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A giving initiative to strengthen Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley

Love Opens Doors is a giving initiative that encourages and equips the people of Grace to wisely and generously pledge their financial commitments for 2021. This is an incredible opportunity for all of us to step out in faith, love bravely, and commit to God’s mission through Grace for the year ahead.

What a year 2020 has been—filled with change at every turn. We have welcomed a new senior pastor, reconfigured worship and church gatherings in the midst of a global pandemic, and supported the work of racial justice as our city became the epicenter for the Black Lives Matter movement. There is no doubt that the remainder of 2020 will bring additional disruptions.

But in the midst of all this change, the most important things remain the same. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And Grace Lutheran Church continues to be a people and a place where generosity and graciousness abound and we all learn to follow Jesus into the world.

God has done amazing things through Grace Lutheran Church over the past 56 years, and now God is presenting us with fresh opportunities to love bravely, act boldly, and spread the love of Christ in our community. In these challenging times, we must care for one another, love our neighbors, practice racial justice, pass on faith to our kids, and create space for all people’s faith to deepen. Together, let’s discover “the next big thing” God has in store for Grace, and ensure we have all the necessary resources to make it happen!

This October, we’ll dive deep into exploring three doors love flings wide: Faith, Justice, and Hope. We have a part to play in opening these doors for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.

The Love Opens Door Campaign Team

The Love Opens Door Campaign Team

We’re grateful to have a group of dedicated volunteers and staff working alongside our consultant from Generis to guide our journey ever-deeper in faith and generosity. Have a question?loveopensdoors@graceofav.org

An Emerging Vision

God is moving in powerful ways. Watch and learn about an emerging vision for 2021 and hear inspiring stories from Grace folks.

the latest

Love Opens Doors News & Updates

Here you’ll find all the latest information, news, & updates about the Love Opens Doors Giving Initiative.

Join the Lunchtime Bible Study Series on Stewardship

Join the Lunchtime Bible Study Series on Stewardship

If you’re wondering whether to drive to Grace’s parking lot on Sunday between 10:30 and noon* on November 1, here’s something to consider: It’s about more than your financial commitment. It’s a statement of trust in God and in God’s future for Grace Lutheran. When you...

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Discipleship Resources

Our prayer is that this season in the life of Grace will be more than just a giving initiative, but a time for each of us to deepen our faith and expand our vision for how our God of Love, Opens Doors to the future.  Below are resources to help you along this journey.

Weekly Devotional Guide

In conjunction with the videos, please use this weekly devotional guide, which includes reflections for all four weeks of Love Opens Doors.

Weekly Devotional Videos

Week One Devotion

In this first of four weekly devotionals, Pastor Deb shares that following Jesus means following with our whole selves and not just a part of ourselves.

Week Two Devotion

In the second of four weekly devotionals, Cody Tresselt-Warren reflects on how justice relates to stewardship.

Week Three Devotion

In the third of four weekly devotionals, Dave Leuthe reflects on how the church building can be used to further God’s work in the world.

Week Four Devotion

In our final video in the Love Opens Door devotional series, Pastor Jen talks about love opening the door to faith, justice and hope.

Love opens the door to faith

In this new season of ministry, we must equip our congregation to practice our faith wherever we are. We desire to coordinate care ministries in new ways, support Children, Youth, and Family Ministries as we pass our faith on to the next generation, and creatively maintain ministry excellence as we learn to be the church in our current reality. Calling a full-time associate pastor to Grace will help us open the doors to faith. Let’s deepen our faith in God in these challenging times.

Love opens the door to justice

In these challenging times, we must focus on the things we can’t not do. We have already started to engage in the work of racial justice, a natural next step for a congregation that loves bravely. Our community needs other things from us, too—now more than ever before. Hiring a community organizer to help us listen to our neighbors and take action on the things they care about is essential. Let’s deepen our ability to live out the Spirit’s call to love and justice.

Love opens the door to hope

Our building serves as a place of hope every day, especially in the midst of this pandemic. As we generously respond to crises and support people experiencing homelessness, we are using our building in new and essential ways right now. Our congregation isn’t gathering for worship in the building, but our space is being used for God’s purposes. Hope is found in community, and we want our physical spaces to help people connect in relationships with God and each other. Let’s fully fund the operation of our building for 2021.

next steps

Our Invitation

We are inviting you and every participant in this community to go on a journey, led by the Spirit, and alongside others in this family of faith that involves taking steps deeper in generosity.

PRAY

Pray that God will multiply our efforts to reach our community with Christ’s love in the year ahead.

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COMMIT

We’re asking every member and activie part of Grace to commit to taking a step forward in your generosity journey.

GO DEEP

Deepen in faith and action by participating in the “Love Opens Doors” sermon series: October 11, October 18, and October 25.

GIVE

Give, graciously and generously, in a way that changes you and your family for good.

how we will do this

Creative Ways to Deepen Generosity

Love Opens Doors invites us all to expand and accelerate our current level of giving to strengthen and sustain the ministry God has planned for Grace today and into many tomorrows.

Financial priorities take shape from our spiritual priorities. King David declared, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24, NIV). David understood that the gift which would touch the heart of God must first touch the heart of the giver. Lifestyle Stewardship means that my gift must have value and meaning to me. Often, stewardship means giving up something in one area so that we can give more of ourselves in another. Three keys to this are:

  • Reassess Lifestyle
  • Rearrange Priorities
  • Reallocate Resources

Many of God’s people have been amazed at their ability to give more generously to their church than they ever imagined. One or more of the following ideas may help you do this.

Practice priority budgeting

Consider rearranging priorities to give up something in your current budget in order to give more to God’s work in this campaign. What could you sacrifice to free up resources for “Love Opens Doors”?

Increased giving with increased income

Some people receive periodic increases in salary or bonuses. The temptation for many of us is to increase our lifestyle to fit the higher income. In many instances, God’s people have decided that they will commit the full amount of salary increases to God’s purposes through a giving initiative at their church.

Commit unexpected cash

Often, people pray for God to show them a way they can give beyond what they can presently see or afford. Sometimes the answers come unexpectedly. A couple had been praying for weeks about their commitment to their church’s campaign, then they received an inheritance of several thousand dollars. They gave the entire gift to their church as part of their commitment.

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Redirect expenditures

In this unusual season, some people may find that money they had set aside for a vacation or another expenditure is not needed due to cancelled plans. Or perhaps you will finish paying off a college loan halfway through next year, or finish making car or home loan payments. Could you redirect these funds to God’sas work at Grace?

Give creatively from stored resources

Some families save money over a period of years for a special project. One couple had saved $80,000 to build a lake cabin; when their church entered a generosity initiative, they decided the needs of the church were greater than their need for a second home.

Donate appreciated assets

Gifts of appreciated assets (often investment securities or real estate) can be very advantageous to both the giver and the church

loves opens doors

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the financial goal for the “Love Opens Doors” campaign?

A: We aim to raise $1.35M in pledges in order to fully fund the mission, ministries, leadership, and building expenses for Grace Lutheran Church in 2021.

Q: Who will participate in this campaign?

A: We desire full participation (100%) from members, participants, and anyone who calls Grace Church “home.” Our leaders—staff and Council—are 100% committed to making their own pledges and participating in this campaign. We want to commit together to God’s work as one unified congregation—ALL of us saying “YES” to God in this season.

Q: Why are we using pledge cards and forms?

We make promises when something matters deeply to us. We sign contracts for cell phones, lease agreements, and marriage certificates as a way of stating our intentions. Pledge cards also help our church leaders to plan wisely and well, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Together let’s make commitments to what God will do in and through Grace in 2021.

Q: What if I need to adjust my pledge due to unforseen circumstances?

You may adjust your pledge at any time by contacting the Grace financial office.

Q: Why is Grace increasing its budget (slightly) during such hard times?

We believe God has a strong and clear call for Grace to lead and serve in our community during these difficult times. We believe this goal is achievable for our congregation and have engaged outside counsel to help us wisely discern our goal. Grace has always responded generously when asked—let’s continue to do so now.

Q: How can you ask me to think about one more thing right now?

We wouldn’t be asking you to do this if we didn’t believe it was vitally important to equip you to practice your faith in tangible ways by helping to meet the world’s deepest needs.

Q: Why should I give generously when I can’t worship in the building right now or participate in church life in all the ways that have been important to me in the past?

The good news is, Grace’s impact hasn’t wavered during this pandemic. We are all invited to move more deeply into sacrificial giving so that together we can grow our faith and expand our ministries to continue to light up our community and serve the world around us, following the brave love of Jesus, and the leading of the Spirit.