WE ARE THE CHURCH | GENEROSITY APPEAL 2021
Highlighted Member Video
A Pastoral Message from the Rev. Josh Evans
What a year this has been! As I sit here reflecting on all the past several months have brought us, I’m reminded of the early days of this pandemic. I was preaching at my previous congregation for what I didn’t realize at the time would be my last time preaching in our sanctuary with a gathered assembly in our pews. In that sermon, as we grappled with our rapidly changing and uncertain reality, I shared words from one church musician that I had stumbled across on Facebook:
Music is not cancelled. It will just sound a little different for a while. Church is not cancelled. Worship will just look a little different for a while. Relationships will not be cancelled. They will just feel a little different for a while. Faith will not be cancelled. It will just grow in different ways for a while. Love will not be cancelled. In fact, we will need more of it for a while.
I am struck by the simplicity and profundity of those words: Church is not canceled. We’ve just been experiencing in different and creative ways.
The people of St. Philip have mastered the art of the Zoom call and gathered virtually for weekly Bible Studies and GLOW Exploration.
We’ve transformed our sanctuary into what feels like a TV production studio for weekly online worship.
With extra precautions, our building has remained open to thirteen different AA recovery groups, as one of the few places still available to this life-giving ministry during this time.
We’ve gathered in our abundant outdoor green space for Lunch Bunch, GLOW Formation, and worship.
Not to mention that you even managed to conduct a complete call process from start to finish and vote to call me as your new pastor – all over Zoom!
Through it all, we have shown up for each other, supporting one another as companions on the journey – indeed as family. Church is not canceled because, dear people of God, we are the church.
THANK YOU FOR BEING THE CHURCH!
Thank you for showing up for one another and checking in with each other. Thank you for being family and the “little church with the big heart.” Thank you for your graciousness and generosity in these past months.
As we enter into this season of generosity, I invite you to consider the ways you have experienced being the church in this new and creative time of our life together. Please prayerfully consider your current financial commitment to supporting the ministries of our congregation – meaningful liturgy, thoughtful preaching, engaging faith formation, intentional service and outreach – and the ministries of the wider church we also support. As you consider all that St. Philip means to you and the spiritual home you find among the people of God in this place, please prayerfully consider your pledged giving to help us do ministry well into 2021 – and beyond.
After prayerful consideration and discernment, I ask you to please return your commitment to the church office by Sunday, November 8. You may either fill out the printed form and mail it back to us, or use the fillable PDF form (linked above) and return it to Financial Secretary Mary Roth.
Then, on Sunday, November 15, we will take time in worship to bless our gifts and entrust them to God from whom all things come and who empowers us to do God’s work in the world.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to St. Philip Lutheran Church. We are the church, together!
In Christ’s peace,
Pastor Josh Evans