Stewardship Temple Talk
July 15, 2018
Greetings from Trinity’s Stewardship Committee, which consists of Paul Maatta, chair, Sue Rasmussen, who is our liaison with the Church Council, Dennis Ingersoll, Janet Kittlaus, and me.
As we five have discussed whether or not the campaign that now has been launched should have a name, and if so, what the name should be, one suggestion that was offered is “Renewing Trinity”. The rationale is that this name easily fits with the ELCA’s now familiar, self-defining slogan, “God’s Work. Our Hands.”
Being Lutheran Christians, we clearly recognize that it is the Holy Spirit who is at work here, renewing and directing the renewal of Trinity Lutheran Church of Des Plaines.
As Luther wrote in his Small Catechism (in explanation of the Creed’s third article)—whenever I confess faith in the Holy Spirit, I mean that “by my own understanding or effort I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead [that] the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy, and kept me in the true faith, just as [the Spirit] calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it [united] with Jesus Christ in the one common [and] true faith.”
The renewal of our congregation that is happening(!) surely is God’s work...toward which—in support of which—we and others of Trinity’s members and friends are committing our hands.
As has become evident over the past two months, we have many reasons for being
grateful for and energized by the Spirit’s working among us and in us, for instance:
The commi tments of time and talents that were made at our Ministries Fair on June 3 and thereafter,
the ready and comparatively easy filling of all twelve seats on our ChurchCouncil,
other members’ stepping forward to assume additional, important roles (Communion Ministers is but one example) and to share their gifts, expertise, interests, and experience (in matters, such as hospitality arrangements and building and grounds care and maintenance) [along with some members’
continuing to do what they long have done],
people’s generous in-kind donations to save Trinity’s budgeted monies,
the offering and implementation of ideas and efforts that are new to Trinity (such as third-Friday-night bingo, which brings to our building and among us some persons who otherwise might never have come here),
the return to worship of some members whom we have not seen for a while (even for a number of years!),
the increased time that the sharing of the Peace sometimes takes (as worshipers are moved to circulate and greet more people),
five of our teenagers’ affirming their baptism and the baptisms of a number of our children, and the early results of the financial commitments for which we’ve asked for the remainder of this year.
Thanks to you for all of these! And thanks to the Spirit for renewing our spirits, our relationships, and our commitments to Trinity’s ministry and mission. Surely even more good results will come!
We are witnessing and contributing to the renewal here of the aptness of the analogy which the apostle Paul drew and elaborated in two places in his letters (at Romans, chapter 12, and First Corinthians, chapter 12). In a number of key respects, Paul told the recipients of these two letters, the church is analogous to the human body. Like the body, the church has many members, all of which have different functions, given the Spirit’s having gifted them with differing gifts, and all of which (as they are used) contribute to the common good, the good of the whole, which (in the case of the church) is the good not only of the believing community, but the good also of the mission for which God ever calls and equips its members, namely, witnessing boldly to God’s love for all that God has created, acting in solidarity with those who are suffering, serving the poor, and striving always for justice and for peace.
Just last Sunday, someone said to me, “I sense a new spirit and new energy at Trinity”.
My response: “I agree”.
From your Stewardship Committee
The celebration continues!
At this writing, our festive Stewardship Potluck has not yet happened. And so this column starts off
prophetically: “What a wonderful timewe had at the August 26 potluck, celebrating the Renewal that is
happening at Trinity and the generous spirit that is so evident in our congregation!” Generosity is evident
not only in the new and renewed pledges that many have made but also in the willingness of so many to
offer their time, talents, and energy wherever needed.
We have been encouraged and energized by YOUR response and by the NEW THINGS that are happening at Trinity so much so, that we already are planning another special event in
October, around Reformation time to continue the celebration of our RENEWAL and RE-FORMATION!!
October is also a time of HOMECOMING, a good time for gathering and celebrating all who consider Trinity their church home. We are working out the details and will have them all
sorted out by the time of the next newsletter.