Thank you for inviting me to share with you today during Good Shepherd Sunday. If you mention stewardship, most would consider giving an obligation. But in my mind, I think of how our gifts can assist the ministry of the church serve those in need. Even during our past year encumbered by Covid, our congregation continued to be generous with time, talent and treasures.
Chris Emsley and I are co-chairs of the Service Network. With this network we assist the congregation in serving others. Although Covid precautions prevented so much of our usual activities this year, Christ Church found unique ways to meet the needs of our community. I am thankful I was asked to speak today on how Christ Lutheran Church has served during this past year and how we can continue to use your generous gifts to serve our community.
During a small group conversation years ago, we were discussing the concept of altruism. The question posed was, “Is there really a truly altruistic act?”. As I thought to myself, It “feels” good to “do” good. So, in my opinion, an act of giving is reciprocated with a greater blessing in return. There is plenty of research documenting the correlation between service and happiness.
During this past year of isolation, it was important to find ways for us to give. So many of our usual events, activities and opportunities to serve were limited. I especially missed baking pumpkin pies with the high school youth for the Caring Center’s Thanksgiving meals. So during this past year, not only were there needs in our community, but our church community needed to be reaching out. And so, many of you found a way. You adapted and found creative ways around these challenges. You even started a new event with Soctober.
With your generous pledges and giving, this past year, collectively we made a difference.
- What’s for lunch”-delivered 1500 packets of Oatmeal to Love, Inc. which serves over 300 at risk youth in Boone County
- Blood Drives filled all available donation slots plus additional opening impacting over 130 lives in Indiana
With our September Day of Service: We….
- delivered 96 greeting cards to Zionsville Meadows
- Donated 68 handmade masks to Sew and Serve Indy
- provided a days worth of painting, landscaping and window washing at Lutheran Child and Family Services
- Completed Trail and Campground clean up at Shades State Park
- Wrote advocacy letters for important causes
- Created quilts for Lutheran World Relief
- Assemble 45 baby kits delivered to the Caring Center in Lebanon.
Soctober - This sock drive was organized by creative Christ Church members and collected over 474 pairs of socks for the Wheeler Mission from the greater Zionsville Community.
84 scarves and hats were donated to the Wheeler Mission from members of “In the Loop”
During Celebration of Giving in November: We provided monetary donations to the Caring Center and Sharing Place in lieu of pies and turkeys, and fulfilled 75 gifts for the Sharing Place
And in January it didn’t end, we delivered 120 pounds of food to the Caring Center
Many of you serve in ways beyond these organized opportunities. Whether you are a board member of a non-profit, volunteer hours at a food pantry, or deliver groceries to someone at risk you receive the joy of giving.
Many of the financial resources you provide our church help continue the efforts to meet the needs of those outside our church community. As a member of Christ’s Lutheran Church, join us in continuing to share Christ’s love serving others this next year.
As our congregation plans for this next year, we will have many opportunities to “feel good, by doing good”. Your donations will support our ongoing outreach to the mission field outside of our church walls.
We will again be partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a Syrian Refugee family in June. Elsie’s Circle is already working on quilts to comfort the 5 children in the sponsored family. We will need financial donations to assist with the building materials, human effort to provide labor and prayers.
Fall Festival Baby Care Tent-We will be providing a place for parents to change diapers, feed and comfort babies. Again we will need human effort to manage the tent, as well as financial resources to stock the tent.
September Day of Service-this will be an opportunity for a church wide effort to serve with time, talent and financial support.
These are just a few of the ways Christ Lutheran Church shares the love of Christ throughout our community. Please join me in continuing to receive the gift of giving.