Faith E-news    February 26, 2016  

Quick Notes and Reminders    

Please check the calendar for more information.

Food Pantry Item for February is canned soup

Faith Feast  The menu for Wednesday, March 2, will feature turkey noodle soup and tomato soup with ham and cheese sandwiches. Faith Feast is served on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Come enjoy fellowship and a filling, healthy meal, all for only $5.00 per person ($4.00 for kids nine and under).
Office Volunteers' Lunch We are meeting at Granite City in Clive for lunch on Wednesday, March 2, at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome! Please make a reservation by contacting Kala at 225-8334 or

This Week's Ministry Blog 
What's at the root of this parable?

Luke 13:1-9
Parables take an ordinary life moment and twist it with unexpected details. It is this surprise element that catches the listener off guard, leaving them to pause and puzzle over what had at first seemed to be a simple, straightforward story.
Therefore, it helps to know something about the earthly subjects that parables feature. While topics like plant cultivation, vineyards, and harvest would have been common knowledge to the people of Jesus' day. People of today, well...not so much.  
If you're like me, you know very little about fig trees.
But here's what I learned after doing a little research:
Fig trees have a very aggressive root system.
These roots help the plant to be highly drought tolerant, allowing them to seek deep and far to find water.
Because of their extensive roots, fig trees can thrive in even poor, rocky soils.
Thanks to the vigorous roots, a fig tree can successfully grow on the side of a rocky cliff, or even spring forth from the cracks in an ancient city wall.
Now knowing this, the reader can't help but wonder, "just what is this fig tree's problem?"
3 years of prime growing time has passed and nothing. The vineyard owner is right to be disappointed. From everything we know about fig trees, this particular tree is an astounding failure. It's not that it has done something wrong. It's that it has done nothing. It has borne no fruit. It is just taking up space.
This parable is offered up as an illustration after Jesus remarks to the crowd, "But unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did." So, what does this have to do with repentance?
We often think to repent from the things that we have done. However, we are less likely to seek forgiveness and turn away from the things that we have left undone.
Our inaction.
Our apathy.
Our lack of fruit.
But as we ponder what that might mean for our own lives, we also need to keep in mind another strange thing about this parable...
The gardener steps in.
It is his hope that some pampering will encourage the desired results from the normally hardy tree. Digging around the tree will clear the way of obstacles so that the roots may extend with little to no effort. The manure will enrich the soil, giving the tree everything it needs to produce fruit.
The tree should not need any of this. The tree should be able to do it on its own. But because of the gardener, it won't have to.
 Pastor Sarah

Sunday School
On Sunday, February 28, Bishop Burk will be speaking during Adult Sunday School. Come meet our Bishop!

On Sunday, March 6, that time to stroll the Youth's Silent Auction items during the Sunday School hour. There will also be videos from previous mission trips playing in St. Michael's Hall.

Thank You Rachel 

On Sunday, February 28, a reception will be held in Advent Hall, rooms 103 and 104 at 10:00 a.m., to thank Rachel for her service and wish her well on her new endeavor. Sunday School classes will all gather at that time, and parents are also invited to stop in and wish Rachel well.

Heidi Larson's Consecration

Please join us in celebrating the Consecration of Heidi Larson as a Diaconal Minister on Saturday, February 27, at 2:00 p.m. at Faith. A reception will follow. A member of this congregation, Heidi serves the wider church as a Bereavement Coordinator and Chaplain with Unity Point Hospice in Urbandale.

Silent Auction and Spaghetti Lunch Next Weekend!
You're invited to the 14th Annual Silent Auction and Spaghetti Lunch  next Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6! Bidding begins before the 5:00 Saturday worship service and resumes on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. A free-will offering spaghetti lunch provided by Olive Garden will be served from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Bid on the fantastic items available, enjoy a delicious meal, and support our youth and adult summer mission trip participants in the process.

Grief Support Group
The Grief Support Group will meet at the church this Sunday, February 28, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Pastor Randy Olson and Barbara Cavallin, Ph.D. are the facilitators. Anyone who has lost a loved one, a family member, a friend or someone important to them, is encouraged to come for this time of caring, sharing and prayer. It will be an informational as well as a support group. Please join us.

First Tuesday Women's Fellowship
The First Tuesday Women's Fellowship will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at the home of Susan Petersen, 927 40th Street, West Des Moines. The study, Christian Citizenship 101, from Gather will continue with Session Three, "Being of One Mind," in the March 2016 issue. For more information, call Susan Petersen at 223-0646 or Stephanie Hoff at 278-4003.

Save the Date
VBS at Faith 2016

Vacation Bible School at Faith will be Sunday, June 12 - Thursday, June 16, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. for campers ages Prekindergarten thru Junior High. Registration for campers and volunteers will be released after Easter

Children and Family Ministry     


Holy Communion Retreat
and Holy Communion for All Ages

We will hold a learning retreat on Saturday, February 27, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., for anyone wishing to celebrate their first communion. Though many of our backgrounds suggest that first communion occurs in the 1st grade year, we encourage anyone who is ready to receive their first communion to do so. Many children start taking communion at a younger age, and there are older kids and adults who would like to celebrate this milestone in their faith as well. If you or your children would like to learn about communion, regardless of whether or not you or your child have received communion in worship, we invite you to this morning retreat. Breakfast will be served on Saturday. Please let Kala in the office know if you plan to attend.

We will be celebrating communion on Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6, with the homemade bread that the children made.

Youth and Family Ministry     


Dates to Remember   

Wednesday, February 24
- Donations for Silent Auction due (youth service plus 3!)
Saturday, March 5 - Set-up for Auction & Lunch from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 - Silent Auction & Spaghetti Lunch 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday, March 11 - Mission Trip deposits due
Sunday, March 27 - Easter Breakfast fundraiser
Sunday, April 17 - Baccalaureate for Seniors 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 24 - Confirmation Banquet at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 27 - Last day of Confirmation Classes
Saturday, April 30 - Affirmation of Baptism at 5:00 p.m.