Here is my article from the February newsletter. It will be updated as new information on giving opportunities at the ELCA Youth Gathering arise.
Information on the ELCA's Global Farm Challenge is here. A pdf brochure is here.
A flyer on the Blast off for Books program is here, and the Amazon wish list link is here.
Information on all of the offering opportunities at the Gathering is here.
Giving for the Gathering & Yourself
I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. – Genesis 12:2-3
On the first page of this month’s newsletter, there is an article about special giving opportunities for Lent.
Starting from the bottom, we are going to ask you to participate in the 40 Days – 40 Items offering during Lent. It is a great time to get a head start on your Spring cleaning, but more than that, it really exemplifies what God told Abraham in the above passage from Genesis. From the blessings that God has given you, what can you give up to be a blessing to others. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, we will have reminders and garbage bags for you to pick up and use. It would be wonderful to see Easter Sunday being celebrated with a huge offering that our brothers and sisters at Emmanuel can share during their Free Garage Sales.
Blast Off For Books is the in-kind offering that the ELCA Youth Gathering is doing to directly help the children of Houston. They have put together a list of 40 books targeted at elementary aged students in the Houston Public Schools. A link to the list of books, and an Amazon wish list is ABOVE. Literacy statistics from Houston are staggering. One in four students do not meet the reading standards at grade 3. One in five Houston adults are functionally illiterate. As someone who spend much of his summers checking out books from the library, and as a son of a school librarian, this project hits close to home.
The main Gathering Offering, and what our Blue Jugs will be out collecting for is the ELCA’s World Hunger’s Global Farm Challenge. It should come as no surprise to no one in our area that 80% of the world’s food is produced on small farms, and that these farms rely mainly on family labor. But half of the world’s 815 million people who are undernourished LIVE on farms themselves.
The noisy offering we will collect from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday will go to the Global Farm Challenge. Our Luther League will bring this offerings to the Gathering. At the Interactive Learning Space in the NRG Center, youth and young adult leaders will have a chance to participate in an unforgettable experience designed to immerse them in what it's like to be a smallholder farmer around the world.
We are familiar with what the ELCA World Hunger program does. It supports projects in more than 60 countries around the world, including inside the United States. Many of these projects help provide livestock, tools and training for farm families. They work to address areas where families suffer from food-insecurity, that means they often do not know where, or if, their next meal will come from.
For these two causes at the Gathering, the ELCA has set a goal of 100,000 books and $500,000.
I am asking you to meet a goal of donating 50 books from the Blast Off For Books list, and to have a donation of $1,500 for the Global Farm Challenge.
Here is the point where I provide the incentive.
For the Detroit Gathering, it was for me to wear a Packer jersey when we turned in the donation (which was $1,236.29 – and that’s before we added Nazareth) and when we went to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. Other challenges have included me wearing a Packer stole or cheese head.
For this challenge, my incentive to you is to give.
Give because God has blessed you. Give because these people are in need. Give because these causes resonate with you. Give because you want to make our kids feel good when we turn in the books and money. Give because I’m asking you to.
Don’t give so that I’m embarrassing myself. Give so that we are thrilled by our collective generosity.
Give, because by giving from God’s blessings to you, the whole world may be blessed.
God’s Blessings Be With You All,
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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