Heritage Herald – August 2023 Edition
“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching”. 1 Timothy 4:16
From Pastor’s Desk
Counterfeit handbags, watches, shoes and perfumes, i-pads and smart-phones. According to experts, the business of Counterfeit Goods is the largest underground industry in the world. Hundreds of billions of dollars are generated while sapping the economy, putting lives in jeopardy, and funding organized crime in the process. Counterfeit products are so well done that only experts can distinguish between the fake and the authentic product. Counterfeit money has long been a problem, but in recent years so-called “Super Bills” have upped the ante. Super bills are paper money so sophisticated only highly trained treasury staff with expensive equipment can spot them. The bills are produced with the same inks, papers, watermarks, security threads, and printed with the same limited, million-dollar equipment as used in the real American bills. In fact, the fake bills are recognized because they are of better quality than the originals! The fake Super Bills have been traced back to foreign governments, notably North Korea. That’s why the treasury is constantly changing the looks of our paper money, trying to thwart the counterfeiters.
Did you know there are counterfeit Christians too? In Matthew 13 Jesus told a parable about wheat and weeds. In the parable, a farmer sowed good wheat seed, representing the scattering of Christian believers around the world. But an enemy came by night and sowed weed seed. The weeds represent hypocritical, fake Christians. The weeds were of a type of counterfeit wheat, probably what is known today as Darnel. The weeds and wheat look very much the same as they sprout and grow. Only when the head of grain forms can the difference be detected. At the harvest, the workers easily separate the black-headed weeds from the golden wheat.
Like the weeds grow among the wheat in the story, so fake believers exist among believers throughout the world. Wherever God plants Christians, Satan plants his fakes. The unbelievers can look, sound, and act just like the believers. Every church has counterfeits- people who go to church, sing hymns, send their kids to Sunday School, and generally look like true believers. But like the farmer can’t tell the weeds from the wheat until harvest time, so we can’t tell fake believers from true believers. God knows. God looks into the heart and knows the truth. We can’t do that. So we accept everyone by the confession of their lips and the confession of their lives. In the end, their fruit will prove them out.
Jesus’ point? The harvest is precious to God. He does not want to lose one believer. He wants to gather them all into his heaven when Christ comes again. So we must not try to “weed out” the church! We may mistakenly weed out true believers along with the weeds. After all, the lives of true believers can sometimes look pretty “weedy.” We fall into all manner of sin because of the weakness of our flesh. By the Law of God Christians recognize their sin, repent, and trust in Christ’s forgiveness. In fact, that’s the kind of fruit that is evidence of a true Christian. Likewise in time the fake believers are proved by their fruit- notably a lack of recognition of their own sinfulness, coupled with a lack of true repentance, and a lack of faith in the forgiveness of Christ.
An old man once invited his neighbor to church. “Oh no! I wouldn’t go to that church!” the neighbor said. “That church is filled with hypocrites.” “That’s alright,” the old man said. “One more isn’t going to hurt.” Yes, the church has hypocrites- counterfeit Christians. God only knows for sure. When the harvest comes all will be revealed. Continue to look into the mirror of God’s law. Recognize your faults and failures. Repent, and trust in the forgiveness won by Jesus on the cross. In the freedom of His forgiveness, resolve with God’s help to live your life according to His will.
-Pastor K.J. Anderson
Happy August! As promised a little more data and transparency from the council. In addition to last month’s inclusion of the State of the Congregation and the Directors’ reports, this month we are including a couple tables of data that are presented to the council every month. The first table is assembled by our head elder and informs us of Membership Data. I think we all like to see our congregation growing and attending worship weekly. If those aren’t happening, we need to examine why not. In order to make that determination, we need to track the data.
The second table is compiled by our treasurer and is a review of our financial status. Our fiscal year ended June 30th. This was presented to Council at our July meeting, and what you are looking at is our end-of-year results. The simplest way of looking at it is via the “stoplights”. The first row shows how our member giving ended the year compared to our budget. The second row adds school revenue into the equation and compares it to what we budgeted. The third row shows how much cash we have on hand to pay our bills. Finally, in row four, our efforts to reduce our mortgage is tracked.
As mentioned, these are our end-of-year results and are similar to what was presented at our Annual Voters’ Meeting in June. As explained then, our revenue was well below budget for FY2022-23. We were fortunate to have cash on hand via COVID programs to cover our losses. Also, we can’t forget about the additional money that was raised for capital improvements around the site: Fellowship Hall windows, etc.
The table will reset for the new fiscal year in the September newsletter. I’m hopeful that with the additional knowledge that we all now have of our financial status that we will better understand the impacts our giving has on our mission.
As always, reach out to me with any questions and I will do my best to answer them or find someone who can.
State of the Congregation – Report on the convention coming in the August newsletter as well as presenting in front of church (Phil, Bruce & Pastor). VBS ongoing with plenty of youth help.
- Approve Previous Minutes – approved on a Bruce/Jesse motion
- Approve membership changes – Confirmed membership increased from 177 to 183 with the acceptance of 6 confirmands. (Fischer Chapman, Elijah Cook, Magdalena Mears, Elizabeth Paulsen, Eleanor Robb, and Julia Salava)
Spiritual Oversight – reported above
School Board – A Thursday meeting is planned with Todd, Lyle, Pastor, teachers, staff to introduce new leadership. The school enrollment is full.
Outreach – Micah has budgetary approval for $650 for VBS t-shirts. Some actions have been taken to move back to typical sign-in for church services. An Aug 17 food truck event is being planned, but there have been scheduling conflicts. Anniversary merchandise will be for sale starting in September.
Properties – AC will be replaced when George’s schedule allows. Sanctuary painting to take place in mid-August. Playground fencing will be moved to the other side of berm before school year starts. No funding needed.
Treasurer- not present. Follow up with Phil to see if payroll has been updated with new budget.
Chairman– Dave has worked with Jodi regarding newsletter updates. Council email aliases and groups set up.
Education Committee- Phil presented financial modeling for Pre-K through 5th grade option. The committee will work on getting a final presentation for the congregation with an end of August timeframe.
TLC/Office– Anniversary planning ongoing
TLC – The Ladies Connection
Ladies of Heritage, please join us for light appetizers at our “Happy Hour Planning Meeting” beginning at 4:30pm on Wednesday, August 9th at Jane Fahnings home (16242 Dutch Barn Drive, Lakeville. We will be sharing Christian fellowship and planning for the exciting fall events coming up at Heritage. We would love to see some new faces, so don’t be shy. Come join us!!!
50th Anniversary Celebration Update
Save the Date! Invitations will be given to all members, but please mark your calendars for 10:00 am Sunday, October 22nd.
Theme: We have chosen two themes for the celebration; “God’s Word is our Great Heritage” and “50 Years of Grace”.
Photo and Memorabilia Display Boards: We are in need of photos and memorabilia for display boards. Photos including baptisms, confirmations, weddings, youth events, bazaar photos, lefsa making, outdoor activities, etc. are needed to make these memory boards successful so please look through your photos at home. We are also looking for memorabilia items such as special service bulletins, newspaper articles, bazaar flyers, etc. Please submit your items to the office before October 1st.
Opportunity for All Members to Participate:
Our goal is to make it fun and easy for every member of our congregation to participate in the celebration.
Below is a list of some opportunities, please consider how you and your family would like to be involved and look for the sign-up sheets to be posted early in September.
- Writing Invitations (help needed in August – contact office)
- Spruce Up the Church (see property boards sign-up sheet already posted)
- Decorate a Table for the Luncheon
- Photo Board Making
- Food Preparation
- Luncheon Serving
- Luncheon Clean Up
- Gym Set Up and Clean Up
Other opportunities may include participating in the children’s choir, adult choir, special music, helping with the welcome table or submitting memory stories.
Day of Event Schedule: Below is the proposed schedule for the day.
- 9:30 Pre-Service and Welcome Table with name tags
- 10:00 Worship Service
- 11:15 Luncheon served in gymnasium directly following the worship service
- 12:30 Memory and sharing time in Sanctuary following the luncheon
Please contact the Heritage office or Julie Damico (952-484-0971) with any additional thoughts or ideas.
In preparation for Heritage’s 50th anniversary, the Property Board has put together a list of volunteer opportunities for the congregation. Please prayerfully consider taking on one or more of these projects. Click the link below to view the projects. Please sign up on the volunteer board. Contact Ruth Braun or a property board member with questions. Thank you.
Sanctuary Painting Update: a fresh look is coming soon! Our painting contractor has informed us that his team will be ready to paint our sanctuary within the next few weeks. We will need to empty out the sanctuary before the painting begins so for those who are able, please be ready to help move some chairs, etc. after the church service next week or the following week. Many hands make light work!
Sanctuary Paint Color Update: Colors have been chosen! Our decorating team has been working hard over the past several months to choose a fresh, neutral color pallet that will brighten the sanctuary and enhance our altar area and beautiful stained glass windows. While we have enlisted the advice of professionals, we understand that color preference is a personal opinion and we tried very hard to keep that in mind when making our choices. We hope that everyone enjoys the fresh new look!
Adult Bible Study Opportunities
Women’s Bible Study
The Women’s Monday Night Bible Class will resume in September with a study of Song of Songs. If you would like to join, please let Ruth Braun (email@example.com /651-457-9379) know so materials can be ordered.
Men’s Bible Study
The Men’s Thursday Morning Bible Class will resume in September.
Companions in Prayer
My Prayer Story
Just how important are you? I suppose it might depend on who you ask, but most of us have a vision of who or what position is more important than another. For example, a CEO may seem more important than the person who works for him/her, but that is likely not true to the workers family and friends. The baseball player that hits the winning walk-off home run is the hero, but what about the other 3 players that got on base before him? Would he have been so important if there was only one player on base? What makes someone important to us? Some of the reasons are that they love us, they provide for us, they support us, they forgive us when we do wrong, and they are always there when we need them. There is a saying that a friend is someone who knows us, but loves us anyway. Sometimes these individuals can fail us, for whatever reason, but we all have Jesus who has promised to be with us always and will not fail us – “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). He has assured us that He knows us and we are important to Him. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30) And again, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) These promises give us great joy and comfort. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
Congregational Prayer Suggestions
Intercessory prayer – prayers on the behalf of others – are a part of a Christian’s life. Each of you have a list of those you pray for but consider adding these to it.
- Many people are being displaced, injured and facing catastrophic natural disasters around the world. Pray for strengthening of faith or coming to faith by those impacted.
- As we make some physical changes in our church, help us to remember that keeping the gospel message first and foremost is our role. Working together and supporting one another will make us stronger.
Serving in August
8/6 – Arehart
8/13 – Cook
8/20 – Korstad
8/27 – Reedstrom
August Ushers & Acolytes
8/6 – Dan Schwanz, Micah Steward/Fischer Chapman
8/13 – Craig Remus, Tim Oachs/Josiah Mears
8/20 – Jef Sutton, Bruce Voigt/Cooper Sickmann
8/27 – Jacob Calhoun, Dave Paulsen/Jaycen Steward
8/6 – Martin Paulsen
8/13 – Libby Paulsen
8/20 – Stan Miller
8/27 – Martin Paulsen
August Altar Guild
Sondra Frimanslund/Bonnie Kooy
8/6 – Open
8/13 – Open
8/20 – Frimanslund
8/27 – Open
2 Jason Eisenbeis
5 Luke Oachs
7 Heidi LaSalle
7 Peyton Nikoley
7 Sara Owens
12 Hannah Henkemeyer
12 Nathan Henricks
14 Eleanor Robb
14 Michael Baldassano
28 Delaney Arehart