To the Saints at First Lutheran,
The Finance Committee and Congregation Council has worked many hours to provide the congregation an overview of the 2021 budget for First Evangelical Lutheran Church. This message serves as written notice, according to our Constitution/Bylaws, of our annual Congregational Meeting to discuss, review, and to answer any questions regarding the 2021 budget. The meeting will be held immediately following the morning worship service on Sunday, December 6th. Members will also be able to attend the meeting virtually over the internet by Zoom or by phone. Watch for the necessary links which will be sent out soon.
We request your attendance in whatever form you are comfortable with as we will be presenting and voting on the budget being presented by the Finance Committee and approved by the Congregation Council. Also on the agenda is the election to fill two expiring terms on the Congregation Council.
DEVOTION FOR THE WEEK
Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.
Good times and hard times can happen—and change—rather quickly (v. 3). Daily life is fragile. Life experiences can change dramatically with a phone call. What is constant is the need to care for one another and build up the body of Christ. There are important connections between this text and the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. God has gifted us to use our vocation, our calling in life as a child of God, to do God’s work in the world. If we do not do this, if we ignore or hide our calling, the ministry of the church suffers. Instead, we are to trust in a God who acts; we are not to fall prey to complacency and speak and live as though God is not present and active in our lives and history (Zephaniah 1:12). Paul reminds the people that they—and we—are to reach out to others—especially our brothers and sisters in the faith. We are to do so with encouragement to live each day in faith, love, and hope because of the God who acts and has given us “salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). How are you encouraged by others to live your faith? How do you encourage others?
Pray: God of grace, we thank you for the cloud of witnesses that walk alongside us to strengthen us in faith, love, and hope through Christ. Amen.
PRAYERS AND BLESSING
Mealtime Prayer: Lord God, you who make the earth fruitful, we thank you for this meal that strengthens our bodies and encourages our souls. Amen.
A Blessing to Give: May the Almighty God strengthen your soul through brothers and sisters in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
STEWARDSHIP NEWS – FULFILLING GOD’S PURPOSE
During the week of November 22, we begin a three week program titled Fulfilling God’s Purpose! The three weekly themes are as follows:
_____-1. Building Relationships
_____-2. Witnessing for Jesus
_____-3. Living as Servants
Through the working of the Holy Spirit, we understand both our identity and purposes as stewards, and, as a result, we are transformed into people who fulfill God’s purpose! When God’s Word and love fill our hearts and minds, our stewardship is not limited to specific acts but, instead, becomes a lifestyle. With transformed hearts, we express our faith in the way we live our lives. Through faith, God provides motivation and power to live the Christian life in a growing awareness of redeeming grace.
We hope and pray that you will learn from the theme presentations and attend in person or recorded worship services as we focus on fulfilling God’s purpose!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for the privilege and the opportunity to be your stewards. Grant us faith to be faithful stewards. Help us to use our lives and resources in ways that give you honor and glory. We pray that you will use the program Fulfilling God’s Purpose! to draw us closer to you and to help us grow as stewards. In your precious name we pray. Amen.
Blessings on your journey as a steward!
If Pastor Brian or I can be of any help to you, please call upon us directly by email or telephone
Blessings to you all,
You Are Needed
Even when we resume our in person worship service our podcast will continue and you are needed! Yes, you! The voices of First Lutheran! We want members to read some of the lessons and/or lead the Lord’s Prayer in our podcast services, so that we are reminded of our oneness in Christ by hearing voices. Here’s how it works: Kristen Hansen will send you the reading. You can record it at home on a phone, on your computer, in a Zoom session we can schedule together. Or you can come in on a Thursday morning to the church and we’ll do a recording that way. It can be a video, or just audio. Kristen will tell you how to get the file to her and will incorporate it into our recorded service. ALL ARE WELCOME! For details and questions, email Kristen at email@example.com.
The Christmas party for Inspirits is on but it will look a lot different. We will be providing a carry out lunch for the families. The kids will get gift bags that will contain various items including some Christmas craft kits that they can take home and work on them. The moms will receive a gift bag like last year. It will include personal care, cleaning items and some special items. We will prepare 30 kids bags and 20 bags for the moms.
If you would like to help you can provide 30 craft kits or 30 of any other item the kids could use or enjoy. You can also provide 20 items for the moms to use or enjoy to put in their gift bags. You can drop off the items any time up until December 15, 2020. Call me or email me and let me know if you are going to provide anything so I do not duplicate your efforts.
We are looking forward to a blowout party in December, 2021.
Buena Visa/ Jones Paideia
We will still be doing Thanksgiving bags this year. The kids are in school and the need is great. I will have some bags at church in the shopping cart or you can use your own. The bags need to be back to church by November 22. Below is the list
1 can cranberry sauce
2 boxes of stuffing
2 boxes of instant mashed potatoes
2 cans of green beans
2 boxes of cornbread
2 jars of gravy
$15 Kroger gift card
If you want to send me a check or a Kroger gift card I will pick up the rest and create a bag.
Salvation Army Angel Tree
The Angel Tree will be digital this year. They will create a digital page for our church. We can go to the page and adopt an angel. This page should be ready by early November and I will send the link when I receive it. You can drop the gifts off at church during business hours or I can pick up from your house. Gifts are due by December 4, 2020.
Stay Safe and contact the church office if you have any questions.
Room In the Inn
Like everything in 2020, Room in the Inn will look different this year. First Lutheran will not be opening the church for guests, but we are looking for volunteers to help at the RITI Central Shelter. First Lutheran plans to volunteer to feed 20 guests at RITI campus on the below Mondays:
December 14 – need overnight volunteer only
January 11 – need overnight volunteer only
February 15 – need food and overnight volunteer
March 15 – need food and overnight volunteer
If you are willing to provide food, stay on campus for a night with a RITI employee or have any questions, please contact the church office.
Next Weeks Readings:
Psalm 80: 1-7,17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13: 24-37
Please contact the office or come by if you would like a copy of “CHRIST IN OUR HOME’ devotional for October, November, December 2020. Small and large booklets available.