Meet Our Pastor
Pastor Bob & Karen Lawson
Earlier in the month I sent out an end of year letter which highlighted many of the events and activities we did together as a congregation. I’ll include that letter with this report. It was fun looking back at all we did together. Everyone got involved, some with ministry, others with hospitality and still others with leadership roles. Thank you for all you did!
Looking forward now, I am anticipating a busy year ahead. It will be great to open the new church and have a place of our own but really that’s not the main thing. It’s just a building as I’ve said before, we, the congregation are where God has located Living Faith. That’s why I love our name so much! Most folks know authentic faith when they see it in people. They notice the fruits of the Spirit in abundance and it’s refreshing to see. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-control are evidence of Living Faith. Our church will grow because God shines forth from us, we are the “light that shines in the darkness” as John put it.
What is God doing here and how can we join Him? How can we help meet the needs in our community this year? The logo we’ve been using (credit Mike Jenks!) says we are Bible Centered, Family Focused and Mission Driven. As we develop programs that reflect this I pray that we can help those who are outside the church come to know Christ and be known by him.
End of Year Letter (2014)
January 5, 2015
I was recently looking at some “year in review” pictures from all my friends on Facebook and thought it would be nice to look back with you at our year together at Living Faith. God has been working in our midst and now as we look forward to the New Year we need to be sensitive to his lead: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)
Here’s some highlights I pulled from the bulletins:
January & February
- Winter Sermon series: “Kingdom
Living, living as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount”
- Two small group studies: The Four Seasons of Marriage and the Epistle of James
- Worked alongside The Bakken Oilrush Ministry, Mobil Free Thrift Store
- Building Fund total was at $115,848
- Began supporting Celebrate Recovery
March & April
- Midweek soup and study during Lent
- Volunteers helped with Oilrush Ministries Spaghetti Dinner
- We received matching funds of $75,000 for our building fund from the CLB Western District
- Holy week included an Easter Seder on Maundy Thursday, and a Living Cross and special music on Easter Sunday from Anita’s cousins, the Heinen Family.
- Debby’s mom, Avis Berg went home to glory on Good Friday, blessed be her memory!
- Spring sermon series Living as People of the Light, centered on Ephesians 5:8
- Ruth Vallerick, director of Woman’s Ministries for the CLB greeted us and had a special presentation then brunch at the Lawson’s
- Mother’s Day was an even more special day for the Schmahls as Carson was confirmed during the worship service.
- Building fund is up to $276,000, which included a large gift from our church in Williston. Pamphlets are distributed for the Giving Campaign.
- A series of delays pushes the building program back, it would be a frustrating summer and fall but eventually the work got done!
- The second summer of Worship at Tobacco Gardens started mid-June.
- Summer sermon series: Bible Quotes Taken out of Context
- All church Centennial Worship Service, a part of Watford Cities 100 year celebration!
July & August
- Joel Finnesgard, The Sounds of the Trumpet, and his talented family led the service
- CLBA Bi-Annual Convention took place in Fergus Falls, MN
- Building fund is at $315,566
- Teen Challenge from Bismarck lead the service
- Rachel and Tommy Dwyer shared their experience in SE Asia
- New sermon Series on the book of Colossians: To Know Christ and be Known by Him
September & October
- We celebrated our 5th Anniversary with an outdoor Worship Service and pot luck dinner at the Tourist Park.
- Fall Programs begin, Faith Finders, Confirmation and Bible Study all on Wednesday evening. New this year, babysitting during the study!
- Building fund continues to grow, now at $357,630, nearing the halfway mark to our goal of $800,000.
- Construction begins on the church! Halleluiah!
- We come alongside Jim and Kathie Konsor (Bakken Oilrush Ministry) as they give away over 600 coats on a frosty October afternoon
- Monthly Sermon Series on Stewardship
- Monthly Ladies Night Out Kickoff, (no hubbies or kiddo’s included!)
- Faith Finders puts together over 60 shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for our annual participation in Operation Christmas Child.
- Dan Venberg, mission spokesman and recruiter for the CLB International Missions presents at our worship service.
- The Elder Board decides to send a team on a mission trip to Nicaragua in March in support of Faith Revealed and the Nicaragua Resource Network (NRC)
- The building Fund is now at $413, 452!
- Deb’s aunt, Darlene Johnson, went home to be with her Lord and Savior
- Second Ladies Night Out held
- Dennis’s sister Shirley Bauer goes home to glory, celebrating Christmas with all the heavenly hosts this year!
- Annual Christmas Pageant and pot luck presented by Faith Finders
- Advent Sermon Series views Christmas from the different perspectives of the witnesses to the birth of Jesus.
- Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at the Civic Center.
- The new church is all shingled and closed in, pray for the work to continue without any more delays!
- We closed out the year with $540,655 in the building fund, thank you all for giving so generously!
Well, it has been a good year and I am confident that 2015 is going to be even better! It’s exciting to think about opening a new building that we can worship in. Please remember that the church isn’t the building, that’s just a tool. The real location of the church is within each of us, we are the hands and feet and voice of God in our community, workplace and home.
May God richly bless you in the coming year and may you feel challenged to discover what God has waiting for you to do in 2015. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)