Did you visit our Bethlehem photo booth? Find your photo below!
Learn more about Christmas at Faith.
Did you visit our Bethlehem photo booth? Find your photo below!
Learn more about Christmas at Faith.
Faith Lutheran Church is excited to again partner with Return to Wittenberg to host a family workshop on May 20.
This will be an encouraging workshop helping families of all types, sizes (even singles!) orient their life around the most important things. Learn how a few simple and fundamental things can lift burdens, lift minds, and lift hearts.
Dr. Arthur Eggert, author of “The Lutheran Family Altar,” will be a keynote presenter at the conference!
Other speakers will be announced soon.
The Christian family is a microcosm of God’s benevolent will for the order of the cosmos. All legitimate power in the Church and in the State is derived from God’s created order for humanity, which is contained in the fourth commandment and cosmically perfected in Christ and His Church. In short, the Family Altar is at the crossroads of reality, encompassing the spiritual and physical realms. The Family Altar is the way that Christians in their every-day lives sanctify themselves and their worlds with prayer (oratio) and the Word of God (meditatio) in the face of the struggles and discipline (tentatio) of their daily lives.
In addition to theoretical concepts, the workshop will provide practical examples and resources for the Family Altar. Practical tips will be offered for how to pray the Divine Office as a family and incorporating children into both corporate and private worship.
Additional topics on classical education and liberal arts will be offered. Faith Lutheran Church is in the process of opening a new hybrid classical school here in Oregon: Sursum Corda Classical School, with the express purpose to allow children to “lift up their hearts.”
Saturday, May 20
1pm-3pm: Welcome & Presentations
3pm-4pm: Practical Activity: The Divine Office in the Home
4pm: Closing Vespers
Conference Fee: Adults: $15 / Students: $8
Registering is important to make sure we have enough materials for everyone!
Thursday, May 18
5:30pm: Meal hosted by Faith Church Council
6:30pm: Ascension Service with Return to Wittenberg
8pm: Meet-up at Headquarters Bar & Grill
DIY Compline at ??
Saturday, May 20 – Morning
10am: Lauds Prayer Service
Saturday, May 20 – Evening
Bethany Lutheran College Choir Concert at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Madison.
5:30pm: Heavy hors d’oeuvres & refreshments – at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Madison.
7:00pm: Choral Concert featuring works by Parry, Christiansen, Mendelssohn, Brahms and others – at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Madison.
Sunday, May 21
9:00am: Chief Divine Service for Exaudi Sunday
On December 13th, the Church remembers St. Lucy.
History of St. Lucy
Lucy of Syracuse was born in 283 A.D. She was martyred when she was only 21 during the last and most violent persecution of the church during the time of the Roman Empire, called the Diocletianic or Great Persecution. This was less than 200 years after the time of the Apostles. Her death date is believed to have been December 13, 304 A.D.
In the year 303, the emperors rescinded the legal rights of Christians and demanded they follow traditional Roman religious practices (pagan practices, i.e., worshipping Jupiter).
Lucy’s mother, Eutychia, who was suffering from a bleeding disorder, feared for Lucy’s future if she should die. Against Lucy’s will, she arranged for Lucy to marry a young man from a wealthy pagan family. After Eutychia was healed, Lucy took the opportunity to persuade her mother to distribute her wealth to the poor, supposedly saying “…whatever you give away at death for the Lord’s sake you give because you cannot take it with you. Give now to the true Savior, while you are healthy.”
News that she had given her wealth away came to the pagan man she was betrothed to, who then denounced her to the governor of Syracuse. The governor ordered her to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image. Lucy, like other Christian martyrs, “chose to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29) and so was martyred. According to legend, St. Lucy had her eyes gouged out before her martyrdom. This imposed blindness was supposed to be a message to Christians, that they shouldn’t think about “seeing” or “knowing” anything negative about the Empire.
Customs of St. Lucy
Lucy’s name shares a root (luc) with the Latin word for light (lux), Because a number of legends have her eyes being removed, she is connected – ironically – to sight and light.
It is Christ after all who is the Light of the World (John 8:12). Because of the Light that was born into the World at Christmas, the entire world is redeemed and has everlasting light. All those who die or are martyred in faith have become a “saint in light” (Col. 1:12) and are now gathered around the throne of Light in Heaven, “clothed with white robes, and with palm branches in their hands” (Rev. 7:9).
In Scandinavian countries, particularly Norway and Sweden, her death date has become a festival of light. Girls dress as Lucy – wearing the clothing of all the saints described in Revelation 7 – a white robe, with palm branches, as well as a red sash for martyrdom, and a wreath of candles symbolizing the eternal light of Jesus revealed at His first Advent.
Remembering saints isn’t about them at all, but about Jesus
Unfortunately, like our own customs of St. Nicholas, the actual customs of Lucy’s feast/death day are often distorted by the culture and twisted into something that removes Jesus from the picture. This is particularly true in Scandinavia which, although the countries are predominantly Lutheran, are more Lutheran in name only rather than belief or practice.
Saints are simply those who have been “washed clean by the blood of Jesus” (Rev. 7:14). Remembering the history of the church and men and women (saints) who have gone before us is good for Lutheran Christians to do. We do this whenever we celebrate Reformation (when we remember Martin Luther), or whenever we have a Christian funeral (when we remember the person who is now a saint). But neither funerals nor Reformation are for or about the human people, they are about what Jesus has done for them and continues to do for us. Remembering their example can help us realize that every generation of the church must believe for themselves and “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jd. 3).
What is Lent?
Lent is a 40-day season of an intentional Christ-centered return to our baptisms, where we daily die with our sins and rise with Christ to live a new life. Between Ash Wednesday and the Paschal Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil), the church is again called to live a life of repentance. The practice of Lent has been observed by Christians around the world since the early centuries of the church.
Lent shows how much we need Christ.
Lent is an opportunity to follow Jesus who was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit for 40 days of prayer and fasting, who became our substitute. By His fasting and temptation, He opens for us the feast of heaven.
Lent shows how much we need each other.
We often think of our faith as something personal, and while many of the practices of Lent are things that can’t be done except by each person individually, however Christian faith is never practiced in solitude, but always in communion with fellow Christians. Together, by meeting together around the Word of God, we encourage one another and fulfill a purpose of church: to carry each other’s burdens and to encourage them with the love of Christ. May we encourage each other this Lent in our individual participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
As you participate in Lent, please read our guide, and feel free to share it with your friends.
Here are all of our opportunities at Faith to participate in Lent:
March 2, 6:30pm Divine Service
In Scripture, ashes serve both as a symbol of mortality and as a sign of mourning and repentance. In the Ash Wednesday service we are reminded of our mortality, we confess our sins, and we experience forgiveness through Christ’s death and resurrection. A central practice in the Ash Wednesday service is when those gathered physically embody what is in their hearts when they receive the “imposition of ashes” on our foreheads and hear the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Praise be to God that sin and death do not have the final word! We leave the service in confidence and gratitude: Christ has conquered death, and nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Wednesdays at 6:30pm
(No service on March 23rd)
Each Wednesday in Lent we gather together to be refocused around Christ’s passion. As it is customary for Vespers to be a catechetical service, this year we meditate on the Lord’s Supper, under the theme “Fasting and Feasting”
Friday, March 25th at 6:30pm
Return to Wittenberg and Faith Lutheran Church, Oregon, WI will be hosting a special Festival of the Annunciation Service on March 25th at 6:30pm.
The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the announcement of the Messiah’s birth by the Holy Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It takes place on March 25th every year, exactly 9 months (the typical length of human gestation) before Christmas Day.Before the Service, there will be a fellowship meal in the church basement beginning around 5:30pm.
Pray the Catechism during the 40 days in Lent, using this booklet.
Spring Cleaning Drive
Target dates: March 21-26
Spring Cleaning Drive: We will collect personal health and hygiene products from our community for the local food pantry.
Faith In Action: Members who have been blessed financially by the Lord are encouraged to give to our church’s Faith In Action fund, which is set up to help families in need in our community.
Ukraine Crisis Fund: Our Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine are in need of our support. First and foremost, they need our prayers to God for peace and security. There is also a very great need for humanitarian assistance as the war continues to destroy lives and property. The ELS Board for Christian Service has established the Ukraine Crisis Fund to aid our brothers and sisters in the Ukrainian Lutheran Church and the Gift of Life program as well as other Ukrainians in need. To contribute to this fund, go to els.org/donate. Checks may be sent to ELS Ukraine Crisis Fund, 6 Browns Ct., Mankato, MN 56001.
Fasting, or giving something up that is a regular part of life is to remind us how completely we depend on the Lord. It is not dieting, as the focus of dieting often becomes my will-power. Rather, the focus of fasting is the Lord Jesus. The point is that when we give something up, we replace it with Jesus. For example, if a person chooses to not eat a meal, the time normally spent in preparation and eating would be spent reading and meditating on God’s Word.
Women’s Bible Study: Tuesdays at 7:00pm at the Parsonage
Men’s Bible Study: 6:30pm, 2nd Tuesday of the month
Young Adult Study: March 12, April 2
During Lent, our studies are perfect ways to focus on Jesus.
The men’s study is on “Christ Have Mercy: Putting Your Faith in Action.”
The women’s study is “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: 12 False Christs”
The young adult study is on what it means to be a Christian in the family, in the church, and in the world.
Books are available for purchase if you would like to own them, otherwise you may borrow from church, but please let Pastor know so we can have enough books.
Maundy Thursday: April 14 6:30pm
Good Friday: April 15 6:30pm
Easter Vigil: April 16 7:27pm
Paschal = The Biblical word for “Easter”
Triduum = “The Three Days.”
After 40 Days of Lent, the Christian Year has now reached its climax. We have come to the celebration of the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the celebration for which we have been preparing throughout Lent. Now we see what our Savior came to do. We see Him suffer and die for our sins and for the sins of the world. And we see Him rise triumphantly on Easter morning to assure us that our salvation is complete, the victory is won.
All three services are dramatic each in their own way and intimately connected to each other. The focus as always, is Christ.
Epiphany, January 6, is the official end of the 12 days of Christmas. Many Christians celebrate this day by remembering the journey of the Magi who found their way to Jesus by following a bright heavenly body, usually represented by a star.
Epiphany means “revealing” or “manifestation” and historically was one of the three great feasts of the Church (Epiphany, Easter, and Pentacost). Originally, Epiphany (Jan 6th) was what Christmas (Dec 25th) is for us today, the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Today we retain both celebrations.
In the season of Epiphany we see and hear that Jesus is revealed or manifested through His Word. Through this Word, the full nature of the Christ Child is made known to us.
Epiphany reminds us that Christ is not just the Savior to a select people, the Jews, but the Savior of the Gentiles, and all people.
Each week of Epiphany reveals this to us with increasing clarity, from the Child worshiped by wise men, to the Boy Jesus in the temple “about His Father’s business,” to the Man Jesus who reveals His deity through miracles including His first sign at the wedding in Cana.
2 Timothy 1:9-10, “Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”
Epiphany is a time of great celebration and rejoicing. During Advent we spent four weeks waiting and anticipating the coming King, Christmas we celebrated his arrival and birth, and Epiphany we continue that rejoicing as we see Him manifest Himself as God and Savior.
Here are a few ways you can celebrate Epiphany with your family:
1. Attend the Epiphany service at church.
As the wise men found Jesus by reading the Word of God, so we find Jesus in the same way today.
January 6 at 6:30pm
2. Chalk your front door.
Epiphany is the traditional time to bless your home, as the wise men visited Jesus in His home.
It is a great opportunity to have pastor visit your family and bless your home.
3. Save one present for your children to open on Epiphany.
4. Have your kids make King crowns from craft paper
5. Bake a King’s Cake.
(Many bake a small figurine/toy baby into the cake to be discovered just as the magi discovered Jesus)
6. Break out the telescope for stargazing.
Be reminded of the star that brought the Wise Men to Jesus.
7. Listen to some Epiphany music
Prayer for Epiphany
O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who O God, who by the leading of a star made manifest Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know You now by faith, may after this life joyfully behold Your glorious Godhead; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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