Last week Jim and I were on vacation. It was a week of beautiful warm weather, afternoon naps, calming water, and just spending time together. Our flight got in Monday evening, and I wondered how I would ever get up and into the office on Tuesday morning. I must admit I wasn’t too excited about getting back to work after such a wonderful rest. But that was about to change. I barely got myself settled in my chair and Betsy came bursting into my office with a huge smile. She said, “I just calculated the contributions for the month of April and you’re not going to believe this!” She continued to tell me the offering given for the month of April was in excess of $23,000. On top of that an additional $5,700 was given to offset the principal payments that were deferred on our mortgage AND over $450 was collected on Easter for disaster relief in Ukraine through Lutheran World Relief. By the time she finished my eyes were filled with tears! Not only that, but I had several conversations with congregation members and team leaders who were bubbling with excitement about what was happening in their teams and committees. Attendance has been growing in worship and new people are visiting each week!
My friends, what a difference at Peace Lutheran! Wasn’t it just a few months ago we were wondering what was going to happen to our church? What happened? Why the change? I believe our financial situation at the beginning of the year was a wake-up call. It knocked us off of our feet and made us realize things need to change. And change they have! I believe God was just waiting for us to realize what potential we have as a congregation and the impact we can have on our community and the world! Instead of looking inward we are starting to turn around and seeing what we can do outside our church family. Like our mission statement says, “We go… ” That’s a verb… denoting action… outside the building!
I am so grateful for each and every one of you for stepping up to these challenging times for our congregation. Both with your offerings and your involvement and action. But we’re not done yet…we need to keep the momentum going. This Sunday we will be kicking off our new stewardship campaign, “Building a Culture of Generosity.” You might have already gotten a letter dated May 16th I mistakenly sent out on Tuesday noting that the date for us to bring our Estimate of Giving cards is May 29th. So, I let the cat out of the bag a little early. Between now and then you will be seeing bulletin inserts and hearing different people in the congregation sharing their, “generosity story.”
There is a legend of a mythical bird called the Phoenix who rises out of the ashes as a new creation… a resurrection so to speak. Join me in rejoicing in the work God is doing among us as we rise above our past and become a new creation!
See you Sunday!