Stewardship is sharing our unique gifts – time, skills, and financial resources – for the benefit of others and for God’s world. When we place our hope and trust on God’s abundant love and mercy, we’re able to live generously; and collectively, we’re able to meet needs, change lives, and restore hope.

“Miracles are consistently showing up in how people are giving of themselves to others helping to heal in health and lending hope to the future. 🙏.” – Denise

why we give

Every breath we take is a gift from God. None of us are beings of our own creation. That we exist at all is no small miracle. That God promises to love us no matter what throughout our lives is a bigger miracle still. And then, of course, there is the promise of resurrection. It doesn’t get any better than that. We won’t always feel these things to be true. And there are times we may not care. But that doesn’t change God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy. Which is about the most wonderful thing God could possibly do. And so we respond to the needs of our neighbors out of our gratitude.

You can designate one or more areas when you give to SOTV. The congregation also vote to annually to approve the budget, which identifies how the church utilizes General Fund money. Several leadership teams (including Benevolence, Stewardship, and Finance) make recommendations, and the Church Council ultimately votes to approve budgeted and significant unbudgeted needs that may come up throughout the year.

The video below is an overview on how to use Realm to manage your giving. If you’d rather follow PDF instructions, click here. Realm can be used on a web browser (like Google Chrome) or on an app on your phone.

Sharing of our time and skills is an important part of stewardship. We have many one-time and ongoing serving opportunities that you can fin here.

embracing hope in hard times

Psalm 42:11: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise [God], my help and my God.

Embracing hope is a critical assignment for the occupants of what often seems to be a dismal and bleak world. Yet the task is often easier said than done.

For over a year, the pandemic has created anxiety, loneliness, fear, and uncertainty. For many, this onerous situation has been compounded by the death of a loved one, lack of access to health care, job loss, food insecurity, and countless other struggles.

Hope can sometimes seem lost.

Yet in the midst of the daily strife we face, we as followers of Christ can choose hope. The word hope in Biblical Greek is elpis, which means expectation of good and looking to the future with trust and patience in God. Elpis is not simply optimism or a wish. Instead, it reflects a deep confidence that we have a God of infinite love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy. Hope is born of our faith in the triune God who claims each of us as beloved children, accompanies us even through the hard times, and works through us to bring God’s kingdom of righteousness and justice to Earth.

Hope liberates us from feeling trapped in an unrelenting state of fear and sorrow. It must be said, however, that embracing hope is not an easy task. Since hope is not a passive construct, we must consciously choose it each day.

Embracing hope does not require us to ignore the plethora of hardships that we and our neighbors face. As theologian James H. Cone wrote, “Hope doesn’t erase the pain of suffering and its challenge for faith.” We must recognize that hope can reside in our hearts alongside the sorrow of living in a broken, hurting world.

By Rachel Wermerskirchen

We invite you to actively embrace hope. Challenge yourself to discover a glimpse of joy or beauty each day. If it seems impossible, acknowledge the validity of your feelings and be gentle with yourself. The goal is to cultivate hope with intention, grow it tenderly, and then do things that will help restore hope for others. May God bless our efforts to embrace hope.

Find additional information, a Facebook profile photo of Embracing Hope, a Facebook cover photo of Embracing Hope, learn how to use our Facebook Profile frame, find a summer calendar of faith activities and spiritual practices (for adults and kids), and a coloring sheet at

You are invited to share what gives you hope through our social media channels using #SOTVhope or send us an email at We’d love to hear from you.

When you give to the General Fund, part of your giving goes to support our synod, the larger ELCA.
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