Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Mission that flows from our Life Together...
Or I think of the congregation I serve now. A recent report given required me to add up the figures and an unaudited total included: $36,000 for District and Synod, $11,000 for the Siberian Lutheran Church (2011-2012), $16,850 for repairs to the Mwadui Lutheran School in the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania, $2,400 for the International Lutheran Health Partners and their work in Tanzania, $1,000 for the Lutheran mission feeding the children of Haiti, $ 1,000 for a Lutheran Pastor whose family suffered a tragedy, $400 for a local hunger program, $320 for Food for the Poor, $350 for Lutheran World Relief plus the hundreds of health kits and quilts, $800 for our own Food Pantry, $800 for the LWML mites (in addition to the ladies gifts), $1300 for a Lutheran Pastor's daughter with a health emergency, $1350 for the local Pastoral Counseling Center to provide 100 free hours of counsel to those who can least afford them, $3300 to the local church agency for cash assistance to those in need, and the list of missions goes on since I am adding up dollars and cents and not hours of service... More than $61,000 in this growing annual total... for a congregation with a total income of $510,000 in offerings (with the preschool and a couple of other income sources excluded).
I do not write this to toot our horn but to expose the soft underbelly of the presumption that mission and liturgy are a choice, an either/or. Not here. I would venture to say that the vast majority of mission dollars come from congregations who do the service pretty much by the book (by choice) and who believe that mission and liturgy (liturgy and spiritual awakening, to quote Bo Giertz) should and always will go together...
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I do not live in MN. Because of the news regarding the MNS district and the forced sale of the ULC, my local LCMS district will never get a penny out of me. All of my weekly gifts are designated for specific purposes within my home congregation.
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