From the Pastor
I popped into Walgreens, and it is like a Valentine’s Day bomb went off. Every aisle you go down, you find yourself wading through red and pink, shouting at you to spend more money. I am not a Valentine’s Day hater, nor do I jump in with both feet. I am Valentine’s Day neutral. But as I walked the aisles of Walgreens, I couldn’t help but think of the shallow love splashed all over those boxes of chocolates and holiday cards. Love that will last about as long as it takes for the candy to digest.
One of the most famous passages on love in the bible is 1st Corinthians 13:4-7. It is the “love is patient, love is kind……” passage. Paul writes out the different attributes of love, how love acts. It is a beautiful passage. It is one of the “big ones” that moves its way out of the Bible and into weddings all over the world. But if we zoom out and read around the passage, we find the apostle Paul isn’t talking about a wedding, or even about the love of a couple or a family. He is talking about the love of God, and how Christians should live it. 1st and 2nd Corinthians are letters Paul writes to a real church in ancient Greece. A real church that was having some major problems. Reading the preceding chapters, we see a church that is fractured, argumentative and frankly not very loving. This passage loses some of its perceived romance when we realize what is really going on.
But losing the romance is probably a good thing, because then we see how real it is. And how it could apply to our own lives today. Paul writes that without love, he is nothing. Paul writes about faith, hope and love, essential values of a Christian community, and that the greatest of these three is love. Without love, we couldn’t do anything. Paul writes that love never ends.
God becomes known in love. In the love that we, as a church, show one another. God’s love is bigger than warm fuzzies, and chocolate candies, and fancy cards. God’s love is bigger than the fights between the Corinthians, God’s love is bigger than the fights or fears we have even now about being the Church. So, this Valentine’s day, let’s celebrate the never-failing love of God. And on February 15th, celebrate with half-priced candy.
From the Financial Officer
The average monthly Anticipated Offerings budgeted for 2018 was $7,290. Average per month received for 2018 was $7,120 per month which is $125 short of the budgeted amount per month. The undesignated amount received in December was $12,125.
Happy Hearts has received $87,787 to date with $115 received in December.
The 12.31.2018 mortgage balance was $150,155.
A Living Nativity
A huge thank-you to all of our Live Nativity volunteers! There was a record 68 of us that came together this year to make this event happen – amazing!! So many friends, family and parish members donated their time, energy, and resources to this ministry – we are truly blessed.
By the numbers: Attendees: 200 (approx); Food Pantry donations: $173; Donations to church: $45; Coats/jackets donated for All Saints: 10; Other winter wear for All Saints: 5; Nativity craft ornaments made: 55; Volunteer who came the farthest: Machelele, BHS foreign exchange student, from Tanzania
I hope you all consider joining in for Live Nativity 2019! If you have any fresh ideas or changes that you would like to see for next year, please e-mail Deb Crooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 563-340-7614.