The Homesteader:  November 1,  2017

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

          Remember that song?  Well, many of you maybe don't exactly remember it, but may have heard it.  It's about a request to share a little of what we have, with those who don't have.  That's one of the hallmarks of being Presbyterian.  Each Sunday, we attend worship and give in the offering plate some of what we have so that through the witness of the church, we can help where needed.  Most times, we have little idea of where that need is.  We just trust our brothers and sisters that our gifts will be used in ways that witness to the living Christ.
          A key tenet of Presbyterianism is that there is one Presbyterian Church.  We divide ourselves into congregations, presbyteries, and synods, but all are local or regional manifestations of the one church.  Mission and ministry of one of our parts is a witness on behalf of the rest of us.  That is why we share our resources.  Sometimes funds circulate back to us in the form of grants, workshops, or resources.  Sometimes, our gifts go to places we'll never a missionary in India or a relief team in Puerto Rico or a voice in an ecumenical or interfaith conversation.
          Many eyes, ears and hands doing things in the name of Christ and on behalf of  you.  But none of this happens without you.  That is why we share our gifts each Sunday in worship.  The session makes its budget in response to your anticipated participation.  Some is dedicated to congregational needs, some to local mission, and some to denominational mission.  An important piece of the session budget is the per capita.  In order to maintain a vibrant denomination, with a meaningful ministry, each session shares a portion of its budget through an apportionment for each of its members.  In 2018, that amount is $40.
          When a session looks at its budget and an aggregate sum for all of the members, the amount can appear daunting.  But when viewed individually, it's quite minor.  Can you spare an extra dime?  Just that extra dime by each member can significantly ease your church's financial burden.  Just an extra dime a day would yield $36.50 for the year.  Brother, and Sister, we CAN spare a dime.

Explore Good Reads 
By Traci Smith
Add family faith moments to your daily routine with little to no prep! Traci Smith, pastor and mother of three, offers ways to discover and develop new spiritual practices as a family, whether you're a seeker or lifelong follower. Faithful Families is brimming with more than 50 easy, do-it-yourself ideas for turning everyday moments into sacred ones. 
Grow Up Already Pt. 2
by Margaret Vogel 

When "adulting" leaves us feeling under -or over- whelmed, there is a strong temptation to crawl under the blankets, pull up a new series on Hulu, or go shopping with money that we don't have.
Another option is to power through the feeling. We focus on getting done what needs done until finally the lackluster feeling is replaced by all out exhaustion. I'd like to suggest a middle way between these extremes.
When "adulting" feels lackluster, might we see this as an invitation to seek God? More than 1500 years ago St. Augustine wrote, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." If our souls are resisting or restless, then let's take notice and act.
Let's become a community of support for one another. Alcoholic Anonymous members understand the power of community. Sobriety is not easy. All the triggers that existed while drinking are still present. A trusted community provides space to be honest and accountable.
Opening our hearts to grace and listening for God's call is not easy. The demands of life pull us in a hundred different ways on any given day. In this cloud of busyness, we deny our self-worth and remain blind to our unique gifts.
What if we stopped frantically searching for meaning on our own and slowed down so we might journey together? (Continue Reading)
Big Changes for Nebraska Presbyterian Foundation
by Andrew Loudon, Esq

I wish to share some fun news with you, and ask that you put your thinking caps on.
I am on the Board of the Nebraska Presbyterian Foundation. I was asked to be on the Board primarily because my Dad was on the Board for many years when he was in Lincoln. The Foundation was started 100 years ago as a Welfare Society for impoverished retired Nebraska Presbyterian ministers, to give them a place to live. Clark Jeary in Lincoln and Prairie Village in Columbus were built as retirement homes for pastors - you know, to move into after their last Manse. Over time, the two morphed into affordable assisted living facilities for all, and because ten years ago the Catholic Bishop of Lincoln really wanted to build a parking lot for Pius where the old Clark Jeary was located, we were able to build a beautiful new facility in south Lincoln that has been super successful.  The only thing the Foundation has been doing is owning and operating Clark Jeary and Prairie Village and distributing small checks to retired Presbyterian ministers in Nebraska to help with housing costs - we typically give around $250 a year to about 40 retired ministers.
Fast forward to 2017 - long story short (and it is a really fun story if you would like to hear it - ask me in person sometime) - we sold Clark Jeary to the Lutherans. Immanuel Senior Living, headquartered in Omaha, owns 50 assisted living facilities between Denver and Des Moines, including their "Queen Jewel" - The Landing here in Lincoln. It became obvious to our Board that Immanuel could run Clark Jeary better than us and that we could use the proceeds from the sale to help Presbyterian causes in Nebraska.
The sale closed in mid-October, and I am pleased to announce that our Foundation received $25 million from the purchase. As a qualified Foundation, we must, under federal law, distribute 5% of our invested assets a year, after expenses. Not all of our assets are unrestricted, but most are, and thus we project that, starting next year, we will be distributing approximately $800,000 every year to Presbyterian causes in Nebraska.
Our mission to help financially struggling retired Nebraska Presbyterian ministers will remain at the forefront, and wonderfully that level of support will increase dramatically. If you know of a retired Presbyterian minister who is need of financial help, please let me know []. Our Bylaws say that the person does not have to live in Nebraska now - he or she just has to have served in a called position in a PCUSA church in Nebraska at one time. 
I am not sure of the details of the grant process yet, and will keep everyone updated. Presbyterians from across the State will be applying for grants.
Keep Thinking...
"Once you see, you cannot unsee. Do not avert your eyes from the mission God has for you." 
Blessing Opportunity     ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
Give Now to
Presbyterian Mission

As members of a connectional church, Presbyterians express their collective gratitude to God through our denomination"s mission efforts. Together we are stronger. Together we make a lasting impact. Together we are the visible sign of God's love in a world longing for hope, peace and renewal. Jesus' words compel us to love God and to love our neighbor. Presbyterians are the hands and feet of Christ through their deep commitment to mission. 

Pictures Around the Presbytery
IMN has been honored by the Grange for its work with farmers and ranchers in personal and business crisis. 
Pastor Atkins, Niobrara