Faith E-news    June 17, 2016  

Quick Notes and Reminders    

Please check the calendar for more information.

Food Pantry Item for June is canned fruit and vegetables
This Week's Blog
Please Go Away 
A Confession

Luke 8:26-39

 "Why are you doing this?"

I stood there at the front door of my house, and just shrugged my shoulders.
"Just don't feel like hanging out," I lied.

The truth was that I had been avoiding him.

The truth was that those mean spirited whispers had gotten to me-"Why are you hanging out with the new kid? He's gay. He's a fag."

The truth was that my church has taught me that my only obligation to God as a teenager was sexual purity.

The truth was that the only gay person I had known up to that point was the gym teacher. And I knew from my family and community that it was justified to be afraid of her.

The truth was that to my 15 year-old self, trying to fit in mattered more to me than being a friend to this lonely person.

The truth was I just wanted him to go away.

And he did.
There is so much fear in our gospel lesson this week.

The Gerasenes are afraid of the man with demons, so they keep him under guard, bound with chains and shackles to keep him away.

This man is also afraid of what the Son of the Most High God will do to him, and he begs Jesus to leave him alone.
When the people see the once demon possessed man, sitting clothed and in his right mind, they react with fear. They ask Jesus to leave.

Out of fear comes distancing, isolation, rejection. We can see in this scripture that the impulse to push away results in greater tragedy. We can see healing is costly, but the cost of refusing that healing is without measure. Saying "go away" means missed opportunities for new life, for healing, for the presence of God among us.
I have changed a lot in the last 20 some years. But the truth is I am still often afraid.
I know that there is a cost to proclaiming the healing grace of God for all people in Jesus Christ. I know that there is a risk to openly welcoming all people, and fighting for that welcome. Despite the example of Jesus, the church struggles to welcome, to invite, to embrace all people. Still there is great fear for the changes that may come if those divisions are healed.
Sometimes it seems that my career as a pastor, my family's tenuous financial stability could go crashing over a cliff at any minute.
The anonymous nasty note.
The church member threatening to leave, actually leaving.
The people punishing the congregation by withholding their financial support.
Other pastors fanning the flames of suspicion and contempt for the "Lady Pastor" in the community.
These are not hypothetical possibilities for me. They have been realities.
However, those risks are nothing compared to the ones who have been cast away from their communities, exiled from their families, pushed away with violence even unto death.
And from watching Jesus and what he does in this lesson, the calling is clear. If I want to keep following where he's leading, I'm just going to have to keep facing that fear.

Pastor Sarah

 Almost There

This week brings us closer to the end of the fiscal year, June 30. As you can tell by the graphic we still have some ground to make up to fully fund the general fund.

If you are not current with your contributions, June would be a great time to catch up. We are grateful for the many ways we share in the ministry of the church. May our financial stewardship be a joyful response to a vibrant faith and the work of the Spirit!

 Annual Budget Meeting 

The annual congregational budget meeting will be held Sunday, July 17, at 11:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.

Parking Lot 

Next week, we begin replacing the south parking lot of the church, a major part of our capital campaign. The new parking lot will serve us well for a long time. The project begins after a great week of VBS where over 130 children took part.

Be advised: the parking lot entry off of University Avenue will be closed effective Monday, June 20. Please use the parking lot entrance off of 104th street and use the north entrance. Thank you!
Thank You From a Stranger    

On Tuesday, the youth who took part of SURGE were out in the heat sharing messages of joy. The following was received from a stranger. So proud of our youth!
Yesterday afternoon, when driving by your church, there were many young people with signs, big smiles and waving to passerby's, encouraging all to smile and be happy. If these youth were part of your church, thank you. If not, thank you anyway for allowing them space in their effort to help improve strangers' day. I much appreciated their efforts, and yes, they made me smile. It has been a tough couple days in the US and these young people made a difference.

Welcome Andrea & Erika   

We are happy to announce that Andrea Stone & Erika Weber have agreed to serve as Co-Directors of Children and Family Ministry at Faith for the coming year. This is a shared position designed to best fill the leadership needs of the CFM program at this time. Erika and Andrea bring wonderful enthusiasm and team work to our ministry. Your support of their work is appreciated and we look forward to this next program year with great excitement!
Guys Night Out   
The Guys' Night Out group is trying a new patio for this month's event.They are meeting at Hurricane Grill and Wings on Monday, June 27, at 7:00 p.m. in West Des Moines. Please let Dave Eppert (710-8558) or Tim Tessier (707-0880) know if you will be attending by sending a text. Hope to see you there!
Learn, Laugh and Lunch   
On Wednesday, June 22, the Learn, Laugh and Lunch group will visit the John Wayne Museum and Home in Winterset. They will meet at the church at 10:00 a.m. to carpool to Winterset. The tour starts at 11:00 sharp and costs from $10 to a maximum of $14 depending on the number of people attending. Carpools will leave the church parking lot at 10:10 a.m. Lunch is at 12:45 p.m. at Northside Cafe in Winterset. Participants are responsible for their own lunch check. We expect to be back in Des Moines at about 2:30 p.m. Please make your reservation by Monday, June 20, with Miranda at 225-8334 and so the café can plan accordingly. If you have questions you may call Mary or Jim Covey at 225-0079.

Children and Family Ministry     


Youth and Family Ministry     


Youth Mission Trip

On July 9-12, 2016, 38 youth and 8 adults will be spending a week at the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota.


* Save the Date: Next Meeting is Tuesday, June 21, at 6:00 p.m. for all participants and parents.

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.