This Week's Ministry Blog
Starting Today

Psalm 29 & Matthew 3:13-17
What do we make of the baptism of Jesus?
Through Matthew we gain an appreciation that Jesus is the Messiah, the fulfillment of the promise. We see that Jesus will participate in God's mission in the world. Through his baptism, Jesus is equipped to go forward clear about to whom he belongs and the work he is to do.  
Last year about this time I was visiting the Holy Land. One day on our way to Galilee, we stopped along the Jordan River. The river at this location was fairly narrow, meandering through tall grassy banks. As I stood just feet from the water's edge, I tried to imagine the drama of the day long ago when Jesus was baptized. I thought about the Spirit descending like a dove and the voice from heaven breaking forth upon the waters. Being there brought the event closer at hand.
I was not alone. There were many who came by buses to this point along the river. They eventually waded into the shallow waters as a way to mark the festival of the Baptism of our Lord. In their remembrances and by their actions they were renewing their own baptismal promises. For them this was one way to embrace baptism as an ongoing and present gift!
The psalmist acknowledged how the voice of the Lord is upon the waters and that it is a voice of splendor. In this light we can understand how the baptism of Jesus was God's on-going, creative work in the world. As the baptism of Jesus revealed who Jesus was and showed his commitment to God's redeeming ways, so we can hear that summoning voice that calls us into the unfolding work of God still today.
In that work we are renewed in our identity as God's beloved sons and daughters.
I'm going on a journey, and I'm starting today.
My head is wet, and I'm on my way.
Christ's mark is on me; it's on you too;
It says he loves me, and he loves you too.
(ELW 446)
Pastor Randy

Soli Deo Musica Concert

Please plan on joining us for our second Soli Deo Musica offering. Sunday, January 22, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. David Piersel and Dr. Leanne Freeman-Miller will present An Evening of Broadway and Light Opera . This concert will include numbers from some of the classic Broadway musicals, as well as some of the lighter arias from operas. You might even hear some Scott Joplin! The evening will be both entertaining and informative, as our performers will talk about the music they are performing. Dr. Piersel is professor emeritus at South Dakota State University and a member of Faith Lutheran Church. Dr. Freeman-Miller is currently professor of voice at Drake University.

Adult Sunday School

This week's discussion topic for Faith Journeys, our Adult Sunday School class will be: "What Do Our Neighbors Believe? Questions about Christianity, Judaism and Islam." Faith Journeys meets from 9:30-10:15 a.m. in Messiah Hall, rooms 203 and 204, and is facilitated by Dee Paddock. Please join us!

Cancer Support Group

The Cancer Support Group will meet at the church this afternoon, Sunday, January 8, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Jan Stegeman, R.N. and Barbara Cavallin, Ph.D. are the facilitators. Anyone who is dealing with cancer, has a friend or relative who is, or is dealing with the loss of a loved one from cancer, is encouraged to come for this inspirational, compassionate, uplifting time of devotion, information, sharing, caring and prayer. If you have any materials that you would like to share with the group, please bring them and join us.

January Cooking Club

Please join with Faith members for Cooking Club on Thursday, January 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Gathering House. Bring a dish that typifies Danish cooking along with the written recipe to share with the group. All are invited and welcome.

Faith Women, Save the Date

The annual Faith Women's Retreat, now called the Faith Women's Dialogue, because that is what we do; we come together to listen, share, celebrate, and lift one another up. This year we will hold this Dialogue on Friday evening, April 7, and Saturday, April 8. Our theme is What Wise Women Do . Be watching for more information in various forms of announcements. Registration will begin late February and the month of March. If you have never attended before, this is your potential New Year's resolution, and bring a friend if that makes you more comfortable.

  Baptism Orientation

Parents who are expecting a new baby or who have new babies are invited to attend a baptism orientation. The next quarterly session will be held here on Sunday, January 29, at 9:30 a.m. Please sign up for the class by emailing Miranda at or calling her at

New Lunch Group

After many years, the Out-to-Lunch Bunch and Office Volunteers' Lunch groups have decided to combine and meet just once a month. The new Lunch Bunch will meet the second Wednesday of the month at various restaurants. Please come for lunch on Wednesday, January 11, at 11:30 a.m. at Gilroy's on 8th Street in West Des Moines. Please contact Miranda at or 225-8334 if you plan to attend. Everyone is welcome!

Did you miss last week's Faith E-news? You can find archived E-news on Faith's website under Archived E-news button on the homepage.
Do you have questions or comments regarding this publication?  Please contact Miranda at or 225-8334.  We welcome your feedback.