Dear NT-NL Leaders:
Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen Indeed, Allelluia!!!
With this shout, either in a sanctuary, outdoors, parking lot, streamed into and responded in a home (or at least one I saw from a beach) across our territory the good news is proclaimed. The grave once again defeated and new life proclaimed for God’s creation. This is the holy message with which we have been Entrusted and you, faithful leaders, proclaim and share now into the 50 days of Easter Joy.
In this time of Easter we are looking forward to our 2021 online synod assembly 9am-3pm on April 24th. We are pleased to see so many have already registered. If you have not please do so by April 11th so our staff can adequately prepare. A reminder that visitors can observe the assembly online streamed to our Facebook channel.
During the 2021 assembly we will be electing voting members for the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to be held August 8-12, 2022 in Columbus, OH. For this assembly our constitution dictates we need to elect 6 individuals: 2 lay (male/female), 2 lay young adult (male/female under 30 at time of election), and 2 rostered (male/female). At least one of these elected must be a person of color/primary language other than English. If you wish to nominate yourself or someone you know, please ensure they are able to attend the assembly and then have them fill out a vita form online.
I realize that after the work of Lent/Easter I bring you today more things to think about. Given all we have experienced in the last 13 months as leaders in the church you are rightly tired. Tired not just physically but emotionally from the constant barrage of questions and decisions to be made, navigating the competing expectations of your community and family, and leading in a divided and divisive time. So I pray you are taking some time for sabbath rest on a regular basis. While we may have hoped 2021 would bring less challenges than 2020 the reality is you are in a new season of leadership in church and society. For you to thrive in this time, to care for yourself and those you have been Entrusted with, you will need to build margin into your daily and weekly routines. This is what the law of Sabbath is to be for us. A reminder that daily/weekly space, rest, care for self and others, is an essential part of your life so that you can lead effectively.
We are Entrusted with a great many things. At our assembly you will hear more from Bishop Mike Girlinghouse about how you can honor the past and yet look towards God’s future. To take the time needed to recognize grief and loss as keys to moving into the future. To claim nostalgia not as an anchor of the past but as strength for the journey ahead.
For all you have done over the past many months to lead your community faithfully into the future I give thanks. As we celebrate Easter and look towards the season of the church, Pentecost, I have great hope. The mission field is before us, we have been Entrusted with God’s mysteries, God’s grace is given for you.
In the Risen Christ,