PASTOR’S PEN
 

Walks with the Poor

I was just watching a Frontline special on PBS about hate groups in America. These groups are growing in numbers and in violence. it is very troubling. But I am thankful to be a part of a church that serves the community, walks with the poor, and serves the common good. We are a love group.
 
Last Sunday, Jim Swenson talked about how with all the good work we are doing to serve those in great need, we are spending a lot more money than we are bringing in. This is unsustainable. Jim encouraged us to increase our giving in November and December so that we can end the year strong. 
 
I am thankful for the generosity that I am already seeing. Today a stranger showed up at the office with a check for $1000 to support the work we do. What a blessing. I know that many of you have increased your giving this month or are planning to do so. Thank you for that. 
 
Together we can continue to do this important work. Thanks be to God! May your Thanksgiving be blessed. 
 
In Gratitude,
 
Steve

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Worship

11/7/2018
 
One of our core values at First UMC is worship — We praise the One who is greater than us, shaping an attitude of gratitude, strengthening our faith, and giving meaning to our service in the world. Worship is something we do in a communal way on Sunday morning together and hopefully a way we live all day every day. We offer to God all that we are and all that we have. Daily and weekly worship puts our lives in perspective and keeps us humble.
 
Have you ever noticed that the offering is right in the middle of our worship service?.  It is not a fee for attending worship — it is a way in which we respond to God’s grace and love, by offering our lives to God. It is not meant to be a spare change kind of thing. It is meant to be a thoughtful and sacrificial giving. Some follow the biblical principal of tithing, giving one tenth of their income as an offering to God. I have personally found this to be a meaningful spiritual practice. It helps me to keep my life in perspective and to humbly focus on love of God and neighbor.
 
I think of November as the season of gratitude. A time to practice saying “thank you” to God and to family and friends. We can also say “thank you” by making an extra contribution to the work of our church. Think of the ways that God has nurtured and nourished you and others through the work of First UMC. What better way to say thank you than to make a thanksgiving contribution to your church.
 
I am grateful to be a part of your life and a part of this church. Thanks be to God.
 
Steve

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Pastor Steve Lundin