A Word from the Pastor:
My Reflections on Zion Generosity
Deana Miller, director Operation Bootstrap Africa, was desperate. “We had a cancellation. If you don’t join in our walk, we will have to cancel.” The “walk” was an 8-day, 200-mile foray through Maasai land in Tanzania. Each walker recruited sponsors who pledged $15,000 to finance the construction of three classrooms in east Africa. “This is not Minnesota,” I reminded Deana, “we don’t have enough Lutherans to raise that kind of money.” “Well, do what you can,” she responded. In the end, through Zion’s generosity, we raised $24,000, enough to build nearly five classrooms!
Many of us remember and celebrate our building addition, which provided needed welcoming space, elevator, offices and classrooms. Our capital appeal faced a million and a half dollar challenge with an additional commitment to provide seed money to start a preschool. In a follow up appeal, we tithed our first $30,000 for a mission start up in South Jordan.
Believe it or not, we once ended a fiscal year with a $20,000 surplus. Those funds did not go into a rainy day fund. They were not used to pay down our building loan. Instead, we purchased a used van for Crossroads Urban Center; gave a special offering to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the Rocky Mtn. Synod of the ELCA.
To this day, we continue to grow our ministry of music through a financial legacy from Ellen Crooks. With her fund and special gifts from congregational members, we have purchased most of the Orff instruments used by choirs and Sunday School.
This is what we do. Our money follows mission. Generosity is woven into our spiritual DNA.
But right about now, Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days is bouncing through my mind’s eye. We can celebrate the past, but what is the story of generosity we are writing today? We are a congregation without debt. We believe the Spirit is calling us into a new vision for mission, connecting us through grace, moving us into new outreach venues while attending our building, correcting safety issues and reducing our carbon footprint.
Trusting in God’s promise through Jeremiah, we pray that this story is being written on our hearts.
In and through Christ,
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CONNECTING THROUGH GRACE
We are a Reconciling in Christ community. All are welcome!
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rocky Mountain Synod
ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
1070 Foothill Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
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