The new ELCA Federal Credit Union, with offices in the Lutheran Center Building in Chicago, will soon be open for business. The grand opening celebration will be Monday, June 6. ELCA members, congregations, synods and the church-wide organization—and their employees—are all eligible to join the credit union to take advantage of a portfolio of deposit accounts, loans and other services. This new ELCA-sponsored credit union supports the ELCA’s mission to promote responsible stewardship of members’ and congregations’ financial resources. Because this is a financial cooperative, credit union members will see more competitive rates on deposits and loans, fewer fees and enhanced services. Learn more by visiting the credit union website, elcafcu.org. As a financial institution rooted in your faith community, the ELCA Federal Credit Union looks forward to serving you.
At Good Samaritan Lutheran Church, we believe that God would like us to approach stewardship from a biblical perspective rather than merely a way to pay our bills. We believe that our financial contributions can be a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting our church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.
Our congregational council has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to learn about the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.
New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”
During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, October 25th, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s outreach, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.
Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We also urge people to attend who are opposed to completing a card. The procedure will be done in such a way that no one should feel personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.
We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, culminating in members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.
The Consecration Sunday team and congregational council request and encourage your participation in Consecration Sunday events. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.
Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events.
Wishing you blessings and peace as
we consider what God is calling us to give,
John W. Scheffler
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
Please join us for a special one of a kind event at Good Sam at 10:30 am on June 14th. We want to share some stories about what is happening at Good Sam these days financially and in ministry. There is so much to be thankful for and at the same time we are in a challenging crisis. So we have a special community story time to share and talk with you about what is happening at Good Sam right now in our life together.
It is so important for us all to know, share and be clear about the challenges and glorious gifts that are taking among us even as you read this. Please join us Sunday June 14th right after fellowship for an extended time of refreshment, stories from our life together and a sharing of the crisis before us. This event is sponsored by your Mutual Ministry Team
We have an exciting addition to our web presence: the ability to give online. Now you can make a gift or pay an activity registration fee anytime from anywhere you have web access. Here is the link – (Give) it a look. You can find this link in the welcome page of our website and on the “About Us” page under Resources.
Here are some things you should know about online giving.
- You can make a onetime gift or a recurring gift
- You can give to the General Fund or any Designated Fund
- You can set up an account and then you will have access to your online giving history anytime you want
- You can pay for any church activity fee, simply use the ‘Other’ category and designate what the payment is for
- You can make a gift from your credit card or an Electronic Transfer from your bank account. Please note: The fees we pay for this activity are significantly less for electronic transfers than for Credit Card gifts and you have the option of including an additional amount to cover the fee of a credit card gift if you so choose.
Please consider scheduling your giving to Good Sam through an automated payment method. My family has been using Bill Pay at our bank to make our church contributions for some time now and have just switched to electronic transfers through the website. This is the most efficient method for the church, for us personally and for the bank too. No postage, envelopes, or checks and the money is deposited directly into the church’s account.
Simply Giving is another method of making a recurring gift. It is a scheduled and preauthorized agreement to electronically debit your account for a gift to Good Sam. Talk to Rich S. if you would like to explore this option.
Thank you for all your faithful participation in life and ministry at Good Sam. Your consistent giving while you are away for Summer Holiday is another way you can support our work and mission together.
In the pews now, you may notice a new laminated pew card for online giving. This card has two purposes. First, if you are making your offering gifts to Good Sam through bill pay, Simply Giving or another automated process, we invite you to use this card and place it in the offering place as it is passed. It will give you a physical activity in worship to add to the quiet behind the scene activity of your automated giving. Second, notice the QR code on the back of the card. This Quick Response code can take you directly to our website giving page where you can make an online donation. You can do this anytime, from anywhere, but we invite you to make use of it in worship if it is convenient for you. Give it a try. You can also place this card in the offering plate to acknowledge the gift in a physical way. If nothing else, your pew neighbors will be impressed that you know what to do with that new pew card.
Thanks to all who made extra efforts to help us finish fiscal year 2014 with a few hundred dollars to spare. We appreciate your responsiveness. January has also had challenges of its own. We usually have a deficit in January because we have annual bills and first quarter bills that we often don’t have cash reserves to pay.
Council and Finance are working together to decide which bills can be deferred until we can turn this around. Your faithful giving really does make a difference in the day to day management of life and ministry here at Good Sam.
–John S., Council President
My family really cares about our life together at church. We enjoy making our offering each week when we come. Yet we have struggled to keep our giving up when we don’t make it to church or are away on vacation or travel. I don’t know why it took us so long to make our regular gift to church through Bill Pay at our local bank. It is so easy to set a regular amount that is automatically sent each month on the same day. It has really helped us feel more faithful about our giving to church. It has also helped us go a little beyond our usual giving. When a special event we wish to support comes along we feel more confident in our giving and we feel we can make a difference. Feeling able to make a difference really is an encouragement to our faith and faithfulness. We invite you to think about joining us in giving your regular offering to church through Bill Pay or Simply Giving. Talk to Rich S. about this automated giving opportunity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vacations have started and at Good Sam we are indeed in summer mode. We pray your relaxing, traveling, sunning, and time with family are truly recreational. While you are away this summer we hope you won’t forget Good Sam. Our ministry together runs on the dependable participation of our whole community. This last Sunday as attendance was understandably down (83) for early summer, so was offering to the general fund ($1,504). To so many of you who are up-to-date with your giving and to those of you who have gone above your planned commitments – Thank You So Much! It does help that there were five Sundays in June too.
On Sunday, March 2, your Congregational Council will host a Family Meeting to share information about the ministry goals we have adopted for this year, and also bring you up-to-date on our financial situation. Family Meetings are opportunities to engage in dialog and learn more about what is happening in the life of our congregation. As in the past, one Family Meeting opportunity will be during our Adult Forum time from 10:30 to 11:30.
Since many of you are involved in teaching or assisting with Sunday School classes during that hour, we would like to offer an additional chance to engage in dialog beginning at 8:00 am (recognizing that’s an early start). We will also publish notes from the discussions for those who may not be able to attend either opportunity in person. Please join the conversation!
– John S., Council President