by Gloria Dei Member and Stewardship Committee Chair Larry Nelson.
This year’s stewardship theme is “How Firm A Foundation.” Seventy years ago, the leaders of Gloria Dei set out like the Biblical Abraham to a new and strange land, trusting only that God was leading. And so the foundations of Gloria Dei were firmly set down in an open field on this corner of Snelling and Highland. Over and over again for the next 70 years, the people of Gloria Dei have continued to trust that God is leading them into new ventures. And over and over again, we have been blessed by trusting in that leading, adding stone upon stone to the firm foundation that exists here.
What are the foundational stones here at Gloria Dei that you find important? Is it the welcome you feel when you come into this building? Is it the rich and diverse education for youngsters and adults alike, in the way that we can ask hard questions and not fear what the answers might be? Is it in the way we use the arts to enhance our experience of God and God’s creation?
Or in the way that attention to administrative details ensures smooth functioning of our church? Or how we carefully plan and execute worship and music week after week?
Or our stepping out into the community and beyond with projects like mission trips, or the Highland Backpack program or Francis Basket, or support of ministries in Central America, or standing with those who have hard and difficult stories to tell? Or that it is important that we support the Saint Paul Area Synod and the larger work of the ELCA?
Or that our pastors continue to challenge us in our understanding of God and our place among all of God’s people? Or that we freely give the Sacraments to all who ask? Or perhaps something else is an important part of your foundation here.
As you prayerfully contemplate your giving to our operating and building budgets for 2020, I invite you to consider the foundations that have been laid in this place for you, and to think about what your place is in laying the foundations of the future. This is especially important this year as we stand on the brink of a new and exciting chapter in the life of Gloria Dei. We need that firm foundation in order to launch ourselves into the future God is calling us into.
On Sunday, October 20, we will begin to collect our pledges for 2020. Please bring your completed pledge cards with you and we will gather them during offering. If you do not currently pledge, please consider doing so this year. As we set the budget for 2020, our leaders will rely heavily on what our pledges are showing, and this year that is more important than ever. If you use Simply Giving and intend to continue giving in that way, please fill out a pledge card to show that intent. If you didn’t get a pledge packet, please contact me, or the pastors, and we will see to it that you have that opportunity. Thank you.