Dear Steward Leaders,
“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
The last time we had conditions like this was the year we bought our house. Just like this year, our grass stopped growing and then turned brown and crunchy. All the hoses we owned wouldn’t be enough to water the entire lawn, and we began to panic, asking our neighbors and friends what to do. “Just wait for rain,” was their response. “Don’t worry, it’ll come…” This week, more heat is on the way, and little promise of rain. But we trust that it will come in God’s time. In the midst of our parched conditions, our garden is bearing fruit. The raspberries weren’t as plentiful, and the tomatoes aren’t as big, but God continues to bless us with abundance.
Throughout our synod, God’s work and our hands also continue to bear fruit. On August 11, twelve Greater Milwaukee Synod congregations will participate in the second Macedonia Project workshop. They will explore new ways of expressing gratitude and generosity, and equip leaders to connect giving with discipleship and faith practices. At the Glocal Mission Gathering on August 24-25, there will be another stewardship opportunity at the Mission Interpretation workshop. In addition, 25 synod congregations will gather on September 5 for a Mission Support Dinner Gathering. All of these events are ways in which we continue to share the stories of God’s abundant blessings, which bear fruit in the lives of Jesus’ disciples.
Last, a word of thanks for the “extra effort” given by the Greater Milwaukee Synod congregations in exceeding the goal of 55% sharing of mission support for 2011. Reaching 57% placed our synod among the two top synods in the ELCA.
Blessed are YOU, “whose trust is in the Lord… and who does not cease to bear fruit.”
Director for Evangelical Mission
Greater Milwaukee Synod Stewardship Team