Faith E-news    March 11, 2016  

Quick Notes and Reminders    

Please check the calendar for more information.

Food Pantry Item for March is Peanut Butter

Faith Feast or Faith Night  No Faith Feast or Faith Night on Wednesday, March 16, due to Spring Break

Out-to-Lunch Bunch This Thursday, we are meeting at Smokey D's in Des Moines for lunch and fellowship. Come on Thursday, March 17, at 11:30 a.m. Please make a reservation by contacting the church office at 225-8334.

Daylight Saving Time Begins 

Don't be late to church Sunday. Remember to spring your clocks forward one hour Saturday night before you go to bed.

This Week's Ministry Blog 
Extravagant Discipleship  
The Unction of Christ, mixed media on canvas, by Julia Stankova 
John 12:1-8

Mary is an example of discipleship: generous, over the top, wildly inappropriate.
When the pastor of my home congregation found out I was considering seminary, he called to let me know that the congregation would cover the full amount of tuition. This was astonishing to me on so many levels. My own parents had not offered to pay for my college education, let alone graduate school. Now here out of the blue was the church, offering to give thousands of dollars a year, for several years. I had had no expectation that congregations ever could or would do things like this. I could hardly believe this incredible gift! It just seemed too extravagant to be possible.
However, it would turn out that the congregation would also come to view it the same way.
During the second year, a few days into the second semester I had an email from the financial aid office indicating that that my tuition payment was overdue. When I called my pastor to clear up this oversight, I found out that it had not been a mistake. The congregation had voted to cut support for seminary students from the budget, ending it entirely.
It had been decided that it was just too expensive.
There was no room in the budget for this excess.
Considering the congregation's own expenses, it just didn't seem appropriate.
After a short (but terrifying) time, some generous individuals from that congregation stepped forward to help me get through the year. However, from that time forward, this extravagant gift was no longer a practice of the congregation.  
The word extravagant literally means to wander outside of reasonable limits.
In every way, Mary's gift is extravagant.
The perfume is rare and expensive.
The amount is excessive.
The act of wiping Jesus' feet with her hair is incredibly inappropriate.
Judas' words, on the surface, are sensible, "why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"
But instead of agreeing, Jesus tells Judas in so many words to "shut it," and draws the attention of all at the table to Mary.
She gives without hesitation.
She gives more than is necessary.
She gives with wild abandon.
She gives without regard for all of the world's shoulds and supposed-tos.
She gives above and beyond the reasonable limits.
And as she gives, Mary reflects the extravagant gift that God had given her in Jesus.
In the contrast between Mary and Judas, it is clear to see which one is the disciple we are to emulate.
And yet. And yet.

Pastor Sarah

Building Update 

The building is changing. Have you noticed? The painting is complete (except for front door frame). The ceiling grid is complete and work is now underway to adjust the fire sprinkler head heads, lighting, and heating/cooling ductwork. All of this should be completed in about 10 days and then flooring can be installed.

Sunday School
Sunday, March 20, is Palm Sunday Intergenerational Sunday School. All ages will gather in St. Michael's Hall between services for hands on learning activities, refreshments, and fellowship

There will not be Adult Sunday School on March 27,  however Easter Breakfast will be provided by the Youth of our congregation. Freewill offering will support the upcoming mission trip.

Grief Support Group  

The Grief Support Group will meet at the church this Sunday, March 20, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Faith Lights Room. 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.

Mother and Son Dance Was a Success!
Last month the Children and Family Ministry Team hosted a Mother and Son Snow-ball Dance. It was a huge success! This dance has grown in popularity around the metro and is one of only a few dances offered for moms and their sons. The dance was a fundraiser for Children and Family Ministry and raised over $1600 which will be used to send kids to camp this summer. We would like to offer a special thanks to Joel Bader. He was instrumental in promoting this event around the community. Thank you, Joel!

We Need You! 
First Circle Friends has grown in number of participants and need more volunteers in order to help with this wonderful service! First Circle Friends is sponsored and trained by Lutheran Services of Iowa to assist those persons with mild memory loss and/or early stages of Alzheimer's. Since they provide at least one volunteer for each participant, they are in need of additional volunteers in order to keep up with the rapid growth. For more information, please contact Larry Waage at 326-4851 or email at or contact the LSI director of this program, Cannady Fritzjunker , at 515-271-7408, or their website at

Faith Women's Retreat

Honoring Sabbath: Let It Go-Let God Grow. Get Friday, April 8, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 9, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on your calendar. Check the Commons for the registration forms. Cost is $30.

2016 Golf Outing 
The Fellowship Committee is looking for a few more volunteers who would like to help plan the 2016 Faith Golf Outing. Please contact Laura Blum, Fellowship Chair, at or 515-360-3941 if you would like to help or want more information.

Children and Family Ministry     


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

Youth and Family Ministry     


  • Current 6-8 Graders: Join us for SURGE, a local, two-night service-learning event scheduled for June 13-15. More information is available online at , including registration information.
  • High School Seniors: Save the date! This year's Baccalaureate worship service and lunch is scheduled for Sunday, April 17! Fill out the online R.S.V.P. form at and be on the lookout for a letter in the mail with more instructions!
  • College Retreat: Registration is live for the College Retreat in Steamboat Springs, CO from July 28-August 1. It's open to all current college students and costs $200/person. Much more information is available online at, including an itinerary and registration information.
  • 6-12 Grade: A reminder that confirmation and SHYG will not meet during Spring Break and Holy Week (March 16 and 23). We will resume on Wednesday, March 30.