Growing in God's Grace

Quarterly Newsletter for First Lutheran Stewards
May 2022
"Helping God's people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through the use of the time, talents and financial resources God has entrusted to us."
In April, The First Lutheran Choir, Jubilate Handbell Choir, and volunteer musicians spent many hours in rehearsal to provide music for Holy Week services, Easter Sunday, and the concert celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the organ.
Trusting in God’s abundance empowers us to live lives of generosity.
First Lutheran Disciple's Faith Story
Glad I Found My Church!
By Adam Lowe

We were between churches when the pandemic hit.  During Holy Week, I began to feel a bit anxious about my spirituality, like I didn't know, feel, or understand enough about all of it. 

I looked up local congregations that were under the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that had healthy membership numbers and more active ministries, and First Evangelical Lutheran Church seemed promising.  Because of the pandemic, they were posting videos of their worship services on their social media pages (these were modified, stripped down versions of their services recorded on their phones), so I got to see how their pastors preached, albeit virtually.  Eventually the church got a more sophisticated technical set-up and began to livestream their services with a built-in camera, streaming software, and additional participants.  So what I watched weekly seemed almost like we were back to "normal."

Then one Sunday in January 2021, the service wasn't posted.  Nothing on Facebook or YouTube.  No audio on their SoundCloud.  I asked the senior pastor about it, and he told me there was an A/V issue.  Stuff like that happens even to the most seasoned techs, but having done a bit of video and live-streaming work throughout my career, I offered to come in and help troubleshoot.  He asked if I was free that Sunday, so I talked with my wife Lisa about it and got the go-ahead.

I hadn't ever stepped foot inside the building or met anyone in person. When I got there, it honestly felt like I was on a movie set, and all the “stars” were just walking around right in front of me.  "Hey! It's Pastor Tamika!  I know her from all those videos!"  The pastors and the usual tech walked me through their setup, I learned how they did things, and soon found myself in the rotation of volunteers to help out on Sunday mornings.  We are truly enjoying our First Lutheran worship experience.  Glad I found my church!

Crossing the “What If” Line
“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11

Pastor Andy Stanley writes:  “As you move forward in your relationship with God, occasionally He will test your grip on your wallet.  It’s a faith thing . . . every so often, God will prompt you to step out of your generosity comfort zone.  And if you really want to keep God in control of your finances, you need to follow.  There’s a line you must be willing to cross.  You must be willing to go where you can’t rely on your own financial stockpiling, but only on the Lord Himself as your provider.  I’m not talking about acting irresponsibly with your money.  I’m talking about an attitude in which God’s voice is louder than the soundtrack of “what ifs” in your life.  You can think of that line as the “what if” line.  You’ll know you’re getting close to it when your desire to follow your generosity is met by thoughts like, What if the interest rates change? or What if inflation picks up more? . . . that line is different for everybody.  As frightening as it might feel at times, God gives us financial seed for one purpose: sowing.  Unless we open our palms and let the seed fly, we will never know what fruit He might bring from it.”  

Here’s a biblical principle that you can always be certain of:  “Whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6).  When you take that step of faith and cross the ‘what if’ line, God promises, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” (v. 11). Go ahead; start to sow and watch what happens.

(This message was compiled by Tim Hetzner, President & CEO of Lutheran Church Charities and author of WORD Bible Studies.)
Our new ministry video encourages folks to think about where God may be calling them to serve.
Click here to learn more about opportunities to serve!
We invite you to continue supporting one or more of these ministries as you are able. Please go to GET INVOLVED on our website for details. Thank you for continuing to live into God's mission!

  • Blankets for Project Linus
  • Clothing and textile donations for House of Ruth MD - the big blue bin is open! 
  • FLC Altar Guild Worship Assistant
  • Donations for Grassroots Day Resource Center
  • Howard County Food Bank & Community Garden
  • Food on the 15th
  • Breath of God Lutheran Church
  • Clean cotton fabric/sheet donations to the Sewing Circle 
  • Virtual Food Drive
  • Community of St. Dysmas Congregants
  • Women and Children's Shelter/Soup Kitchen
First Evangelical Lutheran Church
Generosity Statement

We believe that we are created in the image of a loving, generous God who creates us to live in relationships of love and generosity.

We commit to living lives of generosity, welcoming, growing, and sharing in God's grace, and using the abundance God provides to meet the needs of others.

We invite all disciples to experience the joy of fearless generosity, giving our time, talents and treasure so that each of us, our community, and the world might be transformed through the ministries of First Lutheran Church.
First Evangelical Lutheran Church
Stewardship Ministry
3604 Chatham Road
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Office: 410-465-5977