From the Desk of Pastor Pagotto
December 2015-January 2016 Newsletter Message
I need to get cracking on my Christmas shopping. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. It takes some real thought and preparation to get the right gift for someone. I don’t like to just pick up any old thing and wrap it up. I like it to be from the heart, a gift that means something. But what if you were able to share a gift with someone that actually gave twice?
One Christmas Erica and I struggled with what to get for my grandparents. They seemed to have everything they needed and were in the process of trying to “downsize.” Finally, we decided on buying them – a pig. They didn’t actually receive the pig, but a family somewhere else in the world did. You see we purchased this swine through ELCA Good Gifts, a program dedicated to supporting different ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in honor of my grandparents. Gifts can be purchased “in honor” or “in memory” of loved ones, and you can decide which ministries you would like to support. These ministries include: disaster relief, feeding the hungry, developing and supporting congregations, supporting missionaries, and providing assistance for seminary education.
So not only were Erica and I able to present my grandparents with a gift, but we were also able to provide a poor family somewhere in the world with a pig.
Another way to give a gift that gives twice is through Lutheran World Relief. LWR has developed the Handcraft Project where handmade items from around the world are available for purchase. If you buy a herb leaf pot set from Bangladesh, dragonfly dishware from Vietnam, coffee from Costa Rica, or stuffed toys from Peru, the money you use to purchase your items goes directly to the craftspeople who made them. Not only are you providing a gift for someone, but you are also providing a livelihood for another brother or sister in Christ.
Whether you are just starting your Christmas shopping or if you are looking for one last gift, consider visiting www.elca.org and clicking on the Good Gifts link or go to www.lwr.org/handcraft and give a gift that not only provides something for your loved one, but also builds up the body of Christ.
A blessed Advent and Christmas season to all of you.
Your servant in Christ,