Happening Now Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

One of the things I love most about the ELCA is the set of effective relief and development programs coordinated from the Churchwide offices in Chicago.  (ELCA = the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the national church body to which SOV belongs.) These programs do an extraordinary amount of good in many countries around the world — including the USA. From the ELCA web site:

RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT: We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work.

One billion of our neighbors — that's one in seven people in our world today — live in poverty. As members of the ELCA, we are called to respond. Working through Lutheran connections in the United States and around the world, we start by listening to the needs of our neighbors and getting their ideas to help break the cycle of hunger and poverty. Then we partner with them to make their dreams and hopes a reality. From health clinics to microloans, water wells to animal husbandry, food pantries to soup kitchens, we work together to support innovative solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty.

Our work is pursued and accomplished through a variety of bold, active ministries and initiatives:
- ELCA Malaria Campaign
- ELCA World Hunger
- HIV and AIDS Ministry
- Lutheran Disaster Response
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Each effort strives for justice, peace and change in the world, and draws its strength and effectiveness from working in partnership with others who share a common vision of serving and loving our neighbor and restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ's name.

Last Sunday I preached about some of my experiences learning from poor people in Kenya.  I talked about the ELCA's "Good Gifts" program as a way to carry out God's work with our hands.  Psalm 146 invites us to join God in the work of executing justice for the oppressed, giving food to the hungry, watching over strangers, upholding poor orphans and widows, lifting up those who are bowed down by life's burdens.  Contributing to the ELCA's "Good Gifts" program is a great way for us to do that because it supports each of the programs listed above.  Looking for holiday gifts that build the Kingdom of God?  Go to this link to access the Good Gifts program online: https://community.elca.org/ELCAGoodGifts

Or, to download a copy of the Good Gifts catalogue: http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA_Good_Gifts_Catalog.pdf

"God's work, our hands" is more than just a slogan for the ministry of the ELCA.  It is the truth of our lives as followers of Jesus Christ.  With millions of other disciples, these programs invite us to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

* * * * * * *
Lessons for Sunday, November 15th
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-25
Mark 13:1-8

THIS WEEK

Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study
                   7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday   9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday    10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 worship services
                   6:00 p Pie and Praise
                   6:00 - 7:30 p Confirmation

Remember Sandra in your prayers

Halie (and Geoff) are moving and are in need of appliances.They need electric stove, microwave, refrigerator and clothes dryer. If anyone knows of any to sell or donate please contact Halie