Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rally Day

St. James celebrated the start of new Sunday School year with a helium balloon release. Each balloon had an invitation attached to it, so that whoever finds it might be able to visit our church or drop us a line and let us know where they picked it up. These balloons represent the outward direction we want to take toward the community around St. James this year as we reach out and share Christ's love with all people.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Downloads!

We have started adding new downloads to the website. Just select the downloads button from the menu on the left. You will see a section for publications and audio. We'll be posting the monthly newsletter and the sermon from each week.

Let us know what you think.


What is Simply Giving?

Simply Giving® is an automated giving program designed to help you conveniently and consistently contribute to a Lutheran congregation or institution or to pay tuition at a Lutheran school. Through Simply Giving®, your gifts or tuition payments are made through a pre-authorized withdrawal from your bank account or credit card. You determine the frequency of your automatic gift—weekly, semi-monthly or monthly—the option is yours. Your gift or payment is deposited into the recipient's bank account on the same day it is withdrawn from your account—at no cost to you or the recipient.

Simply Giving® benefits to you and to ...

Your congregation
Simply Giving® is a reliable, safe way to move your stewardship plan into action. It allows you to share your gifts through planned giving and activates your generosity into ongoing stewardship. Because your gift is given consistently, you won't need to play "catch-up" at year-end or worry about forgotten checkbooks or missed Sunday offerings.

But you're not the only one that benefits. Your congregation benefits from steady, more predictable revenues throughout the year, more efficient bookkeeping and greater confidence in meeting its financial commitments.

For me I’ve also found it’s something more, commitment. St. James has had this program for a number of years but I’ve always managed to avoid enrolling. I would use a number of reasons why, I like to write the check and put in the offering plate. In these economic times I can’t be sure how much money I will have to give. It’s just as convenient for me to write the check on Sunday. The truth is I was afraid, afraid of giving up the control. You see for some reason I thought my wife and I controlled the money in our house. What was made and how it was spent. What I failed to realize is our income was a gift from God. We decided to put it in his hands. I realize this program might not be for everybody but for us it’s been a blessing. We have made a commitment to God and St. James and have had no regrets. Life is not perfect, we still worry and feel guilty but not about forgetting our offering or how we’re going to catch up.

In January 2010 a new Simply Giving program endorsed by Thrivent Financial Bank will be introduced. What will be different? The only difference that you will notice is a new price structure. Currently all our fees are paid by Thrivent. Starting in January 2010 we will be responsible for paying our own transaction cost. These fees will be $0.20 per transaction. For our current enrollment our invoice total for the month of August would be $5.40 or approximately $65.00 per year. From an operational standpoint, nothing will be different. Vanco Services will continue to administer the program to ensure that your transition will be seamless. Individual donors already enrolled in the current Simply Giving program will not need to re-enroll.

Please consider Simply Giving as a giving option for you and your family. To participate, download and complete the following form and return it to the church office. Simply Giving® Individual Enrollment Form (PDF, 128K)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's New?

We've had a busy summer at St. James and are excited about all the things that God is going to be doing in, with, and through us this fall! This Sunday is our church Rally Day, where we'll celebrate the start of a new Sunday School year. St. James will hold classes every Sunday morning at 9:15AM for nursery and preschool children; rotation-model Sunday School for kids in grades K5-4th; a middle school class for grades 5th-6th; a youth class for grades 7th-12th; a Young Adult Breakfast and Bible Study for college students and young adults; and 3 other adult Sunday School classes as well. Also this weekend, we are kicking off our new combined Youth Group and Confirmation Class with two other local ELCA congregations: Nazareth Lutheran Church and Providence Lutheran Church, as we gather together at a Youth Group Adventure at Camp Kinard. Come and join in all the fun, as we learn about God together at St. James!