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My older sister and I got into this ridiculous conversation about what to do with $50 I owe her for another sister’s gift: “Just keep it, I don’t need it.” “Well, I owe it to you.” “Then count it as your Christmas gift” … and on and on. Finally, she said, “Why don’t you donate it to the seminary library in Africa?” What a great idea! Now, the next time Kimberly goes to Uganda she will be bringing $50 worth of books with her for the Lutheran Theological College/Seminary of Uganda!

Are your pre-Christmas conversations like those at my home? “What do you want for Christmas?” “Oh, I don’t know. What do you want?” “I don’t need anything.” “Yeah, me neither.” Please consider solving your “what to get for those who have everything” Christmas gift problems by donating to the Lutheran Theological College, Uganda, in your loved-one’s name. If you were at the November congregation meeting or read last month’s newsletter article on the seminary, you know that the Foundation is matching funds up to $5,000 for the LTCU. Thanks to the Board of Human Needs and the Heseders, who have each donated $1,000, we’re looking for individual donations of just $3,000 to meet the match and give a grand total of $10,000 toward the completion of the seminary.

This money will be used at LTCU to complete the inside of the library, complete the sanctuary/multipurpose building, purchase computers for the classrooms, purchase seed for next year’s crops, clear and recycle construction debris, provide meals for the students of the seminary, purchase chickens and goats, paint the interior rooms, floor the buildings and put pews in the sanctuary.

If you choose to do this alternative giving this year, please make your check out to Saint John’s and mark it “Uganda Seminary.” The gift is tax deductible, as always. As an added bonus, if you contact the office and specify the details about the gift, we will give you a gift notification card which you can then send to the gift recipient.

If you want your donation to go toward books instead of one of the above needs, please mark your gift to “Uganda Library.” These gifts will not count toward the matching funds, but will be used to purchase and then personally deliver books to the seminary library in 2018. Kimberly and I brought five new LSB hymnals to the seminary this summer and they were much appreciated!

Happy “shopping”!

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?