June 10, 2019
Mothering God, you gave me birth
in the bright morning of this world.
Creator, source of ev'ry breath,
you are my rain, my wind, my sun.
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship #735]
The readings for this coming Sunday, June 16, the Sunday of the Holy Trinity, are as follows:
Around the Lutheran Center, we are in high-gear preparations for the upcoming Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly this coming Friday and Saturday. Therefore, this musing will be brief.
As we gather around the theme, "Who is my neighbor?" we are confident that those of you who are voting members to the assembly will find it an uplifting experience; and we hope that you will take what you learn back to your congregations and share this knowledge with them and with others.
As I've said, time and time again, we strive each year to make the assembly an event, more than a business session; a gathering of God's people to worship and praise our Creator, be nurtured in our faith, and equipped for mission to better serve our congregations, our communities, and the world.
We are especially excited by the participation of our ELCA Glocal Music Educators, who will lead us in our worship and acquaint us with songs that transcend and transform us both culturally and spiritually, thereby enhancing our connections with the worldwide Christian family.
For those who will not be attending the assembly, we will be livestreaming many of the sessions on the internet. Check our synod website, (www.neos-elca.org) for more information. It is helpful for you to see what actually goes on during the two days that we are together and hopefully, it will inspire you to become a voting member from your congregation at future assemblies.
I ask your prayers for our synod office team, as they are hard at work in making final assembly preparations.
There are two words that jump out at me after reading the scripture lessons for this Trinity Sunday:
The reading from Proverbs highlights wisdom, and the fifth chapter of Paul's letter to the Roman Christians is where the author begins to develop the theme of hope that highlights the entire letter.
The reading from Proverbs begins with these words:
Does not wisdom call,
and does not understanding raise her voice?
If you are keenly observant, the first thing you should notice when you read this is that wisdom is described as female. Wisdom is a woman. A female colleague once pointed out to me that this is scriptural proof that girls are smarter than boys.
However, scripture may be on to something. We are in assembly season in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and 23 of our synods have held or will be holding bishop elections. Seven more women have been elected bishops this year, with three more elections yet remaining. Two others were re-elected by resounding votes over the weekend, including our Southern Ohio sisters and brothers, who re-elected the Rev. Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt on the first ballot by a margin of some 84 percent.
The ELCA now has more women bishops than at any time in its history. Nearly one third of the Conference of Bishops is comprised of women.
My vision for the church, particularly our church - the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - has always been rooted in the hope that it reflect the vision of God's kingdom, in all its diverse expressions. We are showing signs of living into that vision, albeit at glacier-like speed. I will have more to say on that when all elections are completed in the next couple of weeks.
Because of the assembly, our offices will be closed next Monday, meaning that Monday Musings will be published on Tuesday.
In the meantime, this week and in the weeks to come, may we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
+Bishop Abraham Allende