Newsletter
REDEEMER’S VOICE
“O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
September, 2019
 
A DEVOTION FROMTHE PASTOR’S DEVOTIONS
The school year has started, and I am glad to be teaching again—teaching catechism class that is. Can you remember your catechism classes? What was your favorite part? What was the most important part of your catechism study? Do you remember how well you did on your memory work? Can you still recite it? Let’s give it a try…

You shall have no other gods. What does this mean?...

Or

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean?...

Of course there are the explanations for the other Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, Lords Prayer, Holy Baptism, Keys and Confession, and Holy Communion. That’s what all catechism students learn so that they can give a definition of what they believe. Can you still give a definition of what you believe from each of those six chief parts?

As I listen to memory work now, there are times that I forget the words. I, as pastor, need to keep going back and review Luther’s Small Catechism. Ironically enough, as I begin to teach Luther’s Small Catechism once again, it just so happened to be what my devotional reading is from the Book of Concord. Lord, did you plan that for me?...

Anyway, I also encourage you to go back to your catechism and look over your notes, look over the six chief parts and Luther’s explanation of each. It’ll take a totally of half hour maybe. Ten minutes for three days. But you’ll review the basics—you are a sinner, but God has saved you. Amen!
 
A WORD FROM PASTOR
September = Busy. Does anyone else feel that way. School has begun, which means sports and other school events have filled the calendar. Fall will begin soon, which means any last minute yard work needs to be done ASAP. That is not even including anything from work that is going on. And we are not done yet, because there are many things going on at church this month. Let me go over a few of them so that you can mark them on your calendar.

Bibles Classes: there are many opportunities to attend a Bible Class this month. There are Sunday morning classes as we take a look on how to share your faith with others. On Tuesdays we are reading through Luther’s Large Catechism. This is great for parents as it equips them to talk to their children about what they learn in Catechism, but really this is a great class for any member. Then there is Adult Information Class on Thursday evenings. This is directed towards those who want to learn more about what we believe, but is a great refresher class for any member.
Worship Series: We have a new worship series called 10 for 10. It is a stewardship series that focuses us on what is to be first in our hearts—God.

Fall Fest: Hopefully a HUGE outreach event. We could use as many hands helping September 28th to help out. Of course we could use help with donations and inviting the community.

Canvassing: Speaking of inviting the community, September 10th starting at 6pm.

Ladies PEACE/LWMS: Let us not forget about the ladies. Ladies PEACE will have their quarterly meeting on September 9th starting at 7pm. Several WELS churches in the area are also meeting together in Tappen ND for the LWMS Fall Rally on September 21st. All ladies of Redeemer are encouraged to attend.

There is more still going on. Life gets busy, I understand. Please keep in mind (and in your prayers) though all that is going on at Redeemer. We may be a small church, but there is a lot going on inside these doors. May the Lord bless our effort!
 
 
 
A WORD FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Once again, our summer is drifting into fall and we will soon see the trees changing colors, and days getting shorter. I like the fall the best, with the bird hunting, and the cooler air coming with it. This year, we here, at Redeemer have some things to do. I am sure there will be a fall workday to prepare for the upcoming winter. We also have our budget to set and elections to prepare for in October. We will be changing to the 5-man council with this election and while I don't anticipate any problems; there is always a chance for a couple hiccups as we make the transition.

Although the budget committee has not begun to meet at the time I am writing this, we will be shortly. If anyone has a suggestion or comment, please feel free to let us know. I would also remind all members, the voter meetings are open for you to attend. Please prepare and plan to attend this fall voters meeting. We will be, as previously mentioned, voting in a new council, but also setting and approving the 2020 budget which begins on January 1.

Another topic you will be hearing about is expansion of our fellowship area. The current project is to extend the south wall out to the edge of the parking lot, doubling our current fellowship area. If it looks like funding is realistically available, we will also build to the east from the new area as far as the sidewalk and relocate the main entry to there. This would then about triple the fellowship space we currently have. We later could opt to move the glass panels back; enlarging the chapel, and move Pastor's office downstairs with minimal disruption.

Also be aware we will be exploring cost saving methods to help get this project completed. Some of the ideas to look at will be, utilizing congregational labor, and if available, Builders for Christ. By keeping contract labor at a minimum and utilizing the talents the Lord has blessed us with, we will be able to have the space we have so long needed, and not burden our future with a large debt. Remember even if pounding a nail or sawing a board isn't one of your talents, maybe helping to insulate, painting, helping with cleanup, providing a meal, offering encouragement, or helping in some other way is.

At this point we likely have the building funds on hand to begin the initial extension project (doubling). If we want the entire addition (tripling), a new entry, and the options of moving the office and enlarging the chapel we need to renew our efforts and raise additional building funds, thus avoiding, having to seek a large chunk of outside funding. The time to do it, is at the same time so we do not have to put an addition on the addition in a few years.

A building committee is being formed and will begin to meet this fall and over the winter months, with the goal of having a plan and schedule in place to share in the spring of 2020. Anyone having suggestions or wishing to offer input is welcome to share them with the committee. Initial meeting time and date will be announced.

Our time is short as our 50th anniversary is also coming in 2020, and ground breaking is to be part of this celebration. Builders for Christ will need some time to get us on their schedule and we will need everyone's time and help when the project gets rolling.

I wish I had some inspiring and wise words, but I think you all know we really need to come together, and get this done for the future of Redeemer. Please don't read this on Sunday and forget about it on Monday. Think, pray, make plans, and make a commitment to help wherever you can. God is 24/7 for us, He does not forget us during the week, and we should not forget about Him just because it is not Sunday morning. We are at the point as the saying goes, to not only talk the talk, but now to walk the walk. With our collective efforts in one year we will be adding to God's House, Our Home. What a truly wonderful blessing and opportunity our Lord has given us, to grow our building, to be a stronger and committed family of believers, and reach outward to others.

--Church President, Rich Nickerson
 
10 for 10
“All the church ever talks about is money!”

You’ve heard statements like that before. You may even have said something like that before. Over the years, I’ve been trying to correct that kind of thinking. Why? First, because it’s simply not true. (Since I’ve been here we haven’t done a significant stewardship emphasis that encourages regular, weekly offerings at Redeemer.) Second, the statement is misleading: God wants a lot more than our money! He wants us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we could love God in that way, money would be a non-issue at Redeemer.

As you read from the previous article from our Church President, we have a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of. As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration we, as a church, would like to dedicate an extended fellowship area by doing so we will be doubling to tripling our fellowship space! But how will this be paid for? We are typically, and currently, behind budget by a few thousand dollars. How will we be able to increase offering to keep Redeemer’s doors open AND to build an addition. Seems unlikely, even impossible. What have heard in church in August? Was it not to pray boldly? To pray persistently? Our prayers are able to do much and are effective because God listens to us and acts. To God be the glory.

A very practical way that God works is through us, and through our offerings to him. So how will we stay on budget and raise funds for a building addition. Through me, through you, through all of us, God can work and bless us even further. So, spoiler alert: You will hear biblical preaching on the stewardship of treasures in September at Redeemer. At the end of September, we will challenge our church family to give a tithe (10%) OR to increase the proportion of what they are giving for their weekly offerings for a period of ten weeks. Why? Our giving shows the Lord the honor, love, and gratitude we have for what Christ has done for us. Generous giving is one of the ways that faith-filled hearts respond to the riches of Christ. Giving is an act of worship. That’s the only reason we pass offering plates during church services.

The practice of tithing (giving 10%) is at least as old as Abraham (Genesis 14:20). In Old Testament Israel, tithing was commanded by law. In the New Testament Church, tithing—along with all other methods of giving—is inspired by the gospel of Christ. Many Christians, free from compulsion, tithe as an exercise of their faith. Does God really have the ability to keep us safe, warm and well-fed without 10% of our income? To share an even greater proportion of our income?!? Faith relishes the challenge. The Spirit is up to the task!

How is it possible to give something like the tithe—and do so freely and joyfully? Christ’s love empowers his people to give generously. It flows freely from Christ “who loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2). Our generous giving to God is a response to Christ’s willing sacrifice for us.

Finally, tithing serves New Testament Christians as a benchmark for proportionate giving. The Apostle Paul said, “…each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income (1 Corinthians 16:2). As New Testament Christians, tithing is a practice to be engaged in freely rather than a requirement to be met legally. Some of us are already in the spiritual habit of tithing. Inspired by God’s grace, we may seek to give more, more often, more creatively. For others, tithing will be a big step forward as well as a significant test of faith. For still others, because of life-issues known to God, the tithe might currently be unreachable. Then what about an extra percent, or two, or three? No matter where we find ourselves on the “giving spectrum,” this is true: Our trust in God’s goodness is well-placed! “Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us to Him be glory in all the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

You will see several Facebook posts, devotional pieces, and a commitment packet over the next four months as part of our 10 for 10 Stewardship Emphasis. Receive them in the spirit they are offered: As an opportunity to grow in faith and in the grace of giving. Study them. Think about them. Pray through them. They will help keep our stewardship emphasis centered in Christ and the cross as we seek to avoid financial quick-fixes and gimmicks!
May the Lord of the Church richly bless our church family as we seek to excel in the grace of giving!

In Christ,
Pastor Schwartz
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Canvassing: We have a big event (Fall Fest) coming up in less than a month. Let us invite our church neighbors. On Tuesday the 10th we will walk around handing out invites.

Sunday Bible Class: We will begin a new Bible Class topic starting September 8th at 9am called Sharing Faith. This will also be the first day of Sunday School.

Tuesday Bible Study: There will be no Tuesday Bible Study on September 10th. We will begin our study of Luther’s Large Catechism starting on September 17th from 6:30-7:30pm. Catechism parents are strongly encouraged to attend this Bible Study to review and be able to discuss with their child(ren) what they are learning in Catechism class.

Adult Information Class: A new round of AIC is beginning this Thursday from 6-7:30pm. Visitors and members are welcome to attend (even if it is only for a class or too).

Ladies PEACE: All ladies of the congregation are encouraged to attend the next Ladies PEACE meeting on Monday, Sept. 9th at 7pm.

10 for 10 Worship Series: We will begin this worship series on next Sunday, September 8th.

LWMS Fall Rally: All ladies of the congregation are encouraged to attend the LWMS fall rally on Sat, Sep. 21st in Tappen ND.

Fall Fest: Redeemer is hosting a Fall Festival on September 28th open to the public. We will have different booths manned by members. Sign-up to help on the HOW YOU CAN HELP bulletin board. Please save the date to either help out or attend! Don’t forget to tell your friends!

Every Member Visit: Pastor has a goal of making an every member visit before the end of October. Thank you to those who have already schedule a visit with pastor. Those who have not, be ready for pastor to give you call and make one.

Marriage Retreat: St. Andrew of Sioux Falls is hosting a marriage retreat on October 11th-13th. The cost is $375 and the deadline to register is September 11th. To Register go to wels.net/marriage-enrichment. For questions email welsmarriageenrichment@gmail.com.