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Monday, January 27, 2014

Area Ministry newsletter February 2014

February 2014

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
·            56 cents per mile for business miles driven
·            23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
·            14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.


In August, Pastor Charlotte Strecker-Baseler moved to Canada with her husband Pastor John Strecker-Baseler after 15 years of faithful service to the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Oberlin.   Pastor John accepted a call to a German speaking Lutheran Church in Alberta Canada, and Pastor Charlotte will be able to be in the pews for awhile for a much deserved time of rest from pastoral responsibilities.
Since her departure, Pastor Shelly Holle has been providing pulpit supply and pastoral care for the congregation.  Pastor Shelly was a product of Faith Lutheran in Oberlin, having been baptized and confirmed into the faith within her walls.  As an adult, she became a Presbyterian.  After twelve years as a professional educator in the Presbyterian Churches of Manhattan, KS, she was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament (now called a Teaching Elder) within the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.  After 11 years as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Chanute, Kansas, she moved into her parents' home in Atwood in July to tend to the estate following their deaths.
In 2004, a formal agreement was drafted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, and the Reformed Church in America.  Through this agreement, an orderly exchange of ordained ministers of word and sacrament was made possible.  Therefore, Pastor Shelly Holle as Presbyterian clergy has now been called to serve Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oberlin as a term call pastor for the year of 2013.
The pastors, PMAs and members of our Area Ministry 1 congregations are invited to attend the installation of the Rev. Shelly Holle into her new relationship of call with Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oberlin on Sunday, February 9, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  A reception will follow.
This will be a uniquely special service with both the Central States Synod Bishop's pastoral staff and the Presbytery of Northern Kansas Executive Presbyter participating in the service and co-presiding at the table for communion.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the diversity of the Body of Christ, unified through service and call to serve our Lord!  The congregation of Faith Lutheran hopes you will join in the celebration!

During this Season of Global Awareness, the Congregations and People of the Central States Synod - ELCA are called upon to remember our companion church, the Kote District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG) on Sunday, February 2nd. 
We have word from our "cousin Christians" in Papua New Guinea that they are reciprocating by setting aside February 2nd as the Sunday when they too will lift up their partnership with us, the CSS-ELCA in all 8 circuits within the district.  
Resources for this Companion Synod Sunday are available at the following website.  Or, go to the Synod web site and follow the links under the "Ministries" tab. 
Pastor Walter Teunzac, the partnership committee chair and communicator for the district sent some specific prayer requests for the congregations of the CSS-ELCA to include in Sunday worship on February 2nd.  Please read what he wrote.
"For the prayer requests, we would like to request your prayers in these two important areas that were discussed by the 29th Synod a week ago.
1.      Good governance and accountability within the ELC-PNG. Many issues of administration and Christian leadership continues to challenge this young church who has the God given resources to contribute to the work of the Gospel within this country (PNG) and throughout the World. Until the response to God’s gracious deeds is right, we will continue to limit our potentials.
2.      Undersea Mining. It was one of the important issues discussed during the synod. During the exchanges of ideas and information, we have begun to see how crucial it is to protect our marine life and the environment. We have learnt also that, there are no such things as undersea mining in other parts of the World. If PNG and its leaders agree to this type of mining, it would become the first in the World and has serious consequences for our sea communities. Coincidently one of the preferred sites would just off the coast of Finschhafen.
The 29th National ELC-PNG Synod has resolved NO to his method of mining. Pray for the wisdom and guidance of God upon our leaders and Christian communities as it is the question of social status, money, survival and greed."
You may also want to read what Walter posted on our newly established companion church blog.  You will find the blog at;
Any further questions can be directed to the Companion Synod Team Chair, Gary Teske at or 785-393-0965.

In 2012 more than 260,000 youth participated in Souper Bowl of Caring, collecting more than $9.8 million in dollars and food for local hunger-relief charities. That's a total of more than $90 million collected since the movement began in 1990! This year's goal is to empower 275,000 young people to collect $11 million for charities in their communities. Help us grow this movement and tackle hunger in America!

There are currently over 900 children in Kansas waiting for a loving FOREVER family.  There are far more churches in Kansas than there are waiting children.  If the Church will stand up and get involved, answering the call of James 1:27, we could provide homes for every waiting child.  It would make it possible for there to be a waiting list of FAMILIES rather than waiting children. 
Likewise, there are over 5,000 children in Kansas in out-of-home foster care placements.  These children need loving families who will provide a safe, healthy home and environment for them as they wait.  Relatives and foster family homes provide a stable environment for these children who are in transition, either waiting to return to their biological families or to be available for an adoptive family.  We believe that the Church can impact the lives of these children, even in the shortest amount of time in a placement.  If a Christian foster family can impact the life of a child, no matter how long they are involved in their lives, these children will experience the love of God and know they have a place to belong.

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