From the Senior Pastor
Celebrating New Possibilities
Pr. Randy Gehring
It is stewardship season at Our Savior’s, that time of year when we reflect on our relationship with a God whose giving knows no ending and respond in gratitude and humility by committing a portion of our financial resources in support of the mission we share.
More than meeting a perceived obligation of membership, giving an offering is both an expression of the partnership we enjoy as fellow members of this beloved faith community as well as a statement of trust in a God who “is the power at work within us,” which is able to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). In other words, our offerings are gifts we give to God that God uses to do God-sized stuff.
How many of us give an offering, though, expecting God to do far more than we can ask or imagine? What if, rather than viewing our offering as a way of doing our part to help the church, we would offer it up in a spirit of joyful expectation that asks: I wonder how God will use my gift to exceed my/our expectations. I wonder what God wants to bless.
We actually saw this very attitude recently during the mission project carried out by our confirmation students and their mentors. Folks were giving joyfully to the so-called Coin Wars and smiling gleefully as they pictured the “winning” pastor with a pie in his face. (Congratulations, Pr. Justin!) The Gathering Place was jammed on April 27 for Bingo Night with over 300 bingo cards sold. The confirmation students eagerly provided leadership to every aspect of the night expecting that their efforts would generate a God-sized blessing that would benefit ELCA World Hunger, and they were not disappointed. Everyone in attendance had a wonderful time and the final tally of the funds raised—including the matching dollars from the church—exceeded $6,000! Imagine the impact this will make in the lives of those who live with food insecurity around the world.
Photos by Vangie Jarman. Pie delivered by Bob.
As you prayerfully consider this year how you will provide financial support to the ministry we share here at Our Savior’s, allow the theme to guide you in the process. Let Go! of your fears of scarcity by naming them out loud. From within that place of vulnerability, remember your dependency on God, who is merciful and whose promises are certain. Trust God! to provide all that we need and then some, as individuals and as a church. Then Rise Up! in faith, expecting God will use all that we offer to do far more than we can imagine.
By the time you read this, Commitment Weekend at Our Savior’s will have occurred. Congregation members will have presented their Estimates of Giving as an act of worship, and I anticipate it will be a time of great joy as we partner together in support of the mission God has given us to proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects to everyday life.
Grateful for your partnership,
Pr. Randy Gehring