Dear Friends in Christ,
For the last two years, as you know, we have been supporting hundreds of children in Haiti with shoes for school, and with food and other personal supplies.
One picture from the past fall captures how this effort has evolved beautifully—it shows two hands sharing the bags of food you have provided to a little girl.
This photo is a wonderful reminder of what we do here at St. Philip the Deacon, in a number of ways:
First, as a practical matter, the photo reminds us that, in the name of Jesus, we accomplish tangible good in the world—feeding the hungry, giving a drink to those who are thirsty, caring for those who are lonely and sick, providing clothing to those who are cold.
Second, as a metaphor, it reminds us that we are in the business of handing on something valuable and nourishing—namely, our faith—to our youth and to the world around us.
And finally, it reminds us of our solidarity with this little girl, by reminding us of our own true identities. As Martin Luther wrote on his deathbed: “We are beggars, it is true.” These were his final words—a reminder that all that we have is freely given to us by a God who loves us.
As beggars, we joyfully receive all that God gives us. As God’s agents in the world, we are invited, in turn, to share those gifts. And, as the quote on the back of this year’s Promise card reminds us, we need you to help us with this work.
As we say regularly, because it is true: Your gifts make a difference. Thank you.
Grace and peace,
|Pastor Tim Westermeyer
|Pastor Mark Schmid
|Pastor Valerie Strand Patterson
Pastor of Adult Ministry
|Pastor Cheryl Mathison
P.S. We will dedicate 2017 Promises during all services Nov. 19, 20 and 21. Prior to that weekend, we invite you to prayerfully consider your 2017 Promise, and communicate your intent by returning the enclosed card either by mail or by placing it in the offering plate during any worship service. Thank you for your Partnership in the Gospel.