Readers Share Their Thoughts

Post a Comment » Written on September 3rd, 2008     
Filed under: News
By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (September 3, 2008) – Hardly a week goes by that we do not receive a few comments from readers on stories published as part of the Covenant online news report.

We will share from time to time some of those responses generated through the “comments” link attached to each published story. This kind of feedback is very helpful to our Covenant News Service staff as we seek to identify and publish stories of great interest to a broad spectrum of online readers of this report.

Following are comments relating to recently published stories, edited in some cases for length. To read a particular story of interest, click on the headline.

Ease of Auto Withdrawal Tithing Hasn’t Swayed Most Covenanters

Chet Nelson of Spokane, WA, writes: Rick Hampton hit the nail on the head when he said, “Some reject the idea because they believe that deliberately putting money into the offering plate is an important act of discipleship.” Automatic withdrawals are great for normal transactions. Contributing to God’s work is not a transaction – it’s an act of worship, it’s an act signifying commitment. I can’t express how delighted I am that the idea is not catching on in Covenant churches. I fully favor automatic payment of financial obligations. The only payments that I do not have on automatic payment either from my checking account or from my credit card are to those businesses that do not have that option. I disagree with Hampton’s reason for using automatic transfer for contributions when he said, “the increased giving to the congregation that results from the regular giving makes the arrangement worthwhile.”

Chris Hagberg of Chicago, IL, writes: In this day of so many online transactions, I’m always surprised that more people don’t give to their churches electronically. This is a great option for people like me who don’t routinely carry a checkbook. My church doesn’t (yet) have this as an option, so I use the auto-pay feature of banking online. You can arrange one-time payments or automated timed ones. In my case, I opted to set up an automatic payment of my tithe every payday. For me, it’s a great way to stay current and regular with my giving, no matter if I’m out of town, forgotten my checkbook, whatever. I know the money will be there, since it’s set up to correspond with payday. And I almost don’t miss it, since it comes out automatically. At the end of the year, it’s nice to see how a smaller amount, regularly given, can build to a serious donation to the ministries of the church. We happily give our money to Amazon, eBay, and so many online catalogs these days. Why not our own churches?

Dean Merrill of Colorado Springs, CO, writes: My wife and I pay lots of bills online – but giving to the Lord is not a “bill” or obligation to be dispensed with as quickly as possible. It’s a GIFT to be given consciously and with joy. If we were giving you a Christmas gift, we wouldn’t just stick some $$ in your checking account. We would at least write a check, put it inside a card, and hand it to you with a smile. Therefore, “no thanks” to online donations.

Eighty Years at the Keyboard and Still Going Strong

Cathy Grenning of Elkhorn, WI, writes: Ruth is an inspiration to all of us. She has used her talents for the Lord all her life. She never seems to want to be in the limelight. She just comes and is prepared and does her job, and is pleasant to everyone and just goes about her business, never expecting a lot of applause. There are not many people like her. Our family just loves her.

Pam Armes of Elkhorn, WI, writes: I am proud to be a member of Millard Community Church and very proud to know Ruth. She is an inspiration and a special blessing to all of us that know her. God bless you, Ruth, in your commitment to serve Christ and for all that you do in our community.

Palmberg Reflects on Past Ten Years in Final Interview

Erika Clauson of Monterrey, Mexico, writes: Thank you for this wonderful interview that allows us to celebrate the life and service of our president. Many of these stories I had not heard and as I read them, I praised God for his service to us all in the Covenant Church and for his future service to Sojourners, an organization we fully support and hope to see more Covenant Churches involved in. Thank you, Glenn, for your humble, Christ-like example, and for taking compassion and justice issues of all kinds seriously. God is doing awesome things in the Covenant and I am honored and blessed to be a part of his kingdom work! Blessings to you, Glenn, as you continue to seek to advance God’s kingdom throughout the world.

Second Class of Spiritual Directors Graduates

Sarah Brown of Leawood, KS, writes: If you are distinctly biblical, could you please tell me where the Bible encourages or even mentions lectio divina and contemplative prayer? Where is it written? Where is it written that we need spiritual directors when we have the Holy Spirit and God’s Word? I’m not understanding this.

New Spanish Website Area Introduced

Flor Retamal of Chicago, IL, writes: There is a large Covenant Spanish community, not only in this country, but around the world. Thanks for the effort to integrate the minorities. Estoy a la orden para ayudar en traducciones o para escribir pequeños artículos. que tal como sugerencia podrían incluirse noticias de las iglesias del Pacto de habla hispana del país y de fuera de USA.

Winstedt Remembered for Character, Love for Christ

Karen Walker of Turlock, CA, writes: What a privilege to spend the past years with pastor Clarence and Ruth. They are encouragers and prayer warriors and I always knew I was loved and prayed for. Gentleness, wisdom, grace and dignity are only a few words to describe pastor Clarence. He loved pastors and he loved the Covenant and I will miss that encouraging hand on my shoulder Sunday mornings and his wonderful speaking and singing voice! Heaven is a whole lot richer these days, and I know he heard a resounding “well done good and faithful servant – well done!”

Bruce Docktor of Turlock, CA, writes: I was out of town the day that pastor Winstedt passed on from this life on earth. But the news spread fast here in Turlock and among the church family. Many of us know that his physical passing is just part of his Christian journey. The most significant part was his spiritual “passing on” to others – passing on the love and grace message of Christ. Clarence Winstedt was a physical man who stood straight and tall. His spiritual legacy to us will be to live in Christ, straight and tall.

Cheri Swan Pickslay of Split, Croatia, writes: Pastor Winstedt was my pastor growing up in Grand Rapids. He was definitely instrumental in my life as a young Christian and helping me to grow. I enjoyed celebrating our birthdays together (same day!). I’m thankful to have known him. My sympathies go to his wife and to Karen and

Ethnic Congregations Join to Model ‘Living in Peace’

Anna Marie Peterson of Coppell, TX, writes: Redeemer Covenant Church, Bethel Bible Fellowship, Crossroads, Rain Covenant and New Life could join in this effort for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This is a prime area to sponsor such an event across Dallas County to begin with. I believe that Redeemer Covenant Church (Pastor Mark Mohrweis) and the congregation have begun such an effort. What is required now is a corporate endeavor to address the areas of establishing “partnerships” for the kingdom. One example is that the Redeemer women have reached out to each of the local Evangelical Covenant churches to partner with them in a retreat September 26-27 on “Discover Your Design” (DYD). They have also invited younger women in the church to participate. My wholehearted support is with these women to include younger women and “partner” churches.

Journey to Mosaic Squared – A Change in World Perspective

Daniel Kim of Briarcliff Manor, NY, writes: As the Covenant church I currently attend embarks on an endeavor to further fulfill our original vision of becoming more multicultural and diverse, this story has given me further ideas that I can share and possibly implement with our Multiethnic Task Force so that our church can become “one” like Jesus prayed all his followers would become.

A Brief Look – Covenanters Making News

Harvey Drake of Seattle, WA, writes: Hooray for Covenant Churches making the gospel real and doing ministry that brings pleasure to our Lord!

ABC Medical Editor Begins NPU Lecture Series

Clarke Tungseth of Mound, MN, writes: Could presentations like this be made available online for alumni and friends at a distance? May be a good way to keep alums and friends in touch with NPU and Covenant events.

Older Stories

Occasionally we receive comments about stories published some time ago. Most often, readers come across them while topically perusing search engines or when visiting the online Covenant News Archive maintained by Covenant News Service. We appreciate reader comments at any time about any story that has appeared as part of our online Covenant news report.

Services Pending for Jean Lambert

Mike Mwale of London, UK, writes: I pray that Jean Lambert’s soul rests in peace. She was a woman I knew as a student and mentor at Africa University.

Kenya: the Beauty of an Ancient Lifestyle

Emily Hayden of Wilbraham, MA, writes: We want to raise Kenya Consciousness among East Coast conference churches. We have a rare and wonderful opportunity to care and pray for Kenya and its people because of the Jumba family members who attend our church in Indian Orchard. They have come here from Muhudu village and Nairobi. I would like to know more about Pete and Cindy Ekstrand and their ministry – especially in Kenya.

Campolo: ‘Time to Start Taking Jesus Seriously’

Vera McCarrick
of Whyalla, South Australia, writes:  I have been challenged by the message. Thank you and God bless you.

Early Risers Love the Julotta Tradition

Marillyn Knuteson
of Hugo, MN, writes: Is there a recording available of the Swedish Song – sung in Swedish – Listen! Listen! Hear the Angels Singing?

Covenanters Assist ABC-TV’s ‘Extreme Makeover’

Kimberly Shutters of San Diego, CA, writes: Thank you very much for hosting this information on your site for those of us interested in more information. The additional link to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is an added bonus. I came across your site after looking for the home makeover for a little girl who is allergic to the sun. I myself am also allergic to the sun due to Lupus, more so UV light. I wish the Pope family all the best and will keep Shelby in my prayers.

COVENANT NEWSWIRE: To make certain not to miss a single story, sign up for the free Covenant Newswire headline news report at Covenant Newswire.

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