Weekly Moment with Pastor Susan

Happy woman at sunset
Pastor Susan

Dear ones,

Many people have asked about my vacation so I want first to share that we had a lovely week in Wisconsin. It was relaxing and I enjoyed lots of outdoor time. We were especially blessed in that although we had highs in the 60s and 70s, a week before we arrived there had been a hard frost. That had triggered many of the trees to display their beautiful fall colors and it was breathtaking!

Thank you to Steve Hess who kicked off our Stewardship Ministry Month last Sunday. We look forward to sharing with you all the ways Messiah has made a difference in people’s lives, and what our plans are for the future. You may have already received a packet of information with a Ministry Impact report, along with some informational material and a pledge card. We hope you will read it carefully for a “big picture” view of the ministries of this congregation and see clearly what we accomplish among us and in the community. Also included is a handout from the ELCA that breaks down what the churchwide organization and the synod does with the dollars we send to them (called mission support). I think it’s important for all to understand how we are part of the larger church and to recognize how we contribute to ministry locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide. I tithe, as I’m sure many of you do, and I think it’s important to consider how we as a church support the wider Church.

This year we have been sending 5% of our giving for mission support, and I would like us to make some efforts to increase that, perhaps by 1% each year, until we are tithing to the synod (and by extension to the ELCA as a whole) sometime in the next 5 years.

I hope you will pray about your own giving, and consider making a pledge, either formally or as a commitment between you and God, to continue and maybe even increase your support of this congregation. I know that many are feeling financial anxiety these days, and if that includes you, please pray for clarity about how much or how often you are able to give.

 And remember, stewardship is a ministry of our whole lives – not just a yearly season of preparing the budget. As we grow in faith, we may become more trusting of God’s promised providence and presence with us. Your gifts of time and energy are also so very important to the life of the church, so we will not be neglecting conversation about how those can be shared in areas that bring you joy and satisfaction.

I hope you will complete the ELCA spiritual gifts inventory to perhaps discover areas of our ministry to which you might be called to serve. The Stewardship Team will be offering opportunities for us to gather (when it’s safe) to explore this more fully.

I am deeply grateful for the faithfulness you show in supporting the mission of our church with your time, energy and financial resources. I hope you find joy in serving in all those ways to bring Glory to God here and in your whole lives. 

I am truly grateful to serve as your pastor and thank God for bringing me here!

Pastor Susan

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