Over the past four and half years, I’ve had the joy of reading newsletters from congregations across the synod.  Whether they arrived from the post office, in my e-mail, or posted on the congregation’s website monthly; each newsletter was an opportunity to connect with a congregation and share in their celebrations and challenges.  One of the many delights I found in reading newsletters was finding out the variety of unique ways congregations expressed their faith and God’s love.  Here is a small sampling of what was shared in newsletters.

  • Reverse Offering at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
    To collect items for Lutheran World Relief health kits, a reverse offering was taken during services.  The offering plates are passed again and instead of placing one’s offering in the plate, members are encouraged to take a slip of paper from the plate that lists an item that is needed. Members then bring the items to church for assembly of the health kits.
  • Prayer Tree at Grace Lutheran Church, Davenport
    Inspired by a prayer tree at Camp Ewalu, the confirmation students created a prayer tree outside of Grace.  With pieces ribbons and markers located by the tree, people were encouraged to write a prayer on a ribbon, tie it to a tree branch, and feel free to pray.  Because of the tree’s location outside, both members of the church and the surrounding neighborhood have access to the prayer tree.
  • St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Urbandale
    Every month, the newsletter arrives in the mail with the words “We are especially thankful for….” above the recipient’s address.  This simple phrase is a thoughtful reminder to people the church’s love for each member and is grateful that recipients of the newsletter are a part of the church community.

After reading about the unique ways congregations expressed their faith and God’s love, how does your own congregation do this?  Share your ideas with other members of your congregation as well as with those who communicate the news of the congregation via newsletter, website, or Facebook.   May the unique ways of congregations shared in newsletters continue to delight readers and continue to showcase faith and God’s love.

Article written by Janelle Bidne, Coordinator of Communications Southeastern Iowa Synod

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