Come to Our “Service Saturday” Worship!  Tomorrow, September 18th at 5 p.m.!

This week you have probably heard that we will not be worshiping on Sunday, but are inviting all members to come to a special Saturday worship at 5pm.  Our text for Saturday will be one that rings loudly in the hearts and minds of those in this church “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all”(Mark 9:35) and “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (Mark 9: 37). 

We are all called to be servants when we are called to be disciples.  Luther said that the freedom of being a Christian meant that you were simultaneously Lord of All and Servant of All.  Every September the ELCA invites congregations to participate in a God’s Work Our Hands Saturday or Sunday, often with a shared service experience with a worship service on site rather than at the church.  We are not taking that step this year, but we are going to use this Saturday as a time to lift up all the service that our members do in this community and beyond, and all the opportunities our members have to serve others.  We will have special music from Werner and Gary featuring spiritual, jazz and even a Sunday School song.

First Lutheran is supported by the generosity of our members past and present, and we also give beyond our front doors.  Some of that service is hands on.  Our congregation is well known for our Food Pantry, one of the first in the area and our ministry Operation Christmas Stocking has invited others in our community to open their hearts with generosity.  Our Sew and Sew Quilters are preparing for their Quilt Blessing on Sunday, October 3rd before they are donated to Lutheran World Relief. 

Other service is done through our support of others’ service.  This year we gave our benevolence to the Synod and ELCA that supports our denominational mission and ministry.  And with the generous gift of our endowment fund we are able to give even more to Lutheran World Relief, Serenity Inn, ERAS Senior Network, Street Angels, Operation Christmas Stocking, Serving Older Adults, Outreach for Hope, An Exceptional Chorus and Los Heroes Sewing School in El Salvador.  We are impacting our community and the world in many positive ways through these gifts.

In the last month, we have also promoted more ways to give locally by sponsoring Paul and I in our bike ride to raise money for Outreach for Hope and also to address relief efforts for Afghan Refugees through Lutheran Social Services and those affected by the Earthquake in Haiti and wildfires in the United States through Lutheran Disaster Response. 

When we share in these efforts, we are able to really make a difference in people’s lives when they most need it and stand with the vulnerable who most need to know God’s love through human care. 

I am grateful whenever First Lutheran gets right in the middle of these efforts because it is inspiring and brings us closer to Jesus, just as he taught us that when we serve those in need we also serve him. 

And this Sunday, as we will not have worship, I invite all of you to consider how you live out a life of service with our hearts, hands, prayers, and resources.  See if you are inspired to volunteer, make phone calls, pray or give as the Spirit leads you!

Thank you for your service and generosity!  Let’s celebrate what we have done this year and cheer on new efforts to come!

Pastor Josh