? I have no doubt y’all have heard the saying, “life is all about choices.” I think this is what Paul was getting at; our choices. Every day we are faced with a countless number of choices. Some are easy, some are more difficult, and some are driven by emotions. When someone says something mean or disrespectful to us, when someone tells us no when we want them to say yes, when something doesn’t go the way we want it to, when we forget that our focus shouldn’t be on us but on Jesus and what’s best for the Kingdom of Heaven, we have the choice as to how we react.

We can lash out in anger or frustration or we can react in love by shifting our focus back to Jesus and remember Paul’s words from Philippians 2:1-4, “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”

When the times arise and we are faced with having to make a tough choice, we can find encouragement in the Apostle Paul’s words, “Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

Blessings on your day.

Pastor Tim

Are you thirsty?

Are you thirsty?

Jesus cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ ”  – John 7:37-38

 If you travel to the Grand Canyon and hike along the rim in the desert you will find an interesting sign. It reads, “Stop! Drink water. You are thirsty, whether you realize it or not.” It is a baffling idea to think that we may not recognize our own thirst. But we human beings know that it is very possible to be so preoccupied living, working, checking off our to-do-list, that we forget to nourish our bodies. More than once I have come home from a busy day to suddenly discover, “I am thirsty”. I am not alone, 75% of Americans don’t get enough water to drink each day. Three out of four of us walk around in a chronic state of dehydration and we don’t even realize it.

The same can happen in our faith lives. A sign could be posted for us in the dry places cautioning, “Stop! Drink water. You are thirsty, whether you realize it or not.” Sometimes I think the Holy Spirit suddenly makes us aware of our thirst for a reason. Realizing your thirst is a gift. It allows you to seek a source of abundant nourishment.

Four years ago we began Diakonia (pronounced dee-ak-on-ee’-ah) here in the Southeastern Conference. We noticed that there were lay leaders in our congregations thirsty for deeper understanding, so we gathered teachers and learners together and brought the Diakonia Program here to Northwestern Ohio. Diakonia is Greek for service. Diakonia is a call to discipleship. It gathers Christians together to grow and learn in order to more fully respond to the call to serve Christ. The curriculum consists of twelve courses, with six courses offered each academic year. Each course has five sessions that meets in three-hour increments on Tuesday nights. Each course is taught by a different rostered leader and students come from many different congregations. Weekly reading assignments and reflections are designed to relate to topic of study and stir conversation. Tuition is $60 per course. Scholarships are also available for all those in need of assistance. Beginning this fall Diakonia will be hosted in five different congregation and online through Zoom. The site closest to you is ___________________________.

“Stop! Drink water. You are thirsty, whether you realize it or not.” If you are thirsty for deeper spiritual growth, maybe it is time to explore Diakonia. Diakonia is an invitation to gather with other Christians and grow together in our call to be disciples of Christ. Please pray about whether God is calling you or someone you know to this program.

For more information about the National Diakonia Program go to: http://www.diakoniausa.org/. For schedules and applications for our program here in NWOS check our site at: https://nwos-diakonia.weebly.com/.

Diakonia is a ministry of the Northwestern Ohio Synod and other Synods of the ELCA.

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