“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
One of the greatest privileges in leading the Texas District Church Extension Fund is the opportunity to share in milestone ministry events. Special occasions ranging from groundbreaking for expansion to the dedication of a new parking lot, there are many significant happenings in the space and place of a congregation. Two recent events recognized a major accomplishment, doing so in unique, but equally meaningful ways.
Concordia Lutheran Church, Garland chose to celebrate the amazing blessing and unified accomplishment of their loan payoff at the June 27 congregational meeting. Senior Pastor, Ken Krippner, invited the members to come forward and symbolically tear a piece of the “Mock Mortgage” to signify the shared role everyone played in reaching this moment. Many saw the milestone as “just the beginning” as they prayerfully explore opportunities before them, in service to Him.
At Trinity Lutheran Church, Amarillo, Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Brian Hesse led the ceremonial burning of the “Mock Mortgage” during services on August 1. Joined by acting Congregation President, Bill Prestwood and CEF Representative, Robert Johnson, the congregation rejoiced as the debt went up in flames. What an exciting moment—and this celebration was just a “warm-up” for events to come, as Trinity prepares to commemorate their 100th anniversary the first week of October. Such faithful servants!
Whether celebrated by symbolically ripping or burning a note, or even without any fanfare at all, retiring debt is a significant achievement. It represents the power of God in the lives of those who chose to do His will. The freedom it affords is certainly celebration-worthy, but there is an even greater triumph at both Concordia and Trinity—it’s their commitment to the responsibility Paul writes about in Romans, loving others. This obligation is a never-ending debt, actively being “paid” as they seek God’s guidance for what’s next in their ministries. All Glory and Honor to Him!
By Becca Jones
Executive Director, Texas District CEF