Stewardship Moment - Karla Malpica - INspired!

This Tuesday as I walked into our church council meeting Pastor Cathy asked me if I had my speech ready. I have to be honest; I hadn’t even started. I wasn’t sure the real way I became inspired to create a new group at Bethany was what they had in mind when they asked me to speak today.

Then I looked at our stewardship brochure, and under God Inspires us it says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Fear can be a weird motivator. When I found myself realizing that my passion of Theater becoming a full-time career was in direct conflict with my #1 rule of always being there for my friends and family I was scared. Scared the depression I had fallen into would get worse and never go away. I was feeling completely lost and knew my current job was not the answer, so I started to look elsewhere.

The political climate had changed and rights I believed in were being called into question and I started looking into things like women’s rights, climate change, immigration, LGBTQ rights and so much more. While it did start a fire in me the biggest result was a feeling of being extremely overwhelmed. How was little old me supposed to make any difference in such huge complicated issues? Where would I start? Was I the only one feeling this way?

Then on the first Thursday of the month I headed to Theology on Tap. And, while if you’ve ever gone you know we have a hard time staying on topic, this time we did talk about the question of if and how congregations should be involved in political matters. As the night went on, I become truly inspired. Inspired by the community around me, how much they cared, their suggestions on how Bethany could be involved, and what actions we could take.

The final push came when Secretary Boerger issued us a challenge in his sermon during one of the Wednesday chapel services at the churchwide offices. He told us to do that thing you have been waiting or scared to do, volunteer for that organization, start that new group at your church. He had us write our action down on a post it and stick up on the wall of the chapel. They would stay there as a reminder of our challenge.

And so, I started the group Thoughts, Prayers, Action. A group that while we do talk about issues that can be extremely overwhelming, I come out of every meeting inspired. Inspired by the commitment of our community to not just hear or read the gospel, but to live it out.

So, as we hand in our stewardship cards, I INvite you to the same challenge issued to me. Volunteer for the church ministry you have been thinking about; help out at that event you love going to every year; come to one of our Thoughts, Prayers, Action meetings. Because I have a feeling the more INvolved and INvested your become, the more INspired you will be by the mission of our Bethany community.

Are you IN Bethany Lutheran Church? We’re looking for 100% participation in filling out your God’s Work. Our Hands forms. Even just signing your name and handing in your form is saying that you are IN. You are IN as a member of our congregation. God might also be calling you in new ways this year. Please take time to fill out your form. The form includes your Estimate of Giving Card (financial offering) and Gods Work. Our Hands. (volunteer opportunities). We are asking each member to complete both.  If you would like you can fill out the

 Online Estimate of Giving Submission here. Here’s a pdf. of the God’s Work Our Hands Form