Your statement of intent can be completed securely online by following the link above.
As baptized disciples of Jesus, we are called to live generously towards God and our neighbors. This calling invites us to share what God has graciously given to us. For this season of Lent, we are learning together how we can grow in generosity. Practicing generosity is one of the many ways that we worship God, declare our faith, and place our faith in action.
Below you will find resources that have been shared with the congregation as we journey together in our ongoing practice of generosity. You are invited to check back weekly for updates.
Some of you may be thinking “It seems as if the church is always asking for money.” Consider your current household expenses. Now imagine that you had no idea how much money you would be receiving each month, whether from a job, Social Security, or other pension. That’s the position churches are in. We have to rely on the generosity of our members and friends each and every week, so that we can pay our mortgage, utilities, etc. If we grow and keep our ministry strong, we will be able to dream about the future of The Lakes Lutheran, beyond just keeping the doors open. Please take some time this week to reflect on the ways The Lakes and its congregation have impacted you in the past, through regular worship, friendships you’ve established, and opportunities to learn about our sister congregations as well as agencies in the community. Start dreaming about what God may be up to at The Lakes moving forward, and what role you can play in our mission.
Let’s look at what your generosity pays for each month: mortgage, utilities, office supplies, cleaning supplies, upkeep and maintenance, - the same expenses many of you have at home, only on a much larger scale; plus, communion supplies, and 3 people’s salaries, so that we may continue to hear the Word, the church remains clean, and is filled with beautiful music at worship. The list goes on, and all those expenses continued even when worship was only on-line. Yet we believe we can do even more, thanks to God’s abundance and your generosity. Donating to the church is not a financial transaction; you don’t pay dues or membership fees. For many persons, when asked to donate, they look at their budget, talk with family, look at potential bills, expenses, etc., and determine what they can spare out of what’s left. Many fear they will not have enough, but this is not what our faith teaches us. We are to trust that God will continue to provide for us now, as God has done in the past. This year, we invite you to turn first to God in prayer, to discern what God's will is for you in giving. Think of it as a spiritual exercise undertaken after conversation with God, from whom all good things come.
The Lakes has a spirit of generosity. We went from survival mode 5 years ago to a surplus at the end of 2019. Then Covid happened. We have been good stewards of our finances, but without consistent attendance and giving, that surplus has dwindled. However, we are optimistic about the future! Our vision for this coming year is to develop a Senior Ministry program. A vision shows us new directions and opportunities for our mission, and it brings together needs, and resources to meet those needs. There will be different ways for each of you to participate in this program, if you are interested and willing. We all have something to offer: friendship, prayers, support, love, affection, ministry with those in need, and money. Can you donate an amount equivalent to one meal a month, either in a restaurant or take-out/delivery? Can you donate the cost of one Starbucks coffee/week? Approach this in prayer, and with gratitude for all that God has already provided. As the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:7, God loves a cheerful giver.
What God has shown us through this crisis is our need to walk together; to search for new ways to connect with, and to help one another. One way The Lakes Lutheran plans to do that in the coming year is by developing a Senior Ministry. Related items received much support from the people who responded to our questionnaire a couple of months ago, so we are excited to implement the first steps, using your gifts. Your generosity this coming year is as important as ever, not just to keep our congregation healthy, but to help The Lakes continue to impact our neighbors and our community through support of programs and agencies like LSSN and Family Promise, as well as our online worship. Experience the joy and blessings of generously supporting and extending the mission of The Lakes.