Those attending last year’s synod assembly were treated to a video message form Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. In her message, Bishop Eaton highlighted a few of the ways “we are the church together.” We saw how a rural and an urban congregations do ministry together. We saw how an ELCA mission start in Detroit works to connect with the community. We saw how another congregation ministers to Seafarers (men who spend long periods of time at sea away from family and friends).
In her October report to the conference of bishops, Bishop Eaton reported that she will center her work and the work of the church-wide organization around the four “strategic intents”—We are Church, We are Lutheran, We Are Church Together, and We Are Church for the Sake of the World.
After hearing the Bishop’s message at the synod assembly and reading an excerpt of her October report, it’s become very clear to me just how members of Good Shepherd are part of “the church together.” That said, I have to be honest—I think we are way too shy about sharing our stories. I’ve told leaders of our congregation that one of my goals in the coming months is to hold up some of the stories of how we at Good Shepherd are church together.
First, if you have not already done so, take a moment to click on the “trip blog” on our web site just to the right of this article (www.gslc-cu.org). You’ll experience the stories and pictures of members of Good Shepherd of all ages rebuilding Christo Rey (Christ the King) Lutheran Church. Many members of Good Shepherd contributed in support of this trip. We are the church together.
Second, with the help of adult teachers and mentors this week seven of our young people reaffirmed promises made for them at baptism. We are the church together.
Next Saturday, Yen, a young woman who came to visit us a few months ago, will walk down the aisle of our church escorted by her father on her wedding day. A few weeks ago, Yen told me way back in the 70’s Good Shepherd sponsored her father when he came from Vietnam. We are the church together.
Today, I signed a check that will go to our synod office in support of World Hunger, Disaster Relief Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, and the many ministries of the ELCA. We are the church together.
We are the church together, members of the one body of Christ, for that I am so very grateful.
Peace and blessings,