Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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February 2016 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.

Transformative conversations

Feb 29, 2016
sharinggodsblessing

In his newest book, Sharing God’s Blessing: How to renew the local church, Robin Greenwood immediately hits on a point that we know well in our synod: if we are truly eager to do God’s work, "Chaos will be routine; stability a luxury." The transitions our congregations face range from issues of leadership, worship styles, and financial matters, to community engagement and social justice. We can all identify urgent concerns and growing questions for how we are a church in today’s society.

 

What Robin Greenwood pushes churches to in this book in order to engage in these transitions, we must first start with a deeper sense of hospitality with ourselves and others. We must be honest with our own feelings, even becoming vulnerable. It is in understanding God’s blessing on each of us that we are able to become a blessing to others. We are then opened up for deep and intimate conversations with each other. The type of conversation that asks us not to think and analyze, but to be present and relate.

 

We have been practicing such themes for a while in our synod. In 2014, we began an intentional focus on Mutual Conversation and Consolation. We used meetings, retreats, and our assembly as times for us to gather for grace-filled conversations with each other. If we learned anything in that year of intentional conversation, we learned that we can’t stop here. We need to find more and more ways to talk and relate to each other. It is critical to who we are as a church and as a synod.

 

I encourage you to seek conversations with each other and to be open to the Holy Spirit’s presence in those moments. Chaos may be our routine, but we still need to routinely gather, worship, and be together for conversation. I hope you will seek out times to be together, to talk about what is weighing on your hearts and minds in relation to our life together.

 

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Upcoming events with opportunities for deeper conversation:

March 22: Chrism Mass

April 22: Synodwide Ministerium

May 19-21: Synod Assembly

 

 
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