Message from the Bishop
Bishop Gronberg posted this on Wednesday, November 9, as a message on his Facebook page: facebook.com/bishopgronberg. (You can view public Facebook pages and posts without having an account.)
Last full day in the Holy Land. Travelled from Petra back to Jerusalem. Spent 3.5 hours at the border crossing. A reminder of life for the Palestinian community for whom this is their only way in and out (they are not permitted to fly from Tel Aviv so must use Amman’s airport).
Spent 14 days in the Holy Land experiencing and discussing Power, Promise, and Partnership. Thinking critically about the world of Jesus, the early church, Rome, and how our world also reflects these realities. We saw walls, lots of walls, that separate people based on faith, ethnicity, national origin, gender, income status, etc… The Holy Land today is a land of walls erected by tradition or security or sometimes just because. Walls that divide.
Today our nation has a President-Elect. Elected by a slim majority of Electoral votes (at this time, not a majority of the popular vote) after one of the most tight and bitter campaigns in history.
Some have said this campaign divided our nation. No. This election did not divide our nation. We have been a divided nation for some time. The election simply revealed these divides in full force along with exposing issues of power, privilege, fear, and vulnerability.
Arriving back in Jerusalem I went to pray at the Holy Sepulchre church. Kneeling before the stone upon which our Lord’s body was laid I asked God to guide our national leadership in this transition of power. I then prayed for those feeling vulnerable and frightened, and for the church to stand with those marginalized especially today. I prayed for those who rejoice today, that they might advocate for justice and listen deeply to those who differed from them in this election.
Then I prayed for our pastors, that they might be wise and bold in preaching and teaching. Caring for their flock, proclaiming justice, and going forth to proclaim the news of Christ crucified and risen. Finally, I asked for wisdom and guidance for my leadership of our synod in this time.
We are a deeply divided nation. But we are also a nation that has guarantees for the rights of its people. A nation that at its best has stood for opportunity, welcome, and justice. We as the church have an opportunity to be a voice that breaks down walls of division. To be an inclusive church that invites courageous conversation about race and privilege, speaks boldly for the rights of women and children, and for the LGTBQ community.
As I prayed at the foot of the cross I was reminded only the faithful women stayed. May we, as the church, stand together at the foot of the cross. Working to help our country overcome the divisions revealed today. To live into not only power but promise. That is my prayer.
I was a stranger.
In her November column in Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that migration has been part of the story of God’s people from the beginning. She urges us to “welcome the stranger, seeing him / her as a fellow traveler, a companion on the way.” Read her column at livinglutheran.org/2016/10/i-was-a-stranger/.
ELCA World Hunger Advent Study
This study goes through each week of Advent with devotions based on the lectionary, prayers, and hymn suggestions.
Save the Date
February 12-14, 2017
The 2017 Lutheran Legislative Event, sponsored by the NT-NL Public Witness Team, the Southwestern Texas Synod‘s Poverty and Justice Task Force, and Texas Impact, will be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Austin, starting the afternoon of Sunday, February 12, and will conclude about 1:00 pm on Tuesday, February 14.
We encourage your participation!
Where in the world is?
- Nov. 19 – PLMA & PLMA Board Meeting
- Nov. 20 – Family Sunday Worship
- Nov. 18-28 – Vacation
- Nov. 15-17: Simply Wright: N. T. Wright @ Perkins/SMU
- Nov. 18-20: Region 4 Global Mission / World Hunger Synod Leaders Consultation (ELCA)
- Nov. 19: Parish Lay Mission Academy
- Nov. 20: Lutheran Campus Ministry Trivia Challenge
- Dec. 2-4: NT-NL High School Service Weekend
- Dec. 2-4: NT-NL Advent Retreat for 4th, 5th, 6th graders
- Dec. 4: Sunday Brunch at Briarwood
- Dec. 16-17: NT-NL Candidacy Committee Meeting & Retreat
- Jan. 23-25: Tri-Synodical Theological Conference
- Jan. 27-29: NT-NL Junior High Gathering
- Feb. 10-11: Mission Council Meeting
- Feb. 10-11: Tri-Synodical Lutheran Men in Mission Gathering
- Feb. 12-14: 2017 Lutheran Legislative Event
- Feb. 19-21: LSTC Seminary Sampler
- Feb. 25: North Texas Senior Fest 2017 (ALOA)
- Feb. 25: Creation Care and Climate Change (PWT)
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit them to the Mission Area office (MissionOffice@ntnl.org) for consideration for our next NT-NL News. Remember to include a picture or logo.
Looking for information in past NT-NL News? Find NT-NL News archives here!