News for the Flock

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What is Ash Wednesday?

Posted: February 04, 2016

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On Ash Wednesday, Christians show black crosses on their foreheads as a visible public reminder of our need for repentance and forgiveness. This ancient symbol reminds us of our mortality, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” In receiving words of forgiveness, the cross is also a sign of renewal which empowers us for the Lenten journey.

Ash Wednesday starts the penitential season of Lent. In honesty before God, we acknowledge our need of repentance, of “turning around” those habits, opinions and words that separate us from God and one another. Applied with the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” the ashes remind us that our physical existence is ultimately mere carbon, but the life we know in Christ is eternal. Much of what we invest ourselves in is temporary; only our life in Christ ultimately matters.

Placing the ashes on our foreheads in the sign of the cross has two meanings: first, a sign of humility (originally dust on the forehead was an indicator that one had bowed her or his head all the way to the ground in repentance and prayer before God) and second, a reminder that it is in Christ’s cross that we have access to unending life.

- Pastor Brian Maas (Lincoln, NE) & Pastor Monica M. Villarreal (Flint, MI) Originally published on the ELCA’s Living Lutheran Blog, March 10, 2014. Reprinted with permission of the author.


Monthly Capital Fund Update

This is the first of a series of monthly updates on Capital Fund activity, sharing progress toward our Capital Campaign objectives. To review Council and Finance Summaries, visit our Council page. For specific questions, contact council@sotv.org.

As pledges are fulfilled each month, the Finance Leadership Team will review money available in the Capital Fund, and make a recommendation to Council to designate money toward debt reduction, the facility, and outreach.  Any money allocated toward debt reduction will be paid that month towards our mortgage principal (beyond the amount due). Money allocated to facility or outreach will be held until enough has accumulated to fund the priorities set in each area. We will update you on expenditures connected to facilities and outreach priorities when applicable.

In January, Council approved the designation of $200,000 from the Capital Fund toward debt reduction, facility, and outreach. Based on the percentages effective 1/1/16, we paid 80% ($160,000) toward principal, allocated 15% ($30,000) to the facility, and allocated 5% ($10,000) to outreach. 

Your gifts are so important to achieving our objectives, and helping us live into our vision of “Inviting all people to experience the Welcome, Transformation, and Sending of Jesus Christ.”  Thank you for generously supporting the Capital Fund!