This has been a good year for Trinity Lutheran Church. We have seen some new people worshipping with us. We have seen people learn new spiritual practices. We have seen people deepen their connections with the living God. And we have seen people be very generous, generous enough to pay off Trinity’s mortgage three years early.
Your gifts toward paying off the mortgage and your gifts to the operating budget — your regular offerings — have an impact far beyond our building. Trinity has helped with disaster relief for the people of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico after the terrible hurricanes this fall. We have gathered money, food and personal care items which Damaris Carrero (one of our quilters) sent to her family and others in their community in Puerto Rico. They are still without power. Of course we also sent money through Lutheran Disaster Response because 100% of the donations to hurricane relief go to help people impacted by the hurricanes. You might be wondering how that can happen. Don’t they have administrative costs? Yes, they do. But because congregations like Trinity give to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Disaster Response gets some support to cover administrative costs. Then, they can devote all donations that come in for a major disaster to help the people most in need. That is the Church at work. That is your ordinary generosity at work.
Because you give to support the everyday work of our congregation, people in Houston are helped through Lutheran Disaster Response. Because you give to keep the heat and lights on in our building, Meals-on-Wheels has space to deliver hundreds of meals each week, three Girl Scout troops have a place to meet, and four Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have a home. Because you give to pay the salaries of our staff, inspiring music happens every Sunday, people are visited at their homes and in hospitals, the building is clean and welcoming, and newsletters and bulletins are produced. Thank you for making all of this happen.
At the end of the calendar year, many people give a special gift to their favorite charities. Please consider giving a special gift to Trinity this year. We want to end the year well and begin 2018 in a strong position. There will no doubt be many challenges and many opportunities in the coming year. Your gift will help Trinity meet those challenges and take advantage of those opportunities. People give gifts of $100 or even $1,000; others give $50 or another amount. Whatever the amount is, your gift makes a difference and is deeply appreciated.
A Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and those whom you love.