Messiah Lutheran Church -- Charlotte, NC
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LOCATION

8300 Providence Rd. just south of the Arboretum and Hwy 51 (Pineville-Matthews Rd).  Map.


Pastor's Message
Pastor's October 2011 Message PDF Print E-mail

  Consecration Sundayis Coming!

Sunday, October 30th, at both 8:15 and 11:00 Services 

Mark that date on your calendar as a time of spiritual growth, fellowship, and commitment here at Messiah Lutheran Church. October 30th will be “Consecration Sunday,” the culmination of a biblically based stewardship education and commitment emphasis called Consecrated Stewards that focuses on raising people in Christian discipleship, not just raising money for the work of the church.To understand the Consecrated Stewards approach, you need to know that it is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. It is not based on the budgetary needs of the church, but on the desire to have each person grow in discipleship. Opportunity for growth in discipleship will take place during all five Sundays in October.The personal witness of some of our members.Encouragement and resources for prayer.Celebration of the various ministries of our congregation.A series of Bible studies on Sunday morning led by Rev. Ron Wiese in the Fellowship Hall beginning October 2nd and going through the 23rd.   Consecration Sunday activities on October 30th, including:* Rev. Richard Runge as our guest proclaimer on Consecration Sunday.* Opportunity to make a faith-based commitment during the worship service.* A special fellowship and Celebration Brunch following each service for all the Messiah Family.The encouragement to commitment on Consecration Sunday takes place within the context of the morning worship service. Our Guest Leader/Proclaimer will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, and then ask our attendees and members to respond to God’s leading through a financial commitment that will enable our church’s missionary, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.Every attendee and member who completes a response card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We also urge people to attend who feel strongly opposed to completing a card. The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card. Consecrated Stewards works with people where they are and when they are ready. Members make their commitments as a confidential act of worship.We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in our Consecrated Stewards events. 

 
Pastor's September 2011 Message PDF Print E-mail
   A Significant Half-Note Pause “Take my life and let it be…. Consecrated Lord to Thee..”  It’s one of the most familiar Christian hymns … and not just in the Lutheran Church. One can find that hymn in the Celebration hymnal, the Worshipping Church hymnal and the Great Hymns of the Faith hymnal to name just a few, hymnals that are used by a variety of Christian church bodies. I call it to your attention this month in order to highlight something that has always struck me about the construction of this hymn. Even though there are a couple of different tunes used to sing this hymn (both are included in the latest Lutheran Hymnal), each has a half-note pause between the words “be” and “consecrated.” So what’s the big deal, right? “Why is that significant,” you ask? If we are honest with ourselves, when things are going well, we are tempted to end the phrase at the pause, “Take my life and let it be” – period. “It’s okay, Lord. Everything is going fine, You can..er ..well Lord… just let me be. Things are comfortable right now and I would appreciate it if You would… ah … not shake things up.” ☺   But the phrase does NOT end there. Yes, there is a half-note pause -  perhaps we can use it to step back and seriously consider the next part - but then it goes right on with a ‘stewardship’ statement of commitment, “Consecrated, Lord to Thee.” The rest of this special hymn underscores just what ‘consecrated’ means: take our moments, days, hands, feet, voice, lips, silver, gold, intellect, will and love, then, Lord, use them as You choose.    This hymn is rightfully in the ‘Stewardship’ section of the LSB hymnal. It gives us one of the best vehicles for expressing commitment to total life-style stewardship. Since everything that we have in this life is a gift from God, and since every aspect of this life will end when God takes us home (as the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you”), we are given them to manage for a time. As we learn how to manage our time, talent, treasure and everything else that these encompass, we are being prepared for whatever God will give us to manage for eternity (Matthew 25:21, 23).    Beginning on October 2nd, Pastor Ron Wiese will lead “Consecrated Stewards,” a Bible-based stewardship education and commitment process that has been used in hundreds of Lutheran congregations around the nation with great response. It is designed to help members grow in their spiritual lives and in their management of God’s gifts. This educational opportunity will take place in the Fellowship Hall at 9:45 on 10/2, 10/9, 10/16 and 10/23. It will be followed by Messiah’s Consecration Sunday Service and brunch on Reformation Sunday, October 30th. Contact Pastor Ron for more information..   Most of this article is a reprint of Pastor Baldinger’s September 2010 newsletter article.  The last paragraph is new information. 
 
Pastor's August 2011 Message PDF Print E-mail
  RALLY DAY                   What is the purpose of Rally Day? To rally a group of people means to gather an identifiable group together after they have been scattered physically and/or emotionally. The means of gathering them together once again is by getting them to focus, or better to say, re-focus on some cause that brought them together in the first place. That is exactly what we wish to do with our Rally Day on August 28, 2011.    Messiah’s Board of Discipleship Ministries is leading the way for all of us here at Messiah to Rally together around our purpose for being Church: dedicated Disciples of Jesus Christ, looking up to receive God’s grace and respond in praise, looking around to support one another in study, service and sharing, looking outward at the opportunities that God gives us to be His witnesses in the world.      With the busy summer, we have all gone here and there, we have been apart physically and emotionally. Now it is time to come back together and stir one another up to seeing Jesus, serving Jesus and sharing Jesus.    Our time together the morning of August 28th will seek to Rally us together by having one special worship service that day followed by a meal and fellowship. We will celebrate Christian Education for all ages and the privilege that we have to disciple and be disciple in communion with one another. Through message, song, readings and skits, we will rally one another around our privilege and responsibility to grow-up into Christ helping others to do the same.    We have so much to celebrate here at Messiah and it will be exciting to come together in one worship service to do so.   
 
Pastor's June 2011 Message PDF Print E-mail
  THE PROCESS OF THE CALL FOR ASSOCIATE PASTOR By the grace of God moving in the hearts and minds of members of Messiah, we are at a point of readiness to Call an Associate Pastor. In a previous newsletter (April), we have outlined the ministry description for our Associate. Messiah members have demonstrated a commitment to this vision through their financial contributions over the course of the past four months. In this article, I would like to outline the process by which we will extend a Divine Call to an Ordained Pastor to fill this role. Messiah’s Board of Elders is tasked with the responsibility of the Call process. They have approved a group of Messiah members to serve on a Call Committee. The members of this committee represent a variety of roles and interests with a balance of men and women, younger and older, early and late service, elected leaders and non- elected. This list will be shared at the May 22nd Congregational Meeting for ratification from the membership. I am hoping that, once ratified, this committee will meet yet in May in order to be oriented into their role. The first step in the process will be to give members of the congregation an opportunity to suggest names of ordained LCMS pastors to consider for the Associate Pastor role AS IT HAS BEEN DEFINED in the ministry description. Members should consider carefully the names they recommend seeking to discern if the pastor they are recommending would be a GOOD FIT for the position as it has been defined. There will be a two week period in which the Call Committee will receive names from members.The second step will be to submit any names that are recommended and given to the Call Committee to the District President of the Southeastern District. He will take the names submitted and, after considering the Ministry Description that we include with the list of names, will add any names of ordained pastors that he believes would fit the role as we have defined it. He will then add information to all the names submitted, both those of Messiah members and his own, and return a packet of materials to Messiah’s Call committee for consideration. He may recommend removing some names that Messiah members have submitted due to their recently accepting a Call somewhere else or for health reasons, and the like. The third step will be for the Messiah Call Committee to look over the information returned to us on each candidate from the District President and determine if any name should be eliminated outright for some reason. If not, then the entire list will be given to the Circuit Counselor for him to call each candidate to determine if there is any reason that the candidate cannot even CONSIDER A CALL at the present time. This is the fourth step. Any candidates that cannot even consider a Call are eliminated from the list. The revised list is then given back to the Call Committee who determines the best way to get the most important information out on each prospective candidate to the congregation for prayer and comment. Along with this fifth step, the Call Committee will look over the information on each of the remaining candidates to determine if a phone interview is necessary to ask further questions or receive clarification on information received from the District President. Should a phone interview be necessary (and it usually is), the Call  Committee may choose to select only some of the candidates to interview and will draw up general questions that are given to all the candidates being contacted by phone and some specific questions to each candidate for further clarification. The Call Committee will submit updated information to the congregation on this process and its results.The sixth step will be a prioritizing of the list of candidates by the Call Committee and a determination as to whether or not to invite one or more in for a personal on-site interview (which I highly recommend). Such an on-site interview would give opportunity for more questions to be asked, issues to be clarified and compatibility of vision discerned. Once this is done and on-site interviews are held, the Call Committee will present their recommendations and conclusions to the congregation and a date will be set for a Call Prayer Service to be conducted. At this service, the Congregation will pray, discuss and then vote to Call a particular Candidate for the office of Associate Pastor. I will inform the Candidate selected by telephone that Messiah has Called him to be our Associate Pastor and send to him a packet of materials to help him better understand Messiah and her ministry as well as fill him in on the character of the Greater Charlotte community. Previously, the Board of Elders and the Board of Administration will have determined his compensation package based on years of ministry experience and current cost of living issues. This information along with the Formal Call Documents signed by the legal representatives of Messiah and myself will be sent under a cover letter stating that we will be keeping the Candidate and his family in prayer.The Candidate will take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to decide if he feels God is calling him to Messiah or if He is affirming his present Call to whatever church he is presently serving (assuming he is presently serving a church). If he accepts the Call to Messiah, arrangements will be made to move him here as soon as possible. This could take a month or more. I am guessing that from the time of the May 22nd meeting to his presence at Messiah in Charlotte, a year will have gone by.If he declines, well then there are a couple of scenarios possible but I will leave that to a future newsletter should we need that information.  
 
Pastor's May 2011 Message PDF Print E-mail
  The Fifth Mission Response: Send“…The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to SEND out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 ESV               As we enter into the month of May, we focus on the 5th of 7 Mission Responses that express our Christian Stewardship of Life: the act of Sending. In what has been referred to as the “Church Age” when the United States as a nation stood as “one nation under God”, consciously wrestled with “in God we trust” as we used our money, had prayers before sporting events, listed church affiliation when hospitalized, and, if interviewed for some article in the paper, included church membership… in that age that began to end in the 60s and came to an end by the turn of the century, when someone talked of mission work, minds immediately turned to “sending” someone “over there” to foreign mission fields. After all, there were plenty of laborers over here and the fields were consistently harvested.   In the Post-Church, Post Christian era that we are now living in, we have been emphasizing the need to see the mission field all around us. Going into the mission field may be simply crossing the street, entering into a neighboring cubicle, skyping a relative in another US city.  Yet while that is definitely true, we need to continue just as fervently to ‘send’ laborers into the harvest ‘over there.’ In a world where Islam is growing at an exponential rate, Christians cannot slumber, cannot coast until the end of time. Where we ourselves cannot go, we must continue to send. St. Paul puts it like this: “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  Romans 10:14-15.   Messiah is truly blessed to have a ‘sending support organization’ south of Waxhaw – JAARS. From that organization, we have had the privilege of building relationships with a number of missionaries that work in foreign fields. And we have had the privilege of commissioning some of our own members so as to ‘send them’ into foreign fields. We have supported these people with our prayers, letters and email, finances and personal involvement. In return, we have been blessed with their stories, hearing their trial and successes, and even some ‘hands-on experience’ (Jungle Jump off).   So it is most appropriate that we focus on this 5th of the 7 Mission Responses – the response of Sending.   
 
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Sample ImagePastor Steve was born and raised in Oregon. After graduating from Willamette University with degrees in German and International Studies, he worked in various vocations that taught him how to work in teams with diverse people.  As a project manager in the computer tech industry in the 90’s, he began to feel God’s call to become a pastor. In 2003, he took a huge leap of faith, selling his business and two homes to drive to Saint Louis for the first time and begin Seminary training.

 

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