October 3, 2013
We are “gifted to grow.” That is, God’s gifts of grace in our lives are not intended merely for self-improvement . . . we are called to grow in love, and in service, and in giving financially for the sake of the gospel. Proportionate giving (giving as a percentage of our income) is the way that First Lutheran has grown to be the kind of community that we have become. As a congregation, we give away a percentage of our offerings for the sake of the worldwide mission of the church of Christ. Thus, this parish’s proportionate giving becomes a model for each of our households. What a privilege it is to belong to a congregation that trusts God’s grace in such a specific, concrete way! In the midst of flood-ravaged communities this fall, we know that there are many requests for our charitable gifts. But the work of the church goes on in this context. Please help First Lutheran continue as a witness to the grace of Christ as we wrap up our 135th anniversary year. You may plege on-line on our Electronic Pledge Page. Giving Commitment Weekend is October 26-27. Each new or renewed commitment is a great encouragement to this ministry. Please help your church community to be strong in mission in the coming year.
We also encourage you to use the percentage giving guide as a tool: what portion will be designated for God’s work through our congregation in the coming year?
Thank you for your pledges, tithes, and offerings during 2013. Please share generously as we look to 2014.
Blessings in Christ,
Steve Berke, Pastor
On that first Easter shouts of Christ is Risen, He is Risen indeed were not heard. Instead there were first cries of the tomb is empty! As the mystery and meaning of this event unfolded for the women and men who followed Jesus their weeping and bewilderment would turn to joy at the news that Jesus’ resurrection had won victory over the grave.
The tomb is still empty for us today. We are left with the same message that was given to Mary, to go and tell that Jesus lives and reigns. We are left with the same image of an empty tomb and a word to share. This word is that we need not fear all that life has to bring because we are Easter people; people who live in the hope of resurrection, people who can proclaim the FULL promises of God–grace, mercy, forgiveness and a God who walks with us through it all and ultimately gives us a full life in the eternal.
May you remember each day that the tomb is empty. May you know that you are a child of God given the full promises of the resurrection. May you live your life in this word, in this hope.
Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!