Stewardship Sunday

Throughout the fall, we heard from St. John’s members Deborah Dunham, Kevin Hurbanis, Anne Nervig, and Mark Gebhardt on how our congregational values of Worshiping, Welcoming, Growing, and Serving provided opportunities for us to be Giving Together. On Sunday, October 25, we participated in the Strategic Planning Committee’s summary meeting of Cottage Meetings 2.0 and gained a little more focus and clarity for our Serving ministry. Responding to and with the grace of God, we are a Body of Christ dedicated to addressing the issues of homelessness and hunger adversely affecting youth and children.

In the next few days, you will be receiving a letter from the Stewardship Committee with a pledge card. Please carve out some intentional time in your schedules to discuss both the levels and the ways of your participation in the ministry we share. Then come to worship on Sunday, November 15 and dedicate to God your contributions of treasure and time by placing your pledge card in the offering plate.

South Sudan Trip

For a little more than 12 years, I have been working alongside the community of South Sudanese refugees and immigrants. On November 1, I travel to Juba, South Sudan to meet up with a group of ELCA Churchwide Global Missions staff to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lutheran Center in Juba, South Sudan. For the ELCA Missionary to South Sudan, Pastor Mawien Ariik, my former colleague at Zion in Anoka, this is a lifetime dream coming to fruition. I am truly honored to be a part of this historic moment.

The Lutheran Center will not only be a place of worship but also a center for education and vocational training for both men and women, boys and girls. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to attend this historic event. I will take a lot of photos and do a full report to you on this emerging ministry.

Giving Thanks

I love our tradition of worshiping together on the Eve of Thanksgiving. To me worshiping together on Wednesday night, and again on the following Sunday morning, serves as parentheses to the holy days of feasting and celebrating with family and friends in the abundance of God. Please set aside Wednesday, November 25 at 7 PM and Sunday, November 29 at 10 AM for giving thanks to God for our Thanksgiving holiday.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Mark