“Look what you’ve done!” is usually said by someone who believes you’ve done something wrong, or have made a mistake.
Not this time.
I invite you to look what you’ve done as a congregation because of something. . .
- faithful, and
. . . you’ve done as a congregation, through the offerings you’ve dedicated to the Lord’s mission in our midst, even in the midst of the uncertainty and anxiety of the pandemic.
I asked our staff to share what they’ve been empowered and resourced to set into motion because of your faithful, trusting generosity. They shared:
In our discipleship & care (thanks, Pastor Matt!),
- Discipleship: We’ve moved to online discipling opportunities, including Discipleship Hour for adults;
- Connections: Our staff and leaders have been phoning everyone in our St. Luke worshiping community in order to invest in relationships, reduce isolation, and facilitate care;
- Care: A Care Team has been operating which provides direct, immediate, and long term care opportunities (card ministry, need assessment, volunteering, etc.).
In youth & family discipleship (thanks, David and Rebekah!),
- Two resources for use home use has been created for families, “Holy Week at Home” and “Easter Jam 2020;”
- We’re providing weekly Virtual Youth Group opportunities
- The team is facilitating weekly Story for Children chapters and parent pages to help families engage each week in The Story;
- We’re continuing to support Home Group ministry by providing discussion guides and communicating with leaders about online meeting and communication options.
In the area of finance & operations (thanks, Susan!),
- We have applied to the Paycheck Protection Program to help with the cost of payroll;
- Our giving options have been expanded (see the end of this message) and we are continuing to provide timely processing of donations;
- Forecasting models to help with the close of this fiscal year and the budgeting of the next fiscal year have been created.
In our lives of worship (thanks, Jeff, worship team, Kelly, and technicians!),
- Online worship has been initiated and is in continuous refinement with the result that hundreds of people have been gathering together in spirit, even if distanced by circumstances, in their homes;
- A virtual worship team is in the works; the worship team is assisting in the creation of creating music experiences, even purchasing their own gear;
- Care among the worship team has expanded; they are contacting each other regularly;
- Creative solutions which enable multiple people to contribute to the creation and leading of worship while in the safety of their homes have been implemented.
In the care of our facility (thanks, Chad and La’Shun!)
- An Emergency Plan Template is being developed, and a task force assembled;
- A Return to the Building plan is being written, which includes enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures;
- Security: The installation of our new door locks and improved security has been put on hold but will continue once it is safe to do so;
- Our reception and welcome techniques are being refined for the time our facility will once more be open, inviting, and joy-filled.
LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE!
- You are enabling St. Luke to join the Lord in his work – even in the midst of our present challenges – in new, creative, and innovative ways.
- Our congregation is in a better financial state than we were at this time last year;
- Our people have given $48,000 more than what we projected we would receive for the Lord’s mission;
- $28,000 of that figure was given for the Cash Flow Zero endeavor, which was postponed due to the pandemic. Cash Flow Zero will return under a new name and with renewed purpose when the situation enables us to do so.
- Please don’t stop giving because we are currently in a good place; the situation in society and church might change in an instant;
- The best designation you can make for your giving is the general fund;
- If you desire to give to something special, please designate “other” when giving your offering, and tell Susan Jones where you’d like it to go (you can do so as you give, or email her to designate your offering (info below);
- Three worthy special needs to which you might give a special offering are. . .
–Agape Fund (helps people who are out of work, in need of care, etc.);
–Security door for our lower level (keeping our youth and children safe);
–Front entry doors repair.
Stimulus Checks: If the Lord so moves you, your congregation would be very blessed to receive whatever amount you might give from this check.
One more time: Look what you’ve done! And rejoice that the Lord has inspired and enabled you to give.
At the bottom are reminders about how to give during this time.
So…Stay in place, stay healthy, stay safe, and may the power of the risen Lord accompany all the things you do in his name.
During this time, you can give:
- Online at stlukeaa.org;
Before logging into Connect, select Give and enter the requested information.
- Through the St. Luke Connect App;
The app is St. Luke-Ann Arbor “Connect” and you would select Give.
- By Text
Text Give to 734-359-7179 and follow the prompts.
- Through Mail
St. Luke Lutheran Church
4205 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
- With Stock
St. Luke’s Charles Schwab Account # 8411-3768; DTC #0164. Please email Susan Jones, Director of Finance and Operations, the name of the stock and number of shares.