Psalm 98: 4-6
4 Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the Lord!
Joy and praise are certainly in order for this previous year, as well as gratitude. Since I joined this community of Faith Lutheran on May 1st, I have experienced so much joy in getting to know everyone here who called me as your pastor. I praise God for gathering us in to start a new chapter in being at church together. And of course, there is much gratitude to go around as well. I would like to thank everyone who made this call and partnership possible, especially the members of the Call Committee and the Church Council. I would also like to thank John Bunge and Linda Blanche, who concluded their leadership roles when I started as pastor. I have many thanks for all of the work they put into the interim period, and in making the transition of pastoral leadership so smooth. Finally, I would like to thank every member of Faith Lutheran for the warm welcome they have extended to both my family and me, along with all of the continued support they have continued to show us.
Much has happened in the last year, including some very notable accomplishments. For my personal ministry, I would certainly include the events of being called, ordained, and installed, as well as presiding over my first funerals and Christmas Season. More broadly, I consider our first New Member class during my tenure to be an accomplishment for us all, welcoming 8 new members to the congregation and working on having another class this spring. Beyond that, I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to form relationships and serve the people of my congregation, which has gone very well so far. Some highlighted events this year have included:
● The beach-themed WELCA Fundraiser ● The Charity Parking Lot Sale ● The Committee Fair ● The Christmas Craft Sale ●The Annual Storm Game ● The Un-birthday Party
● Our New Faith Statement and Logo were adopted ● God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday
As we look to this upcoming year, I will be looking forward to my first Lent and Easter Seasons with the congregation and as an ordained minister. Furthermore, I am excited to attend the Western States Youth Gathering with 5 of our youth. We will also be emphasizing our stewardship efforts and campaign this year, using the tools some of our leaders gained from the Kaleidoscope stewardship conference and working with our regional gift planner.
In addition, we will have another New Member class this spring. We will also look to update our visibility online and physically, with new advertising and a rework of our social media and website. Finally, we will release our new congregational photo directory in April, so that we can be better connected in our community of Faith.
As for my personal life, the birth of my daughter has transformed my life along with my wife's in the most amazing ways. We are both still so grateful for the wonderfully generous Baby Shower the congregation threw for us! Being able to be with her now as she grows and becomes her own person has simply been amazing. And being able to introduce her to the congregation and wear her during a service in Advent have been truly special moments which I will never forget.
God has truly been very good to the people of Faith Lutheran, of whom I am proud to count myself a member. God’s goodness deserves our shouts of praise and joy, like the Psalmist writes. We pray that in this next year we find new ways to be joyous in Christ Jesus. We also pray, in these turbulent times, that the Holy Spirit continues to bring us strength and inspires us in new ways to grow closer to each other, our neighbors, and everyone across the Earth. For when the sea, the earth, and all living things shout the Lord’s praise, and when the rivers clap and hills sing, how can we not help but join in. Therefore, I thank God and I thank each and every one of you for the work and ministry you do week after week, day after day, in the service of God and of one another at our church. Amen.
Yours in Christ, Pr. John Barton
Psalm 98: 7-8
7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
We gather for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30 am for a traditional service of worship, that includes a Liturgy of Praise, Hymns, Choir and the sharing of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. From September to May we have Sunday School available for all children ages 3-11. (5th Grade)
Following worship, we gather for a time of Fellowship, coffee and light breakfast foods.
Come and join in the Fellowship!
As always, please invite your neighbors, family members, and friends to join us. All are welcome!
Upcoming Events for February:
2/6: Day of Theological Reflection
2/14: Valentine's Day
2/17: President's Day
2/23: Transfiguration of Our Lord
2/23: Annual Congregational Luncheon & Meeting @ 11:00 am
2/26: ASH Wednesday
Choir Practice is every Wednesday @ 3:30 pm.
Worship Service @ 9:30 am every Sunday
We love all of God's people, so feel free to visit during our open hours.
Come and Worship on
Sunday mornings at 9:30am.
Our Fellowship time follows at 10:30am
Pastor John Barton
28200 Portsmouth Dr, Menifee, CA 92586, US
08:30 am – 01:00 pm