Introducing: Online Giving

Our team has been working with the company who provides our church data management software (CDM+) to offer an online giving option to the members of the congregation. The online giving tool is called Engage. A small group has tested this process and we are now ready to offer it to the Immanuel membership.

Use the buttons below to find the instructions for setting up online giving and the link to take you to Engage. You may make one-time gifts or set up recurring gifts. Please contact Treasurer Dan Thelen with questions. Thank you for your faithful support of the ministries of Immanuel Lutheran Church & School!

Financial Officers & Stewardship Board

Ministry Plan, Again

 

September brings with it the end of Summer and the beginning of a new school year and resumption of many other things that occupy our church and family calendars most of the year. This Fall at Immanuel, September also signals the beginning of a new chapter of congregational life as we consider a plan for our ministries into the future.

The Ministry Plan is a document I have been working on this Summer that is the product of the first two Steps of our planning process and will be used to guide our decision-making in the future. The Ministry Plan is where our conversations, meetings, prayers and ideas find a tangible result: a list of prioritized goals for Immanuel Lutheran Church & School.

The Immanuel Church Council will get a first look at the Plan at its September meeting. I will have a presentation on it at the September 29 Voters’ Assembly. But here’s a preview:

Our discussions over much of the last year have produced many ideas for evaluating, enhancing and adding to our ministries. These ideas have been grouped into six general themes called
Ministry Targets . The six Ministry Targets are these:

  1. We receive from God to empower our service to others
  2. We equip disciples of Christ to serve others
  3. We care for each other as a family
  4. We welcome the community to our campus
  5. We serve children and young families with God’s love and forgiveness
  6. We enhance and strengthen our ministries

Into these six categories our ideas have been organized, and out of these six categories have come both Staffing Needs (the people resources needed to carry out the Ministry Plan) and Campus Needs (the facilities needed to carry out the Ministry Plan ).

That’s a preview. For more, I invite you to attend the September 29 Voters’ Assembly. And as we get ever closer to taking the next step into our future as a congregation and school, I thank you again for your prayers and faithful presence and stewardship. Please continue to lend your time, talents and treasures to shaping the future of Immanuel Lutheran Church & School!

Pastor VanOsdol

Blog Note: New to Immanuel? Catch up on the entire VisionPath and Ministry Planning process to date, in chronological order, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Stewardship poster with an open book image

Stewardship: How much should I give?

 

Whenever the topic of stewardship and giving comes up, the conversation inevitably turns to the question: “How much should I give?†Answers will vary because the motive behind such questions also vary.

Sometimes the motive behind asking this question is for self-justification. Even though, as Lutherans, we know we are not saved by our works but by grace through faith because of Jesus’ substitutionary atonement, the natural religion of fallen man is to earn God’s favor by what we do.

Take, for example, the response of our Lord to the rich young ruler who asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?†Jesus first tells him to keep the commandments. The rich young ruler responds by indicating that all this he has kept from his youth. But Jesus tells him that he lacks one thing: He must sell all he has and give it to the poor and then follow Him.

This rich young ruler went away sad because he was quite wealthy and could not part with his possessions. Here we see that those who seek to justify themselves by their giving will hear a response that intensifies the duty that God places upon them. Indeed, they will hear a response that makes it impossible to win God’s favor by their works.

But to those who genuinely desire to know their duty as Christians in the arena of giving, we look to the Bible for our answer. We believe the Bible is the Word of God. And we know that the Word of God has been “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work†(2 Tim. 3:16–17).

So, we begin to answer the question, “What should I give?†with the question, “What does the Bible say about how much we should give and to whom?â€

The Old Testament is explicit. The expectation is that the people of God would give a tithe – 10 percent – of the first fruits of their labor to support the full-time ministry of the Levites. This is what the Lord gave Moses to teach the people:

“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.

“And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire – oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves.

“And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.

“At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.†(Deut. 14:22–29)

This principle of tithing is carried over into the New Testament, though not explicitly by calling it a tithe. St. Paul teaches the Church at Corinth the following:

We are to give to the church regularly (1 Cor. 16:1–2), proportionally (1 Cor. 16:1–2; 2 Cor. 8:12), and generously (2 Cor. 8:20) of our first fruits (1 Cor. 16:1–2; Gen. 4:4; Prov. 3:9; Lev. 27:30) with a spirit of eagerness (2 Cor. 9:2), earnestness (2 Cor. 8:7), cheerfulness (2 Cor. 9:7), and love (2 Cor. 8:23). And all of this is because the “Lord has ordained that those who preach the Gospel should make their living by the Gospel†(1 Cor. 9:14), just as the Levites did.

This is our New Testament standard. Since Christ became poor for us in order to make us rich in Him – blessing us with the riches of heaven – so we have also been so blessed to follow the example of our Lord and Savior and give of ourselves and the work of our hands to bless others with the same.

If we have been lax in this, let us, like our Lord, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross and scorned its shame, likewise begin to work toward this goal of regular giving of a generous proportion of the first fruits of God’s giving to us.

And let us do so not begrudgingly, but for the joy set before us – with a spirit of eagerness, cheerfulness, and love – to share the blessings of God with those placed into our care.

LCMS Stewardship Ministry

A person holding a camera with the words " time and talent support " written on top of it.

2020 Time and Talents Survey


The Time And Talents Survey is now live!

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.†(1 Cor 12:12,27)

Christian stewardship is the free and joyous activity of God’s family — the church — in managing life’s resources for His purposes. Immanuel members and friends have diverse gifts that are collectively of great value to our congregation and the community we serve.

What are your God-given gifts? Please take a moment to help us get to know you better by completing a 5-minute survey at the link below. We invite each family member to participate (adults and young adults middle-school-age and older).

Check all areas in which you think you’d enjoy becoming involved as well as those areas where you have some skill that you can share, or areas where you want to learn and grow! We are collecting this information in order to connect Immanuel members with each other through service in current and potential ministries.

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