We know that all things work together for good
for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
About Faith Lutheran Church Miltona
Pastor Stephen Bovendam
To Contact Pastor Steve....
Phone: 218-943-2891 [office] 320-334-4500
PASTOR'S MONTHLY ARTICLE
A man from the back mountains of Tennessee found himself one day in a large city, for the first time standing outside an elevator. He watched as an old, haggard woman hobbled on, and the doors closed. A few minutes later the doors opened, and a young, attractive woman marched smartly off. The father hollered to his youngest son, "Billy, go get mother." There are times when change is wished for!
And then there are times when change is the only option. Perhaps you recall Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion: “Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it.” Let me be clear: I certainly do not believe that this congregation was in a state of rest prior to May 1, 2022. Faith Lutheran was active in God’s mission and in ministry in this community. However, with the retirement of Pastor Riggle, change became a reality. We are in a period of transition.
Change may be difficult and create some challenges, but I like to think that it opens up all sorts of new opportunities. It gives us a chance to reflect on how we do ministry. What are the strengths in this community of faith? What has been working? Is it time to let go of some of the ways we have functioned? Are there ways we can and should re-focus our ministry? And, perhaps one of the most difficult things about change, is it time to celebrate who we are right now in the present rather than longing for the way it used to be in the past?
The reality is that our culture has changed dramatically over the years. A recent article states: “The secularizing shifts evident in American society so far in the 21st century show no signs of slowing. The latest Pew Research Center survey of the religious composition of the United States finds the religiously unaffiliated share of the public is 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago.” The headline for that article states that “About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated.” (Pew Research Center, December 14, 2021) I think it is safe to say that those that consider themselves “religiously affiliated” aren’t necessarily attending worship services regularly – that is as we might define it. I would suggest that the trends in our area are probably close to those national trends.
So, what does that mean for us during this transition period and beyond? There is nothing wrong with hoping and praying for a revival as such, looking forward to a time when there will be more people filling our pews on any given Sunday morning. But we can’t get stuck there, living with a sense of anxiety about the future of Faith Lutheran! Rather, we should celebrate the ministry in which we are engaged, serving a particular segment of the population. And we can look for new and exciting ways to enhance that ministry. While doing that we can still find ways to reach out to other segments of the population as well, i.e., young families, single adults, etc.
I look forward to the next few months as the call committee begins its work. Part of that process will be reaching out to members of the congregation to help us determine what the future will look like. What gifts will we be looking for in our new settled pastor? What particular gifts does this congregation bring to ministry in our community?
I invite you into the most important part of this process. I ask that you spend time in prayer for this congregation, for the call committee and council leadership as, together, we discern God’s will and ask for God’s guidance.
Pastor Steve Bovendam
At Faith, we encourage members to find an area they are passionate about and to try out new ideas for ministry. Newcomers and their ideas are always welcome at any of these groups!
Some of the ministries that currently exist are:
Choir: Meets on Sundays at 8:00 A.M. to prepare music for the worship service. Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome as we make a joyful noise to the Lord! (Not currently active)
Bell Choir: Meets on Sundays at 8:30 A.M. as announced. Children and adults are welcome!
SMART (SAFETY) TEAM: Faith Lutheran Church is committed to everyone's health and safety during this dangerous, world-wide health crisis. So we have established a Smart Team to help us keep track of developments in the pandemic, and to guide us as we move forward. The leader of our Team has degrees and experience in public health and nursing. The Team is also comprised of our Council President, a member of our Worship Team, two members At-Large, and our Pastor.
Sunday School: Meets on Sunday during the school year, in the Education Room, directly after the Children's Sermon.
Confirmation: [For grades 6-9] Meets 6:30-7:45 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, during the school year. (From 7:15-7:45 p.m. during Lent.) Check the calendar tab for the monthly schedule.
Bible Study: Meets every Thursday at 10:00 A.M. at church for challenging, nourishing, and insightful discussion of Scripture, supportive prayer, fun fellowship and treats.
Outreach Team: Check the calendar web page for meeting dates.
- Organizes gatherings and service projects for both members and nonmembers to enjoy together, including musical outings, trips to nearby community theaters, dinners out, Tornado Days outreach, our annual Giving Tree and more.
- The Bible Box is a place for you to freely take or borrow Bibles and other devotional literature for all ages. The Bible Box is located under our driveway canopy, just to the left of the main doors.
Stewardship Committee: Meets monthly
- Designates regular mission projects that we support as a congregation, both financially and prayerfully. Also organizes the annual estimate of giving and promotes stewardship as a way of life.
Worship Committee: Meets seasonally to choose hymns and worship settings. We also prayerfully discuss topics related to creating meaningful and relevant worship, including music, themes, and how best to use our worship space.
WELCA: Meets the second Thursday of every month at 1:00 P.M. at the church for discussion, food, and fellowship. All ladies of the church are welcome!
Dave Christensen, President
Darla Crossley, Financial Secretary
Lori Zastrow, Secretary
Joni Wunderlich, Treasurer
Edie Anderson, Dave Carter, Mark Steidl, Mike Kopitzke
History of Faith Lutheran Church
Faith Lutheran traces its history back to January 28, 1921 when a meeting was called for the purpose of organizing a Lutheran church in Miltona. The first church building was dedicated in September 1923.
In August 1950, First Lutheran began sharing pastoral services with Spruce Hill Lutheran Church and on November 5, 1967, the two churches were united into one congregation and was renamed Faith Lutheran Church.
In 1968, Esther Lutheran Church of rural Parkers Prairie joined Faith Lutheran as a sister congregation and began sharing a pastor. That relationship came to an end in 2007.
In 1997, Faith Lutheran Church ELCA built a new building then moved from downtown Miltona to our current location.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA
Regardless of age, race, or status in life, members of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] welcome you to join this community of faith. If you’re unfamiliar with our church's denomination, some of what you learn may surprise you!
The ELCA is an engaged, active body of believers. We put our faith in God into action -- in millions of ways, all over the world.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed from three separate and well-established North American church bodies:
- The American Lutheran Church
- The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches
- The Lutheran Church in America.
Beginning January 1, 1988, these churches, with shared beliefs and missions officially formed the ELCA. Decades later, this energized church body is composed of millions of members and many thousands of congregations across the U.S. and Caribbean. Today, the ELCA reflects the rich and diverse heritage of the people it serves.
You can read more about the ELCA and how all that we do is part of ... God's Work; Our Hands ... on the ELCA's website: www.elca.org