Dear brothers and sisters of St. Stephen,
The biblical image of the church of Christ is that of a single body with many parts, each of which serves an individual purpose but for the common and greater good. St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12 that the various parts of the body “should have equal concern for each other.” He continues, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
My family and I have been treated to a vivid and remarkable display of the body of Christ in action through the prayers, gifts, and support that you—the members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church—have offered for me and my family in our time of need.
With this letter I wish to offer my thanks for all that you have done, in particular for the tangible relief you have provided through financial donations and in-kind gifts of food, supplies, and other care.
You have embodied the very theology of Christ taught by the apostle Paul. When one member of the body suffered, you suffered along with us. You gave of yourselves for our good and in so doing have honored us beyond telling. I ask that you also rejoice with me to see the generosity and love that only Christ can create among those who share the one baptism, one faith, and one Lord of the Holy Christian Church.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Serving in Christ,