Growing in Generosity Pledge – Year 3: At all our worship services next weekend, February 24 and 25, we will be making financial pledges to the Lord. You will have the opportunity to make a 1-year pledge to commit first your sacrificial, firstfruits giving as an unrestricted gift to the church budget, and second to pledge any over-and-above offerings you would like to give in support of the “Growing” capital fund drive. These special “Growing” funds will be used to 1) expand our ministry, 2) enhance our campus, and 3) reduce our debt. You will be receiving a letter and pledge card in the mail before next weekend. We will also have more pledge cards available at church. Please prayerfully consider what you would like to give, no matter how big or small it might be.
ARE YOU BLESSING OTHER PEOPLE? Write down what you’ve done on a paper leaf, and add it to our display here at church! Did someone from church do something that blessed you? Recognize their kind act the same way. Add a leaf with a description of the blessing to our B.O.P. tree. Let’s make the Blessing Tree flourish!
Recently, I learned of a family who had these three letters, B.O.P., written on their daughter’s to-do list posted on the refrigerator. When asked what B.O.P. meant, there was an unexpected explanation. “B.O.P. means ‘Blessing Other People.’ Each week or when we can, our family finds a way to bless someone else.” HOW COOL IS THAT!?
How about a challenge to our Beautiful Savior family? As we continue on Year 2 of Growing up in Every Way, we are striving toGrow in Service, serving God and His people. What would it look like if every BSLC household serves their community, congregation, neighbors, friends, co-workers, or whomever you come into contact with? B.O.P.-ing can be done by all people, singles, couples, and kids. What a great way to bring your family together to share God’s Love each week for an entire year.
This is how it works. Each week or day, we challenge your family to find a way to B.O.P. (Bless Other People). Maybe family members could take turns with the assignment. Agree on the plan ahead of time, and work it out together. And what might come of blessing other people? I suspect you all will be blessed too. While we are B.O.P.-ing… I believe God will bless us!
So B.O.P. away! Look over the list provided for ideas, or come up with your own. Get creative! Let’s get started right away. Start talking about your B.O.P. plans around the dinner table or while you’re driving. A reminder for our young ones, this is not about getting credit or glory… but it is about Boldly Sharing the Love of Christ through serving others.
As we B.O.P, let’s share them with each other. Sometime soon, across the hall from my office, you will see our Growing up in Every Way logo. As you carry out B.O.P.s, you will be able to share it by writing a brief summary on a leaf post-it note, and posting it on the tree. Where appropriate, take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to post in social media and/or the bulletin board. You may also want to share how someone has blessed you! The purpose of this sharing is to encourage others to join the “B.O.P. movement” and to give ideas. If you have any questions, please contact me.
May God bless you as you serve Him!
DCE Korey Danley
As part of our “Growing Up in Every Way” project, we have been encouraging people to serve in the church, in the community, and in the world. We are “Growing in Service”! Indeed, many are using their time and talents for the Lord!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who currently serve on the church council or any board or committee. Your Christian leadership is invaluable and a true blessing to our congregation!
There are many members of Beautiful Savior who quietly give of their time and talents to whom we would like to also express our thanks and appreciation. From time to time, we’d just like to recognize some of the folks who work “behind the scenes,” simply to the glory of God!
Some of the following points are board-related; some are not. In no particular order, we thank:
Rick Chapman, Trustee Chairman, who makes sure all sorts of maintenance issues get accomplished—too numerous to list them all here;
Alice Deskins, who cleans out the refrigerators and just comes in with her dust rag and cleanser and takes care of what she sees needs attention;
Tamie Stockman-Heagy, who volunteers in the library and reads to the preschool students;
Russ Peters, who stops over on his lunch hour sometimes to take care of emergency plumbing and other maintenance issues;
Dick Dammerman, Lewis Bechtel and others, who recently put a fresh coat of paint on the Family Life Center walls;
Aaron Troester, who helps maintain our computers;
Darren Cheshier, who helps maintain our sound system;
Denise Murphy, who maintains our website;
Sharon Burden, Jan Canaday, Juanita Wilson, Bill Wilson, Linda Mills, Cheryl Lagud, Dona Chaney, Donna Clarke, & Cheryl Dittmer, who make sure the bulletins get collated every week, in addition to assistance with other church office projects;
Ed & Helen Bliefnick, who maintain the landscaping in the prayer garden;
Duane Hulen, who mows the church property;
Brad Holmes, who trims bushes and assists with various landscaping projects;
Bill Wilson, who changes the message on the church sign;
Laura Terry, who sews and embroiders the baptismal napkins;
Elise Barry & Erin Niemeyer, who make the baptismal banners;
Trent Williams, who comes and empties the outdoor trash cans;
Jana Wisner, Aaron Troester, Beth Flood, and Karen Eckhoff, who record the services;
Mike Mason, who sprays the building for bugs;
George Dawson, who recently transported one of our senior members to a doctor’s appointment;
Ken & Helen Bergman and others who have given Inge Richardson a ride to church;
Donna Boenisch, for maintaining the food pantry;
Tom Manwarren, for photographing confirmation students and families on Confirmation Day;
Kim Wheeler, for organizing the communion helpers;
Tami Binder & Donna Clarke, who take care of changing the altar cloths in accordance with the church year calendar;
Carol Pijanowski & Pam Lampe, who take care of the altar candles;
Deb Jenkins, Katherine Palmer & all who supported the annual fireworks fundraiser;
Jay & Julie Watson, Scott & Lisa Smith & all who supported the church/community picnic.
Surely we didn’t name everyone we could have or should have. Whom should we include in a future list of people to recognize and thank? Send any names and their service to the church office!
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2
Growing in Generosity Pledge – Year 2
Growing in Generosity: As the people of God, working together to “Grow in Generosity,” we pledged our firstfruits to the work of the Lord here and even some over-and-above gifts to our “Growing up in Every Way” project. It’s not too late to be a part of it. Mail your pledge, or bring it with you next time you come! (Extra pledge cards are available in the communication center.) Remember, any gifts given to our special project should be labeled “Growing” in the memo line of your check.
“Our lives were pretty simple. For years and years we had gotten up each morning, went to our jobs and worked hard, lived frugal lives together, and saved as much of our earnings as we possibly could. That’s how we were raised. Our family grew up during a time when nothing could be taken for granted. Nothing was “assured.” We understood that at the drop of a hat we could lose everything.
So, we always saved our money, but more importantly every Sunday we went to Church and prayed and thanked God for all that we had. We literally grew up together and grew old together. We never got married or had children. We had each other and our relationship with God, and that was all we needed.
With the money we were saving, we decided to open a joint mutual fund so the money could grow more rapidly. We never knew if one of us would get sick and would need a lot of money for hospital bills so we let it grow and grow. Our earnings were humble, but we were consistent about putting money in every week. We lived in a small house big enough for the two of us. We stayed at home most nights and cooked for each other. Very seldom would we spend money to go out to eat. Sunday would come, and we would get in the car and go together, usually settling in a pew midway from the front and sitting quietly and politely listening to the wonderful pastors deliver God’s Word. Again, we would always pray, “Thank you for all that we have, dear Lord.”
We lived our lives this way until the day we died. We were blessed never having to worry about those hospital bills. We lived full lives going to Church every Sunday, and we knew and were so thankful that God protected us and blessed us all those years. Our investments at that point had ballooned to an enormous amount, but we never married and never had kids of our own, so it was only right that we donate much of it back to the Church. We didn’t want credit or any “thank yous” for the donation; we did it because we loved God and our Church. We never knew what our gifts would do.”
Today, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church has a full gym for activities and basketball games, an expanded kitchen for meals during the Advent/Lenten seasons, additional classrooms for Midweek/Sunday School education and for our awesome Abounding Love Preschool, a beautiful library for anyone to use, and expanded offices for our growing staff.
If you went to Church last weekend, you would have witnessed hundreds of kids and their families (some members, some not) enjoying our Upward Basketball games in the gym, our Preschool celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week, and a full house during our Contemporary Worship Service that we hold in the gym.
None of this would have been possible without this extremely selfless, God-driven donation made many years ago by these wonderful sisters. Their legacy will live on forever. Take a step back and take it in because God’s love is very real. You can make a difference. We can make a difference.
With God’s help :)
By Mark Alan Mathes
In January we will focus on the most important aspect of this three year spiritual emphasis: “Growing in Faith.” Faith is a word that can refer on the one hand to the objective teaching, like when in church we say, “Let us confess the Christian faith together, ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty…’” This faith does not change, and therefore it does not grow or diminish. It is revealed to us by God in the Bible, and it is, in fact, the Truth.
But what can grow is our understanding of the faith, and our trust in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In this way we are not only commanded by God to grow, but are invited by Him to receive His gifts that grow us, and then to actively participate in living out the faith, producing the fruits of faith, the good works of love that naturally flow from faith.
The Bible is rich with imagery that communicates this. Picture Jesus the vine, and you the branches, nourished by Jesus to produce fruit. Or, envision the root system of a growing tree. How wide and how deep do the roots go? How thirsty they are for nutrients and water! Or imagine the foundation of the house, which is the teaching of God through the apostles, upon which we build our lives as individuals, and collectively as a church. Picture also a human body that grows and matures until it reaches its full stature and strength (which is the metaphor of our theme verse in Ephesians 4:15-16). These images and others we find in Scripture that show God’s will for our growth.
What do all the images have in common? We see a few things. 1) God is the one who builds us or grows us (for we are sinners, forgiven by Him!) 2) His grace is given through His means to make it happen. 3) We are invited to receive those gifts and to willingly be part of God’s work for us and through us in the church.
Why wouldn’t we want to be a part of that?! Through this amazing invention of God called “The Church,” God is doing something incredible!
All throughout January we will be learning more about “Growing in Faith,” and we will be inviting, encouraging, challenging, and motivating each other to use the gifts of God (Word and Sacrament) that together we might Grow up in Every Way.
Additionally, on January 30 & 31, at all our worship services, we will be asking you to make a commitment to participate in these activities together. We will provide a plan for studying Scripture as individual, as families, and as a group (at church or in a home). We will provide resources to help you invite the unchurched, or to encourage those who have been away from church in a while to come back. Your commitment (or pledge, if you will) is simply a way for you to say, “I want to grow in faith. I want to help others grow in faith. Let’s do this together!”
Video #3- Overview: Growing in Faith.
Video #2- Overview: Growing up in Every Way.
GROWING DISCIPLES – I Cor. 12:16 “And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.” The Lord has called each of us individually and given each of us unique gifts. He has made our whole lives holy in our Baptism and has called us to a life together in the Church, His body. You are a part of that body, and that body needs you and the gifts the Lord has given you. This is your holy calling from the Lord.
Video #1- You're Invited!
God has Good News for you, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever. Amen!
We have officially launched Right Now Media, a Netflix-style Bible Study, devotion, training, and conference resource. If you did not receive an email about setting up a profile on Right Now Media and would like to set up an account, please email Pastor Chris. There are many resources available on Right Now Media, and it is all part of this subscription, which has been paid for by the church. The resources on Right Now Media cover a wide variety of topics, including bible studies on parenting, financial stewardship, mission and outreach, various books of the bible, studies for men and women, studies for youth and more. It has a large children’s video section on the site as well. So, use this as an opportunity to Grow up in Every Way – in faith, service, and generosity.
“Growing Up in Every Way” is our focus in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Our theme verse for this three year emphasis, Ephesians 4:15-16, reminds us as a church that we are to remain in the truth, speak it in love, and GROW together as the Body of Christ. As we mature together, we will encourage, challenge, and invite one another to be committed to spiritual growth. Just as BSLC has been growing for years, we want to continue to rejoice in a growth that comes from God, and actively work to be a part of what God is doing among us. Over these three years, we will seek to grow in faith, and in service, and in generosity. We invite you to be a part of something BIG as together we will be “Growing Up in Every Way!”
“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15-16
Last year we asked you to dream…
Imagine what YOUR church would look like if everyone was engaged:
Imagine what BSLC will do when:
Then we invited you to work together to make it happen. You responded and God was at work through us! By His grace we are “Growing up in Every Way” (see Ephesians 4:15-16).
How was year 1 of this 3 year emphasis? We invite you to an informational meeting, this Sunday, Feb. 19, at 9:15 a.m. We will thank God together for what he has done among us, and we will encourage each other as we, the Body of Christ, plan for year 2 and beyond.
As we desire to GROW in faith and service, we also want to grow in generosity, trusting in our generous God. Therefore, we want to invite you to take part in the 2nd of 3 annual financial pledges on the weekend of February 25 & 26 (pledge cards are in the process of being mailed now, and will also be available at church). We will be pledging first to the Lord our regular, sacrificial, firstfruits giving to support the work of the Gospel here at BSLC. This is a good opportunity for us all to take some time to analyze our giving, challenge ourselves to trust God more, make a conscious decision on what to give, and ask Him to bless it, for He can provide! This will better help our giving to be an act of trust and worship, rather than simply a routine or an obligation.
The pledge, secondly, will also be for over-and-above gifts. These are gifts we give in addition to our regular giving to the church budget. These gifts are given in faith as a way to say “we dare to dream big.” These offerings given to the “Growing up in Every Way” fund will be split evenly to three areas so that we can:
Debt Reduction: In our first 11 months of this capital drive, we have made $18,407 in early principal payments, saving us roughly another $14,500 in interest over the life of the loan. Well done! It’s only going to go up from there. Imagine what you could do at home if you didn’t have to pay your mortgage! Imagine what incredible mission or ministry we could do together if we were done paying the mortgage on God’s house!
Campus Enhancement: So far we have replaced two heating and cooling units. We have improved our security and entrances. We have plans to replace (with funds already given) another heating and cooling unit, and upgrade the main Sanctuary entrance doors. Well done! With future funds we plan to improve lower level sidewalks and outside entryway, upgrade our security throughout the building, and much more.
Expanding Ministry: We are currently in conversations about adding two part-time staff positions so we can better minister to those in our church and community, better organize our many talented disciples, and faithfully do the work of making disciples of all nations. However, that will depend upon you the voters and the availability of funds. That’s why your presence at the informational meeting on the 19th will be valuable. Whatever it is that God will lead us to do, you can be sure of this: the expanding ministry portion of the spending will be approved by you the voters on carefully made plans. Until then, the funds will accumulate, and now stand at over $18,400 dollars. Well done!
Finally, we can be encouraged that God has a way of taking our many, various hopes and dreams and making something even better out of them. He is the Lord of the Church. Christ is the Head of the Body. He has given Himself in His death and resurrection for our new life. Therefore, we rejoice in our salvation, and give thanks also that He is at work in us, as we are “Growing up in Every Way.”
The Growing Team
Fill out top portion and mail to:
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church
615 SE Todd George Pkwy
Lee's Summit, MO 64063
As part of our “Growing up in Every Way” focus based on Ephesians 4:15-16, we spent all of January talking about “Growing in Faith.” We asked you to watch for information concerning how we can grow together as the Body of Christ as we participate in the gifts God has given us to feed our faith. Additionally, we will be giving a verbal pledge in worship this weekend that we are committed to growing in faith together by being present in the Divine Service, participating in Bible Study, taking time each day for prayer and devotion, and encouraging others to do the same.
In order to assist you to keep your commitments, we have compiled some resources to help you:
Be sure also to get to know others at Church, show God’s love to them, pray for them when they are gone, and encourage them to return when they have been away.
May Christ, the Word of God incarnate, nourish us with Truth and Life, that we may Grow in Faith!
BSLC Called Staff