What a day in NT-NL Synod, ELCA on the 2nd of July. My first return to the synod office in 118 days was momentous as we ordain candidate Joshua Menke to serve a full communion partner congregation Trinity Presbyterian, Southlake. We gathered with three of us in the Briarwood Leadership Center center chapel, Josh, myself, and Pastor Sarah Derrick (Faith, Flower Mound) in a service streamed via our synod Facebook page.
We were joined through Zoom by worship participants across the country and world. Josh did his internship at the Lutheran congregation in Geneva, Switzerland and the congregation was well represented as his intern pastor presented him and the congregation provided special music. He also designated his ordination offering for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and we were reminded again of our Lutheran heritage as refugees and immigrants.
It was a powerful service despite the restrictions on attendance and that we wore masks. I washed my hands prior to laying hands on Josh and then immediately after. We care for one another but recognize laying on of hands is essential for this rite going back 2,000 years. We did not have Eucharist but instead gave thanks for God’s powerful and living Word.
A day of catch up in the office followed. Karate class with my kids (masked). And then ending the evening with American Indian Memory & Resistance | Conversation at Briarwood, another Thursday evening Conversation. This time with Vance Blackfox, a graduate of Texas Lutheran University and a citizen of the Cherokee nation.
A powerful evening of learning about the challenges of Indigenous people in America and also in our church. Expanding our understandings and perspectives. So great to see a strong turnout even on the brink of a holiday weekend. This is all part of Briarwood bringing content and learning throughout this time of pandemic.