June 2016: Beginning the journey

Graduation journeyby Audrey Riley

Every summer, our Facebook pages feature photos of smiling graduates and happy confirmands. They made it! They’re done! They’re free!

Well, those of us who’ve been around the block a few times know that graduation isn’t the destination, but only the beginning – that’s why they call it commencement.

But what about confirmation? Doesn’t that mean we’re done? Doesn’t that mean we know everything we need to know about being disciples?

Well, no. Just like commencement, confirmation marks the beginning of a journey. It means we’ve got the basics, and now it’s time to start living into the promises we made (or that were made for us) at our baptism and affirmed at our confirmation.

We promised to live among God’s faithful people, hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper, proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serve all people following the example of Jesus, and strive for justice and peace in all the earth.

Big promises, right? How can we possibly live up to them? Well, we also asked God to help us and guide us as we grow into discipleship, and God is always faithful.

Women of the ELCA has given us seven marks of discipleship, seven clear directions for living into our baptismal covenant: praying, studying, worshiping, inviting, encouraging, serving, and giving. They are a wonderful way to help us keep on the right path as we continue to grow as disciples. (Download the free resource: Lessons for Today's Disciples.)

How do we live these promises, these seven marks of discipleship, in our lives today? Have we grown in them since we were baptized and confirmed? Have we kept growing? How can we live into discipleship ever more deeply and generously?

Let us pray:

Ever-faithful God, you help us and guide us as we continue to grow into our baptismal covenant. Strengthen us in our lives as disciples who pray, study, worship, invite, encourage, serve, and give, all to the glory of your name. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

CC BY Alan Light, Graduation



Past devotions:

May 2016: Holy Stewardship
April 2016: Good for our hearts!
March 2016: Loving Lent
February 2016: Happy birthday Katie!

January 2016 devotion: “I am about to do a new thing!”

December 2015 devotion: GIving thanks for you
November 2015 devotion: Giving thanks to God

 

 

How to Give

Regular Offerings

Regular Offerings are a wonderful way to support one another in our callings. When women gather in the circles or groups of the congregational unit and receive an offering, their unit treasurer puts some of it to work for the congregational unit’s own ministry and shares the rest with the synodical women’s organization, sending it to her with Form A. (Please download a copy of Form A and fill it in as shown in this example.)

The treasurer of the synodical women’s organization puts some of that shared offering to work for the synodical organization’s ministry, and then shares the rest with the churchwide women’s organization, which puts that shared offering to work for women’s ministries throughout the church.

Thankofferings and Gifts “Where Needed Most”

For Congregational Units

Download a copy of Form B, and fill it in as shown in this example. Make out your check to Women of the ELCA and mail it with Form B to:

Women of the ELCA
ELCA Gift Processing Center
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009

For Individuals

To give online with a credit card, please visit welca.org/give and click “Women of the ELCA Where Needed Most.” Fill in the amount of your gift and then under “Designation,” click “Women of the ELCA General Fund.”

To give by mail, please make out your check to Women of the ELCA and write “Where needed most” on the memo line. Mail it to:

Women of the ELCA
ELCA Gift Processing Center
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009

To give by phone with a credit card, please call 800-638-3522.

Thank you!