December 2014 Archive for Bishop's Message

RSS By: Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo

The Rev. Dr. Robert Rimbo shares regular thoughts and reflections about our life together.

A call for reconciliation

Dec 22, 2014

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." John 1:5

That statement is sometimes difficult for us to believe, yet it stands as the truth central to this holy season. I write to you, the congregations and leaders of the Metropolitan New York Synod with deep sorrow and with the request for your prayers.

On behalf of Lutherans in the New York City area, I extend sympathy and condolences to the families of Officer Liu and Officer Ramos who were murdered in Bedford-Stuyvesant this past Saturday. These tragic deaths weigh on my heart and soul. I ask all of you to pray for their families and their colleagues in the Police Department. I ask you, also, to pray for our civic leaders.

I pray the ancient words of hope for these two public servants: may they both rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon them.  

This unprovoked, evil, irrational act on the part of Mr. Brinsley is beyond understanding. It points to the need for reason, compassion, love and wisdom in our dealing with all people. It calls us to work for reconciliation in our communities. It reminds us of our need for hope and light in our world.

Speaking on behalf of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I offer the assurance of our prayers that peace and justice will prevail and the light will continue to shine in the darkness.

 

___________________________

 

"La luz alumbra en la oscuridad, ¡y nada puede destruirla!" Juan 1:5

 

Esta declaración es en ocasiones difícil de creer, y sin embargo, prevalece como la verdad central de este temporada santa. Me dirijo a ti, a las congregaciones y a los líderes del Sínodo Metropolitano de Nueva York embargado por un profundo dolor y pidiendo por sus oraciones.

 

En nombre de los luteranos del área de Nueva York, quiero extender mis condolencias y simpatía a los familiares de los Oficiales Liu y Ramos, quienes fueron asesinados en Bedford-Stuyvesant este pasado sábado. Estas trágicas muertes pesan en mi corazón y alma. Les pido a todos ustedes que oren por sus familias y colegas del Departamento de Policía. Les pido, también, orar por nuestros líderes cívicos.

 

Rezo con las palabras antiguas de esperanza para estos dos funcionarios públicos: que ambos descansen en paz y que la luz perpetua brille sobre ellos.

 

Este acto irracional, malvado y sin provocación alguna por parte del señor Brinsley va más allá de nuestra comprensión. Apunta a la necesidad de razón, compasión, amor y sabiduría en nuestra forma de tratar con la gente. Nos llama a trabajar por una reconciliación entre nuestras comunidades. Nos recuerda de nuestra necesidad por esperanza y luz en nuestro mundo.

 

Hablando en nombre del Sínodo Metropolitano de Nueva York, miembro de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América, les ofrezco el testimonio de nuestras oraciones de que la paz y la justicia prevalecerán y la luz continuará alumbrando en la obscuridad. 

 

Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo

 

Greeting shared at Misa – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dec 11, 2014

Sion Iglesia Luterana
Saint Peter’s Church, Manhattan


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I am very pleased to be with you this evening and to greet you on behalf of the congregations, pastors and leaders, and various ministries of the Metropolitan New York Synod.

It is always a pleasure to be welcome by the congregation here at Sion.

This is also a great opportunity fro me to recognize the Tenth Anniversary of Ordination of Padre Eduardo Fabian Arias.

These are very difficult days for all of us. I am, of course, aware of and troubled by the events in Ferguson and Staten Island, and I am deeply troubled by the deaths of students and the possible captivity of the 43 missing persons in Mexico.

With you, I join in saying "Ya Me Cansé –This Stops Today. I am tired of it."

The death of any person–especially when it is caused by agents of the state or the government–is very painful, whether in Mexico or in Palestine and Israel or in Missouri or in New York.

But you and I know that we follow Jesus Christ who faced such a death himself, and we know that his death ultimately led to resurrection and new life.

Jesus Christ promises the same new life to us, in the midst of our brokenness and our sorrow.

Tonight as we build this altar to remember victims of these tragedies, let us, above all, remember that Christ, the Son of God and the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, bring us life.

As we gather to celebrate this Misa, we will remember him and his great and never-failing love for us.

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

___________

 

Queridas hermanas y hermanos,

Estoy muy contento de estar aquí entre ustedes y de saludarlos en nombre de las congregaciones, sus líderes y sus pastores, así como de varios ministros del Sínodo Metropolitano de Nueva York.

Cómo siempre, es un placer ser tan bien recibido por la comunidad de Sion.

Está es también una gran oportunidad para recordar el 10º Aniversario de Ordenación Pastoral del Padre Eduardo Fabián Arias.

Estos son tiempos muy difíciles para todos nosotros. Yo estoy, por supuesto, al tanto de los eventos sucedidos en Ferguson y Staten Island, y estoy especialmente consternado por las muertes de los estudiantes –o posible cautiverio– de los 43 desaparecidos en México.

Junto con ustedes, yo me uno al decir "Ya me cansé – This stops today. I am tired of it".

La muerte de cualquier persona –especialmente cuando ésta, es causada por agentes del estado o del gobierno– es en extremo dolorosa, ya sea en México o en Palestina e Israel, o en Missouri, o en Nueva York.

Pero ustedes y yo sabemos que nosotros seguimos a Cristo quién en sí mismo sufrió una muerte verdaderamente trágica, y sabemos que ultimadamente su muerte nos guía a la resurrección y a la vida nueva.

Jesús Cristo nos promete esa misma vida nueva a nosotros, en medio de todas nuestras tristezas y dolor.

Esta noche, al momento de construir este altar en memoria de las víctimas de estas tragedias, permitámonos sobre todo recordar que Cristo, el hijo de Dios y el hijo de la Santa Virgen María, nos brinda vida.

Al reunirnos ahora a celebrar esta misa, nosotros lo recordamos, así como al infalible gran amor que él nos tiene.

La paz del Seños esté siempre con ustedes.

Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo
 

A pastoral letter regarding racism

Dec 08, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

 

"A voice says, ‘Cry out!’

 

And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’"

 

Isaiah, in chapter 40, wasn’t the last person to ask that question. It’s a haunting, even troubling question in these particular Advent days. It’s hard to cry out when you can’t breathe.  

 

The events of these last days have come especially close to home. The decision surrounding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was one thing. I left the response to that sadness to our presiding bishop. But this decision, about the homicide of Eric Garner, was local, made by a grand jury on Staten Island, close to home, so close it is hard to breathe.   

 

What shall we cry?

 

"Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God," to be sure. But no matter whether we all agree on the question of justice in these cases, I think it is time for us to stand up, breathe deeply together, and stop simply talking about the racism that is profoundly present in our lives, our cities, our world, our church. It is time for us to lift up our voice with strength, as Isaiah says, but to do more than just talk about it. It is time to do more than simply cry.

 

This past Saturday, December 6, the Sent Committee of our strategic plan was in conversation with me about how that action in our synod might start. Next Tuesday, December 16, I will encourage our Synod Council to consider what next steps we should take. It is clear that the first step will be a Service for Justice the afternoon of January 17, 2015. The place is yet to be determined but we will announce that as soon as possible. This will be the first of a series of events designed to gather any and all members of our synod to take bold, new steps to address the horror of racism.

 

In the meantime, as your bishop and on behalf of our synod, I will participate in public forums to act and speak for racial justice. I invite you to let me know when such opportunities for public witness are scheduled. I realize that not everyone will agree with my stance; I believe I must act now.  

 

The closing verses of the first reading for the Second Sunday in Advent (Isaiah 40:1-11), encourage action: get up, lift up your voice, do not fear, say, see, feed, gather, carry, gently lead. That’s what we will do. I hope you will join me.

 

Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo