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 September 2014 Message PDF Print E-mail

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 Saturday, September 6th, and Worship on Sunday, September 7th.

Messiah’s Board of Discipleship Ministries would like to invite you to gather with your Messiah Family on both dates to rally around the idea of “raising up kingdom kids.” We see a model of such nurturing depicted in 2 Timothy 1:5 where Paul expresses his appreciation of how young Timothy’s mother and grandmother raised him in the faith from infancy resulting in the foundational faith Paul saw in Timothy and built into the vibrant faith of one of the first pastors of the New Testament era. That passage from Timothy is the verse that we will focus on in the message, “raising up kingdom kids,” and the verse that we will be committing to mind and heart in the month of September.

 

On Saturday, September 6, you are invited to become a part of rallying members and friends of Messiah by joining together for games, dinner, a short presentation and a movie - all beginning at 5:00 PM. Please read about this special event on page 3  for more details.

 

The Church of tomorrow is dependent on the foundation of Christian faith that we build in our children today. Unfortunately, the Church of today is losing ground in this country as young people search for meaning elsewhere. The so-called “nones” – those who profess NO faith in any belief system in particular – are a growing percentage of our population. We dare not expect our children to embrace the faith that we hold dear simply because we do. Nor can we expect them to pick up that faith by some sort of osmosis. If it is to be held in the hearts of our children and lived out in their lives, our Christian way of life must be taught by us and caught from us (C.S. Lewis describes our relationship with God as a kind of ‘good infection’ in his book “Mere Christianity”). Rally Day is a time to emphasize that truth for ourselves and for our children.

 

Pastor Tim Baldinger

 

 
Pastor's August 2014 Message PDF Print E-mail
By Paula Weiss, Family Life and Youth Minister 

For many of us here at Messiah, June, July and August have been months filled with serving others. I am pleased to tell you that many of our high school youth served our Vacation Bible School; our middle school youth served in Soddy Daisy, TN; the Honduras team will be serving with Samaritan’s Feet very soon; a wheelchair ramp was built by a group of caring guys; and in early August our youth will serve by providing a VBS/childcare for the District Tending the Flame conference. Others have served or will serve in other organizations like Joni and Friends or Love, INC.

 

Why do we serve??

Scripture tell us that Christians are the body of Christ, His continuing presence in the world. Through us, Christ continues to extend love, comfort, care and forgiveness to those in need. Because Christ lives in us, we are able to make a difference. We are His eyes, His ears, His hands, and His feet here on Earth. God wants us to meet the needs of hurting people, but He also knows service has the power to change us at our core! (Wow! That’s why it’s so great and so very important to give our young people lots of opportunities to serve!!)

 

Service gets our eyes off ourselves and into the world. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45. Living out your life in response to God’s love is the way of life called Christianity. Christians serve because they are thankful to God who has redeemed and loved them. There is nothing to earn or gain. Just ask the middle schoolers who picked up 5 gallon buckets of rocks from the lawn and 5 gallon buckets of prickly sweet gum balls--- a total that was somewhere around 20 buckets!! Nothing glamorous about that job! We were, however, helping the caretakers of the Lutheran camp (he was 77 years old) by doing this necessary job for them. He was so grateful we were willing to help in this way! The youth could see how they had blessed this man. The youngsters gave up their phones, games, videos, TV, soda and other amenities for 5 days to serve together. When the work was done and we were home, I believe I can say they didn’t even miss those “worldly” things (too much). Their hearts were in the right place. 

 

Where can you serve?

I pray that your eyes are opened to serve your neighbors and friends in this community as well serving the broader community—maybe through opportunities at Messiah or beyond to the world. Live what you believe and let God leave a fingerprint of faith in your world through your service.

 

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” II Corinthians 9:12

 

In His Service,

Paula Weiss

 

 
Pastor's June 2012 Message PDF Print E-mail
  ARE THEY REALLY DYING?         In April one of my favorite movies was re-released in a 3D version - The Titanic. The movie relates the following event, which actually occurred. At first, when the “unsinkable” ship was sinking, the lifeboats were being let down and released only half full. Few believed that the situation was as serious as it was. Few wanted to leave the temporary comfort and false security of the luxury liner to brave the cold and wild ocean in a little lifeboat. It became apparent too late that the ship really was sinking and there were not enough lifeboats to go around. In fact, there were not enough lifeboats to begin with and half-filling them made the situation worse. The Titanic went down and many people jumped or were thrown into the frigid water. Those in the half-filled lifeboats were within earshot of the screams of the people struggling in the cold water. But they did not return to save them until it was too late for all but a small few. Many could have been saved. Many drowning in the water were friends and even loved ones. But those in the lifeboats were afraid.  Afraid to venture back in because someone “might tip the boat”. Afraid to deal with the discomfort of what they might find or what might happen. They were safe and relatively secure.    This world is like the Titanic. Though filled with luxuries and appearing secure, it is fading away. Those caught up in the world are going down with the world. They are drowning though they may not know it. Some do know and are crying out for help. You and I are in the lifeboats, we are in the safety of the church (we worship in what is referred to as a ‘nave’ which is a nautical term). There is plenty of room in our lifeboats but when we venture in to save the dying, they will tip the boat. They will cause us discomfort. They will invade our space. Their presence will mean that we must make adjustments.    Are we afraid? Do we believe that they are really dying? Do we believe that the lifeboat of the Church of Jesus Christ is the only vehicle that can save them? Do we realize that our reason for existing is to brave the wild and treacherous seas of life searching for and saving the lost and dying? Do we realize that once we are in the boat, we don’t stop to relax and get comfortable but we focus on getting others into the boat before it is to late? Do we understand that our task is to help those still caught up in the world to see that the “ship is going down” even though they may not want to believe it? Do we know that we must help those in the world to see that the comforts they enjoy are temporary and the security they may feel is false?    It is my prayer that we at Messiah may have a “Vision” of the lost like those souls splashing desperately in the frigid water, a “Vision” of the world that sees it sinking like the Titanic. It is my prayer that we will have the compassion and the courage to brave the insecurities and discomforts of a rescue operation so as to save as many as we can.  
 
Pastor's April 2012 Message PDF Print E-mail
  Getting a Handle on New Life  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 

2 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV)

 

       How do we capture the spirit of Easter? Or maybe it would be better to say, “How can the Resurrection of Jesus Christ capture us?” Many of us are so familiar with the Easter story, we have gone through the cycle of Lent - Holy Week - Resurrection, that we can do it with our “eyes closed.” How can we be touched as were the Emmaus Disciples who walked with the resurrected Jesus and afterward said, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32). Luke says that they got up immediately and ran back to Jerusalem to tell the others. That’s Passion. That’s being ABLAZE.    It seems to me that somehow we need to experience death, or some death-like event, in order to appreciate New Life. We do get a small taste of that every spring when the trees and flowers that looked so dead begin their cycle of new life. My guess is that people who live up in the cold north may appreciate that new life that comes in the spring even more than we do here in Charlotte.    Paul and his companions experienced what Paul calls the “sentence of death.” The experience helped renew his appreciation of Jesus’ resurrection victory that results in deliverance from death. I think that many of us can identify with Paul as we have felt death’s cold grip on our life. We have cried out for deliverance, and when that deliverance has come, we have once again experienced the liberation of new life. Maybe, like Paul, we needed to be reminded. Maybe we thought that we had life under control, that we had “our act together.” Maybe we had lost the passion of what it feels like to be delivered and set free. Maybe we had begun to take new life for granted.    You and I have been saved from death at the cost of the life of the Son of God. We didn’t deserve it. We can never repay it. But what we can do is remember it. When we experience the cycle of death and life - death-like experiences and God’s deliverance that brings life - we can remember what it means to be saved and we can let that salvation impassion us to live lives that are on fire for Jesus.     
 
Pastor's March 2012 Message PDF Print E-mail
  LENT – ADDITION INSTEAD OF SUBTRACTION
“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.”
Hebrews 5:8 (ESV)               By the time you read this, the Lenten Season will have begun. You may have, like many other Christians, chosen to ‘give something up for Lent.’ Such a sacrifice is praise- worthy as it gives us some, though very dim, glimpse of what Jesus experienced for us. He not only gave up His place in heaven but in coming to earth, gave up His rights as King of Kings and came “not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28)    But let me make another suggestion. Rather than giving something up, why not add something. Another way to look at Jesus sacrifice for us is to see how God’s love for us moved him to ‘step outside the comfort zone’ and add the experience of humanity to His Being. In Christ, God incorporated being human into His life. As the passage about states, Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered. The thought of God being able to learn anything is too deep for me, but in Christ He did exactly that. In Christ, God added as Jesus subtracted.    My encouragement for you is to add something to your life that involves sacrifice – to add while subtracting. During Lent, I challenge all of us to find a way to step outside our comfort zones and stretch ourselves in a behavior that results in learning through sacrifice. Maybe it is visiting a nursing home, a shelter for the homeless, or spending time visiting with someone who is hurting when normally you would not get involved. Maybe it is reconciling with a family member or some other acquaintance, even though you are not sure they are willing… you take the first step. Maybe it is doing something around the house that you know your spouse would appreciate but you never do. Maybe it is something as simple as adding something healthy to your regular diet while subtracting something that is not.    The goal is to add something that results in a learning, a stretching. The goal is to add sacrifice and learn obedience through suffering. The goal is to live during Lent with the attitude of not being served but rather serving so that, as Jesus declared, you lose your life (subtraction) and in the process find it (addition). 
 
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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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