If you picked up an Annual Report, you will see that in my report the congregation I talked about three goals, or visions, I had for Trinity for the coming year. They are:
- Pushing ourselves out into the community more through service and meeting needs.
- Increasing the number of ways and means that we can give our financial gifts to support Trinity’s ministry.
- Give opportunities for the various generations of our church to come together in new and different ways.
These goals I believe are crucial to the ministry of Trinity and I wanted to take the next couple of “Trinity Tidings” to talk about why I have chosen these items for goals, starting with the first goal.
As a church, we can spend a lot of time thinking about what is happening in a building with stained glass. But the true mission and ministry of the church doesn’t happen inside the physical structure standing at 1039 Nordveien Dr. Rather, most of our mission should be pointed outwards, into the community and world at large. We already do many things that help our community, from the Boyceville Weekend Meal Program to Lutheran World Relief Kits to Adopt-A-Highway, to taking items to Pine Ridge. Many Trinity members volunteer as part of other community organizations to make an impact. Even our annual Mission Madness, which raises funds for mission and charitable organizations, seeks to impact people outside of the walls.
But let us be honest. We could do a lot more. A lot.
I want us to expand the way we reach out to Boyceville and the surrounding area. I want to see us using our time and talents to help our neighbors, community, and others in our area. If there is one thing I have seen on our youth mission trips, service to others not only helps them but strengthens relationship between those who are doing the service. There is a sense of shared mission and accomplishment and a faith that is strengthened through the showing of Christ’s love.
So how do we accomplish this goal? First off, I would love suggestions from all of you. What is something that our community needs, or the neighbor next door, needs that we might be able to accomplish? Where is there a void that we can step in and make an impact? There are not bad suggestions or ideas.
Second, we will twice in 2019, once this spring and then again in the fall, spend part of a Sunday being servants. We will gather for worship and then go out into our community and so service projects, both big and small, and involving all ages of our church. I’ve already been having conversation with people in our community about stuff that could be done and hopefully using some of your suggestions, we can fan out and make a difference. It can be anything from yard work or painting, to clean up of a community area, to helping out a ministry partner with a project. I would love ideas of small ways we can make impacts for those who want to help but might not be as physically able to participate in a project. This kind of service is not new as the ELCA has had “God Works, Our Hands” Sunday every year in the fall but that date always is the start of our Sunday School. We are going to use that concept and do it at different times.
Finally, we need to meet our financial obligations to our benevolences. Our financial support helps them meet their goals and this year we did not meet our benevolences. Increased giving by you, whether through the Mission Madness event or in giving throughout the year, will help us make a greater impact.
I look forward to your ideas and suggestions and your willingness to answer the call of your Savior Jesus Christ to live out your faith in service to your neighbor.
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14