Pastor's Update -November 2019 

(Shown is Pastor Doug ((our Interim Pastor)) and his wife, Elaine. Pastor is serving Bethlehem Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church of Florence- he has been there 29 years. He is serving as Secretary of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and serves on the Synod Council and Synod Council Executive Committee. This is the sixth time he has served congregations as their Interim Pastor.
He is the Chief Deputy Coroner of Florence County and serves as Chair of the Florence County Emergency Planning Committee. He recently retired from 23 years as an EMT on the Florence Rescue Squad.
Pastor Doug and Elaine have been married 12 years. Pastor Doug enjoys reading novels, traveling, working in his yard, and being with his famiy.
Pastor Doug is committed to making sure every Thursday and Sunday we will have someone leading our service while we continue our search towards a permanent pastor. He will also take care of funerals and weddings and assist the church council.)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: 
“Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 
What if ….  What if … While sorting through our church’s mail Princess opened an envelope and inside she found a check.  (It does happen on occasion.)  And, what if … that check was made out to Grace Lutheran Church for $1 million.  Now the check is real and the money is in a back account to cover the check.  So we deposit the check into our church’s bank account and we pay all of our bills and all of our other obligations -- for who knows how many years to come. 
Now, this question, “With this financial windfall would we still take an offering during our worship services?”  Hopefully the answer is obviously YES!!  Yes, we would still have an offering because you and I would still need to give.  We would still need to say thank you to the God who has blessed us so richly. 

Why do you give money, or time, or your talent to the work of God’s church?  If you answer, “Because the church needs it,” or “There are bills to pay,” read what Pastor Mark Powell writes: 
“The Bible says that we should each give according to our means and do our ‘fair share’ to support the congregation (2 Corinthians 8:3, 1113).  But that is the ‘duty’ part.  The ‘delight’ comes in giving as a grateful response to God’s grace.  So, I give to this church as a way of expressing my love for God, of touching God’s heart with my own.  This brings me incredible joy.

“Together, duty and delight represent the conscious motivations for my giving, but if we go deeper I think the real reason I give has little to do with me.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit and a result of the transformation that God has worked within me.  Left to my own devices, I would be too selfish to ever give anything to anyone.  But I have become a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).  He lives in me (Galatians 5: 2-23).” 
So why do you give to God and his church?  And, how much do you give?  Have you ever truly thought and prayed about how much you will give to the church in thanks to God for all that God has given to you?  Have you ever considered making a plan that will increase your giving to God’s church each year?  God provides!  How will you respond to God’s grace?  How will you be found trustworthy as God’s steward? 
Yours in Christ,
-Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug Johnson
Office Phone: 715-528-4851
Home Phone: 715-528-4458
Cell Phone:    715-938-0962
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 535, Florence, WI 54121

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