In the spirit of Bishop Guy Erwin I post a “the bishop’s day” post today. A rainy saturday in DFW which if you know anything about Texans, and probably Southern Californians, throws us in a tizzy. Yet ministry must go on.
I dropped my oldest off at her FWISD Honor Choir retreat this morning at Ridglea Christian Church. This is a Disciples of Christ Congregation and member of the WestAid Alliance to provide food security to folks on the West Side of Fort Worth. When I was a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Worth we worked extensively with WestAid. They also have a community garden and prayer labyrinth which is a gift to their community. Grateful for their hospitality to the FWISD honor choir for their retreat day.
After drop off the middle kid and I headed east toward Arlington. The choir kids had donuts and she was a bit bummed she didn’t get one, so we stopped at Blue Bonnet Bakery, a Fort Worth institution for 80+ years for a donut, and I got a jalepeno and cheese kolache and some coffee.
We then spent time with the NT-NL Synod, ELCA Public Witness for Peace and Justice team. We met to discuss the recent anti-racism training they had sponsored along with Child Protective Services of Texas,. They relayed the power and disturbance of this experience of spending time taking on the issues of institutional and structural racism. Frankly issues most of us would prefer not to discuss at all. Yet it is important for our work as church and as a community.
While I was there our Conferencia Latina NT-NL ELCA was sponsoring along with ELCA Churchwide a pilot coaching program for our Latinx communities. This program, done ecumenically, is being piloted here first and then also later this fall in California. It is a culturally aware adaption of the coaching principles central to the culture we are trying to develop in NT-NL. Learning leadership that continually seeks to improve.
I could only stay a while with our NT-NL Synod Public Witness team as I needed to head home to take over the kiddos and let my spouse get to church to prepare for a funeral. Later I took the kids to the funeral as well. We gave thanks for the promises of God made real for Nancy. She was a part of our 2016 pilgrimage to the Holy Land and a faithful member of Trinity, Fort Worth for over 20 years. I had the honor of presiding over the funeral liturgy of her mother in 2012 and it was good to be with the community again today as they mourned her loss.
Tonight we go to a birthday party for another community member. This one a family friendly event so we can all celebrate. Tomorrow is family Sunday so I can be a “church dad” and be present for Rally Day festivities with my kids. Then a busy week ahead. Briarwood Retreat Center board will meet monday for important conversations and then next Saturday the ordination of Leslie Dunlap at Grace Lutheran in Abilene. She is one of our TEEM candidates lifted up by a community for ministry. A great example of how we can partner with congregations to evaluate, grow, and educate leaders for our congregations.
It has been a good day, a busy day, a blessed day. To all our NT-NL congregations celebrating the beginning of the program year tomorrow I wish a blessed “Rally Day.” #NTNL #PublicWitness #FWCHC#ConferenciaLatina #Coaching #ELCA #InMissionTogether