2021 Financial Stewardship Drive Kickoff!
The Rev. Dr. James Butler

I am “over the moon” with our 2021 stewardship theme. It seems so appropriate “for such a time as this…” Oddly, it is a passage from Lamentations which, next to Job, is perhaps the second saddest book in the Hebrew Bible! It has been set to music in many styles, which is how I first came across it. I learned it as a college counselor in a Mennonite church camp in Michigan. I never got tired of singing those words with the kids. And it came in handy through the years whenever life started to feel a little dark and overwhelming.

I think I was in seminary before I realized it was tucked in the middle of five very sad “songs of mourning” about the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Tucked in the middle of Song #3 is this outburst of praise to God and the hope that things will not always be the way they are.

I’ve been singing that song during these hard, dark days of closed churches, schools and businesses. I sing it because it says what I know to be true in my heart — God’s “steadfast love” never stops, but COVID-19 will! LPC’s mission and ministry has had to change for a time, but it has not stopped! We’ve helped people whose lives have been upended from COVID-19; we’ve gathered for worship virtually every Sunday since the pandemic began; we’ve found creative ways to fellowship and to continue to “form faith” in our children, youth and adults. I am so proud of our LPC leaders who have stepped up with technology and Zoom meetings fulfilling their promises to serve the congregation with “energy, intelligence, imagination and love…” Through it all, our members have continued to give and fulfill their financial commitment to support LPC. Thank you!

In gratitude to the One whose mercies “are new every morning,” I am asking you to join me in making a “new” financial commitment for 2021. Every member will receive a mailing during the first week of November that will include a “Narrative Budget,” a pledge response card (aka “estimate of giving”), and a return envelope. Plan to mail it in or drop it off because it does not look like we will be able to present our pledge cards together on “Thanksgiving Sunday” as we normally do every year.

In the meantime, let’s work hard at remaining grateful and generous. And when we need to do a little complaining and mourning, we can do it, and then sing a song “because the steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases. God’s mercies are new every morning. Great is the Lord’s faithfulness. May our faithfulness continue in 2021.