Frankly, this scares me and while I cannot speak eloquently on the topic that I have been given, I feel that I can speak from the heart.
When I was getting ready to put my thoughts down on paper – or in my case because my writing is often illegible, by keystrokes to computer screen. I did read the four chapters of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I also bought a book titled “Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship” by J. Clif Christopher.
And while these gave me insight and inspiration, they didn’t tell me what to write.
When I think about Stewardship, I think about examples in my family, of my Mom writing a check every Sunday to drop in the offering plate, this happened at Woodlake Lutheran Church, at the lake, and in Florida while snow birding. I think about my Dad who spent most of one summer, after retiring to his lake home, helping build a new church building for Bone Lake Lutheran Church. I think about my sister who, with her husband and two year old son, left her family farm in St. James, Minnesota to move to Papua New Guinea in support of Lutheran Missionaries. Then she spent four years in a variety of jobs: house parents for the children of missionaries who were in the bush, to performing well baby clinics, and teaching sustainable farming techniques.
When we speak about how to support the church, it always comes down to our time, our talents and our treasure and I get that. My family gets that. And yet, here I am trying to explain why your giving – your stewardship is so important now. The impact of the Government shutting us down, sheltering in place and decreasing or eliminating our work is having a direct impact on the ministries and missions that we support. I can’t go pack meals a Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) and I can’t fill the VEAP box in the narthex, but I can support these mission partners financially. Did you know that FMSC is still packing and shipping meals? They are paying for a manufacturer to pack the meals in lieu of volunteers.
I believe that like these providers, we, the St. Luke’s mission outpost, are obligated by our faith in Christ Jesus to keep the lights on, keep the coffers filled and be ready for more change and to be able to embrace our future as a Congregation busy making Christ known to others!
Craig Brandt, Stewardship Team