Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mission News - October 2008

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

How many times have we heard these words? So many that we probably can't count! But a more important question is really how many times have we acted on these words?

Several years ago, the FARTHER Committee developed the Biblical Purpose Statement for Faith Lutheran Church. That statement was adopted by the congregation.

"Faith Lutheran Church, responding to God's grace and guided by His word, acts with genuine care as we search for those who are separated from Christ, carrying His message of salvation and binding all together so that all may grow toward spiritual maturity."

When we walk out of church on Sunday morning, we are entering a vast mission field. Over the years, Faith Lutheran has supported many community programs: Food Pantry with food and school supplies, Centro Cristiano Hispano with Christmas presents for the children and financial support for future pastors, Carmen's Kitchen in Juarez, and CROP Walk. These are extremely important opportunities to show the love of Christ to others around us.

But the time has come to take another step into the Mission Field. Faith has a tremendous opportunity for Mission and Ministry right here in the Moorpark area. The population of the Moorpark area is estimated to be approximately 30% Hispanic. The majority of this population is not being reached or ministered to by ANY church. And Faith is right in the middle of this community!

A small group of members have been meeting to explore an Hispanic Outreach Ministry here at Faith. This group has been working through a Bible study that lays the biblical foundation for outreach and ministering to a culture different than our own. In addition to Bible study, the group is working to determine what the Ministry might look like. Because this Ministry is in the early stages of development, there will be more questions than answers. Some of those questions were asked at the congregational meeting on Sep 14. So let’s take a look at what we do know at this point.

  • Outreach Ministry Vision Statement:
    Alongside Centro Cristiano Hispano we will help establish a Spanish speaking Lutheran congregation in Moorpark with whom we will share our facility.
  • The Hispanic Mission Society of Circuits One and Two of the PSWD (of which Faith is a member of Circuit One) exists to support the Hispanic congregations of Centro Cristiano Oxnard, Redwood, and Santa Paula. These congregations have been established through the efforts of Pastor Dennis and Tara Bradshaw along with many extraordinary leaders within these congregations.
  • We are not doing this alone. We are going to work with the Mission Society and Centro Cristiano Hispano to reach the Spanish-speaking community in the Moorpark area. The Bradshaws along with Marcelino and Lupe Velasco and Leo Garcia from Centro Cristiano Santa Paula are anxious to help us plant a Spanish-speaking congregation in Moorpark. Both Marcelino and Leo are in training to become Lutheran pastors.
  • This will be a Spanish-speaking congregation. Most of us have limited Spanish capabilities at best. But the Bradshaws are fluent in Spanish and Marcelino, Lupe, and Leo are native speakers. And for those who wish to learn a little Spanish, Pastor Dennis has agreed to hold a "Spanish as a Second Language" class. ¡Qué bueno!
  • This will be a Lutheran congregation in Moorpark. The pastors of the churches planted by Centro Cristiano are LCMS seminary trained men called by God to shepherd these congregations. While worship services may look different than ours, the theology is Lutheran.
  • We will share our facility with another congregation. Occasionally, we may have joint celebrations and functions. They won't be "renters" at Faith. The facility will be "ours", their facility and our facility. Faith Lutheran will be the Mother Congregation helping to plant a Spanish-speaking church in Moorpark.
  • The Pacific Southwest District and Synod both provide financial assistance for planting new congregations. The initial startup expenses are minimal. But as we get further along in this Ministry, we would look to both Synod and the District for financial assistance.
  • Remember! We were a Mission Church not too long ago.

Just as we have been called to "go and make disciples of all nations," our hermanos y hermanas (brothers and sisters) of Centro Cristiano Hispano have also been called by our same Lord and Savior.

Jesús se acercó a ellos y les habló diciendo: "Toda autoridad me ha sido dada en el cielo y en la tierra. Por tanto, id y haced Discípulos a todas las naciones, bautizándoles en el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo, y enseñándoles que guarden todas las cosas que os he mandado. Y he aquí, yo estoy con vosotros todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo."

Together, with God's blessing and help, we can reach a large population who need the grace of God through Jesus Christ. Please keep this Ministry in your daily prayers. Let's pray that God blesses our efforts and above all, we follow His Will.

Dave & Joyce Bovey

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email