Fide is a WELS worship band that exisits (sic) to provide alternative worship styles to enrich the church.
Fide's Summer of Service:
Fide is a WELS worship band that exisits (sic) to provide alternative worship styles to enrich the church
- Fide is a worship band of three students at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI, the school that trains men to be pastors in the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod. We spend our summer leading music and bible lessons for Vacation Bible School progams, coaching and leading music and Bible lessons at soccer camps, playing worship concerts, and leading weekend worship for WELS congregations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We appreciate the opportunity God has given us to use our talents and pray that he continues to bless us with the most enjoyable and fulfilling summer job we have ever had.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The last two weeks of June reminded us of how loving our Savior is. It is amazing enough that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). But on top of that, God gives us hundreds—no—millions of blessings. He has given us food, safety, health, family, friends, and a country that allows us to worship God without fear. On top of that, he has given (to the members of Fide especially) opportunities to serve him and others, special talents to use in his service, and success in those opportunities. We have immeasurably more than we deserve.Imagine you are standing under the majestic Niagara Falls. You hold out your hands under the water—trying to cup as much of it as possible—but it fills your hands and runs over. You can try as hard as you can, and you just won’t be able to fit all of that water in your hands. That’s what it’s like to try to understand our Savior’s love. The little that we can grasp is amazing, but his love overflows to us more that we can understand, imagine, or even hope for.That love and grace of God has been evident these past two weeks as we served at Living Word in Waukesha and at St. Paul’s First Lutheran in LaCrosse. God gave us more opportunities to teach children about this overflowing love God has for them as we helped run our first soccer camp of the year. We’d like to think that we’re in pretty good shape, but there wasn’t a day of soccer camp that we finished without needing a tall glass of water and a powernap. At the camp, we each served as the head coaches for the three age divisions. We had a lot of fun running drills and games, getting kicked in the shins, and teaching the kids about their Savior. Twice a day, all of the campers would meet together at the edge of the field—once for the new soccer skill for the day, and once for the devotion. I think the kids learned during both sessions, but the latter was far more important. One quick story:I had the privilege of coaching the oldest group of campers. They were, for the most part, very cooperative. They really enjoyed playing soccer and were willing to learn from an amateur like me. There were a handful of the campers, however, that were…well…a handful. As tempers flared and children melted down, I too got a little frustrated. But these setbacks (as I originally saw them) were a great chance to teach the kids about repentance and forgiveness. Most importantly, I could tell them that Jesus had forgiven them for their fits of anger and unkindness, but we also got to talk about how we treat other people and how Jesus wants us to treat others. I think they had heard the “talk” about forgiveness before, but we explored the new concept (to some of them, at least) of forgiving and forgetting as well. After all, what good is it if you tell someone that you forgive them, but in your heart, you are still holding on to your anger and frustration? Are we modeling Christ-like forgiveness if we say “I forgive you,” but we don’t also forget it?At the last day of camp, our group huddled up for the last time. I asked the campers how they thought the day went and they all told me it was great. I wasn’t too surprised by this. They weren’t quick to complain. When I asked them what they like about the day, however, I was pleasantly surprised.Coach Caleb: “Well what did you like about today?”Camper #1: “We didn’t have any fights today and we all got along.”Camper #2, 3: “Yeah, that was great.”The maturity and growth I saw from these 9 and 10 year olds was astounding! They had not only learned this idea of repentance and forgiveness, but were already applying it! What a blessing to see God working in their hearts!In Lacrosse, we got a chance to set aside the cleats and shin guards in exchange for a little more time teaching music. The VBS was a blast! The kids really enjoying stomping, clapping, and do-si-do-ing to some of the bluegrass songs. On the last day of VBS, we took the kids up to Grandad bluff so they could look out over God’s creation. They were pretty amazed at what they saw when we arrived at the top.A big thanks goes out to the Niemis for hosting us—thanks for playing cards/scattergories/boggle with us! We finished off the week with a concert and a worship service in Racine, followed by another concert the next day in Winona, MN.Please keep us in your prayers as we continue our summer ministry. Stayed tuned for more updates.God bless!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
My friends, we do not have a distant God. We have a God that is living and active. We have a God that cares about lost sheep and about imperfect shepherds. We saw God working for, with, and through us this past week as we served St. John’s in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.We had a blast at St. John’s, and especially enjoyed staying with the Gartners. Michelle, Dave, Nic, and Luke were amazing hosts, and I can honestly say that this week we were neither bored nor hungry. We ate like kings. We played basketball, golf, baseball, Brawl™, and Chess; we celebrated 3 Birthdays and a father’s day, and we laughed more than we have in a while.The VBS we were involved in didn’t start until Tuesday morning, so we had all of Monday to relax and get acquainted. It was Caleb Schultz’s birthday, so after we prepared for VBS, he spent much of the day with his fiancée, Becky. Peter and I found some stuff to do in the meantime. Thankfully, St. John’s was short a few players on their church league softball team, so we helped fill in some spots. I think we did alright…Peter hit a grand slam.On to VBS! We had a blast with the kids in Redwood Falls. We each taught the daily Bible lesson to a different age group, and we tackled the music as a group (big surprise there). You could tell by the smiles on their faces and the energy in their dancing and singing that the kids were having a good time with the band. They especially enjoyed our foot-stompin’ Bluegrass arrangement of “Peace Like a River.”Ever since Peter bought an electric pickup for his banjo, we’ve started incorporating the banjo into our music a little more. Bluegrass is a surprisingly big hit with kids. Seriously. Try it sometime. On a musical note (see what I did there), this summer we’ve had more time to focus on our music than we have in the past, and it’s been a huge blessing. Instead of doing enough to get by (which happened a few times last summer), we’ve been able to work on the fine details of our music that make it sound even more polished and professional. It’s hard to beat a summer’s worth of playing music and telling both young and old about Jesus.Let me tell you about Miclain. Miclain doesn’t go to the same grade school, like most of the campers at VBS. Miclain, a 1st grader, was always really pumped about VBS. He was excited to see us in the mornings and was always interested in the lessons. After the first day, Miclain came into the class and we had the following conversation:…Miclain: “Hey, Mr. Caleb (that’s what the kids call me these days).”Mr. Caleb: “What’s up, Miclain?”Miclain: “Mr. Caleb, I told my mom about the story we did yesterday.”Mr. Caleb: “Oh, about Bezalel?” (We had just learned about him because he helped build the tabernacle and used his gifts to serve God)Miclain: “No, about what Jesus did.”…It took nearly all of my self-control not to pick up this small boy, give him a huge hug and shout to the world “YES! THIS IS AWESOME! EVERYBODY BE LIKE THIS GUY!” I think I was still visibly overjoyed—and Miclain seemed pretty happy too. If only we could all be that excited and that fearless about the good news of our Savior.The same day, Caitlin—another girl whose parents don’t attend St. John’s—told us about the best gift she has received. We were talking about our favorite birthday and Christmas gifts as an ice breaker and after people told us about 4-wheelers, cats, games, and walkie-talkies, Caitlin told us, simply, that her favorite gift was “God.” Perhaps she was just giving a typical “Sunday School answer,” but I like to think that God had strengthened the faith in her heart through his Word. We went on to talk about the greatest gift of all—Jesus, but Caitlin had beaten me to the punch. What an amazing display of childlike faith that trusts without asking questions.Caitlin's response made me think. God doesn’t just work faith through the sermons and the sacraments and the adult Bible classes, but he works and strengthens faith in the simple Bible lessons we teach our children. It's good to be reminded that their souls are just as precious as ours--just as capable of trusting in Jesus, and just as capable of showing Christ's love.On Friday, we helped St. John’s promote their school and Early Childhood Learning Center as we played in the Redwood Falls Parade. We set up our instruments on a big flatbed trailer and played a few of our favorite hymns as we drove through the streets of this lovely town. We’ve never done anything like that before, and we may never do anything like it again, but we all agreed it was pretty awesome.Last, but not least, we led worship Saturday night and Sunday morning. I preached and led the liturgy, while we played the psalm and all the hymns. We added some musical variety in our arrangements, including Caleb Schultz on the bass, me on guitar, and Peter on the Banjo and the rarely-used Cabasa! As he has been thus far, God was with us again in our praise and proclamation of the gospel. What an amazing opportunity he has given us!Friends, please pray for us as we continue our summer ministry. Pray for all those who will hear the message we spread. Pray that the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of all those we meet. Pray that God keeps us safe and that he keeps us focused on HIM alone.Grace and Peace,
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
We are back on the road again. This year we are doing things a little bit differently, but still keeping the same basic idea. This year, we aren't spending any weeks with congregations to do prep work for their programs, we are simply doing 10 full weeks of 6 VBS programs and 4 soccer camps. The other weeks we basically have off, save for a few Sunday morning worship services and a few concerts.
We got a nice tune up Sunday at St. Marcus a little over a week ago. It was great to get back with the guys to get our feet wet again. Plus, it was nice, among all the graduations and call services at MLC and WLS, to get a chance to play together before we start travelling.
Our first real tour stop was at Mt. Lebanon in Milwaukee. They have recently started having a large community picnic at the beginning of summer and asked us to be one of the live music selections. Unfortunately, after our hour long set, we had to pack up and leave, so we didn't get to participate in many of the games. We did, however, get to hear the United Voices of Praise and the Siloah Gospel Choir who sang after us. It was a great experience and we really enjoyed interacting with the people at Mt. Lebanon.
Our journey took us on a 2 drive to Montello, WI on Saturday evening. After seeing Immanuel in Mecan (the mother church), we went to the larger St. John's in Montello (daughter church). We set up our equipment and made sure everything was ready to go for our first self-written worship service. We stayed the night with Caleb Schultz's grandparents.
On Sunday morning, we all pilled into the van to get to church and got everything warmed up. The preservice music was provided by the chimes choir of St. John's, under the direction of Caleb Schultz's grandfather, Rolfe Westendorf. The service went off without a hitch. The congregation took a little time to get into the music, but by the end, they were singing along beautifully. Caleb Schultz preached, and got many compliments on being a "chip off the old block" since he was preaching at his grandparent's church.
After that 8am service, we packed up all the stuff and drove 15 mins down the road to Immanuel and set up there to do the same service. It also went well. We met a lot of wonderful, encouraging people at these congregations. They treated us so well that when some of them asked us to come back next Sunday, we considered it for a bit. ;)
After lunch, we started one of our longest drives of the summer, a 6 1/2 drive to Olivia, MN. We arrived at the Luetke's house safely, and visited with them before looking at a few VBS things. Monday was preparing the annual Jesus Cares Summer Fun Night in Olivia. Around 100 Jesus Cares campers and their helpers were there as we delivered a 7 song concert, complete with short object lessons, sing along, and many tambourines and maracas. This was definitely a highlight of Fide's existence so far. So many souls loved by God, singing their hearts out to "We Are Singing" while tastefully and somewhat uncontrollably shaking tambourines. It was wonderful. We all smiled a lot last night.
Today is the first day of VBS. We are all set up in the church and just need to finalize all the music that we will teach this week. It will be exciting for both us and Zion here in Olivia. Their VBS attendance numbers are a little higher than normal, so we are pumped to serve a bunch of little "Olives." :P
That's all for now. Follow our facebook page for pictures and updates throughout the summer.
Up from the grave he arose with a mighty triumph o'er his foes.
He arose the victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Man, what a crazy summer. So many lessons, so many blessings; a whole weekend seminar maybe could scratch the surface of what we learned this summer.
But since we last checked in, we finished VBS in Black Creek and did worship with them on Sunday. That same day, we drove to Shawano, WI, which is not too far from Black Creek and played for Divine Savior's Community Corn Roast. Think church picnic where the whole city is invited. They expected a little more than 300 people, 500+ showed up. We had the chance to play for three hours (with some breaks), but it was the most we had ever played at one event. We enjoyed the chance to be a little more loose than we are in worship, and lot of people said wonderful things about us there. Hopefully, the community became more aware of the church and possibly heard a good thing or two from the messages of the hymns we played. After playing more than 30 songs (if you combine morning worship and afternoon concert, we started the long trek to Arlington.
We got in at 2am, and had to be ready for soccer camp the next day. It was a challenge, but we did it. Thanks in large part to Caleb Schmiege, we were prepared for the day, and we worked hard the next morning to get the camp off the ground. We enlisted the help of the Petzel's, Zach, Jordan, and their mom, Judy, who helped with registration and coaching, but the biggest part of our team for the week was Bill Sergenian. Bill came all the way from Madison on his own tab to help us with camp. His experience with the soccer camps in Madison and Mississauga helped a great deal. He also helped by paying for the backpacks and water bottles for all the kids and by taking and printing all the pictures from the camp. We served 21 children with some soccer skills and God's Word. It was a great success and we hope that St. Paul's continues this camp in future years because we can really see the potential for growth in this camp.
We had a chance to help with a youth group gathering in Arlington. We all got to hang out with the kids from St. Paul's youth group, and Caleb Schmiege gave a nice devotion for them before we sang some guitar accompanied hymns. We also had the chance to go to Glencoe, MN to help them with their VBS music and closing program. We got the chance to teach and sing with the kids at their VBS. Doing kid's music has never been our forte, but we definitely enjoy the teaching and hearing those kids sing their hearts out. Maybe their parents could learn a thing or two. ;)
After worship on Sunday in Arlington, we packed up and headed to St. James, MN for a concert that was supposed to be outside. Unfortunately, weather took another outdoor event from us and we did our concert in the sanctuary of St. Paul's there in St. James. We enjoyed the concert and we were well received in St. James.
We finally went to our last stop, Mankato, where it all began. We were confronted with helping Pastor Siverly plan the hymns for the services in the upcoming year, and we all enjoyed the opportunity to give our suggestions to him. We also got the chance to lead a Bible study, help a family move out of a house and got a bunch of time to finish recording. We did a concert on Thursday night which was well attended and was a great way to thank St. Mark's for all they had done for us. We finally prepared for worship on Sunday, which was great, and packed up for the final time. Peter and Sam went to MLC, Caleb and Caleb back to Wisconsin.
As far as CD's go, they will be ready to given out within the week. They will be available on soundcloud.com and also via a .zip file by e-mail to Caleb Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org). It will be almost 20 tracks that we haven't recorded previously. We did the recordings on our equipment, so it's not professional quality, but the purpose was not ever to make money, but to show how our hymns can very easily be adapted into a musical style that more people in our culture today can relate to. If you love listening to it, that makes us really proud, but we hope that you will use it to show your congregation that they are a hop, skip and a jump away from doing what we do. Caleb Schultz should also be contacted if you want the resources of Fide's hymn chord charts. They can be a great place to start if you're looking to start something similar to Fide at your church.
Finally, what is next for Fide? Not much during the school year. Peter and Sam will, at least, begin the year working with St. Mark in Mankato every third Sunday of the month. Caleb and Caleb will use their talents around Sem and hopefully in their Early Field Training assignments. Next summer is up in the air. We will let this summer sit for a month or two and then start talking about next summer. If you are interested in having us next summer for worship music, a concert, help with your VBS either in teaching, music or both, or any combination of those, let Caleb Schultz know, and he will keep you informed on the progress of Fide tour next summer. Until there is any news, we will not be posting many new things on our blog, but stay connected to our Facebook page for any news. Thank you for reading our blog this summer and for the support you gave to us. We are truly blessed by God and thank him often for the blessings he gave us through this summer.
"And then when all my days shall cease, let me depart in joy and peace, in answer to my pleading."
Monday, July 30, 2012
We are back in Black Creek. We are riding the most exciting wave of emotions and experiences we have received all summer. This is week 3 of 3 consecutive VBS programs. Let me tell you about the past two week and what we are looking forward to this week.
In Mankato, we were a large part of their Sky VBS. Caleb Schmiege was Flash Skyrunner, a quirky character who did skits at the beginning of every day of VBS. He also did the Bible stories for all the older kids. Peter did all the preschool work. He told the stories, did most of the games and crafts and had a wonderful time doing it. The experience of seeing preschoolers clap when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead is one of those rewards that God has given us this summer. Sam was in charge of the Imagination Station which ended being the hit of the whole VBS. He had explosions, helicopter frisbees, and a slingshot that was being played with even after VBS was over. Caleb Schultz taught the songs and ran the games for the older kids as well as doing the opening and closing skits of each day with Caleb Schmiege. Overall, we all enjoyed the jobs that we did and we felt like we were really appreciated too. Comments like, "It's so great to finally be proud of our VBS," or "this was the best VBS my child went to all summer" are still ringing in my ears. God is great. We had many churched kids in VBS in Mankato, but we were blessed with a little under 10 non-churched children. We pray that they learned to "Trust God" (the theme of Sky VBS) and to see him as their only means of salvation.
We then went to Lannon for our last week with them. They also did Sky, but this VBS was a little different. Not only were all four of us working on Bible stories together, but this VBS was three times the size of Mankato's. Caleb, with the help of the guys, again go to teach the songs, but the fun for us was in the Bible stories. From preschoolers completely engaged by the large man in the fake beard who just told us that he was Jesus to crew leaders laughing at Barnacle Bill, the deckhand on Jonah's ship, it was a wonderful experience. The success of the VBS was very great here also. Every year previous to this, their VBS had decreased in numbers as the week went on. This year, the numbers not only didn't decreased, but they increased as the week went on! What a blessing!
Leaving Lannon was difficult, but we know that God will take care of that congregation and the friends we made there. We will see them all again in Heaven, but we hope we can see them again before then.
After a Sunday night service at St. Marcus in Milwaukee which went very well, we travelled to Black Creek for our last VBS of the summer. We are doing "Back To Jerusalem" here. We are jointly teaching the songs, Caleb Schmiege is doing the upper level Bible study, Caleb Schultz is doing the teen leader Bible study, and Peter and Sam are helping with crafts. We are all part of the opening devotional skits for each day also.
We have started recording again. We are planning to record as many of our arrangements as we can before the summer ends and to send it to the congregations we worked with this summer as our gift to them. Of course, when it is available, anyone can get their hands on one. Watch our Facebook page for updates on when you can get our next demo.
Next week is soccer camp in Arlington, probably the biggest challenge of this summer for us. We are getting close to the end. Please continue to pray for us and the work we are doing so more people can be reached with the Gospel.
"Fight the good fight with all your might, Christ is your strength and Christ your light."
Saturday, July 14, 2012
It's been a while since we have checked in with our blog work. That's because we have been very busy and loving it. Let's catch up, huh? ;)
Our three musical events in three days went better than we even could have predicted. Pewaukee was a great location to lead worship. From the way the people talked to us after church, we surpassed their expectations. We love when that happens.
Our trip then took us to Wisconsin Rapids for two services on Sunday morning. Both went very well. Again, we were blessed with a lot of positive comments. We did had a few comments that weren't thrilled with our work, and we regret that we can't please everyone. We just hope that we can educate people on the benefit of changing the style of music that accompanies hymns. It's always a learning process and we are thankful for the criticism as well as the praise. It keeps us humble, focused on Jesus, and always improving. We had the chance to do our hymn study between services, which is always fun for us.
We then headed to Grace in Ridgeway, MN for our first concert of the summer. We were confident that we were musically prepared, but it's always intimidating trying something for the first time. However, God brought us through it, and he blessed us and the congregation through the words of the hymns. Grace received us very well and we definitely enjoy our time there both playing hymns and interacting with the members.
Next was Arlington for our second week there. This was a soccer camp prep week. We were getting a little nervous with only 11 kids signed up by the deadline that we had set (July 1). But God once again reminded us that his timetable is different than ours and that we should just trust him to take care of us and bless what we are doing. As of right now, we have expanded that number to 22 with a couple others still on the way. Our first goal was to get at least 20 kids...way to go, God! ;) We will keep praying that he expands those numbers so more kids can be told about Jesus through soccer camp. Our lofty (but achievable for God) goal is to have 40 kids. We believe that God can bless us with those numbers. Please, take a moment now, stop reading this blog, and ask God to bless Soccer Camp in Arlington.
This past week has been our first in Black Creek, WI with Immanuel. Pastor Steve has been absolutely wonderful in planning a lot of work for us to do. One thing that we all appreciated were daily morning meetings for Bible study. We all grew in faith and knowledge of God's love for us. We studied humility, patience, contentment, and love in those studies. We have planned a great deal of the VBS material that we will be presenting in a few weeks. We spent four days canvassing various parts of Black Creek and Shiocton, WI. We created a prospect list of interest in the new child care facility on Immanuel's property and in the church. Pastor Steve even took us out to see The Amazing Spiderman. Definitely worth seeing. :) Obviously, canvassing tends to produce a lot of "no's," but God has blessed each of us at different times in canvassing as his will permits with great conversations or interest in the church and childcare facility. We are praying that the Holy Spirit begins working faith in the hearts of the people we invited to church either by bringing them on Sunday, through meeting Pastor Steve and John (the childcare director), or by whatever means he sees fitting.
After worship tomorrow, we have a concert in La Crosse at First Lutheran at 6:30pm (if you're in the area). We are really looking forward to this opportunity to play there. After the concert, we continue our drive, ending in Mankato. VBS starts Monday...oh boy! It's going to be a quick turnaround, but we know that God will take care of us and continue to bless us. Pray for us, please. :)
"Your grace is enough for me. Heaven reaching down to earth, I'm covered in your love. Your grace is enough for me."
Friday, June 29, 2012
For worship in Mankato, we took a survey about our worship. Overall, the responses were very positive. The most often seen negative feedback was about our volume, which could be related to us using our own sound system for the first time in Mankato. Also, St. Mark's is the smallest sanctuary that we will lead worship in this summer, so we may have been victims of expecting our amps to be as loud as they had been. Either way, we learned some things that we can improve on and were refocused on why we lead worship in the first place, to facilitate the worship of the people in the pews.
We spent another week in Lannon. The work load was less than last time we were there, but more work had to be done musically than normal, so the extra time was nice. We added two members of St. John's grade school who had approached us last time we were around to our arrangements. Hattie sang and Maria played xylophone. We appreciated their work.
We also worked on the school building preparing it to be wax and carpet cleaned. We also spent some time with St. John's youth group, Wildfire.
We also had to prepare for and lead worship in West Bend, WI for Rev. Bob Hein's 25th anniverssary of being a pastor. The service was very nice and the congregation was very kind to us also. We got asked about recordings and about future visits to West Bend.
On Monday, we prepared for three events in three days. We have worship in Pewaukee on Saturday night, Wisconsin Rapids on Sunday morning, and a concert in Ridgeway, MN on Monday night. The services are pretty basic for us, but preparing for our first concert of the summer is really exciting. We all enjoyed working on some really well-known Christmas hymns. We are really proud of the arrangements we are playing for the concert, and we are also hoping that we prepared our concert well enough that it will show people the life of Jesus and his work.
We are on a week off right now and will come back together on Saturday for worship. Keep praying for us.
"Speak, Oh Savior, I am listen as a servant to his Lord."
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