August 1, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Practicing What We Preach

Stewardship logo SEPA

The list of biblical passages that deal with generosity would be longer than your arm, and the number of sermons preached or heard about trusting God to provide are more than we can remember.

The key, of course, and our challenge, is to practice what we preach.  That’s what our synod does.

In the face of declining revenue SEPA Synod continues to share 50% of the Mission Support dollars we receive from our congregations with the work of the ELCA.

Why?  Because together we can do things that would not be possible alone.

Here’s one compelling example:


Jacob’s Well Visible in Flint, Michigan

In our fifth year of congregational renewal, Salem Lutheran Church, Flint, Mich., ministers to a transient neighborhood where more than 42 percent of residents live in poverty and most live in rental homes. People come and go. It’s normal.

There are no grocery stores in our community but plenty of liquor stores that sell expensive and often outdated foods. The city of Flint has not recovered from the economic exodus of the automotive industry decades ago and our tax base cannot cover the most basic public services that most Americans expect from government.

Now with the Flint water crisis, which started in April 2014 with an emergency declared in January 2016, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 6 are still instructed to use only bottled water. All residents must filter their water. Today our mission is as deep as Jacob’s well. With the prayers and financial support of ELCA congregations, including more than $22,000 in special offerings from SEPA Synod, we are living water for the people of Flint. We distribute nearly 120,000 pounds of water weekly and offer multiple nutrition programs.

Salem is making a difference in the lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Every day we strive for justice, give hope to the hopeless and comfort the afflicted. — Monica Villarreal, pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Flint, Mich.

A portion of your congregational offerings for Mission Support are used by your synod and the ELCA churchwide organization to provide grants for congregations like Salem that are undergoing renewal.  Thank you.