Partners in Mission:
In the amazing way weather changes across our territory it is hard to believe two weeks ago we were in the midst of a catastrophic ice storm. A natural disaster exacerbated, as they always are, by the reality that while we were all in the same storm we were not in the same boats. The real limitations of the storm and its outcomes were amplified by individuals access to resources, food, heat, electricity, transportation. As always the most vulnerable amongst us bore the brunt. The systemic inequalities in our society, the cracks, exposed even more.
Into this reality you have responded generously as always. Congregations have provided in kind donations either through their own food/clothing ministries or by donating locally. Some have chosen to give to our Synod disaster fund which we are then able to use to share with congregations to support members in need. Our Conferencia Latina also benefits from that fund as they have access to resources to share with conference members. We have been sent greetings, prayers, and financial gifts from our partners in the Southwest Pennsylvania synod as well. For all this, stewardship of that which you have been Entrusted with, I am grateful.
The systemic cracks in our society are a result of human sin. Sin that allows systems of oppression to remain unchallenged. Sin that separates and divides us. Ultimately, sin that causes death. During this Lenten season we take seriously that reality of our own sinfulness. Our liturgies turn us to repentance and self-examination. To be honest with ourselves.
However, as we are now marking a full year since the first deaths from Covid-19 in our midst, deaths than now total over 500,000 individuals, we also must in lent remember hope. The hope of Easter dawn, which can seem very dim in our grief and loss. Light that is yet far off and to which we shouldn’t run too quickly to avoid our grief. But hope none the less and we find this in scripture, worship, and time together. In this time of Lent I invite you to join me every Tuesday at 11am online for our NT-NL synod devotionals either on zoom or Facebook Live. Each week we highlight a devotion, based on the coming Sunday gospel, from an NT-NL pastor in their first call as well as musical offerings from congregations across our synod and times for prayer.
Gathering together as we can in this time is so vital. To take seriously our brokenness and the sin that is around us, yet also strain our eyes, even through the tears, to see the coming light.