TONIGHT at 7pm we will worship and give thanks to God! Join us for this beautiful service of Thanksgiving and Pie Fellowship to follow.
In the last month, we have heard four testimonials as to why people of our congregation value Memorial’s ministry and support the church financially. Each person brought great heart and authenticity to their words — please take a moment to read these excerpts below. We have so much to be thankful for!
Memorial stands like a beacon on the hill, overlooking the river valley and offering a sense of permanence that stems from its Swedish founders and stretches back more than a century. The house is here. The word is clear. The fellowship is real. And the grace is ever present.
Then there’s the music. Each year music becomes more important to me, to make a joyful noise, to hear a soulful song. And these MLC Lutheranians, as my Catholic buddy calls us, can sing. Just listen and allow yourself to be moved. Music scratches an itch, touches my soul, in ways nothing else can.
And Memorial is about inclusion, not exclusion. At 77, I’m keeping my eye on not what divides us but what unites us. That’s what Memorial is about. And it doesn’t come without a cost. The grace is free, but the church infrastructure is not. We have got to heat the building, keep the lights on and pay for the staff. That requires a consistent, persistent, insistent income and that’s why I pledge.
My preferred method of stewardship and evangelism is in hospitality. Early on in our marriage, Bill learned this quickly. We were the house that always had extra kids. The neighborhood kids would show up and we often have visitors staying with us. After a busy day, we’d be about ready to sit down to eat, and as Bill would open his mouth to usher out guests, I’d invite everyone to sit down and join us. We want our home to be one where everyone is welcome, accepted, and comfortable. We’ve hosted the camp Wapo counselors during the week of VBS for about seven years. This has provided us countless blessings. The Wapo counselors tell us that every year there is a conversation at camp about the week at Memorial being the best week of the summer. This is a testament to the home that is this place and to which all of you contribute.
We are regular givers though and have increased our weekly giving to this congregation and its work. We believe we need to give of ourselves as Jesus taught us and that we can do more and be better if we give financially too. The grace of Jesus Christ is a gift to which we owe gratitude. We are called not so much of an obligation to “pay it back,” so much as it is a duty to “pay it forward.
“Reach out and touch Somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can.”
In May, five years ago, we received the phone call all parents dread. Our 24 year old son Andrew had suffered cardiac arrest and was not expected to survive. The day following the news, I left the hospital and came to Memorial. I will never forget how sitting alone in that pew crying and praying, I felt peace as Kathy Brooks silently joined me, reached out her hand, touched and comforted me. This was just the first many instances of prayer and support shared by our new church family which helped Cheryl and me through the most difficult and fearful time in our lives. Against all odds, Andrew made a slow but miraculous complete recovery.
As Cheryl and I have learned through our journey with you, our family in Christ, reaching out to make this world a better place is something we the people of Memorial do with our hands through volunteering in programs like: Hope Through the Journey Homes, Feed My Starving Children, Second Hand Harvest…the list goes on and on and is why Cheryl and I give financial support to Memorial Lutheran.
Did you know 5% of every dollar received through your benevolence is used to extend our ministry beyond Memorial? We the people of Memorial reach out locally and internationally to make this world a better place with our hearts by financially supporting: Burundi for Christ, Community Thread, ILAG, Valley Outreach…that list goes on and on too and is why Cheryl and I give financial support to Memorial Lutheran.
Jerry and I first joined Memorial about 35 years ago. We were treated so warmly with love and hugs and coffee treats that our daughter, Sarah, declared on our way out, “Everybody loves everybody here!”. We have celebrated the baptisms of our children, grandchildren, and our daughter’s marriage here at Memorial.
I have such deep gratitude for the church’s continued support for the 2 ministries I work with in Malawi Africa. You welcomed Rodrick Zalimiba from Prison fellowship this past June and the Endowment fund has generously given financial support to provide an irrigated garden for the prison fellowship and halfway house. All of this is happening because Memorial answered fervent prayers to bring a food source to God’s hungry people.
These are some of the reasons Jerry and I love being members of our Memorial family. There are so many more (I have to mention the beautiful music here and the many members through the years whose lives of faith have influenced me. What treasures they are, some have now passed, some are unable to come to church and then…there are all of you.)
Names and gift lists for Holiday Hope have arrived. If you would like to sponsor an individual or family, you can take a name from the giving tree in the Fellowship Hall beginning this Sunday. All gifts are due back by the end of the day December 10. If you would like to sponsor, but will not be present to take a name from the tree, you contact Nick (email@example.com) with the # of people you would like to sponsor, as well as ages (adults, youth, kids, family). Thank you for spreading God’s love this Christmas!