St. Luke’s is a congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination is the United States and one of the largest Lutheran denominations in the world.  There are nearly 10,000 congregations in the ELCA, with nearly 4 million members nationwide.

I mention this because on the second weekend of September, all of us are asked to go out into our communities and do volunteer service.  Ideally, we will all go out on Sunday, the 11th.  In our case, because the 11th is also Rally Day, and because, as a way to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the horrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, we will be inviting our local firefighter and ambulance personal to join us in worship and at a reception following the late service, we will be doing our serving on Saturday, September 10th.

We will be going to the fire company to do cleaning there, as a way to serve, and as a thank you for their service to our community.  We are also looking at other projects for that day, and the Missions Committee will have more to say about all of this before that.  You are invited, and encouraged, to be part of this day of service.  Please speak to Marty Jordan, the Missions Committee chair, if you would like to help.

Serving our neighbor is a central part of what it means to live a life of faith.  Jesus gave us an example of serving love in his ministry to those in need – the poor, the sick, the lost, the dying, the grieving – and in his giving of his life for us on the cross.  In response to what our Lord has done for us, we are called to give of ourselves for the sake of others.

So we do things like support the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry, and the clothing collection at St. Luke in Gilbertsville.  We support Steve and Debbie Buckner in their mission work in Honduras.  We support our youth on their annual mission trip.  We raise money for other local causes, and now we have dedicated 10% of the money we raise at our major fundraisers throughout the year to be given to outside agencies and organizations that help those in need.

We do a lot of good, here, and we should feel good about it.  On the 10th, we are called to give, not money, but our time, and our energy.  We are called to physically serve our neighbors as we are able, not just on one day, but whenever we have the opportunity.  We serve our neighbor with all we have been blessed with – our treasure, our time, and our talent.

As we serve, we become a blessing, and as we serve, we are blessed.  We give of ourselves, and we receive into ourselves.  It is never a one way street to serve others.  In giving, we receive, and in helping, we are helped, as well.  Please make an effort to be part of the day of serving on the 10th.  If that doesn’t work for you, find other days, and other ways, to serve those around you who might need a hand.  Be a blessing to others.  Be blessed in serving others.  Love one another as Christ has first loved us.
See you in church!
Pr. Paul

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