Pastor's Points for October 18th service
Good afternoon! This Pastor’s Points is coming to you a day early for good reason. Late yesterday, we learned that Amy has tested positive for COVID 19. She decided to get tested because she noticed that her sense of smell was gone. So, we are doing the best we can to quarantine in the parsonage.
Anna happened to be visiting last weekend, too, so she is also in the house; and probably spending more time with mom and dad than a junior in college would prefer! But, we are all trying to make the best of it, as we keep our distance from each other.
Of course, according to CDC guidelines, I am on a 14-day quarantine. So, the earliest I can be around people again is October 24. That means for sure that we will not have worship for the next two Fridays at Concordia, October 16 and 23.
For this Sunday, October 18, I’m trying to find a substitute preacher, but it’s pretty late in the week to find someone willing to do that. We shall see. Hopefully, by tomorrow, we will have a plan as to what will happen on Sunday, and I’ll share that with you. (That includes our voter’s meeting, which was scheduled for right after worship on Sunday.) God willing, I will be available on Sunday, October 25, which will be our Reformation celebration.
Anna and I have no symptoms; we both feel fine. Amy has had mild aches, a low-grade fever that comes and goes, and at times, feels fatigued. We ask for and appreciate your prayers!
Something to celebrate: This is a new feature to pastor’s points. I will try to highlight each week some blessing that has come specifically to our Concordia congregation, or to the LCMS, or to the holy Christian Church around the world. Today, we celebrate the fact that we have 14 young people from our congregation who are attending Saxony Lutheran High School, which is the most that we’ve ever had at Saxony at one time. AND, we are blessed to have a special endowment fund that provides each of them with some scholarship money to help pay tuition at SLHS. The students are: Brandon Thurm, Bianca Scholl, Dalton France, Emma Voelker, Cory Word, Evan Schuessler, Carson Birk, Emma Hinze, Kalee Roth, Abbie Grebing, Dalton Head, Landre Hoehne, Mallory Kohlfeld, and Payton Meier.
Stewardship thought for the week: Matthew 22:21 says, “Then he said to them, ‘Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” So, what is Jesus saying? Doesn’t everything belong to God? Yes, and God has a place for everything. Some of what he gives us goes to Caesar. Some must come back to the work of his Church. And some goes to support the families he has given us. All belongs to God, and he has work for us to do with what he has given us in the home, in the Church, and in society.
“Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.” Exodus 23:19 Good news…there are more ways to support God’s mission at Concordia than just writing a check or giving online! As the fall harvest time approaches, farmers can give a portion of their harvest payment, or dairymen can give a portion of their dairy sales to the Lord. Those raising livestock can donate a portion of the proceeds from their animal’s sale to the work of the Lord. If you’ve recently replaced old equipment, you can donate the proceeds of its sale. Anyone can give a portion of their land or other real estate. The advantages of giving like this is that you can realize significant tax savings. These forms of giving to Concordia allow individuals to take advantage of charitable deductions, avoid potential capital gains taxes, and even establish a retirement income stream with a gift of property. For more information about these opportunities, please contact Carol Grebing-Duggan at 573-824-6060.
The Proverbs Bible study for parents with young children will NOT meet on Monday, October 19, as was first scheduled. However, the group will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, November 2. This study group is led by Whitney and Garrett Hemman. If you and your spouse are interested, contact Whitney at 573-768-4344.
Did you know…if you are 70½ years old, or older, and have an IRA, you can instruct your IRA trustee to make a distribution directly from your IRA to Concordia Lutheran Church. This distribution is called Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). It counts toward satisfying any required minimum distributions (RMDs) and is excluded from your income for tax purposes. If you have questions, or want to know more, please contact Carol Duggan at 573-824-6060.
Lutherans for Life Quote for October 18: “The Church has confessed from the beginning that each life is created by God, that human life is the supreme gift of the Creator. Human life is not given unconditionally but is given under the condition that we will be responsible for preserving it. The testimony that God respects life above all else is contained in the words of the Gospel: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).” Abbot Tryphon, Vashon Island, Washington – A Life Quote from Lutherans For Life • www.lutheransforlife.org