From a Lay Leader's Desk

A series of opinion articles from lay leaders in our synod.

 

Christmas & Evangelism: Best Practices to Welcome New People

Nov 12, 2019
While we read and honor the ancient scriptures, the way we consume information is changing in our modern times. Even if these new targeted guests don’t show up at a service or Christmas event, offering someone an invitation at the most opportune time of year can leave a positive and lasting impression for whenever they change their minds. They’ll remember your warm and welcoming invitation when the timing is right, and that after all, is the reason for the season.

Evangelism in the Modern World

Nov 12, 2019
With advocacy being a huge part of our calling, we have implemented PR and cross-channel strategies, and a plethora of advocacy programs to let the world know about our radically welcoming mission, and in this way, reach out to potential new members for ALL our congregations, a.k.a. EVANGELISM.

Is God pleased with our level of acknowledgement?

Nov 01, 2019
Acknowledgments are important, ------ and that got me to wondering whether God is pleased with our level of acknowledgment, in responding to him with our gratitude and thanks, and our recognition of what he's done for us, for what he's given to us. And if we say, "Yes, I do respond sincerely, and regularly," that implies we are backing up that response in lives of service. It's one thing to say "Thank you;" it's another to "do" thank you. And thank you to all of you who are already "doing."

Overcoming the "Poor Me" Problem with Gratitude

Oct 23, 2019
Do you have a “poor me” problem, too? It’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s human nature. We see the world through our own eyes, experiencing our own emotions, and chasing our own aspirations. Maybe you say, Poor me. The furnace broke, so we won’t have money for a vacation this winter. Or, Poor me. I live so far from my children that I hardly see my grandkids. For any person, the first step in overcoming “poor me” can be gratitude.

An Immigrant – My Story

Jul 08, 2019
I emigrated from former Yugoslavia, today Croatia, when I was 21 years old. I took a train to Trieste, a port city on the Italian border. The refugee camp was in the nearby town of Padriciano. Finally, at 5 p.m., it was getting dark outside, and I realized that I had no place to sleep, and that I have to make a faithful decision. I approached a young policeman, and I told him that I am seeking political asylum.

Claimed: Motherhood and the Privilege of Heteronormative Life

Jul 08, 2019
As anyone in New York was aware in June 2019, this was the fiftieth anniversary of Pride also known as the Stonewall Uprising. So, on the day of the actual Pride Parade, I was searching myself for some representation of who I am, a Christian – and that’s when I decided to make a sign, “Get Your Mom Hug!” I’d seen the founder of the movement on RuPaul’s talk show, and I thought, “Yes, this is how I am, now. I’m a mom.”

A New Church

Jun 26, 2019
Our synod is not going to disappear. It is true that there is a sunrise and a sunset for many congregations. But it is equally true that our synod, and the ELCA, are part of the one holy church universal and triumphant. And that means that we cannot fail. By definition, we will remain. If every Lutheran in New York walks out the doors and no one comes back in, if we lose every resource, if we are reduced to ashes, we will rise again. We are a church of resurrection.

MNYS Is About to Change

Jun 17, 2019
Our synod is not going to disappear. It is true that there is a sunrise and a sunset for many congregations. But it is equally true that our synod, and the ELCA, are part of the one holy church universal and triumphant. And that means that we cannot fail. By definition, we will remain. If every Lutheran in New York walks out the doors and no one comes back in, if we lose every resource, if we are reduced to ashes, we will rise again. We are a church of resurrection.

More Plastic than Fish

May 01, 2019
I read a statistic the other day that, in this age of alarming statistics, stood out as really alarming to me: some have estimated that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans (by weight). Let that sink in for a minute.

The Job Interview I Failed

Apr 30, 2019
As we approach this year’s assembly, I encourage lay members throughout our synod to consider whether the Holy Spirit may be calling them to greater service, and what skills they may have acquired to prepare for such roles, even without realizing it was happening. There is a path for each of us. The Holy Spirit will reveal it in time, and maybe that time is now.

Love Thy Neighbor

Apr 09, 2019
If Christians refuse to learn about other faiths because they are worried that those traditions will rub off on them, or dilute their Christianity—shouldn’t they be just as optimistic that their Christianity will inspire those they engage?

When Jesus Says He Doesn't Know Us

Apr 04, 2019
The sins of the prodigal son were too numerous and too terrible to mention beyond the phrase “dissolute living,” and if they made a movie about him you’d have to be 17 to see it without an adult. Yet when he came back to his father – a rhetorical stand-in for God or Jesus – he was welcomed with joy, celebration, and forgiveness.

On Hope(lessness)

Feb 20, 2019
The one holy catholic and apostolic church is founded in resurrection. Even we agree on little else, we must agree on that. So it follows: If tomorrow all our rostered members walked out the doors and our buildings fell to dust, we would not disappear. No, we would not. The remnant would get to work on a resurrection, and we would rise again.

The Tenth Amendment

Jan 09, 2019
The 188 congregations within our Synod have their own personalities, too. Like any communities, they are living, breathing, changing. I view our Synod like a federated system: MNYS binds together many unique parts in the recognition that we are stronger together than apart.

Climate Artists: Disruptors of the Peace

Jan 09, 2019
Climate artists have emerged as a new category of citizen activists who do not just question the status quo, as established by these elites, but work to disrupt it. These artists are disrupters of a fraudulent peace created from consumerism and materialism, which has attempted to diminish humanity and has succeeded in poisoning and despoiling our earth.

What is that?

Nov 06, 2018
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