Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.25.21)

It was a natural tendency for all of us over the past year or so to turn inward, taking care of ourselves while trying to maintain our lives and livelihoods. You were mindful, however, that there were many people who suffered a great deal more than you did. While many of us were fortunate enough to work mainly from home and almost all of us were able to keep our jobs, others had to work under difficult and dangerous circumstances, and some lost their jobs. 

One of the many ways that you responded to the needs of others was through our Spring Missions Offering. Too often, I’m afraid, we do everything we can to motivate you to give generously, but then fail to let you know afterwards how effective your generosity has been in alleviating the suffering of others. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through our ministry partnership with Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries. This year you contributed almost $12,000 for their “Save a Family” Program. This was in addition to over $2000 in gift cards that you gave for students in need at Duluth Middle School.

The goal for the “Save a Family” program, which was exceeded, was to raise $200,000 to help families stay in their homes or apartments while they tried to get back on their feet. You and others kept over forty families off the street.

You need to hear the stories of some of the people whom you have helped. Click here to see a short video that expresses thanks from the director and lets some of the people tell you what you have done for them.

Listening to their stories can remind us both of how blessed we are and how easily similar difficulties could befall any of us. As Christians, however, we shouldn’t need reminding of God’s particular interest in the poor among us and the expectation that we would care as well.

This is just another example of your faithfulness to God, your care for others, and the generosity of your spirits. Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries thanks you, the families you helped thank you, and I thank you for, once again, being exactly who I’ve always known you to be.