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Special Voters’ Meeting Notice


Special Voters’ Meeting Notice

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At Faith Bentonville, “our mission is to serve a busy and distracted community, encourage them to find true fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and participate in the community of believers.” This mission reminds us of our call to serve each other and our community even during the time of change that we face within our congregation. 

Pastoral Vacancy

We are grateful for all that Cris and Coli have done for our community and us during their five years here at Faith, and we’re excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for them as they transition to their new congregation at Grace Lutheran. Please keep them in your prayers that they may continue to grow as leaders in God’s church and bring the good news of our Savior to the community of Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

The Board of Directors will be meeting with district leaders to determine the plan of action during the vacancy. Please pray for us and for the church, that we may follow the course that God has chosen for Faith.

Annual Budget

As you may recall, the congregation voted in June to approve a 3-month budget to give the church leaders an opportunity to consider options to manage the forecasted annual deficit of $49,625. The Board will be seeking the congregation’s approval of a revised proposed budget at a special congregational meeting on Sunday, September 25. 

Three significant events have occurred since the June meeting which have lowered the forecasted deficit to $18,890. 1) The congregation has been asked to pledge their contribution for the year, providing a more accurate estimate of General Fund Contributions; 2) While it will offer a different set of challenges, the pastoral vacancy will reduce the staff investment for the current year; and 3) We are refinancing the mortgage of the church, which will offer a savings of over $20,000 in Operation Investments. 

We hope you will plan to attend and participate in this important meeting on September 25, immediately following the church service. Faith Bentonville is at a crossroads and the support of the entire congregation is needed to determine the course that God has chosen for us.  

Psalm 29: 11
“The Lord give strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

May God’s peace be with you. 

In Christ,

The Board of Directors
Keith Brummett – Chairman, Beth Schommer – Secretary, Doug Hurt, Jennifer Yeager



Call Announcement from Pastor Cris

Dear Faith Lutheran Church,

This last month has been very interesting in the Escher household. Early in August I received two additional calls apart from my call here at Faith within an hour of each other, both in Florida.  This sent Coli and me on a journey that has been both spiritual and physical. While we have been on this path, we were continuously praying to our Heavenly Father for clarity as to where we should serve.  

Coli and I believe we have clarity, because we have an uncommon peace about our decision.

I am accepting the call to Grace Lutheran Church in Port Saint Lucie, Florida and therefore am declining my current call at Faith Lutheran Church and declining the call that was also extended to me at Trinity Lutheran Church in Panama City, Florida.

This was no easy decision, as it has taken much time, travel, expense, and prayer to understand where we should be and serve. Visiting with all of the people in the Port St. Lucie and Panama City areas, having difficult conversations, asking and answering tough questions, and making memories on our two visits was an enjoyable and productive time. We used the visits as an opportunity to see how God is working in different areas and how we might serve the Kingdom in a new way.

As we have wrestled with whether or not to remain in Northwest Arkansas or pursue service in another place, we have reflected on ministry opportunities, our own strengths and weaknesses, and the gifts and needs of the three congregations and communities in which they reside. We are ready to begin a new journey in Florida by serving in Port St. Lucie, though we will miss you all and hope nothing but the best for you in the future.

Thank you for your friendship, partnership, and love over these past five years. Bentonville is where we served in full time ministry for the first time, bought our first home, have lived as a married couple the longest, and learned to call the Hogs. We have so many happy memories tied to serving alongside you at Faith and out in the community. We will miss this place.

We pray that you all may continue to grow in Christ and be a beacon to the Northwest Arkansas community.

Best wishes,

Cris and Coli Escher



A Message from Pastor Cris

Faith Family,

Throughout the five years I have served as pastor at Faith Bentonville, I have always been open to the prospect of interviewing with other congregations and seeing where the Lord is working in the Kingdom. Over the years I have had the chance to share my vision for ministry with congregations all across the country and hear from them about how God is working in their churches. I have always taken away positives from these interviews in the past. These interviews have been routine, part of the Call Process of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. It has always been my intention to share with the congregation if any of these interviews has led to a job offer, also known in the LCMS as a Divine Call.

For the past five years I have been called to Faith, but this week on Wednesday I learned that another congregation has called me as their pastor. Then on Thursday I learned of yet another congregation that has called me as their pastor. The first church is in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and the second is in Panama City, Florida. What this means is that until I decide which call to hold, I have 3 calls.

On Sunday, August 21 Coli and I will worship with the congregation in Port St. Lucie, and then on Sunday, August 28 we will worship with the congregation in Panama City. Visiting with these congregations and learning more about their ministries will help Coli and me to best decide how we can best be used to further the Kingdom in the future, whether that is to remain at Faith or to journey to one of these other churches.

We will be prayerfully considering our gifts and weaknesses as well as the needs and strengths of all three cities and congregations. Please be in prayer for us, for our Faith family, and for the other two churches. My intention is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. I am taking this situation very seriously, as it is not unheard of but it is unusual to have 2 potential calls (besides my current call). I am praying for God’s direction.

I am open to hearing your thoughts and questions regarding this process. My plan at this time is to announce my decision on Sunday, September 4. If this timeline changes or as other news unfolds, I will keep you all informed.

In Christ,

Pastor Cris Escher

Faith Bentonvill



Email Blast 8-6-16

This Wednesday

Celebrate the last days of Summer Vacation with Water and the Word Wednesday

6:15-7:30 pm

Youth, kids, and adults are invited to participate in water games, swimming, and an inflatable water slide.
If you can come early to help set up, please email

I Support Faith

Linked is a document shared with the congregation last Sunday regarding ways to help out around the church. Please read it and consider how you and your family can partner with Faith in a new way!

There is a link to sign up for a specific job:

 You can sign up for jobs in the Sanctuary Lobby.

As we look ahead to planning the annual church budget, please fill out a pledge card by August 28th. These are available on the Sanctuary sound board. Tithing commitments are anonymous. 

Dusty Bible Blog!

Faith has a new once a week Blog from Mike Blackford. His hope is simply to be an encouragement - an encouragement to your daily walk with God, an encouragement to trust Him more, and an encouragement to blow off your dusty old Bible. 
Welcome to the Dusty Bible Blog.

Purchase Directory Pictures!

It has come to my attention that not everyone received the instructions regarding viewing and purchasing portraits.

How to View Images and Purchase Prints

All images are posted in a private gallery on my website. Only those with the following link have access to the pictures; no one else can see them or find them on the internet.

To view your photos, click on individual images to enlarge them.

To purchase prints, click the "Buy" button. Click "CHANGE PRODUCT" to select print sizes or gifts and add to cart.

Make sure you click the green "place my order" button on the "Review Purchase" page after submitting all the payment info. You will receive an e-mail from Smugmug to let you know your order went through - be sure to check your spam or junk folders. If you don't get a message then you know the order hasn't been placed.

Carina Le

Schommer Backyard Dinners
are back for the summer!

Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, we'll gather starting at 6:30 for fellowship and dinner (and swimming). Bring a side to share!

Their address is 3811 West Pleasant Drive in Rogers.

Wednesday Night for Youth and Kids

Students in confirmation will continue to study with Pastor Cris, Kids up to grade 6 will be studying with Coli and Karra. Come join us for fun and Bible study at 6:15 every Wednesday!


The Wednesday night adult community group meets weekly as well. Come join them at 6:15 each Wednesday!


Current Community Groups

- 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at Schommer's house- 6:30 potluck grilling and pool time

- Every Wednesday at Faith - 6:15 pm discussion and Bible study

- Every Friday at Panera - 7:00 am men's Bible study

- Every other Sunday at the Escher's house - 6:30 women's prayer and share time


I Support Faith! 16'


I Support Faith! 16'

Dear Faith Family,

July 9 marked the start of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Tri-Annual Convention. This year’s LCMS campaign is encouraging congregation members to foster a healthy sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves and to share stories that inspire each other. This comes from the passage in 1 Peter 2:9 as believers are reminded that they are all part of the royal priesthood and a holy nation through Christ. Let’s tell the world how Jesus is working through us. The campaign is encouraging congregants and churches to use social media to highlight how they are serving and teaching by adding #thisisMYchurch to their posts. 

Even if you aren’t familiar with social media, I encourage you to work towards finding ways to make Faith YOUR church or make it YOUR church again. Although Christ is the head, he calls believers to take on roles as part of the body. Does that mean committing to attend a community group regularly? Does that mean signing up to serve as a communion usher or in the praise band? Does that mean reaching deeper into your wallet to share more financial resources through tithing? Does it include seeking Christian community for conversations that transform your life? Does it mean attending weekly worship gatherings more frequently? Does it mean serving others and sharing Christ’s love with those outside our walls as well as inside? Does that look like starting up (or restarting) family or personal Bible study time on a regular basis? We are one body in Christ, as He is the head. But you are part of the body too. Without working together, we cannot stand.  

At the yearly church meeting on June 26, the board shared the unfortunate fact that our budget is operating with a significant deficit, over $40,000. There are a few ways we can try to make ends meet, but many expenses have already been cut over the last four years, and our next step may include paid staff decisions. The congregation voted to approve the proposed budget but would like to encourage congregants to consider pledging to give more in the coming church year. Once pledge cards have been collected, we will hold a follow-up meeting in a few months to vote on a new budget.



There are many ways to participate in the ministry of Faith Bentonville that are explained on the following pages.

#1-31: Some areas around the church need cleaning and maintenance. We can save on cleaning costs by having more of you step up in a new model called “Jurisdictions” where families or individuals commit to keeping a specific area of the church clean on a regular basis. It is my hope that each person would sign up for at least one area (#1-31) to serve.

#32-35: There are many tasks needing filled to make Sunday mornings run smoothly or related to general up-keep. I hope that each adult would sign up for at least one ongoing commitment (#32-35). These jobs are on rotations scheduled by Sandy Brummett. If you are assigned to a week you can’t attend, just trade with someone else on the list.    

#38-47: What else can you do? Some needs come up occasionally, like setting up tables for a potluck or providing food for someone who’s had a baby. If you sign up to be on any of the phone/email lists for these jobs, you are always welcome to pass on a specific activity, but knowing who is remotely interested in being called upon will be an asset to planning teams and me.

#48-55: What about those ready to step into a bit more leadership? There are many balls to juggle around the church to make regular activities happen. Many are unrelated to specific Bible study preparation but are important to helping build community in the church. Are you willing to be the coordinator of any type of areas in the church? Please consider this option as you think you’re able.

Thank you for partnering with Faith Bentonville as we grow community and share Jesus. Prayerfully consider how God may use you in a new way in the coming months, as I will be doing as well.


Pastor Cris Escher