Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Potluck: 5:30 p.m.
4th Day Talk
& worship to follow.
St. James’ Lutheran Church
3145 31st Ave.
Rock Island, IL 61201
Couples bring one dish to pass; families please bring two. Coffee, water and ice are provided by the host church, but any other drinks will need to be brought by the community.
1. Take I-80W and continue onto I-280W/ I-74
2. Take exit 5A for I-74W/ US-6
3. Take exit 4A onto John Deere Rd.
4. Use 2 right lanes to take IL-5W ramp to Rock Island
5. Turn right onto 38th Street
6. Turn left onto 31st Street
|From the Spiritual Director
Thoughts from the Spiritual Director
As I write this, I have just barely gotten my tax return done (I always take the extension on filing – and still end up finishing at the last minute!), so my mind is on paying from my income to something beyond myself. Admittedly, I don’t have a choice, but it still goes to support a larger picture in the society I (we) live in, to provide services and resources and basics for community life. I try to remember that when I send my return in. So easy to look at it as big bad government taking my hard-earned money!
It’s also that time of year in our congregations to think about giving our financial support to our churches for the next year. I just know you all look forward to that time of year in your church! It’s unfortunate that giving in the church so often is viewed much like paying taxes – grabbing for my hard-earned money. But at least you have a choice, and the church won’t come after you and garnish your wages if you don’t contribute. In fact, in the ELCA, you just have to give once over two years (and no mention of how much!) to continue to be a member in the church. Of course there is that little story from Acts that may give us pause to think (Acts 4:34 – 5:11), but I haven’t seen that happen in modern times!
So why should we part with our money – or our time, or our talents for that matter? I think it starts with our relationship with God. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, while writing about giving to a special need, and the way the people had been generous in their support, states the core of why we give. “They gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us” (2 Cor 8:5, but also read vv. 1-7). That’s where it starts – all of what we do in ministry and support for God’s work in the church and through the church – giving ourselves first to the Lord.
In our Via de Cristo experience, many of us renewed our connections with our God – something that continues on in our 4th Day walk. It is that relationship – as we connect with and give our lives to Christ – that makes all the difference, whatever it is we might do or offer or give to our church – or whoever we may give ourselves and our blessings to, including the ministry of Via de Cristo – so that we give of ourselves from the heart, with joy and gratitude, out of love.
I came across a quote while listening to KLOVE the other day that defines our giving in terms of love. It goes like this, “The real way to know how much you love is by how much you are willing to give.” In these terms, our response speaks volumes about our connection with our God. We can only give greatly, with a great love for our God. And giving of ourselves is in our spiritual DNA. When God called Abraham to be the father of God’s people, God made this promise, and this call, “I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). We are made to love, to give of ourselves.
As we approach our annual day of giving thanks, we think of all the blessings we have to be thankful for – life, family, friends, food … football (apologies to football un-fans – I needed a fourth “f” word). Seriously, we think about the many things we are blessed with. Among them, and first, we have a God who loves us and gives to us in amazing and gracious ways. So we give, not only words of thanks, but lives of thanksgiving active in love and generosity – as we have been generously loved. It’s how we give witness to others of God’s great love for us in Jesus Christ. Have a Happy Thanks-giving, and a fruitful 4th Day!
Only then can we truly be a blessing to others.
Giving … Taxes … Stewardship … Whatever we give … Whoever we give it to … Gratitude and Joy
Quote on Giving and Love
First they gave themselves – why we do what we do, why we give
Blessed to be a blessing
|From the Lay Director
Greetings brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus.
I know we are heading into a very busy season. There will be a lot of traveling, cooking, baking, shopping and weariness. Thanksgiving encompasses all of the above, yes it is time to give thanks to God for all the Graces we have received in the past year, including the weariness. Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary… and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28. Rest in Grace.
When we all attended our weekends we learned a lot about Grace. We received a ton of it in our three days. Are we to be the only recipients of such an experience? As busy as we are, are we able to find a little Grace to allow others the opportunity we had? I hope so.
As I write this, the Living Water ‘Back to the basics’ day is yet in the future. When you read this it is most likely over. But either way one of, if not the most, important basics is prayer. Personally I am not sure what is in the future for Living Water. I do know the future will be built on the foundation of prayer, or be destroyed by the lack of it.
My plea to all of you is to lift up Living Water to the Grace of God and we will leave it in the Mighty Hands of our Lord.
We can begin by lifting up our Rectora, Cindy Groene and our Rector Don Anderson for Weekends 58. I ask you to support Cindy and Don with prayer, cooperation, palanca (phone calls, notes, etc.), and to search your own servants heart to do whatever you can for the teams and especially the new pilgrims. If everyone of us puts some effort into the weekends we will all be part of the teams.
If you are considering sponsoring someone, pray first, look into the person for leadership qualities. Talk to your Pastor, they know their parishioners best. Be responsive if you receive a call to serve on team. “… even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve…”, Mt. 20:28. The new pilgrims of Weekends 58 will be sent off into their 4th days full of Grace, and we too will have much Grace showered on us.
God’s Love for you, (state your name), is unfathomable, so remember when you hear God Loves You
Team selection for the upcoming men’s and women’s weekend will begin in November. This is a time consuming process that involves a committee of individuals: Rector and Rectora, Head Chas, Lay Directors, Spiritual Directors, Weekend and Leaders Chairpersons. The combination of leaders is to assure that the team is evenly balanced with 1/3 experienced team members, 1/3 team members who have served more than one weekend, and 1/3 novice team members. The purpose of this selection process is to build leadership within our Fourth Day community. This is a healthy balance of leaders to provide a well developed weekend team.
During team selection, the committee strives to fit people into roles that will build leadership and servant-hood among those willing to serve on a weekend. In order to make this process God honoring, it is necessary for the Fourth Day Community to offer themselves for consideration for a position on the team, to serve as they are called. Completion and submission of a team application is vital to team selection.
There are over 1,000 names on our database; some active Fourth Day Community and many who have become inactive or have left the geographical area. It is an almost impossible task to determine who is willing and able to serve on team without the team application forms. The rector/a and head cha are responsible for calling prospective team members after the Team Selection Committee has given them specific options for each position. This involves, perhaps, hundreds of telephone calls to fill a team roster.
Please consider extending grace to the Team Selection Committee by offering yourself to serve on the upcoming weekend. Applications are available on the Living Water Via de Cristo website or by contacting Rector Don Anderson, Rectora Cindy Groene or Leaders Co-Chairs Jim and Janet Larson (309-507-2997).
Janet and Jim Larson
|From the PreWeekend Chair
|Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8
Greetings to our VdC family:
Well, it’s hard to believe the holidays will soon be upon us! Thanksgiving and Christmas are back-to-back celebrations where the focus is on giving. November’s big celebration reminds us to give thanks for the bounty that we enjoy as Americans (the day is so much more than just turkey and football). And then there’s Christmas—always a special time for giving to others.
I believe God had a hand in putting these two holidays so close together. After all, our Lord is big on giving. You might say He wrote the Book on it.
As Christians, we should be ever mindful of the blessings which have been lavished upon us by our Heavenly Father. We didn’t earn them, we don’t deserve them, and yet, there they are, coming at us non-stop. That’s just what God does. Why? Because he loves us. And so He gifts us with grace.
We could just sit here and take it all in. But that is not what we are called to do. Instead, we are blessed to be a blessing to others.
Many of you may be familiar with Thrivent , a financial company with its roots in the Lutheran church. I like their current outreach campaign theme, which is emblazoned on several of their T-shirts I have hanging in my closet. On each is a heart with a stylized cross in the middle, next to the words, “Live generously.”
Not just give generously. Live generously. For Christ’s followers, living truly is giving: Giving of our possessions, our talents and our time to further God’s Kingdom. Why? Because we love Him.
As you head into the busy holidays, we challenge you to ask yourself: “What can I do this day to live more generously?” Perhaps it’s by responding with a “yes” when asked to serve on a future Via de Cristo team, or sponsoring someone on an upcoming weekend, or maybe becoming more active in your own church’s ministries.
Yes, freely you have received, so freely give—without reservation, without hesitation, and with an earnest desire to spread God’s love.
Your Pre-Weekend Chairs
Barb and Joe Geerts LW #16
|From the Weekend Chair
WOW! I’m sorry for those of you VdC sisters and brothers who were unable to attend our recent “Back to our Roots” video day. What a day of rejuvenation it was, focusing on renewed purpose and inspiration for living out our 4th day journeys! But, just like all the other powerful 4th day tools that our Great Teacher has provided for us (like weekly Reunion Group meetings, Ultreyas, and spiritual direction), this one was useless UNTIL we actually put it into practice.
So…is YOUR Christian maturity growing and flourishing in your 4th day? Could it be more robust, a bit less anemic? Which tools are you using on a regular basis?
You can find a list of current Reunion Groups in this newsletter (if you can’t find a suitable group, start your own!), as well as information about our next Ultreya in December (where we’ll be experiencing a fresh new meeting and worship space). You can help others by taking good advantage of what we have so generously been given.
Remember: “Christ is counting on you”!
Gary and Jan Morse, Post-Weekend Chairs
|From the Rector/a
|When I was asked to serve as Rectora for God’s Weekend 58 I was hesitant. After (hesitation) and much prayer, I agreed to serve faithfully and joyfully.
Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by my new duties, a dear friend of mine reminded me that God does not call the prepared but instead prepares the called.
As unprepared as I may feel for this journey that God has called me to, I know that when we are faithful and obedient He will provide all that we need and more.
While reading a devotional called Jesus Always, Sarah Young writes, “we embrace joy by embracing Jesus – loving Him, trusting Him, staying in communication with Him. We can choose to live this way even during our most challenging times. In fact, the more difficult our circumstance, the brighter our gladness will shine – Thus we make the Light of Jesus’ Presence visible to all people around us.”
Instead of hesitation we should be grateful to God for allowing us to serve him in such an awesome experience. When God gives us the privilege of doing work for His glory we should embrace Joy!!
As team selection approaches, please prayerfully consider serving. Choose Joy!!
Blessings in Christ,
|From the Secretary
Fall is here! Seems strange not having a Fall weekend this year, but this is our own doing! We all need to step up and become more active to help grow and re-energize our Living Water Via de Cristo community. Are you talking to people who have already gone through a weekend, but haven’t been active for whatever reason about upcoming events? Sometimes all it takes is reaching out either by email, text, or a phone call. How about someone you know who would benefit from attending a weekend? My devotion today was on ‘Traditions’ and asked a couple of questions: What traditions do we retain just because “we’ve always done it that way”? How can we turn from tradition for tradition’s sake to serving God in meaningful ways? These made me stop and think! Your LWVDC Secretariat Board would love to hear from you about any comments or suggestions, please reach out to any one of us. There is a complete list at the end of the newsletter.
Ellen Dalton, Secretary for LWVDC Secretariat Board.
|Find a Reunion Group
This list is a work in progress, but I pray that it can be the start of accurate information that can continue to grow. If you have a group to be added or changed, please email Jan Morse (Post Weekend Chair) at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call at 815-223-0765. If you had a reunion group listed on the previous list that is still active, please notify me so that I may add you to the current list. If you are in need of a reunion group, but don’t see one in your area or time frame, please contact myself or another member of the secretariat. We can connect you with other Living Water Pilgrims in your area.
Gary and Jan Morse
Please remember that the ideal reunion group size is 3 to 5 members. If your reunion group seems large, please consider splitting off to allow new members to join. It can be difficult for new or inexperienced pilgrims to start a reunion group, consider being that mentor.
WEBMASTER NOTE: To maintain security for the contacts in this list, I have added images of the tables to their own pages, to which I referred in my article. You can access the lists at this link.