Annual Budget Forum and Annual Congregation Meeting

Annual Budget Forum January 2, 1:00 PM via Zoom

Council representatives will provide a detailed budget review from 2021 and share our proposed operating budget for 2022. This is a great chance to discover more in-depth the financial happenings of the church and what it takes to keep this dynamic ministry going. Click here to join the meeting via Zoom.

Virtual Annual Meeting January 30, 1:00 PM via Zoom

Join your community of faith in exploring how God continues to call us to be the church in this time and place. We will hear stories of how we have been a beacon of light in our community and what opportunities lay before us. Click here to join the meeting via Zoom.

A Sacred Pause

As the pandemic surges in our communities we are taking a Sacred Pause; a pause from some programming, a pause from constant worry, and instead allowing ourselves the time to reflect on the psalmist’s words, “Be Still and Know that I am God.” Sometimes in the chaos of life and turmoil, the best thing to do is pause, take stock of all we have, reflect on whose we are, and be at peace with one another.

For the next few weeks we will continue to offer weekly worship, in-person and online, but pull back from planned small group initiatives, music groups, minimize onsite activities, and move to virtual learning for our children and youth.

While you pause we offer these aids for your consideration: Reflection, Prayer, and People.

Reflection:

Twice a week we will be sending out a short virtual devotion by different staff members that hit on all the feelings we have with a pause; lament, gratitude, angst, and peace. We invite you to use these devotions to name the feelings you have as this pandemic continues on endlessly and allow yourself the time to just “be.” To be God’s child, receiving comfort and grace from all the expectations of knowing and doing.

Prayer:

As part of you daily reflection we invite you to use this spiritual practice of “Ignatian Examen.” Ignatian Examen is a practice of prayerfully attending to God’s activity in our lives. The steps are simple and are often done at the end of each day.

1. Become aware of God’s presence.

2. Review the day with gratitude.

3. Pay attention to your emotions.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.

5. Look toward tomorrow.

This simple practice develops our attentiveness to God’s signs in our daily lives, and grounds us in God’s presence. You can learn more about the examen at www.ignatianspirituality.com.

People:

Even though we are taking a pause we don’t disengage from the relationships that make a community of faith. Our pew buddies, choir buddies, even meal buddies are a lifeblood of support for us. One of the greatest needs in challenging times is still connecting with others. What if you identified a Covid Buddy? Call, text, email, or send a card to one person you normally would have encountered at church and share where you are at and how much you appreciate their friendship. Remember, “Together we are the Church.”

Let us all pause, be still, and know God. Thanks be to God!

The Green Team is excited to partner with the church council on a rooftop solar project for the church. Our goal is to visibly show the community that we are caring for God’s creation by reducing our carbon footprint through the use of clean energy. It’s a project that can potentially pay for itself and save an estimated $160,000-203,000 by covering approximately 70% of our electricity needs for the next 25+ years.

The initial cost of the project is $154,000 and the Green Team has already raised $70,000 in pledges, which will fund 88 of the 191 panels. Our goal is to fundraise the remaining $84,000 to avoid taking a congregational loan. This project is being funded outside of our general fund, so all solar contributions are above and beyond regular giving.

Be a Solar Champion

Join the Green Team’s fundraising movement! Together, we can do this! There are donation options to fit every budget. Fun ideas to spark your giving plan:

  • Donate a full panel if you can, or team up with another family to donate a panel together.

  • Give the person “who has everything” the gift of a solar panel for Christmas!

  • Donate in honor of special family occasions like birthdays, baptisms, and anniversaries.

  • Own a business? Give a corporate contribution that may be tax deductible (check with your tax advisor for eligibility).

  • Ask your employer if they match contributions.

  • Teach kids about philanthropy by encouraging them to give a portion of their own money to this tangible, local effort to combat climate change. There are 144 cells in a solar panel, so each cell only costs $6. If your child is interested in the environment, this is a great opportunity to have a discussion about priorities and do some math together.

We need your support to make this project come to light!

Welcome Word with Mary Ofstie

Gethsemane’s Librarian, Mary Ofstie, has created this new virtual offering featuring books and materials from the Dominick Memorial Library. This month Mary shares some of the Advent and Christmas materials from the library for children, teens, adults, and families to enjoy! Come to the library this Sunday between services to see the featured materials for yourself, then stay and read a while, or check out a book to bring home!

*Visit www.jacquielawson.com to access the animated Advent Calendar referenced in the video.

Ongoing Need: Lutheran World Relief

Our congregation supports Lutheran World relief with a variety of ongoing projects. Our quilters, sewers, Circle members and others create Quilts, Baby Care Kits, Personal Care Kits, School Kits and Fabric Kits throughout the year to ship around the world.

We are collecting the following items in support of these projects. Please place items in the barrel near the north entrance.

  • Blankets, sheets, old spreads, curtains/draperies for quilt filler and backing

  • New or gently used towels - bath and hand size - for Personal Care Kits

  • Baby blankets and clothing as follows up to size 2: sleeping gowns, onesies, socks, hats, jackets, t shirts for Baby Care Kits

  • 4-oz bars of soap for Baby and Personal Care Kits

  • Gift cards for Target, Dollar Store/General, Staples, Office Depot /Max for school supplies to be purchased when offered at discount.

Financial donations are also appreciated and will be used to defray the cost of shipping quilts and kits around the world. To make a financial contribution, you can send a check made out to Gethsemane with LWR on the memo line. You can also use the church’s online giving link.