The Apostle Paul wrote these words from a dark, musty jail cell, far from the modern context in which they are commonly quoted, to encourage people to dream bigger dreams.
As we read the Bible, we find a God who unfailingly urges God’s people to “Get up and go,” a God who is always rolling out new assignments and pushing God’s people toward new relationships. These assignments are usually more moving, more going, than any of us would choose on our own. But the Holy Spirit continues to call the church to move, to enlarge its community and its influence. Our ‘Get up and go God’ refuses to let this congregation and its members stand in one place for too long. There is always more to be done for the neighborhood and the world.
In the ECLC Strategic Plan 2021, our purpose is stated as: We give witness to love and justice at God’s welcome table and in the world. What will that mean for our congregation? Are we poised to support the work God puts before us?
Love of God’s Creation (est. $150K)
Our congregation sits on the banks of Minnehaha Creek. This land deserves our best efforts in caring for God’s creation. First, we honor the land and fulfill our obligation as stewards of this corner of creation by restoring ECLC’s woods with native plants and trees. Secondly, we honor the saints who have gone before us by creating sacred outdoor space to reflect, remember and celebrate. Thirdly, we honor our future by creating usable outdoor space. We have an opportunity to vision how our remarkable facility can be enhanced with finishing touches to serve us and our neighborhood well into the future, and how our congregation can honor the land and enrich our congregation.
Giving Witness to Justice (est. $2.35M Debt Retirement + 10% Mission component)
Since 2016, ECLC has had to use existing cash reserves to service our mortgage liability, averaging $80-100k annually. Those reserves have now been fully spent. Our church’s finances are in a precarious situation going forward. In addition, since 2016 ECLC has run significant operating deficits in the annual budget since servicing the mortgage debt. The financial statements that were presented, mitigated this impact by using transfers from designated funds, or Council’s release of funds to balance the budget. These were dependent on existing cash reserves. To stabilize church operations, church leadership looked at several different models, including refinancing, significant staff reductions, or a capital campaign.
This campaign would retire the debt we carry on our new and renovated building and provide a 10% Mission Component. What would being free of our mortgage allow us to do? With the debt retired, there will be an immediate and dramatic increase in the congregation’s capacity for mission and ministry. Being debt free is a gift we will give to all of those who follow us. Rather than paying interest, we could invest in mission.
This would mean:
You are invited to “See what ‘Yes’ can do!”
Danish theologian and philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard wrote that Jesus wants followers, not admirers. There will always be plenty of people who can say, believe, and stand for all the right things. What God is short of are people who will go where God calls them and do what God gives them to do – even when it goes against their fears, even when the path is yet untrodden.
God has promised ‘Yes” to us in our baptism, and now, as recipients of God’s grace, we can do all things through the One who saves, provides, and strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13) We invite you to respond to God’s “Yes” and to join those who not only admire God, but follow God too. Those who look forward to seeing what “Yes” can do!