Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayer Requests for September 24




At long last, I'm finally getting back to some normal updates. I couldn't believe when I actually got back here that it's been so long. Please forgive me for the long delay. There has been so much going on. In case you have not gotten the news, we have moved our office.

We are now located at 2110 Overland Avenue, Ste. # 101B, Billings, MT 59102. Our new location also means we have a new mailing address, P.O. Box 81662, Billings, MT 59108-1662. Please update your records for us. The last couple of weeks of August were a blur of packing and preparing for the move here. We have increased our shipping/storage area by 100% which we will need very soon with the planned addition of two products. We thank God regularly as we've gotten used to being here. There are so many ways this office has made our work more efficient and easier.

At the end of August, less than a week after our move, Ted, Bruce and I traveled to the midwest for the first visit of a church intervention. This is the first time all three of us have been on an intervention team. It was a grueling six days with interviews of over 100 people. We ask for your prayers for them as they go through this process. There are many hurting people in need of God's Words of grace. We will return there on October 14th for the second visit. We pray for God's wisdom and strength as we meet with them for mediations, and recommendations. We pray for God's Word to work the miracles needed to bring about repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.

After returning to Billings, we settled into our new office and tried to catch up with emails and phone messages. We ended up also doing an unexpected mediation in our new office. Our office includes a conference room, which we foresaw using occasionally. We've already realized that God had plans for that room beyond what we were expecting. It is amazing to see how God works for our good well in advance of our being aware of it. We thank Him for the blessing of His care. We thank Him for the great blessing of this new office which allows us to serve Him better and more comfortably.

This week, Ted, Bruce and Ed are in Dallas for the Peacemaker Ministries Annual Conference. They are teaching and meeting with numerous people while there. After their return they are all preparing for upcoming events. Ted will be traveling to Kansas speaking at a conference with the district workers. Bruce will be presenting at a Montana district conference. Ed will be leading an intervention team at a very large congregation in the midwest. We pray for God's care for them and for His direction and wisdom as they lead these events. Ted is also scheduled for a trip to Nebraska in late October to present at a conference there. He will also be going to Calgary for a meeting with the leadership of AoR-Canada as they get active. The first entry has been made on their blog (see the Canadian flag link on our homepage). We pray for them as they prepare for reconciliation work in Lutheran Church-Canada. In November, AoR will be leading a Church Reconciler Training in the Southeastern District. If you are interested, see our training page on the website at www.hisaor.org or contact me at the AoR office for more information. The phone number is 406/ 698-6107 or my email at mrichholt@hisaor.org. We pray that God will mightily bless this training event.

Ted recently found out he is returning to Australia in January. He enjoyed Australia so much last time, and is really looking forward to going back. He is still trying to set up additional events, but will likely be there for about a month. We pray for God to provide the connections to be made for His work there.

As I look over the calendar as I write, I'm amazed at how fast the time is going in 2009. Fall is in the air with cool nights and the trees starting to change colors. I pray that God will bless you richly in all that you do in His Name. Thank you for your faithful service for Ambassadors of Reconciliation in prayer.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Prayer Requests for August 6, 2009

Happy Thursday to everyone. I feel a little bit like an octopus today, except it isn't eight legs I have, it's eight ways in which I'm being pulled. We have been exploring some options and directions for Ambassadors of Reconciliation. We found out last month that after four years, our rent is going up. We have been so thankful for the stability and economical rent we've enjoyed. But the raise has prompted us to look ahead and assess our office needs. We are now in a position to expand a bit, and the Lord has opened doors wide. So AoR is moving!! When I said the doors have been wide open I mean just that, so we move on August 22. Yes, just over two weeks from today. There is a myriad of things to do to and all of them needing to be done yesterday. But we are really excited about the space we will have. The offices are about the same size, but we will have an extra one for growth. For now we plan on using it for a conference room and mediation room when needed. Our inventory space will almost triple. We are very cramped at present, so with the addition of new resources we just could not have done it in our present office. The new one is accessed without stairs, another big asset because delivery people are not allowed to bring large deliveries down or up stairs. We are so thankful that God has provided for our growth, with the new office and the ability to pay for it. God is so good. Please lift your praises with us to our bountiful Father.

Bruce is frantically trying to get us prepared with phones, computer hookups, address changes, carpet cleaning, door relocations, and paint. On top of that he continues with his usual heavy load of coaching, event scheduling, and many other things. He travels to a nearby state this weekend for a seminar and consultation. We pray that God prepares the people who will attend the seminar, that their hearts are soften to His word and direction. We also pray for traveling mercy for Bruce, and for wisdom as he teaches and gives counsel to those in need.

Ed is in the midst of a trip out east to help his son move to his vicarage assignment. Ed had a tough week. The community had about 6 inches of rain in one morning. You may have seen the pictures on the news from Indianapolis and Louisville. Seymour was equally hit by the same storm. We pray for the people in these areas who have had to struggle with bad weather for much of the year. We pray that the farmers crops are not ruined and that they will be able to take care of their families in these hard times. Ed continues to meet with ministry couples in crisis. We pray for them as they deal with troubled marriages and careers. We pray for Ed as he travels and as he gives counsel to many.

Ted is in Billings this week making many arrangements for our move. He is also working with a congregation who will be having an intervention soon. We pray for them as they prepare. Ted will also be teaching next weekend at a Peacemaker Ministries event here in Billings. We pray for him as he prepares for that event. We ask for prayers for our Board of Directors meeting on Monday. The directors will meet by phone and we pray for God's direction for the meeting and the decisions they will make.

I ask for your prayers also this week. Ted and Bruce have asked me to be a member of the team for the intervention later this month. This is a first for me. I have become more comfortable with the coaching aspect of peacemaking, and have participated in a mediation. I have not been on an intervention before, so I pray that God would be with me as I prepare and that I will have the time to prepare since this move will take some extra time as well. I will be assisting in teaching some of the seminar, so I pray for God's direction for that. And I also ask for God to sharpen my mind as we interview people, so that I might serve them and our God well.

Things change quickly in this ministry. We praise God that He has blessed us with the financial stability to be able to make this move. We praise God for the contacts for services we offer. We thank God for the increase in resources we offer. May all these things enable us to better serve His call to live lifestyles of reconciliation.

Thank you again for your faithful prayer service in our behalf. May God bless you richly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 30


Good day to everyone. Montana is an adventure. We’ve been having some cool weather which came down from Canada for the last few days. Last night it got down into the mid 40’s. Great sleeping weather, but a bit nippy to say the least. It really does feel like Alberta.

It’s been another busy week which has flown by very quickly. A little bit quieter this week because Bruce has been out of the office for most of it. His son and family arrived Monday evening, so Grandpa is definitely not coming to work. They are all spending a few days in Yellowstone National Park. We pray for God’s blessings on their family time together. Bruce will be returning on Monday for a few days before heading out for the next event.

Ed called in this morning and has asked for prayers for two churches he is working with. They are making some major decisions about staff changes which are being fueled by financial difficulties. One church may have to terminate a DCE and another is evaluating their options for a pastor who struggles with MS. We pray for God’s guidance and direction as they deal with these difficulties. Ed will be traveling to Virginia this next week helping his son and daughter-in-law make the transition to their vicarage assignment for the next year. We pray for them throughout the trip, but also as they make their way in the new role. May God bless them. Ed asked for prayers also for the local Lutheran school as they start school on the 13th. I remarked to him that it seemed rather early to be starting for the fall and he explained that Indiana is pushing to go to year-round school and that there were several schools in the area that had already started school this week. We pray for the school and ask for God’s blessings and direction as they begin another year.

Ted has returned from Minnesota. The teen conference at Lutheran Island Camp on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High-Tech Society went very well. The age range was 14 to 17 and included some adults as well. Ted remarked on the different dynamics between the young teens and the older one, and of course the adults were another dynamic. He said the youth very quickly work through the small group discussions and the adults didn’t get through the questions in the allotted time. Perhaps another indication of the effects of frequent texting and the concise comments they are used to using. But he was very impressed with their ability to discuss delicate subjects and with their openness. He also remarked that the adults were much less informed about this topic. Ted will be teaching this seminar again to an adult audience next month on the 13th in Kansas and on the 26th in Nebraska. We pray for the seminars as Ted brings God’s Word to them on this topic.

We also ask for your prayers concerning some upcoming events. There will be a consultation and seminar over the weekend of August 7-9, and a Group Reconciliation Assistance (formerly known as an intervention) weekend on August 28-Sept.1. We pray for God’s wisdom, direction and aid for all concerned. We also pray for our Board of Directors phone meeting on August 10th. We ask for God’s direction and leadership as they discuss and make decisions. We also offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving for the soon-to-be Dr. Dick Thompson, our board chairman. Dick successfully had his oral examination for his doctoral degree from the seminary at Ft. Wayne, IN. We give thanks for all of Dick’s work with AoR, and for the future opportunities he will have as a result of this degree. Well done, Dick. We have several conflicted churches considering their options right now. We pray that God will direct them in those decisions, and that they will clearly understand Him. We pray for hearts to be prepared and for His Spirit to be victorious over the fears they have.
Once again, I thank you for your faithful service to AoR in this manner. Your prayers are very important to us.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 23

Hello to all. Thank you for checking on the blog today.

I've been spending much of today dealing with the trials of technology. Our website seems to be "on it's own" generating spam. I've been receiving up to 134 spam messages a day for the past several weeks and this week discovered the cause. Spammers are very clever. I've been working with our server company to rectify the problem, and pray we will get to the solution soon. With all the wonders and advantages we have because of modern technology, we must sometimes also deal with the negative side of it. I've been praying for patience. Oh Lord, give me patience, now.

Ted is in Minnesota and getting set up to begin the teen conference on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High-Tech Society. He was looking forward to the conference with the youth, and also to a bit of time at Lutheran Island Camp. It's a beautiful setting. We pray for God's blessings on the conference. Ted will travel home on Monday, and be in the office a few days after that. His schedule for meetings and calls is filling up for the week. He is quite a busy fellow, and we pray for his stamina and for wisdom in his many endeavors.

Bruce is in the office today and in contact with many people this week. He does the scheduling for our conferences, consultations, interventions and other events. He assigns team members to events and writes up contracts. He also coaches many people in dealing with conflict in their lives. He advises church leadership members in church conflicts, and consults with district and synodical officials. We pray for his stamina and wisdom in all his endeavors as well. He and Kathy are looking forward to next week when they will have some very important people in the house. Their grandson will be there (as well as his parents of course) and they are eager to enjoy the time with them. Little Zander is almost a year old and walking now so he will keep them running I'm sure. On August 7th, Bruce will be traveling to a seminar and consultation in a nearby district. We pray for God's blessings on it and for wisdom for Bruce as he serves in this capacity. We will also have a Board of Directors conference call on August 10, and we pray for God's direction for our board members. Bruce also asks for God's will in making some decisions for the future. He asks for God to open doors wide that He wants us to walk through, and to slam them shut tightly if He does not want us to proceed in any given direction. We pray for clarity in these matters.

Ed reports a wonderful installation for his son, Daniel in White Bear Lake, MN over the weekend. He is back in the office in Indiana and working with many groups and individuals. We pray for God's wisdom and direction for Ed as he works with them. As in our office in Montana, the staff in Indiana cover many situations and we pray for their stamina and wisdom as they serve in Christ's name.

I pray that your summer is going well and that there has been some time for relaxation and appreciation for God's creation over the summer. Thank you for the meaningful service you provide for AoR in lifting these prayers to our Lord. May He bless you always.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 16

Hello to everyone. What a glorious day in Montana! The sun is shining and it’s good ole summertime.

Everyone is in Billings this week and of course the phone is active with calls from people who are needing help with conflicts. Our schedule is filling and others are considering their options. Ted is on his way to Minnesota this weekend. He will attend the installation of Ed’s son in White Bear Lake, MN on Sunday. We pray for blessing for Daniel and his family, as well as the congregation in White Bear Lake. Monday and Tuesday Ted will be meeting with several people to renew contacts and open dialog with a couple of organizations in that area. We pray for God’s direction and blessing as these relationships grow. He and Sonja will then take a few days of relaxation in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Ted will lead a youth conference at Lutheran Island Camp July 24-26 on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High Tech Society with some great teenagers. He’s looking forward to giving this presentation to a young group and see how they respond to this delicate topic. We pray for God to bless their study and time together. Ted will return to the office on July 29th and spend some days preparing for a church intervention in South Dakota in early August. We pray for God to prepare their hearts as they contemplate reconciliation and as the leadership guides them through the process. We pray also for Ted and the team as they seek to serve them.

Bruce continues to deal with numerous cases and coaching opportunities. Both he and Ted have been meeting with different people from Peacemaker Ministries as they prepare for their Annual Conference coming up in September. It is a great joy to work with PMM; we share a wonderful relationship in the Lord with them. We continue to share ideas back and forth and find new ways to meet our individual missions. We pray for God to bless them richly. Bruce is also exploring some options for AoR as we grow. Phone systems and inventory management seem sort of mundane when compared to people issues, but in an effort to be good stewards of our resources, Bruce continues to keep current with our business affairs. We pray for God to open appropriate doors for us as we consider our needs.

Ed and his family are of course traveling to White Bear Lake this weekend to celebrate with them. We pray for traveling mercies and blessings on their gathering. He will also visit with a congregation who has made an inquiry with us. We pray for them as they consider their options.

Thank you all for your support of this ministry. God is truly blessing us and we feel quite strongly that God has indeed brought AoR into being at this time for His purposes. We pray for His strong direction as we continue to serve His people. May God bless you as you serve in His name.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 9

Hello to all who visit. We thank you for your interest and prayer support. We welcome some new prayer warriors today. Members of the Synodical reconcilers who were trained in January have joined us. Welcome to you and a special thanks for joining us.

We are nearing the close of another week. Every week seems to fly by. Ted is presently out of state and assisting a congregation as they consider whether or not to participate in an intervention. They are one of several right now who are considering what to do about conflicts within the congregation. We pray for these congregations in their need of assistance, that they would seek His aid and follow Him in using this time to bring Him glory. We pray that the Lord will open doors for their healing, in whatever way He determines. We also pray for Ted as he travels and for wisdom as he works with this congregation. He will return on the weekend, and be in Billings until next Friday when he travels to Minnesota for numerous contacts. Over the weekend of the 24-26, he will be at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning, MN for a teen seminar on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High Tech Society. He is looking forward to this seminar since it is with young people. It gives another opportunity to see how this study is received by this age group. We pray for the teens who will participate, that the Lord will prepare their hearts to be open to His direction.

As always, Ted has many "irons in the fire" and we pray that God will direct his decision-making and plans for the future. Ted has been in meetings with our friends in Canada. In the not to distant future Ambassadors of Reconciliation -Canada will be a reality. We praise God for this development, and ask for His direction and blessing.

Bruce is back from Michigan and glad to be able to hang his hat at home for a time. He is tending to many details on the business end of AoR. He has been researching options for growth and how to best proceed in a wise way. We give thanks for an improved financial situation and for being able to maintain stability through what we anticipated to be a difficult season. He is very please with how the convention season went. Our representatives at the different conventions were able to get our message to many and also increased their own confidence in telling others about what we do and how we can serve the kingdom. We thank God for their boldness in reaching out to their districts in our stead. Thank you again to you who agreed to serve in this way.

Bruce is also working with numerous churches who are in conflict. People call in with heartbreaking stories about how present and past conflicts affect them and their congregations. We are thankful for God's faithful loving and healing hand for these congregations. They are often skeptical of how God can change things, but God has shown He is willing and able. He calls us to trust and follow. May God grant them the wisdom and faith to do what He invites us to do.

Ed also continues to have numerous difficult cases. He is reporting a couple where the congregations take some steps forward, and then a few back as well. We pray for Ed to be able to guide them through the recommendations already given them. We had a fun time this week connecting to the CrossLife office on Skype. Learning new technology at times can be intimidating, but it's a good opportunity to stretch a bit. I especially enjoyed putting face to voice with my counterpart in Indiana, LuAnn. We continue to pray for Ed, and LuAnn as they use their gifts to serve people in the mid section of the nation.

Just today I unloaded the last boxes from district conventions. It is good to have that project completed. There is always another one in the works, and I praise God for the opportunities He brings to us. There is much catching up being done at present. Paperwork on past events and cases finished, files on completed events put into storage, and general reporting and record keeping caught up. It's not flashy or eventful, but all very necessary. Thank you Lord for the time to do it.

Our fall schedule is filling up. September will be busy with Church Reconciler training in Minnesota and the Peacemaker Ministries Annual Conference in Dallas. There are possible cases coming together for August, September, or October. Three seminars are scheduled for October. In November there is a Church Reconciler training event in the Southeastern District. I know that there will be "surprises" that also develop, so we are thankful for work to do and the opportunity to serve God's people.

We also thank the Lord for you, our faithful prayer supporters. May God bless you in all ways.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prayer Requests for June 25

Hello to you all. It's a hot summer day here in Billings. I checked just after lunch, and it's was 97 degrees F. I'm thankful for air conditioning today.

Both Bruce and Ted are in the office today. As so often happens, they return and suddenly the phones start ringing. Since Bruce returned from Australia, he has attended 2 district conventions and traveled to another state for a visit with a congregation who
recently completed an intervention. He leaves again on Saturday for our last district convention exhibit. He's been on the phone talking to numerous groups and individuals about possible events in the future. Needless to say he's quite tired and now enduring a sinus infection. We pray he will soon be well, that his travel is blessed, and that he regains his rest. Bruce also hopes to be able to get back to his book, which has been on hold for awhile. We pray God will bless his efforts.

Ted is fielding many calls and scheduling future engagements. He will soon be traveling to Illinois for a visit with a congregation that is considering an intervention. He will also be traveling to Minnesota later in the month for a seminar with teenagers on Responding to Sexual Temptation. He is trying to get caught up on many things and many messages that
arrived while he was gone. He hopes to be able to complete some projects that need to be tended to. We pray God will bless him as he labors at many things. Ted's also been researching arrangements with other organizations and the possibilities of having our resources available through them. We pray for God's direction. In the last prayer communication, I said that Ted was going to Michigan for the district convention. I was mistaken. Bruce is the one going, so Ted is able to stay home and be in the office. It is good to have them both in Billings (for the most part). Decisions get made quickly and people get answers to inquiries. We pray for God's direction and wisdom for Ted and Bruce.

Ed is currently at the Indiana district convention. He has just returned from some time off. This Sunday he will preach at his son's ordination in Seymour. He is praying to be able to
speak clearly without getting too emotional. We praise God with the Keinath family at this wonderful celebration. We also pray for God to bless Daniel's ministry.

I am praising God this week for having sent the last box needing to be sent for the conventions. It was a big project with much careful scheduling and juggling of supplies and product. There are five or six sets of boxes still out, so I'm not completely done, but the pressure is off. I'm also very happy to add a request for praises to ascend to our gracious God for the improved financial situation AoR is experiencing. With the increase in our own products, and our busy schedule, we are very grateful. We will probably always struggle like most non-profit organizations, but right now things are pretty good.

We also praise God for a new development at Peacemaker Ministries. They announced today the addition of Dwight Schettler to the position of Director of Training. He is from Fort Collins, CO and will be moving with his wife and two children to Billings in July. Dwight is a trained reconciler, going through AoR's Church Reconciler Training in 2007, and has been very involved in his congregation's reconciliation ministry. Dwight, we praise God with you, and for you. May He bless their move and Dwight in this new position.

I invite you to add comments, and register as a follower on this blog. It helps me to see who is actually receiving these prayer requests. Thank you for your continued support for AoR.




Thursday, June 11, 2009

Prayer Requests for June 11



Hello to everyone.  I hope you are beginning to get in the habit of checking this blog as a way to access the prayer concerns of AoR.  I will continue to send notices via email for a time, but will continue to use this tool to submit the prayer messages.  I hope it is easily accessible to everyone.

Well, you'll never guess who stopped in at the office this morning.  It was so good to see Bruce's smiling face come through the door.  Of course, the rest of him was there too, but the smile was pretty big.  He and Kathy thoroughly enjoyed touring the Sydney area for nine days.  They really loved the area and would go back in a heartbeat.  In fact would even consider an exchange kind of situation.  They loved the cosmopolitan feel of the city and thought the area was quite beautiful.  The thing they loved the most, was the attitude of Australians.  Well, Australia is three for three because Ted has also been bowled over by the beauty of Australia and of the people there.  We lift grateful hearts to God for the blessings He has bestowed on all of the presenters as they have shared their skills with our brothers and sisters in Australia.  I was reading from the blog on the Australian trip and Ted writes "As I reflect on the entire experience in Australia, I do not remember working with any other church body from any continent that has been so overwhelmingly positive and appreciative of reconciliation ministry. It is clear to all of us as presenters (Bruce, Kathy, Francis, and Ted) that God's timing was right for this extensive teaching experience in Australia. The LCA College of Presidents have modeled their support and leadership by all participating fully in the training, from Synodical President Mike Semmler to all the District Presidents. In addition, all the ordained staff of the seminary also attended the training. What a blessing to have such a modeling!"  As you can tell, he has been quite moved by this tour.  We pray for the Australian church as they continue to make plans and then implement them.  Ted continues, " I cannot begin to imagine what fruit this reconciliation training will bear throughout Australia and New Zealand. Never before in my experience has any church body participated in such an extensive training that included nearly all the active pastors, a number of laity and lay workers, plus educators and other ministry leaders. Lifestyles of reconciliation are being cultivated before our very eyes, as we have already heard about reconciliations that have taken place. 

Because God promises that his Word will bear fruit (we may not see it or recognize it), I believe that hundreds -- actually thousands -- of relationships will be reconciled as the leaders of LCA teach and coach their people in biblical peacemaking. Marriages, families, church leaders, co-workers, school administrators and teachers and students and parents, aged care workers and residents, and more.  What an awesome God we have!" Thank you, dear Lord, that you use your humble people to bring about Your will and direction.

In the last few days, the phone has really picked up.  We have had four different churches and schools inquiring about having AoR come.  Some of it is for conflicted groups, but also some inquiries are about training events.  So suddenly, the summer schedule is beginning to fill up.  The district conventions continue to take place and we are being represented in nine more before the end of the month.  For me that means coordinating the delivery of boxes of resources to the representative and making sure the supplies arrive in time and the rep understands how to use them.  So far, I haven't missed one, but there's plenty of time for me to mess up.  Unfortunately, I'm all too able and practiced at that. I pray that my efforts bring good results and that AoR is better known after the conventions are concluded.  It is a very good opportunity to advertise who we are and how we serve the church.

Bruce has returned and has plunged right in.  He and Kathy landed in Billings last night, and he is already tending to business in the office.  Tomorrow he leaves to return for the third visit to a congregation where an intervention took place earlier in the year.  On Monday he will attend the Montana District convention, and on Tuesday afternoon will pack up and leave for the Northwest District convention.  He is in contact with several congregations who are exploring options in conflict in their midst.  We pray that God will be with him and keep him safe in travel, give him strength of body, and wisdom of mind as he serves.

Ted will be in Australia for a few more days.  He is meeting with the College of presidents of the Australian church to debrief and make plans for their future.  We pray for their wisdom and clear understanding of God's direction.  Ted will return to Montana early next week and after a few days rest will be catching up in the office before traveling to Michigan for the district convention.  We pray for God to keep him safe in his travels as well.

Ed continues to work with numerous families and churches with some significant problems.  We pray for God to bless him with wisdom and strength.  Ed has a love for farming, and every now and again gets the opportunity to "suck diesel fumes" while driving a tractor in a field.  He loves it and gets much stress relief from it.  He had the opportunity this week to do just that, and was so thankful.  We praise God with him.  Ed has plans to take some time off for a family reunion before attending the Indiana district convention on the 25th.  After that they will celebrate as Daniel, Ed and Janeen's son will be ordained into the pastoral ministry on the 28th.  We praise God with them at this momentous celebration.

Well, that wraps up another week for me.  Friday is a day off for me.  My husband (a pastor) takes Fridays off, so I do too.  I am very thankful for 
flexibility I have to do that.  I'm also very thankful for the opportunity to work for AoR.  My thanks to our very gracious God for His many blessing.  Another blessing I praise Him for is all of you and your faithful service in prayer for AoR.  You are truly appreciated.  

Until next week, may God bless each one of you.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prayer requests for June 4





Another week almost gone.  I am forever wondering how a week can go so fast.  God is gracious in that He gives me the blessing of plenty to do to fill my time.  During times when Ted and Bruce are away, I usually have a chance to get some of the "To Do" list done.  When they are away, the phones quiet down significantly.  I'm not sure how people know that they won't be able to talk to them, but it happens every time.  So I've been tidying up the website, filing items that have been piling up, cleaning up the stock room, and generally finishing projects that were needing attention.  When the phone does ring, it's nice to hear another human voice.  It's a good thing I'm catching up, because when Ted and Bruce do get back, it will get hectic again.  

If you have been following the blog from Australia, you know that the Church Reconciler Training (5-day event) is finished and Bruce and Kathy are taking some time off in Australia.  They will sightsee and relax until coming back on June 11.  I spoke with their son, Mark, yesterday and he says they are enjoying all of the different animals, birds, trees, etc.  We pray that Bruce and Kathy will be rested before having to make the long trip home.  When they get back, it will take a few days to get over the jet lag from changing so many time zones.  We pray for God's protection and blessings for them as they return.

I spoke with Ted on Monday when he Skyped the office.  The marvels of the new technologies are very amazing.  Being able to see him through the cameras on our computers is so helpful.  I can show him things as well as see his expressions while talking.  You really can pick up the excitement.  
He is absolutely pumped about the Australian Church and expects God to greatly bless their efforts.  He says the leadership is fully behind everything AoR has been teaching, and is drawing up plans for the future which implement what they are learning.  We pray for the Australian church, that they will be wise and deliberate in cultivating lifestyles of reconciliation.  We also pray that God will bless Ted with strength as he has been suffering with a cold.  Ted and Francis are in the midst of a three-day event with the Queensland district.  We pray for them as they learn.  Ted will speak to the Queensland District Synod this weekend and we pray that God will bless his presentation.  We also ask for God's direction for the Synod as they gather in convention.  Ted, Francis and Angela (Francis' wife has joined him in Australia) then travel to Rockhampton for the last training event with the Victoria and Tasmanian districts' leadership.  He and Francis will then fly to Sydney for a meeting with the College of Presidents (District presidents and Synodical officers) to debrief the AoR training events.  We pray that God will bless their time together.  Then on June 14th, Ted, Francis and Angela all begin their journey home, for which we also ask for God's blessing.  I also thank God for the blessings of technologies that make our labors more productive.  

Ted has also been commenting on the beautiful churches they have seen.  I have uploaded a
 picture of a particularly beautiful altar from one.  If you click on it you will see it enlarged and how truly unusual it is.  Throughout the world, God's people strive to bring Him glory in every way.

We continue to pray for conflicted congregations.  Many have been in contact with us about how to bring about reconciliation.  We pray that God will guide them and bless their efforts to deal with confession and absolution issues.  We also pray for those who give guidance to conflicted groups and individuals.  May their efforts bring God glory and peace to those in conflict.

And my dear brothers and sisters, I pray also for you.  May you all be strengthened and empowered to do His will.   I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.  1 Cor.1:4.   

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prayer Requests for May 28


What a flurry of activity!!  I returned to the office on Tuesday of this week after a two week holiday to Kelowna, British Columbia for the wedding of our third son.  What a beautiful place.  The orchard trees were blooming and the vineyards were green.  Summer has arrived there.  The weather was beautiful and the wedding took place outside.  My husband officiated at the service; it was very special. 

Now reality has set in and we are back at work.  I returned to an empty office since Ted and Bruce are both in Australia.  I hope you have been keeping up with the training events on the Australia blog from our website.  On our home page, over on the right you will see an Australian flag.  Click on it to see all that is going on Down Under with AoR.  We pray that God will continue to bless the training of so many pastors and lay people in Australia.  We also pray that God will continue to bless Ted, Bruce, Kathy, and Francis with good health, good rest and endurance for all the time there.  They have just begun the 5-day training of synodical reconcilers from each district in the Lutheran Church of Australia.  The team has been experiencing God's amazing grace and care through His people in Australia.  We praise God for them all, and thank them for everything.  Much work and planning went into this trip.  

The convention circuit continues!  AoR has been represented at numerous conventions so far this year, and I got two more book tables sent off so far this week.  Another will go today, and two more next week.  As others are returned, they will be restocked and sent out again.  This is by far the most represented we have been at district conventions.  It is our hope to bring our name and the work we do to more of the congregations and leaders throughout our synod in order to better serve them. May God bless that effort.

Ed continues to work with many congregations and individuals.  He was just brought in on another difficult case.  A congregation has become aware of the alleged sexual misconduct of their pastor.  The whole congregation is experiencing this broken trust, and Ed is working with the leadership to bring God's care and healing to them.  May God be with them all.  

I pray that you are all well, and that God continues to bless you.  Thank you again for your continued faithful service in His name.  Please feel free to add comments and other news to this blog.  We want it to be a communication tool for all.  Add stories of reconciliation that you have experienced to give encouragement to those going through conflict.  May God be glorified in all we do!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prayer Requests for April 30

It is a quiet day here in the office of AoR.  Ted is attending the Minnesota North District convention, and on his way home.  Bruce left early this morning for the Wyoming District convention and will be home on the weekend.  When they are traveling, the phone is quieter, there are fewer things that must be done to prepare for them, and I seem to get to tend a few of the lower priority things.  Today there have been numerous small orders to send.  We are getting numerous small orders for the Bible study Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High Tech Society.  Perhaps the Letter to Pastors from Dr. Kieschnick's office which spoke of this resource has piqued the interest of professionals in the Synod.  We are thankful that the interest has been shown and that we are able to provide this service to our beloved Synod.  

Ted has one more week in the office before taking off for Australia.  He leaves on May 9 and arrives on May 11.  Actually, it is a bit long, but not two days worth of airtime.  He crosses the date line and loses a day.  Coming back it looks like it takes only one hour, again because of the date line crossing.  Time is tricky stuff.  We pray that Ted, Bruce, Kathy and Francis will all have safe travel, and stout constitutions to endure the long hours.  Francis also leaves on May 9.  They lead their first training even on May 13 in Adelaide.  Francis Taman, one of our board members, is from Calgary, Alberta and a lawyer by profession.  You can keep in touch with them through his blog, by clicking on the Australian flag on our home page at www.hisaor.org.  We pray that God will bless them throughout the time in Australia.  Bruce and Kathy Zagel will leave on May 24 to help Ted and Francis with the Church Reconciler Training.  They will return home on June 10th and Ted and Francis return on June 14.  In that time they will lead training events that will impact the whole Lutheran church in Australia.  We pray that they will in deed be cultivating lifestyles of reconciliation for all of the Australian church.  What an opportunity God has supplied!

We also keep our beloved Synod in prayer.  Over the next eight weeks, many districts will be meeting in convention and there are serious issues being decided.  We pray for the upcoming conventions and the delegates as they make decisions.  May God be glorified and His will accomplished.  Numerous districts have already had their conventions, and we pray for them as well as they carry out the decisions made.  

We are very pleased to have a new product in hand and available for purchase.  Cultivating Lifestyles of Reconciliation has arrived and we pray that God will bless it's use to His glory and the benefit of all who use it.  There will be more on that next week.  Ted plans to say a few words to publicize it.

Thank you to all of you for the faithful prayer support provided by so many.  May God be with you.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brand New Tool

Well, Lord, here we are using a brand new tool of communication.  Up until now, we have been emailing our weekly (well it's supposed to be weekly) prayer requests to our many friends.  It is taking more and more time because of spam problems when mailing to so many addresses.  We thought this method might be better, so I welcome you this week to the new and improved version of our prayer requests.  

One of the big praise items is for the Keinath family.  For those of who don't know, Ed Keinath is the director of our CrossLife Ministries in Indiana.  He is a professional counselor and has been with AoR since it's formation in 2006 (if you're interested see http://www.hisaor.org/web-content/AboutUs.html).  We praise God with them for the wonderful news that their sons have received a call and assignment for ministry in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  One son, Daniel has been called into the ministry to serve at South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake, MN.  Joshua has been assigned as a vicar to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fredricksburg, VA.  We pray that God will use these young men mightily for His glory and that they will learn much and grow in grace each day.

We thank God this week for the productive Board of Directors meeting we had over the weekend.  All of our directors arrived  safely and met for the whole day on Saturday.  Much good news was shared and the directors gave direction for the next quarter.  We praise God for each of them and for all of the opportunities He has opened up for AoR. Our Board member from Canada, Francis Taman, who is also going on the Australian trip has started a blog for those who are interested. You can find it at http://francistaman.blogspot.com/. 

This week there is much preparing going on in our office.  Ted and Bruce continue to plan for their trips to Australia, as well as tending to the many other duties that they normally have.  We pray that God will keep them healthy and able to serve in their many roles. I am busy getting boxes of resources ready for the 16 district conventions where we will have resource tables.  Just keeping straight what is going where has been a challenge, not to mention making sure enough books, brochures, etc. have been ordered and produced.  We are eagerly awaiting our newest resource, Cultivating Livestyles of Reconciliation.  This is the combined information from Guiding People Through Conflict and Reconciliation Ministries Manual.  We expect it to be here by May 1st.  We pray God will use this tool mightily.  We also pray that God will bless the representatives who will "man" our book tables at the district conventions.  We hope many people will learn of our organization and that God will bring His message of biblical peacemaking to those who need it.

Dear friends, you have many experiences seeing God work through you and others as you guide people in reconciliation.  I invite you to share those stories here so that others will be uplifted and encouraged in their walk of faith.  God bless you and thank you for your faithful service of lifting the needs of AoR to the throne of grace.  Keep checking back, I will post weekly and I look forward to seeing your stories and comments.