DEVOTED to the FELLOWSHIP in CHRIST

For the promise is for you,
for your children, and for all who are far away,
everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.

They devoted themselves
to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

—ACTS 2:39, 42

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SPENDING GUIDELINES and BENEVOLENCES

Sunday, November 7, 2021
9:30 a.m. in the Life Together Hall

 
The Finance Committee will present the proposed Spending Guideline for 2022, particularly looking forward to a year where we will add a pastor and other vital new staff members. Additionally, the Peace and Justice Ministry Group will update the congregation on Benevolences for the year and share the process they’ve been working on to evaluate and nominate benevolence recipients.

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CONSECRATION BREAKFAST and CONSECRATION SUNDAY

Sunday, November 14, 2021
 
We gather for a day to renew our personal commitment to do God’s work on earth through our time, prayer, service, and financial giving. You are invited to a fellowship breakfast between services at 9:30 a.m. and then to lay your commitment card before the altar during the worship service you attend. In each of these acts, we are together renewed in our commitment to this fellowship in Christ.

► Please sign up to attend the Consecration Breakfast HERE.

► Commitment Cards will be mailed out to all households of the congregation soon. Please bring your completed Card with you to worship on 11/14.

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CONGREGATIONAL MEETING

Sunday, November 21, 2021
12 noon in the Life Together Hall

 
We gather to learn about the mission and ministry of Mountain View Lutheran, as well as vote to approve the 2022 Spending Guideline.

► Information about the meeting, the agenda, and ballots (for those who will join us by Zoom) will be mailed to all households of the congregation in early November.

2021 Commitment Card

Each member household of the congregation was mailed a letter and 2021 Commitment Card from the MVLC Stewardship Committee. You are asked to prayerfully consider your household’s financial commitment to God’s mission and ministry at Mountain View Lutheran Church next year, and then return your 2021 Commitment Card to MVLC.

You can read the letter and view the 2021 Commitment Card HERE.

Advent Letter to the Congregation

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

—ISAIAH 9:6-7

As we enter this season of Advent, I enjoy reading the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Christ child. It reminds me of the importance of the prophets and of such great faith Old Testament believers had with little evidence a Messiah would actually be presented. It also sets a mindset of waiting for the advent of our Lord, as Christians have done for centuries before us.

In stark contrast to this faith-minded season, we also have the ongoing battle of the retailers desiring to lure us to their stores or websites to buy the best gifts. When did the adrenaline rush start coming from spending instead of from giving? How do we as 21st-century Christians navigate the commercial landscape in a prudent manner that demonstrates a certain caring of the welfare of others? I don’t have perfect answers to these questions, but simply pose them for your reflection.

One way that helps me move away from the commercialism of Christmas is moving closer to my church and church family in a spirit of thankfulness. Our pastors and staff do a wondrous job of setting the tone of anticipation and focus in the weeks leading up to the birth of Jesus. We are truly blessed to have the congregation and ministry of Mountain View.

Another way to enact the meaning of the season is to carefully and prayerfully consider the gifts we give and to remember the church on our gift list. When the church ends the year in a solid financial position, we fulfill the commitment we made to the spending guideline approved by the congregation the prior year, and, more importantly, it ensures continuity of the ministry we are faithfully working to accomplish.

In closing, I hope this letter causes each of us to reflect, to appreciate, and to perhaps give with new zeal as we look to live out our faith with childlike anticipation of the Savior to come. May the joy of Christ’s presence be yours; may it inspire you to act, and in so doing, may you inspire others into the same.

Carol Powers
Council President

Fellowship of the Light

FELLOWSHIP of the LIGHT

God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
—1 JOHN 1:5-7

Everyone is encouraged to attend the following “Fellowship of the Light” events.

Sunday, October 27, 2019 • 9:30 a.m.
2020 Spending Guideline Preview during Adult Education.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 • 6:30 p.m.
Conversations about MVLC’s mission and ministry support during ExALT: Extraordinary Active Life Together.

Sunday, November 3, 2019 • 9:30 a.m.
“Fellowship of the Light” Congregational Breakfast.

Sunday, November 3, 2019 • 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
Consecration Sunday, where we return our commitment cards as an act of worship.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 • 12 noon
Congregational Meeting to vote to approve the 2019 MVLC Spending Guideline.

Consecration Sunday

On Sunday 05 November 2017, we celebrate “All Saints Sunday.” We will have the opportunity to renew our commitment to God’s work through the consecration of gifts, actions, and financial support.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, told those he addressed (and us!) of the new life in Christ: As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Commitment forms are available at the following links:

“Christian Responsibility” form
www.mtviewlutheran.org/christianresponsibility.pdf

“Our Hands for God’s Work” form
www.mtviewlutheran.org/ourhandsforgodswork.pdf

We will place out commitments on the altar on All Saints Sunday / Consecration Sunday.

Here is the text of the Consecration Sunday letter that was mailed out to each household of the congregation.

For all the Saints Living into Community,

All Saints Day celebration is a day when we honor and remember those who, in death, have joined the Church Triumphant, as well as the faithful saints of the present who serve Jesus Christ. Martin Luther held that all Christians are simultaneously sinner and saint—a sinner because of our rebellious nature, but a saint because of salvation in Jesus. This year, we celebrate “All Saints Sunday” and the joy of living in community with a call to discipleship as we anticipate together the forthcoming year. We will have the opportunity to renew our commitment to God’s work through the consecration of gifts—actions, and financial support.

As I contemplate this celebration, I reflect on Paul’s letter to the Colossians:
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Through our gifts of life, we change lives in many ways, every day, for thousands. Examples: Shared Hope International, a Vancouver, WA based world-wide organization helping law-makers and law enforcement to prevent sex trafficking. In 2016, Shared Hope provided awareness education to 150,000 students, shelter and care to 431 survivors, and vocational training or education to 241; Nourishment to many: Edgewood Food Bank served 56,000 in 2016. Helping Hand House saved 120 families from homelessness; ELCA Global Missions support, Lutheran World Relief, World Vision AIDS Programs, have served tens of thousands; Mountain View Community Center—nearly 1,200 children, families, and seniors served through the Kid’s Club, Kid-Power Packs, Back to School Event, and Senior SAIL exercise program.

This year we have had twenty funerals for families at Mountain View and supported them in their time of grief while reaching as many as 3000 that were in attendance.
I encourage you to join the saints living into community, by making your financial commitment for the fiscal year 2018.

In Christ,

Bruce Sisco

Money and Possessions

It is a crazy good book, Walter Brueggemann’s Money and Possessions. I read the book as part of my continuing education experience this summer and was astonished by Brueggemann’s wonderful use of the biblical narrative, both Old and New, to spell out our idolatries surrounding money and possessions. I realize the same does not tend to be a favored topic among Christians generally and Lutherans particularly, but, nonetheless, the book is essential to our understanding of the faith.

Perhaps what is most revealing in the book is Brueggemann’s use of the whole biblical narrative, from Genesis to Revelation, in his exploration of material wealth. In particular, Brueggemann is intrigued by viewing money and possessions as “gifts from God contradicting market ideology in which there are no gifts, no free lunches, there are only payouts for adequate performance and production.”

I found the book not only useful in its spectrum, biblically and theologically, but I also enjoyed Brueggemann’s use of the Tenth Commandment on “coveting” as a mechanism to move into the temptation found in the idolatry of “having” or “taking.” When we “covet” that which is our neighbor’s—spouse, stuff, lifestyle, position in life, retirement—we can literally move from an attitude of wanting (coveting often relegated to merely an attitude) to coveting as an action, what Brueggemann calls the “acquiring of what belongs to another.”

The book was extremely helpful, I think particularly for those who seek to spiritualize the faith as if the same has nothing to do with money and possessions. You can get as excited as you are able about Jesus as Lord, but if the same confession does not call our life into question surrounding money and possessions then we are merely playing at being Christian.

I dare you to read the book, but with fair warning, for it will likely cause you to rethink many long-held assumptions about God, the Gospel, the text, and coveting as it relates to money and possessions.

For three weeks in the fall, I will be introducing some of Brueggemann’s concepts, using the Tenth Commandment and other significant biblical passages. While I do, Bruce Sisco will be linking the notion of coveting to “climate change” and how the same “taking” impacts the rest of the world.

Come and join us at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (9/17, 9/24, and 10/1) as together we examine “coveting” as taking and our responsibility to the well being of our neighbor.

Pastor John L. Vaswig.

About the book

The Bible is rich with complex and diverse material on the topic of money and possessions. Indeed, a close look at many scriptural texts reveals that economics is a core preoccupation of the biblical tradition. In this new work, highly regarded preacher and scholar Walter Brueggemann explores the recurring theme of money and possessions in the Old and New Testaments. He proposes six theses concerning money and possessions in the Bible, observing their contradictory nature to the conventional wisdom and practice of both the ancient world and today’s society. Brueggemann advises us to reassess the ways in which our society engages—or does not engage—questions of money and possessions as carriers of social possibility. He invites the church to move toward an alternative neighborly economy that is more consistent with the gospel we confess.

Learn more or order a copy: www.wjkbooks.com/Products/Default.aspx?bookid=0664233643

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