What do you value most? Many of us place our families, our community and our faith at the top and seek to live with a spirit of love and generosity to strengthen these things we cherish. In doing so, we prioritize a life of greater meaning. Live Well 2023 is this year’s fall mission resource appeal emphasis. It’s a reminder that God’s own generous love and grace is a gift to each of us. In God’s love, we have abundant life. It’s a life that we can’t help but share.
When the people of Israel found themselves in exile in Babylon, they could have easily turned inward and focused on survival. But, Jeremiah shared the words above as an encouragement to live faithfully and generously in their new situation. It was a vision for action, and a promise that they would find their own wellbeing as they sought the welfare of their new neighbors and foreign city. It’s a profound call to hope and good will in an unknown situation.
That welfare (the Hebrew word Shalom) paints a picture of an all-encompassing peace and wellbeing that comes as a gift through a life of faith. We invite you to watch the following short video on the meaning of Shalom.
That welfare or all-encompassing peace (shalom) Jeremiah spoke about was also what Jesus brought to so many throughout his ministry and still offers to us today through faith. Jesus wanted life in abundance for all.
All Saints’ vision is to cultivate that sense of shalom or wellbeing that comes as a gift through faith. It’s a simple experience of God’s presence that not only brings us peace, but inspires us to share it. We know that as creations of God, we are complex and beautifully and wonderfully made.
Our personal, spiritual wellbeing is connected to our emotional and physical wellness, the overall wellbeing of our community and society, as well as our financial health and the intellectual grasp of opportunities and challenges we face.
We’ve embarked on a journey of nurturing greater wellbeing within ourselves, our congregation and community so that everyone can experience life abundantly. We want those who connect with All Saints, through worship, kids and youth programs, special events, small groups, outreach programs, or any of our ministries, to experience that.
All Saints generously shared over 10% of contributions to support partners like ICA Food Shelf
and TreeHouse Minnetonka
to help neighbors in need. Part of bringing greater wellbeing to our community is also acknowledging neighbors impacted by injustice and inequities. So, we supported partners like Urban Ventures
and Hospitality House
in Minneapolis. We adopted a land acknowledgement, offered a sacred sites tour and hosted a conversation
with Brenda Blackhawk to increase our understanding of how we can work for the wellbeing of all of our neighbors.
At a time when many in our congregation and community struggle with mental health, we’re called to move beyond whatever stigmas remain and provide support and encouragement to walk the path of healing. This past year, our youth were equipped with healthy coping skills for handling stress and anxiety. We partnered with Mental Health Connect
to offer events, speakers, resources, e-news encouragements, and the opportunity to connect with a Mental Health Navigator
so that every member and neighbor knows they are supported in this faith community.
A healthy social fabric strengthens families and all of us in our wider faith journey. So, we invested in successful neighborhood events like Trunk or Treat
, Easter Eggstravaganza
and Neighborhood Fall Fest
. We’re making connections with new families. This has included many baptisms and increased collaboration with All Saints Preschool and Child Care
. We invested in a more welcoming environment conducive to fellowship, including new carpet, and a family-friendly space in the Loaves area. We’ve used this space to gather parents and their kids for playdates
this fall. All ages have commented on how nice the building looks. We’re also modernizing entrances for improved security and electronic access, benefiting all of us — especially our kids.
The council has approved a new half-time program position to help support our vision and help reach our neighbors. A team is forming to begin the search.
We will invest in added discipleship and wellness content, providing opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. These resources will include online, hybrid and in-person opportunities for personal and spiritual growth that include on-demand options, and offer next steps for all of us to engage in our faith journey.
We continue to seek ways to foster relationships and connection and look forward to hosting a talent show
and community Christmas caroling
as we close out this year.
You can help lead and support our ministry by making a commitment to attend worship in person at least twice a month. Your presence adds energy. In addition, consider finding at least one way to engage in community
more deeply—whether that’s participating in a ministry
, special event
, or simply staying after worship
to connect with others. You’re also encouraged to help serve
in a role on Sundays, for special events, on a team, or with one of our local partners.
Of course, your generous financial investment is also key to our ongoing mission. Your support
will allow us to staff for the future, invest in events and ministries that serve our community, and carry out our vision to seek the wellbeing of our city. Giving itself is a component of financial wellness, and with your financial support, we will seek the wellbeing of our community, our ministry and ourselves. We will live well — faithfully and generously — in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.