Unfortunately, our worship attendance at Messiah has historically declined in the summertime, anywhere from 15 to 20%. This is not a unique problem for churches. Many combine or eliminate worship services because the trend in their congregations is even greater. It can cause a problem with the finances of a congregation, since it is the offering given in worship that provides the bulk of the funds that keep the ministries going.
And, make no mistake about it, ministry is still happening in the summer at Messiah. In June, we prayed over our graduating high school seniors, and welcomed almost 120 children and fifty adult volunteers for Vacation Bible School. We are teaching adult classes on Wednesday nights and instructing children in the faith on Sunday morning. Daily our neighbors visit us to tend to their garden plots that we provide free for them. While they are watering and pulling weeds a volunteer can be seen mowing our lawn. Worship leaders meet on Tuesday to make sure Sunday mornings are every bit as meaningful in July as they are in December. Weekly, individuals, groups and families plan special music to offer for us in worship. Our sewing group is doing good work for people in need all through the summer. The Y Family Shelter, Faith on Eighth, First English, and the Ronald McDonald House will have Messiah volunteers bring and serve food two or three times this summer. The food will be purchased by funds given by our members and cooked by other volunteers in our kitchen. Twenty or so adults and high school students will go to Oklahoma on an immersion trip, learning how Native Americans live today and even more Junior High youth and adults will go to Lutheran Memorial Camp to enjoy the outdoors and help them complete some servant projects, too. Thirty or so Seniors will gather for a lunch once a month in the summer. 100’s will visit us from all over Columbus for three summer produce markets and be served by many, many Messiah volunteers. HEART Food Pantry and Joseph’s Coat work just as hard in the summer as the rest of the year. And of course, the pastors are writing sermons, preparing lessons, serving as leaders in our community, working with our own leaders and visiting with our members.
Messiah is just as busy in the summer as any time of year, but our pews are a little less populated on Sunday morning. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to consider sharing your faithful monetary gift to the ministries God calls us to at Messiah electronically by visiting our website at www.messiahlutheran.net. Paige and I started giving this way over five years ago and it is a safe, secure and consistent way for us to put our money where we know it is doing good in God’s world. If this option to give does not make sense for you, then consider filling your offering envelopes even on Sundays you can’t worship and bringing those envelopes with you when you return to worship. It is only by the consistent giving of our members that we can be the church God hopes for us to be.
We are Messiah. God has given us great gifts that are needed in our community. We do ministry together. I am fortunate to serve with you and to be served by you. I trust you will be faithful in supporting financially our ministries, just as you trust that I will be, too. That is how community works. Peace, Pastor Karl