This year, for the first time since you called me to be your pastor, we may meet our current expenses with our current offerings.
Here is something to celebrate!
With God's help, we are meeting the challenging financial constraints of our situation. And the challenges are many. It's scary to think about future solvency given the loss of some generous contributors. It's scary to realize people today don't want to step into the church roles that were so clearly defined in the past. It's sad to see people outside the church living in fear, because they are afraid to step inside. They expect to be judged by us. We just want to share a word of hope, a word of grace from God who loves them.
Our concerns are understandable. The temptation to give into the anxieties of the world around us are strong. We are constantly bombarded with messages promising to relieve our fears... for a fee. Elect this politician or that one; they will keep us safe; they will let us keep more of what we have worked to accumulate. Buy this product or that one; it will make your life easier or make you socially acceptable, desirable, safe. We are constantly bombarded with the message: be afraid.
In direct contrast to worldly concerns, God says to us, “do not be afraid for I am with you.”
We can't afford to give in to worldly pressures to be afraid. It takes too much of our attention away from the present. We also run the risk of creating the very same future conditions we are trying to avoid. This could be one interpretation of Luke 17:33 “Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it.” We touched upon this a few weeks ago when we talked about the parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow. Jesus encourages us: Do not lose heart; God listens.
And God speaks. God has a plan for you, for your welfare and not for harm. Consider this prayer, developed from the psalms:
Be still and know I am God
Be still and know I am
Be still and know
Jeremiah’s promise of the execution of “justice and righteousness in the land” finds ironic fulfillment in the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. It appears so utterly contradictory that the king should be crucified with the criminal. This victory appears for all the world as ignominious defeat. Yet through the gate of death our Lord opens the door to paradise.
Readings and Psalm
Jeremiah 23:1-6 Coming of the shepherd and righteous Branch who will execute justice
Now the Feast and Celebration
Crown Him with Many Crowns (ELW 855)
Beautiful Savior (ELW 838)
Bread of Life from Heaven (ELW 474)
Jesus, Remember Me (ELW 616)
We Walk by Faith (ELW 635)
We pray for Katherine Broderson, Gayle Breding, Jan Harper, Jerry Bauck, and for the following friends of the congregation Mick's sister, Jean Edwards; Marlys' brother and his wife, JD & Verona Sundseth; Catherine Card's husband, Eric Halverson; Connie's daughter in law, Shelley Ruff; Gayle's friend, Lennie Haugh; Pr. Jean's niece, Jenn Sewell; Sharon King's Sister, Sandy Bowen; Norma & Lyle's Grandson, Randall; Pr. Jean's Parents, Ruth & Jim Hay; Jan & Pr. Jean's friend, Beatriz Argueta Verona; Crystal West; Jennifer Fernelius; Ruth Carlson; People on the streets; the family and friends of Jason W.
We give thanks for the good health of Jerry Bauck’s brother Tom, who attributes much of his recovery to our prayers.
Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore
24 - 30 November 2019
We give thanks for:
- Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox and evangelical churches and councils of churches in Malaysia and Singapore which have witnessed to the gospel and ministered to groups who are discriminated against and marginalized
- economic developments that have enhanced the standard of living for many
- policies and practices that seek to sustain the environment and its resources
- those who have sought to further ethnic and religious harmony.
We pray for:
- more just, participatory and democratic rule
- locally-determined economic development that lessens inequalities and protects natural resources
- greater ethnic and religious understanding and cooperation
- the forging of national identities and visions that genuinely include all the diverse people in these countries.
Look for the December calendar, highlights from the November council meeting and the December worship leaders in next week's message.
We have one member of council completing their second three year term, meaning they cannot serve next year. We have another completing their first three year term, meaning they are eligible to be nominated and voted in for a second three year term.
We need two members of the congregation to join with Johnna Voto to form a nominating committee for these open positions.
In pratical terms, a current council member who desires a second term continues on council. A congregational vote is largely a formality. We want to follow the constitution of the congregation so our actions are predictable and understandable. Generally, this can also be a time to affirm council members who are willing to continue serving our community.
Join us for Holden Evening Prayer during Advent. We'll meet at 7 pm on Wednesdays December 4th, 11th, and 18th.
As a special treat, Casey and his daughter Abigail will sing the Magnificat on the 18th.
Due to financial concerns, the council has elected to combine the two Sunday morning services. The new time is 9:30 am, starting December 1st. New liturgical year, new time.
The Treasurer, Council President and Pastor invite you to share your ideas about next year's budget in a friendly working-group meeting, this Tuesday at 10:00 in the church kitchen. We'll put the coffee on and have some snacks.
Margie Shea has graciously and faithfully served as our Financial Secretary for the past two and a half years. She continued to meet this need in our community even after being elected Council President. Each is a big job by itself. Together it is probably too much.
The role of Financial Secretary is not difficult, but requires a time commitment. This person records weekly giving by household and prepares quarterly and annual giving reports back to each household. This person holds information about donations in strict confidence and works closely with the Treasurer.
Are you willing to accept this role in the new year?
Pr. Jean Hay - 696-9586
Margie Shea - Council President - 248-8168
Casey Anguiano - Council Vice President - 534-2198
Johnna Voto - Secretary - 670-1370
Darlene Fernelius - Treasurer - 652-2356
Jerry Bauck - Council Member - 248-7946
Gayle Breding - Council Member - 694-4242
Dave Brockman - Council Member - 927-5729
Dennis McCave - Council Member - 702-4983
Jessie Hanna - Alternate - 598-7322