Pentecost 24

“Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of the master” (Matthew 25:21).

This Sunday, November 19, our congregation gathers for our Annual Meeting at 12:00 noon in the Parish Life Center (PLC). There are three primary action items on the agenda: 1) Approval of the 2018 Budget; 2) Election of Leaders; and, 3) Voting on whether to proceed with the Proposed Building Renovation and Addition. In addition, the Annual Meeting gives us the opportunity to celebrate together all that God has done and continues to do in and through our congregation.

Two of our congregation’s ministries that touch our community in powerful and life-changing ways are our St. John’s Lutheran Preschool and our St. John’s Eagle Endowment Fund. You can come and hear directly from leaders of each of these ministries during our Adult Forum this Sunday from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in the Adult Meeting Room (AMR). 

Since 1990, our St. John’s Lutheran Preschool has touched the lives of thousands of families in our community by offering a top-quality Christian education to 2-through-4-year-olds. Currently we have 174 students enrolled. The preschool is our preschool. It is part of our mission and ministry. It is one of the many ways we live out our mission to be and make disciples of Christ. The preschool is governed by a board of six elected member-disciples of St. John’s. Rachel Helton serves as the board president. As Lead Pastor, I also serve on the board. We can be very proud of the quality of our preschool.

A more recent ministry is our St. John’s Eagle Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund currently has a balance of $261,620.08. The Endowment Fund provides a way for disciples to give financial gifts to the congregation that fuel long-term mission and ministry in our congregation, in our community, and in the larger ELCA. The gift principal remains invested by the congregation. The growth from the principal is awarded through annual grants to support capital improvements at St. John’s, local and community outreach, and ministries of the ELCA. This year, we will be awarding $11,300 in grants to recipients that will be announced at the Annual Meeting. The Endowment Fund is managed by the Endowment Committee, comprised of 4 elected member-disciples of the congregation, together with the Leadership Board President and myself serving as advisory members. Mike Bloechle currently serves as the committee chairperson. 

Our congregation has been richly blessed with an abundance of resources to use for the sake of proclaiming the good news of Jesus in both word and action. However, with blessings come responsibility. As today’s gospel reading from Matthew reminds us, Jesus expects us to use the gifts we have been given and not to hide them in fear. We can be most thankful for our St. John’s Lutheran Preschool and our St. John’s Eagle Endowment Fund. How can we continue to responsibly use and grow these ministries for the living out of God’s mission both in this place and beyond?

Together in Christ +

Pastor Greg