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PLEDGE CARDS-do we understand what we are committing to when we sign them?
After learning at the recent congregational meeting that 9 or so families stopped giving to the church completely from June through November because they were unhappy with the leadership of the church, and the budget was down by a large sum of money, I suddenly realized that any group of people could hold the church hostage to get their way.  Again, I started researching how churches get their funding, and how important this money is to carry on the mission we have adopted.  I had heard over the past 15 years that St. Johannes was mainly funded by pledges from a small group of people. In a church the size of St. Johannes that amounts to about 7 families who provide, let's say the meat and potatoes, and the rest provide the fixins!
Here's a thought put forth by  A.J. Thomas of the Joyful Giving Group regarding making a pledge to support your church: 

Maybe we need to look at the heart and rethink the pledge card!

A.J. is passionate about the idea that giving has nothing to do with the financial needs of the church.

Of course, churches have financial needs, and hopefully they are aligned with the mission of making disciples. However, whether and how much an individual or family gives is not dependent upon the needs of the church.

Giving is a spiritual discipline and an aspect of our relationship with God. We do not give to the Church, but rather we give to God through the Church.

A church that cannot meet budget and guilt's its members into giving is an unhealthy church. And an individual or family who chooses not to give because the church doesn’t need their gift has a skewed understanding of the purpose behind giving.

Perhaps it is time for us to focus on GENEROSITY. By keeping the focus on generosity and not on the church budget, each commitment feels meaningful and significant, even if the resulting dollar amounts vary greatly. It also helps keep the size of someone’s giving NOT to have influence or even access to leadership or the pastor. Everyone is equal!

Pledging is also about working together and building our membership.  The future of St. Johannes is at a critical point.  2020 will be the year, and it is time for change!

 

Advent 3
 

St. Johannes Lutheran Church
December 15, 2019

Kyrie eleison, on our world and on our way. Kyrie eleison, every day!

from Setting 8 of the Lutheran Liturgy

  • Dr. Michael Kogan's Bible Study will resume on Tuesday at 5:30 PM!
  • Bible Study-Home of Cynthia Mays  MONDAYS, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 15 - Advent 3 German Fest and Christmas Pageant with Children immediately after church

  • Sunday, December 22 - Advent 4
  • Tuesday, December 24 - 3:00 Family Christmas Eve Service
  • Sunday, December 29 - Christmas 1- Lessons and Carols
  • Saturday, January 4 - Take down all Christmas decorations

A note of joyful expectation marks today’s worship. Isaiah announces that the desert shall rejoice and blossom, and Jesus points to the unexpected and transforming signs of God’s reign. We wait with patience for the coming of the Lord, even as we rejoice at his presence among us this day: in word and holy supper, in church and in our homes, in silent reflection and in works of justice and love. We pray that God would open our eyes and ears to the wonders of Christ’s advent among us.

 
Bereaved: Linda Jantzen and her family.
Sick and Recovering: Pastor Steve Cooper,  Anne Foster (back at Roper), Marie Mood, Pastor Steve Cooper, Charles Long III, Gena Allen, Rev. John Satterwhite, Barbara Lyerly, Marlene Barton,  Maude Hickman, John Fowlkes (now at home), Howard Walker, Andy Hogue, Diane Hogue, Mary Sweat, Ted Bowers, George Kornahrens, Elmore Marlow, Carol Drowota, Leslie Carpenter, Donald Foster, Jr., Billy Cornwell, Marilyn Stehmeier, Harry Kluttz, Bob Oswald, Leslie Carpenter, Pooh Kanapaux.

Prayer of Forgiveness

Father, today I ask forgiveness of all the negative and harmful words I have spoken to others. I do not want to abuse them in such a way again. Transform my thoughts and let me understand how marvelously you made me. Change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon all life. In Jesus' name. Amen

Prayer for Healing

I don't always know what your will is Lord, especially in times like now, when I desperately seek your face. I offer you no promises, no bargains, no deals to exchange for my health. I simply bow my heart before you to tell you the desire of my heart: that I want to spend as many years as I can loving you here, loving others, and wanting to become more like you. However you choose to accomplish that is up to you—and okay with me. If you use doctors to provide healing, give them wisdom to know what to do. Regardless of how you accomplish it, the healing you give is always miraculous. And you deserve all the praise.

I absolutely believe you have the power to heal. You demonstrated that on earth, and you still heal in miraculous ways today. Even when my faith is weak, you say it is enough, and my love for you is strong. And I know you already hold my heart and life in your hands. It's up to you. If I can bring you more glory through healing, then that's what I ask for. That's what I desire.

But if your answer is no, or not now, I know that your grace is sufficient for me. Ultimately, I want your will to be my will. I look forward to spending an eternity with you. But Lord, if you have planned still more for me to do here on this earth, I not only need and want your physical healing, Lord, but a thorough, deep-down cleansing and strengthening—a whole-hearted renewal of all that I am. Because all that I am is yours. Use this trial to strengthen me from a "what-if" faith to a "no-matter-what" faith. And no matter what, I choose to honor you and give you glory. In Jesus's name, Amen.

Advent 3

Worship Assistant: Frank Campailla
Lector: Bob Mays
Acolyte: BCynthia Mays
Council members of the Month: Barbara Williams & Susan Crocker

Advent Candle- Scott & Leslie Carpenter and their 4 children(Lyla, Rosalie, Miles and Henry)

CALL FOR MUSICIANS

We have Many Gifts and One Spirit!   We will have Music Ministry rehearsals for anyone interested in singing, playing handbells, or playing any other instrument as we prepare for Advent and Christmas!  Scheduled rehearsals will be on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM
If you have any questions, please contact
Sean Holleran at (502)533-0785 or swholl01@gmail.com. 

“Let every instrument be tuned for Praise, let all rejoice who have a Voice to raise!”

 
 

Join us this Sunday after church for the German Feast and the Christmas Pageant!

Thank you to all who signed up for altar flowers for December.  Fill out order form found in bulletin to order your Christmas Poinsettia!  Please contact Amy Bifano in the office (843)722-8906 or by emailing office @stjohanneschurch.org if you would like to donate flowers. The new Flower Chart is up in the narthex for 2020.  Please sign up soon for specific dates you may want.

The volunteer position of "Flower Person" is currently available.  If you are interested in handling this job, please let the Parish Administrator know!

The hanging of the Greens was done last week.  Please thank  Robbin and Jim Mosier, Derek Mosier and daughter Grace, Diane McDanel, and Mary Lou Waitschies.

Kay Winnett and her crew set up the Creche, Advent Candles, and Star!  Thank you! St. J is now ready for the season leading up to Christmas.


Please welcome Pastor Rich Donoughue

Outreach Project for St. Johannes for Month of December 

The Parsonage at
St. Johannes

Call Manager, Barbara Pace, to schedule your wedding, reception, bridal luncheon, dinner party, including week's stay in this beautiful home!
843-789-0639
bapace7223@att.net
E-Blast editor and designer:  Chuck Long
Assistant editor: Amy Bifano
If you wish something to be announced in E-Blast, please email me at clongteach@comcast.net no later than Wednesday at 12:00 PM.
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