In This Issue
- Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
- Weekly Facebook Video
- Announcements & Upcoming Events
- Outreach Opportunities & Updates
message from rev. whitt
Dear St. Luke Family:
While I was serving a church in San Francisco, I was able to help a man who was suffering from mental illness and as a result, was homeless. When we said goodbye, I didn’t think I’d see him again. But he came back to my office the very next week, and gave me a little box of Cheer, the laundry detergent, the kind you buy in a coin operated machine at a laundromat. It was tempting to read something into the gift itself. Was the gift meant to “cheer” me? The box said, “Ultra powerful, so use less.” This is sound advice for life in general. It was a product for washing things, and that reminded me of baptism. But what the gift really meant to me, and the reason I kept in on my bookshelf for many years, is that every one of us, whatever our situation, wealthy or homeless or in between, can respond to God’s love and grace with gratitude and generosity.
This week we explore the story known as “the Widow’s Mite” in Mark’s gospel. Biblical commentators point out that Jesus is not really holding the woman up in a “Go and do likewise” way; rather, he’s critiquing the hypocrisy of the scribes and their failure to care for this woman. Nevertheless, she does show us that each of us, whatever our situation, can respond to God’s love and grace with gratitude and generosity.
This Sunday, we conclude our stewardship campaign. Last Sunday during worship, John Lenser gave a terrific pitch as only John can do, explaining St. Luke’s financial needs for the coming year. The most powerful incentive for generosity right now (in addition to responding to God’s love and grace) is that you will have a new pastor, most likely within 2 or 3 months, and you’ll want to support him or her and your ministry together with energy, commitment, and resources. I cannot emphasize enough the message it sends to a pastor when the congregation backs his or her ministry with their pledges. Not everyone can write a big check, but the story of the Widow’s Mite shows us that small gifts matter, as well; that it’s generosity that matters, not the size of the gift.
Don’t forget that we “fall back” this Saturday night. Turn your clocks back one hour and get an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning. As I mentioned in the midweek video on Facebook, if you forget and show up to church an hour early, you are more than welcome to rehearse with Becky Viebrock and the choir and join in the anthem for the morning. You might even decide to make it a habit!
I’ll see you on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time ~
Grace and peace,