Dear Partners in Mission,
A week ago we had a wonderful time “re-gathering” together at Briarwood for worship, fun, and popsicles. Over and over I heard folks reflect on just how good it is to physically be present with others. To worship together, welcome new ministries, recognize leaders milestone anniversaries, and hear the gospel proclaimed and share the Lord’s Supper was a balm after so many months, years even, apart.
Prior to the Saturday activities we had an online meeting with our synod council and conference deans. We opened that time simply going around the synod and checking in with our leaders. We spent over an hour on this check-in. For those of you who have been in meetings I have led this would be a bit of a surprise as I usually like to get into the heart of the agenda quickly. But as our leaders spoke I quickly realized this check-in was the heart of the agenda at that moment. Our leaders needed to hear from one another and be heard. And while they expressed exhaustion and some frustration with the ongoing realities of Covid-19 and doing church in such a divided age, the larger message was positive and adaptive. Leaders and communities finding ways to be creative, to connect, to support. Learning to be church in a new way and not looking back with nostalgia but clear eyed into the future.
I was ever so grateful for that time of honest sharing and encouragement. This is still an immensely challenging season for our church and it has taken a toll on all of us, especially our rostered and authorized leaders. Yet there is some freedom that has come from this experience as well. What was will never be again. We have been changed for good. The question is how will we together continue to live into that change for the sake of the proclamation of the gospel. To that end I invite you, lay or ordained, to register for our 2021 Fall Leadership Convo. This event will be hybrid, in-person and online. It will focus on this reality that we have been changed for good and invite us to live into that future with intentionality and the confidence we do so led by the Holy Spirit.
In Mission Together,