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TheUpDate Weekly Newsletter - Sept. 26, 2018

Hello, Faith Community! Pastor Tim Porter is away from the office on vacation this week. Today’s UpDate includes updates from Pastor Larry Szyman, information on this Sunday’s sermon and important FCC news and events.


Pastor Larry Szyman has been updating FCC through posts to The City about his trip to Uganda with FCC Family of Families Elder John Blum. Here are some excerpts from his posts:

“It’s Sunday evening and I am sitting in a spacious,comfortable yet warm (no AC, 90 degrees all week) guest house on the grounds of Four Corners Ministries near Cwero (yes, that Cwero), Uganda. This is 40minutes east north east of Gulu, where we have stayed in our past trips. FCC Hudson Elder John Blum is with me as we are in a due diligence process designed to ask questions and seek information to see if we have the partnerships, plans and opportunities to see a locally led disciple-making church planting movement established in northern Uganda.

“We are spending many hours with Kris Mobbs, who if al lthings are go, will be our on the ground partner with Four Corners Ministries ( We have spent many hours dreaming together, hammering out agreements as to what our partnership could look like, and meeting other potential leaders that could participate in a shared vision. At this point we are really optimistic at the opportunity before us, though there is much more work to do before we can seal this deal.We really like Kris, and Four Corners is doing some really amazing work. By giving to Vision for the Valley between now and the 30th of September will help us in this process. We won’t be like the man who went to build a tower without counting the cost. Tomorrow we head up to a refugee camp in Adjumani, where we will meet potential leaders who want to impact the hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly from South Sudan. This could involve impacting another people group, which is a really exciting prospect.”


“I will keep this intentionally brief and send a larger post tomorrow. John and I spent last night in Adjumani, which is getting closer to the South Sudanese border. There are a number of refugee settlements (they are no longer called camps as people seem to settle there, average stay is 17 years!) as hundreds of thousands have poured over the border to avoid war. We came to assess 18 potential trainees for the new training cohort we hope to start in 2019. I will talk more about this process as well later.

“We stayed in a rather nice hotel (by northern Ugandan standards) called Zawadi. I was looking forward to this place because it has air conditioning and my sleep has been really poor this trip, although I feel fine. After having a late dinner,we went to our rooms where I did a little work and reading and caught a little CNN before going to bed around 10:30 p.m. and was fast asleep. There was a little noise around me but the air conditioning matched it and it was pumping out cool air (it wasn’t too warm, around 88 degrees yesterday)…beautiful.

“I woke up at around 1:15 in the morning feeling a bit warm when I noticed the air conditioner was no longer making the glorious sound of relief. I noticed no other forms of light; the power light on the TV, the light letting me know my handy, dandy, African extension cord light to show my phone was being charged. I realized my room was without power. I wondered if there was a generator that would kick in like in other better hotels…over the next four and a half hours I came to realize the answer was no.

“It was strange to see no difference between having my eyes open and closed—there was zero ambient light. I could create some light for my phone but it didn’t serve much purpose. I tried to sleep, but the temperature kept going up as there was zero air movement and no outdoor window. I would shift every 15 minutes or so on the bed to get a little cooler and turn the pillow over to the cool side (good hotel—two pillows).Sleep was elusive, so I spent the time in some prayer (I’d like to say the whole period was in solid prayer so someday someone could write a book about me!), but mostly trying to ignore the temperature and not psych myself out of sleep. At 5:52 am the power came back on and the AC was back on and I got another one and a half hours of sleep before getting up for more interviews in the Maaji refugee settlement.

“I share this post to give you a little insight as to what these trips can be like. Please hear me describing and not complaining. I gladly put up with these little inconveniences in order to assist what God is doing with our partners in northern Uganda. This trip is far easier than the last one, which included a trip to the hospital. Tonight I am sitting on a swing as a cold front has come in with a great lightning storm and rain. My heart is grateful for what I am experiencing. John Blum is a great travel companion and the opportunities to bear fruit for a locally led disciple-making church planting movement appears in sight. Things seem to be coming together in an incredible fashion. I will keep you posted. Please keep praying. I love FCC, the St. CroixValley LEAD Team and what we share together.”


We are very excited to have Glenn Herschberger, the ExecutiveDirector of Church Planting for Converge Great Lakes, preaching at Faith Community this Sunday. Glenn will continue in the Courage and Loyalty sermon series with “To Whom Are You Loyal? (Esther 1.1-3.6). The book of Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God. Yet we see God working behind the scenes in the littlest details to shape our lives and to call us to live for him. There is a difference between what the world wants and what God wants. Esther teaches us to be loyal and to be courageous.

Glenn Herschberger has been a part of church plants in several communities in Wisconsin and internationally. He also worked in law enforcement for 24 years and established multiple police chaplaincy programs. In 1999, Glenn planted Real Hope Community Church in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. After 11 years God called Glenn and his wife, Susan, to serve a Converge missionaries, to start an international church in Panama City, Panama.They launched an English-speaking church called LifeBridge International Church in 2011. Currently Glenn serves Converge Great Lakes by training and guiding a church planting movement in a predominately rural culture in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.


“Faith Among the Faithless: Learning from Esther How to Live in a World Gone Mad” by Mike Cosper. Available for purchase in the café area for $11. “A call to spiritual awakening and to faith in an age of malaise and apathy, 'FaithAmong the Faithless' is an invitation to remember the faithfulness ofGod, knowing that in dark times—as in the days of Esther or our own—God may be hidden, but he is never absent.” (Source:

“A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships” by Paul E. Miller (author of “A Praying Life) Available for purchase in the café area for $12. I loved reading this book in preparation for the current series on Ruth. Miller gives examples of what love can look like in very practical ways and constantly pointed me to God’s faithful love as the fuel to love others well.


One of the initiatives from our strategic plan is to multiply disciples of Jesus Christ through extension. Our goal with this initiative is local and cross-cultural church planting based on discipleship principles and practices. Over the next five years, by God's power and kindness:

  • We desire to see a Spanish-speaking church led by a culturally relevant Spanish-speaking pastor planted in St. Croix County for the 2,500 people in the area for whom Spanish is their primary language.
  • We desire to return for an additional three-year commitment of training pastors in Uganda, who will not only plant churches, but be trained to participate in and carry on future trainings on their own. This will (God willing) result in an indigenously led, disciple making, church planting movement, not only with the Acholi people of northern Uganda, but beyond.
  • A third, yet to be identified initiative, is hoped to be unveiled and take place in the next five years.

Please make checks out to FCC and put Vision for the Valley or VFV in the memo section. You may also give online at THANK YOU!



FCC covenant members will vote to affirm new covenant member candidates following the 9 a.m. service (starting approximately at 10:30 a.m.) in the Refuge Room onSunday, Oct. 7.

LEARN ABOUT FCC events and registrations at

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission


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