Unleashing creative people to discover a way to leave a positive mark on the world can be daunting and often unpredictable—just ask any parent who leaves a two-year-old alone with a handful of markers.
For Our Savior Lutheran Church, however, the outcome of our members—young and old–making a positive mark on the community has been an incredible masterpiece of originality, love, and compassion.
Lenten tradition often includes the admonition for individuals to “give up” something in the weeks preceding Easter Sunday, in the hope that one will focus less on worldly delights such as chocolate or soda and instead embrace a deeper understanding of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
This year, Our Savior was challenged to embrace faith in an utterly new way—to “give up and give out”. Instead of merely giving up something for Lent, we were invited to cluster in groups together to unite in fellowship and the study of God’s Word, and then to “give out” our Christ-like love to the people of Pinellas County.
Pastor Burtzlaff quoted St. Paul, “’The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.’ What matters in life is not your fame or your wealth or you titles. What matters most is your faith expressing itself in LIVING LOVE. Love is the most important thing. Give Up-Give Out is a way we can Live Love, live our faith, in a very real and tangible way.”
“We wanted to try something different than just the normal Lenten services, and really emphasize the impact that we can make in the community. Church isn’t about just coming together for services, but going out together in service,” says Pastor Moore.
In the weeks that follow, we’ll dive in-depth into the stories of groups here at Our Savior who shared Christ’s love in powerful ways. Involving everyone from young children to teenage students to grandparents, our members were invested in lovingly serving the community in thoughtful ways.
Join us in the coming weeks as we’re inspired by the stories of what Our Savior has done in our own community. Discover how our church helped cancer patients, served needy families, empowered human trafficking organizations, commandeered a pizza joint, and brought smiles to the faces of elderly shut-ins and public school students.
Read the coming stories of what your friends and fellow members have done, and then share them with others you know. Praise God for the passionate people He has gathered in our church, and pray for the continued faithfulness and creativity of our congregation as we continue to reach people with the life-saving message of the cross.
Together, Our Savior is living love.