Our Supporters Are Involved on a ‘Gifts Based’ Basis”

Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article for November, 2012

Part 5; of a 7-Month Series on the Core Commitments of Saint Peter Lutheran Church

A colleague recently shared with me about a Women’s Quilting Guild (similar to our “Saint Peter Stitchers”), made up of women who had been gathering in the Fellowship Hall to make quilts for international relief efforts since the early 1970s. When they began, most of them were in their 40s and 50s. That was forty years ago, and a number of them are no longer with us. But the remaining core, with those who have joined them along the way, continues to meet every Thursday morning to visit and pray and create quilts. They love what they do, and they love knowing that their work makes a difference. They arrive every week with contagious smiles and glad hearts.

Author Frederich Buechner once wrote: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” [in “Vocation” from Wishful Thinking; A Theological ABC, page 95]

We believe and teach that God has given each of us a unique set of abilities and interests and passions. These are entrusted to us by God for the work that we are called to do. An important component of the faithful life is to discover what that calling is, and put our gifts to work pursuing it. Lutherans call that “vocation” (from the Latin, vocatio – a summons or a calling). When the believer discovers what his or her true calling is, a deep sense of meaning accompanies the work, no matter how difficult it might be.

The Apostle Paul wrote,

The gifts [God] gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. [Ephesians 4:11-12]

Our hope, at Saint Peter, is that everyone who participates in our life together does so on the basis of their unique abilities, interests and passions. When the work we take on is a poor fit, it can be an exhausting and frustrating experience. But when it is part of our true calling, we find ourselves inspired and enthused by what we are able to accomplish.

What abilities, interests and passions has God given you? How do you weave them into the fabric of your daily life? How might you pursue them, as you become involved at Saint Peter? When we discover our calling, we too arrive at each opportunity to serve with contagious smiles and glad hearts. That’s what it means to be a “Gifts Based” Congregation.

God’s peace to you all, Pastor Dave

Themes for the final two months are: "We Are Prayer-Centered” (Dec.) and “Our Lives Revolve around Discipleship” (Jan.)