March 2013 Update Subscribe To My News (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Happy New Year?? O boy, this is a bit on the late side isn't it? I hope you have been well as we're now already heading slowly toward spring and the celebration of new life that will begin anew in these coming months... more on that in my blog below. It has been a pretty hectic stretch with my first ever trip to Arizona and a lot of work being done at my home church St. Paul's Lutheran in Muskego, Campus Ministry and the artist ministry, that we hope will bear fruit later this year and in the years to come. So here are a couple quick items, then an encouragement.

Emmanuel Has Come:
I released this CD in time for Christmas, but it is not like what you would think of when it comes to Christmas music. I hoped to tell a deeper story that began with start with the creation account and the themes of the fall into sin and promise of a Savior. The CD then dives into the Christmas story and points us to the finished work and hope of heaven by the end of it. We took a chance with some different musical styles to help tell the story including jazz, bluegrass, folk and classical. I pulled it out to have a listen recently and thought it fit very well as the kind of music/story that can help fill out our lenten study as we move toward Easter. If you would like to see a video of the first two tracks, take a look at it here: You can also purchase it in a variety of ways here:

A New Single coming late spring:
We are finishing work on a singled called "You Are" that will release as part of a compilation CD put out by Creative Soul Records. Recently, Creative Soul now has an arrangement with Word Records and the Gospel Music Association and those two respected entities in Christian music have put their stamp on this project. The hope is that these songs will find a little wider audience as Creative Soul shares the music to show people the kind of work they do and the message they are passionate about sharing. Fellow WELS artist Stephen Bautista (website) also has a single coming out on this project as well. Over the years, some people have remarked that they would like to see more Lutheran song writers be heard from in mainstream Christian music and this may be a small start for that. We'll keep you posted on its release as we get closer. So far the song is sounding really good!

Share the Hope:
Are you, or is your church, interested in an authentic way to put faith into action, serve a need in your community, while making the beauty of God's grace known to your local community? I hope you will consider our Share the Hope Benefit concert partnership as a way to do this. We have a staff that is able to help you get the most out of this type of service to your local community by walking with you and customizing it to the needs of your church and the community that God has placed you. Please check out the Share the Hope link for more basic information. If you are interested, please contact myself or Tammy Heckendorf (tammy@mikewestendorf.com) for more information.

Campus Ministry Sells the building, BUT...
The past year has been a substantial challenge to The Point of Grace campus ministry and we have seen some significant changes. This past February we agreed to sell our current church building to another Bible centered church as we no longer had the means to support the mortgage. 2223 has served us well over the past 6 years, but God has been steadily pointing us to a new direction. Though we lose our church building, there is an exciting ministry plan that is taking shape. It is a plan that we haven't seen done before in the WELS and while it is very fragile and needs the prayers and support of many people in the coming years, it seems as though God has been training and teaching us how to walk better with the 18-25 generation and partner better with the ministries that support them earlier in life and will support them as they move into adulthood. Pastors, parents, but most importantly, students have sounded off on the ideas in very positive ways and we're starting to see some excitement for a ministry that would bring campuses together, churches together and high schools together in an effort to simply make God's faithfulness known, on our campus and throughout the generations. Please join us in praying that God would bring more people into the vision and arrange support in such a way that God shapes and breathes life into this. Keep up to speed with this at www.tpog.net - we'll be gradually adding things as God confirms a direction.

Drop a note, say hey on facebook or twitter, stop by a concert or worship service. God's blessings as you take in the new life of Spring!

posted by Mike Westendorf on 04/02/2013