We had excellent Ministry Gatherings and an annual meeting last week. It is clear to me that the congregation is excited and supportive of our minis- tries. The 2023 budget passed overwhelmingly. The congregation elected Jason Fox, Larry Bagley and Terry Hjelkrum to serve on Council for the next three years. I am so appreciative of the excitement and energy around our ministries. There is a lot of momentum, and we are making a difference in people’s lives. Thank you for your support and trust.
Now we turn our attention to the current year and our need to finish strong in fulfilling our commitment to funding First Lutheran’s ministries. You should have received your third quarter financial statement where I shared with you that we are about $128,000 behind expenses for the year. We typically see a decline in giving in the third quarter, but this year’s was exceptional and will require our attention as we finish the year. In the next three months we will need to raise $651,193.00 to cover the deficit and fully fund ministry in the 4th quarter. Here’s how we can do that. First, I’ve asked the staff to tighten up expenses and forgo some of the plans we had (for example we won’t be sending out a newsletter to the Old North End this quarter). This will help, but before we do anything more consequential, I want to come to you to see what you might be willing to do. My family has thought through this ourselves and determined what steps we will take. We had already planned to increase our giving by $200 per month for next year and now we will begin that increase this month. In addition, we are going to give a donation of $500 to contribute to the efforts to finish strong. Would you consider joining us in something similar that makes sense to your family income and budget?
I believe in this ministry and am determined to move forward rather than cut back, if possible. God is using First Lutheran to bring people to faith, help those in need and serve as an example to the larger church that our best days remain ahead of us. We are a bright spot in the post pandemic church landscape as a healthy and vibrant congregation. We have a reputation in the city for being generous and mission minded. Our children and youth are learning to follow Jesus and serve as ambassadors of Christ. I think the world needs more, not less, of what is happening here at First Lutheran. I’m confident that we will meet this challenge as we have done in the past. It may be a bit harder because of inflation, but First Lutheran has a history of beating the odds and surprising with generosity. I’ll keep you updated as we go forward. Thank you for your excitement and engagement with this ministry. Let’s finish strong!
First Lutheran’s annual meeting will take place on Sunday, October 16 after each worship service. The annual meeting agenda items have already been discussed at the ministry gatherings. All voting members are expected to attend and cast a vote. The agenda for this year includes:
Approve the Budget
Elect Three Council Members
Reduce council terms to from four years to three years.
Voting will take place after each Sunday service. You can find information presented at the Ministry Gatherings here.
Imagine if every student in the Pikes Peak region had everything they needed to get a strong start to the 2022/2023 school year!
This summer, on July 30th and Aug 6th, COSILoveYou will host its 3rd Annual Backpack Bash, where they’ll welcome thousands of students and families at six locations across our community. These events include backpacks filled with essential school supplies, additional health services, and the opportunity to have fun as a family in a carnival-style setting. The Backpack Bash is meant to serve families who would benefit from a little extra support as we start the school year and connect them to local partners that can support them throughout the year!
To accomplish this event, they need our help! There are two ways First Lutheran has promised to support the Backpack Bash: • Donate Backpacks – Their greatest need (more than school supplies) is NEW backpacks. You will find wooden bins in the Gathering Place to donate NEW backpacks. • Volunteer at the Backpack Bash – If you’re interested in lending your time and energy to the events associated with the Backpack Bash, First Lutheran is hoping to have a large volunteer presence. Last year the Downtown Location (Hillside Community Center) was short volunteers. • Volunteer from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thirty-two (32) volunteers are needed. If you could help there, it would be greatly appreciated! Register to volunteer at any location here: https://volunteer.cosiloveyou.com/communityservice
If you know a family that would benefit from attending this event, please invite them! The best place to send them for info regarding how to attend a Backpack Bash is https://backpackbash.com/
Space Foundation Discovery Center Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Meet at the church at 9:00 a.m., depart 9:15 a.m.; Cost: $7.50 Our lunch stop will be at Marigold Café & Bakery. Please choose your entrée during sign-up. Please sign up here https://bit.ly/3aakbpw or call the church at 719.632.8836 to sign up. Deadline for sign-up is TODAY Monday, November 8, 2021.
Here are some photos from the last outing the OWL’s went on to Weidner Field in October.
Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence Lead by Pastor Ralph Anderson October 17 – November 21 9:30am, Fireside Room
Who in the world is Jesus? Most of us can answer that question in a variety of ways, some very personal. Some based on what we’ve been told. Some have come from our studies, from what we’ve read. We know the stories, the experiences of others, the history of the Church.
He stands at the very core of the Christian Faith. Over 2000 years of history have helped define him. Even people of other faith traditions say that he is an important religious figure. The Muslims, for example. Many of us feel that if all followed Jesus the world would be a better place.
Diana Butler Bass, a well known theologian, helps us understand Jesus in some fresh new ways in her book, Freeing Jesus, which I recommend purchasing in advance. Out of her own experience she helps us understand and embrace the Jesus of history and faith.
Come join us for six Sunday mornings of her reflections, beginning on October 17 at 9:30 AM in the Fireside Room: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence.
Lutheran Family Services (LFS) Refugee and Asylee Services program is busy preparing to welcome more Afghani families to the Colorado Springs area and will need our help. At LFS, there are a variety of ways you can volunteer to help refugees. Whether it be compiling welcome baskets or working closely with refugee families themselves, we offer an array of opportunities suited to your specific preferences.
The first step to volunteering with our refugee programs is to review the opportunities available in your area and attend an orientation training session. After you have attended an orientation training, you will need to complete and submit an application and a background check. These forms should not be submitted until after you have attended orientation.
A training session is available this Tuesday, October 5th. You can learn more and sign up here.
The summit parking lot is being paved over the next few days, and those who planned to drive to the summit for our OWL’s trip tomorrow, will not be able to go past Devil’s Playground. This DOES NOT affect those who are riding on the railway! The visitor center will remain open for COG railway passengers and hikers. See you tomorrow!