Dear Partners in Mission:
This past weekend I was honored to be at the retirement celebration for the Rev. Deborah Leone from Redeemer, Greenville. Pastor Leone has faithfully served this community for over a decade and so it was right that we gathered together to give thanks for this ministry they shared during this season of both her life and that of the life of the church. We live through many seasons in our lives and in the vocational life we share. Wherever God has planted us as Lutherans we understand our vocation is to glorify God in the work that we do. We also understand that in different seasons of our lives we will have different roles to play.
The last 18 months have been a season of great challenge for our congregations and communities. The Covid-19 pandemic, civil and political unrest, difficult conversations and confrontations about issues of race and nationalism, economic hardship in many places; have buffeted us from all sides. And it has been a season that has continued. Just a month ago it appeared that at least the Covid-19 pandemic was receding but now the “Delta Variant” has caused case numbers to rise again. While we give thanks that deaths have not followed linearly along, hospitalizations are up and our communities are again having to make difficult choices about gathering together.
In this season I urge you all to continue to follow our commandment from Jesus Christ to love our neighbor. To not exercise our freedom in such a way that potentially endangers those in our midst. To look to serve the least among us, particularly protecting our children who are still unvaccinated. My prayer is that this season will be short-lived, that continued vaccinations and wise practices will help cases decline soon.
Seasons come and go. But the calling we have received from God to serve remains. For all our pastors, lay leaders, and community members I give thanks for your faithfulness and pray for you again patience and fortitude. To know the bread of life that is Jesus Christ who is amongst us and walks with us through all the seasons of our lives.