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Welcome!

Whether you are new to the area, just passing through or in need of a new church home... we welcome you to join us each Sunday at 9:00 am.

We are located in Fruitport Township, just minutes from the Lakes Mall area. Click here to contact us.

Bible Based

We believe that the Bible is fully sufficient, clearly teaching people all they need to know to get to heaven. It makes them “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15), and it equips them for “every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).

Our Family

We pray you feel a part of our church family from your very first visit!

Our family consists of a growing representation of our area - from young and established familes to single and retired members.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

Serving @ Grace

September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

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September Flowers...

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28th: Lindsey Jones

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September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

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September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

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September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?


September Ushers...

Denny Wildfong
&
Dave Bodey

See a name missing?


September Flowers...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th: Lindsey Jones

See a name missing?


September Counters...

7th: Diane Z. & Diane M.
14th: Tim J. & Alan S.
21st: Body M. & Larry R.
28th: Robin C. & Maryellen D.

See a name missing?


September Acolytes...

7th: Ayden Persicke
14th: Lilly Mears
21st: Dominic Jones
28th: Faith Stevens

See a name missing?


September Snacks...

7th:
14th:
21st:
28th:

See a name missing?




What's New in the WELS


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  • FIC Issue:  September 2014 Three new district presidents were elected at the 2014 district conventions that were held in June. These men will join the other nine district presidents in encouraging and equipping called workers, helping congregations carry out their ministries, and serving on the Conference of Presidents.Peter Naumann, who served as president of the Dakota-Montana District for the past 20 years, declined the nomination for election to another two-year term. As he reflects back on his time as district president, he says that his greatest joy has been "meeting the members, serving the congregations of the district, and getting to know the pastors and teachers better."On June 10, Douglas Free was elected the new president of the Dakota-Montana District. Free, a 1983 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., currently serves at St. Paul's, Rapid City, S.D. He has been the first vice president of the Dakota-Montana District since 1994.How has God prepared Free to serve as district president? He notes, "As God had James write, 'Everyone should be quick to listen,' having attended so many meetings, I realize the importance of listening carefully and prayerfully to everything that's being said. My entire ministry has been spent in the Dakota-Montana District, so the called workers and various ministries are fairly familiar. That will make it easier to work with everyone in our district."John Steinbrenner was elected president of the Pacific Northwest District on June 12. Theodore Lambert, who had served as district president for 12 years, is retiring from the ministry. Steinbrenner says, "President Lambert did a great job of maintaining a good attitude during stressful times and situations—a reminder that God is in control and all will work out and that it is a privilege to serve the Lord regardless of our positions as servant leaders. He didn't let himself get overwhelmed by crises—a good reminder that we are not the 'saviors' of the church. Jesus is the Savior of his church. We simply serve faithfully and let God bring the results."Steinbrenner graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1991. He was called to start a church in northwest Boise, Idaho, in 1994 and continues to serve at Cross of Christ today. Steinbrenner has served as the first vice president of the Pacific Northwest District since 2006."I am looking forward to working/visiting with the called workers of this Pacific Northwest District and enjoying mutual encouragement with them," says Steinbrenner. "I am also looking forward to meeting and learning from the other district presidents and our synod's presidium. I have a deep amount of respect for these leaders and trust I can benefit from their vast experience and Christ-centered guidance."Douglas Engelbrecht, president of the Northern Wisconsin District, is also retiring from the ministry. On June 17, the district elected Joel Zank to serve as its new district president. Zank, a 1987 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, has served as pastor at Mount Olive, Appleton, Wis., since 1996. In 2011, Zank began serving as first vice president of the district.Zank says, "President Engelbrecht truly has the heart of a servant. Anyone who has worked with him knows he lives to serve Jesus. God has gifted him with the ability to be patient and loving even in the most difficult situations. You can't learn those traits from someone, but you can admire them and pray that God would bless you in the same way. That is my prayer—that God would grant me that same servant's heart."When asked what his advice for the new district presidents would be, Engelbrecht said, "Be extremely patient in dealing with people. Place all of your burdens in the hands of the Lord before you go to sleep each night. Enjoy the opportunity to serve."Three new Synodical Council members also were elected at the district conventions, replacing men who chose not to stand for reelection. New members are Mark Bannan, Michigan District; John Fowler, South Atlantic District; and Gary Graf, North Atlantic District. 

  • FIC Issue:  September 2014 Author:  Glenn L. Schwanke  Much of campus ministry starts one-on-one—but it can often lead to more.It's quiet as I write this. Yet, maybe I'm just noticing it more, because I just returned from our district convention. There I joined hundreds of fellow WELS members in worship, in work, and in fellowship. The singing reminded me that Garrison Keillor is right. Lutherans love to sing, and if given the chance, we'll do it in rousing four-part harmony, even when the music isn't printed in the bulletin. The rafters shook from our singing.But then I came back to Houghton, Michigan. We don't have hundreds in worship on a Sunday. Most Sundays it's not even one hundred. The rafters don't shake quite so much.On top of that, it's now summer break. A few students stick around for classes, but it's only a trickle compared to the flood of students come fall.Even in fall, the lion's share of my campus ministry will be quiet. By that I mean it's not flashy. It doesn't generate a lot of media buzz. Most of my ministry is not done in front of hundreds or even dozens. Most of my campus ministry is one-on-one. It's talking to a student over a cup of coffee in a cafeteria on campus or in a restaurant downtown. It's counseling a student in my office. It's sharing a Bible and a brief witness with an Islamic student who has heard a bit about Christianity and has some questions.Or it's meeting Zhiquiang Zhao for the first time, just days after he arrived in the United States from his homeland of China. On his first Sunday here in the States, Zhao walked down the street from student housing and wandered into our church building to look around. I noticed him visiting with a member. I introduced myself and invited him to stay for Bible study. He did, and then he stayed for worship. But it wasn't enough. Like so many other students, Zhao was hungry to learn more. A Bible information class was what he needed.So I invited him to start classes—that very week. But others who were already in class were at an advanced level, so Zhao would get lost. Then, too, it was a challenge to fit everyone's schedules together. So we began, just the two of us. One-on-one.Is that good stewardship of my time? Philip the evangelist didn't argue with the angel who instructed him to "go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." And when God's Spirit pointed Philip to the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch, Philip didn't blurt out, "What, all this trouble just for one?" He shared the good news of Jesus, and the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized (Acts 8:26-39). Today, there's an Ethiopian Orthodox church that boasts some 45 million members, and that church body claims the Ethiopian eunuch as its founder. So maybe one-on-one campus ministry can lead to something more!It's still quiet in Houghton right now. I'm getting ready for my next class with Zhao. Here he comes. He is excited. He says, "My friend Zhen would like to join us. Is that okay?" A few moments later, in she comes. Introductions are shared. Zhen tells me a little bit about herself and how much she loves Bible stories. She's already heard a few, but there are so many more to be shared, including the most important story of all—the story of God's love in Christ.And then there were two.Glenn Schwanke, pastor at Peace, Houghton, Michigan, serves as campus pastor at Michigan Technological University.

  • FIC Issue:  September 2014 Author:  Theodore J. Hartwig Let's explore what Jesus said about himself and discover that he is more than a great human teacher. He is God and Lord. Unbelievers and naysayers, to be sure, have written off whatever words they think Jesus actually spoke. They conclude that those words are simply garbled recollections or inventions added by his followers 50 to 100 years later. They become victims of their own human intellect and their scientific method of Bible dissection. But the words Jesus spoke of himself, no other great religious teacher in all history ever spoke.Indeed, no man ever spoke like this man.________________________________C. S. Lewis, the British teacher at Oxford and Cambridge, was a prominent defender of the Christian faith. He first came to the attention of Americans with the publication of his satirical The Screwtape Letters in 1942. The book features letters of a senior devil, Screwtape, giving advice to his protégé, Wormword, on proper methods for encouraging sin and undermining Christian faith.In another work, Mere Christianity, Lewis makes a case that Jesus is exactly who he said he is and could be no other. In its best known passage he writes:I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I am ready to accept Jesus as a really great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would rather be a lunatic—or else He would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at him and call him a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him God and Lord. But let us not come with any patronising [sic] nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not let that open to us. In the end, to receive Jesus as nothing more than a great moral teacher is to reject Him as your Savior and Lord; it is to receive a Jesus of your own devising and imagination. He did not just come to teach you and improve you, but to save you from your sins. (p. 45)Lewis' words ring with the same stark either-or message of Jesus. "He who is not with me," Jesus declared, "is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Matthew 12:30). Jesus makes a startling claim. So Lewis observed that Jesus is not just a man who is merely a great teacher because a great teacher would not say the sort of things Jesus said.  We note that also in what people thought of Jesus. "The crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law" (Matthew 7:28,29). Even the palace officers confirmed this. The chief priests and Pharisees had sent them to arrest Jesus in the temple. But they returned from their assignment without Jesus and told the men who sent them: "No one ever spoke like this man!" (John 7:46 ESV).______________________________________"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."The gospel of St. John records seven extraordinary claims Jesus makes about himself. They are known as the "I Am" statements.Among the most beloved are his words to Martha at her brother Lazarus' death. Jesus claims he is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).Another is the statement spoken to his disciples just before his suffering and death. They were troubled and confused. How could they follow him once he was gone? Jesus assured them, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).It's a mind-boggling claim, not at all popular in our religiously permissive society. When Jesus describes himself as the way, bear in mind that his way toward eternal life is different from every other. All other ways strive to reach eternal life by natural human thought and wisdom. They all rely, in one way or another, on human effort. But other ways will be not only misleading but illusory. When Jesus is the way, then the means of reaching the goal is absolutely certain. It rests on nothing human but solely on what Jesus has done.Jesus next describes himself as the truth. Remember the conversation between Jesus and Pilate. When Pilate asked whether Jesus was a king, he answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. . . . For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." To which Pilate responded, "What is truth?" (John 18:36-38). The quest for truth has been ceaseless. From antiquity to the present, people have sought to find the truth. But they do not find it outside of Jesus. He is the eternal Word of God—the truth—who became a human being. For us and our salvation he suffered on the cross, died, and on the third day rose from death to assure his followers of their resurrection and eternal life.Finally, Jesus describes himself as the life. What first comes to mind are Jesus' words that "whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). At this place, however, Jesus seems to speak about the life of his followers in this present world. At another place, Jesus added this meaningful postscript to the truth: "[It] will set you free" (John 8:32). Truth creates life that is freely eager and ready to serve. It's a new life within. The truth of Jesus fills the hearts of his followers not only with gratitude for setting them free from sin but also with hope of eternal life. Then the heart has a glorious freedom of willing obedience to the Savior's commands. Because he lives in believers, they strive to live like him.Because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, it must follow that no one comes to the Father except through him. The way of Jesus is unique, discounting all human effort to reach its destination. The truth of Jesus is unique, proclaiming a message that is not a human invention but a proclamation of God—the gospel. The life of Jesus is unique in its power to change natural, self-centered human hearts to be different and others-centered. Because Jesus is this way, this truth, and this life, it must follow that no one comes to his Father except through him.Theodore Hartwig, professor emeritus at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota, is a member at St. John, New Ulm.This is the first article in a four-part series about how Jesus describes himself.

Questions & Answers


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  • Did Jesus have siblings, brothers and/or sisters? Joseph and Mary's biological children? Answer:  Scripture does not answer that precisely.  While the word translated as “brothers” can have the meaning of “cousins,” it is likely half-brothers and sisters (children of Joseph and Mary) are referenced in Matthew 12:46; 13:55-56; Mark 3:31, and Luke 8:19.  While the Bible teaches that Mary was a virgin who became pregnant with the Christchild through the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38), there is nothing in Scripture to prohibit the idea of her having biological children with Joseph.Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column. 

  • I have read some of The Message and it seems to be written in a form easy to understand. However, when I compare it to another translation, such as the NIV, I can see the relationships, but it doesn't seem to capture the essence of traditional Scripture. I have seen a lot dealing with a watered down version of the Bible and how that seems to be a common thing among some denominations. The Message is one man's interpretation of God's Word. My main question: is this a good book to read and does it accurately represent the Word of God or is it something to stay away from? It begs the question whether this book is in violation of Revelation 22 verses 18 and 19. I have talked with other WELS members about this and I get varying responses, but mostly are against this book. I would like to see what WELS has to say on this matter. Answer:  Do keep in mind that the following information is simply a personal assessment of The Message.  WELS does not have an official list of recommended Bible translations.That being said, The Message is a paraphrase, not what would be understood as a translation.  While a translation can contain the biases of the translators, that is even more true of a paraphrase:  it is very easy for the person doing the paraphrasing to incorporate into the finished product ideas and shadings that reflect the person’s own faith.  When we understand that The Message is a paraphrase by a (now retired) Presbyterian pastor, we will be interested in seeing if historic Presbyterian doctrines find their way into his paraphrase.And so, does his paraphrase indicate consistently that the Lord’s Supper is a holy meal in which Jesus’ body and blood are present in, with and under the bread and wine?  He renders 1 Corinthians 11:26-27 (“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”) this way:  “What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.  Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of?”  I do not see the real presence of the Lord’s body and blood in that paraphrase.Again, thinking of historic Presbyterian doctrines, does his paraphrase indicate that people really can fall away from the faith?  Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower teaches:  “Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root.  They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” (Luke 8:13).  The Message turns the truth of that verse into this:  “The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone.”  “Enthusiasm?”  “Fad?”  Or faith?Beyond these two items, here are a couple of other concerns.  Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches beautifully that salvation, including the gift of faith that joins us to Jesus and brings us salvation, is entirely God’s doing.  The Message says:  “Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. [My emphasis] It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role.”  Titus 3:5-6 “[God] saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” becomes “He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit.”  Time constraints prevent me from sharing more examples where this paraphrase falls short of reliable translations.People using The Message will need to understand that it is a paraphrase—a retelling of what is in the original Bible languages from the viewpoint of the author.  If it is going to be used, it is safest to have a reliable translation alongside it.Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.

WELS Events


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  • 2015-07-31 (All day) View more events throughout the synod on the calendar from the homepage of Connect. If you have an event you would like us to consider sharing, please contact us.