A Message From Pastor Val
Dear Members and Friends,
I hope this week’s letter finds you well! This week, I’m writing to you to update on opportunities and the challenges. As people of faith, these two words go well together. As Christians, we are given so many opportunities to live out our faith, and along with that, the challenges of doing so.
Our finance team met this week. As you know, we are amid our campaign, “Building for the Future.” I believe building for the future is something the church has done over all the years of the church, from the early church until now. We are always looking forward to what could come next, what we hope for and what we dream for as people called by God through Christ to work the Gospel in our lifetime.
As we looked at the current status of our financial position, we are seeing that unlike the last two years, we have had to use our line of credit more vigorously these last months. As you will hear on Sunday, we have currently used around $55,000 of it for our ongoing ministry needs and a few financial shortfalls. This is not a tremendous issue, as in the past, we have made up shortfalls during the winter months. Last night, I spent a lot of time in prayer, and I want to write to you the things that are on my heart for Peace Lutheran and for you as a member and friend of Peace Lutheran.
Sometimes, we hear news, and we think to ourselves, “wow, we can never overcome that.” That may be a first reaction. In other words, I’m not going to promote bakes sales or car washes; instead, I’m going to promote a possibility.
In our secular lives, we look at the economy and its upturns and downturns and we think, “well, it’s the economy, people are struggling” and we would be right. As faithful people, we turn to prayer, and we remember that the secular economy is not God’s economy. As faithful people, we turn to prayer and we remember that all of us together, when we each give a little each week, God blesses those gifts in God’s abundance for our lives. All the small things are the big things in God’s kingdom. Remember the parable of the mustard seed, that the tiny little seed grows into such a large bush, that even the birds can nest in it. That’s God’s economy; all the little seeds come together to build what could have never been before. That is the story of the church. God seeks to bless God’s people, so that we together can be a blessing for others so that we can build what could have never been before.
No one in the church wants anyone to go hungry or to give when there is nothing left to give. No one wants anyone to give until it hurts. That’s not God’s intention for anyone who is struggling to put food on the table or balance the purchase of prescriptions or keep a roof over their heads. If there are those in our midst, then this church needs to be providing for them.
For those of us who are blessed with some financial security, enough to enjoy that first or second Starbucks in any week; For those of us who can, then the possibility and challenge belong to us. I think coffee is good, as do most of you. In evaluating my own giving pattern, I want to do even more. I encourage you to do that as well.
I remember a few years ago, one of the little congregations that I grew up in had a financial emergency. The main window in the parsonage had broken, in fact, all the windows needed to be replaced and the parsonage updated, and there was no funding to care for that portion of the property. I received a letter from them asking for just a little gift so that the repairs and replacements could be made. I was so thankful for that letter; it reminded me that it doesn’t take a lot to do great things. I sent a gift, others sent gifts, and within 10 days, the new windows were ordered for that quite elderly parsonage, enough so that they were also able to plan a new roof for the sanctuary that had been put on a back burner because there were never enough funds to get it done. If the church hadn’t invited me into the possibility and challenge, I would not have had the opportunity to respond.
Are my words to you today out of worry or concern? Absolutely not. My words are information and invitation. Like you, my faith is my foundation, and like you, I understand that as we live our faith together, we are called to welcome opportunity and meet challenge.
My purpose today is to invite you in on the ground floor and the possibilities to meet the challenge we have as a congregation. I’m proposing that we meet this challenge now and not wait until the Christmas season or the end of the year. November is traditionally a time of returning thanks, of remembering our blessings, those of family and friends, and faith. I’m proposing a goal to meet this budget by December 1. That is exactly three weeks from today. How will we do this? We will do it like we do everything in life, one step at a time. For the next three weeks, we will pray for our congregation, for its ministries, for its staff and volunteers and for our members and friends, as we make our financial gifts. Our financial gifts don’t have to be large or extravagant because we know God will bless the heart and intention of the giver of the gift. That’s our mustard seed faith; that God takes what is small to make it great in the Kingdom of God.
I think this can be a powerful time for all of us, rich with possibility and with the promise of God’s abundant will for our community of faith. As the new year approaches, we look forward to all the ways we will hear, serve and live God’s word in our lives. While no one knows what the future holds, as people of faith, we know who holds the future.
I believe this is a rich possibility and challenge. It’s truly amazing to see what God can do through the lives of ordinary people like you and me. On our own, no one of us can meet these challenges, but together, in faith, there isn’t a challenge we can’t meet or an opportunity we can’t seek. God is the God of possibilities and we come to know those as we step out in faith.
I look forward to hearing your stories of faith, and the ways you have been inspired in your spiritual journey! Take care… be safe… Pastor Valerie
Cell: 612-280-6493 Email: [email protected]
Church: 763-757-4459 Email: [email protected]
The following is the update on Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket ministry, an invitation for First Communion Class and the Butter Braid Sale for the Preschool.
Santa Claus is coming to town!! Mark your calendars for Sunday, December 11th, following the Sunday School Christmas program. Santa will be available for pictures and there will be treats for the little ones!!
Thank you for your ongoing food donations for the Thanksgiving Basket ministry. At this time, we would appreciate boxed oatmeal packets, peanut butter and jelly, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned chicken and tuna. If you want to participate in the Christmas Basket ministry by supplying gift cards for our members and friends for their holiday baskets, we are suggesting gift cards from Target and Walmart. Please turn those into me or into Julie in the Church Office.
The preschool is currently selling Butter Braids. Funds raised through this fundraiser, will be used to update some of the preschool toys and supplies. Orders will be taken today, November 13th and Sunday, November 20th in the Fellowship Hall, before and after church service. Anyone interested and unable to purchase on those Sundays can email the preschool at [email protected]. Money needs to be received by Monday, November 21st. No late sales. The delivery/pick-up date will be Thursday, December 8th, time to be determined yet. ALL butter braids must be picked up on this date during the pick-up time as we do not have space to store the butter braids!
First Communion Class, Sunday, November 20, 11:15 a.m., Choir Room
- Class for anyone in first grade or older who has not received First Communion instruction.
- Class is for students and parents.
- Sign-up sheet for class on the bulletin board across from the water fountains.
- First Communion Worship, Wednesday, December 14, 6:30 p.m.
Any questions please contact Karleen Fusenig, 763.757.4459 or [email protected]