November 15-22, 2004




Go in peace! Serve the Lord! Thanks be to God!


The words above, familiar to millions of Lutherans as the sending prayer to conclude weekly worship, shine brilliantly in their simplicity and power. The prayer captures the essence of our discipleship response to the Gospel:


Go! We are active, not static. And neither are we stationary. Our mission calls us to venture outside our churches, beyond our personal space, outside our comfort zones. We go wherever God sends us.


In peace! Faith conquers needless fears and unreasonable worry. God clears our vision, wipes away our tears, and gives us confidence and strength.


Serve! Whatever shape and direction our ministries take us, they are all, ultimately, service. That is, it is not for our own benefit and interest that we labor, but for people around us. We do what we are instructed.


The Lord! Matthew 25 tells us when we serve the least of Godís people, we are serving Jesus himself. In all our service, therefore, we serve God!


Thanks be to God! We are thankful for all we have received: for our faith, for the honor of being called and sent, for the privilege of serving the one true God. For all these things the only attitude is one of gratitude.


-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster


New this week:


 A generous leap of faith
 "Making the decision to tithe is a little like jumping off a cliff into the water below.  You can hear the water but you can't see it.  So you trust that it is there.  It really does catch you and hold you and refresh you when you hit it." In Dana Reardon's weekly reflection.




Idea Booklet for Special Giving
A very insightful congregation put together a sort of menu of gift ideas for families and other donors who wanted to give something to the church. It was a simple matter of matching a wish list of church needs -- everything from new lights in the parking lot to new pew cushions --  with estimated prices. Available in HTML or in RTF for easy editing for your own congregation's needs. From First Lutheran Church, ELCA, Eau Claire, Wis., and made available through the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers. (This week's Recycling Bin feature.)



In-kind giving on the rise
Listen up! Corporations eager to keep the bottom line in line may be more interested in contributing non-cash gifts. What can your church use that's made or sold in your community? Good reading for the stewardship leader who can think outside the offering box. From



Ten things pastors need to know about funding ministry
"Too many churches are interested in teaching generosity truths only when there is a budget crisis or building project in the church," writes Brian Kluth, in this inspiring and practical article from



Where your treasure is, your heart will be also
In our lives we want to desperately hold on to what we have -- people, relationships, material possessions, power, prestige, and even money. And we don't want anyone else to tell us what to do with any of them. We tend to think they are ours to have and to hold from this time forth and forever more. But these are only temporary." Inspirational reading from the Rev. Kristi Beebe in The Lutheran Laity Movement Archives.



Joke of the Week!