It’s time for the Delaware Maryland Synod Assembly. Minister Cynthia and Pastor Melissa are headed to Hunt Valley, Maryland to grow in faith!
Not everyone likes them, but I enjoy synod assemblies. I meet a lot of new people, get to talk with colleagues I rarely see, learn about all the programs and resources happening in our synod and throughout the ELCA. The worship experiences and preaching are usually amazing.
Synod Assembly is also a time to imagine how our congregation can grow too. When I think of growth I rarely mean just numbers of people; I mean deepening of faith and transforming our ministries to reach more people outside of the church walls.
The ELCA describes us as “the church for the sake of the world.” Last week I preached a sermon titled, “It’s not about us.” I have come to understand that if I’m caught up in what I want or trying to meet the demands for what someone else wants, I’m probably on the wrong track. A helpful question is, What does God want for us and from us?” The answer varies, but it almost always involves learning to be better neighbors and making opportunities for others to grow and thrive.
Synod assemblies often offer me opportunities to grow and thrive. I can celebrate with others who are celebrating and mourn with those who are mourning. I learn how others live out their faith in their daily lives as individuals and as congregations.
We’ll be eager to share many of those stories with you. In the meanwhile, you can check out the agenda and bulletin of reports at this website:
The main speaker this year is Brian McLaren and you can watch him giving a talk on challenges to the church here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWftA0x0aJI
Here’s another talk on making changes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v_klrMp31U
I’ll be helping to lead the Racial Justice Ministry Team’s workshop on Saturday morning, and Minister Cynthia and I should be back home before dinnertime on Saturday.
Looking forward to sharing what we learn, Pastor Melissa