Extraordinary God

Dear Friends,

“In those days… everyone did as they saw fit.” Sounds like a culture where people maintain that their own unlimited personal autonomy is the only virtue there is. In that way it seems quite contemporary, doesn’t it? Yet would you be surprised to learn that phrase is actually found in the Old Testament book of Judges where it describes what it was like in Israel 3,000+ years ago?

This Sunday we’ll journey back to this time of the Judges and step into the life and circumstances of a man named Gideon. We’ll see over the next four weeks that he was a man full of doubts and fears and more than a little deceit. An unlikely hero to be sure. Kinda like us. Yet we’ll see how God used this ordinary man to accomplish extraordinary things. In fact we’ll see how God specializes in using ordinary things and unlikely people to accomplish his saving will for us…and through us.

I would love to have you join me and Pastor Bill this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 as we begin our new series Ordinary People—Extraordinary God. We also look forward to welcoming our Teen Band who will again be leading our worship music for both services. During the 10:45 service we will also celebrate God’s grace in the lives of 4 students who will be receiving our Lord’s body and blood in the sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time.

(ICYMI, watch and share my sermon from this past Sunday. In fact, I would encourage all of you to go back and watch any of the messages that you may have missed over the last couple weeks in our “Empty” series going back to Easter Sunday. From beginning to end I think this series was one of the most impactful, fulfilling series we’ve ever preached at our church. Visit our sermon archive on our website to check them out or share them with family and friends.

HEADS UP – Time Tweaks Coming in July! Our church continues to grow and for this we praise God! Starting in July we’re going to change our service times to 8:30 and 10:15 am as a trial run for 6 months. Our goals are 1) free up parking spaces, sanctuary seats, and room in Victory Kids during the first service because studies have shown that when the sanctuary or parking lot becomes 80% full people start to stay away; and 2) create a more vibrant worship atmosphere during the second service. We will evaluate this experiment at the end of the year.

Soccer Camp 2017 – Our 10th annual Soccer Camp is June 13-16 from 11am-3pm and includes lunch. Register here. Don’t wait…space is limited. We’re expecting over 200 kids!

Moore Family Fundraiser Visit the event page here. Our TNT Small Group will be holding a Cookie and Car Wash fundraiser on Saturday, June 3, for one of our members, eight-year old Jordan Moore, who will be undergoing brain surgery in the middle of June. Please check out the needs list here so that you might have an opportunity to get involved and help support the Moore family.

Peter’s Call Day This past Thursday, Peter and Rachel (along with baby Solomon) found out that they will be moving to Madison, WI this summer as Peter was called to be an associate pastor at Eastside Lutheran Church. Peter will be helping to lead worship with the teen band this Sunday at VotL and then getting ready to make the transition to Madison.

Get some exercise, Love our neighbors – Partnering with My Team Triumph, the Coventry group home we serve here in Franklin has become an official training site where people can come over and push the ladies in our special jogging strollers around the neighborhood. Pastor Ben, Pastor Bill, or Ryan Solie will be present every Wednesday at 5:30 pm from now through September and you are all invited to participate by coming over to run or walk as we push the ladies around a one mile loop in the neighborhood. Find out more and sign up here on our website. Give it a try! You can go at your own pace. It’s really not hard and it’s a wonderful way also for a family to get some exercise together while loving and serving our neighbors.

More Than Bricks (MTB) – is our campaign to fund our new ministry center as well as to support three global mission partners: in Nepal, in St Lucia, and in N.D. To date, you, God’s people have generously donated $367,380 (88.3% of Commitments, 73.5% of goal). Thank you! Click here for more info from the latest monthly update. MTB runs through Dec 31, 2017.

Tuition Assistance Fund – The Purpose of the Tuition Assistance Program is: 1. To encourage the young people and families of our congregation to receive a Lutheran based education (Kindergarten through Seminary), through providing some financial assistance, whether based on need or scholarship. 2. To provide some financial assistance to the young people and families of our congregation who intend to pursue the preaching and teaching ministry in our Synod. 3. To provide an opportunity for the members and attendees of our congregation to encourage and support a Lutheran based education for our young people. During the month of May we will be receiving donations to fulfill the purpose of this fund. To contribute to this fund go to our online giving page. Then under “Select Fund” click on Tuition Assistance. To see the tuition assistance fund guidelines or to apply for tuition assistance before June 30, 2017 visit our Christian Education page of our website.

Church Accountant – For the past many years we thank Jayne Reuter for serving faithfully as our church accountant as a volunteer. At the start of the new fiscal year in July, Jayne is stepping down as our accountant in order to pursue other avenues of serving the Lord in our church. This means we have an open position for someone within in our church to volunteer and serve using their time and talents. If you’re interested to learn more please download and view this position description here. Contact me or Jim Vogel, our Treasurer, to express interest or ask questions.

Leadership Team Transition – With our gratitude, Wes Andersen, who has served faithfully on the Leadership Team for 7 years, will be stepping down at the end of this fiscal year (6/30). This opens up the opportunity for someone else to serve on our church’s Leadership Team. To fill two vacant positions back in November we received nominations from the congregation, requested feedback after publishing their names, and contacted those who were nominated to see who was willing to serve. The Leadership Team will select Wes’s replacement from this same list at our next Leadership Team scheduled for June 12th.

13 Reasons Resource – Parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers…if you haven’t heard of the Netflix show 13 Reasons, or if you have, you will want to read this helpful guide. Please know that Pastor Bill and myself are here for you also if you ever feel you need to talk about any of the things this kind of show brings up.

Viking Explorers is a summer academic and athletic program run by Wisconsin Lutheran high School. There are some program booklets and registration forms on the info tables near the Welcome Area or you can go online to www.wlhs.org for more information. Check it out! There’s something for everyone—from athletics to band to robotics and more!

Our church now has an Amazon Smile account. At no cost to you, 0.5% of your purchases will be donated to Victory of the Lamb. All you need to do is go to smile.amazon.com when you make your purchases. Select Victory of the Lamb Exploratory as your organization, and the church will receive the 0.5% in quarterly deposits. Any questions, please let us know.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben